Half-Scale ZoomFinity

datetime April 18, 2020 12:12 PM

Like 1 in 8 humans alive right now, my existence is currently an unending chain of video conferences. However, just because you can’t go outside without killing everyone you’re ever loved, that does NOT mean that you can’t play with your Space Men!


Here’s what you’re looking at:

  • The board is half-scale (2ft x 2ft). All measurements in-game are accordingly also cut in half.
  • The terrain is flat craft foam, with implied heights and a relatively simple abstract LOF system for determining who can see what.
  • A webcam is suspended in the air over the game board.
  • My opponent’s army is proxied (since I likely don’t have the exact models they want to play).
  • I connect to my opponent through Zoom. They tell me where to place and move their dudes, and we both roll our own dice.

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Top-Heavy, Part V: Gallery

datetime April 9, 2020 7:04 AM

And now we arrive at the end of this long, long, long journey.

If you’ve been linked straight to this post and for some reason you’d like to read 35,000 words of repetitive photo captions before coming back here to look at the pretty pictures– look, I’m not here to kink shame, you do you— feel free to start at Part I. Otherwise, please enjoy, without further commentary, the final outcome of my three months of labour.

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Top-Heavy, Part IV: Groundwork

datetime 7:03 AM

If you’ve been following this series in order, then by this point you’ve endured the construction process for ten chibi Foreign Company models out of an army that I have explicitly mentioned is only ten models strong. Given this, you might be wondering what exactly I’m purporting to fill a fourth installment with.

A reasonable query!

In short, this post is “everything else”. I tried to keep the writeups contained to just the sculpting process for each model and some nice shots of them all painted up, but there were other elements to the project that didn’t really fit in the main installments. So for all of that stuff, we have this episode. 😀

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Top-Heavy, Part III: The F-Team

datetime 7:02 AM

I feel like this is a good spot for me to mention that I’ve never seen the old A-Team show and have zero desire to do so.

The Bradley Cooper movie was pretty fun.


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Top-Heavy, Part II: Special Forces

datetime 7:01 AM

Welcome back!

Today we’re talking about the only good thing that currently exists in the world: the chibi Foreign Company I put together over the first three months of 2020. In Part 1, I complained about how a global pandemic is hurting my feelings, and then droned on for 8,000 words about how I made the first three (and honestly, probably the easiest three) models in the army. In this installment, I’ll move on to some slightly more complex models with actual, yaknow, faces.

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Top-Heavy, Part I: The Nobodies

datetime 7:00 AM

About a year ago, I sculpted a model. It was a very simple joke:

And we all had a good laugh. In the closing notes for that writeup, some thoughts passed through my mind:

An interesting thought occurs to me in the aftermath of this piece. Sculpting and painting the model took a grand total of like… a week? And I was procrastinating pretty hard (specifically, playing a whole bunch of X-Com) throughout a lot of that time. But given that time as a base unit, in theory I could do an entire 10-model army of similar chibi Infinity models (i.e., adapting canon uniforms over a cartoony body) from scratch in like two or three months.

I have no idea what to do with that realization, exactly, but it’s interesting to ponder.

“Hrm”, mused the potato.

I pushed the thought away for a few months to focus on other priorities, but my brain kept coming back to it. During a particularly conference call-heavy week at work, I found myself scribbling out fun pose ideas on sticky notes:

And like… I really started liking the idea. What if I did do a whole army of these silly bean-headed folk? I’ve honestly never been that huge of a consumer of other people’s chibi art– it’s fine, but in and of itself it’s less interesting to me than traditional real-scale art– but I’ve always found it a pretty entertaining scale to draw and sculpt in myself. The huge heads and cartoony style give you a huge canvas to play around with expressive faces and dynamic poses, and the scrunched body proportions minimize the exact parts that tend to be boring and annoying without adding much interest– namely, legs. Also, one of the fundamental challenges of sculpting is usually fighting with clay’s desire to be soft and round, and laboriously working to force it into sharp and hard-edged shapes. With chibi, that initial roundness is actually exactly what you want, so you can skip most of the refinement. So in the end, working in chibi scale just ends up being “normal sculpting, minus the misery.”

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