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  1. Recently, Modiphius released an STL model of the Corvega Coupe, so fans can 3D-print their own (provided they have access to a 3D printer, of course). I am fortunate enough to have a friend (Chris Thesing) who actually has *two* 3D printers. He printed off two runs of the model: one in lower resolution on his older PrintrBot Plus printer (using Solutech PLA filament), and another using his newer, higher-resolution resin printer. ^^^ The PLA filament version of the model. This model prints in two pieces -- one for the undercarriage and wheel hubs, and another for the upper body shell. Alas, there are no tires, and no separate segments for the gull-wing doors, windows, hood, trunk, etc. This was printed flat on the bed, and due to the low resolution this of course means a lot of striation on those gently curving surfaces. (This is how it looked after an initial spritz of white spray primer, as the sheen of the bare plastic was problematic for taking photos of the detail, such as it is.) ^^^ On the right is the resin-printed version of the same model. First off, it's a much higher resolution, but also Chris tried printing it at a 45-degree angle (supported by temporary scaffolding) as he's seen several others do. I'm not quite sure about the advantages of doing this, but I think it makes a difference, because the curved surfaces of the hood, roof, and trunk are very shallow curves. Actually, I think if the car were put up straight on its bumper, there'd be the best result, because each of the slices across the car would have a minimum variation of width from one to the next, versus the big jumps in footprint area to each layer when the car is printed right-side-up. That's just my notion, however; there might be factors I'm unaware of that are contributing to this. Anyway, on the left is the PLA car, but I've gone back with some sandpaper to try to smooth it out a bit. The trouble is, I noticed that I'd utterly *destroyed* the shallow scribing detail of the gull-wing doors on the roof, and I was in danger of obliterating the Chryslus symbol on the hood and other such things, so I called it quits after a bit, and hoped I could make up for it by camouflaging the striation with "rust paint" effects. Here's a side-by-side of the two models now that each one is a little closer in terms of where I am in the process. The green car on the left is the PLA model (you can still see the striation despite my sanding), whereas the resin one is the red one on the right. I went in and painted the window areas and chrome detail in grey, and splashed some paint on the PLA undercarriage in preparation for making it look a bit rusted out. At this point, I pretty much decided that the resin car is going to look pretty much intact, though a bit grungy, with the thought that it's a car that's been restored Post-War, or has somehow otherwise been kept in relatively good condition. (I could after all use it as a "show car" for my "Chryslus Show Room" scenario.)
  2. A friend of mine recently received a bunch of resin minis he'd ordered from Brother Vinni (of Russia) last year. He sent the bulk of them off to someone else to be professionally painted, but he had a few left over that he was willing to let me give a go at. The intent was to paint these up as Fallout miniatures, as (great minds think alike!) my friend has been interested in running a Fallout-themed game. (I think originally he was going to do something at GenCon or some other big game convention like that, but the minis ended up getting here a year late.) A large part of my work consisted of just trying to assemble the things. They're resin figures, highly detailed, without the disfiguring bubbles that have characterized certain expensive resin figures I've dealt with in the past. The resin is slightly flexible but delicate, prone to a lot of flash (very filmy), and there are lots of parts. The "Mr. Gutsy" robot knock-off was the worst, at 9 parts (3 delicate arms, 3 delicate eye-stalks, main body, lower body, and flight rod), so I've set that aside to work on much later, once I've tackled the bulk of the figures and can feel as if I've made some sort of progress. The female figures are challenging, as the limbs are very thin, granting very little surface area for pinning their arms to the body (and OF COURSE the arms had to be separate pieces). These troopers (scafrifle & scafgatling) from Brother Vinni's "Nuclear Sandlot" line look blatantly like the Brotherhood of Steel in the Fallout series of games. For "scafrifle," parts consist of main body, 2 arms, 2 shoulder pads, and head. The weapon is a pretty clear attempt to represent the laser rifle from Fallout. One was missing a shoulder pad (far left), so I faked one with putty, but I couldn't quite manage to duplicate the "tab" with the hole through it ... so I guess this fellow had some "battle damage." Minor pose variants are possible since the head and arms are separate pieces, so one could get several of these guys to form the bulk of a Brotherhood of Steel force. I ended up adding some small bits of wire (not shown) to the top of the laser rifle for the final version in order to make it look just a little more like the game model. For "scafgatling," parts consist of main body, left arm, laser-gatling (recognizably patterned after the game model), helmet, backpack unit, and 2 shoulder pads (though these are slightly smaller for some reason than those used for "scafrifle" rather than just using the same ones over). Although the backpack unit has a bump that's apparently meant to fit into a hole in the figure's back, it didn't fit for either model, and I had to shave it off in order to glue the pieces on. Aside from which way to face the head, there really isn't much possibility for posing, since it's a two-hand weapon and one arm is fused with the body, but this is supposed to be a "support weapon" anyway, so I figure one could get by with just one for a squad. (Well, apparently TWO, but I didn't make the ordering decisions here.) The gatling gun and left arm assembly is especially clumsy, as there's nowhere for the gun to rest against, and the left hand didn't seem to line up quite right with the presumed location of the "handle." A tiny crumb of putty in the gap between gun and leg is helpful to give glue an anchor point. Brother Vinni's "veteran" looks like nothing so much as the iconic NCR Ranger depicted on the cover of "Fallout: New Vegas." The figure comes with an empty right hand, and a left hand holding an SMG, yet the bag also included a sprue with two revolver hands (one right, one left), making for an easy conversion to get the figure to hold the Sequoia pistol that's a mark of the NCR Rangers. ... Okay, not REALLY so easy after all, as the hands of the figure have protective wrist guards, so I ended up having to chop off the empty hand at a slight angle, and do the same for the replacement gun hand to get it to mesh and look at all right, and pinning the tiny hand and wrist was a very delicate operation. Brother Vinni's "sniper" looks very, very Fallout-ish ... but for the life of me, I can't actually place just what this guy is supposed to represent. This figure comes with a small backpack/ammo pack that's optional (and I considered NOT adding it, because the back texture of the armor is fairly interesting), and likewise the two tiny shoulder pads with the figure could just as well be left off and he'd still look great. I'm just painting him up as some sort of generic "mercenary" type without any particular faction insignia. The three guys to the left are the "Nuclear Adventurers" (n-adve), and come as a group. There are no instructions, and it's a slight puzzle to match up which weapon arms go with which figure (as two of them have two-handed weapons, and there's only one way to arrange them so the wrists line up properly). I really like the figures (yay, gas masks!), and they nicely capture the look and feel of Fallout adventurers or raiders or generic adversaries, without being blatant property rip-offs. (It helps that they actually have backpacks, knapsacks, and other indications of inventory that are often woefully lacking on representations of typical PC types. "Where do you keep that thing, little buddy?") Oh yeah, and at some point I ran out of 1" diameter washers, so I ended up using a few 25mm round plastic bases instead. I ended up using Instant Mold and some impressions of terrain bits to make "rusty techno-plating" and "cracked earth" textures for bases -- plus to give myself enough of a layer to drill into for pinning the feet down of the minis. In a few cases, I was able to keep enough of the resin "flash" on the bottoms of feet to embed them into putty (if it was still uncured at the time I started assembling), but most of the time it was easier to just drill and pin. For a few figures, I added threads of putty (for cables), bits of sprue (for misc. techno/junk thingies), or whatever other bits I had lying about, for variety. The rightmost figure in the picture is a more generic power-armor (or "armour") trooper, though his face plate looks suspiciously reminiscent of the Enclave. (The odd thing is, Brother Vinni already has a blatant Enclave rip-off in the form of the "Ant Soldier," so if that was the intent, why not just go ahead and add the antennae/head-cables and make it official?) Due to the similarity, I'm painting him up in dark armor and going for Enclave imagery. I haven't yet resolved as to whether or not I'm going to attempt adding a couple of loops of cable to the top of the helmet for the full Enclave look. This figure was actually much easier to assemble than the "scafgatling" figure: the gatling and attached hands notched into place with the arms fairly easily, and the backpack fit in place properly. The tiny shoulderpads were (as with scafrifle & scafgatling) a challenge to trim from the sprue properly, but even they fit a little more easily on the shoulders. I suspect this must be a later sculpt, building upon experience with the earlier ones. Lastly, my friend picked up two "Hooligan Girls" (hool01, hool02) from Brother Vinni's "Action Girls" line (most of which are NSFW). These were among the rare models actually bothering to wear clothes while leaping into combat, although they didn't look particularly appropriate for a post-apocalyptic setting. The one on the left came with the SMG and brass knuckles, but I opted to give it a gas mask and neck-strap via some putty, for more of a nuclear-wasteland-survivor vibe. The middle one came with a baseball bat and an empty left hand, but I used the leftover left-hand pistol from the Nuclear Sandlot "veteran" figure so both Hooligan Girls would have short-range-and-melee options. Both figures consisted of main body (with head attached), with two separate arms (joined mid-arm, at their shirt sleeves), so there's some very slight posing possibility by varying the positions of their arms ... and I suppose the arms might be interchangeable between the two Hooligan Girl figures for a little more variety if building a "gang." The one on the right is one of another 3-figure set from the Nuclear Sandlot, billed as "Post-Apocalyptic Citizens," and they rather blatantly look like Fallout vault-dwellers. (A view of the back would make that even more obvious, as the back of the belt has the "Vault-Tec" look from Fallout 3 & New Vegas ... though that particular aspect didn't seem to show up in the Fallout 4 vault-dweller jumpsuit design for some reason.) The rifle arm and left hand (holding binoculars) are separate pieces, but there's no room for alternate-posing without some conversion work. The right left is slightly bent, with the foot resting upon a stone, and that was pretty easily incorporated into the base. Overall, the figures are of fairly nice quality. I'm a bit put off that it took as long as it did for the figures to actually be delivered, and that there was a part missing, but they're nicely detailed. Assembly was a bit fiddly, but since it was resin, it was nowhere near the nightmare I had when trying to assemble pewter boutique minis for a friend (e.g., Relic Knights "Kisa" with those super-thin multi-part ARMS -- what sadistic person decided to break up the mini THERE?!?).
  3. At Necronomicon 2017 (October 20-22, in Tampa, Florida), I ran three Fallout-themed games using the Savage Worlds RPG. For miniatures, I used several conversions of Reaper and HeroClix figures. For terrain, I used Secret Weapon Miniatures "Tablescapes" tiles, O-scale Bachmann Plasticville buildings, some McDonald's Happy Meal Pixar "Cars" toys, some laser-cut MDF pieces from Warsenal, and an assortment of other "scatter" items. Scenario #1 was dubbed "All You Can Eat." The "centerpiece" was the "Wok-a-Doodle" restaurant, created by taking an incomplete Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles play set I picked up at the thrift store, disassembling it further, and then combining it with some putty, cardboard, paper elements, the facade of an O-scale building, and some "Mars Attacks" scatter terrain pieces to make a street scene piece. It doesn't make much SENSE in several respects: the Wok-a-Doodle front statues impede the right-of-way on the sidewalk, the buildings are too crowded together, and the sidewalk is too narrow to walk on, on the side-streets ... but as a bit of shorthand for "there are ruined old-timey buildings here," and as something I could fairly easily transport without fear of parts breaking off in transit, it worked splendidly. (Closeup on the "entrance": The "Wayside Village" sign is just a bit of Photoshoppery with some textures and some retro typefaces. I hunted around for images of shopping centers, and was inspired by an image of the sign for the Lakeside Village "Complete Shopping Center" in Elyria, OH. I obviously didn't go for an authentic recreation, but just enough for a quick job (I was a bit pressed for time at this point) of something I could print off, glue to some foam-core illustration board, and turn into something that would help set the tone for the area. The "street facade" is at odds with the idea of this being a "shopping center," but ... eh, nobody complained, so I guess I got away with it.
  4. In the Fallout series of video games, the protagonist is oftentimes a "vault dweller" -- someone who sought refuge in, or was even BORN within, a vast underground bunker manufactured by Vault-Tec in order to survive a nuclear war. For whatever reason, standard garb issued to these vault-dwellers consisted of blue skin-tight jumpsuits with yellow trim, and with the number of the vault in big numerals on the back (because, hey, for the next 200 years we're spending sealed up inside this vault, we don't want to get mixed up and end up getting confused about who belongs here, and not in some other vault, I guess?). A select few who get sent out into the wastes on special missions (to find a replacement water-purifier chip, etc.) get a top-of-the-line wrist-mounted computer known as a "Pip-Boy." And that's about it for "uniform," as vault-dweller travelers tend to start sprucing up their suits with knee pads, leather shoulder guards, armor pieces, etc., if they don't just replace the suit entirely. So ... that basically means that most any Chronoscope figure who seems to be clad in spandex (or something close to it) could probably pass for a vault-dweller with the appropriate paint job. Bonus points if there's something on the left wrist that I could transform into a Pip-Boy. First off, we have Bonnie Clyde, of Vault 187. This is Reaper Chronoscope Bones #80025, "Bonnie, Futuristic Heroine," with a special guest appearance by Reaper Bones #77130, "Vermin: Beetle Swarm" as a couple of rad-roach swarms that she's fighting off. The integral base is pretty tiny, and insufficient for the figure to stand on her own for very long. I inverted one of the 25mm plastic Base Boss round bases that came with my Bones Kickstarter pack, and placed the integral base inside, gap-filled with epoxy putty, then churned up the surface a bit with the flat edge of a dull and crud-caked hobby knife in the hopes of getting an interesting texture to represent broken pavement or something along those lines. The basic scheme was to paint any "jumpsuit" areas a bright blue, though the biggest challenge was to get those thin yellow lines for the trim. (That involved a lot of back-and-forth, as I'd blotch on a little too much, then have to go back with blue to clean up the line, but then I'd blotch a bit with THAT, and have to go back with first white and then yellow on top of that, then go back with blue for more clean-up and ... ARGH!) The figure has something that passes for a forearm wrist-band, so I just painted that up as a Pip-Boy by giving it a solid green rectangle for a screen. Scenery elements include some McDonald's Happy Meal "Pixar Cars" toy cars that have had the windshield/windows removed, and wheels "flattened" by adding some putty. The street scene consists of Tablescapes Tiles (Urban Streets - Clean) from Secret Weapon Miniatures. RPG-wise, this is one of my more flexible pre-gen characters for Fallout Savage Worlds one-shot games at Necronomicon. Despite being armed to the teeth, she has only mediocre combat ability, mostly relying on burst-fire (high ammunition expense) for any hope of hitting anything. Her real strength is that she has high Smarts, and the "Jack of All Trades" ability. (Well, it also helps that she has Two-Fisted and Ambidextrous. I didn't build these as 0-xp baseline characters.) My backstory explanation is that Vault 187* was home to a sociological and technological experiment that involved supplanting the culture of the original vault inhabitants by subjecting their children (and all subsequent generations born in the vault) to education exclusively through "Learning Machines" (specially adapted VR pods). The artificial culture substituted was that of "gangster culture" as portrayed in cinematic form. To the surprise of the remote observers, the vault inhabitants somehow survived for the next 210+ years without wiping each other out via gang wars. (The vault was not only equipped with VR pods and a holo-vid entertainment collection entirely consisting of old gangster movies, but also an inordinate number of full-auto guns, lots of ammunition, a prohibition against alcohol, machines that could be easily converted into stills, and periodic raids by robotic rules-enforcers.) Bonnie Clyde was born and raised in Vault 187, but expelled in the fallout of one of the vault's many internal power-plays. She's actually very intelligent and has a smattering of all sorts of skills rare in the post-apocalyptic world, but she's clueless as to the realities of life in the wasteland. She also (as per my role-play tips) talks like a gangster mol (or, for those unfamiliar with the concept, I suggested that she speaks like Harley Quinn). "Jack of All Trades" basically ensured that this character would have some useful role to play in any situation, but that any area in which another PC actually *specialized*, she wouldn't be stealing the spotlight from. (The other half of "Jack of All Trades" is "Master of None," after all. In my house-rule version of Jack of All Trades, it applies to ALL skills that could theoretically be used "untrained" -- not just Smarts-based skills -- so its utility is a bit more far-ranging. But in any given skill she effectively only has a d4, so it's nothing to get TOO excited about.) * Note: "Vault 187" would put her vault out of the normal canon numbering convention (in the canon it's suggested that there are only 120 numbered Vault-Tec vaults built, so anything over 120 is presumably out of range), but since I'm making stuff up anyway, I figure I might as well just roll with it.
  5. Reaper Chronoscope #50044 -- "Frank Russo, Mercenary," with bare-head option, on 25mm round resin base (War Cast Studios). This mini from the Chronoscope line pretty much strikes me as a proxy for "Punisher-knock-off character" for a superheroic campaign, but the spandex-like costume ALSO strikes me as a good contender for a Vault-Tec vault-dweller jumpsuit. Of the two heads provided with this mini (bare-headed, or skull mask), I went with the bare head, of course. The basic scheme for a vault suit just means that I paint the suit blue, paint some yellow trim around the neck and down the front, and paint some number from 1 to 120 on the back. In this case, I went with the notion of "Vault 66" for a variety of reasons: Originally, "Vault 66" was going to be a scenario for Necronomicon, giving justification for "Rex," my converted Khans road-ganger (in another thread) to be able to drive his Nuka-Bike around underground. (Otherwise, what use would his Driving and Ace skills/Edges be in a post-apocalyptic dungeon-crawl?) My rough idea was that the vault was built upon an old facility that once housed an underground hyperloop, and that with the conversion of the facility into a Vault, the "hyperloop" was widened into a driving track, and some nuclear-powered vehicles were housed in an adjoining garage. Having a road to nowhere accomplishes nothing, save for giving the inhabitants a hobby, I suppose, but if the vault-dwellers were vehicle obsessed, I figured it would justify having some extra-wide hallways -- either because they were built that way originally, or modified over the following 200+ years. I never really did anything with it, but on a whim I decided to paint up this guy as from "Vault 66." He could be another driver/Ace type, though more combat-focused than Rex (who was a bit more well-rounded in his skill selections). Anyway, the backdrop is a work in progress -- a Batcave play set I picked up at the Goodwill for 2 bucks, which I have been slowly transforming into a sort of cut-away Vault diorama. It's not really practical for miniatures-gaming, as the "play area" is too narrow, and it'd be a pain to see and access minis in the corners, but I intend to use it as a sort of glorified GM screen and table display to attract attention to my game, and then to serve as a visual aid for the PCs' progress through a Vault, as they explore it. I've moved on from the "vehicle-focused vault" idea, as I just couldn't think of an overarching "story" for the vault and what the PCs would do there, but just in case I DO do something with it, I'm keeping the terrain itself relatively neutral (i.e., I could recycle to represent Vault 66 or Vault 122 or whatever). Those are supposed to be stimpacks on the back of his utility belt, by the way. At that size, however, my shaky hands and bad eye sight pretty much mean that the best I can hope for is to blotch on some dots of color in the general vicinity and hope that it conveys the general idea to someone seated across the table. This post isn't about "Gee, look at my l33t painting skills," because I don't have them, but rather about, "Gee, look, this mini could be a Vault Dweller!" because I've been on a bit of a Fallout kick for a while. ;) (One of these days / one of these years / hopefully sometime before I kick the bucket or my brain gets too addled for me to run these things anymore, I hope to run a Fallout-themed Savage Worlds campaign, but my player group keeps latching onto something else every time we come up for a new campaign, so I haven't gotten there yet, and my main outlet has been to run Fallout-themed one-shots at Necronomicon.)
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