Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The road to Adepticon


I'm all paid up on my Geek Nations Tours for Adepticon in 2015 and really looking forward to hanging out with a lot of great friends, meeting some amazing producers and painters, and of course lots of gaming.


For this, my first Adepticon, I've signed up for a bunch of classes and an X-wing team tournament. For classes, I've selected my classes based mostly on a desire to meet some people in person or friends. Taking a Weathering Pigments seminar with Justin McCoy (Mr. Justin) of Secret Weapons Miniatures. Though it will be really nice to meet Justin, I am looking forward to adding another layer of depth to my work with this new set of tools. I have a seminar with Victoria Lamb of Victoria Miniatures on Object Source Lighting, which is something I've never been able to do effectively. This will be a great class to meet Victoria, who has added substantially to my Imperial Guard Army and with whom I have great respect. My last seminar is with my friend Dave Taylor of davetaylorminiatures, who will be teaching a class on metals. I've known Dave a while now and really respect his work and am looking forward to learning some new techniques.


For the team tournament, I've partnered with one of my oldest friends to play the Imperial forces. I've played very little in the way of Star Wars, but will be increasing my ships and picking up some Battle Foam trays on Black Friday to carry them to Chicago. Once we figure out our ship needs, I'll pick up some between here and March. At least I don't have to paint them! I will post updates on learning that system fully and playing, but have to find a free Saturday first.

Imperial Guard

Though I am not signed up for any wh40K tournaments, I do have a lot of gaming planned. I've been setting a goal of having a 2000 point army list created, painted and ready to go. From this I'll also develop a 1850 point and 400 point lists so that I can maximize what I have and minimize what I carry. Thankfully, I think I can do this with my current Battle Foam 720 system. Now the problem, I need to buy two more Leman Russ tanks, assemble them and paint them. I need to finish my Valkyrie, Taurox, and another Chimera and I might need to buy 30 more troops. So there is a lot to get done and probably not enough time for me to do it all, especially since I still have not played one full game yet. Hopefully there will be plenty of time for me to do that as well. At least I've read the rules...more to come when I have my lists ready for review.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Robotech RPG Tactics Update

United Earth Defense Force: Destroids


I have started working my way through the assembly phase of the Kickstarter shipment. I went immediately to the building the destroids, because when played the regular RPG that was my go to unit. I mean who didn't love the Gladiator (Spartan in RPG Tactics). The Spartan sprue contains two figures with sufficient options for any combination of hands/arms and open/closed missile pods.

You get a couple of options with the Spartan. You can equip it with a baton or you can equip with the gun. The baton fits rather neatly into the hand which is slightly opened. The gun more or less rests on top of the hand/arm with a nice cut-out. 

The second option is with open or closed missile pods. I've modeled both with this set form the bonus material. You also get a large number of hand options from open/closed hands, different hand configurations and angles possible from the hand/arm combinations. 

Overall this was one of the simplest of the figures to assemble. The legs are even versatile enough to allow for some minor poses with motion. The trickiest and most patience testing part is the assembly of the legs to the mid-section. While most of the figure assembles pretty well, the cut-outs in the mid-section are not exactly for the posts from the legs. Compared to some others, though this is easy.


The next of the destroids included in the Battle Cry bonus material is the Phalanx. This little beast of missle pods is ready for long distance combat and cover fire. Like the Spartan, there are two destroids to the sprue with plenty of arm combinations.

There are two arm options available. One with the large round missile pods, familiar to those who played the RPG. The other, I'm not quite sure about as I don't have the rule book yet. These seem to be 4 rather large either missiles or cannons. Either way, it looks pretty intimidating. 

As with the Spartan, this figure for the most part was pretty simple to assemble. One item not covered in the assembly instructions was a second leg option. There are two different leg assemblies on the sprue and the legs are not universally assembles to the feet, which is why one of these has a weird off-balance look. I had to do a little green stuff work to it to make it stay and flow a little better, but it is definitely worth knowing. I'll post him on a base so he is standing on something. 

Zentraedi Invasion Force

Tactical Battle Pod

This is pretty much the combat standard for the Zentraedi attach force. These come with the standard compliment of weapons and a few pose options. The sprue contains three battle pods all with the same set-up. There are no extra parts to this sprue.

There are two different leg styles which I discovered after building the first set of three. You have legs to pose one in a more squat pose or as I have done with this set in a flying pose. Also the narrow leg set, of which the sprue has two, makes the feet sort of hit slightly if you aren't careful. You can easily change this by putting it on at a slight angle or using a stance in motion. The assembly for these is really easy. There is a small split set of parts for the leg connection that is pretty small, which means you will get glue on your fingers. The laser cannons on the head are a little to clean, especially the small pair on the bottom of the head. 

Artillery Battle Pods

For long range threats, there are Zentraedi artillery battle pods. These are designed with three options for load out. There is the long range cannons, missile pods, or large missile pods. These come one to a sprue with options for all three of the designs. Most of the model is identical to the battle pods, except there is some additional load out mounted to the top. I've opted to model out all of the variants just to have them available. 

There are less issues with the leg assemblies as the standard battle pod, but some other weird things. The missile pods attach to a small cross bar, but on both sets the space to fit the bar doesn't seem to be evenly bored on both sides so getting the pods to be uniform is a little challenge. Add to that the shallow depth of the bore and if you aren't careful and patient you will get frustrated as the parts fall off continuously. 

For the large cannons, the only issue is the attachment of the cannon to the stem on the head. This is a very small connection and the weight of the cannons requires you to hold until the glue is pretty set. This means you can't do a mass set of figures at once if making these. They do look very cool, but if you don't hold until sufficiently set than the barrels start to fall toward the table. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Zentraedi invasion detected, alert the Robotech Defense Force!

Robotech Kickstarter Update

Well the first set of my Robotech RPG Tactics was delivered. This is already a pretty impressive amount of material to build and looks like there will be plenty of options when fielding a game. So far for my $100 pledge, I've received the core set, which I haven't even gone through yet. I've also received the bonus material round 1, which I've just started to go through. 

The box set really has a lovely look and feel to it, but the contents were a little surprising. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but it was definitely more than a large box that only contained sprues of figures. 
The set also came with a nice print, which is the cover of the box. This depicts the iconic Valkyrie facing off against an invading force of Zentraedi. In the background is SDF-1. 

The bonus package contains a great number of stretch goal materials about equally split between UEDF forces and Zentraedi. There are Valkyries in different sets of transformation, some Spartan Destroids, and Phalanx Destroids. The Zentraedi forces include Regult Battlepods and a Quel Guinau recovery pod. 

I've started assembly on some and have some comments, but those will be coming in some later posts. 

As a reminder, I am part of the Guns of April Movember campaign to raise funds for Men's Health Education and Research. If you can, please make a donation to this great cause. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

The road from lovely strumpet to deadly vixen

Reaper Bones Conversion

This is a little update on a conversion I made using some of the Reaper Bones models from the original Kickstarter campaign. This is my attempt to take a lovely and alluring woman and make her much more deadly. The attitude was there, but she was missing an important component...a slender dagger.

Let's meet our cast...

To accomplish this conversion, I started with the Reaper Bones Strumpet ($2.49). As you can see in this photo, this is of a young, beautiful woman who is holding her skirt well up her thigh and beckoning some admirer. 

To make her a little more deadly, I had to borrow from the Reaper Bones Alchemist ($2.49). The blade he held was rather slender and a little ill-suited to the rest of the figure. It was an awfully dainty weapon and probably a little too small for this character. 

To correct for the removal of his blade, I took a short sword from one of the Reaper Bones Kobold set ($3.49). As you can see there are three sets and one has a spear and short sword which is well suited for removal as we shall later see. 

The perilous road...

There are a issues I had to address in this conversion, but the most important was her position. I wanted her to be more aggressive and so decided she would be on a more forward facing position. To accomplish this, I started by removing her head. This allowed me to turn her to a front-facing position and better hide the blade behind her back. The original position had the blade completely obvious. With her face now forward, I had to smooth out the transition in her hair and used some green stuff to accomplish this. I tried to keep the overall pattern of her hair. 

Her right arm, was still well out to her side, which then didn't make it look much like she was trying to draw someone into herself. I took out a wedge of material from under her right arm and forced the right arm to a much more forward position so she was effectively calling the person to whom she was looking. The Bones material is very easy to cut away using a sharp blade, so be extremely careful in cutting. It could be very easy to remove the arm or bury the knife into your hand

Her left had was still clutching the dress, which did not work at all for holding a knife/dagger. I sliced her hand from her hip and then cut at her elbow. From here, I transitioned her arm so that it was sitting behind her back and resting against her backside. That adds additional support to the figure as well. I sliced the blade from the Alchemist just above the handle so that he had the next blade transition would be smooth. The knife was then attached to her hand and some green stuff added to smoother out the transition. You can see in the two images below, that the blade doesn't truly get hidden from sight, and though it could potentially go at a more upright position that causes some other issues. 

For the Alchemist, I remove the blade from the spear and short sword wielding Kolbold and left him with an empty hand. He now looks like he is standing guard so, no real issues with the loss of his weapon. Besides, how many kobolds wield two weapons? Well one less now.
That is all for now, hopefully the painting will conclude this weekend for another update. Until then, comments on the conversion are more than welcomed.