Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bitz Box Coteaz with 50% more grim-dark

A while back, I acquired most of a fine-cast Coteaz model; I had the body and the hammer.  However, I
was missing the left hand and the psyber-eagle.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Getting Lit-up Storm Talon Edition

Having lit up a Land Raider, I've now decided to light up a Storm Talon. There are a lot of potential things to light up on the Talon, the main engine exhausts, the hover nozzles the instrument panel and the headlight; I opted for all of the above.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

NOVA Open Registration Starts TODAY

Copy / paste from the post from MVB / Naftka. I only really attend one major event each year, the NOVA Open.  Always have a great time.  I've also volunteered to help with the terrain build this year; even drafted my wife and my son.

link to original post here:


Registration for the 5th Annual NOVA Open - Washington, DC's Tabletop Wargaming Convention - begins this Saturday at 10AM US Eastern Time, February 1st.
The NOVA Open occurs from Thursday, August 28 - Sunday, August 31, 2014.
Full details and information on the schedule and events can be found at

Here's a quick-hitter on some highlights for this year ...

Every year we hear people surprised at what else they could have done if only they'd known!
For instance, it's a totally conflict-free schedule experience to participate in the 40K GT, an Infinity Hunger Games activity, a Sunday single-day tournament in a smaller event, The Hitchhiker's Guide to a Successful GT Experience and the 40K Narrative Nightfighter's track event. Look at it carefully - see what all you can get into to make the most of your experience :)

The SuperNOVA Program
Previously titled the "VIP" Program, we changed the name to better reflect the NOVA "brand" if you will, and also because it didn't seem right to call people VIPs just for buying a more expensive and swanky pass ... you're all VIP to us (and cheesy as it sounds, anyone who knows us well will tell you we're dead serious about that).

So the SuperNOVA Bags are limited to 80 items, and then they're gone. They sell FAST. The purchase of the bag this year includes the cost of your weekend badge (to make things simpler), and also includes as usual a KR MultiCase. In addition to the below, you gain access to the SuperNOVA registration quick-line and army/personal item storage perks.

If you're in your first year of the SuperNOVA program (counting when it was named "VIP"), you'll receive a KR BackPack 2 ($82.49 value)
If you're in your second year of the program, you can choose a Kaiser2 or another BackPack 2.
If you're in your third year of the program, you'll for the first time be able to select a Kaiser3 (50% larger than the other two in terms of model capacity)

Once you purchase a SuperNOVA at any point in time, any subsequent NOVA you attend includes (whether you SuperNOVA again or not) a Buy One Get One Free from KR along with your registration materials. It allows you to acquire one KR Card Case with Custom Foam (or core foam or no foam if you really want) free with the purchase of one, basically 50% off filling your BackPack or Kaiser2 bags. You get one every subsequent year you attend for life. Daryl Elms @ KR Multicase is a pretty amazing guy.

The bags are also loaded with limited edition and vendor-supplied swag. They include everything from beer steins to special gifts matched to the army you select during check-out, and tons in between. The total net value of the items in the bag and the bag itself typically comes to several hundred dollars' worth of items.

NOVA Open 40K GT
The NOVA Open's 40K GTs is one of the better known 40K events out there, and is one of the largest singles GTs on the planet (256 player, a la AdeptiCon and LVO). With a unique bracketing system that ensures most players wind up facing their peers for most of the weekend, and a huge array of prizes tuned to all different player types, it's consistently one of our highest rated and best attended events. It's specifically designed to allow all player types the opportunity to compete for prizes, recognition and good old fashioned fun against their list/competitive peers - you don't need to just bring a beat-face Tau or Eldar list to win swag and have a great time at the NOVA! Tickets sold out last year, and have sold faster and faster with each passing year. Don't miss yours!

NOVA Open Narrative Tickets - Warlord and Nightfighter Tracks
The NOVA Open Narrative more than doubled last year, and surveys/interest seem to imply it'll do so again. Further, we've made a portion of the Narrative - the Warlord Track - a full-on GT-level 7-game event, inclusive of 3 day and 4 night games (first game is Thursday at night), as well as social activities and daily "Model UN Styled" planning sessions where the Narrative Warlords directly impact the mission direction and player deployment of the larger open-attended Nightfighter track.

If you're playing in the 40K GT and want to get some awesome games in with really innovative missions and rules battling across LED-lit boutique terrain ... participate in the Nightfighter track, scheduled to allow participation in both.

If you're looking for a full weekend of awesome Narrative gaming participating in a unique universe of the NOVA's creation, fueled by player participation, participate in the Warlords Track. There are only ABOUT THIRTY TWO SPOTS available for the Warlord Track, with only 16 initial offerings per Faction (Virtue or Human). If you want in this, you'd better sign up fast!

40K Trios Team Tournament
In order to make participation less grueling, and also to give Trios players the opportunity to participate in the Narrative events, we've pushed the Trios event to Thursday in entirety - all three rounds will begin and end that day. In the past, you've had to play Trios at night after a long GT day. This innovative Team Tournament is also NO HOLDS BARRED - the singles lists each player will use once over the course of 3 rounds can include ANY units in the game - from Escalation to Forgeworld. This is one of our legacy 40K events, under a management upgrade of veteran NOVA organizer James Watkins plus three-time Trios champion Troy Esposito. They're passionate about bringing an awesome event to start your NOVA Open experience.

The dedicated folks over at A Few Maneuvers are running a HUGE array of X-Wing events all weekend long at the NOVA Open this year, and we're super excited about it (as well as about their excitement). Many of these may sell pretty quick given the rising popularity of the game and the incredible team running the events. We're also working on building MASSIVE X-Wing spacecraft to have "human-sized" X-Wing demos and mini-games. More to come.

The NOVA Open introduced a full weekend of day and night Infinity events last year, after kicking the game off well in 2012. Infinity enters its third year at the NOVA under the direction of stellar lead Craig Roberts and a dramatically-upgraded terrain building project. Check out the entire primer and weekend of events at the NOVA Open site (where all primers are located), The swag for this event is especially appealing - everybody gets something direct from Corvus Belli on top of winners' prizes. Further, expect some really special prizes - last year Corvus Belli's entire staff of owners, designers, artists, writers, etc., all drew custom notes and sketch artwork on the inside cover of several hardback rulebooks addressed specifically to NOVA attendees, and sent them over as prize support (handed out both to event winners and based upon random draws among Infinity attendees)!

Brendon Caulkins spent the past several years constantly building the success of Warmachine and Hordes at the NOVA Open. This year we are proudly a Warmachine Weekend Qualifier, and it looks to be an even better year than ever before, with new open gaming / iron arena and boutique terrain tables being added, and a stronger and more focused array of events spread across the schedule.

Malifaux and Blood Bowl
Both of these game systems will be at the NOVA Open this year. We're finalizing plans with the new leads who've stepped up, and we're VERY excited about it. We'll have more information on these after Registration, anticipating the opening of sales for these events and info about them by (ideally) mid-February.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to a Successful GT Experience
What does it mean to experience a "successful" GT? This interactive seminar will certainly involve discussion about how best to play the missions and format of the NOVA Open's 40K GT, but it will also include discussion about the best way to leave the NOVA on Sunday feeling like your weekend was exciting and successful regardless of the outcome of your games on the tabletop. It's not just how you play the game, but how you treat and interact with your opponents that matters. Further, you're in Washington, D.C. for four days - get some local insight on the best things for you and your friends/family/significant others to do while you're there! Hear from organizers and veteran attendees while observing gaming examples and getting a last minute fire drill on the best way to "succeed" at the 2014 NOVA Open.

Seminars at the NOVA Open
The Seminars at the NOVA have grown in popularity and coverage every year. This will be their best year yet. Courses offered include a full suite of amazing art classes taught by Justin McCoy and Caleb Wissenback. Additionally, Joe Orteza of AdeptiCon fame will be joining us to teach his renowned classes teaching you to Lose Your Fear of Green Stuff. Also of note - the Build Your Own Display Board class introduced successfully and quite popularly last year is being advanced in 2014 - we'll be joined by the 11th Company's Tactical Terrain master, Eric, and Chris Michaels of Powered Play Gaming. They'll combine to teach an amazing build-and-take that brings you from a little bit of pink foam through a fully LED-lit and useable display board to show off your minis all NOVA Open long. Chris and Eric will also be teaching separate courses on lighting your models and building your own terrain, respectively. Don't miss any of these before they sell out!

Capital Palette Independent Figure Art Competition
The Capital Palette took off in an amazing way in 2013, and it's looking to dramatically expand in 2014 into one of the premier figure art competitions in the country. You can register models on an individual basis, or you can buy a pass that gives you unlimited submissions. To encourage even more participation this year despite the incredible competition, we'll also be giving away some amazing prizes based purely on participation and submission of entries to the exhibition. Show off your best work and sneak some listens in at the display area as people oooh and aaah all weekend long. The prizes for this event are off the charts - including top tier Grex Airbrushes in every prize category.

Free Charity Lounge Talks
Last year the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation secured a charitable ABC license and rented out the Presidential Suite atop the Hyatt Regency, with fantastic views of Crystal City and Washington, DC, and hosted special guests, staff and SuperNOVA bag purchasers all weekend long. This year we're opening it up to EVERYONE! Come on up and enjoy discount beverages (100% of the proceeds go to the charities supported by the Foundation) while listening in on a variety of talks all weekend long given by game developers, artists, industry experts and more. There'll be a full itinerary of Lounge Talks forthcoming as we get closer to the NOVA proper, but subjects may include "How to Break Into the Industry," "How to Run Your Own Con or GT - Panel Talk" and "An Inside Look at Designing and Developing a Successful Wargame." Want to hear the developer of your favorite skirmish game talk to you about how he came up with the rules while sipping your favorite beer or whiskey and occasionally glancing at the Washingon Monument out the window? Yup! You'll be able to hang in the lounge and participate in the Lounge Talks just by having a Con Pass.

Besides all of this, there'll be a TON more activity in the vendor hall, in a new demo row and with a bunch of side activities that add much more "Fun stuff" for the average attendee to do while they're at the NOVA. Already on our list of demo companies, by the way? Dropzone Commander, that's who! Many more are in early talks.

Who is signing up this Saturday? What are you signing up for? We're all a little exhausted, hard at work getting everything as close to perfect as we can ... but we can't WAIT to see everyone at this year's NOVA ... our 5th Anniversary will be our best yet!

-Mike Brandt