Friday 29 July 2016

6 Projects: part 5 (and last!)


If you've been following my blog for any length of time then you may remember my "6 Projects" meta-project.  The idea was to document progress on 6 hobby activities that I had undertaken at the same time.

Having so many works-in-progress at the same time should allow me to make good use of time waiting for paint or glue to dry; if one project was stalled then I could just work on another one!  Also, I hoped, there would be something of interest for most every reader in there and the encouragement thus generated would spur me on.

Well, that was the plan!  For a few weeks, I stormed ahead and completed 5 of the 6 sub-tasks quickly and easily.  But then I suffered the hobby equivalent of a breakdown and all but gave up for several months.  Even my blog postings have been infrequent and sparse over this period, though I never stopped completely.

Well, I can now announce (finally) that the 6 Projects task is complete!  This article is the last thing I do before I can close off that stream of hobby work.  You can only imagine the sense of relief that I am feeling right now!

Previously Completed

Remember these?  I finished all of the first 5 collections of models in the meta-project many months ago, pretty much meeting my self-imposed targets.

The Last Task

I'm very pleased to say that the 6th and final task of my 6 Projects effort has now been completed.  These are the Frostgrave figures for my "blue" warband and they are largely responsible for killing my model-making mojo.  It's not any fault of the models themselves, but simply that I found the amount of detail on them to be somewhat off putting when I was feeling under pressure to achieve my various goals.

Actually, I finished these figures about 3 weeks ago.  However, I then went away immediately for my annual summer vacation (to Galloway) and wasn't in a position to document the achievement until my return.

...or is it the end?

You'd think that I had had enough of Frostgrave models for a while, wouldn't you?  Well, I took some sprues on holiday with me and in some quiet moments between sleeping, hiking and cooking I built another 8 figures.  These will form my "red" warband when/if they are eventually painted.  Who knows - I might finish these really quickly.  It could happen...

Wednesday 6 July 2016

7TV: The Cameraman


7TV is a regular skirmish wargame in all respects apart from one.  The nominal setting is that your models do not represent spies, minions, futuristic freedom fighters or cultists at all, but rather they represent actors who are playing these roles during the filming of a TV show.

Up till now, this hasn't made any difference at all to the game and players could choose to ignore the whole "making a TV show" thing if they wanted.  However, Crooked Dice recently released what I hope is the first of many "Production Crew" miniatures: the cameraman.  And yes, 7TV does have special rules for this model, so he can take part in games as more than just set dressing!

Of course, using a cameraman (or 2, or more) is entirely optional; the game works very well even without any crew.

The Cameraman

So, what can I say about this model?  Well, firstly, it is quite a big piece; it's supplied with a 40mm round base.  The camera itself comes in 2 parts (body and pedestal), as does the operator (his right arm is a separate piece).

The moulding of most of these parts was very good, but I had to apply some remedial filler to the camera.  The top was very sunken, whilst the left hand side of the part was also a tiny bit bowed in.  Some of the repairs can just about be seen in a work-in-progress shot somewhere in this earlier post, if you're interested.  I'm hoping that this was just a single bad casting rather than an issue for all production from the same mould, but I cannot be sure.

The camera fitted to the pedestal well enough (though I pinned it for strength).  However, I had some issues fitting the operator's right arm in any position that looked plausible.  In the end, I use a combination of filing & cutting the parts and more filler to hide the gaps.  This isn't a huge issue for a model-maker of my experience and I think the result doesn't look awkward or uncomfortable.

I had to think a bit when it came to the base.  The rest of my models are typically fitted to textured bases that depict dirt, grass, roads, rubble or other outdoor surfaces.  However, the camera wouldn't really work in such an environment - at least, it would be virtually impossible to trundle it about on anything other than a hard, smooth floor.

In the end, I chose to mount the model on a really smooth base and rely on stippled paintwork to make it look like a studio's concrete or lino floor.  I did add a trailing cable made from a small length of wire, just so there would be at least some texture present.

When it came to painting this miniature, my research online suggested that a 1960s/1970s camera and pedestal would likely be different shades of grey.  I used a slightly greenish grey for the camera and a straightforward battleship grey for the rest.  After a dark wash, I then added details:
  • Control panels and cover plates were done with a variety of gunmetal, silver and white colours.
  • I painted the small dome on the top of the camera as an identification mark.  I suspect that this isn't quite what the sculptor had in mind as this protuberance is rounded rather than flat-sided.  If I were to change anything about the camera, it's this: I would replace this dome with a small cube instead.  Anyway, this miniature is now "camera 2" (no, I don't have a "camera 1" model!)
  • Finally, I added my TV company's logo to the side of the box.  This is formed from a white disk (hand painted) with a simple "CTV" logo in the middle (from a home-made decal).  Why "CTV"?  Have a guess!


This is a model that is perfect for 7TV (at least, as long as you want to go along with the "making a TV show" backstory).  It probably doesn't have many uses outside of that game, though!

I had some slight issues with the casting and fit of the camera - nothing that couldn't be fixed quite easily, but mildly irritating all the same.  I don't think that anyone would know this just by looking at the model, though; it's a fine piece once finished.

At the time of writing, the camera and operator cost £5.00 from Crooked dice.  This is very roughly 1.5 times as much as the price of one of their single 28mm figures, which seems quite reasonable given the size of the camera.

So, I'm now hoping that Crooked Dice will bring out more "Production Crew" models, with suitable rules for 7TV of course.  I've a hankering for a sound-boom operator, a makeup artist and a harried scriptwriter, at least.  Perhaps there also ought to be figures for the financial backers (who've arrived on set to find out where the money is going) and for the local rep. of the Electrician's Union (threatening to shut the place down if his comrades don't get the right number of tea breaks)?  And then there could be stunt doubles, a tea lady (with trolley, of course) and ... I'm getting a bit carried away here, aren't I?  Let's leave it at that, for now.

Sunday 3 July 2016

Super Dungeon Explore: The Kodama


I've finished off a number of models recently.  This has left me unsure which I should show in my Sunday post; should I tell you about my 7TV cameraman or my Frostgrave "blue" warband?  Eventually (and somewhat obviously, given the title of this article), I chose instead to display my Kodama warband for Super Dungeon Explore.

I'm really pleased with the way that my Kodama turned out; see what you think.

Spawn Points

All warbands in the Super Dungeon Explore game have either 1 or 2 spawn points.  These are the locations where replacement troops are placed, thus providing the heroes a near-endless supply of enemies.  For the Kodama (animated plants), the spawn point is called the Old Growth Hollow; they get 2 of these:

Old Growth Hollow (front)
Old Growth Hollow (back)

Now, I think that the Old Growth Hollow is one of the creepiest models in the game.  Not only does it look damp and decayed (those bracket fungi only grow on rotting wood), but it is surrounded by skulls and glowing green crystals.  There's definitely something not right here!


An SDE warband has (typically) 6 low-grade foot soldiers.  In the game, these are collectively called "minions".  For the Kodama warband, the minions are called "Mooks"; they look something like a very angry cabbage or cauliflower!

Mooks (front)
Mooks (rear)
 You can see some "work in progress" shots of my Mooks in the article I wrote recently on blending.  It might be interesting to compare these shots of the finished models with the incomplete versions in that post.


The Kodama are spoilt for choice when it comes to Elite warriors.  Many warbands (not all) have 2 types of elite, but the Kodama have 3.


First up are the Turnipheads.  These are best used as support troops; their medicinal radishes can be used to heal their friends.  They also have some ranged attacks, but they're not especially good at hand-to-hand combat.

Turniphead (front)
Turniphead (back)


The second class of Elite model in a Kodama warband is the Wisp.  These are not plant-creatures at all, but rather are sylph-like, magical woodland creatures with the power to lead travellers astray.  Again, they don't do well in melee combat, but these spirits have magical abilities and can easily compel adventurers to stray into bramble thickets or into the reach of some more violent foe.

Wisps (front)
Wisps (back)

Sprout & King Sprout

Finally, a Kodama warband also has access to a Sprout (the little green guy in the pictures below).  Now the Sprout isn't particularly terrifying; it's not very good in hand-to-hand or ranged combat, it doesn't have any real magical powers and there's only 1 of it.  However, if it is destroyed or if it chooses to do so then it can shapeshift into King Sprout.

Sprout and King Sprout (front)
Sprout and King Sprout (rear)

  King Sprout is a terrifying monster whose tendrils & roots can reach quite some way; it is also large enough to block many passageways and thus force the adventurers into confronting it.  Indeed, King Sprout's only real disadvantage is that it cannot move, so the Sprout had better be in the right place when it shapeshifts else the heroes will just ignore it and go some other way!


The Kodama are an interesting bunch.  Most of their models don't have a lot of hitting power (though they often have the Virulent ability which gives them bonuses against a hero who is already poisoned).  However, their elite warriors have a lot of abilities that can be combined to produce some really interesting tactics.  An obvious example might be to block a passage or doorway with King Sprout, with a pair of Turnipheads behind to heal it every time it is injured.  Let's see what the heroes make of that!