Friday, 27 February 2015

Wonder Wheel development

The Ferris Wheel has been base coated and I thought that I should get some colour on it. I went back to my Coney Island pictures for some inspiration.

The colours for the pods are in vertical stripes which is eye catching with the support trip-pod in blue and then a combination of red and yellow for the structure. I must admit that I like the yellow.

So I have made a start. It will be impressive on the board. I have yet to figure out what I will be doing with the ground, pavement, tarmac, loose gravel or combinations. I have been out and got a 900mm x 900mm piece of hardboard and ..... its not a big playing surface - thats for sure. I have even had a look in a few charity shops for bits and pieces - nothing to report, as yet.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Joker crew assembling

Harley Quinn had been tasked with gathering the crew. Clearly something was up and getting ready was the order of the day.

First off she figured that a shotgun was always handy to have in a brawl and so she went in search of Triston.

and sure enough, she found him with his 'game face' on, pockets bulging with cartridges and spoiling for a fight.

Next up she wanted someone that could handle themselves when it got up close and personal. She was a fan of the baseball bat and she knew just the person to call on - Contra Auguste.

Ah yes - the crew is a gathering.

They are starting to come together quite nicely. The themed bases are doing their job and the white faces really do stand out. I am looking forward to getting them stuck into a game and seeing how the perform on the battlefield.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Joker crew development

Its been a weekend of cutting and carving and pinning and green stuff. I thought that I would keep with the sewer base theme and made some purchases. I bought some resin bases and some metal inserts. There should be plenty to go around and it should give the crew a common theme. It does mean even more pinning but hey, ho.

To get me properly started I wanted to add the Joker to Harley Quinn, then Triston, August and Contra-Auguste.

I have been building up the paint layers and have yet to do the faces but it is coming along nicely. I had some fun painting the sewer slime. I started with a base of green and then dotted in lots of very small colourful dots. It gives it a vibrancy. In the main though I want the faces to be the main thing to draw the eye and I intend to spend some time on them to try and get them right. I have learned from Harley Quinn that white is very unforgiving. I love the skeleton hand clinging to the ladder on Triston's base, sweet little detail.

Next in line is Mr Hammer (yet to get him a base), Borgon and some of the clowns.

I have had a nightmare with Clown (tube). When pinning his feet I broke the model at his ankle. Then the arms didn't fit into the shoulders and when I tried to prize them apart, a little, the model broke at his hands. Currently I have a pin in each foot, a pin in each arm and another at his hands. He will need lots of green stuff but he will be properly 'bionic'.

Anyway - it is all coming along slowly and I have a third batch on models following along behind.

Mr Hammer is awesome and I am really looking forward to getting some paint on him.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Unboxing The Joker Crew - Oh dear

Great excitement - the postman finally arrived and had my Batman delivery with my Joker models. Just couldn't wait to get stuck in.

The first thing to say is that each model comes with its own game card which is very useful indeed and was unexpected.

So - I reckon that the makers of models have a couple of choices when it comes to assembly.

A. They recognise that the model will need pinning so they make sure they present the buyer with two nice big flat surfaces for ease of drilling.


B. They are confident of there modelling skills and design a male a female joint so the the pieces slot together quite easily and can be glued.

It is clear that Knight models have chosen option B above. It is also clear that confidence in their modelling skills has been misplaced (at least with this box set). Not one of the male, female slots is a tight fit. I have tried gluing all four models and am an unhappy chappie.

Pinning is going to be required and without flat surfaces it will be a pig. Not only that, but why oh why does anyone choose a wrist joint for a joint. It is the narrowest part of the arm and drilling will be a nightmare ... actually probably impossible. I might be able to cut the arm off at the elbow to form a pin surface and then use green stuff to remodel the arm. How absolutely dreadful!

Mr Hammer is a bigger model so I move on to him with hope in my heart. It would be nice to be able to assemble him.

But ... no, it is just the same. This time there is a great big shoulder joint which would be easy to pin if given two flat surfaces again we are presented with a male, female joint. This time it is quite large which should be a positive as the hammer is heavy but ... it is not a tight fit and wobbles. God I hate it!!!

I will have to carve out the shoulder joint and then come back with green stuff to remodel the shoulder in some way. Going to be a complete pain. Really, really?

I have two more blisters to open but am going to leave them for another day.

Customer experience opening this: -

Initial excitement - 10/10
Finding the card - 10/10
Model assembly - 3/10 and feeling very cheated.

Don't get me wrong the models themselves have lovely detail and I am looking forward to painting them but.... I wanted to assemble at least one of them (probably all of them) and get a base coat on so that I could start painting tonight - not going to happen and I am very disappointed.

Ferris wheel - over night update

Success!! - She held together and the glue has set and she works! The 'Wonder Wheel' is born.

This is Harley Quinn taking her first ride without the need for human intervention. The cog and ratchet mechanism are functioning properly and holding the pod in position. I've got to say that I am very happy. My expression is truly 'Jokerlike' :-)

The key change has been the use of cocktail stick dowels at the base to secure the ratchet mechanism in place. It can now operate in tension and therefore secure the cog even with the metal model adding significant weight to the outer limbs.

Now I do seem to recall an episode of Batman, back in the day, when the Joker flew over Gotham City dropping chemical bombs on to the population. Naughty Joker. I believe he did this from a very colourful balloon. I wonder if he stole it from the Fun Park? .......

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Ferris Wheel construction - part 3

Ha ha - I have taken some the much needed advice on board and ... voila!

The Ferris Wheel stands and does not fall over.

I have made alterations from yesterday though.

A. I have added a sheet of foam board to the base which has worked very well.
B. I have also changed the way the pods attach themselves. I went away from the clothes pegs and have used wire bits taken from paper clips instead. Now each pod is removable and so will be easier to paint.

The wheel goes through 360 degrees and can do so with a model or two on board. Each pod rotates fully. All very functional.

What it won't do is stay stable when a single model is located away from the centre line i.e. at the bottom of the rig.

So the big plan here is to introduce some kind of gear cog with a ratchet mechanism.

I have created a star shape with eight setting so the pods can be stopped in different positions. I then cut out a ratchet piece to fit into the gaps in the cog.

I used a long bamboo skewer which I plan to have 'in tension'. This should prevent the wheel from moving beyond its chosen position.

I think that the weak point in all of this will be the glue fixing everything to the central cylindrical timber piece. If this holds - then all should work - if not a rethink will be on the cards. That glue is currently setting so keep those fingers crossed!!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Ferris Wheel terrain - part 2

Managed to make some good progress on the old Ferris Wheel. Thanks for all the suggestions. I have altered my design so that two models can battle in each pod and also the wheel should now turn. Big improvements!

So first of all I strengthened each wheel by adding struts.

Again I was using PVA glue so lots of time needed for the drying.

Next I moved on to the Tripod on which the whole thing would be mounted. I decided to give Foamboard a go.

I measured up and drew out the shape that I wanted and strengthened the foot area to give more purchase. Then I cut out my 'A' shape frames.

I added some support at the back by way of skewers. Very effective. I pierced the foot to make sure that the weight would go all the way down and used PVA again down the length of the skewer. Lots of it.

Then I began to contemplate the pods. I had something in mind like a gondela with windows but if I was going to use them for battling I needed something more practical.

I cut out the shapes from foam board and then used cocktail sticks to dowel the sides to the floor pieces. This will make them strong enough to hold the models. I then needed to any the sides onto the  wheel. I came up with the idea of using the metal pieces from clothes pegs. I seems to work.

 By close of play the whole thing is starting to come together. Quite impressive. There are a number of issues however.

1. I want to be able to disassemble for storage and indeed painting .... emmm?
2. I think there will need to be more cross bracing and this is proving difficult with the low hanging and 360 degree rotating baskets ...
3. Will it be strong enough?
4. Why will any of the models use it - should it give access to something up high?

Anyway - I am loving pulling it together.

More to follow.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Ferris wheel terrain - the fun park commences

I really have got the bit between my teeth and fancy the idea of creating something worthwhile and oh so different.

The first thing that I realised earlier today was that Batman is played on a 900mm x 900mm board. Now this is a fair bit smaller than I am used to. Warhammer 40k is played on a 6ft x 4ft board. Other skirmish games have been on a 4ft by 4ft board which is about 1200mm sq. We are talking about 25% less than that.

I had been planning a Coney Island type scale for my Ferris Wheel which would have made 800mm tall. This would have over whelmed the playing area so I have cut back my expectations but still hope to create something interesting. I believe that this game will feel like it is being fought in a single street with a couple of alleys or maybe an urban square. I think I will only need to add two or three stalls and I will have covered the area.

My first attempts to use polystyrene, wood and super glue was a disaster. The super glue just burned through the polystyrene. Big lesson learned. Instead I have replaced the polystyrene with foam board and used PVA glue.

I want to make two wheels and join them together to make the Ferris Wheel. I started by cutting out some circles from the foam board.

I then used the cutting mat to mark up the positions for the main structural struts.

Which were added and PVA glue used to keep them in place. I sandwiched the struts with another foam board circle.

And used a cup of water to hold the whole thing in place while the glue set. Each strut is 180mm beyond the foam board circle which I think will still be big enough to be an impressive piece of terrain.

The first wheel has dried nicely and the second is currently drying in the conservatory. I am hoping that I have properly aligned the struts. Tomorrow will tell.

The aim will be to connect the wheels using cocktail sticks from which pods can be dangled. The entire thing can then be mounted on some kind of tripod. I will also need to add other pieces of structure so that the final piece of terrain looks suitably structural.

I am pleased with the early progress and feel like the fun park is well under construction.

Learning - The Circus Gang

I have done a little research by way of reading the rules (always a good idea) and it turns out that the Batman Miniature Game has a few layers of complexity to it that only come to light by reading up on some of the Special Traits. I introduce you to the Circus Gang.

One of the models that I have purchased is the Ringmaster. (This is not my painting - found it on the internet)

One of his Personal Traits is Elite (Circus Gang). A little reading shows me that I can only have one Elite per Crew unless I hire the the Elite Boss for that gang. The Elite Boss for the Circus Gang is none other than Mr Hammer.

Mr Hammer has Elite Boss (Circus Gang) listed as one of his Personal Traits. However Mr Hammer is also a Sidekick. Only one Sidekick is allowed per Crew so you have to choose between Mr Hammer and the wonderful Harley Quinn (either version). So this starts to become a bit of a sub-crew within a crew. Who else is in the Circus Gang I hear you ask? Good question. Well the Master of Ceremonies is the answer.

This does seem to make a little sense as the two Henchmen are dressed in a similar fashion wearing Catchers Gear.

So there is the option to play the Circus Gang within the Crew by bringing Mr Hammer, the Ringmaster and also the Master of Ceremonies. I will have to do a bit more research to fully understand the benefits but there appears to be be a deliberate move to group the three of these guys together in opposition to playing Harley Quinn.

Monday, 16 February 2015

A Joker Crew, first thoughts

So the challenge has been thrown down to create a couple of Joker crews so that we can get a game or two under our belts. The first crew is to be 200 points of Reputation and the second 350 points.

Lets start with the models that I have purchased and see where that takes us.

I bought the basic Joker Crew. This gives me the Joker (90 rep), the Ringmaster (32 rep), Contra-Auguste (21 rep), and Clown (knife) (15 rep)

to which I added August (25 rep) and Triston (26 rep & $300)

and then Snickering (25 rep & $600) and Clown (shield) (16 rep)

and then the model that I really love Mr Hammer (71 rep)

And I already have Harley Quinn (61 rep)

I have started reading and all these models don't necessarily go together so I will have some thinking to do. Lets have a look at some options and how a crew comes together.

The gang limit is set by Reputation Points together with dollars. For every 150 points of reputation I gain $500 to spend and the option to take a Free Agent.

The basic dynamics are that I can have one Leader, a Sidekick, Free Agent's and lots of Henchmen.

200 rep Joker Crew

The main limitation here is that I can take a single Free Agent and I have $500 to spend. I don't have any Free Agents as yet so that is an easy decision. I think that the dollars should be spent, $300 on Triston and use the remaining $200 on extra ammo.

So, Leader will be my Joker at 90 rep and then Triston at 26 rep that is 116 points so far.

It seems reasonable that I take Harley Quinn as I have some paint on her so that will be another 61 rep. That is 177 total leaving me with 23 to spend. Contra-August costs 21 rep so I reckon that is the way to go to make sure I am getting value for the points available.

Now the only thing about this is that Harley Quinn has rules that influence other members of the crew and there are very few here. Emmmmmm. Also the Joker has a Chaos Agent rule that helps all members of the gang other than his Sidekick. Maybe when the crew is this small I should consider not taking a Sidekick?

I could take August 25, Contra-Auguste 21 and Clown (knife) 15 instead. This would probably have better balance.

350 rep Joker Crew

Plenty to think about here and probably best to play a game first however there will be three Free Agents available and $1500 to spend. On this basis both Snickering and Triston will be in play so that will be $900 plus $400 on extra ammo leaving me with £200 to spend.

Joker at 90 rep, Triston at 26 rep and then Snickering 25 rep. That is 141 rep so 209 rep still to spend. I think I will need more models to get to this total but ...

71 Mr Hammer
61 Harley Quinn
25 August
21 Contra-Auguste
32 Ringmaster
15 Clown (knife)
16 Clown (shield)

That is 241 in total however I can only take one Sidekick so I will need to get in another few crew members for when we step up to this level.

Looking forward to it.

Joker time

Decisions have been made and I have plumped for the Joker's gang. I have made some purchases and am currently waiting for the postman to make the delivery. Very exciting indeed. Should be a good start to 2015, hobby wise.

There are lots of interesting looking models and I am looking forward to working my way through them. The colour schemes will be 'stand out' with lots of clowns wearing funny costumes with mad wigs and of course the white faces. Totally different to anything that I have done before.

To get me started the Dark Templar sent me one of the first models that he purchased, the ever wonderful Harley Quinn. The model had been assembled, pinned and undercoated on a splendid base and as such was ready for me to get the paints out.

The model is tiny with lots of detail. I am working my way through and really trying to pick out as much as I can. I am glad to have the magnifier and daylight bulb or otherwise I think it would be impossible. I am delighted with the progress and I can see how the white faces will really set this gang apart. They should look great on the board.

Speaking of which - I have made a visit to a couple of the local arts and crafts shops and started to assemble some raw materials.

I was reminded by the Dark Templar of a superb board that we saw at Salute 2011. A real inspiration!

I am liking the idea of creating a ferris wheel. Obviously that is currently really daunting and I have no clue where to start but I learned from all the blood bowl terrain last year that sometimes you have to just go for it and see what happens.

I guess it is true to say that for me 'Batman Begins'!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Sweet Valentine

You got to love the female characters. I have been browsing through the Batman options and well ..... this just seemed to fall into my lap (as it were) ....

New bat's woman on the plate .... who's got the balls?


Thursday, 12 February 2015

Through the keyhole

So the big question is .... who lives in a house like this?

Any idea who I am liking ??

I calculate that the ferris wheel would need to be 805mm for a 35mm scale (approximately)

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha :-)

Batman begins

The Dark Templar has strayed from the path and found himself engulfed in the world of Batman. He has been scratching this itch for some time and gradually it has sucked him in until ...... well ..... I think I know how the next few months will go.

I thought that I better give in and have a look at the game itself and guess what .... I think I like it!

I downloaded the rules and have had a good look through and even watched one or two of the shorter introductory clips from utube.

There is an array of models and many of them are really quite fun. 35mm is the scale so a bit bigger than the recent 28mm and I think this is for the best.

I feel a bit of an itch coming myself.....

So if I am going to confront Batman who should I become? There are many choices.

Essentially this is a skirmish game and a crew needs to be assembled around your chosen leader. A big part of the game is also the creation of an appropriate game board to reflect your surroundings. I am beginning to like the sound of this more and more.

My natural inclination is to be drawn by the female models ..... this tends to reflect my play style based on fast, agile movement. I like to attack and this style so often seems to fit me. Catwoman looks good, as does Poison Ivy and there are more to review.

One of the introductory online clips suggests that you just have a look at the models and choose the group that you really like the look of and then go from there. This seems to be a top idea. I can immediately get to grips with assembling and painting the models that I am most drawn to.

I am off to do some proper browsing and I can feel myself ....... tumbling ........ through the looking glass and .......... down the rabbit hole .......... only to emerge in the world of Arkham City! Bring it on!