Sunday, 23 May 2010

Lunchtime project - end of week 3

Walls and floors this week.

All the outside walls of the nodes were covered in a thin layer of fine filler. This has covered some of the foamcore joins and added at some depth the wall surface. I've not made the outside smooth, but left it patchy to give the impression of the concrete breaking down. The inside walls have been left smooth to allow for fixtures like junction boxes/control panels and platforms.

The floor has been covered in a mesh printed plastic sheeting I picked up from work. It had been covering a pallette surface, so I'm afraid I've no idea what it's called or where to get it. It's perfect for sci-fi floors however.
The roof segments have also been covered in the same meshed sheeting. I had covered them in filler initially, but the thin edges warped and I didn't like the surface anyway, so a new set had to be made and covered.

The floors of the pipes were put in. A strip of foamcore was crudely shaped and glued to the pipe floor and a strip of the mesh print sheeting used for the node floors was glued down on top.

There is till room down the side of the flooring strip to put in piping or cabling as required.

Here is a close up of the sheet mesh.

The next step is a tidy up of edges and a coat of paint before any details, etc can go in. The painting will have to happen at home, so I'll have to find something else to do next week...

Thursday, 20 May 2010

A halfing called Keith

Time for another favourite mini from the back of the cupboard. This outing is for a Reaper Dark Heaven Legends line halfling - "Elia Shadowfoot". Painted quite a number of years ago now, so standards aren't particularly high. For some reason I've not painted in the eyes. Perhaps because he's a wee fellow or because of the low fringe. I hadn't actually noticed until examining the photo again so it's not a big issue. Suprisingly he gets out onto the table quite frequently (hance a favourite). Perhaps it's the eye catching yellow shirt, but in reality I know that its because on the table he looks like a young Keith Chegwin (that'll only mean something to the Brits reading this) and as such is always called Keith.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Lunchtime Project - end week 2

Good progress this week. First of all I managed to get the pipe lengths cut. This was no minor job as the cardboard tube walls are 5mm thick. In the end I've decided on 2 straight sections and 1 elbowed section. The straights are 12" long to make them a couple of movements phases in Necromunda. The elbowed pipe is longer.

I also decided to construct a ruined node for a bit of variety.
The tops of all the pipes have been cut away to provide access to play miniatures, especially as the lengths are "designed" to have figures stationary inside them.

Final shot is of the complex with all the "hatches" exposed. Next I need to tidy up the edges and get the glue out. I may cut some small windows in the node walls as well before that.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Frugal In Falkirk

(also posted on the Year of Frugal Gaming blog)

Well I made it to Carronade in Falkirk on Saturday, armed with two cardboard boxes full of offerings and a bag of change. I'd forgotten how frantic the Bring & Buy section of a convention is. I arrived there just as my pitch was starting, With a 5 minute swap over time I was suprised (and jealous) of how quickly the two guys either side of me were set up, with their wares well presented to the hordes, whilst I tried to ladle the contents of my boxes onto the small space available.

The majority of the items for sale being sold for someone I knew (with a healthy commission), so as I unpacked I was gutted to know that one of my neighbours had had enquiries from someone searching their "Holy Grail" - a Call Of Cthulu core boxset, which I was putting on the table.(Thankfully he came back round again so we were all happy). The 1980's Citidel mini's (at a bargain £1) were popular and over 50 went in the hour. I'd seperated the themes into seperate boxes which really helped browsers, as well as giving a discount for large multiple buys. At the end of a frantic hour the vast majority of stock was still there, but about £100 worth of business had been done, and with so much stock being Cthulu RPG suppliments it would have taken a constant stream of Cthulu RPG enthusiasts to clear me out. So I finished the morning happy with more cash in my pocket than I arrived with, lighter boxes and having enjoyed the time chatting & haggling.

After a bite of lunch the focus moved to the other two purposes of attendance, gaming and bargains. As I had Arabiansquire with me, who had been very patient during the B&B we looked out for a game. Looking round the Participation games available, and considering what time we had left, a couple of seats were swooped on for a Magnificent Seven game presented by RAF Leuchars Wargaming Club. They always have excellently presented and thought out games every year, so I was looking forward to it. It really ticked every box in what I look for in a Convention P&P game. Gorgeous to look at, easy to pick up, fun to play and enthusiastic and friendly folk running it. We played Britt and Harry in the village square ambush, and not only did the assembled players manage to take out all the bandits (bar one), but Arabiansquire managed rack up the largest bandit count to win overall (for which the greatful villagers gave him an extra piece of "reward". Great fun. (I fact in the time it's taken me to write this report it was awarded Best Participation Game. Congratulations, well deserved)

This brings us onto the last part - swag. Now being entrenched in this frugal business I found that very little tempted my wallet. Don't get me wrong, there was loads of nice stuff up for grabs, but I kept reminding myself that I wasn't looking for it, or it wasn't a game I was playing or (more commonly if I'm honest) I still had similar unpainted items in the hobby shed. However I did pick up a bargain in the Bring and Buy in the form of a repainted car for some Necromunda action, and the buildings from the Dark World expansion Village Of Fear. I also picked up magetic basing components for the  staff, after an informaitve chat with the staff there on what I needed. I also picked up a free quality printout of the Doctor Who miniatures game intro "Battle for Canary Wharf" from a freindly fellow (sorry, I can't remember your name) promoting Crooked Dice Game Design and had an interesting discussion on Doctor Who, licensing and more.

In conclusion, a good day was had. There aren't any details of the games out on the tables because I didn't actually have time to get round and see them all properly. The selling really did put a pinch on the available browsing time. In hindsight, as I wasn't really looking to buy much I should have spent less time at the stalls and more time looking round the games, but hey-ho, there you go, Can't undo what's done! I did come out with more money than I went in with, I played a great game and I picked up a bargain. Sounds like a sucess to me.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Lunchtime Project - end week 1

Managed to get the node walls measured and cut out. For simplicity I've made them a basic 10cm cube. As can be seen in the picture they look pretty tall next to the 28mm figure, but this is down to the tunnel tubes. They are high enough to take a 28mm mini on a walkway (for figure stability) and have a diameter of nearly 60mm, so the nodes need to be quite large. A base wasn't cut out to give more internal height as I plan, at the moment, to take advantage of the height and put a short walkway inside. I'll have them on a larger base to give me othe option of external pipes anyway.

For the outside finish I thought I'd try cutting out some of the foam, so that the wall ends are covered. Still a bit rough, but works well. I haven't decided on a finish for them yet. I may be just paint or it could be a thin layer of wall filler ("spackle" I believe to our US cousins). I removed the foam again on the roof to make a neat lid. This will prevent it falling off during a game. The lips of the lid will be strengthened by a top layer of something ("design" dependant). I've made 3 nodes. One will be a link node, so will have to have holes for 2 pipes cut in the walls. The wall holes still nedd to be done before I can glue the walls together.

Next week I hope to get the tubes cut to length, the wall holes made for them and maybe even cut the pipes length ways to allow for access.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Into The Foggy Castle

It was with much joy (and no little relief) that another,much delayed, session of Warhammer Fantasy RGP was had this week. With delays due to work done on Arabian Towers it had been well over a month since the last get together. Fortunately we had left it at a convenient break in events, so it was easy to get going again. Also, to add to the occasion, I was putting into practice my Fog of RPG system, as detailed last week.

The gaming table is usually a pretty cramped space at the best of times with character sheets, dice, books, figures, scenery and refreshments/snacks, so having an extra monitor & laptop on the surface (albeit at the edge) felt a little confined for me. I use a GM screen to mask any roles/enemy figures during the game but don't particularly like seperation from the rest of the players it forces upon you. So to have a monitor in the way as well left me miles away from the action.
That aside the "hi-tech" map delivery worked well. Everyone had a good view of as much map as they were allowed and the group could make clear plans for their assault, which helped GMing a complicated scene. It was easier to pin point the different movements of the characters, so instead of a general "I'll hide in the shadows" we had "I'll hide in those shadows" (which happened to be next to the stairs where some enemies came down to complicate things!). As some of the party moved through the inside of the fortifications there was definitely a greater air of suspense as the rooms were gradually unveiled before them which nicely added to the atmosphere of sneaking round a heavily guarded castle.

As for the game itself, the party decided to make my life difficult by splitting up and doing consecutive actions, but as this action all happens on different sides of a courtyard it shouldn't be a problem getting back together (they hope). There were some nice flanking moves through the castle and some good pre-attack party planning (for once). And with the scene left having let allies into the castle but stirred up a whole lot of ,literally, chaos for themselves the next session should be interesting if they are to get through to the rest of the castle. Just as well the progress is saved on the map!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Lunch-time project #1 - Sci-fi Tunnels - The Brief

Now that we all know what the lunch-time project is I can bash on with this WIP feature.

I have "inherited" (read nagged until given) a bag full of foam core strips and thick inner paper tubes from a poster printer feed. Now I've always fancied a sewer type setup to have on the board but the practicalities of having an underground level are always too great. So with scrap in hand I've decided to move it all above ground and have a small pipe network to move through.
The plan above shows the basic idea. A section of pipe running between two access nodes. Each node will have more than one pipe leading into it. The pipes will be detachable from the nodes for ease of storage and for flexibility of size. The pipes are large enough to have a 28mm figure inside, so there must be a way to move the figure down the pipe section.

I will construct the nodes from the foam core and obviously the pipes from the tubing. All other details will be worked out as I go along.

Updates on this will hopefully be weekly.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Introducing The Lunch-time Project concept.

Before I launch into another blog feature I thought I'd better explain what's behind the Lunch-time Project.

I spend all day sat behind a computer. For health and safety (and sanity) reasons it is alway good to get away from the screen. Occasionally I may even go to the work canteen, but most of the time I have a packed lunch (which I can eat at my desk). Like alot of working folk I have very little free time. After work, food, chores, etc there is usually have very little time to switch off with something fun and relaxing even if the energy is available, so days can go past with no hobby activity. I'm sure most of you know that NO HOBBY = UNHAPPINESS. So I decided to spend my available lunch half hour doing hobby stuff and kill 2 birds with one stone.

Obviously there are restrictions in what I can do at Work in half an hour blocks. Sitting down and painting is out (in fact pretty much any painting is out). Construction with a bit of gluing, however, is very much a possibility. The office in which I work is next to the graphics dept, so I have access to large cutting mats and can occassionally scrounge the odd bit of scrappage. I've been using my lunchtimes like this on and off for a few months, so they are used to me coming in making "odd" constructions. My Dog Soldiers Barn was a previous Lunch-time Project (see below) and I've spent quite a few lunches making card stock houses as well. (also see below). Progress is understandably slow, but that isn't the main purpose of the exercise. Hobby, mental rest and "not work" are the watch words here. So watch this space as a new project is dawning...