Monday, April 17, 2017

Space Marines (Continued)

I found a few Space Marines weeks ago. I keep finding just enough parts to build a couple more. These three are mostly painted. I thought I would try a little red highlight on the figures to switch it up.

(Obvious, I have never played Warhammer 40K.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Amarillo Design Bureau Freighters, Kitbashed

Starfleet Battles is an intensely detailed and competitive game. For the longest time, how ADB designed ships was a secret. A few years ago, the team took a shot at rules to modify ships. The rules were written, but then abandoned by the authors. The general problem was Starfleet Battles ships have a power curve, meaning the ships should have limitations and abilities based on speed. It is easy to modify a ship to reduce or eliminate a limitation.

The nice thing about ADB is they have a rich history of two-way player support. They post rules for players to try before launching a product. Very often those products are loaded with player created content.

ADB correctly assessed that modification was not good for the product line, but then posted it for player's home campaigns. Personally, I like to use it for freighters. Freighters have a long life and well, they are often used ships with odd histories. They also don't fight very well, so modifying one doesn't unbalance things too much.

The freighter above has an extra sensor box, hence the large antenna. As a backstory, the ship was modified by Starfleet and then they realized the hull itself caused sensor performance problems. That and the antenna took up cargo space defeating the purpose of the ship in two different ways. It also causes a strange shimmy when accelerating and a terribly annoying whistle in the comms.


This ship is modded to have two extra hull boxes. In game terms, the extra boxes gives the ship more survivable without really giving it any real combat edge.

The backstory behind this modification is grandma and granddad promised to give a grandson their ship to carry on the family freight business. The problem was, the family business wasn't very profitable, so granddad and grandma built a retirement module on the ship before signing over the title. Worse, grandma and granddad don't talk much any more, so everything is rather awkward.

The S3 rules for Starfleet Battles are very comprehensive and nice for the friendly game but really very terrible for a fair game. However, if you kitbash ships, they are a handy reference of what is technically possible via the rules.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Amarillo Design Bureau's Starfleet Battles Freighters #MiniatureMonday

(Updated based on the ADB Facebook page. Go ahead and like them.)

Amarillo Design Bureau does several series of ships for Starfleet Battles, 2400 and 2500 series. The major difference between the two series is scale, however general ships like these freighters are the same size between these two series. Backward compatible if you like. :)

Once or twice a year ADB packages up all of the ships with defects or flaws that makes them generally unsalable and sells them by the pound.

I didn't mean to post about the scrapyard ships, but why not? Its a cool and cheap way to get into kitbashing and SFB.

These two ships were painted with Vallejo paints. The white piece holding the ship is a piece of soapstone with an arc cut into it to cradle the ships for painting.



In my next post, I will show a couple of freighters that I modified. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Quit and win while you are ahead

Ah, Fixit.com, you saved the day once again. Our PlayStation 4 was overheating and the warranty was long gone, so into the case I went with a Fixit.com manual.

But Fixit.com can be dangerous. Sometimes, a little foresight can save you a lot of headaches.

Item one, my fan was not making any notes.
Item two, I have a can of air that didn't make a bit of different from outside the case.
Item three, I wasn't sure it was the fan.
Item four, I didn't have a replacement fan.


After dealing with the annoying security screws, I was fed up. I was looking at a 23 step guide and wondering what I would do if it wasn't dust. The image above was the point where I was about to give up. And then I noticed the solution right in front of my face. 

This is step five from Fixit.com. I can see the fan. If my can of air was going to work, this is the point where I needed to try. I could disassembled the whole thing to take the fan out, but I had been wrestling with screws and dust dobermans already. Time to quit. 

One blast of air filled the room with dust. I was on to something. While I was doing this, I sent the kids over to clean up our PlayStation 4's cage. Vacuuming, dusting, putting all those discs away would help our little PS4 in the long run. I didn't even reassemble it, once the area was clean, I plugged it in and tried it. And it worked. After 20 minutes, I was convinced I had the problem beat. 

I had the kids dust off the TV and collect up cable while I put the PS4 back together. And we are all happy again. 

Fixit.com is wonderful, the handman's go to textbook. However, just because it can be done doesn't mean you should actually do everything. Sometimes, a little forethought is needed to use what tools you have correctly and responsibly. 

Yet again, thank you Fixit.com for your wonderful guides. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

New Paints, New Figures



A few weeks ago, I began paint figures for the first time in perhaps 7 to 10 years. My first problem was that I was out of practice. The second problem was my paints, a wonderful set of Windsor & Newton Designer Acrylics. The were wonderful before every other container dried out. Obvious, keeping paints in the basement, then the garage is not a great storage method. It is only natural that they dry out.

In looking for a new set of paints, I checked out some of my favorite painters and modelers. There is a lot of variety and style for modelers, but one name kept coming up: Vajello paints



The set pictured to the right is the Medieval pallet. The 16 colors are great for a variety of styles and models, not just the Middle Ages. Each bottle is 17 ml, a little more than 1/2 an ounce. The bottles all have a dropper style cap which is handy for mixing.

I have tried them out on a variety of subjects, from robots to animals and like them a lot. However, each of these tests were on previously painted figures that needed repairs.

In the next post, I will be working on three unpainted figures. Right now, I have them based on 1 inch wooden nickles and they are primed in flesh tone.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A not so #miniaturemonday post - Figures with Flair - January 18th, 2017

I missed #miniaturemonday, but I do have some figures to show off. Please excuse the blur as I haven't had time to get out the nice camera.

First, two D&D figures.

This rogue is one of my favorites. He is based off of Jubal in the Thieves World series of books. He has a bit of grey hair and a multi-colored outfit. He holds a dark colored staff.

I wish I could remember the manufacturer of this figure. This figure is pretty old, and the base shows signs of age. I will likely rebase this figure and give him a new coat of gloss coat.

I especially liked doing the mismatched green and red. for his sleeves. It's a hint of flair for an otherwise normal rogue.

From about the same time period, I have a simple bard with lute. He was my character in several AD&D adventures.

When my friends and I played AD&D, we rotated turns as DM and had a shared world. It was rather interesting as your "main" would become an NPC. One of our rules was to have NPC acquire wealth and experience, but never any magical items.

As a result of this rule, we had many game breaking characters and magic items. The main issue was not power creep as you would expect, but a combination of unique magic items and the courtesy of returning favors. The end result was a bunch of characters with very non-standard gear in large amounts as six DM's doling out goodies was a little too much.

The last item is a cool "unseen" mecha from Battletech. As you can see, he has taken a lot of damage. Before painting this figure, I took a Dremel to the nose and wing. I then washed a propane torch over the entire figure to give it a bubbled and softened look, as if it had walked through fire.

The figure rippled a little too much under the torch, but I still liked the effect.

I would imagine that the pilot was lucky to be alive as the cockpit was very nearly holed. I like figures with character that hint at a little background and story.  








Monday, January 9, 2017

#MechaMonday January 9th, 2017 - Adeptus Titanicus

In the process of cleaning out my basement, I have come across some wonderful old figures. Back in the 1980s I recall spending many weekends playing Adeptus Titanicus. As near as I can tell, this game came out in 1988.

All that I have left of the set is the rule book sans cover and 8 Titans, only 2 of which are painted. I believe the set came with 8-12. I'd love to get my hands on more.

Lately, I have painting Space Marines. When I finish those I hope to move onto these Titans. So many toys, so little time.