zaterdag 31 oktober 2015

It's a trap!

In Fallout, just running all over the place is likely to get you killed if you don't look at the floor often. Mines, boobytraps, the works. It would not be the first time I turn a dark corner running from a bigger critter only to hear beep, beep, BEEP <ah crap> BOOM! or have a shotgun go off in my face.

That keeps you on your toes though :)

So, I know have a small collection of landmines (the 13 items in the lower part of the picture) ready to be basecoated and quickly painted. Simple base, green mine, red trigger, done.
A while back (must have been July) I was swapping bits with a friend when he took out of his Ogres bits box and I noticed a bear trap. Turns out they use it as soms sort of a hand weapon, funny. And he had some spare. When I went looking around I found a couple more, so I ended up with 7 fists with bear traps and baer trap as is. The latter one is perfect, but the other ones are fine too once I had cut off the fingers and plastic bit. Sanded up some 25mm bases and stuck em on.
Modhail was kind enough to give me 2 lenghts of small chain, the one you see and a smaller one that I've put in my 20mm bits box. Drilled holes in the traps to add some brass wire to hold the chain, cut off various lengths of it and drilled the base to insert tips of toothpicks. I first used sateh sticks but being made of bamboo, they disintegrate when I cut them to size after glueing them to the base. Done 4 sofar, the ones in the back are next. Then to stick the chains down with gel superglue and a tad of liquid superglue in between the chains to keep em in place. Again, simple paintjob, base, metal, rust, finito.

Also managed to drill holes in the empty boots, just different sized drills bits and some time, ready for primer.

Also on the doormat today, 2 envelopes with LotR scenery :D
The columsn were free, I'm just supposed to pay postage though I'm still waiting for his account details. If I see him at Crisis I'll just buy him a beer :) The rest is 1 complete LotR scenery box that I got for 10 euros, which is a bargain seeing these sets go for 10-25 Pounds on Ebay.

A nice half hour of watching a Frostgrave battlereport on Youtube (I can reccomend them, easy to follow and helps me understand the rules plus great eyecandy and this particular chap (Guerrilla Miniature Games) does a lot more besides Frostgrave like other systems and reviews) and some basic cutting and glueing and I have amassed this amount of scatter scenery in the last month.
Mostly trades or just paid postage for unwanted stuff, I think I paid 25-ish in total for this. Looks like a lot but really isn't. I'll keep my eye out at Crisis for some bigger items to fill the table with and I'm hoping Modhail and/or Rob has some more kit to fill the table with.

Anyway, Happy Halloween you all. Nothing like that for me, Kim is away for the weekend so I'm living the single day life now....meaning a early rise tomorrow to feed the hive.

vrijdag 30 oktober 2015

Droid Slavers

" Right after the great war, with most production facilities in ruins, and most people no longer trusting them, robots and droids were rare. But there was still a need for cheap and efficient labour and servants, and this is where the robot slavers stepped in. Robots salvaging, repairing and in some cases hunting down other robots for sale to humans who would pay the price. In some cases various factions of robots would sell captured robots unsuited for them to the slavers, and they in turn to us.

You see, pre war robots function on a different level then current day examples. Scared that they would revolt again, we now have dumbed down models., with the exception of some higher end (military) models. So they are sought after, now that the great war is long behind us. Like a commodity they are sold on, mindwiped again and again, from party to party who is willing to pay the price.

As long as we buy them, Droid Slavers will exists. And that is why B85M-D3V comes to town once a month, to sell out his kind for a profit. And we keep a very close watch on what he does."

Constable Gu Lee, New Xi'an, 11th Province, CCM-23

donderdag 29 oktober 2015

Natural 20

  A natural 20 is a deadly thing in Frostgrave as it does double damage. As Jan-Willems apprentice found out when I cast Elemental Ball against her and she rolled very, very low (30+ damage in one go). He jokingly said that all what was left of her were smoking boots.

Well, why not make some boots :)

20mm base, boots off a ruined dwarf model from the trash box. Need to clean it, base it, and drill the openings and give it a quick paintjob.

Just for fun when someone dies violently I suppose.....

woensdag 28 oktober 2015

Waste not....

Never thrown anything (useful) away till you have a box full of it. Then get another box. :)

I've had some GW ruins I picked up in a lot a while back (I believe there should be a identical sprue in the box as well but have not found it yet.) I tried selling it but it seems you can't give that stuff away for free these days. I mean this one:

So round comes Frostgrave :) I just finished shaving off the skulls off it and I've put them in the Frostgrave box. Now to hunt for the other one. I'm sure they will look nicely with some plants on them, just ignore the bullet holes ("scattershot"or "explosive bolt" spells anyone?)

Also, my replacement 3D prints arrived today from the US.

To help him out, and cause I wanted extra bits, I bought some more packs of round windows off him (top right). He put in some neat hexagon mesh for free and my replacements. But my heart sank when I noticed they were the same as last time....they were the wrong bits! <sigh> Perfectly printed and very finely detailed, but the wrong ones.....

Curtis was straight and honest and said he would send the correct ones asap, but if I could send him a pic so he would make sure he sent the right ones this time?

Well, I don't do subtle :P

Hey, we all make mistakes, I'm not going to fret over it. I'm still undecided about the way I'm going to build the towers anyway so this delay means nothing.

Still no Frostgrave book though. Almost 2 weeks from the UK? That's bad form (especially as the Black Ops book was sent the day before and that arrived last thursday. Damaged. <sigh>  The postie actually tried to fold the packaging from The Bookdepository so now it has a big dent in the spine.

Not a lot of luck I'm having lately, am I?

zondag 25 oktober 2015

Basic 5 for Sander finished!

While the little ones were sleeping today I built number 4, and tonight I built number 5. Nr 4 is a well-to-do house, 2 story, with a fancy entrance and a backexit. It comes with a loose dome (not in the pictures, only in the group shot at the end).

Building nr 5 I did just now, also a 1-2 story with a terrace, but this time the door is sunk to terrace level instead with 1-2 steps down....I must say I like it this way. Fits with the crazy DIY acrhitecture.

And here is the group combined, randomly thrown together :)

If I have the time, I'll sand down the lot tomorrow, clean up the edges, add doorknobs and metalwork, do the stucco and the first coat of Gesso on the roofs. Later that week another coat and sanding and then they are done more then a week before schedule, and with that I have finished the 2nd sheets of 12 sheets of blue foam that I have. Which is good, cause my trip through the DIY earlier this week failed to turn up any sheets at all where I last saw them, all replaced with green paper pulp like sheets....useless for my needs. So I better make these count :)

Now if you don't mind, I'm going to enjoy that extra hour of sleep :)

zaterdag 24 oktober 2015

Number 3 of Sanders buildings; basic shell finished

Decided to not go to the club tonight to save on gas money, and joined Kim in the living room. She was watching Breaking Bad and keeping me up to date, while I was cutting and glueing house number 3.

House number 3 is a tad larger, partly ground level, partly 1st floor. I've added more windows then I usually do while keeping just one wall bare. The way I designed these, that does not matter as everything just slots together nicely anyway. As you can see in the following pics.

As you can see, they fit nicely together. 3 basic shells now finished, 2 more shells to go before I will start to sand them all, add details and then finally coat them with stucco. I will not be painting them, that will be up to Sander.  Another 1-2 and a single 2 story building to go, I'm hoping to have them done before Crisis (how is that for a deadline, 2 weeks from now, maybe get some work in sunday evening or maybe tomorrow if Kim wants to watch series again (I'm so not into that))

On a slighly sadder note, life has once again thrown a spanner in the works (neverending story it seems); I was heading back from work yesterday when there was a loud thump and I lost all power in the engine of my scooter :( Pick up service was there pretty quick, first evaluation today is "just" a broken bobine (bye 75 euro) which won't be in till tuesday, but he will give her a service as well (it was due in a few hundred kilometers anyway - bit pointless waiting another 3 weeks and paying again for hours when I have so little cash anyway). I will get a cost estimate for everything tomorrow, so I'll know how much of my Crisis cash is lot. Though Kim surprised me yesterday and mentioned we will take some money from our mutual fund as my scooter is a nescessity for me to get to work, using the car on a daily basis is just too expensive. I love my girl.

Also got a reply today from Jon at GZG. Well, 2 actually. If I want them, I can have replacements for the holed space ships cargo containers for free with my next order (thought I'd decline that at first, but going to accept them as I can use them to turn it into a 4 container carrying ship in a cross pattern...well, you'll see). Also, this after a contact slash friend of mine (hello mate!) mentioned he was going to the Reading wargamesshow mid November and if I needed anything, as Liberation Miniatures would be there, and he is one of my means to get figures from Rolf (as I can't direct order them anymore, long story), Jon was kind enough to confirm that he will be there with GZG and he could have my order ready for him if I wanted to. As combining orders saves me postage aka money, that's grand.

Also today, passed by the DIY store to snatch some of their free gravel samples and took a stroll inside if they had anything in the discount bin. Walked out with 2 packs of wallplugs of a type I've never seen before but should make interesting building tops for my sci-fi village. You'll see (well, you might, if they take paint.)

Also based up some more Frostgrave treasure things that you will see later this week.

donderdag 22 oktober 2015

GZG Order. Excellent service as always.

My custom GZG order dropped on my mat yesterday. From the question, asked 10 days ago, to shipped 6 days ago is very good for a custom parts order in my book, excellent.

So, what did I get?

Well, a space freighter (338C) which I got just cause I want to paint one. I like painting merchants of any sort of game really. Good for scenarios.
(size reference is a 20mm Elhiem contractor sniper)

Casting is ok, both containers show a light mouldline and both have a bit of a hole in the same spot at the end, and one of them has a hole on the opposite side as well. Nothing that can't be fixed with some filler and sanding. I think you could use it as is without the engine pod, cause the back end looks good enough to paint as an exhaust. The engine pod I've never seen before (this is a newer model) but as soon as I had it in my hands it reminded me of some sort of sensor pod, mounted on a tank, to scan 360 degrees for threats. I just testfitted it to my Jagdpanzer 120mm Kanone to see if it works and it is a tad large but it feels alright. Gives me something to command the deck gun with, so I think this is a go. I'll ask Jon if it is available as a seperate part, else I will just order up more merchants next time.

Next is the Hornet Drone (fan type) V15-108 and showing the size against a 15 and a 20mm fig
2 fans on one cast, body, head and tri-barrel gun on the other and base seperate. Both fans (this set and the other one) have some pitting in the exact same area, a line down the middle of the fan bit, but nothing major. I like the base, but seeing as most of my stuff is coin based, a bit redundant for me, but it is a great thing for people who base on wood or plastic or want to use the metal base as is. Again hardly any mouldline, looking forward to building these drones.

Last is the sole reason for the order, the new Bulldog lift fans. Slighlty larger then I was expecting (which is odd as Jon supplied me with exact measurments) it seems I will not need 6 of these fans per APC but can stick with 4 per vehicle (keeping down costs is my motto). They are a special cast item, not normally available unless you ask for them, as goes for the tri track units.

4 fans, 4 caps/covers and 2 axles so to speak. On the left is the top side, on the right is the underside. A few more mouldlines then the other bits, but nothing that can't be sanded away in a few good strokes. I'm not sure if I will need to paint the fans first before slotting the cover on, or not bother with that and slap on the cover before basecoating. I will have to make new axles, maybe I can ask Jon to let those out next time. Jon charged me 3,50 Pounds per set for them. So roughly 5 euros worth of conversion stuff for one vehicle. Yes, that is ok for a sci-fi build.

And there you have it. A well cast, speedy order with great service from GZG. What more can a gamer ask for?

Now to finish up my Old Crow order ( got a voucher/email for free shipping and I can use some additional turrets and barrels for this project) and send off a email to Magister Militium for their Crisis deadline and how to order for that (I've noticed many shops don't have the option Pick Up so I tend to email them in advance if I have to make a order in the system or as a text in a email).

Edit: a reply from Jon within 10 minutes (and it is after midnight here), saying more engine bits is not a problem, and he'd like a picture of the pod problem, which I have just sent him (and I mentioned again it is not that big an issue)

woensdag 21 oktober 2015

3mm; where to start

Having sold off almost all of my 6mm stuff now, I've been eyeing 3mm ever since O8 came out with their first sculpts several years ago. I know I can paint small good and fast, and I like how little space you need to game with them, having done a demo or 2 over the years and after having read many, many battlereports. It is also very cheap and it is perfect for scratchbuilding.

Here's the thing. I have a Cold War 1980 Dutch Army, painted all of the vehicles but got burned out by the time I got to the troops. In all those years since painting them I played 2 whole games with them, both on very large tables that would be impossible to fit in my house or the clubs I frequent. I've been asked to play another game in December and I turned that down, I just don't see the fun atm in carrying the lot, stuffing a table full of scenery and spending the next 5-6 hours there.

Since I rolled back in the hobby a few months ago I've gone over to the skirmish side of things. tables no bigger then 120x120cm's, limited but good quality scenery and a low miniature/vehicle count. Quicker to paint, easier to set up, and less painful for the wallet. Battlegroup with D6+2 officers is my new max so to speak. Frostgrave, Black Ops, that sort of thing.

But large battles still attract me, just in a much smaller scale and a much shorter timeframe.

So, here is my idea. I want to copy my Dutch army in 3mm. Tanks, artillery, APC's. I prefer to stick to 1 tank = 1 tank, but I'm not hung up on it. I like modelling command bases and rear area assets. Basically Battlegroup, but Modern and in 3mm.

So, at Crisis, I will be pre ordering some packs of 3mm stuff. Not too much, I've limited myself to just  copying what I have in 20mm.

I'll discuss with Piers what direction Battlegroup Moderns will take. It has no basing standard so I can do as I please. In the meantime, it would be nice to have a existing rulesset to keep me busy.

And I know what you are thinking, not another project :) Well, this one has been on and off in my head for a long time, and this Crisis seems to be right occasion. And since the Renedra order is cancelled for now, this just about funds it.

dinsdag 20 oktober 2015

Disapointment and change on the hobby front

3 weeks to go till Crisis, I've checked the figures and the finances, gone over the pre orders with a fine tooth comb to make sure I stay within the budget and spent last night up to 2 o'clock sending them all (but 1) out, and except Foundry they all replied already! Magister Militum will have to come tonight as Evin hadn't replied yet to my question about his part of the order.

But then....

Fenris Games - not coming. :(
Renedra - not coming. :(

The Dice Bag Lady is willing to take orders for Fenris, but as I had been in doubt whether to go for Fenris Games or Thomarillion. I just edited the order and sent it to Thomarillion, to pick up all of their crypts except the small chapel and a few other small bits for the graveyard. Bye 60 euros.

Renedra....I must have misread a previous traderslist or something? Have an order for even more gravestones, bases and I wanted the church for AWI/pulp (and because it is a great deal), 33 pounds in total. Their reply was a bit short (one sentence) telling me they are not coming, and they didn't even ask what I wanted to do with the order. I'll have a rethink now about dropping the order entirely just because of the reply, it's like they don't want my business? (That's how it feels to me anyway)

The replies from Ainsty (more Crypts and graveyard bits and a big Mausoleum, total for another 25 Pounds) and Thomarillion were pretty quick (Thomarillion replied at 5:30 in the morning....mental!) and those items will be ready for me at Crisis.

No reply yet to the 32 Pound Foundry order (just 3 packs, pricey stuff), added in a last minute prehistoric killer bird for Frostgrave as a stand in Worm for the Worm Hunt. Looking forward to painting that.

For the rest I'm doing some swaps with fellow gamers, I will be getting quite a few skeletons on the sprue, new and old, as well as a Vampire and a Necromancer, plus some Flaggelants and some more Pulp African Explorers. I'll be trading some money and some 20mm items for that. I hope my current sales will sell before next week, if not, I'll do some additional discounting to push them, if not for Crisis, then just to boost my bank account.

I'm avoiding the Crisis Traders list like the plague now. I don't want to get any more ideas and what I have selected should be more then sufficient to last me till next year. I have a small amount of money set aside for impulse buys, plus another 50 from sales to take Kim out to dinner as a thank you for taking care of the kids all day while I'm having fun and her oncoming birthday.

Finally, I managed to win a large lot of LotR scenery on Ebay, too much in fact, so I will be selling off some of the bits and pieces when it arrives and just keeping what I need for Frostgrave. What I now need to look at is finding either premade Mordheim scenery or do it myself. Both should not be impossible.

My replacement parts order from 3D Horizons has been delayed, US Customs sent it back to the seller for some reason, but that is ok. I'm still working on the sketches for the towers anyway. Need to buy another roll of lead to stuff their bases with, don't want them to topple. Fortunately the local DIY send me a 5 euro discount birthday coupon I can use for that. Always trying to save money :)

donderdag 15 oktober 2015

CHI-76a Medium Laser Tank " Mazha "

Somewhere in the future, man will colonise other planets and war will break out. With this idea I have been on again and off again penning down notes and ideas about what vehicles to make, looking at modifications and making plans for the future, as I want to do this in 20mm and as some of you may know, 20mm is not a (popular) Sci-fi scale. 15mm you can buy everthing plus the kitchen sink, 28mm just a tad less, 20mm hardly anything.

First off, my sci-fi universe is a mix of various ideas (and shows/movies). It is a period after man colonized many worlds, discovered many alien species, battled a omnipotent AI and came out battered but unbroken (minor win in gaming terms), only to rise up again, start fighting amongst themselves and remnant robot forces and the odd alien. Mechs are available but rare, anti-grav is possible and anything goes worlds wise. Alien ships are common. CHI stands for China Heavy Industries - I tend to focus a lot on China as a colonising power and almost all of my builds will be for this nation as well as looking at various robots cause I always need more reasons to paint robots

The CHI-76a is a general medium tank chassis used for a variety of tasks, of simple build as to keep the costs down, for 2nd line and garission units. I'll be focusing on one PDF (Planetary Defence Force) in particular on a as yet unnamed world, CCM-23 is known for its large copper deposits and earth like climate (well, a bit hotter). No other details currently available.

This PDF uses the Mazha's (Chinese for Grasshopper/Locust depending on which translator you use. (My Chinese colleagues actually got into a argument with each other if this word or something I can't pronounce is correct, but in Dutch a Grasshopper and a Locust are the same thing so I'll leave it at that. You get the idea)) as their main battle tank. This tank is built around defense. It carries 2 main guns, medium to heavy lasers depending on the setting, that can be fired simultaneously or alternating, good for 3000 shots until ithey need to be overhauled. The laser is of a very rugged Indian design, copied by the Chinese. Very durable and low maintenance, the only odd feature is that each discharge is accompanied by a loud chirp, not unlike a grasshopper, due to the way the baffles work to vent the heated air. That and the preferred Chinese tactic of attacking/defending in larger groups while moving from location to location brought about the name, the original factory name long since forgotten.

For maximum survivability, the crew of 3 sits inline in the middle of the vehicle in armoured cocoon front to back (Driver, gunner, commander). For extra defence the vehicle comes with a twin MG turret on top, a small anti missile laser on the rear deck and optional additional ceramic ablative armour on the sides. The vehicle is tracked as that is still the most economical way to get around in most areas. A anti grav version is available, but due to the greater drain on the engine this tends to draw too much power and increases reload time for the lasers. No AI unit is available for this type of tank, but most droids/robots can take the place of the various crew if needed. As it is very noseheavy, no blower version exists. The front roadwheels and suspension wears out at an excessive rate and are rated at 1500 km's max. The engine is either a multifuel type or a small fusion reactor (not for export). Armour is low to average on the sides, but the front armour should be able to withstand hits up to theory. It does not carry a shield generator. Depending on the location and training of the crew, the tank is used as a sniper, lying in ambush, or as a assault tank, supporting infantry.

The chassis is used for various roles, of which later more.

I have a donor chassis selected from my stash, I ordered new barrels for the conversion and I plan to make 3 units of this particular model. Total cost per tank should not exceed 12,50 euro including all of the parts and scratchbuilding. I hope to start these in December/January, though I will base the hulls before that time.

More fiction of me in the future to go with my 20mm sci-fi project :)

I'll leave you with a link to my gaming buddy's Blog, Modhails Meanderings who just finished a beautiful True Scale Howling Griffons Space Marine and photographed in his beautiful 3D Space Hulk sections. He wants a whole unit for them in Inquisimunda. The nutter.

maandag 12 oktober 2015

Frostgrave on a budget

I'm keeping things very simple today.

I took out one of my 2 Punch and Die sets I bought at Crisis 2013 (and never used) for scratchbuilding to make a coin base. Well, thats almost 2 years of non use :\ Almost 55 euros a piece well spent <ahem>, but hey, I got some use out of it and the special hammer :D

After some hammering I punched out enough 0.5mm round "coins" to fill 20mm round base. I glued the first ones down with some strong glue, and the rest got stacked and glued with Revell contacta. I did it in between a few chats and videos, but in total it did not take too much time.

Cue crappy pic.
I'm sure it will look much better when painted :) (when I buy some gold paint that is (at Crisis))
I only used a very small fraction of plasticcard, so the cost was very low (if you ignore the punch and die cost :P ) for something that looks the part.

The second base was even cheaper. I've been looking at getting some bottles, but after paying shipping most of them end up in the 1-1,50 euro per bottle range, which is a bit rich for my tastes! While clearing a bag of bits I got from a friend, I put aside the scrap sprue bits, which included some resin scrap, and one of those scrap bits has a uncanny resemblance to ....a bottle.

Well, see for yourself.
Again a 20mm base, I only trimmed the mould line and the top bit down, but it is as is. Free bottle!

The punch and die set I used is a Steel Models one (2120 Round and 2119 Hexagon). I was a bit surpised to find spots of rust on it. Considering I always kept it in a dry location and had not used it before. I'll grab some gunoil tomorrow and give it a good cleaning on the rust spots to see if I can stop that. I also noticed the drill holes weren't all cleaned of cuttings, so I removed a few small coils of very sharp metal. Other then that it works like a treat, just slide in the plasticcard, press down, put in the die and punch it. A nice, if expensive, tool for any scratchbuilder who wants consistent round or hexagonal bits.

Project added: Frostgrave (and a wee bit of sci-fi)

And we're off!

Ever since hearing, and reading about Frostgrave I had high hopes to restart Mordheim at the local GW club (as Frostgrave would obviously not be allowed, being a club inside a GW shop). There were plans to do so, and people started collecting stuff to build buildings with. To keep things simple for me, I made a few posts here and there, asking for ruined LotR scenery, and more recently, Mines of Moria stuff. Sofar, I managed to collect the following bits by trading or even paying a little bit of money from gamers who still had some in their bits boxes.
I just cleaned the paint off most of them down to the basecoat (which refuses to come off but no problem, another coat of black and they are ready to go) and glued the pieces back together. The standing statue needs some work removing mould lines and filling gaps so that has top priority this week.

I've also found 2 sets of Mines of Moria columns, which I still need to pay for later today (not everyone is into trading, still can't complain as it is a tenner for the lot including shipping), and included in that is another standing statue....hurrah!

I've also started work on my own loot...ehm, treasure counters. A quick rummage in the bits box revealed a suitable chest, and I know there are more, I just could not find them (yet), so based it on a 25mm base. Also, I grabbed one of the jewels from the blister I bought yesterday, based it on a 20mm base and added a short bit of thin soldering wire to it so it is now a medallion, a locket or a jewel, not sure yet how I will paint it.
Decided not to go with flagstone bases, I'll stick to good old generic dirt, thank you very much.

I've already prepped some more 20mm bases with a coating of sand, and next up is a collection of coins (yes, copied straight from Northstars release, no need to reinvent the wheel all the time). It means that, after having bought it 2 years ago at Crisis, I can finally get out my punch die and get cracking on a bit of suitable plasticcard. It's not rocket science, so it should be pretty easy to put together.

I watched a bit on Facebook today that showed some of video and pics of the GZG stand at a show this weekend in the UK. In it was a new drone, 1 with wings and 1 with fans, that peaked my interest. After some searching it turned out to be a new(er) release, namely V15-108 and -109, Hornet Drones, 2 per pack for 3 quid. Instantly reminded me of the Al'Yon'Kor'Vesa drone from the Tau which I love.
They look like small Hunter Killer drones and will work perfectly for Fallout, PA, as large fliers in 6mm right up to nuisance raiders in 28mm, and a drone is a robot to me so it can go straight into my robot collection. Somehow the other drones newly released didn't quite tickle my fancy, big circkles with 4 fans surrounding them and heavy guns underneath....I don't quite see it.

While I was at it, I sent Jon a question about the fan units (and the Tri-Tracks) he has released with his Bulldog vehicle. I quite like those and I think they are suitable for converting 20mm tanks and soft skins. To my amazement I had a reply from Jon within 10 minutes!
Hello Johan,

I'm not sure if I will actually be listing them as stock items….. but I can certainly do some for you as a special order, if you let me know how many sets you would be looking for? Each set would consist of 4 fans (or 4 tri-track units) plus a pair of the axles to support them.
Well, that would be awfully nice. I have had visions (have I been drinking again?) of a lowly PDF force in BTR-152's with grav or repulsor units for some time, so these would be perfect. To be 100% sure, I've asked for measurements of the ducted fans so I can be sure that they will fit. After that I'll see if there is any money :) And I'm pretty sure I have some BTR-152's in my stash.

This week will be a bit more busy so I doubt you'll see more of me till friday, but you never know :)

zaterdag 10 oktober 2015

First Contact: Frostgrave

Today I took a day off from family life and took a nice trainride to Utrecht, to play a Frostgrave demo hosted by Jan-Willem van der Pijl in the very nice Subcultures store (I'm very impressed, I've never seen a gamesstore with such a unique way of presenting items, old cupboards and cases bolted to the wall at crooked angles! And stair steps made from small tables! Definately unique)

The demo table way set right in front of the shop window, and it was quite busy on the street, with plenty of people having a peek through the glass. Eventually, some even came in to play the demo. Oh, and there was cake (though I chose have none, I'm on a diet thank you very much)

Unlike your average Warhammer or AoS table, this table was chock a block full of scenery, bringing back memories of Mordheim.

Scenery came from various sources, some was hand made from scrap foam and bits of wood, others from Games Workshop, even cast off Christmas decorations and 10 cent trees from Hong Kong. The large central temple complex was actually 4 aquarium pieces based together as one. Some bits spanning back as far as 25 years (correct me if I'm wrong Jan-Willem) so it shows you should never get rid of good scenery!

As this was a introductory game, bookkeeping wasn't too strict and I was handed a collection of 8-12 level spells from various schools. Explanations were kept to a minimum, mostly because I have spent the last few months reading up battlereports and even seeing a few on Yotube, so I had a vague idea of what to do.

As it turned out, my actions managed to summon more monsters then any of Jan-Willems previous games as I continually rolled high. Highlight of the match for me was rolling a natural 20 while casting a elemental ball aimed at his apprentice, vaporising him instantly and killing 1 thug and wounding another thug in the blast. This also made me realise you have to keep your wizard and apprentice safe as when you lose them it really handicaps your team by losing the initiative.

Jan-Willem explains this really well on his own Blog.

His imposed timelimit made the game fast and deadly, get the treasure and get out fast instead of the killing matches I was used to in Mordheim.

In the end I managed to get out with 3 treasure counters. Cue fat lady.

My team was all Viking/Arthurian inspired while his was more Renaissance. In Frostgrave, anything goes! (the green counter was a reminder that I had cast a Shield spell on that chap. If I take a wizard that takes the shield spell I will just base up 1 or 2 ethereal shield to use as counters in the game as it looks better then a giant glass bead). Safe to say, I love this game, I really do :)

Sadly Mo! could not make it today due to family obligations, so I had some time to kill in the store after the game by chatting with Jan-Willem about the rules and spending some money at the store (the least I could do as they gave us the space to do the demo in). I walked away with the following:

The Vallejo air metal collection that I had planned to buy at Crisis (Steel, Gungrey and Black), some extra 25mm bases as my collection of lasercut ones has been depleted and a old blister of Kromlech jewels, varying from small to large. I intend to use a few of the smaller ones to make treasure bases for Frostgrave / Mordheim and use the bigger ones for graves probably.

After this we started another game, but having barely started our first turn new people turned up and I gladly gave away my seat so they could play. During that game I noticed most of the rules had already stuck in my head and I knew 9 out of 10 times what and how to roll. For me, thats pretty amazing, so it shows what a easy to pick up game this is.

I thanked Jan-Willem for a lovely day and went back home in time to tuck in my kids :)

Tomorrow evening I'll go over my Mordheim collection to see what is useful in that box. I already had a good chat with Modhail yesterday evening about Frotgate and our possible plans, but for him it is easy, he has loads of painted miniatures to choose from :D We will see where this goes.

Oh, and what did I do last nights hobbynight at Modhails place? Well, I have promised Sander to make him some 20mm Middle East houses to thank him for all his help and bits he sent me recently, and he asked for 5 houses; 2 small single story ones, 2 1-2 story houses and 1 2-story house. I pumped out these shells in under 90 minutes and being dry now, it is time for sanding, detailing and plastering.

But not tonight, tired, must sleep!

donderdag 8 oktober 2015

Conquering the Lead Mountain Challenge - kinda sorta didn't go quite as planned. Neither did my latest order!

I mean, I managed to keep my spending in check (also because I don't really have a choice in that matter) and my Lead Mountain has decreased due to selling, trading and even giving away stuff. So thats a plus.

I think I'm just not ready to paint yet, I've been spending a lot of time looking after Kim and the kids, so much so that I've neglected myself a bit. What I do feel like is gives me so much pleasure.

Is this bad? I think not. I enjoyed the challenge (it is not over yet btw) and look forward to joining up again next year cause it really makes you think about what you want to get out of your hobby stuff, and it is nice to go through old projects again and ressurecting them again. I am at -1 Joker now and after Crisis I'll end up around -7 I think :D But that will be the last spending I do for some time to come, that is for sure.

But...... there is always the lure of new things, and something new arrived today!

5 days ago, I bought some 3D printed building bits in the USA from Horizon Creation 3D as reported here. And they are here already! My fastest USA to NL shipment I have ever had, that's for sure.

Postage cost was a surprise. After discount, I paid 30 dollars for the order including 8 dollars postage. Postage sticker said 10.20 dollars. So he lost a bit of margin there, on top of his discount, so now it feels really generous, even if the package weighs next to nothing.

So, what is in the brown wrapper?

Well, this:

And then we run into a problem. I thought I had ordered 50mm tall, 20mm wide shutters, but I see 2 packs of 50mm wide and 20mm tall shutters. Big oops! I need the thin width ones for the narrow processor columns I have planned, so I sent him a message to see how we can resolve this. At times like these I feel my English skill is lacking :\

The windows with shutters look great though, very, very useful, so I'm quite happy with them. I see only very minor blemishes that can easily be cleaned up with the tip of a sharp scalpel. The Obelisk too is lovely, though the printing lines show much clearer, you can feel the (very fine) ridges. I'm confident some fine sanding paper will trim those down and will create a fine base to work from. I will report back on that later.

As a bonus he added 2 shutterless windows and 2 barrels. Again the fine lines, but nothing too noticable unless you run a fingernail over them. And they should sand away nicely too.


Just got a reply from Horizon Creation 3D, after sending him the wording and the pic I used for the order on Facebook, and with no hassle what so ever, I will receive replacement parts in the mail asap. Now that is what I call service! Shops with a FB page make communication so much easier, and if I stay up late enough I can even chat with people in the States.

dinsdag 6 oktober 2015

Buy N Large

After a rather devastating friday evening at the club, in which I showed 0 interest for modelling of any kind, I did manage to walk away with some extra cash in hand and a brand new box of Kastelan robots (finally) that I traded for some plastic Cadian sentinels and troops. I will treasure it, and I won't unpack it untill my skills have improved. The Cadians won't be missed.

The weekend was a bust as well, Kim and the kids were sick, our Netflix account got hacked by some guy in Brasil and I think I blinked twice before it was sunday evening :(

During our weekly chat this evening, I informed Kim that I had donated money to charity and won a Rapid Fire book that way, and that I had bought something for my sci-fi scratchbuilding. Her reply, that since I had money, I should give her the same amount as I had just spent. Wait....what? What about Crisis then? I plan to spend about a 100 there or more, saving around 50 (or more) on shipping alone. Well, I'm to hand over the savings in shipping as well.

Well, that went from 0 to full in under 5 seconds. I'll spare you the rest of the argument, but I sit here now telling myself it is all because she's not well yet, she is being irrational but does not know it. Maybe I'm just telling me things but at least it prevents me from being agry at her.

So, any bright spots?

Well, yes, thank you for asking. While browsing the LAF I discovered a topi that has been running for a few months now, called "Elbowtech" link   Years back I was a huge Battletech fan, I have one case with practically every book ever published and another case with what must be around 400 mechs in blister alone, with a couple of 100 based and some even painted. Don't think I ever played more then 5 games in my life with it because it is so dreadfully slow :P Even back then I managed to go overboard. Anyway, Elbowtech. A fans work to make the game run much quicker with less bookkeeping so that you can play a game in an hour. I'm all for that, cause it still does not require a lot of figures to play a game, or use tons of scenery. Better yet, his version is hexless. Since I have not seen my cases of stuff for some time I will keep my eye on his topic, but it sure fired up my reactor. Good memories.

Also, the pre order list for Crisis is almost finished, and I'm still under budget after scratching off a few more things. As it stands now I'm looking at getting the following:

Four Legged Friends GPR022 - 4 animals - 16,20 euro 
One horse cart - GPR013 - 12 Pounds 

Magister Militum 
Pair of Ducks - AM13 - 0.50 Pounds x 8 = 4 Pounds 
Merchants (Hansa Teutonica) - BRU50 - 7,50 Pounds 
Assasin - BRU68 - 4,20 Pounds 

Ainsty Castings 
Mixed Memorials x4 - 2003 - 4 Pounds 
Chest Tomb x2 - 2005 - 3,50 Pounds 

Crooked Dice 
Repair Drone Deal (2pcs) - 4 Pounds 
Scary Statues set - 13 Pounds 

Fenris Games 
Dice Plinth - FGARC28 - 3 Pounds x3 
Chtullu Grave Markers - SKU00421 - 3,75 Pounds 
Lost Shores Ornamental Pool - SKU02213 - 6 Pounds 

Graveyard sprue - 8 Pounds

Sorted by project, Medieval Merchant and Graveyard, with just 1 Sci-Fi item because it is a robot to add to my collection :)

Things that could be axed to save money are the 12 pound cart, the 4 Pounds mixed memorials and 3.50 Pounds chest tombs, and the 4 pound assasin, though I feel that figure makes a excellent thief for Frostgate.

At the show I'm just looking for Vallejo Air metals, some kits from PSC and anything that peaks my interest at the Bring and Buy in the 1 hour break window that I have.

Anything under 200 euro spent will be a good day I think. Not so much that I can't make it back selling stuff, and not too little in new buys for my plans. Though this year, less is better :) (gosh, never thought I would hear myself say that)

vrijdag 2 oktober 2015

No good deed goes unpunished

Is the saying, right?

Last month, I saw Black Tree Design were having a sale on Germans to celebrate the launch of their new website here and I had just received a refund for the missing German package, so decided to order almost the same stuff. Then a few days later, while we are ready to leave on our holiday, the car window motor breaks down and we are told it will cost 175 euros to repair it (later they quoted 475 euros...). I scrounged the money from everywhere I could find it around the house, and decided to cancel the outstanding order at BTD. Their reply was in less then a day, the money back in my account not a day later. And that was the end of it, or so I thought.

Last week I receive a email from BTD telling me my order had shipped. How odd. Maybe their new systems way of getting unfinished orders out of the system. Naively, I thought nothing of it, but I made sure to mention it to Kim just in case.

And then a package arrives, and Kim is asking questions, only to realise that this is the cancelled order. I don't open the box but send a email that evening telling BTD that there has been a mistake, I cannot afford these now, where can I ship them back to?

Their reply:
Hi Johan,

Thank you very much for letting us know. It was a silly mistake. We certainly appreciate your honesty.

Please keep the order with our complements :)  


p.s. I hope your car is fixed :)

Well, that had me speechless for a bit. It is a 30-ish Pound order, quite a bit of money for me. I've just sent them an email to thank them for their kindness and that no, the car is not fixed yet.

This means I have a full platoon (and then some) of Germans so the project is on again!

Buy Black Tree Design! Great Customer Service!

I've also made a to buy list for the Crisis show. Since money is very low right now (i've made some good sales but I'm waiting on a few payments) I've gone over the traders list with a fine comb to see what fits the themes for this year. This years themes are 28mm Graveyard and 28mm Merchants. Both span several games systems, the graveyard even spans multiple periods, so I'm getting the most out of my investment. I then culled the list down from roughly 175 euros to about 100 euros. I will also bring some spending money for the bring and buy and things that slipped past me while browsing the vendors listing. I'm also looking for a set of Vallejo Air metals.

I won't have too much time to spend money anyway though. Will from The Plastic Soldier Company contacted me last week and asked if I'd be willing to help out again with sales, and I said yes to that. As much as I like Crisis, for a autist like me (and quite a few normal people I know too) a day at Crisis means sensory overload. I wear out around 2 o'clock. When helping out Will however, I get a  short break in the afternoon to pick up pre orders and do a bit of sight- and shop seeing, and then I can work non stop till 5 with no problems. I've been in sales for solong, I still thoroughly enjoy it :) Heck, I even get paid to do something I like, though that money will be spent on some of his new releases and the Battlegroup Blitzkrieg book that I could not afford earlier in the year.

Which takes me to the last thing of the evening...well, night, it is already way past 12 again.

A friend of mine pointed out a new company to me, Horizon Creation 3D on Facebook here. They 3D print add ons for buildings and other stuff, are not that expensive but are sadly in the USA so shipping would be prohibitive, or so I thought. Turns out shipping starts at a very reasonable 7 dollars, and you add 50 cents per lot for shipping if you use Ebay. But, as he noted, he does sell directly too if you contact him on FB. Seeing he had a 20% off sale if you contacted him directly, and I had cut my Crisis order almost in half, I made a small order for 2 sets of tall vents, 2 sets of square vents and 2 obelisks to fullfill my 20mm scifi city needs and the obelisks being for the graveyard, but being scaleless, they will work for many, many things. Reply came withing 30 minutes, invoice in another 15 minutes, and I'm now looking forward to seeing my order in a few weeks time. It might even make it in time for my birthday, who knows.

(all pictures Copyright of Horizon Creation 3D. miniatures only for reference)

In case you got interested, here is a link to his Ebay page too: