27 October 2012

Sangreal Class Light Cruiser

Last weekend I created another resin spaceship miniature using my new technique and today I managed to get some decent shots.  

~ 50mm long

I'm calling this one the Sangreal class light cruiser in honor of my newest gaming interest, the Quest for the Grail CCG published by Stone Ring Games back in 1995.  I managed to pick up a sealed box of starters and a sealed box of boosters on eBay and the cards should be here this week.

Like most games I've seen profiled on BGG, this one has its defenders and detractors.  Fans of the game enjoy the art and also, like me, love the Arthurian myths.  Others however state the game is boring and an unnecessary contribution to the CCG glut of the mid 90's.  I've always disliked Magic: the Gathering so back then I considered any alternative offered a welcome addition to the CCG scene, and still do.  I'm particularly interested in this game however because descriptions I've read summarize it as a questing type game.  Apparently it's a CCG where all players simultaneously compete against the game itself, similar to Mythos and X-Files, versus fighting games like Magic where the players attack each other directly.  I have found CCGs using this questing mechanic allow excellent solitaire variants with a minimum of rules changes.  I don't yet have the rulebook in hand, but with its Quest deck I think Quest for the Grail has potential as a solitaire CCG.

Speaking of the artwork, the game designers gave the cards a very classy feel, as well as saved themselves licensing fees, by using old art in the public domain.  Here's an example of a piece of art, by Arthur Rackham, featured in the game.
Public Domain image by Arthur Rackham

15 October 2012

Painting Scratchbuild Spaceships: WIP

Here are a couple of WIP shots of the paints schemes for three ships I scratchbuilt, including two featured last post.

I still need to paint on small details like insignia and markings, and then drybrush so they're not done.  I'm very excited about this new scratchbuild technique however and thought I'd share some pictures demonstrating the ink wash bringing out the panel details.

Blocky design; 57mm long

Love this design; 52mm long

Imperfect resin cure; big stripe to go on radiator; 54mm long

13 October 2012

Scratchbuild Spaceships: New Technique

I've been messing around with Milliput Fine for a month or so now and while I like the ability to scribe panel lines, I'm not liking the slow nature of having to sculpt a starship from the inside out, building it up.  I'm American: I want instant gratification!  So I developed a new technique that allows me to make ships much faster.

First, I roll out a thin sheet of Super-Sculpey.  I find a 15mm diameter ball of Super-Sculpey makes a nice strip roughly 60mm long and just a finger or so wide, only about 2-3mm thick.  I make sure the strip is flat and smooth and then scribe in panel lines with my homemade tools.  After 30 minutes or so of scribing, I take a box-cutter blade and carefully cut the strip into a myriad of tiny rectangles and a few odd shapes, all with sides ranging from about 1mm to 5mm.  The tiny shapes then get baked at 275C for 12 minutes to make them ceramic-like, and then glued to the ends of small wooden sticks, making little clay stamps.

Next I roll out a block of sulfur-free clay (NOT polymer clay) so that it's flat.  I then press out the shape of the ship itself using the little stamps I just made.  I pour Alumilite Super-Plastic resin into the impression and then 10 minutes later remove the finished spaceship, making sure to use a tooth-brush to remove any clay clinging to the cast.

Here are pictures of my first two designs.  I'm crossing my fingers that tomorrow I can get these painted and bring out all these wonderful panel lines.

Prior to sandpaper clean-up