Monday, 27 October 2014

One Week of Nerdity

Look, ma! A music joke!

Good news, everyone!  I'm on holiday all this week, which means me and Sister Superior have a nice breather.  It's been pretty hectic at work so I'm glad for an escape, and of course it's always good to have time off for Halloween so I can nerd it up something rotten over the period.

Anyway, I've been up to a multitude of nerdy things in the past week - including, finally, getting back to work on the missile silo.  Pictures and comments follow!

Well, last week on Monday my regular 40k opponent Dave came over and we chatted politics, ate steak and generally hung out for a bit.  (His wife is a veggie - our meetups inevitably turn into his chance to binge on dead things.)  But I also played him his first ever game of Dreadball.

I, um, kinda forgot to take pictures of this game.  Oops.
 Dave seemed to enjoy himself, taking the Veer-Myn team for a spin while I bust out the Forge Fathers as usual.  As always with first games things were a little slow as we slowly introduced the rules through play and Dave figures out my trial and error how some things worked but we had a good laugh. He managed to get an early 3 point strike and though I equalised he pulled it back to a 4-3 win for him.

I'm actually getting quite excited about Dreadball because earlier in the year I contributed to the Dreadball Xtreme kickstarter: a variant of Dreadball which is supposed to be the underground "street" version of the game.  The first wave of figures are almost ready and before the end of the year I should receive my first package of stuff - I'd kinda forgotten about it, but it's finally almost here.

All this and more is on it's way to me.
Dave brought some odds and ends for me, some spare figures he donated to the cause.  A wad of old Imperial Guard figures, which he had originally planned on using as allies for his Sisters but now had no need for since he wanted to go all-female and so had girl soldier models for his army.

Some classic 1st Ed Imperial Guard Plastics

I think they could easilly work as renegade Guard or better armed Cultists for my Chaos Space Marines.... or possibly even put them in my Squat army as some sort of Human support squad since they're 1st ed figures?  It's all good.

Human heads, 2E Eldar plastic bodies with lasguns

 The other figures were a mishmash of Eldar/Human bits Dave had originally planed on using as Human auxiliaries for his Tau army.  Not so sure these will work but a bright pink paint job covers many ills.  So, into the box of misc Chaos Cultist model possibles it goes!

A mixed bag of figures from Necromunda, various editions of 40K and some other miniature lines: anyone spot anything notable?
 Moving to RPGs for a moment: With our little D&D game finished and not enough people to restart our superhero game, Thursday's nerdy gathering was a one-night blast of a game called Microscope.

A "Fractal Roleplaying Game"
In most RPGs you play a single character and in a minority you play a small group.  Microscope says PAH to that and calls it small scale.  You don't play a day, week, month or evevn year in Microscope - you play decades, centuries or even millenia as you assemble a history as a sort of joint storytelling exercise.

First you decide on a general topic and a start and end point - genre is not limited so we've done sci-fi, fantasy, horror and on Thursday a superhero themed thing. Using index cars to create Periods, Events or Scenes you assemble out one at a time the components of your history.  Periods are big giant spanning things which might include "World War 2"; Events are narrower and might include "The Liberation of France"; Scenes are narrower still and are the only point where you possibly act things out, asking questions of a small scale nature like "How did the Allies invade France by surprise?" then acting out a short scene to establish this fact.

A final game might look like this: the black and white circles mark "light" and "dark" moments in the story.
Previously I've only played it with three people but this time it was four; myself, Sister Superior, Matthew and the newly rejoining our group Aaron.  We had a good time and it's definitely a game I'd recommend, albeit with the proviso that it's more a story telling exercise than a real "game" per se.

Anyway, back to wargaming, and over the last couple of days I finally got the Aquilla Strongpoint looking better by putting my paintbrush on it.

Much needed attention.

A darker shade of grey,  Adeptus Battlegrey, greatly improved the walls; the same red I used on the doors was also put on the hatches for the missiles.  I used a black wash on the doors, ladders, chimney and barricades to dirty them up and bring out some of the 3D detail.  Finally I added some tiny pinches of gold to the bronze rivets and high points of the ladder to make them pop a bit.
Figures for scale.  Remember that sniper, you'll see him again in a second.

 The main problem remains that the sides are very flat and "cardboard" looking - those top barricades are ace but the main wall a bit dull.  I may need to cast up some sort of details to bring it to life.

Speaking of casting....

The resin doctor is IN.

I've been dabbling a lot with casting the past few days.  When Dave came over he brought some flat odds and ends - details from the Sisters of Battle tank kit, I think - that he wanted duplicated to make gravestones and carvings for his temple.  I jumped at the chance, added some of my Chaos bits and bobs into the mix and made two silicone one-part moulds to cover the bulk of these. Some air-bubbling here and there as usual but a lot of usable material which should give Dave the terrain he wants

The moulds in question.  The same size as usual easilly gets me six of these little gravestones/detail plates

I usually do two-part moulds but for the right shape a one-part mould seems to work fine - it might wear out faster but none of my silicone moulds have been in danger of that so far.

As a test the first one-part mould I made I duplicated a Scibor base that I have - as seen here, but bought for far cheaper! - and it came out pretty good - certainly good enough to give all my friends a wee objective marker.  :-)

Crucially the carving detail on the top of the base has come out perfectly - the bubbling is more at the side in the rockface which is easilly coverable with Milliput.

As for two-part moulds, as hinted previously I started dabbling in casting moulds from painted figures.  There's various figures I own which are fairly rare and would be nice to copy but I painted them up before getting into my mould stuff - could I safely copy them without wrecking the figure?

The answer is mostly yes.  The silicone doesn't damage the paintwork and while some operating is required - I need to pop them out their base - it's fairly trivial.  The biggest risk is that I'll scrape the paintwork if I need to use a knife to cut excess silicone off while I'm working on one half of the mould with the figure still in it.

My latest two moulds are an Amazon Cheerleader and a Space Marine Scout with Sniper Rifle.

My current success rate: strong for the sniper, poor for the cheerleader.
The Sniper comes out great, with a little bit of air bubbling on the cloak easilly patched up.  Basically a single lump of metal with some small protrusions it's a doddle to cast and chances of a sniper-rifle-armed unit getting painted up for use with my Emperorts Children when they're in Horus Heresy mode is high.

The Cheerleader... is a lot more of a struggle.  You'll notice neither of the usable figures is intact with arms forever breaking.  This is because I have a lot of problem getting a solid cast through the thin arms with air bubbles inside the arms rendering them very week.  Not sure if this is salvageable, say if I cast a different mould with better channels for air to fix it, or if it's just not viable.

In any case all these cast figures should keep me busy in hobby projects for ages.  Add in all the Chaos Dwarf, Squat and Chaos Space Marines models I still have to paint and there's no need for me to buy any more figures.

Even if they're a bargain on eBay.


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