Core Space

It has been quite a while since I did a post on my blog.  Sadly I have been too busy to get much hobby time in, but I did get a new game I have been able to play quite a bit.

A couple years ago I backed Battle Systems in their project to produce a game.  A science-fiction skirmish game with a unique setting it is quite refreshing.  While it is a competitive game, players are able to cooperate.  In fact, some missions require the cooperation of all players.


Core Space Purge. Image courtesy of Battle Systems.

The premise is simple: players command a crew of ne’er do well traders similar to Fire Fly, Andromeda, or any sci-fi pulp serial.  These crews are then forced to survive in a galaxy being over-run by semi-autonomous robotic killing machines called the Purge.  They function very much like zombies in being predictable but some are downright terrifying in what they can do.

In addition to the great terrain which comes with the set (something to expect from Battle Systems), the game has a very flexible and logical artificial intelligence system.  This means through a simple chart and use of dice the NPCs can play themselves and they behave quite realistically.  The Purge will scramble over obstacles in their desire to kill.  Civilians will panic and flail about randomly.  The corrupt police agencies will attempt to shake down for bribes, protect civilians or arrest Traders.

Game Set-up

A game in progress. Image courtesy Battle Systems.

Because the AI is so versatile, solo play is actually a viable option.  I think the best feature of this is that one player isn’t stuck being the bad guy all the time (although using a game master is an option).  The mindless Purge do play how they are described if you follow the charts and they are still terrifying.  In fact, while playing games I have taken a step back to decide if I would do anything different with the Purge if I was playing them and most of the time I would not.

I recently finished the first campaign, as the game does have elements of role-playing it gave some interesting moments.  My selected captain had a bio that said he was obsessed with Hollywood movies my ancient Earth.  This meant when I was torn of the best course of action, I just went full action movie sequence.  Sometimes it even worked.  I did get quite the practice in the various ways to revive and drag around your wounded crew to safety.  In the final game, I even dragged the crew of another ship to safety.  Bit of irony there as I was the one who incapacitated them in the first place.

Captain Oberon Teelac

The infamous captain I used in my first campaign. Capt Oberon Teelac. Image courtesy Battle Systems.

I have also tried my hand at drafting up a few scenarios for Core Space myself.  I have created a campaign that is reminiscent of the cyber-punk themes of gangs and corrupt corporations making the crews more anti-heroes than anything else.  The scenarios below are all my own creation but the artwork comes from Battle Systems.

The map and icons are with their permission, the graphics are used without permission.

Feel free to have a read and provide any feedback you would like.  This is just the first half of the campaign as I am slowly working on the other missions.  The final listed mission is a game to be played to break crew members out of prison.







Hopefully this post was inspiring, if nothing else to get you to try a new game from time to time.  I think there is one I could recommend for you.

…in a galaxy far, far away

I have had a bit of time to pick up brush and hobby due some vacation from work.

The main focus of my hobby time has been a bit more of the Star Wars Imperial Assault figures.  I can really feel the rusty edges of my skill and I think only two of them really show off some of my old abilities.Gamorean1

Gamorean2Gamorean3Gamorean4Up first is a pair of grumpy pig-faced Gamoreans.  Famous for being the only guys foolish enough to run around with melee weapons in the time of blasters and other guns.  Oh, and the Jedi.  And the wookies.  Ok, so maybe they aren’t so lonely.  Anyhow, I went with using some of the shots of the costumes in daylight to use for my colour tones.  So for the die-hard Star Wars fans out there it will be a bit brighter than the dark confines of the buildings (or stomachs) they were depicted in during the movies.

I have another two of these guys to paint up and they will get more or less the same treatment.  While there are areas I feel are a bit rough, the faces came out quite nicely, especially from a distance.

Another miniature to show off is one I painted months ago but never put up on here.

This lovely little kitten is what is called a Nexu.  This is from the so called “prequel” trilogy, specifically from the Attack of the Clones.

I found the digital imagery was over-saturated in the pictures I found so I had a tough time trying to figure out the actual colours of this thing.  I settled with more or less white (ish) with purple stripes.  I think it looks fine and it fits the bill for a furball critter.

Nexu1Nexu2Nexu3As a bit of an action shot we see the Gamoreans playing keep away with the creature.Gamorean_Nexu


Also seeing some brush time were a couple of heroes.  The first pair are an alien race I don’t recall seeing in the movies so I was stuck using the card art to figure it out.  I did a very rough job all around on these guys, especially on the blending (or lack there of).  I feel these show the most skill fade on my part.  On the other hand they won’t get much attention during a game since they are Rebels and play beside a well-named and well-known cast of characters.

From arm’s length the clothing at least reads as a camo of some sort.

To finish on a high note are the figures I am more satisfied with, the ones that give me confidence I haven’t lost all my abilities.

Inquisitor1Inquisitor2Inquisitor3Up first we have the Grand Inquisitor.  I will be honest I have only a vague idea who this guy is.  He is a villain from the new Rebels cartoon, which my kids watched for a while.  As the art style is very conceptual in the cartoon, the figure captures the form of that more than a realistic anatomy.

Aside from that, I went with the pictures I could find to get his colours and shading right.

The one embarrassing thing to admit is that I tried (and failed) to do object source lighting on him.  It came out terrible so I just repainted those areas and I will come back to it later.  I think I ran into two issues.  I over-highlighted the areas I wanted lighted up and I went too light on the red.

Once I have tried it out some more I will likely revisit him to redo it.  These light-saber figures just call out for OSL on them to make the light work better.

Leia1Leia2Leia3The figure that I am most happy with is Princess Leia.  Wearing the latest fashion from Hoth, the figure replicates the costume she wore in The Empire Strikes Back on the arctic planet.

I spent a lot of time finding good pictures that showed the various parts of the costume in various lights and I think I captured the look very well.  I also spent a lot of time trying to get both the hair and facial expression to reflect the one often used in that movie.

Overall pushing paint around is a great way to unwind and I have missed being able to do this.

The game itself lends to very piece-meal painting to either do a band of heroes or a small group of villains at a time.  The varied looks actually merge quite well together as shown in the action shot of the villains and heroes staring each other down.

Leia_ActionA long update this time around, but hopefully still inspirational.  If nothing else to show that even a long break doesn’t mean too much in the way of skill fade.

A Long Time Ago…

When I moved this summer, I decided to pick up a new game. As I have a few friends who have really enjoyed Star Wars Imperial Assault, and most of the local game stores seemed to have a tournament environment, it was a good pick.

Fast forward a few months and I have started to actually slap some paint on the figures. Work being work, I haven’t been able to play many games with the local crowd but I have managed to get a few games in with friends.

Last night I managed to play a game with my wife and kids and the girls loved it. The game has a story mode where players control heroes and fight the Empire. With an app that has been released, nobody has to be stuck playing the bad guys and the kids loved it.

My youngest daughter absolutely loves wookies so she picked Gaarkhan in about 2 seconds flat. As an easy to painted figure he was the first of the 4 heroes to get painted.

Also getting some paint were the Royal Guards. I have always liked how they looked in the movies but I was a bit disappointed that they aren’t as awesome as some other figures.

Also getting painted was a probe droid, one of my favourite villains for all of the 2 minutes he was in the movies.

As a bit of an action shot we see the fearless wookie about to crush some Imperials.

A short post but hopefully inspirational. If nothing else to find a way to bring your hobby to the next generation.

We’re in bat country

A post that had to wait for delivery, one of my longtime friends is a huge fan of a certain infamous journalist. Although now dead, I feel I captured the feel of this individual. As a Christmas gift, I felt it was a good gift he can adorn his office or home (or even game with).

Lazarus by Hassle Free Miniatures painted as Hunter S Thompson

I used the costume from the film adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as it seemed pretty dead on.

Lazarus by Hassle Free Miniatures painted as Hunter S Thompson

Lazarus by Hassle Free Miniatures painted as Hunter S Thompson

To really evoke the 70s vibe I included the retro Adidas bag and a 1974 movie poster at his feet (Star Wars).

Lazarus by Hassle Free Miniatures painted as Hunter S Thompson

Short post, but hopefully no less inspirational, if nothing else to make all your heroes miniature.

New Recruits

As the title implies many more figures, I must apologize and say I misled you.  Instead, this just marks a bit of an increase in the miniature gamers out there.

As I have mentioned on this blog in the past, my girls like painting figures with me.  It is something they will do every so often, sadly less often here as I don’t have a good permanent set-up for painting.


For Christmas, in addition to the many other gifts we spoiled the girls with, I gave them each several miniatures they can paint and play a game with.  After their first game I even let them pick a few more figures to add to their collections.

DSCF8774The game I introduced them to is the Revised Song of Blades and Heroes.  In many ways it seems an old fashioned game.  It was something I was referred to by several gaming buddies a few years ago.  The biggest benefit it how simple the rules are.  I have stolen some line art drawing (as drawing is not one of my strengths) and used them to create the sheets included.  These gave the girls an easy reference and they already have the few special rules they each use memorized after only a few games.

Sample Lists:

If you have never played the game, I recommend picking it up (although there is an Advanced set of rules, I assume it is equally as good – I just haven’t played it).  It uses only 3 measuring ranges that can be easily made via a variety of measuring sticks.  I opted to cut and paint bamboo skewers so they are colour coded too.  Each model has only two stats and at most a few special rules.  While movement isn’t required, I included it there for simplicity.

Activation is easy enough to manage so much so that my 6 year old can figure out which is the best order to activate and how to use her leader to help other activations.

A brief post today, but hopefully still inspirational.  If nothing else, to maybe get out there with the next generation to have them start playing.

Quick and Dirty

So I recently finished a commission that was a bit different for me. A friend of a friend wanted some table-top quality figs done up so I volunteered to help out.

How is that different? Well they were 3D printed models. This was one of the UV reactive liquid printers so it had fewer layer lines.

As expected they were quick and easy to paint but a bit frustrating. I knew to expect paint adhesion issues so I gave them a good scrubbing. As a plus a bit of rubbing alcohol residue was still in them after the wash so the paint drying accelerated on the primer.

The issues was the models continued sweating through-out causing a few paint adhesion issues. This was most obvious on the white and made wet-blending impossible. It did not resist dry brushing and exaggerated highlighting so I went that route after the first fig.

Overall, the detail was a bit sparse and stylized. Interesting effect, but not my normal genre. After seeing the art style I opted for a bit more of an anime style. These are HeroForge minis that he managed to print at home, not sure how that works…must be a new option.

Anyhow, hopefully you found this inspirational, if nothing else to try a new genre in your hobby craft.

Gathering moss

Unlike a rolling stone. Sadly I wish I had something tree related with that title, but instead I just managed to throw paint on a couple more figs. Actually I have 7 figures in progress right now but these two are “done enough”.

Up first is a figure who will represent a sneaky thief. He pretends to be a merchant and travels with his well-locked chest. Once night falls his kobold allies come out of the extra-dimensional house that is hidden in the chest. Cue the music and creepy kobold night fight.

The face is a bit rough, not helped by the mold-line on the face I missed. Good enough for a one-time villain and/or villager proxy for future games.

Also getting finished is another bugbear. This one a bit more well armoured than the others.

A bit harsh in the contrast and that armour is entirely too clean for a bugbear but again…good enough for what he will be.

To wrap it up a action pic and hopefully a bit of motivation, if nothing else to power through a few figs to get that momentum going.

It’s been a while

…and I won’t subject you to Stained. Instead, here is something else.


I have been quite busy as of late. Work is still the main culprit, with a change of provinces, job, and a move I have had little time to do hobby stuff. I have been able to set up a new DnD game and that has led to a bit of brush work.

The thing about a new group is trying to get the buy in early. So I went all out in converting characters for the players.

To start with a very old friend happens to live in my new city of residence. He wanted to make a goliath race warden so I found the best suites model…and painted it. He literally matched the model exactly.

Next was another coworker who played in my last DnD group. He got moved with work too. He opted for a dwarf fighter…which became and dwarf cleric when he realized the other player had made a similar character.

The next player opted for a human fighter. Nothing too fancy, until you consider I converted the same model I showcased last time. Weapon swap, head swap and shield swap later and we have an AWOL soldier.

That player’s wife wanted a shifter cleric. She saw a Tiefling model and asked if I could turn the horns into ears. Bit of knife work and some putty to remove the other ears and I she was ecstatic about the results.

There are two other characters but I seem to be missing pictures on my phone…yes I am using my phone instead of computer dear reader. I apologize for the lack of polish for this reason.

Instead, here is the party snap shot.

A bit eclectic but I think they have worked well as a team so far.

The next adventure had a requirement for some monsters and NPCs I hadn’t painted yet so here are a few with a bit of paint.

Quite the mix I know, but I am happy with the results, even if they are just a quick speed paint.

Hopefully today has inspired you, if nothing else to stir up the ashes and bring a hobby fire back to life.

Return of the Hobbyist

It has been a long time since I have been able to post, so I apologize to my regular readers.  Between needing surgery and several work trips, I have been unable to find hobby time. Last night marked the first time in nearly a year since I was able to do anything hobby related.

Vernone by Reaper Miniatures in Bones. Sadly miscast.

Conversion of Vernone by Reaper Miniatures in Bones.

The first thing I did was a bit of a conversion.  When my Bones 3 arrived, I had one miscast model, Vernone.  I contacted Reaper and they quickly sent me a replacement.  In the mean-time, he had been sitting on my desk when I came back.  A bit of scalpel work later and viola, a new knight with a grim hammer.  Nothing too involved but a good selling point of Bones: this conversion would be much more difficult in nearly all other materials.

In keeping with my bad puns, like Return of the Jedi, this post will feature a cute and cuddly thing too.


Ruth by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Ruth by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Ruth by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Ruth by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Ruth by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Ruth by Hasslefree Miniatures.

Well maybe just cute.  One of the space rogues (think Guardians of the Galaxy) I have been working on, I did the basic blocking out of colours for Ruth last night, the plucky space dwarf (Hasslefree Grimm) hacker.

I wanted an eclectic colour mix for the helmet and did some lines to divide and pushed paint around.  Her bright yellow jumpsuit screams non-combatant and I figured it was funny.  I had to make her elbow and knee pads pink just to add to the whole ludicrous effect.

I see with the giants pics of shame that I need to touch up a few edges and I need a bit better blending of her jumpsuit in a couple spots.  I still need to highlight the webbing, helmet, visor and finish a few things but I think the overall effect is cool and evokes the stereo-typical free-spirit hacker.  The laptop is likely going to stay black or grey but I intend to paint on some logos on the back of the screen and possibly add in either the “blue screen of death”, a start-up screen from Windows, or a busy looking screen making it look like she is doing some hard-core hacking.  Still, as a WIP and only a bit of brush time she is definitely coming along.

I do like the look of the Grimm and I am not sure what I would paint the others when I pick more up.  I am tempted to keep the yellow jumpsuits but have everything “military” painted in olive drab or something similar.  When I pick some more of them up we will see where my head is at.

So from the obscurity of the web comes a quick update.  Hopefully you found this inspirational, if nothing else to dive back in with both feet after a hobby hiatus.

A stitch in time

With my week wrapped-up I was able to find a bit of brush time.  Fortunately, this also gives me a chance to get a few models ready for the next RPG session.  All of these are actually Bones 3 models that I have been slowly putting paint to brush on.

Stitch golem by Reaper Miniatures

Stitch golem by Reaper Miniatures

Stitch golem by Reaper Miniatures

Stitch golem by Reaper Miniatures

Stitch golem by Reaper Miniatures

Through the course of previous sessions, the players have managed to secure a town (actually the size of a small city with the refugees they brought in) and have sworn fealty to one of the city-state fiefdoms.  Their problems really started at that point since the town was actually under the protection of the other neighbouring fiefdom.  As they have picked a few fights with the representatives of the magister, I felt it was appropriate to give them a more fleshed out force.

Their new rival city state is run by a magister but it is also home to the Arcane University.  The influence of powerful magic users means it would make sense they would not fight with soldiers most of the time.  So I have thrown together a few golems that will reflect a more accurate force they would use in war.

The stitch golems here are just plain cute.  I rushed these a bit but they are definitely a lot of fun to paint.  The metal models probably have a few more details but these are very sharp and crisp with only a few stitches here and there not clear and crisp.  I opted to number them as I was reminded of the movie 9 featuring rag-dolls with a bit of magical spark.

The blue and yellow one I rushed a bit and I could touch him up in the future.  When these are released at retail I will likely get a few more as they are very silly and a few more for conversions would be fun.

Flesh golem by Reaper Miniatures

Flesh golem by Reaper Miniatures

The next golem getting paint is the flesh golem.  This model is a lot of fun.  Some of the stitching of body parts was overlapped by mold lines and the left side of the face was a bit soft on detail so I am not sure where the sutures begin and end.

A very gruesome piece I exploited was that the stitching completely separates some body parts and skin patches so now he looks as patch-work as the other golems.  I wasn’t 100% sure if the right leg was supposed to be loose flesh or pants so I went with flesh.  Either way he is quite the versatile model.  I can see this used in fantasy, horror, or sci-fi.

Iron golem by Reaper Miniatures

Iron golem by Reaper Miniatures

Iron golem by Reaper Miniatures

Iron golem by Reaper Miniatures. Hayden by Hasslefree Miniatures.

The final golem getting done is the massive Iron Golem.  Standing at nearly 4 inches tall this towering beast dwarfs most other models.  To carry on with my usual bad puns…insert dwarf for scale.

I opted to go with a bare metal design with crudely painted yellow based on how it will fit in the RPG story.

I did do a very crude glow effect on the vents.  Most of them look good from at least one angle…the problem is none of them look good from the same angle.  I am most happy with the vents on the head.

A few models to showcase and a bit of my usual rambling, but hopefully something was inspiring for you today.  If nothing else, it shows you how a solid plan and some speed-painting can help you get new models on the table for your next game no matter what you play.