Monday, July 30, 2012

Reaper Kickstart ... Shut Up And Take My Money

Seriously, do it. I missed out on Zombicide and Ogre. Whoops. Then there was Sedition Wars. Now there's Reaper Bones. With 26 days to go, I can't wait to see what the final reward package will be. It's looking pretty sweet now.

I don't know if you've seen Bones yet, but they are quite inexpensive. A Minotaur on Reaper's site that costs $6.29 in metal is only $3.29 for the same sculpt in the Bones line. If they really take paint without priming then I am completely enamored. I pretty much hate the gooey plastic PP uses (maybe I just don't know how to work it properly, I dunno...) so the idea of hard plastic for minis appeals to me. Plus, when my kids want to paint something (and not another clan rat or AoBR Ork) I will have a lot of (inexpensive) choices for them.

EDIT: Lovely. Now this. Backed, of course.

As much as I love kickstarter, I can't really discern it from walking into Gamestop and being asked to pre-order something. Except I don't have to deal with a filthy human teenager trying to sell me NHL 2013 Xtreme Icecapades. This is stuff I really want. Really want.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lucius Continues, Khador Cutie and Horrid Dwarf

How's that for a mixed title. Work on Lucius continues. I have enough free time in the next 10 days or so to finish both him and the unit of Noise Marines that I am expecting on my doorstep any day now.
Look out! He's armed now!
I slapped some quick paint on one of the Grind Khador runners. Isn't it adorable? 

Arms come later, after I magnetize everything.

 Lastly, I received this craptastic recast of a Dwarf Blitzer in an eBay lot. I'm going to try and make the best of it. His right hand was horribly miscast, and major surgery was required. Resculpting with an xacto knife isn't really a precision technique, but at least it looks like a hand now. We'll see if I can rescue this guy from his inauspicious roots.

I am a pale shadow of my original sculpt.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A New Strain Emerges

My eight year-old son wanted to paint one of his Tyranids last night. We didn't have any build, so I got out the sprues and we looked them over. After considering whether to build a Hormagaunt, Termagaunt or Genestealer he chose Genestealer.... sort of. He wanted it to have guns. Lots of guns. This is the shootiest Genestealer you've ever seen.

It's your hobby. Enjoy it.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

You Know Your Car Is Awesome When...

you get one of these stuck to the antenna...
...and the car is parked on the street right across from your house.

In their defense, I had not moved it for several days, as I have been taking our van to work. I'm just glad this didn't happen while we were up north, or I would have returned to a missing truck.

Way to go Washtenaw County Sheriff Department.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pirate Goblins Project!

I'm sure most of you are familiar with Kickstarter and Indiegogo after things like the Ogre, Zombiecide and Sedition Wars launches, or the money collected for that poor woman mercilessly taunted on that bus who is now quite a bit more wealthy (unless she is a miniature collector, in which case she now owns a lot more pewter... but I digress.) I saw this cool Indigogo project for a set of Pirate Goblins. They are only at about 20% of a fairly modest startup goal but they still have about 50 days to go. I think once people see how neat these are they will want to grab a set.

I can't quite figure out what a goblin Yarrrrr would be like though... squeaky? I can't make that noise in my head.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Bargain - Grind

I was purchasing a conversion bits order at the Privateer Press webstore, when I saw that Grind was on sale for $25 as a Summer special. I added it to the cart. Sadly (for others who are not me) the price is back up to $70.
The basics of Grind... Steamjacks and a
giant metal spiked ball.

So what's Grind? It's basically Steamjack Blood Bowl, without the blood. It started life as a rule set published in No Quarter 10 (about 2 billion years ago) using regular Warmachine 'jacks and eventually made its way to the standalone game I bought. Each player controls a team of five Steamjacks (as opposed to the military Warjacks in Warmachine) equipped with a variety of arm types as they attempt to bash the other team back and push/carry/throw the "grinder" into their opponents goal. You can knock each other around a lot but you can't damage the other 'jacks. We played a lunch hour game as our first try, and managed to get 2 full rounds in (of the 10 that make up a game) but it looks like it will play much faster once we know the rules.

Each team, the Iron Storm (blue, Cygnar) and the Steel Fury (red, Khador) includes three light 'jacks (runners), two heavy 'jacks (crusher) and a variety of different ranged and melee arms. You kit your team out with arm choices before the battle (there is no cost for the different arms, as each has its different strengths.) Both sides have exactly the same weapon arms included, but the "open fist" arms match the faction 'jacks nicely (see the left-most crusher in the pic.) Yes, there are Khador light 'jacks. They are cute little buggers!

Iron Storm, with extra arms
The 'jacks themselves are quite nice. They are 4 piece (without arms) press-fit plastic models (the semi-flexible plastic that feels more like a toy than a scale model) and the sculpting is pretty good, with distinct details. They aren't quite the level of the current plastic, but they aren't bad at all. Size-wise they are comparable to their Warmachine equivalents. Each comes with a textured base to match the grind playfield. I almost think a Grind 'jack and a couple arms from the PP webstore could make a close facsimile of the Warmachine version.

Size comparison, Grind to Warmachine
The board itself is a typical high quality four section folding game board, with nice graphics. the obstruction columns and the grinder itself are two piece models (cleverly designed so that two identical pieces fit together to make each.) The rules hint at Warmachine's rules. Each turn (two turns, one for each player, makes a round) the player has 10 action dice to use. You activate your 'jacks one at a time and they can move and attack (either one first, unlike Warmachine.) The dice are d6, but have "hits" on them instead of numbers. The normal "action" dice have three blank sides, two with one "hit" and one face with two "hits" (super hit, I think that's called.) Blue "boost" dice (used when rules call for them, not when you choose like in Warmachine) have more hits on them and "action" dice that have even more hits. The fun part is that the "action" dice are used as turn counters too, so as the turns progress you move them from the game clock to your dice pool, where they can be used at will. This makes turn 5 a whole more successful than turn 1 for rolls. The game consists of two 5 round periods.

Check it out here, including tutorial slide show:

Or just download the rulebook and check it out:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Melta Guy Gets A New Home

I was the lucky winner of the custom Sanguinary Priest and the famous Melta Guy given away over at The Dark Templar's "40 days of 40k" giveaway. Thanks DT! I was especially happy to get Melta Guy, given his epic saga. I love games with moments like that.
Melta Guy considers what manner of witchery
could produce so hideous a foe
So here's a WIP after a night of painting. To honor his illustrious past, I kept most of his old paint job intact, choosing instead to augment and add color as needed. He is a welcome addition to my collection. The custom sanguinary priest is very cool too, but I'll get to him after current projects are done.

In a fit of real hobby ADD, I grabbed one of the playing pieces from my copy of Munchkin Quest and slapped some paint on him. No, I don't know what I was thinking either.

Coming soon! The continuation of Black Crusade Lucius, and on deck "Extremeast-09".

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Vacation, Spy Kayak, Ant Lions and Lucius

First off, a WIP pic of Lucius for all the 40k bloglists. I'm using glazes of VGC somber gray for the black highlighting. I need to cool down the palette on the leg-faces a little. They are a little warm compared to the chest-faces. I also need to remember that I have less than a month to go, and I still have two arms and a backpack to add! Get to work, me!
Mostly Armless
In non-painting news, I'm back from a great week at my parents' cabin in Manistique, MI. The kids loved it so much last year that we made a real point of going back this year. Wanna know something else? I really don't want to go back to work tomorrow. Sigh.

It's quite picturesque there.
Your trip starts at (quote from the "Pure Michigan"
ad campaign that promotes local tourism)

The cabin is right on the northern shore of Lake Michigan, and a unique feature is the abundance of ant lions. Look them up if you don't know what they are. Here is a little glimpse into how many there are:

I tried to grab video of one catching an ant, but it just wasn't very dramatic. Some captures are pretty epic, but I never managed to have my phone camera nearby when they happened.

My parents have a strange neighbor up there. While my brother and his fiance's kids were swimming, he waded out in his clothes to reprimand my brother for the children screaming (specifically the six year old girl.)  My brother (always the diplomat hur hur) assured him that the little girl had been screaming for six years and that it was unlikely that she was going to stop today. I guess hearing screaming a few hundred feet from his cabin made him hear "danger." I sympathize to a degree if he thought kids were out there alone and drowning, but the whole family was out there. Later, as my folks and brother and I were relaxing under the shade of an awning, the neighbor paddled his kayak over and stopped aligned with where we were sitting and just stared at us for something like 7 or 8 minutes, after which he paddled off.

I'm sitting in my Spy Kayak giving you the stink eye!
If he was trying to make a point, I missed it entirely.

The beach this year was littered with crayfish parts and mussel shells. Literally millions of them. It was better than dead Alewives, that's for sure.
If Nottingham was ruled by crayfish, this is what the WHFB
Realms of Battle table would look like.

I also found a rock that looked happy. Not much more to say than that.
Happy rock is happy.
For some reason this year there was bumper crop of wood ticks. We were constantly pulling those bloodsuckers off our clothes. Occasionally one managed to find some skin and chomp down to feed. My brother (such an educator) actually had all the kids gather around to demonstrate a tick searching for a feeding spot on his arm. After letting it bite, he pulled if off and demonstrated how tough they are by smashing things onto it on the tabletop. It's amazing that something the size of a grain of rice can feed on blood until it's the size of a grape. In case you were wondering, the wood tick is pretty harmless; it's the deer tick that carries Lyme disease. That variety is only about the size of a pinhead, so much harder to detect.

But now I'm back, so it's time to get back into the regular swing of things. Did I mention I don't want to go to work tomorrow? I'm pretty sure I did.