30 December 2007

Empire Outriders, part 3

I have been able to get some work done on the Empire boys during these holidays.

Here are the first two Outriders:

I am finding that these Outriders are easy to assemble. The weapon/arm pieces do what they should without leaving obvious seams at either the shoulder or wrist. I think that the cloak helps with that somewhat. At first, I was not going to use the cloaks, but I think that (unfortunately) it is necessary without substituting left arms from another source. The left arm is integral to the cloak for the 'gatling' firearm of the Outriders. Also, the cloaks will help cover up the poorly designed rump of the mounts!

Here are some close-ups:

Along with the cloaks, my Outriders will differ from the Pistolier unit in a number of ways. The Outriders for my army will be the more experienced unit, composed of older troopers - Outriders have beards while the Pistoliers will be clean-shaven. The Pistoliers will have plumes on their helms, while the Outriders do not. And the Pistoliers will have the slashed/puffed tunics.

I am still working on the leader and musician for this unit. I have a couple of simple conversions planned, just to make them look a bit different. Pics will be loaded up when they are done.


29 December 2007

Empire Greatswords, part 1

This was quite a surprise. Vahll (my youngest son) had been mentioning to me for a while that he had something for me, something that I really wanted. I shrugged it off until our family Christmas party, when he gave me this:

The start of yet another Empire unit! This one is not yet complete, as the box set does not include command. Also note the marking there on the front of the box - my son won this in yet another GW-Tacoma raffle, so the 'theme' for this army continues... so far my entire army has been complimentary, not a penny spent on it (yet)!

Contrary to the rest of my army though, these minis are metal:

There are ten minis in the box, with four different poses. After a brief scan, all of the minis look very well cast, with no obvious defects. The swords need to be straightened, but that is not a problem.

I had a vision of a unit of 20 Greatswords, but I might limit that to 15. I will need to get a command group - I expect that there is a blister of 3 command minis (leader, standard bearer, musician) available from GW, and then I can get another 2 minis in a blister also.


13 December 2007

Empire Outriders, part 2

I have not had much time to put into the Outriders, but I have assembled the horses:

Those are the three basic horses included in the box. The one on the left is the leader's mount, and there are two each of the others.

These came together easily, but I am disappointed in the fit of the parts. There is a bit of a gap on the horse's neck on the left side from assembly, which I didn't notice until after I glued together the first one. I was able to solve that with a bit of extra glue on the following mounts. There is also a problem with the hindquarters. The two halves of the mini slope inwards at the join, although it really should not. Some of it will be covered up with the baggage pieces provided in the kit, but the rest went under the knife and file to smooth it out somewhat. Once painted they will be OK, I'm certain.

Here is a pic of all five:

Not a bad start.


MMORPG, part 3

As it is almost the 15th, I'll take a brief interlude for the MMO stuff...

Slowly working along with my WoW characters - here is my hunter, now level 20:
This is a pic at Thunder Bluff, the Tauren city. I prefer this city to the others - the others are too crowded with players or too confusing. I might move him out to Silvermoon City though; there is no engineering trainer in Thunder Bluff. And my Tauren shaman:
Level 16 now. My hunter made him a mechanical squirrel for a pet!


09 December 2007

Empire Outriders, part 1

In the Empire army, there are two types of firearm-equipped light cavalry - Pistoliers and Outriders. There are several differences: Outriders are more heavily armed; Outriders are more experienced (game-wise), with an improved chance to hit with ranged weapons; Outriders are more expensive points-wise; and, Pistoliers are actually more colorful, as they are wearing slashed-and-puffed tunics (as shown on the box front above).

Here are some photos of the box contents:

Front and back of the main troops sprue. There are two of these in the box.

The leader/musician sprue.

Lots of pieces of plastic in this box! There are a lot of separate weapons and head variants (twelve different heads for 5 figures). There are a few nice accessories - ammo pouches, blanket rolls, and some bottles, but not so many as the handgunners set.

I had originally thought to make both of my fast cavalry units as Outriders, but now I am not certain. The Pistoliers would be a bit more colorful, so I might make one unit of each.


08 December 2007

Another blog started

Poruchik has a nice blog - The Helgraumite Empire

He is using Eureka's Tekumel minis (nicely painted) for a fantasy minis campaign.


07 December 2007

Still here

Howdy folks.

Yes, I am still around. Just been busy at work, and have not done too much hobby work until just recently.

I do have some pics of the start of a new project that I am planning with Taeklonn. With the coming of the new 40K Ork codex, we are working up a plan to make a huge Ork vehicle called a Stompa. This will require a lot of scratchbuilding, and I am actually looking forward to it!

The Empire force is not being ignored - I put a little paint on the first handgunner unit, and have started to assemble the first Outrider unit. I'm thinking that I should start assembling the Empire minis with more rapidity. Although it is a horrible thought, I might start playing with them before they are completely painted.

My Tekumel troops are patiently waiting on the table also. After much thought I have decided to go ahead and make my Tekumel Project centered around mass battles. I think that I will have some minis left over from the units to do a special skirmish set.

And historicals have not been forgotten. A point of contention has arisen, in that I am uncertain if I should stay with the Renaissance project or dive into the Punic Wars. Maybe I can refight the battles of the Punic Wars with Renaissance armies?


20 November 2007

Vahll's 40K minis

My youngest son is continuing to make progress with his projects. Here are some of his Dark Angels, for 40K...

A chaplain

A trio of Marine troopers.

Looking good so far!!


10 November 2007

28 October 2007

More Enfilade 2006 pics

Here are some more pics from the last convention I attended - Enfilade 2006...

Setting: France during the Hundred Year's War

Rules: Medieval Tactica Siege

Scale: 28mm

Scenario: The French are defending a strategic river crossing at Pont du Merde; the English must take it.

Pont du Merde, being defended by none other than Taeklonn!

The start - the English forces: 'Wes' on the English right (left of pic); the empty chair is my position in the center; and Feawin holds the English left flank. You will also note the French defenders in the keep. Also shown is the Reviresco vendor stand.


And that is where the photocommentary runs dry...

I was too busy having fun (and taunting my son with terrible Monty Python quotes) to take many pics. It was a great game, with the issue in doubt until the end. The fine English forces were able (albeit with heavy losses) to take possession of the crossing from the French. Our thanks to gamemaster Kevin Smythe!


21 October 2007

Yet more blogs...

Since I'm away from my usual computer I'll just fill in some space with a few more links to other interesting blogs:

Tyler's blog at: The General's Tent - info on Warmaster, Heavy Gear, and War of 1812.

Peter's blog at: My Wonder World of Gaming - AT-43 and WW2 among others

Hyun's blog at: WeeToySoldiers - sci-fi gaming and trains, with lots of pics


18 October 2007

Wargaming Tekumel

A couple of questions were asked in various Comments about wargaming Tekumel, and I thought it would just be easier to answer them with a proper post than in the comments sections...

Mike C asked about Tekumel rulesets - I have not played any of the official Tekumel wargaming rules. There are three that I know of: Missum, Qadardalikoi, and Legions of the Petal Throne. Copies of these rules can be found at Tita's House of Games - or at Noble Knight Games. Also, Hordes of The Things has army lists for Tsolyanu and Yan Kor armies. One of these days I will get copies of all of these sets, for yet more background info and maybe some information on how the magic system 'should' work on Tekumel.

Maksim asked about the army books - these can be found at Tita's House of Games - or at Noble Knight Games.

The 'official' rules, for which the army books are written seem a bit complex. Each legion is broken down into components - cohorts if you will - and each cohort of a given legion can have completely different stats from each other. In the highly organized Tsolyanu and Mu'ugalavyani empires, the legions are homogeneous and will have only one type of troop in them, be it heavy, medium, or light infantry. Yan Kor 'legions' tend to have a great mix of units together. Throw in the non-human troops and it can be very complicated!


14 October 2007

MMORPG, part 2

Just a brief bit about World of Warcraft...

We moved to a different realm, Feathermoon. I made the same chr, Troll hunter; he is not as far along as he could have been if we stayed on Doomhammer, but that is not a problem to me.

He is now lvl 11, with his new pet boar, Rosebud. He is working on being an engineer also. Engineers in WoW get to tinker up some useful equipment, like grenades, goggles, and other 'interesting' items.

I also made another chr, a Tauren shaman:

This is my solo chr that I play when Feawin is grinding her main chr (a Blood Elf) up in levels. We play our troll chrs together; she has a mage at the same level as my hunter.


Legion of Ever Present Glory, part 1

I'm slowly painting up this legion for my Tekumel project:

The blue is Delta Ceramcoat Mediterranean, the skin colors are Reaper Master Tanned Shadow and Reaper Master Tanned Skin. At this moment I'm just slopping on the base colors, and thinking about how I'm going to complete the figures. I could go by the scheme used by the painter for Eureka, as seen here - link - OR I could try to imitate the 'canon' scheme from the Armies of Tekumel book for Tsolyanu troops, which is a bit different from the scheme on the Eureka site, and is a bit hard to translate from a simple line drawing and a brief description in the book. I will most likely pick a middle ground, without so much red as compared to the Eureka painter. I will use red along the edges of the scale armor and other trim pieces, and preserve more of the blue in my scheme.

Here is a close-up of one of the officers:

In all, I find these to be very interesting minis, and will look terrific once they are on the gaming table.

This is the book that I mentioned:

Six books were produced, one for each of the five Empires: Tsolyanu, Yan Kor, Mu'ugalavya, Salarvya, and Livyanu, and a book on the largest of the non-human groups, the reptilian Shen. Each book lists the major units of each empire, with game stats for the Missum rules and a brief description of each unit. Also included are line drawing of selected legions and a color guide.


13 October 2007

Two years on

This blog is two years old today!

I am only slightly surprised that it has made it this far, since I do like to share info with fellow gamers. I am surprised, however, that it does seem to have a small but faithful readership. To those of you that visit on a regular basis, Thank You. Not too many locals show up here, but that is par for the course with the Internet.

What, you may ask, do I have planned for the future? More pics, of course. I have many packets of old photos from gaming days long past, and I hope to slowly scan those pics in and post them here. I will also continue to post work-in-progress shots from the latest projects.

Next year I am looking forward to finally getting my Renaissance project rolling. I am still stumbling over the rules, but I am certain that the right set will be found. Along with the idea of posting photos from old games, I am considering starting a separate blog for the historical stuff and preserving this one for fantasy/sci-fi themes, but that is still on the horizon at this time.

Other projects:

I was recently spurred on to pick up the pace with my Tekumel project. For the time being, I am going to concentrate on skirmish-scale actions, just to get the minis on the table. Eventually I will want to do mass battles.

My Empire force for Warhammer is rolling right along. Originally I had planned to use historical minis as proxies, but I think that it might be a good idea to keep this as a separate force from my Renaissance project. I know that Taeklonn would greatly enjoy seeing me play at one of the GW events some day, and the proxy army would make that difficult. So far, it is the least expensive army I have ever worked on, thanks to all of those raffle wins!

The Tau for 40K are still sitting, for the most part, in their boxes from the move early this year. More and more, I am finding them very uninteresting. I am considering the abandonment of that project.

Reptus for Warlord: I like these minis, but they are now far too expensive to buy many more. If I can find some on sale, fine, but I think that I have enough for now.


12 October 2007

More blogs...

Here are a couple of links to blogs I like...

Howard's blog at Here Goes Nuttin' should be good especially when he gets some Tekumel pics up.

Steve's blog at Steve The Wargamer is one of my regular stops, and he is a Rush fan!


08 October 2007

Empire handgunners, part 2

I was able to finish assembling the first unit of handgunners yesterday, and the unit looks nice:

I raided one of the boxes of state troops for extra heads so each handgunner has the same style of hat within the unit. This might cause some problems later when I assemble the swordsmen but it should not be a big issue. On the recommendations of the handgunner expert (Taeklonn), I did not equip the unit with a banner; there is a fifer however.

Other than the head swap with the swordsmen box, these have very little modifications. The leader (equipped with the long rifle) has a plume added to his hat; one gent has his ramrod in the ground in front of him; and two of the handgunners have some extra ammo on their belts.

I was even able to get the handgunners to rank up reasonably well:

Only 7 more units of troops to assemble now!


Another Empire addition

My son Taeklonn has brought me another piece for my Empire army. His local GW store had yet another raffle, and he won another Empire box, which he very kindly gave to me.

At this rate, I might not need to buy any GW models for my Empire army! This has two options within the box: Helblaster organ gun or rocket battery. I intend to go with the organ gun.

Lot of parts, and lots of interesting bits: several head choices for the crew, a sword rack, a brazier of hot coals (for heated shot???), a shovel, and of course all of those rockets that will find another use beyond this set.

Although I'm sorely tempted to start working on the organ gun immediately, I do need to finish off some other units of the Empire army first.


07 October 2007

Taeklonn's Book o' Grudges

My son has started his own blog: Taeklonn's Book o' Grudges - a showcase of his involvement in miniature wargaming.


30 September 2007

Empire handgunners, part 1

I started to work on the next piece of the Empire force. The Empire army box came with two boxes of handgunners, with 10 minis in each box. What's in each box? Two sprues (frames?) of plastic parts:

Lots of pieces, although much of it is bits that are not required for the minis. Note that the box comes with enough weapons to field either 10 handgunners or 10 crossbowmen. Also included is a cute little 'powder monkey' (top left of close-up). The mini is actually a monkey dressed up in Empire regalia!

My plan is to modify some of the minis in slight ways, removing bits here (maybe some of the skulls) and adding bits there. I will also modify the standard in a similar fashion to the Army standard bearer so I can use paper flags.

Here is another pic of the handgunner's assembly in progress:

The legs and torso are one piece in this version (7th) of Warhammer minis. In the previous version the legs and torso were separate pieces. While this new approach takes away some of the individuality of each mini, it does make for quicker assembly.


Some Warlord work

After that bit of hobby unpleasantness, I found some time for my Reptus minis. This is one of my most recent purchases:

That mini is 'Chai-Uut', Reptus captain. For the Warlord system, there are different ranks for your troops, from grunt to warlord. The different ranks are needed to command units, and commanders of differing stature are needed for the point level of the game.

This mini has a great amount of detail, as is typical of Reaper products. The armor and weapons have a lot of filigree work on them. The weapons on this mini are of the 'heroic' variety... i.e. way out of scale. The swords Chai-Uut wields are the thickness of a human's head, making them more akin to fancy clubs than bladed weapons.


28 September 2007

Amazing 40K vehicle blog

Andy at Little Lead Heroes posted a link to an awesome blog- Ultrawerke

Simply amazing detail and craftmanship... useful scratchbuilding tips even if you are not a treadhead.


23 September 2007

Empire mortar, part 2

After yesterday's moaning session, I sat down and actually DID something. The Empire mortar crew was first on my list:

These are being painted to a slightly modified 'Nordland' scheme out of the Empire army book. I still have some work to do yet, but they are coming along nicely - in fact I'm a bit surprised that they look decent!

Paint list: Reaper Pro Paint Breonne Blue (shirt), Reaper Pro Paint Buckskin (trousers), Reaper Hill Giant Brown (vest and cap). The vest, cap, and trousers have a thin wash of Reaper Pro Paint Wood Stain Ink. I like the way the ink has darkened the cap and vest, and they are in their final colors. The trousers will receive another layer of Buckskin for more contrast. The blue sections are not done yet; the Breonne Blue did not spread well over the gesso primer and will need a second coat.

There's nothing like some time at the painting table to chase away the blues!


My table, September 2007

A brief glimpse of the work area:

Not too messy yet!


22 September 2007


I've been doing some thinking lately, and sometimes that is NOT a good thing.

There is such a selection of gaming products out there right now; it makes my head spin. But, while selection is nice, it can also be frustrating. It can be easy to be led astray onto a new project, and for a slow painter like myself a lack of focus is dangerous. Hardly a day goes by without another gaming idea popping into my brain. All of these ideas make me question the decisions I have already made for projects.

To add fuel to this fire is my lack of a gaming club. A good club can be a stabilising factor, at least in my opinion, especially if the group can pursue projects together. I have been planning, collecting, and painting both sides of any project for a long time, and that can be frustrating with my limited budget. Throw in the constant bombardment of alternate gaming ideas and chaos ensues.

To those of you out there in a gaming club - I salute you!

Fortunately for my projects, a lot of the indecision melts away when I pick up a brush. I have done some painting already this week-end, with the Reptus and the Empire mortar & crew getting some attention. Pics later...


15 September 2007

More blogs...

Yet more blogs to my list:

Skyori szag

A new blog, detailing a collection of minis for a Napoleonic Russian army. I have a soft spot in my heart for Russian armies of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Tim's Wargaming blog

A well-established blog that I have visited many times. Nice game reports, and spiffy hats!



In an attempt to live up to the 'Pixel' part of this blog's title, I have decided to post a bit on my MMORPG exploits on the 15th of every month.

There has been a change here; we have gone back to World of Warcraft. We, especially Feawin, have grown tired to some of the very tedious game-play in EQ2, especially crafting. It is just not fun anymore. So, back to WoW we went. We are playing a pair of troll hunters on the Doomhammer realm.

That's my hunter, at Razor Hill. No pet yet, since he is only level 8.


09 September 2007

More Tekumel pics

I briefly inspected some of my new acquisitions for my Tekumel project today. First is General Kettukal:

This is a two-piece mini; his weapon is a separate piece. This is another clean and sharp casting from Eureka.

I also received some Legion of Ever-Present Glory archers:

There are only two different minis for the archers. Unlike the Legion of Serqu offerings, and I believe the initial Yan Kor release, there is no specific female archer mini for the EPG. These minis are nice, but there is a problem with both of them. Notice how the diameter of the bow narrows where the archer is gripping it. That is a potential trouble spot for breakages. Also as shown by this pic:

The bow covers the area where the sword is hung from the belt. A minor problem to be sure, and since all of the archers have separate swords, I will have some extras for the bits box.

Along with taking pics, I actually did a little painting. I have started to dab on some paint:

Just baby steps I know, but it is progress! The darkest ones are Reaper Master Series Tanned Shadow, the lightest Reaper Master Series Tanned Skin, and a 1:1 mix of Tanned Shadow and Tanned Skin on the middle.


08 September 2007

Another interesting blog

I stumbled across this blog on TMP a little while back:

Canada in Khaki

This looks like it will be an interesting blog. Now, The Great War is not your typical gamer's cup of tea, but I think that it is a much underappreciated genre. The blog is focused primarily on one Canadian battalion's struggle during the Battle of the Somme. I'm looking forward to more, although I really do not need the distraction of yet another potential project!


06 September 2007

Another purchase

I received another addition to my Tekumel minis pile on Tuesday... archers! I will post some pics of the troops soon. The command figures are the same as for the spearmen, and there are 3 different archer poses. In addition, I received 4 more Ever-Present Glory spearmen, 1 extra Legion of Serqu spearman, and General Kettukal. The extra spearmen are to complete each unit. The unit sets from Eureka include 2 officers, in a set of 24. I do not intent to have both officers in each unit, hence the replacement spearman. The 4 extra EPG spearmen are for the rear rank, replacing 3 spearmen (and 1 officer) with leveled spears.

I ordered these minis from Eureka Miniatures USA, and received excellent service. The order was placed Friday night, and arrived Tuesday. Highest recommendations! Thank you, Rob!

And, if you look carefully on that website, you will see that their shopping cart is prepped for the next release of Tekumel miniatures from Eureka - the first set of Yan Kor miniatures is soon to appear.


03 September 2007


While sifting through some folders on my computer, I came across some more pics from Enfilade:

These were taken at Enfilade 2004, and show Ian Croxall's Blenheim game in action. What a great looking game.


Flow-aid problem?

I use Liquitex Flow-Aid as a medium for washes and for diluting paints. As far as I know, I have not had any problems with it. But, at a trip to the local arts store, I noticed some thing odd. Either the formula has changed slightly, or my old (and how old I do not remember) bottle of Flow-Aid has aged, but there is a color difference between 'fresh' Flow-Aid and my venerable stock:

The new bottle is on the right.

So, I made a new batch of Flow-Aid (I dilute it to 5% for use). Will I be able to tell the difference? Probably not!


27 August 2007

More stuff

My youngest son has started to get into painting now, and he has some skill:

Of course, he seems to like the 'piles of skulls' motif from GW!

Feawin and I are back-pedalling a bit -- we visited one of my favorite game stores - Merlyns - during a brief visit to family last week-end, and we ended up buying some more Reaper Warlord minis, Reptus for me and Elves for her. She prefers the sculpting of the Reaper minis to the Thunderbolt Mountain minis. Now, we might not actually use the Warlord rules...


Tekumel skin colors

One of the big differences in painting Tekumel minis from your average fantasy minis is the skin color. The residents of Tekumel are not Caucasian, so your typical 'flesh' paints will not be suitable. After a little bit of searching, I found some paints that are more appropriate for the task:

From the left ---

P3 Idrian Flesh
Reaper Master Series Tanned Shadow
Reaper Master Series Tanned Flesh
Reaper Master Series Tanned Highlight
Reaper Pro Series Ruddy Flesh
Vallejo Model Color Flat Flesh
Reaper Pro Series Caucasian

The Idrian Flesh might be just a bit dark, and the Tanned Highlight is too light in my view. Normally I do not like to mix colors, but in this case it should work, especially since there will be only small amounts that would need to be mixed, and everybody has slightly different skin. Tanned Shadow should make a good base color.

(Note: The Vallejo color came out of the bottle very chunky - obviously I did not shake it enough!)


22 August 2007

Links and other stuff

I have added some new links along the sidebar of this blog... take a look! I can recommend The WarStore and Noble Knight Games for e-shopping. The WarStore has good prices and selection, and Noble Knight deals with old, out of print games.

I also added Madslios Madness to the blog-list.


18 August 2007

Projects update

Although it seems glacial, I am actually making progress. Here is the line-up:

1. Tau for 40K: Purchases complete, slowly painting the pile I have. The bodyguard for my commander should be done soonish.

2. Empire for WFB: Just beginning, a small handful of figures assembled/primed, with many more still on the sprue.

3. Tekumel: More pieces are coming together. I recently purchased some proper skin-tone paints, and another package, with a copy of the 6 out-of-print army guide books, is waiting for me at the local post office. The books have painting guides, stats, and 'historical' info on units, which will make this project gain more impetus.

4. The historical project: This is the one that is floundering somewhat. The more I work on other projects, the less I want to keep pursuing the 28mm Renaissance project. Part of this reluctance is also due to the resurgence of the desire to once again pursue naval gaming. The flavor of naval gaming is yet to be determined, but I am finding that anything after WW1 is less and less appealing.

5. MMORPG: Originally, when this blog was first conceived, it was to be a collaboration between my wife and I - Pewter (my side) and Pixel - (her side). That did not come out very well, especially since she is pursuing other on-line options, including maybe even her own blog. So, I might start including some screen shots and commentary from our adventures in EQ2 in the near future.


12 August 2007

Dwarf army!

Here is a work-in-progress shot of my son's Dwarf army for Warhammer Fantasy:

Many of these minis are the new Skull Pass dwarves, that he has modified into other troop types. In the back row you can see some with extra-long beards added with green stuff. Also, some of the handgunners have been converted into quarrellers (crossbows). A good-looking army so far!


Priming progress

Even with the EPG troops primed, there was still more work to be done. I left their shields off in order to make painting the figure easier, but it does not make painting the shield any easier, since they tend to be small and move around some when you try to hold them while painting. So, I used the same solution with the shields as I used with the troops:

The box is an old drill bit container. Long ago I broke the plastic cover, but kept the rest, as any good scavenging minis gamer would. A little dab of white glue to the nail holds the shield in place. The back of the shield will be a single color, and easy to do once the front is done and the shield released from the nail.

I also primed the few Empire miniatures that I have built so far:

The gesso primer does not seem to adhere to the GW plastic as well as it does to the pewter. You can see where the gesso coat gets splotchy, especially on the mortar. I do not believe that it will affect the paint though.

When the flesh paints get here, I should make some real progress on my EPG troops, and just in time: Eureka is set to release the first batch of Tsolyani enemies: the Yan Kor, in September!