Monday, May 31, 2010

Classic games can be great

I first got into miniatures gaming in the early '90s with the Milton Bradley/Games Workshop joint project Space Crusade. Overall, I think the game worked rather well. Three Marine players would board a drifting space hulk infested by an odd mix of Orks, Chaos Space Marines, Genestealers and the Necrons' great grandfather. We never could figure out why every faction outside of the Imperium and Eldar could get along so swimmingly when aboard a drifting hulk.

A friend of mine took a similar path into gaming, only he did it with the Mutant Chronicles version of Space Crusade: Siege of the Citadel.

Most of the gameplay is extremely similar (almost identical in places) to Space Crusade or Heroquest. And the game concept fit into the Mutant Chronicles universe much better than Space Crusade fit into 40k.

Like Space Crusade, this is meant as an introduction to miniatures gaming- the minis aren't as high a quality as the Heartbreaker line presented in Warzone. However, the gameplay is fast and crazy, and there's a lot of screw your buddy going on as the different corporate mercenaries try to obtain their objectives (and keep their friends from getting theirs).

In one of the scenarios we played, I got to play the undead Legion and was chasing down and eating the characters with a giant monster called an Ezoghoul.

Altogether, it was a great, lighthearted game. It actually makes me want to reconstruct my old Space Crusade set. I know for a fact that I've got enough Gretchin hanging around...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The wonders of Scale Creep

Have you ever gotten out some of those older minis and set them next to a newer one? Some of the older miniatures lines have been around for a while and gone through some big changes.

Once upon a time, 25mm was the standard size. You'll still find some older Sandra Garrity minis in 25mm from Reaper.

When people started making minis bigger than that, the standard became 28mm (or 'heroic' scale) and that lasted for a little while. When sculptors exaggerated 28 mm, we invented a thing called 30mm and even a 32mm for the exaggerations of the 30mm size.

Whatever anyone says, 32mm is pretty much the standard size right now, even though many companies claim 30mm and some- like Games Workshop- still claim that their minis are 28mm mini. But how serious can they be about it when they wrote scale creep into the Ork fluff.

One of my clients recently had me paint up a classic Ogryn mini to match a group. After he saw the minis together, he decided that the only way to pull this off is if an Ogryn adolescent were joining his seniors on the battlefield.

Here is a new Ogryn next to the old one. The white stripe on the smaller ogryn's helmet is to show that he is a rookie conscript.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It is a good day for crazy minis

Well, today we've just had some news about some outstanding upcoming miniatures. Man, sometimes these just make me so excited.

The first one is from Kingdom Death and he's called the Gorm. He's a rather large, fully resin miniature who is creepy as all hell and just opened up for pre-orders.

He's also Kingdom Death's first foray into the world of larger miniatures- and I wonder what else they might have in store.

You can have a look at him from different angles too. This guy is very creepy.

The other piece of news today is that Privateer Press is following up their promise of a new Farrow faction with a great steam powered cyborg giant pig.

Really, what's not to love about that?

It seems that the Farrow faction might be following in the footsteps of their creator and completely raping nature to create crazy warpigs.

This mini is called a War Hog, and you should probably check out the 360 view of him at Privateer Press' gallery.

There, you will see that he actually has a boiler in his back. This is a steam powered pig.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Praetorian Shadowsword

Following the same basic pattern I used in painting the Paetorian Stormlord, I used quite a few known techniques when approaching this Shadowsword.

I think my favorite part of painting this tank was the freehand I did on the side. This time, rather than a fire breathing lion, I painted on a snarling saber-toothed lion face- in colors that I would normally use for a non-metallic gold color.

Overall, I was pleased with how this tank turned out.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lord Carver concept art

So, a little while ago, I posted that Alliance Distribution had given us confirmation on a new Hordes faction- the Farrow.

At that point, all the solid info that we had were the names of the different characters (a new Minion Warlock named Lord Carver doesn't necessarily mean that he's a Farrow). He was coming out with a war-pig, but that still isn't complete confirmation.

Well, we now have absolute confirmation. Here is some Lord Carver concept art. We hope the mini looks as good as this.

I honestly am wondering if he'll fit on a small base.

I guess there was one other thing that I had been worried about. With full minion warlocks (rather than Lesser ones) Privateer really needs to be out-doing the sculpts on their Lessers. And they put the bar up pretty high with Wrong Eye and Snapjaw winning Tabletop Gaming New's reader's choice for mini of the year, and Rorsh and Brine are just some of my very favorite sculpts.

Anyway, so far, it looks like they knew that, and it looks like they'll be able to pull it off.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ok, this guy needed to be mentioned. He's our first large base non-epic warlock for any Hordes faction, and he's quite the mammoth. I mean, he looks like he might have started out with a small base and worked his way up.

This is Dominar Rasheth- the only Skorne too lazy to walk onto the battlefield himself.

We know pretty much nothing about the rules for Rasheth, but the mini does look like we're seeing a little bit of a new direction for Skorne. As for speculation, a good look at his back in Privateer Press' 360 viewer will show that he seems to have abused his own skin in similar ways to the poor titan babies.

Anyway, this is a crazy good mini, and he's coming to Hordes in August.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Well, I'm not seeing something like that again

With being a professional miniatures painter, I often get commissions for the most popular forces. That has never bothered me- rather I often get excited to paint the same minis in different ways (even the wiggle room within a single Space Marine chapter are pretty big).

Anyway, every once in a while I get something where my response is "Wow... I don't think I'll ever see that one again."

So, here's one of those. This is a set of Imperial Guardsmen from the long discontinued Praetorian platoon (one of the only platoons that isn't available from GW's Imperial Guard Collectors site). They are Rough Riders who have been mounted on bikes rather than horses. Mind, the bikes you see here are also very old discontinued mini.

Now, I could have repeat commissions for classic minis- that does happen. However, the bikes and the Praetorians were not contemporaries. These bikes come from the Rogue Trader days when minis came in packages with lead warnings on the side. The riders started out as resin cavalry riders from Colonel Gravis (I had do do some sculpting one each mid-section to make them lean forward to hold the handlebars). The heads are from a Empress Miniatures, and the arms are all the new plastic Cadians.

Ok, so what I'm basically saying here is, "Man, converted Rogue Trader bikes with converted Praetorian riders on them? Yep, this is my only chance to see those minis."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hollywood is a funny business...

So, before we go anywhere with this, have you heard about the upcomming Monsterpocalypse film? You haven't? Well, I suppose you could go check out that Deadline New York article.

Ok, so you're done. So what do we know about this film? Well, from that article, I gleaned that it most likely won't be happening at all. Movie studios work that way- they option the rights for lots of properties (at relatively cheap prices) and then sell those rights to one another at a profit. Every studio has tons of rights to make lots of adaptations at any given moment, but they don't have the money to make large production films of even a tenth of them.

Currently, there is a chance (a 5-10% chance) that Monsterpocalypse will become a film right now, and there wasn't before. That's the good news.

The article also tells us that someone wishes Tim Burton would sign onto the project. I'm pretty sure that half the blockbuster films that get made wish they had Tim Burton on their project, though, so it doesn't really mean anything. And even though MonPoc is big news in the gaming community, Burton has probably never heard of it.

Compare that kind of name suggesting against the actual names we have working on the upcomming Ultramarines Movie. Directed by Martyn Pick, produced by David Kerney and Bob Thompson. Does everyone and their dog know who these people are? No, but that's because they aren't just names on someone's wish list for a project that hasn't solidified yet.

Now, Ultramarines is pretty far into production- but it is still a film that may never happen. Games Workshop has had film projects like it fizzle in the past. Does anyone remember Blood Quest?

Anyway, for right now I'm thinking of this film as a vapor project- at least until production starts in earnest and they have any names of real people working on teh project.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New 30mm Star Wars minis

Back when I first started painting miniatures, there were some Star Wars minis I picked up. I thought that was a great idea, I loved Star Wars and there was just no reason why minis of those characters couldn't work.

Now, that line of minis wasn't great quality- all of my storm troopers helmets were lopsided or a little flat. But I still maintain that there was simply no reason why Star Wars shouldn't have great minis.

Well, Knight Models has just released the first four in a new line of 30mm Star Wars miniatures, and from the pics, they look great.

Knight Models has a large line of licensed miniatures- mostly in 70mm. Their quality is quite good (I've had a look at their Wolverine sculpt: he's pretty fantastic). They actually have had some 70mm Star Wars minis out and about also, but this is the first time since the early nineties that we've had pewter, paintable playable Star Wars minis.

So go check out their first four.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Exploring techniques

I often look at the work of other painters to learn new techniques- and online there are hundreds of tutorials for every level of painter to be found.

Once upon a time, I was most excited about tutorials that would give me strong color recipes. I wanted to make my minis look exactly like the ones pictured, and I was often upset if I didn't have the same paint pots that the painter had used.

Nowdays, I'm a little of the opposite. I like to take a technique and try to push it a little farther, and press it a little harder until I find uses for it that I hadn't thought of before.

Here's an example. You can take the same Lightning Effect that I've used on power weapons and such, and alter it a little to make a cracked earth lava effect.

The big difference between the lightning and lava is the pattern. Lightning needs to fork outward, so you always have a definite direction for it to be traveling. The lava, on the other hand, simply needs to make shapes and connect with other strips of lava.

Oh, and the colors are different too.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hordes Minion Farrow Warlock on the horizon

Alliance Game Distribution has recently posted up two interesting new additions to the Hordes range:

- Hordes: Minions Lord Carver, Bmmd, Esq. III $13.99
- Hordes: Minions War Hog $44.99

From the names and prices, it looks like we have some confirmation that there will be rules for a piggy faction in the upcoming Forces of Hordes: Minions book. We have at least one warlock and an accompanying warbeast for him.

So, if you thought it would have been pretty sour for a faction book to come out an not include any playable faction in it, it seems the guys at Privateer Press agree with you. I had thought as much ever since they announced that there would be a separate Minions faction book- and honestly if they want to fill a whole faction book with minions, there are going to have to be a good number of additions.

This posibility was left pretty open after the minion minor warlock cards were altered to include the possibility of more warbeasts available to them. At this point, it has crossed the line of speculation.

Now, all we really want is to see what the minis will look like.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wyrd is accepting beta test applicants

Wyrd Miniatures are currently accepting applications to their semi-open beta test for the next expansion to Malifaux.

The expansion is definitely going to have rules for new crews- it looks as though Wyrd is using Privateer Press' model of expanding all factions at once (although some have speculated that there will be five new factions instead).

Altogether, if you're familiar with Malifaux, have time to play test and think you'll be helpful in generating feedback, then get on over to Wyrd and apply.