Pimp My Board Game

a pursuit of fruitless endeavors and endless refinements

Tag: magnetizing (Page 1 of 2)

Back to the Grind

Having finally finished up my Gen Con 50 reports, I jumped back into prepping some miniatures.  I started with a Knight Model for the Batman Miniature Game.

I have a few Suicide Squad starter figures that need to be put together but this Green Arrow figure I picked up is one of my favorite sculpts so I decided to work on him instead.  I got smart this time and busted out my dusty jewelers clamp because I remembered that Knight Models loves complicated three-point poses and rarely do they all match up easily.  I used a little green stuff to fix the angle on the bow arm and it all worked out in the end.

For basing, the new metal miniatures come with the much improved solid base instead of the slotted rubble bases that always required greenstuff to fill in and sculpt.  It was always a pain and I never felt like I could get the effect right.  The left image above in grey is an old base I obviously used greenstuff on.  The right is the new base that I’ll customize to fit the dynamic scenery that Green Arrow stands on.

And here he is in all his glory.  He should be pretty fun to paint up.


This upcoming weekend, I have a Dropzone Commander game coming up at Funtastic Games so that means another “drop everything and finish up some models” week for me.

I’m tackling the new-ish Typhoon attack helicopters this time.  Only two models so it shouldn’t be too bad.

Ah but I spoke too soon.  These models are part of their dual packaging wave where each model comes with all the other gun iterations.  This package can double as the older Cyclone attack choppers or the new Typhoons.  I still really like the Cyclones so I don’t want to commit this models to only one choice so that means magnets.

It took me awhile to find my 2mm magnets and get everything set up but after that, it went as good as could be expected.  No real major issues but I wonder if I’m going to have to add a second magnet to those wings to help hold them in place.   Maybe after this weekend.  I’ve got to get these guys into the garage to prime up.  I’ll post my progress at the end of the week.

CabinCon Prep: Tiny Ass Numbers on Tiny Ass Cars

With CabinCon (our yearly friend meet-up where we catch up and play games up in the mountains) starting Wednesday, there are few things I want to get done before I leave so today was a major prep day.

One thing I want to host this year is a Championship Formula Racing mini cup, a “CabinCon Cup,” if you will.  This will be two or three races with point scoring to determine the overall winner.  I picked up a set of 1957 F1 cars on Shapeways to serve as each player’s cars and as is our custom for CabinCon, these will be given away to each player along with whatever placement prize they achieve during the CabinCon Cup.

After painting a set of the cars up, I wanted to work on the “trophy” stands that will also serve as prizes for the event.

This is a pretty simple stand with a little wooden bit at the bottom and a dowel post at the top, which will support the car.  Magnets for the post and the cars will make it so the cars stay on the stand and can be interchangeable.

So here we have the concept all primed up.  I then had to drill into the cars to magnetize them.  This always sucks but I’ve gotten used to it after all the Dropzone Commander that I’ve magnetized.

Just make sure to mark the magnets for polarity so that everything lines up at the end.

Next came the painting of the actual cars.  Unlike my last set of painted Formula 1 cars, I used google image search more for inspiration rather than trying to find the actual car color schemes.

The 1957 formula 1 cars are pretty conservative on detail which made painting them up pretty quick.  I decided to enhance that detail by adding numbers this time.  Not sure how soon I’ll be doing that again though.  It is really time-consuming and a bit nerve-wracking.  I’m pretty happy with the results but it’s not something I want to jump back into tomorrow. Luckily, I don’t have to as I’m all done with the cars.

Now to complete the trophy stands.

Walking Dead Wednesdays: Tackling the Threat Tracker

Threat is a major force in The Walking Dead: All Out War and tracking it is important.  Mantic gave us a threat dial and a spinner but spinners make for a weak way to track such an important aspect of the game, mainly because they are so good at, well, spinning. Let’s see if we can’t change that up a bit.

I first wanted to just add friction to the spinner so that it would work more like a static dial but those experiments didn’t turn out too well. My next solution was use magnets as they would remove the low friction spinning component and be removable for easy storage.  The big arrow of the original spinner could work but then I hit upon the idea of using something more iconic.

How about Negan’s iconic Lucille?  A quick search on Shapeways revealed that someone had already made a replica mini Lucille and it happened to be the perfect size.

A quick priming and painting and Lucille was ready for assembly.

I cut a small 3mm notch into the center so that the magnet could rest in and then quick-painted the excess damage I did.

For the base, I used the original spinner base, filled it with greenstuff and superglued the main magnet in.  Then superglued the whole base to the threat tracker template.

All it took was letting the glue dry and then we had a pimped out Walking Dead: All Out War custom Lucille threat tracker.

It stays put, is easy to use without knocking the result everywhere, and is  removable for quick storage.

Walking Dead Wednesdays: The Great Outdoors

A big thanks to all of those that checked out my comic last week! The response was great and I hope that you’ll check out the issue next month as well.

Speaking of that issue, I’m moving forward in the Days Gone Bye expansion campaign and that will take me out of the city and into the wilds.  That means I need a few new pieces of terrain, namely trees. Lots of trees.

I was looking around for good tree options both homemade and manufactured and settled on a set of deciduous trees from Woodland Scenics.  After getting them, I decided to leave them unflocked because I couldn’t find any greyscale flocking and I didn’t want to just start spray painting the regular stuff. Luckily, I can always pretend that the campaign is occurring during winter or late fall/early spring.

The trees come stock in a brownish-grey which actually is really close to my black and white set up. This is awesome as it means I didn’t even have to try to paint them.  I may still eventually paint them but for now, I think they’ll work just fine.

The branches come flat in these sets so you have to bend the branches into natural positions.  This was actually pretty fun and easily accomplished while catching up on some tv shows I was behind on.

The main issue I’ve found with trees on tabletop terrain is they are too top heavy and can be annoying as they catch on things and scatter all over. Weights are usually mandatory but I had a better idea: magnets.  Magnetizing the trees to the base templates allows them to stay put and be easily removed when I want.  I will note that Woodland Scenics’ trees come with optional trunk bases so if you glued them down, you could easily remove the main tree and yield the same result. I like the templates flat so magnets won out in the end for me.

I drilled holes in the bottom of each tree trunk base until it was deep enough for the magnet then stickered over the hole and magnet to keep everything in place. Unlike my Dropzone Commander minis, I didn’t use glue as the sticker will be there to hold everything.  Make sure to get your magnet orientation correct or you’ll run into issues later. Since I drilled through the trunk, some of the tree posts were a little long and needed trimming before they would sit in flush to the trunk base.

I decided to use the stock tree templates from Mantic as my base but they are in color and I can’t have that.  So, like I did with the new boards I made, I scanned the template images in, converted them to black and white, and printed them on a large label sheet. Since my entire Walking Dead set is black and white, I don’t have an issue destroying the actual templates so I’ll sticker the new black and white image on top of the real template.

Next I drilled holes into the existing templates for the magnets to go into, placed them in, making sure to keep them all in the correct orientation to match my trees, and then placed the b/w template sticker over the top to keep the magnets in place. On the back side, just like the trees, I placed small stickers to keep the magnets firmly in place.

And done. Trees that won’t scatter to the slightest touch or knock over when someone hits the table.

Now it all comes together.  I have my trees and their base templates, my new Mantic image boards, and a hastily done papercraft RV all ready to roll.

Damn. Another Grimes family outing ruined by walkers.

Showcase: Dropzone Commander Starter set (Resistance)

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been getting more and more into miniatures games.  It started with Fantasy Flight’s X-wing Miniatures Game which spoiled me with prepainted minis and no need for any terrain building.

My game group had seen a relatively new game around by Hawk Wargames and it looked fun but I didn’t want to jump back into the whole hobby side of modeling, painting, and terrain building unless the game was truly great. At Gen Con, Dropzone Commander, a 10mm skirmish war game had demos and we were able to finally try it out.  The game was a lot of fun and the miniatures seemed easy to paint with very little assembly.  To make it even easier, Hawk Wargames had the brilliant idea of making easy and great looking paper terrain so once you pick up a starter and do any minor assembly, you can throw it all down and get started.

Why I liked X-wing so much was because it was zero effort from open box to playing on the table.  Dropzone Commander isn’t zero effort but if you don’t mind unpainted minis, it is pretty darn close.  My friend picked up the main starter set and I decided to focus on their post-apocalyptic themed Resistance army.

I’m decent enough at painting but I also want to get the game to the table as quickly as possible so I usually limit myself to a small palette of colors.  This army was a little tough for me as it wasn’t a standard regimented army and so the color schemes had to be consistent but still varied and “hodge-podgey” to represent the army’s ragtag theme.

I decided that I’d have the bulk of the army in a dark black scheme but have random vehicles in an entirely different scheme to represent newer acquisitions.  The army would keep it’s cohesiveness with a telltale red blood stripe down the center.  Red is my usual player color in games (if given a choice) so I was happy to add this element to my army.

Since the models have a few interchangeable options with weapons, I decided to magnetize these options so they can swap out easily. The gun on top of the Lifthawk dropship pictured above has magnets to swap out for non-gun versions and magnets on the undercarriage to carry different vehicle options.

The tops of these APCs have magnets as well to go into any of my dropships.  The Infantry are on clear bases as that is my favorite basing style since it is relatively easy and works amazingly well on flat, smooth game mats.

These gun wagons are part of the Resistance Army’s signature ragtag appearance and so I broke the red stripe theme and just made some post-apocalyptic trucks.  The guns are magnetized as well to swap out for the various wagon unit options.

That completed the starter army but I quickly expanded to a full 1,000 point army, which is a good beginner size that allows for some army build flexibility but keeps things small enough to not overwhelm new players.

To get up to 1,000 points, from the 600-ish point starter, I added a few new elements.

I added a Barrel Bomber and added more magnets for army building flexibility.

Then added the awesome Cyclone helicopter models.  The rotors are magnetized just so they can easily be removed for storage.

Before Hawk made some rules adjustments, Freerider motorcycles were a mainstay of every Resistance army.  Here, I mounted them again on clear acrylic bases.

Finally, I capped the army off with a commander unit. This time, I used Salakahn’s “famous” commander model to double for the general M3 Alexander super tank.

Recently, I was able to add a bit more to push my army to the standard 1,500 point tournament size.

The massive Thunderstorm hovercraft transport became my new commander unit.

Along with their crazy Walord’s Retinue.

I branched into the Fast Flyer rules with Foley’s J19 Hellhog.

Another Resistance signature item with their Breach Drill.

And at last, a unit of Battle Buses. The gunners are magnetized to the defensive bunker, which is also magnetized tho the buses themselves.

With all this work, I didn’t want to risk damaging any of the models so I used pluck foam to fill out a box and use it all for safe/easy transportion.

This box carries everything except my rule books and terrain.  It also will have enough room to expand with the other models I have waiting to finish painting.

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