Of Robots and the Backbone of the World

Had a bit of a productive spurt in what feels like a wasteland of inactivity lately.

Over the weekend I finally finished framing my Dystopian Wars table. This was for the dual purposes of having a solid surface to play on and to make the experience of demoing the game all the more visually appealing.

One of the areas that I think get really missed at the demo table is that terrain often takes a secondary importance to the models and the actual game. I can understand that, but I find with just a little bit more effort on the terrain you can make a game look attractive to just about anyone.

When my buddy Brad and I area playing Dystopian Wars at a local gaming store with fully painted armies on a nicely terrained board we inevitably draw a crowd of interested gamers.

I think I'll likely paint the edging black in the end just to finish it off.

One thing that I tried and I highly recommend to anyone taking this little bit more effort with their table is to drill holes in the frames to bolt the boards together. What a difference it makes to have a stable, solid but portable surface rather than 3 1/2" plywood slabs that get knocked around!

In other news I finally managed to get my first squadron of Heavy Gear robots mostly finished. I'm far enough along now that I can do the decalling and basing for the models. I find I tend to do these stages now after I've varnished the models since I'm using static grass and decal set solution more and more.

It's funny, because of the heavy use of wash on the Gears these models are absolutely one of those projects that looks shitty right up until you apply the varnish coat. I'm always amazed at how much different sealers can change the tone and brilliance of a colour scheme. It used to piss me off to no end because I'd have these perfectly toned models and then blast them with a bit of varnish only to have all of my delicate brushwork fade away.

Now I've come to expect it so I actually incorporate that effect into my painting now. I used that to great effect when painting up some German camo tanks where the washes and varnish will diffuse the drybrushed paints into the base colour to create an almost airbrushed look.

Next on my tables is some Barnaby Sand Riders. I'm playing with NuCoal in Heavy Gear and want a themed army that shows off the weird desert beasties and sand people. I think it'll make a neat contrast of desert nomads paired with high tech robots and war machines. :)

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