Sunday, September 28, 2014

Battle Gaming How To - Getting paint gunk off our brushes! (Sharing what we've learned the hard way)

Hi everyone,

We've been building and painting miniatures for about three months now - and after a big painting marathon to get ready for another battle with Mr. E (BatRep to follow), we found that we had messed up and left quite a few of our brushes unrinsed!

What to do?  In the past, Artist Expert (you may recall our team member who taught us how to make bright pink - blog link here) had been frustrated when at least one of us did a poor job of rinsing some of her favorite brushes.  Ruined!

So, we searched on-line - and we are very happy to say that what we found worked like a champ :)

[Here is the ehow article we followed]

Step 1:  Soak brushes in hot water + dish washing soap.  (We used tap water and hand soap)

Step 2:  Rinse and "massage" away the paint gunk which is loose

Step 3:  Get some isopropyl alcohol (IPA) - and rinse the end of the brush in this.  [Caution - put the IPA in metal or glass - not plastic.  IPA dissolves plastic.] 

[Note:  Rather than leaving the brushes soaking in the IPA, we sort of swirled them around and dabbed them against the side of our little metal bowl]

Step 4:  Rinse with water.

And, here's the result - bristles are pretty much the same as before the painting marathon!!!

Battle Gaming One, Battle Gaming, Cleaning Brushes, Get Paint off Brushes

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Warhammer 40K: Modified Orks - Backwards Arms, Two Heads, Multiple Limbs

Hi everyone,

Ever since we assembled the Pink Orks, "the Orkys" with some arms backward, we have been pondering the idea of whether or not this is 'real life' accurate ??

At first we were thinking that the backstory might be that Ork DNA is none-too-stable -- and that sometimes arms simply grow backwards.

But, as we read more, we're thinking that a better explanation is the power of Ork regeneration.  What we have are Orks who have been reassembled in these odd fashions after battle!

Pink Orks, Pink Orkys, Modified Orks, Altered Orks, Warhammer 40K Modifications
Our Ork Boy, Storm Boy and Runtherd

We found a few solid references....

The latest Ork Codex, page 6 says:  "The greenskin regenerative process itself is so powerful that an Ork who has been hacked to bits can simply be stitched back together."

Then - we found this explanation of Ork Doks on the Warhammer 40K Wiki -- and felt we were really on the right track.

"Painboyz, known also as "Mad Doks" or "Doks", are responsible for fixing injuries even the highly regenerative Ork physiology cannot repair, such as severed limbs....  these Oddboyz are infamous for trying out experimental procedures....  ...although sometimes they are not paying attention and replace the wrong part of the patient's body....  ...Orks are surprisingly resilient and have had arms, legs and even heads swapped around and the Ork in question has survived to tell the tale!"  [Here is a link to the 40K Wiki.]

So, with that background, humbly offer our latest work on the Pink Orkys along those lines.

First, here is "Lefty".  After a Tyranid chomped off his right arm, his mates helped him stitch on a left arm which was lying around the battlefield.  Lefty gets mighty tired of having his arm held up in the air - but can't be helped - the way it was stitched on it just won't go down.

Pink Orks, Pink Orkys, Reversed arm, backward arm, two left arms
"Lefty" one of the Ork Boyz of the Pink Orkys

Then, we have our Runtherd.  We haven't worked out a name or story for him yet.  He was one of the first modified Orks we created.  We were having a tough time deciding which head to put on the Runtherd when we built our set of Gretchins.  "Why not use both" seemed like a good solution.

Took a little bit of shaving on the heads and the torso to get them to go on nicely - but seems to have worked out pretty well.

Pink Orks, Orkys, Two heads, Extra Head, Two-headed, Runtherd
The Pink Orky's Two-headed Runtherd

Most recently we have been adding a set of Storm Boyz to the Pink Orky's army.  Seemed a shame to make them all 100% per plan - so we added an arm-with-mace from the Ork bits we from Mr. T (here's a link to that blog entry). 

In addition to adding the third arm, we extended his shoulder-pad armor - helped make the extra bulk of the two left arms look more natural.

Pink Orks, Orkys, Three Arms, Third Arm, Extra Arm, Triple Arm
Front-view of our three-armed Storm Boy

Pink Orks, Orkys, Three Arms, Third Arm, Extra Arm, Triple Arm
Side-view of our three-armed Storm Boy

We are still working on name and backstory for the Storm Boy as well.  :)

We welcome any comments or thoughts.  One thing we wonder about - is why is it that most Orks look pretty much perfect other than Bioniks?  Is it because there are simply so many?  We wonder why the Dark Eldar have such a reputation for strange body shapes - when it seems that Orks are proficient from the get-go ??

PS:  Here is a link to our page with Pink Orkys backstory

Sunday, September 21, 2014

General: Vallejo Paint (our Friends)

Hi everyone,

You may recall that we were super excited about how well Vallejo's bright pink paint worked for our Pink Orks, the "Orkys".

Battle Gaming One, Pink Orks, Vallejo Paint, Magenta Fluo
Our bottle of bright pink 

We have a new chapter to share from that story :)

  • First (because we were so excited), we thought it only proper to send an e-mail to Vallejo Paints thanking them for their bright pink.
Battle Gaming One, Pink Orks, Warhammer 40K, Bright Pink, Vallejo Paints
Here are two of our Pink Orks :)
  • Then, Ms. E at Vallejo Paints wrote back to us - agreeing that the pink we had created was indeed bright pink.  She asked for our mailing address so that she could send us the Acrylicos Vallejo Catalog.
  • And, now it has arrived in the mail!  Some very cool things about that -- 1) it came from Bacelona, Spain!  2) Ms. E sent us several cool catalogs - even about some types of paint we didn't even know about.
We're pretty sure Acrylicos Vallejo is just south of Barcelona on the coast of Spain

So, with all due respect to others who are in the paint business, we are coming to have quite a fondness for the Acrylicos Vallejo company.  How cool is it to get packages in the mail - especially from other countries!!

Battle Gaming One, Spanish package, Vallejo Paint
Our cool package from Spain!

Battle Gaming One, Catalogs, Vallejo Paints, Acrylicos Vallejo
The catalogs inside :)

And, the next chapter ??
  • On Friday we just got another Fluo color -- Blue at Gator Games.  Our plan is to add contrast to the Orky's Trukk (mostly built and ready for painting)
  • And, while there, we got some purple and metallic color - to make metallic purple - also for contrast.
Battle Gaming One, Magenta Fluo, Blue Fluo, Bright Colors, Pink Orks
PS:  Here are some links to our Pink Ork blogs.

The Pink Orks "Orkys" Page
How to make bright pink
The Pink Orks Dakka Chugga

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Star Wars X-Wing - the Intro Box - and the bigger spaceships we like

Hi everyone,

We just got the Star Wars X-Wing introductory box set.  We had been thinking about playing this for quite a while.  Had our friends at Gator Games order it for us.

Battle Gaming One, X-Wing, X-Wing Intro Set

Here is a link to the Fantasy Flight Games website for info on the introductory box set.

Here's what we like about X-wing:
- You get 2 TIE fighters and 1 X-wing in the intro box -- but you CAN get bigger ships as expansions
- You get all of the little parts and dice you need to play
- It is fun to use dice which have symbols on them instead of numbers (for hits and critical hits, etc....)

Battle Gaming One, X-Wing Intro Set, What you get, FFG X-Wing Intro

Here's what we wish had come in the set:
- Wish the set had included at least one large space ship (we're going to have to go for expansion sets instead)

The expansions we are the most excited about are:
#1 - The Tantive IV (this is the biggest ship you can get - and we think that is pretty cool)
#2 - Millenium Falcon YT-1300
#3 - YT-2400
#4 - B-wing

We wish there was a Clone Wars version of this.  (Maybe there is and we just don't know about it??)  We did notice that there is a Z95 Headhunter expansion - and we are thinking that technically, this IS a clone wars fighter.

One of us watched a couple of Youtube videos - and that got us going pretty well on how to play. 

Here is the Fantasy Flight Games tutorial video

And, tonight we (both of us) watched this:

Here is a Bat Rep from one of our favorites -  [We have watched him play Warhammer 40K - very interesting to see him play a different game.]

We practiced a bit last night - more with how the shooting works than with the movements.  Here's a photo of us practicing with the X-wing in 'the preferred firing position' against a TIE fighter.

[Please check out our earlier posting on how to add lasers.  This one was a quick edit with the Eye Candy iPhone app only.]

Battle Gaming One, X-Wing, FFG X Wing, Preferred Firing Position

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Battletech: 4 vs 4 - Scout Lance takes on Clan Kurita HQ (with Special Effects)

Hi everyone,

First some set-up explanation....

Yesterday we played a smaller scale battle of 4 mechs vs. 4 mechs.  At first we were thinking to use our Scout Lance (the blue good guys) vs. the lighter mechs of the red team.  But, we worked out the tonnage and found that we were 175 tons vs. 190 tons - 15 ton underdogs.

So, we pulled the Cicada out, and used that mech to start the battle.  We replaced it with the Jagermech.  Turned out to work pretty well.  And, taught us some good lessons in terrain tactics (assuming we figured the rules out properly).

We're still not playing with piloting skill rolls (maybe next match), but adding in the cover effects from woods made for a very interesting game - and was key to us even having a chance in taking out the Kurita guys :)

One more item about the set-up.  We had decided that the HQ building at 20 armor on each side (our big green D6) - and that if a Clan Kurita mech was not guarding a side, it was fair game for a blue team mech to shoot at it and do damage.

Regarding the Special Effects....

We thought it would be fun if we could make it look like our mechs were really shooting in our Bat Rep.  So, here's what we came up with....

- First we tried using Power Point - and drew some laser shots onto the battlefield.  It looked sort of cool - but not totally convincing.

- Then we remembered that there were lots of nice mobile device apps for this.  So, we tested a few.

- We ended up using the App "Eye Candy" almost exclusively.  Used the following messy procedure:

1) Cropped photos (used Power Point) - so that you couldn't see the pizza we were eating.  (Sorry about this if you did want to see the pizza.)  Saved them out of Power Point as JPG files (though lower in resolution after this :(

2) Added Special Effects with Eye Candy.
- We used smoke plus pink sparks thingys for autocannons
- Green laser effects were (you guessed it) lasers
- Yellow streaks effects for waves of LRMs
- White glow plus lightning for PPC
- We also added some explosions and fire and other things for damaged mechs

3) Then, we used Picasa to crop again.  (We had to sort-of unzoom the photos in Eye Candy to be able to place our effects without having the mechs be blocked by the command buttons of Eye Candy).

[Anyway - please let us know what you think ??]

Here's the Bat Rep:

Turn Zero:
Battlegamingone, Battletech, After Action Report, Special Effects
[Blue Team, Cicada] "Found Kurita HQ, under heavy fire, right leg damage.  Bugging out.  Scout Lance - They're all yours!"

Turn One:
In turn one, the Scout Lance landed and advanced on the Clan Kurita mechs.
  • Kurita Catapult and Scout Lance Trebuchet exchanged fire with minimal damage
  • Scout Lance Jagermech got a lucky head-shot on the Kurita Enforcer - but the pilot made his consciousness save
  • Kurita Enforcer shots toward the Jagermech went wide, both AC10 and Large Laser missing
  • Scout Lance Jenner and Hunchback were covered by hills, and spent the turn moving into position.
Turn 2:

In Turn 2 the Hunchback and Jenner emerged from cover.  The Jagermech moved into Heavy Woods (to obtain the +2 advantage - and use its long range capabilities).  The Trebuchet moved behind the hill to move into a hex with Heavy Woods as well.
  • Scout Lance Jenner fired on Kurita Panther and did first damage
  • Scout Lance Jagermech connected with all two AC2's on the Kurita Enforcer
  • All other mechs exchanging fire miss - too much movement, too much range and cover
Turn 3:
In turn 3 the Jenner moves to work behind the Kurita HQ and the Hunchback advances to put the AC20 into range.  Both the Jagermech and the Trebuchet fire from Heavy woods.
  • Scout Lance Hunchback fire on the Catapult hits the center torso.  Trebuchet damage does as well.  Two engine hits result.  [We tried to show the heat and flames with effects.]  By the end of the round, the Catapult is at 19 heat - but avoids shutdown and ammo explosion.
  • Kurita Enforcer connects with AC10 and puts the Scout Lance Jagermech right arm AC2 out of commission
Turn 4:
In turn 4 the Jenner has gotten behind the HQ and the Hunchback has moved to short range with the Kurita Hermes
  • Scout Lance Jenner does serious damage to the left side of the Kurita Panther
  • Scout Lance Hunchback punishes the left arm of the Hermes
  • The Kurita Catapult limits weapons fire to get heat back under control
  • The Jagermech (with left arm functional) and Enforcer exchange fire without major result
Turn 5:
In Turn 5 the Kurita team uses their initiave to put the Panther into a better position.  This allows the Jenner to scoot around the back of the HQ and "block" for the Hunchback.  The Hunchback worked left around the blocking Jenner -- and, the result is a clear shot for the Hunchback and its AC20.  We might have overdone it on the explosion effects :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Warhammer 40K: Tribute to Mr. T

Last week we saw an exciting Craigslist posting:  "FREE WARHAMMER 40K"  And, here was the message:

"...I am relinquishing the remainder of me collection of Warhammer 40K goods.  I have a decent amount of Orcs related parts left that are not receiving the love and attention they deserve. The posting continued, "I want them to go to a good home."

Well, we traded e-mails with Mr. T and he decided to entrust us with his wonderful Orks.  Here is a quick write-up and tribute to his hard work.

To begin with, we're very thankful - and will do our best to put his collection to good use.  His toolbox has several Ork Boyz sprues in it - and we have work to do in order to get these put together.

We also learned some things looking at the very cool models he put together.  Mr. T said that he really enjoyed the modeling and painting - and didn't play too much.

One of the largest of the dioramas Mr. T built

Here are some closer views of Mr. T's Orks.

There were many tricks to learn from Mr. T:
- Use sticks for Ork-sized logs
- Use Space Marine parts (arms, weapons)
- One gold tooth looks very cool
- Use the magnifying glass and get very close-up for details
- Add spikes and points to things
- Use jewelry chain - looks like Ork-sized chain