Tuesday, 2 September 2014

New Year New Free Figs

It is year two of The Ion Age and we are going to be treated to more, regular, special figs offered to us free with our orders.

September's special miniatures is a brilliant mustachioed fellow, the Alouten Veteran. This figure, like his predecessors, will be included free with any order to the Ion Age and may also be purchased on its own so you may have multiples or buy just the character. Available through the end of September.

For full information go - HERE

Saturday, 30 August 2014

New Vehicle Accessories from The Ion Age

Another quick update on what's jumping over at the Ion Age.

With all the cool vehicles and miniatures coming out, they have still managed to produce this excellent assortment of vehicle greeblies for their Adder. Not only can you pick up packs of these, but you can also grab individual bits.

For more info, head over - HERE

The Everyday War Gamer: DIY Lightbox

Many of us war gamers and modelers enjoy sharing photographs of our models through social media sites, forums and blogs. Unfortunately taking pictures of our small metal soldiers can sometimes prove to be difficult. Modern cameras are capable of capturing highly detailed images but simple things like bad lighting can ruin what would otherwise be a great picture.

An easy way to improve your photographs is to control how light falls on you minis. By manipulating the lighting you can minimize reflections and shadows that would otherwise obscure detail. Similarly, by controlling the light you can ensure that your photographs capture the true colors of your troops and help make them pop.

The easiest way to ensure good lighting is by taking pictures outside on a cloudy day. If your not patient enough to wait for perfect outdoor conditions then your next best option is to use a lightbox. There are dozens of lightboxes and light tents available commercially, but building your own is simple. Let me show you how it's done...

You can build it. You have the technology.

The first thing you need to do is gather your supplies. You will need the following:
  • A cardboard box large enough to contain the models that you want to photograph.
  • Tissue paper (the kind for wrapping gifts, not the kind for blowing your nose).
  • Tape
  • A box cutter, hobby knife, or even a kitchen knife
  • A ruler or straight edge
  • A pen or marker
Now use your ruler to draw a square on three sides of the box. The optimum way to do this is to lay the ruler on the box, along the outside edge. This will give you pretty good spacing from the edge of the box face.

The next step is to cut out the squares using your box cutter. When you are done the box should look something like this (maybe without the cat peeking through):
Next you'll want to tape tissue paper over each of the openings that you cut into the box. You can trim off the extra, or just wrap it around and tape it to various points on the box.

The final step is installing a background. If you want the seamless look that many minis retailers use then a sheet of white poster board will do the trick. Trim the poster board down so that it will slide into the box. You want to tape it against the top of the back wall, then allow it to curve out towards the opening in the front of the lightbox. This is the final result:
Voila! You've just finished your lightbox.

Let there be light!

Now that the light box is complete all that's left to do it is light it up. You will need a total of three light sources. I am using two desk lamps and a magnifier lamp on a long arm to light mine. For best results you should try to use 100 watt daylight bulbs. Incandescent bulbs will work, but will give a slightly yellow tinge to your photos (which you can correct in Photoshop or GIMP, but that's another article).

The tissue paper will allow light through, but will diffuse it so that your model doesn't catch any harsh reflections. You can control the amount of shadow by how you set up your lights. If you want lots of shadows use light coming in from only one side of the box. To reduce the amount of shadow bring in light from both side of the box, and to eliminate almost all of the shadows bring in light from the top as well.

Take some pictures!

I think that you will find that using the lightbox makes a HUGE difference in the quality of your pictures. Here an example of my results without the box versus with it.

Friday, 29 August 2014

UK and EU Backers Will Have Their Rewards Shipped From Scotland

Project image

Hey folks,

I wanted to post an update on this Yan'drassi Invasion Kickstarter of mine. 

I have arranged for pledge rewards for backers in the UK and EU to have their rewards shipped from my associates at 15mm.co.uk, in Scotland. While this will not reduce my shipping costs (I am contracting with them) it will reduce or eliminate the fees and taxes that are often associated with imported items from outside those regions.

I hope that this will help to eliviate any concerns folks in those parts of the world might have about backing a project based in the U.S. 



An Interview With Scott Pyle Author of Blasters and Bulkheads

By Eli

Hello all,

A while back I had a chance to interview Scott Pyle, author of Blasters & Bulkheads

If you are not familiar, B&B is a science fiction skirmish game that focuses on the sort of wild and crazy Space Opera adventure common in film and TV series as well as pulpy stories. The game plays with as little as a hand full of figures per side and utilizes the very entertaining Goalsystem rules. It is scenario driven game where objectives are key.

Thanks to Scott for the interview and if you haven't given Blasters and Bulkheads a try, please do. It's a treat.

1.       For those who do not know about B&B, can you give us a quick description of the game concept, in your own words?

In Blasters & Bulkheads, players use the Goalsystem mechanics to play out Space Opera style skirmishes in either 15mm or 28mm.  The game contains versatile, "build-your-own" rules that let players use whatever models they want from their collections. Rules for weapons from primitive to high-tech allow for just about any flavor of sci-fi players want, but with a mostly cinematic feel. You could play a Star Wars style skirmish just as easily as you could a a 40K or Inquisitor style battle.

2.       What would you say is the optimal number of figures needed by a single player to have  good game of B&B?

Five models per side feels best for me. But players can use as few as 1 or 2 models per side, up to as many as 20 or 30.  The Henchmen rules Goalsystem is famous for mean you can move a lot of "mooks" around very efficiently. 

3.       B&B was a pretty solid game to begin with. Why the new edition?

B&B 1st ed. was solid, but it still had some holes.  I wanted cleaner layout better suited to Lulu's print on demand process, a new cover, and slightly less emphasis on aping the tropes of a certain popular space opera series.  I kept Essence as one "source" of weird powers, and added in the idea of Psionics as well as an alternative.  I really wanted to make it so folks could do Inquisitor style skirmishes too.

4.       What would you say are the major differences between 1st and 2nd ed?

A lot of little things. Superior layout and cover artwork.  New mechanics for hacking, giant monsters, and destroying structures also add extra detail.  I added a few new powers as well.

5.       The 1st edition rules seemed very much designed to engage a very specific science fiction franchise that took place in a galaxy far far away, was this the plan and does that carry over to the new edition?

It still does, but as I suggested above, it's been broadened a bit to include other sci-fi tropes.  You can certainly still have your Essence Warriors running about slicing up the Minions of the Galactic Hegemony, that's for sure!

6.       I am a fan of both gritty sci-fi as well as Space Opera, will B&B work well for both?

YMMV, on this one!  You can use the build system to tailor games to your play style.  Want weaker characters?  Start them with less Vitality or lower damage resistance.  Or increase the Damage Numbers on some of the weapons.  B&B has enough dials to allow folks to tinker with the lethality to create killer games

7.       I know this is always a tough question, but what is your favorite element of B&B?

I love the character build system!  You can build just about anything, and we include rules for making your own new traits to add other stuff in as you see fit.
8.       What do you think is B&B’s strongest point(s)?

Versatile character creation, consistent mechanics, and a slant towards story-based skirmish play.  I like to think of B&B as adventure skirmish role-play in the same vein as some of my other games--SuperSystem and Goalsystem Delves.

9.       One rule, I really like is the Henchmen. Would you mind giving us a brief rundown on the concepts of these rules.

No problem!  The Henchmen rules work under the concept of many models moving and acting as a single model.  So your band of 5 nameless guards (5 being the starting, default size for a group), moves and acts as one model.  You make one attack and one defense roll for the whole group, for example.  If the group takes 3 points of Vitality loss, you remove 3 models. You can buy up a henchmen group to as many as 15, 20, or even more models.  It all depends on your collection of miniatures!

10.   B&B is very setting and scenario oriented. Does this mean we might see expansions of specific genres, an “in-house” setting or campaign books in the future?

Oh yes!  My partners Enrico Nardini, Joseph Dragovich, and I see a lot of potential to tailor the B&B rules to specific sub-genres and settings. Rico is getting ready to launch his own line of miniatures, Dark Vacuum. And we'll be doing write-ups for those models using the B&B rules.  I love the idea of a setting that features Xeno Anthropologists exploring lost worlds and discovering alien species and slumbering gods man was not meant to know about!  That's a possibility! 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Gruntz 15mm: D.E.A.T.H. Teams cyborg army

Ok so I managed to finish off the middle sized cyborgs for the army. They are the Synod's highly skilled shock troops and commandos. They drop from orbit using a combo grav pack/ shield generator which is used up during the jump. The empty packs are buried before the troops head out to their objective to reduce the risk of enemy observation.

The Jotuns are about twice the size of a standard bio-bod immortal and carry full auto lasers to support their smaller brothers.

All of the cyborgs are very fast and can cover a lot of ground. All cyborgs have the long runners perk, and some have the ultimate agility perk giving them a move of 7" standard.

All,in all the force is a fast hard hitting and we'll armored force but very expensive points-wise as befits a highly capable commando unit.