Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It's Jack! My Pumpkin Pal by Bombshell Miniatures

Pumpkin Pal by Bombshell Miniatures 

Pumpkin Pal
No visit to the pumpkin patch is complete without bringing home a pumpkin to carve a Jack O'Lantern, but what happens when the Jack O' Lantern carves you first? Bombshell Miniatures has a great little sidekick Pumpkin Pal for your gaming needs. I plan on using this as a sidekick to my Reaper BONES Gauntfield miniature.

Bombshell Miniatures, as the name indicates, is best known for the Bombshell Babes line, but there are a slew of other miniatures that they now create including the Counterblast game. I have a bunch of pieces from the Counterblast Kickstarter which I'll be painting up in due time. I'll also have some posts coming that include the addition of a couple of Rottweilers that I'll be adding to my This Is Not A Test peacekeepers, the Gardia. I will also be using Delta the Wastelander either to lead up a new warband or as a freelancer.

Though Jack and Gauntfield are my Halloween offerings this week and I am kicking myself for not starting more Halloween stuff and a larger project, I wanted to direct folks over to Rob Hawkins' Halloween: Cornfield blog post where he covers creating a rowed field of corn with a block wall surround. This is great stuff and inspiring to create some terrain in the near future.

Carving up Jack, my Pumpkin Pal

Thankfully it is Halloween and with three small kids, I get to go to the pumpkin patch to do the hay ride out to the field and pick a pumpkin. I also get to do some real world research on pumpkin vines, flowers, and of course pumpkins.

Jack and Secret Weapon base
The first step was to give Jack a more substantial base. I was originally going to stick with a basic blank base, but after rummaging through some stuff, I found another of the Secret Weapons Field of Screams round lipped bases which is perfect since it matches Gauntfield.
Jack mounted on base and base litter

Since Jack is metal and the base is pretty small, I decided it was easier to modify the base than modify the miniature. I also wanted to be sure to maintain the roots/legs of Jack on the base. Using a chisel blade on my cutting tool, I removed the surface texture of the base until I had a nice flat location to mount Jack with Kragl. The base of the miniature was then painted with the Citadel Blackfire Earth technical paint to give it the same base texture/look as Gauntfield.

Finished Jack
As I did with pumpkin on Gauntfield's base, I painted the head of Jack with Reaper MSP HD Pumpkin Orange and then gave a wash with Vallejo Brown Wash.

For the eyes and the mouth, I wanted to get the feel of an internal fire. I mean this is a Jack O'Lantern after all. To achieve this look, I went with a mix of the Pumpkin Orange and a Vallejo Flat Yellow. I started with a small spot of yellow then added layers of the orange mixed with yellow to get the dulling of the flame as it moved outwards. I then mixed in some Reaper White to bring the yellow up lighter and added a small touch of nearly pure white to the brightest flame. After this was set, I went back over the jacks to highlight the oranges.

Finished Jack

The vines that make up his arms, body, and roots were painted first with Vallejo German Camo Bright Green. To add some depth, I used a very little of the Vallejo brown wash on the main section of the body. Now most pumpkin vines are brighter than this, so I went over the top parts with Vallejo Golden Olive. This game the vines more of a natural look.

The leaves were painted with Vallejo U.S. Dark green as the base. These are pretty well clustered and at all sorts of angles, so be sure to use a watered down paint to get to all of the recesses. I went over the leaf tops with the German Camo Bright Green to make them pop a bit more and because the leaves do get darker through the season, there is still a lot of life left in these.

Pumpkin flowers are usually a dull yellow this time of year. For these I used a Vallejo Flat Yellow and created one location for the flower on the right arm. There are no molded flowers on the piece, but after the trip to the pumpkin patch, you see them all over and I felt that he needed to have one. I would consider on the next one to attempt to sculpt out a flower for him. The flowers are longer and kind of limp semi-tubular things.
Gauntfield and Jack

I think I will have to get a bunch of these little guys to put together an interesting game and build out a corn field maze to go along with it. I think some special rules and another player and you end up with an interesting This Is Not A Test board. For a great tutorial on how to build the corn field, check out the Hobby Terrain: Cornfield post by Rob Hawkins.

As a bonus, Bombshell is running a Halloween special sale through midnight on the 31st. So get to the pumpkin patch and load up on some treats and save 20% off a selection of some of the most frightening miniatures.
Bombshell Miniatures Sale

This Is Not A Test Halloween Release

This Halloween get a bonus treat for yourself from This Is Not A Test and you won't even need a costume. There will be a new warband released on Halloween! I had the pleasure of being the editor for this release. Be warned though, if this group shows up at your door, the trick is you are the treat. The Mutant Cannibals are widely feared and rarely seen, mostly the stuff of legend and scary stories around campfires, unless you are in a small isolated community or running a caravan through remote territories. The Mutant Cannibals are familial units, most frequently lead by the matron, Mamaw, or patron, Pa. There are a nasty mix of familial relations and mutants made by interbreeding, exposure, and kidnapping. Many have become dinner guests of the Mutant Cannibals, but rarely do they take home a doggy bag. Book mark this site for the Mutant Cannibals ($3.99), it is now available! For more on the modules, check out Marshal's Report: The night has eyes and Marshal's Report: Caravanner raid

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Trick or teat or your head HAHAHAHALLOWEEN SPECIAL

Halloween Special - Reaper Bones Gauntfield

To celebrate Halloween or All Hallow's Eve, whichever you prefer, I decided to paint up a figure I've had sitting around for some time. Let's take a look at the Reaper Bones Gauntfield ($2.99) which I decided to base on one of Secret Weapon's Field of Screams base sculpted by davetaylorminiatures.

Gauntfield bare bones
To start of course, make sure you give the figure a good wash with warm soap and detergent. I typically use  whatever dish soap I have at the sink.  As with all of the BONES that I have painted, my first paint choice is Reaper MSP HSD paints, but I don't have them all and so readily reach to my Vallejo Game Color and Army Painter paints. I apply the first layer of paint directly without a primer coat first and without watering down. There have been lots of discussions of other techniques on the Reaper forum, so check that out and find the method that will work best for you.

Base colors
I started with some basic colors to the figure because I seem to now be obsessed with Gotham and happened to be watching the mid-season Dr. Crane/Scarecrow episodes in season one and got inspired. The skeleton of the figure got a base coat of Reaper MSP Tusk Ivory. The face and straw were initially painted with Vallejo Game Color Khaki. The eyes of were first painted with Vallejo Model Ink Red. To this a pupil of Citadel Undercoat Black. The entire face was given a wash of Citadel Athonian Camoshade.

You may have noticed that the base also was not primed, which is unusual for a resin base. I decided to attach the figure directly to the base, which was done with a combination of green stuff and Kragl (Krazy Glue). The pumpkin is painted with Reaper MSP HSD Pumpkin Orange then washed with the Vallejo Brown Wash. highlights with Pumpkin Orange was added. To make it look like a Jack O'Lantern, I painted the inside with Vallejo Red Ink, then mixed up some of the Flou Yellow with the Pumpkin Orange to add depth until the area of the candle was with the pure yellow. I kept this small and muted so the focus stayed at the top of the miniature.

Starting highlights
The sack was base coated with Army Painter Leather Brown. After painting up the skeleton in the sack and the pumpkin, I washed them with Vallejo Brown Wash to quickly give some depth to those parts. I followed the same color pattern for the rest of Guantfield's bones. After the wash was set, I used a layer of Citadel Bleached Bone as the highlight.

The pants were painted with Vallejo Game Color Grey Blue. This was then washed with Vallejo Model Color Blue Wash. The belt was painted up with Army Painted Leather Brown and small skull buckle was painted using the Citadel Nihilakh Oxide. Typically you would use this on top of a silver to make it look aged, but the small size of the skull and the fact that most of my paint got spilled once so it was thicker than normal, made it perfect for this.

The boots were painted with Vallejo Game Color Grey Black, then washes with Vallejo Dark Grey Wash. I went back over the boots with a highlight of mixed Vallejo Grey Black mixed with Reaper MSP HSD Concrete Grey at about a 1:1 ratio. The shirt started with a base of Reaper MSP HD Off White, then a wash of watered down Reaper MSP HD Woodland Brown.

The cloak was first painted up with Army Painter Color Oak Brown. This was a bit darker than I had originally anticipated. To tone it down, I created a wash out of the Oak Brown with the Vallejo Dark Grey Wash. I wanted to give it a weathered and beaten look, like it had been out hanging for a long time. To bring the highlights up, I used a mix of the Oak Brown with Reaper MSP HD Ash Grey. I added a base highlight to the ridges of the coat, but it didn't bring up the color enough for the weathering. I added a little of the Reaper MSP HD Concrete Grey to the previous mix and again this was added to the highest parts of the coat.

The handle of the scythe was painted with Valley Model Color Mahogany Brown. I had considered adding a wash to the handle, then coming back over it with a grayish brown (probably Reaper MSP Ashen Brown), but it is 2:50 am and I don't have it in me to do any more work. The blade of the scythe was painted with Citadel Leadbelcher. To dull this down toward the bottom and by the handle, I went over it lightly with Vallejo Grey Metal. Then to give it the rust look, I applied the Citadel Dry Technical Paint, Ryza Rust. I am not sure if the depth of the color is sufficient or if it may need some additional rusting effect.

Odds and ends...the mouth was painted a base of Reaper MSP HD Golden Olive. This was touched up with a mix of the golden olive with Vallejo Yellow then touched up with just the yellow. The ropes were painted with a mix of Khaki and the Yellow. I think this covers most of it, but there may be more but for now, check out this information on Reaper's sale and Secret Weapons' sale and a big announcement from Reaper!


Reaper Halloween Special
Reaper Miniatures always runs a great Halloween special, which I took advantage of last year. If you order before October 31 and spend tt least $40 you will receive four Reaper MSP Paints (Pumpkin Orange, Spectral White, Mouldy Skin, Breast Cancer Pink), one surprise miniature, and a bag of candy! This is a while supplies last, so get acting on it now! There is a huge stock of materials available including the new Bonesylvanians, plenty to get you to $40.

Sack O' Corpses
Secret Weapon Sack o' Corpses
Secret Weapon is running a sale for Halloween (through November 1) and this is your last week to take advantage. Take advantage of a 20% discount on sacks of pumpkins, corpses, and skulls and 20% off all Field of Screams beveled bases and Field of Screams round lipped bases. You can't go wrong with the corpses and skulls, I mean who can't use more skulls and take a look at the incredible details on the corpse parts.

BONUS MATERIAL!!! Reaper has just announced an entire line of BONES MSP HD PAINTS!!! The announcement was made yesterday on the Reaper Miniatures Facebook page. That's right an entire line of paints specifically designed to work with the BONES material. Many people have worked at getting the right paints or the right lots of paints that would work well, but now there is a better way. There will be 54 paints in the line and will be available in early 2016!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

This Is Not A Test: Marsha's Report - Snipe Hunt

This Is Not A Test: Marshal's Report - Snipe Hunt

The following are the Marshal's reports of recent occurrences of peacekeeper activity from event at or near to Dropzone Games in Glen Burnie, MD. All reports are provided directly from the surviving ranking officer and are considered accurate and true.

Marshal O'Halihan leading the Gardia
Marshal's Report

Snipe hunt

Reported by: Marshal O'Halihan
Date: October 12, 2086

Unit details:

Marshal O'Halihan
K-9 Handler Mutt
K-9 units, Dawg & Cagney
Sniper Manny
Officer Flynn
Officer Murphy
Officer Scullin
Officer Timmy O'Toole

Activity Report

Officers approaching the northeast ruins
The Gardia were informed of a potential cache of relics in some nearby ruins. These relics are thought to only be known by a few of the locals who do not have the capabilities to secure the potential arms and would be at the mercy of any who recovered the relics. Marshal O'Halihan was assigned to take the Gardia and secure any weaponry or other relics before they became a problem.

The unit approached the ruins of this old mixed-use area from the east in two distinct groups. Marshal O'Halihan lead K-9 officer Mutt, Dawg, Cagney, and Officer Flynn to the southeast approach. Sniper Manny, Officer Murphy, Officer Scullin, and Officer Timmy O'Toole approached the area from the northeast approach.

Officer Manny had previously scouted a structure that would allow for visibility across the entire area. Officer Manny quickly moved into position, securing a structure and making his way to the second floor to provide a wide area of visibility and to allow him to provide cover fire to the other officers. Officer Murphy moved into a support position on the ground floor of the building, which may have possibly been an apartment building. With this cover, Officer Timmy O'Toole was able to secure one of the suspected ruin sites.

Mutt covering Dawg
The Caravanners moved in quickly and started laying down fire at the officers. The Caravanners were bolstered by a number of mutants which seem to be under Killee's command. I'm not sure how she was keeping them organized, but they seemed eager to engage.

Officer Flynn was able to move quickly to secure a second sets of ruins. K-9 Handler Mutt sent the K-9 Units forward to engage a few of the caravanners that emerged from the remnants of a structure. On the approach of the K-9 Unit Dawg, the caravanner Spot emerged from the ruins to engage. K-9 Handler Mutt fired on Spot as Dawg engaged. The shot was on target and sufficient to incapacitate Spot. Dawg continued into the building to engage  Ms. Perfect. Quickly Dawg was surrounded by Mrs. Argyle and Mrs. Stuffings as well.

K-9 Unit Cagney moved up along the backside of a ruined pipeline to approach the group engaged with Dawg. Upon emerging from behind the pipe, Cagey was shot at by Mr. Flash. Cagney moved on to engage Mr. Flash to keep him isolated from the rest of the engagement.

Marshal O'Halihan was able to secure the ruins and send Offiver Flynn forward. With the caravanners essentially pinned down behind some ruins further to the west, Sniper Manny was able to provide support fire that allowed Officer Timmy O'Toole and Marshal O'Halihan to perform thorough searches of the ruins. Officer Scullin moved forward into the ruins to provide some cover for Officer Timmy O'Toole and to attempt to push the caravanners out of cover. The caravanners moved in from the southwest and caught Officer Scullin in a crossfire. While he was wounded by Killee in the firefight, he was merely banged up in the engagement.
Dawg surrounded by caravanners

When he had finished his search, Marshal O'Halihan was able to engage the caravanners who were engaged with Dawg. After Dawg was knocked down, Marshal O'Halihan was able to wound Mrs. Stuffings and Mrs. Perfect. The shot was sufficient to take Mrs. Stuffings down, but Mrs. Perfect ran for cover.

As this engagement progressed a significant electrical storm was moving into the area. Both sides moved quickly to disengage and retreat to safer locations. As a result of the caravanners hasty retreat all officers were recovered and returned to HQ.

Post-Activity update

Killee's increasing caravanner band
Though Officer Scullin is new to the unit, his bravery and tenacity were recognized. He has been promoted within the warband to a specialist. Sniper Manny was recognized further and received the personal targeting array that was discovered by Offiver Timmy O'Toole. The Gardia greatly benefits from the resourcefulness of Officer Flynn. Based on the outstanding performance of Mutt and Officer Murphy, they were recognized for their marksmanship. Dawg was recognized for her continued ability to engage and melee with the enemy. For his bravery to secure the ruins, Officer Timmy O'Toole was awarded a set of Riot Gear and a bayonet.


Around the settlements, there are incoming rumors of some clans of mutants even more deplorable and appalling than those we have encountered recently. If the rumors and old campfire stories are true than a true vile menace is about to return to the Tri-State Area, the Cannibal Clan. The legendary Wormwood clan; an inbred, cannibalistic family that dwells somewhere in the caves on the border of the Highlands. Reports have come to us that this cannibal clan (and there may be more than one clan given the distance between the reporting settlements) has been raiding small, isolated settlements and absconding with people for, one can only imagine, the most dreadful of reasons. Further reports indicate that the clans are desperate and using the most gruesome weapons to eliminate any resistance. We will be investigating these reports as we patrol the region and report back what we learn. Hopefully we will know more before Halloween!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

NOVA Open Seminar - Scultping with Raffaele Picca of Massive Voodoo!

Scultping with Raffaele Picca

At NOVA Open, while I spent most of my time running demos and talking up This Is Not A Test, I did take the opportunity to attend a seminar with Raffaele Picca of Massive Voodoo. Raffa is a very approachable guy and it was a real honor to get to chat about sculpting and conversions generally. If you want to see more of Raffa's work, check him out on Putty & Paint or on Deviant Art.

Raffa and me

NOVA Open - Green Stuff Sculpting Seminar

 The seminar was quite small, I seem to recall there being six of us in the class. Since this was a seminar, we didn't get to do any hands on work. Looking back at it, I wish I had asked Raffa for the demo model that he used. The model was a ogre of some sort and during the class, we added a cape with a fur cowl. Raffa then added a chainmaille coif and showed us how to create some additions to shields, armor pieces, natural looking purity seals, scroll, and pouches. We played a bit with a chin strap, but that took what was already silly to a level none of us could sustain.

Raffa at work
We spent some time going through the process of creating a realistic looking skull including a discussion of the anatomy of an actual skull which is something many people don't consider when sculpting skulls. Raffa took some time to detail out a skull with a quick drawing to go through the most important areas of focus and put together a skull that is attached to the belly plate/armor on the ogre.

So here are my notes from the seminar....hope these are handy and encourage you to take on sculpting as well. This is not exhaustive of everything we covered and additional posts will be created to go through the various aspects of the seminar. If you weren't able to get to NOVA Open this year and aren't in Germany, be sure to make the trip next year. Massive Voodoo is lined up to once again do the seminars.

Wasteland Hulk

Sculpting Putty Comparison

I had only made one attempt at sculpting previously which was my Wasteland Hulk for This Is Not A Test. What I discovered with this attempt was later confirmed by Raffa and others in the seminar. Green stuff has a use, but generally speaking sculpting is not it. For the Wasteland Beast, I used the Gale Force Nine Green Stuff.

Final demo piece
The typical green stuff is very tacky/sticky and when you attempt to smooth it out, it stretches out. I had a lot of trouble with the green stuff on that sculpt because of these traits. While the end result was pretty good, when I attempted to pull out the torn pants of the orange jumpsuit the green stuff kept pulling and pulling. This ended with a nice torn/ripped pants, but getting to this point was frustrating. Raffa and others indicated that this is a normal experience. There are other "stuffs" available, but mostly they have the same properties. The differences come in the level of the tackiness and stiffness. Green stuff is good for fur and fires. The material can be pulled sharply or nicked to get the texture/shape necessary to represent the final product.

Magic Sculpt two-part resin
Raffa spent most of the time demonstrating with an alternate two part resin material, Magic Sculpt (Amazon ~$13). Magic Sculpt has a lot of advantages over the green stuff, but also has some limitations. Magic sculpt is also quite tacky when it is first mixed, but with some time, the material will lose some of the tackiness an become quite manageable. This is one of the drawbacks though, you have to mix the materials and then let sit. The material will stay pliable for some time, but doesn't get to the consistency that you want until it has set-up for about 1.5 hours. Magic sculpt is water soluble which means when you need to work it some, a brush or your fingers with some water and you can smooth or blend the material together.

First Sculpting Attempts

Cape addition
For my first sculpting attempt, I decided to do something very simple. I had previously started work on the Reaper Bones Well of Chaos ($3.29). I stopped at some point because of other projects and I was waiting to determine what my finish to it would be. The fountain is a fine sculpt, but I felt something was missing. At one time I had decided that a skeleton or something similar climbing out of the fountain would be interesting, but I have yet to find the right figure for the work. After the sculpting seminar, I decided it was time to get back to the piece, but to sculpt some simple tentacles coming out of the fountain.

Chaos Well base color + tentacles
I had painted up the fountain with Citadel Charadon Granite and given it a dry brush of Citadel Elf Grey. The engraved runes on the back of the fountain were painted Citadel Malachite Red. I gave the entire fountain a wash of Citadel Brown Wash.  This is where it sat for a long embarrassing long time.

I knew I wanted the fountain to be alive in some manner and to have some liquid within the fountain, but I wasn't sure what or how to approach. At AdeptiCon, I picked up the Mud & Water Scenic Kit ($21.50) from Secret Weapon which I have planned for some Imperial Guard units with the Trench Works Bases. This kit also contains a bottle of Realistic Scenic Water (0.5 oz for $2.99), which was part of the solution. I had originally considered using a skeleton or something similar emerging from the fountain and I may go back to that for a different version, but after the sculpting class decided to play around with the Magic Sculpt to get a feel for the material, so I went with tentacles.

Chaos well in progress
There are some metal touches on the fountain which I painted with Game Color Tinny Tin for the internal components and Citadel Leadbelcher or the surround. The raised runes were painted with Citadel Beaten Copper. The interior of the well was painted Citadel Crimson Gore. To add some additional depth to the many cracks in the well Citadel Nuln Oil was applied to the cracks as a liner to deepen the color.

I sculpted up five tentacles to use for the interior of the well to provide the life to the well. These tentacles were just rolled out from the Magic Sculpt and though warned by Raffa, I indeed put twice as much as I thought needed together. Part of this was because I wasn't sure how many tentacles or how long I needed them and the other part was inexperience. So after the tentacles were rolled out, I used the rest of the magic sculpt to make some rocks which will be used to adorn the Reaper Bones piece that is in process. This was a process just to get familiar with how the Magic Sculpt feels and how to mix correctly, tackiness, and trying out the 1.5 hour pre-set before using.
Scenic water before curing

After the tentacles were painted, Realistic Scenic Water was added to fill the well and add some texture to the piece. This gave the piece the real look of a filled well. I definitely recommend to anyone working with this well to include some Scenic Water to finish off the piece. I wanted to add some layers to the water, so I added some of the Scenic Water and let set-up for a day. Then I added some Reaper Broken Bone paint in some streaks and with a sculpting tool spread it around a bit. I then added more Scenic Water to the well to bring the volume up again and then let it set-up for a day.

The tentacles on the sculpted head of the chaos fountain were painted Goblin Green and given a wash with Vallejo Model Color Brown Wash. I came back to the tentacles and painted the tip half with Vallejo Game Color US Dark Green. I then added some little splotches with Vallejo Game Color German Camo Green. I used the Citadel Goblin Green on the tentacles on the sculpted demon of the fountain. These were then given a Vallejo Model Color Brown Wash so they would match the tentacled menace emerging from the fountain.

Blood for the Blood God
The face was painted with Reaper Maiden Flesh and the eyes with Reaper Twilight Purple. I gave the face a wash of a mix of the Vallejo Brown Wash and the Maiden Flesh to highlight the nose and mouth. I then came back over with the Maiden flesh to highlight the cheeks. To keep the metal consistent, the headband was painted with the Vallejo Tinny Tin, but her armor was painted with Citadel Boltgun Metal. The armor was washed with Citadel Nuln Oil, but a heavy layer was added to the crease so it would stay like an ink. What appears to be a skeletal breast plate leading to a humanoid skull of some kind was painted with Citadel Broken Bone then washed with the Vallejo Model Color Brown Wash.
Fountain side view

The scull plates were painted with Reaper's Breast Cancer Awareness Pink. You can get this color free from Reaper with a $40 order during October. I washed the skull with Citadel Brie Tan-Green wash to add some depth and then came back with a light touch of the Breast Cancer Awareness Pink again.

All of the gems on the fountain were painted with Reaper Gem Purple. These will get a gloss coating to make them shiny.  There are a few gems and I am not sure if the eyes will also get the gloss coat.

Chaos Well final
Because this is a Chaos Well, I decided to try out the Citadel Blood for the Blood God technical paint. This has a great blood color and the consistency is a bit thicker than the typical paints. I added some streaks of blood trailing down from the corners of the eyes and the corners of the mouth which then continue down into the pool of the well.

This finished piece will make a nice addition to any dungeon and can act as a critical component during a campaign story line. I do think that I will need to get at least one to paint up without the tentacles and with calm water. There are lots of possibilities with this fountain, so have a little fun.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

This Is Not A Test: Marshal's Report: The night has eyes

This Is Not A Test: The night has eyes

The following are the Marshal's reports of recent occurrences of peacekeeper activity from event at or near to Dropzone Games in Glen Burnie, MD. All reports are provided directly from the surviving ranking officer and are considered accurate and true. Just as an aside, I took a look at Joey's caravanner sheets and learned that the leader is Tilly, but I like Killee better so I'm sticking with it. Perhaps that is just the moniker this group of peacekeepers, The Gardai, have given her.

Marshal's Report

Badge of An Garda Síochána.gif
Gardai symbol

The night has eyes

Reported by: Marshal O'Halihan
Date: October 7, 2086

Unit details:

Marshal O'Halihan
K-9 Handler Mutt and K-9 unit
Sniper Manny
Officer Flynn
Officer Murphy
Officer O'Brien
Officer Scullin

Activity Report

Patrolling by JoakimOlofsson
Routine patrol
Oct. It had been six days of routine patrols and most signs of the caravanners seem to have ceased. After the last assault on the caravanner group lead by Killee. Officer Manny was able to track them for about two days, but then lost the trail to them after two days of substantial downpours. Marshal O'Halihan ordered the patrol into a nearby farm house that had a mostly intact stone perimeter fence and the remnants of a set of fenced animal pens.

The first night went through with no issue, which was a boon for the unit. Nearing the end of this month-long patrol rotation is draining and the men are nearly spent so the rest was welcome. The second evening was not so restful.
Apocalypse post apocalyptic radiation mask gas roads dark horror evil spooky creepy ruins halloween birds crows ravens bicycle houses haunted destruction wallpaper background
Wasteland farmhouse

On second watch, the test started for Officers Flynn and Scullin. Scullin was sent out to support us after the last incident with Killee's caravanners. His new eyes served us well as he was able to quickly spot a group approaching the compound and send the alarm through the unit. the caravanners moved quietly into the compound and it became instantly apparent that they intended to take us completely by surprise and put an end to us silently.

Post-Incident Activities

Laser Carbine Rifle
After the route of the Caravanners, the unit did a full sweep of the area. Officer Flynn discovered a laser carbine rifle in the remnants of what appears to have once been a storage shed. This seems to have been an absconded weapon from a time when a resident had served. The rifle was stored with the remnants of other military materials all of which were useless. It is not entirely understood how this rifle survived the fallout and local destruction.

On the following day after, the unit took some well deserved R&R. Officer O'Brien was missing at role call to start the march back to the HQ. Marshal O'Halihan got word of a low-rent tavern with a local strong brew. Officer O'Brien was found to be in the middle of festivities and a scuffle and inebriated. Officer O'Brien was placed on a one week confinement to HQ.

The hard work of the officers is starting to show. Marshal O'Halihan and Sniper Manny were recognized for steadfast training and improvement on the firing range. Sniper Murphy was rewarded with mesh armor. After the close combat altercations with the Caravanners, Officers O'Brien and Murphy continued engaging and training in close combat and hand to hand melee. By the number of bruises on Officer O'Brien it was clear that Officer Murphy was able to land more punches, but to his credit, Officer O'Brien seems better able to weather the blows. Officer Flynn was armed with K-9 Officer Mutt's assault rifle and Officer Mutt was given the laser carbine rifle based on his continued skill and mettle in combat situations. He immediately immersed himself with the care and maintenance of the weapon until he was familiar with the inside and out.

The dedication and training of K-9 Handler Mutt and the efficiency of his trained K-9 unit, Dawg, was rewarded with a promotion. Given this promotion and continued hard work, it was noted that Dawg has seen specific improvements in health and well-being and which seems to have resulted in a quicker step. To further reward K-9 Handler Mutt, he has been assigned an additional K-9 unit, Cagney.

Officer Timmy O'Toole was assigned to the unit. Officer O'Toole sought out to join the Gardia after hearing of the Marshal O'Halihan's leadership and the skill of the officers in his command.

Painting up Dawg

Every good police unit, in this case my peacekeepers for This Is Not A Test. My K-9 Handler, Mutt, only works with the best and highest class dogs. Dawg is a wasteland rarity, a beautiful German Sheppard of the old lineages. She is a tenacious and quick companion who would put her life on the line to save others.

The base model is the dog miniature from the Reaper Miniatures familiars pack ($1.99), one of the Bones line. This pack of miniatures includes a bat, a hawk/eagle, a faerie dragon, a cat, a weasel/ferret, and of course this dog.

To get the classic German Sheppard look, I went immediately to a Bing Image search. Sheppard's typically have a brown/tan legs and under body with a dark black top half and muzzle. I started by blocking in the colors using the Reaper MSP HD Desert Tan for the lower body. The underbelly and highlights on the legs are Reaper MSP HD Maiden Flesh and the Tusk Ivory. The black is from Vellejo Game Ink.

I used the Game Ink because it let me build up into the body of the miniature and let me do some wet blending in the transition. I painted up the lower body and then applied the black ink from the top down. When the black and brown blended, it provided a transition area. When this was dry, I went back with the Desert Tan to very lightly add some highlighting to the transition. Now one caution is the blank ink is quite shiny. I toned this down with a bit of dry brown brush to these parts, but was careful not to totally flatten out the black.

I based Dawg on a standard beveled edge plastic base. I painted this green with some Vallejo Model Color U.S. Dark Green. I added a few small stones which were sculpt remnants from some magic putty that I used for another project. I'll post more about the work with Magic Putty soon. The stones were painted with a combination of Reaper MSP HD Field Grey, Ash Grey, and Dirty Grey. The grass comes from the free sample of Gamer's Grass that I got in my NOVA Open swag bag.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Building a Titan, a Legio Crucius Warlord Titan build by Dave Taylor Miniatures

Dave Taylor Miniatures: A Production Studio

Legio Crucius Warlord Titan by Dave Taylor Miniatures


Dave Taylor has been wowing us for many years with his abilities be those in developing game content, modelling, painting, putting together articles and photo layouts. He has been a stalwart supporter of the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation with donations of time and energy to countless armies.
'Mars-Alpha Pattern Warlord Titan
Mars Pattern Warlord Titan

I've had the pleasure of knowing Dave for a while and what can I say he is a great guy and strong supporter of the community. I took the opportunity to take his Liber Metallica class at AdeptiCon which was fantastic. I'll be implementing what I learned there as soon as I get my act together.

Dave is looking to expand what he can do and provide for the gaming community. To achieve this goal, he has started a new and grand project to build and paint a Mars Pattern Warlord Titan. Dave will be exploring and experimenting with really powerful magnets, airbrushing, and creating/applying custom decals. He will share this process while also experimenting with a number of platforms including YouTube video sessions, Facebook posts, Instagram photos, blog posts, and Google Hangout chats. Some of these are entirely new areas for Dave, so we will be learning along the way. You can join along for the ride and help make this possible by supporting his Patreon campaign which you can read about in the Supporters section below.

The project is expected to take approximately 6 months, so you will get many insights to how someone of the talents of Dave approaches a build of this scale, selections of palette and process for painting large scale and detail. No doubt there will be countless and valuable tips for your own hobby work and with the level of interaction proposed by Dave, there will be plenty of opportunity to discuss everything in detail to increase the benefits for everyone.

So far Dave has posted up two great videos for the project with additional videos to be posted as he goes along. You can see more information about the number of posts and videos which increase as his support increases. I've included the first two video posts below so that you can take a look at some of the content that already exists and have an idea of what will be coming later.

The first video (above) is on the background and start of the project and includes a thorough unboxing of the many boxes included in the Forgeworld shipment. In the second installation, Dave covers the process for separating the resin pieces from the cast blocks including a walk-though of the tool selection, cutting and filing of mold lines. He goes on to handle how to process the pieces and prep them for assembly and painting steps.

Build associates

Fallout Hobbies
Fallout Hobbies - Ron Gamble at Fallout Hobbies has signed onto the build to provide custom decal sheets. I had the chance to spend some time with Ron at NOVA Open this year and picked up a few of his decal sheets. Not only does he have a great stock set of decal sheets, he will help you develop any custom set of decals for your personal or business use. I have a plan in place to have custom pin-up decals created, once I get my wife on board, for use on my air support. Prices are incredibly reasonable, especially for the custom sheets which come in at $35 for the first with the design help and then $15 per sheet thereafter. Definitely check out his site and support him as well. As a bonus if you become one of Dave's regular supporters Dave and Ron may help you design a custom set of decals for your use.

The Artillerist
Full Borer Miniatures - Chris Borer has signed onto this build and will be sculpting up a new crew set to man the Warlord Titan. This will be the second pairing of Chris and Dave and the previous match was for a NOVA Open Charitable Foundation army which brought us The Artillerist. The Artillerist was designed as the Master of Ordinance for the Steel Legion Imperial Guard Army that Dave painted up. I have this miniature and will one day get it painted up, but you can see the quality of this piece. For a fully painted version and more on the history of the piece, check out The Artillerist gallery.

Secret Weapon - I've long been a fan of the work done by Justin and crew at Secret Weapon. I spent a lot of the last AdeptiCon helping out at the Secret Weapon booth. I also took a weathering pigments seminar with Justin, which was really fantastic. Secret Weapon will be providing the base for this Titan Warlord. Need a base for any of your projects, well Secret Weapon has 875 different base options.


This is not brought to you by the letter N and the number 5. All support is provided by YOU! and me and the rest of the gaming community.  This is a rather large project and as such will require quite a bit of time and effort and to help defer the costs of all of that, Dave has set-up a Patreon site where you can support the build.

In return for your support, you can get in on some great video blogging on the project and open communication about the project with Dave and the rest of the supporting community. Now this isn't your local PBS or NPR station, so no mugs if you support, but there are some great rewards for your monthly patronage. Here is the information for each level provided you support each month through the end of the campaign.

  • $5 - Name painted on the titan and a small decal sheet from Fallout Hobbies
  • $10 - Dave will help you create a custom Fallout Hobbies' decal sheet and the previous
  • $15 - Invitation to the bi-weekly Google Hangout and the previous
  • $20 - One Titan crew member miniature by Chris Borer painted by Dave and the previous

Now, I know you don't think it could get better, but it does. There are also monthly support thresholds built into the project. So if monthly patronage gets to

  • $300 - Increase to 3 videos per month and 6 blog posts
  • $600 - Increase to 4 videos per month and 8 blog posts
  • $1000 - Increase to 6 videos per month, 10 blog posts, and build a shipping crate for the Warlord!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

MAIL CALL!!! Infamy Miniatures Welcome to the Big Smoke Kickstarter Delivery!

Welcome to the Big Smoke! 

After a long day of preparing for a Good Laboratory Practices audit by our potential client's independent consultant (I am a Quality Assurance professional), it was quite nice to see a wonderful brown box with a Royal Mail label. Now this was not expected and I wasn't sure what it was, but was sure it was some miniature fun.

When I opened the box, to my delight it was my Welcome to the Big Smoke package from Infamy Miniatures. Now I can't express to you how amazing the quality of these sculpts, which is also quite daunting since I will now have to paint them. So let's take a closer look at the pieces I got from the Kickstarter...well right after we take a look at the non-miniature stuff.

Postcards and dice

The first thing I wanted to take a look at were the incredible art postcards that were free with the Kickstarter Battle pledge level I selected. There are a total of ten postcards.

There is art for a very industrial Victorian-era London, a smog-laden city panorama. A shot of Uncle John hosting his Animal Circus from the London Zoo surrounded by Chee Chee and some of his chimp soldiers. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson "interviewing" a figure on the street. Tesla sitting in thought amidst the ruins of the city with his Tesla Cannon behind him.

Henrietta Jekyll leading the outlandish Frank Hyde. The true American import, the March family loaded up with six shooters and rifles. We get Officer Crookes with the Tesla rifle taking aim. Tellulah Belle and Corvus moving wildly through the city. A lovely couple working in the kitchen making some fresh sausage...I only the spices are right, cause it may be the only thing that's right. And to finish out the set, the master himself, Tesla hard at work.
Infamy branded dice

To finish off the non-miniature materials included in the pack, were two Infamy branded dice. One was the standard clear die with the Infamy logo. The second was an opaque die with the Welcome to the Big Smoke icon in gold.


 Well, let me first restate that these are some of the best resin sculpts that I have ever seen. I am kicking myself that I didn't pony up for the Full English pledge level. So let's talk about these miniatures.

Now it would not be Victorian London with out pigeons, I mean grab your tuppence and re-watch Mary Poppins if you have forgotten. This set of five pigeons was included with the pledge level. The detail is wonderful and there are a number of poses including one pigeon in flight. Now for me this brings to mind entirely new ideas for basing and for other games.

Harry "The Hat" Hallahan
Harry "The Hat" Hallahan was one figure I knew immediately that I had to have in my collection.  Harry comes with a variety of weapons including a pie! He also has a wrench should you really want to knock someone about. Harry has a set of accents to fill out his work belt, including some

The Mole
When you see Mole, all you can say is, "Yes!" Not only does he have the perfect face for the figure, he is loaded down with a chest full of dynamite! He has a steam-powered pack that runs his digger arm and provides powers his massive hammer.

Frank Hyde
Now the Mole may have a massive hammer, but Frank Hyde is just massive. This new interpretation of the Jekyll and Hyde myth is truly imaginative. In Welcome to the Big Smoke, Jekyll is a chemical fueled monster that is under Dr. Henrietta Jekyll's control. He has a chemical tank backpack piped directly into him and is wrapped in chains, but it looks like he may have skipped leg day.

Mad Pete
Corvus is a high flying, debonair gentlemen. Well in this setting being in the jet set means being well armed as your fly about the London rooftops.
Tellula Belle

Pete's partner in crime is the every so lovely Tellulah Belle. Where Corvus is moving with a rocket-powered backpack, Tellulah has opted for flight from powered wings. The sculpt is incredibly well styled and detailed, right down to the laces on her knee-high boots.

The Toad
 Another heavy hitter, The Toad is well armed. Powered by a coal-fired furnace, The Toad carries quite the arsenal. His steam hammer is enough to crush any foe who gets close enough, which is not very likely considering the Gatling gun he also carries. While either is extremely powerful and dangerous, he is protected by his enormity and the steam harness that powers him.

Badger should be considered armed and very dangerous. While the body of the sculpt is fine and well detailed, the amazing part of this sculpt truly is in the augmented arms. Each arm is articulated with some external rods and give him a powered up punch.

The world renown and frequently overlooked mechanical genius with the power to harness lightning, well electricity, Tesla is well equipped with a powered backpack that allows him to throw electricity. No worries, I am sure this is set-up for alternating current.

There are many more characters available to romp through London in Welcome to the Big Smoke. Hopefully I'll find my way to owning more of them as I manage to get these sculpts into the queue of painting and playing.

I didn't pick up the entire set of miniatures and there are plenty that I wish I had purchased. I am hopeful that as this moves forward, I'll catch up with them and in the mean time we will get to see some releases from davetaylorminiatures.