Thursday, May 23, 2013

With the Night Mail, A Story of 2000AD

Not 2000AD, the comic, but a science fiction short story by Rudyard Kipling.

I downloaded a bunch of Rudyard Kipling novels, shorts and poetry after his story The Mark of the Beast was covered on the H.P.Podcraft literary podcast. I've been sifting through it slowly. I was familiar with Kipling, of course, due to The Jungle Book, and the associated Disney film, which was a favourite of mine as a kid, and i was aware of his colonial and military inspired fiction. What took me completely by surprise however, was this little trip into science fiction.

What's more, classic Victorian Sci-fi, complete with an alternative future and Zeppelins! It may not be rip-roaring adventure, but it's certainly worth a look.

For those looking for Victoriana, horror shorts, colonial military adventure and now, it seems sci-fi with zeppelins, and all for the grand price of $0, then you could do worse than heading over to your local amazon site and downloading Kipling's back-catalogue. He really was quite prolific! Kindle free eBook

Project Gutenberg eBook.

Text online, with Illustrations.

Whilst I'm posting about short stories, here's a link to a short story by published author, and good friend of mine, Michael Logan. Warlord of Aisle Nine.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A New Tool

I bought a new tool today, a sculpting tool made by 'the company who should not be named'. It was bought with the aim of using it to improve my greenstuffing skills, which are, right now, almost non-existent.  However, with said new tool, some green stuff, a sharp craft knife and some olive oil, I sat down and converted a group of 6 Dystopian Legions Riflemen into the beginnings of the 91st Highlanders.

To do so, first I had to trim off the little circle of braiding above the cuff, then I had to GS in some of those fancy pockets the Highland regiments had. All in all, I think it worked out rather well, although, they will look better at a distance on the table with a lick of paint than they do right now, but I'm pleased with the outcome. In two close-ups below, you can see the trimming (in the red circles) and the pockets. The whole section is shown under that. The musician has been ordered, and I hope it arrives in time to be painted with the others so I can get all the tartan out of the way in one go!

 In other news, Tamsin over at Wargaming Girl is running a few give-aways over on her blog, to celebrate reaching 100K hits. I have my eye on the third one, but feel free to go over and put your name in the hat. I won't hold it against you!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Kingdon of Britannia: 91st Highlanders, the Plan!

I finally recieved my two Osprey Men-at-arms books I had ordered from Amazon. I am looking forward to reading through them, and inspiration has already struck on two fronts. Firstly, I have found the scheme I wish to use for my Rocket-Hussars who have been patinenly awaiting a coat of paint, and secondly I have found the scheme I wish to use for my third section of Rifleman. I have decided to go with the 91st Highlanders, as shown on the left hand image on the cover of the book (as well as on the plate inside of course).

Whilst this means I can use the figures supplied by Spartan games without too much modification (no need to go all in for the leg swaps to get kilts) to make Highlanders, I will still need to practice my green-stuff skills in making the fancier pockets on the jacket, and I'll have to modify the cuffs slightly. And yes, this does mean I will have to paint the trews tartan, but that was inevitable. At least I can get away without the head swaps I had initially thought I would have to do, although I am not saying never on this, as the odd glengarry in the unit really makes a difference in feel for the unit, and is another way to set them apart (and get round duplicate miniatures), along with a kilted musician to help the unit out, they really should look the part.
I guess this means the South Essex has been put further down the list, as it'll be a long time before I think I'll need to field three units of Line infantry in a game, unless they get recruited to help out my Gun Section. Afterall, I have already used their colours on my first HMG section, and a sergeant. Seems a bit of a demotion for the mighty South Essex, but what can you do?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Colore ton Monde: Anniversary Edition

This is less of a painting post, as there are no pics of any of the minis I am currently painting, but Tuesday night was the Club Chaos's Colore ton Monde 1st Birthday party. There was cake, and prizes. I was extremely fortunate in that i ate cake, complete with Unicron-poop flavoured ice-cream, AND I won one of the prizes, just for attending ($5 store credit to be spent on painting supplies, generously supplied by the hosts, Gamers' Vault). I chose a little tub of Secret Weapon  weathering powder. This time a blue one, to get away from all the browns and rust colours I previously bought and loved.

The event had a great turn out, with over 20 people of all ages turning up (the youngest being I think 11, and she seemed to enjoy both the painting and the cake!). Here's to the next year of events, and a growing club with a great athmosphere.

Anyway, enough with the parties, and back to the painting table, I have a Mangler to finish!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Review: The Compleat Rifleman Harris

As part of my Amazon order, with vouchers I received for christmas, I bought "The Completat Rifleman Harris" (sic). I have recently finished this book, and I must say I liked it. I was aware before starting this was not going to be some Cornwell-esque romp through the Napoleonic era, but much more of a day to day story of the wars from a soldiers point of view. As such, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the tone of the book was much more of a conversational style, not as dry as I thought it might be, and the language not so dated as in, for example, Robert Roger's diary.

The anecdotes related within, whilst not all derring-do, were still interesting, and very informative. I for one knew nothing about the weird unknown disease that knocked out the whole of the rifles that were deployed as part of the Walcheren Expedition (not that I claim to be anything like a napoleonic scholar), but it does give a real insight into the problems the soldier of the time faced, apart from the enemies guns.
History from the soldiers point of view.

(You can find a summary of the contents here. But really, if you don't already have it, just go buy it).

Order it from Amazon here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Yaum the Machine: The Results

As I have previously mentioned, my friend and opponent Yaum has set himself up in business as a painter.He is reknowned amonst the group of Oldies with whom I play to be not only fast, but also extremely talented when it comes to painting miniatures, hence the name of his service, 'Yaum the Machine'. I put my money where my blogging mouth is, so I picked out a mini, and had it painted. the results of which are below.

I'm extremely pleased with this. I left all colour choices and basing up to him, and I'm impressed with the sublety of the painting of the black armour. Black is one of those colours I never get right, he makes it look so simple.

For more info, please go see his blog, or facebook page.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bretonnian Army I

As a side project, I have been raking bits boxes and bothering friends across the city to pull together a 500 point Bretonnian army. The basis of this army, is of course the bag o' archers, with the addition of a bunch of knights, and billmen. Of course GW is evil, and therefore I have no intention of giving them any money at all. To this end, I have ordered and received a box of Perry plastics, and am awaiting a Reaper Sorceress to fill things out.

I have also decided to make my own stakes for my archers, which, let's face it, is hardly the hardest of modelling to do. Literally, take some wooden sticks bought in the dollar store, and attack them with a craft knife. Child play (not that children these days are allowed to play with craft knives). All that remains is some polyfilla mud and a lick of paint and away we go!

I've also put together my first couple of units. The first unit of archers I based on round bases, so I could field them as skirmishers, and use the movement tray I have that fits round bases. The scheme for this unit, and likely the second unit (for whom the stakes will be used) is taken from the uniform of the Burgundians. This also allows me to use them in historical battles, if I ever manage that. I had initially planned for the skirmish unit to be painted in Sherwood green, and consist of a certain English terrorist and his happy compatriots, but that plan may have to await a further unit (which obviously would never fit in a 500 point army, would it?). Anyway, I'm going to burn through the Delvan Mud at this rate, and will have to buy into another wash system soon.

The finished product. Well, Table-top quality anyway. An appropriate leader has yet to be found and painted.

The mascot
Then on to the Men-at-Arms. Unit of 10, ready to be painted. There will be a movement tray of some kind made for these guys before too long, as there will for the second unit of archers. I really like these minis, they're full of character and possibilities. Perry' plastics really are great value for money, and will of course fill the bits box with all the extras included.

Lastly, a command group for the second unit of archers. Including a musician rather than a standard bearer I think, it fits better with a unit of archers.

All that remains is to paint this lot, and put together the knights. I'll be going through my historicals to pull out a Paladin to lead the unit of knights, and the army. I'm sure there are some options there I can use.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Colore Ton Monde Mars, and 1 year anniversary

This month of May is the one year anniversary of the 'Colore ton Monde' painting challenge. Congratulations to Club Chaos for organising this, keeping the momentum going, I think the last month's entries were among the most numerous to date.

My April mini was completed ahead of time, and can be found here. Here's a retrospective of my entries over the last year:

May '12
June '12
July '12
August '12
September 12
October '12 - Failed to complete
November '12
December '12 - Fail
January '13 - Fail
February '13
March '13

I hadn't realised I had dropped the ball on so many, still, it's a great motivator to keep going with the challenge for the rest of the year.

For May's challenge, as well as the usual painting on the topic below, there are a couple of other ways the group will be celebrating the anniversary. First off, this month's entrants will all be entered into a draw for an Army painter Mega Kit. With optional other prizes, if there are enough entries.

Furthermore, there will be two group nights during the month that will allow further entries into the draw, and will even include cake! What more could we ask for!

Ça va faire mal !

Pour le mois de mai, nous vous invitons à peindre un modèle qui cogne. Une brute, un monstre, une machine de guerre qui ne peut être arrêtée: tout ce qui peut avoir un impact significatif sur une table, soit en réduisant en bouillie vos modèles en corps à corps, ou en les explosant à distance. Tant que ça fait mal !

That's gonna hurt!

For the month of May, we invite you to paint a model that hits. A brute, a monster, a war machine that can not be stopped: anything that can have a significant impact on a table or reducing to mush your models in melee or making them explode at a distance. As long as it hurts!
So, I think I'll be taking myself back to Warmachine (it's been a while), and painting up my Mangler, as this mini seems to be capture well the goal of this challenge. The only question is to whether I paint him up as Highborn colours like my Mule, or in a more generic Mercenaries colours, like my Talon. Either way, there are sure to be gears and other body parts strewn across his base.