Friday, 27 April 2012

If you go down to the woods today...'re in for a tiger-y surprise!

Finished off this fine beast this week, as a break from assembling Salute purchases. Given the next Pulp adventure is in India, what could be better (well, worse) than meeting a tiger?!

Miniature is from North Star, I don't know the manufacturer. The sculpt is actually a leopard but I loved the stalking pose. I just added some green stuff around the face to make his features more tiger-like.

Stalking his unsuspecting prey through the long grass...

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Pulp Adventures AAR: Where in the World are we?!

A big gaming weekend for me, not only did we have Salute, later that evening my brother and I managed two short Pulp games, a continuation of our recent adventure.

We left our adventurers having failed to identify their current nemesis and return the missing artefacts. So, our old friend the Director of Antiquities had a new errand for the party - which happened to be in rural India, jewel in the Empire's crown! The Professor readily agreed, having spent some of his earlier years of military service there he was keen to investigate this most mysterious of countries further.

After pausing in Egypt to refuel, the plan had engine difficulties from the scorching heat over Arabia, leading to a less than comfortable landing. Lost, battered and carrying limited supplies, to make matters worse a vicious sandstorm looked to be closing in!

Our adventurers regain their senses around their wrecked plane.

After much searching, the Professor finds our heroes' weapons, as some unfriendly-looking locals close in...

Sdn Ldr Michaels spots something sticking out of the sands and rushes to investigate. Felling one local with his gun, he hauls what turns out to be their badly wounded pilot towards safety. But the sandstorm is now closing in fast - will they make it in time?

As winds rage and the vicious sandstorm swirls, the Professor and Mr Singh desperately flee for the cover of what looks to be a cave. Michaels and the wounded pilot are too far behind to make it - lets hope they were able to find some shelter and fend for themselves...

This first game was great, short and snappy, with a few objectives and a little impending doom before our heroes' narrow (and partial!) escape. The green gems were our encounters, containing kit that had survived the crash and other events. The sandstorm moved to cover an extra D10 + turn number of square inches each turn. We were wrapped in under an hour.

I should close with a huge thanks to my brother for the terrain - impressive work to scratch-build this in six weeks while doing father duties for his 3-month old! The 2' x 2' mat is a new purchase from Zuzzy in the US, and lovely it painted up too.

Part two to come soon!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Salute 2012: The Haul

In the aftermath of Salute plenty people are blogging about their day and purchases. And here's my trifling haul. From the top:
-Two Battlefront plastic tanks (free with a demo at FoW, since passed to someone who plays 15mm WWII who can make use of them)
-A bumper set of Colours from Flag Dude. Enough for all my finished Napoleonic Brits and Spanish.
-Free samples from GZG. Fantastic 15mm SciFi sculpts, I was chuffed that one a great likeness to Mal Reynolds from Firefly.
-Movement trays for Saga from Warbases
-A part-box of Wargames Factory Greek Hoplites, for my Brother's next project (more on that later)
-A small preorder from Pendraken, giving me enough WWII British to play Blitzkrieg Commander
-Salute 2012 miniature, which looks fun to paint up
-Stock up on MiniNatur tufts
-Redoubt miniatures Helen of Troy and Trojan archers (Brother's project)
-A lonely pack of Perry Napoleonics
-Otherworld Miniatures Minotaur (can you guess the project?)

Not a completely successful day, not only did I return home with fully half my spends, I was desperate for new matt varnish and white undercoat but could only find Army Painter and GW sprays which I'm avoiding. I was interested in a new big battle, small-scale project and didn't pick anything up, though most tempting was some 15mm SciFi from GZG. I'll paint up my samples and look into buying online.

Salute was a great day, a massive show and busier than I've ever seen it. So big it took two hours to do our first circuit of the hall! I don't feel like I managed to do the show justice, as the clock ran down it became a spend-athon and I didn't pay enough attention to the frankly amazing demo tables. I did take my camera but spectacularly failed to take any photos. So I'm reliving the through other people's great snaps, like Samulus and BigLee.

I also failed to get to the bloggers meet-up, my fault entirely as I got my timings wrong. I didn't start well in this regard, being half an hour late on arrival which put me in a flustered mood. So apologies to those Bloggers I missed wandering around the hall, I hope you all had a good day and hope to catch you at another show soon!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Those who are about to buy... Salute you!

Shortly I'll be making my way across London to join many of you at Salute 2012. As the biggest UK show it is always great to get down there to spend some pennies! Looking forward to a day dedicated to the hobby and hope to catch some of my fellow bloggers there.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Rise of the Thuggee

It is time to game some Pulp adventures in India - you may assume (correctly) that I've been watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Setting it in India opens up a wealth of possibilities: Elephants! Secret Cults! Sacred treasure! Tigers! What more could an adventuring archaeologist ask for? 

I needed to finish these Pulp Figures Thuggee Stranglers last night as they are a birthday gift for my brother. He insisted I match the colour scheme from Indy, demanding bugger ;-) Ok, the clothing is totally different but I think they came out pretty well. I'm particularly pleased with my matching the red swishes on the turbans. Lovely clean castings as always from Pulp Figures.

I regret not getting the Thuggee with Martini Rifles too. Ah well, something to order next time. 

For the historically inclined among you, a short explanation of the Thuggee (thanks Wikipedia):
Thuggee (also known as tuggee or simply thugs) was a religious cult and an organized gang of professional assassins who traveled in groups across India for several hundred years. They were first mentioned in the Ẓiyāʾ-ud-Dīn Baranī (English: History of Fīrūz Shāh) dated around 1356. In the 1830s they were targeted by William Bentinck, along with his chief captain William Henry Sleeman, for eradication. They were seemingly destroyed by this effort.

The Thuggee would join travellers and gain their confidence. This would allow them to then surprise and strangle them by tossing a handkerchief or noose around their necks. The killings were performed in honour of the goddess Kali and were very ritualistic. They would then rob the bodies of valuables and bury them.

And that is the etymology of the word 'thug'! In our 1930s Pulp storyline, our adventurers will discover the Thuggee on the rise after their so-called 'eradication'....

In a brief disinterest in everything else I had prepped, I turned my attention to this chapHe will be the muscle for the Societe Archaeologique, which I've started as a rival NPC group for Pulp games. He is a West Wind French Partizan - check out that beret and neckerchief combo!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

All quiet on the Blogging front

Is it me or is it quiet around here? The Gaming Blogosphere seem to have been a bit quiet lately, but perhaps I'm just missing the regular Challenge updates of recent months. Or maybe the weather is perking up so we're all spending less time at our hobby tables and more getting some sunlight?

I received two packages this week, both from DaveD. First off a book he gave away on his blog: Hell Riders by Terry Brighton. I look forward to an illuminating read about the charge of the light brigade. Secondly some plastic round shields, after I asked for spares to equip my Vikings the other week. Many thanks to DaveD for sorting me out, Vikings without shields was a sad state of affairs.

So, here is a shout-out to DaveD of One Man and his Brushes, for being a thoroughly nice chap. Check out his blog here:
Lots of eye-candy here, I particularly like how DaveD does his horses.

With Salute fast approaching I look forward to seeing some of you there.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Jasper and friends get a new lick of paint

None of the bits on my painting table appealed this afternoon, so I went back to some minis I had alreay finished but was never happy with. Not being a dog person, for speed and convenience I had painted these three mutts completely black. They were a bit too 'Hound of the Baskervilles' and didn't look natural, no way the sculpts could pass as black labradors!

I don't know what breed they are meant to be, but they are big mutts. Compare Jasper in the foreground with the Irish wolfhound in the centre of a recent Pulp game - first picture here. A bit of Wiki-ing suggested the sculpts could pass as English Mastiffs, a notably large breed. So the three were tweaked to roughly match the description on Wikipedia.

  The miniatures are from Rackham's Cadwollan range, bought just as Rackham imploded. I knew they would come in useful and Jasper has been a regular companion in our Pulp games, being his master's bravest defender.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Pulp Street Brawler

My hobby time has dipped recently, though I have prepped some resin stone walls (more on those later). I did get an hour to finish this chap, who will be a street brawler NPC in Pulp games. He still needs some dirtying up with weathering powders. He one of Pulp Figures&#39 Thuggee stranglers, whose garrotte I clipped off to make a pugilist. A lovely Bob Murch sculpt, I was reluctant to hack at him but the conversion came out well. I did think he had a striking resemblance to Ryu from Street Fighter.
In other news, I was chuffed to win the Sarah's Choice award in the Analogue Hobbies painting challenge. I've posted her before but here is one of the fashionable ladies who bagged me the prize. I wont list the full results, but you can find them here. Roll on the 2013 Challenge!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

History: Exeter Cathedral

With an hour to spare after a shopping trip in Exeter, we went to Exeter Cathedral. Not normally one for religious buildings, I was pleasantly surprised. It had a stunning interior including the largest medieval vaulted ceiling in Europe. It was rich with history, too, having been a religious site since the 7th Century.
The Cathedral also demonstrates the military importance of the local area, with the major port of Plymouth just down the coast. There were numerous memorials, not only from the World Wars. The finest was one for the 9th 'Queen's Royal' Lancers. Not pictured here, but it was a fabulous monument noting their achievements and losses during the Indian Mutiny. Unexpectedly, more men were were lost to 'the climate' than in combat.

The first memorial pictured is to the 20th East Devonshire Regiment. Hanging above are their mid-19th century Colours, which haven't aged well.
Next up, memorial to Lieutenant General John Simcoe, who founded Toronto, apparently. The figure on the right was curious, wearing a toga where the other two are richly (and seemingly accurately) uniformed. The small inscription below notes that his son was killed in the siege of Badajoz while the memorial was being constructed.
Finally, an outdoor shot showing one of the oldest, Norman towers of the Cathedral. All in all some unexpectedly good history to learn. And the shopping? A curious haul of socks, bread and two new board games!

EDIT: The store I got the board games from is well worth a shout-out. Clifton Road Games near Exeter city centre. Lots of board games to browse and a motley collection of miniature gaming ranges and supplies. A friendly staff member was happy to recommend me games based on my somewhat vague parameters. Without that I'd probably have left without a purchase as I wasn't after anything specific. But after just one game of Evo I'm happy with my purchase.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Giveaway: Sipping on Paint Water

It seems to be the season of giveaways. To help reward the kindly folk (and give me a chince of winning), do check out the Sippin' on Paint Water blog here:
Sippin' on Paint Water

And a repost for the link-lazy:

Spring has sprung in my neck of the woods, and that oh so joyous holiday of Easter is fast approaching. To celebrate I thought I would share an Easter basket with one of my lucky followers, but this is no ordinary Easter basket, this basket will be filled not only with normal items of chocolate bunnies, pastel colored eggs and jelly beans, but with all sorts of mini goodies.

Imagine less eggs, and more things you might
actually want.

You must be a follower of Sippin' On Paint Water by April 8, 2012.
You must leave a comment on this post, 'Easter Basket Giveaway'.
If you win you will have to disclose your address, The Easter Bunny may 
know where you live but I don't.

There you have it, very simple, I hope the promises of chocolate and minis is enough to lure you into following. The winner will be announced on Easter Sunday, and hopefully I'll have the basket in the mail the next day. I'll even throw out a bonus way to get your name in the drawing twice, reblog this and I'll see to it that you get a second chance at the prize, want a third chance? Then email me a pic of a mini you have painted like an Easter egg or an Easter egg that you have painted like a mini, IE a Space Marine egg. Just send the email to: cbhollowell at AIM dot COM. If I receive enough submitted  images I may make a special post to showcase them in all their pastel glory, good luck and happy Easter, thanks for reading and stay thirsty.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Saga Campaign Day

As promised, a few of the photos I took on Saturday playing Saga in north London. All in all a great day, many thanks to Rich for organising and running it. 

First up, myself with Vikings (left) against organiser Rich's Anglo-Danes. The scenario was homemade and called 'Grab'. Very much a raiding scenario, with the challenge to collect the red counters. The scenario worked really well, in fact I thing Saga works much better with scenario play. After mymembarrasingnfirst round, I've quite a dislike of 'Clash of Warlords', with its focus on warlord-killing. This game was a much closer match, with me narrowly losing from a last-minute smash and grab. 

Game three was Sacred Ground, this hill being one of three objectives to take and hold. The central hill ended up as something of a charnel-house, especially once those ranks of warriors reached my depleted Hearthguard! Learning his lesson from game one, my Warlord made a strategic withdrawal, surrendering the hill. My opponent here was Darren, who fielded a beautifully painted Anglo-Danes force, but was similarly inexperienced at playing Saga. I managed a comfortable victory after taking an early lead and killing his Warlord. 

More Saga

Another snap from Sacred ground - this very crowded wood was the second objective. It was also not crowded for long - Viking Berzerkers charging Hearthguard is a very, very messy business I tell you! Actually, it was a suicidal move and the lack of protective options on the Viking battle board means Berzerkers truly are a glass cannon, to be used carefully. Apologies for my part-painted warriors there too, ran out of time in the week.

Finally, the conclusion of game four and back to Clash of Warlords. A close-fought game between two similar Viking forces. After We'd put each other's retinues to the sword it all came down to single combat between our warlords. With the final turn going to my opponent, he loaded up on the battle board and Aelfgir Eiriksson fell once more. A major defeat, but a very close game, especially after my Bondi routed not only a beefy unit of Hearthguard, but also a full strength unit of Bondi. 8 vs 18 and I came out well on top. Such is the way of Saga!So, two defeats, one minor defeat and one victory. Not the best showing but a good few games under the belt. I learned that facing Normans not only looks scary because of the number of cavalry, but are in my opinion a teensy bit overpowered - the speed of their fight troops means less fatigue and those crossbows are nasty too. They won the day quite comfortably and were crowned as Kings of all England. Curse those the French invaders!
Still, a very enjoyable day out and some great gaming.