Alien Frontiers — Colony paint complete

Well, I fin­ished paint­ing the colony com­pon­ents. Look­ing at the pho­tos, they kinda look messy. Note to self, don’t rush, even if you have 40 of the little bug­gers to paint.

Alien Frontiers Colonies

Alien Frontiers Colonies

Ah well, on the game board at nor­mal view­ing dis­tances they look ok.

Alien Frontiers colony repaint

I didn’t want to paint the ori­gin­als that came with the game so I had 3 options:

I went for the Upgrade pack, even though my first choice was the Fac­tions Expan­sion. It looks like a neat addi­tion to the game but it’s damn hard to find, either online or loc­ally. Both the Fac­tions Expan­sion and the Upgrade pack include the extra com­pon­ents to allow a five-play­er Ali­en Fron­ti­ers game, using the publisher’s expan­ded rules. So on to the paint­ing.

Before I star­ted paint­ing, I looked at a lot of space colony images like these for inspir­a­tion.

Then I primed the com­pon­ents — 2 coats, first a dark to fill in the shad­ows, then a white, from above only, to provide high­lights.

IMG_0037

I wanted to test some col­our schemes first, so I mocked them up using some image edit­ing tools on the iPad. I took pho­tos against a white back­ground, con­ver­ted the images to black and white, then kicked up the con­trast.

Alien Frontiers MiniAlien Frontiers MiniAlien Frontiers MiniAlien Frontiers Mini

Then just over­painted the image on the iPad until I found an appeal­ing col­our scheme.

Alien Frontiers - Colony mockup

I like this tech­nique. It lets me work any­where, gives reas­on­able res­ults, and doesn’t cost me any paint to tri­al it.

Alien Frontiers Colonies

Alien Frontiers colony repaint

Next up, the Field Gen­er­at­ors. And I’ve got some ideas for the Rock­et Ships too.

Painting the components of Alien Frontiers

Recently I’ve become aware of a trend to paint the often gar­ishly-col­oured mini­atures and game com­pon­ents you find in mod­ern board games.

My first attempt was with Mice and Mys­tics, and now I’m work­ing on Ali­en Fron­ti­ers.

This time, I decided to pro­to­type my  col­our schemes digit­ally. To do this, pho­to­graphed the com­pon­ents just after prim­ing, so the base col­our has been neut­ral­ized.

Alien Frontiers MiniAlien Frontiers MiniAlien Frontiers MiniAlien Frontiers Mini

Then I pro­cessed the images, crop­ping them, mak­ing them black and white, and enhan­cing the con­trast and bright­ness to bring out the detail.

And finally, I load them into Pixel­mat­or on my iPad, and Exper­i­ment with lay­ers.

Testing Overlays in Pixelmator iPad

Alien Frontiers MiniAlien Frontiers MiniAlien Frontiers Mini

Hope­fully I can come up with some­thing inter­est­ing 🙂

Oh, and one thing I just noticed while look­ing at oth­er people’s designs, the above Field Gen­er­at­or is miss­ing one of it’s towers. I just assumed that gap was a dock­ing bay or port or some­thing. I’ve con­tac­ted the game pub­lish­er about this to see about a replace­ment.

*** Update *** A replace­ment Field Gen­er­at­or is en-route. More to paint!

Painting Mice and Mystics Miniatures — Part 2

Well, I’ve finally fin­ished them. I’ve learned a lot, and quite a bit has changed since I last painted minis (about 20 yrs).

I think they turned out fine, and I’m look­ing for­ward to my next set… not sure what that will be yet. Maybe some­thing Star Wars.

Here’s a gal­lery of the fin­ished Mice and Mys­tics set.

Mice & Mys­tics

Painting Mice and Mystics Miniatures — Part 1

It’s been about 20 years since I last painted any­thing remotely sim­il­ar to these mini­ature game fig­ures for Mice and Mys­tics. I have a lot of re-learn­ing to do. Paint is now mostly acryl­ic, not enamel. New tech­niques like Dip­ping make the work easi­er. And the dif­fer­ing plastics used on dif­fer­ent minis makes each attempt inter­est­ing.

I’m almost done this set for Mice and Mys­tics. They need some touch-up, maybe a bit more high­light­ing, fol­lowed by a Dip coat and a flat coat.

Can’t wait to be done and play the game 😀

Team Tracy Mod — A Thunderbirds House Rules Modification

Update: TL:DR — we were using the Dis­aster track wrong.  Details at the end.

Last night was our groups first play­through of Thun­der­birds. We’d played vari­ous co-op games, and spe­cific­ally Matt Lea­cock designed games, before. We knew we were in for a chal­len­ging yet fair co-op gam­ing exper­i­ence in the Thun­der­birds uni­verse. Fun!

Well, maybe.

The first and second games ended rather quickly. We under­stood the rules, but the char­ac­ters we had were unable to coördin­ate quickly enough to avert them.

So, in the interest of sal­va­ging the even­ing and get­ting back to hav­ing fun, we decided on the fol­low­ing modi­fic­a­tions:

  1. All Char­ac­ters are par­ti­cip­at­ing in the game, no mat­ter the num­ber of play­ers. In our case that left two char­ac­ters without human play­ers. Every human play­er con­trols one char­ac­ter, but extra char­ac­ters are con­trolled by the group.
  2. We altered the Turn Over­view. In our game, Turn order var­ies dur­ing a ’round’ depend­ing on the strategy the group decides is going to be executed for that round. As each play­er takes a turn, they flip their char­ac­ter card over so we can remem­ber that play­er has played. The same applies to group-con­trolled char­ac­ters. Once all char­ac­ter cards are face down, the round ends and the char­ac­ter cards are reset, and a new round begins.

We felt that these modi­fic­a­tions allowed the entire Tracy fam­ily to par­ti­cip­ate in the game, as they usu­ally do in the TV show. And by allow­ing the turn order to be flex­ible and respons­ive to the cur­rent situ­ation, we felt it bet­ter reflec­ted the TV show’s theme of team­work — hence the name, the Team Tracy Mod. Also, it made for a much more fun and involving game.

Update:

Well. It seems we were doing some­thing wrong.
You know the dis­aster track at the bot­tom of the board? The one where the cur­rent dis­asters all pile up and even­tu­ally over­whelm you? Yeah, that one. Well, it seems that we were using that wrong.

As we drew a new dis­aster card, we placed it NEXT to the exist­ing dis­aster card, in the slot HIGHER than the pre­vi­ous one. We should have been slid­ing all the exist­ing dis­asters down one slot and pla­cing the new card in the FIRST SLOT. The way we were play­ing it, every new dis­aster assumed a high­er pri­or­ity than the pre­vi­ous one as we had to reduce the total num­ber of dis­asters to stay alive.

Played prop­erly, we could take two or three turns to map out a mul­tiple res­cue strategy and elim­in­ate dis­asters more effect­ively.

/facepalm/

We’re enjoy­ing the game much more now

I will vote Oct. 19. Will you?

Every so often we have the abil­ity to influ­ence the future. Oct. 19th, Cana­dians will have that oppor­tun­ity, if they choose to.
I will be vot­ing for a change of gov­ern­ment. This one has failed repeatedly and has not earned my trust for anoth­er term.

So yes, I will be vot­ing on Octo­ber 19th. Will you?