Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What a Summer!

Well, as you can tell I have been absent from this blog for far too long. The summer is both a busy and slow time for me and the store.

The store sees leagues slow down and attendance at events wain as summer is the time for being outdoors, on vacation and enjoying yourself before the cold of winter slap you in the nuts. Yes, I skipped fall completely because we really don't get a fall season do we?

So the summer was busy with the Store's 4th Anniversary in July, a couple MtG and Yu-Gi-Oh releases plus of course our regular miniatures events. Infinity pretty much stopped over the summer, as did 40k. We plan to kick off a couple leagues pretty quick and get those going.

RPGs suffered as well. Encounters dropped from 2-3 tables down to 1 and now is rebounding. The Pirates of the Plains' Game Days dropped from 4 to 2 tables. Luckily they are expanding their games and numbers are coming back up (more on that later).

MtG and Yu-Gi-Oh still show how popular they are. Over the summer we were hosting events that brought in 20-30 players on a Friday (MtG) and Sunday (Yugi). It's pretty cool to see that trend increasing.

Myth-a-Con took up most of my time over the summer, especially August. Conventions are a love/hate thing for most organizers. We love to put them on and really enjoy seeing everyone playing and having a great time. We hate all the stress and time that we do have to put into them. I was pretty much a basket case the week before the con as there is always a ton of things that need to get done last minute (like buying food) and dealing with your volunteers to ensure they are all accounted for can be headache enducing.

But in the end we had another fantastic convention. Yes, there will be another one. No, it will not be in January. ;-) Myth-a-Con is scheduled for the September long weekend for the next few years. This gives all of us time to recharge, look at the convention and adapt/improve it.

I need to thank (in no particular order) Gwen, Abbey, Shauna, Keith, Paul, Brett, Scott, Ryan, Chris, Sean, Corey, Andreas, Stephen, Bruce and Eugene. I more than likely missed someone, and for that I appologize. These people mentioned DM'd, Judged, cooked, administrated and more for this convention and they put a ton of hours in to make the convention run as smoothly as possible.

The other major event that kept me busy is the purchase of a LARP Chapter for the Alliance rule system. Live Action Role-Playing is gaining steam in Calgary and I had several players approach me about helping out. Never one to shy from a challenge, I went ahead and purchased a LARP Chapter. Now there is a large group of players getting set to create characters, build their armour and weapons then go hunt down the evils of the world we created. It will be a VERY interesting spring/summer next year. Link here for Alliance LARP

Now we move into September and get ready for the big Christmas push. Our events calendar starts to fill up again with lots of new activities and of course the longstanding ones. It should be a fun winter for sure!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Comic & Entertainment Expo 2011

Wow! What a fun weekend. For those of you that live under a rock somewhere in Calgary, last weekend was the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. This is a major event in Calgary each year. This year they opened for Friday evening (first time in their history) and the fans were very receptive. They were estimating 30k through the doors over the 3 days and I'm sure they hit it. While they did have a ton of geeks and nerds roaming the floor it was less "cramped" then the past couple years, or at least that is what it felt like for the times I was wandering the floor.

Lots of friends dropped by our booth, which by a mistake in editing was omitted from the pamphlet. We continuously have expanded our booth over the past 4 years. Our first booth was a last minute cancellation that I was able to snag. The spot was horrendous! I was across from Coco Brooks and the food line-up was stifling all of my space until, after a few loud complaints from me, they managed to actually put up a switch back line-up and corralled the patrons into a manageable line. Our next booth was again near concession. We were given a second booth after the Sentry Box was a no-show and they were scrambling to fill the vendor space. So "yay me" a double booth for the price of a single. But with only one concession to feed the 10k people my front area was blocked for 3 hours on the busy Saturday. Last year the booth was a corner with an additional single booth (so a big "L") and we were again kind of in a weird location (across from the "Scream booth"). The line-up for Leonard Nimoy stretched along the booth so there was little "traffic" (other than those poor bastards waiting 5 hours for his autograph).

This year was much different. We were on an end-cap. That is a 200 sq ft area. We packed it to the gills with a sampling of our wares. Board games, RPGs, CCGs and our Used Video Game selection. We also ran the Free RPG Day promotion (both Saturday and Sunday) and handed out 760 flyers with all of our information on it plus a CCEE coupon for the store. So far 11 of them have made it back.

Personally I was surprised once again that our biggest competitor had a booth (looked like a double) but were not showcasing any of their product. It really looked like something that they grabbed from the back of their storage. They were not even set up when the VIP patrons were in the building and a lot of people were wondering if they were going to no-show again. My take on the Expo is exposure for the store. The sales are a great benefit, but getting our name out there to me is more important than anything. Already it is paying benefits with the Calgary Geek's Social Club is running a board game night on Tuesday the 28th and we were mentioned on the Game Flavor podcast To me, that is what the convention is all about.

The best thing from the entire event was being able to actually take some time and do the "geeky fan thing". My GF and I along with my "weekend minions" Tracy and Andreas came in early on Sunday to get autographs from the entire cast of the Guild and we even did the Photo Op with them. They are truly a great group of people that really went the extra mile to come in early for the Exhibitors and Volunteers.

My true appreciation goes out to Gwen, Tracy and Andreas. Those folks busted their asses for me all weekend. Never complained, always smiling and were true professionals. I could not have done this Expo without them. Truly some of the best people I know and love! They even volunteered already for the next con in April and are brainstorming ways to make the booth run smoother and be even more attractive!

I know for a fact I will never miss a CCEE and we will just continue to grow with them! Well done all around.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Whew! Just when you think the work is over....

It doesn't seem like 3 months until we run Myth-a-Con again. We just ran one back in January and we are gluttons for punishment and doing it again for September. Now this is not a semi-annual event. Far from it. We had originally planned for the con to run in November of 2010. There was a "booking error" and we were forced to move into January. None-the less we had a fantastic turnout of miniatures players and role-players. 150 players and volunteers made the weekend so much fun.

Our original plan was to run it on the September long weekend in 2010 but the hall was not available. After January we rebooked the venue for September (we actually locked it in back in November 2010) but were given the news that the venue had booked a "major tennant" for every Sunday and we could no longer have that day. Now a Friday/ Saturday con sucks for those that have to travel, so off to find a new venue!

It did not take me long to get our new "home" the Marlbourough Park Community Association. Great place and we were able to book it for the next 3 years.

Now its time to get all the posters out and ramp up our advertising for it. I have been working for the past 4 hours updating websites, emailing volunteers and getting a hold of manufacturers for prize support.

And my part is pretty minor. For the Warhammer guys they are feverishly working on terrain sets for their tables. I am organizing WarMachine terrain building days to spruce up our forests and hills plus trying to build more scenery. There will be a lot of hills, forests and square buildings to fill up the tables!

So this week I need to finish the monsters for the D&D Open, get a rough draft from my partner of the story bits, contact all the manufacturers for prize support and run the posters to all the D&D shops in Calgary.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Almost EPIC weekend!

Well, what a long weekend!

This May long weekend the Pirates of the Plains held their "Almost Epic" weekend of gaming. Yours truly was there of course with my level 18 Wizard (D&D 4th), Terron Elanese. The weekend started right away for us with a "double round" adventure (8 hours) broken into 2, 4 hour "slots" Friday night and concluding Saturday Morning. It was a really well written adventure with some very challenging fights. In the end our table sided with the Frost Giant Jarl instead of an insane god fighting NPC (non-player Character). The other table did decide to work with her so each table had different encounters and rewards at the end of the adventure.

I love adventures where there are different avenues to go and 2 tables can have completely different experiences. It makes for some interesting table chat later in the day! I find with the Living Forgotten Realms adventures that authors fall into 2 categories- storytellers with good direction and "no nonsense" writers that like a basic story to get the players where they need to go quickly (we refer to this as an "A to B to C" adventure).

The only problem with LFR adventures is they are built on a time restraint train of thought. We have 4 hours to complete an adventure (8 for a double round) with a 30 minute time period for getting all the paperwork completed. Yes, there is some tracking involved with RPGA campaigns. Gold and XP as well as the items adventurers collect need to be tracked.

So some authors decide to make the story very simple (go rescue person X from location Y) and make the combats very challenging. My largest "gripe" is when authors are not well versed on rules and they "box text" rules that are illegal or incorrect. Our DMs are usually very good at spotting them and adjusting the adventure accordingly.

Back to the weekend. When I noticed how busy the store may get over the weekend I called in my Minion, Dayna, to run the store on Saturday. This helped my tables keep on pace with the games. Sunday was a bit slower so I pulled double duty running the shop and playing D&D (sometimes it's good to be the boss!). Our next adventure was the conclusion to the story arc started in the previous adventure. We swapped players around so some of the players had a "major reward" for completing the main plot while a couple of us did not (this ended up being beneficial for my girlfriend, Gwen). My wizard was now 19th level and had a couple more fun powers to toss around the battlefield! The game ended just before midnight and we had to be back Sunday morning at 9:30am to get the next adventures running!

So we got back to it bright and early Sunday morning with another double round adventure. Our table had once again changed players around (the beauty of LFR) so we got to play with some of the guys from Edmonton that came down for the EPIC weekend. What a grind! The combats were very complex for the DM and very frustrating for the players (well, not me, I take this stuff in stride!) with many of the monsters Dominating, blinding and otherwise making combat slow to a halt. This again is not the DMs fault and I do understand from an authors POV that players are now 19th to 20th level and need a challenge, but there is a difference between a challenge and frustrating the players until the literally let out a scream in frustration (true story!).

Again, this adventure was a very well written story, but the author was not the best at rules (you can tell) and had some really crappy interpretations written in the adventure for the DM. But we all survived and Terron hit 20th level.

Now you may be thinking, one level in a single adventure? Not really. It's just the way my XP was working as to where my character flipped. And remember we are talking about 12 hours of adventuring to get this level. That is pretty average in LFR. 3 adventures and you should level. So by Sunday evening we had already played through an equivalent to 6 regular adventures.

Sunday night was by far my favourite adventure in the lot, CORM2-4 Fury of the Queen of Thorns. This adventure was the final piece in the Queen of Thorns trilogy which I had already played. My Wizard is a "War Wizard of Cormyr" and ever since Forgotten Realms came out I've always wanted a character to become a War Wizard. So when the new LFR came out and that Paragon Path was announced I was in. I made Terron my focus as much as possible.

So this set of adventures has been very well written, both in story and challenge of combats. This one was no exception and by far the best adventure I've played in recent memory. The whole plot of this story Arc is that the "Queen of Thorns" has been prophesized about returning and will destroy Cormyr if the current King or any of his line sit in power when she returns. So the heroes have been asked to help with the preparations of the coming invasion of undead, beasts and plant creatures when the King calls us into his private chambers.

He explains that there is a law on the books that if the current King is killed in battle that there is a 1 day "mourning" ritual and at that time, there is no king or leader in Cormyr. So his plan is simple. He must die in combat!

Now, I'm not a huge role-player, but there are some adventures that really can throw me into the the story and if the DM is really into the story then so am I. Well, our DM, JP, is a big story and RP kind of DM. I've also known him for 12 years and he is a great friend. So I really let my role-playing go with this one.

Players around the table were really taken aback by this and I in particular as Cormyr has a "special" place in my heart when it comes to D&D. I was appalled and came up with a multitude of arguments (nearly calling the king an idiot!) and trying desperately to figure out better options. But as all things, the King had made up his mind, but he also had a way out. His plan was to fight and have us beside him on the battlefield. We were to make the combat "look good" and let him die a heroic death. He had a ritual cast on an amulet that would allow him to be raised later, but this would leave the Kingdom without him or his lineage on the throne for 24 hours. This would give us the time we needed to defeat the Queen of Thorns.

The combat was very well written but had very special rules with it. Basically there were points to be scored for making the battle "look good" and convincing. JP determined that for added challenge we needed a score of 20+. There were very specific things we needed to do and more importantly things we had to avoid (such as blooding or killing any of the monsters until the King died). Well, we put on a show! We scored points for using Action Points and Daily Powers and we unleashed hell!

The best part of the combat was the King attacking a mutated Treant and scoring a Critical Hit. This bloodied the creature and the next time it went, down went the King! We mopped up the creatures and then it was on to the Queen! Again another well written combat with really unique creatures and the Queen was no pushover.

For me the "coolest" part of the adventure was the Reward. Terron is already a "Knight of Cormyr" from previous adventures and was granted an "Advisor to the King" and a seat on the "Council of War Wizards". Now that may seem really geeky, but after playing Terron for 4 years this was the best reward he could have received and I am personally proud of the accomplishment.

Now Terron is 21st level and we are getting ready to play the 1st EPIC adventure at CampCon 11 in July (the Pirates rent out a group camping site and play D&D all weekend out in the wilderness of Sibald Flats!). I'm looking forward to this as well. It should be a blast!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

More about the blast furnace!

So now that I am back from vacation I can tell you a bit about the Blast Furnace for Khador.

Once again this is scratch built using some ideas from Terrain Thralls and some techniques I've learnt along the way. It's your basic foam core building with plasticard roofing and siding. The one thing that never occurred to me was to actually use the pieces I cut out of the building for the windows as the actual shutters! The fit perfectly and a couple small bent pieces of plasticard for hinges and done!

I placed a couple "out buildings" to give the building varied shape and size. Again this is because of a pet peeve of mine in WarMachine where players can use a terrain piece that is built "square" to guess their ranges better. Well this thing is nowhere near an even number when it comes to overall dimensions (esp with the furnace) and that is the way I am building all my WarMachine terrain from the Cryx board forward. (Eventually I will be rebuilding all of my "forest terrain" with odd shapes as well.)

The biggest thing I had to do was learn to cut the plastic tube for the blast furnace to fit the back of the building with a sloped roof. Never have done that before and without a lot of proper tracing tools I had to "eyeball" it and it turned out fairly well I might add! ;-)

The only thing left to do on it is weathering (rust, snow etc) and glue it down to its base. Should be done before the weekend and ready for the players on Friday.

Next up on my list:
-Finish off the Cygnar Terrain pieces (includes a small house and a few walls).
-Create a base plate for the Khador Avalanche Cannon so that we don't lose the parts!
-Begin the planning for the Menoth Board. Stealing the blueprints from Privateer Press No Quarter.
-Begin planning the forest city of Retribution

Hope to get another table or 2 of terrain done in June. July I would love to get 2 tables of Hordes themed terrain done. August will be a write off due to Myth-a-Con in September

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Khador Terrain begins!

Terrain building is something not everyone can do. At least that what a lot of my players tell me. But honestly before I opened this store, I never built terrain for anything (okay, my G.I. Joe base out of my mom`s Avon boxes does not really count!).

A lot of things you just have to try out and see if it works. Sometimes it does, other times.... not so much. But you learn by failing or succeeding (half XP mind you for failing!) and then you adapt and try again. Things you learn like: "Super Glue is not the answer for everything!" and "bigger brushes make painting large pieces easier".

So luckily we have a very enthusiastic group of players here in our WarMachine/Hordes league. They are loving the new terrain and are really keen to learn how to build more. This is fantastic for 2 reasons:
1- I can't build all the tables for Myth-a-Con myself and
2- I really like to teach and pass along skills and knowledge (that's why I've been into games since I was 12....lets not do the math on that)

So on June 4th I am running a terrain building day. More than likely we will concentrate on the Menoth table as there are many buildings and alters that need to be built and a lot of different techniques for each project.

This brings me to my Khador Terrain. Now I will freely admit I am "cheating" on a peice by using the Avalanche Cannon, but we will get to that another time.

For Khador I planned:
1- A Mine, a BIG Mine.
2- A Blast Furnace
3- The supply depot
4- A water tower
5- Multiple Guard posts (walls for WM purpose)

This was a lot of fun as it normally is. The first peice I wanted to tackle was the mine. This is basically a hill (for WarMachine terrain rules), but it's a freaking big hill! I wanted more than just a peice that was on the board and not really interactable. This one players can climb all over the hill using the ramps. There is a crane (we'll be making up some special rules for it) and lots of space to fight. But this thing is a monster. It measures 18" long and 10" wide. It's meant to sit in the corner of the deployment zone or along the side of the table.

The finshed peice looks wicked (if I do say so myself!) but was very easy to put together. Some 3" thick styrofoam, 1" styrofoam, popsicle sticks, balsa wood, toy parts a gear and some train tracks. I almost forgot my favorite terrain stuff - Sculptamold!

As you will see in the pictures, lots of cutting and glueing (white glue) to put the bulk of the project together. Once all the peices were glued I added a lot of wieght (books are geat, but really heavy board games are the best!) and let it dry overnight.

Next day was Sculptamold day! This stuff is fantastic to build with. It does not shrink like regular paper maché and leaves a great "Rocky" textrure. Then came the balsa wood posts and popsicle sticks. I wanted to add a platform that would be functional and "make sense" for the peice. Luckily I sitll have toy parts from the Cryx terrain and the little toy crane and brace worked perfectly.

Once that was all dry (one more day) then it was time to prime. Important note. Even though I own the store, I'm not carless when it comes to pricing out projects. A can of "no name" brown primer from Rona cost me less than a can of my Army Painter primer (and I mean my cost, not retail price). When doing up terrain, there is no real need to use expensive primers. There is a huge selection of colored primers at Home Depot/Rona/Lowes that do the job. Would I ever use these on my miniatures? HELL NO! They are not formulated properly for minis and you will more than likely wreck them or make them unpaintable.

So once the primer was on time to drybrush. This is a technique where you apply a small amount of paint to your brush, wipe a lot of it off on paper or a napkin then lightly brush over top of the basecoat. This picks out the highspots. I planned to make the areas where people would naturally walk much lighter. So a few layers and all was ready for the next step. Looking at the level of my top terrain, I noticed that there was a steep drop off near the platform. So adding my train tracks would not work properly without a base as the track would "dip" and logically a cart being pushed on it would simply roll off the mine. Luckily I have some old sandblasting sand from my father's machine shop (I've had this jar for 20 years) that is much coarser than real sand and very symetric (each one is a little bead) so it would look perfect for my tack base. With a liberal use of white glue and sandblasting beads I was able to "build up" the slope like a real person would do. Then the track was laid.

Adding snow flock was pretty easy. More glue and then drop the snow flock on it. Make sure you have a newspaper under the project! You can reclaim a ton of the flock because not all of it will stick. ;-)

More on the Blast Furnace later!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Weekend Winners 4-29 to 5-1

Well, this weekend we had a lot of fun. Lots of events and of course lots of winners!

Let's rewind a bit to a week back when the HeroClix crew came in on Wednesday. We have a clix event fee to play on Wednesdays (either players buy something, or they buy an event ticket) and their names go into our draw box. The winner gets another entry. So over time we collect these tickets and when the bin is sufficiently full we draw for something "cool" that is Clix related. So when we drew last, Corey D won himself the Colossal Dr. Manhattan!

Friday was 2 Headed Giant Sealed for Magic the Gathering. We run that when we have the occasional 5th Friday in a Month. Teams purchase 7 packs of cards and build their decks and then go head to head (to head to head) with other teams. To make sure that everyone can play we make the teams a random pick. Lots of fun for all!

Our winners were the Team of Paul H and Devon B after 4 rounds of play and the cut to the top teams!

Then our big Magic the Gathering Nationals on Saturday! We started bright and early with 28 players duelling over 5 rounds. The top 8 were determined and playoffs began. Finally at 7:15pm (8 hours after we started) Sean H won 2-0 to claim his invite to the Nationals! Well done!

This was the first "competitive" event we have ever held. I'm quite proud that after only a few years of hosting FNM, Pre-releases and Launch Parties that we were given 1 of 3 qualifiers for Calgary. That's quite an accomplishment if I do say so myself (and so did our DCI head Judge Darren). I was very happy that we had no deck problems, only 2 minor penalties and a handful of judging questions at our event. Darren even commented that this was one of the smoothest running events he has been a judge at!

Finally we had our Sneak Peek for Yu-Gi-Oh on Sunday. 28 players made their way out to try out the new cards from "Extreme Victory". Konami has us run this event as "open play" which means no structured matches. Players just play who they want and as much as they want. I'll get more feedback from them later, but it's not really that interesting to me, and I would love to hear from the players if they would rather do a structured format next time. There were complaints that the prizes were lacking, but we only get so much from Konami that we are allowed to give out with the Open play format. Again, we will see what the players want and go from there.

There were 3 Extreme Victory playmats handed out and a Large format Yu-Gi-Oh deck box (and I do mean LARGE!). When I get the names of the winners I'll edit this and put their names up.

For now it's back to building Khador terrain for WarMachine! I may get a full terrain table built for Friday night! It will be a busy week with the release of Tomb Kings and 2 Pre-release events for Magic the Gathering (one Friday night 12:01am and Sunday at 12:00pm).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cyrx Terrain: Storage Tanks

Onto the Storage Tanks!

This was a lot of fun as well. It really let me think "outside the box" when it came to terrain building. Again the idea came off of Terrain thralls. I was trying to think of things that the Cryx would have in their swamp. I did not want "buildings" like the Cygnar ones I was working on so it had to have a certain "feel" to the terrain.

So doing a quick google search on Cryx terrain I came across these "storage tanks" on Terrain Thralls. I loved the simple way the author put these together. A soda can. Damn, I would really never have thought of that. Then I started looking around at the "bits" to add to it. I looked at my Hot Stuff glue containers. They fit on top of the can "lip" with the help of said Hot Stuff. In hindsight I would have loved to add lights and power to these tanks. If I ever decide I need a couple more they will have electronics in them.

Now the author of the Terrain Thralls tutorial spoke of using bits from a space shuttle. Well, not having one of those handy I went over to the local dollar store. I found these little toy "city sets". They came in a hard plastic folding box. When you opened the box there was a little construction set on them. They came with these neat transformer looking peices along with a toy crane car. So stripping those down I ended up with a lot of bits and parts for only $2! Needless to say I grabbed 4 of them and will be going back to clean out their sets.

The toy crane became my "contol panel" after the undercarrage and crane was stripped off. A couple peices of plasticard made the sides up and one of the little "transformers" capped it off. The cans were each cut down a bit to give me a semi-flat bottom. Using plasticard I created the bands around the bottom and then punched out more rivets.

My buddy Paul always complains on how many skulls the GW terrain always has on it. Well at least those are molded into the plastic and he doesn't have to spend an hour punching out rivets. ;-)

I decided to make each tank "lean" to a side and one I cracked open the back to make it look like a containment leak. Once again I grabbed my Sculptamold and worked that onto the bases. I wanted each one to look unique, so the large "transformer" was placed to a side, or behind the tank. Once the sculpatmold was in place, I just pushed the cans into the stuff and then leaned it to a side (or backwards) and added the large transformers off to the sides.

Then it was onto the priming and painting. Adding the water effects etc. Pretty much same as the "Sludge Pump". But then I really concetrated on adding rust to the peices. Now this sounds easy until you try to do it "blindly". I had done rust before, but it never looked right. Something was always missing. So another quick search on google and I found a couple of rust tutorials. My basics were all the same: bloodstone brown/brown wash/kahdor highlight. That is the base. But then I read something I never thought of: a sponge!

People can get into the habbit of painting the way they always do and I am one of those people. It never occured to be to dab a sponge into my Khador Highlight (a kind of orange) and then dab it onto the brown. This does 2 things:
1- It adds that orange color of rust that you see in the "centre" of rust all the time.
2- It gave it TEXTURE! That is what I was missing. With the sponge it created peaks of paint and that really sold the look.

The last thing was to string wires from the small transformers on the can to the large one. Lots of super glue to hold the wires together and of course to the peices. Once again, in hindsight, I would drill holes into the pieces and run the wires into them for more stability.

Once that was done then all the Sculptamold got a high gloss varnish coating. The reason I did not just use a matte sealer is that the swamp terrain needs to look wet and slimy. Matte Sealer would not do it, but the gloss varnish does the trick.

Now it's onto the Khador Terrain. Again there are a lot of peices and I will have that up next week (at least whatever I get done!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Our Cryx Terrain pieces

So this year I set out on a mission: Create better terrain for our WarMachine players. Sounds pretty simple doesn't it? Yes and no.

Luckily, I have a lot of resources when it comes to running a game store. One of those is terrain experts and the other is of course the interwebz! So using some inspiration from places such as terrain Thralls and some inspiration of my own I decided to create a Cryx `Sludge  generator , 3 storage tanks and 3 swamp pieces.

So looking around the store for bits and pieces for the Sludge Generator I came across a DVD that had been hit with a spary primer. So it was toast, but it gave me a great idea! I grabbed 2 mini pringles cans (something we have in bulk from all the hungry gamers!) and glued them to the DVD. This gave me a platform to seperate the 2 tiers. A packing tape roll became the storage bin to the side of the generator. Some plastic tubing, popsicle sticks, a tim horton`s fruit smoothie lid, green stuff, styrofoam and sculptamold and it was off to the races!

You can flip through the slideshow to see the various stages. Basically I had to cut out the base (1/8" particle board) and then grab a chunk of styrofoam to make the bottom. Once that was in place the pringle cans w/ DVD centre were glued to the top.

After that the Timmies' lid and some plasticard made up the roof. A few cuts with an exacto knife and in slid the plastic tubing for the main pipe. That one needed some fancy cutting to make the 90 degree joint and to hide all the seams I used Green Stuff. A drinking straw was added to the side of the building and down to the base.

Cutting up a small forest of popsicle sticks created a larger platform on the DVD to fit a 30mm base (a small WarMachine figure) around the middle. Then I cut up some push pins and attached them to the platform for the posts where the string would end up.

The next part was fun: Sculptamold! This stuff is AMAZING! You can't find it in Canada so I was lucky enough to convince my parents when they were down in Seattle to swing by a store and grab me 25lbs of it. Dad said the border guard gave him a very wierd look when he declared it at the border. I love my folks! They are such a help. ;-)

At any rate sculptamold is a paper mache. But regular paper mache shrinks as it dries. This warps projects like you wouldn't believe! I have crates I made a few years back that look more like bowls than craters cause of all the warping. But I digress, The Sculptamold was spread around the base to create a wall to stop the water effects from spilling everywhere. I then had a flash of inspiration and smeared the stuff on the sides of the styrofoam as well. This worked out perfectly as it gave it that real rocky look. Perfect!

The last thing to do before priming was to add more plasitcard for "seams" and then rivets. Those are a bitch to do. I have a hand punch and litterally spent close to an hour punching out little rivets from plasticard. This is a project I have now reserved for my staff when they get "bored". Amazingly, my staff has found a lot of other projects to keep themselves busy.....

Once all the pieces were in place then came the spray primer. Black primer from GW was the best for this project as I wanted everything to be dark. Then the basecoating started. Boltgun metal for the tower and pipes, Umbral brown for the wood and Exile blue for the "swamp". Then highlighting, washes, drybrushing etc.

The final step was to add the water effects. Again fun but messy. We use a 2 part resin and you must ensure that you get the 50/50 mix right or the damn things never dry (they stay "tacky") as I found out on the swamps.

A cool trick I learned: Use inks and other mixed paints in "drops" around the swamp areas. When you pour the water effects in and then slosh everything around to cover the piece, the paint slowly seeps along with the resin and creates wicked looking swirls. Super cool.

Next post will be about the Cryx Storage tanks!

Welcome to the Myth Games Blog!

Hi Folks!

Well, I have been in business for over 4 years and I have learnt a lot and made a lot of friends. Talking to a lot of people daily you hear tons of stuff that just has to be shared. So this site will be a mash-up of the one-liners I hear often, demos and reviews of games I have in store (or ones I have had the privelage of previewing) as well as ongoing projects such as our terrain building etc.

You will notice I use "we", "us" and "I" interchangeably. This is because there are several staff plus myself and of course our players that make this blog possible. I also look at the store and myself as one in the same (hence the "we"). Yup, it's a little odd, but that's me!

I will try to update this blog roughly twice a week when a get a few minutes to myself (or when something truly humourous happens!). The blog may be in video form (when I do a review or demo) but most of the time it will be in written form.

My next blog will be a terrain project I finished last week. This was a lot of fun and really turned out well.