Sunday, October 23, 2016

Building The TRE Games Trireme - Photo heavy, by the way

Bottom of the hull; this is a 'waterline' kit.

Main and upper deck in place

Side view; note the 'egg crate' design

Yes, you will need a lot of clamps.

Bow, being glued up

Stern, being glued up

The ship, complete with masts and yards

This has been a most enjoyable project! The trireme looks just plain deadly; Tim at TRE games has captured the look of the full-sized ship - google 'Olympias', for the reconstructed ship of the Hellenic Navy - in a model that will still fit on a game table. This ship has sixty oars, thirty to a side, making her a smaller ship and quite suitable for our miniature adventures. (You also get spare oars, too; there must be something like 75 oars included.)

I will be right up front about it; this is a challenging kit, and not particularly suited for beginners. Having said that, if you look at the 'Blog' feature of the TRE website, you'll find out how to do this kit with a lot less effort. (Look at the 'Longship' entry; guess what the Missus wants me to build next, for her Norwegian ancestors.) The secret is soaking the planking sections of the hull in water, and bending them while wet; I built this kit dry, and so had to use a lot more clamps then I would have expected. And you do not need the kind of specialty clamps that I have; ordinary 'c-clamps' which you can get at any hardware store, big-box DIY, or ironmongers, will do just fine.

The secret is patience - take your time, and this kit will flow together. Follow the instructions as you go, and understand what you will be doing in each step; there are a lot of parts in this kit, and you'll want a good-sized table to spread them all out. And, if I may observe, work on a sheet of 'cling-film' (like 'Saran Wrap') or waxed paper to keep the parts from sticking to the table as you glue them up. Allow plenty of time for your glue to dry hard, and it'll all work just fine. TRE also includes spares of the more delicate and vital parts, so you can work with confidence. A little care in getting the parts out of the matrix pays for itself in assembly, and a sharp craft knife helps with this.

Now, this kit does cost US$80; it is not a cheap bit of gaming gear. Is it worth it? You bet it is; the final result is a whopping two feet long, and about four inches wide over the decks. There's plenty of room for figures on bases, and the ship is so sturdy I can put any number of them on the decks without any fear that I'll damage the ship. And the building process was well worth the cost of the kit in sheer entertainment, too; I loved doing this project, and I love the final product even more.

I am hugely impressed by this kit; both the Missus and I thought that the price was good, and well worth it.

Tim makes some very nice kits, and this is one of his best!

(Link to TRE Games in the left-hand column, too.)

The Weekly Update - Sunday, October 23rd, 2016 - Lots And Lots Of Good News

The Kickstarter has already fully funded! There are seven figures in the full set, too.

Lots of news to get through before I do the post on the TRE Games trireme, so let's dive right in.

First off, my father-in-law is walking again; he had surgery to relieve pressure on the nerves in his back that control his legs, and he's now back on the Iron Range regaining his strength. As might be assumed, we're very happy about this, and wishing him a speedy recovery!

One bit of very sad news, which I did not pass along until now out of respect to the people involved, was that there was a death in our very extended family a while back. I will not comment further, as I respect their privacy, but the Missus and I were both shocked and surprised by the news.

In the miniatures world, The Tekumel Project has been posting photos of Howard's upcoming release of Vimuhla troopers and personalities; link to his site in the left-hand column, and we encourage you to have a look.

Alex Bates,  who runs Forge of Ice Miniatures, as gotten a Kickstarter going for a set of 'Sleazy Merchant and Sleepy Guards'. I just found out about this last night, while on the Lead Adventure Forum, and we'll be getting this set; the Missus pronounced Herself to be pleased with these figures, so I know what I'm getting for my Christmas present. We already have the two Snake Priestess figures, which have joined Mike Burns' Dark Fable 'Temple of Set' set. (Sorry; could not resist that.) Alex does not have a formal website, but does have a Facebook page. The link to the Kickstarter is:

Speaking of Mike Burns, rumor has it that his next Dark Fable Miniatures set will be "The Legend of Cleopatra", with suitable figures of the lady her herself and various court officials and officers.I'll want to get in on this; I have a huge bronze scarab to use as the palace gong, so I'm well on my way to doing the epic production... :)

Getting the house ready for the arrival of Fifth Daughter from overseas continues; went out to IKEA yesterday and bought a new side table for the front door to hold all those hats, gloves, and scarves we seem to need up here in the Northwoods. I continue to find all sorts of treasures and curiosities that I had clean forgotten about, stashed away in the 'spare room', and I continue to sort them all out. I'm also making room in the workshop for the old painting desk; I'm really looking forward to using it again!

More to come!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Weekly Update - Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 - Terse, Sorry...

Sorry to be so terse, today; my father-in-law, the Missus' beloved dad, is in the hospital for spinal surgery. He's doing fine, and walking again, but we've been pretty busy.

Much more to come; we'll be back as soon as we can.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Blowing off the dust; hidden treasures...

Yep. That's where this all started.

I thought that you, my gentle readers, might be amused to see something we uncovered in the living room this past weekend. It's been sitting there for around a decade, holding up all the gloves, scarves, and hats that are part and parcel of life hereabouts during our winters. It's a little wooden desk; the top has been cleaned up a bit, and I would guess that it doesn't look like much.

Except for one thing. That's the original Chirine's Workbench, bought second-hand right about the time I started painting figures in earnest, and right about the time I started working for Dave Arneson at Adventure Games.

Like me, it's a little older and a little more beat-up, but still serviceable. It's been replaced by the much larger and sturdier workbench that the Missus got for me, but you know, I think I still like this old desk.

I think, if nobody minds, I'll seal the top with a new coat of finish and paint some figures on it...

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Tim At TRE Games Does It Again!!!

I'm having the vapors over this model...

It has been a truly wonderful weekend, and I'm pretty darn happy; there have been all too few weekends like this of late, what with both the Missus and I having health issues. Getting the wreckage cleared, and the living room reset has hugely improved our health and our morale. The icing on the cake came this evening; I give Second Daughter a ride to work, as transport is an issue for her, and I try to stop by The Source (my FLGS) to see what's new.

Tim over at TRE Games had stocked a set of biremes - about 1/400 scale? - to go with his pack of triremes mentioned in these pages; you get three for $8.00, and they look very nice. The big - and I do mean big - news was that he's done a 28mm scale trireme kit. The kit retails for $80, and it's simply huge; something like fifteen sheets of parts, and two pages of instructions.

The thing is huge, by gaming standards; it looks to be about two feet long, over all, and about four to five inches wide. The oars - and you get a lot of oars - will make it about six inches wide, I think. Parts are all, as usual for Tim, neatly cut and practically fall out of the sheets. Get out some wood glue, and we're in for a very happy time in the shipyard.

This model is especially attractive both for the very reasonable cost and for the vast amount of playable space on the top- and mid- decks. (You can't play the lower hold, but that's what paper plans are for.) The oars are all separate, so there's an immense amount of 'play value' there for hapless character to fall overboard and clutch at oars as they drift. Boarding actions, sea voyages, and treasure hunts all suggest themselves for several historical periods and for Hollywood 'Sword and Sandal'-style epics - in Technicolor, of course! - with everybody from Helen of Troy to Queen Cleopatra setting sail and telling the rowers to go a little faster.

This is, right out of the zip-loc bag, a model to dream about. I'll be taking this one very slowly, getting it right, and I'll take lots of pictures of the process.

The sheer size of this model is also perfect for me; it's halfway between my treasured old urethane foam liburnians that I got in the late 1980s at an Origins convention, and the vast (at some three feet long) Nemesis galley I built. She's sleek and fast, from the looks of her, and I think will see a lot of use in games. Both the Missus and Third Daughter have seen the kit, and both love the look of the galley; I think we'll score this one a success...

Break out the life jackets, and stand by for action!