The Comm Guild Maelstrom's Edge

Modeling Spotlight: Epirian Victory Point Tracker


Posted on Tuesday Jan 23, 2018 at 11:19AM in General


- by Iain Wilson

Victory. The elusive mistress that haunts our gaming hours. How do we capture her? Well, in Maelstrom's Edge, we do it by counting up Victory Points, and hopefully winding up with more of them than our opponents. The Battle for Zycanthus box includes Victory Point trackers along with the plethora of tokens and markers found within, but I decided that I wanted something with a little more spectacle, and so I built myself a VP tracker for my Epirian force.



This all started with a rough concept sketch, to get an idea of how things should fit together.



I then made a quick mockup in cardboard, as a sort of proof of concept, and to get a better feel for the size it needed to be.



The main body of the tracker is made from layers of 2mm thick plasticard. Each layer was marked out in pencil and then cut out and the edges smoothed down.









To show the current VP total, there are two dials with the numbers 0-9 marked around the edge. These are cut from thinner plasticard, with a spacer added on the top surface so that the face with the numbers on it doesn't rub against the inside of the tracker's front.



The windows for the VP display are made from a couple of trapezoid windows from the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue. I used a razor saw to slice through the windows just behind the interior bracing, to make them a little thinner and so that the bracing would sit flush against the front plate of the tracker.



From there, I cut a couple of trapezoid holes in the front plate to match up to the large openings in the windows, and then added a bunch of detail with various pieces of plasticard.



In the bottom corner, I added a rotary switch for tracking how many times the special faction objective has been tapped.



With detailing complete, it was time to paint!



I basecoated the tracker with Army Painter Army Green spray, and used some flat black spray on the VP dials and the rotary switch.



I wanted some metal detail on the tracker to break up the colour a little, so re-basecoated some appropriate spots with some black. I also added a little black inside the side openings for the dials, just to avoid having the white plastic showing through when it was assembled.



The metal parts then received a drybrush of P3 Pig Iron, and some weathering added with Vallejo Heavy Charcoal applied lightly with a sponge.





The numbers for the VP dials were drawn up on black circles in Gimp and then printed out, cut to shape and glued onto the plastic dials.





Finally, the front plate was glued in place, and the screen painted with some Ultramarine Blue and shaded with Army Painter Blue Tone.



My plan is to make up some smaller versions of the mission cards to sit in the screen cavity.

And then, of course, the next step will be to make some similarly themed trackers for my Karists and Broken!

Have you built anything unusual for your Maelstrom's Edge games? We would love to see your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page!

You can find the entire Maelstrom's Edge range in the webstore here.

For other Maelstrom's Edge modeling articles, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here.

2017 - The year in review for Maelstrom's Edge


Posted on Monday Jan 01, 2018 at 05:00PM in General


2017 has drawn to a close, and it has been a fantastic year for Maelstrom's Edge. Here's our year in review:



This year saw the release of the long-awaited third faction for Maelstrom's Edge: The Broken!



The Broken Infantry Pack consists of 4 sprues loaded with bits, that allow you to build Broken fighters from any of three 4 different unit types. And this is just scraping the surface of what we have planned for the Broken - 2018 will see plenty of new releases to fill out their roster, with additional troop types and a slew of new and fantastic alien species.

Also on the release front, we launched a supplemental range of resin models, starting with the Karist Angel Hellblaster.



While plastic models are great for all sorts of reasons, they have a rather long development leadtime, which slows down releases. Adding resin models allows us to get new things out more regularly, and also lets us develop models that wouldn't necessarily be practical or economical in plastic. So the aim going forward will be to have the core range remain in plastic, supplemented with resin models which will allow us to have a new release out every month.



The Hellblaster was followed up with Karist Heavy Weapon troopers, and this month saw the addition of an official model for the Karist Angel Keeper (which previously had a playtest rules card but required some conversion to build a model). It's not all Karist love, though - Epirians and Broken will be seeing some releases very soon!

On the fiction front, 2017 saw the release of Tales From the Edge: Escalation. This is our second compilation of short stories, and features work by some great names in science fiction, including Alastair Reynolds, Aliette de Bodard and Liz Williams!



Escalation is available in print through the Maelstrom's Edge webstore, or as a eBook through Amazon.

To go along with the book release, we took a bit of a look at what went into creating the fiction for Maelstrom's Edge with a series of articles here: Crafting Tales from the Edge, Developing Stories for Maelstrom's Edge, and The Maelstrom's Edge Fiction Creative Process, by Tomas L. Martin.

For the modelers, this year continued our regular article releases, with tutorials and spotlight articles covering a huge range of different hobby topics. We showed you how to build a model to represent the Epirian faction objective:



We went to town with the terrain sprue, with tutorials on shipping containers, buildings made from plastic storage trays and drainage channel, and some ideas for scatter terrain, blast craters, hedges, streetlights and 'blanket' door coverings made from bandages. We also shared templates for making a small minehead building and a larger bunker.





We also showcased a huge array of different terrain projects, including a plantation dome and a massive landing pad piece.





The models weren't forgotten, with tutorials on sculpting your own gas masks for your Epirian contractors, painting weathered-looking metal and heat stress on weapon barrels, a run-down on a quick-painting method for Broken Rabble units, and a guide to making bionic arms for your contractors from Scarecrow arms.



We also offered conversion tutorials and homebrew rules cards for a couple of new units types: The sneaky, sniping Reaper Cadre for the Karists, and the heavy-weapon-toting Scorpion Drone for the Epirians.



Along the way, we showcased a bunch of different modeling projects, including some small Epirian and Karist forces, some variant Epirian bot ideas, and a winged Angel conversion, amongst many others.





Gaming was also covered, with another fantastic battle report from DakkaDakka's Sgt Oddball - a Karist vs Epirian 'introductory' mission entitled 'The Final Act.



We also published a series of articles alongside the Broken release, taking a close look at their rules and how they fit into the game. You can find these here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.




So, what's next?

We have a slew of projects currently in development, and 2018 will see us continue with a new release each month to flesh out the three existing factions. This will include a couple of new plastic kits for the Epirians, and something a little bit... let's say 'heftier' for the Broken. Design work is also well underway for the next faction, which will bring some fun toys to the table for battle suit enthusiasts!

Stay tuned to the Comm Guild blog or the Maelstrom's Edge Facebook page for updates!

You can find all of our miniatures, the terrain sprue, and our fiction on the Maelstrom's Edge webstore here. For all of our modeling articles to date, including tutorials and walkthroughs of a wide range of different building and miniature projects, check out the article roundup here. And as always, feel free to join in the discussion in the Comm Guild Facebook Group here!

Reminder - Tales From The Edge: Emergence


Posted on Sunday Nov 13, 2016 at 05:00PM in General


We just wanted to put out a quick reminder that the short stories collection Tales From The Edge: Emergence is available on Amazon right now! It contains a range of fiction suitable for anyone with even a hint of sci-fi interest. With Christmas approaching, why not pick it up as a gift for a sci-fi loving friend?

The Comm Guild October Summary and Update


Posted on Monday Nov 07, 2016 at 05:00PM in General


Every month, we like to post a roundup of some of the awesome content posted to the Comm Guild Blog, just in case you missed anything! Below are some of the highlights from October:

This month saw the release of the first volume of the Tales From The Edge series of books, featuring short stories from the Maelstrom's Edge universe.



This book is titled Tales from the Edge: Emergence, and is available in digital format now.

Also released this month are our model bases, now available separately!






Our regular 'Spotlight' articles are intended to show some of the models from our range, and include notes on the design process, colour scheme options and building or conversion guides.

The October Spotlights included a rather sinister-looking Epirian Bot Handler, an even nastier looking dark red Angel, an Epirian Hunter toting some serious firepower, a Firefly drone in our box-art colour scheme, and a ruined hab block from our studio terrain collection.






We had a bit of a look at some great MEdge buildings made by Dakka Dakka user Panic, using plastic electrical boxes.



While we're talking about terrain, there was a tutorial by Iain Wilson (insaniak from Dakka Dakka) showing how you can create quick and easy buildings using the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue and cardboard gift boxes!



Iain also shared a tutorial on painting with washes; a valuable technique for getting a new force on the table as fast as possible.






Our rapidly expanding range of artwork and background features this month included the very first completed art piece for our Karists, the mature angel, an interstellar hydrogen harvester, some scout ship artwork, some fiction on terraforming, metalloceramic production, the Kasmenai, the birth of the Karist movement, a second and third weapon preview for the upcoming Broken faction, a better look at the artwork featured on the cover of Emergence, and a look at the digital rulebook.






On the community front, Sgt Oddball over on Dakka Dakka shared a fantastic kit-bashed Epirian objective marker:



Amongst the other great contributions by MEdge fans were Panic's Epirian Doom Marines, TP^DC Deputy Manager's Angel Minnow, and a desert-themed Hunter bot by Zambro.




If you like what you see here, or have questions about the game or the Maelstrom's Edge universe, head on over to the Comm Guild Facebook Group page and and join in the discussion.

Starting after this post, we'll be reducing our posting frequency from daily updates to a more sporadic output. The constant flow of content is now being penalised by social media algorithms and we actually get a much higher readership for less frequent posting. We've got a lot of great hobby articles in the pipeline, as well as more of the usual content. In addition, the more detailed articles will not be pushed off our homepage as quickly as they have been due to our frequency of posting model photos!

Terrain Thursday - Ruined Hab Block


Posted on Thursday Oct 27, 2016 at 05:00PM in General


From our studio collection is this nice piece which shows a building that has been destroyed and is being reclaimed by the ground. Similar to our other hab block buildings, this building serves as a nice reminder that ruins work very nicely in wargames, and not every building needs to have four walls and a roof!

Giftbox Terrain Video


Posted on Thursday Oct 20, 2016 at 05:00PM in General


We thought today we'd highlight the timelapse video above which shows the construction of a building from scratch using the Maelstrom's Edge terrain sprue, previously covered in step by step photos in a previous blog post here at The Comm Guild.

Quick and Easy Painting with Washes


Posted on Monday Oct 17, 2016 at 05:00PM in General


- by Iain Wilson

Not everyone has the time to spend paintstakingly blending, shading and detailing their models. Sometimes, you just want to get them on the table quickly, so I thought it might be useful to explore some options for fast and painless army painting.

I'm going to start with some Epirian guinea pigs, painted exclusively with washes! This is a really easy technique to get to grips with, and while it won't get you an award-winning work of art, it does give you perfectly serviceable-looking models that look great on the table.




For those unfamiliar with them, washes are thin paints designed to sink into the model's crevices whilst leaving less colour on the raised detail (Also sometimes called 'inks' - Not to be confused with 'glazes' which are translucent paints that tint the surface they're painted onto evenly). So while it's a little less precise than blended highlighting or 'juicing' (applying super-thin coats of increasingly dark colour to build up shadow or colour transition), we can use washes over a pale base colour to highlight and shade a model all in one fell swoop.

I start by giving the model a base coat of white.



Now I'm going to start applying washes to build up the colours I want, leaving the model to fully dry between each. On this model, I've started with a coat of Army Painter Soft Tone over everything except for the weapons. This is pale enough that other colours will go ok over the top - if you're using darker tones, it's best to try to keep them strictly on the areas where you want them, otherwise you'll need to touch up your basecoat to cover up the overspill before painting each part of the model. Apply a generous coat of wash and leave it to thoroughly dry before moving on to the next step.



Next, I've gone over the armour and chaps with Army Painter Green Tone, and picked out the boots, belt, kneepads and weapons with Secret Weapon Soft Body Black (this has a little more pigment in it than most other black washes I've tried, so is good for painting over pale colours without needing half a dozen coats to build up shading).



I've left the tip and front facing of the Shock Baton free of the black wash, as once that layer of wash is dry I have applied a coat of Army Painter Blue Tone to those. I've also gone over the exposed skin areas with Army Painter Flesh Tone, and painted his goggles with Army Painter Red Tone.



For a final step, I gave his weapons another coat of black, and detailed the base. I've gone for a cracked earth look on the base, just for something quick. There are specialist paints out there for doing this sort of thing, but this one was done with regular paint and wood glue - I'll be posting a tutorial on how to do that later on.



At this point, the model is ready for the table. You can add extra detail if you feel like it, and of course you can use different wash colours to suit your preferred colour scheme.



Go ahead and give it a try, and feel free to share your creations on the Comm Guild Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/MaelstromsEdge)!

Terrain Thursday: Electric Box Buildings


Posted on Thursday Oct 13, 2016 at 05:00PM in General



Dakka user and friend of Maelstrom's Edge, Panic, has been an amazing early adopter of the terrain kits. He came up with the great idea of taking an electrical box from a hardware store, slicing some holes into it, and adding Maelstrom's Edge terrain components. The above image shows the finished piece all nicely painted up.




Any basic box that has texture on it already serves as an excellent base for terrain sprue components. One word of warning with electrical boxes though - they are a total pain to cut, so patience is definitely needed!

Spotlight: The Digital Rulebook


Posted on Monday Oct 10, 2016 at 05:00PM in General





The Maelstrom's Edge Digital Rulebook is the fastest way to get started with the universe and rules of the Maelstrom's Edge tabletop game. It has 144 full colour pages, and is crammed with background fiction, model images, artwork and clear, coherent diagrams. The digital rulebook also has a full bookmark structure, making it easy to skip to the rules you want to read, and is automatically updated for free as and when FAQs are needed (only once to date so far!)







The rulebook is also supplemented nicely by our game walkthrough document, which can be read online as a webpage on maelstromsedge.com, or downloaded as a free PDF here.

September Roundup


Posted on Monday Oct 03, 2016 at 06:00PM in General


Every month, we'll be posting a roundup of some of the awesome content posted to the Comm Guild Blog. Below are some of the highlights from September:

We kicked off the month by releasing our latest audiobook, Fracture.



Written by Stephen Gaskell, Fracture continues the story of Kelvin and his family from our first audiobook, Transit.




Our regular 'Spotlight' articles are intended to show some of the models from our range, and include notes on the design process, colour scheme options and building or conversion guides.

The September Spotlights included a look at the Angel Minnow, and some features on building and assembling Karist Praetorians and Epirian Suppressions teams built from the new Faction Expansion Sprue.



We also shared some alternate colour schemes for Epirian Contractors in white and blue, light blue and a more muted olive and grey, and some blue Karist Tempests and a Karist Trooper in yellow.






Over time, we've been releasing small articles focusing on different aspects of the Maelstrom's Edge universe. This month, these articles have included features on cybel energy, automated crop ships, Tunnelhuggers, mining ships, refinery ships, common foodstuffs, Karist Arks, Epirian Prospectors, and sneak peeks at the upcoming Epirian Master Handler and the next faction for Maelstrom's Edge: The Broken!






We also shared a walkthrough of the construction of one of our fantastic studio buildingsusing the Maelstrom's Edge Terrain Sprue, by 3t Studios.






And all of that is just scraping the surface of the material on the blog. You can find more pics of models and terrain, including some great stuff made by fans and posted on the Comm Guild Facebook Group page, with plenty more to come!






If you like what you see here, or have questions about the game or the Maelstrom's Edge universe, head on over to the Comm Guild Facebook Group page and and join in the discussion.

Terrain: A couple of nice hab units


Posted on Thursday Sep 22, 2016 at 05:00PM in General


Today we share some nice buildings made by Alex and his son over at Lead Balloony


These nice, simple buildings make great use of the computer terminals and small doors, along with some additional decorative elements on the other faces of the buildings. All affixed to some olive pots of all things!

Community Spotlight: Roderick's Review


Posted on Wednesday Sep 21, 2016 at 05:00PM in General


Today we thought we'd share a nice, independent review of our game from Wayland Games' reviewer Roderick Brown.

He took the time to really get to know the game and models, built and painted both factions and played the game to a good degree as well. The final conclusion of his series of articles can be found here

There are three additional articles to check out as well:
Unboxing Battle for Zycanthus
To War (this is the article with the most painted models visible)
Mustering the Troops

Our thanks to Roderick for such a comprehensive review!

Forward Guidance - More Epirian Master Handler


Posted on Sunday Sep 18, 2016 at 05:00PM in General


Last week we showed the Epirian Master Handler for the first time. This week, we'll share a few more snippets of information about the model.

The master handler has been sculpted, but is still quite a while away from production as it will be in a plastic tool with some other models that are still in development. As such, everything is subject to change until the metal is cut and the rules cards printed.

The model can be equipped with a claw arm, or two drone-type weapons, along with sensor array and missile pod options. We are playtesting rules for it at the moment. The arms can be posed dynamically, with the robotic arm elements having two ball joints and one flat joint, allowing a huge range of motion in the arm/weapon direction, while maintaining the cool, heavy look of the model.

Friday Photo - Blue Karist Tempests


Posted on Friday Sep 16, 2016 at 05:00PM in General


These dark blue-grey Karists are one of our studio army colourschemes, so we'll have a fair few units to show in this scheme over time. The muted colour palette along with the great spot colours on the weapons and contrasting red on the faceplate immediately made this one of our favourites. The only points against it are that the dark scheme requires a lot of light to photograph well, so in full scale battle shots it can be quite challenging to capture! We usually have these guys with us at Salute if you ever want to see them in the flesh though!

Terrain Thursday: Simple Storage Container


Posted on Thursday Sep 15, 2016 at 05:00PM in General


After last week's in depth walkthrough of the terrain sprue, we thought we'd take things back a notch and just share a nice simple image of a storage container built using components from the sprue along with a tiny bit of filler card.

Simple, and effective battlefield terrain with minimal effort.