A tabletop gaming blog, with a vague bias towards Central/Eastern Europe and the Early Modern period.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

...and happy holidays, and in case I don't post again this month, happy New Year's too!

I have two new projects for the winter. One is a diorama contest entry, and the other is still secret because I don't have any good pics for it yet.

The contest basically has just three rules: Warlord minis only, no more than 20 cm in any dimension, the theme is harsh/hostile environments.

I've started a thread on their forum to document my planning and execution. I've pretty much decided I'm going to model Erik Dahlbergh and his assistants on the Baltic ice during the Great Northern War, checking the thickness to see if Karl X's army can safely perform the March Across the Belts. I'm thinking Dahlbergh himself will be a metal infantry officer, the assistant(s) will be various gun crew models, and I'll also have the dragoon horse-holder minding their mounts, and if the base isn't too crowded by then, a couple reiters keeping watch.

Unfortunately, my card is having weird issues with foreign transactions, so I don't have the miniatures I want yet. But I've been playing around with a mock-up, and 20 cm isn't a whole lot of space. This will be interesting...

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Pan Twardowski

I'd hoped to feature this guy in some Halloween Mordheim, but I didn't get him done nearly in time, and now I don't have the energy to play. So here he his, famed sorcerer and alchemist, Pan Jan Twardowski. You can get the gist of this folkloric character from his wikipedia page, though it doesn't explain why he rides a chicken.

The chicken is a cheap toy from a dollar-store farm animal set, embiggened with greenstuff. I wanted to make it a specifically Polish breed, and it just so happens that there is a breed called the Polish Chicken that is quite visually striking.

The guy himself is a old GW Kislevite from the waist up (except for the sword blade and feather from Warlord plastics). His legs are from Wargames Factory's WSS plastics, with plenty of greenstuff to make the two pieces fit the weird chicken shape.

And I'd be lying if I said I didn't have help on this project from another icon of Polish culture...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Vlad Țepeș

A couple pics of my Halloween costume. If only there'd been some way to get the 12-foot sharpened pole onto the train...

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Be vewwy vewwy quiet, I'm hunting witches...

Pan Blaszkowicz and his men didn't dare repeat the story of their vampire encounter at the derelict village, or at least, not while sober. But the strange smoky-green gem pieces, some bearing fragments of Latin text, demanded an explanation, and a fair market valuation if at all possible. The hussar made inquiries among noblemen, jewellers, and scholars of his acquaintance, and was eventually advised, in hushed tones with the curtains drawn, to see a certain Jan in the city of Kraków. Blaszkowicz and his men set out on their journey, unaware that their drunken tale-telling and furtive research had attracted the attention of another monster, albeit a much more human one...

Spending the night on a small farm on the way to Kraków, the Polish adventurers were ambushed by the belligerent witch-hunter Laird Tregowdy and his grim Calvinist henchmen. Surrounded by musketeers and archers, the Poles prepared to fight their way out, or face execution for their ill-defined but presumably quite grievous sins...

Poles at the farmstead

Laird Tregowdy leads from behind


Halloween update

A before/after of my hair dye. Very nearly ready for Halloween...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Mordheim Monster Mash

Well, my costume was pretty much finished Friday night, so I needed to find another spooky diversion to last until Halloween. Fortunately, Mordheim is the spookiest, so I wrote up some warbands and brought up a small table and set it up for a quick solo game. Although, to be frank, I don't have enough terrain to really get the proper effect.

These warbands are completely book legal, although some of the other ones that might show up later have been slightly house-ruled to fit my collection.

Pan Blaszkowicz and his men were exploring an abandoned village. Leaving his musketeers and their sergeant in the village, to provide covering fire if needed, he went to investigate the church ruins with his loyal pancerni comrades. But once they left the relative safety of the village walls, the forces of evil attacked.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Oh dear.

No. Please no. I can't afford a new project, I can't spare the money, the time, or even the space. This is extremely unfortunate.

Even if they'd make great foes for my Vikings.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

as promised, Halloween post

Still in the early construction stages, but here are the beginnings of my Halloween costume. Many of you will probably recognize what I'm going for, but for those that need a hint, let's just say it's a historical spin on a Halloween classic...

Now, off to the store for more red thread and maybe some chalk.

Friday, July 31, 2015

unexpected Pirate Ship!

While poking around a thrift store for my upcoming halloween costume (more on that later), I stumbled across a toy pirate ship that fits quite nicely with my rarely-mentioned pirate collection. Obviously it needs some work before it's a proper terror of the high seas, but for $1.99 it's pretty hard to beat!

The miniatures are (mostly) Wargames Factory WSS.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

More cheapskate hussars

Another batch of back-rank lancers, converted from Warlord cavalry. I forgot to add any arm/shoulder armor this time around, but otherwise they're basically the same as the last batch.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Clergy in any color you like...

...so long as it's black.

Here are three godly sorts that I've painted up for my Pike and Shotte collection. The Puritan and the Anglican are from the Warlord Games ECW range, although I will be using the latter as a Catholic since I suspect Anglicanism are pretty scarce on the continent.

The Calvinist is the only one converted at all; I added a plastic sheathed sword from the P&S infantry box. I know some might point out that the black-clad Puritan image owes more to popular culture than history, because black cloth was quite expensive at the time, so English nonconformists preferred cheap simple brown/russet fabrics to demonstrate their humility and practicality. But I see this Calvinist as a wealthy burgher from Krakow or Gdansk or someplace, not necessarily tied into the cultural signalling of English Puritans specifically. Also, black looks cooler.

The beardy Orthodox fellow is an Assault Group freeby miniature that can be included upon request with orders above a given size. Or if you forget to specify a freeby for a qualifying order, and your order mostly consists of Cossacks and Muscovites, they'll probably pick this guy out as the most appropriate freeby anyway. That's why I have another of these guys waiting in the wings, as soon as I can decide on a contrasting color scheme.

For those of you interested in package deals, Warlord Games sells a "Fire and Brimstone" set with three clergy types, but I passed on that since the ranter doesn't really fit my setting, as nifty as the miniature is...

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Filling in the corners

I finally replenished my greenstuff stash with a trip to the Compleat Strategist in Manhattan (strange that it's more convenient for me to take the train to another state than to get to any of the closer hobby stores, but that's carless life for you). Given my idiosyncratic style, my hobby progress was pretty much paralyzed without it. Here are a motley bunch of rebels to get my units up to full strength with no overflow.

To start, some plain Cossack moloitsy. Two from Perry zouaves, one from Gripping Beast dark ages warriors. GB head on the left, other two have Fireforge Mongol heads, all with greenstuffed hat/hair.

Mostly GB Arab bodies with Zouave arms and heads. The tall one is Wargames Factory WSS with a Mongol head, and the officer has Wargames Factory WSS arms.

GB dark ages with a few GB Arab bits. And a short length of wire for the nailbat.

Ditto here.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Flag preview

I want the moloitsy standards to look less geometrical and regular than the ones I made for my registered Cossacks. Here are some I'm working on, repurposed from Napoleonic Opolchenie flags. I printed them in black and white to use as templates, and now I'm painting them, and tweaking the designs as I go.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Painted Cossacks

I painted the moloitsy from earlier. I'm really enjoying mashing all these kits together, I don't know how people can paint uniformed armies without going insane.

Hopefully I can rustle up some flagpoles and flags for these guys this week.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ottoman soldiers

I painted the azaps from earlier. Post is terse and pics uncropped because my keyboard broke so I'm on my phone.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The grubbiest of peasants

Not my best gs work or painting, but who really examines peasants close-up anyway? All based on Gripping Beast Dark Age Warriors, with the occasional head and arm from elsewhere.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

a whole mess o' moloitsy!

More kitbashing with the same sets as last time. These are all the guys I need to bring my moloitsy (non-registered Cossack infantry) up to six units. The first picture has musketeers and one spearman. The second is all the standard bearers I will be distributing among my regiments. Sorry it's so blurry, but you get the idea.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Kitbashing szlachcic, strelets, azaps, and serfs

Man, spellchecker hates that post title.

So I broke down and bought some of the newer plastics that weren't around back when I was building my armies. I got the Gripping Beast Arabs and their Dark Age Warriors, and also the Fireforge Mongol infantry. Seriously good stuff.

The simplest and most immediately useful application is using the Dark Ages minis as peasant rebels. Just give 'em furry hats and even worse weapons.

Next up, also easy but less relevant to my immediate projects, azaps made from medieval Arabs. Muskets taken from both Warlord's storming party and Perry zouaves, because they're a ramshackle bunch. More variety on the command, ask if you have questions about specific bitz. Even though I don't have plans for an ottoman army any time soon, these guys may come in handy for skirmish stuff.

Finally, two moderately difficult conversions. A szlachcic (singular of szlachta) and a strelets (singular of streltsy). The first is for skirmish gaming (or possibly a dismounted cavalry storming party), and the second is the first of an intended unit. Both are a bit involved, primarily because of the fiddly embroidery on their chests.