Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Here Comes the Circus

I don't know about you, but one of the things that scared me the most as a kid was clowns.
Yeah. They still creep me out.  I mean really.. who's bright idea was this? And it's supposed to be loved by kids? Really? I suppose if your kid is a budding psychopath... then maybe.

So the circus seemed an appropriate theme for a Blood Bowl Team!
I always enjoy a theme team: it lets me try something new, convert & sculpt a bit.

So here's the circus of evil... I may add a few more clown details, but they're nearly ready to start painting:

L to R: Ringmaster coach, Magician cheerleader, Jack-knife the knife thrower and Butcher Bill the strongman & boxer: test your strength against him in the ring after the main show.  Jack & Bill are the wights.

L to R: Were-cheetah, Jumbo & Sasha the dancing kodiak (flesh golems), and Were-lion.

Monkey acrobats (ghouls)

Zombie Clowns!

That's all for now, but enjoy the movie!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Quar Airships pt.2

The Quar of Phobos have been fighting the long war against Demos for a dozen generations.
But this is not their only threat.  Often their world is raided by various nations and pirates of Barsoom who hope to take advantage of the preoccupied Phobosians.

The Quar are far from defenseless to these attacks however, and in fact make raids for supplies against Barsoom themselves when the need arises. The minds at the Military Institute of Technology have been studying the airships of Barsoom by way of captured vessels. These have been repaired and put into service as scouts by various front line armies as well as being vital to raid and reconnaissance missions to Barsoom.

Naturally of course, some of these airships were requisitioned by the Royal Phobosian Light Expeditionary Force on mission to Venus.

These proved enormously successful in the battle against the Tek-sans of the Blue Planet.

Each light flier has a crew of two, one to pilot and one to man the heavy shotgun, which is equipped with both solid slug and scatter shot, making it ideal against enemy armor, or for clearing the deck crew of enemy airships.

One of the recent successful raids brought back a 6 man Gunboat Airship.

It is only a matter of time before the mechanics in the motor pool have this beauty modified for the requirements to add to the Quar Aerocorps.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quar Heavy Walker: Tidebreaker 34

In year 34 AB the Royal Phobosian Department of Destructive Science at M.I.T (Military Institute of Technology) finalized plans for what would become known as the Tidebreaker.

Automaton walkers proved very useful in supporting trench warfare but the computational deviation device could not handle the amount of decisions needed for more complex conditions of city fighting.  Additionally, the Army required ever bigger machines capable of navigating dense rubble, which the tanks sometimes struggled with.

The result was the Tidebreaker 34, or T-34 for short.
Proven reliable under the harshest of conditions, the T-34 is loved by brigades lucky enough to secure one.
The intense heat of the boiler required to power the Tidebreaker can make serving as crew a mixed blessing, compensated only by the pride of being a T-34 tanker.

Field Marshall Nyklay is a strong supporter of the Royal Phobosian Light Expeditionary Force mission to Venus.
He was moved by a letter he received, without proper channels, by a Corporal Vohzik of the RPLEF motor pool and his fervent belief in the T-34 having potential as an asset in jungle fighting.  It took time under the B.I.D.B.I (Break It Down & Build It) to reassemble the T-34 from the transport ship, but it is now ready for service.  What is more, it has been fitted with a weapon - the Aether Agitator Projector- powered by an ancient device found in a Cytherian ruin, adding to it's fortitude.

The motorpool has dubbed this T-34 with the name 'Yetik' as it is customary to give the machines personal names, for luck.

When equipped with conventional cannon:

T-34 Yetik arrayed for battle against the 'Tek-sans' from the Blue Planet.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Recycle Teaser

Just a quick teaser of the last Blood Bowl team finished.
These are probably the largest Blood Bowl Tokens I have made.
They fit the theme of the undead team: Recycle.

I also love these skavenghouls. I want to make an undead team for myself now! 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Raiders of the Lost Maintenance Locker

Punctuating the VSF Venus campaign between plotting, resource management & big battles are story-driven skirmish games.  If you're as brave or foolish as the characters who took part, then proceed with caution:

The Belgians not long ago discovered the presence of the Ottoman Empire in the mountains to the north of the various nation's land grabs.  None had even known the Ottomans were on Venus, let alone in such vast numbers and so well supplied.  Another recent discovery was formidable doors to an underground network.  The local branch of the multi-national organization, Mad Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow, decided it was only proper to send one representative of each nation along with personal support that they felt they required in a tontine pact of collaboration, to secure whatever devices could be obtained, before the Ottomans might lay their hands on it.

Representatives were sent by:
The French, The Prussians, The Disraeli British, The Swedes, Americans, The Phobosian Quar & Autonomous Collective of Kneemo.

With the presence of Quar, a chap with a big Red Skull, a robotic soldier, zombies and a giant green gorilla, I had to wonder if the adventuring party wouldn't be more unusual than the inhabiting creatures.

Entering the dark corridor, a room is spotted ahead, with a large Frog statue.

The French Explorer rushes ahead to investigate and are greeted by Frogs.  Much punning ensued.
Many frogs had sticks with filaments, I suspected that they might be merely cleaning cobwebs, but as ones in the back were armed, the French opened fire.
The Swedish spark went around the statue to bring his galvanic gun to bear on the hapless amphibians. Underestimating his weapon it not only fried several frogs, but wounded the French explorer and nearly fried himself as the weapon's blast filled most of the room!

The remaining frogs ran off.  Their leader had a book, which the French explorer picked up, and having skill in languages managed to translate enough to find it was an instructional tomb on cleaning and maintenance.

Congrats: we just killed some frog janitors.

Since the book was written in a dialect of Newt, who use movement and dance in language, the French Explorer had to dance to read it, which he did. And by that I mean, the player of the character did his interpretation of newt-dance.  The less said about this, the better. ;)

The adventurers continue, having bravely faced the custodial staff, and discovered a room with a curious device and a large tank of water.

Francois was the first to enter again, and proceeded pushing buttons.
The tank drained, but no water was to be found.  Hmmmm...

Kneemo's men were the first to discover the results, as three of his 12 soldiers were dragged silently away in the dark, to be replaced by this creature.

Kneemo's soldiers steeled their nerve and opened fire.  Meshugener yelled the helpful advice from the rear "Shoot it between the eyes!".
Seeing a target that was actually the right size for his gun this time, Olaf stepped forward to promptly blast the creature. Meanwhile the reversal button was finally found on the controls.
If there is one thing to be said about this complex, they take their cleaning duties very seriously.

Strange mouth-creatures then slid down the walls to attack-lick our party.
The British spark managed to slice one in half with his electrofilament blade, which created 2 living creatures! Right: back to good old fashioned lead and the butt of my shotgun: The Quar delt with some while the zombies and gorilla handled the rest bodily.

Heading down the right hand corridor, the Gorilla and Prussian zombies, followed by the French stumbled into an Ottoman ambush! Everywhere there are Turks! Something suspicious about this.

(sorry for the blurry photo)
The Ottomans were not alone.  A Qing sorcerer and a Jade Golem!  The golem was slow, and took many heavy rifle shots to bring down. meanwhile the gorilla was an easy target and was severely wounded by the Turks in the ongoing battle.
Since the corridor was crowded, Meshugener lived up to his name and ran headlong across the bridge with his assistant to see what else he could find.  Corporal Vohzik of the Quar thought whatever it might be must be more interesting, so ran his troops close behind- eventually overtaking him as they chose the left turn of the T junction, and threw open the door:

A Martian Overlord!  The Quar were surprised and unhappy to see this!  These foul creatures raid Phobos often and are greatly feared by their people.  The two Brits didn't understand the danger, and ran right in like magpies to the big shiny gun.  The Martian was suddenly surrounded by an energy field. The Quar opened fire, and with a couple lucky shots the bullets brought the shield down in time for Vohzik to decorate the walls with Martian by means of shotgun.

While Meshugener tried in vain to determine why the gun was on, and what that beeping meant, two Quar investigated the stone columns and the shimmering between them.  Vohzik, while not a spark but still a very bright fellow figured out that the big ball was a viewing device, showing a massive Ottoman city on Venus as well as other scenes- one a frightening image of a host of Thark of the Martian dead seas arrayed for battle.. which curiously looked something like the picture beginning to take shape between the columns... uh-oh.
Meanwhile, the gun erupts, killing 2 Quar soldiers, and wounding another and the British assistant.

The large device near the gun turned out to be a locker stuffed full of Thark uniforms.. another bad sign, and the gun had a fail safe that refused to fire at the dimensional gate.

Meanwhile, Francoise ran down the right hand corridor to run into an ambush of Bedouin, allies of the Turks.
His men were killed and he promptly ran away. Just good sense.
Down the other corridor the Prussians had finally finished off the Ottoman forces, who were guarding a locker of weapons.. mostly broken but a couple of functional, ancient bombs.

The Arabs held the control room for the gate! And soon a horde of Thark would over-run us. This is when Kneemo's soldiers arrived, and finally winning the firefight, the device was shut down.

Before leaving, a parting gift for the Ottomans: the device was turned back on, selected for the Ottoman city on Venus, and when the gate was activated, the bomb was thrown through and shut down.

The glass ball showed nothing but a bright white light, for a very long time.

One less city to worry about.

What is in a Name? pt.2

So awhile back I talked about naming your blood bowl team: the ins & outs, and my preferences about it all.

Tonight we had a skirmish game on Venus in the VSF campaign, where there was a tontine alliance between the off-world nations, each sending an investigator (and some support flunkies) to journey into an ancient underground complex, expecting danger and discovery of ancient technology.

Sending 'sparks' was encouraged: think creative genius, though for those who don't have such characters they could bring an officer, big game hunter or an explorer.

More on the event later, but for now I just wanted to focus on the naming of characters.  Especially in a skirmish, almost RPG minis game, naming characters can be a lot of fun and add to their personality. Sure, they don't roll better, but it's fun and while I have run across some gamers who seem to think they're 'too cool' to name their characters and the like, I really have to wonder why they're pushing painted minis around if they're so self conscious ;)  It being a bit dorky is all part of the fun & appeal if you ask me.

So on to the names.
I didn't catch all of the names, but here's a few:

My own, a Quar explorer, was Corporal Boodz Vohzik.
Phoenetically, his name is the first part of the phrase for 'be healthy' when you sneeze, and then the word for hedgehog, both in Belarusian.  He has this name because he's curious & appealing like a hedgehog, possibly a bit dangerous to be around, and in need of well wishes, since he's often causing disasters.

Olaf Holstein-Gottorp was the spark for the Swedish expedition.  An historical name rooted in Swedish nobility, so it is highly appropriate.

Francois Michel-Adieu was the explorer who stepped up for the French.  Despite his name 'Adieu', he only ran off once- away from danger but to stir up trouble in other spots.  What is a a good French dancer name? Because he turned out to be an accomplished dancer.. stay tuned for the battle report if that makes you curious.

The all British-jewish Disraeli Army force sent their spark, Meshugener Golem-macher. An ideal name for a mad genius, since it essentially means 'crazy automaton-maker'.  Though in the game he proved he wasn't the brightest inventor, and more interested in charging forward blindly into danger... but that still leaves his first name as perfectly descriptive.

And there was the Prussian spark, who's name was, in German, 'the Red Skull', as he was a dead ringer for the comic character. I have a passing familiarity with German, enough that I recognized the name, but not enough to recall the words now. But you get the idea.

Look for a battle report soon!

I can't think of naming characters without thinking of this classic on the subject from MST3K.
This has a wealth of awesome & funny names for 'all brawn-no brains' action heroes.

Watch the movie and enjoy!  You'll be rewarded with a score of great amusing names for heroes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ashley Alten, Hunter

The Intrepid Ashley Alten, late of Kenya, after a recent hunt on Venus having bagged the Mantis titanicus. 
The head should look smashing above the mantle. 

Supporting Characters for Phobosian Quar

Despite being extremely busy, I managed to squeeze a bit of time in while projects were drying, green stuff setting etc and between 1am-2am for a touch of hobby time.

The Venus campaign is punctuated with occasional skirmish games, to break up the 'big picture' plotting and large army combats. I think it is a great idea, though I had to miss the first one.  This next one though I plan to make.  It involves an alliance of all the exploring nations: each sends a great mind or intrepid and capable fellow with a handful of supporting flunkies.  The choice of character type is:

-Spark (genius, or mad genius)
-Big Game Hunter
-Military Officer

I haven't been so lucky yet to roll up a Spark (required 12 on 2d6). Each has their own inherent advantages & disadvantages, plus you can tailor them further.

My banners do have the other 3 character types, so I'm leaning toward either a Big Game Hunter or Explorer
(if I can finish painting it).

Ashley Alten: Daughter of famous archaeologist Archibald Alten. Her uncle is a diplomat in the British service on expedition to Venus, and pulled strings to have her assigned after her father's death in Africa.  Ashley was born and raised in Kenya and is quite capable, something her uncle finds completely unacceptable. Therefore she has left the British expedition and joined the Quar as a mercenary. The Quar do not completely comprehend the nuances of earth men culture, but they gathered her leaving had something to do with the length of her protein strands... no matter, they appreciate her abilities with her elephant gun and can put her to good use.

Boodz Vohzik and Volosatik: Corporal Vohzik is a clever fellow.  Too clever for his own good says some of his commanding officers. He's a curious sort who's always volunteering for scouting missions and is always tinkering in the shops of the motor pool.  "If it weren't for his tendency to blow things up he might have made major by now", said Captain Glyt. "As for his new weapon, it's not approved of course, but so long as he points it away from me and takes it far away on his next excursion I am not inclined to pursue the matter". As for little Volosatik, he's been following Vohzik since he returned from his last scouting mission. Seems harmless enough and fiercely loyal.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Making a Might & Magic Demon in Mini

My girlfriend's favorite computer game is Heroes of Might & Magic, number? any of them- she has 5 but plays 3 & 4 too, she likes them all.  Her favorite army to play is the Demons, so I asked which of the units was her favorite? Agrail: this one pictured above.

Looked like a fun project for a mini!
I love to kit bash & convert, and it's nice to make something random from time to time, so seemed the perfect secret project.

I opted to make him a bit different though: more demon creature than plate-armoured demon man.

Here is the result.
A GW Plastic kit-bash with some green stuff sculpting.
-Dark Elf cold one -Bloodletter -goblin banner -lizardman spear & standard. -dark elf shields

And painted

Nice to do a mini like this now and then.

Though I'm not sure if it helps get it out of my system and keeps me from making an army, or only makes me want to make more/an army all the more. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blood Bowl Tallyboard Sideline Minis

I've had this idea for awhile: Sideline minis for Blood Bowl teams with Tally Boards to show Turn and Score.

I finally had a chance to try it out.

The guy on the left is showing the turn.  Guy on the right is showing score- I decided right before making it to make it a double-board so that the entire score could be shown. I figure he walks around, since some stadiums may be too big & crowded for everyone to see the score board, and some may be too small and cheap to even have one- or it's been pelted with so many Big Moot Sandwiches the score isn't easy to read!

Numbers are painted imprecisely on purpose.  Maybe for an Elf team I'd want to aim for neat & crisp, but not for most teams. For Orcs I might even need to throw an occasional backwards number in ;)

I started by clipping their weapons, drilling and using brass rod for the pole. Secured at the back with plastic tube brackets, the board is made from plasticard.  Add metal hooks for the number-boards, which are made from thinner plasticard.

Shot from the back

"Showing Turn is more Important!"
"No, Score is..."

Quite a luxury token, but I'll be looking for appropriate miniatures to convert for my teams in the future,
I'm quite liking these!

Apparently, having a job that involves just pointing out information on a sign is a time honored position:

Thanks girls, never could have understood that chart otherwise...

What a great way to honor this vital role by having miniatures for your team to do the job  ;)

Now I know my ABC's...

Elizabeth of ElizabethMueller Blog (link in the picture of the award to the left) was nice enough to make this happy Zebra and give it to all who made it through the challenge.  Thanks Elizabeth!

I always wondered what that comment on Bad Dice Podcast for Unseen Lurker Magazine was on about with "and even an occasional Zebra"  .. well, now I have my very own occasional zebra! or "zeh-bruh" ;) 

Looking back on the challenge there were times when I knew exactly what I'd want the letter to be, other times when I had 2,3, or 5 things I'd have liked to do... and a few letters that were real stumpers. 
And with the help of Paul 'Mr.Bod' I even got the letters in the correct order!  

I also got to review and showcase a few of my favorite companies and miniatures-lines. 

Overall, it was a lot of fun- sometimes you need a commitment to motivate you to stir up ideas. 

Often I'd think something like 'oh, finally an entry that will be short'.. but no, usually I'm a wordy git with too many ideas and opinions to be overly brief. 

About 19 people joined to follow the blog over the course of April, which I was very happy to see!
Also, I'm getting visited by people from all over the world.  Since I love to travel, but of course don't have the time or money to travel as much as I'd like to, seeing that I got visitors from far off countries is always a bit of a thrill.. Sometimes it's a place I've been before which is great since it brings back memories of being in these places, like most of Western Europe, or Russia, Turkey, Finland- I've even been to China twice and I've had visits from there too. And then I see visits from places I haven't been to yet: Poland, Estonia, Serbia, Australia, NewZealand, Brazil, India.. and I think how I want to go to these places too!  

So feel free to leave a comment, even if it's just to say hi- it is almost vicarious travel!

I don't know if I'll find the time or have ideas to post every day like I did in April, but I'll be posting whenever I have something fun to share, or when I just feel like blithering on a bit. 

If you made it through them all, you're made of pretty sturdy stuff!
Curious: which entry did you enjoy the most?

Thanks everyone for making the A-Z challenge fun to do!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Undead Recyclers & Impact shoulder pads

I'm working on two different undead teams currently: an undead & a necromantic team.
I really enjoy making undead teams: so much conversion possibilities, and yet I've never made one for me!
After getting a start on this first one I think I'll have to make a similar team for myself someday, I'm really liking it.

The team has a recycler theme: a poor necromancer bribes security after matches to cart off the dead players until he can make his own team.  Here are some of the players so far:

The human zombies. Despite that most people don't play human teams in blood bowl, I imagine many teams that play are human teams, so there would be many humans dead & available for recruitment.. also, think of all the trampled fans!  Those bodies can be reanimated and be a walking tackle-zone as good as any other.

The non-human zombies: elf, goblin, beastman.  One corpse is much like another, no agility bonuses, no strength difference when power comes from reanimation magic overcoming inertia, and horns? zombies don't move fast enough to get any benefit from it.  So just characterful looking zombies for the sake of something different.

Ghouls are a different sort however, and unconscious skaven can be abducted and infected with ghoul-blood.  It's surprising how readily they take to their new life.. unlife.. something in between? well, they move fast and can handle the ball, that's all we need to know.

The magics and rituals to turn a corpse into a wight is a far more costly mater. Which is why teams can only afford to have two.  Plus they need to be the corpses of more talented players.  The fellow on the left was a norse blitzer in life, and the one on the right a human blitzer, given decent armor, it's an investment that the necromancer hopes will pay off because he had to take a loan out against the winnings of his first match.. so play well wights!

The mummies are still to come- working on those conversions, so will update later.

You might have noticed the shoulder pads.

These are a new product from Impact!.

In the picture above you can see them on the sprue, then two of them removed from sprue and cleaned up on the right.
They have embossed numbers 1-16.
I was pleasantly surprised at how adaptable they are. When I first looked at them I thought they'd be good for most miniatures, but some might not work.  I was worried they'd not work on the Mantic ghouls because the arm & shoulder is so thin.  But it wasn't a problem. Just file the inside of the shoulder pad a bit with a round file until it's thinned just a bit, and bend the edges of the shoulder pad slightly to make a tighter curve, and presto: fits great.

Normally I make shoulder pads from green stuff, but I wanted to try these out and I quite like them.
To get the whole team above to match I even used them on the wights- which are GW human blitzers and have shoulder pads already but they fit nicely over the existing shoulder pad!

I'll update for the mummies and when the team is painted.  
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