Thursday, September 22, 2016

More On Painting

I have been practicing my technique before my expected Chronoscope figures start arriving. I revisited a model I had painted earlier - the Rock Golem - because I felt it was too dark and and didn't have much variation in tone. I added some highlights to it to make it pop more.

Also working on a few models I have had in the queue, like this Skeletal Champion...

And finally, I swapped the last of my paint pots into the 15 ml dropper bottles (I bought a pack of 50 from Amazon; 15 ml, 30 ml). In the process I discovered something interesting: the bulk of my paints are Privateer Press and a full pot of theirs doesn't fit into a 15 ml bottle. I should have gotten more of the 30 ml (I mistakenly only ordered a 12 pack). But my one bottle of Citadel paint fit just fine. It never occurred to me that I was getting significantly less paint from Citadel.

Since those are the only two brands my FLGS carries, I think I will just keep going with the privateer paints.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Case For Horizontal Character Sheets

I like my Character sheets horizontal rather than vertical. To me it is easier to break up thematically similar sections and group them on a horizontal sheet. But there is another reason and the Penny Arcade/D&D "Acquisitions Incorporated" Series has highlighted it with this screenshot.

A horizontal character sheet takes less of the center real estate on a game table. Granted that this is an expensive Carolina Game Table model (from Clint and Jodi Black!), but how often do your players have to move their character sheets while you lay down a new map? How often do you have a wide enough table at your gaming location of choice?

Of course, if you are playing in the "Theater of the Mind" this is not likely a problem for you, unless you have large handouts.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

New Map - Canyon Maze

I have a new map for sale on The Canyon Maze.

It's a 24x30 inch standard size map you put together from 9 8x10 tiles. It comes in grid and non-grid.

I'm not a big fan of site advertising so this blog doesn't generate any income for me except in advertising my own work. Every little bit helps and I will keep up with new freebies sooner or later.

Thanks for visiting my site,

Chad B Jones

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Regarding Maps Without Doors

I have been struggling with artistic overload recently so my next couple of posts will be specifically about maps and tiles respectively.

So.... maps, (the pre-designed ones by Paizo and WotC).

Dungeon maps have a reuse-ability problem... sort of. If it's a map that you have used before, the players will know where the doors are, the layout, and if it is printed on the map then they will know the secret passages. There is also the problem that (even if it is a new map) you have to cover up undiscovered areas with paper or your players will see all of the routes and doorways.

Well I have an idea about that.

What if you had maps that showed blank rooms but NO DOORS. Like this...

Will the players know which path to take? Not without doorways linking rooms. Now how about you place door standees as the players discover them? And you place (or draw) room decor as the enter? Instant Fog of War without having to deal with a mess of tiles or cover sheets. And because you can place doors in different locations each time you play, you effectively change the map, keeping your players guessing. And you don't have to use all of the rooms either.

I would say that 3 different maps would give you hundreds of dungeon crawl combinations.

You don't have to wait for me to make maps for you. If you are hand drawing maps based on your favorite rpg's designs, try leaving out the doors until the players find them.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Dungeon Design via Extra Credits

Extra Credits is an animated show about video games, history, and a few other topics. Right now they are covering a dungeon design from the video game Baldur's Gate. I'm going to link to it because it contains some lessons that may be helpful to GM's designing their own versions of the dungeon crawl.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Painting Minis - Paint Hack

Paint containers, for the most part, suck. They get gummed up around the rim, fail to seal properly, and dry out. They also make it hard to get a small measure of paint out to mix.

There's a paint company that has the right idea by putting the paints in dropper bottles. However my FLGS doesn't carry them. It only carries Warhammer and P3 paints. But where there is a will...

I purchased these off of Amazon: a twelve pack of 1 oz dropper bottles. Most of the bottles come in 50 packs, but I didn't think I needed more than twelve. I was wrong on two fronts. I have more than 12 colors of paint and 1 oz is too large a bottle. Paints apparently come in .5 oz or 15ml bottles. I went back on Amazon and order a 50 pack of 15ml bottles. I am sure I will need them as time goes on.

Another thing I noticed was that the bottle openings were very tiny (before adding the dropper). I would need some kind of funnel to get my paint in there. Enter the drug-store medicine syringe (without needle).

I pulled out the plunger and filled the paint into the back of the syringe carefully. Then used the plunger to force the remaining paint through. You'll want to wash the syringe immediately after this to avoid the paint drying inside.

And... Oovah! Easily cleaned and easy to measure paint bottles!

There is some paint wasted in the transfer, but I figure the paint it will save me in mixing and not crusting the cap will make up the difference.

PS> Sorry for not keeping on the posts. My family is becoming the guardian of my 18 year old step-niece who has severe autism. She takes up a lot of our free time. Drama, drama, drama!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sci-Fi Minis - The Ugly Truth

I've been mulling how I am going to do Sci-Fi miniatures for a while. Here are the issues I have run into:

1) If I make unique aliens, it will be impossible to find pre-made miniatures for them.

2) If I make my own figure flats for them, I am looking at an AWFUL amount of drawing. I am not overly keen on the idea, even if I make a photoshop file where I can mix and match outfits and hairstyles, etc like City of Heroes.

3) I could base my aliens on the minis I can buy but NO ONE FREAKIN' MAKES THEM ANYMORE!

If you were lucky enough to get a large collection of Star Wars minis when WotC had the license, you are golden. I didn't get into them fast enough. And there is such a desire for them that minis online (if you can find them) are going for some high prices.

There are some sci-fi looking wargame minis but they are also darn expensive and generally every alien is covered in heavy armor. There isn't much chance of getting non-military, free-booter alien figs.

It is still possible to get some human sci-fi figs. In fact, Reaper is extending its Chronoscope line and it has a lot of figures I could use. However, not much in the way of alien life forms (unless I paint up the skins in Orion green and Andorian blue).

That may leave me with adapting D&D/ Pathfinder minis into sci-fi races. I am not certain how well that is going to look.

But if there are any mini-makers out there: YOU HAVE AN UNTAPPED MARKET!

If anyone out there has overcome this issue with some creativity, please share!

And yes, I have considered legos but I think I want something that looks a little less silly.