Thursday, 17 June 2021

Trouble in Somerlisse - A Savage Worlds Hellfrost Campaign at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club

Trouble in Somerlisse is a Savage Worlds campaign using the Hellfrost setting.  The Games Master is Mark Hamilton and play takes place every Friday at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

A Cold Day in Watch Gap Fort

It was a cold day in Autumn when our heroes were summoned before Sword Commander Unrock one of the most respected Hearthknights that manned the 150 strong garrison at Watch Gap Fort.

The fort is nestled in the Ice Barrier Mountains which form the last bastion of defence against the encroaching winter and the spawn of Hellfrost contained within.



Our assembled heroes are:

Athura Magnusdottir (Tony), a Saxa (human) and member of the Sisterhood of Mercy, a reknown healer tasked by her order to bring the Goddess Eira's gift to the folk who eke a living in the winter lowlands of Heligioland.

Vigo (Martin) an engro of varied and useful talents who has a propensity for getting himself in and out of tight places.

Vissarel Nerinen (Kat) a Taiga Elf with some mastery of the element of air.

Thigol Chillblane (Tony) a Frostborn Saxa and Paladin of Kenaz the Lord of Volcanoes. A stoic and fierce warrior dedicated to erradicating the agents of Hellfrost in whatever form they appear.

Commander Unrock revealed that they had received word from fastriders that the town of Somerlisse and its steads had recently been attacked by orcs. The farmers are scared and some have fled their steads to the safety of the town.

The town lies in the Southern Greenpot Hills some 3 days ride from Watch Gap. Its population number some 2,000 with a small militia ill-trained and ill-equipped to deal with an orc incursion. Our mission is to travel to the town and meet with the Ridder Penfrick Scalsooner to find out what is going on.

The Greenpot Hills are craggy and difficult terrain for horses but the ore that is mined there is an important resource of great value to the region which must be protected.

Our heroes set out on what turns out to be an uneventful journey stopping at inns and steads along the way to shelter from the bitter cold night. Winter seems to come earlier every year these days.

Arrival at Somerlisse

On the third day they reach Somerlisse which lies in a shallow valley surrounded on all sides by the Greenpot Hills. As they cross the small moat bridge and begin to enter the protection of the towns stout wooden pallisade walls an arrow thunks into the right guard tower.

They have been followed by a scouting party of 2 orcs and 3 goblins. The fight does not last long and the agents of Hellfrost are slain with the exception of an orc which Thingol successfully wrestled to the ground. 

Perhaps it will divulge some useful information if it values its life.

 

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Vintage Miniature - The Chainsaw Warrior

I've blogged before about my passion for collecting boardgames and in particular my mission to collect all of the bookcase format Games Workshop boardgames released in the 1980s.

Chainsaw Warrior is one of those games.

Chainsaw Warrior (1986)
Chainsaw Warrior (1986)
Chainsaw Warrior (1987) is a solo game where the titular character climbs a New York skyscraper fighting off zombies and other evil minions in a race against time to find and destroy the ultimate evil Chaos.

It's peculiar in that the game is dominated by amazing artwork from 2000AD artbot Brett Ewins yet is not a miniatures game and in fact does not have a single pawn in the game.  

However, that didn't mean that Citadel wasted this opportunity and launched a series of Chainsaw Warrior minis for fans of the game which could be bought as a single blister pack - C100.  Exactly how you used them in game was not proscribed, I guess you could use them as a turn marker. 

They also released a Chainsaw Warrior as part of the Talisman Timescape miniature range to accompany the Talisman expansion of the same name.  A masterstroke in marketing to use a massively popular boardgame to shift a metric ton of lead.

Citadel also made 3 bad guy minis directly culled from the card art used in the game.  These were only available as a very limited release and command insane prices on the secondhand market.

Three Bad Guy / Zombie Cards
Three Bad Guy / Zombie Cards

I've had this one mini kicking around since 1987, I must have the other two but only God knows where they are.  At the time I must have been going through a Blanchitsu phase as he was painted white with black checkerboarding all over him.  

You do stupid things when you are young, innocent and influenced by the 'Eavy Metal pages of White Dwarf.

The Myth The Mini

As I recently rescued my copy of Chainsaw Warrior it seemed only fitting to rescue this one mini.  Sadly time had not been kind and he had lost the blade of his Chainsaw.  

The mini has a weird "braced for action" pose which makes him look all hunched over.  

Cling Film to the Rescue!

I scratch built a new chainsaw out of a plastic cling film (saranwrap) cutter blade and some scraps of styrene plastic I recycled from ancient W3C Web Accessibility Initiative business cards.  I knew I would find a use for them one day.

The Chainsaw Warrior
The Chainsaw Warrior - a vintage Citadel miniature from 1987

I consulted the box art and some original painted examples for a muted military olive drab kind of colour scheme.  The chainsaw of course got the defacto hazard stripes and some oil washes to make it stand out as the most important thing in the room.

The only thing left to do now is actually play the game...



Monday, 3 May 2021

Reaper Bones #38 - Harpy

Another Mythical Monster chalked off the list, this time it's a Harpy

Harpy - Julie Guthrie (SKU 77041)

Harpy by Julie Guthrie
Harpy by Julie Guthrie

Julie Guthrie does it again with another wicked sculpt.  The last time I painted a Harpy was 30+ years ago when I painted the one from the Citadel C18 Night Horrors line.  Judging from the mini I believe this might have been sculpted by Aly or Trish Morrison.

Citadel C18 Harpy
Citadel C18 Harpy

You can tell that things have moved on both technically and aestetically in the last 30 years.  This is a much more interesting less cartoony sculpt and doesn't have the classic overblown features or the flattop haircut.  In particular I love the inclusion of the half demonic wings which give this mini a sense of the evil rather than just being some half human half chicken monster.

Harpy Mythology

Probably the most famous Harpy story is that of King Phineas of Thrace who was granted the gift of prophecy by Zeus until he gave away the Gods secret plan. Zeus blinded him and then left him alone on an island but tormented him with Harpies who would steal all the banquet food the Gods left him.  This is most famously depicted in the movie Jason and the Argonauts (1963) where Phineas is played by the second Doctor Who Patrick Troughton.  

Needless to say Jason fights off the Harpies and saves Phineas who then tells them how to pass through the clashing rocks (Symplegedes) further angering the Gods.

Bones Progress

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Sector 55 Blues - Prog 11 - Just Some Good Ole Boys

Sector 55 Blues is a Judge Dredd Campaign using the Savage Dredd unnofficial Savage Worlds Expansion.  This is an online only game with members from Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

Judges Cully, Hammer Teal and Uhtred clean up the crime scene at the mutie farmstead.  They agree that they need to send a message to the enemy at Black Gold Mesa as if it were from this raiding party.  Without a long distance radio and the right frequency they are out of options.  They decide to return to the land ships and consult with the pirate captains.  


Pirate Ship
Pirate land ships come in all shapes, sizes and colours

Back on board they discuss their predicament with Captain Scurvy Jack and El Diablo.  The ships don't have radios but there is one at the refuelling depot at Nowhere. 

Pirate Law dictates that "You keep what you catch" and so Cully orders the prisoners to be hung from the yard arm untill they crack.  After a couple of hours Bob 211 has had enough and starts to spill the beans.  The Judges learn that :

  1. The mulgoons are all named Bob followed by a number which signifies the order in which they were recruited.

  2. Lord Muldoon personally cuts their hair into a bob a part of their initiation ceremony.

  3. He has hundreds of Bobs and lots more slaves who work the oil field and help farm the hair beasts.

Hammer negotiates with Scurvy Jack to let them run ahead to the provisioning outpost at Nowhere but the pirate captain doesn't trust him to not run with his tail between his legs to Bartertown and raise the alarm with Auntie.

Teal reminds Hammer about the Doobie Brothers incident at Merkel Mansions a few years back when they had to pretend to be Sector Gas Workers inspecting a leak.   

Harmer uses a Birdie Lie detector to convince Scurvy Jack that he is telling the truth.  The Pirate agrees to let the Judges ride out to Nowhere and send their message.

On the Road to Nowhere

They ride through the night for 4 hours with Bobs 365 and 211 riding pillion until they reach the depot at Nowhere.  It's a small run down gas station surrounded by a fortified iron wall and heavy gates.  The Judges are challenged by the guards on the ramparts but they let them in.  Apparently they have been expected.

Nowhere

Uncle Jessie runs Nowhere with about a dozen men.  He is an elderly pirate who wears a battered red baseball cap which reads MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.  He takes them through to his office where the radio is set up.  He explains that The Pirate King called a few days ago and told him to expect 4 lawmen arriving with the Pinacolado and the Saint Mary.  He was surprised to see them on their own.

Uncle Jessie
Uncle Jessie
Teal explains that they ran into the mulgoons raiding a farmstead and rode ahead to use the radio to stave off a larger war party coming to find the Bobs.  Jessie regularly monitors the mulgoon transmissions and recalls that there was a raiding party operating due East a day or so ago.  

He agrees to contact the Pirate King to ask permission.  Just as Jessie is about to blurt out over the radio that the lawmen have arrived, Hammer stops him.  Realising that these are unencrypted radio transmissions he tells the old man to talk in code.  He tells him to say "code 77" the Justice Department code for "Wally Squad" (undercover Judges) operations.  He assures Jessie that the Pirate King will understand. 

Permission given they contact Black Gold Mesa pretending to be Team Falcon and report in that they are on their way back to base, delayed due to mechanical issues.

Next Prog ->

Back Issues

Prog 1 - Suits You Sir - Mosh 55 rob Zlooty Slute's Suits You and a body is discovered.

Prog 2 - Hair Today Gone Tomorrow - Rock Dwayneson's apartment and carnage at the Yes-A-Bout

Prog 3 - It's Ugly Out There - Fun and Games at the Ugly Pageant 

Prog 4 - Down, Down, Deeper and Down - Entering the sewers under RESYK

Prog 5 - The Big Wig - Confronting the beast below the city

Prog 6 - Last Orders at The Two Ways Pub - A shootout in Sector 163

Prog 7 - Into the Cursed Earth - Judge Ezquerra orders a manhunt 

Prog 8 - Avast Me Hearties It's the Easter Pirate Kangaroo - Black Ice Kanga 

Prog 9 - Scav City and the Pirate King - A Deal is Made

Prog 10 - On a Road to Nowhere - A mutie farmstead is attacked by Mulgoons.

Monday, 26 April 2021

Reaper Bones #37 - Andre Durand, Time Chaser

Let's face it this is as close to a Hellboy mini that you can get without infringing copyright.

Andre Duran, Time Chaser - Bob Ridolfi (SKU 80005)

As soon as I saw this mini there was only one way it was going to get painted.  Thanks Bob you made my day.

Andre Durand (aka Hellboy)
Andre Durand (aka Hellboy)

Bones Progress

Monday, 19 April 2021

Reaper Bones #36 - Anirion, Wood Elf Wizard

Now don't get me wrong I love a mini which is striking some highly dramatic heroic pose, but sometimes you need something that is just a big bag of subtlety.

Like Aragorn when he first meets the hobbits, he is travelling incognito as Strider.  When you are starting out on your path to magical mastery you don't want to be standing out in a crowd attracting attention screaming "look at me I'm a wizard!".  That's where Anirion comes in.

Anirion, Wood Elf Wizard - Bobby Jackson - SKU: 77068

I painted Anirion in shades of grey to accentuate the incognito feel.  only her red hair and blue crystal staff give any hint of colour and I think the combo works well.  My only criticism is that the staff is too thick, it's like she's carrying a small tree.  However, the PVC that the early bones were made in was quite bendy even at this thickness.  Life is a compromise I guess.

Anirion, Wood Elf Wizard
Anirion, Wood Elf Wizard (SKU 77068)

Bones Progress

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Sector 55 Blues - Prog 10 - On A Road To Nowhere

Sector 55 Blues is a Judge Dredd Campaign using the Savage Dredd unnofficial Savage Worlds Expansion.  This is an online only game with members from Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

Bad News

In the morning Judge Uhtred sets up the Sat Comms gear and relays a situation update to Sector 163 the response they receive is both puzzling and alarming

+++ MC1 SITUATION ALERT BLACK ALPHA +++ NO SUPPORT AVAILABLE +++ YOUR MISSION CRITICAL +++ RETRIEVE PERP NESBITT PRIORITY +++

A Black Alpha Alert means that Mega City One is dealing with a city wide disaster or epidemic and Justice Department resources are strained to breaking point.

Judges Cully, Hammer, Teal and Uhtred head out into the wasteland accompanied by the pirate ships Pinacolada, captained by Scurvy Jack, and the Saint Mary, captained by El Diablo.  The pirates have charted a route on the map which leads them to a refuelling point known as "Nowhere".


 

Day 1 - Dust Storm

At midday a dust storm blows in,  Searing hot winds winds carry abrasive dust which gets everywhere clogging the bikes air filters.  The pirates lower the rear ramps of their ships with Cully and Teal boarding the Saint Mary.  Uhtred struggles to get his bike onto the Pinacolada and Hammer needs to go back out and help recover his bike.  Both bikes are damaged and take some fixing to get running again. 

Visibility outside is very poor down to about 20 feet and the ships are sailing on instruments alone.  They crawl onwards through the blackness.  

Dust storm
Dust storm

Night 1 - Acid Rain Storm

As night falls the storm shifts to acid rain and the ships grind to a halt.  El Diablo explains that the rain turns the dust to mud and the ships will just dig themselves into an early grave if they try to move.  They must wait it out until the storm passes.

Hammer and Uhtred find Jethro amusing himself playing a tin whistle.  They engage him in coversation patched across to all Judges via their helmet radios which are fortunately still working.

Jethro explains that he is glad that the Judges are going to get him to Black Oil Mesa.  He doesn't fancy their chances of beating Muldoon, but as long as they get him there he has a chance of finding the thing that Muldoon stole from him.  He also reveals that Muldoon betrayed him a long time ago.  Muldoon used to be a big thing in Mega City One some 15 years ago until he was stranded in a stratbat crash where he was badly injured.  Jethro rescued him and nursed him back to health.  Together they discovered the secret of the wild hair beasts and tamed a few.  

Over the years this turned into a lucrative business and they traded hair beast meat with the free towns a welcome alternative to square pigs.  Muldoon always yearned to return to Mega City One and he managed to make contact but was refused entry having spent too long in the Cursed Earth.  In the following months Muldoon's mood darkened and he betrayed Jethro forcing him to flee for his life.  Muldoon began to ruthlessley expand his empire soon after.

Day 2 - Homesteaders

After a fitfull night of sleep, the Judges wake to the smells of sizzling square pig bacon.  The pirates are already hard at work swabbing the deck with vinegar water and repairing rigging.  It is not long before they are once again moving.

The Judges decide to once again take out their bikes and ride as escorts greatly increasing their range and firepower.  Around 2pm the pirates spot smoke on the horizon and the team head out to investigate.Cresting a dune reveals a small flat valley floor with a small farmstead at its center.  Two black vehicles, a van and a sedan, are hurtling around the building and their occupants seem to be attacking the homestead. 

mutie homestead
A Mutie Homestead

The Judges gun their bikes towards the farm and Teal strikes a lucky hit with his Cyclops Laser Cannon on the sedan which explodes showering the ground with scrap metal and body parts.

Hearing gun shots from inside the building, Cully heads for the front door and through a window spies a woman and a man with a shotgun.  "This is the Law" she cries and orders the man to put down his weapon"

Teal rides round to the rear of the property.  The van is parked with its side door open and 2 perps are trying to gain access to the building.  He lasers the van melting its engine block and shoots one of the perps at the door dead.  Uhtred follows suit melting a hot wide channel through the side of the vehicle.  Hammer's laser malfunctions and he opens up with his bike cannon collapsing the porch on the remaining perp at the door.  Five perps in the van fire back winging both Hammer and Uhtred.

Cully busts open the door and two 10 year old mutie boys flee the building.  She takes up a firing stance on the man who appears to be trying to reload his shotgun but her aim is blocked by the female mutie who pleads with her "Don't Shoot".  Teal fires an incendiary into the van which bursts into flame and two perps bail out from the vehicle and run away on fire.  Uhtred checks the van for survivors as Hammer punches his Lawmaster through the flimsy farmstead wall into the bathroom.

Cully pushes the woman out of the way and pistol whips the man with the shotgun to the floor.  She opens the door and drags the badly injured perp inside.  Teal chases down the fleeing perps and puts out their flames with a well aimed stumm gas grenade rendering the pair unconcious.  Whilst checking out the burning vehicle, Uhtred encounters some of the farm's livestock a six legged horse, a two headed goat and some chickens the size of large dogs.  He briefly considers calling sector control and having the Animal Squad come out to deal with them but remembers he is a long way from home.  Concerned that the crime scene could still be harbouring perps, Hammer checks the remaining rooms discovering two empty bedrooms and confidently shouts "CLEAR!".

Hammer interrogates the injured perp, Bob 365, revealing that this raiding party are mulgoons from Black Oil Mesa and were in regular contact with home base.  When they don't check in Muldoon will send more men in this direction. 

Next Prog ->

Back Issues

Prog 1 - Suits You Sir - Mosh 55 rob Zlooty Slute's Suits You and a body is discovered.

Prog 2 - Hair Today Gone Tomorrow - Rock Dwayneson's apartment and carnage at the Yes-A-Bout

Prog 3 - It's Ugly Out There - Fun and Games at the Ugly Pageant 

Prog 4 - Down, Down, Deeper and Down - Entering the sewers under RESYK

Prog 5 - The Big Wig - Confronting the beast below the city

Prog 6 - Last Orders at The Two Ways Pub - A shootout in Sector 163

Prog 7 - Into the Cursed Earth - Judge Ezquerra orders a manhunt 

Prog 8 - Avast Me Hearties It's the Easter Pirate Kangaroo - Black Ice Kanga 

Prog 9 - Scav City and the Pirate King - A Deal is Made

Friday, 16 April 2021

Pulp Hero - Buller the Wonderdog

 A couple of years ago I played a Hollow Earth game set in the 1920's. 

It was a fabulous adventure which leaned heavily on the pulp serial aesthetic of Indiana Jones, Doc Savage Man of Bronze, King of the Rocketmen, Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon to name just a few.

My character was the intrepid adventuring archaeologist Yorkshire Smith who was never more than a few feet from his faithful Bulldog Buller.  A few weeks before the game began I ordered a set of Bob Murch's 28mm Pulp Figures PHP2 Rugged Personalities which contains 4 iconic pulp adventurers (an Indy, a Doc Savage, a pith helmet wearing British explorer, an American pilot and a bulldog.

Yorkie Smith vs The Doom Turtle
Yorkie Smith vs The Doom Turtle

Whilst I quickly painted my character I just couldn't find the enrgy or inspiration to paint the dog.  I've never been any good at painting short haired animals like horses or dogs which often have their own pieballed patterns breaking up the solid colours of their body.  These are complex and hard to pull off without making the mini look like it's been painted in some sort of innovative camoflague pattern.

This week I managed to crack it with Buller and finally got round to finishing him.

Buller the Wonderdog
Buller the Wonderdog

Now if only I could find where I've stored Yorkie I could reunite him with man's best friend.  

"Buller, go find Yorkie!!"

Monday, 12 April 2021

Reaper Bones #35 - Ragnaros, Evil Warrior

The last of my Reaper Bones evil warriors (for a bit), say hello to Ragnaros.

Ragnaros, Evil Warrior - Bobby Jackson (SKU: 77150)

I wasn't terribly enamoured with this sculpt to begin with.  He is basically an acre of plate and scale armour with a couple of skull motifs and a crude shield.  It wasn't until I got stuck in painting him that I decided that the shield was his best feature.

I painted it like dragon scale.  Ragnaros is so hard that after besting a huge red dragon he peeled off the side of it's face and stuck it on his shield (teeth included).  

Totally ridiculous, but then aren't the best fantasy bad guys totally ridiculous? I'm looking at you Damodar!!

Ragnaros, Evil Warrior
Ragnaros, Evil Warrior (SKU 77150)

Bones Progress

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Newsround 4th to 10th April

My weekly roundup of news and what I found on the internet.  

Goodman Games Acquires Dark Tower from Judges Guild

Dark Tower Judges Guild Supplement
Dark Tower Judges Guild
Dark Tower is probably the most beloved of the Judges Guild supplements originally published back in the dawn of time (1980).  Considered to be a mega dungeon masterpiece it was re-released back in 2007 and original copies command a high price on eBay.  

Thankfully Goodman Games and Judges Guild have done a deal which could see this iconic scenario coming back in a ready to play format with revisions for both Dungeons & Dragons 5e or Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC).

According to Goodman Games, the new version will be targeted at PC levels 8 to 12 and will include a whole bunch of new material designed to extend this module into a mini campaign.

This is definitely going on my wishlist and something I would love to run at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club using my go to fantasy system Castles & Crusades.


The Other Godzilla Movie You Haven't Seen

Shin Godzilla (aka Shin Gojira) was released to Japanese aufiences back in 2016 and takes a more traditional approach to the Kaiju movie.  Whilst the movie does include some top notch CGI it chooses to employ the classic man in a rubber suit approach made popular through the TOHO Studio classics of yesteryear.
 
A peculiar movie with lots to say about the geopolitical dominance of the US and it's shared history and ongoing relationship with Japan.  It's hard to make a Japanese movie about Godzilla without touching on the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings, the miltary occupation and the Self Defence Law of 1954.
 
Shin Gozilla by Francoyovich (Deviantart)
Shin Godzilla by Francoyovich (Deviantart)

This movie focuses on the incompetence of the ficticious Japanese Government and the rigid power hierarchy which neuters decision making.  I have seen criticism of the absolute cavalcade of one line actors whose entire purpose seems to be appear deliver their line and then disappear.  However, it does give a fairly realistic impression that in a state of emergency there would be a lot of beuraucracy and conflict in those types of meeting.

I particularly love the Defence Minister (Kimiko Yo) who is itching to unleash the full destructive power of the SDF like a true hawk.  There are some really great moments in this adaptation of Godzilla which make it truly worth the watch.  

The Man who Made Catan 

I've been playing a lot of Catan Universe lately and YouTube did it's thing again where it suggests videos from my search history.  It struck gold this time with a mini documentary about Klaus Teuber, the German dentist who designed Settlers of Catan.

The worldwide success of Catan has made this a family affair with both of Klaus sons now also play full time roles in the company.

HMS Evergiven Gets Stuck in Vital Shipping Canal

Unles you've been hiding under a rock for the last week you will be familiar with the plight of the Golden class container ship the Ever Given which managed to get itself wedged between both banks of the Suez Canal.  This one little incident demonstrated how our modern supply chains are so finely balanced that blocking this one canal can bring about massive economic turmoil.

I had to laugh when I stumbled upon the very creative fantasy version created by Limitron and available in both day and night versions on his Patreon.  

I love a bit of nautical action in my Dungeons & Dragons and this is an encounter map just itching to be used in an upcoming campaign.

HMS Evergiven by Limitron
HMS Evergiven by Limitron

Sector 55 Blues - Prog 9 - Scav City and the Pirate King

Sector 55 Blues is a Judge Dredd Campaign using the Savage Dredd unnofficial Savage Worlds Expansion.  This is an online only game with members from Dragons Keep Roleplay Club.

Onward to Scav City 

With Black Ice Kanga and Toecutter riding in their land dinghy Judges Cully, Hammer, Teal and Uhtred ride due south in search of Scav City and the Pirate King.  As they ride they notice that they are being stalked by large dog shaped creatures which periodically reveal themselves on the dune tops both East and West of them.  When asked Kanga says "they're Rad Dogs, like big wolves, dangerous at ground level and smart, real smart.  They hunt in packs."

After 3 hours it begins to get dark and the team decide to stop and make camp.  Teal puts the bikes on overwatch mode set out at cardinal points.  They pitch their tends in a smaller circle with the pirate dinghy in the middle and settle in for the night.  

Several times throughout the night the bikes radar is triggered and on one occasion Hammer's bike fires off 12 rounds from its bike cannon.

In the morning Hammer checks what his bike was shooting at.  Nothing, just a patch of dune which took the cannon burst and collapsed in a landslide.  They pop their Rad Pills, eat some ration bars, pack their tents and head out.  

Day Two

The morning goes without incident, the Rad Dogs are still following them.  At noon they see a cloud of dust and smoke ahead, a vehicle heading South.  Keeping pace with the dinghy it takes an hour for them to catch up to a ragged looking bus filled with fleeing refugees.  The bus slows to a stop and a short stumpy mutant gets out pleading for help.  
 
Mutiville Refugee Bus
Mutieville Refugee Bus
 
He explains they have just escaped Mutieville and they have wounded on board.  The Judges agree to help and Cully administers first aid using her med kit.  The muties reveal that they escaped Mutieville a week ago, fleeing for their lives.  They lost three of their party, Harry, Dutch and Benjy to Lord Muldoons Hair Beast trackers.
 
Two days ago they ran into a pirate ship.  A huge wheeled monstrosity with a big skull for a figurehead.  They were attacked and five of their party were wounded but suddenly the pirates called off the attack and drove off East.  They are heading to Barter Town, the only free town left now that Mutieville is in the hands of Muldoon.  There are no menfolk left to defend it and they women, old people and children who remain are completely at the mercy of Lord Muldoon.  All the able bodied men have been taken to Black Oil Mesa to work the oil fields.
 
After patching up the wounded the bus departs and the Judges continue their journey until nightfall when they make camp just like last night.
 
Five hours after dark all hell breaks loose.  Hammer's bike fires off a sustained burst of cannon fire at something fleeing to the the West.  Langa bursts into Cully's tent screaming "They got the Toecutter... Dinosaur...  snatched my... first mate.
 
Hammer jumps on his bike and fires the cyclops laser into the darkness.  The laser melts a channel through the dunes like a hot knife through butter.  It illuminates the dunes and the Judges get a  brief glimpse of a pair of Rad Dogs howling atop one of the dunes 300ft away.  Returning to her tent Cully discovers a terrified Kanga cowering in fear.  
 
Slapping him across the face as directed in section 215 of The Book of Law (Disaster Response and Civillian Casualties) she shouts at the visibly traumatised pirate "Pull yourself together you scurvy dog, are you positive it was a dinosaur?"

Hammer and Teal examine the bird like three toed tracks which came from the South, made a beeline for the pirates and then a 90 degree turn exiting East.  A trail of blood accompanies them and as they enter the dunes they find a severed human leg bitten off at the thigh.  Whatever took Toecutter was big and fast.  Even if they could find Toecutter in the darkness he would have bled to death in minutes.  
 
The team decide to abandon the dinghy and ride through the darkness with Kanga riding pillion on Teal's bike.  As the sun rises over the horizon the rusty tangled scrap heap of iron that is Scav City looms in the distance.
 
Scav City
Scav City

An Audience with The Pirate King  

The bulk of Scav City is not a permanent fixture rather it is a jumpled mess of pirate ships clustered around a central fortified tower.  The Tower itself is protected by ramshackle walls made from scrap iron and cars with a large oil filled moat encircling it.  The walls are festooned with spikes and sharp rusty iron blades making it look like a hedgdehog squatting in the desert. 
 
As the Judges ride over the drawbridge they are surrounded by armed pirates brandishing swords, spears, harpoon and crossbows.  A man carrying a ping laudry basket orders them to put their weapons in the basket.  "Noone sees the Pirate King carrying a weapon... It is the Pirate Law!!"  

Teal makes a point of telling the man that if anyone touches his gun other than him... "it will go boom!!"

Pirate King Barbossa
The Pirate King
The Judges are led into the tower and into a throne room lit by hundreds of oil lamps and candles.  On the throne sits an old pirate.
 
"Welcome Law Men.  Thank you for returning Kanga to me, I will deal with him later, but first I want to raise a glass and discuss what you are doing in the Cursed Earth.  Yo Ho Ho a bottle of Rum"
 
"Yo Ho Ho, fetch a bottle of rum and five glasses!!"  he shouts at one of his attendants who scurries off and returns with a shiny chrome car hubcap carrying 5 shot glasses and a bottle of rum.
 
"Everybody out!!  I will parley with the Lawmen alone." bellows the Pirate King.

An Old Judge and a New Law

With the room cleared the Pirate King explains his problem.
 
"Muldoon is a threat to Scav City.  He's taking over this part of the Cursed Earth and we don't have the firepower to defend ourselves.  There's an old lawman outpost North of here.  If you were to gain access with my men then we could get weapons and defend ourselves."
 
Judge Hammer thanks the Pirate King and extends a hand in the universal sign of friendship.  The Pirate King does likewise and Hammer grabs his hand turning it over to reveal the fading Justice Department ID tattoo on the back.
 
"You are a Judge!" Hammer exclaims.  "A long time ago maybe, but I learned that you can't teach Mega City Law to the Lawless.  You need a new Law.  Pirate Law.  I am old and won't be around for much longer and I need someone who can replace me.  Think you got the cojones boy?"
 
"Twenty men and two ships crewed by my best captains.  What do ya say? Do we have a deal?"
 
The Judges ponder their a situation.  Muldoon has the perp and perhaps the outpost has equipment they can use to get in and neutralize Muldoon and exfiltrate Nesbitt.  They reluctantly agree.

A Pirate Shindig

With a deal struck the doors to the throne room are opened and a throng of pirates enters bringing food and drink.  The Judges are introduced to the two captains who will be accompanying their expedition Scurvy Jack and El Diablo.  
 
As the revelries continue Teal notices one shadowy figure who appears to be surfing tables grabbing half finished drinks.  He corners the figure and engages him in conversation.
 
"The names, Cross Eyed Jethro.  I knows Muldoon's secret, He's like you from the Mega City.  Get me on your excursion and I will tell you everything.  The Pirate King has never met Muldoon, but I know him well." 
 
Teal tells the Pirate King that he wants Jethro on the expedition to which he agrees.



Next Prog ->

Back Issues

Prog 1 - Suits You Sir - Mosh 55 rob Zlooty Slute's Suits You and a body is discovered.

Prog 2 - Hair Today Gone Tomorrow - Rock Dwayneson's apartment and carnage at the Yes-A-Bout

Prog 3 - It's Ugly Out There - Fun and Games at the Ugly Pageant 

Prog 4 - Down, Down, Deeper and Down - Entering the sewers under RESYK

Prog 5 - The Big Wig - Confronting the beast below the city

Prog 6 - Last Orders at The Two Ways Pub - A shootout in Sector 163

Prog 7 - Into the Cursed Earth - Judge Ezquerra orders a manhunt 

Prog 8 - Avast Me Hearties It's the Easter Pirate Kangaroo - Black Ice Kanga



Wednesday, 7 April 2021

I Printed a Grail Item - Judge Dredd Helmet

When I got my new printer I knew that there were a few grail items that I've always wanted to own but was too afraid to print.  

I am running a Judge Dredd campaign for my Friday night role play club in South East London (Dragons Keep Roleplay Club), so I took the plunge and printed a Judge Dredd Helmet.

3D Printed Judge Dredd Helmet
My 3D Printed Judge Dredd Helmet

Cutting up the STL File Using Meshmixer

I downloaded a model from thingiverse by user 3DPrintSolutions which had been cut into 4 parts but still was too big for my 200mm square print bed.  The solution was to download meshmixer and split each print in half again for a total of 8 parts.  These would then go together in two rings of four parts each.

Help I Need Some Support... Material

The bottom ring had virtually vertical walls so I opted to print without support material and arranged the prints on the bed to minimize any stringiness which was largely avoidable.  I knew I would have a lot of clean up so a few dody edges could be fixed with bondo in post processing.  This got the print time down to just under 4 hours each.

The upper ring is mostly dome so I new I was going to need a lot of support.  The first print I did had support set to 15 in Cura and this took over 10.5 hours to print.  Reducing this to 5 got the other three parts to print in between 7 and 8 hours each but did result in a bit of loose stringing on the inside.  As they say "it don't need to glow if it ain't on show"

Judge Dredd Helmet - Printing a dome part
Lots of support needed to print the domes

You can see why I was reticent to start a project like this.  With nearly 60 hours of printing (including the odd failure) it is my biggest print to date both in size and in time.


Judge Dredd Helmet - 8 Parts Printed
Judge Dredd Helmet - 8 Parts Printed

Filament, God Awful Filament

I've had this PLA filament knocking around since January last year and one reel has been open to the elements all that time.  This is probably not the best PLA to use, but it's what I've got and it needs to be used up.  I've never been one for colour matching filament and this filament is a gorgeous shade of poo, I mean chocolate brown. 

The finished print is going to need a skim coat of plastic body filler to smooth out the layer lines so the filament colour is completely irrelevant in any case.

The other thing with this filament is it needs to be hot, 220 degrees hot and I printed some of the earlier prints at 210 which caused some under extrusion which needed fixing. I pulled out the trusty 3D Pen which is ideal for this sort of touch up work and started meshing in some extra plastic SANAGO style.  I also resorted to the old superglue and baking powder trick to fill some of the more heinous gaps in the print and give the cracks some filling.   

My old man was raving about some glue he had bought recently and so he sent me a care package from Amazon.  It ended up being Mitre Bond Superglue & Activator which I had been trying to find on eBay and Amazon for ages but didn't know what to search for.  Apparently accelerator is not the right phrase.

Assembly and Post-Processing

I assembled the first two prints before the third had even come off the printer as I was anxious to see if the parts had warped during printing.  Everything was okay, well reasonably okay, fixable okay and so I held off further assembly until all the parts were printed.  I taped the parts together in the interim to give me a psychological boost to keep going and to also get a handle on just how big this is.  

Judge Dredd Helmet - Taped Together
Judge Dredd Helmet - Taped Together

I think that this is incredibly important, especially when you have prints that fail inexplicably and you have to restart a 30 or 40% complete job twice over.  3D printing is not a fire and forget process and I learned quite a bit about my new printer in the process.  This is only its third or fourth project and even though it is almost identical to my previous Prusa i3 homage, it's a little bit different in construction and behaves slightly differently.  It is as much about dialling in the user as it is dialling in the printer. 

Post processing is a laborious and crappy job.  Another reason why I put off printing something so large.  Fortunately this model is large areas of smooth surface with gentle curves rather than lots of fiddly detail and tight tolerances.

The bloke who glued the parts together (me) did a crappy job and so I had to use plenty of bondo (car body filler) to smooth out all the joints between the parts and fill in the layer lines on all surfaces.

Somebody Closed My Halfords!!!

A slight rant here but I wandered down to my local Halfords which is 10 minutes walk from my house.  I say IS but I should mean WAS as thanks to COVID, the powers that be decided to close the store for good and it is now a DREAMS Bedstore.  Now I am sure that they had sound financial reasons for it but it does mean that there is now no consumer auto spares store in Orpington.  So rather than drive to the nearest alternative store which would be in Bromley I did what 99% of the population are going to do.  I bought it cheaper off Amazon or eBay.  

I think there is a morale in this tale about the death of the high street but I can't for the life of me guess what it is. 

Judge Dredd Helmet - Big Boy Bondo Time!
Judge Dredd Helmet - Big Boy Bondo Time!
 
I also smoothed out the inside surfaces adding a bit of thickness to the entire helmet but mostly the bondo was needed to level out the discrepencies between the different sections where they meet like the four corners monument
 
Once you've applied the bondo get ready for a lot of sanding.  Use a sanding block to make your life easy.  I bought mine at poundland years ago and it is the first time I can hand on heart say it was an indispensable tool.  I could have spent months sanding the surface to get that perfect finish but lets face it I'm an impatient sort of guy and I wanted this helmet finished before my game ended or lockdown was lifted.

Painting Your Helmet

I went the cheap and easy route using black matt and gloss car paint bought from poundland and a red gloss from Wilkos.  All in the paint cost me less than a tenner.  The gold paint was a bottle of miniature paints gold which I have had for the best part of 25 years and it is still good.

Once you have done this you just need to fit the visor.

The Visor

There seem to be two types of thought on visors either stay true to the comic book and half a two tone visor or go with the Dredd movie look which is all black.

The model also comes with a printed visor which to be honest is probably a good thing as it ensured correct alignment of the nose guard X during assembly.  This was removed once the helmet was complete and replaced with one a sheet of acetate covered with one way black film.  After all you can't have the perps seeing your eyes (or in my case my spectactles).

Comic Book vs Movie visor comparison
Comic Book or Dredd movie visor (which do I choose)

The concesus also seems to be that the best way to replicate this is by buying cheap motorcycle visors from ebay and hot gluing them in.  The only problem with this is size.  Motorcycle visors are meant to go on the outside of a helmet not the inside so the curvature is all wrong.  I also had no idea what size I needed so I just went for a JDC one size fits all visor (eBay / Amazon).

I cut out the eye holes with my knock off dremel using an abrasive cutting wheel.  I cannot stress how important it is to wear a safety glasses when doing this.  The little cutting wheels have only one mission in life and that is to shatter fling shards of abrasive right in your face.  Fortunately I only managed to break one "Wheel of Death" and with the eyeholes removed I made a paper pattern adding a generous half inch to all sides but the bottom.  I used spray adhesive to stick this to the visor on top of the removable plastic scratch cover and then dremeled it out.  

As you can see in the picture below I stuck this on upside down.  The visor has a curved bottom edge and a flat top edge.  You want the top edge to form the exposed edge of the visor on your Dredd helmet.

Judge Dredd Helmet Visor template applied
Paper template stuck on visor upside down.  Just big enough

Interior Padding 

This was a relatively easy job just hot gluing in sections of EVA foam tile.  This is a cosplayer's go to material and can be bought as workshop flooring or playmat flooring inexpensively on Amazon or eBay

Interior reinforcement and padding with EVA foam floor tiles

How Much did this 3D Printed Judge Dredd Helmet Cost Me?

Here's an estimate of the costs

  • Filament - £15
  • Electricity - £10
  • Bondo - £9
  • Visor - £10
  • EVA Foam - £8
  • Sandpaper - £3
  • Paint - £10
  • Glue - £8 

That's a total of roughly £73 which is about the same price as a raw fiberglass cast helmet from eBay.  A finished helmet will set you back at least £150 and you don't have any of the enjoyment of getting there or the enormous sense of satisfaction when the project is complete.

I posted a couple of pics on Whattsapp and a friend immediately asked

"Can you make it reflect flames like in the Dredd movie?"

The answer is most definitely Yes.

Judge Dredd Helmet - Reflected Flames

So What Other Grail Items Are on my Bucket List?

I've already printed a Han Solo DL44 Blaster, one of my earliest prop projects and a Judge Dredd Badge.  I even did a custom one for one of my players in a previous Judge Dredd RPG campaign.

As a Sci-fi fan there are a number of iconic weapons that I 've always wanted to own including:

  • An M41A Pulse Rifle from Aliens
  • A Bladerunner Deckard Blaster
  • A Lawgiver - there are 3 to choose from Comic Book / Judge Dredd (1995) or Dredd (2011)
  • A Hellboy Samaritan revolver
  • An Outlaw Star Caster Pistol (as used by Gene Starwind)

 I also want to print some of those iconic droids like

  • A life size R2D2
  • A C3PO head.
  • An ABC Warrior Skull from the 1995 Stallone Movie Judge Dredd
  • A life size Han Solo in Carbonite

But those are all going to have to wait until I've recovered enough to consider taking on a mega project like this again.


Monday, 5 April 2021

Reaper Bones #34 - Mangu Timur

Big dudes wearing plate are the stock in trade of epic fantasy tabletop Role Playing Games.

Mangu Timur - Bobby Jackson (SKU 77148) 

Mangu's got a big shield which gave me the opportunity to paint some planks.  He's also wearing some weird elven looking decorative hip guard over the top of his faulds (the little skirt which does all the hip and butt protecting).  I painted this antique gold but then felt that the viewers eye was drawn to the crotch area so gilded his pauldrons as well.  

Mangu Timur - Front
Mangu Timur - Front

 
Mangu Timur - Back
Mangu Timur - Back

Bones Progress

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Newsround 28th to 4th April 2021

My weekly roundup of news and what I found on the internet.  

The King is Back

Godzilla vs Kong hit streaming services this week and I have to say I was impressed.  It's another installment in the Legendary Pictures franchise comprising of Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Godzilla vs. Kong
Godzilla vs Kong - The long awaited match up

It doesn't dissapoint.

The CGI is top notch and the story line pretty bonkers, but what you really came to see this movie for is a straight up duel between the two biggest monsters in Hollywood history.  There is plenty of additional content to excite fans of Kaiju movies and without spoilers, this isn't just about the two biggest Titans duking it out.

An all star cast of quality actors provide exposition and never overshadow the real stars.  This is a winning formula for Legendary and produces an insane mind blowing visual spectacle of a popcorn movie which is what the real fans are after.

Evil Genius Economics 

In preparation for my current game at Dragons Keep Roleplay Club I had to invent an evil genius to be at the heart of the current problems that the city is experiencing.  

In order to wreak revenge on an epic scale you need to have epic resources and epic managerial skills.  Whatever your evil scheme is you will need to amass resources through various shell companies and have unwitting minions essentially funnelling cash into your organisation to keep the lights running at your secret volcanic island hideaway.

Not a supervillian lair and actually a Shopping Mall in the South of France

Being a costumed superpowered crusader on the other hand is usually a solitary affair and thwarting evil schemes is a simple case of turning up doing a bit of blasting and then off to the next encounter.  There isn't much in the way of investment required.

And then I found some playthrough videos of Evil Genius 2: World Domination.  The designers have clearly looked long and deep and consider all the vital aspects of the evil genius business model.  Worth a look if you are into your worker placement simulations.  Available to download on Steam 

If you aren't into computer games I can heartily recommend Mwahahaha! which is a 2 to 5 player boardgame which explores the same principles of resource gathering and minion management.  Published back in 2013 by White Wolf it is sadly out of print but copies can be snagged on eBay at a reasonable price.

Mwahahaha! - Evil Genius Boardgame

Trailer for Rick and Morty Season 5 Drops

The long awaited season 5 trailer is out and it looks amazing.  As a fan of Combining Mecha anime such as Voltron (aka Beast King Go Lion) and 80s puppet show Star Fleet (aka X-Bomber) I am particularly looking forward to them exploring this trope. 

Rick and Morty is chock full of great ideas for role playing games.  No genre is left untouched from their hypercritical and synical gaze.  One of the best sci-fi comedy series in the multiverse.  

The new series on Sunday June 20th so yet another date for you to pop in your calendar.

Monthly Free D&D 5e Adventures from DM Dave

DM Dave Free D&D Adventures
Role Playing Games are a funny business to be in as it specifically appeals your creative side.  Once you have purchased the core rules for your system you and are actively encouraged to go off and write your own scenarios.  There is really not much incentive to keep buying core rulebooks. 

However, whilst I love this part of the hobby as it scratches my story writting itch, I understand how important it is to support small creators who are doing some amazing work.  Scalping everything for free doesn't keep the lights on for most publishers. 

In fact small publishers often do things for the love of the hobby are some of the most creative people out there which is another really good reason to lend them some financial support.

There are plenty of resources for the time poor DM such as Drive Thru RPG, DMs Guild or Dragonsfoot and one such creator is DMDave who publishes a host of Dungeons & Dragons materials via his Patreon subscription.  

These are really high quality productions and feature battle maps by Miska's Maps, additional monster stat blocks and magic item cards.  I downloaded the Glaive of the Revenant King and this adventure is the real deal, a ready to run scenario.

Want a taste of how good his products are?  Just sign up to his mailing list and you will get a free D&D 5e scenario every month.