Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Your Taxes at Work

Government Strike Team

After days of desperately trying to cover up the accidental unleashing of the killer robots,the Fugu Corporation knew it needed help from the government. After all, it was a government contract to build the buggers. The government brought in their black-ops unit specializing in this sort of thing. The only team available just got back from a special assignment in central Badguristan and hence, the camo uniforms.


Pistol-armed troopers

Squad leader

These dudes are from eM4 Miniatures line of plastic figures. Their Near Future line comes in metal and plastic. It should be noted that their plastic troopers and not the same as the metal troopers. The metal ones are slightly different and have different, more detailed guns. Plus, the plastic set contains more pistol-armed men than rifle armed. I emailed the owner of eM4 about this, and he told me that the metal ones were more military combat troops whereas the plastic troopers were supposed to be more like police SWAT members. None the less, I am pretty happy with them, plus you can't beat the price. If I were to do it over again, I'd probably swap out their plastic weapons with some metal ones. They will represent another team for my holiday skirmish.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Uptight Citizens Brigade

They began as just an over-zealous committee of the Whispering Oaks Subdivision Homeowners Association. But when the Fugu Corporation accidentally unleashed the cyborg horrors, they knew that they had to take action to protect their suburban way of life. They became the Uptight Citizens Brigade!

Coach Russell "Rusty" Jordan

Dr. Dieter Dumblehoff D.D.S

Winnifred "Winnie" Jones


Brittney Louise Sumner, Leader

These are the Citizen Militia 2 pack from Copplestone Castings Future Wars line. I found that the dip method, which I usually use on 15mm didn't seem to work well on 28s. Coach was a victim of it. It really messed up a very nice camo scheme on his pants.

All of the figures of this line have the same submachine gun. I swapped out Toby's for a futuristic-looking, SAW-type gun made by Hasslefree Miniatures. They make some really nice weapons. I wanted to modify others, but Toby was the only one I could change weapons without really messing up the figure.

The Uptight Citizens Brigade is going to be one of the rival teams for the multi-player skirmish battle I plan to have over the holiday break back in Chicago.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Band of Brothers

Here is my first foray into the 15mm SF. These are the Garn from Khurasan Miniatures. This company is coming out with tons of 15mm SF minis. It almost seems good to be true.

Group Portrait

I ended up painting them green. I've seen them done up in other colors, and those look really good, but I like my lizardmen-types green, be they fantasy or science fiction.

I couldn't tell what the leader was holding in his hand for a weapon, so I made one out of polymer clay. I was going for an old Star Trek phaser-type gun and I think I succeeded. I don't think I could re-create this weapon again however.

Garn Leader

The Garn seemed to have taken the minimalist approach to weaponry, which is cool. I get tired of the huge, oversized weapons I see on a lot of 28mm figures. There were several weapons to choose from for the heavy weapons trooper. It was a toss up, but I chose thing flame thrower looking thing. According to the website, the disc on their back is a force-field generator.

Garn Heavy Weapons Trooper

As I mentioned in previous posts, I hate having to deal with ground cover on bases. I think I saw the following method on another blog, but I forgot to bookmark it. I assume I did it according to their instructions. I took 1 part Liquitex oxide red paint (the variety that is in the tubes), 2 parts white glue, and a good amount of sand, mixed it all up into a paste. I then slopped it onto their bases the best I could. Between the paint, which is thick to begin with, and the glue, it really hardens well. Once dry, I diluted some black acrylic paint with acrylic floor wax and washed it on. The base, btw, is a US penny.

Garn Troopers

Pardon the speckles on some of the figures. My camera doesn't usually have that problem. I did use a flash on the close ups but not on the group portrait. I will have to see if there is a way to fix that on the camera end.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A 15mm Renaissance

No, I'm not going into Renaissance wargaming. But I did take the plunge and started up into 15mm Sci-fi gaming (insert :-o emoticon here). I need to start a new line of gaming like I need another hole in my head. What can I say, I'm a wargaming junkie. I started for three reasons (always good to justify these things):

First, I blame TMP for my exposure to 15mm SF! SF in 15mm has really taken off. I am amazed at all the various lines that are coming out. I am very impressed by the sculpting and the variety that I see.

Second, it the price. As much as I have liked 25/28mm figures, I can't justify buying them. I started off back in the 1970s with 25mm medieval and fantasy figures. When I found the same in 15s, I switched. At first, I was not too impressed with the extent of the ranges, especially in the fantasy category, but I then realized that part of the fun was to make the best of what was out there....a limited palate, so to speak. Now, there is far more out there. It seems like with 15mm SF, I don't have to go through that drought that I did when I switched over to 15mm fantasy.

Third, is gamers. My gaming buddy is a newbie and loves Warhammer 40K. 40k ok, but, its very expensive, and second, I'm just not that crazy about the rules. Many years ago, I played several games of Warhammer Fantasy (don't ask me what edition). There were too many odd rules that I didn't like. When I suggested to the guy I was playing with that we come up with some house rules to correct these, he threw a major hissy-fit! Hey, its a game, not a religion! Call me Old School (which I probably am), but I prefer generic rules and feel not ones tailored exclusively to a line of miniatures. I figure that if we play 15s, it will wean him off of the 40K, at least enough to want to play in other scales/rules/periods of gaming. Not to go off on a tangent, but at least Flames of War looks like it will be fun for scales other than 15mm.

I was going to post some pictures, but as luck would have it, the battery on my camera went dead. I'm not even able to download the few shots that I managed to take. However, once I get my camera battery re-juiced, there will be pictures to follow....stay tuned!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Your Ad Here

Mexico City is a really cool city. Its huge, and has a lot of things to do and see there. I've gone there several times while doing research in Mexico. What is not cool about it, besides its high crime rate (but what city doesn't?) is all the ads and billboards. I don't think there is a single building that doesn't have some sort of advertisement on it. So, I thought, any city or large town worth its salt on the Gambusian mini-continents should have ads on their buildings. So, here is my first very modest attempt:

A few new "innovations" with this building. I wanted it to be commerical, so I made some large shop doors. Yes, they looked uneven, but I blame it on the thin cardstock I was using. Also, I forgot to darken the interiors of the shops. These aren't innovations. First, I made the balcony railings out of window screen. Its easy to cut out, but difficult to glue down to the balcony. I found that if I put a tiny strip of cardstock at the bottom of screen, it glues better and is a little studier. You can see the difference between the first verses the second and third floors. The second innovation was with the windows. It sort of a pain to make them out of polymer clay, its somewhat limiting as to what you can do, you can't get them squared up very well, and they are disproportionally thick. So, I used this mesh screen that is used for knitting or something. It is made out of soft plastic, and comes in two sizes (at least as far as I know). I used my sprue-cutters to cut out windows. They are great because you can make various sized windows. The only drawback to them is that you really have to get in there with the sprue-cutter to get a flush cut otherwise you get little nubbins sticking out where you cut. The next time I used them, I will also glue them first on a paper backing for painting purposes. Here is what the building looks like on the side:

I took an ad out of some Chinese movie catalog and scanned it under a really high resolution. Then I shrank it down and swapped out the Chinese for Spanish. The Chinese is translated into Spanish, so the ad is still legit. My printer didn't do such a hot job at the edges of the text for some reason, but that is OK. You could say the ad has been there for awhile and has faded a little. I plan to get a little more creative in the future with my ads.

Monday, November 8, 2010

We Just Clixed

I finally decided what I am going to do with these various 28mm scifi-ish figures I've been collecting and slowly painting. I plan to have a battle royale skirmish game with them over Xmas at my parents. I will have probably four to five sides. I'm sure I can get my nephews and my friend Karl to play. I haven't decided what rules to use, but I'm leaning towards Two-Hour Wargames, Chain Reaction 3.0.

Teams so far:

•Robot Terminators: Sid and his droogs

•Biker Gang: Big Karl, Bambi & friends

•Futuristic soldiers: eM-4 plastic soldiers

•Motley Crew: Various figures banded together for survival

To supplement some of the teams, I bought a bunch of Heroclix and other "Clix" plastic figures. They are more-or-less 28mm, and by and large, very cheap. The most expensive one I got was Hellboy, and he was only $2.00. The others where between $0.50 and $1.25. They are not nearly as detailed as the metal figures, but you can't beat the price!

Some Heroclix Ladies

Hellboy Heroclix

I plan to remove them from the bases and rebase them. I'll repaint them, too. For the heroine on the left, I'll probably try to place a pistol in her hand as she is only armed with a knife.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just Loggin In to Say Hello

October is nearly gone. Surprisingly, I've actually done a great deal of work. This includes:

• Constructing another small building 1/300 scale.

• Painting some Northern Chalupistan troops (1/300).

• Painting and mounting more 1/600 aircraft onto their flight stands.

• Working on some 28mm figures. This includes swapping out weapons, and priming a bunch for painting.

• Starting a new project involving 15mm SciFi.

The problem is getting time to photograph things. Over the past two months, I get about 20 minutes to an hour one or two nights a week to work on things, so I'd rather spend that rare time painting or building than photographing....sorry!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Been a Download'n Fool Today

I planned to take some pics of my newest project, but a bunch of things took priority this weekend. One of which is downloading software. I've been trying to download a bunch of image-analysis software for a research project that I am doing with some udergraduate students. Sort of frustrating,both in terms of the software and the students, but I am getting there. I hope to get some pictures tonight.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Old Minis Come out of the Closet

About four years ago, my wife got a new job in a town almost 2 hours from where we now reside. We were so certain that we were going to move closer to where she worked, we packed up probably about 75% of all our stuff. This included all of my books and 15mm fantasy figures. Well, my wife as another new job that is closer to home, so we are still in our old house. I finally decided to haul out all of my packed away miniatures. To took me two days to do it. I counted about 14 plastic shoe boxes full and another 10 plastic pencil boxes full of painted minis. When it was all said and done, the metal wire shelf that I bought recently was almost completely filled. I also found about 20 baby food jars worth of unpainted 15s. This is in addition to the large box I have of them. I guess that because its been such a long time since I had them all out, that I was a little overwhelmed at their numbers

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I was looking for some slightly unusual 25/28mm figures for my nebulous scifi/post-apocalyptic skirmish game that I am slowly building. A while back, the Miniatures Page had a hobby news posting for figure called "Celia." She is a figure in Fantasy Flight Games' Anima: Tactics. I have no clue what the game is about and I am not going to speculate on whether the game is worth spending the money for.

Anyway, Celia belongs to some faction and is an assassin wielding a katana. Here is her card:

From my view, she is seemed to be the most "normal" looking character of the bunch. Whomever painted her for the the ad on TMP, really did a great job. She seemed sort of expensive, but I figured, why not. Here she is primed but unpainted:

When it was all said and done, I was not that happy with the way she came out. The problem is two-fold. First, my eyes just ain't what they used to be. Even with reading glasses, things just are not that in depth. Also, I am not as steady with the brush any more. Add to it that Celia was somewhat expensive, and I was maybe too worried about screwing up. As a rule, I don't usually strip and repaint figures over again...too much of a pain.

The second problem is that her scuplted features are TOO fine! I am not a huge fan of Games Workshop universe, but I have to say this about their figures: you really can differentiate lines, folds, and various sculpted features when you are painting them. Not so with Celia. For example, she is supposed to be wearing some sort of thong underwear that sticks out over her pants and go across her hips. I could barely make out the straps. I really wasn't too happy with the face either. I never claim to be a master painter, but I have to have something more to work with, especially when you add in the eyesight and all that. About the only thing I was happy with is the base. I used broken egg shells as the tiles and glued some flock in between some of them. Well, here she is to fight along side Big Karl and Bambi:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Ideas; New Minis

I just got back from a paleontology meeting in the city of Saltillo, Mexico. From a gaming standpoint, I got a lot of good ideas for more 6mm buildings.

Just before I left for Mexico, a whole mess of 15mm sci-fi miniatures from various companies came in. I managed to paint up base some robots using the same style as I did for my 28mm robots. Pictures to appear soon.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I've been so swamped with work for over a month now, that I have not had time to post anything new on my blog. Despite my work load, I managed to paint up some kobolds from Splintered Light Miniatures. The only other company that made kobolds in 15mm was Ral Partha, which I never managed to get. These are well detailed and have no mold lines that I can see. They closely fit the description of them found in the AD&D Monster's Manual (1st edition). For some reason, I've always pictured them as a baby-poop yellow (come on, you know the color!) color. I still have to base them and then paint up the command group.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Exciting News!

It is hard to believe, but I found another gamer nearby. The husband of a colleague somewhat recently started gaming. He knows a few others within a reasonable travel radius, and I think there are some potential gamers among some of the faculty at my college. Maybe we are overly optimistic, but we are going to start a club and see where it goes.

On a different note, I sort of gave my friend Karl (the General of Northern Chalupistan) an ultimatum. I said that if he didn't come through with his OOB for his Operation: Ike & Tina, that I'd start the battles without him. He is probably angry at me because he has not emailed me back since I sent him the message over two weeks ago. From my standpoint, he hasn't done a whole lot lately and I really want to begin gaming the campaign, especially if I now have real live people to game with. He seems to enjoy the roll-playing aspect of it, but doesn't seem all that interested in much of the other aspects. Setting up your army dispositions may be dull, but it has to be done. I've already begun assigning combat brigades to the various starting points of the invasion, and I have been using what he sent me in terms of plans. Maybe he will send me something, if not, the war must go on.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The New Table is Now Operational

The New Table

I don't have everything on there, but its now ready to be used!

An open house was attended by a few guests:

The Unfinished Vampire Queen Welcomes the Guests

Guests Chatting and Examining the New Facilities

Big Karl and Bambi Admiring the New Glue Station

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Table Update

Yesterday, I put up my new table (sorry, no pictures). On the plus side, its very long, on the down side, its very long. If you look at the picture from the previous post, there isn't a whole lot of room to begin with. Double the size of the old table and that becomes a problem. The new table really sucks up a lot of real estate. Its not a tiny room, but we also have a TV, coffee table and small couch in there. Second problem is with my light. The light that I have now is one of those that has a vise that attaches to the edge the table and the lamp slides into. Well, it does...sort of. The table is plastic and a slippery and soft one at that. I attached the vise opposite to where I would sit and then inserted the lamp inot the vise. The lamp is so heavy that when I extend the arm to an optimal lighting position the whole thing bent from the vise. I'm sure that the slippery plastic will cause the vise that holds the lamp to slip out. Disaster will result!

I am more sentimental about this old lamp than my old workbench. I've had this lamp for well over 30 years now. It was my Uncle's lamp when he was a graphic artist. They don't make 'em like they used to. That is why its so heavy. I really don't want to get a new one, but I will probably have to find a lamp that is on a pedestal. I could anchor the old lamp at one end of the table, and that way I would not have to extend it very far, but the point is that I want to sit at the middle of the table, not at one end.

I've been thinking of getting one of those OTT lights, but I will try to find a way to better anchor the old light.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Retirement of an Old Friend

The Old Workhorse

After 16 years of use, I finally decided to retire my old workbench. above, and move up to a larger one.

The old one is a 3' x 3' table that my wife used as a table before we were married. Once we got married, I inherited it as my workbench.

The problem with it is that, first, I'm a slob and there was always a ton of stuff always strewn about it. Second, even if I weren't a slob, there was little room to put paints, storage boxes, etc. Very few things were at my easy reach, and I always ended up with a work space the size of a postage stamp. You can probably figure out where that was on the table based on the concentration and location of paint splatterings.

So, I bought a 6' folding table. It is long enough to put more storage boxes and drawers on top of it, and I plan to have some plastic storage drawers on either side of me.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Not Much New

I went home to Chicago to visit family. I had hoped to have another game using my 1/600 jets. I had more of them painted and, I had carefully re-read the rules. However, the game never happened. Also, in my haste, I forgot to bring those plastic miniatures for my nephew.

While there, I did buy some figures at Games Plus to help Big Karl and Bambi fight off the machine hoards. Also, some much wanted AA weaponry from C-in-C arrived while I was gone. Much to do, little time to do it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Machines of War

Other than working on some Shipbucket drawings ( 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there), I have done NOTHING related to wargaming! Recently, my daughter went into the arms manufacturing business. Here is the results of her LEGO brick building. From the Marine Division:

The Eleven Ship

I have no idea why its called the "Elven Ship." There weren't 10 previous ships. Here is the various features labeled:

A) surveillance system. At the end of each pole is an eye. The eyes can look around in all directions for the enemy. B) the anchor (just go with it). C) treasure chest, with actual LEGO gold pieces in it! D) storage for marshmallows. E) the big sword. I guess its a sort of ram. F) the steering wheel. The boys in R&D might have to go back to the drawing board on that one. If you notice, the helmsman must be in the water to operate it. G) the ship's water supply in form of stacked water bottles. H) the bubble-spinner-cannon. This shoots out deadly bubbles in all directions. Maybe a form of anti-aircraft defense?

Next up, from the Land Division:

The 15th Monster

I thought this was some sort of battle-wheelbarrow, but I was told it is a monster truck. I am not exactly how it works. Maybe its a prototype.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Magnificant Obsesssion

Lately, I've been so swamped with work and family activities that I have had little time to sit down and work on anything. The nice thing about my earlier post on making the bamboo forests is that they were very quick and easy to do. How to soothe those primal hobby urges? Answer: Shipbucket! If you haven't been there, check it out! These folks digitally draw warships of all nations and time periods, but focus on WWII to Modern. They are sticklers for details and accuracy, but the results show up in superbly-rendered ship illustrations.

Well, I took the plunge. I wanted to do some illustrations for my Gambusia campaign. I have not done much yet, but here is the results so far. These are before and after pictures:

Imperial Class Corvette

Above is my original drawing of a modern corvette built by Northern Chalupistan. It was done in Adobe Illustrator. Nothing too exciting. One big problem is that I just slapped radar antennae all over the thing. I had no clue about the types of radar that are needed. I really had to research my radars for my first rendering of my corvette in Shipbucket style:

Ship,Northern Chalupistan,Drawing

The folks on the Shipbucket forum pointed out various things that could be done to make it better. First,they mentioned that ships of this size are not big enough for anti-sub warfare, so I got rid of the torpedo tubes, and added an extra gun. The SSMs were oriented in such a way that the sailors would be unable to walk around them! They also suggested a SAM instead of the rear 20mm AA gun. So, then the ship evolved into this:

Ship,Northern Chalupistan

Making shipbucket illustrations is a little like building a highly detailed model. The nice thing is that I can work on them anywhere and anytime I have a chance. Will this replace minis? No way, but it is fun and challenging to do.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Story So Far

DISCLAIMERS: All of this is just fictitious silliness and I do not endorse war. The nations and events are made up just for the purposes of moving small, miniatures around a table to pretend to blow each other up for juvenile fun.

The Second Chalupistan War has been rather slow so far. Between my schedule, which is always bad in during the spring semester (it doesn't help that I am now the head of my department), and my friend Karl's (who was the only person I could recruit for this pbem campaign), there has not been a whole lot going on. Here is a summary of events:


Time (hrs)



1 RF-5 TigerEye recon fighter of the 11th Squadron of the SCAF is shot down just north of the Central Highlands province by a NCAF MiG 21 while attempting to photograph rebel bases in Northern territory.


After a vote by the UN Security Council failed to bring sanctions to Southern Chalupastan for the incursion into the Northern Chalupistan's airspace last fall, the Northern Chalupistan ambassador to the UN gives a fiery speech at the General Assembly, condemning both the United States and Southern Chalupastan. He then spits on the floor and storms out of the General Assembly room. There is stunned silence for at least 5 minutes.

Later that day, Northern Chalupastan Minister of the Interior announces that all American and Southern Chalupastan citizens currently in Northern Chalupistan must leave the country in 24 hours. Anyone remaining will be consider a spy and held for questioning.


(Day 1)


A jet liner carrying the Prime Minister of Northern Chalupastan explodes just as it was landing in the South's capital, Chalupa City, on a historical diplomatic mission. Many on ground are killed or seriously injured, including the Viceroy of Southern Chalupastan and top government officials. At that same time, an airliner bound to the Southern city of Nopales explodes as it is about to land. Fortunately, there were no casualties on the ground.

Day 1


2 Kfir C7s of the 1st Squadron of the SCAF were shot down over waters southeast of coastal city of Puerto Anguila while intercepting Northern naval attack aircraft consisting of 2 Saab Gripen jet fighters and 3 Dassault Super Etendard attack fighters of the 1st Naval Squadron from the aircraft carrier NCS Roc.

Day 1


Chalupa City is bombed by Super Entendard attack bombers. Damages include the Viceroy’s palace, parliament building, a hospital, and a railroad station.

Day 1


The NCS Roc (location unknown) radar contact detects a surface vessel about 20 miles north of the carrier traveling east. By 1245 hrs, it turns and heads north out of radar contact. The Roc's captain radios Northern Supreme HQ for orders, but there is no response.

Day 1


NCS Roc launches a KA-27 helicopter to make visual contact with ship and identify the unknown ship.

Day 1


The KA-27 makes contact, and ship identifies itself as the Japanese fishing trawler Namazu Sabiki. Another call gets a response from Northern Supreme HQ. Orders are to watch the ship and to attack it only if it makes a hostile response.

We are still on Day 1 of the campaign. The most recent miniatures gaming was the air combat game that I reported about in an earlier post. I am still waiting for the OOB of the Northern Army for Karl's invasion of Southern Chalupastan, dubbed Operation: Ike & Tina.

Friday, April 2, 2010

"One that looks nice...and is not too expensive."

A few weeks ago, maybe it was longer, there was a posting on the message board of TMP (not to be confused with TMZ) about making micro-scale bamboo forests. How to make them are are at the TwoThreeSixMM blog. The motive behind them was to have a really dense stand that was hard for troops to get through. They are quick and easy and come out looking really nice. Being that my micro armor campaign takes place in a tropic/semi-tropic setting, these would be good to have on the battlefields. My own version uses small nails, which may be too thick, but still look pretty good:
1" Nails embedded in thick cardboard

I first snipped off the bottoms of the nails with a heavy-duty pair of pliers. I drilled some small holes into thick cardboard and then glued them on with super glue. I varied the dimensions of the cardboard.

Nails and base after painting

I then painted them a light brown. Yeah, bamboo is supposed to be green when alive, but this seems to look better. Once dry, I then flocked. The first one, I actually made each tree individually and then glued them on, one at a time (Old World craftsmanship), but that took forever, plus I couldn't really tell one from another in terms of foliage. So, for the next one, I just poured on the superglue over the tops of the nails and dunked the whole thing in to the flocking material.

Here is the finished product:

Forest after flocking

I also used pins with the big plastic heads on them. Here is the result of that method:

In a lot of ways, the pin-trees look better than the nail-trees, but it was faster to make the nail trees. I might do some more pin-trees. I'll use both....two different species of bamboo. They still need to have some sort of ground cover, but they are fine for now.

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Project Updates

Unfortunately, I have no pictures. My schedule for the last month has not been pretty. Nonetheless, I've managed to squeeze in some work on this and that:

1. Bamboo forests: I got this fantastic idea to make dense bamboo forests off somebody's blog. You'd think I would have bookmarked it, but N-o-o-o! Anyway, its a simple method using small nails for the trees, sticking close together into thick cardstock, and then gluing flock on top of them all once they are painted. I can to a bunch of these in about an hour.

2. 28mm: Trying to figure out what the heck am I going to do with the 28mm bikers and the robots. I ordered some various figures to round out the human resistance. I also found buried in my unpainted pile a pack of some Kryomek aliens from Scotia-Grendel. I have those guys primed and just trying to think of what to paint them. Maybe I will have some sort of free-for-all games. I have some ideas for rules, but I will likely use Chain Reaction from Two Hour Wargames.

3. Minis for my nephew: My sister's younger son has some emotional issues including a form of Tourette's syndrome. He is not autistic, but sort of lives in his own little world. Last year, for Christmas, I bought him some little plastic figures from Games Workshop. He had a blast painting them. I recently ordered a bunch of plastic futuristic soldiers from eM-4 and will send them to him to paint up.

4. 1/300 buildings: I have two on hold that I need to finish, plus I need to get the Zwieback Hotel done.

Monday, March 8, 2010

And now for some griping....

Lately....lately as in the last three years, I've become somewhat of a rules junkie. I think I am looking for the holy grail of rules for all games modern: land, sea, and air. Recently, I came across a set of rules that sounded intriguing.

"I must have them!" I cried.

Well, maybe not, and here is the gripe. They rules themselves are not unreasonable in price, but it was the cost of shipping. The shipping cost was more than the cost of the rules themselves! And it wasn't like they were overseas, either. I kept mentally factoring in postage of a larger-than-letter parcel, plus maybe gas to drive to the post office, etc. Despite all that, I couldn't see the cost being so high. So, as much as I wanted to, I will have to say no to them, until the author of the rules gets a better distributor and/or brings the shipping price goes down.

This is sort of unusual because compared to other businesses that ship their goods through the mail, gaming companies seem to have reasonable shipping costs. For example, I use a lot of technical drawing pens for my research. I have to draw illustrations of the specimens that I study. These pens are expensive, but they weigh about the same as ball-point pen, in fact probably less given they are hallow inside (you have to fill them yourself with ink). Nonetheless, on-line art companies charge same high amount for shipping for these little pens as they do for about a pound of art paper. Why this disparity? It because they base the shipping on the cost of the item, not the weight! To me, they are double-charging you for the item. Unfortunately, good art supply stores around where I live are about as rare as wargaming shops, i.e. non-existent. Its, just my opinion here, but if a company wants repeat business, they are not going to get it by doing things like that.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Karl and Bambi completed

So, here's Humankind's last hope against the machines....

Big Karl and Bambi

Karl and his little friend

Bambi showing off her assets

I decided on the desert theme for their bases. Bambi's cactus was make out of sculpy. The first version of it had tiny pin pricks in it to look like where the spines came out. It looked cool, but it got badly burned while baking. So, in my "f--k it!" mood, I just made the second one without them.

Karl's rattlesnake was twisted copper wire. The head was a tiny piece of wood that I glued on. Rattlesnake heads should not be that long, but it popped off a couple of times while I was trying to reduce the length, so, I didn't want to mess with it anymore.

Originally, I was going to glue sand directly onto the base. I tried it but the grains looked too big plus they easily chipped off regardless of what glue I used. So, I used the same technique that I have been using for my 1/300 buildings. A combination of paint and baking soda. I also mixed in a little bit of sand to give it more texture.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Karl and Bambi painted, but.....

.....I have not finished off their bases. Two possibilities:

a. Give them the same slag motif as the terminators.

b. I was thinking of a desert motif. Sand, rocks, shrubs. Maybe
a cactus and/or rattlesnake out of sculpy.

I am leaning toward (b), but have not completely made up my mind.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Rise of the (Tiny) Machines...the Fab Five

I finished them off. I added some skulls to give a pizazz. I was going to paint the skulls bone color, but I just painted them white. I then gave a good washing of my acrylic floor wax/black ink mixture, and let dry.

It was a nice sunny day (for once!), so I took the boys out for a photo shoot.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Quick Pics of Infantry

I thought I'd take some pictures of some Northern Chalupistan infantry:

Two batteries of 120mm mortars

Medium recoilless rifle team

Two D30 122mm howitzer batteries

The figures from the top two pictures are Scotia modern Russian infantry, with French mortars and their "neutral" line of medium recoilless rifles. The D30 122mm howitzers plus crew are from Heroics & Ros modern Russians. Navwar used to make them, but not any more.

I took a lot more pictures than these, but they are pretty bad and no amount of Photoshop magic could save them. My big problem is lighting. The only time I get to take pictures of my minis is at night, and I don't have good lighting for this. These are the three that were the most presentable.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rise of the (Tiny) Machines...Part 2

Today, I managed to finish two of the robots that I got from eM-4 Miniatures.

Meet Boris and Terrance

I spray-painted them with Krylon brand chrome silver. I was hoping that that the spray paint would have given them a really high gloss, but that didn't really happen. I don't think it was all that much shinier than if I used a good hobby paint. I then mixed up a batch of Future floor finish with some india ink. Unlike some others who use this technique, I NEVER dilute with water!
I washed them with about three coats of the mixture, then let dry. The weapons were painted with gunmetal blue and gray.

Terrance looking pensive

Boris looking determined

Painting them was the easy part. What took me a long time was what to do with the bases. I am not a big fan of putting a lot of effort into the bases. To me, the focus of the miniature is the miniature. But, I figured that I might as well do something more than just paint and flock it. I have this big tube of caulk from a recent home improvement project. It seemed like it was just going to go to waste. So, I squished some out onto a piece of cardboard and then smeared it onto the bases. On boris, I stuck some junk on there: a piece of metal, a strip of cardboard, and a cut piece of a straw. Once dried, I painted it and then hit is with my Future-ink wash. In the flash forward scenes in the Terminator movies (I haven't seen the latest one), the ground cover is all a gray, like everything is covered with thick dust. I wanted it to look all slaggy, and everything in a gray. I didn't seem to turn out too bad.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Born To Be Wild

Along with the Terminator-like robots, I bought two bikers from eM-4 to futilely try to fight the mechanical hoards. Like the 'bots, they are pre-primed.

This guy looks a little like a beefier version of my friend Karl...with less hair. He also seems like he would be the leader of the biker gang. By his expression, he is not going to go down without a fight. In addition to looking for trouble, he has a passion for Chicago-style, Italian beef sandwiches.

eM-4 0066 Female biker w/SMG

No biker-gang leader should be without his old woman at his side. She looks pretty tough and wild, yet smart. Maybe its the cool shades. She probably does the books at Karl's motorcycle repair shop. I could name her after Karl's ex-wife, but instead, I'll just call her Bambi.

The rest of the biker gang can be seen on their website.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rise of the (Tiny) Machines

I got these robots from eM-4 Miniatures.

Not that I have scoured the universe, but these guys look closest to the cyborgs sans their outer flesh from the Terminator movie franchise than any other manufacturer. Another nice thing about them is that they are pre-primed. Not sure how I'm going to paint them, nor what I am going to do with them, but they were too cool to pass up.