Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Weekly Update - Sunday, January 28th, 2017 - New Miniatures, and Wonderful Games

The card we got in our order

Fisrt off, we have a new look here at the Workbench; the old Blogger template that I was using seems to have developed a odd bug, and the colors of the text changed yesterday to something odd. So, a new template, and we'll keep an eye on things.

A new source of fun figures: Alex Bates and his 'Forge of Ice'. He does not have a website per se, but does have a Facebook page. Our set of 'Sleazy Merchant and Sleepy (4) and Alert (2) Guards" has arrived, and are simply fun to look at - they will paint up very well, I think, and I'll get photos up as soon as I can. I'll work on the link, too.

Had a great game session, yesterday, with the D&D group I am playing with. I will have a longer report later, but I was out until after midnight and need to take a nap, now that I have gotten my pills. So, more later; great game play by some very fun players; I also got to talk a lot about Tekumel to people, which was heaps if fun.

Off for now; back in  few hours...

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Fiddler's Recent Comment - A Longer Reply

A Castle in Italy...
I thought that Fiddler’s recent comment deserved a longer reply, so here it is…
One of the things prompting this longer reply is that, over the past decades, nobody from outside my family has ever asked me the question, “What are you really doing?”
People who know me, and the family, already know the answer, so this post is for the people who have been projecting their hopes, their fears, their dreams, and their insecurities onto me for all these years…

            Let it be said that there's nothing wrong with a quiet year / consolidation year. As a matter of fact I did exactly that in 2013, and it proved extremely profitable.

Here are my very specific 2017 "best wishes" for you, Chirine:

1)    to spend some quality time with your daughter;
Exactly. Being a father, and now a grandfather, is the most amazing things I’ve ever done in what has been a long and exciting life. It’s been astonishing, and I’m looking forward to more of this journey.

2)    to add 100K + to your book;
My goal is to finish the book this coming year, and get it into people’s hands for their amusement. This is not going to be a Tekumel version of Jon Peterson’s tremendous book, “Playing at the World”, a new RPG, or anything like that; it’s going to be about a bunch of friends, sitting around a wobbly ping-pong table in a basement room and having a while lot of fun.

3)    to finish the two flyers and the Sakbe road, because these are gonna be so damn gorgeous;
Agreed! These three projects have gotten started up again – I am in the throes of building half a dozen quick-firing radium cannon – and I have now gotten our orders for the new Bronze Age and Forge of Ice figures. New lead always galvanizes and inspires me, and photos will be forthcoming.

4)    to run at least ONE game, just so you can break the spell that weird oblivious dude got you under;
I am hoping to do so as well. As per my ‘rules of engagement’, if somebody wants to organize up a game session, I’ll be happy to host it. Both of my locally-resident daughters want to play in a game like I ususally run, and they may bring some of their friends – we shall see what happens, and I shall keep everyone posted.

5)    and while you're at it (if you DO run that one game), use those splendid new Underworld tiles + lighting, and *film* the whole thing! (Hell, I would drop by the Twin Cities myself just to be in that game, if I had the money.)

That’s the plan. I’ll announce when the game happens, and when we post it. And, you are always welcome, here...

So, there you have it, my friend! A very nice and very rewarding 2017 to you and your family!

Thank you! As I have said many times, all I want to do is paint my figures, tell my stories, and run my games. That’s where we’re going, and everyone is welcome to come along for the ride!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Weekly Update - Monday, January 23rd, 2017 - The News From The BBC, and Taking My Daughter Shopping For Miniatures

Mr. Mornard is on the left.

For those of you who don't regularly follow the BBC, may we suggest clicking on this audio clip:

This is Mike Mornard, who posts on various Internet forums, and comments - often pungently! - on gaming. For Tekumel fans, he's also known as General Korunme Mnashu hi Chaishyani, Mnashu of Thri'il, and commander of the legion of the same name. It's a fun interview, and highly entertaining.

 I served as the Glorious General's staff officer out at Phil's for years, and we had a lot of adventures; Book Three of "To Serve The Petal Throne" is all about these stirring deeds of mighty valor.

It has been a very busy week, unpacking all of Fifth Daughter's worldly goods; we have an astounding number of very nice cardboard boxes to hand, so anyone needing such things should get a hold of us. As soon as possible, as wwe'd like to see out floors again in this decade.

Along the way, I was asked by her to take her miniatures shopping, so that she could pick out her own 'personality figure' for my campaign; she also picked out one for her older sister, Fourth Daughter. We will need to pick out something proper for 4D's husband - something classically Imperial Chinese, of course - and that will complete the family set. For Oldest Sister / Third Daughter and her handsome man, I already have figures in hand for their PCs. First and Second Grandchildren are also covered, thanks to Dr. M. Burns and his Dark Fable Ancient Egyptians.

The new figures are from Dark Sword Miniatures; DSM-1151 for Fourth Daughter, and DSM-4110 for Fifth Daughter. Pictures of these are on the Dark Sword website:

I use a lot of Dark Sword figures as 'personality figures', not only because I happen to know the guy who owns the place, but because these are truly exquisite figures. They may cost a bit more, but you get what you pay for - I have never had a Dark Sword figure that I have not truly enjoyed painting. The level of detail is a little daunting, but hey - it's something to aspire to. They look great on the table, which is what you want for a figure for those special people in your game.

I am terrified at the notion that, eventually, all of my family will be at the same point in the space-time continuum, and I'll be running that game session.

Not much else to report, so I'll be back later on...

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Weekly Update - Monday, January 16th, 2017 - Utter Pandemonium!!!

Fifth Daughter, giving Comrade Putin a headache.

As mentioned in these pages, Fifth Daughter has come to live with us while she finishes her studies and gets her degree. Things have been going pretty well, at least until noon on Saturday; the moving company called her, and announced that all of her worldly goods would be arriving here at the little house in half an hour.

As might be expected, pandemonium broke out, as we cleared out enough space for what I ahd been told would be ten cubic meters of stuff from her apartment in Zurich. I was in a fine state of distraction, I can tell you, but she and her eldest sister simply gave me The Daughter Look, and assumed that Dad would fix it.

Well, he did; we managed to get everything ready, and then waited for three hours for the truck to arrive. When it did, we got everything in, and I managed to leave enough room in her new abode to assemble her beloved IKEA loft bed. This went together well, with the proviso that daughters should not pack their loft bed hardware in one of their 72 unmarked boxes, and carry the hardware in their checked luggage.

However, being A Dad, I got out my huge box of All Hardware From IKEA (You find them in the IKEA 'As Is' Department, five bucks for five pounds of hardware), and started to assemble the bed with what I had while Third Daughter, Second Son, and Fifth Daughter did the Dance of the Dancing Boxes and finally located the three unique bits of hardware needed to finish the installation. (Yes, I did have a back-up plan. I always have a backup plan.) I am very pleased that she got to sleep in her own bad, that night, with her own sheets, pillows, and blankets. It's a Dad Thing.

Now, besides all this 'family news', there's some very serious model-building news in all of this. Fifth Daughter's job in Zurich was as a trade show demonstration person for a huge chain of crafts stores, similar to the US chain Michael's, and she has unpacked a nice pile of stuff for Dear Old Dad's model-building projects. Amongst the goodies is a pack of very thin wood veneer with adhesive backing, which I can think of all sorts of uses for.

However, she then sprang the surprise. The sheets are intended for use in the Brother Scan-n-Cut series of machines, which are like printers except that they cut out shapes from computer files. My daughter is not only a demonstrator of this device, but also a highly-trained operator of same. And, she's brought over one of these machines - the very top model, no less! - with her. (The mind boggles.) If I can draw it, I can have it in thin veneers, like on the order of one to two millimeters; this is thinner then what I can usually get in laser-cut stuff, and it opens up a whole new universe of things for my miniatures work.

I had no idea that this technology even existed!!! I was directed to the website, and here it is:

Wall treatments, sails for ships, you name it; this is a whole new world for me to explore, and with the delightful option of being able to do these projects with my daughters.

I am, as you might guess, pretty darn pleased. It's one of the perks of being a father, and makes all the hard work shuffling boxes worth it.

There is going to be a series of posts coming along, as soon as I have the time, expanding on Fiddler's comment to my last post. Many things shall be revealed!

Mush be off; I have to move a fridge back into the basement. More later!!!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Weekly Update - Sunday, January 8th, 2017 - 2017: The Year In Preview

1/900th, I think, and noticeably bigger then the other ships.
I can tell you what we're getting, very shortly...

I usually get to thinking, about this time of the year, about what I'll be up to for the next twelve months. I think that this year will be a year of consolidation, with a lot of building and writing going on. No idea how much actual gaming; that will be up to other people to organize, as I've been saying for most of 2016. It's a matter of time and energy; I have to ration both, these days, so I am concentrating on what I'm good at and what I like to do.

TRE Games will be getting some more of our budgeted cash; I picked up the new quinquereme yesterday at The Source, and when I went to the TRE Games website i found that he' also done a 28mm cog. Over a foot long, and about four inches wide, this ship will fit in very nicely with the rest of the Missuma River Yacht Club and provide some much-needed help to our over-worked merchant fleet. The quinquereme will wind up as the flagship of the TRE fleet, commanding the three biremes and the three triremes I already have. He's also got a range of 15mm 'Arid' buildings, and if he does them in 25/28 mm, I'll simply have to get a set - I love his kits, and these will be perfect for all sorts of games.

What I'm looking at for this year will be a lot more on the side of getting projects done, and a lot less on new projects. I have to get the two Barsoomian flyers done - the big sticking point for them, at the moment, are the deck guns. I've been looking for something that I can suitably liven up to serve as radium cannon, but nothing has surfaced in my travels to local shops so I think I'll have to scratch-build something. I had been looking for things like Edwardian deck guns, in keeping with the ERB outlook, but at about five bucks a gun, the total inventory (for the two hulls) will account for most of the year's miniatures budget. So, it's off to the parts bins, and we'll see what we can come up with. Likewise, the big Sakbe road set will get it's vinyl cladding installed, and the detailing doen to finish that project off. That will be the big effort for the year, simply because it's such a big project.

As I've mentioned before, I don't really 'play rules sets'; I play settings, for particular worlds. These will get more support, as I refine my focus on what I do best, and I'll be getting the unpainted figures in the collection finally done. A lot of figures now in the bins by the workbench will be evaluated for use, and most likely declared 'surplus to requirements' and disposed of. I have very little possible use for a classic D&D City Guard set, so they may have to find new homes; we'll have to see, and think about what kind of games I'd like to run in the future.

I am, to be honest, looking forward to a quiet year; in some ways, we've had too much excitement around here...


Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Weekly Update - Sunday, January 1st, 2017 - The News From The Workbench

The Long Count of Years continues...

A very short note, this morning; the Missus got her pathology report from this past week's biopsy back, and we are delighted to report that the results are negative.

As might be imagined, we're both very happy with this, and a lot of the stress and worry we've been under has now been alleviated.

We had a very good time last night, visiting some old friends and their kids, and a great time was had by all.

Fifth Daughter arrives Tuesday night, so we're pretty busy at the moment; more from here later on today, I hope...

Happy New Year, everyone!!! :)