Friday, April 26, 2013

S is for Scauweg

Three Scauweg, shown with Bronze Age Miniatures Dead Earth figures

The Scauweg are fantasy monsters available from Slap Miniatures:

"The Scauweg is intended to be the antithesis to the heroic and pure stereotype of fantasy beasts such as gryphons, unicorns and the like.

Despite its appearance being reminiscent of a scavenger, scauwegs will hunt their prey providing they are in packs, making use of their razor sharp claws and beaks.

Although intended for a fantasy setting, we think these beasts would make great mutants in a post -apocalyptic setting as well."

They are quite large models, as can be seen here comparing them with a couple of Bronze Age Miniatures' new Dead Earth figures.

They are large enough almost to act as mounts...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

R is for Resolute

 Hal Foster's Prince Valiant (June 19, 1938)



Admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.


determined - firm - decided - resolved - decisive

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Q is for Quantum...

According to Wikipedia (so it must be true!) a quantum "is the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction."

Example: this post, as an effort to catch up with my "Blogging A to Z" Challenge. ;-)

Now you understand the meaning of the title of the second Daniel Craig Bond movie: "Quantum of Solace."

P is for Pessimist!

For them that think I might not get back in the "Blogging A to Z" thing...

O is for Optimist!

That is, whoever thought I would be able to keep up with this "Blogging A to Z" stuff!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

M is for Madknight

Troll Mantis Rider.

Madknight Miniatures, that is! Madknight are manufacturers of 28mm figures for Greg Stafford's Glorantha setting. You remember Runequest, right? Well, these are the figures you want!

They have a Kickstarter coming up in May and Andrew has kindly given me permission to preview some of the miniatures it will be featuring:

Agrimori (aka "the Men-and-a-Half") Pikemen.


Hell Sisters, with Chaos Creatures behind.

All painted by Roy Duffy

Sunday, April 14, 2013

L is for Lemuria...

 ...well, Barbarians of Lemuria anyway.

Barbarians of Lemuria is a neat little role-playing game that allows one to play the likes of Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja, Kull, Throngar, etc. Or Sinbad, for that matter. It is rules-lite (which I like) and the magic system allows for player input without (it seems) much opportunity for abuse. I haven't entirely decided whether to use the setting described in the game or do one of my own. I'm teetering - it's about 60/40 now, in favour of the setting in the rules.

Tweaked, of course. :-)

K is for the Garden of Kama

All work on the Garden seems to have ground to a halt. I am waiting...waiting for resin hulls of the galleys and canoes to send to sculptors; waiting for those with sculptors to get worked on; waiting for Mara to be cast up and mailed to me, waiting for the first figures to be sculpted (they are in the queue), waiting, waiting, waiting... *sigh* ;-)

J is for Jefferies Tubes

I was wracking my brain for a "J" topic and the only thing I could think of was "Jefferies Tubes". As any Star Trek fan should know these are the narrow access tunnels in the starships. As the wiki article mentions, they are named after the designer of the original Enterprise, Matt Jefferies.

I'm an equal opportunity geek, however, so J is also for Jedi Mind Tricks... :-)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for Indus Miniatures

Indus Miniatures is a small company producing excellent 28mm figures of the Wars in India during the period 1500-1800. Pictured above are Rajputs (top) and Indian Religious Men (below.) Both images are copyrighted Indus Miniatures and owned by them.

This month is Indus Miniatures 2nd anniversary and to celebrate Ashok is offering 20% off all codes.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Halle Berry

Is it possible to have too much of Halle Berry?

No, I didn't think so either! ;-)

G is for Gringo 40's

28mm Mayan Warriors, sculpted by Mr. Judd

Gringo 40's is a company that until recently specialized in 40mm figures, covering American and Mexican conflicts such as the Alamo. Recently, however, he has branched out into 28mm figures with a new range of Meso-Americans and their Conquistador foes. On the Meso-American side he has started with some mighty fine Mayans, some of which can be seen above.

These are a "must buy" as far as I am concerned!

The photos are from the Gringo 40's website and all copyrights are owned by him.

Monday, April 8, 2013

F is for Fantastic Worlds

Fantastic Worlds is a miniatures skirmish game of retro-sci/fi adventure. The publisher is Rattrap Productions and it is part of a series of games using the same basic mechanisms. The games are set in different eras allowing one to play Gangster pulp-era games, Weird WW2 or even visit Conan the Barbarian's Hyboria.

A good friend of nibe rubs a retro-sci/fi campaign using these rules. Captain Zap Adams and his fearless crew battle the minions of Drang the Dreadful! Will the Rebellion survive! Tune in next week... ;-)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

E is for Estavia


Soldier King is a game by Frank Chadwick and published by GDW. It is a board game that uses a similar sstem to GDW's excellent "A House Divided" game, but set in a generic Horse and Musket setting rather than American Civil War. It is based loosely on the War of the Austrian Succession and Seven Years War. There are four players, each taking the role of a Elector from Arcadia, Argozia, Hravatska or Bravance, who are vying for control the the overall realm: Estavia.

The illustration above is my reproduction of the map that comes with the board game. Movement is box to box along main roads (red), secondary roads (brown), or rivers (blue.) The river boxes have a line indicating which side of the river the town is on. Those with crenelations are fortresses. The boxes are colour coded to show who owns what at the start.

We have used it once to fight a War of the Estavian Succession campaign that stalled primarily because the rules we were using to fight the battles were not very good. Then my computer crashed and I lost most of my campaign information so we couldn't continue. At the time we were playing a two player campaign: Arcadia and Bravance vs Argozia and Hrvatska. Arcadia had a very British flavour, Bravance was France, Argozia was Prussia and Hrvatska was Austria-Hungary. In our campaign Bravance was reeling under attacks from both Hrvatska and Argozia, but their ally Arcadia was about to invade Argozia with a massive army estimated at about twice her strength (such was the recruiting power of the Arcadian territories!)

I have often though about doing an "Estavia through the ages" sort of thing, setting games in different eras on the same map, or roughly the same map.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for Deelguy


Deelguy is a land to the northeast of the Beklan Empire in Richard Adams novel "Shardik". I don't remember the story enough to say how it figures in the book but it has always been a name that I've liked. Some authors either don't have the imagination or are too lazy to come up with good names. Nowadays when I see a fantasy novel I always check to see if there is a map. If there is I look at the place names - the cities and countries. If they are just rip-offs of older writers, or they look like they are put together with a random syllable generator I generally give the book a pass. (Likewise if it involves time travel or the characters speak as if they grew up down the street.) Eliminate those and there really are not that many fantasy novels out there that are worth a glance.

Richard Adams, on the other hand, did a good job with Shardik. I like the map! :-)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Chariot (or Cart...)

Fire Chariot...

The image of a fiery cart - sometimes called a chariot - being pulled by a Demon seems to be common in Buddhist art. I've come across several examples, including one that had a demon pushing as well. Unfortunately that example was very small - so small as to be barely visible. I would like to find a better version of it, but these images are the only two I could find. I believe it is also called a "Hell Cart". I'm sure the one saw had Mara standing in the back, but it has been a while so I could be mistaken. 

...or Hell Cart 

A cart inspired by these will be part of the Mara range in the Garden of Kama setting. The Mara themselves have already been sculpted and can be sen here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Banner Bearers

Excerpted from the Armies of Angkor, by Michel Jacq-Hergoualc'h 

Khmer banner bearers to be exact. One of the factions from the Garden of Kama setting is largely based upon the medieval Khmer armies as detailed in the book this illustration is taken from: The Armies of Angkor: Military Structure and Weaponry of the Khmers, by Michel Jacq-Hergoualc'h. 

According to this work the armies were accompanied by large numbers of musicians as well as these acrobatic banner bearers who are shown balancing the banners on forehead, chin and - if the illustration is to be believed - lower back! (In this case the illustration is a reproduction of a carving at the palace of Angkor Wat.)

A modern-day variant of flag balancing is still practiced in various areas in SE Asia. 

For the Garden of Kama setting I have commissioned some banner bearers to follow behind the army. At the same time I've been trying my hand at drawing up some banners in Corel Draw...

I've made over 60 designs so far. Each banner is 90mm tall before being put on a pole. The intent is to get the figures sculpted with the banner-base as part of the figure - on the forehead or chin, for example. That will provide a point to drill a support hole with a pin vise to allow the banner to be attached. I've done so many designs because I want each unit to be accompanied by a party of banner bearers, with each banner being different.

In addition to making for a colourful display, there could be a practical benefit to mark casualties (as in Hail Caesar, for example) by removing a banner for each "hit" the unit takes. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Artesia

Artesia is the creation of Mark Smylie, who is both author and artist of the Artesia comics and graphic novels, and the Artesia role-playing game: Artesia: Adventures in the Known World.

Artesia is the heroine of the stories - referred to as an "epic military fantasy" - and is both warrior and witch, equally dangerous whether wielding sword or magic. 

There are at four graphic novels: Artesia, Artesia Afield, Artesia Afire and Artesia Besieged. Sadly, I have not yet been able to locate a copy of the last. :-(

There is also the role-playing game, which provides a lot of detail for the Known World in which Artesia wages her wars. All are superbly illustrated by Mark.

I am slowly working up to wargaming in the Known World. The Assault Group, a manufacturer of 28mm wargaming miniatures recently ran a kickstarter to generate funds to expand their renaissance ranges - specifically with a Tudor English range. The drive came up short unfortunately but there is still the opportunity to pick up the kickstarter goodies on their site. 

One of the options was to pledge for a custom command pack - sculpted to your specifications. I went for that option, requesting an "Elizabeth I" figure, mounted and in armour, with a mounted and armoured "lady-in-waiting" and a dismounted male courtier. Can you guess which figure I was angling for?

I'm still keen to continue the pledge - I just have to confirm with TAG that they are willing to go ahead. There are so many of their figures throughout their renaissance lines that are suitable! The setting is not earth, of course, but the armour is vaguely the right level of sophistication, with the wilder fringes having more primitive styles. And there is magic. Gunpowder is not much in evidence but is mentioned at the end of the third book. How much it features in the fourth book I do not know. :-(