Friday, December 3, 2010

Doctor Who and Lord Of The Rings

Off topic for a moment - I've recently started collecting Doctor Who miniatures, starting with the classic era, of the First Doctor, and currently focusing on a Dalek Invasion of Earth. For anyone interested in Doctor Who, check out my other blog, where I will show miniatures as I paint them up, and have photographed and described battle reports of scenarios, and also talk about scenery for Doctor Who games, and custom miniatures, and that sort of thing. Think Paul's Star Wars Miniatures Blog - only, Doctor Who!

http://paulsdrwhominiatures.blogspot.com/

Also, for those not aware, there is also a Paul's Lord of the Rings Miniatures blog, where I talk about my LOTR miniatures hobby, painting, scenery, and link to battle reports I have participated in!

http://paulslotrminis.blogspot.com/

It's been a while since I did anything particularly Star Wars-ish, but after Christmas I plan to add some more Episode IV-V-VI stuff, perhaps write up and photograph some battle reports, collect some more figures, assemble or maybe design some more sci-fi scenery, etc. So stay tuned in the new year!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Acklay and Aliens game

I'm making a free miniatures survival game, where colonial marines play out different survival scenarios against hordes of aliens. I'm using Imperial Cadian Guards and two types of Tyranids from the Warhammer 40k miniatures range. Then I came across this Acklay figure while cleaning up the house. I never use it (doesn't exactly fit in with stormtrooper and rebel base fighting) and I realised that it's the same style of alien as I'm looking for, for my survival game. Sort of a Starship Troopers feel to it.

I don't have the Tyranids I'm after yet, so I thought I'd try out my idea for a sinister bug-alien paint scheme, inspired by the Aliens movies, and painted up the Acklay. I like it, so I'm going to buy some more Acklays to be a third class of alien in my survival game.

I painted it Chaos Black, then applied a wash of watered down white paint over it, then painted all the spiky bits, eyes, etc, a bone colour. I used some objects from the Warhammer 40k Basing Kit to decorate the figure's base, and glued fake grass on it.

Anyway, here's the repainted and based Star Wars "Acklay", converted into a Mauler Alien! (Lord of the Rings spearman was thrown in the photo for scale)





Friday, November 12, 2010

Figure-bases part 3

After looking at them for a while, I decided to apply a dark wash overthe rocks, dirt, and the feet of the figures, so that where they met the grass, they would become more defined. This also brought out more colour in the rocks and dirt patches, making them more visible, which I think I like. (sorry for the slight blurriness in the photo)


and a low photo. I think it looks less like the figures are attached to plastic circles now :) It's a pity there is still a very slight rise around the base edges, meaning a line of shadow circles it. I was hoping the grass would touch and 'blend in' with the table top.

Figure-bases part 2

Well, the greenstuff seemed dry to touch, and hard, so I ended up going ahead and gluing stuff onto them instead of waiting 24 hours like I am supposed to.

I started by painting the base black, then gluing gravel in patches.


Next, I painted it all a dark brown.


Then some drybrushing


and lots of grass


Finally, onto the table to see if it blends in with the grass battle mat



I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. This is my first attempt at doing a detailed looking base for a figure, and it's okay, but I suppose I will get better at it with practice. The only problem is that the fake grass I glued onto the bases is a slightly lighter tone to the mat, so they are a little brighter, and thus, stand out a little bit more than I had hoped. However, I'm quite pleased with the absense of a visible plastic ring around the base, and quite like the look of it being flocked all the way down to the table.

more figure-base experiments

Okay, a while back I was trying to figure out how to have proper scenery-based figures, like in other table top miniatures games, with the idea of having swappable bases - so a figure could be pulled off its base, and stuck on a different one, depending upon the type of terrain being played on.

That experiment didn't work well. So, now I have a new idea. Instead of swapping bases, I'll just buy more figures, and have matching sets of figures, based for different types of terrain that I play upon - indoors, grass, snow and rocky wasteland.

I also want to make the figure's base blend into the terrain better. I don't like that there's a big round ring of plastic around the outside of the base. So, my first experiment was to flock the sides of the base, and see how that looked.


What I noticed with this, is that it looks much better, as there is only 'ground' beneath the figure. No black plastic or painted plastic band around the outside of the figure's base. I quite like this. However, it is still a clearly visible vertical edge around the base... So, I'm working on experiment two now. Using green stuff, I've made sloping edges around the base of some miniatures. The idea is that the base slopes down naturally into the tabletop, and when flocked, I am hoping the base will appear to 'grow' up out of the table top!

Here's a photo of the green stuff. I have to leave it for around 24 hours to make sure it is completely set, before flocking and painting them. I can picture in my mind how I want them to look, and I hope it works out :) No more vertical edges around the miniatures' feet! As I had some prepared green stuff left over, I stuck it on the bases to form some rocks.


Basing figures this way means they can't be stuck on a 1" grid map, but they should be perfect for gridless tabletop gaming. I'll post again tomorrow or the day after, to show what they look like finished.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

battlefield in a box

I've started collecting a range of non-scale specific 'flames of war' battlefield-in-a-box terrain pieces. They were designed for a world war ii game called flames of war, which I think is 15mm miniatures, but if you just use the terrain scenery pieces (not the buildings and stuff) they work with any scale just fine!

So far I've got the river box, which has lengths of river that tile together to go horizontally or vertically across a table. It also comes with two bridges (one stone, one wood), and some of the river sections have 'ford' crossing areas.

Then there are hill sets which can be flocked if desired. I left them raw rock, so they go with grass, sand or snow just fine. This photo has the small hills set, which is two small pre-painted rocky hills.

Then there are the pine woods sets. These per flocked/painted pine tree bases were from the small pine woods box set. I have two of those boxes, for a total of 12 tree bases. (The smaller individual trees are model railroad trees I had years ago.)

The grass mat is the old games workshop gaming mat. I don't think they sell those anymore, I came across one on a shelf in a hobby store, and it was still in perfect condition :)

They Battlefield In A Box sets have some other stuff too. There's a large pine woods box (which I don't have) that has much taller trees in it, but I like these ones, because they fit in with my 10 and 15 mm miniature games as well as things like battletech. Anyway, here's a photo showing some of these pre-painted terrain features, that come ready to just stick on the table and play!


Friday, October 8, 2010

'League of Stars' Squad

Here's my little custom squad of painted clone troopers for a home-rules 'humans vs hordes of robots' game.
I've done three soldiers, and a squad commander. At some stage I'll do a grenadier, sniper and heavy weapons guy, to expand the squad. The player will be able to select only one special weapon character to add to their squad, bringing it to 5 soldiers.

I wish my camera was more accurate in its color capture, they aren't as glowy/flourescent as they appear in this photo. (or perhaps it's just my monitor settings?)
(click on pictures for full size)



Thursday, October 7, 2010

'League of Stars' Soldier

Sometimes I just don't feel right making up my own campaign story, and using star wars minis, because the story isn't a part of star wars canon, but the minis are so obviously star wars that using them for other 'universes' just doesn't feel right.

I'm grabbing a handful of spare Clone Troopers, and painting them into "League of Stars" soldiers for my 'humanity vs robot uprising' game. I'm still using KOTOR Sith Troopers as "synthetic human" robot soldiers, because I don't think 'star wars' when I see them. Star Wars for me is more the original trilogy of movies, so I can look at them and think 'robot soldier' without a problem.

So, I'm grabbing handfuls of spare figures (and I found a place I can buy individual figures super cheap) and am customising them into figures for a mini-game sort of like space hulk, but human soldiers vs hordes of robots.

Since clone trooper miniatures also come with commander, grenadier, sniper and heavy weapon variants, I can make one of each to be 'upgrades' when building a squad for a mission.

I've gone for a yellow and red paint scheme for humans, and painted the front of the clone trooper helmets in black, to make it look like the visor of a space helmet :) Now I can play non-star wars story missions, using the awesome star wars miniatures, without the whole starwarsiness of the figures losing my immersion in the game. I suppose that's what's great about star wars miniatures figures being so cheap and so readily available!

League of Stars Soldier:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Map Tiles for enemy bases and Solitaire Robot Wars Game

I came across a super-cheap downloadable and printable tile set on www.rpgnow.com that has 15 pages of corridor and room pieces. Cutting them out, you can lay them out to make a map, in a very 'space hulk' kind of way.

product can be found at: http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=84120&filters=0_0_2210_0

Here's some photos of my progress today, having printed them out, and now randomly putting them together to form a map. For a background, I turned my grass battle mat from games workshop upside down, to show the black non-slip underside, and put the tiles on top of that. I'm blu-tacking them down, since they're just standard print on paper, so that stops them curling or moving.

Tiles being cut out.


starting to assemble a random map.

some more rooms and corridors added to the table.


I'm making my own solitaire combat game, using star wars minis, called "Star Wars: The Robot Wars". Basically, hordes of robots on giant shielded ships are coming to conquer the worlds of the star wars galaxy, after the Emperor has fallen, and the weary rebels and imperial remnant forces are entering the post-Return of the Jedi era.

Instead of the story of the books, there is a massive robot war.

The ships are protected from torpedoes and starship weapons. The only solution is to pick an elite team of figures, and to board the robot ship.

On each level (a random map or corridors and rooms) counters are placed. When line of sight to a counter happens, it is turned over, revealing what sort of enemy is at that location. A robot trooper (using Sith Troopers from Knights of the Old Republic), an elite robot trooper (using Super Battle droids) or an AI Controller (using an Imperial Probe Droid). The AI Controller directs the actions of all robots on this area of the ship, so defeat him and the level is complete, and you move to the next level of the ship - where enemies appear in greater numbers, with increasing numbers of elite robots appearing.

To win, you have to reach the heart of the ship and destroy the Ship Master - a giant killer robot thing that I haven't decided on a figure for yet, that controls the ship. Take it out, and all the robots on the ship become lifeless, and the ship comes to a stop and powers down.

There are thousands of these mammoth ships, and you can play the game with any assortment of figures other than the enemy forces figures - some remnant and rebel forces will even team together to fight this threat to the known galaxy.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

swappable terrain figure bases

[edit: after some testing of this, I have discovered that the blu-tack causes flocking materials to pull off of the base, even though they are glued down, with another coat of watered down glue glazed on top later, so blu-tacking figures to swappable bases doesn't work after all. I suppose it would be fine if the bases were simply painted flat, with no surface material attached to them, but I do like the look of static grass and pebbly stuff on the bases...)

I had an idea, and tried it out with some figures I don't often use. Basically, the star wars miniatures just have their feet glued to a black plastic base. I like the look of flocked bases with other miniatures games, so I cut the figures off the bases, and had this idea of having swappable bases, depending on the type of map you are playing on! A grassy field, blu-tack the figure to a grassy flocked base. A muddy wasteland, blu-tack the figure to a muddy base. Snowy plains? Blu-tack the figure to a snowy base. When playing on a different battlefield, just pull off the figure, and blu-tack him onto an appropriate miniatures base!

Here's a shot showing four types of bases, testing with this figure.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

more washed star wars figures!

Applying: brown wash to Hoth Trooper, Leia of Hoth, and Luke the Rebel
Applying: black wash to Tarkin


Monday, May 17, 2010

more washes on miniatures!

Applying more citedal washes to my miniatures, with comparison photos (for most of them)





citedal washes

An ink-based rather than acrylic based set of coloured washes. Simply apply the colour of your choice to part of a miniature, and the ink settles in all the grooves, and around the edges of all bumps and shapes, enhancing the look of your miniatures!

In this photo, I took two rebel pilots. The one on the left has washes applied to jumpsuit, vest and helmet. A dark red wash on the jumpsuit, a black wash on the helmet and vest. Now the shape of the helmet (earpiece, etc) stands out, and the lines in the vest are clearly visible now from a distance, and even the folds and ripples of the red jumpsuit now stand out more.

Citedal washes are a great way to show the details of the sculpture of the miniature, instead of simply relying on natural lighting to cast shadows and allow you to see the 3D elements of the miniature. I'm now applying washes to all miniatures I own, star wars, lord of the rings, battletech, etc. and am loving the effect it brings out.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

More 3D Map Fun - Imperial Ground Base

Removing the 'hanger' area, rotating the map, and added a grassy forest area, makes it into a surface base on some planet! Works great this way as well :)

The AT-ST guarding this base has been sabotaged! Now is the chance for the rebels to strike!



Friday, April 23, 2010

rebel spies in stormtrooper armour

I tried my hand at simple miniature customising today, with a headswap on some stormtroopers. I had an old bespin guard, and some clone wars figure, that I never use, so I took their heads, and turned them into Rebel Spies for my Imperial Starbase scenarios.

I'm making a solitaire mini game, where stormtroopers randomly patrol to waypoint markers placed on the map. One or Two spies (depending on scenario) must do things like download data from computers, shut down shield defence, rescue prisoners, and stuff like that. I'll make a dozen or so custom 'spy' stat cards, that have different stats, skills and abilities. Then a mission is picked, and the selected spy can try to carry it out! If a stormtrooper gets too close to them, a roll is made to see if the disguise is seen through, and there's possible combat, or things like stormies running to set off alarms, etc.

I made a generic sci-fi spy game along these lines a couple of years ago, and plan to take those rules and expand upon them, into a star wars miniatures adventure game :)

Anyway, here's a pic of my two spies in stormtrooper armour.

3D imperial starbase completed!




Thursday, April 22, 2010

3D imperial base levels / death star levels continued

Last post for tonight, before I go to bed. Getting close to finishing my imperial starbase 3D map board. As I mentioned earlier, the rooms are all modular, meaning that there is a blank floor grid, and then the rooms are stand-alone 3D objects that can be placed on the floor grid in any layout to make the level. I love how it's coming along.

Got the 3D papercraft walls and computers off of the official star wars miniatures website at www.wizards.com. If you're interested, just search the posts there for Death Star 3D and you should find the discussion on it, and links to the pdf files of the pieces. Some of my map is custom pieces of mine, and for example, the deep shaft with bridge that Obi Wan is standing on is actually the 2D illustrated tile from the original box set, modified by me for my map.

Anyway, here's the latest view of my map! As always, clicking on the picture gives a bigger image.

3D death star / imperial base continues

3D Shaft and Bridge in death star / space station

I grabbed the shaft/bridge map tile that came with the original Star Wars miniatures box set, and added 3D elements to it, and a small ledge and computer jutting out from the middle of it. I'd love to find a way to actually have a real pit going down beneath the bridge, but at the moment, the imagery on the floor tile is good enough for me :)

Even more 3d death star / space station


More 3D death star / space station

Downloaded some more pieces, and have added some computers and such to my first room. Now to make some more rooms and passageways!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

3d space station / imperial base

I've started making modular rooms that can be laid out on the reverse side of the Star Wars mini's map - the side with the empty map grid on it. The rooms can be placed in different ways, and different orientations to make maps for skirmishing.

I downloaded the walls and doors as part of a collection of star wars pdf's I found in the star wars minis forums here: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/23151741/Death_Star_3d_maps?post_id=410207693#410207693

The first post links to a file that no longer exists, but further down, another guy has hosted the files. The one's I am using are the files "3D Map Elements 01" and "DS01 Walls". The walls is just a single page you print out lots of times to make walls. I cut the bottom tabs off of them, and sticky taped two walls back to back to make each length of wall, then taped them at the bottom to a square of 8x8 flooring to make my first modular room. The doorways and doors were in the Map Elements file, as well as computer consoles which I have yet to add to the room.

Anyhow, here's the first room as walls and doorways:

Monday, April 19, 2010

just some more star wars pics

I got a nintendo DSi XL console this week! I love it - and it even has built-in camera, among other features. So, I've been taking pics with the DSi today. Here's some more star wars mini pics.





Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Another MLC-3B


On the forums, we've decided the Kenner toy is the 'big brother' of the MLC-3 Mobile Laser Cannons, since the actual MLC-3 is pretty small, and in miniatures scale, the Kenner toy is tank size. So, I'm calling it the MLC-3B, and treating it as a twin firing tank. Still working out the stats and point cost, but getting closer to something workable. Anyhow, here's a pic showing my latest aquisition - a second MLC-3B in better condition than the old one that I found in my attic. The new one is still nice and white. It even still had the clear plastic bubble dome over the cockpit, but I've taken it off so that the two tanks match visually, and so it's easy to put figures in it. As always, clicking on a photo shows you the larger image.

SWM AT-AT Walker

Just a quick post today! Got the official AT-AT box set. The model is awesome! This photo isn't the best angle on it, so I'll take more pictures from some games later sometime :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Figures!!!

New figures today!!!

Full complement of hoth troopers, repeating blasters, and officer, with full complement of snowtroopers, E-Web blasters, and officer.
Now I've got Han Solo and Leia as well! Also got a Han Solo in his cold weather gear as well. Still don't have Artoo yet.

Also got Obi-Wan, 2x Rebel Troop Carts, 2x AT-STs, 2x Golan Turrets, 2x Atgar Cannons, imperial pilots, Tarkin, Vader with a lightsaber, ugnaughts to repair turrets, and a probe droid!

Anyway, here's some pics showing some new stuff, and some new stuff among some old stuff!