Working on my first Veritech as far as RTT goes, but I have got the whole Area Denial Squad finished:
Category Archives: Modeling & Painting
This afternoon I painted my very first Robotech Tactics model, a Tomahawk Destroid.
To show the coloured in firing arc pips:
I’m not terribly good when it comes to camouflage, but I didn’t want to do the normal solid colour schemes. One reason for that is that the camouflage pattern should help hide things like mold lines and where I screwed things up during assembly. It’s also just more interesting to me to look at.
I got so excited about painting this afternoon that I completely skipped scraping the mold lines before I applied the undercoat. I will try to be more restrained in the future…
I undercoated in Krylon Flat White. I was going to use the Testor’s Model Primer originally because it’s a finer spray and I was afraid of obscuring some of the more shallow details, but I couldn’t find any in the local stores and didn’t want to drive out of town today. I use regular Krylon spray paint for all my other base coating anyway, so I didn’t feel too fussed about it
My base coat was Reaper’s Olive Drab. It may have been a mistake to use a Reaper paint for something meant to be shown off to the KS backers, since I normally use Citadel and am not entirely used to Reaper paints (they mix and apply differently.) But I really like the Olive Drab colour and didn’t have an equivalent in Citadel on hand, so there we go.
After basing I washed the whole thing in a heavily applied Citadel Thraka Green wash, which is an old wash that is no longer produced. I’m not a very good painter, so I really rely on washes to help me out.
The camouflage pattern is Citadel Dark Angels Green. I didn’t have a plan when I started, just started off making some high spots on the rear torso dark. Then I just sort of winged that mother.
A few spots, notably the gun clusters, I filled in with a Vallejo Black, which I also used to repaint the base black. My original idea for the base was a medium gray colour, but what I had wasn’t covering my paint splatters from painting the mecha, so I switched to the black because I didn’t feel like going through the trouble of multiple cover layers to get an even shade.
Also I decided it would be useful to fill in the firing arc pips with colour.
There is a little plate like thing on the rear of the bases that I assume is meant to be a place to add a designation for the particular mecha so you know what model goes with what card during play. I painted that a heavy white so that I can go back with a Sakura pigma pen and write in a number or name for the mecha when I get a better feel for how my army is going to shape up.
Oh yeah, the search light I layered up with light brown to ice blue, then added the white for the reflection effect (one of a very few special effects I ever attempt.)
For the pictures my camera isn’t great and neither is the lighting in my kitchen. In Photoshop I used the auto-colour function, then bumped the brightness to +20 and pulled the contrast down -50. This was to help highlight the difference in the greens of the camouflage. The two oblique pictures are probably the better representations of what the model looks like to the naked eye.
This evening I sat down with my new Robotech Tactics game and had a go at building one of the models. I selected the Destroid Tomahawk model, because this mecha has always been one of my favorite designs. I also wanted to carry it to the game store tomorrow to have something to show my friends, and this is a familiar design to many people.
To start off, there’s a lot more parts to these minis than is strictly necessary. The Kickstarter comment section had a lot of backdraft blowing through it, and I understand the bitching about seams and mold lines caused some of the delays as the Ninja Division people did their level best to eliminate them as much as possible. Of course this meant more parts. Honestly, I would have rather spent a few moments using the edge of my Exact-O than deal with the extra headache of small, fiddly bits, but nobody asked me and I didn’t want to get involved in the silliness of the discussion.
So here is the picture of the parts freshly clipped from the sprue:
I didn’t really look at the instructions, but there isn’t much in the way of instructions to begin with. This is probably my prime complaint here, but I’ll get to that in a minute. Below is the torso of the Tomahawk. I knocked it out in maybe five minutes. For this I’m using nothing but an old Exact-O and a mostly used tube of Loctite Super Glue Gel. I wanted to prove that it was easy, mostly, because there’s been a lot of angst circling this game and everything about it, so this is, “here, I did this with what most people could find in a kitchen junk drawer.”
The problem I have with the instructions is two-fold: they are vague, and the parts aren’t numbered. The vagueness first hit when I first looked at the missile bits for the torso. I had to do a double-take and actually look at the instructions, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that there are two styles, two of each. So you’re either going to have one mecha with both hatches open and another with both hatches closed, or you can have one and one of each. A very minor complaint: I would have preferred to have the option for both styles on both Tomahawks on the sprue. Really, though, for someone who has done this sort of hobby modeling for a while, the closed hatch at least would be easy to just make out of putty, and the smaller hatch-open pieces would be easy to self cast, if you really wanted to have two with both hatches open.
Like the torso missiles, the particle cannons have two different pose styles. The instructions show the arms as being two pieces with the cannon able to swivel, but apparently that was victim to one of the many mold changes. Not a big deal.
The legs and feet is where things go wonky. When they repackage these for general sale I sincerely hope that they include better instructions regarding this train wreck. Numbered parts here would be a great help. There are four different feet styles, and two sets of legs, and I didn’t know how they were supposed to match up. Figuring that part out took about as long as the rest of the assembly steps altogether. Maybe if I had paid closer attention when I was clipping parts, but I didn’t just clip bits helter-skelter, either. I wasn’t sure even when they were on the sprues which ones I should cut off or what the difference between them was. It took me until the dry-fitting to fully realize the extent to which the feet were different from one another:
There was a lot of guess work involved at this stage. I came up with what I thought was the best arrangement and took a photo:
Honestly, though, I’m certain that in between swearing and gluing my fingers to everything the above arrangement was probably modified. But I got through it, and managed to get the damn thing posed and glued together:
I was going for the pose from the Loose drawing out of the old Battletech Technical Field Manual 3025:
I couldn’t get the legs the way I wanted. I’m not sure it’s possible, but maybe it is. The hip joints are the weakest part of the design, and the most aggravating part of the actual assembly process. I think even if it were absolutely clear which leg matches which foot, gluing the legs to the hips would still be maddening. I’m not even positive the torso isn’t going to fall off or rotate forward or back by the time I wake up tomorrow. I guess I’ll update this if it goes sideways any time soon, but I think that sooner or later I may have to re-glue the legs to the hips.
There’s a few mold lines I want to scrape off that I skipped when I was putting it together, but I want to wait until the glue is dry and I’m ready to paint. I’ll do another one of these blogs when I’m doing the paint, maybe next Friday. I have a 40k figure I need to paint for a competition, so I’ll probably do them on the same day. I also need to buy some good primer. I think the spray paint I normally use would probably be too thick for the details of these.
So that’s that. I will do one of the Veritechs (all three poses) at some point, hopefully soon. When I get enough of the models done I’ll maybe play a small skirmish with a friend and do a battle report and review of the rules.
This past weekend I once again attended the Recruits convention in at Lee’s Summit High School. I’ve gone to several of these in the past, and they’ve always been a good time. When I’m not so tired I’ll come back and link the past blogs about them here, but for now I wan to concentrate getting the pictures up. Because there’s a few of them.
My first Recruits I just sort of walked around and gawked, but I did get to play a demo game. The next time I went I came loaded for shopping. This latest time my friends and I put on our own demo. OK, it was my friends’ demo and I was just there, but I helped by carrying things…
The above logo is that of my friends’ club they started to try and build a larger local player base for the game Dust Warfare, from Fantasy Flight Games. I think it’s a good rule-set, but I have an allergic reaction to both WWII and anything involving real historical or current units. It’s an alternate history sci-fi thing so it skirts my second concern, but it’s still very much a WWII themed game, so I’m not into it. I’ve promised to build a small army if they ever do an Imperial Japan faction and the walkers are cool, but the dismissively Euro-centric way that the Japanese are treated in the rulebook’s alternate history section leads me to believe this won’t happen in a way I’m thrilled with, if at all.
Moving right along, the demo itself went really well:
This was our first group: two teens that were thrilled with the effectiveness of the German advanced technology, and a convention traveller from a gamer podcast. I forget which podcast he said he was from, but Mr Y told me he listened to it.
I want to highlight the centerpiece of the terrain we carted in. One of the fun things about a wargames convention is usually the elaborate and well built terrain to play on, and this year for the 435th’s convention debut Mr S labored long and hard on this signal shack installation. It received many compliments, especially for the painstakingly crafted fence.
The scenario was that the Germans had some xenotechnology captured from the SSU inside the shack. The Allies job was to capture it, the SSU wanted to destroy it, and the Axis needed to hold them off for 6 rounds. The last turns of this scenario are always pretty dramatic, because you’ve got just enough time to win, but every chance in the world to fail at the very last moment. Here, some SSU have just moved into the reaction area of a machine gun equipped walker and are about to pay for it with their lives…
Mr. R constructed the hardened walls there, and they are moveable. The Axis never manages to hold the line in that midfield, but getting up to those trees there and moving the concertina wire is murder.
The forces were set up so that two people could play per faction. This is before the start of the first game, showing the starting position of the SSU and Allies. Part of the fun of the scenario is seeing how much fighting the Allies and SSU are going to get into. Having playtested on the Axis side, I can tell you that letting the Allies Hot Dog walker live long enough to burn the SSU snipers out of that ruin is crucial to holding out…
The Allies had jump troops, but speeding them toward the objective without crippling the Axis support troops is super deadly for them. Here two heroes, one from the SSU and Allies each, end up dramatically facing off in the very end moves of the game. Miniatures custom painted by the 435th crew.
Speaking of terrain, when I wasn’t busy assisting at the demo I was walking around taking photographs of every damn thing there. I love the terrain that people bring. This was a 15mm sci-fi thing, though I can’t remember what game it specifically was. It really looked like the players were enjoying themselves though, and I definitely admire the urban set-up of the scenario. Smaller games open up possibilities for more cool terrain than is generally possible for 25mm and up.
I mentioned a distaste for historical wargaming, but I’m completely fascinated with WWI air combat and would love to find someone to play Wings of Wr with me. I’m not sure what rule-set these people were using, or what scale exactly, but I loved the fact they included cloud cover and had telescoping flight stands for true 3D movement.
The first convention I went to the game I played was the .45 Adventure (I think the system is called) with objectives tailored for each faction. I see it every year, and every year it looks like just as much fun. I like the giant rock formation in the middle this year.
Of course, the “pirate dudes” brought the biggest, the most, and the swag-est terrain, of which this is a small representative. These guys had their own room this year, and I didn’t find out about it until lunch time.
I didn’t photograph the large French-Indian table this year, but I got this larger scale battle on the other side of the room. I think it’s from the same era, but I’m not sure. I don’t know enough about that time period to say with any kind of authority.
Pretty sure these guys were playing Infinity. I think. I know someone was playing Infinity, and these were the only super sci-fi skirmish photos I had on my camera so it must have been them. I see this game talked about on the image boards all the time, but I had never seen anyone playing it before.
This isn’t a very good picture (it was hard to get a good position near the table without being all up in the players’ faces), but this is a good old fashioned Battletech game. I should have tried to talk to the organiser, because I am absolutely dying to play this game again. I’ve had a single game since I bought the new boxed set when it came out, and that makes me sad. I loved their fabric hex terrain, though. It’s a great idea.
This table was really cool. They had an Aliens scenario going on, though I have no idea where the models came from or if they were using official rules or a makeshift system. It looked like fun, whatever exactly they were doing.
SAGA, obviously. What I gleaned from the tubes is that it’s from a company called Studio Tomahawk from France? Or maybe they’re Quibecois? Someone call me out on that if I’m wrong, but the search engine wasn’t being cooperative and I want to get this done and go to sleep…
The latest gaming fad that is crossing the great Grognard Divide and attracting people who aren’t normally gamers is X-Wing. Star Wars is a powerful IP, and FFG has produced some truly awesome scale models for us to play with. I’ve played it myself and I enjoy it, but I wonder about its lasting power. The Millennium Falcon models probably mostly went to collectors for the first run, I’ll bet. They’re very, very cool. I totally want to get a squadron of TIE Advanced and go with a small super-elite Imperial force, but I’m both broke and addicted to Nottingham plasticrack…
Dreadball. This is from Mantic, who make space dwarves, among other things. They have decently priced plastics for both fantasy and for “space fantasy” armies, though they sort of suffer when it comes to number of possible poses. But Dreadball is their version of “space rugby”, a concept that’s been around a while. On a tangent, when I was a kid I really loved the Rutger Hauer film The Blood of Heroes when I was a kid.
The organisers of this Star Trek spaceship fightin’ game have an absolutely mental campaign at my FLGS. It’s been running weekly for years now, and there’s a mob of people that play it. I’m not really into Star Trek that much, but every time I’m in there for painting and see this madness I sort of get the itch to want to join in. I’d be over my head when it comes to the background, though, because I never really cared for TOS and only sort of followed TNG. The movies are my main point of contact with the IP.
This man laser cuts wooden sailing ships that are very nice looking, and he’s local. I had a flyer with his information, but I don’t know what happened to it. I’ll try to find out his info and update this later, because those are some very nice ships.
A close-up of the Battletech terrain, just because. I don’t mind the cardboard maps, it is primarily a board game after all, but there is something much more visually appealing about this sort of presentation. Cool models and terrain make the game more enjoyable. Painted models also are more successful on the table too, everyone knows that.
“Hey, did you guys know there’s a bunch of stuff going on downstairs?” So yeah, I had been walking around wondering why the convention seemed smaller than previous years when I decided to follow some people down the stairs. There was an X-Wing tournament going on, and on the other side I believe it was a Warmahordes tournament. Anyway, people were playing those two games. I didn’t see the mob of 40k players I normally expect, but there was Comicon that weekend as well, and other stuff was happening later after we left, so it could have been that. Someone was setting up a proper Apocalypse sized table in the entryway area when we were leaving, so perhaps they all showed up after I left. At the FLGS later I saw the usual people hanging out doing their thing, so it’s also possible that without an official scheduled tournament with prizes nobody really cared enough to pack their minis off to Lee’s Summit.
Something in the silent auction definitely worth bidding on. Oh, how I wished I had the cash to put bids on these. I don’t know the winning bid, but I bet it was well under the MSRP of everything there. There’s a certain prestige to collecting a Sisters of Battle army. It says to people, “I am the bull goose looney of GW customers!” I mean, that’s totally why I have a SoB army, anyway.
That’s it, I believe. I sort of uploaded the photos to my media library in a screwy order, so I won’t know if I forgot something until after I’ve published this entry. But that’s good enough, because that’s a lot of pictures and witty commentary.
I’m going through my Photobucket looking at old stuff, and I’m in the “scooter club days” strata. For all the posting I did on scooter forums, I didn’t really talk a lot about scooters. Mostly I would wind people up over silly shit, and post crudely manipulated pictures of my friends doing obscene and (to me) hilarious things. A couple of those windups were truly transcendent, and I wish I still had them on record. Some douchenozzle stole my old laptop, so I don’t, so there it is. But I do have some pictures.
One of the sets of pictures I found on Photobucket was a tutorial I did on how to drink Guinness from a glass in your own home. I can’t remember why I would do such a thing, except that I feel very strongly about a good pint of the black stuff. It’s not particularly funny, or really funny at all, but seeing it reminded me of some of those funny things from back then. So I guess I’m a joke tease.
But, in an effort to knock a certain post from its position in my top 3 of most frequently visited entries, I am going to post those pictures with a facsimile of the advice I originally gave with them. Ready?
The first thing you need is a good pint glass. This being the United States we have to settle for 16oz pints rather than Imperial pints, but that’s OK. This is my Stella pint glass from the Genuine Scooter Company. Any pint glass will do, but one with pictures of other stuff you like that’s not beer are best. Or no pictures at all, if those exist in places you shop. The cheap ones from Wal-Mart break really easily, so I don’t recommend them.
Next you need a can of quality beer. It doesn’t have to be Guinness Draught, but were not talking silly straws and little paper umbrellas here, either. I prefer beer that shares key advertising adjectives with interracial fetish porn: “black”, “thick”, “strong”, and “makes White people act strange”.
Some American professional bar tenders will tell you to pour straight into the glass. Screw that noise. I am a professional beer drinker and want to maximize my beer to foam ratio. Tilt the glass at an approximately 45˚ angle for the first part of the pour.
Crack open the can and immediately begin pouring the beer into the glass. Aim the stream of beer for the side of the glass, and don’t let it fall too far. Avoid the sort of antics that tempt you with wine bottles and tea pots where you try to see how far apart you can get the two liquid containers in some dexterous display of wotsit, because this affects how the beer ultimately turns out, and that is Serious Business. Pour the beer until the level reaches the lip of the tilted glass and then stop. Just like in that picture up there.
Set the glass down. The beer will now “cascade”. This is a fancy term I picked up from a little cardstock instruction manual that came with a pint of Guinness I got on Saint Patrick’s Day 1999. It came with a free pint glass and explained much of what I’m teaching you now, but not nearly as entertainingly. So anyway, this is something that needs to happen, and it can’t be rushed.
Go do something else for a minute. Like warp back in time eight years and play Solitaire on an old version of Windows. I don’t remember what version is pictured, but I do know that I tried like hell not to have to upgrade to it. I used Windows ME for a LONG time, because it could not be permanently killed. It was a zombie-like operating system, in that every time my roommate’s ridiculous porn addiction finally gave it enough internet-herpes to make it crash, a system restore could bring me back online in the time it took most computers to boot up. When I finally got rid of that old Compaq Pavillion there was absolutely nothing wrong with it, other than it was old and not a MacBook. But the point is, you’re letting the first pour of your perfect pint of Guinness settle comfortably in its new home, getting everything ready for its partner, the second pour, to arrive.
Now we gently pour in the rest of the can. The half an inch or more of foam should steadily recede to no more than a quarter of an inch by the time it reaches the top, and every bit of precious liquid in the can should fit into a standard sized pint glass. If you don’t know what a pint is and think, like several bartenders I have come across in my travels, that one of those crumby red plastic cups is a quality beverage container, then you will have messed this up and will now be cleaning off your counter top. When you’re done with that, throw out all your red plastic party cups, it’s time to grow up.
I have heard the argument that when you pour the whole beer straight into the glass in one go, the resultant three inches of foam acts as some kind of magical quality control device. What’s really happening is that you’re getting charged for a full pint of beer and getting to drink about 10oz of it. Or if you’re in a completely ghastly place you’ve just paid something like $7 for a red plastic cup with 5oz of flat, piss-yellow, sour beer hidden beneath a smelly layer of undrinkable bubbles. Just pay the man, drink it, and go somewhere else. When you pour a glass of quality beer into a real pint glass the RomanticAntihero way, you get a thin but strong layer of foam that should look like fresh pancake batter. And if you’re into the idea that a head of foam locks-in the magic, then be happy that this thin but strong layer will remain in the time it should take you to drink the whole glass.
And there is that. I mentioned scooter forum shenanigans earlier, so I think I will post a couple of the pictures I made back then. These are two of the mostly SFW pictures I made, the language being the only offensive thing about them. There was a week or two where funny Craigslist ads were in style, mostly in response to the terribly inaccurate and obvious scam attempts involving the wave of cheap, Chinese knock-off scooters flooding the market at the time. Here were two that I did:
Comedy gold, yes?
I did eventually sell The Hate Machine, though. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I felt like an abused spouse, always convincing myself I deserved the punishment because I needed someone to control my behavior, and finding ever more creative ways to have “accidentally hurt myself” to tell my friends and co-workers. A hot-rod vintage bike is just not an appropriate thing to own when you have an unsteady amount of discretionary income and little to no mechanical skill.
So that’s all about how I prepare beer to drink. Just another one of those “just because” blog entries.
Because, that’s why.