Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Dr. Benton Quest and Bandit

Dr. Benton Quest. A scientific genius who was involved in the US space program and in the forefront of research in many other areas, Dr. Benton Quest was often called upon by the US government to investigate strange happenings. Based on the 26 episodes of Jonny Quest we saw, there were a LOT of strange happenings to investigate!

Finding the right figure to represent Dr. Quest proved a bit more difficult than I first anticipated. Benton actually wore more outfits than anyone else in the main group. He had different colored lab coats, wore different colored suits, and had several different polo shirts as well. I decided to go with what I'd call the "classic" look when you think of Dr. Quest, so I went with a lab coat scientist. Though I think I'm going to make another figure of Benton in a suit, as I'm not sure how well a lab coat figure will work in different settings - a jungle for instance.

The model I went with for this first version of Benton came from Crooked Dice games. What's great about these figures is they have a separate head system so it allowed me to try to find a head that looked as close to him as possible. And I think I found the perfect one - it came from the box set of Minions I got with my other 7TV stuff.

He's holding a neat little science gadget that really captures the animated version of Quest too.

Bandit I'd actually finished about a year ago but I changed his base to a clear one to match the rest of my pulp figures. He came from one of Bob Murch's Pulp Figures line, though I can't remember exactly which one. Certainly not representative of the animated version of Bandit, but close enough.

The music soundtrack I ordered from Jonny Quest also arrived while I was finishing up the figure. It's from La La Records and honestly I can't even remember where I heard about this company, but however I did I'm so glad I did because this thing is absolutely amazing!

It's a two disc set with music from every episode, almost 130 total tracks! Limited run with only 3000 copies made too.

And here is the gang so far...

Next up the kids...

As always, thanks for looking!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Crooked Dice Goodies Have Arrived!

It was with great joy that I opened my mailbox a few days ago to see these two boxes waiting!

My order from Crooked Dice arrived safely from across the pond just over two weeks from when I placed the order. I went overboard as I usually do when I see really cool stuff, and these guys certainly have a ton of really cool stuff available!

The top of the box has some really neat retro artwork along with images of two figures from one of their more recent releases, a hero (a very James Bond looking chap) and a villain (a very early style Ernst Stavro Blofeld looking chap), both expertly painted by the brilliant Kev Dallimore.

The back of the box.

The side of the box.

And what I found inside once I took the cover off.

The contents of the box; blast template, dice, gadget and countdown cards, unit cards, tokens and plot points markers.

It's really neat how the guys at Crooked Dice have created and presented these rules. 7TV is essentially a fictitious television studio from the 60s and 70s that produced both television shows and also movies. So your games are basically episodes of a show or parts of a movie. Personally I think this is just genius, and really looking forward to seeing how it actually plays out on the tabletop.

The mcguffin plot point is a retro style tv!

The rules are in two different books; the main rules in your 'Directors Guide' and the rules for your "casts" (your figures) -both pre-made and how to create your own- in the 'Producers Guide'.

I will say that I don't particularly like how the rule books aren't a normal book size. But maybe that's because every single rule book or supplement book I own, or have ever owned for that matter, has been like that and that's what I'm used to.

When I first printed out the pdf download I bought for Ghostbusters, the Paranormal Exterminators Program Guide, I initially thought something was wrong with the file because of how it looked. It was when I opened the main box and saw the two rules books I realized that was how it was supposed to be. Definitely not what I would have preferred. Just one nerds opinion though, it doesn't take away from the game in the least.

I absolutely love Ray Harryhausen, I think he was a genius and he was without question someone who influenced me to build models and create worlds of my own. Here's a photo of my autographed Harryhausen  picture - which I'm sure is a fake, but it doesn't matter. It is right above my desk and it is an inspiration to me every time I look at.

I'd heard about 7th Voyage (the tag line is 'wargaming in the world of stop motion mythic fantasy') a while ago, but I felt that I had enough rules and different time periods going on that even though I loved the setting of the game, I wouldn't make the purchase. Until it just happened to be on sale when I bought all my other 7TV stuff! So hopefully in the near future I can play a game on the tabletop in the same spirit of a Harryhausen movie; Talos and some skeletons have to be up first I think :)

I also picked up a whole bunch of figures. Most of them definitely fall into that "minion" category, where I'll use them as guards for a villains lair or something similar. This first box is actually the Minions Starter Set!

These next groups of figures are from their Department X range. But again, very minion like, and even though they are supposed to be good guys, I can see them being used in the same way as the set above for the bad guys. 

I also grabbed a set of the scientists. I had thought I'd found a good proxy for Dr. Benton Quest, of Jonny Quest fame, but when I opened that figure it turned out to be not even close to what I had envisioned. So Crooked Dice to the rescue! The top left figure is now going to be Dr. Quest!

And last but not least, my Ghostbusters figures. These guys will round up my named characters for the game. The Dana Barrett and Louis Tully figures are just amazing! Hopefully I can paint them well enough to do the sculpts justice.

Lots of goodies from the guys at Crooked Dice, so a big thanks to Karl Perrotton for getting me all sorted! Stay tuned for a rules overview and maybe even a test run of a game.

As always, thanks for looking!

Monday, October 17, 2016

"Made It Ma, Top Of The World!"

I absolutely love that quote from "White Heat". And it's just a great movie beginning to end too; James Cagney in full on gangster mode, brilliant! Why hasn't someone made a Cody Jarret figure anyway?

Well, that's kind of how I felt when I saw the newest issue, #348, of Wargames Illustrated. My Chicago Way table and game from Historicon got a full page of coverage, with 4 photos and a pretty neat couple of paragraphs about it.

When the issue finally arrived in the mail, I immediately went to the Historicon coverage pages. It's always neat to flip through that section of the magazine each October and look over the photos because it's the only time I can ever say "I got see that in person" when looking through the magazine, or sometimes quite the opposite, and be like "when was that game, I totally missed that?".

I have to admit I did have a small hope that I might see a picture of my table, but even if I didn't that was ok. The three days that I had it set up, I got a ton of people taking pictures, asking questions, and giving compliments, which was absolutely amazing in itself. That definitely made it worth all the time and effort I put into the board.

I have to give a big thanks to Dave Taylor, from, who I'm 99% certain is responsible for all the photos of my table. I remember talking with Dave (mostly because of that black shirt he always wears with his awesome logo on the back, plus I've seen him a lot over the years at H-con) on Thursday about the table, buildings, models, and game. And also him taking some photos of the board, and specifically moving a few models around to create a bit more of a narrative feel. So thanks a lot Dave!

Also want to give a shout out to my friend Miles Reidy, who also got a full page spread on the very next page no less! If you've read any old posts or have been following from the beginning you'll recognize the name. He's definitely someone I try to emulate when I attempt to run a game. I've even coined the term "The Reidy Doctrine" which states "We're here to have fun! I'm going to make mistakes with the rules" which I make sure to say before every game I run. I've had the privilege to play in at least one, but usually more, of Miles' games since I've been going to Historicon, and he never disappoints. Definitely check out his blog if you have the chance

So of course this absolutely raises the stakes for next year at Historicon - can I make something just as good to get back into Wargames Illustrated? Hopefully. I've got three solid ideas for games and tables, and of course you've already seen one of those with Ghostbusters, so I guess we'll see!

As always, thanks for looking!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Ghostbusters Updates and WIPs

Though not a lot of updates on the blog, lots of pieces and parts coming in for the Ghostbusters game and also lots of WIPs getting finished for other games as well, so very pleased with the current progress.

Finally got through making plates for almost all my trees. I still need to complete maybe 5 or 6 more plates and that will actually clear every tree I have built currently (I still have two boxes of Woodland Scenics trees that do need built, but those may end up going into the 'ebay sell' pile).

I used the pieces of MDF from my failed attempt at modular streets for my Dead Man's Hand game I tried a few years ago to make the tree plates. It's 1/8" thick MDF that I cut into both circular and kidney shaped pieces, then I cut and sanded down the edges to give them a softer edge. Not having the hard edge makes the transition much more visually appealing in my opinion. 

I cut the bases of some of the trees a little and then just super glued them down. I had thought about doing magnets again, like I did with The Chicago Way board, but ultimately decided to go with the quicker option just to get them on the table.

Since the MDF was already brown in color I didn't even bother putting down an undercoat of brown to simulate dirt. PVA brushed on the MDF and then flock applied, completed all the plates in less than an hour.

Above and below are some of the completed trees (but realized when taking the pictures I forgot to paint the bottom trunks, oops). I now have 15 tree plates to use for games and I couldn't be happier about not having to set up individual trees anymore!

I also finally completed a couple of resin hills I've had for close to a year.

These are really nice solid resin pieces that I grabbed super cheap off of Ebay. No bubbles in the cast at all, a quick spray with some primer and they were ready to go.

I went through with some cheap tan acrylic paint and painted the areas of rock.

And then went with a brown acrylic paint where I was going to have grass. Then it was PVA and flock over those spots.

I used Citadel Nuln Oil for my wash of the rocks. Dollar wise, probably not the best choice for a project this large, as with all Citadel products it's pretty expensive, but I felt the end result was definitely worth it.

I also primed and started to paint some pulp objective markers I picked up close to a year ago as well. I thought these could work well for Pulp Alley, but perhaps they could work for 7TV too. They are from Spartan Games, and the castings are absolutely fantastic! They are made from resin, with no bubbles and absolutely zero clean up needed.

The only thing I don't care for is the bases they are on. The base is actually a part of the mold, so there really isn't a way to separate the objective from it unless you went Dremel crazy. A bit disappointing because I feel it makes them look a bit too big, though I do think they are originally made for a 32mm game.

The detail on each individual objective marker is amazing. Hopefully I can get them painted up to the standard they deserve. Stay tuned.

I also got my gates together for the Manor table. Unfortunately I don't see any way to get the gates to actually open and close. Damn 4Ground has completely spoiled me with opening and closing doors!

The ghosts, spooks, and spectres have slowly been starting to arrive to tangle with our ghost busting heroes. Lots of Reaper Bones figures, along with some D&D miniatures as well.

The Reaper figures look fantastic right out of the package! Maybe a light dry brush to bring out some highlights, but they look pretty much ready go now as you can see from the first photos up top.

The D&D figures aren't nearly as good as the Reaper stuff, but I think they can add a bit of variety, especially when I get them rebased. Really like the bat swarms :)

And finally, trying to clean up and paint some neat little scenery pieces for more of a spy-fi pulp like game. Again, another Ebay purchase, which have some really fun lab equipment or super villain lair pieces. Computers, lockers, terminals, filing cabinets, there is even a copy machine! Unfortunately these do have quite a lot of bubbles in the castings that need filled.

A quick final photo of the table set up with The Chicago Way figures for a Little Bohemia scenario shootout I had.

More updates coming soon!

As always, thanks for looking!