31 December 2008

My new blog...

My new blog can be found here - Mini Ship Gaming

It is very much a work-in-progress!


30 December 2008

A bit of a sea-change

I have been a bit stuck in my gaming direction lately. For one or another reason, I have not been able to come to an acceptable situation regarding the rules I want to use for my nifty Tékumel minis. I suppose I should just pick something and go for it, but I am (subconsciously?) holding myself back from making a commitment. Seems odd, doesn't it? But, I can not decide.

I am going to put the Tékumel project on hold for a while, and come back to it when I have some new ideas.

I am intending to continue work on the Empire army for Warhammer.

My fantasy skirmish game plans are also on indefinite hold.

The historical project is coming to the fore in the new year ahead. I am going to plunge back into naval gaming. Most of my hobby time prior to the start of this blog (wow, over three years ago) was spent with naval minis and I am taking a tack back to that subject.

I do feel a bit of anguish over failing to bring the Tékumel project to fruition. Picking rules should be so simple, but for me it is not. Maybe it is due to my relative inexperience with the genre - I had a brief encounter with Tékumel in the 1980's, reading the first two novels, acquiring some of the army books, and dreaming of battles but nothing else until 2 years ago when I first saw the new minis from Eureka.

The new blog is still in the construction phase, but it will be launched shortly, perhaps on Jan 1 2009. I will post the new url here as soon as it goes live. It will have news of naval mini gaming as well as my personal projects.

I will still post here, but the emphasis will be on Empire matters, and general gaming.


21 December 2008

Huge 40K Ork battle...

This actually happened last month, but it is still nifty (and newsworthy!)... My son Taeklonn was involved in a massive 40K battle, and here are some pics (not taken by me):

Link at the-waaagh

More photobucket pics

Wow, what a battle!

One of the more satisfying notes is that, if you look really closely at the pre-game shots, you will see some Gorka Morka orks that I painted years ago. They are in my son's collection, and still see regular gaming.


11 November 2008

Narrowing down the Rules choices...

I'm starting to narrow down the choice for the rules set that I want to use for my Tékumel gaming.  Under consideration are the following sets:

Fantasy Rules!  -  by ChipCo
Hordes of The Things  -  by WRG
Mighty Armies  -  by Rebel Miniatures
Command & Colors:  Ancients  -  by GMT Games
Impetus/Basic Impetus  -  by Dadi&Piombo

There is an excellent review of many of these games at Boromir & Kermit - link.

I'm still leaning towards Impetus.  One of the stalling points for the rules are the markers needed.  I saw some great ideas for markers at Ashton's Mordheim blog - link.  I am thinking that a shield on a small base, with a subdued number painted on, would work for a casualty marker.  Crossed swords might be good for a Disorder marker.  Impetus (as opposed to Basic Impetus) also uses a marker for Opportunity, where a unit can react to the opposition easier.


28 October 2008

MMORPG, part 6

Things are moving along in the great shaman leveling race.  I have a goal - to get my shaman to at least level 56 by November 13, which is the day that the new expansion for World of Warcraft is available.  This is so my wife and I can group together when she rolls up her deathknight, which will start at level 55.  So far, my shaman is up to level 48, with 2 weeks to go.  It will be close, as I have a lot of overtime coming up at work.

We have been doing a lot of quests to level me up quickly.  Feawin has a level 70 hunter that is dragging me through those quests.  It is not my preferred method of leveling, but time is not on my side!


More blogs...

Here are a couple of blogs that I have been following:

Boromir & Kermit  - lots of fantasy armies and info, and frogs.  Yes, FROGS!

Iron Mitten  - Romans battling barbarians and each other; great minis and awesome line drawings!

Mordheim  - incredible terrain; lots of hints and ideas

Really good stuff!


22 October 2008


Just a brief post...

I have not done too much lately, as I can not seem to finalize on a rules set for my Tékumel minis.  My thoughts flit from rules to different rules, so I am recruiting Feawin into a rules-testing series.  I have some paper units from the Impetus Yahoo-group that we will try out, and I will make up some for Fantasy Rules! using some old 40mm bases I have stashed away.  And, Command & Colors: Ancients is waiting in the wings...

Probably should have done this long ago!


11 October 2008

A new Tékumel blog!

My friend Chirine has started up a brand-new blog - Chirine's Workbench !

Chirine has been collecting Tékumel minis since the 1970's, and has a huge assortment of canon and converted minis in 25/28mm.


05 October 2008

Legion of Ever Present Glory, part 4

The first cohort of the Legion of Ever Present Glory slowly nears completion.  Here is the unit so far:

The paintwork is done, except for a clear coat.  If you look closely you will see the basing scheme on the graph paper.  Once again, I have changed my basing plan.  After more thought (and some direction from my friend
Chirine), I decided that single bases would be best.  I do want to have skirmish-scale battles with my Tékumel collection, so the large, unit basing style of Basic Impetus would not work.  But, I like many of the concepts used in Basic Impetus for basing, mainly using a different number of minis per unit as a quick guide to the function of the unit.  So, I worked up a method to have single bases  +  different amounts of minis per unit  +  consistent unit frontages at the same time.  I'll post about that at a later time.


27 September 2008

Empire Greatswords, part 4

A little bit of modification was in order for the standard bearer of my Greatswords unit.

I'm not yet brave enough to try a hand-painted flag, so I cut the staff from the right arm piece, just above the hand.  After a second look, I also removed the remainder of the staff that I had left above the hand.  It would be a lot easier to mount a new staff to the hand, rather than attempt to line up the two sections:

Looks reasonably straight!

And, the finished (but unpainted) product:

A little bit of decoration for the top finishes it off.

Now, for some flags.  I think that I will try to talk Feawin into helping me out with that, as she is much better with computer graphics than I am.  The base colors will be those of Nordland - blue and yellow.  I think that the flags for the core units, spearmen and swordsmen, should be a bit plain, with the veteran troops, like the Greatswords, adding some more detail.  The Army standards will need to be large and dramatic, as befitting an Army of the Empire.


13 September 2008

The 10mm Distraction...

I received my test packs of 10mm minis from the WarStore during the week, so I thought I would post a brief review of them.

I was actually hoping to get some of the Greek selections, but they were not in stock.

Each pack comes with 30 minis.  I was a bit surprised to see that they come as individual minis; I was expecting them to be in strips like the 10mm selections from Old Glory.  I prefer individuals.  No need to cut the minis from the strips in order to match the basing style.

These minis are from pack AR1 - Early Imperial Romans.  I received 17 of the pilum-armed troops, and 13 with gladius.  There is a bit of casting debris, but all of it is easily removed.  These are really nice looking minis!  They are 11 mm from sole of foot to top of helmet.

These are the troops from pack ARP-2 Republican Roman Princeps.  Again, they are well-cast, some debris is present but it is minor.  The plumes on the helmets are rather large.

This pic includes the two command figures that are in ARP-2.  The signifier's base is small, and the mini did not want to stand up for the pic, so he is leaning up against the backdrop.  You can also see the size of the plume on one of the troops.

I am actually pleasantly surprised at the quality of these minis.  I was half-expecting that I could just use a Tékumel-style paint job as a quick and cheap conversion, but there are a reasonably accurate representation of the era.  I will not be using these as a substitute for my 28mm Tékumel minis, but I am looking forward to doing a historical project with 10mm minis in the future.


29 August 2008

Bits & pieces

Just a few brief notes:

Along the left side of this blog, I have started a new set of links for Ancients gaming. It is small, but when I have more time it will be expanded.

The Greatswords are primed, except the standard bearer. I'll have some pics as I make a new standard for him.

Taeklonn recently gave me some Empire horses, so I am working on a mounted Army standard bearer, using some of the bits from the spearmen command sprues. Pics will be posted later...

In the World of Warcraft department, I have struck a deal with my wife, Feawin. Since my attention can be rather diluted with WoW, minis, other blogs, general web surfing, and wargame-rules-pondering, she has far out-paced my ability to level, which means that we can't actually play together. So, we have a plan - create a duo that will be able to play together and be able to get into groups with others for the higher-end instances. This means that I will be spending more undivided time on WoW on just a single character. I will be leveling a shaman, which will meet up with her deathknight. Now, the deathknight is not out yet, as it is a part of the next expansion for WoW, so I have some time to get my shaman up to level 58.

As part of the deal, I will also have undivided time at the painting table (yay!). But, this might lead to a major change in my collecting direction, as I am finding that 28mm minis are rather time consuming to paint. So, I am about to order some 10mm minis as a test to see if I can paint them to a reasonable standard in a shorter amount of time than it has taken to paint a unit of 28mm minis. And, yes, pics will be up when available!


21 August 2008

Basing and other trivial matters

Well, Blogger ate the first attempt at this post, so a much shortened version follows:

After a lot of needless noggin-scratching, I have finally settled on a basing scheme for my Tékumel minis - 45mm squares. Four bases per unit, with a variable number of minis per base: 4 minis for heavy infantry, 3 for mediums, and 2 for light infantry/skirmishers. Generals will be on 45mm round bases.

In the past, I always cut my own bases for my minis (especially naval miniatures), but I will be ordering Litko bases this time around.


30 July 2008


With the progress I have made with the Empire and Tékumel minis I have, I just can not keep other genres out of my mind.

I had a brief thought about micro-armour recently. Back 25 years ago, I was heavily involved with my local (as in Spokane WA) group's mini wars, and they played micro-armour. They did have a unique approach - collection campaigns. This entailed totaling up everything in your collection, and having a go at a campaign. Some of the guys had very substantial collections, and talk of starting another campaign signaled a round of purchases, hopefully to arrive before the campaign start date! Unfortunately, these campaigns usually did not last long; after a brief surge of interest, the logistics of the game weighed the 'gaming' part down, and the 'accounting' part rose to snuff the fun out. I never had much of a collection, but I always had some interesting stuff, like WW2 Russian cavalry or horse-drawn artillery... I do not remember what happened to my small micro-armour collection.

I don't think I would have fun painting or playing with micro-armour today (unless somebody else organized a game complete with minis, rules, terrain, etc). Despite some great techniques shown at the GHQ forums, I'm not sure I could keep any interest.

I like to keep thinking about Ancients in 28mm, but two items hinder this. One is the actual period to collect. I could just as easily play games with Egyptians vs. Hittites, Punic War battles, or Caesar's battles in Gaul as I could play with my current projects. It might not be a bad idea to keep this historical project's basing system as close to the Empire/Tékumel system as possible, just to simplify purchases and to, perhaps, indulge in a cross-genre game or three. My budget is the second hindrance - much progress in the other projects must be made first before diverting money into this. I'll find a way, just not any time soon...

Oh yeah, just in case anybody is interested, here is a shot of my work table:

It is a bit of a mess, but not so cluttered as times in the past.


26 July 2008

Empire Greatswords, part 3

I finally broke down, and bought some minis for my Empire army:

This is the command set for my Greatswords unit. Each box contains 5 minis - leader, musician, standard bearer, and two Greatswords.

Very nice minis - much better proportioned and finer detail than even the latest plastic offerings. I am not yet certain about what to do with the standard. My ability to paint flags is p o o r so I probably will replace it with a paper flag and brass tubing staff. The situation is a bit more complicated with the standard bearer's sword being attached to that same arm, but it should not be a problem. I might even keep the skull atop the staff - seems appropriate for the Greatswords.

The Greatswords unit will go behind the first spearmen unit and the Outriders on the painting queue. I'm thinking of a dark metallic color for the armor; it should stand out more against the brighter armor that will be used on the other units. The slashed tunics will be in alternating buff and blue, and the plumes will be white.

Incredibly, this is the first set of minis purchased for my Empire army. This box was $22 US - maybe a little steep for 5 metal minis but not too bad for nearly 2800 points of Empire troops!


More 40K from Vahll

My son has re-started work on an old project - Tyranids. Now that he can paint very well, he should be able to make much more progress this time around.

Here is a work-in-progress pic of his Brood Lord:

His plan is to have his 'Nids in a black and bone color scheme. The victim is, of course, an Ultramarine.

None other than Taeklonn in the background in this shot - these pics were taken at their local GW shop, in Tacoma WA.

Seeing all of these 40K minis is getting under my skin - Orks or Imperial Guard might be a cool project in the future... but need to get more Empire and Tékumel stuff done first!


20 July 2008

Empire spearmen, part 2

Just a simple head swap:

Looks a little different... the bit was in the first Handgunners box. There are 2 or 3 more that I will be using in the future. I think that I also need to watch the length of the neck when fitting the new pieces on; the new trooper seems to be a bit odd that way.


06 July 2008

Empire cannon, part 1

Just started work on my cannon for the Empire force:

I had forgotten that the box set comes with two different trails, one for the mortar and a longer trail for the cannon. Once I find another barrel and long trail there will be a second cannon in my force.

I also put a little paint on the crew:

The gents on the left and middle are done except for basing and varnish. The loader needs an ink wash over his leather vest and some more detailing, but he is close to complete also.

I'm going to switch to a slightly different base color for the blue parts of their uniforms. The blue I'm using now, Reaper Pro Series Breonne Navy, does not like to stick to the gesso primer; it just slides around and I find it hard to control. I'm using other Reaper paints (the yellowish color is Reaper Pro Series Buckskin) so maybe I have got a bad batch of blue. Feawin suggested (at a visit to Michael's) that I try Delta Ceramcoat Navy Blue; I'll use that on the Outriders and see how it works.


05 July 2008

Empire spearmen, part 1

I have finally started to dive into the pile of plastic spearmen. These minis are much easier to assemble than the current offerings from GW obviously, as they have only two parts without the shield. I like them though!

Here are the first six of 45 spearmen that I have. I have left the shields off for now; it is much easier to paint the mini without the shield. So far, they are ranking up well - one of my perennial problems with GW minis is getting them to fit together nice and tight, and these should pose no problems.

Here is a close-up of the rear rankers. The one in the center looks like he had a bit too much ale the previous night!

The close-up does show the age of these minis. The detail, especially the hands and face, is softly defined. The faces are rather featureless, and the hands are just odd. I still like them though! And, once I slap some paint on there it won't matter much.

And some front-rank types. I'm glad that these are holding their spears at 45°; level spears/pikes are a pain to play with on the table.

I plan to do some head swaps with the bits I have leftover from the other boxes of Empire troops that I have. Plastic minis make conversions almost too easy - fun too!


26 June 2008

MMORPG, part 5

We are still playing WoW but the situation is a bit different now. We have moved (over the past couple of months) over to the Scryers realm - with the main focus being on the Alliance side now. I have a gnome mage - my time-honored MMO character race/profession combo that goes back all the way to Everquest - and I am slowly working him up in levels (now lvl 20).

There he is - just outside of the dwarven city of Ironforge at night.

Feawin has a gnomish character (among many others!) also:

Her character is a warlock, and the blue fellow in the background is her Voidwalker, a summoned spirit that does her bidding in combat situations.

We're having a good time - started a guild and slowly working it up, recruiting people but not being too serious about the game, just having fun.

Feawin has also discovered Spore - which could be quite the time-sink as well. The creature creator has a free version, and some of the critters are quite amusing...


15 June 2008

Legion of Ever Present Glory, part 3

I've been occupied with more pressing matters lately, but have made some progress towards getting these minis done. Here is a quick pic:

The three command minis (in the back) are pretty much done, and the rest just need some lightening up of their armor and touch-ups. The skin came out better than I expected. I used some Reaper Pro Series Flesh Ink mixed with 50% Future (Klear) over the original paint.

I'm happy with the results so far. They are not strictly 'canon' according to the Tsolyanu army book, but they are close enough, and will look nice on the table.


31 May 2008

Wargaming Tékumel, part 2

After a convoluted journey, I believe I have finally settled on a rules system for my Tékumel games.

There were several I had been looking into, and all have their good points. The three original publications for Tékumel battles - Missum, Qadardalikoi, and Legions of the Petal Throne, were really not considered, mostly since I did not have copies available! One can still find these games, and I intend to get a copy of each in the future, but I did want a system that was more readily available to the average gamer. I am also not too certain about the game systems in each of these rules; I have a feeling it is a bit more work than I am wanting (I could be very wrong about that). These rules are often available at Tita's House of Games, Noble Knight Games, and sometimes eBay.

There is a game called Warfare on Tékumel, which is a descendant of the aforementioned games (I think), and it is available for free on the TékumelMinis yahoogroup. This is not the one I am going to use, although the battle magic system is great and I might try to transplant it for future use. The melee system is just too complicated for my simple mind. It is, however, a comprehensive system for the nuances of Tékumeli battles. 25 years ago it would have been my game of choice but not today.

Another great system is Basic Impetus, which can be found at Dadi & Piombo. It is free, and a nice little game, but uses two different sets of markers (one set of casualties, and one for disruption) for the status of each unit. One marker is really my limit.

Two others I considered are Fantasy Rules! by Chipco, and Hordes of the Things by WRG. I have an old copy of Fantasy Rules! (now in its third edition), but it has not changed very much from what I can tell. The combat system would have needed to be re-arranged a bit to get FR! to work to my satisfaction but might have been a success. And I am not much of a HoTT/DBA player - I am finding that people either greatly like the system or disdain it... I don't mind but never caught the 'pip' fever (which is probably a bad move on my part since the Seattle area is becoming a great center of DBA-gaming, but they play 15mm... )

So, who is the big winner?

I'm going to dive into Command & Colors:Ancients by GMT Games. This is a board game, but works wonderfully for miniatures. Howard Fielding of The Tékumel Project has already done a lot of preliminary work to convert CC:A to Tékumel, and I have poked around a bit to make more army lists also. Howard's work is available on the TékumelMinis yahoogroup also. The game system is simple yet subtle, and is fun. I also intend to use it for historical battles once I get my fantasy version (I think I will call it CC:T - Command & Colors: Tékumel ) comfortably far along.


09 May 2008

Empire spearmen, again

Thanks to the kindness of my sons, I am now in the possession of yet more Empire troops:

4 more sprues of spearmen/handgunners!

I now have enough for 2 20-figure spear blocks, each with 2 detachments of 6 handgunners (or even more than that). I have a preliminary army list, but now I will gladly rewrite it. This addition, along with a purchase of just a handful more minis (mostly for the greatswords command) will give me almost 3000 pts of Empire troops. Plenty for a long time!


08 May 2008

Tékumel web comic

The first page of a new Tékumel web comic can be seen here:

Tekumel: Chronicles of the Hill People

Should be an interesting read - to be updated every Wednesday!


03 May 2008

Legion of Ever Present Glory, part 2

I have finally done something more with this first set of Tékumel minis. No, there are not done yet, but slow, small steps are being taken along the journey to completion.

Here is an eye-level view. In this view, the troops are set into 3 holders, with 9 minis each. This will most likely be changed to 12 minis per holder. My base cohort size will be 12 minis for heavy infantry units, and it just makes more sense to have the minis organized during painting also.

The set in the center is closest to completion. Not much is left to paint, just details. I am also finding that I am not very skilled in painting faces, so I'm afraid that they will remain rather plain-looking until I can get in more practice. I'll have some close-up pics later, when they are finished.

In order to have some command minis for the second cohort, I will need to raid my pack of EPG archers for their standard bearer and musician. The unit packs from Eureka have 24 minis, with only one command set of 1 standard, 1 musician, and 2 officers. My current budgetary plan has me splitting up each pack into two; with the addition of an extra standard and musician I'll have 2 complete cohorts.


01 May 2008

The Tékumel Project blog

Howard Fielding has started a new blog:

The Tékumel Project

This will be a clearinghouse of info on Tékumel-related miniatures and gaming. Thank you Howard!


27 April 2008

Empire Greatswords, part 2

As I was working on these minis, I noticed that they appeared to be advancing to an angle when placed in the typical GW slotta base. So, I clipped the trailing foot off of the slot in order to reposition the mini on the base.

In the pic you can see the effect of the repositioning. On the left is the original configuration, and it is (in my opinion) advancing towards the corner of the base. On the right is the modified version, and is advancing toward the front. Hopefully, the mini will stay glued to the base after the modification.


More great Tékumel pics

Here is a link to some awesome pics of Tékumel minis in action:

Chirine ba Kal's Photobucket gallery

Look for the menu on the left of his page for folders containing a nice variety of pics of battles.


20 April 2008


(Bet you thought about a camera and pics, eh.........)

I have written about this before, but I really need to start to focus on just ONE project. Sometimes, it is really hard, especially with all of these companies releasing such nice minis in such fascinating genres in so many cool scales...

So, a condensing of projects is needed. 40K, for now, is moving back - actually, I have not done anything with 40K for a long time other than thinking about Orks, so it is already out of the line-up; I just need to send the Tau off to a new home, hopefully in trade for minis that match up with the main project.

Song of Blades and Heroes is going onto the back burner. It will see more effort than 40K as I can do work on it concurrently with the main project.

The naval project is returning to the back burner - it would be simple to polish this off, since I only want a handful of ships for a convention-time game, but... focus focus focus.

Warhammer - I simply have too many Empire minis to ignore, but it is dropping down to a distant second.

Which leaves just one - Tékumel.

I am becoming more and more fascinated with the genre. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of minis currently in production - despite Eureka's fine efforts - to even partially cover my wants. And there is always the question of rules.

So, it becomes a three-pronged project:

1. Rules
2. Minis
3. Painting & playing

I have some ideas for rules; I just need to obtain the ones that I do not have yet and play them.

I have some minis, but only for Tsolyani forces. Yan Kor are available from Eureka. But, I want more, so I am beginning to look at converting other minis to use for Tékumel forces.

I have also made some subtle additions to this blog, which some of you have already noticed. I am compiling a list of Tékumel web sites and they will be listed separately on the left. Who knows - I might even get so wild as to change the format of the blog itself, but that is asking a lot!


17 April 2008

Another Tékumel blog

Here is another great blog about the Tékumel genre:

Clanless Barbarians of Pupol-Sua

It is a journal of the adventures of foreigners in the Tsolyani empire... not miniatures-based but a great read with many details of life on Tékumel.


06 April 2008

Where o where...

Been gone for a bit, haven't I?

This has been the year of the great computer upgrade, which is why I have not been around much since mid-February. Our previous computers were getting way long in the tooth, and Feawin and I decided to make a great technological leap from the architecture of 5 years ago.

I spent a great amount of time reading and searching for the parts that would be better and still work together for these new systems, and when our income tax refund finally arrived in early March, we went shopping. Good thing too, since Feawin's computer died right after we ordered the first parcel of parts.

The builds went smoothly enough, although it was a bit of a learning curve to climb. Feawin figured everything out software-wise, since she was having severe problems running WoW with the new hardware. But, some 'Net searching a download or two later, she solved the problem, and the systems are running smoothly.

Now that the computer issues are solved, I am finally able to put that behind me and concentrate on minis! There will be a new release of Tékumel minis from Eureka soon, which brings up my old debate on a rules set again. I dug up my old copy of Fantasy Rules! by ChipCo and will look into it more closely. I also want to get a copy of Hordes of the Things.

One thing that I have yet to try with the new system, though, is uploading pics from camera... cross your fingers!


01 March 2008

More Empire troops

Once again, I have received another gift of Empire troops for my army. I'm not quite certain how Taeklonn came into possession of these sprues, but they are a most welcome addition.

In the box, there were two of these:

This is half of the Empire cannon box, meaning that it is not complete. However, I have a leftover cannon barrel, since I made a mortar with the cannon box that was a part of the Army set. One piece is missing - the trail. I think that I will make a four-wheeled cannon out of the bits on these new sprues.

I also received two of these:

This appears to be the command sprue from a 5th edition Warhammer box set. I do not think that the infantry command figures are quite complete; the arms on this sprue appear to be meant for knights. I should have enough bits to complete the minis though. This sprue does have a mounted figure, which I am going to use to make a mounted standard bearer - just need a spare horse!

Last but not least:

Six of these! These are great figures! The spearmen will be one of my large core units in my army. I like these minis much better than the ones I received in the Army box. Sure, they do not have the variety of poses available in the newer boxes, but they are beautiful minis. And they are not hunched over like the new ones!

The best part is the handgunners. I will try to post a comparison photo, showing these against the new handgunners, in the near future. These handgunners almost appear to have sprung forth from one of the Ospreys on landsknechts. My favorite is the gunner in the top left corner of the photo. All of them are great poses with great detail and much better proportions than the newer minis. I might even pull these out of the Empire army to be the nucleus of my historical Renaissance force.


29 February 2008

Still here...

Hmmm, it has been a while, hasn't it?

My apologies!

I plan to have a real post or two in the very near future. I have some news to share on my Empire forces - just need the time to take pics.


17 January 2008

More blogs

A couple of nice, new blogs relating to Renaissance-era gaming:

Renaissance Miniatures

Info and pics of 25mm Renaissance miniatures, including photo comparisons.

Pike & Plunder

An ongoing Renaissance campaign. Great pics and free downloads of the campaign rules and other info.

Good stuff!


15 January 2008

MMORPG, part 4

(I'll start with a *wave* to the people watching this from the West Seattle Blog - a very nice local news source that has a feed from local bloggers)

Slow but sure progress on the WoW front since last time, the shaman is up to lvl 21. Here is a screenshot:

My Tauren shaman is there in the middle, surrounded by water elementals that he just freed during one of his quests. Also shown is Feawin's blood elf hunter and wolf pet.

I also have an idea. One of the more interesting opponents in WoW is the Murloc, intelligent fish-people that do not like the land-dwellers. They live along large bodies of water in small villages, like these:

Here is a typical grouping of Murloc huts, with a couple of Murloc in the background.

And another pic:

One more (this one is altered slightly, since these were taken during 'night' game-wise:

I think that these would make good scenery for my fantasy skirmish games. It should not be hard to scratchbuild some of these huts, and I have some boxes & crates in the bits box to use also.


06 January 2008

Empire Outriders, part 4

The Outrider unit is finally assembled.

The musician was altered slightly. Originally, the musician is armed with either a pistol or a repeating pistol, but I wanted something different. There are plenty of repeater handguns on the kit's sprue that could be modified.

Here is the basic repeater handgun piece:

My plan is to lop off the right arm so the weapon will be held by the left arm, leaving the musician able to have his horn in his right.

With the mini being plastic, it was very easy to snip away the arm, and carve and file away the hand:

The only tricky part is to leave enough material to show the trigger. A very sharp knife helps. I also put a little putty on the stock to fill in some gaps.

Here is the fully-assembled musician:

The unit leader underwent a similar conversion. His original weapon was a grenade launcher, a weapon that is good for heavily-armored targets but once again I wanted something a bit different ( and a higher quantity of shots).

In the kit, there is one repeater handgun that is separate, i.e. with no arms/hands molded in. With a bit of snipping, I freed the leader's arm from the grenade launcher and cut the repeater handgun to fit:

The trigger guard broke on each weapon - not too surprising since it is thin. The butt of the repeater handgun's stock was trimmed to allow the hand to fit within and to get the trigger guard back together. Also, I rotated the wrist. Test-fitting of the new weapon showed that it would not fit alongside the horse's neck. I scored the wrist along the cuff but I did not cut it completely through. A part of the wrist was left intact, and I twisted the wrist gently to get it into the proper angle, then filled in the gap with glue. This was a bit of an experiment, as I would usually just cut if off completely and then drill and pin the wrist back to the forearm. Hopefully, the joint will be strong enough.

This is the finished weapon:

And, the fully-assembled leader:

In retrospect, I can see that the pose of the arm is a bit awkward; I hope that nobody else notices!

Here is the entire unit, together:

The horses are leaning a bit, but it does rank up together nicely, and should be a good-looking unit once painted.


05 January 2008

Drumbeat 2008

Today is the day for Drumbeat, a small miniature gaming get-together run under the auspices of NHMGS. We (Feawin and I) were looking forward to attending, but she is ill and my stepdaughter just had surgery, so those plans are shelved. Next year, perhaps.

As a side note, this is Post # 100 for this blog! Lots more to come, so stay tuned.


01 January 2008

Last year, this year

(Yes, this is one of those year-end reviews and new year's previews... bear with me!)

I'm always planning things, and 2007 was no exception. Lots of projects planned, but little accomplished.

40K - The Tau are back into the box, and I do not think that I will keep them past July. They just are not interesting to paint or game. 40K is most likely to go on stand-by as other projects take the stage, but those Orks are tempting. Back in 1987 I had Orks, and now they might be back. It will be a low-key project; I envision that most of the vehicles will be scratchbuilt, and the boyz will be had with a minimum of monetary expenditure.

Warhammer - A marvelous turn of events here. I had originally planned to make this as a proxy sidelight to the Renaissance project, with enough overlap to do fantasy battles. But with the arrival of so many Empire minis (thanks again, kids) this has taken a life of its own. I still need a lot of infantry for the army I want, however I have been given a great start.

Warlord - This set is being replaced with a new, simpler game - Song of Blades and Heroes from Ganesha Games. It is a very generic system, with small amounts of troops on the board, making for fast games.

Renaissance - I still have great hopes for this project, but it might take a back seat, at least for the first half of 2008, to the project listed next. Still want to do this in 28mm.

Tekumel - The vast majority of hobby money I spent in 2007 went into this project. Minis and books galore came in, but I do want more. Unfortunately, I wasted a lot of time 'thinking' instead of 'doing', and it shows. I am still not yet satisfied with a potential rules set, but the C&C:Ancients conversion looks good.

And, one last idea - I want to have a historical game set so I can actually have something to run at local conventions. This will likely be a naval game, with either 1/1200 scale post-ACW ironclads or 1/3000 pre-dreadnoughts. Just something inexpensive to purchase and quick to prepare. I will let you know...