I got a new Gundam (Iron Blooded Orphans Astaroth)


I got a new Gundam, High Grade, 1/144 scale, Iron Blooded Orphans Astaroth.
As usual I got this kit from the most excellent folks over at Dublin City Comics and Collectibles.

When I first saw Astaroth I knew I wanted him. I very much like his design. Although Astaroth is part of the Iron Blooded Orphans (IBO) product line, he’s actually not part of the IBO main story line in the TV show. Instead he was the main Gundam suit from a manga side story.
In the side story, the family that owned Astaroth hit hard times and were basically selling off his parts (and replacing them with cheap parts from other Mobile Suits) in order to make ends meet. This is what gives Astaroth his asymmetrical look. Anyways I digress.
Inside the box, you get…


2 bags of multi coloured sprues, the assembly instructions, and a bit of promotional flyers.
Inside the bag of sprues, you get…


… A small sticker sheet, 7 sprues, any of you that have built a HG Barbatos, will recognise the inner frame parts, and then some blue, red, and White sprues for his armour panelling.

One of the gimmicks on the Astaroth is his giant hand that pegs onto his right arm. It gives him a sort of ‘Hellboy’ ascetic (which I really dig), it has 2 fingers and a thumb that have a limited range of motion. Which can help pulling some poses, and to help hold his main melee weapon. Speaking of which…
When not in use his main weapon, the ‘Demolition Blade’ (I believe that’s what it’s called) is stored on his back.


It has a sort of ‘Buster Sword’ from Final Fantasy 7 vibe to it, which I dig. The blade has a extendable gimmick, where it unfolds. In the extended mode Astaroth’s ‘Hellboy’ hand, and a little fold out handle for his regular hand, aids the gundam wield his gigantic weapon.

Astaroth also comes with a gun and a dagger, to complete his weapons load out (however there is nowhere to store these weapons when not in use).


Visually Astaroth is one of the more unique Gundam’s in the IBO line (due to his odd parts) and has the inner skeleton that we have been spoils with in the IBO line, allowing for some great poses.
“By the power of Grayskull…I…Have…The Power…”

Now I’m not going to lie, Astaroth has a few issues with himself. The first is due to his ‘Hellboy’ hand. It likes to pop off when posing (at least mine does), and it can get in the way with his blue shoulder, so you may not get all the poses you want with him. The second issue I had with him, was with his waist mounted thrusters. They have a habit of getting in the way and can pop off during posing as they are attached too close to the hips and legs. Too me, these issues are a bit minor as I do love this suit.
It’s also worth noting that as the Astaroth shares much of the same inner skeleton as the Barbatos, if you have the Barbatos 6th form, you can perform some parts swapping to give Astaroth a new hair do.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave

I got a new Gundam (Iron Blooded Orphans Io frame Shiden… and then did a Custom)


I got a new Gundam, High Grade, 1/144 scale, Iron Blooded Orphans Io frame Shiden. I’m not usually one for grunt suits but I loved the visuals of this suit, that I had to get one. And then I gave it a custom paint job, but more on that later.
As usual I got this beauty from the excellent folks at Dublin City Comics and Collectables.

The Io frame Shiden, was introduced in season 2 of Iron Blooded Orphans (IBO), as the main grunt suit of everybody’s favourite child soldiers, Tekkadan.
In the box you’ll find…

… An instruction sheet, and 2 bags of sprues. Inside the bags, you’ll find…

… 4 sprues of various greys,and a reddish, ruby colour, and a small sprue of polycap’s.
Building the Io is surprisingly simple and enjoyable (it’s a grunt suit, after all). The Io frame Shiden comes with a surprisingly large set of accessories compared to other IBO kits. He comes with a small forearm attachable gauntlet shield, a telescopic melee weapon that looks like a cricket bat, a rifle (I don’t think I’ve mentioned before how much I love the fact that IBO has no lazer guns), and the best accessory of all… A Big Asss Balistic shield.
The only negative I have about this kit, is that I would suggest using a dap of glue on his feet as they have a tendency to split apart.

Once all built, the Io does look a bit of a Badass, as he comes with a big ass ballistic shield, as part of his accessories (have I mentioned the shield already?). As a straight build, he does look capable…

… But he did remind me of another robotic character. One called ‘Chappie’, so I gave him a custom paint job.
Introducing Io Chappie Shiden…


… I don’t think he turned out half bad, although I think I messed up the ‘bullet holes’ by drilling all the way thru but I’m happy enough.
Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave

Assemble the Fleet -web exclusive  Saratoga Class Light Cruiser 


With the relaunch of the Hawk Wargames Website, the folks at Hawk, offered for a limited time an alt sculpt for their New Cairo class Light Cruiser from Dropfleet Commander. 

I chipped in with a couple of other guys and we got some goodies. Gameplay wise, the Saratoga has the exact stats as the New Cairo Light Cruiser, but as I needed a few  extra ships to grow my fleet, and as they are visually different from my other ships, I wanted them.

I have to give it to Hawk Wargames, in how they have worked the Saratoga class into the Fluff of Dropfleet Commander…
…The Saratoga is an experimental development of the New Cairo class Light Cruiser with a focus on efficiency, incorporating the very latest systems. While the New Cairo inherits many core attributes from the older Rio class (itself several decades old), the Saratoga features an entirely new prow and amidships superstructure, conceived from the ground up.
Early field reports of the class in action have been exemplary, showing the ship able to provide equivalent combat performance to the New Cairo while consuming less energy and requiring fully half the crew to operate effectively. The few in service have served with distinction and none have thus far been lost to the enemy, leading officers and enlisted to declare it a uniquely lucky class.
Unfortunately for the Admiralty, the Saratoga’s were built exclusively at the FSI (Ferrous Shipping Industries) yards over the planet Ferrum which were entirely destroyed during the Scourge onslaught in late 2671. The yards had turned out a meagre 12 vessels for early void trials before their loss, making this one of the rarest ships in the UCMF. Compounding this, several proprietary systems were integral to the design and the subsequent collapse of FSI makes future construction of the class unlikely.

I look forward to when I go ‘Weapons Free’ with my Battlegroup of 2 Saratogas, and 4 Taipai and rip into some Xenos or renegade UCM with their burn through lazers.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.

– from The Man Cave 

To Cos, or not to Cos Part 3


Unfortunately I still haven’t gotten any ‘actual’ work done on my Cosplay done yet 😔
Instead of getting a refill for my printer, so I could start printing templates. I got a chance to pick up the Numenera Starter Set by Monte Cook Games and have a piece of art commissioned for myself.
My middle daughter wanted to get in on making a cosplay, so she decided to try a little test costume.

In the meantime Andrew DFT, has released the first part in making a helmet for a Titanfall costume.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave 

Hobby Hack #3 – Engine/ Thruster glow


Painting engine/ thruster glow can be a bit difficult and time consuming, but here we have a simple and effective method for painting engine/ thruster glow.

All credit to Hivefleet_Horror, for this tutorial

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave 

To Cos, or not to Cos Part 2

I got a bit of work done on my Titanfall Cosplay this week, sort of.

I found a tutorial for armour on YouTube. It’s by AndrewDFT (the armour is actually for a Halo ODST but it’s a cool armour design, and using it as a base I can modify it),  and I actually bought the templates from his Etsy store. It only cost €4.18.

I also found a tutorial on how to make a CAR SMG from Titanfall, again by AndrewDFT, and downloaded the templates for free.

And then I hit a snag, when I went to print the Templates I found my printer was out of ink… D’oh. I’m a bit broke this week so the ink/ templates will have to wait till next week.
Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave 

Hobby Hack #2 – Self Healing Cutting Mat Care

A lot of us hobbyists have a cutting mat. Usually we have them so that either we don’t get paint on the table or that we don’t cut chunks out of our tables. 

But how many of you know how to maintain them?

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave