Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Painting a Warmachine Cryx starter force

I was with my friend Jeff recently at a gaming store, and we were admiring the Warmachine sculpts on display. Both of us have noticed Warmachine before these last 10 years, but we never tried it as we were distracted with other systems.

However, this time, I'm not sure why, but I decided to give it a try. I thus bought the Two Player Battle Box starter set, containing the good guys Cygnar and the bad buys Cryx. I had plans to paint both sides months from now, as I am in the middle of other projects.

However, I was surprised (though I shouldn't be) when Jeff later told me he has some Cygnar forces already painted, and that I should just paint the other faction in the box, the Cryx and try it out when we have some free time over the Christmas holidays.

I was in the middle of finishing off my GW Khorne troops and decided to immediately stop doing them and do a mad dash and paint the Cryx forces...

However, it's 14 Cryx minis.. 10 infantry, 1 warcaster (a wizard) and 3 fantasy robots called "Jacks." (though I kept calling them in my mind Mechs). I'm a slow-painter, so I didn't know if I can paint 14 minis in a week or two.

The minis themselves at first put me off. I was expecting GW level of mini quality, but noticed that the minis that came in the box seemed not as good. I had a fear at first these were soft plastic boardgame level minis..

but I was pleased I was mistaken and that these minis are not bad as they had crisp, sharp edges..

The only thing I didn't like was all the assembling..

...but that's par for the course in our hobby.

I quickly assembled them..

14 minis in a short period of time meant tabletop quality at best.. but that's good enough for me. The days years ago where I killed myself to paint 1 mini super super nice, are long gone. I want to field minis to play wargames, not paint 1 mini just to put it on a shelf.

I started with the infantry first, the Bane Warriors.. who looked a little cartoony to be honest.. they reminded me of the Ninja Turtles cartoon.. but whatever.. cartoony look it is.  Started on their face.

and just highlighted their armour (a quick hack with guys in armour).

Took a lot of effort given my Christmas deadline during my spare time, but I finished off the 10 infantry.

Next up was the warcaster.. the sorcerer type in the Warmachine universe that controls the magical Jacks.

I did a quick inking hack using green ink on the smoky ghost part, which saved me some time.

and then quickly finished up the upper torso...

The robot Jacks were simple enough..

Worked on the green magic glow first as they seemed the most need for painting focus.. 

and the rest after that was easy using Cryx colours..

Anyways, I did it and am ready to try out Warmachine over the holidays.  No time to paint them this weekend, or the Christmas weekend after that, so I just barely did it if were to have a game between Christmas and New Years.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Experimenting with hairspray to show the paint chipping effect

I came across a passing reference a day or so ago somewhere on the internet about people using common hairspray to do the paint chip effect on rusted metal. I've tried the chipping effect before, but was put off with buying those tiny bottles that seem overpriced.

I decided today that I got some hours to kill, so I'd test it out with a plumbing thingy I bought a while back to do another experiment of sorts.

First though, when I was at the mall today, I bought some cheap women's hairspray at the dollar store.

I then scraped off all the "Made in" and other identifying markers on the plumbing thing and painted  a rusty-coloured undercoat..

I then heavily spray painted it with hairspray.. I put on like two coats, and it seems to have dried fast.

Then I spray painted it yellow over the dried hairspray..

After the paint dried, I then took some water and an old toothbrush and started scrubbing..

Only, nothing was happening, so I decided to put in some paint thinner in the water, and it started to come off..

I think I put in too much paint thinner, as more paint was coming off than I wanted and stopped a lot earlier than I imagined.

 I then took my dremel and made some darker gashes just to see how it looked.

As the water on the plumbing thingy was drying off, I built a base as this thing can look like industrial piping for Shadow War or Necromunda..

I cut off the corners so it can look more natural, and put in cheap air-hardening clay, with some rocks.

I painted the clay while it was still hardening and then flocked it.

This is not bad. the chipping effect look is not bad, though I overdid it.

I am not sure in my experiment though, what the hairspray did.. is it dissolving when coming into contact with the water and paint thinner, allowing the yellow paint to come off with it, or is the water and thinner dissolving the paint, with the undercoat protected by the hairspray, which had hardened like varnish.

I definitely need to try more of this, but I am pleased with the results. Honestly, it did not take very long to do this. The longest I waited was 2 hours for the clay to harden a bit..

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Master of Orion is not what I expected, but it's a fine tableau game

I played two relatively light board games with my friends Jim, Pixie and CB:  Master of Orion and Toledo.

My friends were dog-sitting, so we had a fifth player of sorts at our table. 

Master of Orion

Twenty years ago, my friend Jim and I played Master of Orion 2 (MOO 2) on the computer. It was a no brainer then that we both recently bought it on Steam for something like $3 recently, just for the nostalgia.

It was a Civ game but in space, with a sufficiently large space map to go forth and 4X and all that.

When we heard that MOO was coming out on a board game, we were both pleased. However, it was with some disappointment to learn that the game will have no exploration, no space tiles.. indeed, no space ship meeples to move around. No dimensional Antarans either, to wreak havoc unlike the computer game.

It was, I found out, horror of horrors, a card game. Pure card games usually bore me so I was not too enthused to play. The only card game I like is hold'em poker to be honest, and have no interest in Magic the Gathering and all that stuff.

However, this was MOO we're talking about, and I was mollified to hear it was a tableau game. I recently played a tableau game, 51st State, so I was ready to give it a shot.

I went in playing with the same shrug as the Human on my race card in the game.

The computer game had something like 16 races to choose from, but from what I can see, the board game had only 6 races to play. Perhaps they envisage expansions.

As a tableau game, it won't blog well, so I will just gloss over play. I found I liked the game despite no map nor exploration. I don't think you can even exterminate other players, so it's 2X at that.

The cards themselves are nice and glossy, with really nice art work, which was a pleasure to look at.

It's basically a scramble for victory points, with abstract attacks not done to take over planets like in the computer game, but to lower the other guy's morale. If basically you have a bigger fleet than your opponent, you lower their morale automatically when attacking.

The whole game can be played quickly, so such things as customizing individual ships, are not done.

In the computer game, you're constantly offered advisors to govern individual planets to min/max a planet's stats. In this game, you get a choice of something like 5 or 6 advisors to choose from only. I employed Kuruk, not for an individual planet, but for empire-wide benefits.

You basically manage 5 planetary systems, represented by 5 columns of cards, so it's manageable.

And that is about it.. we quickly got into the groove of things, and the game cards offered enough strategy and stimulus to keep us going to the end, which did not take long.

Would I play it again? Yes.. I seem to be fine with tableau card games.

Does it feel like the computer game? No. It's way different, but for generic sci-fi, this is just fine to be honest.


In Toledo, from the famous game designer Martin Wallace, we play families of master sword-makers out to impress the Spanish (presumably Habsburg) Emperor in his palace, with gifts of master swords which we fashion out of jewels and steel.

Spain, of course, was renowned for "Spanish steel" since at least the Roman times (the Gladius Iberius and all that), and Toledo was the place to craft them.

In this game, we are in the Renaissance period. 

Our 5 meeples start off in the cathedral and try to wind up in the palace on the top right,

all the while picking up jewels and steel to make as fine a sword as we can. You also can try to buy art from El Greco, a famous Greek painter in the Renaissance, who was based in Toledo, for additional victory points. 

The rules are easy, but there is some thinking in the game, as you try to maximize your movement/currency cards to their full effect.

You can engage in simple "duels" and can find yourself bumped off back to your starting point, even if you're on the cusp of reaching the palace.We engaged in some of that rivalry and that lent to the enjoyment of the game.

Like MOO, this pick up and deliver game does not lend itself to blow-by-blow blogging. Suffice to say, it was a cute light game that was not bad  to fill in the time.

All in all, a pleasant game session.