Monday, December 29, 2014

Salvage Crew Saga: SC21 Rapidfire

The next figure in the Salvage Crew Saga has been completed:  SC21.  It seems the catalog shows the figure as SC19, but the web store lists it as SC21, so that's the one I'm going with.  This figure has a cybernetic eye and arm, and is wielding what seems to be a light machine gun.

The random color generator results for this figure were orange (2), purple (6), and red (1).

SC21 - Codename: Rapidfire

Subject served in the security forces of the Zhukov Consortium, and was involved in heavy fighting in the Gamma Rhada system.  Rapidfire was critically wounded in action, and was supplemented with combat cybernetics.  While still serving part-time with the Zhukov Consortium, Rapidfire supplements this with income from freelance jobs in an effort to pay off the expensive debts incurred by his cybernetics.  His implants allow him to more easily wield heavy weapons, and his cyber-eye assists with target acquisition and range-finding.

Reaper Bones: Lizardman Warrior

After sitting on my desk for a couple weeks, I finally managed to finish the third and final lizardman from Bones I (this one from the New 30 set):  77050 Lizardman Warrior.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Salvage Crew Saga: SC17 Bull-Rush

Today I finished the fourth of the Salvage Crew figures, SC17.  Aside from being a fat guy, he is clearly a close-ranged fighter with a short "shotgun pistol" and bundle of explosives.

The "random color assignment" results were green (4), blue (5), and yellow (3).

SC17 - Codename: Bull-Rush

Subject served in security forces during the Northbeam-Microfarer Conflict in Delta Herculis.  Bull-Rush received training in explosives and demolitions, and gained a reputation (and his codename) for his aptitude with close quarters combat and rushing enemy locations.  Following the drawdown of corporate security forces following the conflict, subject shifted to freelance work.  Bull-Rush has since been hired out by various salvage operations to assist with breaching old wrecks and using his expertise with explosives to dismantle valuable salvage for retrieval.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Reaper Bones: Deladrin, Female Assassin

For whatever reason, this has seemed like a long week (probably due to the holidays).  Most of my painting time was spent on a regiment of 20 Goblin Spitters from Mantic's Kings of War line (almost complete; look for them in a future post).  Goblins aside, I managed to complete another figure for the Monday Miniatures challenge:  77035 Deladrin, Female Assassin from the New 30 set.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Salvage Crew Saga: SC36 Crosshair

The third figure completed as part of the Salvage Crew Saga is SC36, who is clearly a sniper/sharpshooter.  This figure is pretty straightforward without a lot of extra kit, but I think that works for the role it's designed for.

The "random color assignment" results were orange (2), green (4), and purple (6).

SC36 - Codename: Crosshair

Subject grew up in the reclamation zone colonies of Lambda Delphini IV, before attempts to sanitize the toxic waste dumps were abandoned.  While the colonists were issued adequate protective gear and supplies, the toxicity of the environment required a constant mindfulness when outside the habi-domes.  Mutated wildlife was a constant plague on the settlements, and this is where the subject's superior sharpshooting skills were developed.  Once the reclamation colony was abandoned, the subject found ready work as a salvager, specializing in toxic environments and perimeter security.  Crosshair's equipment is all designed to function in highly toxic conditions, far beyond the failure point of standard gear.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Reaper CAV: Ace Core Group

This week I received the Ace Core Group from Reaper's recent CAV Kickstarter.  The goal of the Kickstarter was to fund the transition of several CAV miniatures from metal to Bones.  While I'm not hugely into "mech combat", I did enjoy BattleTech back in my youth and thought the figures would be a nice change of pace to paint even if I never got to try the CAV game.

As with any Bones figures, the first step is a quick boil-and-freeze cycle to help reset the figures to their natural pose and straighten any bent parts.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Salvage Crew Saga: SC35 Rancid

Next up in the Salvage Crew Saga is SC35, the ganger-looking guy with an SMG and awesome triple-mohawk.  Actually, I wonder if that hairstyle is called the "Rufio"... heh.

Continuing the "random color assignment", this figure's colors were blue (5), yellow (3), and orange (2).  As before, browns and grays are allowed on all figures.

SC35 - Codename: Rancid

Subject is a petty criminal and mercenary with numerous charges on record, including armed assault, vandalism, and destruction of property.  Rancid does not have any formal military training, but does possess some combat proficiency due to prior gang activity.  The subject is suspected to have some cybernetic implants for enhanced targeting and combat reflexes.  Recently released from Lambda Australis penal colony, Rancid serves as a gun-for-hire in the outer territories.

Salvage Crew Saga: SC23 Darkstar

Having cleaned up the Salvage Crew figures, I was looking forward to painting them.  However, since they don't have a particular game setting (or at least not one I'm familiar with), I didn't really have any ideas on how it should be done.  Are there factions with particular colors affinities?  Should they be painted as individuals or a more cohesive group?  Will they look odd together if I paint them separately?  Since I didn't have any answers and no clear theme had come to mind, I decided to try a bit of an experiment using a six-sided die and ROY G BIV.

If you don't recall, ROY G BIV is the description of the colors of the rainbow (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet).  Since "indigo" is made up I tossed it out, leaving six colors.  Assigning the colors the numbers 1 through 6, I rolled the d6 three times to determine the three colors in a given figure's palette.  Any color variations are acceptable, so long as the color falls in one of the three selected color groups (so both a dark crimson and a light pink would satisfy for "red").  In addition, grays and browns would be allowed for all figures.

Randomly selecting a figure, the first one up was SC23, the armored female with dual pistols.  Here color rolls were violet (6), blue (5), and green (4).  Since the models don't have any existing lore that I'm aware of, I'll be adding my own to help flesh them out a bit.

SC23 - Codename: Darkstar

Subject is believed to be a former employee at a SunTech Energy R&D station in the Uzara system, who stole experimental weapons and equipment before fleeing to the outer territories.  Darkstar wields a pair of compact plasma pistols that are more advanced that typical designs, and wears a composite armor which provides protection against both ballistic and energy projectiles.  The subject now serves as a hired gun, and specializes in technology retrieval.

Citadel: Old Chaos Champion and Chaos Familiars

I pulled out a box of old figures earlier this week, and found a few old Citadel Miniatures that I had nearly finished (but never did, for whatever reason).  Having just picked up some Army Painter Inks and looking for an excuse to use them, I decided to finally wrap up these old figures.

The figures were never used for Warhammer Fantasy (the game they were geared towards); I remember ordering them just because I liked their looks.  Many years later, the figure happened to match a villain I created during my City of Heroes/Villains days named Mesonoxian, and that was where his color scheme originated from.

Note that the bases are purposely unfinished.  I have a couple of Basius 2 pads coming (hopefully) early next year, and I plan on going back and finishing off a lot of bases once they arrive!

First up is 021907 Chaos Champion (per the Collecting Citadel Miniatures wiki):

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Reaper Bones: Juliette, Female Wizard

Today I painted up one of the discontinued models from Bones I:  77057 Juliette, Female Wizard from the New 30 set.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Salvage Crew Miniatures: First Look (Part 2)

In addition to the twenty Salvage Crew figures received from the Kickstarter by Johnny Borg Castings, the campaign also unlocked nine bonus security drones.  Below are pictures of the figures as they arrived (no clean-up, etc.).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Salvage Crew Miniatures: First Look (Part 1)

Today I received a package of Salvage Crew figures from the recent Kickstarter by Johnny Borg Castings.  I've been looking forward to them for no particular reason; they're not for any particular game that I'm playing.  Perhaps it's just having something different to paint, particularly figures that are cyberpunk/dystopian sci-fi reminiscent of Necromunda.

Since this is a less well-known effort compared to the larger names in the business, I wanted to provide some pictures of the figures as they arrived.  In general, I'm very happy with them and look forward to getting them cleaned up and painted.  The figures came bagged into five-man sets; I've shown them below in the same groupings.  Since the figures aren't named, I've provided the codes for reference (from the Salvage Crew Character Artwork PDF).  All of the figure below came with round plastic bases, as well (which aren't shown, because they're pretty standard).

Monday, November 17, 2014

Reaper Bones: Lizardman Spearman, Lizardman Warrior

This week on Monday Miniatures the figure is 77155 Lizardman Warrior.  I completed this figure back in May along with 77154 Lizardman Spearman (which was last week's Monday Miniature), but I wanted to showcase them again now that they've come up in the figure rotation.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Reaper Dark Heaven: Arachno Assassin Champion

Another Reaper Dark Heaven figure from my archives has been completed!  Here is 02192 Arachno Assassin Champion, complete with obscene gesture!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Reaper Dark Heaven: Komray, Dogs of War

Yesterday I finished up another figure from my Reaper Dark Heaven archives:  02079 Komray, Dogs of War.  Technically, I think it would be "Komray AND the Dogs of War", but limited space on the package and all....

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Reaper Bones: Damien, Hellborn Wizard

This week's figure for Monday Miniatures was 77149 Damien, Hellborn Wizard from the Dark Heroes set.  Unfortunately, I was late to the party and didn't get my entry submitted in time, but here it is finished:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Reaper Dark Heaven: Montrig the Bloody

Going back to my Reaper Dark Heaven figure "archive" again for a change of pace, this time I completed an intriguing old figure called 02168 Montrig the Bloody.  I should note that my version of the figure seems to be an earlier version than the one currently shown in the Reaper Online Store, as Montrig originally came with the pick shown in the pictures below rather than a mace (and this is backed up in the fluff from Dark Heaven: Apocalypse).

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Reaper Bones: Nienna, Female Elf Ranger; Norgol, Irongrave Knight

This week's figure for Monday Miniatures is 77091 Nienna, Female Elf Ranger from the Heroes set.  I had previously finished this figure in a painting spree back in January, but I've reposted her below as I'm still happy with the way she turned out.

Since Nienna was already complete, I spent my time on 77065 Norgol, Irongrave Knight and completed the BBEG set.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Reaper Bones: Male High Wizard

We're back to the New 30 set this week for Monday Miniatures, and a figure I've been looking forward to painting since I received my Bones I Kickstarter order last year:  77034 Male High Wizard.  I'm curious why this figure never received a name, as it seems pretty rare for a Reaper miniature to go unnamed.

Reaper Dark Heaven: Pillars of Good and Evil

Today I completed a couple more of my older Reaper Dark Heaven figures:  02094 Pillars of Good and Evil.  I have had these for many years now (since late 90s/early 2000s, whenever they were released), and the Pillars were among the earliest Reaper figures I purchased.  Having just finished up the Colossal Skeleton from the Reaper Bones line, I wanted a change of pace (and it was a good chance to work on my backlog).

Friday, October 17, 2014

Reaper Bones: Colossal Skeleton

After finishing up this week's Monday Miniature, the Orc Berserker, I decided that I wanted to tackle one of the larger Bones figures.  I had a couple sitting around my desk taunting me (as all unpainted figures do), and decided it was a good time to get one completed.  Bones II includes several larger figures (including numerous dragons), so I wanted to at least get one of my existing ones completed before Bones II arrives.  As such, here is 77116 Colossal Skeleton:

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Role of Death in RPGs

I have seen a few discussions on the role of death in roleplaying games (RPGs), particularly the death of player characters (PCs), and I wanted to provide some thoughts on the matter.  Often, the first (and sometimes only) argument is that if PCs never die, it makes the game trivial or meaningless.  I do not think this is necessarily the case, and in fact it can actually detract from the gaming experience depending on the gaming group.

The first question that must be asked is, "What is the purpose of the game?"  This is a question that has to be answered by each gaming group, as it greatly determines the style of game being played.  For example, a group that's just interested in a combat-focused dungeon crawl is very different than one interested in roleplay-heavy character development and strong plot elements.  The first group is generally not very attached to their characters except in an abstract way (a means to getting loot, leveling up, and other achievements based on game mechanics).  However, more story-driven players are the ones who suffer much more from character death.

I tend to compare RPG heroes to comic book superheroes.  How often do comic heroes actually die?  And when that does happen, it's almost solely as a plot device to further the story.  In my opinion, killing a PC is essentially forcing an end to the story the player was telling, regardless of the impact to the larger plot.  The key idea there is that of "hero"; the PCs should survive while lesser beings die around them.  Is it realistic?  No, but nothing else is in most RPGs, either, so that becomes a very weak argument.

Another argument for character death is that it's necessary for the heroes to fail.  However, "death" and "failure" are two different issues which tend to get lumped together.  A great example of these conditions being separated is the tabletop game Descent: Journeys In The Dark.  In Descent, heroes who lose all their health are "defeated", which removes them from the game until they are revived.  In this way, the Overlord can defeat the heroes in a quest without permanently killing them (and thus removing the character from the game).  The heroes can all be defeated, the Overlord wins the quest... and the game goes on.  The story continues!  And the players do not have to "reset" and lose the investment in their characters.  Again referring to the comic approach, the heroes suffer a setback (which happens, and makes for good stories), but the story continues.

There are numerous ways to avoid character death, ranging from their being left for dead, being taken captive, or even a miraculous escape.  Again, comics are rife with examples of this.  Instead of a character being slain outright (and his story ended), perhaps he is taken captive by the orcish tribes.  Now the other characters can arrange a rescue attempt, the captive hero can try to escape, and so on.  Again, the story continues!

Now, this is not to say that character death should never occur!  It depends on a certain level of "good faith" between players.  If a low-level PC runs off to a dragon lair or attacks a demon lord, they should probably be obliterated in short order.  Also, there may arise a situation where a player feels their character should die, usually in a grand heroic sacrifice (holding off the enemy hordes so the others can escape, etc.).  Sometimes it's as simple as a player just not liking their character or wanting a change of pace.  In those situations, death may be good for the greater story and can be embraced for that.

Ultimately, I think the story as a whole should take a greater precedence than game mechanics.  It's all about having a good time, and no one enjoys having the story for their favorite character brought to an abrupt end because of a night of crummy dice rolls!  Instead, let them suffer defeat but live to continue their story and fight their way back to victory.  Obviously, this approach is better for more story-driven players, but I think that it would add much more to the game than it might detract, and allows the stories of both players and characters to continue!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Reaper Bones: Townsfolk: Mother with Children

As I mentioned in last week's Monday Miniatures post, this week's figure did not see retail release due to quality issues.  So if you haven't purchased a Vampire kit from the Bones I Kickstarter, you won't currently be able to get this figure:  77087 Townsfolk: Mother with Children.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Reaper Dark Heaven: Zombie Werewolf and Samantha of the Blade

I was looking through some of my older figures today, and decided that I should take a short break from Bones to knock out some old Dark Heaven figures.  These were among the first Reaper miniatures I got many years ago, but for one reason or another I've never gotten around to painting them... until now!

02132 Zombie Werewolf and 02047 Samantha of the Blade:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Reaper Bones: Shaeress Nashanneth, Dark Elf Queen

I've had this figure sitting on my desk since I finished up Drago Voss as Tri-Klops.  However, I had sort of hit a wall and never progressed with it until now.  Here is 77066 Shaeress Nashanneth, Dark Elf Queen as Evil-Lyn.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Reaper Learn To Paint Kit #2: Basic Skin and Cloth

For a change of pace, I decided to finish up my Reaper Learn To Paint Kit #2: Basic Skin and Cloth.  One of the figures included in the kit (02621 Laurana, Sorceress) had been sitting on my workbench in the "to do" queue for several months.  I wanted something a little different from what I've been working on lately (painting Bones and prepping Relic Knights).

When you're starting out painting, it's easy to get discouraged because your results don't seem to match the finished examples that you see from other painters.  This is especially true in the middle of the project, as the figure can look like an absolute mess before you're done.  Below are pictures from the different stages of the LTPK instructions.  Note that I tried to follow the instructions, even when I would have done something differently, as I considered this a learning experience versus "just painting another figure".  Hopefully this will help others who might want some insight into the painting process!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Reaper Bones: Werewolf

Earlier today I managed to finish up one of the Original 30 Bones that were released prior to the Bones I Kickstarter, 77009 Werewolf:

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Reaper Bones: Townsfolk: Innkeeper

For Monday Miniatures this week, the target figure is 80007 The Black Mist from the Chronoscope set.  Since I completed this figure back in June and posted it here, I won't repeat it in this post.

However, I did take the opportunity to complete 77084 Townsfolk: Innkeeper from the Townsfolk I set:

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Reaper Bones: Pathfinder Goblins (Part 1)

For the next couple of weeks of Monday Miniatures, we've been tasked with completing the We Be Goblins set of figures.  We had already completed the Pathfinder Goblin Warchanter as an earlier Monday Miniature, so that leaves 89002 Pathfinder Goblins Pyros and 89003 Pathfinder Goblins Warriors.  For this week, I decided to focus on completing the Warriors.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Reaper Bones: Bat Swarm

This week for Monday Miniatures it's 77046 Bat Swarm of the New 30 set from Bones I.  As I mentioned last week, I had already worked on this model, but I felt it could use some more work so I did just that.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Reaper Bones: Tierdeleira, Dark Elf Cleric

It's time for another Monday Miniatures figure, and this week it's the first of the Dark Elves set:  77122 Tierdeleira, Dark Elf Cleric.  In case you're wondering what happened to last week's 77016 Rats entry, I did not forget about it.  I had actually completed the rats back in April, and didn't feel like I had more to add to my original post about them.  Now, on to this week's figure!