31 December 2015

Out with the old...

And in with the new!

In all honesty, 2015 was a mixed bag as far as this hobby.  Maybe, even a bit toward the negative in some ways.

For some reason, this year saw many difficulties with ordering stuff on-line.  Late orders, incomplete orders, even one order that has gone completely missing since five months ago.  Some were excellent, On Military Matters and Warbases come to mind.  But, more miss than hit.

I did not get to any shows this year, which is unfortunately a common theme now, but I still want to get back into the swing of things.

No gaming, either, with the exception of playtesting Galleys & Galleons.  And few completed miniatures, not enough for some good gaming.

But, gears have been grinding and decisions have been made.

The first step will be to catalog and begin selling down the hobby mountain - lead, plastic, and paper.  I have books, board games, rules, miniatures, and model kits that I have hoarded for years that need to go, and I could use the funds for other projects.  I intend to start by listing items here, then on some of the various game forums.  There is a wide variety of items - stay tuned!

The second step might seem counter-productive to reaching the goal of getting enough miniatures painted up for gaming, but I am re-organizing the project list.  The hypothesis that is running through my mind is one where new projects might be enough of a spark to get them completed.

The Mesoamerican project will continue to grow.  I am quite fascinated with the era and location, and my lovely wife is also.  I am thinking that there will be less emphasis on the Conquistador angle, however.

One of the new projects is the French & Indian War.  My lovely wife has been hinting at this for some time, and it is finally time to do something about it.  The intention is to start small, and work my way up.  Rules have been procured already, with Song of Drums & Tomahawks and Muskets & Tomahawks here and waiting.  The first miniatures will be selected soon, after funding is finalized.

Another new project that is waiting on the wings is from an era that I thought that I would never work on again, and that is land combat in the 20th century.  WW2 gaming was really popular with my old group when I lived in Spokane, but my interest in it waned, until just recently.  But, of course, this will be something slightly different.  

Other projects will be around, especially Tékumel, but will not have the same focus.  Tékumel, especially, is a long-term project where the finish line is far into the distance.  Others will be worked on as my attention span and spare time allow...

But, enough text for now.  More later, including pics.

Happy New Year!


19 December 2015

And, back

A brief but intense flurry of work-related issues put a damper on hobby-related goings on here, but with the coming of the usual Christmas slowdown I should be able to get back on track.

The lack of 'doing' has brought on more 'thinking' about my projects, past, current, and future.  Sometimes I despise having time to think too long at projects, as I always find a fault or three and pine for something different.  But, it is just a hobby (so I'm told!) for me at least, so some re-organization is due.  Projects are going to get shifted, along with priorities but it should lead down a path for actual gaming to occur (finally).

More thoughts - and pics! - later on...


21 November 2015


Nothing too grand going on here at the moment - the hobby table has been quiet as I have been working a few too many hours in the past weeks.  I have been dabbling on some terrain items (finally!) but nothing is pic-worthy yet.

I have given some thought to condensing my blog footprint, and one more of my separate 'project' blogs is about to collapse.  Off and on, although more 'off', I have been working on some micro-scale miniatures over at Small Scale Stuff.  This morning, I have imported all of those posts into this blog, and soon the little blog will be deleted.  I will keep this blog running, of course, and two others, Mini Ship Gaming and Threwdish Ways, as they are large enough to continue on their own merits.  I might even post something to these two sometime...


14 November 2015

New books

New to me at least:

Found these at one of our local bookstores - Pegasus - and walked out with them for less than $10 total.  I have heard that Glen Cook is a good writer, and now (well, eventually!) I have a chance to find out for myself.


11 November 2015

Lest we forget...

It is Veteran's Day here in the US.

For those whom have already passed  -  my father (USN) and oldest brother (USANG), aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and beyond (USA, USN, USAAC/USAF) 

For those that are still here  -  my wife, sister (USAF), stepdaughter, stepson-in-law, stepson, nephew (USA), brother-in-law (USMC), cousins and aunts and uncles uncounted (all branches)

And, for those still serving - my youngest son, currently with the 101st Air Assault

You are remembered; thank you for your sacrifices 


08 November 2015

Huaxtecs, part 5

Slow progress to be sure, but the miniatures are starting to look good - here are some pics (possibly NSFW):

Here are some of the warriors wearing the tlahuiztli war suit, with 'hawk scratches' that are very characteristic of Huaxtec suit-wearers.  I have tried to introduce some variation in the fellows by having the hair and forehead feather fillet in different colors.  If I had thought more before starting, I would have switched some of the weapons around with some of the other figures, especially a maquahuitl or two.

Here are the other warriors, with a variety of weapons and tattoos.  

There are a lot of details that are not yet done, and the leader and his shamen are barely started, but it should not be too much longer...


01 November 2015

November table

Scottish schiltron spearmen in the foreground, backed by some Islemen.  Huaxtec on the right - some minor detail work finished.  Odds and sods on the left, with orcs, Shén, and my two new Frostgrave metal figures amongst others.


28 October 2015

Frostgrave prize has arrived!

Just a quick pic:

I have received my prize from the fine fellows at Canister & Grape!

Many thanks again!


27 October 2015

More shirts!

Yes, more t-shirts.  Game Faire was not the only show I attended.  Dragonflight is another, and still a current affair.  Unfortunately, I have not attended Dragonflight for some years, but maybe that will change...

And, the shirts:


24 October 2015

Scots, part 2

There has not been much time here for the painting table recently, with a plethora of other items as distractions and to top it off by feeling a bit under the weather.  I did manage to get some brushtime on the Scots:

The Islemen are slowly getting some attention, and on the right foreground are some knights with their gesso primer.


17 October 2015

Something a little different... shirts

Remember the saying - been there, done that, got the t-shirt?  Well, while doing some sorting of old stuff, I found some old T-shirts from game shows that I had attended in the past, and I thought that I would memorialize them in some blog posts before they are sent off to charity.

First up are the shirts that I received from the now-defunct show, Game Faire, which was held in Spokane, WA, USA (my home-town) from 1979 to 2002 (or maybe 2003).  Game Faire was an all-inclusive sort of convention, with board games, RPGs, card games, computer games, and miniature events all under one roof.  I started as just an attendee, then started to run board game events, such as Squad Leader, Blue Max, and Western Desert, then made the switch to miniatures, primarily WW1 naval events.

And, without further ado...

Not a complete set by any means.  Game Faire always offered very nice shirts, with cool artwork especially in the later years of the convention.

And now, one last Game Faire t-shirt:

This one is from the Game Faire that was held in Lewiston, ID, USA, in 1984.  It was organized by the same people, but was held only twice or maybe three times before folding.


10 October 2015

Another prize win

The fine fellows over at Cannister & Grape recently held a big give-away celebrating the 7th anniversary of their blog, and yours truly was one of the lucky recipients of some very nice swag in the form of a bundle of the new Frostgrave figures!  Thank you very much for the prize Millsy and Evan et al; I can't wait to get some paint slopped onto those figures!

I have been quite fortunate in the past with regards to these contests - earlier this year saw a prize from Jon at Palouse Wargaming Journal, and in 2012, a DVD from Big Lee.

Again, a big thank you to all of you!


06 October 2015

Scots, part 1

Purchased these some time ago, but only now just getting around to the pics:

Scots, or more specifically Islemen, from Claymore Castings.  Here are a few more:

The fellow on the right of the bottom pic is a standard bearer, and he is holding a length of brass tubing that I glued in.

I am a little worried about the axes that they are wielding, as they are a bit thin and the pose is energetic.  Wonderful figures despite that.  I have others, but they had been primed black already and black primed figures just do not photograph well.


03 October 2015

Return to an old project?

Not much painting time here lately, just moving things around in an attempt to re-organize.

Here is a pic of the table:

The fantasy humans have been re-primed with a thin coat of gesso, and the square bases have been removed.  Unfortunately for the rest - and many other miniatures that are waiting off-stage - my stash of round slotta bases is very small, so they will need to wait for a while before getting based up again.

The Huaxtec continue to get some tattoo work, and in the rear rank one can see my Eagle warriors.  Eagle and Jaguar societies were not limited to just the Aztecs, so my Eureka Eagles have been transferred to the Huaxtec.  I am intending to make the core of my Aztec force around Foundry figures, but that is some time in the future.

And, in the foreground, are a couple of bags of miniatures that had been stored away for some time, and are going to make a comeback.  One can just read the business card in the photo from Claymore Castings, and the bags contain some of their excellent 14th century English and Scots.  As my wife is interested in her Scottish heritage, I will likely bring this dormant project back to the fore in the upcoming weeks.


19 September 2015

Huaxtecs, part 4

(This might be a bit NSFW, fair warning!)

A little more progress on the Mesoamerican project, with the Huaxtec pictured below:

The bases on all of them have been started, just smoothing out the base mostly.  Weapons are getting closer to completion, and the coloration of the hair is just about done, although for those that I am leaving as black (instead of dyed), I am not quite happy with the highlighting or the lack thereof.  I am not certain how far I will pursue it, as I am willing to bet that they will look different once the figures are coated with matte sealer.

The big item of the week has been putting tattoos on the fellas.  The Huaxtec were reputed to be heavily tattooed, so I am giving it a try.  So far, I am just using simple lines and designs, which should look OK from table-top gaming distances.  I will need to research some more complex designs, as well as the possibility of face/body painting...

Here is a close-up of some of the tattoos:

I am using Winsor & Newton black ink for the designs, which is why they are quite glossy.  The designs are fairly random, and I am trying to mix it up a bit for variation.  This pic also shows some of the very minor differences that I tried to have in poses, with the three that are armed with a wooden bladed weapon that I can not find the appropriate word for at the moment (!) showing where I have bent the figure.  Once I can order some more Huaxtec from Outpost, to supplement these from Lucid Eye, there will be much more variety in the troops!

A few more examples:

As I was trying to come up with more designs, it occurred to me that if I was painting these up for some purely Pulp gaming instead of attempting something remotely historical, it would be great if the tattoos were mathematical formulas instead of just random patterns...


12 September 2015

Mid-September Table

Haven't had much time for painting lately, but here is a pic of what is on the work table:

On the left, the Shén are getting the first dabs of paint, and on the right the Huaxtec are getting a bit of attention, mostly with some basing.  In the center is a Warbases sabot base that I am thinking of modifying by removing the right-most part to make a seven-slot base as it is currently too wide for my tastes.


05 September 2015

Other fantasy stuff

I have been reconsidering some of my gaming goals lately, and one of the ideas that I have renewed and brought forward to my gaming plans involves getting some skirmish groups together for some Song of Blades-type scenarios.  I have a variety of figures that can be used for this including my lovely wife's elves and my Reptus (lizard folk).

A few other groups can be formed, like orcs:

These are Old Glory orcs, from their Ghost miniatures line.  The skin color has just been started - no green orcs here!  The orcs suffer from having no magic-user types, but maybe numbers will help them out; I think that I have 18 of them someplace...

And some humans:

The sword-swingers are old Harlequin miniatures, with a musician and standard bearer included.  I am not certain if those two have an effect in SBH but they will look nice.  The crossbow types are Old Glory miniatures from their late HYW selections, and the guy in grey is a Reaper martial arts type that will be a special character.  After taking this pic, I found a chap that could work as a magic-user, so the humans have a balanced force.

The intended effect of dusting these old miniatures off and getting them painted is to get some sort of actual gaming going on here - it has been far too long...


26 August 2015

Shén, part 4

Moving along with the first element of the Shén legion:

I use plastic rod for my javelins/spears/pikes, with a different diameter for each type.  For pikes I am using 1/16" (1.6mm) rod from my stash of materials that I have hoarded for just such an occasion.  The price tag on this particular material dates back to 1996!

Step 2 of the process:

Pikes for all, with shields for the rear rank, which is the right-most ones in the above pic!  The pikes are approximately 3"/75mm long.  The hands needed to be drilled out, but the material is soft enough and the hands big enough so the chore was not too difficult.

And lastly:

The miniatures now have a coat of black gesso for primer.  I am going to let the gesso dry for a few days before the next step.


21 August 2015

Legion of Ever Present Glory, part 21

Finally, the process for this legion draws to a finale!  Here is the archer element:

This pic is after sprinkling sand and talus over the base, and a mix of earth and green flock has been, quite literally, dumped over the base.  After it has been allowed to dry, a day or more, this is the result:

Not too green, which is good.  It looks like I missed a spot or two, but I will add a few pieces of coarse flock to help hide them.

And now, the final product:

A few small chunks of coarse flock finished the element.  Next time, I will watch the talus placement a bit more closely, as several pieces seem to have landed on edge, which looks a bit odd.  

And now, for a group pic of my small but growing Tsolyáni army:

Very blue (my lovely wife has taken to calling them the blueberry squad!), but that is typical of Tsolyáni armies I believe.  The next elements will be a little different, as the reptilian Shén have black scales along with their blue armor.


14 August 2015

Shén, part 3

Ah, the joy of a delivery of new miniatures!  Behold:

Bags and bags of Tékumel figures - two warbands and two hordes of Shén + a few others, and a bunch of Sapphire Kirtle skirmishers, along with assorted weapons and shields, and another Sérudla (far right).  I am most interested in the Shén, so they were sorted out first:

Piles of Shén instead of bags now!

The different poses are formed up into files, or maybe conga lines (!), and the first element of Shén poses on a Litko 60mm square base.  This first element of Shén will be representing the Tsolyáni Legion of the City of Chrí, 7th Imperial Shén Auxiliary Heavy Infantry.  This is a bit of an odd unit, with a human commander that dresses like his reptilian Shén troops, and this element of the Legion is armed with pikes.  This unit should be an eye-catcher, with the scales of the Shén being a satin black, and the armor a mix of blue and red-orange.

Here is another pic of the Legion, with a slightly different mix of figures:

This pic is meant to be a mnemonic to help me remember the placement of the figures on the base, as I will surely forget once I finally get this element ready for basing!

And here most of the Shén have been separated into element groups - with a slip of paper identifying the unit - for storage until the first element is done.  This represents two different legions - one is Tsolyáni and one is Yán Kór - with three elements of six figures each.

I have yet to delve into the bags of skirmishers, and there are some other goodies mixed in there also.