Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tallys, Oh.

Wish I had time to make a complete accounting but that is in the future.  However, I've been adding things up in my head and I believe this is a reasonable approximation of where things stand.  I have around 5,000 painted figures and around 3,000 primed figures.  That means that about 1 figure in 4 is in process out of the 32,000 (near as I can sort out) from my collection.  While I'd love the proportion to be much higher than twenty-five percent, I believe that is a respectable place to be at for so large a number of little metal beings.

On a different plane, I've been looking at my gaming table "to be" and realized I can make it a 4' x 12' table with an easy modification to add an additional 16" in width.  As mentioned in other places here on this blog, I am reconsidering how many figures for each of the collections and I plan to use that table size as a guide in moving forward.  Still not planning on parting with figures from the various listed collections.  Do have some that will go away once I find a willing buyer who will pay a reasonable price, highly affordable, but reasonable.  The penny a figure folks can watch while I melt the metal into lumps, thank you very much.  Better a paper weight than to let them go that cheap.

Another influence from the table size just mentioned: will incorporate that into the rules I'm working on.  Hmm, I guess I should add a rules thoughts page.  Well, maybe, maybe not.  We'll see.

Seems there are now over 150 photographs here but I do wish there were some nice game narratives.  Alas, I will almost certainly miss one of the two conventions I like to attend.  But life is more than hobbies and some of those other elements take priority.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Kipaji Mto

Say what?  I'll explain below.  Meanwhile, here are a variety of shots showing progress on the way to completing the river for Mike's Rumble In The Jungle (Dust Tactics) game with another play test tomorrow before its first convention outing in April.
 Above shows one of the layouts with some, maybe all four, of the browns applied.  The two green hills are my own plywood hills.  Durability, baby.
 And a reverse shot.  The black is gloss and is the river bottom.  Study carefully, there are 22 pieces in total, seven for the ridge and fifteen for the river (though one of the latter, the 'spring', does double duty).
 And a variation of the angle.
 An alterative layout, there are many.  As I've worked on getting this river ready, I've realized more and more possible combinations and options with these pieces.
Here is the most basic, the six 'straight' pieces and the three 'extenders, that provides a 12' long river.
 Without the extenders it is 10' long.
 Or there can be two different rivers 5' long each to divide a table in three sections.
 All of the ridge pieces and the artesian spring as they 'turn green.'
The various river pieces, less the spring.  The five to the top right are for confluences, though they can be used to extend the river to 17' or so in total -- but would need some use of lichen or some other disguise of the mismatched edges.  Obviously, the river is still black.
 A beginning at coloring the river bottom, from the edges towards the center, above and below.

 I think this is the final coloring of the ridge.
 Or maybe this one?
Will my plan work?  That is a test piece I used as I moved forward from here.
A closer shot of same.  Note there are three colors at the bottom of the river, the mixed green to the sides, the shallower tan, and the deeper brown down the center with some 'smoothing' between them.
We see here all the river pieces with the above coloring.  Things are coming together.  And, yes, all eight browns and greens are done on the 'hills' to the sides of the river.
A first coat of 'water'.
More testing before committing.
Another coat of water, the first two were green.
And then the first of two coats of blue.  (I think.)
Skipping over some steps, where it really starts to show blue and get 'sparkly'.  Or the finished product, if you prefer.  Below...

All the river pieces in one view.  The left is the conflueces, 96" in total if I calculated it right.  The right is the long 'straight' set up with the spring, almost 14' in total.
And a different angle.

Below, at long last, is a shot of my French and Indain war canoe collection with photos taken 'in situ.'

Action is imminent as the Courier du Bois and their Native allies come round the bend to spy Rangers and their Native allies on the water ahead.  On the bank is a unit of one of the Independent companies.
Just another shot of the sparkling river, Kipaji Mto.
The French and their allies.
The British ashore, two shots.

The Rangers and their allies -- and a good omen rising up the bank on the upper right.  (a bear I sculpted out of Sculptamold, a bit large but it works.)
A clsoer shot of the omen.  The green cloth is actually going to be cut up and used as terrain identifiers -- a forest or something, haven't really decided yet.

A low angle shot of the river from the ranger end, or is that a hawk's eye view?
A closer look at the Courier du Bois and friends.

If you tried to count them you should have come up with a total of 44 canoes and 96 paddlers.  The smallest are from Frontier, the other two man canoes are all from Irregular, and the three man canoes I crafted myself, again from Sculptamold -- the paddlers in those boats are also from Irregular they were nice enough to provide without their canoes (many years ago now).

And something completely different -- and rather improbable -- are a couple of my river boats.  The front one is Far West and I think the other is the 'colonial' boat, from Merrimack if memory serves but now available from Old Glory 25's.  These boats are in 15 mm, of course.  I have a half dozen other boats plus a couple of junks, a couple of ironclads, and a couple of 'ocean' ships.  No pictures just now.  Obviously, these are only primed, not painted.

Above was without the flash and below was with, flash really washed out detail and color on the riverboats.

And last, photo-wise, are a couple of closer shots of the boats.  These are primarily for my Slightly Cracked Colonials found under the Steeplechase tab above.  They can serve other purposes, why I can even use the Far West as itself along the Missouri in the the Little Bighorn Campaign -- that didn't work out so well for Custer.

And now, as promised, Kipaji Mto.  That is Swahili for Brilliant River, I was going for Sparkling River but I guess that doesn't work in Swahili.  And I have no idea if it translates as intended or as "Really Smart River!"  Don't care, neither.  But I like the name.  We'll see if Mike adapts it or not for his game.

Terror strikes! Acquaintances shocked. Fun? Hopefully.

Just what is this cretin on about now, you ask?  Well, some where earlier I'd speculated about maybe taking a foray into the Pulp world of gaming.  Well, two days ago I saw an offering from Rebel Minis for some Steampunk figures and that cemented the decision.  While I won't be going down the rabbit hole of sci-fi sillyness or fantasy stuff, I foresee some games set in historical times with historical opponents but with some additional logical extensions of technology.  This does not preclude some items that might be just plain silly.  In my world view, silly can be a good thing; of course, it is like spice in the sense that one should use it judiciously.

And traveling that road I found an item in a local big box pet supply store today (besides some more pagodas for the Boxer setup, one more like have and two of a different type): a 'cute' little yellow submarine - meant as acquarium decor.  I have decided to dub it the U.N.S. Naughtyloose (a web search reveals someone out there in the world uses that handle but I don't think said user will take offense -- it is a pretty obvious play on Nautilus).  The U.N.S. stands for "unknown nation's ship."

Now, the real fun will be creating an appropriate crew for the vessel.  And quite a challenge, too.  Hard hat divers and ship's crews in 15 mm?  And some of them female with, um, broad morals?  Not ready to hand but I'm always hoping.  And always hunting.  Maybe some of those new rebel mini figures will be worth adding just for this crew.

Of course, I am talking about something slightly akilter from Pulp, more down the roads of Victorian Science Fiction with a dose of Steampunk.  Just more solidly based in the laws of phyics and extraplolations from reality that might really have existed.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

RIver and Ridge Work In Progess Shots

Below are some shots of the river and ridge, with some extras, I am building for Mike's convention game in April.  Clearly there is still need for paint and to 'texture' the river.
 Above is an overall shot of all the pieces.  Farthest back is the ridge, six feet wide though only five feet are needed for the game; three pieces 20" wide and an extender 12" wide.  On the right and closer is a hill that is really the two end pieces of the ridge when it is not used in this setup.  And way back on the far right is the piece that goes in place of the artesian spring that is the on-board source of our river.
 This shot shows one of the three 8" extenders, this one is ford extender - one of two.
 Another overall shot.  There are eight 20" river sections, one island, two double sets of curves (shallow curves, but curves any way).
 Here is the island river section.
 From the other end where you can see the two confluences, the one on the left also has an additional extender.  With the confluences this can be set up 5' wide or 6' wide with the extender, like the ridge.
 Here is a low angle shot of the 18' end to end.
 And this is a long shot of a group of six 15 mm figures to put it all in perspective.
 Another long shot showing those same figures.
 And here is a closer shot of those figures.
 Those arrows are to keep the river flowing in one direction - unless I make it all 'flow neutral' which is possible.  I also have some special techniques for the water once I get that done - though I doubt it will photograph well.
And one last long shot with those figures about 9' from the camera so about half way down the full set up.