29 Nov 2012

Dunwich Horror sculpt finished?


I've been working on my Dunwich horror sculpt some more. I think I can say its finished, but I am not too satisfied with the little eyes on the sides of the "head". But well, I've decided I'll sculpt it all from air-drying clay so theres a limit to the details.

I had some clay extra already outside, so I made an overly common mistake and kept sculpting, At first I planned to drill holes and put wire in the tentacles, but then I've just rolled the putty and put it on the body. Now, one has already fallen off (which was expected, to be honest), and I was wondering...should I just cover whole sculpt in dilluted pva, then paint it, or just paint and varnish it, gluing anything that falls off when it does?

Thanks for help and hope you like it,

24 Nov 2012

Strange Aeons - review

To be honest, I was working on my buildings (roof tiles -.-), some conversions and even some sculpts, but I'm too "tired" to take any pictures, so I've decided it is about time I've posted a review of Strange Aeons, game that I am most into at the moment.

I am glad I haven't written a quick review as soon as I've got it, as this enabled me to lose my starting enthusiasm and give you a more objective review.

So...what is the game about?

Strange Aeons is a game that is mostly (but not only) influenced in H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos and other eldritch horrors. The setting is U.S. in 1920s, but it could easily happen in other parts of the world...nothing really ties it to one place. With some minor modifications you could play it for any period. I guess modern setting would be most looked for, which could easily be played by adding some modern weapons, non existent in 1920s...like assault rifles and various rocket launchers.I think it could be easily adapted to play some ancient Egyptian or Greek myths and legends.

The core rulebook is about 80 pages long, spiral bound (with protective plastic sheet in front). The covers imitate leather and I honestly believed the front cover is graved in...had to run my fingers trough the paper :P.

The book is divided in game rules (further divided into basic and advanced rules), weapons and skills, scenarios and example of play.

The rules themselves, the mechanics are 12 pages long if I counted that right. This is because the core mechanics are really simple. But in my opinion, not too simple as they cover just about everything.

Game is played by (at least) two people, one taking the control of governmental agents, fighting the paranormal (called Treshold in the game), the other taking control of the "Lurkers". The lurkers are represented by more than 20 different profiles, from humans (cultists, maniacs, mad scientists, even rouge treshold agents...), humanoids (hybrids, fishmen, ghouls...), beasts (werewolf, for example), undead (zombies, mummies...) to demons.

A treshold player builds his list, worth up to 15 points (at least for the campaign, I can not see any reason not to play a stand-alone game and just build your list up to whatever points you wish), and lurker builds his list to match the points of the Treshold player. Game is played in 2x3 board and usually last under or around an hour. Those games are nothing special per se, but really shine when they're linked in a campaign.

Campaign starts with 15 points worth of greenhorn agents, fighting the monsters and growing in points as they earn new skills (which represent their growing experience in the business). A list can never exceed 15 BASE POINTS (base points represent the cost of characters, agents and their skills), but can exceed 15 in BASE and BUILD points combined. Build points represent the agent's weapons and equipment. In practice, this means your character will eventually get better (by getting skills), but you will have less and less agents, if they die in the course of the campaign.

One of the things I like in the game is injury concept. It is somewhat hard for an agent to actually die in a campaign, but there is a big chance of him getting crippled. Your brave little hero can suffer from anything from a leg wound to teratophobia, claustrophobia, haphephobia or even ballistophobia. On the other hand, the near-death experience can embolden him, making him better. Or it can just make him horribly disfigured, making him scare the sane people around him.

The  campaign has no end, as the threat from the cosmos is ever-present. Campaign only ends when your "character", main agent, meats his maker...so to speak.

As for the game mechanics, game runs in turns.

Each turn a player can nominate one miniature from his group to act that turn. There are some special rules, that allow you to nominate more miniatures, but that doesn't really matter now.

So, you nominate a miniature and it can take 2 actions. An action can be shooting, moving, charging into close combat or "other". Other can be just about anything. Climbing a rope, jumping a gap, climbing a ladder, preparing a dynamite, chanting, praying, dispelling, spelling and so on.

Shooting is somewhat straightforward. You throw a number of dice noted on your weapon's profile, each score, higher than your "dexterity" is a hit. Then an opponent throws any saving rolls and you roll as many dice as you got hits on target. Then you pick the highest, add any extra damage your weapon does and compare it to target model's constitution. When the target runs out of wounds you roll for injury. It can be stunned, removed from table with no further damage or "major injury", which means you have to roll further after the game, too see how badly he is wounded (I've talked about the injuries earlier).

When all of your models have activated, you pass turn.

I think that is about all I can tell about the game. The review shows how my minds jump from a thing to thing nicely, but I still hope anyone interested in a game will find a valuable information in this post. If you'd like to know more, feel free to contact me.

As for my experience with the game, here are my pros and cons:

I really like the fact that it is a skirmish game, you don't need many miniatures to play.
The campaign is awesome if you got time to play it often.
The rules are written with a little bit of humor and to me, game offers lots of fun when you "roleplay" a bit.
Monsters! All kind of monsters! You like zombies? Check! You like madmen? Check! You like spirits and ghosts? Check! You like giant rats? Check! You like walking fish? Check! Walking snakes? Check! Enormous octopus-dragon-human-something else being? CHECK!

As for the bad...rules can be broken. Yes sir! But unless you play it for a personal prestige, money or prize, that is no problem.
There are quite a few things that are unclear in the rules. The author's support is awesome (you can find Strange Aeons' forum on Lead Adventure forums), but there are still quite some things that are not specified. Some people are bothered by that and others are not.
Price...well, I don't have much experience, but I found the rulebook to be quite expensive. It and one of the expansions cost me around 50 euros. As the game origins from Canada, I've ordered mine from UK based The black hat miniatures. Then again, let me mention me and my brother played the game for whole day when we got the rules. It is just that awesome.

To conclude, I strongly recommend the rules to anyone who wants to play skirmish games. Even if you don't like monsters, you can easily just play agents versus cultists...actually giving you a gangster's brawl or, with a clever use of miniatures and weapons, even a WW1 clash. But honestly, I'd get this game just for the lovecraftian mythos. Game rules are simple and easy to learn, yet you can throw miniatures, blast miniatures, blow miniatures and even simply haunt them.

The game is ever-growing. You can get some special rules in a Strange Aeons magazine, I am unfamiliar with, but there are also 4 expansions already out. Those are:

Morbid adventures, a book that collects all the lurker profiles and offers many new scenarios.
Strange tales trilogy. Most of the content (I think all rules, but no stories) of ST1 is free for download on Strange Aeons site. PDF is still available. ST1 gives you experimental weapons, ghosts (also in Morbid adventures book) and animals (falcon, dogs, horses) for the Treshold agents. ST2 gives you a special "black dossier" campaign where you lead an expedition deep into rainforest, searching for a scientist and hunting some dinosaurs. ST3 offers three "black dossier" campaigns but I am still waiting for my book, so I can't tell you too much.

I will make a review of all the expansions at a later date, probably MA solo and all the strange tales together once I get the 3rd book. Again, I've ordered it from the UK and it looks like those haven't been sent yet. It is kinda bad, because it is about 3 weeks since ST3 was released in Canada, but well...saves the shipping and customs, so I can wait.

I apologize for uncoherent wall of text again and hope at least some of you were interested in the game enough to read trough it all. And if you did, that it gave you the information you were looking for.


20 Nov 2012

Liebster Award!

Liebster award appears to be new thing in the 'hood. Or at least that is what I thought, but more on that later.

I must say I was quite surprised when I was nominated by Simon from the Brummie's wargaming blog. I am pretty sure most of the regular visitors of my blog know him already, but for those who don't, go check it out. Apart from, according to what I've read, talking in a dialect, so horrible people appear smarter if they don't talk at all (Wikipedia here, honestly!), he is a great chap with a blog I am always looking forward to see new posts at. He is working on a little bit of everything, my favorite topics being his victorian zombie campaign (that you should seriously push up your priority list, mate!) and his collection of...jamesbondian (yes, a horrible word, but you guys probably know what I mean) miniatures. Oh, Spy-fi. Thats the correct term! But the old James Bond - like, the ones I have nice memories of...not the new Rambo kind I refuse to watch.

Ah...lost myself again. So, anyway, here are the rules for the award nominations:

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog linking it to the blogger who has given it you.

2. Pass the award to your top 5 favourite blogs with less than 200 followers by leaving a comment on one of there posts to notify them that they have won the award and listing them on your own blog.

3. Sit back and bask in the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing you have made someone's day!

4. There is no obligation to pass this onto someone else but its nice if you take the time to do so.

I got to say you should check Brummie's nominations for 4 other blogs I happen to follow and like. There are way too many somewhat unknown blogs out there that I could afford to repost anyone and here are my choices (obviously listed by no special order):

1. Cleverly named Miniatures, Painting and Hobbies by Adam. The blog posts follow his steady progress towards running a Zombie Outbreak campaign. It is nice to see city becoming populated, infected and built. Looking forward to "surviving the Havensburg"!

2. Plastic Zombie by Irqan. Zombie apocalypse in times of prohibition? YES PLEASE!

3. Lead Reconing by Fred. He got "off track" a bit lately, but it is mostly a 15mm zombie oriented blog, great for anyone wishing to game that scale.

4. Snitchythedog by Snitchythedog (who'd guess?). Again a zombie wargaming oriented blog...it is what got me into the blogging in the first place. It is my secret inspiration for all the little scenery bits Ill make "one day".

5. Last but not least, a blog called Strange Aeons Adventures. It contains exactly what it says on the tin. So you won't think I only read about zombies now!

I got to say this Liebster award got me curious and I did a little researching...it has been around for a while, but with different set of rules. I didn't went too deep, but I think there was 11 blogs to be linked that got 5,000 page views or something. I prefer the followers option, as views raise eventually, but showing off blogs that are only known "locally" works much better to spread the word about all the great people showing all the great stuff in all the hidden places of the 'net.

Unitl next time,

16 Nov 2012

Meet Threshold Operatives 1!


my painting mojo is lost for quite a while, proving once again I don't really like painting my miniatures, hehe.

Anyways, after a week or so, I've manged to finish painting three of my Threshold operatives for my Strange Aeons game. I got six of the good guys all together for now and I've painted half. I think painting 2-3 miniatures at a time works best for me.

The three guys are all in my current list for the campaign me and my brother are playing (way less often than I'd like!). The fourth guy will be painted with the next batch. After that, on to the evil lurkers!

Let me start by mentioning I HATE! painting skin. I did two tries on those guys, after I failed in an attempt to paint some eyes for a change. I got Vallejo skin tones pack, so I got all I need, but that skin never comes out the way I'd want it to! I also have problems with picking high light colors, so I tend to simply mix white in it. This makes highlights somewhat invisible on the model...I simply guess one isn't enough!

Anyways, those are about as good as they get and here they are:

 I didn't name them for the eternity, but in the current campaign, they got names from Lovecraft's stories. I represent you (from left to right):

Howard Philips Lovecraft, civilian (that simply refuses to die in a campaign!). As you can see, he carries a haunted book of secrets that one mad arab, Abdul Alhazred has written long time before the events! For his own safety, H.P. is armed with .22 pistol. To keep his sanity, he is accompanied by a cat. In one of his stories, Lovecraft has named  a narrator's cat "Nigger man", which, for obvious reason, won't be used. We can call the little fella "cat" anytime!

John Raymond Legrasse, character. The name comes from a police officer in a "Call of Cthulhu" story. In-game he is armed with dual .45s (one tucked on his right hip, other in his left hand). As awesome as he'd look with actual dual .45s in his hands, I went for lantern. As you've seen so far, that really comes handy in the scale photos. And here, Legrasse is astonished by the book his friend carries.  Or maybe he just likes the cat? I don't know how visible it is, but I did some "effect lightning" on him. I'll give you a closer look below in the post. He is somewhat shiny because my matt varnish appears to be pretty glossy, which really bothers me, to be honest.

Last man from batch is agent-in-game, but a fisherman from appearance, James Woodville. I forgot what story I got his name from, but it doesn't really matter. He is dressed in very dirty yellow overalls (painted glossy, but this gloss seems too matt somehow...those varnishes!). Armed with a bolt-action gun (which is sculpted really simplified), but I play him as if he'd be armed with a bigger calibre, elephant gun. Now that I think of it, I shouldn't paint him and then varnish, but paint his overalls yellow, paint gloss varnish on, then wash it with brown wash to dirty the clothes. You know, mud can't be glossy, even if on glossy clothes!

For the end, close up on some light effects, I didn't want to over do it. Neither I like how the light in the lantern came out...way too firey!

Otherwise, in the hobby, I am trying to restrain myself from buying any more miniatures, as I'm saving for my trip to England in April. I have to paint all my zombies, all my SA miniatures, game all my SA games, start my zombie campaign...will see how long I can restrain myself from getting some dollies for sculpting, Ramshackle's goodies, cultists and probably something I don't need at all! Oh, I do need sculpting tools, actually...I've ordered some in February from Maelstrom games, but they happened to be out of stock at supplier. I got some mails how the tools will be sent "next week" about 2 months ago, but now that store is in liquidation, I think I can say goodbye to the money now. I didn't want a return as I figured that if I'd wait so long, I might as well wait some more...oh well. I did bought a pack of tools for drawing in local store...got 2 useless pointy tools, a stipple brush, useless fan rush and...AND a pointy and flat "rubber shaper", which should prove useful for smoothing my sculpts.  I even found a picture online!

Thanks for looking,

9 Nov 2012

Fortunately unfortunate

"I see dead people!" said Grom to himself when he entered Evergreen fields...

and dead people he saw!

 I represent you painted examples of one of my first human sculpts! Im pretty sure I've shown various stages of WIP on my blog, but you can see finished unpainted sculpts here. Only thing missing is added putty that sticks the parts that fell apart together.

Lets take a closer look of those, fortunate enough to be unfortunate!

First is the one I like the most. Idea was taken from NMRIH. Its on page 67, events enounter table roll 3-4. For those unfamiliar with the rules, here's a short quote:
"...there is a gun in one of the man's hand and a picture of his family in the other..."

You can clearly see he really has a gun in one hand, but the picture lies at his leg. I've put it there because I was so proud of how I did his left palm, if I recall correctly!

Next we got a bitten human or whoever.
 And someone who looks like (s)he's been shot in the back. While painting, I found out this one could work as both sexes. To make it more even in gender, lets call it a woman.
 And a true woman. Don't worry if you can't recognize any face, even before blood, she only had a nose and a big mouth sticking out. Sculpting female curves is hard, too.

 There is always one. A man that used to be culinary undemanding. His face is actually better that it looks like. Honestly!

For the end, as usual,  all of them lined up for you to adore:

Thanks for looking,

6 Nov 2012

Welcome to...

 In april (I know, I know), I was asking my followers to help me pick a name for the zombie infected city. It took me that long to post a decision because I wanted to have the city painted, but now that I've realized it would take even longer, I've quickly made the sign so I can say I've finished something!

The chosen name was suggested by Joe, known as Zabadak!

Evergreen Fields is a pleasant little town, known by the fresh air, forests and friendly, suburban atmosphere. Where people are nice and live their lives without any worries...or at least they did, before the DEAD STARTED WALKING THE EARTH!!!

Very slowly, I will be working towards start of my campaign. For those unaware, I will be used Iron Ivan Game' No more room in Hell rules, with some tweaks. I already got first mission all planned, but need to make some things before I can proceed. It will most certainly take a lot of time, but when I'm there, you'll be first to know!


4 Nov 2012

Dunwich Village WIP


following the post, where I've shown you the Dunwich horror, it is only naturally to show you Dunwich itself.

It is a very limited in terms of buildings so far, but after I'd make a little shed or something, It could easily fill whole 2x3 table, used for Strange Aeons and not look too crowded.

One day I was searching for Lovecraft's books in slovenian libraries and I was thrilled to see our local library actually has one! I've borrowed it and read it. At first, it was kinda silly to read in slovenian after I've listened to english audiobooks, but as Lovecraft is somewhat hard to read, it started to be quite pleasant when I kept reading. In the book I noticed they kept talking about some weird roofs, so I went to check the english verison (you can find everything on google, but even more so, if you search for english words!), and found out the roofs are supposed to be "gambrel". Internet permitting me, I've turned into an architect and schoolar of New Englands colonial architecture over night. Or so I hoped.

However, I've cut two "gambrel houses" out of foam board and glued them together. Then I've figured two houses would be boring, so I made one into a barn.

I've covered it in popsickle sticks I had laying around. I really like the sticks as they're bigger and wider than coffee stirrers, but my hand was aching for two days after I've made the building, from cutting the hard wood with nothing but my olfa, or "stanley" knife.

Here are some pictures:
 Roof needs to be done, but I have to make a visit to an art shop for some thicker paper...or you guys got any better idea of what could be used for the basis of the roofs?
 Front entrance, I am still debating if I should make a door or not...any suggestions?
The barn would be filled with barrels of ...erhm...lemonade. Every terrorist group (sorry, cultists, Im attending lectures on terrorism :P), needs financing. Nothing works better than alcohol in times of prohibition!
 Back side, mostly identical to the front, but minus the doors.
 I got two "stands" for upper floor. They can be put one to each window or both together. They will be accessible trough a ladder.
 Here is our little hero (still unpainted!) for scale.
 And again.

Below is an exact same building, regarding the foam core, but it is otherwise different. It is representing an old colonial "barn house", as Dunwich was said to be the oldest village in 30 miles radius or something. It is covered in the infamous coffee stirrers. Yes sir, you are correct! I have finally tracked the wooden buggers down in Ljubljana! At 6,5 euros per 1,000 I am still debating if that is cheap, but well, I got them now. Covering a house in planks ended with a pleasant result, but I still prefer popsickle sticks for my barn. 
 Here is the back door.

 And front entrance. I've left some planks sticking out and such, for some variety. It is supposed to be half thorn down anyways!

 Agent Raymond has heard strange voices inside....
 ...and outside! YIKES!

For the end, here is an old Whateley's farm. I was really happy with it, until the sand I've covered it in has dried. I am REALLY REALLY sorry I didn't cover it all in coffee stirrers. It would take quite some time, but it would look fantastic!

I went for the sand because of the large area. The problem is, the front entrance looks way too boring I think it at least needs a little roof above the door to make some details around the entrance.

If you don't know the story, Whateley's farm is a large, old farm with peaked roof. Here lived an old wizard, his daugther and later two spawns of Yog sothoth. One, Wilbur was shown to the public. His "twin brother", later known as the Dunwich horror was not. In the story, there are indications that it was locked in a barn. Later Whateley has built a ramp, leading to the door (that were made out of window) on the 1st (as in 2nd) floor. Whole floor had its internal walls demolished and was boarded up. When Whateley died, Wilbur has moved to a shed and boarded up whole of the farm, destorying all the internal walls. This is what my model represents.
 Here you can see the building with agent Raymond for scale. I haven't boarded up all windows for some variety. The boarded ones can be played as normal windows, boarded, or giving concealment etc.
 One side of the farm, nothing special about it.

 In the book, it is said the farm was built into a rocky cliff. This was represented by those rocks, covering the back side. The terrace Raymond is standing on way my own addition, to compensate for lack of windows on this side, making model more interesting in the gaming sense.

 This is the most interesting side, where you can see the ramp, leading too improvised door. As said, I've also made a connection to the terrace behind a building.
 An overview of the inside. I've build three remains of the 1st floor, accessible by ramp and then jumping. Be careful, though, if a model standing on such a limited space is shot by a shotgun, he can fall off!
 Here is a set up picture. As you can see, Raymond has climbed the weird ramp and held his lamp to see what lurks inside!

And all together for the end:

Yet again, thanks for looking. If you got any suggestions on how to make the buildings better, please feel free to share!


2 Nov 2012

The horror, jungle and some more


last few weeks I've been working on quite some projects. Today I'll show you my Dunwich horror sculpt (from H.P. Lovecraft's story of the same name), some jungle bits and such. In few days, I'll show you my Dunwich buildings I've been working on.

Dunwich horror

This spawn of Yog Sothoth is rougly egg shapped, bigger than barn, kind of centipede monster covered in tentacles and mouth. On top he has old Whateley's face.
This is my first attempt:

 Later I've figured his face could be upright...I don't know why I automatically thought it'd be shaped as an egg in laying position. So, because it was also way too low (see the scale picture), I've cut the face and repositioned it. This is where I am now:

 One day, when the mojo strikes, I'll slowly start reshaping his legs, one by one. Then I'll cover him in tentacles and some eyes and so on. I hope he will be joined by his twin brother and his mother, I already got hasslefree's old man to be his grandfather .P

I've also finally took the time to paint the sand bags I've made eons ago:

And I've put some plastic plants on my jungle terrain bases. It needs flocking, which I still got to buy, as I only got the "straw" color. I will flock them all at once then, as it produces quite a mess.

Lastly, I call my dimensional shambler done now. I will put some sand on his base and paint him now:

Thanks for looking,


1 Nov 2012

MDF sci-fi urban terrain


a short commercialized post today.

Two of my wargaming buddies are students of architecture, which proved much more useful in the hobby than my defense studies. I guess I should write some rules for something, lol. Back to the topic, using their knowledge of some cool (3D) drawing programs, they have designed plans for buildings and walls. Mainly for Infinity, as this is what they play, but could work for any 28mm sci-fi setting.  Great guy as I am, I've figured I'd post it here.

Below I've posted some pictures, but you can see more here. On the pictures are three sets of terrain. Two houses and 1st level walkways terrain and a set of walls. Walls will be redone and are not ready for production, while houses are as they are. The terrain is modular, windows can be left on or you can take them out to have the holes (you can see both options on the buildings). You get small and large house, which can be put one on top of another to make a two - story building, or you can have them each for itself. I've also overheard that higher walkways will be added, so you could have one above other. I only know the purchase price for now, but if anyone is interested, let me know and I can pass the information.

The pictures:
 Above you can see the whole setup. You can see the walls, walkways and two buildings. One in 2-story set up and other separated.
 Close up on lower walls. Note the doors in the wall to the right.
Here is a close up on the building. Here you can see what I meant with those windows. You can have "shades down" or an open hole.

EDIT april 2013: Terrainmakers are available at http://www.systemagaming.com/

Thanks for looking,