Monday, 3 January 2022

Begin a year, close a project

 Happy new year everyone!

I hope everybody's doing well. I'm starting this year's activity with a kind of unexpected bonus that happily allows me to declare a project finished, which is always a reason to rejoice :)

When I was finishing the Aliens vs Predator project my pal told me 'oh, BTW, I totally forgot, I also have the 2nd ed of the game and an expansion' :O

Well, I should have seen that coming. I would have preferred to paint the whole lot at a time, but fortunately this time it was but a fistful of minis, which made things easier.

I begun with the easy stuff, the Aliens. The poses of the Xenomorphs in this box is much better than the first edition ones.

Much more dynamic and daring

These were called 'drones' in the 1st ed, now they are called 'infants'. The semantics escape me

The stalkers are creepier. The use of scenery reinforces the crawling menace vibe

So these are the Aliens in the new box:

Cheers. Winners of the scariest smile contest of this year

The Predators were tricky again. The fishnet suit is a little nightmare to paint, but in the end it wasn't as much as a hell as I feared. There's one repeated pose, the Discobolus Predator, but the other two are new.

Greek, classical Predators

The Colonial Marines were new too. Again, a couple of them used the base as a vignette. I forgot to mention, the second edition minis have the base integrated on them, which gives nice lookings.

Looking for trouble

Again, it's a shame they couldn't do the characters from the movie, but these serve their purpose more than enough. I love the Corps!

My pal also got an expansion. It is called Hot Landing Area, and features these nice gentlemen:

Nothing new about them painting wise, just the same recipe

Tech Barbarian in spaaace. With another head could fit into a Mad Max setting or something

One of them is not human

When I got these minis I didn't recognise them at first. I thought they were colonists. Only later on I learned they were prisoners, like the ones you can see on the fanfic film Alien3 (It's a shame they only made two Alien movies, right? I would have loved to have many more, but no other one was ever shot. Ever. A shame, I say).

I don't think you can really say from the pic, but the uniforms are not the same green. Jackets are darker than pants. And all the skin tones are different. The one in blue is not a prisoner, but a synthetic, the one in charge of their custody.

With this I can finally say this Aliens vs Predator project is closed (well, that statement is never true, but you know). What now? I have to come back to the Gargant, but I think I may do some other side works in the meantime. Who knows!

Anyway, I hope 2022 starts fantastically for all of you. See you soon!


Friday, 24 December 2021

Two classics with a twist

 Hi everyone, hope you all are doing well.

Before 2021 ended I wanted to keep on doing stuff, the kind of achievable, small projects you can use as a palette cleanser. I had the perfect minis for that. Among the gorgeous, precious RT things Iain from Caveadsum1471 gave me, I had these two:

Ehhh... care to trade that weapon, pal?

 The Imperial Assasin by Jes Goodwin an original Necron (well, I know we could argue about that, but I hope you all recognise the model, which is the point here). Iain had already done the conversions, swapping the weapons, and I have to say it's a thing I immediately liked. A no-brainer, it was like 'oh, of course that looks uber cool, I'm totally keeping them this way!'

I had no specific ideas in mind at first. I toyed with the idea of painting the Assasin different than usual black. But I'm afraid that the Space Ninja imagery was too stuck in my mind to do otherwise (you know, even knowing that real life ninjas didn't necessarily wear in black, it was a trick from kabuki theatre to represent them being invisible. Whatever the case, I finally went for black).

I didn't want to paint the Necron metallic though, I was sure of that. I have no Necron army nor a desire to start one! Iain had started to take the Necron symbol away from his chest, so I completed the task and begun to think about a plausible explanation.

As I wanted to make a quick progress, I also painted him (him? it? Why am I assuming the robot's gender?) using the very same colours. Yup, you know, I'm that lazy!

Twins!

Once I had decided to paint it black, like the Rolling Stones, I began to think about what other colours to use. If this was a true Imperial Assasin he should wear dull, boring colours. But you know, you can't do that with a RT mini!! It's simply against the law.

I had a pic stuck in my mind again. It's from mighty Asslessman from Leadplague (well, it's pretty obvious to take that blog as a reference!), and I knew I should use red to make some contrast with black. But I dared to go one step further, and I decided to use cream/bone/white for the large weapon. It's a Gauss rifle from the Necron, as said earlier, but for the Assasin's purpose I think it can be taken for some kind of megamurder gun. Not that I'm too picky, you know.

Yeah, I'm on my holidays off to the beach, is it that obvious?

It's quite difficult to use an Assasin in your regular games, unless you set a specific scenario, of course. After all, Assasins are directly assigned by decree of the High Lords of Terra themselves, so you better create some good conditions in your setting with a high value target. However, in good old RT days there was a little bit more freedom. I think you can justify their intervention as part of an Inquisition detachment or quite a number of any other reasons.

So, giving a thought or two to this issue, I created the character of Jenn Cremaro, inquisitorial agent and former Imperial Assasin. Recruited by Inquisitor [classified] during the Ronodorum Purge, Cremaro is used as an asset to end the work and hunt down the fleeing heretics that escaped the Imperial authorities.

How come that the first WIP pic shows the blacks better than this pic??

Acting independently, he follows the tracks the Inquisitorial intelligence provides him and moves from a system to another. As regular people in the outer rims have never heard of the Officio Assasinorum and sometimes even the Inquisition, there's little or no need for a disguise, so he operates with what can be taken as the looks of any eccentric bounty hunter. In fact that's how he operates undercover, wandering from here to there and taking jobs for a living while pursuing his own agenda, so other bounty hunters and lowlifes see him as one of their own.

This galaxy has certainly seen worse attires

The Necron was even more problematic. It's kind of diffcult to make a single, soulless android work in this space adventurers setting. Unless, of course, you have an open, RT-oriented mind :P

If we are able to bring together the old and the current background for the Necrons, we know they used to be mortal beings, but long story short, they turned into mechanic automatons millions of years ago. When they suffer damage beyond their auto-repairing skills, they teleport to the closest Tomb World to be properly repaired or redone. They may lose memories, conscience or any connection with reality during that process if it happens repeatedly. If you wish to know everything about Necrons, I suggest you check Lexicanum, for example.

For the 1100100th time, I'm not from the Rogue Trader times

The entity inside this metal body awakened without any collection of memories beyond the basic skills. The mechanical process analogue to biological amnesia was heavily severe. He/she/it (gender attribution was not an understandable concept at the moment) woke up to what happened to look like an abandoned battlefield, which it instinctively recognised. It saw several bodies; organic bodies, now not functional. The entity reached the conclusion that they all were different to itself, slowly assuming the self-conscience of a living machine. There were no other specimens like itself all over the battlefield. They had all teleported, but that was a thing the entity could have not any knowledge of. Its mechanical body sustained critical damages, but had been auto repairing for some time, apparently. It could move and perform relatively complex actions again, as the auto-repairing systems were still active. Its body lacked the abilty to phase out anymore, but of course it had no recollection of such information.

Basic data collection took some time, but time had no meaning to the mechanical being. It learned about the planet where it was and the local fauna. The dominant species, called 'hoomans', curiosly resembled its own basic shape. During a very short span of time humans knew as 'years', 'decades' and 'centuries', the being learned that mechanical entities like itself were not welcome among those biological creatures, who searched to destroy it every time they knew of its very existence. Tales were told about a ghost 'robot', a monster with AI, aberrant intelligence, that lurked the desert and the outskirts of small villages.

Feeling stranded on that planet and without real knowledge of its self nature, the being learned to adapt to the environment through time. It tried to blend in the local fauna. Bionic limbs were accepted to an extent, but a whole bionic essence was apparently too much. The entity impersonated one of those 'hoomans'. It tried to pass as a male of the species (and hence became to refer to itself as a 'he'). There were some hoomans who performed violence against other hoomans or any other beings, and he soon excelled in that field. He painted his mechanical body and even added some local cultural markings, as these hoomans paid tribute to a two-headed bird named eagle and worshipped (the concept still eluded him) a kind of superior being known as Emperor.

He collected all that data and assimilated it on his appearance. He tried to make his movements more fluid and pretended to be a hooman wearing a skull shaped helmet. For unknown reasons these sacks of meat loved skulls. They added skulls to any element they could, so they all accepted he was wearing an elegant helmet and had some bionic parts due to biological injuries.

Cultural markings of an eagle and a smiley on both knees

He convinced everyone that he was a bounty hunter who had taken a vow to the Eagle-Emperor of never showing his biological face again and keeping it under the helmet. People on the Eastern Fringe have certainly seen worse stupid things than that. So as long as he takes the jobs and kills the guys he has to kill, no one feels the need to mind his damn bussiness.

You know there are weirder tales than this one in WH40K

He took the name 'Robb O'Tikk' and he wanders in his puny disguise secretly looking for evidence of more beings like himself, trying to learn about his very nature. Every place with a library, with an elder who tells stories of old, with merchants bringing news from places afar, calls for his attention.

He tends to be alone, but from time to time he teams up with other bouty hunters or adventurers if the circumstances ask for it. Along the last couple of centuries he has met some interesting people. Some tried to kill him when they knew of this horrid secret, some others didn't stay long enough to know.

Most disfunctional team ever

Will Robb ever meet someone so open minded to accept him as he is? Will he discover one day the terrible truth about himself and his people? Where will his allegiance lay that day?

Will they all fight each other or will they come to terms as the weirdest crew in the galaxy?

(I'm feeling the strange urge to read Stargrave and see if I can do something with this bunch of weirdos!)

Well, this will most likely be my last post of M03.021, so I just wanted to wish you all a merry Christmas (or merry Candlemas, or the earthling solstice celebration of your choice) and happy new year! Hope to see you again pretty soon on 2022. Stay safe!

Sunday, 12 December 2021

Another glorious day

 Back again on the Alien vs Predator project! Today we'll have the (almost) final installment on this adventure, the Colonial Marines.

The basic games comes with a 5 men strong Squad, to which I added a Sergeant. Due to licenses, they are not the marines from the Aliens movie, but generic Colonial Marines. Any similarities with those is merely coincidental.

Hapone, Hips, Hoodson, Blake, Frest and Verbovskee

The minis are really cool. Awesome sculpts and fantastic casts. But remember, I'm painting my set and my pal's too. Besides the above, he also got another squad and a few bits, so I used them to make some minor conversions, in order to avoid having repeated minis.

I believe the running guy belongs to a different sculptor, feels a little bit out of scale

Conversions are pretty simple and subtle

I converted both of them. And left the Sgt untouched, no need for conversion here

He also got some more candy:

Well, these were to be expected

And of course this was to be expected!

You may remember I painted some special minis some weeks ago, including a Dutch Shaeffer and a Linn Kurosawa, both in video game aesthetics. Well, my pal also got these other 'regular' versions of the characters:

Looks like kind of Schwarzenegger in Commando, but with the bionic arm

Bases are oversized, yes, but it's the same size the other minis had, so I kept it this way

More stuff! This time it's a thing out of the Kickstarter. Precisely this pal I'm painting these minis for gave me an APC some time ago. I believe it's from Khurasan, now a discontinued item. As it's not a licensed piece, it cannot be an exact replica, but it's more than close enough for me:

Most glorious brick of resin

Three layers of highlighting and you could barely see them. Sigh.

As these are not the Marines from that movie, I thought I should change the adscription of the APC, and not enlist it as part of the USS Sulaco.

Given that both Nostromo and Sulaco obviously come from Joseph Conrad's Nostromo, I followed the same path and thus created the USS Costaguana.

Due to my poor skills you can read Costagoana, but I don't dare to touch it anymore

So here you have them all:

All right, sweethearts, what are you waiting for? Breakfast in bed? Another glorious day in the Corps!

I've tried to take a pic of the complete project, but I'm afraid I've already given my pal significant parts of his batch (storage at home is quite an issue these days!), so please accept my apologies and have this disappointing, incomplete shot, just to give an idea of what's this all about:

I've painted like more than the double of both Aliens and Predators

Is this the end of the project? Well, the end of the main body of the project indeed. But there's still a final installment of this whole AvP project! I'm already working on it, so I hope I can unveil the mystery soon!

Saturday, 27 November 2021

9th anniversary!

 Here we are again!

Nine years ago I started a blog. Nine years, wow. Of course nowadays I cannot keep the same updating rate than I used to, but I'm still painting!

This year has been particularly slow. Raising the Suberlings takes most of the time and an unpleasant increase of responsibilities on the job is also alarmingly reducing the hobby time. I guess most of you are quite familiar with this, so what can I say, I'm just another regular guy in his forties!

Whatever the case is, 2021 is the year in which I have the least posts. Gasp! In my defense I'll say that I've been facing quite pharaonic, delusional projects, and I have even managed to actually finish some of them!

Let's keep track of what I've been up with since last November.

It actually hurts me to acknowledge that this project is in a hiatus since November 2020. Dammit:

I really need to resume this!

I've done some good old fashion Rogue Trader adventurers, pirates and so:


I've done a few fun side projects:

I got back to the World of Twilight:


When I talked about delusional projects, I mean stuff like this madness, the Conan KS game:

Still having nightmares from time to time

This project alone took most of my time and sanity points. But seeing it finished gives a sense of closure difficult to explain. Ahhhhh.

I also revisited some Orks:

And I got the privilege to paint this awesome bust:


Real life events moved me to play the only game I've managed to run this year, an intense game of Skirmish Sangin:


 If I didn't have enough with one KS, I also started to paint the other one I had pending for years, the Aliens vs Predator one, which I still haven't finished (the Colonial Marines are coming soon, I promise)








But well, you know, my star project this year has been the huge scratchbuilt monster, the Ork Gargant, Morkstroke:

Remember, it all started like this

One year later...

It's not yet finished, but close to!


This has been my blogging year! So not many posts, but I've tried thay all of them had some juicy content.

My priorities right now are finishing the Gargant and the AvP game. I really need to get back to my mining town board, and I have like tons of old school Orks patiently waiting for their turn. Apart from that, the usual stuff. Projects I started years ago, projects I started months ago, projects I'm about to start any moment :D

I invite you to keep on board, to comment whatever you thing I could/should do to improve the blog and well, just to sit and enjoy! Year ten starting in three, two, one...