On the painting table ... Bat Family

On the painting table ... Bat Family

Batman: The Miniatures Game – I finally picked up the rule book for this and my Suicide Squad starter box arrived so I'm trying to get models to at least a basic minimum paint job before I put it on the table. It's not the most efficient way to paint but for getting things on the table it's quick to block in the colors and put down a wash. Then I can go back and birng them up to a higher level at a later date.

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In the darkest night ... City Scenics from TT Combat

In the darkest night ... City Scenics from TT Combat

Terrain – So I've been bit by the Batman bug (I hope it didn't have rabies.) The idea of a dirty dark city appeals to me (maybe that's why I live in Metro-Detroit) so when I started painting some models for a client for the Batman Miniatures game I started doing some research and found some pretty nice MDF terrain. I know, I know groan sigh more crap that needs to be air-brushed to show any detail right? In fact sir that would be where you're wrong.

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XYZ 3D Printer ... Dumpster Printing

Terrain Making – A while back a friend was kind enough to gift me a 3D Printer, up until recently I haven't had time to really do much more with it than take it out of the box. (Initially the issue was my old ass Mac wouldn't run the software which turned into not having time to mess with it). Last weekend I finally got it up and running and downloaded a few designs from thingiverse.com to try printing.

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Parking Lot Pimping - Near Future Gaming

I'm beginning to re-look at a near future terrain project I've had sitting on the back burner. I've been kicking around the idea of running a Judge Dredd game as well as busting out MERCS again. Both of these games take place in the near future and as such need a different style of terrain than my ruined city scape from 40K and my wild west/victorian themed terrain from Malifaux. 

The problem with near future is getting it to feel right. We're obviously not going to have flying cars all over the place anytime soon. Maybe some type of hovercraft or VTOL style transports for the military and very rich but the common man is going to be stuck on the ground for the most part. I like the take on vehicles from the Dredd 3D movie and also in Looper. In particular in Looper with many cars having solar panels or other modifications to older model cars to make them use an alternative fuel. It's subtle but you can see it if you look close. In Dredd they look very similar to what we drive around today.

Keeping that in mind I've been looking for a good solution for cars in the 28-30mm scale. I've found the 1:43 scale is pretty close for most miniature lines in those scales. Some look chunkier than others but overall it's a passible solution. 

Having settled on a scale that should work I set off to find some cars that would work without breaking the bank. First stop was Toys R Us, having been in the car aisle more often as my son has decided cars are his favorite toy, I remember seeing something that might work. Toys R Us carries a store brand called Fast Lane which is fairly inexpensive and of decent quality. (This is the same brand that makes the Western Train I use for Malifaux) I was able to find some three-packs of 1:43 scale cars, mostly of the sports car variety, but higher up on the shelf I saw some semi-trucks in the same scale. One of which had a bunch of wooden pallets which will be useful for scatter terrain at a loading dock. They also had some helicopters that might be cool, but I passed on them at the moment.

The next stop was Dollar General. Here I was able to find some 1:43 scale Bburago cars. These are also really close and they have a few different styles on the cheap (under $3). The store by me was fairly limited in selection but I was able to find a few different body styles. 

Once I got them home and unpackaged everything, (stupid twist ties and zip strips) I set them up with a variety of miniatures from different lines. Pictured are a Zombie Stripper from Reaper, a Zombie from Studio Miniatures, a Judge Dredd model from Mongoose, a CCC MERCS model, and two Necromunda Gangers from GW. As you can see from the photos they're a really good fit. I imagine I'm going to need to repaint them all to match the look and feel of the models but until I get around to that they look nice on the tabletop.

Chop Shop – Repainting 1:43 scale cars

I decided to begin work on my Near Future board. Well, not really the board itself but rather some of the scatter terrain. With all the cars I have laying around now it makes sense to begin the repaints so they match up with my style of painting. While I suppose I could just dip them in stain and call it a day ... that's not really my style.

Step one is to mask off all the windows and headlamps. I like how the clear material looks and don't want to loose that with the repaint. So I dug up some blue painters tape and began the tedious process of masking and trimming each window. It's not a difficult process however it takes time and patience to do it right and not scratch up the plastic with my blade.

After trimming them up I sprayed each car with Duplicolor Dark Gray primer. I really like this stuff it drys fast and smooth giving me a nice surface to paint. 

I've decided to recreate some of the cars I've pimped out in Saints Row 3. I really like the purple and silver scheme of the protagonists in that game and think it will add some much needed color to what could be a rather bland board. (most urbanscapes have this boring gray tone which I want to try and avoid this time around). 

I'm also working with some Laser Decal paper to try and figure our how to tint the windows out. I'll probably add some of the decals to the windows as well to call out and personalize the cars similar to what you see in urban neighborhoods.

Working in the Stockyard

MERCS – I've been working on building a dedicated MERCS table. Currently I'm feverishly working on building a massive amount of ISO shipping containers. My goal is to have at least ten of these built and painted for games of MERCS. 

What I like about these is the versatility they provide in setting up a table. They stack easily and can add a level of elevation that is consistent and simple. With MERCS using cards to measure it becomes tricky to use more complicated terrain as you can't get the card inside of buildings or around corners etc. 

To go with these I've picked up a Zuzzy mat. These are really great if you don't have space to store a full size table. The mats are nicely detailed and fairly simple to paint.