Brigand Pass

This piece is a bit of departure from the scatter terrain that I normally make, being mounted on a 2’x2′ tile. The concept behind this style is that the tiles can be used individually for an encounter in D&D, or as a diorama or display board. I also made a series of WIP videos which you can check out at the Terrainify Facebook page.

 

 

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Small Stepped Hill – Badlands Theme

I’ve been experimenting with a new style of terrain piece, not to mention getting some more use out of the tree models that I sculpted over two years ago but which I hadn’t started using until recently. This is my version of a “stepped hill,” although I might call them something else if I can think of something flashier.

When making terrain, there’s normally a trade-off between aesthetic quality and playability. Stepped hills, with their relatively large expanses of flat surfaces are typically more abstract and less realistic than hills with a more “dynamic” design, but this also makes it easier to position miniatures on them. I think this design manages to retain the advantages of stepped hills without sacrificing too much in terms of aesthetics.

I painted this piece in the “Badlands” theme, which I’ve really fallen in love with of late since tweaking it by adding the Shadow’s Edge Miniatures grass tufts. It was a minor change, but because it’s such a simple color scheme, I think the little bit of additional color from the green tufts helps it pop.

Breath of the Wild-Inspired World Map

We’ve been playing Breath of the Wild as a family lately, and constantly referring to he map while exploring this huge game has inspired my six year old to create a map of her own, “Crystalworld.” She points out that the orange and green land masses have share a similar design, a concept inspired by the “Dueling Peaks” mountains in Breath of the Wild. We’ll have to wait and see if further development of the history, places, and people that make up this world will be forthcoming.

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Small Forest Vignette + Galdanoth

I finished up this scene using the test colors that I previewed a few days ago.

In addition to the new color scheme, there were actually several other things I was testing out with this piece: combining different terrain elements to create a new model; using 3D modeling software to plan out and create the scene; and using Realistic Water to simulate a low area of ground that’s normally dry but which had flooded with a few inches of water due to recent heavy rains.

This is a fairly small piece, but now that I have a “proof of concept” I can easily scale it up or design a new piece using similar elements and do a step-by-step. Below is a comparison of the 3D model to the finished version. It’s hard to see in the screen cap, but I added a small lip to the edge of the base to contain the Realistic Water. I designed the tree armature to provide enough structure to attach clump foliage to represent leaves, but to work without foliage as a dead tree or as part of a winter scene.

3D modelSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

The new colors also proved to be just what I was looking for for a basing theme for one of my miniatures (“Galdanoth, Elf Sniper” from Reaper). I had painted this mini a few years ago, and had a mental image of what I wanted to do for a base, but I hadn’t been able create anything that matched what I had been envisioning until now. The decorative base is from CMON’s base Kickstarter from a few years ago. They packed a tremendous amount of detail into these, but I went the quick route and just did a simple paintjob with various flocks and scatter on top to match the rest of the vignette.

 

 

Lastly, there’s one more reason I’m glad to have finally completed Galdanoth: He’s the miniature that my gaming group at the time used to represent our friend Michael’s character in a short-lived D&D campaign back in 2013. Michael tragically passed away that summer before I finished painting this mini, and we abandoned the campaign after his death, but still I think of him every time I see this mini. Michael, I still miss you, man.

Some Thoughts on the GW-FFG split – Part 2

A little less than a year after it was announced that Fantasy Flight and Games Workshop would be parting ways, WizKids just announced that they’re partnering with Games Workshop to “extend the Warhammer 40,000 universe IP across multiple categories, including, Dice Building Games™, board games and more… WizKids will create two new board games, along with dice games based in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, with additional plans to republish classic board games Fury of Dracula and Relic.”

So, basically what FFG had been doing up until about a year ago. I think Nicolas Cage’s character in Con Air summed up my assessment of this new situation the best:

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In this scene, there’s a ’67 Corvette Sting Ray tethered to the back of a C-123 transport aircraft. While it’s in flight.

 

Nothing against WizKids (I really wanted to like D&D Attack Wing!), but in terms of board games and miniatures, they’ve always seemed like the store-brand alternative to the more expensive name-brand. I suppose if you’re a Trekkie you’d go for Star Trek Attack Wing over X-Wing Miniatures, but the general consensus is that X-Wing is the better game (both in terms of quality of the components and the game itself), and it’s certainly the more popular one. So for Games Workshop to be partnering with them less than a year after announcing their split with FFG seems like a major step down for them.

I had always assumed that it was GW that wanted to end the arrangement with FFG because I couldn’t see the upside of FFG wanting to break away, but maybe this wasn’t the case. Of course, I’m only speculating without the benefit of insider knowledge, so maybe there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation, similar to how the events of Con Air naturally led to a ’67 Corvette Sting Ray being tethered to the back of a C-123 transport aircraft while it is was flight.

Or hey, it’s 2017. We’ve got a pair of infantile man-children at the helm of two different countries playing chicken with their nations’ nuclear arsenals, the Cubs have a shot at winning the World Series for a second year in a row, and Princess Leia is dead*. Maybe GW partnering with WizKids instead of FFG is just part of the new normal.

 

*I’m not speculating on Leia’s fate based on the trailer for The Last Jedi that was recently released; I’m referring to Carrie Fisher. Still haven’t gotten over that one.

“THAC0” appears in the 5e PHB!

Came across this (admittedly extremely old-school gamer nerdy) Easter egg the other day while scouring the index in the back of the D&D 5th edition Player’s Handbook for something else entirely:

THAC0

I was already aware of the “couch gag”-style blurbs that appear at the front of each book because I’m just the type of person who looks at that part of the book; but I hadn’t heard about THAC0 being included as entry in the index. Sure, it just redirects you to the entry for “attack roll,” but the fact that it actually appears in printed form at all serves both as an inside joke for old-school gamers that’s sure to confound anyone who started playing D&D with 3rd Edition and later, and further indication of Wizard’s dedication to reaching out and reuniting D&D players under one banner.