Since my teenage years, I’ve been rather fascinated by miniatures. I guess even when I was smaller, little toys allowed me to build big worlds. When I moved out, I started picking up some Warhammer figures and then started painting. The price point then, as now, was pretty crazy. The figures themselves were of high quality, certainly, but it was the paints that didn’t make much sense. Paying $8 for a ½ oz pot of paint is crazy. Finances and time pushed me away from it.
With boardgames making a rather interesting comeback to the social front, I’ve found a few that have miniatures within. Oh, what I’d pay to have my old copy of Hero Quest back again! It feels like I’m watching an ant farm, where the little peons move around in a larger context. Oh, I’ve had my fair share of D&D but it is rather hard to teach someone to imagine a dragon. If I put one on the board though, pow! Dragon.
I decided to pain my Star Wars Imperial Assault figures. While it’s not the game I play the most, it’s the one that’s the easiest to paint as the Imperial color scheme is monochrome. When I looked at the options and it was either painting 10 stormtroopers or 10 zombies, the troopers won. The real problem was about finding paint. After more time than I care to admit, I found some options. My local craft store had a rather large selection of acrylics and washes, and all for extremely affordable prices. I finished up the troopers and started working on the e-web scouts.
I sprayed a white base coat, and then went to work on the first coat of black. You can see that nearly 75% of the thing is black, so this should have been relatively quick. I used 2 drops of paint (and some water to thin), and then took an hour to get all the nooks and crannies of a single piece. I’m happy I started on the troopers, as they helped refine my hand work on painting. While the scout took longer, it was a cleaner job too. The next steps are a drybrush, some extra coating, a dark wash then finally highlights. If my math is right, that’s about 90 minutes more work per figure.
As time consuming as it is, it’s also very calming. You get in a zone and concentrate on something the size of a hair. The kids are also rather enamoured with the prospect of painting tiny little things and then getting to play with them. I was hesitant to get back into this hobby but I think I’ll stick with it for a few more weeks and see where it ends up. I’ll just keep Vader as the final model, that’ll motivate me!
Building a Fake World in Fallout
I decided to take on the Silver Shroud quests recently. Goodneighbour has a ghoul called Kent that runs a radio station, pushing out stories of what seems to be a bronze age comic hero. Eventually you get pulled in to that that character’s costume, then go around giving vigilante justice to the nearby land. It’s not terribly engaging, and aside from 2 characters, there’s really not much going on story wise. The mechanism, getting your mission over a radio station, that’s pretty cool.
Anyhoot, I get to the last mission which send me to the southern edge of the map – not yet explored. So I start moseying on down, taking care to unlock the nearby quick travel points for future use. Along the path I find a junkyard. All junkyards in this game feel like death traps and this one is full of super mutants. Ain’t nothing I like more than to clear me out some super mutants. A suicider nearly hit me with their nuke but otherwise it was a fun romp around old cars to get things cleared. I ended up in the nearby house, looted some more and then found a computer.
There are 2 types of interactive computers – those that are locked and provide access to some information, door or safe, and then those that are unlocked and only provide flavor. This was the latter one. It was a log of the junkyard owner, a family man. He talked about a bunker and how he had to teach his kids to find it. I found it.
Heading in, it was basically a sunken rail car. The front end had some shelves and a ham radio, which was broadcasting a distress signal. The mid part had a mattress with 2 skeletons in a final embrace. And then the back of the car had the wall knocked down a bit, so I went looking. I didn’t get it at first. Then I stopped and paid attention. There was a baseball glove on one side and a teddy bear on the other, with a shovel in the corner. Two little mounds.
Something inside me clicked, I saved the game and shut down for the night.