Infinity – T2 Blackjack WIP#3

Continuing on from where I left off… I got those fiddly bits attached last time, so this time I started by finishing up with the Vallejo Olive Drab on the armour plating and the Citadel Warplock Bronze on the various actuators and mechanical parts.

Further detail involved more machine parts first; I decided to make most of the actual Blackjack a combination of the green and bronze, with some Vallejo Gunmetal Blue on te actual armaments. All Vallejo browns for the little details. Saddle Brown, Red Leather, and a couple others.

Agrax Earthshade over pretty much the whole thing netted me some depth. I’m not a huge fan of what I’ve done with the submachine gun. The combination of Olive Drab plating with the Gunmetal Blue weapon looks weird to me, but so did a huge box of Gunmetal Blue.

I opted to do some drybrushing once that was done. Mostly just a mix of the Olive Drab with a slightly more traditional Vallejo green, which I drybrushed over almost everything. It’s acceptable, but not very fancy. In some spots the green overshadows the other base colours, but I’m really happy with the effect it had on the armour plating, so I figure the pros outweigh the cons here.

I haven’t clearcoated it yet, but I doubt I’ll do much else before that step. Highlighting’s not usually something I bother with. Mostly I just need to decide if I want to do anything else with the weapons before calling it done.

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Gaslands – 50pt Death Race Duel

Another Death Race this week. Decided to run 50pts this time instead of 60 to put a little more crunch into the build process. B brought a truck and a buggy, both tricked out with turreted HMGs and extra armour. I brought a performance car and a buggy with lesser armaments but more tricks. Big Tires, Hell for Leather, lots of nitrous, all sponsored by Idris.

The starting lineup.

I was right fast, but messy as hell. He was slower but a lot cleaner.

Turn 1, Gear Phase 1

I started with a pair of Hell for Leather induced Long/Slide/Spins. Bad news hazard-wise, but got me an early jump and a couple audience votes.

Turn 1, Gear Phase 2

I followed up with a similar second phase (long/slide/spin for the Road Runner and a clumsy nitrous boost for the Manx), but both cars ended up wiping out. Even with the Big Tires, the treacherous terrain put me up over the line.

Turn 1, Gear Phase 3

I used my 4 audience votes to pop both cars into 3rd and keep going. Decent plan for the buggy (it got itself back into the race), but a stupid mistake for the Road Runner. Its best option was a 3rd gear hairpin through that treacherous terrain, and the dice were not on my side. It wiped out again, flipping this time for some extra distance.

Turn 1, Gear Phase 4

The Manx managed to gain a little ground without crashing into his teammate, but that was about it. We were both rolling pretty terribly during this match. B’s truck and buggy continued to prove the value of slow and steady.

Turn 1, Gear Phase 5

The Manx wiped out again, but not before covering a decent bit of distance. This time it was its turn to flip for an extra few inches.

This bright is to the end of Turn 1; B’s team also had some bad rolls and neither got out of 4th gear.

Turn 2, Gear Phase 1

Snapped that photo a little early, apparently, so I added the Manx’s movement. It tucked nicely into the high – risk shortcut that I built into the second corner (I put one of these in the first game I played with C, and it made for some hilarious levels of mayhem).

The Road Runner’s reverse turn fell apart when I misjudged the size of the slide template and wound up sitting next to a bunch of exploding barrels. My spin would no longer get me where I needed to be, so instead I used it to line up a shot. Now I’d be going into the 2nd phase still facing the wrong way.

Turn 2, Gear Phase 2

The Manx cleared the shortcut, but wiped out in the process. The Road Runner got in a ram, but at this point was surrounded by turreted HMGs that were starting to come on line as they crossed that first gate.

Turn 2, Gear Phase 3

At this point the Manx was stuck in first and the Road Runner was taken apart by multiple HMGs. B’s truck and buggy continued their advance.

Turn 2, Gear Phase 4

Further sitting for the Manx, and B’s cars/HMGs drew ever closer. They were still in 4th gear, so this brought Turn 2 to a close.

Turn 3, Gear Phase 1

This is it, my bitter end. Forward wasn’t an option this time and even a short reverse left me in the turret-path of B’s advancing buggy. He told some 6’s, and I didn’t. With only the two of us playing, we didn’t bother with respawns, so this was the game.

That’s two Idris losses in a row for me. I think I’m getting overly hung up on trying to maximize certain aspects while ignoring other factors. Hell for Leather is certainly a way to generate Idris audience votes, but a bike can do the same thing for the same points, and is a whole extra vehicle. An HFL monster truck can use it to more easily trample/clear other vehicles, but cars are just getting a couple of template boosts. The free shift results coming out of the medium template are probably worth using it instead (I was picking up so many hazards I ended up using all my votes just to stay in the game anyway).

Weapons are the other issue here. I wanted more points for perks, so I avoided turreting any weapons, but I was so far ahead that my front facing HMG was generally useless and it was hard to find a good opportunity to drop caltrops.

I’ll have to give some more thought to future builds. The Manx wasn’t bad (although the HFL points would be better spent elsewhere) but the Road Runner was pretty much a hodgepodge of mismatched ideas (admittedly I just wanted to field that build because I like how it looks, which might not have been a very strategic plan, haha).

Until next time, here’s a final shot of this crew:

Infinity – T2 Blackjack WIP #2, Gencon Unknown Ranger WIP #1

I’ve been avoiding my Blackjack because I haven’t wanted to deal with the extra packs, plating, and fiddly foot bits, but I finally bit the bullet and started dealing with it. Paint-wise so far, I mostly used Vallejo Olive Grey for the major stuff and Citadel Warplock Bronze for the machine parts. Did some cleaning, fighting, and gluing as well, and got all those extra parts on now.

Those extra bits on the feet were more flared than I expected; probably could have done those before painting…

I’ve been purely focused on the areas involving the extra parts, so the arms got no paint this time. Finished or not, I gotta get this fellow on the table soon. I haven’t even tried him yet and I’ve got his HMG buddy on his way.

But the big news?

I finally got one. This particular Limited model drives me a bit nuts. Not because it’s desirable (which it is, it looks amazing), but because the regular version when it was announced was awful. I’m sure not everybody would agree on this, but I had zero interest in the non-limited Unknown Ranger. Heck, let’s do a quick recap for the folks that don’t know what I’m talking about.

Corvus Belli do lots of limited edition miniatures. Most of them are alternate versions of existing models, and since those look great too it’s really just an opportunity to change things up a little.

Gencon Limited Editions on the left:

Van Zant. Both amazing.

Grunt Spec Ops. Totally different; both totally fine.

Unknown Ranger. What is even happening here?

Maybe I’m unreasonably thrown by it, but I have yet to meet anybody that prefers the regular one.

Anyway, I finally tracked down an LE Ranger for less than a bajillion dollars and snapped it up. Haven’t really started painting him yet, but he’s built and ready to field.

Gaslands – Meyers Manx

My latest start-to-finish project is a Hot Wheels Meyers Manx. It’s actually my second Manx; the first I left pretty much stock.

Meyers Manx I

Other than popping some Stan Johansen figures into it, I haven’t done much. I expect I’ll paint the figures (and seats) at some point, but I don’t expect I’ll do much beyond that. It looks fun as is, so why change anything?

The new one was a little beat up, with the roll bar missing and the windshield broken so it seemed like a great opportunity to go nuts. What better place to start than a wheel swap?

The wheels came off a Matchbox MBX 4×4 with ‘Panthera Trackers’ emblazoned across the hood. It will become a wreck. Obviously there was no way those wheels were going to fit in the original slots. Not only were the wheel wells too shallow, but I had to alter the wheelbase as well; I opted to cut new slots on the outside with a hacksaw.

This let me keep the axles intact. They nestled into place quite well, and I used some green stuff to secure them afterwards.

I also added a bit of plating to cover the windshield gap and the missing roll bar, and gave the car a matt varnish in preparation for painting. Primer followed close behind.

For crew I used a couple of Ramshackle miniatures. I’m not a huge fan of the resin he uses (it’s very brittle and I found it more awkward to work with than other resins), but apparently it’s one of the reasons he can keep his prices as low as they are, so I’ll make do. They looked pretty decent once they were painted up, especially considering how tiny they are. There’s not a lot of room in the Manx; I actually had to trim some of the dashboard off in addition to the steering wheel, just to get the driver to fit. Had to trim his steering wheel back as well.

I also added some extra exhausts to the car (they came off some weird little dollar-store-looking garbage car that I got in a thrift baggie). I almost added an oversized engine block poking through the hood before I remembered the engine is in the back. The car itself got a Vallejo Turquoise paint job (no idea why I bother, haha), and a combo of GW’s Agrax and Reikland are used for a wash layer. Looked pretty rough at that point, but I was planning to rust this one pretty heavily so it wouldn’t be a big issue in the long run.

Look at these little monsters!

This brought me to the rust/dirt portion of the project. Some matt medium mixed with my favourite Vallejo pigments, followed with some of GW’s Agrellan Earth for dirt and dust, and we’re ready to go!

And for easy comparison, here’s a before and after using a stock photo; in really happy with how this little fellow turned out. Manx II is ready to rumble!

Gaslands – 60-can Death Race Duel

Thought I’d try some new options last night, and took a car, a bike, and a monster truck up against B’s truck and car. I brought a couple of rams and some perks; he brought turret-mounted rockets and HMGs.

Things got messy real fast. His pickup (Optimus) made a quick left to try and get away from my monster truck, but Wile E there gunned it over the car and slid into Optimus anyway (3 cheers for Hell for Leather).

The first half of the race was definitely going well for me. I was setting a solid pace and leaving Optimus and Ecto far behind. Probably should have been a lock but I made a couple of big errors that got me torn apart. The first was that I tried to put my car into too sharp a turn while in 4th gear; the Medium template B handed me in combination with a bad skid check left my car sliding right off the course.

A short while after that I forgot how fragile Bikes are and let myself wipe out in a high gear with only 2 bull points remaining. I had the shift dice available to drop into second, but didn’t think about that until after our already resolved everything. Sure enough, the Bike flipped and wrecked, leaving only poor Wile E to try and finish the race.

Unfortunately the track put him in range of Optimus right as the pickup cleared the first gate, and my poor Monster Truck was pummeled by rockets taking 5 damage, reducing him to 4 remaining hull points. I tried using audience votes to drown Optimus in hazards (he was a half inch from hitting a fence) but his Thunderous Applause cleared him completely, and I couldn’t get far enough away in time to prevent my taking another barrage of rocket fire.

Since it was just the two of us playing, we didn’t bother with respawns, and called the game in B’s favour since I was out of cars. Till next time!

Oscar Night SciFi Superfest 2018

It’s that time of year again already! M trekked across the street for her annual Oscar party, and I settled in for some science fiction flicks that I’ve somehow managed to never see. First up?

Primer (2004).

Primer must be one of the most recent movies I’ve ever watched on Oscars night, but it’s still been on my list for entirely too long. If you’re not already aware, it’s a super-smart independent time travel film. This particular DVD has been sitting on my shelf for the better part of a decade; I knew it was complex and intelligent, so I didn’t want to sit down and only half watch it, as I knew I’d get lost doing that.

I’m glad I gave it my attention. Partly because it was really solid, and I liked it a lot, but also because I’d heard right… this movie had some serious expectations for its audience. I paid attention throughout, and I’m no dummy, but I still checked online the next day to make sure I’d caught everything (I did pretty well if you’re curious). Really glad I finally got around to seeing this.

This is the first year that I actually invited other people to join me for Oscar night. Life being what it is I still ended up mostly soloing the first and last films, but I had a couple other viewers for the most anticipated movie of the evening:

Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity (1985)

Daria and Tesa, ready to fight back.

This was pretty much just as amazing and bad as we all expected it to be. Chunks of plot seemed to exist purely so they could justify the title, and it was way beyond cheesy. High points included the bickering androids using ‘robot voices’ to accuse one another of shirking work and tattling, the completely random insertion of a ‘phantom zone’ (full of zombies, for the record, and no phantoms at all), and a villain that – from about 2/3 of the camera angles – looked like an uncanny-valley clone of Christian Bale.

Creepy, right?

The plot is ostensibly a ‘most dangerous game’ sort of deal, but it takes most of the movie to get to the game itself, and the main hunt only lasts about 20 minutes. We were all very entertained, though, so we’ll call this one a win this time around.

Daria leads Rik back to the castle, after a long night of setting up two traps that will accomplish little to nothing…

Silent Running (1972)

This is probably the youngest I’ve ever seen Bruce Dern. He cares for one of the Earth’s last forests, in a dome attached to a spacecraft. The other 3 members of his crew don’t care so much, and when they receive orders to jettison and nuke the forests so that their ship can be converted into a commercial freighter, poor Bruce is the only one not thrilled with the orders.

Careful, Bruce. You’re going to start freaking them out.

Tragedies occur, things go south, and Bruce is left trying to care for a single surviving domed forest with the help of three squat little bots; he renames them Hughie, Dewey, and Louie. Tortured and alone, he eventually reprograms the drones for medical needs, poker playing, and other useful skills, and goes a little stir crazy while he’s at it.

I liked this one as well (it was a good year for SciFi night), and I’ve been meaning to watch it for ages. It’s on tons of ‘you need to watch these’ science fiction film lists, but it always got bumped for other things. No more! It wasn’t exactly a fast-paced film so it may not be a great fit for everybody, but it certainly feels timely (environmental issues haven’t exactly faded into oblivion over the last few decades), and was a fine closing to 2018’s Oscar Night SciFi Superfest. Here’s to next February!

SAGA – Viking Hirdman

February brought me my new Saga books along with some viking dice, wire spears, and a couple of new units. The wire spears meant I finally finished assembling all of my previous units (I’d been holding out, avoiding those soft metal spears they came with).

All of this also got me jazzed to paint something for the local shop’s historical miniature painting contest, so I picked out a hearthguard that was already prepped and primed and got cracking.

You’ll notice I’m also using my citadel painting handle for the first time. I picked it up a little while ago, but I’ve only painted cars for gaslands since then so this was my first real opportunity to try it out; colour me impressed. Even using the non – beveled Renedra base, it kept a good grip throughout the project.

Flat Earth for the ground, Red Leather for the helmet, Golden Yellow for the hair/beard, and a Game Colour orange for the tunic. It was a very bright orange (I think I’ve previously just used it for Escher gangers), and I had doubts right up until the final clear coat.

The pants are a Heavy Opaque Blue (I love the coverage the heavy Game Colours provide) and mostly Gory Red on the shield.

Oily steel for the metals, and I mixed some of my Red Ochre pigment into my gore to get it a bit chunkier and I liked the results; I’ll definitely do that again.

And that’s my first Viking Hirdman, all painted up and waiting for me to paint up some fitting compatriots.