Killer Rabbits 2: Painted Siege Tower


I've painted up an example of the Siege tower. It goes really quickly, and looks the part.  We have 8 days left in the  Killer Rabbits 2 Kickstarter, and are coming closer and closer to unlocking the  Free big dog and pavilion stretch goal, so let's get the word out- and come check it out yourself! 


Killer Rabbits 2 : Recreating a siege castle from manuscript drawings


 Have fun storming the Castle!

As my Killer Rabbits 2 Kickstarter hits its midpoint and going strong, I've been working on the castle backdrop "flat" for one of the add-ons, while Drew has sculpting the miniatures. I want to share with you the process of what goes into making something like this.

Manuscript "concept"

First I start with the concept that inspired it all. Then I go to the literal drawing board/sketch book, and break down scale, functionality of the model (it needs to hold minis), and start making sketches based on scale and how many parts.

At the drawing board- looking at two castles for reference

Next I cut some "White box" tests, to make sure pieces fit together, are easy to assemble and have the overall stability I want in the model when finished. This went through 4 changes, each time cutting a set, assembling, making adjustments.

White box version- testing for scale

Once I felt good about scale and parts, I sent a working version the tower to Drew so he could use it while making the sculpts-in particular how the ladder was going to fit into the process. There was some fun back and forth on that. Yay collaboration!

While drew was sculpting, I took the practical white box version and then added the pretty art to it. Like getting the white box right, this went through several revs, both in the vector line drawing and then making test cuts for fitting, and adjusting.

I've imported the manuscript images for reference. You can see the White box layout on the right.

At one of the stages I decided that the door did not need to be cut out and just caused more distraction instead of the intended 2D/3D feel I was looking for.


Finally, I put some together, and did a quick prime job on one to get painted up in the next couple of days.

Usually only the Monks get to see this angle

Primed and ready for some paint action.

And there you have it! Once I get the castings of the minis that go with this, I'll make any final adjustments if needed (like putting holes in the base where the ladder goes).

Thanks for coming on this journey with me- let me know if you like this kind of behind the scenes, and if you have questions- please ask!

And if you like what you see, come check out my Killer Rabbits 2 Kickstarter- and get your own Siege tower set! 





Killer Rabbits 2: Who Lettith the Hounds Out?

Cry Havoc! 

I'm working on the next Kickstarter, Killer Rabbits 2, featuring the thing most requested from the first Killer Rabbits Kickstarter- more hounds!

Here's a sneak peak of some of the "greens" master sculpts that Drew Day Williams has done for me.
Hound commander mounted on hare

The Jousting! Who to root for? 
two of the 10 hounds for the Kickstar's core set. 

Ooh shiny- but when does it launch?

Glad you asked. The goal is to go live first week of August. But with a Pandemic and everything going on, I'm not committing to a hard day yet. Stay tuned for more!


Throw back Tuesday- Bane Blade terrain piece

Blasted from the Past

I found this picture while digging through some old boxes. Back in the early 90's I managed to score some mis casts from my friend Tim DuPertuis, owner of Armor Cast. I think I traded him some of the Bunkers I made for them.

I made 4 terrain pieces from the bits I got. A bunker made out of a Reaver Titan carapace, a reaver arm in a crater,  a reaver gun with some built up area, and this knocked out Ginormous baneblade tank. 

We used to game at our local game store, Gamescape, and I had all of these pieces in the display case there.  One day I got a call from Dianna, the store manager. Robin Williams had come into the store and liked all my pieces and wanted to buy them!  I had met Robin a few times previous to this, as we both lived in the Castro district at the time. By now, he had bought his house in the Sea Cliff area (a really cool, yet posh part of San Francisco).

After talking a bit, We settled on a price and picked them up. Later, Robin commissioned me to paint up a set of commissars for him, which I delivered to his house. I got to see some of his eldar collection, which was vast!

I hope that Robin had fun playing with these pieces. I'm not sure what happened to them. Someone on FB said that his daughter Zelda was posting pics of his toys and asking questions about what they were, so maybe they will pop back up.


Queen Victoria's Robot Wars: the Not Salute Report

A Robot Royal in Peril!

Empress V, Queen Victoria's personal automaton envoy has been shot down by the Nefarious Baron Bomburust and his Cytherian (the Victorian word for Venusian) hordes.  Can the Royal Robot Brigades rescue her in time?

Empress V and her robo Corgi
the lady from every angle! Yay Woodens! 

As there was no Salute this year (along with so many other things in the world) I wanted to show off some of the "actors" that would have featured in the game I was going to run this year. The main focus of the game was a rescue of the Empress crashed in the center of the 10 x 12 foot floor top game table, and using my Wooden Wars rules- which of course means bouncing real rubber balls into your opponent's troops to knock them over. (See my Wooden Wars links to the right for more).

Captain Schilling, formerly of the Rapa-nui Regulars, rescues the Empress

The Baddies

Baron Bomburst's troops consist of his own robotic inventions, and a horde of the indiginous Cytherian hordes- giants all!

V.O.G.'s or Venusian Otherworldly Gentlemen lead the robots

The Heroes! 

And lastly, some of the Queen's own troops. Stalwart lads all with proper regulation mustachios.

Summing Up! 

Although I am bummed that I've not had the chance to run a a game of Wooden Wars for you all at Salute this year,there are much more important things to worry about and be thankful for, like my currently healthy friends and family.   I'll get to to run this next year, which gives me time to make it even shinier- and hope to see you all there!

Cheers! Stay safe and be well.


Kessel Run Game Project Part II

from prototype to hero model 

Of Ships and Space and Sealing Wax...

Continuing to build all the parts for my upcoming Kessel Run Race game,
Last time we covered the Summa-Verminoth and the Tie fighters, so this time we'll finish up with the other parts needed for the game.  As always, I need to make a list of things to check off so here's the current list.
Game table mat- aka the  race track
Correlian  Freighter ships on stands-with dice holders
Asteroids on stands - Foam and wood bases
Tie Fighters on stands with dice holders - acrylic
Gun sticks - cut from acrylic
Summa-Verminoth Boss monster
D6's (have these)

Correlian  Freighter 

I first started with a basic shape, because the size of the thing and the structure of how it would work on a stand was really important. These things have to stand up to game play, hold the right amount of detail, and not crowd each other as I have a finite size that the race track could be.   I first did drawings on paper scanned and made a few scale sizes in photoshop- then cut them out and played with them for a bit to see what would work best. Paper prototyping, or cardboard is a fantastic way to play around with the pieces and get a good "real world" feeling for the piece. 
Testing the size of the stand against the Tie Fighters 

After I got the size I wanted, I needed to really make a ship that looked like the Millennium Falcon. Luckily there are tons of wonderful blue print type layouts on the internets; I found one I liked and used it to draw over using Lasercad- the vector drawing cool I use for my laser cutter.
 The trick was choosing which lines and details would work best to make it read well. As I only had one  night to build it out, I made my choices and then cut out a bunch of ships. Pretty happy over all, but once I started painting ships, there were detail lines I wish I would have put in- and will at some later date ( I literally have one ship with red pen lines showing where I want to make changes).
Corellian Ship yards 
 Next I painted the bases gloss black, and lightly primed the ships white. Then painting time with acrylics- and done!  As you can't see the bottoms of the ships, they have no detail other than an extra piece to support them on the base.


The asteroids are standard foam. I cut them with a knife, shaped them with a hot glue gun, then painted them with a dark black/brown mix of house paint mixed with a bit of Golden course pumice gel to give the outside some more texture. When dry (takes 24 hours). After that a bit of drybrush with grey and some raw umber. Bases are laser cut base and dowels, rattle canned gloss black.
bases were made to not interfere with the ships
finished asteroid on the track. sorry I don't have any closeups of asteroids 

The Track
My game play space is two fold out tables from Costco, which measure roughly 4 x 6 feet when put together. I've made a stretcher bar to fit my table, which I use to stretch canvas over when painting my gaming mats. For the Space mat, I had a piece of black died canvas, that would work perfectly.
Ready for painting
The track is made up of move spaces, each 2 inches x 4 inches. I used 2 inch wide painters tape and had my apprentice (son) cut the pieces. At the start point I made fancier cuts to match the ship bases, just for fun.  The nice thing about the tape was I could move pieces around very easily and change the layouts, put some ships on it, see how it felt, move and adjust as I wanted.  Once I had them all down, I took my iron and set it to medium heat then pressed the tape flat ironing it- holding a board on the other side of the canvas for an ironing board.

Then I took the canvas out into the back yard and using black, grey and rust red spray paint commenced to paint out the worm hole style track.
Done and awaiting peeling Ironing the tape down really helped

After that, I used a blue grey, white , dark blue, red and orange acrylics to paint over the areas. The paint I used was very wet, almost like a stain. lots of flicking the brush to make "stars". By the time I was finished it was dark, and I was doing this in the back yard with little light, so was not sure how it would come out.   Over all I'm pretty happy with the results!
Detail of the Boss fight area 

Done and Done 

Once that was dried we peeled off the tape exposing the canvas underneath. I unstretched it and set it up for some play testing. 

Track with a race in progress 

Top down 
That's it- other than going over the rules. I'll do that after I get the game going, and figure out a way to get the rules so you can down load them yourselves if interested. 
Starting line up. 

Tie fighter squadron fires at a player

Thanks again!  let me know if there is anything I did not go over well enough. Note- for some reason blogger won't let me comment/reply to my own blog, so I'm not being snobbish, just a tech dork. :) 


Kessel Run Game Project part 1

Summa Verminoth looking for a snack! 

Punch it Chewie!

Each year for my Fosslings, I create games for their birthday parties.  My Eldest has really gotten into playing Sabbac, and that lead me down a trail to make the Kessel Run game.

Goal of the Game
Making the Kessel run is not just a simple jump to hyperspace and then you are there. To make it you first have to thread through the psychotic cluster and then, pass through the maelstrom.
Be the first to make the Kessel run and survive. Can you do it in 12 Parsecs? (aka Game turns). First ship to leave the board wins.

Game Designer goal
I have 7 days to get this game designed from start to, what I’ll call a hard Alpha state- meaning all the parts are there and the rules are ready to be play-tested a week before the party.  As a game designer in my real life, I put all my skills to work on this project as I would launch a video game.
Scope:  I am the only rescource, so have to scope my time well.  This meant making a list of all things I needed and all the things that the lists needed.  This is actually something I learned a long time ago when I got to work with Adam Savage and Jamie Hynemen. Those guys are super pros and taught me a lot in the short time I was working on a project at M5 industries.

The list
Rules:  I had a good working race game system from when I made a “snail race” game for my youngest a couple of years ago as my starter.  The system worked well, so I just needed to adjust it and expand it a bit for the Genre.

Ships: Players will need to fly in Corellian freighters- aka the Millennium Falcon.  I have a rough of a vector file of this from a previous game I made.  This will need updating and need a movement stand.
Event Hazards:  Things that happen if you roll a 1. I landed on Tie fighter squadrons and asteroids. I have a vector I bought on line of the Ties, and asteroids are just foam rocks.  All doable.
Working on a 1/12th scale Millennium Falcon at M5, back in the 90's

Track:  I saw a cool track someone did (I really wish I remember the guy’s name) of a pod race, where he made the track by taping down the track sections and painting over.  Gonna steal that great idea, and I already had a piece of black canvas. the first part was figuring out how the race was going to go, with lots of iteration on how many turns it would take, as well as adding up to 10 players. 
laying tape down to figure out the track. Lots of iteration!

Boss monster: The Summa Verminoth.  I have nothing like this, so will have to make one. That starts with a sketch.  I decided to do it flat so that you could see it and it would take up track space as a blocker and hazard.  Ultimately to get it done fast, I used 3mm craft foam and painted it.

Spent Thursday Night doing the sketch, then scanned and printed a few copies 

I used glue stick to attach the paper to craft foam, and then cut it out. This was not as easy as I hoped

Ended up doing 2 layers to get more form and shape.
A face only a mother could love

To paint the Verminoth, I used grey and red rattlecan primer, then went into it with minis paints. Craft foam takes paint very well. The paint job is pretty loose, but it "sells" the idea of the monster. I overlapped tentacles where I could for more strength. This is a gaming piece after all. 

Protyping and Sketching

I spent a full day figuring out how to make the bases and stands for the ship models, working on 3 variations.  I ended up with something that is sturdy, can be cut out of either plexi or wood, and held dice that represent a ship’s hull points. 3mm birch plywood is very strong, so I use that for the bases for the ships, as well as for the asteroids and the tie fighters.   I cut a rough shape for the Falcon to get a sense of what scale I wanted.  Did 3 iterations before I nailed down the size. 
rough prototype of the Falcon. Actually this is rev 2, or 3...

Tie Fighters
I already had a vector file of the Tie Fighters, so it was just a matter of how to represent a squad. Top down would look to… I dunno- gamey- so I played around with sketching up a few ideas, and then went to the internets and watched a few scenes, and then came up with etching them on clear plexi and painting them.  Turned out better than I hoped. Since they were cut with acylic, I decided to cut the base out of it as well (and I had some).
Tie fighter squad. Etched plexi painted in. 

 Note the added support on the Falcon's base that shows I need more design work. 
During my "research" I came across this awesome anime short. 

That’s all for part 1- next time we’ll  cover the rest.  Cheers!