It’s been a really busy month, and I’ve been going especially hard the past two weeks trying to finish a big project. Nick came over last night to help me, but after a little while I decided that I wanted to knock off early to do something else — sometimes you just need to take a break to recharge with a good friend. Nick asked about playing X-Wing, so I dug the miniatures out of the closet and we played a game, Nick’s first ever, and my first one in longer than I care to think about.
It was a pretty basic game with Nick fielding a squad of five basic TIE fighters plus an Interceptor, while I took the classic Biggs, Wedge, and Luke with R2. I got first blood by shooting down one of his TIEs in the first round, but at a crucial point in the game, Nick knocked out Biggs before I had a chance to do any serious damage output. I kept recharging shields on Luke using R2’s special ability, but my tiny remaining squad just wasn’t able to put out enough damage and eventually succumbed to Nick’s TIE swarm.
A fun game of X-Wing using ships from the early days of the game, played just in time for the impending release of 2nd Edition!
I’m decided that I’m going all-in with Shadespire. However, despite the relatively low model count, I don’t have the time or motivation to paint all of the warbands for this game, so I recently reached out to another Shadespire player and asked him to paint Spiteclaw’s Swarm for me in exchange for a set of terrain. I recently received the finished models and I’m thrilled with the job that he did. They’re better than anything I could do myself in the mere two hours that he said it took him, and just flat out amazing for a speedpaint! Besides the overall great quality, I really like the way the green turned out on these models — a deviation from the standard studio colors for Spiteclaw’s Swarm and a great color choice in its own right.
I’ve still been mostly keeping my head down for the past few weeks, working on making new terrain and filling orders. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t done anything non-terrain related. I have been getting in a small amount of tabletop gaming time here and there.
One game that I recently got into, almost on a whim, is Shadespire. I plan on writing more about it some other time, but suffice it to say that it’s already become one of my current favorite games. Shadespire is a fast-paced, tense, tightly-designed, highly enjoyable experience that all comes in a neat little package (plus a bunch of expansions that you’ll probably want to get as well).
Gameplay aside, Shadespire also provided me with an excuse to make some new terrain pieces:
3D terrain pieces are not required to play, and I’m not the first one to make something like this, but they to enhance the experience and kick it up a notch, even when unpainted like the ones in these photos.
I really like that my address falls earlier in the day in the UPS delivery schedule.
A few pics of some new terrain pieces I finished up recently. These are based on original models by Kevin Rau and are the first of what I’m planning will be several new terrain pieces created with this style of rock.
If you look closely, you can see that the three pieces are actually all the same original model, just scaled differently on their z axis (in other words, same base size/footprint, but different heights). These were originally a commission piece for a customer. Rather than deciding on just one, he thought all three sizes looked pretty cool and bought a few of each, so I figured I’d follow suit and make all of them available in my shop.
It’s been kind of quiet here lately because I’ve pretty much had my head down working on filling orders and designing new terrain pieces. Here are a couple Tyranid-themed pieces (or Zerg-themed, if that’s how you roll) that I’ve been working on. First up is the “Thorn Prime Mini” from Worlds Over Run:
Next is an in-house take on the iconic “Spore Tower,” a staple of Tyranid invasions:
Both of these will be available in the shop soon, and there are a bunch of other Worlds Over Run pieces coming as well, which I’ll post as I work on them.
Finished up a group of Screamers of Tzeentch recently. I remember feeling weirded out the first time I came across them in a Hobbytown USA back around 2004. It took a while, but these guys grew on me by the time I got my Start Collecting box last May. To me, they strike a good balance of managing to be creepy without being too over the top nightmarish or gross.
A couple of takeaways:
1. Army Painter washes are awesome! I’ve used their Strong Tone a fair amount in the past and I’ve been experimenting a little bit with the other colors more recently, but I haven’t used them this extensively or effectively before.
2. I had a lot of fun painting these guys! There’s a fair amount of detail present, but not an overwhelming amount, and nothing that was frustrating to paint. Combined with the cool blending effects I got with the washes, I don’t remember the last time I had this much fun painting a miniature.
1. Prime white.
2. Base coat Reaper Master Series HD Blue Flame.
3. Apply liberal amount of thinned Army Painter Blue Tone.
4. Apply thinned Army Painter Purple Tone.
5. Re-apply small amounts of thinned AP Blue Tone to create more distinction between purple and blue areas.
6. Drybrush RMS HD Blue Flame to bring up highlights.
1. Basecoat RMS Linen White.
2. Apply light amount of thinned AP Soft Tone.
3. Drybrush RMS Linen White.
1. Basecoat RMS Marigold Yellow
2. Highlight RMS Clear Yellow