Monday 25 February 2013

Kryomek Helcat repaint

 I've finished a quick repaint of my Helcat.  Rather than strip it back to bare metal I just put an extra layer over the existing blue colour scheme.  Base coat is Humbrol desert yellow 93 with Vallejo beastly brown and GW rotting flesh disruptive stripes.  A Vellejo sepia wash blends it all together.  Actually you can hardly see it in these photographs.  At some point I'll drybrush the base colours back over the camo pattern so that it stands out a little more, but for now it's ready for action!

Helcat with GZG NSL power armour and UNSC light infantry for scale.

Advantage of painting over existing colours was that I didn't need to repaint all the metal bits!

Note radiation warning panel left from previous paint job.

Sunday 24 February 2013

Size comparison pictures - GZG, CMG, The Scene, Rebel,

 I was asked about how the size of the Kaamados Dominion figures from Critical Mass Games compare to other figures, so I thought I'd take some group photographs.  I thought I may as well add in a few figures from a range of manufacturers, so here goes!

Because I like fairly small bases, bear in mind that all the non-GZG figures have had their cast-on bases filed down and glued onto washers (or 1p pieces in the case of the larger figures), so their heights may differ depending upon how other people base their figures.  I've started to abbreviate the names towards the end, just comment on the post if you need any extra info on which packs any of the figures come from (and apologies for any errors that might have crept in).  Click on each if you want a larger view.

L-R: GZG OUDF trooper, CMG Vivipara, GZG NSL hardsuit, CMG Draco Aganath Maxima, GZG tech, CMG Agaamid, GZG UNSC light infantry, CMG Protolene Khanate Hunter command

L-R: The Scene battle android, CMG Vivipara, GZG NAC Marine, CMG Draco, automata, CMG Agaamid, Rebel minis zombei hunter, The Scene zombie hunter

Next there are the power armoured figures on their own.

L-R: CMG Vivipara, GZG NSL Power Armour, CMG Draco, GZG NAC Power Armour (old), CMG ARC Fleet Augment, GZG NAC Power Armour (new), CMG Agaamid

L-R: NAC Power Armour (old), CMG Agaamid, GZG NAC Marine, CMG Vivipara, GZG Power Armour (new)
 Now the purely non power-armour figures:

L-R: The Scene battle android, CMG Protolene Khanate, GZG NAC Marine, automata, GZG NSL hardsuit, Rebel Minis zombie hunter, GZG tech, The Scene zombie hunter, GZG Light UNSC, GZG OUDF trooper
Finally, a mix of GZG figures showing the variation in size within a single company.

L-R (all GZG): NSL Power Armour, NAC PA (old) NAC PA (new), NAC Marine, NSL hardsuit, OUDF trooper, tech, Light UNSC
In conclusion, I think you'll probably agree that all the companies that I have featured today mix together very well.  The CMG powered armour towers over normal troops in a suitably intimidatory fashion but doesn't look out of place.  The rest all seem to be within the normal range of height variation you'd expect within a population and hey - this is science fiction!  Low or high gravity worlds will no doubt affect people's height and build, providing a good excuse for anyone who appears to be outside the norm.

Sunday 17 February 2013

Dungeon Furniture

 My Hirst Arts dungeon needs furniture to provide extra character - and additional places to search for treasure!  Most of the furniture has been made from balsa scraps.  In some cases I engrave plank lines with a pencil (see tables).  Painting is usually with Insribe acrylic burnt umber with taupe drybrushed highlights to try and give a well-aged Oak appearance.

The bookcase - I have 2 of these, now they just need books!

A bed with modelling clay pillow and furs.

I'm particularly pleased with the way the fur turned out.

A more civilised bed with a blanket.

Barrels carved from balsa with paper hoops.

Chairs - a bit fiddly to make!

Table and benches.  I have lots of these.

Table using Hirst Arts block and balsa (as suggested by Bruce himself)

Stairs.  Not exactly furniture but they can be moved between rooms.

Woo-hoo!  Just realised this was my 200th post!  Thanks to everyone who reads my random ramblings, it's good to feel like I'm part of a larger community of gamers and I'm glad if anyone can find inspiration from my blog in the same way that I am inspired by so many others!

Saturday 16 February 2013

Hirst Arts Dungeon

Last Sunday was one of the regular games days that we run for our Scouts and Explorer Scouts.  An excellent day as always, we start at 10:30 and finish at 4:00 and usually have pizza and chips for lunch.  This time we had noodles, rice, spring rolls, sweet and sour chicken and more to celebrate Chinese New Year!

Our 20 eager players had a range of games from which to choose.  The games day had given me a good reason to get on and actually paint the Hirst Arts dungeon that I've been building for at least 2 years now.  A plain white plaster dungeon just doesn't have the same presence as a nice painted dungeon, especially if you add some extra bits of scenery and give it all a suitable grimy appearance!

My dungeons are assembled using a cork tile base with floor tiles and wall blocks plaster cast from Hirst Arts moulds.  I've used some of Bruce Hirst's designs and added a few of my own too.  They've been base coated in a watered down mix of PVA and black poster paint (1 litre of paint for £1 seemed good value but I've discovered that you need the PVA to give it a rub-proof surface).  Using Wilkinson's £1 tester pots I applied a blotchy java bean brown pattern and then added some dabs of urban jungle green along the edges of the corridors where I imagine it'd get pretty damp and mouldy.  Some smaller patches of envy green added to the effect.  After this I gave a very heavy semi-drybrush of stone grey, then a very light drybrush of silver grey.  Additional drybrushing with nutmeg spice and coffee brown along the middle of the corridors finished things off (dirty adventurers tracking mud from outside - no wonder the dungeon denizens get angry and attack them!).

A view of the complete dungeon.

The dungeon was revealed in sections as the adventurers explored.  I used very basic Heroquest rules to keep it extremely fast and easy to play.  Adventurers included a wizard, female warrior (counted as an Elf), a gladiator (counted as another Elf) and a knight (counted as a barbarian).

The dungeon entrance...

A Beastman guards the fountain (water still to be added!)

Warrior maiden and wizard prepare to fight a goblin.

Goblin bed chamber.

I wonder if any treasure is hidden here?

Just an empty bookshelf...?

A strong draught blows from behind - could it be...

... a secret passage!
A brave knight emerges from the secret passage into the daylight.

Stairs to a higher level of the dungeon...

... can be removed...

... to allow other uses of the room!

A partially barred gateway within the dungeon.

What's behind this grate?  Something damp by the look of it.
The forces of Chaos peer from within their lair

General view of some of the dungeon bits.

I like how the window turned out.

Note the algae / water stains running down the wall.

Corridor with arrow loops.

We also had a quick game of the old GW classic Dungeonquest which I got for only £5 in a GW mega-sale some 18 years ago.  This is played on a large board where you pick room/corridor tiles at random as you explore a castle.  You get 4 plastic figures with the game.  My friend Graham has painted the figures in almost all his games and I've done virtually none of mine.  I quickly painted up these figures the night before in attempt to alleviate some of my shame!

Dungeonquest Barbarian and Knight.

Dungeonquest Adventurer and Ranger.

Next time... some furniture for the dungeon!

Thursday 7 February 2013

Kaamados Dominion

The Kaamados Dominion from Critical Mass Games are providing a nice selection of power-armoured troops for my Tomorrow's War games.

Click for a larger image...

I've had these waiting to be painted for a couple of years now, even though I decided on a colour scheme back in April 2011.  I've finally finished cleaning up the last few, filling the bases and sticking them onto 1p pieces.  They're a mixture of Agaamids, Vivipara and a Draco Aganath Maxima battlesuit.

I still need to finish painting them and I want to drill out the gun barrels too, but they're shaping up nicely.

I have quite a few Protolene Khanate troops finished too, must take some pictures of them next time!

Sunday 3 February 2013


 Some Ground Zero Games Ravagers from packs SG15-X06 and SG15-X07.  I've used a mixture of browns, greys and greens on most of them with the occasional red, blue or purple to add detail.

I still need to finish painting the last four. I've gone for a fairly scruffy look on all of them.

 They'll be in use as rebels, bandits and the like although some might get to be heroes from time to time if they're well behaved!