The Four Strands Modeling, Painting, Gaming and Storytelling

25Nov/160

Blood Bowl 5th Edition Unboxing

It's Black Friday, and I went to local games store AFK Games in Holt, MI, to pick up a copy of the new Blood Bowl box set, and Death Zone: Season 1, the supplemental book!  I've never opened a new box set on fourstrands, so it's time for my first unboxing!

In a future post, I plan to read the new rulebook, line by line, and compare it to the old Blood Bowl Living Rulebook.  I'll outline the biggest changes I see.  But first, let's take a look at that box!

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I really like the art.  You get that it's a football game, but also much more violent than ordinary football.  The goblin looks a bit goofy though.

Let's flip the box!

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A basic explanation of the game.  One thing that I looked for in the store and found conspicuously missing was a listing of the models contained in the box set.  I'll list those when I look at the models themselves.

Now, to open this precious oyster to find the pearls of... something related to football... ok bad metaphor...

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Jam packed full!  Already I can see Human miniatures in blue, Ork in green, and templates in gray.  There's also some dice.  First, let's get those miniatures out and get up close and personal!

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Here are the humans.  Poses for these guys are a bit odd.  The linemen on the left side sort of have their arms out.  It's half "COME AT ME, BRO!" and half "I believe I can flyyyyyyy..."  I'm also not a fan of the dancing catcher, who is doing a saucy pirouette with the ball.  The Blitzers are also oddly posed.  I'm digging the thrower though.  Good pose for making a long pass.  What I'm a bit disappointed in is the lack of variety in the minis.  The above sprues are identical so you get 2 of each pose.

Speaking of which, here's the list of Human minis:

  • 2 Throwers (identical)
  • 2 Catchers (identical)
  • 2 Blitzers (identical)
  • 6 Linemen (3 different poses)

Now, for the Orcs!

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The Orcs are in more pieces, so it's harder to see their poses, but they are much more violently posed.  Many are winding up for a good punch, while others are actively charging.  The Thrower is a bit awkward and has a weird look on his face.  One of the linemen has that silly pose that the Human linemen have, but he's squatting a bit more so he looks WAY sturdier, as if preparing for a charge.  All in all, these are the superior minis, with the same identical sprue problem.  Another problem that arises from this: how do you differentiate your players BEFORE you paint them?  If you go back and look at the back of the box, you'll see that the game can be played unpainted.  If both your throwers look identical, things could get confusing...

Here's the model count:

  • 2 Black Orc Blockers (identical)
  • 2 Blitzers (identical)
  • 6 Linemen (3 poses)
  • 2 Throwers (identical)

Next: we replace the old clear acetate templates for some plastic ones that kick ass!

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Better in every way than the old acetate ones.  The pass template even breaks down into two parts for storage!  Fantastic!

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Woo.  Bases.  Glamorous.  Moving on.

Here's the box with the above items taken out.  To protect the board and cards, a dividing paper was placed between them.

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On the other side was an ad.  I suppose we'd better get used to this.  Instead of the last page of the rulebook or assembly instructions, full sheet ads like this are being placed in all new GW boxes.  Oh well, at least you can toss it.

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...wait, what's that?

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There's an app?  I have not gotten it (look for a future post) but hopefully it can level up your roster, even sharing it with a tournament coordinator so there's no cheating!

Next, the item I have been waiting for: THE MAIN RULEBOOK!

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Cover art isn't the most awe-inspiring.  Someone must have rolled a 12 on the weather table, and this shot was taken just before the Blizzard rolled in, as it's very foggy.  Also, the Orc looks surprised to see the Human running at him.  "Hey, man, take it easy!"

Inside, we start with some classic art.

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Bob and Jim!  It wouldn't be a Blood Bowl rulebook without these knuckleheads.  To further the wackiness of the Blood Bowl setting, the book is festooned with comical asides, such as this one:

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As for the rules themselves, once again, that's a later post.  As for now, I have a powerful need for some dice!

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Both players get a full set of dice including three new block dice that look fantastic!  You also get two D6s with the 6 replaced with the Blood Bowl logo, a D8 for scattering, and... could it be?  YES!

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A D16!

*one change of pants later*

Ah, much better.  Good, now I don't have to roll a D20 and re-roll all 17+ when rolling for MVP.

Enough of the small objects, let's get onto the pitch!

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The pitch is big!  Bigger than the old Blood Bowl pitches!  Now large based minis won't have so much trouble fitting on those tiny squares.  You'll need a bit more table space though...

The pitch has a few details that make it more than just a field.  Here's a hatch to the dungeons below!

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...and a poor Goblin who didn't make his landing roll when thrown...

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Even better, unlike the old pitch, the flip side is a completely different pitch!

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Orcs tend to play on a rougher field, with bare bedrock in some places.

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Next: some cards!  They're bigger than I'd expect.  The bonus of such big cards is the text is easily readable.

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Among these cards are reference cards for the Human and Orc teams, and the Star Players both teams can employ.

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In addition there are two Special Play decks, much simplified from the optional Special Plays in the LRB.

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Next there's... another ad?  Oh, well at least this one is super worth it if you want to play the Blood Bowl videogame on Steam.  It includes a code for 50% off Blood Bowl II, and another code for unique DLC for that game.  My codes are edited out (sorry!).

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Next... OOOOOOOOOH!

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BAGGIES!  They perfectly fit the dice and oversized cards.  Excellent addition!  They are thicker and stronger than your bog-standard sandwich bags.  Great idea!

There's a double sided easy-reference guide.  It's great but... WHERE ARE HANDOFF AND FOUL?  (check rules) OH, they're there!  This guide is only for beginners...

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Up next, a sheet of the oft-unused waterslide transfers, but these are very high quality!  Both Orcs and Humans get Black and White versions of the transfers, so it works with any color scheme you choose, except perhaps camouflage.

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Next, another must-have, the dugouts!  Each dugout has a Human side and an Orc side.  I really like that the K.O.d box has an 8-9 and the Injury box has a 10-12, to remind you of where you go when injured!  The art is also very fun.  There's a scoreboard up top, rooms, and then the familiar turn counters and re-roll markers.

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...and that's it for the box set!  It looks like they had a lot of spectacular ideas, such as the baggies, reversible boards, dice for BOTH players, and fantastic templates.  It's a bit lacking in the variety of minis, and the quality of poses, as well as some of the art being bland.

...but wait, we're not done!  I also purchased Death Zone: Season 1!  The main rulebook only has rules for making an Orc or Human team.  DZ:S1 has Dwarfs, Skaven, Nurgle, Elf Unions, High Elves, Wood Elves, and Dark Elves, bringing the total of teams to 9!  They're missing my precious Lizardmen though...

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There are also rules for leagues, conspicuously absent from the main rulebook!

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Minor nitpick, if this book was released at the same time as the box set, are they "new" rules?   Wouldn't they be concurrent?  I guess all of them are NEW, but most of them are like old rules... *grumble grumble*

Next: a definitive breakdown of the rules, as compared to the old LRB!  We'll see what's new, what's old, what's great, and what's questionable!  After that, I'll try to see how the App is!

 

25Jul/160

Golden Rhino 2016 Display Board

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My forces are marshaled for war.  Tomorrow: the Golden Rhino Tournament at Highland.  1500 Highlander, three rounds.

I am ready.

8Jun/160

IX Squad, 1st Company: The Bearers of Hope – Azure Flames Chapter Approved Dataslate (part 2)

So I've been hinting at secret projects, and I'm proud to unveil the first in what will be a series of Games Workshop Chapter Approved dataslates.  Behold!  The Bearers of Hope, 9th squad, 1st Company

Backstory

The 9th squad of the Azure Flames 1st Company was wiped out during the Chasma Spica conflict.  After the Azure Flames claimed Iperin as their homeworld, Chapter Master Perseus himself organized the new 9th squad from those who showed no fear in the face of the most gargantuan of enemy war machines, monsters, and Titans.  In a galaxy where large threats are becoming more commonplace, The Bearers of Hope are Chapter Master Perseus' answer to the most powerful weapons of the enemies of Man.  Often staying aboard the Battle Barge His Hammer II, major threats are either spotted by Azure Flames forces, or from orbit (for exceptionally large targets).  Deploying by Drop Pod, The Bearers of Hope crash into the hottest parts of the battlefield and erase large targets before they can devastate Imperial positions.

Unit Composition

The Bearers of Hope - Sternguard Veteran Squad x10 - 350 Points (plus 35 Points for a Drop Pod as a Dedicated Transport)

Wargear

  • Bolt Pistol
  • Bolter-Melta
  • Frag Grenades
  • Krak Grenades
  • Special Issue Amunition
  • Power Fist (Sergeant Only)
  • Melta Bombs (Sergeant Only)

Special Rules

  • And They Shall Know No Fear
  • Chapter Tactics: Azure Flames
  • Combat Squads
  • Gargantuan Destroyers: Any model with this special rule may re-roll any rolls to hit, wound, or penetrate against any Superheavy Vehicle, Gargantuan Monstrous Creature, or building with the Mighty Bulwark special rule.

Modeling

To fit the idea that this squad is specifically designed to destroy large targets, I had most of the squad looking and aiming their weapons up.  I am particularly proud of the sergeant, who seems to be turning to his right in order to shout orders and point out weaknesses.  I even saved one of the shouting sergeant heads from the old 3rd edition Space Marine sprue!  Classic!  I also figured that the sergeant of such an important and esteemed squad would be one of the rare few to participate in the Salamander Hunt on Nocturne.  I used a cloak from a Dark Elf Corsair, and sculpted more scales to mesh it with an ordinary Space Marine Backpack.  I tried to give the impression that he was turning with the cloak.  I also added a Melta Bomb with a custom sculpted rope to hold it in place.  Each member of the squad has a custom sculpted Flame on their left shoulder pad.

Sharp eyed players may notice that backpacks are a bit askew, and there are bits of blue here and there.  The Bolter-Meltas and backpacks are stuck on with blu-tac for ease of painting!

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Coming up next, a custom vehicle and a very special character to lead the Azure Flames as the End Times approach!  Stay tuned!

19Apr/160

DRILL OUT YOUR BOLTER BARRELS

Look at this.  Is there anything that screams laziness more than the barrel of this Space Marine's Boltgun?

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No one wants to see that.  That's bush league.  Don't be like that.  Here's a handy guide on how to drill the barrels of Boltguns so they don't look terrible.

  • Get a good pin vise set with a 1/32" and a 3/64" drill bit.  The standard Dremel 7 bit set comes with this and is usually less than $5.
  • Put the smallest bit (1/32") in the pin vise, and begin to drill the crossbore of the Bolter.
    • PRO TIP: If you are at a bad angle, you'll ruin the barrel.  Instead of going through the whole Bolter at once, drill a bit on one side and switch.  Keep switching after a couple turns until you break through.
  • Continue as above until you see daylight through the Bolter.  DO NOT STOP UNTIL YOU SEE DAYLIGHT.  See below.

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  • Keep the same 1/32" bit in, and drill a very small divot into the front of the barrel.  Try to make it as centered as possible.

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  • Replace the 1/32" bit with the 3/64" bit.  Drill out the barrel all the way to the cavity you created in the crossbore.

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  • Sometimes, the crossbore gets a little extra plastic from the barrel drill, as seen below.  Put the 1/32" bit back in and use it to carefully clean the crossbore.

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  • If any of your barrels were damaged, fix them with putty or replace the Bolter if you can.
  • Now your Bolters don't look like garbage!

Next: A huge update to the Azure Flames, including two Tactical Squads, and some special surprises courtesy of Games Workshop's 20th anniversary of the Space Marines!  You won't want to miss this!

Filed under: Modeling No Comments
7Nov/150

On the subject of cases.

Recently, I bought an Eldar fleet off of Ebay, and it has been gathering dust.  After all, I can't play it because I can't take it anywhere.  So, I made a case.  Here's some pictures:

This is an art supply case, augmented with used pluck foam (thankfully saved!) mattress foam, foam sheets, and hot glue.  You can see the results above.  While I was making this, I thought about cases in general.  After all, every model gamer needs to solve this problem.  So, here's my take on how to tackle this problem.

1.Capacity

In order to be effective, a case has to hold all the minis you need to transport.  This can either be in one case (see my Space Marine case that I posted several years ago) or in many easy to carry cases.

You should also be mindful of how your collection will grow.  If your case holds all your current minis, that's perfect until you buy one more.  Above, you will see my Eldar case has several areas that are unused, for when I can get lucky enough to find more Craftworld Eldar on ebay.  If you want your collection to grow, you'll need a case bigger than what you need right now.

2. Protection and Durability

Cases are useless unless they get your minis from point A to point B intact.  One of my previous Space Marine cases was a large blue storage tub, outfitted with foam and cardboard tiers.  I didn't really design it to hold up the tiers, and so it rested on the minis directly.  As a result, several antennae, flags, bolters, and other extended appendages or items got broken on a regular basis.  The Battlefoam case I got later protects minis much better, and breakage rarely occurs.

3. Cost

Even though I love my Battlefoam case, it was expensive as hell, even with a Gen Con discount.  Frugal gamers have several options, based on what kind of minis you need to transport.  Battlefleet Gothic lends itself to art cases or toolboxes that can hold ships well.  For Epic minis, a fishing tackle box holds lots of small stands and has room for larger minis.  40K or other similarly scaled games such as Warmachine can use a variety of cases.  My friend Andy used to use foam filled pistol and rifle cases, which worked great but was inadvisable to take into a secure area...

4. Aesthetics

This to me is the least important, but still worth considering.  My Battlefoam case looks great.  The case shown above for my Eldar looks like garbage.  However, both work just fine.  You need to decide which is most important.  For example, my 40K Orks are partially stored in an old, rusty metal toolbox.  It's impractical, dirty looking, heavy, and makes loud noises when you open it.  In short: it's perfect!  I plan on spray painting part of it white, and then using a stencil to paint black checkmarks, then hand painting a few glyphs.

There's a lot of options.  Think about it and make the case that's right for your collection.

Next: a battle report with Stephen and the debut of my Eldar fleet!  Stay tuned!

24Aug/150

Blood Bowl Custom End Zones by Lexington

A long time ago I met a wonderful man.  He's not important; what's important is I met Lexington a little less than 15 years ago.  He's been my constant companion through model wargaming, and occasional rival.  Friendval?  (Editors note: think of something more clever later)  Regardless, Lexington just gave me my Xmas present and if you think that it's four months early, you'd be wrong.  Marvel in their awesomeness:

BLOOD BOWL CUSTOM END ZONES!  These end zones are designed for the 2nd edition Astrogranite board.  I designed the basic concepts for the logos for the Konquata Monitors and the Grimfang Scrappaz, but Lexington brought them to life, and formatted them for the correct size of the end zone. (Blood Bowl fans take note: these end zones are two squares deep, unlike the ones on a modern Blood Bowl board)

These custom end zones were then printed in full color on a laser printer and laminated with 10 mil laminate.  They were then cut to size.  This breaks the seal and eventually they will need to be replaced, but it looks better without a margin.  Incidentally, you can find the files here:

Konquata Monitors Custom End Zone by Lexington

Grimfang Scrappaz Custom End Zone by Lexington

Of course, these are useless to anyone but me.  However, if you want to make your own, use these as templates.  The final size of the Astrogranite 2nd edition end zone is 14.5" wide by 1.75" deep.  These files are larger than that in order to give you bleed to cut off.  Print them, laminate them, and trim carefully to size.  Make your own!

Next: Grimfang Scrappaz support staff!

20Aug/150

Blood Bowl Coach – Warboss Grimfang da Lotz

Warboss Grimfang da Lotz slouched in his scrap iron throne, in the bowels of Mount Grimfang's deepest cavern.  Bio-luminescent fungus barely gave off enough light to outline the silhouette of Nugget, Grimfang's lucky snotling.  None of the other ladz were around, so Grimfang didn't feel the need to hold in his disappointment.

"Nugget, wot we gonna do today?" he sighed.  Nugget, hearing his name, perked up.

"Dat's right, we's gonna fight Stunties.  Jus' like yeserday an' da day before an' da day before dat."  Grimfang sighed.  "Ceptin' da Stunties barely ever fight anymore.  We ain't seen a proppa battle fer a long time."

Nugget pounced on an errant squig, ignoring Grimfang.

"Ever since dat Stunty tol' us dat dere's no more war cuz of dat new fing, wot wuz it again, Nugget?"

"Ang ang ang ang ang." Nugget replied as he chewed the squig.

"Yer, Blood Bowl, dat's wot it was.  Somefing about runnin' up an' down a field, muckin' about.  Don't sound like a proppa WAAAAGH, do it?"

Nugget toddled over and offered Grimfang the remains of the squig.  Grimfang rubbed Nugget's head because it was lucky, everyone knew that.

"On da uvver 'and, it sounds like the only way to get a proppa scrap anymore." Grimfangs voice rose, with renewed optimism.  "Yer, plus since everybody's playin', ya get to fight lots of fings, not just Stunties.  You's right, Nugget!  Dat sounds like da best idea!"

Nugget collapsed under the noogie barrage he was receiving.

"GURSHAK!" Grimfang bellowed.  "GET YER WURFLESS 'IDE IN 'ERE!"  Moments later, Gurshak Ripgrot, one of Grimfang's biggest Nobs arrived.

"Yer... wot is it, boss?" Gurshak stammered, making sure not to make direct eye contact.

"Get all da ladz workin!  Ain't no time fer a nap!  Get all da loot, an' all da stuff wot da Stunties lef' fer minin' silver."

Gurshak smiled. "We gettin' ready fer a fight?"

"BETTER!" Grimfang yelled.  "WE GETTIN' READY FER A SCRAP!"

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Warboss Grimfang da Lotz is the latest Warboss in a long line of Orcs to hold the title.  The original Warboss Grimfang conquered the Mount Silverspire silver mine from Dwarfs, long ago.  The Orcs renamed the mountain after Warboss Grimfang.  However, constant fighting with Dwarfs (and among themselves) led to a high turnover rate on Warbosses.  Each new Warboss renames themselves Grimfang, so that they are seen as the rightful ruler of Mount Grimfang.  Orks can only count to five, so each Warboss after the fifth is Grimfang da Lotz.

However, with the introduction of Blood Bowl, there's just no fighting anymore.  At least, not enough to satisfy the current Grimfang da Lotz.  So, he has led his ladz out of the mountains, and onto the Blood Bowl pitch.  Calling themselves the Grimfang Scrappaz, they are ready to smash any team in their way!

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Warboss Grimfang da Lotz is a Games Day exclusive Warboss, in pewter.  I added a putty baseball cap, just like my other coach, Lord Kroak.  Grimfang's colors are blue and silver, like the Scrappaz.  All jewelry is painted Mithril Silver to represent the wealth of the Grimfang silver mine.

Next: Cheerleaders and Assistant Coaches!

2Aug/150

Sculpting Tuorial: Goblin Cheerleader Pom-Pom

Sat down to do some work on some models that have been neglected for a while, and I thought I'd do a short modelling tutorial on how to create Cheerleader Pom-Poms.  To a lesser extent, this same technique works on straight hair.

You need:

  • A model with a closed fist for the pom-pom (or a bald headed mini if you're doing hair)
  • 2 part epoxy putty (green stuff, kneadatite, brown stuff, etc.)
  • Sculpting needle tool

Step 1

Mix enough putty to cover the hand/head generously.  Use your fingers to smooth it down to cover the fist. (don't worry about fingerprints, you will remove them in a bit)

Step 2

Wet the surface of your putty (lick it if you're lazy) and use your needle tool to make a small circular dent at the top center.

Step 3

Place the tip of the needle tool in the hole at the top and carefully drag it down the side all the way to create a trench.  Push the needle into the bottom of the trench to make it so that the trench has no rounded end.  (Refrain from making penis jokes if you can.  I couldn't.)

Step 4

Repeat step 3 about 30 to 45 degrees away from your first trench.

Step 5

Starting from just below where the two trenches meet, make another small trench that does not go all the way to the bottom.  Make more trenches that are staggered in between these all the way to the bottom to fill the area with small trenches.

Step 6

Repeat steps 4-5 to fill the entire area.

Now you can sculpt Pom-Poms, and to a lesser extent hair!  Be sure to keep your putty workable area wet to prevent your sculpting tool from sticking.  Happy Sculpting!

18Jul/150

Custom Tournament Display Board

Here's the super secret project I've been working on:

As an optional part of the upcoming tournament, you can enter the painting competition.  One of the things that gives you extra points in the competition is a custom display board for your army.

Here's a shot of the display board in use, before it was painted:

The Assault Marines in the front will be replaced with the new ones that I am working on now.  I'll give you a pic when the Assault Marines are finished.  As a bonus, the surface is removable, so I can make another surface and re-use the board for a different list!

Here's what I used to make it:

  • 22x17" wall-mountable corkboard
  • 28" rolled cork
  • Steel carpet tacks (black)
  • Games Workshop black primer
  • 2 1/3 pots Goblin Green (now Warboss Green) Citadel paint
  • Citadel PVA glue (for water-resistance, you can use Elmer's glue if you don't care)
  • Games Workshop flock
  • Testors Dullcote Varnish
  • Painter's tape
  • X-acto knife
  • Water based ink pen (that can wash off of a sealed miniature easily, I used a V5 ballpoint in red)

Here's how I did it:

  1. Measure the interior board part of the corkboard and cut a piece of the rolled cork to fit.
  2. Spray the rolled cork with water on both sides and weigh it down with heavy books protected by plastic bags.  After a day, flip the cork over and do this again until the cork is flat.
  3. Place all of the minis that you want to display on the cork, arranged the way you want them, and trace them with a water based ink pen (that can wash off if you accidentally get it on your minis).
  4. Use an X-acto knife to CAREFULLY cut out the spaces where your minis will go.  Take breaks often, and do it on a table.  I did it on the floor and it tired out my arm from the weird angle that I was working at.
  5. Coat the edge of the corkboard with painter's tape.  Note: mine was a cheap corkboard and some of the finish came off.  If you want to do this, I suggest a corkboard with a METAL frame.
  6. Use some scraps from the cork to hold some carpet tacks (I used 8, you can use however many you want)
  7. Spray the corkboard and cork piece and tacks with primer.
  8. Spray the corkboard with Dullcote varnish when it is dry.
  9. Paint the corkboard and tacks.  (I used Goblin/Warboss green, you should use whatever matches your base.)
  10. Mix 50/50 PVA glue and water, apply it to the board and tacks and apply the flock. (use whatever basing method matches your army, obviously)  Drybrush the flock if you need to, after it dries for several hours.
  11. Varnish the cork and tacks.
  12. Put the cork on the board and secure it with tacks.  Your display board is now complete!

Next: Assault Marines and a TOURNAMENT!  Stay tuned!

Filed under: Modeling, Painting No Comments
25Mar/150

A Modest Cephalopod Proposal – Reaper Bones Unleash the Kraken!

For more than two years, I have been incredibly lucky.  The most wonderful woman I have ever met has somehow come to love me as much as I love her.  We both agreed that we're going to get married at SOME point, but we've been distracted by the usual suspects.  Poverty, illness, painting models, Lou Gossett, Jr., etc.

A bit more than a year ago, Reaper Miniatures began their second Bones Kickstarter, and like a sucker, I threw a small fortune at them.  You know how it is.  One of the add-ons offered was called "Unleash the Kraken!"

It was perfect.  The love of my life has a POWERFUL ken for cephalopods.  I ordered it and waited... a lot.  Thanks China.  But it arrived and I have been dutifully painting it.

Behold.

This masterpiece serves two purposes: a belated xmas present, and an official declaration to the world of my intent to marry her.  She loved it.

Love is wonderful, but it's not what this blog is about.  Being the first Reaper Bones mini I've actually BOTHERED to paint, I'd be remiss without a thorough review of this product, and a complete breakdown of all the steps that led to this final, precious artifact.

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The Reaper Bones Miniature:

Beautifully sculpted, I followed the instructions on the Reaper Bones Preparation Guide.  I washed the squid gently in soapy water, and dried each piece.  The Beak, mouth/head, tentacles, body, ship, and mast holding up the squid are all seperate parts.  Each part was carefully cleaned with a diamond file.  The bottom of the body had some Reaper branding words that took a lot of elbow grease to scrape off.

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Modeling:

I did a pre-assembly of some parts.  The support mast was glued to the ship using super glue.  Gaps between the ship and mast needed a bit of green stuff, which I modeled into barnacles to cover it up.  I painstakingly arranged the tentacles about the mouth/head, and used more green stuff to join them more perfectly.  It was joined later, after some parts were painted.

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Painting:

As per the Reaper instructions, I (for the first time) used no primer.  At first.  The green stuff demanded primer, so I used a Reaper black paint on primer.  As for the rest, the paint did stick... mostly.  I found that 95% of the surface area of the model held paint with one coat.  Some very small areas refused a second but paid heed to a third.  Paint took an INCREDIBLE amount of friction to remove with rubbing, just as good as if it had been primered.

The ship was my first test to see how the paint stood up.  I started by coating the entire ship with black.  I then heavily drybrushed it (almost a wet brush) with Fortress Gray.  I inked then entire ship with Army Painter black ink wash, and then hit the whole ship with another lighter drybrush of Fortress Gray.  I then built up color with a drybrush of Snakebite Leather.  The next layer was Snot Green, but only in places that face "up" where sunlight could reach algae.  Ropes were given a much thicker coat, as algae would gain a stronger foothold in a softer surface.  The eagle bowsprit was given a very light drybrush of Vallejo brand gold, to simulate fading gilt.  Barnacles were picked out with Fortress gray, and washed to darken the insides.  The shelf corals were hit with a custom blend of paints to make them a salmon/coral pink.

Next, I tackled the body.  Colossal Squids tend to be orange, so I built up from Mechrite Red, to Blood Red, Firey Orange, and Blazing Orange.  The belly was Bleached Bone washed with 50% Citadel Chestnut Ink and 50% water with one drop of dish soap (saved from at least a decade ago!).  It was then drybrushed Bleached Bone and then lighter with White.  Armor plates were Shadow Gray drybrushed Space Wolves Gray.

The head came next.  The interior of the mouth was similar to the body.  Teeth were black with a slight highlight of Shadow Gray.  Face was similar to the upper body.  The eyes were a challenge.  I started black, and when I added white I left a circle of black around the edges for contrast.  Vallejo brand teal for the eyes, and a mix of various paints to create a different teal for some eye freckles.  I then did a circle of black for the pupil.

Tentacles were built up similar to the upper body, and spines are black with Shadow Gray.

The interior of the beak was bleached bone, with a small painted on orifice inside.  Exterior is black with Shadow Gray highlights.

Finally, the Squid was assembled, touched up, and sealed with Testors matte varnish.

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The final verdict: Thanks to Reaper's master sculptors and the skills I have honed over 14 years, this is my finest work.  There can be no better proposal, at least not with my skills.

...and by the way, she said yes!

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