Friday, August 31, 2012

Relic Knights has rules on PDF

Ok, some of you may know that I'm a bit of a fan of Sodapop Miniatures. The first year, Deke told me about how they were making rules for their Relic Knights line of anime inspired miniatures. He told me about how cool it was going to be-  but they didn't really have rules yet.

 Last year, they had rules. So, I walked up to Deke and said, "Look, I already play several miniatures games. What about your rules set makes your game unique?"

He had the best answer I've ever had for that question.

 But I can't answer that question in a very short space.  Instead, I recommend that you check out the rules set they just posted online.   Including stat cards for every mini they've released or previewed (except for some Limited Edition minis from the Kickstarter).

Really, this game plays like no other miniatures game I've played. Anyway, I've been playing with the beta rules, and I think this game is great.  The current set has a few things that I think are improvements as well.

 Here are some pictures of their case of minis from this year's Gencon: Here's the Librarian for Doctrine- flanked behind him by one of Hell's Bells. Lug is a pretty nice looking mini.  Gorilla Mechs are great. Not new miniatures, but Delphine and Ehkis are one of my favorite pairs in the game. This is the questing knight for Black Diamond.  We've seen the mini before, but only unpainted. Here are the Paladin Infantry.   And this giant mech is on an eighty millimeter base.  Simply massive.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wyrd does plastic

Wyrd miniatures have been around for a while now. For the past few years, they've had a lot of success with Malifaux. Last year, they introduced a number of resin miniatures- larger minis that were made from resin to offset the rising costs of tin. This year, they feel that the prices of tin have gotten worse, and they're moving their entire line into plastic. After looking at some of the minis, I can report a little about them. - They come on the sprue. After opening so many boxes from Privateer Press, this actually surprised me. - The plastic their using is the hardest I've seen used for miniatures. It is slightly harder than the plastic that Games Workshop uses, and much harder than the plastic used by Privateer Press (and oh-so-much-harder than Reaper's Bones plastic). - The minis do suffer from the big issue of all plastics- loss of detail around the mold lines. However, Wyrd is able to make up for this by making their minis from many pieces. Minis that would have been only one piece or two are now five or six. Wyrd has always prioritized ease of assembly far below awesomeness of the miniature. - The actual detail that they're pulling off is really fine. I've compared it up against a few plastic minis that I have around here from other lines, and this material is impressive. - The minis are absolutely not bendy. The tiny fiddly bits that Wyrd likes to put on their minis are bending a great deal less than their pewter. - The strangest thing about Wyrd's plastics right now is that they used it for all of their limited edition Con-exclusive miniatures this year. Even the one that is only available to Henchmen. Generally, plastic prices are based on the costs of the mold, so selling a great many of them in bulk is important. I wonder what has changed that their process doesn't need this anymore (or if this was an experiment of some sort). Here are some photos of their new minis:


 These are the "Nightmare" miniatures from this year. The Hanging Tree and two Hanged based on Nathan and Eric (owners of Wyrd). None of the plastic minis in the case were painted.


 This was the only painted plastic mini that I got to see. He was out on one of the tables, I'm guessing he was hoping to be part of a demo. I can't help but think that five years ago, Wyrd fans would have been up in arms over this (the way that Privateer Press fans were before the release of the photos of Exemplar Bastions). Honestly, plastic used to mean lower quality. But it has become more and more clear that newer plastics have come a long way and can support good detail on miniatures. It also surprises me that we're seeing so many kinds of plastics, each with their own advantages. From the scant information we have right now, it looks like Relic Knights is going to be using the same kind of plastic that Wyrd is using, and I'm very interested to see how that turns out.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Privateer Press is a little popular at the con...

So, most of you probably already knew that Gencon was the pre-release for Privateer Press' new Level 7 board game, the new guargantuans, and the Iron Kingdoms RPG system. Once the hall opened, they had a line of about five hundred people to pick up things from their booth. That lasted until about three in the afternoon, when they finally sold the last of the RPG books. I've played the RPG under the old D20 rules for a long time, and it is easily among my favorite settings. I hadn't actually expected that it was a favorite system for so many other people as well. I had a friend of mine make it to the front of that line in time, but he hasn't let me borrow his book yet. Anyway, perhaps to entertain the people in line, Matt DiPietro set to painting the newest Colossal- the Protectorate Judicator. Overall, it was looking pretty terrific, even if it wasn't all that finished or even completely assembled. On a side note, Matt won this years "Ace of Aces" speed painting competition and was awarded a rubber oven mitt.

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Super Dungeon Expansion minis revealed

I think the guys at Sodapop never expected their stuff to get so big. Their current Kickstarter project is soon going to outstretch its second map of stretch goals, and their board game, Super Dungeon Explore! has been solidly selling out for a while now. I think they're on their third printing, and they'll probably be on their forth soon. Not to be deterred, they had a new expansion available at Gencon (the Caverns of Roxor) and a whole bunch of minis to show off for their next expansion. The expansion doesn't have a name yet, but it has a clear Castlevania theme to it. Here are some photos:


 The little vampire is the boss fight (he transforms into the giant bat vampire).


 The mini boss is death.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Paizo has all their fan bases covered

The Paizo booth at Gencon was buzzing along pretty solidly anytime I walked by. So much Pathfinder stuff for people to see. One interesting note was that Reaper wasn't around this year. They decided to go to PAX Prime, and couldn't make both venues (and keep up their Kickstarter at the same time). That meant thatPaizo was displaying Reaper's Pathfinder minis for them.


What I found interesting, though, was that Pathfinder has three ranges of miniatures (four if you include the upcoming Pathfinder Bones minis). But in addition to Reaper's fine line of Pathfinder minis, they also had Wizkids' line of pre-painted minis, and a brand new line of cardboard cutout minis.


 It seems like Paizo is doing something that most game companies don't dare to try. They're making different products to please different folks. As a painter, I would never buy either the cardboard or pre-painted minis. But there are minis for me, and they look great. And it is great that Paizo can do three lines for three different audiences and not worry about how they must be splitting their fan base and losing sales. It just feels nice that they're not telling their fans what to want, and instead just making products that appeal to the very different ways in which people play their game. It is a good attitude to see from the top RPG on the market.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gencon Painting Awards

Well, I'm back from Gencon, and every year it takes me a little while to get through all of the blogging that I want to do. This year is no different, so expect me to talk about little else for about a week. First off- the Gencon Indy Miniatures Painting Competition. This year, the competition was good to me, and I walked away with a first place and third place: Here's a Ramos crew that I painted up that won the Unit category. Ramos Crew   Wyrd miniatures wasn't adding their prize support to the competition this year (which is odd for them, it really is).  However, when I stopped by their booth to show off my trophy, there was a little bit of stealth prize support.  I'll show that one off when I get it painted.   I also won third place in the Large Miniatures category with my Super Dungeon Explore Rex:   I'll get photos of him without glare soon.  I think it will have to be followed by a write up on how I painted the bruises and cuts. Overall, the competition was pretty tight, and I got some pointers from Amy Steppman about how I could improve my entries for next year.  I already have a lot of ideas brewing.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Harlequin Titan

Some of my favorite painting projects are the large resin miniatures- like the ones from Forge World, or the new ones coming out of Privateer Press. This is made all the more true by the addition of freehand and cool effects. For this one, I think my client's concept was just priceless. Take an Eldar Titan and turn it into a Harlequin titan. Overall, I think he turned out rather nice. I've also posted him up on Coolmini for some crowd feedback.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Relic Knights has a new Kickstarter

Ok, this time of year must be Kickstarter season. Sodapop Miniatures has just started up a new Kickstarter to turn their Relic Knights line into a full game. The major cost their hoping to use this for is turning their existing resin and metal line into affordable plastics. It seems like everyone is turning to plastics these days. If the prices on the Kickstarter are any indication, the cost of playing Relic Knight, then the plastics are dropping the price way down. The new releases they have lined up look pretty steller too. Here's an Ogre that they're adding to the Shattered Sword Paladins: Paladin Ogre Now, I play a lot of miniatures games already, and I get excited about minis even when I don't feel the need to play the game they work in. This one is different. I'm one of those people who went to Gencon last year, and I've played this game using the beta rules set. And the game rocks. They've created a game that works brilliantly with a fairly simple set of actual rules, but a ton of tactical decision making. What you end up with is a game that moves very quickly, and keeps both players active the whole time. In addition, the game doesn't have a 'round.' Instead each scenario has winning (or losing/drawing) conditions and when those are met, the game ends. The only thing we really haven't seen yet is what kinds of extras they'll be adding after they've made thier $100k mark. I mean, they're following the last two Kickstarters to come out of Coolmini- so they're a little obligated to throw in scores of extras. I guess we'll see.

Monday, August 6, 2012

It's not always about the zombies

Most of my clients who want cake toppers look at the collection of zombies and zombie survivors and say "I'd like something like that." Which is fine. I love zombies too. But here's a cake topper that I finished fairly recently. Before sending it out to its permanent home, I showed it to a friend of mine who had come over for a LAN party. He told me it brought a tear to his eye. I find these two really sweet. Kissing Gamers Kissing Gamers 2 null