Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Arena Rex Review

     Arena Rex is another of the great games I tried while at Adepticon. They were kind enough to provide us VIGs with a coupon for a free mini and that's what got me over to their booth.
Then I couldn't leave. They had a display case packed with amazing minis, painted stunningly. They had 6-8 different small-based miniatures to choose the free one from. I had no idea how I was going to choose one. I ended up deciding on the Lupa miniature, since it was limited edition. And awesome:

     I was highly tempted to get a starter box, but on Thursday they had completely sold out. Worse problems to have, right? They had more coming in, but they hadn't arrived yet. That ended up working out OK because it gave me a chance to try the game at our Geek Nation Tours demo night that evening. I had a fantastic demo with the guys and I was sold. 

     I ended up being able to pick up a Zephyri box set on Saturday. The box sets have 3 minis in them which is enough to play with but 4 is what we used in the demo. I'm looking forward to getting some friends to try it. It should be easy to do given the small model count. 
     They got started with a very successful Kickstarter and have since gone on to expand the range of minis available for each faction. And if you visit their website, you can download a free copy of the rules in either English or Spanish.
     Small skirmish games are really up my alley right now, since sometimes you just don't have the time to spend 4 hours setting up and playing a game of 40k. But really, more than anything, I love the setting. Ancient gladiatorial fights- what's not to love?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Adepticon 2016! Part 3: Swag

     Swag, swag, swag! This year's Adepticon VIG bag was swagalicious. They actually made the bags larger than last year's, presumably because they couldn't fit the largest item in the old size: a Hordes two-player starter box.
Digging in right after I got it.
      Also included were a Dropzone Commander rulebook, CMON best of book, a slew of loose miniatures, coupons for free minis, paint, many bases, and all kinds of other little things. Like last year, we also got Wrath of Kings starter boxes. I ended up with a Teknes box to go with my Goritsi box from last year.
     I actually ended up with a mega ton of Goritsi stuff because of the raffle on Sunday. I had a few tickets but a friend asked me to check his tickets because he needed to be at an event. His ticket won, there were a couple of HUGE Wrath of Kings armies to choose from. I didn't know which one he might like, so I grabbed the Gortitsi because I knew their models were pretty cool. 

     Sadly, the sea critters, Hadross, who are really cool, had already been claimed. But seriously a huge stack of minis. I brought them over to him after the raffle but he had no interest in the game so he generously offered them to me instead. I have a few friends threatening to play it, and have that VIG starter box, so you'll be seeing a lot of those minis coming up soon.
     There were several really awesome items this year, I picked out some of my favorites the first night:

     The Malifaux mystery box was a super fun surprise and I love the CMON bases. These are the planks, which is awesome. I ended up (yet again) coming home with almost more stuff than I could fit in my luggage. And I left with plenty of extra room, but I was not at all expecting to come home with an entire army's worth of boxes.
     If you get a chance, definitely snag a VIG bag if you can. They sell out in moments when the cart goes live in Oct/Nov so make sure you're quick about it. Or, if you're part of Geek Nation Tours, you get it automatically as part of the cost of the tour. Very handy.

Adepticon 2016! Seminars: Part 2

     Sorry for the delay, but here is the continuation of my Adepticon Seminars! Part one can be found here. My Saturday and Sunday seminars were a bit less grueling than Thursday and Friday. Only 5 between them.

Airbrush 101 - Choosing the Right Airbrush and the Joy of Using It with Ken Schlotfeldt
     Now that I've been faking my way through airbrushing with trial and error and Youtube videos with limited success, I thought I'd take a class to get some more info on airbrushes.
     This class was really informative and filled in some gaps in my airbrushing knowledge. Ken went over the various kinds of airbrushes and tailored the information toward miniature painting applications. I definitely recommend this class if you're thinking about airbrushing but aren't sure where to start.

Hands on with Two-Brush Blending with Matt DiPietro
     This class was awesome. I learned two brush blending ages ago but hadn't really gotten the hang of it. This class was the perfect refresher. I feel like I will get more out of the wet blending but there's a lot of application where this would be more useful.

     It took a little while to get the hang of it, but I got a really nice blend.

True Metallic Metal with Matt Cexwish
     After the class with Dave Taylor on day one, this class was a bit repetitive. I'd recommend taking either one or the other. No reason to do both.

The Secrets of the Loaded Brush with Ben Komets

     We dabbled a bit with loaded brush during the wet blending class but I didn't really get it until this class. Definitely a useful technique but one I need a lot more practice with.
     The wood blocks were useful because we could just paint over them quickly with a neutral color and and practice again and again. I might have tried it about forty times over the course of the class. It's not a technique I will need to use a lot, but it'll definitely come in handy.

Painting Faces with Ben Komets
     This class was probably the skill I leveled up the most in. Some very simple techniques that dramatically improved the realistic quality of my faces. The best bit of advice was to start with your base skin-tone color and mix in a little bit of black. It takes out the cartoonish look of skin tone straight out of the bottle. That alone makes a dramatic difference.
     I was very pleased with this class and highly recommend you take it.

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