Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Steampunk behemoths turning with laser precision 

I am starting to really enjoy Dystopian Wars. Like a lot of people I noticed in the rule book there is a photo of some acrylic turning templates. The only way to get them was when they were being given away as promos, or to win a set. So I decided to draw up my own and send them to be fabricated. Carlos at Mechanical Warhorse fixed me up and now my fleet is making turns with laser cut precision.

There is nothing wrong with the free cardboard ones spartan supplies in the boxed sets, but the acrylic ones are superior. The raised edge acts as guide to aid in the turning of the models. The transparent nature allows you to see the position of the other models in a fleet to avoid possible collisions. 
There are a few other suppliers of similar templates but they didn't look very steampunk. I am super proud of my cog design.


Looks cool
Templates with personal design
Raised edge to aid model movement
The firing ark template helps when targeting with multiple turrets 


Not free
Had to draw the design myself
Firing ark template is missing one minor line
The edges have been buffed smooth reducing the sharp look

laser cut goodness
flash+light blue sheet= invisible

they look better on the green
this is missing a line near my thumb

I like design more than the Spartan ones

transparent, I like it
I should have made the top edge 1'' 

helps with using multiple turrets

overlaid on the originals perhaps
a 0.5mm difference 
 edge of the template aids in movement

I like it

Friday, 21 September 2012

When It Rains.

These last two weeks has been a busy time for me. Gaming wise and in the real world too.
I've managed to get in two games of Dystopian Wars land battles, five games of my new hotness Zombicide and my DnD group also ran the lair-assault spiderkiller.  I have really enjoyed them all. The Dystopian Wars games have really invigorated my love of table war-games. I got into DW as a filler game before getting back into 40K, so I didn't just go and drop a load of cash on a 40K army and proceed to never paint it. So far it seems to be working, but I am salivating over the new 40K book and its new rules, so far I like what I have seen.
Britannia surges forward 

Giant Tiberium crystals
Terrain formed a choke point and the center
of the map became a slaughter house

Armored goliaths clash

Zombicide a simple game of zombie survival, full of pop-culture references and lovable tropes. I have managed five games so far and they have all been fun. When I have a few more games under my belt I will post some of my thoughts. 

My character Phil is dragged out of his police car and devoured
  after he had managed  to run over more than 30 zombies

The lair assault was a blast with only one PC killed we managed to kill the evil Drow priestess before she opened the portal to the demon web.
Notable moments include

  •  a paladin falling backwards over a underground waterfall as he unleashed a spell that killed two Drow and the giant spider that had dragged him into the waterfall
  • the fighter being cursed with slowness and crawling towards the fight arriving just in time to land the final blow on the BB
  • the great-bow armed woodelf ranger going blind, but still managing to sneak undetected into the hidden temple and knock the Drow priestess backwards with a powerful bow-shot, interrupting her ritual  
  • the DM allowing the boat that contained a pair of dying and immobilised players to make a saving throw to catch on the rocks as it slid over the edge of the water fall, it caught and the ranger made her saving death roll, untangled herself healed the fighter just in time for them to jump clear of the boat as it slid off the rocks and plummeted into the depths. This kind act prevented a TPK it was not really in the spirit of the lair assaults but was a tone of fun. 
I notice that WotC have released another lair assault. This time the party all play as Drow, a race that is renown for its treachery. I hope they include some screw your neighbours mechanics in this encounter.

Other stuff

As well as gaming I have also managed to indulge my love of miniature painting. It's a pity my talent just doesn't match my enthusiasm. I will just have to keep painting until I develop my mad skilz.
I managed to paint a few more of my HeroQuest miniatures. The Goblin with his hand forged sword, four bad ass looking chaos warriors and the evil chaos wizard.
All that is standing between me and my childhood dream of a painted HeroQuest set are four heroes and a gargoyle. I plan to give the heroes the best paint job I can manage and I will try to document the process.

Chaos minions, assemble!
I will blog the process of painting these

My shipment of custom laser cut goodies from Mechanical Warhorse arrived. Some clear bases for Arkham Horror Mansions of Madness for a friend, two sets of DW turning templates, DW firing ark templates and a bunch of sample damage tokens for Dystopian Wars. I will provide some more pictures of this stuff after I have a chance to a play a game with them.

I think my design is better than the Spartan ones

Last but no means least I have slowly been transferring my random scribbles and ideas into Google Docs drive and out of this mess of random thoughts a Rogue Trader campaign forms. I will never take the work my DM dose for granted ever again. Trying to balance encounters and concoct scenarios that provide thoughtful and interesting role-play opportunities is damn hard.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


Is what I said when I laid eyes on this Kickstarter.  They took it and then I waited... Four months later and now I've got ZOMBIES! lots of zombies.
I will need to see if the guys are up for surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Big game box.
 High quality linen card stock.
Kickstarter Zombicide T-shirt.

Kickstarter signed lithograph.
Additional game tiles for double game space.

Additional zombies
What about the Zombies?

Now that is a horde of zombies.
Plastic trays provide good box control.

5 shamblers, 2 runners, 1 fatty &
1 abomination. lots of variety in the sculpts
Heroes and one extra abomination.

The heroes look good.
I cant wait to slap some paint on them.

Good level of detail.
No warping of the guns or blades.

Three additional early release Heroes.
Sheldon Cooper  Dave the Geek
John McClane  Nick Walker
Machete    El Cholo
Three sets of dice, tokens, game tiles
& two sets of game cards the extra
set is for big games using all the zombies and
game tiles.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Renewed shall be blade that was broken

This is a recount of my second attempt to pressmold a replacement sword for a HeroQuest goblin. I needed to create two new molds as the liquid greenstuff was not a suitable material and left them ruined. The new molds were created in the same manner as the fist. This time I just used more putty for the sword ramming it down into the mold to insure there no air-gaps. I left it over night to harden and when removed I trimmed it to shape, removing all the flash. each half of the sword was at least as thick as the original so I carefully shaved it to the correct thickness and glued them together. The result is about 1mm to thick, but more than acceptable. I think next time a small file will produce better results than shaving with an x-acto knife.

Look at him all high and mighty with that sword.
lots of flash.
I cast two sets just in case.
It's good that the swords are a little flexible, so they don't snap when getting  shaved to size.
Halves glued together. I think they look good.
Painted some liquid greenstuff into the seem. I guess it's not useless after all.
Finished! Now to see if  my DM noticed that I coped up his mini. Perhaps I can forge some swords for him if he needs any.

Friday, 7 September 2012

It Came To Me In A Dream 

Back a little while ago I was quite sick. Fevers chills aches and pains typical man flu stuff only worse, I needed five days off work. During a particularly bad fever racked sleep I had a vision dream. Stretched before me was a tabletop battlefield, covered in a system of twisting platforms and walkways. Ladders, ramps, platforms all modular and with the ability to be dissembled and reassembled like some kind of 28mm Ikea terrain, minus the allen keys. As I awakened I rushed to the shower  to soothe my fever and pain, the image lingering in my mind. I begun to sketch with the only tool I had at hand, a bar of soap on the glass shower screen. 

Below is a slightly more detailed version of that first sketch. The material used would be 3mm thick MDF custom board. The whole thing would be cut using a CNC laser perhaps even with some fine detail engrave over the surface. Each piece would have slots cut to fit a corresponding slot in another piece.

An image showing some of theme of my dream.

The platforms twist and turn, crossing each other, ladders and ramps allow movement over multiple levels.

Detail view showing some of the individual components.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Forging swords for Goblins

"The Fisher King looked down on it 
He knew the need so great
He forged a sword to stir man's faith
And so the sword was made
A sword of power a sword of .... Greenstuff?"

I have mentioned before that I scored a copy of HeroQuest complete besides one goblin sword. The DM from my DnD group also scored a copy, I think his had a few more missing bits.
I have heard about people casting there own miniatures and bits in resin using silicone molds to copy the original. That seemed a bit beyond me & the setup cost was too high for what I wanted. 
However on 40K radio  they ran a piece on there hobby hot spot segment about press molding. 
  1. Paint a thin layer of release agent onto the object you want to copy. I used baby oil.
  2. You take some greenstuff and literally press it on to the object you want to copy.
  3. Allow to set and remove object from your new negative mold. 
  4. More baby oil in to the negative mold.
  5. Make up some more greenstuff and tightly fill the negative. 
  6. Ensure there are no air gaps and allow a small lip on at least one edge to aid in separation.
  7. Allow to set and remove. 
  8. Clean and trim as required. 
GW also make liquid greenstuff so I was thinking I could use the above method to produce a new sword mold. And just pour liquid greenstuff into the mold. The results were less than satisfactory.  The greenstuff stuck to the negative despite the oil and even though I had added a paperclip in the centre of the greenstuff to act as reinforcing the sword just crumbled.  

Below are some pictures and notes regarding my first attempt.

Look at that goblin lording it with his shinny sword.
Some liquid greenstuff and P3 putty from my LGS
I used some Lego as form work for the mold.

I had to remove to sword from the goblin to mold it.
I hope my DM doesn't mind.

Molds filled with liquid greenstuff and a piece of paper clip reo-rod.
I needed a mold for each side of the sword.
The liquid greenstuff stuck to the mold like glue and just crumbled  as I attempted to pry it out.