Workbench: Ravenstar’s Masada Destroyer

Masada-class destroyers on the workbench

Masada-class destroyers on the workbench.

Longtime readers of the blog will remember a bunch of battle reports for Starships PFM-01 that included Cold Navy miniatures. The designs by those minis currently reside with Ravenstar Studios, but they minis we used in the reports were the original pewter casts from Xtreme Hobby. In this workbench article, I paint one of Ravenstar’s versions of the models: a Terran Republic Navy Masasda-class destroyer.

As usual, click on the thumbnail for a larger picture (assuming there is one).

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Workbench: Studio Bergstrom Seth Fighters

When I laid eyes on the Directorate models for Firestorm Armada, I decided I absolutely needed to own a fleet of them. We play a lot of spaceship games in this house, so I knew they’d be useful no matter what system we used. There was only one problem. Firestorm Armada fleets don’t come with fighters. Tragedy! That sure put a dent in my plans to dominate the Starships and Battlefleet Gothic field with them.

Luckily for me and my plans for interstellar domination, Studio Bergstrom makes a fine set of fighters that blends perfectly with the Directorate force. The Seth fighters are roughly 10x10mm (a little less than .5″ x .5″), which makes them just the right chunky size to fit in with the rest of the beefy Directorate ships.

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Workbench: Modern Rita, from Hero Forge

A screen cap of the mini design.

A screen cap of the mini design.

Hero Forge is a custom miniature service associated with Shapeways, and no review of any of their models is complete without a quick overview of the service itself. Simply put, Hero Forge is a computer-aided design app that will let you assemble a miniature from provided options and print that miniature on demand through Shapeways.

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Year-Old Paint Review

So …

You know how it was a year since the last post? It had been that long since the last time I painted anything, so here’s a quick review on how well the paints survived.

Anything that was in a dropper bottle survived. A small paper clip cleared the nozzle, and we were off and running again. In my collection: Reaper Miniatures and Army Painter.

The Citadel Paints didn’t hold up quite as well, which had been a complaint of the previous incarnation of their flip-top bottles. They’re great for quick work — when you need only one drop of paint — but their seals don’t hold perfectly. There’s also something different about Citadel’s formulation that dooms a paint when it separates; I ended up discarding some because the pigment had turned into rubber, and I couldn’t get it stirred back into the emulsion. I lost about a third of the base and layer paints, and all of the textures and dries.

I also had four bottles of Testors acrylics, specifically their rosy flesh tones that I hadn’t otherwise been able to find locally. They were all dead — those old-school bottles still don’t work for long-term storage.

Lastly, I had one lonely bottle of Tamiya Smoke. Leanne swears by this for certain effects — it’s a smokey glaze that she puts over other paint to give it that ‘behind glass’ look that you’ll see on some of her models. It survived, but I’m pretty sure one bottle is the very definition of ‘small sample size.’

Until next time!

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Alive Again

So it’s been a year since the site’s last update, but now we’re back. One of the things that’s true is that most of the traffic that’s come to the site (even without updates!) has been to the review pages, so we’re re-launching as a place that primarily does reviews, and occasionally produces rules.

If you like the reviews, you can pick up a copy of PFM-01 Starships at WargameVault.

We’ll see you next with a review of a Hero Forge model that’s on my work bench.

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So, if the news can be believed, the EmDrive has triggered some re-thinking about how the universe works. Obviously, this all supposes that the engine actually works. Today’s related link comes fromYahoo! News:

EmDrive: UK scientist claims ‘new physics’ explains galaxy rotation and theoretical space propulsion

The original article is from IB Times UK, who blocks you if you’ve got an Ad Blocker on.

(And, yes, I’m alive. The day job is still really busy. In retrospect, it’s amazing that I made any conventions at all last year.)

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Comic-Con 2016 Information

So I’ve got more information: we’re going to be in Room 15AB this year. That’s in the main hall, on the Mezzanine level. We’re officially there from 1 to 5 on Friday and Saturday, and from 1 to 4 Sunday — but there will be some bleed both directions, as we’ll be setting up and tearing down every day. (The Comic-Con page is here.)

The games and what we’ll be doing:

Starships: I’ll be running the usual demo that can accommodate up to four players. The quickest I’ve run it has been about 15 minutes. We’ll be using Lego this year instead of painted minis. I’ll also be passing out SDCC discount codes for the PDF. (More details on the game here.)

Aliens Built My Hot Rod: We’ll be running the demo. We’re still using the prototype decks, without art. (See my post here for why.) The game will support up to six players, and takes longer to explain than play. (It was the game designed to be played while waiting for Hall H.)

The Skating Dead: Zombies playing hockey. It’s for two players, and we’ll be running a playtest. Teaching the rules should take a couple of turns and 10-15 minutes. Finishing a game will take longer, and I’ll be asking folks to fill out surveys.

And because no post is complete without a picture, here’s how badly I ground down my stick blade before I replaced it recently (I play roller on concrete):

Yeah, that's my stick.

Blade Wear from playing on Concrete

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From Futurism, we have an article on the latest theory about the EM drive.

In short: the drive is not reaction-less, but emits photons. They’re not being detected because they’re coming out of the drive in pairs with opposing phases. Those photons escape the EM drive’s cavity because the phase conflict eliminates the photons’ magnetic field — which also means that the photons can’t be detected by normal means.

Obviously, add “theoretically” to most every sentence above. The cool thing about this theory is that it fits the observations and doesn’t seriously challenge what we already think we know about physics.

The monkey in the wrench? It’s finding those emitted photons to prove the theory. In the Daily Mail’s version of the article, the author suggests that they’ll need an interferometer to do it. (That’s the same device that was just used to detect gravity waves.)

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Comic-Con 2016

Lego Starships

Lego Starships

So the good news is that we’re going to be at Comic-Con again this year. The bad news is that we didn’t get invited until the last minute, so are rushing to get things prepared. (The lateness of the invite isn’t anybody’s fault. I think they assumed they’d invite us at Kingdom Con, but the day job prevented that.) If everything comes together, then we’ll be in the Game Room on the afternoons of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

What we’ll be doing:

  • Demoing Starships with Lego (hence the picture above). Based on last year, this audience will be more receptive to toy gaming over miniatures gaming.
  • Demoing Aliens Built My Hot Rod, with the intent to find a publishing partner and/or an artist who likes cars and aliens.
  • Demoing a very raw version of The Skating Dead. The tag line: “After the Canadian Apocalypse, there is only hockey.” At this point, you’ve probably figured out that it’s a Zombie Hockey game.
  • Lastly, there’s going to be a bit of networking for a video game, Bandar Rig. We’ve got access to a third-party CRPG engine, so we’ll be able to concentrate on the story. If you’re a fan of sword and sorcery crossed with Indiana Jones, this game is for you. Well, will be, when it’s finished.
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State of the Purple Fuzzy Monster (May 2016)

As you might have noticed, my last post was in November of last year. For the last six months, I’ve been on Mandatory Fun Overtime for the Day Job. The good news (for me) is that they paid me for it.

The bad news, obviously, is that Purple Fuzzy Monster suffered. Badly.

That PFM went dark for six months has led me to re-evaluate my priorities, so there are going to be a few changes around here. PFM will be focusing on products that can be left to sell themselves if I’m unavailable. By that, I mean either PDF/print-on-demand products like Starships, or software built around existing engines and third-party assets. Any other games that tumble out of my brain will be looking for others to publish.

This means, of course, that I’m looking for a partner to finish Aliens Built My Hot Rod.

There will still be occasional workbench articles — they hit that happy spot where I find them fun to produce, and they sell copies of Starships. I have pictures of my last project uploaded onto my computer, so you should see something in the next week or so while life gets back to normal.

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