Monday, August 1, 2016

3d plaster hexes

I've started making new scenery. 3D plaster hexes to go on printed paper map sheets. It should work nicely for grid based battles with any type of game - star wars, fantasy, giant robots, doctor who, etc. You can read about it on my scenery blog.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Kossk Zegdarr, Star Wars Imperial Assault custom hero

I saw on the Fantasy Flight Games forums, a method for assigning stats to create a custom hero. I like two of the characters in the game, but I thought, it would be neat to have a character with a mix of special abilities from both of them, and I liked the idea of being able to use more than one weapon, so I balanced the points and cards, and created my own custom hero and ability card set!

I call this hero Kossk Zegdarr, a Nautolan from the old Wizards of the Coast Star Wars Battles game, which is the same scale as Imperial Assault. So I repainted him in a custom paint scheme, and then created a set of cards for him in a program I use called Corel Draw.

His abilities are a mix of cards from Jyn Odan and Fenn Signis.

This is how he turned out.

And these are the custom cards I made for the Imperial Assault game.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Model Kit: Working on Bandai Y-Wing part #3

Here's some more progress on the 1/72 scale Y-Wing model, with the 1/72 R5 astromech, and a Micro Machines rebel pilot. I quite like how the micro machines scale figures look next to the 1/72 scale model kits. It was really difficult with some of the pipe / cable pieces on the model, and in the end I decided I would be happy attaching as many as I could, but not worry if some of the tiny pieces broke along the way, since the Original Trilogy Y-Wings were supposed to be old / run-down vehicles. I think I only snapped around five or six of the pipes, so I still got dozens of them attached and I love the detail of the model so far.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Model Kit: Working on Bandai Y-Wing part #2

First, here's some pics. I'm working on the body section.

The small detail bits like piping and stuff are actually separate pieces I had to plug into the model! Here's one of the sprues showing lots of tiny pieces. Each tiny pieces has little plugs jutting out of them that you plug into holes in the model to click them into place!

Here's the 35mm scale Fantasy Flight Games R2-D2 figure, next to the 1:72 scale astromech model. The tiny astromech I am guessing to be between 20mm and 25mm figure scale. You can choose to have an R2 or R5 head on it, an I've always liked thee flat-conical tops on R5's so I chose that to be my astromech. Luckily, as I said, everything clicks together - I haven't tried it yet, but I should be able to pull the head off and swap it if I felt like it.

My first disappointment with the kit so far:

The slot the astromech goes into, in the body of the Y-Wing, is assembled in such a way as you have to have an astromech in it, or not, you can't pull the droid in and out of the ship! This is because when assembling the model, it sandwiches the body of the droid in place, and then you attach the droid's head.

Once the ship is assembled, if the droid's body is in there, you can't get it out. So I had to choose - do I want the model to have a droid in it, or do I want to have a miniature figure of the droid, and I chose to keep the droid out of the ship's slot. They really should have made the construction of the ship such that you could place or remove the droid as you pleased, rather than it being one or the other.

However, other than that, everything is going well so far.

One thing I should have noted on the last post, is that the cockpit stickers that come with it can not be used by default - the cockpit has 3D sculpted dials and buttons. To use the illustrated sticker control panel, you would have to cut / sand off all the sculpted details! I thought that was really odd, and I chose to have a painted cockpit rather than using the stickers.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Model Kit: Working on Bandai Y-Wing #1

I've got my 1/72 scale Bandai Y-Wing in the mail now and am working on it. It's a neat kit, because no glue is required, all the parts are a designed to push and clip into one another such that it doesn't fall apart, but if enough pressure is applied, the parts can be re-separated. The neat thing about no glue, is that I accidentally joined some pieces together, only to realise, they were supposed to sandwich with another piece in the middle. I was able to separate them, insert the missing piece, and put the parts back together again. You can't do that with a glue kit!

Here's some pics:

The cockpit was black plastic, I painted it medium gray and washed it black to bring out all the details.

Here I've painted all the cockpit control panel lights. The yellow section came in yellow plastic, but I will be painting over the top of all the plastic's colours, so that a wash and more details will stick.

Here I've assemble the canopy, and have sat parts of the body section that I've assembled behind it as well. I've painted the blue-grey onto the window frames, and painted a more goldy yellow over the yellow plastic, but haven't painted white over the rest of the plastic yet.
The big figure is a regular 35mm star wars figure. The unpainted little figure beside is the figure that came with the y-wing, which is around 20mm in size. The figure in the middle in the flight suit is a Micro Machines figure, and Princess Leia is a West End Games figure, who is around 25mm scale.

So here's some of the early Star Wars miniatures from West End Games, in 25mm scale. I hadn't really painted stuff before, back then, so this is an example of my very early painting. No washes or anything. I seem to remember I used a black felt-tip pen to colour in the black lines on the stormtrooper uniforms :)

So I've worked out the Micro Machines and West End Games scale miniatures are a close fit for the 1/72 scale model kits of Star Wars stuff. I'm thinking of collecting more model kits, and more 25mm scale star wars figures, to make zoomed-out large scale battlefields with 3D scenery. Almost every major ship and vehicle in Star Wars has a 1/72 scale model kit available, which makes it a great scale for fancy looking battlefields.

West End Games Star Wars Miniatures was one of the first miniatures games I collected, back in 1991, but I could only afford a handful of figures and the rule book (I was just a teenager, and had no funds!) so I never got to play the award winning game. Unlike the other Star Wars miniatures games, the West End Games game was designed for large scale battlefields covered with squads of troops and vehicles.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Imperial Assault: Diala Passil step by step, another illumination experiment

Step by step painting Diala Passil with an experiment in lighting / shading the model from the white lightsaber.

(scroll to the bottom to see the finished photo)

Painting Darth Vader was a lot of fun, trying to work out how to suggest that the lightsaber was glowing. I wanted to try an even bigger effect with this figure, who is holding their saber high, behind them and over one shoulder. Here's the steps I went through:

Step One:
Paint the whole figure in bright white paint. I thinned it a little with water so as not to lose too much detail when undercoating.

Step Two:
I then applied solid colours to the main areas of the model.

Step Three:
The next step was a black wash over the whole model to bring out all of the details. I love how much detail there is in all these figures!

Step Four:
Now I go back over all the colour areas, repainting all the parts of the model but trying not to paint over the shadow folds and dips that the wash created. I try to make any surface facing upwards a bit brighters than areas that face forward or downward.

Step Five:
Beginning to try out illumination. I took a tiny bit of white paint on the tip of my brush and put it on a plastic palette. Then I dipped it in water and mixed water with it, repeatedly, until it was a thin wash, and washed the back of the model around the lightsaber.

Step Six:
I made sure to add white wash to the side of her face, facing the lighsaber, and her lekku, and the top surface of her arm, and the top-facing edges of the cloak.

Step Seven:
I added another black washe over all the parts of the model that would be in shadow, anything on the opposite side of her body from the lightsaber.

Step Eight:
I added more white wash on the parts closest to the lighsaber, and a little black / red wash to the lower parts of the cloak further away from the lightsaber.

Step Nine:
I finished with another black wash coat on the parts of her body facing away from the lightsaber to finish off. This shows the shadow side of the figure, facing away from the lightsaber.

The finished model - this photo had lighting from above and from the front, from the lights in my room, but the black and white washes make it look like a strong side light coming in from the right, and make the underside of the cloak and the opposite side of her body look like they are in shadow.

Compare it to the first photo on this blog post, they were both taken with identical lighting, and you can see that the shadow and brightness are part of the paint job.

It was a lot of fun trying to make it look this way, but I think I still need more practice to make the glow softer and more natural looking.

Parts like the side of the knee, the top of the feet, the top of her chest, etc, are simply areas that I kept the additional black washes away from, so that they remained bright.

I like how it turned out, but because the saber is behind her, it means most of the front of the model is in shadow, so if you look from the front, it is a pretty dark looking figure on the table. But I do like the highlighting of the side of her face / lekku, and top of arm / cloak edges, and it was fun trying to work out the lighting effect.