31 January 2022

The K'Erin (Five Parsecs)

I've struggled to find figures to use for K'Erin in Five Parsecs, both for crew and adversaries. I wanted something that wouldn't be obviously attached to major IP like 40k, Klingons, Predators, etc. Somehow I arrived at the Hadross faction from Wrath of Kings. It's a fantasy-ish game, but I can make the figures work.
Here's my test figure.

I think this will work!

The concept is this... the K'Erin are a warlike race from an aquatic world. They evolved to very particular conditions found only on their homeworld, but through strength of will and a desire to expand their influence, they quickly adapted technology to allow them to move freely in a large variety of environments. 

In their natural environment, K'Erin take a variety of forms usually comprised of a slew of tentacles and various fluid filled organ chambers. Their environmental suits not only help them stay hydrated and chemically balanced, they can also help them assume a form similar to many of the other uplifted races they engage with. Most K'Erin don't have an identifiable face like most of the other uplifted races either, so some have taken to wearing the faces of honorably defeated enemies as a way to seem more familiar to those others & put them at ease. Or terrify them. No one's quite sure except the K'Erin themselves.

There are some other interesting figures in the Hadross range, and the Wrath of Kings game as a whole. I was a little disappointed with the shallow detail and mold lines on this figure, but it painted up pretty well. This will be among my K'Erin adversaries. I have one on the crew, but will use a unique character figure from Wrath of Kings to differentiate. They won't wear anyone else's face. Most likely, one of these two figures (with possible modifications).


24 January 2022

A Good Start to a New Year pt. 2

I was trying to do seven things at one while posting the last update. I forgot a few pics.
I painted a big bird for a friend. It only took me a couple of years. 😕 But it turned out pretty well after a having to repaint a bunch of the wing feathers when they turned out more tropical that frosty. I magnetized the rider and the alternate neck feathers that take his place.

After discovering some more forgotten Spaven tucked away in a box (pic added to the Five Parsecs page now) I took a quick glamour shot before packing various subjects away for various destinations.

Dr. Squidclops vs. The Spaven

Also, our Christmas decorations got into the spirit of my OWAC5 project. Well, and my fondness for the undead in general.

That's part 2 of my January update. Probably a part 3 following in a week, with the OWAC5 update and maybe a bit more.

23 January 2022

A Good Start to the Year

I've had a pretty decent start to the year. No games (yet) but I did clear off my 3x3 table (for the first time in almost a year) and brought in the new sci-fi themed table top in from the garage.

I've spent a respectable amount of time painting & modeling. I'm trying to make sure to get my fair share of personal time, for stress and mental health reasons. 2021 sucked. I've already completed my entry for the Old World Army Challenge, but I will wait to share that until it's up on the OWAC site

I did some prep. work on some other figures, and painted the alien on the left. It reminded me of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, so that was the inspiration for painting. The figure on the right was painted 25+ years ago but never based... until now. The former can be a unique character, the latter a random beast of some sort.

I got a compressor for Christmas, to go with the airbrush I got for our wedding anniversary. I just need a spray booth (and a place to set it up!) and I'm ready to experiment with some new techniques. I've never used an airbrush before, but excited about trying it out.

I'm hoping to play some games soon. I'd really like to give 5 Parsecs a try. I normally don't like using unpainted figures, but I think I may prime & base some of the remaining factions so I can use them unpainted if needed, and keep painting as I go. With that in mind, the last thing holding me back is terrain. I've been collecting various scraps & bits from the hardware store, including the floor drain below. I think I'll turn it into a raised landing platform - I got some screen for the top and will build either a ramp or a lift for getting down to grade. I'm seriously considering the possibility of buying some pre-made terrain in order to get some games in sooner. I've got one very "specialized" set I've been looking at for a long time. But not sure where to go beyond that.

01 January 2022

Goodbye 2021, Hello 2022

Happy New Year! It' got to be better than the last one.
I managed to paint two more figures before the ball dropped. Finished early in the day, actually. Two more old Grenadier "Future Wars" figures, that should wrap up the figures I need for the moment for the gangs/punks/starport scum/etc. factions in Five Parsecs. Full pic of the group on the Five Parsecs page (see below/above) On to another faction!

Blog Update
  • I enabled comments again. I'll see how that goes. If I start getting inundated with spam again I may shut that option down again. One of my concerns is getting flagged as a phishing or malware site because of the spam posts. I've seen that happen on other blogs, and there are few that are sadly completely blocked by my anti-virus software.
  • Since I'm hoping to start playing some solo sci-fi games (Five Parsecs from Home is the current game plan) I've added a couple of static pages to the blog to track my painting progress & my crew. Links are near the top of the page.

2021 Review

As usual, I posted a list of goals for 2021. They weren't necessarily planned as a strict checklist, but just things I was looking forward to doing. As it turns out, 2021 was a bit of a garbage year, even compared to 2020. Some of the smaller painting challenges I look forward to each year, like Orctober and my own habit of painting a giant or two in April passed me by like a speeding car. I never had much time to give them more than a sad passing thought.
Painting:  The focus for the first half of the year was completing my Old World Army Challenge 4 project. This was my third year participating and unlike past years, I barely made it through several months. Unfortunately it was sometimes difficult to find any painting time at all, which created a gloomy feel of obligation sometimes. But at the core, it was something I had really been looking forward to and the real problem was the rest of my schedule not allowing for much personal time. Looking back, I'm happy with the Eldar and really enjoyed experimenting with color, writing the entries, and in particular the Gothmower.

After the OWAC was finished, there was a bit of a lull in painting until the end of the year. I was completely off target in terms of my predicted "goals" but the trade off  is that I made significant progress towards having enough painted figures to start a Five Parsecs campaign! A few more 'bots, some "supporting characters," space worms, Spiders From Mars, Astro-Zombies, and a variety of ne'er-do-wells. I even built a new photo board, a tiny bit of terrain, and a basic 3'x3' board for games.

Otherwise, I think all I painted was a handful of undead, including a "Life & Death" pair that I plan on following up with in the future. Literally & figuratively.

Gaming: Unfortunately, this was an utter bust. I had wanted to do either another solo Sellswords & Spellslingers campaign, or try my hand at Rangers of Shadow Deep. Neither happened. I thought maybe I could at least take a set of solo sci-fi rules for a test drive, but didn't get a single game (though I did roll up a random Five Parsecs crew!) We didn't do much in the way of family board/card games all year. At the end of 2020 I was really hoping the pandemic would improve -- and it did briefly -- enough for some actual face to face games with old or new friends. Back a few years ago I had planned on making 2021 a "year of gaming" to get back some of the old joy as a 50th birthday gift to myself. (I turned 50 in December.) But the world had different plans.

Shopping: OK, this isn't a category or a goal. Just an observation. I bought more new figures in 2021 than in any other year in recent history. Maybe subconsciously trying to compensate for lack of gaming, blogging, friends, etc. and the struggles with painting? I got several Midlam Miniatures kickstarter rewards (more hobgoblins, townsfolk, hobbits), sci-fi figures from Skull & Crown (space dwarfs), Satry Art Studio (sister marines), Khurusan (space raptors and human sci-fi guard/soldiers), misc. bits for a small skirmish project in the Althammer "New World" (Messoamerican fantasy), some LotR warg riders for conversion to Hobhound cavalry, and a couple of orders of misc. figures from Badger Games and RPE (mostly sci-fi stuff.) Now that I've cataloged it, maybe it's not THAT much. But I've kept pretty tight reins on new acquisitions for a long time, trying to match my pace of purchases with my painting. This year was out of balance, I guess. Time to ramp up the painting!

Looking Forward to 2022

  • Old World Army Challenge 5. I'm painting undead the first six months of 2022. You can read about it in my intro post. I'm looking forward to this, although after last year's project the bar is set somewhat (intentionally) low. But as long as I meet the basic requirements, I've got "add ons" planned so I can scale it up if I want.
  • More sci-fi/Five Parsecs. I want to play some games, and I've still got quit a bit of enthusiasm for this, so I will continue to paint more as time allows. Specific plans include those listed below, some pics of the unpainted on the Five Parsecs page.
    • Planetary nomads/scavengers (Copplestone & Grenadier)
    • Soldiers/mercenaries (Khurusan)
    • Salvage Team (Skull & Crown)
    • Soldiers/mercenaries (Satyr Art Studio)
    • Robots (various)
    • Pirates/Raiders/Vigilantes (Stargrave, if I can get motivated to build plastic figures)
  • A dragon. I have several cleaned & primed but for some reason I've been intimidated by the idea of not living up to the task of painting one. More specifically painting a non-undead one, since I have painted skeletal and zombie dragons in recent years. I don't know why I've got such a mental block on doing this but 2021 is the year to overcome this!
  • A Tale of Two Hobs
    • Hobgoblins/hob-orcs aka half orcs. I still have the figures from the last Midlam KS to paint, and a handful of GW LotR wardg riders that I plan on converting to hobhound cavalry.
    • Hobbits. I've been saying I'll get back to the halflings & rest of the Jackrabbit Trading Company for years, but never quite get around to them. Maybe this year...?
  • Terrain. I need sci-fi terrain to play games! I have also been wanting to make more large trees like the one I did for my Wood Elf Old World Army Challenge project. (Though storage of the trees is a bit of a problem.) I also have a resin inn I bought a couple years ago that I'd love to paint up & use in some home-brew Sellswords scenarios.


  • Anything will be a step up from 2021.
  • Five Parsecs. I have a crew rolled up, a solid start on a pool of adversaries, and started on terrain. Hoping to start up in the first half of the year.
  • Sellswords. I should return to this. I enjoyed my first campaign in 2020. Provided I can get my table cleared off (need to figure out a way to store all the sci-fi figures I painted last year!) all that I need is time.
    • Alternately I still wouldn't mind trying Rangers of Shadow Deep.
  • Games vs. other humans? I have no idea whatthe pandemic and my schedule will allow. But I can dream.
    • I wouldn't mind trying to get my family to try some of the above games as co-op instead of solo.