25 November 2015

Pleasant Surprises VIII

For about seven years now, I've been participating in the "Pleasant Surprises" miniatures exchange at Warhammer-Empire.com. We secretly exchange (usually, but not always) painted figures with other members. I just received my surprise in the mail, courtesy of King (on that forum,) from the Island Fortress of Malta (or the catacombs thereof)...

A new (anti-)hero!

I couldn't resist getting a shot of him leading some troops against Marienburg...

He's a great addition to the army. I hadn't thought of painting gold/bronze armour and I really like the way works with the color palette of the rank & file troops, but still makes him stand out as a leader.

21 November 2015

Planning a Game

I'm itching for some gaming. Any gaming. I was browsing through the Google Play store & looking at phone games. But I'd rather push some figures around. I think that it's finally time I start trying to put together my first solo game in the Marienburg vs. The Undeadish campaign.

I rambled on about rules from a few angles before, and I think I've decided to start with Hail Caesar rules. I will be using the HC rules plus the "Shadow Storm" fantasy modifications available at...

I have started cutting, pasting, and tweaking his army lists into two modified lists for my own factions. I'm considering these as just a starting point. The Marienburg list is big, and represents a lot of both painted and possible units that may appear at some time. The Undeadish list is smaller and simpler, but could see more additions. I imagine that I will change things up quite a bit after both lists see some action. I still need to add the commanders.

Since this is my first solo game, first game of Shadow Storm, and first game in years of Hail Caesar (and one of only a few I've ever played) I'm going to keep things simple. Maybe an undeadish "breakthrough" scenario. I can deploy the Marienburgers at the edge of a village. Undeadish will then be deployed randomly. Their goals will be to head off the other side along any of several exit zones, killing everything that tries to stop them. The Marienbugers will, obviously, be trying to stop them from entering the village.

That's about it. This will give me my first chance at playing solo, as well as getting reacquainted with the Hail Caesar rules. I can add on programmed actions for the Undeadish, event cards, and some of my other planned experiments later.

12 November 2015

Vinyl Toy Interlude

A good deal of my time in the attic this month is going to be taken up by vinyl toys rather than miniatures. (Sorry dwarf swivel guns, you'll have to wait.) I've had a number of projects falling behind because I couldn't get enough big stretches of completely free time to do some time consuming -- and pretty messy -- sculpting. With the weather getting colder, deadlines for art shows looming, and commission projects long overdue, I decided it was time to take a little time away from my day job so I could work on this, and do all of the sanding involved in the process outdoors while the weather was still cooperative. So now I am doing the painting and detail sculpting/modeling when I would normally be painting miniatures. (Or, rather, I have been painting miniature a lot because I haven't had the long stretches of time required to prep the vinyl until now.)

At any rate, I'm part of Team North America for the "Space Crab Wars" going on at the Martian Toys booth at this year's Designer Con in Pasadena later this month. That's the project I'm currently scrambling to finish...

After that, I've also got some (long) overdue work on a private commission project to finish, and then a few other commissions that have been backed up behind that.

If you happen to be interested in custom vinyl & resin toys & sculpts, I have moved my alter ego's web site to blogger now, as well as a gallery there (which is really just a link to my photos on Google+)

We will return to your regularly scheduled miniatures shortly. Shortly-ish. Still thinking about Deadcember.

11 November 2015


I saw quite a bit about "Orctober," and have started seeing a few themed November fantasy projects. So I'm going to jump the gun and plan on...


I started 2015 trying to reenter the hobby in some way. I've got grand plans for solo gaming, developing a narrative campaign, and have even accomplished quite a bit on terms of a battlefield (table & terrain.) But the theme of 2015 has really been the building of an Undead army.

It looks like November will be busy with other things, but I'm thinking that maybe I should make one last year-end push to get as much of the remaining undead done as possible. Who are the potential (unpainted) beneficiaries?

6 (of 13) more units of skeletons.
1 (of 2) more units of skeleton elite.
1 skeleton colossus.
2 (of 5) Undeadish infantry.
1 (of 2) Undeadish cavalry.

Plus a few more individual characters and critters.

I'm going to need a bigger table...

04 November 2015

Stirland Standard Bearer Exchange

For the past seven (?) years I've participated in the Warhammer Empire "Pleasant Surprises" secret figure exchange. My recipient received and has recently opened his figure. I converted an old halberdier into a standard bearer for his Stirland army. I left the base plain so he could match the rest of his army himself.

In past years it has become customary to also include some treats from your home country or region, since a lot of these Pleasant Surprises are traveling around the world. (This figure went from Cleveland, Ohio to Finland, for example.) I've always been stuck in that regard, but this year I sent a small bottle of Ohio maple syrup, some Cleveland Stadium Mustard, and -- just because they are weirdly good -- a bag of the limited release Lay's Biscuits & Gravy chips. I think I covered the geographic regions, national, state, city. :)

01 November 2015

Figures on the Table and Halloween

Some lousy photos of one of the next things on my table. A pair of old Marauder dwarf swivel guns. I bought them eBay ages ago, but the package arrived damaged and a few parts were missing. It's taken me years to finally get around to creating a few replacement parts (one and a half of the two frames) for the guns. My plan is to mount these on 40mm bases and use them to bolster my insufficient numbers (10) of Marauder dwarfs with handguns.

They're cast in a very soft, presumably lead-heavy alloy. You can print pretty clearly with them on paper.

My time the past few days, however, has been taken up with building a mask for my daughter. She has been changing her mind every few days as to what she wanted to be for Haloween. With just a couple days to go, she really wanted to be a dinosaur. I ran out of time for some of the details (and rest of the teeth). As it turns out, the poor kid is really sick and didn't wear the mask anyway -- though she did go trick-or-treating for just a bit, dressed as Super Girl.

At the end of the day, T-rex (shown here after my daughter had painted it earlier in the day) got into some of the left-over candy. It is a well accepted fact that T-rex was not just a predator, but was an opportunist not above scavenging.