Monday, March 18, 2019

Painting Challenge: March of the Dead

This post originally appeared on the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

I had high hopes for this year's painting challenge, but I wasn't able to carve out the time to make much of a dent in my leadpile. With a paltry few hundred points completed, I expect these undead figures to push me over my self imposed minimum threshold of 500 points, alleviating my shame a bit.

I've wanted an undead army since spotting a fantasy scenario featuring a skeletal horde in Battlesystem 2nd Edition, nearly 30 years ago. Manufacturers never seemed to have the same vision for the undead that I did though. Game Workshop took a decidedly Egyptian feel with their Tomb Kings, and many of the more recently released undead miniatures have been too dynamic in pose and expression for my taste.

When I saw these figures based on the 1562 painting "Triumph of Death" by Bruegel the Elder, I knew I'd found my guys. While an undead shambling horde represents our own inevitable mortality, I also think they are a metaphor for the unfeeling, unsensing march of time, scouring all before them. These staid, emotionless automatons marching in their perfect ranks, with halberds and javelins at the ready don't slay out of hatred, but as part of the entropic machine that will inevitably collapse all of man's creations, grind mountains to dust and darken every star in the sky.

That's a bit dark, but don't be glum. This skelly brought a giant fish to cheer you up. What a whacky guy!

All 83 of these 28mm figures will likely be my final entry in this year's Analogue Painting Challenge.

 For my Curtgeld I've donated to Veteran's K-9 Corps, an organization that provides service animals for veterans and first responders. Thanks to Curt and the minions for managing the challenge, and loosening the entry rules to allow some decidedly non-historical figures into competition.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Painting Challenge: This and That

This post originally appeared on the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

I spent a lot of my hobby time over the last few weeks preparing and running our club's first local game convention. Despite a busy schedule, I managed to sneak in a bit of painting. No giant point bombs today, but at least I polished off a few more figures.

I added machine guns and a new matte black finish to this 20mm scale car for Gaslands. I intended to paint it in some sort of garish silver or purple, but it simply called out to be painted black in homage to the 1989 Batmobile. It's hit the table a few times and has proven especially deadly!

Luke Skywalker has been fighting in my Monday night Star Wars Legion battles for months in a simple brown primer coat. I rushed a quick paint job on him, good enough for tabletop play and maybe a few points for the challenge.

Finally I finished up my collection of Astropolis krogloggs. The intricate sculpts and detail warrant additional painting time which I've enjoyed, but certainly slowed my progress in the challenge.

That's it for this week! Four 28mm figures and a 20mm vehicle.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Scrum Con 2019 is in the Bag

Hot damn, we did it! Forgive my crowing, but I'm thrilled we managed to set up and launch our one day con within six months of the idea first percolating through our club's brain trust. Renting a hall, setting up tables and putting out hot dogs doesn't really make a gaming convention though. While I may have helped set the stage, it was really our game masters and attendees who brought the event to life.  Based on our post-convention satisfaction surveys, and the comments we received during the convention it sounds like our little con sated a hunger for a gaming focused local event.

Our Scrum Club learned quite a bit from our inaugural event, but with one nominally successful game day completed we've already begun discussing improvements for "the next one".

While I didn't get a chance to run or play in a game, I still had a great time chatting with attendees, welcoming some folks to their first con ever, and getting a chance to watch some very talented GMs work their magic.

If you attended Scrum Con, thank you for taking a risk on our little venture. And special thanks to the game masters who trekked in to put on a show for our players, especially Buck Surdu, Eric Schlegel, Greg Priebe of the HAWKS, Kelly Armstrong and Neil Carmichael of the Army of Central Maryland Wargaming, Joey McGuire, Ed Watts, and our RPG hosts Zeb Cook, Elizabeth Ferrara, Luke Stacks, Scott McKinley and Keith Sloan.

And to the Scrum team, Walt, Jared, Rich, Steve, Francesco, Zach, Josh and Joe thanks for all the hard work. You guys are really a great team to work with. Now let's get crackin' on planning Scrum Con 2!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Painting Challenge: A Plethora of Krogloggs

This post originally appeared on the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

I adore these goggle eyed kroglogg aliens and managed to boot several more off my lead pile and into active duty.

These chaps are labeled as "hunters" in the Astropolis line of miniatures and act as pest control aboard the enormous star cruiser that serves as their home, but in my collection they'll pressed into service as front line troops of a rebellious alien rabble. Kroglogg eyes are widely set on hammerhead shaped noggins. I assume the forward facing optical sensors on these ceremonial helmet give these particular alien soldiers binocular vision so they can act as sharpshooters for their depth perception lacking kin.

In so many science fiction series the aliens are part of a monoculture devoid of individual character. All klingons are warlike. All hutts are obese gangsters. I appreciate that many of the figures in the Astropolis line have individualistic characters woven into them through their sculpts.

This beverage sipper looks like a cranky old fart, while the mother and child are expectedly awaiting the arrival of a loved one.

Our dutiful papa is enroute, lugging his work parcels with him while this dimwitted attendant barely notices his passing. Love 'em!

I'm used to polishing off dozens of identical historical figures at a time, but these individual figures are requiring more attention to get right than I'm used to. My Painting Challenge point goal is looking increasingly overly optimistic, but I'm hoping that with just a few more individual sci fi figure to do I'll be able to drop some point bombs with mass units of uniformed figures soon.

In total these 10 figures should bump me up another 50 points.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Painting Challenge: Astropolis Bots and Aliens

This post originally appeared on the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

Despite a concerted effort by Real Life to disrupt my painting progress, I managed to squeeze in a little painting time and finish up a handful of sci-fi figures this week.

All of these are from the Astropolis Kickstarter, full of character, chunky detail and a delight to paint.

I particularly liked this archivist and his two minions laden with dusty tomes. Not exactly a typical subject for a sci-fi wargame, but they'd make a great objective to capture or escort to a waiting escape transport.

I have a host of these hammerheaded kroglogg aliens. Before committing to a color scheme for the others in my lead pile, I wanted to test out a few palettes on this pair. Although most of the aliens are covered in thick hair, a few have a less defined surface pattern, more like the skin of an elephant. I'm not sure if the sculptor just chose to portray their fur in a different style or what, but I decided these "wrinkly" aliens must be wearing skin tight space suits. I gave the gray suit a few emblems, and while I think she's hideous, I'll bet her form fitting coverall drives the kroglogg boys wild.

That's all for this week. I know a few of these figures a bit diminutive, but I'm hoping these eight 28mm figures give me another 40 points.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

One month till Scrum Con 2019!

Our tabletop games Scrum Club is counting down the days to our first fun-sized, single day Scrum Con 2019 convention, just one month away on Saturday February 16th! If you're in the D.C., Maryland, Virginia area there's still some games with seats available, although quite a few have already filled their slots.

We're also making a Scrum Con 2019 T-shirt available for purchase as well as part of the V.I.P. ticket. T-shirts will be available for purchase until the end of January, to ensure they're available for pickup at the convention.

Looking forward to shaking off the winter cabin fever and rolling some dice!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Space Zombies (Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge)

This post originally appeared on the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

With the holidays in full swing and our house host to a variety of out of town friends and relatives, it was a challenge to sneak away and get any painting done. With everyone back at work and things falling into their usual routine I managed to polish off a small set of intergalactic undead for the Painting Challenge.

I picked these up from Tim Prow's Diehard Miniatures Kickstarter last year and I've been dying to get some paint on them. Perhaps it was my desire to get them "right", but I wound up repainting them with a few different color schemes before I was happy.

These undead astronauts started unlife in dark blue space suits with orange and white accents, a color palette I stole from the Netflix "Lost in Space" series. Unfortunately, with their bulbous helmets and dark blue colors they looked more like undead deep sea divers than wayward spacefarers. Repainting them in a classic white spacesuit made them seem more prone to wandering a derelict spacecraft or irradiated moonscape than the Marianas Trench.

I decided on an unnatural yellow/green for the flames licking out of these Infernals, and snuck the same hue into the visors of the other star zombies to give the whole gang a unified feel.

I adore these sculpts. Classic, chunky, with plenty of detail but not the baroque monstrosities that seem to be the rage from more recent ranges. They'd be perfectly at home on a Rogue Trader battlefield, but I'll be using these for the homebrew rules I've been noodling on for the last few years.

And with that I should be on the board, only an insurmountable number of points to go!