Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Infinity Miniatures Painting: Nisses, Croc Men, Corp, and Fusiliers

primed and ready for paint
Last year Michael and I decided to jump into a table top miniatures game.  I did some research and picked Infinity.  I had heard good things and the theme was a fit for what we were looking for (and the male gaze isn't too bad if you pick and paint your minis carefully).

I started out by buying the Operation: Icestorm starter set.  It comes with 14 figures a small play mat and some cardboard terrain pieces.  It is not cheap but is a good deal.  We jumped in, liked it, and then I fell a bit down the rabbit hole.

More than a year later, I've built my own terrain, bought more units, constructed boxes to store them in, and started painting.  So only a little down the rabbit hole.  Table top miniatures games are not something to get into lightly.

I used to paint minis for Dungeons & Dragons in high school.  A little after college I painted the old minis from Robo Rally.  Clearly it has been a while so I did some research, picked up supplies, and got started.

First off, I decided to group the minis we had by color schemes and paint them together.  Hat tip to the Esoteric Order of Gamers for this tip.  I picked 6 minis from Michael's Pan Oceania army that did not belong to any particular sectorial army, superglued them to their bases, and applied two coats of white automotive primer.

Then I painted.  The idea behind painting a group is to open a color, apply it to every mini where needed, let that dry, and repeat with a new color.  The concept is to save paint from drying on your palette and save time waiting for paint to dry on a single mini.  It worked well for me.

After I was done painting, I applied the magic: Quickshade from The Army Painter.  (Links and details on material at the bottom.)  Again, hat tip to the Esoteric Order of Gamers for this tip.  I painted the stuff on, cleaned off excess, and it really added depth to the details.  I think it really shined on the Nisses white cloak as you can see below.  But the stuff does leave a shine, so I finished the minis with a spray of Flat Lacquer Overcoat.

While I was buying quickshade and some glue from Army Painter, I picked up some basing supplies -- grass, rocks, etc.  This is where I tagged out and Michael tagged in.

He would squirt some basing glue on the top of the base (basing glue looks a lot like regular old craft glue, but came with the kit I bought).  Then smooth it out into a thin coat with a paint brush.  Then stick on what ever he wanted for that base.

Michael had two things he wanted me to pass on.  First: apply big things first.  Once you drop a layer of grass or snow to the base, there is no uncovered glue to stick on your rocks or bushes.  So he learned to put down any rocks or bushes first then finish it off with the ground cover.  Also, he discovered that you can put snow on the troops themselves.  Note the Fusilier below with snow on his shoulders.






Some are a little rough around the edges, but over all I am happy with this effort and Michael is excited to base the next batch I just finished painting.

Below is a list of what I used for this paint.  Besides the Esoteric Order of Gamers, I also owe a big thank you to the How To Paint Miniatures web site.  Particularly this list of materials.
  • The Army Painter Miniature & Model Superglue
  • Dupli-color automotive primer (white) which I bought at a car shop
  • An assortment of acrylic paints from a craft store (Reeves paint in my case)
  • Metal base from Citadel
  • Brass paint from vallejo
  • A small plastic palete
  • Artists Loft brush sets from the local craft store
  • The Army Painter Quickshade (Strong Tone)
  • Model Master Lacquer Overcoat (Flat) from the local hobby store
  • The Army Painter Battlefields Basing Set
  • Also Black Battleground and Ash Grey Flock from The Army Painter

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Doug's 2017 Solo CFR Season 2017, Race 2: Monte Carlo (part 2)

A couple turns into Lap 3 of the 4 scheduled here at Monte Carlo... race 2 in my solo Championship Formula Racing 2017 season.  If you missed the first 2 laps you can catch up here.

Lap 3

Last turn, Rindt (yellow) got stuffed to the outside of Sainte Devote at 80 mph -- getting stuck in corners being a repeating theme for Rindt this race.  I (brown) was sitting on the line behind him, so I knew that I could go 100 for 2 wear and pass him... so I did and move into 3rd.  I think I can catch Stewart (green) who has less wear than I do but a slightly higher top speed.

Vettel (red) and Stewart (green) enter their last third of the race.  Vettel's strategy has him starting to conserve wear and Stewart is gaining.

Oh look, Rindt (yellow) is stuck in a corner again.  This time it was my doing (brown).  In fact, I stuck him in Mirabeau last turn too.  Poor Rindt.  I have 12 wear left at this point... I'm on schedule and feeling good about that.  But Fangio (blue with black wing) has 16 and Mansell (white with black wing) have 19 and are right behind me.  Good thing I'll gain some space when I clear Portier next turn and they don't.

 Raikkonen (blue car in last) has 20 wear left.  I suspect he'll pass some people before this is over.
Three turns later and Raikkonen (blue car in the back) does pass someone -- Fittipaldi (green) -- and looks set to out drag Hunt (white) through the Tunnel.

Up front we have a new leader after Stewart (green) passes Vettel (red) through the chicane by spending 2 wear to Vettel's 1.  Vettel now has more wear left than Stewart. I (brown) did create a gap to the cars behind me through Portier.

And continuing Rindt's (yellow) sad mid-race, Mansell (white with black wing) and Alonso (red) pass him coming our of Portier after Mansell pushes and Alonso takes a slip.

Next turn, Raikkonen tried for 200 and broke his accel down to 160 but still passed Hunt.  Fittipaldo tried for 180 but broke his accel to 40 although still passed hunt with the slip from Raikkonen.

Lap 4

Two turns into our 4th and final lap, Jackie Stewart (green w/ black wing) has 3 wear left.  Vettel (red up front) sits 2nd with 5 wear.  I'm (brown) in 3rd with 6 wear.

Alonso (red further back), just passed Mansell (white w/ black) coming out of La Rascasse with his better acceleration but Mansell has 14 wear left to Alonso's 8.  The rub for Mansell is he may not be able to spend that much over the last lap.

The remainder of the field in order:
Fangio (blue w/ black) -- 12 wear
Raikkonen (blue, who just passed Rindt in La Rascasse) -- 12 wear
Rindt (yellow) -- 7 wear
Fittipaldi (green) -- 3 wear
Hunt (white) -- 9 wear

Stewart (green w/ black) has 1 wear left and it looks to me like that will be enough to get him the win.

Vettel (red in front) spent 1 wear this turn running wide in Portier. I (brown) spent 4 wear this turn: 2 on the line in the hairpin and 2 in the 40  space at Portier.  This was my big move to pass Vettel.  We both have 2 wear remaining and my better acceleration should compensate for my slower current speed and maintain my inside position heading into the last 2 corners.

Mansell (white w/ black) still has 10 wear and is still in 5th -- failing to spend all the wear.  Fangio (blue w/ black) got stuffed by Mansell outside in the hairpin and has 7 wear left.  Raikkonen (blue) also has 7 wear left as he sits on the line just after Mirabeau.

Rindt's (yellow) race continues to fall apart.  He fell to last through Sainte Devote then broke his acceleration -- now at 20.

I (brown) pushed acc and top last turn to gain a space on Vettel (red up front).  Vettel pushed his top this turn to pull even with me.  We both sit right in front of the chicane with 2 wear.  Vettel would is going 160 and so will probably spend at least 1 wear next turn in the corner.  My original plan was to go 80 here then spend my last 2 wear next turn when I was going to get stuck in La Rascasse... but I can't let Vettel in front of me, so I'm going to plot 120 for next turn.  We'll see how that works in a second.

Alonso (red in 4th) has 2 wear left but can't shake Mansell (white w/ black) who has 8 left and pushed his top speed to stay only a space back.

Hunt (white) has only 2 wear left and went slowly through Portier.  That ends up keeping Raikkonen (blue) from tucking in behind Fangio (blue w/ black) after Raikkonen passes Hunt through the corner.

In the back a battle is brewing between Fittipaldi (green) who is out of wear and stuck in the corner vs Rindt (yellow) with 5 wear but only a 20 acceleration.

Two turns later we see why my move in the Chicane worked.  Last turn I (brown) was a space in front of Vettel (red in 3rd).  He had 1 wear to my 0, but he could not use it this turn.  Vettel went 80 could not be in the first 60 space and the 40 space would have been a wear and a chance that we was unwilling to do so he late braked.

Alonso (red in 4th) is out of wear but has caught up to us.  As has Mansell (white w/ black) who still has more wear left than he can use.

Raikkonen (blue) tested his damaged top speed to get to 180 and pull even with Fangio (blue w/ black) through the Tunnel a couple turns ago and they remain side-by-side through the Chicane.

In the back, Rindt (yellow) has pulled even with Fittipaldi (green) despite the 20 acceleration.

Stewart crosses the line for the win.

Vettel (red in 3rd) spends his last wear to pull even with me (brown) and setup a drag race across the line for 2nd.  Alonso (red in 5th) took a chance in La Rascasse which would have put him right behind Vettel and I but Alonso spun.  That forced Mansell (white w/ black) to late brake and take the 40 space for 2 wear before ending up behind Vettel and I.

Next turn, Vettel and I both make our tests giving me 2nd and keeping Mansell in 4th.

Raikkonen (blue) would spend more wear in La Rascasse than Fangio (blue w/ black) giving him 5th as both pass the spun Alonso.

Rindt now uses his wear to pull ahead of Fittipaldi through the Chicane and La Rascasse to dig his way out of last.

Season Point Update
Jackie Stewart is definately the car to beat so far.  After a second place at Yeongam and a win at Monte Carlo he has 39 points.

Juan Fangio has to be disappointed with his 6th place finish this race.  He only drops to 2nd on the season after 2 races but is now 11 behind Stewart.

Vettel now has two 3rd places in a row and sits 3rd only 6 points behind Fangio.

The big mover in the rankings after this race was me.  My 2nd place finish propelled me past Nigel Mansell and Fernando Alonso and I'm only 1 point behind Vettel.

Kimi Raikkonen was the last driver to gain places in the rankings -- moving up a spot over James Hunt.

Interestingly, the season rankings have fallen out in star order so far.  I suppose that should be expected but it will be interesting to see how that plays out over 10 races.

I'm clearly really happy with 2nd at Monte Carlo but I think I am going to have to up my game to catch Stewart.

Keep an eye out for the next race in this series: 4 laps at Monza.  ... the first report from Monza is here,

Monday, April 3, 2017

Doug's 2017 Solo CFR Season 2017, Race 2: Monte Carlo (part 1)

On to race 2 in my planned 10-race season of solo CFR play: 4-laps at Monte Carlo.  (I randomly assigned 2-4 laps to the tracks I randomly arranged).  I'm still using my own pre-production testing components but should get to switch those out soon.  Race report from race 1 at Yeongam in video form.

Vettel beat out Fangio for pole.  But bidding was not very high after those two.  Monaco is another Track Rating of 1/2 laps like Yeongam so I figured I'd do ok with a modest bid and end up 4th on the grid.

Lap 1

Nothing too exciting after 1/2 of lap 1.  Sebastian Vettel (red up front) leads the field onto the main straight.  Jochen Rindt (yellow) sits right behind him after passing Juan Manuel Fangio (blue w/ black) by diving into Mirabeau hot.  Vettel and Rindt are both running Front A strategies.  Fangio is using the Stalking strategy.  I'm sitting 5th (brown) having just stuck James Hunt (white) in the corner.

Nearing the end of lap 1 for our leaders.  Rindt (yellow) has stayed on Vettel (red up front) after slips through the Tunnel and the Chicane.  Jackie Stewart (green w/ black) has caught up to Fangio (blue w/ black) in the battle for 3rd and 4th.  I'm all alone in 5th (brown).

But this picture mostly was taken to talk about the action in the back.  Hunt (white) started out next to Nigel Mansell (white w/ black).  Hunt went 140 then automatically late braked to 120 and hit the apex of the Chicane at 120 for 2 wear.  That forced Mansell into the first outside space at 120.  Alonso (red behind) was right behind Hunt and also went 140 this turn planning to use his red chip in the corner.  He got a slip from Hunt, spent 2 green skill forced passing Mansell and used 2 wear and his red skill in the corner to pull even with Hunt.  Dramatic!  Now we'll see if it was helpful.

Lap 2

A couple turns later, Vettel (red up front) is still leading the race as he and Rindt (yellow) complete their first third of the race.  They both have 14 wear left. Vettel has the higher deceleration.  Rindt did not have a good turn here.  Trying to clear Casino, he ended up forced outside and probably wasted those 2 wear.

Fangio (blue w/ black), still sitting 3rd, has 24 wear.  I'm still 5th with 21.  Keep an eye on the cars right in front of Sainte Devote: Hunt (white) is on the line.  Alonso (red) is in the middle lane, but off line.  Mansell (white w/ black) is behind Alonso but can get to the line from there.

Only 2 turns later, we continue to see Vettel (red up front) stuff Rindt (yellow) in corners.  This time it could easily result in creating a nice lead for Vettel onto the back straight.  We also see Stewart (green w/ black) pass Fangio (blue w/ black) by diving into Mirabeau for a couple wear.  I'm (brown) right behind both but could easily get caught in traffic.

Note that Mansell (white w/ black) has repassed Alonso (red)... illustrating how the dramatic pass does not always pan out in the long run.  Three turns ago Alonso used 2 green skill and 1 red skill more than Mansell to pass him in the Chicane.  Two turns later, Mansell uses a wear in Sainte Devote on the line while Alonso uses no wear off line and Mansell is back in front.

Pretty much half-way through lap two and everyone is into the 2nd-third of their races.  Vettel (red) has gaped Rindt (yellow)as expected. Stewart (green w/ black) has caught Rindt and has a better car with the same 12 wear.

The pack has caught Fangio (blue w/ black). Mansell (white w/ black) spent 4 wear through both Mirabeau and outside of the next corner last turn.  This turn he spends 2 more wear through Portier and still has 21 left in 6th. I (brown) have 20 wear in 5th. Fangio (blue w/ black) has 18 in 4th.

Hunt (white) with 14 wear and Alonso (red) with 17 wear also cleared Portier this turn.  Raikkonen (blue) still has his starting 24 wear in last.

... and the very next turn Mansell (white w/ black) pushes top for 160 and passes both Fangio (blue w/ black) and I (brown). Raikkonen (blue) spends his first wear of the race.

Two turns later I pass the bunched up pack in the Chicane.  The turn before, the 5 of us bunched up, two rows deep right in front of the Chicane.  I was outside, right in front of the corner and was the only one to plot 120 this turn.  Two wear later I'm in front of that mess.  Everyone else went 80.

Two more turns (pictured on the right) and Stewart (green w/ black) has completed the pass against Rindt (yellow) and Mansell (white w/ black) and I have caught those two.

Last turn Stewart and Rindt both went 60 to clog up the last row of La Rascasse.  I ended up spending a wear to late brake to 80 behind them while Mansell hit the 60 space behind me at 100.

Stewart used his higher acceleration out of the corner to take over 2nd place.  I was able to accelerate to 100 through the outside 80 space at the end of that corner to stay with Rindt and in front of Mansell.

Meanwhile Hunt (white) has wasted 2 green skill in a row late braking for traffic.  And at the half-way point in the race Raikkonen sits roughly 4 turns behind Vettel with roughly 10 more wear in hand.

This has gotten pretty long, so I'm going to split it here and post the rest of the race report in a separate post.  ... and Part 2 is here.