Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Sekret Projekt: ''Da Wing''

So my Keizai Waza (see:  Nuclear Launch Detected ) went back from the ''work in progress'' to the ''to do list''.

Why?? Because the week in Vegas (see:  Gama 2012 Report ) went between me and the painting of the squad...It is that easy. Although Keizai Waza is still in my top priority, my attention shifted to my ork army, a favorite of mine, that will see intense action during Arena Montreal:  http://arena-montreal.com/

Arena Montreal was for me the occasion to try and build for my army something I really wanted to do a looooong time ago: 

Flying Trukks.

Here's ''Da Wing'' a flying trukk, made of a plastic glass, foam, debit machine rolls, a big shoota and a robot ''r2-d2'' style, probably looted at some Tau encampment and ''upgraded'' by da boyz.

Let's go step by step on how to build ''Da Wing'', ideally, I wanted 3 of them to make for a really impressive diorama and to be the only mean of transport for da boyz = have a stronger theme for the team at the tournament.

Step 1: Materials and tools

For ONE Wing you need:

-1 Plastic Glass
-1 Plastic Wine Cup
-3 Kinder Surprises Eggs (eat the chocolate, give the toy to your kid, keep the egg for da boyz)
-1 Insulation Foam Sheet (1'' thickness)
-1 to 2 plasticard (aka styrene sheet) tubes
-2 plasticard rod very thin shaped like rivets
-1 to pack of styrene sheet (thin like paper)
-1 styrene sheet (yep, not a pack) thicker (thick enough that it doesn't fold)
-3 small debit machine rolls (the plastic thing in the middle of them)
-2 Warhammer 40k Leman Russ' Dozer Blade
-1 Warhammer 40k unidentified bit, probably a dozer blade's support.
-More Warhammer 40k bits (armour plates, ork guns, etc...)

-Super Glue
-White Glue
-Cutter (or exacto)
-An old mousepad

Where to:
-You can find the top 3 materials at a local supermarket
-The insulation foam can be found in a renovation store
-Plasticard and styrene sheet (its the same) can both be found online or at a local hobby shop
-Small Debit Machine Rolls (the center) can be salvaged at work if you get the opportunity to change them or ask your boss nicely, else, find bigger plasticard tubes.
-All the Warhammer 40k bits can be ordered on their website...or found in you collection, or you can trade for them, or bought on e-bay, etc. If anything, you probably can skip them and and scratchbuild the bits with plasticard.

-When you bought flowers, chocolate and did a massage to your wife/girlfriend.
-When you finished your university homework
-When the kids are at their grandpa's
= When you have a day off!! (and by one day, I mean one day)

Step 2: Get ta Work ya lazy gits!!
-Measure your foam, cut wings in it. Once one wing is done, use it to draw the shape of the other wings in the foam.
-Once your two wings are done, glue one to the plastic glass using white glue (as superglue will melt the foam). You can scratch the surface of the plastic glass with the cutter in order to give glue a grip. It can take some time to dry
-Then you glue the debit machine roll/bigger plasticard tube on the wing and on the glass, superglue on the glass and white glue on the wing.
-When that's done, glue the dozer blade, it should touch the ''engine'' but be aligned with the edge of the glass.
-Put the unidentified (dozer blade support I think) bit aligned with the glass' edge and touching the dozer blade, glue to it with superglue. Take one ''engine'' and glue it to it. bits (refer to second picture below).
-cut the plasticard tube into 2 small tubes that can go from one of the dozer blade's clip to the wing. glue them to the dozer blade with superglue.

You got one wing done. Repeat the process almost backward: start with the dozer blade, then the engine and then the wing, ideally both wings should be aligned...But if this is not the case then you'll say this plane as adaptable wings (and that's why we glued these plasticard tubes ;)) In the case where your wings wouldn't align, try and get them to be more downward as it gives a more aggressive feel to the model.

Now the cockpit and front: glue the top part of the plastic wine cup to the glass (in my case they fit perfectly). To make the model more aggressive and give him some ''fighter plane look'' I glued to small triangles cut in the thicker plasticard (yup that's what it was for) on the wine cup.

Now, with absolute luck, it should look like this:

If it does, then you got yourself a ''Blorkade Runner'' frame. Yup, that 's not ''Da Wing'' anymore because this model doesn't look like a wing at all so I changed the name.

 Step 3: Better put some more armor plates on dat boss!
If there 's one thing I like about ork vehicles, it's the ramshackle look and the fact that orks put tons and tons of small metal plates to create the shielding.
Now you don't want these beautiful wings you spent so much time building to melt when you'll spraypaint the basecoat of you Blorkade Runner and you sure as hell don't want to use more of that nasty white glue that takes so much time to dry!!!
Well bad news boy: its time to use that slowpoke-drying white glue one last time.

But first cut in the paper-thin plasticard in shape of the wing, do that 4 times (for top and bottom), now cut stripes to glue on the side of the wings.(front, side, rear)
 As you're a genius you'll probably have removed a rectangle from both pieces that go on top of the wing in order to have them fit with the engines.

You're ready? okay its time, and I promise its going to be the last time, use that horrendously-slow-drying white glue and glue the plasticard on the wings.

Next on the list is the windows. I thought a long time as whether or not I should put some on the cockpit or have my orks fly ''blind'' using some radar/sonar/orky technology. I decided they could use all three AND have small windows.
As we already glued the cockpit to the body it was too late to (apologize) build an ork pilot and have plastic windows giving a view inside.
Instead, I did ''old school tank windows'', same as the one you were doing as a little kid.
Then I aligned and glued them on the Blorkade Runner.

It should look like this.
Now there 's no picture of the next step but basically you're cutting rectangles and squares (and sometimes triangles) in the thin plasticard and putting it almost everywhere on the frame. Some squares overlap others, do not hesitate to put useless and exaggerated armor: orks love it and it will probably work!!

 Step 4: Everyday I'm riveting... 
You really need to like your project and go the extra mile now because this next step is about to change your world: You're going to cut and glue rivets and the Blorkade Runner's armor plates.
And by that I mean hours and hours of breathing superglue fumes while your fingers can't get a hold on the small rivets.

If you're up to the challenge there 's no time to lose: take the old mousepad, the cutter and the plasticard rivet rod and cut a ton of them. Then put dots of glue (with a toothpick or the glue bottle if it 's precise enough) where rivets will go. Don't put it everywhere as it will dry. Only do 5-6 rivets at a time before doing putting more glue.
Use the very pointy tip of the cutter to gently poke a rivet, put it in the dot of glue.
Now you got the technique, use it until the Blorkade Runner has all its plates attached.


Step 5: Almost Done...
So after long excruciating hours of gluing rivets to the Blorkade Runner, it should finally look like a true GW model or even better!
Don't rejoice too quickly: there's still a lot to be done but that will be in part 2 as I didn't had the time to finish this project (university got in the way).

In the next episode:
-how to build a turret out of a kinder surprise egg
-how to close the back of your Blorkade Runner (and hopefully make a ramp to allow the boyz to get out)
-how to use a Citadel Flight Stand for your Blorkade Runner.
-Other cool tips and tricks.

Until then, here are some pictures of my almost complete Blorkade Runner, Kaptin Zugnut (my ork warboss) as agreed to pose for scale purpose and because he's awesome.

 ''Oy wots dis?! Dis eez not like da planz!!''
''Zog!!! Da inside is not even finished!! Looks like my powerklaw has some 'eads to cut!!''

See you next time!!


Sunday, 25 March 2012

I think I will take Antarctica...

So what can I say about Dystopian Wars?

I could say it has awesome looking models, great fluff, and a rulebook so poorly written it would make DP9 proud. (sad but true... Thank god there is a revised edition coming out to fix this) But most importantly, could say that it's got a continent full of scientists, and they are pissed! That continent would be Antarctica. Home to penguins and some of the most frightening technology known to man. Don't ask me why, but I was inexplicably drawn to these guys. Below is a picture of my first models for my army, the Zeno class armored cruiser. These models are shipped as one piece of resin and as such I thought the would be perfect for my test figs. One thing I should mention is that like all resins you should wash these models in slightly soapy water and allow them to completely dry before you prime and paint.




Originally, I had planned to paint them in lighter tones, but I think the end result looks good. The grays give them a more realistic military feel I think. Another thing I really liked was the speed with which these models paint up. The three models in the picture probably took only an hour and a half to paint.

Next up, the Prometheus class dreadnought.

I am going to get this guy magnatised and hopefully have him painted up by the end of the weekend.:)


Monday, 19 March 2012

GAMA 2012 Report (Part 2)

So CoolMiniOrNot had so many new things that I needed to split my report in 2 parts in order to avoid making too long a thread.

Other Games that caught my attention at GAMA:

-Resident Evil the Deckbuilding Game (by Bandai):Nothing new here, I just got a demo to try that game and... I was very disappointed with it. Lots of nice stuff in it (your character can evolve, you fight zombies in the mansion) but two things bothered me during this demo:
1: the artworks
2: the guy that gave the demo.

The artworks are from the videogame (or made digitally) and I don't like them nor the design of the cards.
The guy that gave the demo didn't really cared at all and wanted to be done with it.

Other than that, a fun game, but when it comes to Deckbuilding games I think I still prefer Ascension or Tanto Cuore to it.

-Smash Up (by AEG): Its a ''Shufflebuilding Game''. Basically, you have eight factions: pirates, zombies, dinosaur, ninjas, robots, tricksters, aliens and one last one I can't remember.
You choose two of these factions and shuffle their deck together, you then play against your opponent who will have done the same thing (with different factions). Looks like a lot of fun and won't be too expensive to buy. (its also a boardgame)

-Mercantos (by AEG): An Euro boardgame part of a trilogy of euro boardgames which are all based in the same setting but don't have the same gameplay. I'm just mentioning it despite the fact that both design and the idea of a euro boardgame didnt interest me.

-Nightfall ''Coldest of War'' (by AEG): For the Nightfall fans out there, another expansion. The setting is in eastern Europe (where it all began). There was also a talk of AEG making a box containing both Nightfall and its expansion #1 as they thought it was the way the game should be played.

-Leviathans (by Cathalyst): If you like the idea of flying battlecruisers, then this game is for you. (or play the French in Dystopian Wars) I couldn't get a demo, but here 's a cool picture my boss took of it.

They come ''pre-painted'' but the paint coat is very light to allow repainting them.

-Kaijudo (by Wizards of the Coast): Well, this is a CCG aimed at kids from 8 to 12 years old. It has 5 elements very similar to the colors of Magic: The Gathering, big monsters drawn in an anime style and mechanics inspired by Duel Masters.
The Wizards of the Coast people seemed very confident that Kaijudo would do well in USA, apparently it is going to be the biggest launch in Hasbro's history.(It will even have its own tv cartoon!)
All I could think was ''Redakai #2'' or ''Duel Masters #2'' both of which I don't see any kids playing nowadays.
Two questions popped in my head: ''Why would kids drop their yu-gi-oh/pokemons/magic for this?'' and ''does Magic really needs another gateway game?''
But in the end I guess that Kaijudo is aimed at a market segment that isn't fully exploited by Wizards (despite being saturated by its competitors), they want a slice of the cake.

-Puppet Wars (by Wyrd): Repackaging and new stuff on the horizon...Didn't got a lot of details from Eric and Nathan. No nicely painted minis to take pictures of...

And now...


(picture property of Attempted Murder Games)

-Disaster Looms: I'm not the biggest boardgame fan, I still played more boardgames than most people, but usually I'm more biased toward miniature wargames.
Disaster Looms, however, was the best game I had the chance to play at Gama.
The end of the Planet Earth as we know it is near and customers are counting on their beloved corporation to evacuate them to more hospitable colonies...
You Explore space, find planets, drop your customers on them, research new technologies, franchise your opponents' planets, make your technologies public knowledge or license your opponents', etc...
A whole lot of fun with very interesting ideas! And that's without counting the fact that when exploring space you trigger some unexpected game-changing events.

My boss and I registered the store to get a Beta so we could break that game and send ideas. What we played during the GAMA gamenight was already so good that Eric, the game designer and head of Attempted Murder Games, Aaron, my boss and myself stayed after they closed the ballroom to discuss all the ideas that we got for improvements and expansions.

 I don't have any pictures of the game as I didn't brought my camera to the gaming night...Here 's some I ''borrowed without permission'' from Attempted Murder Games and my boss.

From left to right: Eric, myself and Aaron.

From Left to right: Dan (my boss), myself and Aaron.

I'm now waiting impatiently for that demo copy to arrive at the store ( Gamers' Vault ). For those of you who don't want to miss on that wonderful game, check Kickstarter: They scheduled an auction for end of April.

And that marks the end of my Gama 2012 Report.
I learned a lot from the seminars and got some nice previews of some of the great games for 2012 and I hope this report makes you as excited for 2012 as I was at GAMA seeing all these new models and new games...

And if you're wondering ''what about Privateer Press?'' Well it's simple, they didn't show up. They might be too busy or think it's not worth the trip to Vegas, I don't know but at least there 's all these other companies to remind us its not all about the big names!!

PS: Games Workshop showed up but they had no previews so I didn't talk about them.

GAMA 2012 Report (Part 1)

So I had the luck to go to GAMA.

For those who don't know about GAMA: its the game manufacturers convention. Basically game manufacturers meet in Las Vegas to show their upcoming products and talk about them to retailers. Retailers meet to attend seminars and meet distributors and manufacturers.

Games I checked at GAMA:

Its going to be a BIG YEAR for CoolMiniOrNot!

-Dark Age: is going to have a new expansion called ''Devastation'' in which the CORE (industrial robots left by a corporation) re-awaken.

 Say hello to the Pathfinder: the big monstrosity in the middle.
 Side view of your new best friend: the Rend.
Front view of the Rend.

GAMA was also the opportunity for me to get a demo of the game, despite the fact that I had the two rulebooks and 2 starters + a couple of miniatures since Gencon, I had never played or tried the game before.
I can say the game is definitively good! I was a little afraid of how this whole d20 system would work but it was pretty smooth and things died fast if you exposed them. A good dark sci-fi game to check out!!
Their website: http://www.dark-age.com/

-Super Dungeon Explore: Another great game under the wing of CoolMiniOrNot, this time designed by Soda Pop Minis Studios.
I must say Super Dungeon is in my top 5 best miniature games I own and I was awaiting patiently the expansions. GAMA was the occasion for me to see what was coming! (although I already knew about the turtles aka Rocktop Gang since Gencon 2011)

 Gotta love these turtles! When you kill them they leave a little shell ''a la Super Mario''. (shell not displayed here)

I think this is a new mini boss. 

But we already knew all this stuff back from Gencon 2011...But wait there's more:

That's right! A new anti-hero for Super Dungeon Explore!
How will he work and who will he work for?? My guess is that he'll be under the control of the Dungeon Lord.

As you can see there's a full new expansion with two (or three?) new heros, in addition to the turtles there will be the Fireflow citizens! (little creatures of flame...Plus a mega-boss)
Sadly my pictures of the Fireflow Citizens are too blurry for me to post.(My camera is dying, I accept donations ;))

-Relic Knigts: the other game by Soda Pop Miniatures. I eared a lot of good things about it but never got a demo...even at GAMA. Beautiful minis for it, as a painter point of view it's paradise! The game should be released during Gencon 2012 if I recall correctly.
As I don't follow the new for Relic Knights I don't know what's new and what isn't.

 Hasami (apparently not really new)
Well I do know One-shot isn't new at all...But I like the model too much.

There's also Jetbikes with Suicide Queen on one of them.
Relic Knights looks very promising, Now I need a demo of it.

-Sedition Wars: Did you like Space Hulk? Did you like video-games like Doom, Alien Swarm or Dead Space?? Then you'll probably love Sedition Wars!
My boss and I got a demo from Mike McVey and I must say it was quite good.
 It's all about a nanovirus.
Me playing the Infected on the prototype demo.

In the demo, my opponent played a kill-team led by Captain Kara Black and it is supposed to purge the level of a spacelab from infected. 
The game was pretty intuitive and easy to learn despite all the abilities. Beautiful minis and interesting concepts (you can infect the humans and the infection spreads in them...at some point your big boss, depending on who he his and his abilities, can start taking control of infected humans. When they reach the final level of infection, the humans turn to your side and evolve into fully infected).
Released at Gencon 2012.

Well, you thought that was it for CoolMiniOrNot at GAMA? Nope, they had one more suprise in their sleeves, this announcement: Confrontation is back!! (I'll update that as I get more infos)

As I said, a big year for CoolMiniOrNot.

Here's link to part two of the report: PART 2 of GAMA 2012 REPORT

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Nuclear Launch Detected (Part 2)

(Fanfiction) A Brief history of the トラ (Blue Tiger) Sub-company:

Blue Tiger had a lot to play in the Japanese space program as well as in mercs armor development. Originally manned by Japanese space-entrepreneurs who wanted to develop space tourism, the blue tiger had to develop its own spaceship design in order to build orbital tourist resorts and then bring them there.

In 2137, The Blue Tiger Company was bought by what would later be known as the Keizai Waza Corporation.
The Keizai Waza wasn't interested as much in the space tourism as in the technologies these space entrepreneurs had, more specifically the Helium-Atomic Battery (a GFR, Gas-cooled Fast Reactor).
Although at the time it had been bought, the Helium-Atomic Battery design the Blue Tiger possessed was made for powering spaceships and orbital hotels, its energy production levels were promising and it seemed the technology had a lot of potential.

 2153, due to the nature of its projects, Blue Tiger is given military contracts by the Keizai Waza, more precisely launching defense or spy satellites and miniaturizing the the Helium-Atomic battery so it can be used to power the new MERCS armor prototype. In addition to these contracts, the Blue Tiger was assigned several Mercs teams in order to protect launch sites, laboratory and company offices.

From 2153-2183: The Blue-Tiger, while fully incorporated into Keizai Waza research department was able to keep its name within the Keizai-Waza corporation, speculations are it is a reward for having successfully miniaturized the helium-atomic battery and the good completion of its military contracts.
The Mercs assigned to their office have their own color of armor and have access to one of the most ruthless weapon developed from their space technology:the Tactical Nuke (although toxins were designed by other labs).

The Keizai Waza Forward Observer

 Wow! The power of the nuke blast is hitting the Forward Observer making him almost stumble. 
Or maybe he's like the Pathfinder and the rest of the team: not glued on their bases and awaiting their shiny new bases from Secret Weapon.

Hope you like it!! I had A LOT of fun painting this mini and it is probably my favorite design out of the team.

On the battlefield this guy is where the heat is to admire the marvel of technology that Keizai Waza has: The Tactical Nuke. (On a side note: he's very generous.)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

MERCS... how I fell in love with a world of corporate security.

Late last summer I was sitting in my local gaming store talking to the manager of about a skirmish Sci-Fi game by the name of Infinity. I had just discovered it via Beasts Of War Infinity week and I couldn't say enough good things about it. Infinity had everything I was looking for in a game.

Guns: Check
Cool looking figs: Check
Easy to learn rules: err... kinda check ish...

Ok, so it had ALMOST everything I was looking for in a game. The rule books were not as easy to read as I would have liked, but they were free online from the creators of the game so I didn't really have anything to complain about. That's when the manager asked me if I had ever looked into MERCS. Now, I had checked it out earlier in the year and at that time MERCS consisted of 6-8 really cool models and no rules. To be honest, I thought he was nuts for even trying to compare MERCS to Infinity. Then he did something that changed my life... he handed me his copy of the rulebook. For those of you who are truly geeky I am sure you will understand the feeling of sheer joy achieved by picking up a quality rulebook. A hard cover with a satin finish, colour interior, all printed on a high quality paper... As I held this book in my hands I couldn't help but be impressed. I looked at him and asked "how much"? "Thirty five plus tax" he replied. I had only one word to answer him with... "SOLD".

I sat down in that store and read that book from cover to cover. I wont go into details about the content of the book aside from saying the book is well thought out. It is organised in a logical fashion with excellent diagrams and pictures to explain rules. The language of the book is clear and straightforward and so easy to read. This easy read was a nice change after the struggle that I had with Infinity. Some of the things that attracted me to the game the most were the unique mechanics it employs. Things like snap to cover, model by model initiative, and card movement. (While some of these may seem tedious, I assure you they are not, and once familiar with the game it plays very smoothly.)

Having read the rules all that was left to do was pick up some figs. The choices at the time were FCC, CCC and Kemvar. I decided to go with the CCC as I had seen pics of the "Heavy" online and had thought he was one sweet looking little dude. Opening the blisters of figs I was once again impressed by the quality of the product. Mold lines and flash were practically non existent and the quality of the sculpts was very good. Before I left the store that day I had all my CCC assembled. A week later, I bought the Kemvar to keep my CCC company in my mini case. :)

Fast Forward 7 months... I own every faction and every model currently available for the game. Below you will find some examples of my work and my progress as I paint every model that MERCS currently offers. I am aiming for tabletop quality and I would like to have everything painted by June if possible. I think at my current speed it should be doable. As always, CC is welcome. Wish me luck!


MERCS CCC SniperMERCS CCC SniperMERCS CCC AssaultMERCS CCC AssaultMERCS CCC HeavyMERCS CCC IncineratorMERCS CCC IncineratorMERCS CCC Assault LeaderMERCS CCC Assault Leader