Busy Busy But Not Much Finished!

It has been an incredibly busy week with many real world commitments eating into my painting time. I did manage to get these three Elementals from Blacklist Games finished. Rather simple, with mostly light dry brushing and some washes… plus decorating the bases. Unlike the translucent Elementals from Reaper that I previously did, these have integral bases.

The only one I tried to be clever on is the Fire Elemental, where I tried to paint the base to reflect how the magical fire had affected the surrounding terrain. It is subtle… so much so that it will probably go unnoticed and be something of a waste of time but I felt strangely compelled to do it.

Mrs. GG and I think these will make fine constructs for Frostgrave… which we are in the process of trying our first game. We decided to use a 2×2 table as an experiment for our “trial game”.

Mrs. GG set up the table differently than I expected but she did a great job coming up with a cool looking designed. She was definitely listening when I told her that Frostgrave requires a lot of dense terrain.

Perhaps a bit too much terrain in too small and area. It felt kind of slow (thanks to so much rough terrain) and claustrophobic compared to our big sprawling MESBG Battle Companies table set ups.

You can see Mrs. GG has been putting her recently acquired (birthday present) dice vault to work.

Normally I will not play a game with unpainted minis but Mrs. GG is not so fussy and I really wanted to see if we enjoyed Frostgrave before we spent any more money on it. Unfortunately time to play has been short. We have been having to play around our son’s school and sleep schedule.

We have only managed a couple of turns so far but we have been having fun. Mrs. GG has been more clever in her spell usage than me, making the best of “crowd control/movement” type spells whereas I took spells that would better suit a directly confrontational style of game rather than the competitive but not violently confrontational we are currently trying. We are role playing our characters and while hers is much more morally upstanding than my necromancer, he wants to keep decent relations so that he can trade with her in the future if she gets spells he is specifically after. You see, he wants to become a Lich one day…

We have been using rules from the Spellcaster magazines, so my Apprentice has a critical failure that saw a statue almost topple onto him. Whereas Mrs. GG had a critical success on a telekinesis spell which plucked a treasure from my side of the board right to one of her minions.

We will not be doing a proper battle report of this game and we still have not finished it but so far it is off to a good start.

We have been busy going through all the Reaper Bones V pledge items that arrived.

Yes, one of those boxes contains a model of the 28mm Pirate Ship “Sophie’s Revenge” (non-glowing).

It is huge but does not overly dominate a 6×4 table. The plastic is a bit warped. I am hoping a water water treatment and reshaping will do the trick. If not, we will need to get a heat gun and try that. I do not want to have to glue the deck to the bottom hull piece if I can help it so that we can still access the gun deck. It would have been better for me if the hull walls had been attached to the bottom deck rather than the upper deck. This will make it impossible to “run out the guns” properly.

However, the modeling on the ship, the sculpting and detailing, is brilliant. It is going to be great fun decorating the interior, especially the Captain’s Quarters.

I had hoped to do a full table layout of everything we received but it really has not been practical, especially with me wanting to play Frostgrave. So instead, I think you all will just have to wait until things get painted.

There are plenty of unboxing videos and reviews online already if you are curious.

Overall we were very pleased with what arrived. So much so that we added more things in the Bones 5.5 pledge manager. The Bones Black material, which so much of Bones V is made of, is a brilliant improvement over the old Bones material. Much crisper sculpting.

We also managed to get some roads from the Printable Scenery Haggelthorn Hollow Kickstarter 3d printed. What we received far exceeded our expectations and we are going to try to get a lot more printed.


You can see the size of the roads, we asked for 28mm. Since they are 3d printed you can adjust the size for wider roads if you are ok with bigger stones. The edges of each section are not straight but instead cleverly matching irregular lines. This is great for breaking up that unnatural straight line model gaming roads normally have.

If you want roads that sit on top of the ground, like we do, these are brilliant and we believe they will paint up nicely. Looks like they will be replacing the Battle Systems roads we recently reviewed.

We also got some Dungeons and Lasers sci-fi terrain on eBay for about half the Kickstarter price. This may be a bit surprising as we had some from a previous eBay auction and sold them since we use Battle Systems cardstock terrain for our sci-fi gaming… however, after seeing discussions on the Dwarven Forge forums about sci-fi streampunk terrain I had the idea of making some for Frostgrave.

This is the piece I did as a “proof of concept” trial. Primed black, drybrushed gun metal, detailing then washed Army Painter Strong Tone and matt clear coated. With of course a couple of details hit with gloss clear coat. I am going for something you might see inside Jules Verne’s Nautilus. Maybe Tinker Gnome? What do you think?

Speaking of terrain, we also picked up some used Archon Studio Rampart Series Temple pieces and some Games Workshop War Cry Catacombs pieces on eBay. Unpainted and destined for our Frostgrave/Ghost Archipelago games.

It is interesting that the Age of Sigmar Stormborn and Chaos barbarian modified architecture (ie the Warcry terrain) did nothing for me until I thought of it in the context of a thousand year old magical city, particularly the temple district in the northern part of Felstad.

And our Tabletop World Kickstarter pledge is due to arrive in a few days…

Speaking of kickstarters, this one caught my attention. Another big “generic Fantasy figures” collection like the Blacklist Games kickstarters.


Mrs. GG is not convinced we need to back it, as it covers much of the same ground as our Blacklist Games pledges but I like the aesthetics which are slightly different but should still match our current models. No idea when I would find time to paint them mind you. Still, I am tempted.

In other news we say Alita: Battle Angel.

Mrs. GG enjoyed it… but I loved it! Absolutely loved it. No, it is not perfect. Some old tropes rehashed but done so well. Great casting, beautiful visuals. I highly recommend it. Think, Pinnochio with guns and swords.

We also saw Tomb Raider. Not the one with Angelina Jolie, the other one.

We enjoyed it. Again not a perfect film. Good casting, some decent visuals, especially the fight choreography. A bit more gritty than usual for this kind of movie. I actually preferred this one over the Angelina Jolie version, which was a surprise to me.

I finished Season 5 of Van Helsing.

It has been a roller coaster ride. Season 1 was alright but the quality of the show went up and down seasons in and out. I did start to care about the characters at times only to be annoyed by them and their decisions later. But by mid-season 5 I was finally back on track and liking the surviving characters enough to care about them. Some things felt unresolved with secondary characters but I doubt there will be another season given the climatic season finale. I felt a bit sad for some reason at the end, I am not sure why.

Mrs. GG and I have been enjoying Trollhunters from Netflix.

We are about halfway through season 1 and we are finding it surprisingly entertaining. Some excellent voice acting. A very different take on Gnomes than I am used to.

As always, please leave a comment. Let me know what you think about the things I have written about. Tell me what you are watching these days or what kickstarters you are backing. I am always keen to get feedback and hear from the folks that take the time to read this blog.

16 comments

  1. The terrain Mrs GG put together for your Frostgrave game remains me of the thread I just read on TMP about terrain being a player. In this case, does the terrain dictate the play of the game or unduly change it? I can’t tell from the one picture but I do like how it was put together, very photogenic and seems to fit the Frostgrave theme. I haven’t tried Frostgrave as I’m not a fan of magic in games but i do like the Northstar figures.

    Your buying some Warcry bits reminds me i bought the Cursed City waystone with the crow and key by just looking for bits. There also seemed to be the bats being sold separately if you are interested, of course that is the US Ebay, your results may differ.

    Interesting new road system, one more temptation for getting a 3d printer. What roads were used in the Frostgrave game picture?

    Anything Jules Verne themed gets a yes from me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The terrain definitely dictated, or at least strongly influenced our play. It channeled our characters right into spawn points by being the “quickest” route off board… and both of us fell for that. Mrs. GG got the worst of that with spawns appearing for her more than me but she managed to successfully slay the monsters that appeared. It was still a chancy thing that could have been mitigated with taking one of the the “slower” routes.

      The magic was more powerful than either of us are used to in a game. Harry Potter level stuff at some points in my opinion. Interesting for the novelty but as an old infantryman I struggle to make the most of it.

      I am always on the lookout for good bits on eBay but buying from the US really adds to the cost and the market on eBay.de is smaller than eBay.com. That said, we do ok. We got a great deal on the Warcry terrain and will mitigate expense by putting bits we do not want back on eBay.

      The roads you see are Dwarven Forge terrain trays. I have written about them previously. Cool looking for negative space roads but expensive.

      I hope I can make the D&L sci-fi terrain suitably steampunk.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. While I can’t speak to the playability of it, the terrain looks fantastic! Mrs. GG did a great job setting it up. It looks like a cinematic place to have a battle to me. I hope that you enjoy Frostgrave and it something you want to play many more games of as well.

    In terms of the Sci-Fi terrain you showed off, I think it looks good but I have a suggestion or two that might be worth trying out. You may want to spray the terrain with a rattlecan of a Boltgun Metal color (which will save you time in the long run), then you can wash that down with a 50/50 mix of Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade. That will give it pretty good shadows and definition, but I’d lightly drybrush the edges of the metal surfaces with a lighter steel color afterwards. If you do it with a light touch, it should add more contrast but also make it look like there is wear on the metal too. You can then paint the gold parts and try and do a similar thing with drybrushing a lighter gold or a gold with chrome/silver mixed in. That’s just my two cents though and I’d say paint it however you think best or enjoy most!

    Personally, I love the idea of using Warhammer terrain for Frostgrave! Warcry has cool looking terrain so why not!? I’d never use that stuff for LOTR but there’s zero reason not to use it in Frostgrave or that’s my thinking anyway. You always have impressive terrain projects going and I can’t wait to see more as you get time to crank it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We finished our first game and really enjoyed it. Bigger board next time though!

      Good advice on the sci-fi terrain but I had a couple of bad batches of minis with poor spray primer so I like to prime out of the bottle with a brush and I like dry brushed metallics as there is often so much pigment in the paint they can quickly obscure details.

      I may take your advice on the light dry brush with silver over my washed gun metal.

      Originally I was going to go with more grungy washes and oxidation but decided against it. I may change my mind again… or do part of the terrain like that for variety.

      It takes so long to get everything painted to match the vision in my head, it is quite frustrating!

      Thanks for the kind words and painting suggestions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Really glad to hear it. You may tempt me with the Frostgrave and Rangers of Shadow Deep systems yet! 🙂

        That makes sense. I’ve never actually tried to prime with Boltgun Metal and I can see them being more difficult than a normal paint. If you do decide to go grungier, take a look at AK Interactive’s rust and streaking grime products. They work great for me with Fallout and can really look realistic.

        Can’t wait to see more progress on all of this! It should be a lot of fun to work on.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It was Army Painter Plate Mail Silver spray that I had trouble with, particularly my latest bunch of Gundabad Orcs, which remain unfinished but if any minis are ok with textured armor it is Orcs. That said I have had trouble with other spray paints. And the same with spray matt clear coats. I know weather plays a role.

        I think you would prefer the solo narrative campaign playstyle of Rangers of Shadow Deep to Frostgrave from what you have written in the past. I do not think terrain would be the hurdle you think. Certainly easier than Fallout and usable for Middle Earth.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Spray cans are very temperamental which is their major downside. I would try to spray when it is 60-70 Fahrenheit and under 50% humidity. That seems to do the trick for me but your mileage may vary!

        You may very well be right! You better get some Rangers of Shadow Deep stuff done next to convince me 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome, mate! I’m not surprised you’ve heard of it and always happy to share something that might be of interest. I hope this new game ends up being exactly what you’re wanting!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Huzzah! Playing Frostgrave. I’d love to hear more of what you think of the game.

    Also out of curiosity i’d love to hear more of where you ordered your Hagglethorn Hollow roads and how you felt about the experience of ordering 3d prints. Was it off the vendor list of printable scenery? I’ve been printing a good chunk of the collection myself and have had some concerns about the sculpts and want to warn that the overhangs from some places may not come out the best due to model design. Any building might require cleanup to get to our perfectionist standards. But issues would be on undersides of doors, windows and ledges and mostly out of sight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The company we contacted is Resin Engine.

      https://resinengine.com/

      They came recommended to us, so we emailed them to ask if they could help with our specific request. We intended to start with a set of the roads as a test sample but it sent so well that we want the rest of the KS now too. We will only be after the things we could not get in the original factory cast production. I have to admit despite the name of the company I expected FDM for the roads, I was very pleased when they arrived in resin at such a great resolution. And the price was pretty decent.

      Thanks for the warning on the potential issues.

      As for Frostgrave, I am not sure what to add. We are playing in a competitive but not violently confrontational style right now, no killing other wizards and their minions but race for the treasures instead. Not really cooperative yet as we are not actually aligned and actively helping each other but we will try some coop play at some point as per the Perilous Dark book.

      From the first impression it does play very differently than our GW MESBG Battle Companies Games and we will likely do actual battle reports at some point in the future… but I need to get more things built and painted first! And we only played a basic game, playing scenarios may change the feel of the game as well. It is so difficult for me and my wife to get free time at the same time so gaming is difficult.

      Like

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