Saturday, June 10, 2017

Tail Feathers - Ratling Foot Troops

So, just a quick (hopefully) update on some painted models.  I finished my first batch of Tail Feather models:  6 ratling foot troops.  I'm not really excited about how they turned out, although I am not that displeased either:  I was just trying to get something decent ready for the table.  I still have to figure out what I am going to do for the basing but I think it is probably just going to be a standard flocking.

Anyway, in case I need to refer back to it in the future (doubtful):


  • Pants:  
    • RMS Templar Blue (2 figs)
    • Vallejo Dark Rubber (2 figs)
    • Vallejo Light Rubber (2 figs)
  • Fur:  
    • RMS Aged Bone (for white rats)
    • RMS Dark Skin (for brown rats)
  • Skin/Flesh:  
    • RMS Aged Bone + RMS Carnage Red (for white rats)
    • RMS Tanned Skin (for brown rats)
  • Backpack:  RMS Uniform Brown*
  • Armor:  Dave Taylor's Polished Steel Recipe*
  • Leather:  RMS Earth Brown
  • Crossbow:  RMS Rich Leather
  • Eyes/Arrow Feather:  RMS Carnage Red
  • Teeth/Claws:  RMS Faded Khaki
  • Arrow Shaft:  RMS Earth Brown
  • Bones:  RMS Aged Bone
  • Pants:  None
  • Fur:  Worked up to
    • RMS Polished Bone (for white rats)
    • RMS Dark Skin + RMS Aged Bone* (for brown rats)
  • Skin/Flesh:  None
  • Backpack:  Several washes of RMS Green Ochre*
  • Armor:  Dave Taylor's Polished Steel Recipe
  • Leather:  Worked up to RMS Leather Brown
  • Crossbow:  RMS Polished Brown
  • Eyes/Arrow Feather:  None
  • Teeth/Claws:  None
  • Arrow Shaft:  None
  • Bones:  RMS Polished Bone
  • All:  Thinned AP Strong Tone Wash, several controlled applications
It was a conscious decision to skip a lot of highlighting in certain areas and a bit of a test to see how that would turn out.  The lower parts of the body and small details, for what I was trying to achieve (passable tabletop), just did not seem worth the time investment.  Similarly, I also wanted to see how the AP Strong Tone wash would turn out and if I would be happy with "cutting that corner."  I think the results are "ok."  I do wish they had turned out a little better and I am still not happy with how long it took to get them done.  I of course will try again on the next batch (Tail Feather mousling foot troops).  My daughter though is very happy with how they turned out and the purpose of painting these up are to play with her, so I guess that is a big win!

Overall I think, as usual, I did not get enough contrast in the models and failed to push my highlights and shadows far enough.  I do think in a couple of areas I pushed further than I have in the past, so maybe there is hope for me in that regard.  lol

Anyway, I need to jump on the next batch.  Well, after a short (I hope) distraction.

  • Backpack:  The RMS Uniform Brown I used for the backpack totally failed me.  For some reason when the paint dried it was severally cracked.  Since I figured it was the paint going bad, I had to step "over" to using RMS Green Ochre, applying several thinned applications to "hide" the cracking.  This caused an overall color shift that left me a little unsatisfied but not unhappy enough to do anything about it.
  • Armor:  Dave Taylor's Polished Steel recipe was a bit of a mistake, I actually intended for a darker, grittier looking armor but for some reason used this recipe instead of his Dark Iron recipe.  I tried a few extra applications of AP Strong Tone to "shift" it in that direction but ultimately just decided to roll with it as you see.
  • Fur (brown rats);  RMS Dark Highlight produced no perceivable gradient shift from the RMS Dark Skin basecoat, so I tried adding in RMS Aged Bone.  It didn't really seem to work out all that great (or I did not push the contrast far enough).  A suggestion was to use a more "flesh" color than the aged bone, so I will try that next time I am in this situation.  
  • Varnishing:  The picture above is un-varnished.  Since it was taken, I have hit the models with a gloss coat to prepare for the basing and maybe just a bit of weathering.  This has really washed out any highlighting/shading on the them.  I know when I apply the dull coat they should "come back" but I'm holding my breath until then.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Recap

Well, May was a month of some wins and losses on the hobby front.  I guess starting with the losses, I did not manage to make it to either of the local game days for the month.  I also missed CMON Expo, again.  And I have not made it nearly as far as I had hoped on the miniatures for the Tail Feather's game:  I had hoped (LOL) to have the whole thing done in May.  Part of the problem has been:

And yes, for those of you paying attention, that also means I now have a PS4.  And no, I did not get a PS4 just to play this game.  I got a PS4 just so I could play the new Tekken game that comes out at the end of the week!  Horizon Zero Dawn was just a pleasant, very pleasant, bonus.  Anyway, I've managed to curtail my playing back down to a decent level but I did lose a couple of weeks before I regained some focus.

For wins, while I still have not managed to get in a single board game at my work's regular Wednesday lunch-board game hour, I did show my daughter how to play Tsuro.  She liked it a lot and caught on very quickly.  We knocked out a few games of that one Saturday and then the next day took it over to my parents house for a few more plays.

And while I did not get the entire Tail Feathers game painted, I did get the first batch (6 ratlings on foot) done!  Not entirely pleased with how they turned out but I am calling them done so I can move on (the figures are not the greatest anyways and I missed a lot of mold lines, so why invest to much time into them).  I did get distracted after wrapping those minis up though, it is just a quick detour (I hope).  Anyway, I will post something up soon about those 2 things.

That's about it.  Looking forward to June, I want to make sure that detour is taken care of quickly and then jump back on the next batch of Tail Feathers.  Also looking to make the next couple of local game days.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Rules Review - Torii

Continuing to tilt at windmills, specifically for a Samurai skirmish game, I just revisited the Torii rules by Zenit Miniatures.  I had flipped through the rules a while back and I did not recall anything that was explicitly a show stopper, at least for me, so I thought it was worth going back and reviewing a little further and capturing my thoughts.  The rules are available for free and can be found here or from the main page of the Zenit website.

Although not the purpose of this review, I should point out that Zenit also offers a Samurai oriented mass battle ruleset called Kensei.  They also offer an wonderful range of Samurai models, in fact their range is the one I want to use for whatever ruleset I converge on (if I ever get around to it).  Unless something better comes along before then.  Anyway...

Scale of Game & List Building:
The rules advertise it is a game of 8-12 models per side, consisting of 3 categories of troops you can use to build your force, with the following restrictions:
  • Hero:  Must include at least 1.  No more than 2 are allowed and they must be different.
  • Elites:  Up to 4 may be included into your warband
  • Warriors:  No restriction
  • No more than 12 models total
  • Only less than half of the warband can be equipped with ranged weapons
You have 100 points to build your warband as above.  You can also spend points to equip them with mounts or range weapons or you can purchase Offerings for the Gods (rerolls).

While each category of troop shares the same stat line, the "force lists" expand this vanilla approach by offering different choices of Warriors (for instance) with different skills depending on the Clan they represent.  There are also common troop choices available to ever clan.  I really like this approach in theory and it appears to alleviate my first impression that the game would be very bland due to so much parity via the statline.

Standard Rules:
Torii is what I would call a "I go, You go" with reaction system.  Typically not my favorite form of activation systems but at least it has a reaction component.  In this system, the active player starts issuing and resolving orders to their models, where an order represents one or more actions (coming back to this in a second).  If more than one action is permitted (more on that later), it can not be a duplicate of a previous action that miniature has taken during it's activation, nor can you have more than 1 combat action per activation.  Any model that has received an order (either the active player or the reactive player) is considered activated and can not be re-activated that turn.  The active player then continues to activate their other miniatures and once they have finished all of their activations, the second player then proceeds to activate their remaining eligible models.

What is a bit interesting in all this is that the number of actions a model may have is variable and not determined until the command roll is made at the beginning of a model's activation.  A command roll is simply a 1d6 + initiative roll.  On a 4+,the model gets 2 activations, otherwise it just gets 1.  This seems kind of interesting but may end up being a bit of a love it/hate it type mechanic, at least for some.  Lastly, on a command roll of a 6+ the model activates it's "Ki" (some skills may only be used if this has occurred).

Back to actions.  There are a fairly typical set of actions available to the active player and a limited set for the reactive player.  It is worth noting though that some actions to require 2 action points, hence the command roll could really hamper your plans.

Torii is a d6 based system and most rolls utilize the appropriate stat, rolling that number of d6s with a 4+ being considered a success.  Close combat is resolved by each miniature rolling the appropriate number of dice (with modifiers) and counting successes (multiple of the same rolls, that are a successes, cause a crush bonus to be applied during damage resolution if that miniature wins the combat).  The miniature with the higher number of success is the winner and causes a number of impacts equal to the difference.  To resolve the damage, you roll a 1d6 + the difference from the previous step + modifiers (like crush):  on 1-4 the target is stunned, 5 or 6 is a wound.  It is clearly stated that stunned tokens are removed at the beginning of the turn but I'm not sure of the affect otherwise (can't be activated?).  It would also seem, although not clear, that 2 stunned convert into a wound.

Range combat works in a fairly similar way.  Except Line of Sight affects the target number for success:  4+ for clear LOS, 5+ for partially blocked LOS.  There are also modifiers to the number of dice you roll based on class of range weapon (ie, short range weapons like shurikens) and the range band it is firing at.  Outside of that, if the target reacted with an opportunity shot it is basically the same as close combat.  If not, then the difference in impacts is equal to the number of successes the attacker rolled.  If successful, then the damage is resolved.  Given the disparity in the number of impacts you can generate (versus Close Combat), it would seem that unopposed range combat could be very deadly.

In all cases, if a miniature is wounded it then must perform a Honor Test or it will attempt to flee the combat.  I would have liked to see some modifiers to this test, for instance if a warrior is within X of a Hero, it gets Y modifier to it's Honor Test.  Maybe it is buried in the skills.

Outside what I've already mentioned, the rest of the rules from there on seem pretty standard.

There are 6 missions provided, each with a primary and secondary objectives and scoring.  A common primary mission is randomly determined and shared by both players.  Typically it offers 3 scoring elements of 1, 2 and 3 for a possible total of 6+ points.  Each player also receives a random and independent mission to score for their secondary objective, worth 2 points.  I am a big fan of this type of mission/objective approach.  My only concern is the disparity between primary scoring and secondary scoring would seem to make going for a secondary a very poor decision.  I would have to play through them multiple times to really tell though.

Other Things:
The rule book is fairly well laid out and would seem to flow well but I actually found myself searching around it a lot.  Something in the flow is just slightly off but I can figure out what.  That being said, from cover to cover it is only about 16 pages, if you exclude the skill list/definition and the force list, so it does not take long to find whatever you may need to look up.  There is no table of contents or index for the rules, but given how short the rules are I do not think this is a big issue.

It should also be noted, as written, that Torii does not allow pre-measuring prior to issuing orders, which is not a big issue for me but for some it may be.  Of course, you are likely to never to play this game in a tournament, so why don't you and your opponent just agree to play the way you want.  ;)

The rules also specifically call out that models should be mounted on square bases but honestly there is no mechanic that would seem to drive this.  I personally would consider this optional, just like the pre-measuring issue.

Weapons are handled fairly generically.  Close combat weapons are all considered similar.  Long combat weapons are just slightly different.  Range weapons are all fairly similar, only grouped into range categories.  Perhaps all that is for the best or perhaps it makes it a little to vanilla.

I should also mention the rules are in metric.  As a one time player and fan of Confrontation, this is really not an issue to me but I remember some people, at the time, were very adamant about their hatred of the metric system and unwilling to consider playing a game in metric.

As in Test of Honour, Torii appears to lack any fantastical elements.  Unless you consider the Ki triggering/allowing skills to take affect.  So this is a bit of a downside to me personally.  But in the case of Torii, I find this very odd (which I will come back to later).

Some Issues:
There are some slight issues with the rules, as presented.  I do not think there are any major holes in the rules, all the content seems to be there.  It is just I felt like I had to flip around a lot to find things.  For instance, as I stated above the close combat mentions "Crush", I figured that would be explained in the rules for resolving damage.  But it is not.  You find it in the skill section.  Which is fine, I understand this approach but they could have written "crush skill" or something that would have clued me in.  Also, I think the rules are simple enough to get away without having any diagrams or examples but I would I have still liked to have seen some.

As I mentioned when I covered range combat, it does seem on paper that range combat could be very deadly.  It is definitely good that the list building rules limit the amount of range weapons your force can be composed with.  But I still worry that it could be a little to deadly for my tastes.

The only other major issue I see is I am not sure of the support for this game.  I think it is great they are leveraging off of Kensei and the range of models they have for Torii.  But, why doesn't Torii have Clan profiles for all the great undead and Oni/monster models they released via crowd funding for Kensei?  And why are there no fantastical elements to the game rules to support this?  That hole leads me to have concerns about future support/intentions from Zenit for Torii.

Torii may end up being a bit vanilla.  Maybe the simplified/unified statline utilizing skills approach will backfire, maybe it's a perfect solution.  But, since the rules are free and there is nothing that necessarily ties you to using Zenit's range of miniatures (therefore to me it seems fairly miniature agnostic), I think the game is worth trying out if you are interested in a Samurai skirmish game.  If it does not work out for you, you can always carry your miniatures over to another system (I suspect most rulesets for this genre that you will find are going to be miniature agnostic) and give it a try.

Right after I hit publish on this post, I found out Zenit has launched its Kickstarter for a second edition of Kensei (their mass battle Samurai rules).  Since I have not really looked into Kensei, I do not really have an opinion about it.  That being said, the Kickstarter does offer a lot of their miniatures and even a printed version of the Torii rules.  You can find the Kickstarter here.

Friday, May 5, 2017

April Recap

Well, I really did not get as much as I hoped done for the month of April.  I had really hoped to finish at least the 13 ground troops for Tail Feathers, instead they are still on my table.  That being said, I did get some progress done:

After I got the base colors (mostly) blocked in on the 6 ratlings, I started to concentrate primarily on the 3 white rats above.  Various things have gone wrong or slowly with these guys but at least there has been some progress.

Sadly, I did not manage to play any games for the month.  And I'm already set to miss the first game day in May and CMON Expo.  *sigh*

I spent some money on a second/new hobby light for my airbrush station.  I had been making due just moving the one I had around but eventually got tired of that.  Anyway, I hope that it encourages me to jump on the airbrush a little more often and in general that should help my hobby output.

Lastly, some very exciting hobby news (for me at least) also dropped in April:

Oh my...  I had some reservations but from this Q&A over at Beasts of War, it would seem none of them still stand.  This is going to get pretty expense for me.

Ok, one more thing:  If you are vaguely interested and did not know, Fantasy Flight has been posting up a lot of things about the upcoming Legend of the Five Rings LCG.  As a fan of the old CCG I can tell you from my perspective, it looks fantastic.  Every major issue that I can conjure from my memory seems to be addressed/averted.  I even sent my wife some of the articles, the next thing I knew I had to tell her she couldn't buy it yet when she asked "Why can't I find it."  lol

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

March Recap

A little late with my March recap post but coming off the heels of my Adepticon day by day posts, I lacked the motivation to get this out promptly.  My March activity was mostly covered by those posts and the hot wheels conversion post but I also came back from Adepticon with a lot of hobby energy.  Before closing out March (yet after Adepticon), I managed to assemble my 3 new Guild Ball Mason models (Wrecker, Veteran Harmony and Granite) right off the bat.

In addition to those models, my daughter has been bugging me about the Tail Feathers game I picked up last year.  Apparently, for some unknown reason, she has gotten interested in playing that.  So I've been working on re-basing those models and trying only to do absolute necessary clean up on the models (I'm not going to paint them that well, so why invest lots of time on clean up).  Got all the models done except the birds.

I hopping to get those out of the way (Guild Ball and Tail Feathers) so I can start working on things for CMON Expo and/or the NOVA Open.  But, I have to decide what exactly I am going to work on.  Lots of things are floating around and I will have to pick 1 or 2 things to focus down on:
  • Dark Age - Saint Mary's
  • Wrath of Kings - Haddross 
  • Blood Bowl - Lizardmen
  • Arena Rex
  • DropFleet Commander - Scourge 
  • More Hot Wheel conversions
  • Or something else/random
I don't know.  LOL.  First thing first:  Finish off Guild Ball and Tail Feathers.  Hopefully in my next post I can show off the first batch of Tail Feathers miniatures.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Adepticon - Sunday

Finally managed to wake up with a splitting headache and got all packed up for my trip home.  But before I caught my ride to the airport, I had one last class:  Speed Painting Display Quality Minis with Raffaele Picca from Massive Voodoo.  This was not a hands on class but it was truly inspiring to watch and experience this class.  I just don't know what to say but it was amazing what he could accomplish on a figure in 90 mins.  And everything he did and said seemed completely achievable.  I can only hope I can put some of it to practice (why did I not take better notes!?).

After that, I hit the dealer floor real quick to get a favor and pick up 2 little last things (of which I only got 1).  Ran into Stu again and was able to say farewell.  I hope I can make it to the NOVA Open this year and hang with him some more.  And then it was out the door to the airport.

Overall a fantastic time as usual.  Seeing friends again in person was wonderful.  As was meeting the new people I met.  Oh, and the Crystal Brush entrees were incredible.  Hopefully everyone also had a great time and made it home safe.  And hopefully they did not come home to find their significant other allowing this BS in you absence:


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Adepticon - Saturday

Saturday - also known as, why not wake up with another massive headache.  Anyway, I managed to get that under control and head to an early morning seminar:  Airbrushing Master Class - How to Paint an Infinity Tag taught by Angel Giraldez.

I took a class with Angel last year, not a hands on class mind you, and thought it was a wonderful class so I quickly jumped a chance to do an hands on class, esp an airbrush one.  Despite struggling with my particular airbrush (back to back clogs, followed by dry tip spitting that did not want to go away) I thought it was a pretty good class.  I only made it through the 4th step because of the issues I mentioned, but I thought I did do was pretty decent:

Definitely seeing Angel at work, up close, with an airbrush and then actually managing to use the airbrush similarly (at times) gives me a lot of direction of how and where to work on my skills, and the confidence to pursue it.

Getting out of that class, I caught up with Stu for a quick lunch and then we both went our separate ways again.  Then another round in the vendor hall and caught a demo of Test of Honour by Warlord Games (the rules I previously reviewed).  As I suspected, the game is pretty good.  I did find out for some scenarios when you draw the first and second fate token special things can happen.  I also learned that when your samurai dies, that is the end of the game.  Not my favorite mechanic and a mechanic that IMO seems to contrary to playing for any other objectives in the game.

Derek also dragged me over to the Dust booth to get a demo.  Seemed like a pretty good game but at the time I had to defer to the fact that the local crowd is Konflik 47 oriented.  Appreciate the demo though and definitely thought there were some interesting aspects to the game.

Then it was time for Car Wars:  Food Truck Fallout!  Hosted by Lathan.  And joined by few of the other members of the Anonymous Tabletop podcast.  Lathan did a really great job providing an interesting theme, managing the game flow and action, and just in general hosting a great event.

Lathan even let us take home our food trucks.  And I think I will have to try out the Anonymous Tabletop podcast, because they were a riot.  This event ran a little long though, so I missed my Space Hulk game but no real regrets since I had such a good time.  After we wrapped up, I hung out a bit until the bitz trading started up.  Not really anything there of interest to me.  But after I grabbed some dinner, I made the slightly costly decision to check again:

What's in the bag!?
That pretty much wrapped up Saturday.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Adepticon - Friday

Not only did Friday morning at Adepticon start with a massive headache (literally) buy also with me wondering what the hell I was thinking when I registered for an 8am RPG.  So, I just turned the alarm off and went back to bed.

Still struggling from the headache, I spent a little more time in the vendor hall before heading to a hands on airbrush weathering class with Mr. Justin.  A great class, as his usually are, but after John's help with my El Camino conversions, the lessons learned were already in my head and fresh.  Does not hurt to have them reinforced though.

Right Side we practiced Hairspray Technique
Left Side we practiced Salt Chipping
Oh, in addition to the awesome tank from TrenchWorx we also got free Minitaire Ghost Tints for those in the class.  Something new to play with (eventually, long story).  A little more time in the vendor hall:

Filling some gaps for Wrath of Kings and Dark Age 
Then to the Devil's Run game that I built and painted the El Camino for.  Which seemed like a great game, run by a great guy but pretty much a bust for me.  21 people crowded around a 4x4 play area.  

A few to many people, IMO
Couple this with a huge amount of down time (due to the number of players) and you have me dropping out to go to dinner with Mike, Derek, Lathan, and a nice fellow from Privateer Press (Will?).  Had a great time at dinner, hanging at the painting area and then the bar.  I definitely think I made the right call.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Adepticon - Thursday

So a bit late to post a day-by-day account of Adepticon but I'm doing it anyway.

Other than the pain off getting up at 3:30am for my flight to a real airport that could get me to Chicago, my travel to Adepticon went smoothly.  Once at O'Hare, my day really started to shine:

Windy City Limos FTW!  At the price I pay, it's random what you will get and
 if you will have to share.  Usually, I just get a Lincoln but not today.
Since I didn't arrive at the hotel until noon and had a seminar at 2, the priority was to drop my luggage, grab food, my badge and get to my seminar.  While waiting for my lunch, I got caught up with all the announcements GW had already made at the convention (I really did not expect them to spill the beans at all, let alone that much and that quickly).  Anyway, all that was interrupted by unexpected surprise:  An old buddy, Stu, from the NOVA Open Terrain/Foam Cutters Union had made the journey and found me in the bar.  Throughout the weekend I hung out with Stu several times.  Truly wonderful to catch up with him.

Moving past the seminar (not much to talk about, it was so so), I hit the vendor hall and scoped things out.  Caught up with Derek from Throne of Angels.  Loot from the first pass:

Arena Rex (Left), Guild Ball Masons (Upper Right)
and Dropzone Commander Civilian Vehicles (Bottom Right)
After a bit of a break to rest a bit (3:30am was way to early for humans to get up), I headed to the 40k Car Wars game.  Really only Car Wars in name, this event was amped up big time and run by some great people out of Buffalo:  28mm 40k vehicles, 12 two man teams (one member played the ground vehicle, the other an air vehicle), 40 ft straight track to the finish line.  Assuming the other players, the road hazards (every 2 ft down the board) and the Titan guarding the bridge (half way) let you get to the finish line!

Choices, choices, choices
Mmm, that's pretty far.
Ready, set...
We went with the Eldar vehicles (we were one of the last to pick) and my randomly paired partner (Jeff, I believe, from Boston) tried to keep his air vehicle in the middle if the pack and not draw attention.  On the ground, I tried to do the same while pinging the front runners with attacks.  We then busted out to be the second team across the bridge but could never get past the Chaos flyer.  We kept up with them but they activated first, so we were second in the end.

Second Place Prize(?) and I guess spreading community awareness
about how awesome Buffalo is(?).  Jeff let me have it, probably
because I have less hair than him.
After that I grabbed a later dinner and caught up with my buddy Mike, and meet some nice people from Northern VA/Maryland who I did not know from when I lived there.  Overall, a pretty good and fun first day!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Conversion and Painting - Vehicular Combat, First Car(s)

As I have mentioned before, I've been working on a Vehicular Combat project for Adepticon.  The game is Devil's Run and I need to bring one modified Hot Wheels/Matchbox car for the game.  I jumped on this project because it ties into a bigger project that I have wanted to undertake for some time, so this was a nice way to get it jump started.

Note, I'm not sure if Devil's Run is necessarily the game I want to use for my bigger project, but Adepticon will give me a nice preview of the rules.  In past years I had also tried Car Wars, which I was not terribly happy with (although the game at Adepticon was a lot of fun).  I've also wanted to read through and try a game called Road Kill.  Lastly, Osprey is supposedly publishing a ruleset called Gaslands, someday...

In any case, if you want to check out Devil's Run you can find the rules for free on their website here.  For Road Kill, the kickstarter had the rules posted here (note Road Kill is actually written to be 10mm rules but it should be an easy adaptation).

Anyway, moving back to the topic of conversion and painting of my first vehicles.
The first batch, de-assembled and striped.  Anyone know
the theme for the bigger project from just this photo?
Various conversions were started on all 4 of these vehicles, but the focus quickly narrowed to the El Camino for various reasons, mostly related to conversion issues on my part (I may have bitten off more than I can chew for a couple of the conversions).  The El Camino is also one of my favorites for the big project.

First conversion and a bit of battle damage from a dremel.
Above was the first conversion of the El Camino.  Unfortunately, I got carried away and did not refer back to my "reference" material because the dual, forward mounted guns was not the "right" configuration.

There we go:  One gun, one rocket launcher mounted aft.
From here, the model was primed and the underlying rust work started:
  • Base Rust:  Applied to most of the model. 
    • RMS Muddy Brown
  • Rust Variations:  Dry sponged onto various areas (damaged panels, roof, bed, lower part of the panels, etc)
    • RMS Chestnut Brown
    • RMS Mahogany Brown
    • RMS Rust Brown
    • RMS Forest Green
    • RMS Marigold Yellow
    • RMS Imperial Purple

My buddy John, over at 40K Hobby Blog, held my hand through this rust/painting process.  He agreed with my concern that there was not enough "contrast" at this point and that I should add darker browns to contrast my eventual grey base color.  Unfortunately I set the model aside for the night at that point and when I got home the next day, I just jumped to the next step without remembering to do it.  LOL.

Varnished, hair-sprayed and base coated
  • Base Color:  RMS Cloudy Grey
Anyway, at this point it apparently is a pretty time sensitive process to start removing the base color to reveal the rust.  And, of course for me, that is when things went sideways.  Some kind of family "crisis" and ended up only returning to the model after this base color had fully set.  Holding my breath, I still started trying to remove the base color with mixed success.

Definitely not horrible, but it is a little awkward, I think, since there is still paint in the recesses of the damage areas.  Not much I can do about it at this point other than starting the rust part all over again.  I decided though I was just going to chalk it up to a learning experience and move on due to running out of time.  I will need to come back with weathering powders to hide some spots where I accidentally removed paint all the way down to the bare metal.

Starting metallics and highlight/shading
  • MG, Rocket Launcher, Chains:  Following Dave Taylor's Metallic Guide
  • Window Plates:  Following Dave Taylor's Metallic Guide
  • Spike:  RMS Muddy Brown
Following Dave Taylor's metallic methods, I started in on all the other metal bits.  I also started some shading and highlighting of the base color.  I was really not happy with the base color (too blue) or the highlighting (too sloppy) or the shading (not enough contrast) at this point.  For better or worse, Adepticon was less than a week away at this point so I had to press on.

So at this point, things got a little hectic in the rush to finish up.  But lots of progress was made, just not captured in photos.  Really unhappy with the roof, bed and bumpers I repainted them brown and sponged rust variations back on.  Hairspray technique again and using a lighter shade of the base car color, the roof and bed were sprayed.  Then quickly removed.  Bumpers were similarly done, only with AP Gun Metal.

After finally, being satisfied with the rust I moved on to highlights and shading.

Much better and starting to come together, I think.
Note, I deviated from Dave Taylor's metallic method for the window plates.  I just was not getting what I wanted, probably because I did not know what I wanted.  I started to hit the plates with Vallejo Smoke and discovered, for myself, something wonderful!  Because I was in a rush, I did not want to apply a bunch of layers of Smoke so I did not bother to thin it.  It quickly began to "gum" up in this state and achieved the wonderful grimmy affect you see now.

The rims were AP Gun Metal, followed by a thinned Vallejo Smoke.  The tires themselves were Vallejo Panzer Aces Dark Rubber.

The car in the picture above is a bit shinny (it's worse in person, under proper lighting), that's because it has had a gloss varnish applied for the next stage.  The plan was to lock everything in with a dullcoat after I apply some weathering powders and pin washes.

Or, in other words, my attempt to screw it all up.  Issue one, was that while I intended to use oils for the pin wash I did not prepare to use oils.  That means at 9pm I realized I had no mineral spirits to thin down my oils with.  So, pressed for time I attempted a acrylic pin wash.  Didn't work so well.  The second issue is apparently I have forgotten how to use weathering pigments.  I really struggled here.  I at least managed to get some mistakes covered up but I'm not happy with either of my "finishing" steps.  But I have run out of time, so I hit it with dullcoat and called it done.

The "bad" things I've learned through this process:
  • Working with die cast metal Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars sucks.
  • Chop topping the taxi cab was a horrible idea resulting in a continued nightmare.
  • Replacing windows is a pain in the ass.  They are sooo small!  And some have a lot of curvature to them!
  • Chains suck too!  I cant say how many attempts it took to attach them.  Or how many times I had to reattach them.  I can only pray that they stay on now.
  • The weapon bits from Brigade Games, originally crafted by Dave Taylor I believe, seem a little oversized to me.  Since I bought a ton of them, I will continue to use them but fair warning.  The other bits and pieces from those sets seem reasonable sized though.
  • DO NOT reassemble the model completely before painting.  I knew this.  I don't know what happened.  I was dry fitting the model.  Next thing I knew, I grabbed the glue.  Then an hour later "OMG, why did I do that!"  Painting and handling this model would have been so much easier in separate pieces.
  • If using the hairspray technique, do not let the base color (top layer) completely cure before you start rubbing it off.  Even if the baby is crying, house on fire, etc.  lol.
  • Not sold on being able to do a pin wash with acrylics.  
  • I suck with weathering powders.
The "good" things I learned:
  • I like this entire vehicle weathering "thing."  Lots of fun and you can be fairly carefree about it and get decent results IMO.  Well, at least till you hit the home stretch.
  • I guess, although that may be debatable, that I can do this vehicle weathering "thing" to some degree.
  • Hopefully, I learned from the "mistakes" from above.  LOL.
  • One model down, 3 more immediately to go.  Another 6-10 after that.  Ok, that last part I am not to happy about but at least this "project" has gotten started!
  • Family stuff is a big factor but I really should paint more.  When I do have time, I get caught up in assembling stuff (or playing Xbox) and just don't get around to actually painting enough.
Also, this technically (and I will count it) achieves one of my hobby goals for 2017.  I had a goal to paint "something" for Adepticon.  And I have.  Sure, I planned to have actually 4 of these guys done for Adepticon but still, I will take this one as a victory.  Of course, after Adepticon I have to figure out what is next (I think I had a goal to have something painted for the CMON Expo, which is in mid May.  doh!).  Plus I have a backlog of incomplete stuff that needs to get done.
In a hopeful note though, at least for my hobby productivity, I haven't played Overwatch in over a week and it will be a full 2+ weeks before I get another chance to play.  And I have to say I have not really missed it.  So I don't know if I will go back to it.  We'll see.

Anyway, next stop Adepticon!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Rules Review - Test of Honour

So for those not aware, Warlord Games recently released Samurai miniatures game called Test of Honour.  I read through these rules a couple weeks ago when the preview first because available and was pleasantly surprised.  I held off posting a review because I hoped that the "missing" rules would be available in the coming weeks and/or some other concerns would be elevated when it launched.  As I will get to, those concerns still exist but I still think this rule set deserves some attention.  At least it seems so to me, as I (also) love this genre.

This review will have some holes though, as there is content for the game that is not available for free.  In fact, only the Main rules are free, the Battle Guide and various "cards" are not.  You can find the rules over at the Warlord Games site.

Scale of Game & List Building:
Sadly I am really not sure.  For list building, the main rules say to refer the scenario being played in the Battle Guide for recruiting rules.  Which is fair enough and potentially interesting that game size could vary scenario by scenario, potentially even asymmetrically.  The description on the website claims a small skirmish game of 5-20 models, although this seems opposed to how the game is packaged (most commoner boxes are 10 models each, shouldn't this really be 3 or 6 if the game size target is 5-20 models, and you mutli-base commoners in groups of 3?).

It should be noted too, and I think has been stated by Warlord Games, that this is not really a game of Samurai vs Samurai.  It seems to be a game of 1-2 Samurai leading a small band of more common troop types.  No real issue to me, I only point this out as it may matter to some.

Standard Rules:
Building on the typical Warlord activation mechanic from Bolt Action (pulling dice from a bag), Test of Honor tweaks it slightly.  Instead of dice, it uses tokens where samurai are denoted with a different token than commoners.  Additionally 3 fate tokens are added to the bag.  Note, there are not separate tokens for each side.

The commoner vs samurai token distinction is made because commoners can only make 1 action per turn, whereas samurai can make 2-3 actions per turn (notice I didn't say per activation!).  And of course, commoner tokens must be assigned to commoners and samurai tokens to samurai.  You assign the token to a model(s) and complete its action.  If the number of tokens is less than the number of actions it can take, then they can activate again later that turn.

After the action is completed, the next player draws a token and makes his action.  The turn ends when the 3rd fate token is drawn (whoever draws the 3rd fate token then gets to draw first the next turn).  It appears there is no other use for the fate tokens and drawing the 1st/2nd one results basically a "pass."

So you have a mostly (due to the fate token "pass" above) alternating activation system, that limits who exactly you can activate each time, spreads the activation of multiple activation models across the entire turn and the turn length is unpredictable.  Seems pretty interesting to me, although I am sure some will not like it.

Ability test, such as Test of Aim or Test of Wits, are fairly simply.  Roll the number of appropriate special dice, specified by the model.  The dice are made up of swords (1 and 2 quantity), blanks and X's.  If you have 3 or more swords, the test success unless there are more X's than swords (X's and blanks do not cancel out any swords).  There are modifiers that can add or subtract dice from the pool but unfortunately these are scattered throughout the rules.

Melee is handled in a similar manner with a couple of interesting twists.  A Test of Aim is conducted, if successful and the target of a melee attack has an action available then it MUST avoid.  Avoid requires a Test of Agility and if it succeeds the attack is negated, if it fails or if the target has no actions available the attack lands.  Note, if the target attempts to avoid, remove the appropriate token from the bag and place it on the model/card.  Moving from there to the damage step requires a Test of Strength:  failure is a light wound (< 3 swords), success is a heavy wound (removing the model).

The second twist is triggering weapon bonuses (or fumbles, doh!).  If on a strike, avoid or damage you pass with 5 or more swords you can trigger a weapon specific bonus.  These have a variety of affects but add a great deal of flavor.  I hope the details are captured on the back of the model cards to avoid constant referencing (but to be honest its not terribly burdensome, I think.  Maybe).  If you roll more X's than swords, the you fumble depending on the type of roll (strike, avoid or damage).

Everything else, presented in the main rules, is fairly typical.  There is morale, some rules for groups of ashigaru/commoners, terrain, movement, typical actions, etc.  Nothing else really special to note nor to poke at.

Other Things:
The main rulebook is nicely represented and flows very nicely.  At 16 pages total, and really the rules only make up about 8-10 of those, it seems like a fairly concise set of rules.  It lacks a table of contents or an index but at that few pages is it really necessary?  All that being said though, it is really crying out for a cheat sheet to gather all the modifiers, weapon bonuses/fumbles & descriptions, and actions into one place.  Not a big deal but it would be nice if it was already done for people esp for the starter box.

I would have liked to see some uses for the Fate tokens other than the end of the turn.  Perhaps to trigger a special ability or allow a reroll.  Just seems like a missed opportunity there.

Also, for me, I wish there was some "fantastical" element to the game.  As a Warlord Games' game, I knew going in this was probably not going to be the case.  But my love of the Samurai genre stems from Legends of the Five Rings, so ultimately I really want something that provides that kind of fantastical element as well.

Maybe I missed it, but I really think having samurai near ashigaru should have some kind of benefit.  I would hope that this is at least the case morale but I don't feel like going back to check.  Even if it does confer a bonus for morale, I think I would still like to see more.  Or at least variety.

Some Issues:
As I hinted in the beginning, there a few things that worked out differently than I had hoped.  I am extremely disappointed in how this game is being packaged:
  1. The complete rules (ie, getting the Battle Guide) requires a $50 buy in of the starter box.  Additionally, I have to go this route to get the skill cards, injury cards, dishonour cards and upgrade cards.
  2. The "expansions" also introduce additional cards.  So I have to buy the Ronin expansion just to get a particular card I want, even though I don't want to field Ronin?  Ugh.
  3. The packaging of the expansions makes no sense to the scale of the game, IMO.  Why do I want 10x commoners when the game scale is 5-20 models total and I group commoners into 3s?  I mean, I know why they are in packs of 10 (for people wanting the mins for mass battles) but it still irks me that I would have to buy more than I would need.  Reminds me of some of the packaging BS Games Workshop used to do (maybe still do).
Also I realize a model company wants to promote model sales but I really would have preferred not being locked into Warlord Game models.  Yes, I could still technical choose to use other models but I would still have to buy Warlord Game models just to get stupid upgrade cards and stuff.  Hell, I can't even get the "full" rules without buying a $50 starter box with 35 Warlord Game models in it.  And because of the expansion box stuff, that is not even the "full" rules.

Having to buy Warlord Games models also irks me because I have never been impressed with their "organic" models (tanks/vehicles seem like they are nice, people not so much).  Right now, without having seen them, I going to say that I don't want them.  Esp if these are just the old Wargames Factory samurai models.  And even if they are pretty good, I have had my eyes set on several other lines of samurai miniatures I would still want to own before these.  

Lastly, this game appears to be very lethal.  And realistically that is how it should be.  Samurai swinging katana's were extremely lethal, as was most melee combat.  I just worry that for a skirmish sized game, the lethality may cause some very large game swings and that may ultimately make, or contribute to, it not being a satisfying experience.  Realism does not always make compelling game play.

Test of Honour looks to be a pretty interesting ruleset.  I was very surprised by it.  I personal thought, as I know others did too, Warlord was just "slapping" some rules together because they had a bunch of Samurai models from their acquisition of the Wargames Factory line of samurai.  But it really appears some quality work went into the rules development.  I really hope they are doing some demos of this game at Adepticon.

My irritation is that, IMO, someone royally screwed up a decent game later in the process.  To me this could have really appealed to the Saga or Bolt Action crowd.  But I don't see them buying into this packaging BS.

Oh well.  Maybe soon I will revisit the Torii and/or Ronin rulesets.  Btw, those defunct "Windmills" links to the left.  This is what they are supposed to be about.  Questing to find a good/desirable ruleset/miniatures/games/projects/terrain for those genres.  I would go ahead and link this review into that windmill but since this is the only one that would be in it, seems pointless right now.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

February Recap

Well, I got a little bit more of hobby mojo rolling for the month of February.  Just a little though.

At the recent game day at Rocket Republic I got my first taste of Star Wars Armada in.  Despite owning a lot of Armada stuff already, this was my first game ever.  We threw down with full 400 point lists and I quickly, I think, caught on to the game.  Well, except for the fact that I had one of my ships move off the board.  I still managed to overcome the oppressive might of the Empire though.  I found the game a lot of fun and I am a bit excited that some of the local group are picking it up (6 of us total I think, just enough to play the Corellian Conflict campaign hopefully).  Of course it helps that I am a bit of Star Wars junkie.  Unfortunately I didn't remember to take any pictures.

I also continued to knock out assembly of more Dropfleet Command Scourge ships.  I'm down to my last sprue of Scourge frigates (unfortunately there are 4 ships per frigate sprue) and a cruiser sprue.

The Scourge fleet had to be aside though, because some parts finally came in for my Adepticon project:  Devil's Run.  I did not back this kickstarter but I'm anxious to try it out as I am somewhat obsessed with the vehicle combat genre.  For the event you are supposed to bring one modified Hotwheels car, which feeds nicely into a theme project that I've wanted to tackle for awhile.  So, with the bitz order in I have devoted myself to modifying hotwheels.  Hmm, yes, I only technical need one but I am working on 4.  It's going to be a tough slog to get through though, as I have discovered what a pain in the ass die-cast metal is to work with.  Anyway, eventually I post something up regarding them.

Lastly, I got this in the mail:

As one would have guessed, that is indeed the first edition box set.
My bitterness toward this game (now) is so sad.  Deep inside of me I wanted to tear it open and start assembling me some Aliens and Predator miniature goodness.  And the spiteful me wanted to take it to backyard and burn it.  As a compromise, for now, it has been relegated to sitting on my shelf in clear view with a self promise to stare at it for 5 mins before possibly backing another kickstarter of any kind.  Oh, included in the box was this too:

Your kidding right!?
Some "fun" quotes:
  1. "It's been a difficult ride for the last 24 months..."  WTF are you talking about?  24 months?  Are you that lazy that you can't even update this form letter every couple of months? 
  2. "Nonetheless, I would like to assure you that every action that Prodos Games has made was to assure that we will be able to fulfill KS rewards as soon as possible."  Really?  What about deciding to use Prodos capital to develop the second edition of this game?  Seems like that money could have been used to get people their kickstarter pledges sooner.  Just saying...
  3. "...find enclosed 25% discount voucher to our Online store..."  OMG, you want me to give you more money!?  
To be clear in case anyone happening to read this is wondering:  I only backed the base game.  Not a bunch of crazy add-ons that were allegedly tied up in FOX licensing hell.  My pledge netted some free add-on options, none of which were subject to the additional issues with FOX, to my knowledge.  
*sigh*  Despite this, if Prodos at least has the common sense to send a free download link for the second edition rules to all backers, I may some day play this.  Or maybe I will burn it...  But I will promise to "try" not to talk about this anymore, unless it is something (somehow) positive.  

Anyway, that was February.  Probably won't have much for March until Adepticon, which I can't wait for.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Speechless (Language Not Suitable for Young Audiences)

Hmmm, wow.  I am absolutely speechless right now.  You really have to admire talent.  And this is some serious talent I am about to talk about.  So almost 4 years ago a company runs a kickstarter, for a pretty hot IP.  And to this day it still appears a non-trivial amount of backers still have not even received the core content (myself included), let alone everything they backed.  There has been a complete lack of proper communication and a number of faux pas.  Seriously, sending me email coupons for 25% off an order of the stuff I backed in the kickstarter but still have not received!? Also saying if I bought something from the webstore, they would ship my kickstarter along with it!?

So after 3 years (I'm giving a 1 year grace period for immediately after the kickstarter) of this type of behavior, it requires incredible talent to drop something on me that leaves me speechless (if it isn't obvious by now, I'm not really speechless).  Who and what exactly am I talking about?

Oh yeah, that's right:  Prodos Games and the Aliens vs Predator kickstarter.  But see, you might not have noticed what exactly that picture above is of.  Click on it for a larger image, you might have to zoom in on the box.  Go ahead, I'll wait.

See it?  Second Edition...  All new models, protective foam inside the box, no assembly models, redesigned (aka "fixed", maybe) game modes, revised (aka "fixed", maybe) rules and improved art!  How much better are all these things than the original edition?  I have no fucking idea, since I still haven't gotten mine!  And since I recently received notification that mine was now in shipment, almost a month ago, I'm sure I'm getting the "old" edition.

You might be thinking this might not even come out till 2020?  Nope, they claim it will start shipping on March 17th.  Of this year.

I am fucking speechless.  You have to be a seriously talented asshole, idiot, or both to even come up with shit like this.  It almost requires deliberate intent to fuck people over like this.  And this is not even a fuck you to those that haven't gotten our stuff yet.  It's a fuck you to those that have already received their's too.  Perhaps even worse.  Because there is an outside chance (yeah right) that I may actually get the second edition.  And there is an even slimmer chance that if I did, the models might not suck more than the 1st edition ones (I'm going to go out on a limb here but I speculate that 1st edition multi-part models will "look" better than one piece 2nd edition models).  But at least there is that chance.  All that people that have already gotten theirs have to hope for is that Prodos offers the "upgrade" pack (15 pounds retail) to them for free.  And that is pretty wishful thinking IMO.

Now, I suspect that I am actually making this out worse than it is.  I suspect what you see above, advertised as second edition, is actually a scaled down version of the 1st edition game to hit a reduced price mark and to hopefully gain market penetration due to that price point and simpler components.  And it just happens to "utilize" updated rules.  But if that is really the case, the way this was announced is just another faux pas demonstrating how incompetent this company and it's leadership are.  And that still leaves me speechless.

No matter the case, it is important to realize one thing.  For this to have occurred (2nd edition box set with all the mentioned "improvements/changes") Prodos Games had to have had positive cash flow at some point (hard to imagine I know).  And at that point they face a decision:  1)  Dump cash into designing 2nd edition assets or 2) Fulfill their previous promises (ie, deliver their kickstarter).  They choose wrong.

Fuck you Prodos.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Dropfleet Commander, Scourge Cruiser Assembly and Magnetizing

In the previous post, I covered how I assembled and magnetized my Scourge Frigates.  As I began to write up the Cruiser assembly and magnetizing section, I realized the length dictated that I probably break the post up into two parts, so here is the second part.
KS Exclusive Scourge Battle-Cruiser

My first attempt to build and magnetize a cruiser was a complete failure, so it quickly got re-purposed to the Kickstarter exclusive battle-cruiser (which has special/different bits).  This hid all the mistakes I made and ultimately the battle-cruiser was not a suitable for magnetizing anyway (that "crown" is the deal breaker).  

While I do think the quality of the frigates and cruisers are excellent, these special add-on parts for the battle-cruiser (at least for Scourge) were a bit of a let down and required significant work.  All the pieces (crown and the forward "winglets") had large ports and vents, as well as pretty bad mold lines.  Additionally, the crown was badly curved.  It took some work, but all of that was addressable and I think it looks great now.  And overall, I've seen much much worse.  It was just a little disappointing after how great the frigates were.

Cruiser Assembly and Magnetizing
Anyway, back to magnetizing the cruisers.  As I tried to wrap my head around magnetizing the cruisers, I stumbled across a great blog post at NanoTanks that really helped break down the issues at hand (you can find the specific post here).  To cover all the bases you are looking at:  3 different wing options, 4 "mouth" options, crown and no crown, and belly or no belly.  Hmm, I think that is 48 permutations.  Not all permutations are valid configurations in the rules of course but wow.

I'll cover the crown first, since it requires placing a hidden magnet during the first steps of assembly.
Never mind those small holes in the mouth, we will come back
to that later.
In the picture above, you can see a large magnet recessed (left) before putting the upper fuselage piece on (right).  This upper fuselage piece is fairly thin and a larger magnet can provide enough attractive force to hold the small/light crown (the small piece on the cutting pad between them) to the upper hull.  
The "large" magnet.  Not really that large except when
compared to the "small" magnets.
Two small magnets placed below the crown.  Note
these were not recessed as they are fairly obscured.
A bad picture with the crown held on by the magic of
The wings and belly are easy enough:

Small magnets for the wings and in the socket, similar
to the frigates.

Wing Option 1

Wing Option 2

Wing Option 3

Again, small magnets for the belly option.
I used 2 here to minimize rotation.  Again, ignore those
holes in the "mouth."
Show me your belly!

So far not to bad.  Now all that is left is 4 mouth options but this is where things get tricky since the 4 options are actually:  1 no option (vanilla/plain) and 3 attachments.

My first approach failure was to place a hidden magnet (one of the large ones) in between the left and right halves of the fuselage, in the mouth area.  This was difficult to do without drilling through the side but it is doable.  The next part, was to attach ferro paper to the backsides of the 3 attachment options.  This failed because there was simply not enough attractive force.  Hell, even just the paper by itself didn't hold in place.

The second approach failure was to drill two holes, as seen in some of the pictures above, in the mouth section and attempt to place the small magnets on the backsides of the 3 attachment options.  This was a very bad idea due to the obvious alignment nightmare it creates.  This also completely eliminates the no attachment option.  I was going to live with this though because the 2 cruisers builds that have vanilla mouths are already visually distinctive by being the only configurations with launch pods or the belly or I would just keep 1 or 2 cruisers aside specifically for the vanilla mouth configurations.

Building on the second approach (and having no way to turn back from the mess I already caused) I decided to drill out just the forward drill hole for a large magnet and reamed it out to be even bigger than that.

These magnets are not recessed either but
hidden away in the large hole through the mouth.

So the magnets on each side do not actually make contact but the attractive force is more than enough to hold them securely in place.  And reaming out the hole to be a bit larger than the magnets addressed the alignment issues.

There you have it, Scourge Cruiser magnetizing with all the options.  Except the vanilla mouth option that I gave up on.  Or did I?

I just happened to have this, never have used it before.

I didn't create the mold using this cruiser which has
the two holes drilled in the mouth.

Lip balm is great when working with green stuff to
smooth it out and to minimize sticking.

Thinly rolled greenstuff pressed over my molds.  Yes
there is a "little" excess.

Its not necessarily the prettiest solution but from the angle and distance that you view the ships from, it works beautifully.  Sort of.  The greenstuff is a bit flimsy since it is so thin and I am worried about the long term wear and tear of removing these pieces (the large magnets have the stuff together pretty tightly).  I tried the same thing with 2 different kinds of milliput that I had but was not pleased with either result.  I will try again though, maybe my ratios were off.  I've also heard of mixing greenstuff and milliput.  And there is also Magic Sculpt (?).

There was yet another potential solution failure I attempted after this.  But I don't want to talk about it.  Let's just say it was a really bad idea.  Oh no, I just thought of another potential solution that I happen to have the materials for, hmmm.

Anyway, that was/is my solution (for now at least).  I just need to finish the rest of these off (2 more cruisers, 8 more frigates) and get them off my hobby desk.  Maybe then I can focus my attention back to some other things that have been ignored for the past month.  I'll also need to order some more magnets (this project tore through my supply) before trying PHR or UCM (both of which look a bit more challenging than Scourge).

Btw, I think this is something worth mentioning:  Despite having a supply of magnets on hand for this project, this is actually the first time I had ever magnetized any of my miniatures.  Maybe it is just the engineer in me but I really enjoyed it.  As you can perhaps see from above, there is a certain problem solving aspect to it that I really liked.  And I really did not find it all that difficult, so if you have ever wanted to do it but been afraid to - give it a try.  That being said, if you absolutely hate pinning miniatures I can't imagine you would like magnetizing them.