Friday, August 29, 2014

Gen Con 2014 Retrospective: Saturday

You may have noticed a bit of a delay between my last posts, and well, work has kind of exploded.  Not literally of course, but it's been so busy that I've barely gotten enough time to eat let alone blog.  So let's get my Gen Con Saturday under way shall we?

Saturday started off with me waking up at my own pace and deciding to casually head over to the exhibitor's hall with my buddy.  Before we even got out of the hotel we came across Luca from the RPG Classic, Chrono Trigger, just after she got her morning cup of coffee.

We get to the convention center, and we decide to cut through the events hall to get to the dealer's room.  On our way we come across a really awesome cosplay of the sisters Elsa and Anna from Disney's Frozen:

Today is my relaxed day, so I spend time wandering around the exhibitor's hall seeing what I can see.  One stop I made was by Palladium's booth to check out the sprues for the upcoming Robotech Tactics RPG miniatures game:

It was really nice to get a close-up look at these miniatures.  I can't wait to get my hands on my own copies.  The miniatures look pretty detailed and of high quality.

So I continued my journey and came across a Scout Trooper:

I stopped and got a picture as my friend had been disappointed that he hadn't encountered any Storm Troopers at the con so far.  I would later find out that he did indeed come across some Storm Troopers, but missed the Scout Trooper.

Time was ticking down to my 2pm Victoriana demo, but before I left the exhibitors/events hall I caught one of my friends in cosplay and was able to convince her to let me snap a photo:

It was a short rush to get to the demo area, but I arrived in time.  Victoriana is a fantasy setting in, shock, Victorian London/Europe, but it makes use of the traditional fantasy races.  It's a fun setting that I hope to run a game for some day.  I was in for a treat though as my demo was more gothic horror than high fantasy.  My group and I were trying to convince a landowner that our claim was legitimate (it wasn't), but it turns out that all the fuss over heritage was for a vampiric/Frankenstein-esq operation.

As a side-note: this is a reason why I need to blog semi-real time.  I've forgotten most of the good details from that game.  All I remember is that fun was had, and that I make a bad solicitor.

After the demo I get back to the hotel and decide to grab dinner at The Ram.  On the way we encountered a robotic/moving Dalek:

It was a very impressive feet and a great way to build an appetite.  Once we hit The Ram we sat down in the general seating area and caught the end of Star Wars: A New Hope while waiting for our food.  Something must've gone wrong, and we ended up suspecting that our order hadn't gotten put in or some other glitch because we were halfway into The Empire Strikes Back by the time our food arrived.  We had been joined by two other travelers who had ordered their food and gotten it before we got our meal.

On our way back, our evening having been cancelled, we passed a guy who looked suspiciously like Nathan Rice (Lodge from the Gamers movies).  I commented as such and my friend asked me if I was sure followed by a suggestion that we find out.  A quick dash backwards followed by an awkward hello, and it turns out that yes indeed it was him!

It was a great way to top off our Saturday night, and made the events of our dinner even more worthwhile.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gen Con 2014 Retrospective: Friday

Continuing from Thursday, I managed to sleep very soundly.  I think that dialing back the AC had a significant impact.  First up was packing up the car and heading over to the con.  I had secured myself a parking pass for the IN Government parking garage the previous evening, and it probably saved me $15-$30.  Check-in wouldn't be till later that day and I had to do demos from 9am-2pm.  This would be my last stint doing demos for the weekend, and the rest of the con would be mine.  Got to see another really awesome Lady Justice cosplay during my shift as well:

I had a lot of fun demoing Malifaux for the last couple of my shift.  They were really picking it up, and we ended up going past my 2pm finish time.  This wasn't a big deal since it wasn't affecting my level of compensation.  After I finished up with the demo I went and checked in at the Wyrd booth in the exhibitor's hall, and ran into a really awesome War Machine cosplay of Menoth's Kreoss:


At the Wyrd booth I collected my rewards, and promptly purchased a bunch of Malifaux stuff for me and my friends.  I had some troubles with my credit card that I cleared up at the booth, which ate into my free time a bit.  I had been given the keys for the new hotel room, and did a quick dash back to meet up with my friend Thirdpower for his first Gen Con experience.  While I waited for him to make it the last few steps to the hotel I spent time taking in the view from our room:

After a bit of time to get my stuff transferred to the hotel room and a few minutes to breathe Thirdpower and I headed to the dealer's hall to browse a bit before it closed.  We hit up a few booths to just scratch the surface of the Exhibitor's Hall, but made a point of visiting Jen Page at her booth promoting Project London:

After that we made a quick jaunt over to Steve Jackson Games' booth where Thirdpower got to chat up OGRE stuff with some of the designers.

With the dealer's hall closing we decided to hit up the Munchkin Tavern which had occupied Tavern on South for a tasty dinner, and then back to the hotel to relax before the evenings event: Late Night Puppet Slam.

The Late Night Puppet Slam didn't start till 11pm at night, but the evening view from our room was just as cool as the daytime view:

When we got to the Puppet Show the question was asked as to recording policies.  After a few moments of confirming with the artists/puppeteers we were told that recording was fine with additional encouragement to upload the videos.  My companion took a short vid and some pics of the show, but I tried to capture as much of it as I could:

I had some technical difficulties with my camera towards the end.  My phone started to freeze up due to having no free space left to capture everything (that's why the camera starts swinging around at the end.  That's me trying to fix the darn thing).

Following the show we met up with friends and attempted to find a late night snack but turned into more a wandering around downtown Indy before heading back to the room to crash for the night.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gen Con 2014 Retrospective: Thursday

That most wonderful of cons has come and gone, and as I sit in reflection upon those wild days spent gaming and walking the floor one thought dominates all: I gotta start doing these blog posts at the con instead of waiting.

Let's start with the beginning.  I got out to Gen Con on Wed, parked in public parking and ended up spending $29 for what amounts to about six or eight hours.  During that time I helped assemble some miniatures for Wyrd's display case (there's a funny story about this that I'll come back to in a future post), followed by an overpriced dinner with friends at Dick's Last Resort.  That was the most I paid for a couple of beers, and I think next time I'll be more inquisitive as to the average ticket price before I sit down.  After that I headed over to the Wyrd meet and greet to pick up my badge, shirts, and hang out with the other volunteers before finally heading back to the hotel to crash.

My Thursday started off rather early.  The hotel I was staying in had some kind of a chemical smell in the room that when combined with arctic levels of AC kept three out of four of us from sleeping.  The one guy who got sleep has kids and thus is able to sleep through anything.  So barely any sleep and I'm staring down the barrel of a full day.  I get cleaned up and hit the con around 9am, waiting to do my initial rush to get the must have items.  I picked up a few things from Wyrd's booth for a friend, and grabbed myself some Relic Knight miniatures from Soda Pop Miniatures booth along with the four miniatures from Takoashi University/Tentacle Bento.  While I was there I grabbed a shot of some lovely ladies sporting costumes for characters from SPM's Super Dungeon Explore (the two on the left) and Candy, SPM's mascot (the one on the right):

Got to meet up with plenty of friends I haven't seen in a long time, but this cut my free time short.  I did however wander by the booth for The Bob and Angus Show and got my picture with a couple of puppets and their puppeteers:

The puppetteer you see standing there is Stacy Gordon who is the magic behind Claire O'Brien as well as a few others.  You'll hear more about her tomorrow.

I had to work at the Wyrd booth in the event hall from 2pm to Midnight and the t-shirt I had to wear was back in my car.  After a quick run back to get my minis and change I was left with little time to get lunch.  I kept changing my mind and ended up getting overpriced con food.  It looked delicious but was only ok.

I think the best time on Thursday was spent doing demos.  The first half of my shift, 2pm - 7pm, was spent showing people the ropes in the Malifaux miniatures game, and the second half was spent more sitting around.  I was supposed to do demos for Wyrd's board games, but there wasn't that many takers that late at night, and what few stopped by wanted demos for games I was unfamiliar with.  The best part was getting to stop people in costume and take pics.  The first one I came across was a beautiful Lady Justice cosplay:

I've started to notice that other people holding my phone to take pics results in more blurry pics.  The next two are an amazing cosplay of Rasputina and Molly Squidpidge featuring their new art:

It was a real treat getting to see those two, Rasputina's milky white  eyes were a great touch.  The last one I came across was a nice surprise.

Someone cosplaying as Kitiara from the original Dragonlance Chronicles Trilogy.

Once my shift was done I headed back to the hotel with my companion.  Went to bed exhausted and wondering if I'd get to sleep that night.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Putting the Pieces Together

Every hour is one step closer to Gen Con, and I'm continuing the time-honored tradition of trying to get as much painted as possible.  It seems like every year I tell myself that I won't do this, and I have only been successful once...kinda.  Right now I'm trying to get the last few figs for my Relic Knights Cadre painted.  The big showpiece for my faction, The Shattered Swords, is Sebastian with his Relic.  So far I've managed to turn this:

Into this:

As awesome as that looks it's not yet done.  There's still a shield and a front console to be attached (I had originally meant to do this post on Monday, but got sidetracked), as well as Sebastian himself.  The console and shield are done, and I have plans to paint Sebastian and his cypher Rook tonight.  Then over the weekend I plan to hit up two more pieces, one of which isn't even fully based or primed.  Did I mention it's going to be a photo finish?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Eternally Guarding the Portal of Space and Time

Today's post is going to feature the first cosplay model I've done for the Relic Knights line.  The cosplay minis are just what they say they are: alternate sculpts of some of the characters as anime icons.  Darkspace Fiametta is cosplayed as a sailor soldier, very reminiscent of Sailor Pluto from the anime/manga Sailor Moon:

The sculpt came out looking pretty awesome, and it is definitely a solid piece all around.  I'm really excited about how she came out that I'm having a hard time thinking of words to write, so let's just get on to the pretty pictures:

All I gotta say is WOW!  I love how everything came out...except the eyes.  They look just a little off, and I'll probably go back and redo them once I can figure out what's going wrong with them.

In my previous post I hinted that something about this piece has me wanting to go back and do more with the other pieces I've done.  What aspect is that you ask?  Her hair.  I had some great input from a fellow painter about doing more with her hair than I had originally done:

Eeeeee! I look at it now and can see why I didn't put up much of a fuss to go back and do more with it.  Usually it's difficult to pick out individual hairs, and I do a bit of a wet drybrush to pick out the highlights, but DS Fiametta obviously has long luxurious locks that just demand more attention.  So I decided to go back over them again and add a few more coats:

Already you can see that it's looking much better!  Still, it needed to shine just a little more.  So I added in some highlights, and then used a wash to help bring the colors closer to each other:

Absolutely gorgeous!  For some reason the highlights came more naturally to me while still not taking as much time to paint.  The end result is a confidence boost, and the desire to try more!

You may have noticed that DS Fiametta is on an interesting base.  From the moment I knew I was getting the miniature I kept debating over what to do for her base.  My favorite idea is one all my own:  I wanted her to stand on top of the universe.

I was very happy to have something that was all my own in an artistic sense, and the end result came out looking wonderful!  Rather than an insert I used the base itself as my canvas, which turned out exactly as wonderful as I had hoped.  Believe it or not though this is also the result of a different friend's influence.  Here's the original:

Not bad in its own right, but you can definitely see that it came a long way as well.  Artist friends are the best, and can be a great resource to draw upon.  This particular friend has a facebook page you can check out to see her amazing works! /shameless plug

What started off as simple advice turned into a late night, online, mini-painting jam of sorts.  I got some great advice on getting the shading for a spherical object (turns out planets are vaguely sphere-shaped), and a little touch that adds is the brightest star in the sky underneath her feet.

Friday, July 25, 2014

More Progress More Minis

The clock is ticking down to Gen Con, and I'm painting full steam to get everything done.  Up this week - Purifiers and Isabeau:


The Purifiers weren't that difficult to paint up overall, but were still a little on the smallish size.  What this means for me is that it requires a little more precision, and usually ends up with a few muttered curses when I have issues maneuvering my brush to hit the hard to reach areas.

The other piece I painted up is the Purifier Officer, Isabeau:

Not too shabby if I do say so myself.  I've got a thread on the SPM forums for my finished pieces to share with my fellow RK fans, and one of them mentioned that her eyes were not up to my usual level.  I wanted to brush this off, but he was right.  I went back and started the face over again fresh.

The end result here is much more passable.  I'm not completely satisfied with it, and I don't know if I need to go back again or if it's just my difficulties with having the sculpt fully assembled.  If I do go for the repaint I may just pick up the metal version and avoid the difficulties of the sword.  The reason why is that the eyes in that pic are starting to go 3D because all the layers are starting to create a bulge.

I've already started work on my next piece, and it's really coming along.  The way it's turning out is make me consider going back and doing more work on all my Shattered Swords so far.  Here's a small teaser that I shows a little bit of the work I had started on, though not the part that's making me want to go back and add more (that comes later):

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Last week was busy both in terms of painting and work.  I got stuff done but didn't get it posted, and now I gotta go back and touch up some stuff from this past weekend.  So today you get the finished Paragons!

As you can see they both look pretty awesome, but it was a rather arduous journey to get them finished.  When I finally got my Relic Knights order in I was quick to assemble most of my Shattered Swords so I could start getting in games before Gen Con (of which I have only gotten one in).

While I was prepping the Paragons to be assembled I noticed that they would be difficult to paint if fully assembled first; so naturally I assembled them anyways.  I've always been a fan of giant robots/power armor, and the Paragons' artwork really got me excited for the models.

Part of me wanted to just rush through and get these guys done quickly so I could get to the rest of the models, but the more I painted them the more I realized that I wouldn't be satisfied if I didn't give them my full.  I started with the base layer, hit it with a dark blue wash, and then went for a very light grey:

Every time I use my a light grey it always looks white, and that's exactly why it's my mid-color.  Once you start putting on the actual white as the highlight the armor really starts to shine. 

How to paint both black and white is one of the more common questions I hear when it comes to painting miniatures.  As you can see, the trick to painting white is to remember that actual white-white is the brightest you can get, which means your middle color needs to be close but not actually pure white.

Here's a group pic of what I have done, which is also the Shattered Swords starter set: