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Stuff I Wouldn't Do With Purchased Minis

One of the great things about the advent of 3d printing, when it comes to gaming, is that it allows me to take more risks and try stuff I wouldn't do otherwise. Take, for example, experimenting with painting techniques. Maybe I want to see what an unusual color scheme would look like or try doing an odd way of achieving an effect. Factory-made miniatures are expensive. Too expensive for me to risk it. Which, as someone who's not very good at painting minis and needs lots of practice, is one reason I've never gotten into them. I don't feel like I can afford the implied expense of getting better. Enter 3d printing. With the right files, I can print as many minis as I can like and mess around with them to my heart's content. Mess one up? That's fine. Resin isn't cheap , but it doesn't cost nearly as much as pre-made molded plastic. I can take it as a learning experience and move on. Which brings me to messing around with some Car Wars minis. I'd been m
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Space Dice

 For various reasons, I'm playing with making dice again, this with some Star Trek (original series) style planets and two varieties of resin. I have various sizes of hemispheric mold which I squirted with a variety of UV-sensitive resins (mostly pre-colored, but I mixed some pigments into a clear resin as well) and immediately cured so they didn't just settle into layers.  Once those were set up, I put a layer of black two-part resin in the molds, then inserted the planetary hemispheres and filled the rest in with more (clear this time) two-part resin. The result is these dice, as yet uninked. 

Car Wars Minis, Third Batch

Still having a go at these, trying out some new ideas. The short version is that having the right tools and materials is still key, but I've got a way to go with some other stuff. I think this one looks better in person than as a picture. A couple of shades of blue here with a blue wash and drybrushed metallic blue on some components. Oh, and purple spikes. I didn't even try to figure out something clever to do with the windshield. I'm finding that it's hard to make yellow work, but this one wasn't too bad. I initially tried masking the area for the blue stripe with tape, but it pulled off the paint instead. Had to do a swipe with a broad brush, which isn't great but worked better than I expected. Another one that looks better in person than on film. Tried to do a few different shades of green, which wasn't entirely successful. Probably my best out of this batch. I credit the red wash, which ended up being kind of glossy and goes well with the copper accents

Car Wars Minis, Second Batch

They say it's a poor craftsman who blames their tools. Is it a poor craftsman who gives them credit when things work out? If so, I am that craftsman. After my first round of not-great miniature painting, I ran off some more CW minis and tried more painting, this time digging up my well-hidden actually-for-minis paints (as opposed to the standard craft store acrylics I used the first time around), which I had more than I thought I did, and limited myself to my tiniest brushes. I also watched a few more YouTube videos about painting minis just to get a better feel for what it looked like when people did that. How did it come out? Still not great, but better. The first of batch #2 and by a considerable margin the worst. Involved some ill-advised dry brushing and the metallic paint I used for the weapons and I didn't thin the metallic paint I used on the weapons and side windows, losing all the detail in the process. This one...is actually OK. The thinned blue and purple paints gi

Car Wars Printable Minis

I'm old enough to be a player of Car Wars from Steve Jackson Games from the Pocket Box days. Old enough, even, that I've got a copy of Sunday Drivers (clearly a superior title), not Crash City . But it became much too complicated a game to keep playing after a while, or rather my ability to take the time to deal with complexity declined markedly. But I've been delighted by the new, much faster edition of Car Wars which came out not too long ago. My one problem with the game is that instead of tiny cardboard counters, it uses Matchbox/Hot Wheels-scaled minis...no, that's actually not a problem. That's excellent. They look great and make the game more fun to play. The problem lurks inside of that. They're great minis and they invite painting. Indeed, SJ Games as a series of videos about painting car minis on their Youtube channel. The problem, then, is that I want to paint my car minis, but I suck at painting minis. Like, I'm the worst at it. And while I

The Book of Weird

Some time ago, I wrote about one of my early significant influences, the Judges' Guild Ready Ref Sheets . But recently I was reminded of an even earlier influence, The Book of Weird , by Barbara Ninde Byfield. Or, to give it its full title as it appears on the cover: The Book of Weird, Being a Most Desirable Lexicon of The Fantastical, Wherein Kings & Dragons, Trolls & Vampires, to say nothing of Elves & Gnomes, Queens, Knaves & Werewolves are made Manifest, & many, many further Revelations of The Mystical Order of Things are brought to light.   But yeah, The Book of Weird is much easier to type .   The book has had a somewhat complicated publishing history. It was initially published in 1967 under the title The Glass Harmonica . There being but a single passing mention of that instrument in the book, it was reissued in 1973 under the title given here in a large (9x11-ish) format, and reprinted yet again in a somewhat smaller format in 1994, which happens to b

Charcuterie Bard

A few days ago, I dropped this random gag:   I shall make a character for an RPG who has powers related to artistic creativity, but instead of music and song, they come from arranging cheeses and cured meats. A charcuterie bard. — Turhan's Bey Company (@turhansbeycmpny) December 21, 2021   But then I remembered that there's absolutely precedent for food-based magic:  So, then, obviously we can have food-based bards in GURPS, right? The best approach I see is modifying the Enthrallment skills (p. B191). However, rather than requiring Public Speaking at 12+ as a prerequisite, a charcuterie bard requires Cooking and Professional Skill (Food Stylist) at 12+; see Ferrous Metal Food Fighting Guy for a bit on the latter. The skills are used by preparing and feeding an audience with tasty, tasty foods. The elements of food in question cost a minimum of 1% of COL per target, though higher quality ingredients provide a bonus (use costs and reaction bonuses for styling, GURPS Low-Tech