Saturday, February 3, 2018

Kickstarter Update And Light Box Test

I walked outside yesterday to find my Kickstarter pledge box from Battle Kiwi sitting on the porch. The KS is based on the Endor moon from Return of the Jedi and is made for the upcoming Star Wars Legion game by Fantasy Flight Games.

The box definitely showed signs of being abused on it's very long trip.

Coming all the way from New Zealand I can only imagine the number of hands that touched (let's be honest, threw) the box at some point. I think a bit more tape would have prevented the splitting of the box though.

There were three major pieces (all MDF and painted a dark gray color) in my pledge along with stretch goals. This was the kit that made me buy into their KS - such a cool looking building and there is talk of expanding it with corridors and other rooms which will be really neat.

This was a design that actually came after the initial KS started if I remember correctly, and seeing it now it's clearly going to be the coolest kit of the three. I'm sure it's going to be huge :)

And finally the shield generator. I'm not sure about the small dishes surrounding the main dish though, I probably won't put those on.

So that's pretty amazing considering the KS funded on December 2nd and I got my entire pledge on February 2nd - and shipping all the way from New Zealand too. Good on ya mate!

Another KS update came from Knuckleduster this week and it gave the entire breakdown of stretch goals that backers will be getting for free. This list is just crazy and money-wise has to break down close to my $135 pledge. The mat alone is close to $50.00 by itself. Hopefully you can click on the photo and be able to read the list better. If you are into gaming the old west, this was a KS not to miss.

And speaking of KS, I almost made it through the first month of the year without backing a new project. Almost anyway lol! I backed this resin terrain KS by Hayland Games a few days ago. Way too much cool scatter and room terrain to pass up - above are just a few examples.

And speaking of terrain lol! I grabbed these really neat sets from a Hobby Town while out doing some errands last week. Should be nice additions to future games once painted up.

As you may remember I bought a new light box for taking photos of my miniatures and it arrived last week. I took my first test photo with it today and I have to say I'm blown away :)

Here was the original photo of these Indians I took back in this post. The difference is simply night and day, and it absolutely verifies that the light box was a smart purchase.

Here is a close up of  Crazy Horse. Now you can see the details of the war paint and even the feathers on the hatchet.

And lastly, a welcome to new follower Vagabond! He's doing some really neat stuff over on his blog.

Until next time, thanks for looking!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

An Old West Scenario

Getting some plains and woodland Indians finally done over the last couple of weeks, I got the itch to pull out the Old West buildings again - which hadn't seen the light of day for close to two years I think.

My go to rules for the Old West is Dead Man's Hand by Great Escape Games. It's fast and fun and with super easy rules it's really easy to teach. Plus I really love games that have card interrupts :)

I threw this table together really quickly over the weekend in hopes I could get someone over to roll some dice - well, that in fortunately didn't work out. DMH requires at least two players, and I can't see any way to modify things to work as a solo game.

But I do have the Pulp Alley solo deck so I think I'm going to try to write up some leagues for the cowboys and Indians and have a go at a solo game using the PA rules.

I had a narrative ready for DMH which had the Indians attempting to steal horses from the Wells Fargo Express stables.

Stealing at least six horses was going to be the main objective for the Indians, using 1 action would allow you lasso a horse. Two horses would be the max any one Indian could lasso while mounted.

I think this can be a really solid narrative for PA , and it will also allow more objectives throughout the board - specifically the Express building itself and the stagecoach.

Who knows, maybe this can turn into a little 3 or 4 episode campaign - I think the story elements are definitely there for something like that. Perhaps episode 2 has the stagecoach escaping in an attempt to make to the next town.

I kind of went a bit overboard with the scatter terrain around and inside the Express building lol!

This particular WF Express stop has a ton of supplies and why it is a prime target for bandits and Indians.

That's my story anyway, and I'm sticking to it :) Besides, you can never have enough scatter terrain right?

One thing I did do before setting up the table was to finally add shingles to the stables.

This was one of the very first 4Ground kits I ever built, but never did a post about it.

This was also the very first 4Ground kit that I modified. I completely cut off the front fa├žade. I wanted my stables to be more like a large barn on a farmstead instead of a stables in a town.

Unfortunately I only had the bleached wood shingles - I really think the new wood shingles, which are a nice deep brown color, would have really made the barn pop. Now everything just kind of blends into itself. And honestly, I don't like it at all.

I do have some washes and pigments so maybe I'll see if I can darken the shingles up this week.

Until next time, thanks for looking!

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Square Perfect Light Box

As I mentioned in the last post, I was tired attempting to mess about with getting acceptable photos of my models when posting to the blog. I'd thought about building a light box on my own, but as I get older I'm quickly looking for other solutions involving my credit card instead.

So off to Amazon I went. I did my usual search filter of lowest price first and average customer review and found the Square Perfect Light Box for $37.77 and 4 stars on the review. Granted it only had 4 reviews but 3 were 5 star and the 4th was 2, and that was because of the brightness of the lights. And now that I have this set in my possession I have no idea what they are talking about because these lights seem pretty bright and I can't imagine even needing to set up all four. I ordered it Wednesday morning and it incredibly arrived Thursday afternoon!? Gotta love Amazon Prime shipping.

The "box" itself comes packed inside itself - that just sounded strange writing it and even more so reading it lol?! But you get what I mean. And because everything is self contained you can hide it off in a corner or closet when not in use.

It has Velcro strips along the top of the case to keep every thing tidy inside. And as you'll see below the Velcro plays a big part in the overall design and function of the box.

It even has a carrying strap on the case if you need to travel to take photos.

It comes with 4 LED lights that all have adjustable heads and retractable stands, as well as a separate  adjustable camera stand.

I did get a different set of bulbs with one light, the one on the left - I plugged the lights in really quick just to make sure everything worked and it did seemed like the bulb on the left was brighter than the other three. Who knows, maybe that is how they are supposed to be packaged and it's not a mistake.

There is a metal wire that is inside the white walls goes around the entire "box" and Velcro that runs along the length of the left and back bottom sides hold the "box" together.

There is another piece of Velcro that runs along the top of the back where you attach your background fabric - which really almost has a vinyl feel to it more than a fabric feel.

You get four different colors for your backgrounds - white, blue, red, and black - and with the Velcro I mentioned above it makes it really easy to swap out colors. The only thing I'll need to do is run a cool iron over the background fabrics to get those creases out.

When I was checking out through Amazon there was an instant 10% off coupon for the kit, so final price was $34.00. An absolute steal as far as I'm concerned. Everything feels pretty solid and not "cheap" in any way, especially for a box that measures 24"x24"x29". You could probably argue that the metal wire giving shape to the box is a bit on the thin side but really I can't see it taking any type of abuse that could bend it or cause an issue. And the Velcro seems pretty solid too. The only real issue I see from just this initial setting up is storage of the lights, stand, and especially the background fabrics - because you don't want to be pulling out the iron every time you want to photograph something.

So there you have it, hopefully I'll throw a model or two in it tomorrow and give it its first real test :)

Until next time, thanks for looking!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Few More Indians

Well, I've got enough Indians now, 12 foot plus another 3 on horseback, to where I can throw together a little game hopefully over the coming weekend. Granted, most are Woodland Indians, but they will do until I get the Comanche War Party bundle from Warlord Games completed.

These two are the foot versions of Crazy Horse and Gall that came with the mounted versions in the last post, so they are my only two true Plains Indians of the group.

The following figures are from Warlord, and have some really neat poses as well as outfits.

I really like how you've got the Indians wearing coats that more than likely would have been taken off of enemies :)

It had been forever since I based a figure in the "traditional" way, and I have to say I didn't miss it at all lol!

I think I did a pretty awful job on the bases and realize now looking at them that I totally forgot to put a wash on them - that should be an easy fix and will dull down the "dirt" significantly. I had even thought about going clear, but seeing as they more than likely wouldn't be seeing the insides of buildings or be on stone/brick roads, I went old school with basing them.

I've got a real honest to goodness light box on it's way courtesy of an Amazon gift card from the holidays so hopefully that'll improve the 'ol white piece of paper bent slightly behind the figure images I've been posting for the last year or so :) Stay tuned for that.

Until next time, thanks for looking!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Plains Indians

On the very large list of things I have wanted to model, plains Indians have always been near the top.

I've always been drawn to both the war paint of the Indians themselves, but also the paint they would apply to their horses as well.

Naturally, most of those images I've seen come from movies, but I've always been fascinated by it as there is always so much narrative in the painting, especially on the horses because it's a bigger canvas to allow you to tell a story.

My wife has been begging me to get on a horse to ride around the property with her, but the only way I'll do it is if she lets me put some war paint on the horses like here lol!

These three figures are all from Warlord.

They are absolutely fantastic models, though as with every manufacturer who makes horses the tails are incredibly short - sometimes I wonder if sculptors even look at real horses.

Usually it's a movie or documentary that helps get me motivated to finish something, and the new movie "Hostiles" starring Christian Bale was that push that made this happen.

This particular sculpt is just brilliant! When I first saw it I had to have it.

Hanging off the side of the horse shooting a bow, how cool is that?!

I added a bristle from an old paint brush to the bow to make it bit more interesting.

With these models complete, some more on the paint table, and the "Hostiles" movie coming out, maybe that'll push me to crack open the Old West boxes again - which haven't seen daylight in at least a year or more - and have a go at some good old fashioned cowboy and Indian games :)

Until next time, thanks for looking!