19 January 2015

LAF resurrection project (gladiators) - 1

In my "plans for the new year" thread I mentioned that I'd pledged myself to the LAF Official Threadomancy Project. The idea is that you pick one of your unfinished projects, of which I'm sure you have as many as I do, and between now and the end of June you concentrate on completing some aspects of it. In my case I wanted to resurrect and complete my gladiator project.

The rules I'm going to use are the rather marvellous Blood on the Sands by LAF's very own Furt. I did some playtesting for it early on but taking part went on hold at the same time as work on the arena stopped. The arena's construction so far is detailed here, a post that also contains the picture below which I'm using as inspiration for my own group of gladiators:

Picture from the prolific and talented Carmen's Painty Fun Time

Aren't they pretty? They're 54mm Alpha Forge miniatures that are sold by Black Cat Miniatures in the States. Postage was reasonable, but then it was a eighteen months ago. I got six of them for variety (retiarius, thraex, murmillo, secutor, provocator and hoplomachus) but, if this goes well, may get another murmillo and bits suitable for making a dimachaerius, and even a couple of noxii, or some venationes.... No. Stop. Must. Focus.

The goals I set myself are:
  1. Complete construction and painting of the arena
  2. Paint at least four gladiators to form matched pairs to allow variety
  3. Create tokens for dropped weapons etc. from spare bits and paint them up too
I started by addressing number two, cleaning up and basing the promised four: a retiarius, murmillo, thraex and secutor. Look! Proof!

The shields, weapon arms and heads were separate, except for the retiarius who was a single piece except for his trident arm. They're really nice figures, with good posture, proportions and detail on their kit, without being fiddly. The only downside is that must have been a slight pressure problem on some of the casts as there is a little bit of filling required on the loincloths, like with the retiarius below. Shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes to get that nice and smooth again, ready for priming. I'm going to try a trick I saw of using watered down milliput, which I guess is a bit like how GW's liquid greenstuff works.

valete omnes,

17 January 2015

Sample WIP pages from Knights' Quest

Like it says in the title, here are a couple of pages from the Knights' Quest rulebook. I have endeavoured to strike the right balance between a strong medieval, illuminated manuscript theme, and modern readability. Do let me know if you think I've got it right!

Obviously page references for later in the rules aren't finalised yet and will depend on how I finalise arrangement of example diagrams for Combat and Shooting, and the image has been resized to be slightly shorter and wider than it really is, giving it a squatter feel than it really has, but you get the idea.

The page size is 189mm by 246mm (crown quarto) and the font is P22 Morris Troy, a digital version of that used by William Morris when printing some of his beautiful faux-medieval books like the Kelmscott Chaucer during the 1890s. The illuminations are digitally hand drawn using a Ugee M708 graphics tablet, and the rougher font used in the title is a slightly tweaked version of Worn Manuscript Rough.

Feedback always welcome,


16 January 2015

"What brave new year is this...

...that has such miniatures in't?" as my old mate Bill Shakespeare would have said if he'd had time to be a gamer as well as a literary genius.

Actually, before I start, happy new year to one and all, may it be filled with good health for you, your family and friends.

And back to the geeking. It's been a couple of weeks since I posted, and a couple of months since I painted. Staff changes at work have led to me having more direct demands on my time, as well as in supporting inexperienced colleagues who are trying valiantly to fill the shoes of an excellent colleague who has gone on to pastures new. But I have not been geek-free, my friends, oh no! I have been making very satisfying progress with Knights' Quest, particularly with regard to tweaking wording and illustrating/laying out the rules. I got a fab graphics tablet for Christmas and have been learning its ways. More on that in a future post because, apart from card art, it's so close to being finished I can practically smell it!

Having failed to get my act together for the Oldhammer Legacy Warband challenge, even with an extended deadline (the shame!), I've signed up for the Resurrection Challenge over on LAF to expiate my guilt and will be completing the arena for 54mm gladiator gaming that I started waaaaay back in 2013, as well as a couple of pairs of gladiators.

Anything else? Well, there are plenty of bits I'd like to sort out.

I want to finish my giant:

I want to finish a few more orcs to use both as dungeon fillers and a little warband for Erny's Warband rules for a sort of Realms of Chaos path to greatness but for greenskins. They can also then bolster the ranks of my Bad Guys mob - chaos warriors, beastmen, orcs, goblins, skeletons, couple of sorcerers - for small games to bring my boys into the welcoming arms of Younghammer.

I'm going to declutter a bit as well and have already started making a pile of unwise purchases that will soon be available to having new homes.

I reckon that's achievable - one priority project, one pledge, and some things I would get immediate use from.

I plan to check back on this in a year to see how I get on.