The Table with my goods upon it
As I noted in my Salute 2013 posting last week upon my return to Girvan I managed to buy some furniture which I had been after for some time. While none of you will be interested in the three piece suite or such you might well be keen on the above. A lovely and believe me bloody strong and heavy table. Its not quite six feet by four but it is ideal for office work and for wargaming too. Sitting atop its four solid wood legs is a solid wood top, weighing in at over 75kgs for the whole piece.
I know its a little egotistical to have put all of my own writing and published titles on the table along with my Flintloque miniatures but hey, its my table after all. It will see a lot of use in times to come and it has a lot of potential for underside storage too which I think is vital for wargaming terrain and all the other needed materials therein. The room I work in is nearing its capacity for storage of books and other materials. ’Table of Babel’ well a play on words but also with a more serious intent…who knows just what gaming will be created or taking place on its solid surface. The peoples of a thousands worlds and dimensions many, creatures and robots, Dragons and Orcs.
Also before I am asked, and I will be asked, what price such a table fit for the gods of gaming? Well….let’s say a copy of Slaughterloo is the same price. Bargain!
Last week the print run of 5025 Flintloque 3rd Edition – War in Catalucia ran out for the third time! Yes, that means a forth print run. I have organised this and hopefully it will arrive within a week or so depending on the Easter long weekend holiday here in the UK. Over the last two years Alternative Armies and I have adapted to and taken to short run printing for wargame titles so getting a couple of hundred new books is now a matter of routine.
I could go into the benefits of such business techniques but there is a lot online about POD and Short Run printing which those who are keen can look up on their own. I have other things to be getting on with just now for next week and even for tomorrow in fact for 15mm.co.uk. So at this point I will just give myself another wee pat on the back. Every time a print run sells out on something I wrote it makes me smile. Validating what I do for a living and knowing that another couple of hundred people are enjoying it too.
SHM54-SHM57 Vergan Free Traders
SHM54-SHM55 Rear View
These are due to release this week but I wanted to give a little post about them here before that as I have to say that I just love the alien species of Vergan created by Eli Arndt for the SHM line on 15mm.co.uk. Eli has created and is creating a number of alien species and these are one of my favourites. Why do I like them so much?
Well its partly style and its partly ethos. You can use them in any game system and they are of Human height with greater bulk so they match in with ease. Their style is pure space opera of the kind that Star Wars promotes where alien races are welcomed and not automatically targeted as ‘Xenos’ to be exterminated just for the sin of existing like in some other settings. They remind me of aliens produced in 25mm scale in the 1980′s back when larger scales were as open to experimentation as the smaller 15mm scale is now. Its a shame that the seeming increased ‘need for polish for its own sake’ in the wargaming industry, sometimes without any visible increase in quality or value for money, has meant that only 15mm scale now see’s such bold and different designs in the 21st century. Ethos wise its just that. Fun and good value combined with not taking themselves too seriously. Perfect for me and for 15mm.co.uk.
Why call them ‘Free Traders’ and not ‘Soldiers’? Eli said to me when he sent me the designs that he thought of the Vergans as merchants not mercenaries. After a bit of thought I came to agree with him. Some of the other races in SHM like the Prang are blatantly militaristic but the Vergans seem to carry weapons mainly for self defence. Part of a starship crew or in a spaceport these blob shaped and many tentacled fellows might just heft an energy rifle only when the traitorous Human they are dealing with tries to double cross them. The aliens are not always the bad guys…humm…I can feel a USEME scenario brewing now.
The Vergans join the first of their kind (SHM20) as single miniatures but also as a value pack. I do hope that Eli makes more of them in the future (perhaps a Vergan child or female) but he is a busy guy with LNG and other projects so time will tell.
Its not often that I spend an entire day on one central task but today was such a day. Today, with the assistance of my good lady, I photographed all of the professionally painted releases for the next three months for 15mm.co.uk. This came to more than three hundred images of roughly seventy unreleased miniatures from the HOF, HOT, SHM ranges crafted by six different designers. We take photographs very seriously with the aim of showing the actual miniature in the best light and with no software trickery involved. So many hours of thousands of watts of light and positioning figures resulted in some great shots but left me with eyes like a Blood Hound!
The vast majority of the new miniatures are in the HOF 15mm Science Fiction range and all but a handful were painted over several weeks by Eve Hallow. He is an excellent miniature painter with an eye for colour. Its also his birthday this weekend so I will be standing him a Lady Juniper or two at the local hostelry and giving him a wee gift but for the moment I will tell you of his first gift. He is not only a miniature painter but an aspiring sculptor too and his first miniature will be hitting the SHM range this week… coincidence or what…on his birthday weekend.
I am not allowed to show you all the images I took (don’t even ask…you would burst with the thrill of it!) but I will sneak out a few in the coming weeks and for now I give you what is coming out this week. The Jelly Cube by Eve Hallow, the Criat Mercenary by Will Grundy (another first!) and the icky Biomorph by the excellent Eli Arndt. Enjoy!
The Jelly Cube
For Scale. He’s Jellified!
For Scale with Human Cultist
Eli’s Biomorph from the front
And the Rear…urgh!
Its nearly Christmas (or on my fantasy world of Valon it is known as Cryptmass, but more on that elsewhere) and that means my annual entries to the excellent Orcs in the Webbe advent calendar are now appearing online. Every year Craig over at ‘OITW’ collects material from fans and writers and artist who love the medium of Black Power Fantasy and lines them up for a month of free content which is read by thousands of wargamers and others.
This year Craig asked me for two pieces in our customary way for his birthday (Happy Birthday Craig!) to do with his favourite Valon fantasy race, the Dracci, Children of the Dragons. I was happy to agree to this and penned a short story called The Mirror of Zyrgone which features not only the Dracci but another perennial favourite Captain Sharke of the 105th Rifles. Following this (for the 19th of December) a Flintloque scenario called ‘Sharkes Mirror’ which lets wargamers play out the events of the tale. I followed the tradition begun by Cornwell himself in naming the scenario ‘Sharkes ????‘ and ‘mirror’ had not been used so there you go!
Its a great little action packed tale so please do go along and have a read at it. Craig is a great chap who takes on a lot in working up not only Orcs in the Webbe but also is editor of Barking Irons Online so it was the least I could do.
There is just a week to go now until the release of the 777th Croaked Line and since I posted the second part of the three that make up this arc about the Undead Toads a lot has happened. In the last week or so I have taken delivery of two painted sets, both by pro-painters, each with a vision of just what these new and unique miniatures should look like. There is no official uniform or flesh tone for Zombie Todoroni as it has never existed before so there was a free hand for both Rob Alderman and Eve Hallow to do their thing on a set each.
I have many images of the two sets but I am saving most of them. Here is one shot of each of them so as not to disappoint or to spoil next week. Eye Candy!
Eve Hallows spooky and bloody ‘burtonesque’ 777th Croaked Line.
Rob Aldermans recently and long dead Bella Lugosi militia inspired 777th Croaked Line.
Along with the official release on Alternative Armies which will consist of a core set, trooper blister, recently dead blister and full unit too I have arranged with Craig Andrews over on Barking Irons Online to provide news of the release and an article about the characters of the set with lots of great images and a scenario entitled ‘Deep Freeze Toads’. A bonanza for Flintloque players who have suffered my lack of attention at the expense of 15mm sci-fi of recent months. I will not gush for long here in this post as this will happen in the article but I adore both these Flintloque sections. I adore Rob’s clean lines and crunchy flesh while Eve’s use of bright skin and blood spatter combined with stark black and white skeletons is superb.
So until next week..which do you prefer? Which will be the official uniform for the Croaked Line?
Its been a great build up but my role here is all but done…its Barking Irons turn now.
It has been a big, big year for 15mm science fiction miniatures on 15mm.co.uk and that means its been a big year for it for me too. I have commissioned and accepted more than fifteen packs for the HOF range (and accepted two dozen SHM miniatures too) and while most of these have now been released some are still to come. Of those still to come the next ones on the release schedule have been spoken of before on this blog the Rim Mercenaries. So it really is a mercenary dream realised.
HOF82 Rim Mercenaries Patrol – front view
HOF83 Rim Mercenaries Assault – rear view
HOF83 Rim Mercenaries Assault – front view
HOF82 Rim Mercenaries Patrol – rear view
These are coming out this Friday and were designed by Elton Waters. I plan an article on Barking Irons Online about them and the theory of the expansion and a little discussion about WHY more Rim Mercenaries and how it ties into the USEME series and O.G.Joel.
Carrying on from the first part of this posting about the 777th Croaked Line for Flintloque and Alternative Armies I present to you all the end result of the molding process. White Metal miniatures!
Below you can see all of the poses in this brand new regiment both front and back views.
Vampyre Officer, Skeletal Liche, Skeletal Standard Bearer, Zombie ‘squeeze box’ player
Rear View of the above four
Zombie Chef, Decayed Zombie Private, Fresh Zombie Private, Skeletal Zombie Private
Rear View of the above four
Poor Dead Luigi!
Going from the top we can see all of the white metal loveliness. These are ‘tins’ that is master mold castings which are then used to make the production molds which will make all of the miniatures which will go out to Flintloque players all over the world. These are brilliant miniatures filled with character and inspiring a lot of adoration even at this point.
Being an Undead formation the unit code for these miniatures will be twenty eight figures strong which will be released alongside a pack of all the poses and a couple of blister codes for trooper boosters and extra dead Todoroni. So far reaction to my asking has been that the casualty should be in the core pack but not in the unit code. This might change. I know Todoroni players will want a pack of corpses for their mortal troops demise on table.
I am going to save naming these miniatures and character ideas until I see them painted up and complete which brings me onto the next part of this series of wee articles. Rob Alderman is busily painting up his own set of the 777th Croaked Line in a uniform of his choice…but…Eve Hallow is also painting up a set of the same with his own idea of the uniform. My plan? To bring you both versions! As this is a brand new Undead unit there is a lot of leeway with uniform choices and flesh tones. Rumour has it that Rob has gone for a variation on the Bella Lugosi Militia uniform and Eve has riffed on the historical uniform of ‘Kingdom of Naples’ line infantry. We will see what is what soon enough. I will be impartial and intend to studio photograph both sets…perhaps a vote on the Notables Yahoo Group to chose which uniform becomes the one for the official website page.
Until the flesh rots people….
Since I began this blog I have been asked to give an account of a new set of Flintloque miniatures from their deepest origins through concept to greens to white metal and release. This process often takes six months if not near a year in some cases so it is only now that a project has come along that I have been able to detail in such a manner. Interested? Well you should be for this is the stuff of miniature making magic!
Back when Flintloque 3rd Edition 5026 Death in the Snow was published in 2010 the realm of the Witchlands was greatly expanded and among those expansions were more troop types and unit profiles. In the months that followed the feedback from the new book was really good and one of the most talked about subjects was ‘Undead Todoroni’. After all had the Todoroni of Nepolise not come a long way since the late 1990′s, from a unit of militia to a whole army in their own right with cavalry, artillery and more? With that army in the Witchlands it stood to reason that there must be re-animated Zombie Toads! I had come to this conclusion on my own and as a result I squeezed in a mention of the ’777th Croaked Line’ in the army structure of the Dark Czar. This mention caught players attention and led me to a conversation with miniature designer and Toad Mad man Rob Alderman in May this year.
As you can see above we came to an agreement over what a potential set of 28mm white metal Undead Todoroni would look like. Rob’s sketches along with his own and my own input worked out a concept and then a design tender that would meet the needs of fan’s of the shambling dead. Over the course of a week we batted it back and forth, consulted mortal Todoroni uniforms and other Undead formations and agreed on a total of nine greens to be created. This took Rob about ten weeks among his other tasks as a designer and working man (he is a busy chap!) with a couple of checks of progress and some images to finalise creative direction. Once carefully package Rob sent the greens to me at Alternative Armies where they arrived in late August. You can see them below!
As you can see Rob followed the initial sketches and expanded on them too. My own input kept his sanity hat screwed on tight and we worked out that in doing a full (and with nine greens it is a full unit) set we would need to provide not only troopers but also the command and the always found Witchlands requirements of a Vampyre and a Liche. Since no Undead Todoroni exist in the Flintloque range they would also be ‘firsts’. Details discussed included the style of dress and demenour of a Todoroni Vampyre (slick and slightly camp as it turned out), if a Zombie Todoroni cannot sing like normal Todoroni then what is the unit musician doing (playing an accordian of course!), the standard bearers flag pole topper (a homage to Mad Queen Maria’s glove puppet Mr Froggy). As well as those we decided to vary the level of decay in the troopers (as in the rules of 5026) and to avoid bayonets as many gamers now prefer their muskets bare. Late on in the process we decided to drop the fourth trooper and replace it with a unique and new miniature for the Undead…a Zombie Todoroni Chef! Why..well humour of course, it is Flintloque’s goal. The last addition was a dead Todoroni. This figure has several purposes in that it could be a dead mortal Toad (battlefield marker) or a corpse ready for re-animation or such.
So that is it for the initial stages of this new set of miniatures. Any questions just post below or email me direct.
This is the first of several postings on the ’777th Croaked Line’ and in the next one I will be detailing the master molding stage and white metal ‘tins’ along with an account of each pose.
What’s this? An appeal to donate money to a new charity for man machines that do grotesque things? No, its just a catchy title for this posting which concerns what I have been up to over the stretch of yet another Bank Holiday in the UK. Aside from talking Flintloque with Eve Hallow and a few other things I have been putting to bed three new paid for PDF downloads to be added to the growing list of such that 15mm.co.uk sells.
Released back in time for Salute 2012 this year there have been a number of wargamers eagerly awaiting the time when UM010 Support Pack, UM011 Cyberpunk and UM013 Eldritch Horror would be put out for use on computer screens, portable devices and the infamous ‘ease print’ for a cheap hard copy too; all for the princely sum of just five dollars. Each of them involves little in the way of real work (well as I would count it) but it needs a dozen or more hours of digital layouts for the purpose designed files for screen viewing and searching. I have had close to a hundred emails saying how much this is appreciated as few company’s seem to take this time and simply issue a PDF of the print file which often does not display properly and is not tagged for searching.
Each time a new release is made for USE ME I sit back and think of how great it is to see the series grow. I have said before that I did not expect thousands of copies sold, magazine and blog coverage, a frankly awesome day of sales at Salute 2012 or the constant ping of download versions flying off to far off lands. All from my own home brewed rules set. It will soon be time to set up an account and then make these and the rest of the digital titles available through specialised online sellers of such versions. Not to mention the next new print titles too.
Release is going to be end of this week with an email campaign too courtesy of Mail Chimp. If you are reading this later than that then refer to the below.
If you want to learn about USE ME then go along to 15mm.co.uk to see the series.