Friday, December 30, 2016

My workbench: Painting Stargate SG-1 Skullcap, Serpent Guard, Staff Cannon Jaffa troops

I found the original Stargate movie unappealing, but I very much liked the TV show Stargate SG-1 (and Stargate Atlantis) and have seen all 10 seasons. It kinda reminded me of the original Star Trek, at least in the early seasons, with its emphasis on exploring new worlds. The universe also reminded me of the Fringeworthy RPG from the 80s, the first interdimensional RPG complete with it's own stargate system. 

Accordingly in 2015, I painted Phoenix Miniatures' Stargate terrain (as you can see and vote on it on Coolmini)

I have now finally gotten around to the Jaffa troops, the army the Goa'uld System Lords employ to subjugate worlds and fight among themselves.

They are unique because of their energy staff weapons, and I would like to one day pit them against some dimensional foe.. I can see it now,  Jaffa Serpent Guards vs Star Wars Stormtroopers..

But first, I need to paint them.

I bought whatever packs Phoenix Miniatures had for sale off some guy from ebay.

These sculpts seemed a bit delicate, "skinny" and short for 25mm (and are not 28mm), but they are good enough I suppose. 

Serpent Guards, in case you never watched the show, are the guys in the big elaborate Egyptian-themed armour..

Jaffa Skullcaps are the guys with just, well, a metal helmet, as you can see with First Prime (retired) Bre'tac, below.

 The staff cannon is artillery

A First Prime is basically the commanding General of a System Lord's army, with a gold etching on his forehead, like you see above with Bre'tac.

An issue I encountered was what colour the troops are.. Gray, Aqua-Marine or Brown? Some episodes even have them in red (the Jaffa troops under the System Lord Sokar I believe)..

I suppose it makes sense they are in different colours,  since they are a feudal army commanded by different System Lords..

Since most of the episodes the Jaffa are in this dull metallic and gray combination, I went with that.

I based them using milliput, though I had to put the Jaffa Cannon one on a larger base.

As always, I worked on the eyes and face first on the skullcap troops, as if you don't get that right, don't bother continuing.

I painted some underlying black first where the chainmail is.

then painted the rest in metal..

However, the metal needed shading, so I put on some GW Drakenhof Nightshade and it seems to have worked.

The First Prime with the gold etching on his forehead

After that, I just flocked it. I was thinking to use a desert base, but most of the TV show was based on forest worlds (given it was filmed in BC Canada, which is very forestry), so I went with that.
Please feel free to vote on Coolmini, with 1 being the lowest, 10 the highest, and 5 good enough for table top play, here

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My workbench: Flash Point firemen miniatures

My friend P. recently bought a boardgame for her kids called Flash Point: Fire Rescue and she asked me to paint up the firemen that came with game..

I don't own the game myself, but did not mind painting them if it will give the kids a smidgen more enjoyment.

The minis are simple soft-plastic sculpts typical of boardgames..

In other words, not much to work with.. Still, I gave it the old college try..

Primed them up easily enough and decided to copy the box cover, putting the firemen in yellow.

I won't bore you with the details as there is not much to work with. It is a boardgame after all, with a need to differentiate the meeples, so I decided to paint their helmets and canister on their back in different colours.

I promised P. that I would put something on their bases to spruce things up, but I found the firemen's legs and holding the hose mid-chest make it too hard to put something on the base.. I thus couldn't put anything significant on their base even though I had plenty of crates and fences and such that I was willing to cut up.

I also didn't want to rebase the firemen as they are not my minis and also, I don't know how much or how little space they need to play the game.

So, decided to add "smoke" using cotton balls.

A little black spray paint to add to the smoke effect.. 

and added glue to their bases in order to pin the "smoke."

And voila..

Did not take very long and I hope the kids' enjoyment of the game is enhanced.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Saturday, December 17, 2016 enjoyable sports boardgame

My friend Jeff recently acquired on ebay the sports game Slaughterball (by a company called - get this- Frog The What Games) with all it's kickstarter extras..

I don't mind sports games even though in real life, I don't watch a lot of sports. So I've tried out sports games in the past. I have played Blood Bowl over the years, and recently bought the latest version of it (see my BB unboxing here).  I liked Dreadball as well but absolutely loathed Kaosball in my one and only play of the game (which I detail here.)

Still, always willing to give new games a shot.

We played 2 games tonight, one with the basic rules and one with the team skills that certain types of players may have. The game has four types of players that can be identified by the geometric shape of their bases.

  • Razors, which are good ball players, represented by a circular base. 
  • Cleavers and Slashers are mid-tier players, in between being agile ball players and muscle, as represented by a star and hexagon base respectively. 
  • Butchers are big hulking brutes which are slow but pack the bruising capabilities, as evidenced by a square base. 

The basic game  has two map boards which represents a steel pit, where teams of sci fi types well.. slaughter each other.. in a basketball or perhaps a Jai Alai type of game.  There are points for scoring it in the hoop or hole in the wall of course, but also points for knocking down and hurting players.

The sculpts are not very detailed and are typical boardgame-quality soft plastic..

However, the star player miniatures that must have come from the kickstarter seemed to be better sculpted.

Wonky dice with strange symbols .... with the blade symbol the one we were aiming for with every roll..

 The mapboard is nice though, with plenty of room to maneuver. 

The guy Jeff bought it off did the kickstarter as I mentioned, so Jeff had all the extra goodies.. extra teams, new maps..

I was amused at the "Tom Vasel" star player card (Tom Vasel in case you don't know, is a famous game reviewer).

But I digress.. My friends Jeff, Jim and I just played the core 3 player game version tonight, twice.

The game I found was very luck-based, with an enjoyable mechanic typical of sports games that gets the ball scattering all over the place..

As the ball was always scattering, one had to constantly shift tactics and pay attention to score..

.... and while you're trying to get the ball to score, you have to keep an eye on opportunities to bash the other guy for points as well.

Our game saw lots of knocked-down players with piled up the bodies in the pit and in the slaughter pen that represents hurt players..

You can also attack prone players to get them injured, but risk going to the penalty box if the other player has the right card.

 Speaking of cards, they add options to one's tactics..

Luckily, game play is balanced with the cards and there are not too many "gotcha" cards like this fumble card..

though you\ll need cards to get out of the slaughter pen and the penalty box..

Anyways, in both games but especially in the second one, scoring was close and it was a toss up at the end on who would win.

Thumbs up! I enjoyed Slaughterball.