Sunday, October 30, 2016

Iguana post more often, really I do!

Well, it's been a while! I swear I've been painting and all, I just keep forgetting to post or to photograph!

This is a bit an older post, but I finally re-found the photos for this and have decided to put them online at long last:

This is my entry from Q2 into the Mayacast Contest, the ever-awesome Infinity Nomad Iguana TAG.

Starting out, I decided to go with a more Central-American theme with this TAG, having done Africa with the two Geckos. The TAG's pilot is named Yupanki, which is a famous warrior/military leader, and translates roughly to "With Honour". It's been painted to stay consistent with the Geckos in colour scheme, except for that ominous and I'm sure in no way relevant right hand paint!

You may also notice the TAG is converted! I wasn't a fan of the angry point, so I decided to shift the pose to be a broad-shape shooting stance. With the belt feed HMG, it looked more dramatic that way.

Here you can see a more top-to-bottom pose for the TAG. I have the same safety warnings across the guy as with the Geckos, and while I considered a bunch of integrated black and white striping, I felt the full red just felt more in keeping with how I've been painting my TAGs so far.

The tail, from behind: this tail was annoying to paint. It's a lot of segments, and I primarily airbrushed it. You can also see the warning labels on the ammo hopper, and in general my non-metallic-metal styled metallic painting. It keeps it shiny IRL, and still has a nice light-to-dark.

The markings on the side of the leg and the shoulder pads are, in Mayan and Aztec writings, essentially translated are "Death Lizard" (on the shoulderpad in this case) and "Storm Lord/Chief" - I figure this pilot, with the honour of fighting in a full Iguana, has quite a bit of ego to him!

The colours are personal artistic license, but as with the Geckos, I want to make my TAGs look as much as possible like they've been decorated by crews with a great love for machines, and a bit less a love of military regulation. No idea what I'll do for the Salamander once it gets resculpted!

Upcoming should be the Van Zant from the most recent contest, as well as (hopefully) some of the other wild things I've been working on. I'll also try to limit the amount of downtime between posts, and actually get my butt back in gear painting and not just assembling and buying!

As always, happy painting!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Wow it's been a while since I posted... I've been busy painting models for tournaments, and not really getting time to photograph or upload them! I promise they're coming, hopefully by the end of the week depending on how crazy work is.

In the meantime, I picked up some interesting demon models, but I have had no luck finding out where they're from. They're not Games Workshop, but I can't find them. Does anyone know where these are from?

There's detail that's been damaged or rubbed off of the pewter coloured one, and he's missing a head. I wouldn't mind knowing what it's "supposed" to look like, so I know how I want to convert it. Likewise, the other is missing something from his right hand, which might be a sword.

In other news, I ended up playing in three Infinity tournaments so far; came 11th of 14 in the first, #1 of four in the second (yay!) - and 2nd in the latest tournament out of some 14!

It's amazing how all the things you think might work, (the "Math-hammer or List-hammer") in Infinity are maybe good, maybe entirely finicky. Each game so far I've seen something come up that makes me think "Oohh jeez, that models terrifying" or "Wait, so that means this model from my list would... wow, I'm taking one of them!"

I can't recommend Infinity enough to someone who wants a good tactical game where even when you lose, you had a good time.

Happy Painting and Gaming everyone!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Basswood Crates Done!

A month! How the heck has it been a month already? There's been some painting, but sadly not a lot of stuff that can be photographed and posted. (Or at least, not that I want to...) I've been doing assembly of models for a hoped-for burst of painting, and prepping for my first Infinity tournament by getting a last few models I want painted ready for it.

That said, I finally managed to paint the crates in a way I wasn't unhappy with the instant I saw them. It takes glosscoat (by me applied by cheap GW 'purity seal') to make sure the paint doesn't soak into the wood. I may end up changing exactly how I work the words/logos into the basswood, but for now I think it works.

Tadaa! Here they are! The 9Lives is intentionally kind of odd in the green paint, while New Dawn gets two crate colour styles, the Nomad crates are relatively straightforwardly painted (With one to see what it would look like if they weren't variably coloured). Alpha Aerotech is a pale blue that I'm not 100% about, but we'll keep it for the test crates and I'll work out colours I like more in the next round. I do like, and will keep, the variety of colours. It'll help make even a bunch of them across a table not be quite boring. For the most part I also haven't dinged or aged the crates, as I assume they'd be some kind of advanced plastic capable of resisting the stresses of interplanetary travel.

I'll try to do a 'how to' painting post soon, with the other test set I made. In the meantime, I'll also try to photograph the models I finished up for the contest, which is this weekend! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Order Pools

As I get more into this game, something I've found frustrating is the random pile of tokens one has to have to represent their order pool. It can be tough remembering which tokens go where, which have been spent, and keeping them sorted from the plethora of other tokens one needs to play the game.

I started wondering if there was a way to do a single dial, which would show both the 10 orders by default a part of an order group, and the lieutenant order without needing to be three tall, or be particularly awkward.

After some trial and error with a 3cm diameter, very plain set of dials, I upscaled and got a bit fancier, and ended up with this:

These are done with a very dark red translucent, and represented the first print out. With the time I had, and to make sure I could get as much as I wanted from them, I decided to run off a few more!

As you can see, they have "Order Pool 1" and "Order Pool 2" written on them. I figure if you're going much over two order pools, you're making a heck of a bizarre force or playing a very large game. The intent is to easily have all orders except irregular and impetuous (which are only ever model-based) represented in one easy location. Above you can see the pair of reds, plus a pair of purples, and two sets of black opaque. I'm mostly getting a feel for the different colour options, and whether translucent or opaque works better.

Here's a painted, magnetized, finished set:

These are the red ones, though on a black background of course they appear black. The over plate is meant to look like a hacking circle like you could see in Ghost in the Shell or Infinity, with a custom-made typeface, and subtle indicators of both LT order and regular order.

Here, thanks to a handy tissue, you can see the red showing through. The Lt Order is clear enough so that you can remember yourself if you used it or not. Since you have to announce its use and who on, I'm less concerned about having it super easy to read by an opponent, though it should be fine to read.

I think I need to modify the spacing of some of the numbers, to make the 10 and 1 not quite as close to one another (it results in a bit of LT Order overlap), and I may make the number window a bit wider. As it is though, I'm very happy with them and it brings a suitably sci-fi feel to the game board, and reduces token clutter!

Next, I need to design all the other tokens required for regular play...

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Infowar Contest Entry

As I work towards completing the next of my quarterly Mayacast painting contests, I figured I ought to upload my previous entry!

I tried to figure out a pairing that I had not previously done, and didn't want to group-paint with other folks (such as the Mobile Brigada hacker). I of course had just finished painting my Interventors at the time, and so they would not count for the project.

Then I realized I possessed the only two hackers allowed by Ariadna! Who better to paint up as a pair of hackers than the only two? (Especially since they're both pigtailed redheads, for some reason.)

Shown here interrupted in their attempt to hack into an Aleph base, the two hackers are intended to be aiming at a target off-diorama.

I went for a very basic, traditional look on their guns and gear, trying to make it look industrially hard-wearing. Since they're both hackers either mercenary or working for the most tech-limited faction, they wouldn't have fancy delicate comm gear that would smash the first time it was looked at funny.

Other than that, it was spot colours here and there to accentuate the look of the pair, and a slightly different means of painting the fiery red hair on each, so they didn't entirely look like twins. The base is made from laser-cut acrylic, glued together and lightly airbrushed, with the screen likewise made of fluorescent orange acrylic painted with white.

You can also see I have painted Isobel MacGregor's pants using the stereotypical "Canadian Plaid" - I will be making my USAriadna models into CANAriadnans, and so this will help fit the theme.

The hardest part about painting this pair was trying to make Isobel's face look right. The casting of the model has it incredibly flat - like someone squished her face with cling wrap. I had to reference the official paintscheme a few times to make sure I was sectioning off the face right, and ended up doing the equivalent of a makeup job to ensure the face felt right.

Eventually they'll be plucked off this diorama and based individually for gaming, but for now it makes for an interesting display-case-piece!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Variety, Hacking, and Trends

CB, we need to talk. You make an amazing game, your models are often the best on the market. You are very good at making varied poses for HMGs, missile launchers, TAGs, heavy infantry. Your female models are a bit too 'sexypose' too often, but I understand why...

...But there's a problem. You don't seem to know what to do with your hackers! With most other categories of soldier in the game, you have a firm grasp of varied poses, and the idea that just because they're for a combat game doesn't mean they need to be in-that-moment shooting. Why, then, do you entirely forget that when it comes to making interesting and varied poses for perhaps the most important models in the game?

Not certain what I mean? Let's look:

 Look at this: These are all hacker-specific models, produced recently in the timeline of Infinity, that are every one of them AT THIS MOMENT hacking by waving the magic hand. In the most egregious cases, their poses are identical! The fusilier, Morat, Hac Tao, Govad, Ragik, both Interventors, Ghulam... all legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, all actively hacking off to the side. For some, like the Nisses, Naga, Dasyus, or Hellcat, they're at least in motion as they hack, but hey, let's compare that to the non-hacking right? Could be a coincidence:

Hm, whereas we had 18 'hacking' models, of which arguably 11 are in a nearly identical pose, there are 9 photographed (another two unphotographed: Valerya Gromoz and Isobel MacGregor). I include the Ninja in this group because arguably she could be slicing someone, adding some variety. In this group is also the Alguacile, because though he's depicted in pics as hacking at this moment, I would argue the pose doesn't require him to be.

Otherwise, one firing the gun she was equipped with, one tossing off a sassy salute, three with hand-on-hip basic pose, and two 'other'. The unphotographed pair are kneeling and lifting goggles, and turning to fire at someone for interrupting a hack in progress.

That's really boring. There are other ways I must assume to depict that a soldier is a hacker besides "See? They hack!" that can fill some more models. The thing that finally made me decide to post about this is this month's releases, which saw a Nisses Hacker in "I WILL GRAB YOUR FACE" hack pose, the Hac Tao in spread stance, AND the Govad in spread stance all in one go. The Hac Tao is HOLDING the big scary sword! Why not have him in an active sword-brandishing pose that also has an 'empty hand' that could be hacking? Make it look like he's reinforcing an attack on an enemy HI (say, a Father Knight) by messing with his armour systems in combat? He's a CC 19, WIP 14, BTS 6 dude, he can probably pull off the split attention!

Now, there's one model I've not included here because I've complained about her before, but you can look at a previous post on this blog to see an example: The Mobile Brigada hacker is just painful. She's equipped with a combi rifle, a pistol, and a close combat weapon, and is depicted with the pistol? (And for some reason is minus her suit's power plant?)

Please vary up the poses more. It actually turned me off buying the Hac Tao Hacker this month.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


A friend and I have been trying for a while to create our own set of terrain, tokens, etc. You've likely seen some of the previous posts involving laser-etching things, but here's a new neat discovery.

I wanted to make a personalized USB for my brother, and accidentally discovered basswood. It's a kind of balsa I think, and it is amazing. Acrylic can warp under the laser, cut strangely, and is immensely temperamental when it comes to trying to print anything out consistently. Basswood on the other hand, is consistent, cheap, surprisingly durable, and smells a lot less harmful to breathe in during cutting.

So I went to town on some ideas. Initially I tested on regular rectangular crates, but after the first run of those, I had to try something more Infinty-fitting. For my first test runs, I mocked up a few different Nomad-style crates: Tunguska Secure Transportation (A well secured crate for important documents); Corregidor armaments (no words, just warnings on the side); and the basic Nomad Shipping and Freight (for all other concerns).

This is what they look like assembled! The pattern is loosely inspired by something I saw another company doing to mitigate the angles, since laser cutters cut mostly at 90 degrees, which means you can't put two angles flush to one another without a lot of post-cut bevel work. This over-under solution still looks like an interesting intentional design, and removes the weird gaps people would have to fill in.

They're rather sizeable, but I did want to make them big enough where some detail would register. I'll have another post soon about round two, where I fixed up the measurements and started crafting my own corporations, rather than the CB-trademark ones. The nice thing about this design too, is if one doesn't want the pre-etched logos, reversing the end-caps and two of the plates entirely hides them!

I'm running through painting tests now, to see how visible the grain is after painting. I can say so far black primer (vallejo surface) works a lot better than white.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Staging an Intervention

With the Create Your Fate contest over, I'm able to return to more just-for-me pursuits, and so I have decided to show off my Interventors!

These two are the supreme hackers in the Human Sphere. Not necessarily scary combatants, but with a Hacking Device Plus, and Fast Pandas (shown soon) they are able to make any tech-advanced enemy quake.

They are both dark skinned, a practice I am refining. The one has a bright flame-coloured yellow-orange hair to contrast their mostly black appearance.

I figure Interventors are about as pure Tunguska as one can get, hence their almost exclusively black outfits. The slinky armour is highlighted a bit heavier to seem perhaps grey, and just to provide some contrast, their shoulderpads and gunbelts are Nomad Red, with white featured on their gloves.

Their outfits of course scream "TRON", so I had to decorate the one's personality disc glowing blue, and that led the charge for them to glow blue from a few places. This time it's not an ODD or Thermoptic Camo, but perhaps sensors, HUDs, or indicators that they're not meant to rush in to the front line!

Last but not least, the FastPandas! The photos are slightly oversaturated, but it's really tough to balance the light so their bright white bits and dark black bits both show! I decided to slightly differentiate them, in part by accident, and gave one spats (He's the dapper gent) and both were carefully posed to seem as agressive as a non-combatant plump robo-panda can be!

That finishes all the models I've had painted recently, leaving only a super-fun project to go before I need to start taking all kinds of new pictures to put up! I've decided that as I paint my newest attempt to win a Mayacast Masterglass, I will set to work converting a PHR force so the mechs feel a bit more appropriately dynamic than just "I am here, I am a mech." Sadly, not much I'll be able to do about their infantry.


Monday, January 18, 2016

A Whisper on the Board

Well, I've been busy the last while! There's been a lot of things happening on my end creatively, but very little that would work its way around to an interesting blog post. That said, I have managed to make time for more photos!

Next up from Icestorm are the Spektrs. They're infiltration specialists, equipped in O:IS with combi-rifles and blades, though also able to take boarding shotguns (very scary) and mines. Their true advantage in the game though is Thermoptic Camo, or camouflage that renders them invisible from both the chromatic spectrum, and the infra-red. (They never say whether or not it helps with UV, but who knows!) If you want an idea of what this is like, Ghost in the Shell makes great use of it.

In-game, they're stealthy units that aren't ninja. They're far better at range than close-quarters combat, but boy will they be a nuisance for your opponent to take care of.

Coming from Tunguska like the Grenzers, I had to go with a similar moody scheme. The default scheme puts a lot of white on them, which to me just means really obvious head target as soon as the camo goes down. I went again with a more muted red, a shiny black, and despite my protestations against elsewhere, glowy bits. In this case, my assumption is the glow is the TO Camo device's output.

They again are somewhat boring in paintscheme, but I'd much rather have them somewhat boring but logical, rather than crazy colours and silly as a result. I figure Nomads, especially Tunguskans, are no-nonsense sorts. You can see I've even done a black blade except for the razor cutting edge for the one to the right.

Also visible here is my conversion of a Spektr with Sniper Rifle. I've pulled the other arm set from the Grenzer, kept the shoulderpads, and, thanks to a wonderfully adaptable body pose, made the second Spektr look like he's leaning into a shot. Possibly over a building parapet, possibly around a corner... The head realignment went easier than the arm adjustments, and saves me from having to use the Jethro Tull Sniper (the old Spektr) which is a pose that gets more bizarre the more you look at it!

We're coming to the end of what I have finished painting shortly! I guess I'll have to pull out the brushes and paint soon, get some more finished off. In the meantime, enjoy and keep painting!