Saturday, November 15, 2014

Happy Seppuku Base Texture Stamp

Happy Seppuku Model Works is a company out of Washington state that makes soft rubber stamps for use on miniature bases. The stamps are used to apply texture to putty (green stuff, milliput, etc.) placed on a miniature base. Once the putty sets, the visual effect is similar to a resin or metal sculpted base. Last year, Happy Seppuku ran a Kickstarter to finance an expansion of their operation. The reward for backing that Kickstarter at the $25 level was a sample stamp with four textures on it - Flagstone, Narrow Wood, Random Steel Plate, and Mass Grave (a Kickstarter exclusive).

In this post, I'll be playing around with the Kickstarter sample stamp and the putty supplied with it. Note that process described below goes only as far as texturing the base. I don't have painted examples of miniatures on Happy Seppuku textured bases at this time. A neck and shoulder injury took me away from the workbench for the past few months and I'm only now getting back to fighting the mountain of metal, plastic, and resin that I've acquired.

Step One - Taping Up the Base:

Note to self: Don't forget to cut away the excess tape.

The Kickstarter sample stamp came with some 30mm round slotted bases with raised edges. The edges keep the putty that holds the texture in place. The putty can still flow over the edges if too much is used. It can also escape through the slot while applying pressure to the stamp. Either can cause the texture to deform. Applying tape to the slot prevents the putty from escaping.

Step Two - Applying the Putty

Flattening out the putty might help later on, but I didn't think of it in time.

Next is simply forming some putty into a ball and placing it on the base. I'm not sure what kind of putty was supplied with the Kickstarter sample stamp. It holds together and retains the texture well, but it is very sticky. Some experimentation with other kinds of putty may happen down the road.

Step Three - Texturing

See the water on the stamp? A little too much.

This is the fun and tricky part. Just push the stamp down on the base and leave an impression of the texture on the putty. The stamp is made from a soft, flexible rubber that can be pushed into the raised edges of the bases. The tricky part is separating the stamp and the putty cleanly. Applying some water on the putty and the stamp helps with separation, but too much water can soften the putty to the point where its ability to retain the texture is effected. All of the bases seen here have the Random Steel Plate texture applied to them.

Step Four - Footprinting

Like the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, but smaller.

While the putty is still soft, push the figure's feet slightly into the putty. This increases the surface area when the figure is later glued to the hardened putty.


A word of warning: The stamp I received had a very strong "rubber" odor when it was fresh out of the package. It was sentenced to a brief exile out in the garage while the material out-gassed. It's fine now, but those with a sharp sense of smell or live with those who do should be advised.

The texture applied by the stamp is fairly sharp and defined, but is limited by the nature of the product. Putting extremely fine details on a soft rubber stamp might make it too delicate to survive extended use. Some of the base inserts currently on the market will have more detail. On the other hand, the cost difference between a blob of putty and the more expensive resin inserts adds up quickly. The Happy Seppuku stamp textures might not be detailed enough for a carefully painted display piece, but is certainly cost effective for a tabletop level model.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Disabled Mech - Hyper Armored Block HAB-0003 T-Rex

Figure and package. I'll explain why the figure is in pieces further down.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I try to avoid negative reviews on this blog. I do as much research as possible to avoid wasting my money on a poor product and your time reading me venting out my frustration. Still, there are times when I can't resist what seems to be a sweet deal and buying something without taking a close look at it. Sometimes it works out, but this time it didn't. I know it is easy to take shots at someone else's mistakes, but I can't just ignore poor products or service.

I picked up this figure awhile back for use as a scale-independent mecha. The scale on the package is 1/48, which works nicely with 28mm as a "walking tank" mecha. The lack of details that give away the scale - cockpit windows or access hatches - means that it also works in 15mm as a large "city wrecker" mecha. It looks like a menacing hulk of a machine in either scale. There is a vague dinosaur feel to its appearance that doesn't come through in photographs.

Unfortunately, I ran into a couple of issues that will make putting this figure on the table problematic.

Left side details. Note the dinosaur-like head and damaged shoulder joint.
First is stability. The legs are much thinner than the promotional photos suggest. Worse, the feet are tiny compared to the rest of the figure. More robust legs would move the center of gravity down for better balance. Bigger feet would give the figure a more stable base to stand on.

Finding a balanced pose for this figure is challenging. The articulation allows for a variety of poses, but the lack of stability allows for only a couple of poses that won't fall over. I could get it to stand up straight and I could get it to lean over ever so slightly. Nothing else was stable enough to stay upright long enough to be useful on the tabletop or as a display piece.

Which leads me to the second issue - when it decided to take a walk off my desk. The day before I was going to take some pictures and write a post on this product, I found it on the floor near my work desk. My usual suspect would be one of the cats. However, given how I couldn't trust the figure to stay upright in a balanced pose on its display stand, this is not really fair to the cats. Bear in mind, this was a two foot and change drop onto a carpeted floor.

And here is the major weakness of this product - the plastic joints. They are plastic pins molded onto a ball joint that provides the movement needed to pose the figure. The pins slot into the limbs and body. After the fall, two of the pins sheared off. Now, there is a replacement joint in the box for the smaller of the two broken joints. However, the larger one is a knee joint and a replacement is not provided in the box.

A mecha missing a leg is a little awkward.

Detail of the damaged knee joint. No arrows were involved.
I contacted the manufacturer, Yamato Toys, to ask about ordering replacement parts. I have received no response.

At the moment, I have two options: repair the figure or try to use it as is. Repairing the figure would involve pinning the pieces back together. However, the drilling looks tricky. The plastic pins are very small. Drilling out holes for metal pins would be challenging. Worse, the plastic ball joints are not solid pieces. They look like they might fall apart if I try drilling into them.

On the other hand, I could just use the figure in a terrain piece or objective marker. This is a much more limited use of the figure than I had in mind when I purchased it.

I brought this product on sale for less than $20 USD (including shipping). Even so, I am disappointed with it. I just don't feel that this is worth even the reduced price I paid for it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

D&D Sources Reading Project: Conan the Cimmerian

I gave myself a little reading project awhile back. Gamemastering fantasy RPGs was getting stale for me. Now, don't get me wrong, poking fun at the relevant troupes is always fun: "Of course the treasure is in a dungeon inhabited by monsters with nothing better to do than wait for your characters to show up and murder them! What other use is there for piles of coins and magic items?" Updating old classics for new players and game systems is a delight: "No, there is no connection between that 1980s-era AD&D module sitting on my desk and the next game session." And setting miniatures like this guy on the table and seeing my players' reactions still brings me joy. But the process of running a fantasy campaign was feeling empty. It lacked heart.

The solution? Seek inspiration. In this case, reading through some of the works that influenced early Dungeons & Dragons. Please understand that I'm not reading every single book and story of every author cited by Gary Gygax in Annex N of the Dungeon Masters Guide. What I am doing is sampling enough of each source to get a feel for it and moving on. For example, I might read a book or three of a given series, but not the entire run. I can always come back to it later. Also, I am not reading Lord of the Rings again. At least, not this year.

It has been an illuminating experience so far. The links between Robert E. Howard's Conan stories and early Dungeons & Dragons became more obvious as I was reading through them. There is a certain feel that Gygax was trying to invoke, but I only had a vague sense of what it was from reading the Dungeon Masters Guide and his notes in early modules. Now I feel closer to understanding what he was going for.


Robert E. Howard wrote the original Conan stories between 1932 and 1936. These are products of their time. Positive race relations, cultural sensitivity, and enlightened perspectives on gender equality are NOT things to be found in these stories. Robert E. Howard was a prejudiced man writing for prejudiced editors.

Some might not agree with this disclaimer. I feel that it is an important point to acknowledge.

The Feel of the Stories

I enjoy modern fantasy literature, but it has flaws. Some of it places so much emphasis on world building that the people and what they do in those worlds gets lost in the setting descriptions. On the other hand, strong stories with characters worth paying attention to tend toward a dark and cynical tone. Reading the Conan stories was a breath of fresh air. They are straightforward adventures with Conan solving the situation at hand by cheerfully murdering everyone that gets in his way. There is irony in these stories, but it is not heavy handed. In fact, there is very little to drag down these stories. They have a raw energy that sweeps the reader through them.

Conan's image

The standard visual representation of Conan shows him wearing nothing but a loincloth and boots while he pays scarce attention the nearly- or completely-naked young woman clinging to him for dear life. Now, this is not completely wrong. There are occasions in the stories where Conan ends up looking like this, but never by choice. As a mercenary, he equipped himself with the best armor he could afford. He had no issues with wearing comfortable silk shirts and pants as a pirate or outlands bandit. As a king, he donned plate armor appropriate to his status. Only in desperate circumstances did Conan appear as his is commonly depicted.

In terms of personality, the Conan of these stories is more intelligent and articulate than his portrayals in other media suggest. He speaks and reads several languages, out thinks far more educated opponents, quickly establishes dominance in hostile groups before taking them over, puzzles out an ancient text without assistance, and routinely reasons his way out of situations. These are not the actions of a fool blindly charging into deadly encounters and getting by with nothing but brute strength (although he has plenty of that to call on). Likewise, Conan's speech is direct and to the point, but he is no moron grunting out monosyllabic responses.

Oh, and the nearly- or completely-naked young women? Robert E. Howard was writing for publications that expected female characters to have some kind of allergy to clothing. Most of the women in the Conan stories matched Robert E. Howard's own views on sexual attractiveness. Some had active roles, but many served only as romantic interests and damsels in distress. Most were also unwilling to resist Conan's charms and ended up clinging to Conan's muscular frame at some point. To Conan's credit, he does make an effort to find some clothes for his lady friends... eventually.

Conan as Adventurer

Conan had a long and varied career, starting off alone as an untutored barbarian from the north and ending up as a respected king ruling with the loyalty of his people. Along the way, he was a soldier of fortune, a pirate captain, a mercenary officer, a bandit leader, and was not above the odd bit of thievery or occasional con job. Even the notion of exploring ancient ruins for treasure was not foreign to him. It's easy to see how he could have inspired any number of characters and adventures for early roleplayers.

He even embodies the mercenary approach taken by some player characters to this day. Conan is not the selfless hero of an epic fantasy. Hand him a ring with instructions to toss it into a volcano and he is going to want to know why and how much he is going to be paid for it. He expects to profit from his efforts, either through a generous reward or helping himself to whatever he comes across. This is echoed by the notion that adventurers get to keep whatever is found in a dungeon without question or taxation.

Still, Conan is not an anti-hero consumed by self-interest. He does help others even when he has nothing in particular to gain. Of course, he is more likely to render aid if the person needing his help is an attractive young woman with "a supple waist" and a fair complexion.

Conan's motivation to help others grows as he assumes roles that give him responsibilities over others. As a pirate or mercenary captain, he watches over his men as long as they remain loyal. As a king, he looks after his subjects even after he is disposed. There are similarities here with the progression of an early AD&D fighter as he gains followers and duties to those followers.

Conan and the Barbarian Class

Curiously, the Barbarian class that first appeared in AD&D's Unearthed Arcana was modeled on Conan, but he is not a good fit for it. The stories do not depict a raging, bare-chested berserker harboring serious issues with anyone using magic. As mentioned above, he prefers to wear armor in combat and keeps a cool enough head to think tactically. Conan is prone to losing his temper, but something really needs to press his buttons for him to completely lose control. And while he is suspicious of magic, he is willing to ally with those who use magic without making an issue of it. If anything, the Barbarian class is a parody of Conan.

Conan and the Mechanics of Gaming

Conan's fondness for the good life has been modeled as a way to relieve player characters of their excess wealth. He often starts a story flat broke after parting with his coins a little too freely. This neatly sets him up for the next adventure as a new opportunity to score some cash falls into his lap. This is a good motivator for player characters who are fond of hearty food, strong drink, and women of negotiable virtue.

His varied career is difficult to model with a skill system. Spending points or slots on a list of specific skills is a poor way to reflect the wealth of previous experiences that Conan regularly draws on in the stories. He knows how to run a ship and an army. He picked up a diverse range of languages during his travels. He is knowledgeable about histories of the lands he travels through to the point of identifying the pelts of extinct animals. Something like 13th Age's background system is better suited to reflect the knowledge of someone like Conan.

Final Thoughts

Overall, reading through one of the influences behind Dungeons & Dragons has rekindled my interest in gamemastering fantasy. I have some fresh ideas that I am looking forward to developing. Even if it did not inspire me as much as it does, it would have still be worthwhile to see how this particular source influenced the hobby.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Workbench #9 - Lighting Up the Reaper Bones Large Fire Elemental

"Sam" the Sorceress forgets some wise advice: "Never summon anything bigger than your head."


This is my take on lighting up a Reaper Bones Large Fire Elemental (77082) with an LED tea light. The intended effect is a flickering light shining up through the translucent plastic from the base. The light defuses through the figure and creates the illusion of flame. The challenge is working with the size and shape of the tea light.

LED tea light, unmodified.

My inspiration was Chris Palmer's project presented at his blog All Bones About It. I had different goals for my project, so I took some different approaches. That stated, I couldn't have gone forward without his example.

Design decisions:

The main challenge of this project is what to do with the LED tea light. It is not wide enough by itself to serve as a base for the Large Fire Elemental - the figure overhangs it in an unsightly fashion. The LED tea light is also over half an inch tall - a little conspicuous for a base.

After some thought, I decided against Chris Palmer's solution. His method was to modify a large plastic base to accept the LED light and battery assembly from the tea light. He then used putty to build up the base to conceal the LED assembly and support the figure. This technique, which is perfectly valid and produced a good looking result, did not appeal to me due to its complexity. I also wanted to be able to easily remove and replace the LED assembly when needed. This meant that I had to keep as much of the LED tea light intact as possible.

LED / battery assembly removed for replacement. Note the threading that the assembly screws into.

I ended up solving the issues involved by covering them up with a big chunk of plastic. A 60mm round base from Games Workshop, to be specific. Placed on top of the LED tea light, it is wide enough to accommodate the figure while disguising the LED tea light just enough not to be obvious.

It was at this stage that I decided not to paint the figure. This was a purely aesthetic choice on my part. I'm just not sold on how painted translucent Bones figures look.

Construction / Basing:

Step 1: Remove the plastic "flame" over the LED light to reduce the size of the holes I would need to drill in step 2.

LED tea light disassembled. Note the plastic cover (left top), the LED / battery assembly (right), and the plastic "flame" (left bottom.

Step 2: Drilled holes in the figure and the GW base.

Holes drilled in base and figure.

Step 3: Removed the plastic moldings under the GW base to provide a smooth surface to attach the LED tea light.

Unmodified 60mm base. Anybody know what those plastic moldings are for?

Step 4: Primed the GW base and the LED tea light (after removing the LED light / battery piece).

Step 5: Glued the tea light, base, and figure together. I took care that everything was aligned to allow the LED to poke through into the base and into the hole drilled into the figure.

Alignment after assembly and painting. Note the switch on the bottom.

Step 6: Painted the edge of the base and LED tea light black.

Step 7: Glued sand on base with a mix of tacky glue, brown craft paint, and water. Waited for basing sand to dry. Drybrushed linen craft paint on sand. Painted sand around the Large Fire Elemental black to represent burnt soil. Drybrushed grey craft paint on to black areas to represent ash.

Finished product, unlit.


Overall, I'm pleased with the end result. The effect is distinctive, even if it is a little bit of a gimmick. Disguising the LED tea light by covering it up and painting it black keeps the viewer's attention on the figure.

Who's up for barbecue?

Now I just need to wait until I run my next dungeon crawl game. I'm sure that my players will be suitably impressed when this thing hits the table. :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

On Collecting Boardgames

I realized that my board game collection hit a stopping point when I ran out of space in the hall closet to store them. (No, devoting more space to board games is not an option.) The rate that I've been acquiring board games has slowed from the frenetic pace of a couple of years ago. I no longer pick up a new board game every month, but one every few months or so. Maybe. If it's on sale. In any case, a new game has to fill a new niche in the collection to justify the purchase. If a game does something that one I already own does better, why bother? This reasoning has slowed the growth of my collection, since it already covers a variety of niches.

Below is my current "working" collection of board games. It does not count games packed away in storage or miniature wargames.

  • 7 Wonders
  • 7 Wonders: Cities
  • 7 Wonders: Leaders
  • Arkham Horror
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Bohnanza
  • Nexus Ops
  • Pandemic
  • Pandemic: On the Brink
  • The Resistance
  • Small World
  • Survive: Escape from Atlantis!

It is a relatively small collection, but it covers a range of game mechanics and themes.

There are some specific things I tend to look for in board games. How well a game does in these areas tends to outweigh all other considerations except for price. I have not yet broken the $100 mark when purchasing a board game and that is not likely to change.

Engaging game play. A new game has to present an interesting and novel challenge. 7 Wonders offers deck building with a civilization building theme. It does those things well enough for me not to go looking for another game to fill those roles.

Play time. My group typically plays on week nights. We also like to finish games. A game that can be completed in 1 - 2 hours or less will get played more than a 4+ hour marathon game that we might have to abandon midway through. In other words, Bohnanza and The Resistance hit the table more often than Battlestar Galactica.

Theme. I would have rated this much higher at one point, but the tastes of my group are a more flexible than I once thought. There is still a preference for games with a strong tactical, sci-fi, or fantasy theme. However, Bohnanza won everyone over with its simple rules, trading mechanic, quick play time, and competitive play. Introducing Arkham Horror to a group with no other Lovecraft fans was risky, but the games sold itself on its own merits during the times we played it. The length of Arkham Horror has placed it firmly in the "special occasions" category, though.

Looking at the hall closet, I think I can squeeze in a couple more games if I rearrange things. The last game I got was Nexus Ops, which filled the Risk / Axis & Allies combat game niche. I guess I'll have to go over some reviews to figure out what to get next. Been hearing good things about King of Toyko and Flashpoint: Fire Rescue...

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hotz Mats – Standard Felt River Systems Review and Comments on Service

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

- Theodore Roosevelt

Critical Mass Games 15mm scale ARC Fleet Infantry crossing a river section.

As a rule, I don't enjoy putting up negative posts on Over the Hill Gaming. Criticism is relatively easy. There are always ways to improve a product, a company, or a project. But doing just about anything is more challenging than it seems to be from the outside. Things like the quote above remind me of that simple fact.

Hotz Mats has drawn fire for slow service and a lack of response to emails. It has also been praised for quick turn around times. I have no interest in that debate. This post simply reflects my experience with this particular product and the process that I went through in acquiring it.

A curved section joining a bend in between two straight sections.

From Ordering to Delivery
  • Placed order on March 9, 2013.
  • Received email from Paypal confirming payment on March 10.
  • Received email from Eric Hotz confirming order on March 10. The email states: "Please allow at least 5 weeks for delivery, but you should have your purchase much sooner."
  • Sent email to Eric Hotz to check the status of my order on April 21. No reply received.
  • Sent email to Eric Hotz pointing out that it was 12 weeks since the order was placed on June 6. No reply received.
  • Sent email to Eric Hotz asking about the status of my order on July 16. No reply received.
  • Notice on the Hotz Arts website posted in the News section on August 31. Eric Hotz mentions getting caught up on the backlog and "a long series of family crises that started back in mid-2012" that delayed production.
  • Order delivered in early September 2013.

River junction section joining three straight river sections.

The Product

The Hotz Mats' 2 Inch Wide Standard Felt River Systems Set is made up of 15 sections. They range from 12 inch long straight river sections, small curved sections, and a small river junction section. The total length of all 15 sections is 9.5 feet. This is more than enough for most games. Wider River Systems Sets (3 and 4 inch) are shorter with fewer sections.

The quality of the 2 Inch Standard River Systems Set is acceptable, especially considering the low price ($14.00 USD, including shipping). The sections are made of fairly dense felt and seem durable enough for extended use. The effect of the sections at tabletop distances is convincing. Both 15mm and 28mm scale figures work well with the river sections.

Overall, the product is a good balance between appearance and cost.

Please note that the product is no longer linked from the main page of the Hotz Mats' site. However, the Felt River Systems product page is still accessible from this link.

A Cygnar Ironclad Heavy Warjack and Commander Coleman Stryker defend a small bridge.

Personal Opinion

I understand about personal issues and how they can drain the energy out of the rest of a person's life. Dealing with a crisis can make everything else seem meaningless. On the other hand, I can understand the frustration expressed by critics and their arguments about committing to doing a job after accepting a customer's money.

There is a lot of criticism and a lot of praise for Hotz Mats. Personally, I have a mixed opinion. I'm not happy with the delay and the lack of response to my emails, but I understand why. I did receive my order and the product does what I purchased it for.

Will I order from Hotz Mats again? I'm still thinking that over. There are a couple of items that I'm interested in and the prices are reasonable.

Am I looking at other options for mats and road sections? Sure, but I'm always on the look out for good deals on quality terrain.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Workbench #8 - Hexagon Construction Missile Silo and Communications Station

Here are a couple more results of playing with Hexagon Construction Sets. Details on this product and earlier terrain pieces can be found here. Both of these are works in progress.

Missile Silo

This depicts the launch site for a large missile - an ICBM or a surface-to-space warhead delivery system for planetary defense. The structure represents the above ground portion of a mostly underground missile silo. One of the arms would give access to a stairwell or elevator to the underground portions of the silo complex.

Opening silo, preparing for launch.

The silo covers are partly open to make it clear what it is intended to be. At the moment, I've been going through my bits collection for a suitable missile cone to place in the silo.

Communications Center

Why are we always guarding these things?

This represents a communications building made from modular components. The arms of the structure contain communications equipment and storage. Right now, I'm looking at options for an antennia for the central hex-shaped area.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Space Coins! The Futuristic Metal Coins Kickstarter by Minion Games

Space cash.

These shiny trinkets are rewards for backing the Futuristic Metal Coins Kickstarter by Minion Games. They showed up in my mailbox a couple of weeks ago.

I picked these up for two purposes:

  • Cash tokens for board games. Which was Minion Games' original purpose in making them.
  • Props for the players while roleplaying in futuristic settings.

Overall, these are very nice. The coins are metal, so they have weight and make a pleasing sound as they shift around. Most of the coins are two color, making it easier to distinguish them. All of the coins have two sides.

I understand that Minion Games will have a surplus of these after fulfilling their Kickstarter backer rewards. There is talk of selling them off to non-backers at some point.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Painting By Numbers #12 - Khurasan Miniatures' Dethroids

On the move, looking for trouble.

These are the Dethroids from Khurasan Miniatures' Planet 15 line. They come in a pack of four bodies with five separate heads - four Blasroid heads and one Overroid head. The Blasroids are armed with a prominent "heavy antimatter cannon" and no sense of humor. The Overroid is equipped with what I assume is a sensor array.

The backstory on the Khurasan Miniatures site depict them as pitiless, warlike creatures inside armored shells that double as life support systems. It fits well into the cinematic feel of the Planet 15 line. I'm not going to speculate on the inspiration for this background.

The miniatures resemble reconnaissance robots from a popular sci-fi franchise. The detailing is very good for 15mm figures. In-setting, the danging arms would give them an ability to manipulate objects that, for example, a single arm fitted with a plunger would not.

Trouble located.

The paint job was straightforward:
  • Spray primer.
  • Reaper Russet Brown (09199) basecoat.
  • Citadel Badab Black Wash to bring out the details.
  • First metallic layer - Citadel Tin Bitz, applied with heavy drybrushing.
  • Second metallic layer - Citadel Shining Gold, applied with light drybrushing as a highlight.
  • Reaper LED Blue (09288) to pick out the sensor details on the Overroid head.
  • Testors Dullcote seal.

I plan on using these figures as advanced robotic units for 15mm scale games. The cannon-armed ones can be the rank-and-file combat robots. The sensor-equipped one can be a command-and-control or reconnaissance robot. All four could be a scouting unit or a heavy weapons team.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Warsenal Terrain

Close up of Warsenal's Communications Array.

Warsenal is a company that appeared on my radar through a series of ads on Facebook. Their focus is on making 28mm scale sci-fi terrain as well as plastic tokens for Infinity. I took advantage of a sale they were running late last year to purchase a few pieces. These two pieces are the first I've had the chance to put together and paint. I'll post about the others as I assemble and paint my way through the order.

Small Shipping Container

This is exactly what the name implies - a futuristic cargo crate scaled for 28mm. The material is laser cut MDF. Curiously, it lacks the burnt smell I've experienced with other laser cut MDF products.

Construction was easy. The pieces fit tightly - a little tacky glue is enough to hold things together. There are no printed instructions included with the kit. Instead, Warsenal posted an assembly video on YouTube. In many ways, seeing someone actually put the thing together is better than trying to figure out some pictures. On the other hand, I wish Warsenal zoomed in on some of the process. Also, having to rewatch parts of the video as I tried to follow along got annoying. These are minor gripes, though.

The Small Shipping Container is generic enough to fit into a variety of sci-fi settings. Much of its appearance depends on the paint job. A light paint job works for something like Infinity. A little darker and more worn for Star Wars. Much darker and more worn for certain grim futures.

Small Cargo Container pictured with Reaper Miniatures' Sarah Blitzer.

The doors can be removed without modifying the piece. This opens up some options for dioramas. It also has possibilities for an ambush scenario, since the Small Cargo Containers are large enough to contain a 28mm figure inside with the doors in place.

I decided on a quick and easy approach for the paint job. The first step used a grey auto body spray primer. The paint used was Krylon Camouflage with Fusion. The basecoat for the frame was olive and the basecoat for the doors was khaki.

Communications Array

This is a multi-station data access point scaled for 28mm. The structure is made of laser-cut MDF. The screens and antennae are made of acyclic.

The construction was a little challenging. I recommend watching the assembly video to get a feel for the process before starting to fit things together. Tacky glue is necessary to hold the pieces in place. The screens fit well enough without glue, which would be visible through the clear plastic.

Full view of the Communications Array.

The appearance of the Communications Array is generic enough to fit in a variety of sci-fi settings. The lack of skulls might make it a little conspicuous on some tables, though.

The paint job was another quick and easy one. Grey autobody spray primer followed by a Citadel Codex Grey basecoat. Next, I drybrushed on a little white mixed with Codex Grey. The last step was attaching the screens. I may do more with the dish array on top, but I'm holding off for now. Sometimes it's best to say "good enough" and move on to other projects.