Friday, January 22, 2021

I didn't say they'd be big minis

In my ongoing attempt to complete at least one miniature each week, I finished up these three smaller figures, some of the familiars from Reaper's Bones line of miniatures. Ostensibly 28 mm scale, they're smaller than the human figures from that range, and therefore easier and quicker to paint. Also, I don't have to worry about clothing and equipment.

I like the way this three-eyed gremlin turned out, especially the expression on his (her? its?) face.
You can't really see the details in these photos, but this cthuloid being looks good with the color-shifting paints I used.
And I'm not sure why this flame sprite is so curvaceous, but some various bright colors make this fig stand out.
I don't know when I will game with these figures, or what I'll use them for, but I'm really enjoying the progress as I work my way through all these unpainted minis. Until next week!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Another map for Melee

I haven't been a total slacker recently when it comes to working on game stuff; while I was off for the Christmas holidays, I cranked out this arena for Melee battles. Just like with my previous game mat, this came from a styrofoam sheet in some furniture packaging and was fairly simple to complete. This time, however, I decided to put just a single map on the board.

First, I pressed Heroscape tiles into the surface to imprint the hexes onto the styrofoam. After that, I painted the whole thing with white school craft glue for protection--and to save time, I mixed the base color of brown in with the glue (this also made it easy to see where I missed a spot). Once I had the base coat done, I painted the individual hexes, using different colors for each megahex and for the starting areas. Finally, I brushed a dark wash into all the hex borders for better visibility.  

Not counting drying time, this project probably took about an hour or so for me to finish. I like the earth tones here; it's a lot brighter than my first attempt, which is more dungeonesque compared to this outdoor desert arena look. And it looks pretty good with some of my newly painted minis to show it off. 

I have one more sheet of styrofoam I plan use for a Wizard map, with its additional megahexes. I'm thinking of a wholly different palatte--maybe with cooler colors for a more magical look, but we'll see. 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Bear with me ...

Get it? Because it's a bear!

This miniature is the latest in my quest to finish one or more figures each week. I actually completed it yesterday, and forgot to post until today.

This fella is from Reaper's Bones line of minis. He will come in handy for all sorts of skirmish games, especially Melee and Frostgrave.

I like the angry expression on his face--like he got woken up unnecessarily. Some days I can relate to that. Anyway, what's everyone else working on? Have you all painted up some animal minis recently?

Friday, January 8, 2021

At least one miniature a week

Last year was a shitshow, for so many reasons, and then 2021 said, "Hold my beer and watch this." No in-person gaming, of course, and I was not very productive when it came to minis or terrain or even this blog. So in order to motivate myself and keep my mind off current events, I decided I will paint at least one miniature a week this year. 

Here's the result for week 1: a female martial artist from Reaper that's been sitting primed in my closet for several years. It's not an award-worthy effort--I paint to a tabletop standard, where figures look good at arm's length or more--but it's done. Completing this figure to where it can go on the mat gave me a sense of accomplishment (and material for this blog).
My gaming buddies are able to crank out mini after mini, week after week, but it's harder for me. I don't know whether it's laziness or a short attention span, but my eyes are bigger than my concentration when it comes to painting gaming miniatures. So I'm gonna use this weekly showcase to get in the habit and inspire myself, and hopefully my fellow gamers.

I don't have to be a great painter of miniatures. I just have to paint. The more I apply pigment to figure, the easier it will become. See y'all next week.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020


I don't have an specific software or hardware set up for long-distance gaming, but I did manage to play a game of Axis & Allies with my brother using laptop videoconferencing software earlier this month. He set up the board, moved the pieces, and rolled the dice as I viewed from afar. The opposite end of the board was a little hard to make out from this angle, but the occasional top-down pic of the board (sent via text) helped me (even though I failed to notice that I had no troops in Souther Europe, leaving me open to an Allied invasion). It was fun, and a nice way to game with someone I haven't seen in person in month, although I wasn't able to play the Axis countries as well as I should have. 
A couple of weeks later, we played a little of Steve Jackson Games' Melee, this time with me running it. Instead of setting up a board with counters or figures, I imported the map into PowerPoint, drew some simple counters, and used the share screen function to let him see the board and tell me how to move his figures (note that I numbered and lettered all the hexes to make that easier). I also set up a spreadsheet using Excel's RANDBETWEEN function to simulate dice rolls. Another fun game, even if he did kill all my guys.

I'm hoping for more gaming in the new year, whether in person or through screens. Either way, here's to finally ending this shitshow of a year. Hope the upcoming one is a whole lot better.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Battle of Five Armies for HotT

Greetings in the time of pandemic! I'm still around, doing little gaming or miniatures painting, but I am thinking about gaming and miniatures painting.

My latest thoughts are on the Battle of Five Armies from The Hobbit (the book, not the movie) and how to game that using Hordes of the Things. After getting inspired by the maps in The Atlas of Middle Earth and rereading the novel, I am considering assembling forces, not in the traditional 24-point HotT armies, but in numbers proportionate to the figures chronicled in the novel and the map collection. Oh, and because of the size of the armies, I think it would be cool to do this in 6mm scale.

First you have the armies of Dwarfs, Elves, and Men. Durin's folk are listed at about 500 troops, clad in mail and wielding two-handed mattocks--so maybe four stands of Blades, plus Thorin and Company as a Hero. The Wood Elves include spearmen and some archers, numbering about twice as much as the Dwarfs--let's say six stands of Spears and two stands of Shooters. That leaves the Men of Laketown with a couple hundred warriors--call them two stands of Warband. That's 32 AP total.

Don't forget: the Eagles are coming! (as late-game reinforcements)--four stands of Flyers. And Beorne arrives as well, enlarged to near giant-size--sounds like a behemoth. And that makes 12 more AP.

Then you have the Goblins and the Wargs, which vastly outnumber their foes. The latter forces are easy--eight stands of Beasts. As for the former, you have Goblins riding wolves--eight stands of Riders--and the sword-carrying Goblins with their numerous black and read banners--a dozen Hordes! Finally, you have their general, Bolg, and his bodyguard of huge Goblins with scimitars as a Warband. Tolkien also mentions bats attacking or obstructing the defenders, so a couple stands of Flyers as well. In all, 50 AP.

Not balanced armies, but they feel pretty true to the book. This was a fun little thought experiment; now to source a bunch of 6mm fantasy figures ...

Wednesday, September 30, 2020



I found a whole bunch of stompy mecha clix minis for cheap on eBay, so I bought a dozen or so. Even though I'm a Battletech fan, I'm not gonna use them for that. Instead, I plan on using these as killer robots in games of Mutants and Death Ray Guns, the post-apocalyptic version of Song of Blades and Heroes. I like the choppy-smashy bits and the shooty bits; and size-wise, these will go great with the 28-32mm prepaints I'm using. Or I may just come up with my own skirmish rules; we'll see.

As a bonus, I scored some recovery vehicles that will see action in my Monopolis scenarios for OGRE/GEV, once I can start playing games with other people in person. Speaking of, is anyone back to regular gaming? I miss that.