Tuesday, October 30, 2012

IKRPG Minis and Impossible Dream Update

Man, this was a terrible month for me to do the Impossible Dream. I should have thought about the fact that the IKRPG was coming out, and that it would eat my life. Oh, well. I'll get some pics from what I've done on that front by tomorrow (after I finish Croe's hopefully - we'll see).

As for the IKRPG minis, I think they're all done. I'm not very pleased with Rust Bucket's...well, rust, but i kind of stopped giving a shit.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

IKRPG Figs Part 2: Salvador Duranti

I can't say it's the best model ever, but after I get him all painted up I think he'll look pretty good. I'm really pleased at the pose, and I think the cigar is gonna look legit.

Epic magnus' body, a steelhead halberdier head, widowmaker marksman rifle, steelhead halberdier arms and shoulderpad, sub-par greenstuff work to try and tie it all together.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

IKRPG Figs Part 1: Rust Bucket

The IKRPG has me incredibly hyped, and the other day James and I started talking about his character, a Rhulic Arcane Mechanik/Field Mechanik. He comes with a light laborjack, and after much discussion back and forth, we decided that a straightforward loadout of a halberd would be the best option, the deciding factor being that we wouldn't need to purchase more ammunition for it. We also talked about putting a crane on it to assist in salvage operations in the field, and since my character has a bit of gold on hand, I decided to "invest" it in this crane, since successful salvage in the field = more money/assets, I figured it would become a long-term investment. Eventually we'll probably put a shield on the thing and look into upgrading the cortex, but given what we can find in the field those are all maybes. Anyway, I'm sure you're more interested in pics than talk, so I present to you the most metallic member of Salvador Duranti's Preemptive Salvage Specialists: Rust Bucket!

I am incredibly pleased with how it turned out, in particular the crane. I saw a design online for a crane that really inspired me, and after spending some time looking at old steam-powered railroad cranes I bodged this together out of scraps of styrene I had laying around. The halberd is another great bodged together bit that James and I did, with the main haft being the right arm from an old metal Lancer, then adding a Kriel Warrior Leader Right Arm blade and the back side of the polearm from the IKRPG figure of the Ogrun Fighter.

Hope you enjoy, more pics later when it's painted.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Salvador Duranti: Part II

After his part in the failed defense of Winterhaven in Southern Llael, combined with the fact that they did not in fact get paid for their crucial role in evacuating the civilians, Salvador Duranti had a dispute with his employer and left the yet-unformed mercenary company, vowing to make his own and do it better. He still had in his possession the several pages from the Libre Mechanikus that they had found in the old barn, a fact that he had not bothered to mention to the others. It was a simple matter to find members of the Order of Illumination in the area, since they were looking for their fallen fellows and the stolen pages. He told them what he know and sent them toward the farm where they're found the pages, then offered them those same pages for a reward.

Handsomely compensated, Sal turned his attentions west to his homeland of Ord. He made his way to Corvis and booked passage down the Dragon's Tongue River to Five Fingers, where he disembarked and began looking for work. His status as a Lieutenant in the Steelhead Mercenary Company (a title he still maintained on his "hiatus") allowed him to make several contacts early on who were eager to work with a warcaster-for-hire. The most promising of these leads was an old acquaintance of his named Terkainen Calhoon, a Rhulic mechanik of some notable skill. Terkainen had been employed working for a mining conglomerate the last time they had spoken, but the dwarf now seemed to be looking for work, alongside a beat up laborjack with a bodged together halberd the dwarf affectionately called "Rust Bucket". Sal suspected that his current unemployed status from the mines was related to his possession of the 'jack, but without prying too deeply he decided that having a skilled mechanik with his own 'jack would end up being very useful.

With the beginnings of a legitimate outfit, Sal drafted up a charter for "Salvador Duranti's Preemptive Salvage Specialists", which he envisioned would specialize in the destruction and salvage of military hardware, then utilizing Terkainen's mechanikal expertise they could upgrade Rust Bucket or any other 'jacks they might come into possession of. This was a plan that could eventually lead to a sizable force-for-hire, and would allow for the training of him and his associates to be worthy of far more impressive contracts.

The second big break came when he made contact with Egan Eisman, a representative of the wealthy House Mateu. The Mateus were looking for discrete mercenaries on retainer to use in undisclosed operations for an indefinite period of time. It was an ideal set up, and Sal jumped on the opportunity. Several hours of haggling and drafted contracts later, and a very solid deal had been come to. They would have their expenses covered and steady work, with respectable pay for each job, and a place to use as a base of operations. Terkainen immediately started setting up in an empty shop as his mechanik's room, while Sal began looking around for additional members.

The next acquisition was a kayazy traveling alchemist named Michael Western looking for more steady work. In addition to his obvious skill with explosives (never a bad thing) he was well-trained in dealing with money, and Sal assigned him as the Company Treasurer to ease his mind from needing to count coppers all the time. Next he found an ex-trencher sharpshooter named Elias Kurgan with extensive medical background, and Sal hired him as the sniper and medic for the group. Finally he found a pirate on the docks who was looking to stay clear of his former crew - something about a betrayal or mutiny, but Sal didn't care so long as the man was willing to fight alongside them for coin.

With his five specialists, Sal made arrangements with Egan to travel to Merin, where they would work on retainer for House Mateu. Over the several days of travel it took to get there, Sal did his best to form a unit out of the disparate personalities and skill sets. He trained them on fire-and-advance tactics, allowing Rust Bucket to screen them while the rifles picked off anyone too close. He demonstrated his ability to allow his comrades to find cover virtually anywhere to remain safe from explosions and bullets.

Until they are tried in combat, though, it's all just words.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

War of the Worlds Kraken

So I am not the biggest fan of the base Kraken pose. It looks like a squat beetle, and for the life of me I'm not sure how it can propel itself across the ground on those stubby little legs. One solution was to have it bursting from the water, but I already did that when I painted my friend's Kraken a few months ago.

The Kraken I painted for my friend. He took my dang idea!

The more I thought about it, a second idea came to me. This is a machine that has long tentacles that grab up people and stuff them into cages while firing a giant death ray. Sounds an awful lot like the Tripods from the new War of the Worlds movie from a few years back with Tom Cruise.

Let's face it, those things were creepy.

So I set out to mimic this whole thing with my Kraken. I wanted it to be standing up taller, but I was trying to figure out how to do that and still have it be basically playable. Another pet peeve of mine was that there is no obvious swimming apparatus for a machine that is supposed to attack ships from under water. The legs weren't tall enough, there were no propellers or water jets, and as best I can figure out it just sits in shallow water and reaches up to grab passing ships. That simple won't due - a sea monster needs to be able to leap up from its resting place on the ocean floor and grab its unsuspecting prey!

This was attempt 1. It got me the pose I wanted, but the dowels in the back were too big and lumpy. The front legs were significantly cut and repositioned, and the tentacles reaching forward a little more, but I knew I had to do something about that leg. After some experimentation...

Behold! The mighty Klawed Kraken! You can see in the first picture I have a hapless prisoner being pulled into the side vent there, and there's a body on the ground in the second picture (both are zombie miniatures from Mantic Games). The claw leg is a combination of one of the original back legs for the Kraken, three crabjack legs (my bitz box is full and bursting with goodies), a well-placed brass pin, and a little washer-thing I found at Home Depot. It looks weird and Cryxian (at least to me), and once painted up it will tower over the table (it's a good 2-3" taller than the stock model) and stuff enemy troops into its side-vents while spraying death over its other victims.

My sister's housewarming present

I went to visit my sister this weekend, who just moved into an awesome little cabin on a ranch up near San Louis Obispo (Templeton, to be exact). She is an avid Firefly fan and immediately called her new place "Serenity", but as a reference to the ship and also for the effect it has on her stressful life. As a housewarming gift, I made her a little something to hang on the wall.

She absolutely loved it, which was great for me. We hung it up by her front door, and it fits the aesthetic of her house perfectly.