All posts by Corey Burger

Build Something 2024: The Painting Process

Well, round 1 of the Build Something Competition is done and I have been beat, badly. The vote wasn’t even close. Ouch. Anyway, at least I have a pretty building for my table.

With me out, means I can share some process photos and discussion here. I ended up painting and gluing the building together pieces by piece – paint some, glue some, paint some, just because of the way I needed to paint the inside.

First thing I did was assemble the upper back section (with the walkway) as a separate piece and then paint the inside of it. I also added mud/spackle to cover the 3D printing texture on the lower section and painted the concrete floor (with a few cracks added with an exacto blade).

After that, I added the inside graffiti to both the lower walls and the upper section. After I had added them, I glued the two pieces together and then added some mud/spackle to cover the gaps and then roughly painted it grey. I wasn’t overly worried, as I knew that I was going to be badly painting the inside white again (to partially cover up the graffiti, as if somebody was working to renovate the building).

Assembled back with spackle/mud covering the gap between the foam upper parts and the 3D printed lower bits.

Then I rusted up the hangers and doors. For this I sponged on paint quite thickly – mostly Burnt Umber but some Burnt Sienna and Raw Sienna for accents. This is what gives these the bumpy texture. I would note that the grey paint was not fully dry under the tape here, so I ended up pulling off a fair amount and needing to repaint it. Oops.

After that, I glued the front panels on and then the lower walkway (which touched both the back walls and the front walls). You can see the interior has been painted white at this point.

Gluing in the lower walkway, with the inside now painted white.

Once those were done, I cleaned up the front where the joins were to make the grey tones more consistent. I then masked off the green sections and the upper ghost lettering.

The lettering was over-sprayed with Golden’s Shading Grey, a semi-transparent grey that was amazing for darkening things subtly. I pulled off the letters, which were cut out of Oracal mask on my Silhouette, in a random order, spraying a bit more of the shading grey over the whole area each time.

The last bits I didn’t get any photos of, but this is the “draw the rest of the owl” directions:

The green lower sections I added blue stuff to mask off the damaged sections where the exposed rebar was and then sprayed the lower area, hangers and the doors with chipping medium, and then all three with a random mixture of greens roughly mixed in the airbrush. To chip it I used three methods – light sanding, using tape to pull off random sections and water with a brush. If you use water with a brush, you get lighter sections. I ended up putting an undercoat of white on the doors after I tried just straight green, but that wasn’t covering the rust well.

Lastly, I glued in the windows after painting them separately, painted the exposed rebar and then weathered with oil paints. Overall, the painting felt a bit rushed and I should have taken more time. I also missed a bunch of small details that I’d like to get back to.

And voila! The final product:

Z1 Design’s Precinct 187 Kickstarter 7 years later

7 years ago, at the beginning of my 3D printing journey, I backed a now partially-failed Kickstarter called Precinct 187 from Z1 Design. A few years later the designer and his company stopped responding to messages and as of 2024 have apparently vanished off the internet, save their FB page. At the time, I didn’t even own a 3D printer – I bought the Ender 2 a few months later. Ironically, I’ve actually only ever fully printed a single building from this range – the Blackhollow Pub (not even really part of it – it was a free addon to sell the next kickstarter – Black Hallows Town’s Folk that I never backed).

A few years ago, the creator, Jon, shut down posting in the Z1 group too, which stayed dormant until today and apparently he deleted his FB account, so that meant the group was admin-less. And so a random group member became admin today.

Given Z1 Facebook group is back again, I wondered just how much of the Kickstarter had actually been delivered. Hence this blog post.

Delivered Files

As far as I can tell, here is what was delivered.

Core

  • Town/City Hall
  • Fire House
  • Mel’s Diner
  • Tenement
  • Big Joe’s Donuts
  • L Train
  • Construction Site

Stretch Goals

  • Billboards
  • Block Z (I’m missing these files) Received from a kind soul
  • Car Park
  • Cinema
  • City Bank
  • Docklands
  • Docklands Building
  • Docklands Fish Boat
  • Docklands Coastguard Boat (I’m missing these files) Received from a kind soul
  • East Coast Shopping Mall (appears half complete)
  • Factory
  • Gun Store (received)
  • Hotel Empire
  • Mini Mart
  • Pawn Shop
  • Police Station
  • Prison
  • Restaurant/Bar
  • Road Tiles
  • Subway
  • Staircases
  • Street Furniture
  • Street Barricades
  • Water Towers

Stretch Goals & Addons – Not Delivered

To my accounting, here is what wasn’t delivered (I’ll update this if others can correct me)

  • Wonder World
  • Block Z This was delivered, I just didn’t get it (now received from kind soul)
  • Police Station Cell Block & Compound
  • Post Apocalypic Add-ons
  • Road Markings
  • Prison Bus
  • Security Truck
  • Roberts Fish Merchants
  • East Coast Shopping Mall this might have been partially done
  • Subway Station This was delivered, I just didn’t get it (now received from kind soul)

Black Hollow freebies

  • Blacksmiths Shop
  • Tavern
  • Stables

What I’ve printed

Well, in 7 years, not much. The Tavern and a few copies of the dumpster. In a way, you can say that this Kickstarter started my digital pile of shame opportunity.

EDIT: I forgot – I printed the donut at 200% size for a Gaslands jump ring

Did you back the Kickstarter?

Curious what others who backed the Kickstarter thought. Are they happy? Are they missing files as well? I’m happy to help other lost souls with instructions and some of their missing files (within reason, need to be able to prove you actually backed it)

Conclusion

I’m sad this project didn’t finish, as although I’ve never printed the buildings, I have them if we ever seriously get back into moderns. And I feel it would do well today – the buildings were well designed, had clear instructions and would have been perfect for things like Marvel Crisis Protocol.

Anyway, will close by giving a plug to one of my favourite creators, Corvus Games Terrain, who make many similar buildings including an awesome elevated rail (below). And no, that’s not a sponsored or affiliate link, I just like his stuff.

Photos from Trumpeter Salute 2024

Last month was the annual Trumpeter Salute convention in Vancouver, BC. Usually right around the same time as the big Salute, this one is decidely smaller but still fun. It runs over the whole weekend rather than just one day, with one slot Friday night, 3 slots on Saturday and 1 big one on Sunday.

Friday

This year I ran other Under Alien Suns game in the Friday slot, this time using both my scifi and hellscape terrain. It was a lot of fun – we had 5 players and the usual set of hilarious moments. One player managed to roll a natural 1 on two different healing checks, dealing out 1 damage instead of healing. And my brother’s PC was bit the zombies but only died in the doorway to the exit, bottling up the PCs

Saturday

In the morning we played Roman on Roman naval violence with papercraft and small figures. Romans won, Romans lost, it was a good day for everybody but the Romans. As is our tradition, Brian and I played opposite each other – him playing the defenders and me the attackers.

Midday Brian and I played a nominally cooperative WW2 Italian partisan game – we all played different factions of partisans – both Brian and I picked flavours of communists, which are as opposed as you can get in a coop game. In the end, luck had my team closest to the scientist we had to get off. And the Nazis were rather crap, so in the end the partisans got to engage in their favourite activity – shooting at each other, which mostly meant everybody shooting me and nearly taking on the scientist before I got him off the table.

The evening I played some Canvas Eagles, always a good game. This year I played with Troy Tony Chard’s 1/144 planes, which are very hard to photograph well, so did get some good photos.

During the day I managed to get a few shots of some random games at various points.

Sunday

Last year I ran a pickup Gaslands game, which was a lot of fun, so this year I decided to formalize that. We ended up with 8 players and had a brawl to the death with 2 spec cars each (HMG front & either napalm or mines back). The winner was a car initially piloted by myself, then Brian’s daughter E (she of double jump last year) and then E’s aunt – who smartly drove away from the carnage at the end.

All in all, another fun convention and thanks to the organizers again.

Build Something is done for 2024 & I finished!

Another year keeps marching on and Build Something 2024 has come to an end and unlike nearly every prior year, I actually finished this year! No pictures of the painted model yet due to the rules, but here are some updates on the construction.

Overall, I managed to only get the warehouse done of the whole set I planned – will have to do the actual landing pad later. But I was happy with where I ended up with the warehouse.

For the warehouse, I ended up with a more “ruined 20th century concrete” vibe than I initially planned, largely because of the design of the windows – rectangular with thin frame pieces.

With that, I switched out a lot of my concept and leaned more heavily into that look. Here’s a few pieces of inspiration I pulled from the internet:

I then decided on a heavy, old-style large doors, with a small door that roughly followed the inspiration above. Both were modelled in FreeCAD and then printed on my Ender 5. The large doors…

…and the small door. I first did a test with it printed flat to the bed, which worked. Once I designed the door itself, I tried it vertical. That failed, so I switched back to horizontal and printed it at 0.12 layer height. The white you see on the final image a piece of styrene rod which acts as the hinge.

After the doors were printed, I moved onto the interior walkway, which by pure accident ended up being perfect height for a figure to shoot out of. I really didn’t plan that at all, but it was awesome. There are two levels of walkway – one at 3″ where the small door opens and the main walkway at 4″.

And then onto the windows. I ended up printing them twice – the first round I didn’t think were thick enough, so I ended up printing them a second time at double the thickness. I decided to keep the first round windows and used them as external frames, to which I glued clear PETG and styrene too to make broken and boarded up windows.

And with all those pieces, the design was basically done! I decided to assemble as a I painted, so this is the final shot before painting:

All the final pieces of the building, not yet assembled.

Onwards to painting, which I can’t show you yet, but here’s a photo of my photo setup. Good photos needs lots of light, so I did just that.

Other photos and notes on my forum thread and voting will start fairly soon on the Build Something Competition subforum here.

Build Something 2024: A starport

I’ve had various (ed: poor) success with building things competitions in the past. I’ve singularly failed to finish a single one I’ve entered, even the Build Something Small and Encounter Terrain 10×10, both of which were small things. So the natural thing to do was to organize the next round of Building Something Competition (BSC) on Lead Adventure!

If you’re not familiar with BSC, it is a friendly competition on the Lead Adventure Forum, running for more than a decade. Both Brian and I have entered at various times, he’s even finished something:

Concepts

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to build this year – either a spaceport or a vertical mill thing for my hellscape terrain. As you can probably gather from the title, I decided on a spaceport. I’ve been doodling a few different options for a little bit, starting with one giant 12″x18″ piece, but nothing was really gelling for me.

So I decided to try a few different layouts in FreeCAD, see what I liked. I found this cardboard tube from something paper that I wanted to use as the main upright. And I knew I wanted a 9″x9″ building for the main warehouse building. I initially tried a single larger building on a 12″x12″ base, but that didn’t work either. I also tried the landing pad on a big 12″x12″ base. I also didn’t like that

So I decided to split it into multiple bases, the building and starport each on one. And I knew I needed a way to have pads lift up into the sky, so I decided on magnets and printed pads. That is what the orange vertical pieces are – holders for either magnets or metal strips. Those pads will land on a yet another 6″x”6 base.

Printing things!

I’ve been fighting off some sort of stomach issue for the past few weeks, so progress has been slow, but I finally have printed pieces ready to show at least. But first, a whole lot of failures. I needed to find out if I’d measured the tube correctly (which I hadn’t) and then I decided to use an empty pill bottle as a fuel tank to add on. So several failed prints for those look like this:

And finally, the printed pieces (mostly). I haven’t been able to print the holder fully successfully yet, but that is next to go on the printer again tonight. But I have the borders at least done – base, starport base, landing pad base and fuel tank.

You can find all the current entries on the Lead Adventure Forum BSC subforum, including my own.

Joining the Nightwatch to fight endless skeletons

Our group tried out Patrick Todoroff’s Nightwatch today, a coop fantasy/horror monster hunting skirmish game he published a few years ago. We play a lot of cooperative games, mostly Sellswords & Spellslingers and the new scifi variant I’m working on, so we’re always keen to try something new.

Our First Game

We decided to play the intro scenario set as laid out in the book, which was the big bad or Atrocity, as a necromancer, so lots and lots of skeletons for us. Good thing all three of us have lots of skeletons already. Brian choose a ranged fighter, Sean a melee fighter and myself an alchemist. As we were an odd set (in more ways than one), we ended up with Sean getting a d10 minion to balance the pact Brian and I shared (apparently we ran up a gambling debt together).

The first mission is an escort one – get Derek across the table. Here we bumped into the first challenge, as we couldn’t see exactly what stats Derek was supposed to have. We ended up playing him as having a single free move and nothing else – this did make it an 8 turn game (another challenge, it wasn’t clear to us what the term limit was – it is implied to be 7 turns elsewhere).

Nightwatch begins very quietly. There isn’t a single foe on the table in the first Pact turn. We moved as much as we could given we had to wait for Derek, so that meant the Darkness got lots of turn to spawn. The early turns were fairly easy – we shot or used explosive grenades on foes and got rid of them quite easily.

Brian’s ranged fighter faces off against a bow-wielding skeleton over the graveyard

By turn 3 or 4, it was quite different. The Darkness was now spawning many more skeletons than we could handle in a turn, so out came the smoke grenades. These work wonderfully – any foe inside them moves in a random direction, but this also ended up being a place where some more explanation in the rules would have been nice. it wasn’t clear to us what happened with foes outside the smoke – would they move through it, then randomly once they were in it? And if they moved randomly out of the smoke, would they change direction once out of it to move towards the PCs?

Then the end was coming – one way or the other. Two of us got wounded and that meant we lost our d10 action. Thankfully a pair more smoke bombs and then some flashpowder to get my alchemist free followed by the last explosive grenado my alchemist had.

The end. The PCs and Derek are up in the top corner, about to escape while the hordes close in. Another smoke bomb can be seen in the upper right.

Closing thoughts

Overall, we quite liked the game. It played well and fairly quickly – 2 hours for a game including time to build characters and understand the rules. The core of game is the alternating turns between the PCs (the Pact) and the foes (the Darkness). The second major mechanic is around activations – both PCs and the foes activate worked well too – the PCs get three activation dice (d6, d8 and d10) and use them for their actions looking for successes with a 4+. This gives you some options about what you choose to do.

We rather liked the wounding system – it wasn’t everything to nothing, PCs lose their best actions as they get wounded, all the way down to 3 wounds where they can only move, and then dead at 4 wounds. This meant that PCs degrade naturally, although we never had a PC with more than a single wound.

Sean quite liked the fighting system and how the shield bash and other abilities worked, although we forgot about our guild abilities quite often. The abstract different melee/ranged weapons combinations was an interesting way to cover off many types of weapons without naming them all.

The rulebook is well written, but needed another pass to reorganize and clean up bits. We found ourselves flipping through many pieces to find rules, including some basic stuff like Free Move can be used for reload, which isn’t listed on the quick reference. The author did mention that this was basically a home-brewed system expanded into a commercial product, and as someone who is putting the final touches on a beta for playtesting for a ruleset, I know just how hard this can be.

Sellswords has a nice flow chart for foe action that would be good to incorporate, although the wording around how foes act is quite nice – gives players a flavour for how they are supposed to act, not just as mindless creatures.

We’re definitely going to play at least a few more times, likely through the intro scenario. And I’d definitely recommend others try it out, it does play quickly and well.

You can get Nightwatch on DrivethruRPG for $9.

Adventuring in a dungeon in Sellswords & Spellslingers

Sellswords & Spellslingers is a fantastic co-op fantasy skirmish game, but it does have one small challenge – it works well for games that take place outside or in large areas, but not so well for a classic dungeon crawl, where bits of the dungeon are revealed as the players explore. So I thought I would set out to design some basic rules for this.

What’s the challenge?

Sellswords biggest challenge comes with how it spawns the foe – continuously and in great volume. This means that if players are in a small space, that is going to get really deadly, really quickly.

Creating a dungeon that gets discovered as you go

Sellwords usually works where you lay the whole board out in the beginning, so I had to create a way to have the dungeon, some foes and a few lost adventurers show up. I used a standard deck of cards and split it up – you’ll see the cards in the shots below. We tried two different versions – the first with 10 terrain pieces + 10 foe cards and then a second version with 6 of each. The second worked much better

So how does it play?

Just as deadly as regular Sellswords. Our second game we took 7 PCs into in, found 2 lost adventurers and still finished the game with nobody alive.

It began quite well. Up until the photo below, we had killed most of the skeletons that had popped up, we’d recovered the lost friendly Goblin (metal figure furthest up the picture) and we’d discovered another lost adventurer (a friendly gnoll), but we has Out of Action behind a pillar in a far room.

Beginning of the game
Near the beginning, as we have got out of the initial corridor and are headed into the linked rooms on the upper left

And then it all started to go downhill. One little group of skeletons – one horde and one ambush, did for 3 characters – two dead outright.

Middle of the game
Right when it all started to go wrong. Sean’s witch leader is down, his archer already dead and my mousling archer about to go down.

After the massive death in the upper left room, death was soon to follow us into the next rooms. Quickly enough my first mousling archer and one of Brian’s were downed. All that remained were two. We did discover the NPC merchant, but he only watched as the skeletons slaughtered us.

And then there were two – Brian’s witch finder and my last mousling – Robin the Good.

And a few turns later, it was all over. Brian’s witch finder was able to revive the friendly Gnoll – Fur Face – but he quickly fell to an ambushing skeleton.

All down, just a short distance from the end.

What’s Next?

Not sure, I’ve got some rules, but I also know that the author Sellswords & Spellslingers has been working on some dungeon crawling, so likely going to wait for that.

As for my hell terrain, it will soon be much more colourful, but that’s a post for another time.

Photos from Trumpeter Salute 2023

Brian and I (plus friends) attended Trumpeter Salute 2023 last weekend. No, not the UK one, the smaller one in Vancouver, Canada. We all had a great deal of fun, our first major miniatures convention since 2019 – after Bottos Con, which is primarily a board game convention, in Nov of last year.

Brian already wrote up a post as well, but no photos yet there.

Under Alien Suns (working title) – Coop scifi rules under heavy development

Friday afternoon in the first slot I ran another public beta test of my under development coop scifi skirmish ruleset, Under Alien Suns (the working title). It was a great deal of fun, autonomous vehicles got used as weapons, and there were many laughs. Also lots of great feedback.

Players were fighting in New Antares – against a mixed enemy – zombies from the former townsfolk & Halite Confederation soldiers

Vikings vs Saxons – Aftermath of the Raid

There were a pair of linked games both using Ravensfeast (a free online ruleset)- one of a Viking raid and then a 2nd of the Vikings attempted to get their stolen booty home. I missed the first game, but caught the second one. Also a chance to try out my new camera – a Canon RP with my older 60mm macro lens!

It ended up being a minor Viking victory, as they got the major loot (the laden donkey) off the table, and took down both my lord and the local bishop with his

Gaslands pickup game – Death Race!

As we were late getting back to the main hall after dinner on Saturday, we ended up running the first of a pair of pickup Gaslands games. This death race ended up with the leaders taking each other out and the person in last place at the start claiming victory.

But the most glorious moment was the double jump – jump, slide, spin, jump again. Amazing to watch

Operation Sea Lion – Bolt Action

Sunday is one big slot, but we ended up having time to play a pair of games. First up, a four-table Operation Sea Lion, the start of a larger Bolt Action Campaign. On our table, it is a very minor German victory, as we cheeseweasled some troops off at the end.

It all started badly, however, as the Brits took out 1/3 of our force on turn 1 and we failed our prepatory bombardment roll. But our crowning glory was storming the ruined house held only by Dad’s Army types, who inflicted huge casualties, but we did more.

One last Gaslands game – Flag Tag

We had one last Gaslands game – Flag Tag. Team red vs the other colours, which also happened to be the younger players, including a friend’s son, against the older players (Brian, Martin and Tony).

All in all, twas fun but you never get enough photos. I did also have a participatory art project this year – I asked players to graffiti my buildings for my scifi terrain. Photos of those shortly and thanks to all that participated, I got some great stuff.

Til next year!

Update! Martin has uploaded his photos to flickr he played many of the same games as Brian and I and even has shots of Brian’s boat game – something apparently Brian himself failed to get

Martin’s Flickr Album

Trumpeter Salute 2023

Where does it go? Painted board edges for Sellswords (and other games)

Sellswords & Spellslingers, like a lot of similar games, often has bad guys (foes in Sellsword parlance) appear at random locations or randomly along the board edge. This process can slow down the game, so I’ve been dreaming up ways to speed it up for a while now. Given I own a 3D printer, I decided to do some designing FreeCAD to create some board edges for Sellswords, Warcry and the upcoming scifi Sellswords variant I’m working on.

Screenshot of the edges in FreeCAD

As I knew I was designing these once, I took some short cuts with my FreeCAD and just bodged it together. The base is a pair of 3″ Openlock templates, with Oxanium font and some ticks extruded onto them. Once printed and with the border corners designed and printed, I got a finished product, numbers from 1 to 35, as a Sellswords board is usually 36″x36″.

Printed but unpainted board edges and corner piece, with an empty 6″x6″ tile

And that is how they sat for many months with little action. I had a convention (BottosCon 2022) in November, so I spent a bunch of time painting up buildings but didn’t get to the edges. So they were black for that first con. Only after the con did I get a base coat of rust on them.

The rust is mostly Liquitex Burnt Sienna Acrylic, with some Liquitex Raw Sienna and Red Oxide, all sponged on to provide texture.

Which brings us to this week, where I finally got the paint job finished. I gloss coated the edges, then put down Vallejo chipping medium with an airbrush. After that was dry, I added blues – mostly Reaper’s True Blue, but also some Sky Blue and Brilliant Blue for accents – all by airbrush

All the many colours of blue!

After the blues were down, I chipped them using a tooth brush, then hand painted on some a cheap craft titanium white and rechipped them. The white nicely toned down as the chipping medium + water means the paint runs a bit.

Just before I finished, I also added some 18 to 21 edges, as we also play Warcry, which has the very strange board size of 30″ by 22″.

Where can you find the files?

I haven’t uploaded them anywhere yet, but will get them on Thingiverse shortly!

Wreck of the Z15A – Green, red and blue ships

On the wreck of the Z15A, near the Great Plain, there are three wrecks near a large lake/sea that always attract attention. The Green, Red and Blue ships are not spaceships, but rather waterborne craft from the ship’s former life, all now rusted wrecks that will float no longer.

All three can be found in The Galleries. This area, located port-side amidships, are where the structure of the ship blends seamlessly into buildings on the Great Plains itself. Many of the transportation links into the inner world start or end here, including the docks that these ships presumably used.

The Ships

All three ships are huge – the intact hull of the Red Ship is some 1000m in length, while the less intact Green and Blue ships were estimated to be in the 750 length.

Blue Ship

The most ruined of all three ships, all that is left of the Blue Ship is half a hull rotting. Large parts of this ship have apparently been cut up over the possible centuries it has been a wreck, possibly even as far back as the original inhabitants. Most of its equipment has similarly been carefully gutted, which speaks to re-purposing.

Green Ship

The Green Ship, resting on water-sodden grass, looks to have been deliberately run aground. On its hull can be found the remnants of scaffolding and work, possibly after it was run aground.

Unlike the other two ships, the Green Ship looks to have been a pleasure craft of some sort, with many features still found on terrestrial or space cruise ships today, including many open areas and more.

Red Ship

With lines that are reminiscent of an Earth-submarine during their second great war, this ship is the most intact in some ways, as the full hull is still visible. As the seas of the Great Plain are never more than a few metres deep at most (one way we know Z15A original inhabitants were not aquatic), it is unlikely the Red Ship actually was a submarine.

Inside the Red Ship is a maze of small passageways, with some decks being less a metre in height. On the side of the ship are doors that open, possibly for launching or retrieving other craft.

The Galleries

The Galleries are the main interface between the rest of the ship and the Great Plains. While other connections exist, only in the Galleries are there big enough connections to move full small ships or big equipment into the Great Plains.

The Galleries are named mostly because of the view they give – across the Great Plain. There are hundreds of km of window overlooking the Great Plain, parts of which could be considered places to rest or stop – whether to eat or not is unknown at this point.

Main Gallery

The Main Gallery is located exactly amidships on the port side, and contains the two largest airlocks on the ship, as well as a cavernous space between the two to allow transfer of materials. The outer pairs have long been breached, leaving most of the galleries open to space. But the inner pair are both intact. Each airlock was a 1 km cube of space, allowing moving all but the largest of vehicles all the way onto the Great Plain.