Thursday 30 April 2020

Lasers & Feelings: How can you fit so much game in just 1 sheet of A4?

The April 2020 RPG Blog Carnival hosted by Codex Anathema has the interesting theme of "To Boldly Go" which for me only means one thing... Star Trek.

Star Trek in a Single Page

I'm a big fan of Indie RPGs and when I make my annual pilgrimage to London's biggest RPG convention, Dragonmeet, I always try to get myself in on a game run by the London Indie RPG Meetup Group.  Games are pitched every hour, on the hour and usually run for 2 to 3 hours.  It is very rare that I can't get a game of something at the first attempt.

I first encountered Lasers & Feelings at one such Dragonmeet and was blown away by it's simplicity.  The entire game, including the plot generator, fits on one sheet of A4.  The game unashamedly harks back to the halcyon days of Star Trek (TOS) with its focus on derring do and emotionally chargeds romantic encounters.

Skills (Lasers and Feelings)

The core mechanic of the game revolves around two skills, Lasers (all the physical stuff and technical stuff) and Feelings (all the intuition and emotional stuff).  When you generate your character you choose where on the scale of 2 to 5 you want to be, The higher the number the more adept at Lasers, the lower the number the more adept at Feelings.

Skill checks are done with 1 or more D6 with Laser success rolling BELOW your skill number and Feelings ABOVE your skill number.  A roll of exactly your skill number results is known as LASER FEELINGS and you get to ask the GM a question which he will answer honestly.

Star Trek Original Series Painting
These people are not meekly going on a space adventure

This sort of super simple system often results in Lasers characters being required to make Feelings rolls and the system includes a mechanic for helping out your crewmates by lending them a die.  Counting the number of successes

Like a lot of Indie RPGs the game lends itself to players contributing ideas on the fly from worldbuilding to storyline.  The best games I've played and run have always built upon the skeleton of the Adventure Creator with the best ideas being supplied by the players.  If you are going to try it unleash your imagination and you will have a blast.

Thanks of course go to Of Dice and Dragons for continuing to promote the RPG Blog Carnival.  This is my 6th entry and you can read the rest by clicking the RPG Blog Carnival tag below.

Big Box Project - Part 3 - Happy belated Aliens Day!

Can you believe that it's 34 years since the release of the movie Aliens!!  Man I feel old.

The Bugs Won

Unfortunately due to the current lockdown all non-essential stores are closed which meant I couldn't purchase the black paintpen needed to complete my UD-4L Cheyenne Dropship noseart and I missed publishing this on #AlienDay.

However, it has come on leaps and bounds in the last few days and I am on the homestretch.

Cutting out the Stencil

This was a bear of a job and makes me yearn for a stencil cutting machine or a laser cutter.  Being a complete idiot I didn't think about printing the stencil on my 3D Printer.  Once this is over I will design one and put it on thingiverse and save everyone the tedium of hand cutting a stencil.

Airbrushing the Graphics

The original artwork is a bit flat and I wanted the elements to have a bit of a 3D feel to them.  Once each base coat was dry I shot the eagle with a lighter brown in the middle, then both text ribbons got a darker bottom shade of blue and red respectively and the beak got a light yellow highlight.  I did not highlight the boots, soles or the bullet casings as these were relatively small areas of colour and could not be masked easily.

Peeling off the masking

I asked one of my similarly aged work colleagues "What is the most fun you can have with a bottle of Copydex glue?".  I was not dissapointed when they responded with the answer "peeling it off your hand like it's rotting skin".  This was a a rite of passage in the 80s.

The act of peeling off the masking gave me the exact same satisfying feeling mixed with the rush you get when you open a mystery present or solve a really hard puzzle.  The results exceeded my expectations.

Bug Stomper unmasked


As I mentioned above the blacklining needed a thin black marker and all the shops are shut due to the lockdown, so this had to wait until I made an "essential" shopping trip a few days later.  I managed to get two sharpies a fine and ultra fine twin tip and a fine tip for just £2.  The process of lining was pretty simple and I'm sure you will agree it makes the world of difference.

Bug Stomper noseart blacklining

Panel Lines & Rivets

The piece de resistance in this artwork is of course adding the panel lines and rivets, after all this is supposed to be painted on the side of a USCMC Dropship.  I followed the excellent Youtube tutorial from Airbrush Asylum and I think it turned out okay.

Bug Stomper noseart panel lines and rivets


For those interested (probably not very many) I did put together a little montage of the stenciling part of this project.  Enjoy...

Wednesday 29 April 2020

Jessie's Prints Episode 4 - Rick and Morty Flying Car

This week, I are mostly been printing... 

Rick Sanchez's Flying Car - 

Rick & Morty Flying Car

Rick & Morty Flying Car

Rick & Morty Flying Car Rear no Dome

Rick & Morty Flying Car Front no Dome

Another bucket list model for me.  The designer OneIdMONstr has put a lot of thought and consideration into how anyone downloading this model is going to actually print and build it.  

Start by measuring your own dome (mine came from a string of cheap Xmas lights) which you can then use to dimension the test dome file.  This will give you your scaling factor (mine was 58.05%) which you then apply to all the other files. Parts of this model are so tiny at that scale that it is approaching the limit of how small my printer go.  Sadly Rick and Morty are a bit wonky donkey and some parts like the steering wheel, well just don't go there.

Rick & Morty Flying Car - Raw Prints

Unfortunately I did not have any transparent filament to print the filler segments that fit in the slits in the top and bottom saucer parts.  However, I used an old modelling trick.  I taped over the slits and then mixed up some 5 minute epoxy (Araldite) with a bit of yellow paint.  This was then buttered into the slit from the underside.  

In hindsight I should have thinned down the yellow with water as the Scale 75 Paint I used is incredibly heavily pigmented specifically to counteract the tendency of yellow to be translucent. 

There are a few things I need to add to this model like the beer bottles and cans which litter the interior.  The model is designed to be lit, so when I find an appropriate string of bright white LEDs I will update this post.

Monday 27 April 2020

Reaper Bones #14 - More Monsters

It's Monday Miniatures time again and here is the latest installment of the Reaper Bones Painting Marathon where we edge closer to 20% completion!

Ape-X, Super Villain (Jason Wiebe SKU:50031)

I'm fast becoming a fan of Jason Wiebe's sculpts and this steampunk cyborg homage to Gorilla Grodd is one of those odd but must have minis.  As you can see my airbrush work is getting a bit better by this time.  Shame we can't say the same for the photography.

Flesh Golem (James Van Schaik SKU:77169)

Another fantastic cross genre miniature which could easily double as Frankenstein's Monster or some other horrible experiment gone wrong in your Doctor Who, Victoriana or Steampunk game.

Reaper Bones Flesh Golem

Oxidation Beast (Kevin Williams SKU:77032)

An homage to the bane of every paladin the classic Rust Monster.  A surprisingly rare miniature to find at the time of this kickstarter so this went straight to the top of the pile despite its late entry on this list.

Reaper Bones Oxidation Beast

Stone Golem (James Van Schaik SKU:77171)

There's a pseudo Egyptian feel about this miniature (it's the skirt!!) and so I had to paint it in a bronzed gold colour rather than the defacto stone that it's name suggests.  I half expect Indiana Jones to be facing up to this mechanical monstrosity in a future adventure.

Virina, Female Demon (Werner Klocke SKU:77067)

Another classic miniature with so many uses in so many genres.

I always struggle with painting red, either it doesn't cover properly or my highlights go all orangey.  This one turned out pretty good but the disaster of a matte coat has made this an arms length type of paint job.

Bones Progress

Reaper Bones: 245 - Painted: 49

Related Posts

  • Reaper Bones #1: The Marathon Begins - Where I paint a dozen Giant Rats.

  • Reaper Bones #2: Kobolds, Are They Dogs or Dragons? - Where I paint a dozen kobolds.

  • Reaper Bones #3: A Carcase of Skeletons - Where I paint a half dozen skeletons.

  • Reaper Bones #4: A Shuffle of Zombies - Where I paint five zombies.

  • Reaper Bones #5: Introducing Shaina Coppervein, Dwarven Orc Hunter - First PC mini.

  • Reaper Bones #6: Mimic, Treasure Chest and How I re-base my Bones - Where I paint furniture.

  • Reaper Bones #7: Fire Elemental Meets Novelty Lamp - Where I hack a mini with LEDs.

  • Reaper Bones #8: Flaming Sphere LED Tealight Hack - Another mini LED lighting project.

  • Reaper Bones #9: Elliwyn Heatherlark, Gnome Bard - Another PC mini.

  • Reaper Bones #10: Horace "Action" Jackson - A Baddass disco dancing Motherfucker.

  • Reaper Bones #11: Pirate Captain Thorin Stoneheart - A Swashbuckling Philanthropist.

  • Reaper Bones #12: Monstrous Menagerie - Clay Golem, Eye Beast, Griffon, Owlbear, Marsh Troll
  • Reaper Bones #13: Giants - Male Storm Giant and Female Cloud Giant

  • Saturday 25 April 2020

    5 Free D&D Things I Bought on - Part 1

    Sometimes you do CRAZY things and today I ordered 5 random D&D things from

    Leap of Faith

    The Rules

    Yes, there have to be rules, without rules there would be "Anarchy in your D&D".
    1. I can only buy items which list for the search term "D&D"
    2. I can only buy items with a list price of free, no limited availability items and shipping must cost no more than £3 per item.
    3. I can only buy 1 item of a type, so no buying 5 different sets of dice.
    4. No NSFW items please, we're British! 
    Please wait 6 to 8 weeks for this post to conclude... 

    Friday 24 April 2020

    Big Box Project - Part 2 - The Flap and Preparing to Stomp Bugs!

    Work on my Mobile Painting Workstation continues

    Installation of the Flap

    The bottom section of the box is pretty innacessible and therfore lends itself to long term storage of the compressor, rotary sander, hot glue gun and other larger items such as brush boxes and palettes.  I also wanted a second shelf so the obvious answer is to make a flap.

    Keeping the cost low, I used some sections of laminate flooring made from Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF).  This is good enough.

    A little pull tab cut from an old lanyard was glued to the bottom of the flap with some 5 minute epoxy.

    More Exterior Decor

    As I mentioned in Part 1, Aliens Day is just around the corner (April 26th) and I wanted to get the iconic Bug Stomper noseart added to the rear of the box.  I found a suitable graphic but I didn't like the black centre so I fired up GIMP and removed it.  This is now my stencil.

    Bug Stomper Noseart Stencil

    The paint scheme of the UD-4L Cheyenne Dropship is a predictable military green.  However, you can't get a tester pots of emulsion in military green so I went for the nearest I could get, Wilko's Jungle Green Emulsion.

    I didn't have a reference image to hand and this colour in hindsight is way too light but that can all be fixed later.

    This was liberally applied to the back of the box in two coats.  Coverage was surprisingly good.  When I painted the sides of the box with automotive paint there was some kind of chemical reaction and it didn't want to stick to certain parts of the box.  No problems with the emulsion and it went on quickly.

    Next job was to cut out the badge from the center of the paper giving me 2 masks.  One to paint the white circle backgound and one for the details inside the badge. 

    Careful measuring and marking in pencil will ensure that the outer mask is aligned so that the hole is directly in the centre of the box.  I used some Repositionable Mounting Spray to affix the mask and the newspaper but you could use a gluestick at a push.

    painted circle

     This is then liberally coated in white spray paint,

    Removing the mask and the newspaper leaves a neat white circle the exact same size as the badge.  Take more care than me when masking and you won't end up with annoying bits of overspray like me.  A quick touch up with some Jungle Green and all is well.

    The it's time to add the noseart circle.  Same drill, spray on the adhesive and align with the white circle.

    bug stomper stencil applied

    I'll be covering the hard part, cutting out all the different areas of colour, in the next gripping installment

    Anarchy in Your D&D...

    ... and other popular types of government.

    Mad Max 2
    Anarchy - A society without a publicly enforced government or political authority.  This can be a natural, temporary result of civil war in a country, when an established state has been destroyed and the region is in a transitional period without definitive leadership.  
    Fictional Example: Mad Max 2 (George Miller) - 1982 saw the return of Max Rockatansky and in the intervening years what was left of civilation has fully descended into anarchy.  What passes for government is either the gang rules of the Lord Humungus' Marauders or the commune style democracy led by Pappagallo. 
    Max doesn't fit neatly into either of these camps and only agrees to fight alongside the travellers because his car is held hostage.  In the original script Pappagallo was the CEO of 7 Sisters Petroleum and  interestingly some of the marauders appear to be ex cops, although it is not explicitely referenced.
    Going Postal - Terry Pratchett
    Autocracy - A system of government in which supreme power (social and political) is concentrated in the hands of one person or polity, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control.  Autocracy has a nasty habit of turning into a dictatorship without appropriate impartial oversight or scrutiny.  Revolution and assassination tends to be the only outcome for these leaders.
    Fictional Example: Ankhmorpork Discworld (Terry Pratchett).  Despite the "sharing" of power with the Guilds, the city is governed through a system of one man, one vote - the Patrician being the "one man" in question.  The best portrayal of Lord Vetinari can be found in the Sky mini series "Going Postal".  Charles Dance's performance is a masterclass in veiled menace and manipulation of Machiavellian proportions.
    Memory of Earth - Orson Scott Card
    Matriarchy - Not so much a form of Government but a is a social system in which women hold the primary power positions in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property.
    Fictional Example:  Memory of Earth (Orson Scott Card)  In the first book of the Homecoming Harmony series we are introduced to the matriarchal society of BasilicaAll property is owned by the women and many of them hold high ranking positions within the government and academia.   Despite this being OSC's "Book of Mormon" I am quite fond of the concept of the oversoul and how it controls what technology is allowed to be invented to essentially prevent the warlike tendencies of humanity.

    Game of Thrones
    Plutocracy - Rule by the wealthy; a system wherein governance is indebted to, dependent upon or heavily influenced by the desires of the rich. Arguably every government is financed by plutocrats, as the saying goes "He who has the money makes the rules".  When the rules are made by the rich, who do you think reaps the greatest benefit? Oh it's the rich, funny that...
    Fictional Example:  Game of Thrones (George R R Martin)  Technically this is a feudal monarchy with the various lords of the Seven Kingdoms being appointed by ruling King.  The position of the King is largely decided by the person with the biggest standing army or banners pledged to their house.  Financing this support comes from key houses such as the Lannisters and the Tyrells in exchange for grace and favour. 

    Unfortunately the War of the Five Kings leads to Tyrwin Lannister becoming massively indebted to the Iron Bank of Braavos and when that line of credit dries up Cersei must turn to Euron Greyjoy to help her in the final battle for the Iron Throne.  Once again the stand out performances always come from Charles Dance as he pulls the strings, until he gets ignominiously shot by his son Tyrion whilst on the toilet.

    Starship Troopers
    Stratocracy - Rule by military service; a system of governance composed of military government in which the state and the military are traditionally or constitutionally the same entity. Citizens with mandatory or voluntary active military service or who have been honorably discharged have the right to govern.  
    Fictional Example: Starship Troopers (Robert Heinlein).  "Service guarantees Citizenship" was the oft quoted line in the Mobile Infantry recruitment ads.  Johnny Rico's rich parents both want him to go to Harvard.  When they are both killed in the Buenos Aires meteor bombardment it only fuels Johnny's desire to do his bit for the war effort.

    Raymond E Feist - Magician
    Technocracy - Rule by the educated or technical experts; a system of governance where people who are skilled or proficient govern in their respective areas of expertise in technology would be in control of all decision making.  In fantasy fiction Technology would of course be replaced by Magic. 
    Fictional Example: The Rift War Saga (Raymond E Feist).  Whilst all Tsurani are governed by the Emperor along the lines of a Feudal system, the Assembly of Magicians stands apart from the law and no magician can be compelled by any non magician.
    Which just leaves...

    Idiocracy - When a US Army cryogenics experiment goes wrong Private Joe Bauers (Luke Wilson) and Rita (Maya Rudolph) awake in a nightmare future. Americans have devolved into idiots ruled by an ex Wrestler President Camacho (Terry Crews) and they are the most intelligent people in society by default.  I just love the craziness of this movie.

    Idiocracy - Camacho for President 2016

    Thursday 23 April 2020

    Long Live Long Dead RPGs: Justifiers

    I recently joined the facebook group Fans of Dead Games, where members share their stories and pictures of Roleplaying Games throughout history.

    Whilst my collection is myriad, it doesn't come close to some of the shelves I've seen shared in the brief time that I've been a member.  Here's my little contribution:

    Justifiers RPG (ISBN: 1-878711-00-8) p128

    Published in 1988 by Star Childe Publications, Justifiers RPG puts you in the role of a Betahumanoid.  A half human, half animal genetically modified hybrid, you are the property of your corporation and your job is to "justify" or explore newly discovered planets.  If anthropomorphic sci-fi adventure in the style of Traveller is what you want, then Justifiers is for you.

    Reviews from Ryleh gave Justifiers a good going over 

    The rule book also contains the scenario The Axon Confrontation written by Battletech author Blaine Pardoe.

    Justifiers RPG - Core Rulebook
    Justifiers RPG
    (Core Rulebook)
    Justifiers RPG - The Tower Scenario
    The Tower
    Justifiers RPG - The Insidious Campaign Scenario
    The Insidious Campaign
    Justifiers RPG - Out of the Mists Scenario
    Out of the Mists

    There are a handful of other books I do not (but would love to) own to complete my collection:

    Justifiers RPG - Aborigine Sourcebook
    Aborigine Sourcebook
    Justifiers RPG - Corporate Sourcebook
    The Corporate Sourcebook
    Justifiers RPG - Poseidon Scenario
    Justifiers RPG - Hybrid Sourcebook
    The Hybrid Sourcebook
    Justifiers RPG - CyberMedTech Sourcebook
    The CyberMedTech Sourcebook
    Justifiers RPG - Cold as Ice Scenario
    Cold as Ice
    Silent Corp Sourcebook
    Justifiers Boxed Set
    (Dark Tower Enterprises)
    UPDATE:  Thanks to the wonderfully generous people in the Fans of Dead RPGs facebook group I have discovered that there was in fact a reprint box set released in 1992 by Dark Tower Enterprises.  This contained: Core Rulebook, Hybrid Sourcebook, Aborigine Sourcebook, Poseidon Adventure, an unknown bonus adventure and a Poster.

    I have also subsequently discovered that Justifiers is not technically dead and some of the books are available as Watermarked PDFs from Drivethru RPG.  Apparently more are in the works.

    Other StarChilde Books

    Domination: Sabot and Laser - I can't tell if this is a standalone game or a supplement for something else.  The cover has a modern soldier and a generic insect atop a WWII tank so this could be something completely unconnected.

    UPDATE: This is the blurb from the back of the book:
    "In 1961 mankind struck out into space...In 1992 space struck back! Play out the critical campaigns of mankind's most desperate war. On the one side the superior technology of the Kalotian Empire. On the other, men and women who know too well that the fate of the Earth rests with them. With a complete role playing interface for Domination."
     So clearly this is a standalone game and nothing to do with Justifiers.

    Domination: Sabot & Laser

    Guardians RPG - StarChilde Publications also made this Superhero roleplaying game.  From what I can research this amounts to two even rarer books (someone should really create a Starchilde wikipage).

    UPDATE: As with Justifiers RPG both of the Guardians books are now available on Drivethru RPG as Watermarked PDFs

    Guardians RPG
    (Core Rulebook)
    Freedom Union
    If anyone out there has any more information regarding any of these books please drop me a message in the comments below.

    Old School RPGs - Available Now @

    Wednesday 22 April 2020

    Jessie's Prints: Episode 3 - Prismatic Walls, Hellraiser Jewellery Box

    This week, I are mostly been printing... 

    Prismatic Walls -

    I'm really pleased how these came out and I covered the design and painting processes in earlier posts.  Thanks once again to RedBeardBoss without whose video I would never have have started this project.

    Hellraiser Lament Configuration Jewellery Box -

    Another prop print which has been on the bucket list for since forever.  Of course once you've printed the classic Lament Configuration you have all the other configurations thanks to the sterling work of designer Crashjensen although, I think his soul will have paid a heavy price to have this much knowledge.

    Hellraiser Puzzle Box Lament Configuration

    Tuesday 21 April 2020

    A Trick of the Light Part 2 - Lenticular Colour Shift Painting - Prismatic Wall

    I am a big fan of optical illusions so when I saw RedbeardBoss's Prismatic Wall, I knew I had to have a go.

    In the last episode we covered how I created the model, which is available for free at  If you like the model please consider leaving a like a comment or even a tip.

    The Painting

    Following RedBeardBoss's tutorial I primed the models in silver, just cheap automotive silver spray paint from my discount retailer of choice Poundland.

    Once the silver was dry it was time to fire up the airbrush and christen the Big Box Project Mobile Miniature Painting Workstation.  My chosen colour combos were:

      To achieve this lenticular effect we are going to spray the wall head-on starting from the small end (Green).  Keep the angle of the airbrush to no more than 30 degrees left or right as you pass down each side of the miniature.

      Painting the Prismatic Wall

      The paint will hit only two sides of each hex as you pass down the miniature. Once your first colour has dried change to your second colour (Red) and spray in the opposite direction on both sides.

      There will be a bit of overspray on your second colour which will help to blend the effect and the faces which run parallel to the long side will end up a combination of both your silver base coat and your two chosen colours.

      A quick base coat in black and your mini should look like the one in the video above.

      Monday 20 April 2020

      Reaper Bones #13 - Giants!!

      Probably the two biggest minis in the Bones 1 Vampire level core set are the Giants. 

      Male Storm Giant (Julie Guthrie SKU: 77163)

      Yephima, Female Cloud Giant (Patrick Keith SKU: 77162)

      These are some of my earliest attempts at airbrush painting and my lack of talent at this stage shows.  I struggled to get the right consistency of paint to avoid the dredded spiderwebbing.  I was also using a single action airbrush which is great for undercoating but lousy for anything else.  Seriously, if you are interested in airbrushing buy a double action brush.

      For some reason the matte varnish coat that I apply to all my minis never really hardened properly giving it a bit of a gloss sheen and I will probably add another coat in the future to see if it fixes it.

      Nothing but a repaint is going to fix those bloody eyes though!!

      Bones Progress

      Reaper Bones: 245 - Painted: 44

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