Sunday, July 29, 2012

On Transports

I erred in the pursuit of making this sci-fi extranganza as portable as possible.  The terrain boards took up too much space in the box, leaving me with little left over for a figure box.  Then I found these:

Four small craft boxes at the local craft store (Ben Franklin for those of you keeping score at home) for about five bucks.  Just large enough for one faction:

 They fit snug inside the big box like so:

These have been lined with magnetic paper liberated from the local pizza joint - the magnets are 1/4 page ads with the phone number on them that you're supposed to stick on your refrigerator.  I cut them up and glue them down to give the troops a non-slick surface.

These figures are even small enough you can turn the whole thing upside down and they won't fall off.  That should save a few dings and scrapes.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

New and Improved Aliens

To refresh your memory, these aliens were originally painted with a bright shaded to dark, and it really didn't work.  I hit them with a thin Devlan Mud wash, and that helped, but these critters needed another dusting of bright green highlight and bone white spine to polish them off.

These guys are starting to suffer from the dreaded "too many layers of paint" syndrome, but it seems to work.  It adds a bit of a mottled texture that looks organic.

They finally look like real threatening aliens and not just random green blobs.  Especially the babies.  Nasty little things.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Awful Green Thing Repair

It's amazing how starting to train for a marathon (told you I was a beast), finding out your wife is expecting a new baby, and getting transferred to a new office in the company that means a 20% cut in hours and pay will interfere with miniature wargaming, isn't it?  No wait, not 'amazing' - that other thing.  The opposite of amazing.

Still and all, managed to take some advice and try to patch up the !aliens tonight:

This is the results of a test batch - a smarter man would have tested the light to dark technique before using it on 30+ figures - with one untouched figure next to a figure with some thinned down black ink.  The black wash helps bring out the limbs of these guys, so we're almost there.  I'll try a light highlight on the black ink to add a little more texture, and then these guys will be done.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Baby Mommas and Babies

Just pictures of the last of the Pendraken Aaliens today:
Three lovely ladies, all painted up and ready for a
night on the town.
Ten little babies all in a row.
Action shot!
Side by side comparison of the three types of critters and
a human marine for scale.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Awful Green Things

These Pendraken alien creatures are normally painted black for reasons obvious to anyone who has ever seen the movie Alien or Aliens or so on and so forth.  Not me though - I'm a rebel. (Slight pause here for me to give a firm Barney Fife sniff and hoist up my belt buckle.)  My alien critters are green for three reasons:

1.  Green shows up really well on the reddish battlefield.

2. It gives the aliens a unique and cohesive look - I already
painted the marines black and gray, but no other
faction has green as a primary color.

3. Someday I hope to make a 3D "Awful Green Things" board using
a collection of 10mm miniatures and these are perfect for that.
The paint job looks a bit off here because I started with bright green and shaded up to dark green.  Then I lightly hit them with a dark purple and finally a dusting of bright white.  That brings out all the textures, but without clothing, they tend to look like greenish blobs.  To compensate, I painted the spines and tailbones white - that helps distinguish the ass from the elbows a bit.

The real problem here is that these guys have no real faces - just a blank slate.  That more than anything makes it hard to tell front from back.  Not a huge deal, these are aliens after all, so we're gonna roll with it.

This is three of the medium alien packs from Pendraken - I'll have queens and babies for you tomorrow along with a size comparison.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Monsters on the Prowl: Manticores

As we trundle along, merrily throwing alien after alien at the hapless human intruders, it's always nice to pause and add a little sumpin sumpin to the lists of the fantasy dungeon.  Why not some twin manticores to spice things up?

DN58 - Manticore
 These ugly mugs can be found in Pendraken's Dungeon Monster line.

They aren't that big compared to the humans, but with that uncanny valley face, they're still pretty intimidating.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Leaping Lizards

Remember the guy on the left?  Lizardman shaman?  Posted him a few months ago.  Maybe rings a bell?  
Yeah.  He's got company. This big guy is the new Lizard King.  The lizard with the skull staff becomes a shaman.
FTL17 -  Tribal lizardman hero
Don't think this one's looking to sell insurance.
 What's a king without an army?  Here the are all lined up and ready for a scrap.
FL2 - Lizardman with spear

Friday, July 6, 2012


Those alien eggs can't hatch from their own chests, you know.  They need warm bodies for incubation, and the marines need something to protect, so here's some cannon fodder.  

SF20 - Civilian men
SF21 - Civilian women
As usual, excellent sculpts from Pendraken.  SF20 comes with two poses, and SF21 with three, including two smaller figures that could serve as Newtish children (and I don't mean Ginrich) for that all important moment of, "They mostly come at night.  Mostly."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

One Two Three Four...

...Who here loves the Marine Corp?

The humans have twenty solid spacejarheads to protect them from a hostile universe.
Pendraken SF2
Note the BnL logos on their sleeves.  Pretty proud of
them, to be completely honest with you.
The BNL logo on these guys was easier than it looks.  It's just a red circle with a white slash and a blue dot in the middle.  Sort of like a blue eye on a red background.  Gives these gray uniforms a splash of color.

The guys in front are Pendraken SF1.  Near as I can figure the only real difference is that the guys in FL2 have full face covering screens.  Otherwise they are all lightly armored infantry in near-future battledress.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day

As a wise man once said, today is the day we Americans celebrate the birth of our nation by blowing up a small piece of it.

This is partially a blog about painting little things, so here's a little thing I painted up for the Fourth of July celebration - my daughter's fingernails.  My wife thinks this is the first non-frivolous use of my experience painting small canvases.

[Update:  Younger daughter wanted in on the action, too:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

First Sci-Fi Figures

Check out the quirky paint job on these !predator aliens:

You may be thinking that this is a lazy paint job, but there is a method to my madness.  Remember that these guys are supposed to be cloaked.  Painting them the same colors as the ground cover means that they blend in with the game board itself:

Which brings us back to the real reason that I prefer the terrain tiles method of battlefield construction to the drop cloth method.  You can use the exact same paints for the field and the figure bases, and that allows precise color matching for effects like this.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Storage Doh!

Remember how this blog is called "War In a Box"?  Remember how the point is to squeeze a full game into a small box that fits under the bed?  Yeah, let's talk about that for a second.  The square terrain tiles stack up higher than expected.  By the time you stack up the hills and buildings...

There no room for the hab modules.  You can squeeze all the tiles in if you flip over the tallest one (containing the actual colony base), but that runs the risk of damaging it in transport.  Gonna have to find a way to pack it with foam.

The problem at this point is that I was counting on having room for a smaller box to protect the figures from rattling around during transport.  I'm just gonna have to use a lot of smaller figure boxes rather than the stnadard compartmental boxes.  It should be easier to squeeze more small boxes in between the buildings.

That or I could find a storage box with a bottom 12" by 24" bottoms.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fantasy Backlog

My current miniature wargame project remains sci-fi, but I'm still adding to the D&D collection, too.  The latest Pendraken order from across two and a half ponds included these fun guys, too.
DN58 - Manticores
FTL17 - Tribal lizardman hero
The new Lizard King
FL2 - Lizardmen with spears