Star Saga: Tool Boxes and Tech Drawer Terminals

Star Saga: Tool Boxes and Tech Drawers Terminals Scatter Terrain

More Star Saga scatter terrain today. Like the doors and crates before, I’ve bumped these up in the painting queue to use in Imperial Assault. The little tool boxes I painted in three different overall shades using different washes, so three of each if I ever need some more differentiated boxes, but they can just as easily be used as the loot crates as the ones I finished recently. The other things are these weird terminal things that appear to have computer screens and drawers. I guess they could be storage for pretty much anything with type-in access. Whatever – doesn’t matter.

Star Saga: Tool Boxes and Tech Drawers Terminals Scatter Terrain Imperial Assault

The finish on these are a bit beaten up and a bit dirty, though not overly so. Trying to find that balance that fits into multiple locations in the worn Star Wars universe, basically.

IA has various red squares on the map that designate impassable terrain that also blocks line of sight. I thought these would work well for the “base/ship” style interiors to just 3-D the game up a little more. There’s also exterior ones that I’ll need to make something a bit more proper for, not to mention the interminable terminals that we need to use in every single mission. I’ll have to get started on some of those next.

Star Saga: Small Doors & Crates (Technical August ’18)

Star Saga: Small Doors & Crates

Today’s post features some more boardgame scenic items. We have the six smaller doors from Mantic’s Star Saga game, along with six rather generic looking crates. The crates are pretty simple. A couple of tones of grey and a bit of metallic on the corners for wear and tear. Lootable crates are very much a thing in Imperial Assault, so these got found in the Star Saga accessories and got bumped to the head of the queue.

Star Saga: Small Doors & Crates

Once again, the impetus for painting these was Star Wars: Imperial Assault. I don’t expect that the smaller doors will play a part, but I did start them at the same time as the larger doors, and so I managed to make myself finish them off. Four of them are pretty generic, but the final pair feature a window, so I tried something a bit different to the typical “black” effect. I painted the windows with Vallejo Model Air Steel, and then painted them in with slightly diluted Warcolours Turquoise Gemstone, finally giving that a gloss varnish to complete it – hoping to get a kind of variation in the tone of light coming through the “blue” of the turquoise. I’m counting them as a submission for Technical August. I think they worked out okay – certainly fit for the simple purpose, but they’re not all the way there yet!

Star Saga: Small Doors & Crates, Imperial Assault

Ghaarkhan protects temp-Jyn and temp-Fenn from a Probe Droid while they furiously open their Star Wars Battlefront II Loot Crates trying for a rare Star Card. Yong Out!

This stuff isn’t really exciting, but as I’m documenting everything that I complete at the moment – here they are. And more importantly, they (well, the crates) will be straight into active gaming use. So there’s always that!

Star Saga: Large Doors

Star Saga: Large Doors

Another post featuring some not-especially-exciting content today. We have the four large doors from Mantic’s Star Saga game, which I picked up on the cheap (50% off) not too long ago. It’s supposed to be a decent little game, actually, though we’re playing Imperial Assault right now, so it’ll have to wait for a place in the queue.

Star Saga: Large Doors

Imperial Assault being the actual reason I started on these. Simply to replace the card standees in our games with something a little more substantial and a little nicer – and they look quite Star-Wars-y, too! As I painted them with Star Wars in mind, I went for grey on all four, since grey and white are the two colours that we typically see in Star Wars Architecture. The only colour being some of the buttons, and a touch of brown in the weathering.

Star Saga: Large Doors

Banging on the exterior door – who could it be, now?

I did vary them a little bit by making the rounded-edge doors a bit cleaner – as interior doors, and the more angular set more weathered – as external doors. Pretty simple stuff, but just a little touch. I also started on the six smaller doors, but haven’t yet finished them, as the focus last week was to get these four done and so ready for gameplay.

That’s it for my July models now. If everything goes to plan, I’ll have my personal round-up tomorrow, and then the Community Round-Up will go up on Sunday (my time). Get those last-minute posts and links to me for Jewel of July up ASAP!

Mantic Games Undead Balefire Catapult

This update is slightly odd for me. Alongside the unit of skeleton infantry I shared with the previous update, I also managed to finally complete the two crew of Mantic’s Balefire Catapult. The odd part is that I painted the actual Catapult last year, and was sure I’d posted it here, but can’t for the life of me find it posted. This has of course been the final month of the first 6-month “Tale of Gamers” painting challenge that I’ve run over on Dakka.

As they were painted separately and at different times, the iconography of the Catapult is more than a little different to the plain freehand skulls and bones I’ve been giving the skellymans. I actually went for a stylised red eye. (hmm….) in order to allow the actual war machine (sans crew) to fit into several armies aside from solely belonging to the undeads.

The crew on the other hand, were started (well, assembled) at the same time as the Balefire, but only painted recently, more or less in concert with the infantry, so their livery is the more current, developed one that the army has taken on. Painting the crew does of course combine with the catapult to create another completed, finished unit – entirely the point of the ToG challenge!

That’s pretty much it. It has made for a good, strong finish to the final month of the painting challenge for the undead. Especially so, considering I had the painting doldrums and didn’t finish anything at all until almost three weeks in.

June’s “Tale of Gamers” Undead painting contingent.

I’ll get some “6-months worth of Undead” and “6 months worth of Gondor” posts up soon, and then follow them with a few “Army Showcase so far.” posts for my various army projects. Should be a bit of fun, or at least keep me interested for a little while…

 

 

 

The First Unit of Mantic Skeletons

A slightly odd title, I know. But the fact is that I’ve got quite a few more of these suckers to paint at some stage, so I’m simply future-proofing this (series of) post(s) now.

I haven’t posted for awhile – a combination of being perma-fatigued from work and personal life issues, and the onset of the winter doldrums. I did bugger-all from the end of last month until about the middle of last week, when I finally got back to work. The end of the first 6-month “Tale of Gamers” challenge I’ve been running over on Dakka is coming to a close in a few days, and I need(ed) to get my skates on. I still need to get something finished for Gondor, the boring bastards!

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

These models were actually started several years ago, shortly after I purchased Mantic Games’ Dwarf King’s Hold: Dead Rising. Seeing as the game came with a dozen or so of Mantic’s Skellymans, and I had none painted or assembled at the time, I took a sprue or two from my (at the time) recent purchase of Kings of War 1st Edition: Morgoth’s Revenge (aka the one with the awful dwarves and a tiny A5 pamphlet for a rulebook) and built them up for the game.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

I can’t remember if DKH has a skeleton hero or not – or if I just built the guy with the two swords to keep myself interested. The feather-plumed skeleton also has a unit leader feel to him, though. Perhaps when I do another dozen of these guys one of this pair will remain here as the unit leader while the other moves on to lead the second unit.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

I only have three spears in this unit, as it was built for the boardgame. At some stage, I’ll build a spear-heavy contingent to combine with these guys (and one of those leaders up above) to make a spear unit. I’ll also do a few more with hand weapons to fill out a unit with regular weapons.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

All of the shields on these models have freehand designs. I’ll have to think of some other designs that are both simple to paint and suitable for this sort of undead models. Any ideas? Nothing too creative or exciting for these guys, though!

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

The difficulty with these models is as nice as these have come up – honestly, to my surprise – they were a real bastard to paint. Not fun at all. The issue I have is that the details are very shallow. I don’t mind fine detail, but it’s all very shallow on these guys, and as such, not simple and easy to paint in my style. Skeletons with well-defined details and bones are usually a joy to paint, but these aren’t it.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

While Mantic’s Undead are often cited as their best range – certainly before the latest batch of KoW plastics came onto the scene recently – and I do agree that the Zombies (and Ghouls, I guess – I’ve used a ton of Ghoul parts on my Zombies) are great models. The differences are that the Zombies are a real pleasure to paint, but are severely limited in their components and require a fair bit of work to get differentiation once you go beyond the first few models (hence using all those Ghoul parts on mine). The Skeletons on the other hand have a lot more components to choose from to make the models more varied, and like the Zombies, they look pretty good once done – but they’re the opposite of the pleasure to paint that the Zombies are.

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Will I paint some more? Well, I feel obliged to do another dozen in order to split the spears and hand weapons, so I’m sure I’ll do those this year. After that, it’ll be a second dozen of each to bring each of them to horde-size, though that’s less likely to happen this year. I also have a few sprues of Mantic’s Skeleton Revenants, though again, no real plans to do those anytime soon. Maybe I’ll paint my Mantic Skeleton Cavalry first…

Mantic Games Undead Skeletons

Still, I have to give this painting challenge credit – It motivated me to sort out these guys who had been assembled and nothing more but sat aside for around four years or more, and now we have another finished unit of models, and while they’re not going to win any Crystal Brushes, I reckon they make a very nice unit for the table.

 

Dungeon Saga: Some Small Scenics

Like most people who backed the Kickstarter, I got my Mantic’s Dungeon Saga stuff a little while ago. While the models are (almost all) quite nicely sculpted, there’s some terribad warpage on many of them. Combined with the usual Mantic Kickstarter-quality packing (I’m still waiting on replacements for a bunch of broken and missing stuff), messed-up hardcover compendium and reviews that talk about how Jake Thornton clearly lost interest as he was writing co-op and campaign rules (apparently you can see his interest wane as you read through the Adventurer’s guide as he was really only interested in the HeroQuest-level rules) means the game’s extras got placed in a plastic tub and the game itself stacked on top to get back to one day (or not). Whatever. I’ve got Black Plague to scratch my boardgaming itch for the time being without any resentful rules being mixed in.

Mantic Games Dungeon Saga Scenery Benches

Benches!

The scenery items for Dungeon Saga on the other hand, are pretty damned good. The doors are made from a proper, hard plastic (ABS or HIPS, most likely) while the bookshelves, wells, barrels, and so forth are made from a softer PVC-type plastic. Both sets are actually pretty damned good – especially for stuff that comes in a boardgame – and I’ve got no hesitation in recommending them to anyone who is a wargamer. They obviously wouldn’t work so well in super-detailed dioramas, but that’s a separate category.

Mantic Games Dungeon Saga Scenery Barrels

Barrels!

So I decided to start painting up a few of these pieces. Now, a word of warning. I purchased several cans of Rust-O-Leum sparay paint awhile back, since the cans read that they were a primer and colour spray in one, and that they have some kind of special formulation that binds to plastic. Great! I sprayed a bunch of my PVC scenery with it, and the stuff simply never properly dried. Even after more than a week of Melbourne’s Summer Heat. This made my “quickly knock up some scenery quickly” task a lot more painful than I’d planned. The brown eventually mostly dried, but the black was still sticky and horrible, and so I threw them into some Simple Green a few days ago. I’ll get back to those, later. The point here being – DO NOT USE Rustoleum spray paint on miniatures. At least the formulation that they sell here in Australia. Never had a problem with other brands, and so I’m back to those. On reflection, though – it seems similar to problems that people have had with Reaper’s Bones PVC, so maybe it’s not the spray after all. I’ll have to do some tests on HIPS sprue and some resin offcuts….

Mantic Games Dungeon Saga Scenery Well

Desert Well!

As I have three wells in hand due to buying two of the sets + extras (I’m missing more scenery, too), I had an idea as I was taking them outside to undercoat. My first thought was to paint them all “dungeon grey”/bluestone but then as I was getting out the spray primer (damn Rustoleum) I had the thought to paint them differently. One to go with my desert mat, one to go with my green mat and one to go with the dungeon internals. So this one is sandstone.

Mantic Games Dungeon Saga Scenery Well

Field Well!

I added a bit of Vallejo realistic water at the bottom of each to make them look a little nicer than just leaving the shallow sculpted bottom (which, again is quite decent for a sculpted model.) I painted the second one here as field stone. I added a bit of variation between the stones, but that seems to have mostly disappeared after washes and highlighting. I finished it by adding some plant growth around the edges, and added a little more realistic water than the desert well.

Dungeon Saga Scenery Items.

And here’s the “group shot”. I’ll have to get onto the bookshelves next, since I didn’t spray those and therefore gunk them up at all. Sometime after that I’ll have to try and scrub that horrid Rustoleum off the other pieces. I’m not looking forward to that one bit.

Reaper Bones, 77249: Large Barrel Small Barrel, 77248: Crates (Large and Small)

Reaper Bones’ Barrels set and Crates set

As a very exciting separate bonus – here are the Barrels and Crates from Reaper’s Bones II line. I painted these last year and photographed them because I’m now trying to photograph everything I finish, but they weren’t exciting enough to even sneak into any updates until now. So here they are.

Mantic… almost. – The Kings of War V.2 almost-release.

Over on Dakka, this has become a bit of a joke meme when discussing many aspects of Mantic Games, and the way they manage to just slightly fuck up everything they do and touch. Yesterday or today (depending on where you live) was supposed to be the grand unveiling of the V2 (V3 actually, but Mantic’s saying otherwise) rules for Kings of War – one of Mantic Games’ flagship games. It’s their competitor to the sadly now discontinued Warhammer Fantasy Battle, and is actually an excellent ruleset, written by Alessio Calvatore and greatly improved by the tireless efforts of the “Rules Committee” who ensured that V2 would not be a clusterfuck of individual special rules, random charts and unbalanced forces if left to the original designer’s discretion.

I’d planned to spend my Saturday updating my existing lists, going over the new rules and then playing a game with Marouda, taking photos and writing up a “for reals” battle report (instead of the photo collections with commentary I’ve printed in the past) as we went along, in order to get a game in and “do my bit” to promote the new edition of the game.

So the free rules as released were lacking magic items. OK, a bit disappointing, but not entirely surprising since they did this last time with “V.1”. I thought it a bit of a poor choice given that right now is when they should be the most open in hoping to lure disaffected Warhammer Fantasy players over. One of the most common complaints about KoW I’ve seen from WHFB players who’ve read the rules is that KoW units lack the kind of individuality and personality of the WH units, and the most-read counterpoint to that I’ve read is that the Magic Items are the best way to add that flavour back in – in terms of rules representing the “cool thing” that this or that WHFB unit has – which I pretty much agree with.

After an hour or so updating my Minas Tirith/Gondor army lists (1,000, 1,500, 2,200) using the Kingdoms of Men list, I started on Marouda’s undead lists. Did the 1,000 and got up to the 1,500 and noticed that Wights were missing. A trip to a couple of forums, and I found that the army lists are truncated (the V1 lists were full, just lacking special characters). The Abyssal (Chaos Daemons) list is available only to Beasts of War Backstage subscribers, and the Twilight Kin (Dark Elves) list is still MIA unless you have access to one of the Beta lists (which, to be fair was pretty much expected). Kickstarter backers who were promised the full rules PDF today as recently as last week have now been told that they’ll get them “in a few weeks”.

It’s poor form by Mantic (once again, unfortunately). A combination of what has become habitual promising of one thing only to deliver something else, and habitual poor communication. I’ll get the full rules in a month or so anyway, so that’s not the end of the world, but it’s a terribly squandered opportunity in light of the Age of Sigmar. Mantic’s supporters (including the Rules Committee) have been talking to their Warhammering friends about full, free, great rules for some time, only to have what is in this context a very disappointing release from Mantic in terms of “taster” army lists, a BoW paywall for the Abyssals, and the full rules still a month(?) away for their KS backers.

I don’t have time to waste mucking around with a silly half-arsed rules release, so I’ll play other games in the meantime and now won’t be bothering to hype KoW or run KoW games for my friends. (I’d already sent out links to the free rules to several friends, only to send out an apologetic followup email with an explanation of all the missing content.) KoW is still a very good game, and one I’d recommend people pick up and give a try at the very least. It won’t be to everyone’s tastes, and that’s cool – but today has been very disappointing as I’d hoped to be able to show, not tell – and share my enjoyment of a game using the new rules. I’ll probably play Far Cry 4 and some Zombicide instead.

A fantastic opportunity. Squandered.