Monday, 23 April 2012

Dark Heresy - Arbitrator

In this post I am showcasing the miniature i converted and painted to represent my character in the Dark Heresy campaign I am playing in.

(And using my light box to take pictures for the first time.)

We rolled up all the details (home planet, career, appearance etc.) about our characters randomly. Once I had my stats I came up with his background.

Character mini bio:

My character is named Pontius krak, he is an Arbitrator, a member of the Adeptus Arbites. The well armed, well trained and uncompromising police force of the 41st millenium.
He spent his youth running with an underhive gang, was drafted into the Arbites after proving himself a capable individual whilst working as a watchman (a deputised ganger) and although still a rookie was taken on as an Inquisitorial henchman.

(Here is my character's full bio on my friends Dark Heresy Campaign called Missing!!! on Obsidian Portal : Pontius Krak)

The Miniature:

With that information in mind I sketched down a few ideas and looked at miniature parts in my bits-box and online to feel out what i wanted him to look like.
And this is what I came up with:




The main parts I used for the figure were:
- Space Marine scout legs (from the standard scout sprue).
- Right aiming arm (from the standard scout sprue)
- Left arm holding shotgun at ease (from the space marine scout biker sprue)
- Torso with Aquila (from the Cadian Imperial officer sprue)
- Head (from the Cadian Imperial officer sprue)
- Las-pistol(from a Cadian Imperial guardsman arm)
- And finally various bags/holsters (from various sprues)



The Miniature didn't take an awful lot of conversion to get the image I had in mind.

First I used a scalpel to carefully cut away the Bolt-pistol that the right hand originally held. And replaced it with the Las-pistol that i had also carefully cut away from its original arm.
The shoulder pads from the space marine scout arms were carved away and made to look like normal material sleeves.

And then it was just a case of gluing the the parts together.

I decided to keep the paint scheme simple:
- Black for the armour plates with a touch of blue added for highlighting.
- Black for the material sections with a touch of brown added for highlighting.
- Yellow detailing in places to complement the rest of the scheme.
- And I painted the weapons with hazard striping (in the 41st millenium, they go with every ensemble.)

- I finished the paint job with a touch of gloss varnish on the armour plates
- Painted weathering on his equipment (and used a pencil for the metal showing through the chipped areas)
- And finally applied some powdered pastel to the miniature to simulate dust, grime and rust.






Even though my character is quite young, he has naturally grey hair. And taking into account that he spent his life in an underhive environment, I decided to paint his skin quite pale and pallid.

This is also the first time I've experimented with painting stubble on a miniature.

All in all I'm quite happy with how the paint scheme turned out.


I have grown fond of round lipped gaming bases, I think I'll use them from now on whenever possible.

The detail on the base was created by cutting a section out of the top area. I put a bottom on the base using plasticard and made the small details like the cables and burst pipe using pieces of styrene rod and tube. The surface area was also created using plasticard for the plating, styrene strip and small rounds of rod for riveted pieces and a small piece of car body mesh for the section of broken grating.

The base was painted in metal, washed with various rusty shades And finally given a little brush with pastel powder to simulate dry rust.

Hope you like it, take care now.

Jonathan.

Obsidian Portal a Light Review

If you play tabletop roleplaying games and you haven't heard about this site before, I highly recommend you go over there and give it an in depth look.

obsidian portal banner


Obsidian Portal gives you the opportunity to collate, archive and showcase games that you and your friends are running or playing in. Whether you play Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, World of Darkness, Cyberpunk 2020, Traveller, GURPS, Call of Cthulhu or many more games I could mention. I think that if you give it a go you'll find out just how useful a resource it can be.

The heart of the site is the ability to create a wiki of any campaign that you are playing. your personal campaign is organised by tabs, allowing you to share any information on the setting, your adventure logs, characters, items and the grants you the ability to create any other page for information you would like to have on there.

If you wish you can just use it alone as a place to write up campaign ideas, it makes creating a campaign or adventure an absolute breeze. If you have problems keeping your notes or your group organised, if character sheets and notes constantly go missing, then this site can save you so much hassle. Just create a copy of any information you wish to be remembered up there and take comfort that you'll always be able to go back there and retrieve that information when it's most needed.

Lacking inspiration for an encounter? Enjoy reading about other gamer's adventures and exploits? Then just browse around all the wonderful campaigns already up there created by people from all over the world.

It proves it's usefulness the more you and your gaming group get involved, they can post up information about their own characters, logs and anything else they would want.

You can customise your wiki using the textile and html code supported by the site to really personalise your campaign. If you're a little put off by the perceived difficulty of such a task, then don't worry! There is help on board the site itself to guide you and a helpful and supportive community on Obsidian Portal's own forum.

Also if you like to listen to RPG podcasts then I can also recommend Haste: the official Obsidian Portal podcast.

I've only scratched the surface on what the site and it's contents can provide for you and your gaming group, I can't do it the justice it deserves so just head on over there using the button above and see for yourself.


At the time of writing this post I have been a member of the Obsidian Portal site for some time, but I've only just started to learn how to customise my campign wiki. If you are interested in seeing my Pathfinder RPG Campaign Setting - Beyond the Wardwall, just click here:

beyond the wardwall


Well, I hope anybody reading this may find it a little informative and that Obsidian Portal provides you the necessary tools to take your game to the next level.

That's enough of me for one post, take care out there.

Jonathan.

(the banner/button images used in this review are the sole property of Obsidian Portal, I use them without permission but mean no copyright infringement and use them solely to direct people to the Obsidian Portal site)

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Deathwatch Ultramarine

I've had a trawl through images on my phone and here's my first hobby post:

A friend has decided he may run the Warhammer 40,000:Deathwatch RPG for our gaming group but wanted us to have miniatures prepared for our characters beforehand.

My partner decided she wanted to play an Ultramarine, but wasn't confident she could replicate the insignia of the chapter and asked me if I would do it.

She knew full well I would, I was practically chomping at the bit to do it because there's nothing I find more addictive than madly converting and detailing miniatures... Well maybe chocolate... And Tea...And probably sex...

But i digress...


The Insignia

The insignia wasn't too hard, I just paid attention to the reference material I had at hand.

(when using any metal tools with green stuff, I prefer to use vaseline as a lubricant to make the job a lot easier.)
  • I started with a piece of green stuff in almost a "shield" shape, like a square but with the bottom two corners rounded.
  • Using an embossing tool* I worked from the center out making a circle.
  • I cut the channel at the top and took away two "v" shaped sections at the top right and left and had the recognisable basic shape of the Ultra symbol.
  • Then it was just a matter of cleaning up the edges with a silicone clay shaper** and making sure the symbol was an even thickness overall too.
*embossing tools come in a variety of sizes, they look like a thick metal needle with a ball on the tip. one of my favourite sculpting tools and available cheaply in most craft shops
 
**I can not stress enough how wonderful these tools are to work with green stuff. Maybe a little pricey for some, but they are worth it.


The Name

I also used this project as an excuse to try sculpting a name for the first time.

  • I applied a long rectangle of green stuff across the bottom of the banner.
  • Using a thin tool (I can't remember what off hand, possibly a scalpel?) I measured out five equally sized boxes.
  • Then it was just a case of pressing into the putty to make the shape of the letters.
  • I worked on the "I" in the middle first and then worked outward in both directions.
  • The two decorative pieces on the ends of the name were an afterthought it was just left over from sculpting the name and was originally going to be cut off.
  • Then I just had to make sure it was an even thickness and the edges were pushed in a little straighter.
  • The Ultra symbol was made in exactly the same way as the first on the shoulder pad, as was the smaller one on the chest.

When the putty is fully cured I just use an old brush to clean away the lubricant.


The Rest

The joy of working on a miniature for an RPG is that I could also add on all the little extra details like purity seals, scrolls and various other paraphernalia that would be lost on a miniature in a unit for mass tabletop gaming. I think that finding the right balance of detailing is just the thing to really bring a miniature to life.

And here was the completed miniature.


Nothing spectacular, just a kitbash from various plastics and a little sculpted detail.

I'll have to take a picture of it to post up now that my partner has painted it.

Reet.. that's enough of me.

Obligatory Pompous Introduction


Hey there, I suppose introductions are in order. I'll try keep this brief since with all likelihood I'm just talking to myself...

My name is Jonathan, or you can call me Jonah. I am a father of 4 nightmarish children (3 girls 5,10 and 13yrs old and 1 boy 2yrs old) whom I love dearly with all my being. I have a beautiful fiance who due to ailing health I now care for. And my disabled mother also lives with us, so that I may care for her too.

As you could probably guess that lot keeps me quite busy, but in return they also have to put up with my particular brand of madness. :)

"Always outnumbered, never outgunned..."

As far back as I can remember I've indulged in geekery and I've always had a love for fantasy, sci-fi and horror.
Whether it was reading, writing, movies, television, art, photography, wargaming, roleplaying, miniatures, board games, console games.

I used to be quite prolific in my own creativity, making art, painting miniatures, writing crappy short stories.
And I also used to keep myself busy with the other said hobbies I mentioned. When the inevitable happened...

You grow up, life and family commitments get in the way and you just don't seem to have the time for it anymore...

Well... Bugger that!

That is the purpose of this blog, I've been getting my geek on again for some time now and really enjoying it too. Sometimes I sit and pore over amazing blogs created by other people showcasing their art, gaming exploits, beautiful miniatures and honestly, I get a little envious.
Now I've got my own blog, so that as and when the whim takes me I can throw something out there into the aether and hopefully people out there may find it useful, interesting or probably just faintly humorous.

So... Enough prattle from me...

Thanks for you time and everyone take care.