Tag Archives: hobby

It Came from the Lightbox: Battletech

I finished up the Battletech: A Game of Armored Combat box this weekend. I’m pretty happy with it, but I do have some thoughts.

The plan had always been to tackle these the way I blew through my Aeronautica Imperialis: just basecoat with the main color, oil wash, done. I decided to complicate it with edge highlights, and I think that was really effective and even went in and did points of an even lighter color on the corders.

Where things went a little south, though, was with the oil wash. On a whim I used a bottle of Mig Dark Brown Wash for Green Vehicles instead of making my own with oils and mineral spirits. I’d bought the bottle at a Historicon ages ago but had never used it. The results are fine but I don’t love them. The result’s a lot darker than I’d prefer, and it made it difficult to streak and filter with it. Lesson learned.

I also apparently had some issues varnishing sufficiently post-decals. You can see where parts of the decals came up; in some ways that’s fine but it’s notable.

I’ve got a bunch more Clanner mechs, but no Inner Sphere mechs to paint. They’re in the backlog.

It Came from the Lightbox: More Crimson Fists

I guess I’m posting these in reverse order.

During my staycation, I painted up some more Crimson Fists: the Hellblasters from Dark Imperium/Know No Fear, and power-sword’d models from Indomitus.

I want to take a moment to shit on the Judicar. This is the dumbest GW model I’ve put together in memory. This dummy has a mask over his mask? And a coat over his armor? But also armor over his coat? Ugh, I just hate this model.

It Came from the Lightbox: Goliath Backup

I’ve been painting Necromunda because why not? Hopefully I’ll be able to play the dang game after the Quarantimes have ended.

I actually tee’d all of these up like a month ago but got really disheartened by how they were coming along. I’m glad I came back to them: I think they actually came out really well.

The Sumpkroc is based on a toad we see every night while walking the dogs.

It Came from the Lightbox: Wolf Clan

I picked up the new Shiho Wolf Clan models for Bushido when they went up for sale during Adepticon, and knocked them out last week.

They’re a far, far cry from perfect (they’re pretty phoned in, to be honest), but “Done > Perfect” has been the theme for my 2020 hobby, and I kind of like the fairly limited palette here. They’re painted, now, and I can feel comfortable building the next round of Minimoto to put into the painting queue.

Crimson Fists Group

It Came from the Lightbox: Fist the First

I wrapped up the first chunk of my Crimson Fists, so I wanted to get them into the lightbox.

They’re weirdly very frustrating. The recipe is extremely simple and speedy; I’m painting them in what I would describe as the Citadel/Duncan style, which is to say I put down a bunch of base colors, wash it, tidy up the colors, and highlight.

  • Step 1: Base
    • GW Night Lords Blue basecoat on pretty much everything
    • VMC Dark Grey on flex, tubes
    • GW Leadbelcher on emblems, bolter parts
    • VMC Black on bolter case, grenades
    • GW Night Lords Blue to cleanup edges
  • Step 2: Wash
    • GW Nuln Oil
  • Step 3: Clean up
    • GW Night Lords Blue on large surfaces
    • VMC Dark Grey on flex, tubes
  • Step 4: Highlight
    • GW Thunderhawk Blue edge highlight on armor
    • Stop halfway through to do eyes:
      • P3 Inferno Orange
      • GW Gryph-Hound Orange
      • P3 Heartfire
    • GW Fenris Grey edge highlight over Thunderhawk Blue (on characters)
    • VMC Light Grey edge highlight on flex, tubes
  • Step 5: Cleanup (again)
    • GW Night Lords Blue to de-chunk the Thunderhawk Blue highlights
  • Step 6: Fist, Seals, Holsters
    • Pretty much the same as above but with GW Mephiston Red & GW Wild Rider Red, GW Zandri Dust & GW Ushabti Bone, and GW Mournfang Brown and GW XV-88 with GW Agrax Earthshade in the middle there.

Probably because it’s got like 12 steps that involve me applying Night Lords Blue it starts to feel old pretty quickly. Fortunately, I’m using NLB Air.

Here’s the thing, because I don’t know that I’ve advocated enough for the GW Air paints here: brush that stuff on. It’s fine in the airbrush (despite being in a damned pot and not a dropper), but their air paints tend to have great coverage w/r flow when just brushed on. When highlighting stuff, I would very much prefer their air paints over their non-air paints. The flow of the NLB, compared to the weird flow of the TB, makes it a lot easier for me to just not fight the Thunderhawk and then clean it up with the Night Lords.

Anyway, it’s so easy I expect progress to be faster than it is, which discourages me, which makes progress slower, etc. Vicious cirle.

First batch is done, anyway. These are Intercessors and characters from Dark Imperium & Know No Fear and the Phobos LT from the SC! Vanguard box.

Intercessor Squad V 1
Intercessor Squad VI 1
Intercessor Squad V 2
Gravis Captain
Primaris Lieutenants
Phobos Lieutenant, Primaris Ancient

I’m also particularly pleased with how the power swords came out.

Necromunda - Enforcers

It Came from the Lightbox: Necromunda Enforcers

I feel like I need to defend the decision to paint these guys. I don’t know that I can, besides noting that I’d bought them before the police violence had gotten out of control, they’re fundamentally just another gang, and I just like felt like painting them.

I’m loving the blue here. I love the blue so much I’ve decided to paint up a bunch of Crimson Fists because I need to live in it some more.

Learn from my mistakes! Necromunda Zone Mortalis

My primary coping mechanism during this pandemic has been to plan for all the gaming I’m going to get to do if it ever blows over. One of my current plans is try my hand at a Necromunda campaign in my basement.

I’ve got Sector Mechanicus covered with the Deadzone terrain (which I’ve expanded on since that post during the halcyon days of 2014), but the table in my gaming room (constructed in November and un-posted about here; I should fix that) is 6’x4′, which doesn’t leave enough room for 2 4’x4′ tables (I’d have loved to have made it larger, but this is as big as the space permits). That’s a problem if I want to have 2 games/time.

I got the Underhive box when it came out, so I’ve got Zone Mortalis tiles, which solve the problem. I’ve got room for 2’x4′ worth of tiles; more if I shrink the Deadzone table down to a 3’x4′ or so. The tiles have walls marked on them, and the thing to do is to build some MDF or print off some walls to make them feel more real. Cool.

I did some waffling between the offerings from Warlayer and Corvus Games Terrain. I’m not interested in printing off new tiles, just walls, so the Warlayer set was the obvious choice. That was dumb. I should have considered Dragon’s Rest, which costs more but I think is a lot better looking and, while $19 is 4x as much as Warlayer’s $5, it’s hardly crippling. Didn’t think of it until I was 80% towards being done printing off the Warlayer, though, so I’d gone too far to change it up.

In working with these STLs, though, I’ve run into a couple of things that I figured I’d talk through. It’s fine: I spent $5 on them, that they require a little work isn’t the end of the world, and ultimately they’ll work out OK.

First off, after printing off about 1-2 of each piece, I decided only cared about the 2-square walls, 1-square walls, and the 4-way intersections. Those three shapes cover every variation on the tiles. The 3-way and 2-way intersections don’t fill the negative space on the tiles the way I’d like.

Secondly, they’re the wrong size. Ugh.

Look at these two pieces below: the one on the left is the default size: note that it hews perfectly to the squares… except the board has other spaces between the squares, which means the default size doesn’t actually fit the grid worth a damn. The one on the right is resized: I literally measured the size of the tile, divided it by 6, and resized the pieces around that.

The tiles are 289mm square, 6×6 square. That means each real square is actually 48.16mm square, not the 43.20mm it first appears. That adds up to a pretty substantial difference as you line these pieces across the tile.

So, I uploaded them to TinkerCAD and resized them. I probably could have done this in the slicer but I wanted to be able to make sure I knew what I was doing and that things lined up and such. In addition to lengthening all the pieces, I also had to widen them because those quad-intersection pieces were resized along both axes.

I also counted up how many of each were needed to cover each tile. Conveniently, the tiles are basically the same on both sides. I’m planning on using the walls and barricades that were included in Underhive, so I didn’t include printed replacements for them in my count. Were I to do so: +4x 2 square walls, +1x door, +2x figure something out for the 1 square-sized doors. I’m doing a few of the open window variants, because they’re there, and a few doors because why not. 6/26: I guess all of things I thought were plastic walls are actually supposed to be doors. That makes it easier. Still no good solution for the 1 square wide doors; I could muddle through something but it’d definitely be more work than I’m willing to put in.

6/26: I also realized I was very dissatisfied with how the duct tiles worked with the printed terrain. That was something easily fixed: I threw an 18-ish mm octagon across a 1 square wall. Took a little fiddling to get it looking right.

ShapeOriginal LxWResized LxW# Needed
2 square Wall88.19mm x 35.27mm96.33mm x 39.35mm12
1 square Wall43.12mm x 35.27mm48.16mm x 39.35mm23
duct wall48.16mm x 39.35mm5
4-way Intersection43.20mm x 43.20mm48.16mm x 48.16mm26
Door76.26mm x 13.33mm83.30mm x 14.87mm5
Table of shapes, original sizes, resized sizes, and quantity needed.

At these sizes, they fit perfectly.

Let me tell you how I screwed up magnetization.

These pieces come with 4 magnet holes 3mm across, 2mm deep at every connection point. The resizing did distort these by a smidge: they’re maybe 9% larger in one dimension? So, maybe a 3mm x 3.27mm oval and not an even 3mm circle, but I don’t think it’s noticeable.

I magnetized them, basically with a polarity: each piece goes one way. That way, I never end up with a piece that has positives facing out or negatives facing out. I can always line them up in a row.

For the intersections, I did the same thing:

I got about halfway through when I realized: this will work but it’s definitely not the smart way to do it. A better way would to have done the left side of each contact with one polarity and the right side with a different polarity.

This would mean that, instead of every piece having a correct contact direction, every contact direction would work. I was way too far along in the process before I realized this, though, so I’m pretty stuck.

I’m almost done printing these out.

I’ll probably do a very quick paintjob on them: I don’t think they’ll look great but they’ll look alright. This was a test piece done in a few minutes: primed white, Vallejo Air Hull Red, Vallejo Air Orange, GW Leadbelcher sponged on. I’ve got some red filler primer that’s pretty close to that Hull Red color, so I need to experiment a bit more with that before I do everything.

Ogor Mawtribes Army

It Came from the Lightbox: Ogre Kingdoms

No, I’m not going to call them “Ogors.”

These were kind of an impulse project: something to work on while locked down. The likelihood that I’ll ever actually play Age of Sigmar is pretty low but hey: now I can. I expect that’ll be the theme for my time in isolation.

A little as I feel drawn to play Games Workshop games, it truly is a delight to paint their models. Corvus Belli makes some gorgeous models, too, but I don’t get quite the same joy from painting Infinity models as I do GW models.


It Came from the Lightbox: Combined Army

Below are the CA models I’d painted up to run at Rumble and likely Ruckus, had those events not been canceled. They’re not all of the CA models I’ve painted since December (there’s a bunch of painted Onyx models, Unidrons, Xeodrons, Umbra) that I failed to take photos of. These are all models I’d planned to run.


Infinity has a strong patch culture. Corvus Belli includes several patches in each of their tournament kits, every Real Event has its own patch, and a number of metas and individuals have their own patches.

I’ve had a number of patches produced over the past year. I’m proud of them. Two of them, the ODD patches, were commissioned, but I designed the other two myself if GIMP. These were then produced via The/Studio.

Old Dominion Disagreement 2019 patch

I had a lot of trouble getting the first ODD logo designed. I’d had in mind the Seal of VIrginia, but Infinity-fied. The person I worked with couldn’t be bothered to look at the reference materials, though, so I ended up having to half-assed copy & paste art from some dossiers and saying “make it look like this” so of course, they just traced over that.

Old Dominion 2020 Patch

For this year’s ODD, I reached out to someone who’s designed a number of patches for the Infinity community, Tim Toolen. Minimal adjustments as we went and ended up with what I think is a great design for the patch.

Mid-Atlantic Infinity Weakest Link patch

My first Rumble on Rt 66 was last year, and I was repping Virginia with the legendary Myomer and highly ranked Wattewerfer. I can hang, but I’m not in their tier of play at all. Similarly, of my Maryland friends, Top-10 players Cobraprime and Masterofmelee and… Psybilliah, who also can hang but is in a different tier.

So, we made this patch to demonstrate ownership of our (relatively) weak play.

Beltway Bandit patch

The DMV area has three major Infinity tournaments, now: ODD in February, NOVA Open in September, and Baltimore Brawl in November. I thought it’d be fun to reflect that, so I designed this patch to give to everyone who participated in all three events. For those unfamiliar, this is based on the 495 Capital Beltway sign that graces the beltway that surrounds Washington, DC.

The Dirty Deutsch patch

We have a German stationed here and, while on a tear suggested that the Anaconda is an excellent source of unexpected smoke. That one could cunningly sacrifice an Anaconda to pull of an MSV2 smoke trick. “They never see it coming,” he declared. We declared such a maneuver “Pulling a Dirty Deutsch” and that anyone who performed or was on the receiving end of such a feat would be given a patch commemorating such a ridiculous stratagem. (Fact: it’s been done twice, in both cases to the same person. “The second time, you definitely see it coming,” he says.)