Pimp My Board Game

a pursuit of fruitless endeavors and endless refinements

Tag: painting (Page 1 of 4)

Striking While The Iron Is Hot

I thought I was going to get in another solo game of Championship Formula Racing but after prepping more Dropzone minis, I’ve gotten into a sort of painting rhythm and I might as well keep going while I can.

First up, I finished the last little unit for a potential army list I’ll likely try out at the next DZC meetup this month.

This guy was super simple with just some dry brushing slapped on over a black priming then picking out some minor details, clean up, blood stripe and done.  Another Kraken hovercraft transport ready to serve for the Resistance.

I still have my Walking Dead games to get through so I decided to finish up a long overdue addition to my group: Glenn.

Ah Glenn, always the runner.  I decided to take a bit more time to get some detailing on his hat.  Looking at the stock images in my TWD compilations, I couldn’t tell if the artist wanted him to be a Mets fan or Yankees so I decided he’d go for the Yanks.

Lucky for me, I have a new cheap brush that is fine enough for these details. Slow and steady with a bit of support really helped out here. That and having both the detail color and the background on hand to clean up the inevitable stray brush marks makes the job a bit easier and less nerve-wracking.

I couldn’t help but set up a quick little supply run photo op.  It’s good to see these two characters finally together.

With my new cheap brush, I know the fine tip won’t last long so I decided to keep hitting the tiny detail work.  The other reason I didn’t do a solo CFR game this week was because I caught wind of an opportunity to get a potentially large game going with some new players.  It likely won’t be too big but I only have six of my 1976 F1 cars painted and since my copy can handle eight players, I needed to get some additional cars in the garage just in case.

Sorry for the crappy depth of field on these next shots.  I didn’t have time to set up on a real camera so the terrible iPhone macro (or lack thereof) will have to do. This is an alternate paint scheme I’ve been wanting to try out for the Tyrrell P34.  Unfortunately, the livery for some of these cars really help break up the scheme even better but I didn’t want to try to freehand all that lettering.  I may try decals to finish up a lot of these cars.

Car eight in my collection is another alternate paint scheme for the Penske PC34, this time in the ATS theme.  I don’t know if this theme actually ran during 1976 as some of the reference images I was using dated 1977  with Hans Binder under the wheel.  It’s funny how wavy those lines look when viewed at the macro level. The effect is quite straight from a normal distance.  The yellow color gave me fits as my cheap craft paint (get what you pay for…) wasn’t really covering and looked almost greenish in hue.  I ended up making a custom color, which I hate doing on something that is going to require a lot of fine detail work.  I ended up making a big enough batch of the custom color to weather through all the rework those racing lines required so it all turned out in the end.

This concluded my eight car collection for CFR but I did have a few more cars sitting around and was feeling a longing for “the one that got away.”

Quite possibly my favorite color scheme goes to this Ferrari Lancia 801 from 1957. I had painted this once before as prize support for our race at Cabin Con this summer but I knew I had to eventually do it over again because it is just too cool to not have a copy.

A pretty productive week but now it’s time to game.  Next up will be to start prepping for the actual Walking Dead games as well as trying some lighting out for Batman.

Showcase: Terror in Meeple City (Rampage)


I’ve always been a fan of dexterity games and so when I saw Repos Production‘s over-sized new monster smash up dexterity game, Rampage, at Gen Con in 2013, I knew I had to have it.


Oversized Rampage at Gen Con 2013. image from Daddy’s Little Men blog

Repos Production later changed the game’s name to Terror in Meeple City to likely avoid some copyright infringement but the game is fantastic fun no matter what you call it.

The game comes stocked full of colorful meeples and originally they offered a sticker sheet separately to add some character to these guys but thankfully the sticker sheet comes in the retail box now.


The only thing about the components that I found a little off were the monsters themselves.  While they were nice and heavy wood cutouts, they only had stickers to give them character and were all the same natural wood color.


This was easily remedied.  Before stickering the pieces, I picked up some spray paints in matching colors and sprayed down all the pieces.  A quick seal and some stickering and the monsters pieces were ready to go. To me, this really helped keep all the pieces consistent and match the fun, colorful world the game art evokes.


Since you don’t actually need a lot of color, buying individual spray paint for each color was a little overboard. You could easily substitute some craft acrylic paints to get a similar effect.


If you wanted to duplicate this effect and you’ve already stickered your set, you could try removing the stickers with a hairdryer.  This should ruin the adhesive but should keep the stickers intact and let you peal them off easily.  You can then reapply an adhesive (I’d recommend a spray adhesive) and put the stickers back on after you paint the pieces.

Due to a sale on Artscow, I was able to create a custom bag to hold the meeples.


The image was photoshopped from the revised box cover and printed using Artscow’s small drawstring bag.


The last little job I added to complete the pimping of this game was to make a tuckbox created by Boardgamegeek user fdevans.



Due to the production quality already in the game, there wasn’t much I needed to add to pimp this game out.  Also, the additions were fairly simple for this game thus making it one of the simplest games I’ve pimped.




Ah yes, earlier this week my KS copy of The Walking Dead: All Out War came in.  All things told, it came in pretty good shape for the way it was packed (I’ve been reading some horror stories on the KS campaign page but it also sounds like Mantic is taking care of those issues pretty quickly).


This game is pretty funny as I’ve hyped it up quite a bit over the last few weeks/months and the danger is always that consumer reaction of waning interest after you’ve opened the box.  That hasn’t happened for me on this game though.  This game has never been an item on my checklist: something to acquire, check the box, and shelve for some far off “we’ll play someday.”  I feel like my interest for this game hasn’t even begun to peak and I’m really excited to see where this game takes me.

As you can see from the above picture, there are a ton of miniatures.  This bizarre weather we’ve been having was lucky enough to hold for a few more days and that let me prime everything.  It was just in time as the weather finally turned and winter is now upon us.

As I’ve shown before, I’ve already worked up a board and building and combined it with some of Mantic’s Battlezones terrain.  Since I had already started with the little terrain pieces, I decided to finish up all the terrain elements, including all the new plastic pieces from the KS campaign.


I started off mixing my black and white acrylics into one bottle to make a base grey that I would use for most everything.  I got the ratio off and ended up with a pretty dark tone but it worked fine as a base that I usually lightened during my painting process.  I’ll probably create another custom color with a light tone and mix the two as needed for the different gradients.

I didn’t shoot a lot of pictures of the prep and process of painting the terrain elements because I was working fast and trying to get everything done by the end of the week.  Also, terrain elements aren’t something I wanted to spend a lot time on and they aren’t really that interesting to photograph.


The car pieces are another story.  I saved them for last as this allowed me to get comfortable with the monochrome technique on the easy/less interesting items.  These cars were painted in a typical “block painting” style (which is about as far as I go in painting anyway) but I did try out some blending for the first time on the car windows.  They turned out alright if viewed at typical “tabletop” distance… or maybe a few feet farther away. Ah well. Good enough for terrain and I got to try out the technique a little.


So here we have the full board (overly) populated with a lot of the Battlezones terrain elements for character and the Walking Dead terrain pieces to kick the whole set up into a great play area.


Our consummate zombie reference figure “Stan” is there to contemplate the brave new world he’s inherited. Now he gets to play with cars and barricades and searchable loot tokens.  Oooh and a Police bag full of guns. Too bad Stan isn’t into guns, he just wants living flesh.



This terrain is 90% done for me.  I still need to apply a wash to get some real-world character on these pieces (everything is a little too clean for a recent apocalypse) and then seal it all so it can be used over and over without having to worry about scratching or chipping off paint.


Ah, now we’re talking! Stan has friends! And Meat!


I’m sure there are better ways to find birth control, Grimes family.


Hope little “Coral” knows how to use that gun.

So I’m really happy to see this effect come together.  I’ll wrap up the terrain this week (though I might need the weather to improve if I want to seal things) and then I have all those figures to start on.  I’ll do the zombies next and finish up with the heroes last.


The Walking Dead is shipping!

I’ve been pretty excited for The Walking Dead: All Out War miniatures game from Mantic for some time now and as of late last week, the first wave of Kickstarter pledges are shipping.  Mantic being UK based, I’m not likely to receive my pledge for another week or so but I decided to celebrate by test painting one of the free promo Walkers I picked up at Gen Con.


primed and ready

Early on in the campaign, I decided that I wanted to paint the whole game monochromatic (black and white) in an homage to both the comics and the black and white Romero zombie films.  I didn’t really do anything to this model to prep (didn’t even wash it) as I know this is basically just to test the concept and color palette.


Jennifer Haley’s monochrome masterpiece

I first saw the monochromatic technique in an advertisement for Miniature Mentor‘s painting series featuring Jennifer Haley doing this amazing ranger miniature.  I won’t be painting anywhere near that level of detail but I did pick up the monochrome video Miniature Mentor made with Jennifer and the techniques were interesting. It mainly centered around the paint mixes and blending techniques.

So with all my prep and study done, I started out with a simple bit of painting the clothes to figure out what will work best.  I use crappy hobby store craft paints and cheap brushes for all my work so my goal is usually “table top quality” and by that, I mean, it looks good enough at arms length.  The pictures I have here will be much closer but that should help illustrate what is going on.


First, I took several of the stock grey paints I have and put paint to the model to see how it would look conceptually.  The results were pretty bad. The greys that I picked up were “light gray” and “dark gray” but both of them had quite a bit of yellow to them against the slightly blue-ish light grey automotive primer I was using. Since I like the primer, I knew the stock paints had to go. The shoes were a last test of me simply mixing my craft black and craft white together (3:1 black:white).

This was pretty dumb of me as I watched most of that 3 hour Haley video and she only ever used two colors and mixed the ratios to get the different values.  I’ll be doing the same from now on.


Mixing worked much better.  I left the shoes from the last attempt but just covered the pants and shirt.  The pants were a straight 50/50 mix and the shirt was stock white.  Real painters rarely go full black or full white since it won’t leave them any room to shadow or highlight.  I don’t really care since I’m not going to be highlighting and the shadowing will be taken care of in the wash.  I finished out the model by diluting the dark mix (3:1) and filling in the wound holes in the zombie. To knock up the creepy factor, I dragged the brush downward a little after filling the holes to indicate the running of the open and old wounds.


I lied, I ended up highlighting his shoes a little, which likely isn’t even real highlighting as I was giving those kicks some laces. After that, I did a 50/50 dilution of water and Games Workshop Nuln Oil wash (my only painting splurge).  I like the grey base so I ran the wash carefully with a soft brush only over the areas of the model, careful to not get any on the base.  I actually prefer clear bases for models because I don’t want to mess with the extra work basing requires but I may keep these on their regular base.

As you can see in the comparison, the wash doesn’t really mess with too much but gets rid of that factory-clean look he had.  Under this harsh work light, the model’s shape is easy to see due to the natural shadows.  Unfortunately, on a darker or more evenly distributed light environment (like your playing table), those shadows will go away so the wash will help emphasize them.


So here he is on my dining room table in a more general lighting environment.  The whole process was quite simple and more fun that I anticipated.  It was refreshing to only use two colors and mix custom shades to bring the model to life.  I usually hate painting because I don’t have a lot of confidence in my color schemes but having done black and white photography for years, I felt right at home. This will be important because I’ll have roughly 60+ figures coming soon and it will need to be both easy and fun to get through that first wave of content.  Now I just have to hope the weather holds so I can also prime them for the long painting winter.

Showcase: Fury of Dracula

It’s October and time to break out the Halloween-themed games.  One game that tends to get pulled out every year is Fantasy Flight‘s Fury of Dracula.  I have the second edition but Fantasy Flight has since printed a third edition that I’m eager to see how it plays as well.


Fury of Dracula was the first game I ever completely pimped out.  We had a lot of fun with this game so every time we would bring it out, I would add a little more to it.  At first the pimping was practical.  I added a screen to help the Dracula player keep his location up and available but still away from the prying eyes of the hunter players.


This screen was developed by Boardgamegeek user Jeannis Leist and is a great accessory to the game as it also includes a lot of game details on the inside.


Along with the screen, Leist also made a revised game map that is upside down but with the city names right side up.  This is because the Dracula player sits at the top of the map looking at the map upside most of the game.


This helps keep things oriented for the Dracula player.  The map is on laminated cardstock so the player can make notes in dry erase pens easily.  The game originally came with a little map for Dracula but it is so small and upside down, it is almost useless.


Next, I printed out a custom tuckbox for the event deck from Boardgamegeek user Helen Holzgrafe.  Fury of Dracula has a peculiar event deck in that you need to draw randomly but the card back is different and yet supposed to be hidden.  That game tells you to draw from the bottom of the deck but Holzgrafe’s nice tuckbox eliminates that need.


The flap folds down to keep the card back hidden.

I then turned to the random tile draw action and my wife made this great little black bag with red silk lining.


I used fabric paint to make the Dracula symbol on the outside of the bag to complete the piece.  This was done a bit haphazardly by scanning the bat icon, blowing it up to the right size, and then printing and cutting it out on cardstock.  This cardstock then became a stencil that I used to paint the Dracula icon onto the bag.


With all the practical pimping out of the way, I decided to paint the minis as well.  At the time, this was only the second game where I tried to paint the minis so the sloppiness has a certain charm to me.






The game is one of our favorites and something I look forward to each year when Fall starts to come around.

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