All posts for the month May, 2011

So, as you may have noticed, my pictures have been off lately.  I wasn’t happy with the lighting in my lightbox.  The bulbs were too warm in color, casting orangish light, which messes up the colors on everything.

A trip to Lowe’s fixed that.  I picked up a pack of four daylight halogen bulbs, and three small metal reflector housings.  This way, I can put lights into each side, and through the top of the lightbox.
Here’s how my battleboxes look under the new lighting:
Rawr!  Om nom nom!  *hiccup*
Go, go boys in blue!
Skornergy at its finest!

One of the biggest problems I seem to be having in my  WM / H games is determining if models have LOS to another.  Be it spell slinging, gunfire or determining cover / concealment bonuses, LOS is a major factor in our games.  To check LOS, one must lay a straight edge on the table to be able to physically check if a line can be drawn between bases.  The most common straight edge available to me is usually my tape measure, and I definitely don’t want to use that.

Why?  Read this.  The second most often seen cheat is measurement shenanigans.
To avoid this, I decided to build a line laser.  It’s a special type of laser pointer that draws a line on the surface you point it at.  They’re most commonly used in laser levels for hanging pictures on walls.  If I had one of those line lasers in my pocket, I could slap a straight edge on the table and check LOS without any fear of pre-measuring!  Sweet.
So, I bought a $5 red line laser module off eBay, and used a $3 flashlight similar to these.
After testing the laser module at work, I took it home and tore apart the flashlight.  Here’s what was inside:
There’s 3x AAA batteries, a battery cartidge, a large spring, a casing, an end with a button in it, a small circuit board with the 9 LEDs and a small spring on the back, a reflector with 9 holes in it for the LEDs, a clear lens, a retaining ring (which had to be unscrewed to get the LEDs out) and the big bulbous end that all the stuff goes into.  Oh, and the laser module.
First order of business:  making it work with one less battery.  The flash light uses 3x 1.5V AAA batteries in series, producing 4.5V.  The laser module runs on 3V.  Thus, if we remove one battery, we have 1.5 x 2 = 3V!  So, I took some spare brass tube and cut it to just a hair longer than the length of a battery:
I then crushed one end of it with a set of small pliers.  I wanted the crushed end to sort of form a cone.
Meh, good enough.  The reason for this is that this rod will replace a battery in the battery cartridge.  Since my tube was almost as big as one of the springs that applies pressure on the battery, I figured it would be easier to have it ride inside the smallest part of the spring.
I stuck the smushed end of the rod into one of the battery cartridge slots and then snapped the rod into place.  The non spring end of the cartridge had an embossed ring, likely to help capture the nub on the end of the battery.  The rod fit into that perfectly.
Now, I needed to figure out how to attach the laser module.  
Flashlights tend to use the metal chassis of the flashlight as ground, or the negative end of the battery.  Since the big spring is part of that connection (connects the body with the LED circuit board, I could solder to the spring.for my negative side.  Any part of the spring will do, but the narrow part where the wire that makes up the spring ends, right up next to the coil is the best.  Solder will wick right into that narrow space and stay put.
I then scratched up the contact on the “+” side of the battery cartridge with my hobby knife and put a small puddle of solder there
Red to +, black to the spring, and the soldering was done!
At this point I was able to stuff everything into the flashlight and confirm my circuit worked.  So, all I had to do was somehow mount the LED module into the tip securely.  It won’t be an effective tool of the LED module is all wiggly and unsteady.
I found out that a 23/64″ drill bit is 9.1mm in diameter.  Since my LED module was 9mm in diamater, this was the drill bit for me.  I used the silver reflector from the flashlight and used the middle hole as a pilot hole.  Some slow hand drilling later (so I didn’t crack the plastic) and …
Putting it all together, and…
It works like a charm!  It seems to have the thinnest line at about a meter away, which is perfect for the tabletop.  Since it runs on two AA batteries, it’ll be easy to keep it running.

Lylyth has LOS to Morghoul, despite his best efforts…

Skorne Warpack

Ta Da!

The bases were done with a layer of Vomit Brown (GW), then a drybrush of Snakebite Leather (GW), and a last drybrush layer of Tallarn Flesh (GW Foundation).  I think it captures the terracotta / sand stone look I was after.
Tell me what you think!
All that’s left is some freehand.  Base markers and back banners.

I feel like I rushed him a bit.  I think the red over brass parts need another coat of red, then the edges picked back out with brass.  

I first considered making the entire front tabard piece green, but when I noticed his little belt, I knew that would be prefect for the accent color.  I think it’s just enough.

I aimed for pallid flesh, but I’m not sure if I hit it.  This was two coats of Tallarn Flesh (GW Foundation) followed by two coats of Elf Flesh (GW) and a wash of Gryphonne Sepia (GW).  Then I picked out the raised parts of the muscle with Elf Flesh again.  I mixed 33/33/33 Elf Flesh, Tentacle Pink (GW discontinued) and my red glaze for the lips, but they didn’t show up that well in the picture.  Which is good, he’d get made fun of if it looked like he was wearing lipstick, eh?

Tomorrow, I’ll prime some spare flocked bases, get a base scheme ironed out and deploy it onto the Battlebox.

Then, and only then, will there be battlegroup shots.