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Awhile back Little Wars TV offered a complete starter set for skirmish gaming in the Wild West; they called it the Tombstone Tinderbox and it came with everything you needed to get started. The one caveat was that there was a limited number of boxes and once they were gone, they were gone. Not quite moving fast enough I missed out on the box and didn't expect to get another chance. On a whim however I checked their site and saw that they were selling the box. I'm not sure if they actually made more, they found a few forgotten boxes, or if some were returned and truthfully it doesn't really matter. All I knew was that I got a second chance and I leapt at it. Getting my hands on the box I decided to write a thread detailing my adventure in building, painting, and playing the game. Figuring the first few nights might not make for a very good read though I held off writing anything and now I'm nearly finished. Whoops, at least there'll be plenty to see and hopefully I'll have enough to say too. Though not quite a review I'm going to attempt to go over the box from top to bottom. First up is the actual box it came in. Once you peel off the shipping label I've got to say this is a pretty nice little box. Though you'll need to add a second box for the completed buildings transport to the game store shouldn't be bad. The system itself is Ruthless which is only one page of rules front and back. Even better they gave you two copies so you and your opponent can each look up rules or reference the sheet simultaneously. It also comes with a mini campaign with a few scenarios. It also comes with six cardstock buildings and thirteen fences. Having never built cardstock terrain before I have to say these were a blast to put together too. The box also has a small tape measure, 10 Woodland Scenic trees, 18 15mm miniatures, bases (metal washers), character cards, a deck of playing cards, some gaming tokens, card sleeves, a dry erase marker, super glue, and wooden dowels. Last but not least they include a 24" x 24" felt game mat. Knowing I wanted to tackle the buildings first I jumped right in. Having no prior experience I've got to say these buildings really made me rethink my terrain collection. They went together quick and easy, they look great, and they store well too. Getting to the miniatures they painted up very quickly and I typically got four done each night. You'll need to forgive the extreme close up shots and the sins they reveal. At tabletop though they look great and the colors help them stand out on the board. At this point there are only four more cowboys (two standing and two mounted), and two horses left to paint. So just a few more figures to paint before I can really dive into the system. Bonus Though they are not from this box I painted an additional four figures in this scale that I happened to have on had. If memory serves they all came from a Box of Goodwill at some point. First up are a two period "appropriate" figures. These two however are pretty out of place, unless you wanted to add a time travel element to the game.
I don't mind telling you guys, some days it felt like I would never complete the core set. In part, no doubt, to my haphazard manner of deciding what to paint...When I first started playing, the Imperial player had his favored units and he seldom deviated from them. He kept winning, so it's not like he really needed to... Again, I don't have my stuff together enough to do a little story and diorama. It's time to make some calculations for the jump to hyperspace! Jynn Odan and Fenn Signis. Jynn is a smuggler of no small repute who specializes in not standing still. Fenn is a veteran of many battles who specializes in "boom!" Jynn is pretty much straight off the character card. I went with a grey "urban" outfit for Fenn instead of the classic brown. Gideon Argus and Mak Esh'karay. Gideon is a Rebel Officer and tactical genius. Mak is a Bothan sharpshooter. Gaarkhan and Chewbacca (what a wookiee!). Gaarkhan specializes (in my limited experience) in getting trashed before the halfway point of the game. He's supposed to specialize in beating things to an icky pulp. I could have done a little better with Chewie, hopefully he won't pull my arms out of the sockets because I need them to paint! I should have base coated his fur a little differently instead of just drybrushing up from the base black coat. When I was looking at some of the animated shorts on Disney+, I noticed that his fur had a light/dark pattern that I tried to replicate instead of just hitting it with "whatever." From the animated short, Chewie has what I call a hat, bolero, and shorts where the fur is darker leaving the sides of his face, the forearms and lower legs lighter. Dialla Pasilla. This is an old picture (cropped to cut out Davith Elso from The Bespin Gambit). She's one of my favorite heroes to play. Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. I'm actually pretty happy with Solo. I even got a half-way decent blood stripe even though you can't see it in this picture. I do wish they had used Luke's costume from the end of ANH (yellow jacket, brown pants, black shirt) as that would have been more fun to paint than white, off-white, slightly-darker off-white, and light khaki. Rebel Saboteurs. I went with a more uniform look to these two Duros. It just seemed right that they should be Rebel regulars. I had forgotten that they had visors when I was planning colors and was disappointed when I realized I wouldn't be painting the glowing red eyes that Duros are known for. Rebel Troopers. Not much to say about them, really. They hang out with Gideon a lot. Nexu. Originally brought to us in Attack of the Clones, Nexu are ferocious feline-like creatures. The black variety is supposed to be more rare, and even more vicious. I was originally planning on altering their coloration to be more like the cats Mrs. Strawhat brought into the relationship (the black is our 20+ year old tortie, the white a Siamese mix), but I think I will do that with the Lothcats in Tyrants of Lothal. Which means I should tiger-stripe these Nexu when I feel like it. The pictures were taken before I ringed the bases in green. Trandoshan Hunters. It really stinks being the Rebel player on the receiving end of these guys. When I first started painting all these, I planned on painting the figures to match the colors on the ID tokens (blue, red, purple, black). IG-88! This blasted assassin droid really knows how to bring pain. The paint is pretty simple, though: metallics, red for eye sensors, and a couple yellow wires. Stormtroopers! Stormtroopers! More Stormtroopers! I've been asked a couple different times how I get my troopers so white. I start with Rainy Grey, follow it with Ghost White, and finish with Pure White. It's also why I'm not looking forward to the last eight (the last 25% for the game). Imperial Officers. Some people use the fleet grey scheme, but I went with Stormtrooper officer black for the regular officers. The white tunic is the elite...it just made sense for the elite to be part of the Imperial Security Bureau. You can spot the occasional ISB representative in the Death Star (I) and high ranking ISB officers in the conference room with Vader and Tarkin. E-Web Engineers. Scout Troopers are manning the cannons. The Scout Trooper armor actually is slightly a mix of hard armor and some soft-armor pieces. I varied the recipe a little, using Leather or Linen White (I don't remember which), for the soft armor to give a little different look. It doesn't really show in the pictures, though. Imperial Probe Droids. I had them done to a standard I was happy with, and then decided to add a wash. Which I then had to go back and fix. If you look carefully, you might notice that the elite IPD has a red reflection in one of the lenses, the blue IPD has a blue reflection, and the white marked droid has a grey/white reflection. The original intent was to use the reflections to ID them, but that's just too hard to see (and darn near impossible if you have some beer to "help" you game). Royal Guard. I think these guys are some of my favorite work from all that I've done, and they're also some of the first! Too bad we never really got to see them in action in Return of the Jedi. I have seen part of a deleted scene, though. The ID dots (visible just in front of the guards) have been painted over. They were ready to throw down against Vader.... Darth Vader! Not much to say here, either. Black, Nightmare Black, Shadowed Stone/Stormy Grey, more black... The Royal Guard Champion was done mostly the same way as the RGs, with a slightly altered scheme from the art. I guess the armor would normally be black, but went with brown to match the gloves and because brown is more in line with the red (in my opinion). His base has since been fixed and is now ringed in black. Which brings us to: The regular AT-ST and General Weiss. The general's AT-ST is an experimental model and a much lighter shade than the standard. Now that they're done, they'll probably never hit the table. But they're done! And that brings us to a close on what we usually use. There are still two sets to go: Twin Shadows (which is partially complete (25-30%) and Tyrants of Lothal. I will now be taking a brief, and well-earned, break from Star Wars.
Here comes Black Diamond to save the day... if you've got enough cash, that is. These models are from Soda Pop Miniatures game Relic Knights. This is the contents of a Black Diamond Starter Box. I was in the Kickstarter so I have a lot more than these, but somehow it happened that the starter box items were first. First up, we have Leopold Magnus and Static. Static was posted earlier here. Magnus is EVIL, in case you didn't pick that up from the model. He's the boss of the cadre, and tougher than all the rest of these guys put together. I had a hard time getting smooth blends on the cloak (and eventually said "good enough"), but I probably just need to use more intermediate colors. I couldn't figure out how to shade the body, so I did edge highlights only. Next are the Diamond Corps. These are the run-of-mill minions. They pack a good punch, but can die to a sneeze. The main thing I'm unhappy about is how long it took me to paint them. I probably spent over 20 hours on them total, which is way longer than I felt they deserved. This is the first full unit of something I've painted. I tried to make them fairly boring overall, since they're not the stars of the game. Last up is the M8 Blitz Tank. It's a Chee, which are a race of sentient robots. He's been posted previously as well. The purple bases are standard for Relic Knights, and the base inserts are also from SPM.
This is the Doctrine Starter Box from Soda Pop Miniatures game Relic Knights. Not much to show, really. I assembled these guys so that my Black Diamond would have somebody to shoot at. Palomino Gold bases because Doctrine uses yellow (creation) esper. Primed white then washed with Secret Weapon Sepia wash. Something funny happened with the wash on Ekhis and the male Novitiate, but I'm not inclined to spend any time fixing it. Delphyne (red riding hood) and Ekhis (big bad wolf) are the Knight and Cypher combo for this cadre. Ekhis doesn't properly fit on his 40mm base, so he got a cork extension. The big golems are Librarians (the starter box actually only comes with one), and the other humans are a squad of Noviates.