Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Reaper Miniatures Halloween Tricks and Treats!

Reaper Miniatures Halloween Haul

Reaper Halloween Package
As I posted in the "It's Jack, My Little Pumpkin Pal by Bombshell Miniatures" post, Reaper Miniatures offers a Halloween special every year. I decided again this year to take advantage. So to meet the criteria for Reaper deal, I had to spend $40. Not hard for a miniature gamer or painter, I know.  I have been looking for additional K-9 units for the Gardia for This Is Not A Test and that led me to more eventual fun.

Ghoulie Back Contents
So first, let's review the deals. There are actually two deals that occur during October. The first is automatic for all purchases adn last for the entire month of October. When you make an order to Reaper in October, you will automatically get a bottle of the Reaper Breast Cancer Pink paint. If you want to see the color of this paint, check out the NOVA Open Seminar - Sculpting with Raffaele Picca of Massive Voodoo! post. I used it for the skull plates carved into the Reaper BONES Chaos Well.

Ghoulie Bag BONES
If you place a $40 order after October 4 and before midnight on October 31, you may also get a Ghoulie bag. This is a while supplies last, but I made my order one week prior to Halloween and received a Ghoulie bag.

Each Ghoulie bag contains four bottles of Reaper MSP HD paint. This year it was Spectral White, Pumpkin Orange, and Mouldy Skin. Somehow there was a mix-up in packing, because I ended up with the first bonus, an extra Spectral White. The second part of the Ghoulie bag is something a little nostalgic for Halloween, candy! I got a piece of double bubble, a banana Laffy Taffy, and a Tootsie pop. But best of all, there is the trick or treat part.

Trick or Treating isn't over though, because there is one additional part of bonus. For most people you will get a treat, but for an unlucky one, well you might get a rock. I mean literally a rock, though it is a rock in a special blister pack. I was lucky enough to get a treat, because the bonus Spectral White wasn't enough.  There was a blister pack that contained a maiden, let's call her Miss Muffett, and a giant spider. I didn't see any curds and whey, but these will be fun to paint up. So let's see what got me to the $40 threshold.

My Purchase

Pug Dog
Here is what I decided to get, mostly to supplement all of the This Is Not A Test playing. First up are a set of additional dogs for the Gardia (Peacekeepers). I already have two that are K-9 Units, Dawg and Cagney, from the BONES Kickstarters, but with the potential to add more K-9 units and another K-9 Handler, I could use more.

Of the three dogs that I purchased, I'm not sure that all are directly usable as K-9 units. The first is a great little Pug Dog ($2.44) which was irresitable. My mother has a pug, so when I saw this I had to get it, Now this little pug is half the size of my mother's but I will name her Abby all the same. I am not sure the Pug would be a legal miniature for use in This Is Not A Test. It is adorable, but really diminutive. Make sure your opponent(s) is okay with the use of this figure before fielding.

The next up is a prime war dog and one that will look imposing on the board. Garr the War Dog ($6.49) is large and demands attention. Garr is quite the opposite of the pug dog, since he is an English mastiff and incredibly large. The figure looks great and English mastiffs are well known for attacking an intruder and pinning them down until back-up arrives to dispatch the intruder. The only issue that I see with this miniature is with the base. The metal bottom does not quite fit into the base cut-outs. I don't see this as a true issue since I am more than likely not going to use the blank base and will remove the metal tabs.

Death Dog
The last is a real beast and large. This will be a great addition either as a Wild Dog mutant beast or some sort of K-9 mutant. Either way, it won't be nice to encounter. The two-headed Death Dog ($12.95) will get them coming and going. Larger than Garr with twice as many teeth. The pose is one of either lunging or jumping and the snarling jaws are ready to snap an opponent's arm (or neck) in two.

While I love the Gardia, having options to play a different warband would give us more options for game play, gives me additional ways to run stories, and allows me other options for painting and development. I think for the most part, these will make a great starter either for Preservationists or Caravanners. The final three miniatures I purchased will be the perfect start to a new warband. First is the Deadlands Noir Patent Scientist ($5.99). Equipped with what could be a ray gun, heat gun, or maybe a radar gun, this has all the hallmarks of a preservationist with the desire to find relics and use them. Next up is a more versatile and seeming made for the wastes, Post Apocalyptic Hunter ($6.29). He is well armed and prepared to take on whatever the wastes may throw at him. Evie, Post Apocalyptic Survivor ($5.99) is packed and ready for a move, which is why I see her clearly as a potential for either the Caravanners or Preservationists. She carries what she needs and what she doesn't have, she takes with her sub-machine gun. Because the bonus for Breast Cancer Awareness, the Ghoulie bag, and mistaken packing wasn't enough, I also got an extra Deadlands Noir Patent Scientist in the package.

Time to take out the Trash

Modifying the Dumpster

Dumpster Components
The last thing I got was a piece that I have been thinking about for some time and finally decided to add this as a piece of scatter terrain for This Is Not A Test, the Reaper Dumpster ($4.99). This is considered part of the BONES line, but is not made of the same BONES material. The plastic is a hard plastic that is much more like the plastic in most of the toy soldiers we are love to collect, paint, and play. This piece takes primer with no problem. This is a great looking piece, though I do have one issue with it.

Holding Dumpster Lid Open
The has a great look and the lid opens, but does not open fully. The piece is playable inside, but the design of the lid does not stay open. To me all terrain should be playable, but if the lid doesn't stay open the usefulness is limited. You can have someone go into the dumpster and hide, but you can't have someone jump into it and fire out of it. So I decided it needed some alter altercations.
Closed Dumpster

The dumpster is large enough to easily contain two 28 mm figures. I tested it out with Evie and the Post Apocalyptic Hunter with no problem.

Grab your trusty utility knife, it is time for some surgery. The first part to tackle is the line of hinges at the top of the lid. I have a wide array of blades for my hobby knife and for this task, I used a large chisel blade. You can see the size in the Final Modified Dumpster with Lid Open picture. I started by marking out where the lid hinges came into contact with the cover/lid piece. I then used the chisel blade to add a notch to the cover piece. The notch pretty much has to run the entire expanse of the cover piece and almost to the full depth. Be sure not to go to the full depth as the little shelf build into the lid would be removed. That accounts for the hinges.
Hinge Cut in Dumpster Top

Now that the lid can open to a fuller range, it is time to make it stay open. In order to accomplish this, you will need to make one additional set of cuts. The lid extends further than the hinges and those little extensions need to go someplace and to keep it up, need to stay there. Just beyond and below the notch we made previously, we now need to cut a space for the sides of the lid. This is just a small square notch so that when the lid open, it catches and then will stick in place. Now you have a dumpster that you can open, climb into, and then hide or fire.
Final Modified Dumpster with Lid Open

Painting the Dumpster

Around me, we have a company called Waste Management. They are an incredibly large company that provides dumpsters of every size for commercial, industrial, and residential needs. Since it is ubiquitous to this area and I plan on using this for This Is Not A Test, it seemed a natural fit for the dumpster. The first part of achieving this was to paint up the dumpster to match the Waste Management colors. The dumpsters they have are green. Now being colorblind, I am not able to exactly match colors, but hopefully I got something pretty close. I chose to go with the Vallejo U.S. Dark Green for the color. The lid was painted with Vallejo Black. I also used the black as the base for the interior bottom of the dumpster.

Base Colors on Dumpster
Making the dumpster appropriately weathered as it had survived nuclear fallout and an additional hundred years required a great deal more work. I immediately thought of my stockpile of Secret Weapon Miniatures pigments. I got the entire line in exchange for the work I provided them during AdeptiCon 2014. It was a given since after taking the Weathering Pigments class with Mr. Justin, I knew I needed them. You can read about those experiences in the Weathering Pigments blog post.

Steps to perform the weathering and creating materials to fill or supplement the dumpster will come in a follow-up blog post. I expect that post to come in a week after the dumpster is finished and used in some game play. It will be at the bottom of the next Marshal's report.