Friday, December 29, 2017

And those new days will dawn......

I am wrapping up my 11th year at Plastic Legions with not some toothless resolutions but just some obvious facts that will hopefully lead to a new direction here.  This blogs been around a long time now, long past the heyday of gaming blogs. These days its clear most people go to social media for their gaming fix. Blogs originally were the now boring successor to the much maligned public forum. Now its just quick snap shots on social media, be it Facebook groups, Twitter feeds, Instagram or Pinterest. (I am sure there is some new one I don't even now about) and yes, I have succumb to these things just like you have. My own interest in my own blog roll is few and far between these day only occasionally catching a snappy title or good photo in the feed. I cant begrudge anyone no longer coming by here either.

For instance I haven’t had a reader comment here since October of 2016! I still seem to hang on to same number of followers , picking up new ones  at the same rate I lose them, the result being stagnant at slightly under 400 for at least 4 years now. Of course my content is severely lacking and basically if you are not interested in my projects I haven’t had a lot to say. The same goes for the forums. Most forums are graveyards  even the big ones that are isolated communities of old timers see alot less traffic .I'll still cross post my big projects over at LAF or Hirst forums barely get a comment where even 2 years ago, I'd get 30 and a good traffic spike here..  I dont think its that people suddenly don’t care for it, its just they aren’t looking for that type of content at those places anymore, or if so, not enough so  to comment, they are getting their fix immediately thru the bigger gaming websites , Twitter or Facebook. 

I belong to a whole bunch of Facebook groups, they are all very busy but I never post in them- I dont like them as conversation places . To me they are just like like the old public forums you ran away from.  I just check them out to see whats going on and maybe see what someone I know is doing or most importantly get updates from the company who have mostly shut down all their own forums in favor of FB groups. While Facebook has some value for me its not for gaming , Its for keeping up with old friends, their lives, their kids , their real life experiences…I don’t  want to see the doodlings of whatever hobby their into any more than I want to see  whatever political junk their posting , so its too bad  Social Media has taken over gaming, I don’t really like the one stop shop format, (as in Facebook, because  I don’t do Twitter) there is so much crap in my Facebook feed even with filters that I recently missed out on important things in peoples  lives that I actually care about!

 I used to like spending an afternoon checking out peoples weird hobby blogs in my own quite corner of digital space. These days the blogs are mostly dead, in fact of all the old guys I used to game all had blogs and currently I think I am the only one who still even remotely posts, theirs have just been deleted or have been DOA for years., even other old blogs Ive read frequently have fallen away like mine .--So RIP to the Hobby Blogs,  I'll raise a glass to ye days of old! 

Having said all that-  why I am still limping along here averaging a post a month? Trust me  I have been thinking about about making changes here for sometime, even packing it in completely .. I really just do this for myself anyway.

My life has changed a bunch since I got public with my Hobby back in 2005, I don’t  have nearly the time I did for playing games in the basement or painting miniatures sure I’ve gotten some big  terrain projects done this year  but that is basically all I did, I painted maybe a dozen or so miniatures.  I didn’t play a game with another human that wasn’t my kid in 2017. I've spent most of my hobby time selling off  the tons of stuff I collected in the last decade, including all kinds of recent  things from  Kickstarters that I buy and  realize ill never play and then end up selling, (at least I am making money on it,)  I had even started talking about the adventures of selling off my bloated collections and gaming secondary markets on a separate blog but quickly realized I was the only one interested.

So what’s new at Plastic Legions for 2018?,  well, I still plan on posting at least once a month (maybe more,) Content will be pretty focused, since I now have this really cool massive fantasy table / diorama, I am going to start putting it to use.  One of the more popular things I have done the last couple years where these lengthy blow by blow game write ups specifically Otherworld Skirmish, (thou I did do some Frostgrave and  Sci Fi ones) .  I’ll be focusing on those as a ongoing narrative campaign, called " The Blackbarrow Chronicles " using a simpler streamlined ruleset  (more on that in a sec) we are going to run at least a dozen linked scenarios using tons of different models and hopefully create a cool narrative as these characters live, die, succeed, fail, find glory and find horrible deaths. I have  no idea hows it going to play out but it looks good on paper and we are even going to keep an updated role call of the dead, like some sinster old school RPG.

Logo and Header for the new project , Art courtesy of the great William McAusland.

And that’s it - The Blackbarrow Chronicles for 2018- the game reports and any projects that arise from them may get spotlighted but thats pretty much it, I may even change the blog title and move it over to Word Press leaving Plastic Legions up as a tombstone (no decision has been made there at all just a thought) Anyway outside my huge all collection of  generic fantasy gaming figures and terrain,  look for A LOT of items from me on eBay -if you want some nicely painted figures and terrain on the cheap. !

So- Speaking of that ruleset for the coming year, I am afraid I have been Hacked!
 As in “The Black Hack” . If you follow OSR RPGs at all as I do, (not that I actually play but more as an interest in nostalgia from wayback when I did.)  You might have heard of “The Black Hack” (TBH) which is basically a very simple RPG system inspired by  B/X D&D it uses bits from various rulesets  over the years to create very simple modern fantasy role playing ruleset, thats dripping with  “back in the day”old school feel  Last year it succeed getting going from blog to published product on Kickstarter  and you can pick it up for like $2 from the usual digital places. The core document is really bare bones at a measly 20 pages  However a quick google search will find you a lot of free fan made content that fills in a lot of the gaps and well as the authors updates and additional docs..

For use with Blackbarrow I have re-framed TBH as a miniatures gaming rule-set,  let’s call it the “Mini Hack”. I originally read about the TBH  on some forums, I checked it out and a lightbulb immediately went off.- I thought this could be the “RPG light” ruleset I was looking for , It has got all the standard Fantasy tropes , a D20 mechanic (which I want -as I am so tired of D6 games) and I felt it was pretty intuitive for a RPG campaign type system based on miniature battles.  I made a couple quick hacks of my own based my personal preferences.  First off all  I swapped the dice around so you roll to hit by “more than a target number” versus the TBH which uses “less than the target number”, in the RPG -all rolls are based on testing vs your attribute stats as in: I have a 14 strength, I need to a less than 14 to “hit”…, I have a 9 Dexterity I need to roll less than a 8 to avoid that ranged attacked.  It was pretty easy to swap around and say my 14 = needing a 7 or better on a D20..this works with the standard mechanic we are familiar with from RPGs or games like Frostgrave.

My converted D20 dice chart

Another Hack on my end was movement and distance.. TBH uses a very abstract range/distance system of “Close, Nearby, Far Away and Distant great for tale tales with Pen and Paper but not quite precise enough for miniatures battles- but by simply adding a 5th range of “Over There” we have 5  standard distances, I have used in many a miniatures game : base to base or touching 2. up to 6 inches, 3. 6-12 inches, 4. 12-24 inches and 5. 24+ inches, pretty simple.

scale chart.
 I wont  ramble on here about every detail-  if you have played fantasy RPGs or Fantasy miniature games , I think the rules  will all be pretty self explanatory and I’ll save that for the first write up for the Blackbarrow Chronicles which should be showing up year right after the New Year flips to 2018 , 12 years a blogging, crazy.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Village of Blackbarrow, Blacksmiths Forge and Cottage

Back again with a few year ending  posts!  I’ll start with following up on last months post.  With the snow and cold I’ve been extra motivated  to dig  in on my fantasy table and  I have finished 2! buildings in the last month.  A blacksmiths Forge and a small cottage, that   I am using as a bandits hideout.

 The blacksmiths forge is on the Hirst Arts Project Page and uses just 3 molds, 2 if you want to do your own roof.  Its medium level build just due to getting all the pieces to line up right and assembly but even a novice builder shouldn’t have too much trouble with some trial and error.  The bandit hide uses the same molds, thou I used plastic card scrap on the roof to save time and the floors are old casts from several woods molds I had extra.

Overall there is still a bunch to in the Village of Blackbarrow, the next project is a Mill, I’ll be bastardizing Bruce Hirst awesome new Watermill plans, but using some different molds, and its not going to be as fancy. So bit more grimy and more in vein of rest of buildings on the table , I ended up doing  different layout of the town and decided to use those old armorcast I have on the table since like 2006? And created line of workman rowhouse and a “backalley section of town.  There are few quick odds and ends like some markets stalls and some walkways, I am throwing together in the next few days

I’ll surely be fiddling along with the Mill and remainder of the Dungeon into the Spring, I normally get a sizeable project out by that time of year  that I start over the winter  (last year it was the Castle)
The main goal right now is to get some gaming in we have two weeks off school and snow in forecast so looking forward some fun with kids, next up Ill be talking about some of rules we are using, I know I have talked about many different rulesets here, especially this year and of course I have another one, I want to try out, its works with the classic fantasy arch types we want to use and isn’t too fiddly  so more on that soon.

Make sure you check out the updated Village of Blackbarrow Gallery. It has all the photos, over 100 as I type this while some pieces do  have their own thread,  if you are interested in the projects development over the last decade its good place for an overview...

Merry Christmas or any holiday you celebrate this time of year to you!.I’ll be back before years end.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Village of Blackbarrow, a Fieldstone Church

A couple months later I am back, it just seems it takes me forever to get projects finished these days. I’ve been pretty woeful  on the gaming front this year really only messing around with solo games or with my daughters . I ve been liquidating  various items from my collection in the last few years. Specifically a lot of terrain, I had a ridiculous amount of the tables and terrain still even after movings massive purge,  So its feeling pretty good to clean house.  The Village of Blackbarrow table which currently takes up 50 Square Feet,  (4x 8 with 2 and eventually 3 , 3 x 3 extensions in my basement)
Is now our hobby center piece. I’ve gone for complete homogeneity  as I decided a couple years ago I was going to replace all my old buildings with Hirst Arts buildings and I am well on my way.

 I just recently completed this Fieldstone Church which I finished painting over Thanksgiving weekend. Based on one of Bruce Hirst original plans, the Gothic  Church. This build  uses a variety of the Fieldstone Molds, the Slate Roof Mold and few bits from the Gothic  Arena Accessories mold. 

 The build was pretty straight forward. I did finally get a roof mold, I ran out of the Plastruct Plastic roof I had been using for years and since its $5 a sheet, it made more sense to spend 29 dollars on the roof mold as I have plenty of roofs to do and a few I could redo. Thing about the Hirst Roofs, they add significant time to the project, I spent as much time screwing around with the roof as I did on the entire rest of the building , including the base. Some growing paints there for sure with the new mold and fitting and customizing the sizes, I am sure it will get easier.

All the Villages large structures are done unless I decide to take on the epic and recent Watermill, which was released in the last year or so, and I very well might.  Next up are the Blacksmith Shop and some Docks, leaving just small hovels and some other shops,  then it finishing the Dungeon which I started way the heck back in 2010 and has growing at a snails pace ever since.  I plan creating either one massive gallery the whole village when its complete,  until then if your interested you can just watch it grow piece meal. Hopefully I got few more things up my sleeve in hobby department before years end. We will just have to see.

Fieldstone Church- HA molds  42, 70, 71,75, 701, 225, 245 and 260,  several of these molds are redundant or use just a couple a bits. You could build this almost identically with just  molds 70, 75, 245 and 260, I just have the extra molds for odd bits here and there as I have been  building Hirst for almost 10 years now. Casting material is standard Hydrostone, Paints are from Folk Art Crafts, the Statues and Sun Sign are GW bits and the Miniatures from Otherworld…Build time NOT including Casting or glue / paint  daytime  about 12 hours.

I plan on adding some stainglass type windows in the rear here, still figuring out what to do, any ideas are appreciated!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Reaper Bones 4, and some new painted Reaper figures

If your reading this I am sure you are aware of the Reapers current 4th "Bones" Kickstarter which is winding down as it approaches the 2 million mark, consider 2015's  Bones 3, is still shipping just over 2 years from it's Kickstarter close, I'm still in "what are people thinking" camp. As I've mentioned earlier I was a Bones 1 supporter and thou I was happy with the value, I wasnt thrilled with the majority of the quality of miniatures, I dont think I've really used or painted more than a couple dozen of the years since then and the rest are in a box.

I probably own more Reaper figures than any other line since I liquidated most of Games Workshop inventory over the last few years. I've been collecting Reaper going on close to 20 years..
But because I just wasnt as excited about Bones as the general public I had chosen not to buy into either Bones 2 or 3, picking up just a few random figures over years.
Bones 4 seems to be whole different story, I've definitely noticed the quality of plastic in the miniature improving, especially in the larger models where Bones has really found its niche. While the Core set this time around is certainly on the same value as the other, its the Expansions and Add On's that were attractive to me, beside the Core there are now 4 separate $50 expansions plus the add on figures. Personally its was Dreadmere expansion that sold it for me, there is enough weird stuff in there that works for my gaming plus some of it was already on my  metal "buy" list. with a few add on I am interested in, I'm pledged at $100 already, with no Core Set that's my limit unless something late blows me away enough to not knock something else out.

The crazy thing about Bones, and its still head shaking to me that folks who "are all in ",  I follow the Reaper Facebook group and have some posts from folks with obscene numbers of figures from the 1st three Bones, let alone this one which is well over 500 figures at this point if your are "all in" , I though my paint que was deep?, anyway there is still some stuff I'll want to cherry pick from these sets 3 or so years from now when they hit the shelves. That's the other crazy thing the lead times...but we are talking millions of dollars and hundreds of the new molds here.

Anyway Bones 4 is raging in big way, good for them

Below I posted some recent pictures I took of the Reaper figures that recently left the paint bench for the Blackbarrow table or shelf . Just some stuff I got done this summer, not all of it, put just Reaper I hadn't already posted in previous entries.

My personal favorite sculptors going for Reaper are Julie Guthrie and Bob Ridolfi.
I find most of what I am attracted to is theirs and I know they are both well represented in Bones 4,

The Pathfinder Red Dragon I painted is for sale  I'll add the ebay link as soon as I get it listed, its was really a test color scheme for the massive Forge World Red Dragon I have had sitting on the shelf since 2009 ,
I'm actually finding the inspiration to take it on again, since its "almost" got built as "not Smaug" in the dying days of the GW "LotR/Hobbit strategy game.

Still working on writing up the Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes we played earlier this month, cobbling it together off phone audio and notes isnt fun, I should have done it sooner. but I'll get it done if not just as an excuse to post more photos.

Bat Demon 03747

Reaper Bones Red Dragon 89001  eBay Auction

Burrowing Horror 02919

Town Guard 03165

Monday, July 31, 2017

Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes- Temple Run

If you've been following along or just dropping in the last year or so, I've been playing a variety of Fantasy and Sci Fi skirmish, when not plodding along on my Blackbarrow table. I have mainly been using the Otherworld Skirmish system but it's a bit cumbersome when you are trying to put together stats for all the factions and solo creature running around. I playing these games solo or with my daughters currently with a limited attention span, so after hearing good things, I thought we set up a test game with Ganesha Games , Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes.

I not a stranger to Song of Blades and Heroes, we (the old club) dabbled with a bit back in probably 2010, but the group had so many other games competing for attention in the Warband (or Army) vs Warband mode that we never got more than few games in, I found the original game quick and brutal and felt it was missing some more narrative elements and defined magic system, apparently I was not alone because sometime ago this advanced version answered the request.

I finally had a reason to break out my Jungle Terrain which I am glad I haven't got around to sell yet. because after it not seeing the light of day in years,  its still looking good and it will come in handy if I try the upcoming Frostgrave Supplement, Ghost Archipelago.  for this make I thru together 2 300 point warbands,  very quickly...we call the game Temple Run, after one of my Daughters favorite Ios games., The object of the Adventures was to grab the Artifact at the top of the Pyramid, thus destroying the Undead Menace here, while The Defenders, just want to "kill them all" and add them to their numbers.

I'll continue with the game write up this week while we are out of town and post it the following week for now, I'll leave it with some pictures and a few notes.,  I definitely think for the rules ASoBaH has some benefits over Otherworld for a large campaign . Particularly as there is no campaign system for Otherworld, the magic systems is more fleshed out, there are few pro and cons to each, Ill mention in the game write up.

 All Miniature by Otherworlds Minatures, Terrain and Painting by base10studios (me)


blogger templates | Make Money Online