Friday, June 29, 2012

There's something going wrong around here...

Ahh, Joe Jackson, gotta love him.

I have been thinking a lot about this blog lately. Perhaps it’s because I have been reading The Frontline Gamer so much, and he regularly self analyzes his blog. I know I should post more, so why don’t I? I think it’s because, unless I am reporting on an event, I strive for the absolute best I can do.  And I spend so much time trying to make a post better that posting takes forever. I guess it’s a kind of performance anxiety.

So in order to combat this, I’ve decided to start a new “feature”. Every weekend I will take some pics of whatever I have been working on and talk about it. I will just knock it out and try not to treat it like I am trying to get a Pulitzer.  I suppose at some point I’ll come up with a snappy name, but for now let’s go with “Update”.

So on to Update#1.

Several months ago I posted about the Blue Moon SF buildings. I have been working on one of them and here are some in process pics.

I’m going for the full weather beaten effect. It was base coated with some Testor’s desert tan, sponce painted with Polly-Scale concrete. The doors were painted with a tarnished steel. Everything was sealed with several coats of Testor’s Dullcote.

After I did the hair spray and salt application (type "salt weathering technique" on YouTube), I coated it with several shades of Testor’s enamel using a cheapo airbrush I picked up from Harbor Freight for about $10 (I didn’t want to gum up my good airbrushes which I shoot acrylic through). I did a little bit of dry brushing on some of the window louvers.

After if all dried I ran it under warm water and used a stiff brush to remove the salt and achieve the chipped effect. I had thought using enamel would help hold better where the salt wasn’t, but the hair spray lifted as well and I ended up with a more weather beaten effect than I planned. The black on the roof edge was an experiment; I think I will go with more of a charcoal grey. Still to do is rust spotting and an overall dusting and it should be done.

I should also note some physical mods I made to the kit. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the roof section was not quite as long as the building so I added a shim. I also put two locator strips on the underside of the roof. For the communication dish I added a small brass tube to insert into a hole at the top of the tower so that I could take it off for transport. You can see in the picture below the pewter mast is too soft and is bending where it attached to the dish. I will replace it completely with brass rod.

Well, that’s it for Update #1. I’ll see you next week (if not sooner). Please let me know what you think.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Great Slippery Slope

Being like most gamers, I am sitting on a vast, ecological disaster sized pile of lead.

And yet lately I have been hungering for a new game.

Perhaps it is because for the last few years I have been focused on 15mm and now look for something in 28mm. Perhaps it's because I have been reading too many game reviews over at The Frontline Gamer. Perhaps it's because I am a total gaming slut and cannot remain loyal to just one game.

Be that as it may, I boiled things down to Freebooter's Fate and Infinity. Now while these choices could indicate Frontline's bloody fingerprints all over my decision. In all honesty, I was thinking about these games for a while and searching for reviews on them is, in fact, how I discovered that blog. So to help make the choice I threw it over to my frequent gaming buddy krimso.

Now before I get to the choice, I'd like to share a little bit of what went into the choice.

Both games have exquisite figures and are exquisitely priced ($10-14/per individual figure). But beyond the figures, you have to look at over all entry cost. I am consistently amazed at new games that come out with $50 hard back books. I live in the USA, in one of its highest populated states. Despite that, it is very hard to find opportunities to try out new games. My impression is that in the UK - well England anyway - gaming clubs are much more common and opportunities to try before you buy are higher. I often have to try new games from a "cold start" - I buy a rule book and two starter armies (so I can sucker in an opponent). In the case of Freebooter's fate this is $150 investment in a game purely based on a few reviews you read on line. I'm also interested in Carneval which is a similar proposition. This is a tough hurdle to overcome.

So the choice of new game is Infinity - they have free rules on their website to get started (full rules - not neutered "starter rule", I was able to convince krimso to give it a go so I only had to buy one starter set (which I got for $30 on ebay). Now if I like the game, I'll get the rulebook but I'll now what I'm into by then. If I don't like it, I'm not even out the $30 as I could easily use them with StarGrunt.

I really think game companies need to think about this more. If Freebooter's Fate had free rules (and didn't require unique cards to play) it might have been the game my buddy and I are getting into now.

If you're still curious, I went with Aleph -

I also got some really nice bases from Dragon Forge, their Omega Prime line....

Hey, wait a minute! Maybe this IS all Frontline's fault!

I get to play a Game!

Rather an odd title for a blog about gaming...

These days between work and family life, I don’t get to play a game as often as I’d like. So it was with great pleasure that a couple weeks ago I got to help krimso work on a game for NJCON 4.
Halfling village

Krimso and I are both very fond of the of the Ares skirmish rules. We like that they are based on a die types varying with skill (harkening back to StarGrunt – a personal favorite), and flexible enough to cover any mini you have. Now krimso has been bit by the orders bug from playing Rackham’s Ragnarok and has been looking for a way to incorporate them in a game that uses more figures than a pure skirmish, but less than that of an element or large base type of game. On this night we played a scenario using his latest Ares cocktail.
Just after Kobold start

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Frontline Gamer

Just wanted to jot a few words about another blog, The Frontline Gamer.
The purpose of this is two fold.

First it's the blog's one year birthday and he is holding a follower drive. Every time his follower count passes a certain threshold he gives away a prize. Mention the birthday in your blog an you get an extra chance and he is giving away some tasty stuff. SO this ends the mercenary part.

The second is it really is a splendid blog. I stumbled on it a few months ago and it has become one of a handful of blogs that I follow religiously. FLG (if I may be so informal) writes many entries a week covering reviews of games, figures, and game related shows. In addition, and my favorite, are the more philosophical Sunday Sermon entries. Among my favorites are "Are you in an abusive relationship?" and "Don't play this game it'll die!". He has the talent for being thought provoking without being rabid - a rare talent on the internet!

I was happy to discover the blog was only one year old, and have set myself the task of reading every entry since inception. So go forth (all 5 of you that read my blog) and give it a look!