tisdag 28 juni 2016

Muddy Waters -- Modelmates Weathering Wash review

Hi gang!

The Model Railroad hobby is a bit strange to be honest (and I've been a part of it so I'm not bashing somebody elses hobby BTW), but we can still learn a lot from them. The thing is that model railroaders spend a lot of time and money on building very realistic backdrops for their trains, yet most want their trains pristine and unweathered. So Model Railroad rolling stock (that's locos, wagons, etc.) are sold prepainted and in perfect shape. This goes for figures too, they are prepainted but not shaded. Again, I'm not bashing someones hobby, Model Railroaders are often collectors too (unlike Wargamers which are hoarders) and display their trains in special cabinets.

Case in point. Lovely scenery, squeeky clean locomotive and lorry.
But not all Model Railroaders are collectors, and there are lots of tips and tricks for weathering locomotives. Usually they are of the DIY kind, but there are also some special products available, like the weathering sprays from Model Mates. Since I live in Sweden I haven't been able to order one of those, but I recently discovered that they are also available in regular paint pots. Instead of trawling Model Railroad shops you can steer your web browser to Great Escape Games that stocks them.

Different cans, but the same product apparently.
Delivery was swift and secure with the jars of weathering liquids in separate ziplock bags inside the package in case of leaks (there were none). The Weathering Liquids functions like a wash, but are water soluble after they have dried. The idea is you take your spanking brand new boxcar, diesel engine or whatever you want to weather, and slather the liquid on it. When it has dried you remove as much or as little you want with a cotton bud, damp cloth or brush. If you remove too much you can always apply some more. I think it will look very nice as grime and dirt on tanks for instance. However, I plan to use it to Nurgle-ise a lot of figures for Warhammer 40k, hence my choice of Moss Green...

My brave volunteer. Hey, the 80's called and wanted their paint job back!

As I didn't have any vehicles ready for weathering, I took a figure to test it on instead. I had this 80's classic Nurgle Chaos Warrior I bought on eBay. While not a bad paint job per se, it was a bit too clean for Nurgle really.

Ugh, that shield has to go...

Ready for action... love that murky greenish colour of the weathering liquid.
Weathering liquid applied and still a bit wet, hence the glossiness. It dries matt.

Most of it wiped off with a damp brush. Notice how it leaves some grime and stain on the original surface.
I tried the Rusty Red on the sword as well, but I didn't like the effect. Probably the sword is too flat and silvery to retain much of the effect. I suspect it will work much better on a tank with all those rivets and panel lines.

At £4.50 it costs about the same as the new big cans of GW washes, although it only contains 18ml. However the effect is not the same as regular washes and I find that they are well worth the price and will definitely order some of the other colours.

tisdag 21 juni 2016

A first foray into Open Combat.

Hi gang.

Our small but intrepid gaming group decided to try out a summer campaign of Open Combat. All very short and sweet, five players each meeting the others twice. So everyone plays eight games and as it should be able to get two games in one session we can hopefully bring the campaign to a successful end.

Open Combat is a generic "Sword and Shield" skirmish ruleset with built in campaign rules, published by Second Thunder. It has lived a while in PDF form but was released as a hardback rulebook recently following a very successful kickstarter. When I say "Sword and Shield" it's because while it can be used for fantasy figures it doesn't have any special rules for those typical fantasy staples like short and burly dwarves, firebreathing dragons and magic wielding spellcasters. The system caters for any figures though and since you decide the stats of your figures yourself you can use fantasy figures, but to call it a fantasy system is a bit much. Simply put it's an excellent and open combat game -- hence the name.
The Rulebook. At least a picture of it from the Second Thunder webstore.
When creating your warband you simply look at your miniatures and decide their stats -- as long as you use the same number of Renown (or points) as your opponent the game will be balanced. There are five stats: Speed, Attack, Defence, Fortitude (hit points) and Mind. Each point in each stat costs one Renown. If you want some equipment like a sword or bow that costs one Renown each too. Skills like Intimidate or Shield Bash also costs a Renown. If your model has armour and you want to reflect that simply increase Defence. It's deceptively simple but tactically very clever. You can simulate spells by giving your magic user ranged weapons for magic missile type spells and relevant skills for boost or mind attack spells -- things like Leap, Raise Skeletons or Heal are missing though.

The Voluptuous Vixens from the Village of Voluptuous Vixens. Yes the name is a lure to attract easy prey.
One problem with a totally free environment is that my view of how tough or effective different figures are can differ from my opponent's which causes a slight disconnect -- I might think that an Attack value of 5 is average and give that to my support figures while my opponent thinks that 5 is very high and gives it to his main fighter figure -- the game still works and will be balanced since my opponent will have more figures than me, but seeing the club-armed peasant hold his own against a knight will feel a bit strange perhaps. With that in mind the rulebook does contain a lot of sample characteristics and sample warbands with explanations about their design philosophy.

söndag 12 juni 2016

Kickstarter loot! W00t!

The thing with kickstarters is that when they arrive you hardly remember what you ordered or even what kickstarter you backed! I do know some big campaigns have longer production times and some kickstarters get delayed, but it's starting to get to the point where every little scrap you get feels like a victory! I'm looking at you, Shadows of Brimstone with your "Wave 1.5 shipping" shenanigans.

It's almost like opening christmas presents, except you know it's not socks.
Well, a package slip arrived a couple of days a go but I didn't have time to pick up the parcel until saturday. So, what is in it?

Wayland games

Wayland Games