Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Weekly Update - Sunday, September 25th, 2016 - Matters Maritime, Black Boxes, Skyships, and Movie Nights

Hull One, moved to the Fitting-out Dock for adding details
Baron Ald's pride and joy, before adding details
It has been a very, very busy week here at the Workbench! I had a group in to watch "Thief of Baghdad" - 1924, with an eye to starting a group playing in a Tekumel campaign, and I'll have another in today with an eye to starting a Barsoom campaign. The game room had to be changed over from game mode to theater mode and then back again, but that is why everything in there is on casters - I am very 'organized', people say, but I prefer to think of it as being 'lazy'. The big-screen Sony LCD TV is finally doing what I got it for last year, and a good time was had by all as near as I can tell. Next up will be the 1940 version of this classic.

The Barsoomian skyships are advancing; Hull One has moved off the ways and into the Fitting-out dock to get her details added; I watched "John Carter" again yesterday to refresh my memory about weapons mounts and tactics. I came away from this with some ideas, and so it's off to the armaments works this coming week. The weapons mounts will all be based on magnets, so I can rotate them and change them in and out for various adventures. Hull Two will move onto the slipway to get her superstructure and engines installed; she'll look visually different then Hull One, which I like to think has a bit of a Helium look to her. Two will look a bit more 'tough', as befitting the Sky Pirates or Zodangans.

(On a side note, I'll also have to rummage around my stocks of old figures, and see what I can do for some Therns; I have a vintage Grenadier figure that might just be perfect, actually.)

The 'Weapon Without Answer' has had to wait for the embroidery crew; a good friend asked to see what it looked like at this stage, so a photo of the work-in-progress is above. The good Baron seems pleased! Lots of silver and turquoise in my future, I can tell you!

My vintage fleet of ships from Valiant and C-in-C are now all off their bases and ready to go into drydock for restoration and refurbishment.I originally got these decades ago for games out at Phil's, and we used them for all sorts of games and adventures. I had originally put them on cardboard bases, as was the custom in those far-off days, and when they went back into service about a decade ago these bases started to really look their age. I rebased everything on new wooden bases, with an eye towards doing the same kind of 'ocean waves' effect I had on the originals, but I never liked the way the based handled on the table. So, off came the new bases, and I'll be cutting clear Plexiglass to make new ones for the fleet. I think that this will look better, handle well on the table for players, and keep fingers off the ships' paint.

Links to the Valiant and C-in-C websites:

The Valiant 'Spanish Main' ships and C-in-C 'Ancient Ships' are 1/1200, and the Valiant 'Ramming Speed' ships are 1/900; I have yet to see that it makes any difference, myself.

Ships need something to sail about (or row across) on, so I'm working on an ocean. I'm doing this pretty simply, using up the stock of spare tiles I cut for the new game table; these are getting  coat of a nice blue for the basic color, and then a couple of different shades of blue for an mottled look. After it all dries, on goes the gloss varnish, in layers, to give the 'water' some 'depth'. All very vintage modeling - see what we model railway folks used to get up to - but very durable and easy to store. I will also do some shoreline tiles, so as to give our adventurers someplace to stop and relax on the beach with a tall glass of something...

One complication for the past week; The Missus has been pretty sick, with what we think is a gall-bladder problem. Lots of rest and light foods, and she's much better this weekend.



  1. I'm glad to hear that the missus is doing better.
    Both models look great. Look forward to the finished products, especially the sky ship. BTW, as an aside, will you be continuing the Tekumel painting guides?

    1. Thank you for your kind words! I am home with her today; I was in the shower getting ready for work when she came in and was pretty sick. I aksed her is I should stay home - I have large amounts of sick leave built up - and she said:

      "No, I'll be - (heave) - just fine - (heave) so go in."
      "I think I'll call my supervisor."
      "Well, ok - (heave) - if that would make - (heave) - you feel better..."

      So, I'm keeping her hydrated and warm. The doctors say it is indeed her gall bladder; what with her other health issues, she's not a candidate for surgery, so we'll just have to ride this one out. We'll survive; we've been through worse.

      I am delighted you like the models! I try... :)

      Yes; anything in particular you'd like me to talk about?

    2. I sincerely hope all is well, and a quick recovery is forthcoming! Your model-building is, as a friend of mine says, "top shelf." I like what do and how you execute your minis and especially your models. A lot of creativity, and scratch building, two I especially find interesting.
      Minis, well at the risk of boring you and everyone else I would like to say what paints did you use for the Pechani forces, but I think that I'll go for something more "mundane" like Mu'ugalavya. ;)
      I know that you told me elsewhere that I should think of Imperial China when looking at Mu'ugalavya, but what minis did you use to represent them, and what colours are best representative of their armour?

      Thanks again,


  2. Funny: we were just screening The Thief of Bagdad (silent Douglas Fairbanks version) at my house's a movie I own and that my son loves. It was actually a major inspiration for my Arabian Nights-style "Five Ancient Kingdoms." Tekumel seems a little dark for the whimsical feel of that film, but I'm probably just out-o-practice using my imagination...
    ; )

    1. Phil's Tekumel, at least in the time I had with him, was a lot more 'Arabian Nights' then 'grimdark'. He actually introduced me to this film, after I mentioned the 1940 version, and said he'd loved it when he was a kid - and that it had been a great influence on him for Tekumel.

      When I first saw the 1924 version, I noticed that the Mongols are all wearing the same armor as the Yan Koryani Gurek of the Red and Green Banner of Dharu, and the magic army that saves the city looks a lot like the Legion of Miriktani, Hero of Victories...

      Hmmmmm....... :)

    2. @ Chirine:

      Ha! Absolutely right!
      : )