Friday, July 7, 2017

MERCS 2.0 - Free Rules PDF and MERCS singles available!

After an extended hiatus from MERCS, Megacon Games have made the MERCS 2.0 Rules available for download as a PDF file, and made the entire MERCS miniatures line available for purchase as single models.

MERCS 2.0 PDF Rules
This is great step forward in making MERCS more accessible! This allows gamers, in an overcrowded miniatures marketplace, the opportunity to check out the game before diving in with any financial commitment.
With many other gaming companies also making rules available for free, this PDF from Megacon Games helps bring MERCS to a more competitive position.

Single MERCS Miniatures Available
This allows those wanting to upgrade from MERCS 1.0 to MERCS 2.0 the option to just pick up the models they need.
It also gives gamers with the MERCS Recon boardgames the option to finish off their factions, and jump into the MERCS 2.0 tabletop game!

Both these actions from Megacon Games are very positive for the future of MERCS - but after their  extended hiatus, this long-time MERCS fan is hoping that it's not too little too late.
Sync out.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sync's Beginners Guide to Painting

Painting miniatures is a very daunting hobby for beginners to get into. There are so many resources available online, which is great, until that wealth of information becomes overwhelming and you don't know where to start.

Firstly, I would also strongly recommend watching this series of Painting Tutorials from Army Painter as a great guide on the process for miniature painting. 
Even though they are painting miniatures for Zombicide, the process I use to paint my miniatures is the same.

I started out in the hobby at the local Games Workshop 20 years ago, in the golden era of the company, and I still use the same process I learned then to paint my miniatures today:
  1. Undercoat
  2. Basecoat
  3. Wash
  4. Highlight
  5. Base
Below is a step-by-step image from Army Painter (check out their Gallery for tons of great step-by-step examples), which is the process I use to paint my miniatures. It's not a MERCS miniature, but the process is still the same.
I actually use a lot of Army Painter products - specifically their paint brushes, primer sprays, Quick Shade Inks and basing materials. That's just my personal preference - their products are readily available at my LGS, and very well priced.

After the image I'll go into a little more detail as to how I personally approach each step.
Remember, my aim when painting is clean, tabletop standard models - you're not going to find any competition level painting techniques here!

Step 1: Spray

My aim in this step is to use the minimum amount of primer required to ensure that my basecoat will have solid coverage.
My personal preference is to lightly coat my miniatures white during the priming stage. I wouldn't coat it as thickly as the image above, just because I try to minimise any detail that might be lost due to a thick undercoat.
My recommendation would be for beginners should start out priming their models a solid black, as it's more forgiving if your basecoat isn't solid and you miss places.
Note that I spray multiple models at a time - it's much more time efficient that way! I stick all the models I'm priming onto a box, then spray them at the same time (as shown in this post).

Step 2: Basecoat

My aim in this step is to ensure a solid and clean base coat.
I use Formula P3 Paints from Privateer Press as my go-to paint range, mainly because I prefer paint pots over dropper bottles, and the price is more competitive that from other hobby companies that use paint pots.

Step 3: Wash (or Quickshade)

My aim in this step is to create depth in the model by applying the appropriate Shade/Tone to each area.
I use the Army Painter Quick Shade Inks - Soft Tone, Strong Tone and Dark Tone.
Generally, since I want my MERCS models to have a bright finish, I'll wash everything with Soft Tone. I use Strong Tone if I want something to finish darker/dirtier, and only use Dark Tone when washing Dark Greys (to make them look 'black').

Step 4a: Highlight

My aim in this step is to highlight the raised surfaces of the model.
This is the fun step, where I feel the model really comes alive - once the wash is dry, I'll go over each colour with a highlight, leaving the washed tone in the recesses of the model, and using brighter colours to emphasise the raised surfaces of the model.

Step 4b: Basing

My aim in this step is create a base that compliments and contrasts the model.
All my MERCS bases have the same formula:
1 or 2 coats of a Citadel Texture Paint of my choice (usually one that contrasts against the colours of the model), which is then washed and highlighted as required.
Then I add a combination of grass, tufts and flock to add a bit more flavour to the base.

Again, I want to emphasise that this post is aimed at beginners looking for some pointers, and that this is the process I personally use to paint. As with anything in life, remember that practice makes perfect.

 Good luck!
Sync out.