Category Archives: When Imagination Fails

Torvalus Dark Knives Complete

I completed the Torvalus Dark Knives a week or more ago, but I finally got around to photographing them.

Torvalus Dark Knives

You can find a larger version on Flickr.

How I made them:

  1. primed them with a black spray primer
  2. painted them with two coats of Floquil NATO Black
  3. painted the three engines with Floquil USSR Underside Blue and a small sharp brush.  I used the Floquil NATO Black where ever I painted beyond the lines.
  4. painted the lights with Floquil’s Railroad Signal Red and a small sharp brush.
  5. finally, I sprayed them with Testors dullcote and then mounted them.

The Torvalus are:

A race of Gamblers and tricksters, roughly resembling a meter tall transparent protozoan covered in scillia. They, and the Kirishiac, are the only First Ones not to ascend into energy beings, mostly because of philosophy. They bet on everything, what race will exterminate which species, whether this star will blow up in so many years, stuff like that. They maintained fairly good relations with their inferior middle-borns, but
often as not posing as someone else.Therefore, they invested enormous amounts of research into stealth. Their ships can hide from any of the First One’s advanced sensors, even from the Walkers and the Triad, using what is called the “Shading Field”. It works as damage prevention, as well. They can create sensor ghosts, fully realistic projections, they have a microjump system called a Transverse Drive that bypasses intervening space by means
other than hyperspace.

Their weaponry is rather straightforward, using a variety of highly advanced lasers. Their drone fighters are among the best the First Ones make, capable of inflicting more damage than any but the Triad Order aspect Sereph super-heavies. Fighting the Torvalus is like fighting ghosts, even among the first ones.

[From Agammemnon at ]

For a little color

Been a bit tied up with work and family.  Managed to get all of the Shadow Cruisers built.  Planning to base the White Stars this weekend.

Next up I thought I would try my hand at painting some of the triremes.  My research turned up that the hulls of the Athenian triremes and the quinqueremes were probably made with fir.  The Phoenician triremes and the heptares likely with cedar.

I visited my local woodworking store to get samples of each type of wood.  They didn't have any fir, but being the knowledgeable folks they are, they did have a book with pictures of different types of wood.  The cedar looked like pine, only darker and more red.  The fir looked lighter and less red than the cedar, but still darker than a pine.  I figure I can make a wash using a light brown and a bit of red for the cedar and water it down further to make the fir color.  This is of course on top of the tan I sprayed on the primed ships.

Painting progress: FA Whitestars & Shadow Cruisers/Scouts

Over the last few days I have been able to finish up a bunch of the Babylon 5 miniatures.  The sixteen AOG Fleet Action scale Whitestars are done.  The three Shadow scouts are done (I glued them together either before priming or after.)  The Shadow cruisers just await gluing. 

A bit on how I painted them.

For the whitestars I:

  1. primed them in gray,
  2. painted them with two coats of Testors Acryl silver paint,
  3. made up a wash of Floquil German Mauve (i.e. purple) and water (I forgot the ratio, but it was mostly water), and washed the entire miniature since they are small.  If it looked like there was too much purple, I would use the brush to better distribute it.  I put two coats on the top and one on the bottom.  The effect is to give it a splotchy purple/silver pattern,
  4. painted the weapons in gunmetal,
  5. finally, after a night or two of drying, I sprayed them with Testors glosscote.

For the Shadow ships I:

  1. primed them in black,
  2. painted them with two coats of Floquil NATO Black,
  3. made a wash of the Testors Acryl Silver (16 drops) and water (80 drops) and spread it over the miniatures using the same technique as the whitestars.  I coated both sides twice.  As a result the miniatures have bits of silver sprinkled over the black that looks similar to what the ships are supposed to look like   [Note: Looking at them now, I think I either needed to add more silver paint
    to the wash or do more washes.  The silver shows up better when the
    light isn't quite as bright as daylight.],
  4. finally, after drying, I sprayed them with Testors glosscote.

I like the way they came out and hope to post pictures before the weekend is over.

Now that I have gotten a hang of the wash technique, I am looking forward to starting work on some of the ancient Greek and Phoenician triremes I primed and sprayed with a tan base coat.

Playing Heroscape with my son

My son has been playing Heroscape for over a year now and quite enjoys it.  My wife and I have a fun time playing against him.  He has a tendency to set the terrain and forces to suit his tastes.  Since that tends to include the monsters, my wife and I are left with the outnumbered humans.  We do our best against stacked odds and just have a fun time.

In a recent game we had, he and a friend followed standard practice of selecting all of the heavies and the very advantageous terrain.  I decided to even the odds.  Since he laid out the terrain and chose the forces, I got to decide from which direction to attack.  Naturally, I attacked from the rear.  To make sure things weren't too much in my favor, I chose a smaller force that was high on ranged weapons and low on Vikings. 

The attack went well and I ended up destroying most of his heavies and his hive.  I should have set my objectives better since I let myself get bogged down fighting his light forces instead of destroying his commander.  With my remaining Samurai, I got to a hex away from him, before succumbing to his light forces.  Oh well.

The next game my son and a different friend set up their side of the board.  I setup the side for my wife and I with lots of high terrain that our ranged forces could use to good effect.  We did pretty well, holding off my son's light forces and taking down many of the heavies run by my son's friend.  Our forces got whittled away, though, and we were left with the Vikings and a lone four-eyed wolf-like beast.  I decided to have my remaining forces perform a fighting withdrawal.  Amazingly, the four-eyed wolf-beast took down their dragon and I called off the withdrawal and just played to the death.  We lost, but took out 2/3 of his force.  Everyone had a good time.

I am weak

I gave into temptation and got some the Agents of Gaming B5 ancients and Fleet Action scale Whitestars.  After cleaning and removing the flashing, I primed them as well as the Vorlon destroyers and three of the Shadow Scouts.  Man, those Shadow Scouts are great looking miniatures.  Out of scale, but great looking.

Oh well, more stuff to paint.