What should I work on next?

28 February 2010

Birthday Swag

Well, today is the start of my 39th annual orbit of the sun. For the record, that makes me 38 years old. Right about the time I am typing this, actually. So here I sit, early on Sunday, nobody else awake in the house (yet!), sipping coffee, and thinking about... all the goodies I got! To heck with the solemn remembering of past years, etc. Let's talk toys!

First up is the really awesome totally cool super neat minis storage/travel case I got form my wife and sons. It was purchased fro Dave's Baggage Train. It's aluminum, and has a whole lot of trays in it. The case itself is pretty sweet. I think I mostly prefer the plastic trays to the wood and vinyl ones, though, as the vinyl has peeled on a couple of htem. I will contact the Baggage Train to see if I can get more sent to me. Overall, very happy. This one is the 24" tall, and I am afraid I can't use it as carry-on! Yikes! May have to get a smaller case for air travel. But the trays will fit either, so that is good.

The next set of pictures is of some really beautiful terrain boards I received (gratis!) from a fellow TMPer, sculptor, Houston area gamer, and all around great fellow named Dan Martinez, aka Cacique Caribe on TMP. Dan recently surrendered his game room to his wife for her office, and no longer has room to use or even store these beautiful boards. Rather than toss them out, Dan offered them to me. As I was going to be in his neck of the woods to see my daddy for my birthday yesterday anyway, I gratefully accepted. And boy, am I glad that I did!

This last photo is a castle that Dan also gave over. It has currently been dubbed "Fortreth of the Thugar Plum Fairieth" thanks to its pink foam construction. But it shall soon receive a coating of black paint and then texturing, etc., to become a grim fortress for the Empire. Or whoever seems in need of a grim fortress at the time. Dan also gave me a hoard of littler bits, some cliffs, hills and other really cool stuff. If you want to see it all, go check out the photos on my Photobucket account (left margin somewhere).

In addition, I also received a box of the Marksmen of Miragliano from my sister, and a check from each of my parental units, plus a few other goodies. Even coconut cream pie! All that can make this birthday one of my best ever is if the US beats Canada in hockey. Guess what I am doing at 1400 local? You bet! Painting minis and watching hockey! GO USA!

Finally, I want to mention one thing. I am seriously considering changing this blog again. I'll post a short poll on the subject to see what my followers (makes me sound like a cult leader - cool!) think about it, but one friend has pointed out to me that it can be difficult to sort through all my projects and stuff when I have it spread across three blogs. So let me know what you think. A good chunk of the reason I blog is to entertain others as well as myself, and to bask in the glow of peer approval (ha!) or to shamelessly steal ideas from those foolish enough to share them with me (that's more like it). If I do it, expect to see the list of labels/tags seriously modified. Its too long as it is, and adding more would make it worse.

24 February 2010

Majestically Soaring

Airships Over Mars

Two photostats of a vehicle currently offered for auction via the telephonic differencing engine interchange. The builder was Arsenale Shipyards. I would be interested to learn if additional models are available from the same shipyard, and have contacted the current owner of the vessel in question.

Currently, she seems to be in need of some repair, either replacing her aerial propeller (if she is a screw vessel) or her masts need to be stepped (if destined to be a kite).

But a trim little vessel, when all is said and done, I think.

[Editor's Note: This is indeed currently for sale on eBay. If any of you try to poach it from me, I will wish all sorts of bad luck on you. I'll let you all know if the manufacturer (Arsenale Shipyards, of Florida) is still in the biz or not. It screams "KITE!" to me, but your VSF mileage may vary.]


Our little journal here has, with this notice, officially reached 350 notices. We'd like to thank all the little people, and hope you stick around for the next few hundred or so.

At this milestone, I think I should ask if it would make sense to broaden the scope of this journal to all of my gaming activities. A poll for next month, I suppose. Currently, I have three seperate blogs for different gaming interests, and I killed one about a year or so back when the Napoleonics phase died out. I could simply combine all three into one, and add in the random bits and bobs as well into one massive empire of wargame blogging.

Or I could keep going as I am, with the terrain blog (least often updated right now), the VSF blog (right here!), and the Warhammer blog (check it out - it's new and shiny and spikey with lots of skulls: http://warhemorrhage.blogspot.com) for all that.

One last thought: Sunday is my birthday. Gifts approrpriate to your station will be accepted graciously. So get to it. :)

23 February 2010


A note of precaution and reminder for all of our non-Texican readers: expect rocket flares in the sky tonight and every night for the next thirteen days. Please do not be alarmed.

The commander of the local Texican garrison (the security force of Republic Marines at the Texican Consulate), Major Anthony Polendo, has reminded this journal that it is traditional for one hundred and eighty-three white flares to be fired into the sky at every military base in the Republic from February 23rd to March 5th. On the night of March 6th, the white flares will be replaced with red flares after a thirteen gun salute.

[Editor's Note: As requested (ask and ye shall receive!), an explanation: February 23rd is the anniversary of the start of the siege of the Alamo in the War for Texan Independence, or Texas Revolution, whichever you prefer. The siege lasted 13 days, ending on 06 MAR 1836. It was a leap year, by the way, if you are trying to count the days. Honestly, I assumed everyone knew that. See what happens when you assume, kids?]

17 February 2010

Beware the Ferals!

Government House Strings Anti-Flyer Netting

As shown in the photostats accompanying this article, the threat of feral Martians is quite real. The artist that captured these plates managed to catch the raiding party just as they landed. We are very thankful that the savage primitives had no idea what the box did, and that they satisfied themselves with taking items of obvious value.

Photostats can not, of course, adequately convey the terrifying screech of the primitive warriors, or the stench of their unwashed bodies combined with a whiff of the hydrium gas that their bodies constantly emit. Their weapons of bronze, iron, and even copper may look primitive, but our correspondent with the camera assures us they had no trouble butchering and consuming (raw!) several of the caravan's draft beasts. He was horrified bythe sheer volume of bloody gobbets of meat gulped down in a gory orgy of gluttony.

This raid took place close to the borders of the Crown Colony, prompting the Viceroy to issue a call for all Imperial outposts to secure anti-flyer netting for their own safety. High walls are no protection from this wily flying foe! His Excellency had steel cables strung from posts, criss-crossing the courtyard areas of both Government House and the Residence.

[Editor's Notes: Finally! The minis are from the RAFM Kraag Warriors box set of High Martians for Space 1889. I got the box at Historicon in the flea market for $18. It also includes ten flying versions of the Martians. I am still trying to decide exactly how I want to base those. The weighted bottom is my biggest concern. I like how they came out, and plan to get about four more boxes worth (total of 50 flying and 50 on foot) eventually.]

14 February 2010

February Goal Update

February is a short month, so not much time to get projects finished. With that in mind... I need to hurry up!

Finish current vessels for Republic of Venice's Aeronef fleet (4)

0% progress.

Finish ten Hydra Miniatures Vardu sprout warriors

0% progress.

January leftover: 40 15mm Zulus

90% Received from painter. Need to base and clearcoat.

January leftover: 10 Feral Martians
90% done. Just need to base and clearcoat.

Repaint on old edition of GW Skink Stegadon for Venus
20%(?) done. Body has a basecoat on it. Need work on scales, spikes, howdah and crew.

Ten 28mm Copplestone German Marines as Atherbattalion
About 50% done. Most base color on, but still need shading and details, plus base and clearcoat.

Armorcast Gothic Laboratory Power Generator
About 50%. Trying to get a cool glowing look out of the gratings.

Gah! Doesn't look all that good. I think I have been too distracted by Valentine's Day, the Olympics, and other projects not on the official project list. For instance, hunting down GW minis on eBay, painting a couple of cowboys for next weekend's convention, the new unobtainite terrain (although that only took about thirty minutes of work), and a few other things I have been kicking around.

10 February 2010

Unobtainite At Last!

Viceroy Claims For Britain

As our more scientifically savvy readers can tell, the photostat above reveals the site of a massive source of unobtainite, the wondrous mineral that sunders the fetters of cruel gravity, binding all things to the planetary surface. Merely energize the smallest fragments of this fantastic substance with [CENSORED BY VICEROY'S OFFICE] of pure galvanic energy and soar into the heavens, shielded from - nay! repulsed by! - the gravitational force dragging us all to the core of the planet.

These crystals and the land surrounding them have been seized under law by the Viceroy himself. The discoverer of the deposit, Mister Clyde Abernathy, formerly of West Stoking, currently residing in Singh's Songhouse, Victoria Landing, has already filed suit to maintain his properly filed deed of claim on the property. The Viceroy's son-in-law and principle advisor on commercial legal affairs, speaking to our correspondent solely under the condition that his name would not be printed, revealed that the courts have already been influenced by the Viceroy, and the suit would be summarily dismissed.

Maton's Mechanical Monstrosity!

Herr Professor Doctor Otto Maton, the brilliant but utterly ruthless and maniacally despotic mechanical genius, has been at the drawing board again, developing a larger, more dangerous creature of unlimited power.

Here is the result: a massive mockery of Man in mechanical menace! Note the massive galvanic collector coils mounted on the giant's back. They supply power the matched pair of magnetic disruptor cannons which replace the infernal device's arms.

The photostat presented here was taken by Miss Eugenia P. Whistlebum during her brief but unwilling stay with the Belgian Madman. Miss Whistlebum smuggled the exposed photostatic plate out of the fiend's lair under her petticoat bustle when she was released following the undisclosed but reportedly very hefty ransom paid by her father, her fiancee and her future father-in-law.

[Editor's Notes: Back at it at last. I have some new terrain. The old handwavium crystals were made of pink foam cut with a hotwire, then painted. This unobtainite (blue, not handwavium green) is a resin product from Armorcast. Pyrite crystals, if I remember rightly. The new automaton is from Hydra, one of Matt's pulp sci-fi line Destroyer Robots, or Warbot Destroyer, or something like that. So far, it has been assembled and primed black. I hope to get a bit of painting time tomorrow night, so it may get brassy by then. The chest plates may get steel instead, to protect the delicate inner workings. Red eye? What do you think, HAL?]

06 February 2010

Achtung! Panzer!

New materials have arrived on the Red Planet for the construction of an armored machine of war for the German Empire. This massive landship (name and classification unknown at the time of this publication) was delivered from KAS Wotan when she arrived this week.

This recent addition to the Imperial forces is, thankfully, not yet ready to take the field. Surely, once assembled and manned, this weapon will not sit idle. Although the journal's sources within the Viceroy's Office give us conflicting information about whether or not the landship is operated by the Kaiserlich Heer or the Kriegsmarine, one thing is certain at this time. A fiendish mechanism such as this can only be intended for one purpose: a direct assault against either Her Majesty's Martian allies, or the Crown Colony itself!

[Editor's Notes: This was a Hasbro toy, from the GI Joe line. It's called an IMP. I obtained this one for little cost via eBay after seeing some nice conversion done with one on another site. I think it will make a fine machine of war for my German 28mm forces. I've disassembled it already, and am considering the proper spray color. I might even do a naval splinter camouflage paint scheme on it. It needs to have a few logos Dremeled off, and various bits and bobs removed and added. Anyway, consider this the 'before' photos.]

02 February 2010

New Blog... WarHemorrhage Fantasy Battle

Started the new blog today. Go check it out if you are interested in following the Warhammer Fantasy madness. http://warhemorrhage.blogspot.com/

Also, if you didn't know, I also do a little terrain blog called Gaming Terrain. It doesn't update much lately, but I am going to try and work on that. http://gamingterrain.blogspot.com/

On the benefits side, I found a nice bit of crystal-looking resin that may make unobtainite at last! If you recall, unobtainite is the wonder mineral of MVSFU. It is one of the ways things that should not be able to fly, can. I am going to try and get it cleaned up and primed this evening. Maybe even get the first coat of paint on it.

January Wrap-up

This was originally scheduled to be done on Sunday night, but life got in the way. I had already scheduled my February goals post for the 1st, so that made it on time. Must take advantage of the opportunity to pre-schedule more often.

  • Finish the aeronef fleet for the Papal States
Essentially completed. Two ships only need to be clear-sprayed. Cold weather this weekend prevented spraying outside in the garage.

  • Paint ten 25mm feral Martians (RAFM High Martians)
50% completed. One prototype only needs basework and clearcoating. 9 other models are in base colors, but need shading, basework, etc.

  • Paint forty 15mm Zulus
Cheated. Sent them to be painted. Expect to receive this month.

  • Finish twenty 15mm German Luftschiffetruppen
Completed. In the display case. Put a fork in it. Done.

So, it looks like I got about half done. Maybe more, if you take out the Zulus. Mark up one 'miss' for the year. This sets me back a good ways on my February goals as well. Wish me luck... I'm gonna need it!

01 February 2010

Toys in Post, Warning of Heresy

Friends, I have what most of us would call good news, and what many might consider grave news.

Good news first: I have gotten more toys in via the post office! Received today were:
  • 15mm Japanese, painted (16 cavalry, 2 guns, 4 crew, and 17 infantry). Rebase these fellas and find them some command, and we're ready for Japanese Imperial troops on Mars.
  • Hydra Miniatures' Warbot Destroyer.
  • Miniaturicum Paint Rack (via Hydra)
  • Picquet Main Rules, 2 ed.
The grave news is that my sons have expressed a desire to play (shudder!) Warhammer Fantasy Battle! Not surprising, as it does tend to appeal to younger players more than historicals do. So, I've been buying more GW stuff. Empire and Lizardmen mostly, as we have a friend with Orks and Gobbos, Dark Elves, and Chaos Beastmen. Luckily, I have some old Empire stuff (a cannon and a war wagon) and a goodly number of skinks and saurus, plus a stegadon. Plus, both are available rather cheap right now.

I will be starting a new blog either tonight or tomorrow to highlight our adventures together. Probably less a journal and more a 'normal' blog, out of character and such. Help me out with a name for it?

Goals for February 2010

As part of my ongoing commitment to getting a dent in the lead pile (which grows daily, somehow, even though I have sold off things and traded away others), I am trying to set achievabel goals to complete each month. Some of the things I will do are projects already started but never actually finished. Some are totally new.

Without further ado, the list for February:

  • Finish current vessels for Republic of Venice's Aeronef fleet (need some more ships)
  • Finish ten Hydra Miniatures Vardu sprout warriors
  • Finish projects from January that are undone
  • Repaint on old edition of GW Skink Stegadon for Venus
  • Ten 28mm Copplestone German Marines as Atherbattalion
  • Armorcast Gothic Laboratory Power Generator

It's a short month this month, so I think that's a good amount. Wish me luck!