Sunday, August 2, 2020

More 54mm Heroes!

54mm Irregular Miniatures

Moving forward slowly with my 54mm Tekumel dungeon party, I put a second order into Irregular Miniatures. Seen above, this is an eclectic assortment of periods chosen for their suitability of conversion to Tekumel-appropriate adventurers.

Starting with the top photo, in the center of the pic is my Noble character figure, the leader of the expedition. Actually a Samurai leader, I'm going to add some plumes to his helmet to give him that "Tekumel Vibe". To his left is my main magic support (a Chinese noble or general, IIRC) in the form of a lay wizard, temple as yet unknown. In the right of the picture are my missile support: a generic archer in back and two Ashigaru in front, one with bow and one with musket, which is going to be converted into a crossbow. To the right of the noble is his right-hand man, and bodyguard in the form of a Carolingian Guardsman. Currently he is the most heavily armoured of my figures. Nest to him is a generic slinger - more missile support (and general labour.) The last figure on the left is another gladiator; the bulk of the fighters in the party will only be medium or lightly armoured.

The lower photo shows more supporting cast: back left is a native bearer who will continue that role with a little different hairstyle when I've finished. I'll probably want a few more to act as bearers. In front of him is my second magic user, a priestess, probably of Avanthe, to provide healing support to the party. The rest of the front row consists of a Zulu man and boy, a Zulu woman with pot, and on the end two Zulu maidens about to get married. Not in my game: here they are probably going to end up as Aridani warriors as will the woman with the pot. The man is likely going to be the majordomo overseeing the servants, the boy being one of those. The rest of the back row is made up of two male and two female generic nudes, one of each pose Irregular sells. Not sure what I will end up doing with these, but my thinking is more light to medium combat support.

So, including the four figures from my last post, the party consists of:

A nobleman, the party leader;
His well armed and armoured bodyguard;
A lay priest to provide magic support, temple undetermined;
A priestess of Avanthe as back-up magic and healing support;
Six male warriors with light or medium armour and shields;
Four missile armed warriors: two bows, a crossbowman and an slinger;
Six aridani warriors, unarmoured but with shields;
An majordromo to oversee the servants;
Two servants for him to oversee, including the boy.

That's twenty three in total.

Obviously I have to build up the numbers of servants! There probably should be one bearer for each other party member, plus a few extras. And I need to consider torch and lantern bearers.

With twenty three members the party dwarfs the typical D&D party, but then I think Tekumel parties do tend to be larger; they are more like RW archaeological digs that a small band of murder hobos. At least, I think they are!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Heroes for A Band of Joyous Heroes

L-to-R: Warrior Priest of Hru'u* adventurer with axe, 
adventurer with sword and shield, 
aridani adventurer with spear and shield.

*don't worry I haven't put on 
the purple yet, but I'll get there...

WIP pics of 54mm Irregular Miniatures I am converting and painting for use with A Band of Joyous Heroes.
Behind is a Ru'un, Servitor of the Ancients, supplied by Hydra Miniatures (a Warbot). In front are a Safari Good Luck Dragon mini as a Kuruku beast, a Tekumel Project Serqu spearman for scale, and a Reaper Bloodwolf, as a Hiya-hiyu. Also, in the last pic a Space Scorpion also from Irregular Miniatures.
I am painting eyes on the back of the Hru'u priest's helmet but my first attempt got a little messed up. Actually, I forgot one as well; I think there should be a third eye up and between the first two. That would be proper Tekumel. The idea with the eyes is the same as in India where they wear masks facing behind to ward off Tigers. Tigers always try to sneak up behind you when they attack, or so the thinking goes, so if they think you're watching them they are less likely to attack. 
The 54mm figures are from the Gladiator range, with a Roman Auxiliary as well. The original figure pics from the website are attached as well.

The sword, axe and spear blades are from various Reaper Bones chaos warriors with over-sized weapons that I sliced off with the Xacto and drilled out and/or glued in place with super glue. Those are all from figures I wouldn't actually use because they are too outlandish and in heavy plate armour so using them for bits works out perfectly.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

A Tropicana Dais

Tropicana orange juice lids, 
shown with 28mm Figures

Where we are Tropicana recently switched from cartons to bottles for their orange juice. It wasn't long before I noticed the cap - see above pics - and realized one would make a pretty nifty dais. Or perhaps a fancy column as shown in the second pic.

All that is needed is to craft up some sort of surface to cover the logo on the top and voilà, a dais!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Tower of the Arch-Mage: Exploring Ngála - Part 2

The Wizard of Zao,
One of my favourite novels...

Often when I visit the local dollar stores I am looking for stuff I can turn into other stuff. Equally often, however, I never get the time to actually execute those plans. Today was one of those rare instances!
I had spotted a Christmas decoration in the remnants of the Xmas section. It was a cone shaped wire thingie covered in gold glitter and a few coloured beads. I guess it is supposed to be a Christmas tree?
I decided it would make a nice frame to build a tower roof around so I bought it. Afterwards I decided I should have three but now all the Xmas stuff seems to be cleared away. Moral: buy it when you see it, don't dither.
So I had decided to make the roof of a tower. The tower of what? For what? For whom? I didn't know. I still don't know! 
For purposes of this blog post I am going with the working title: "The Tower of the Arch-Mage". 
Who is that, you ask? I don't know that either, but my first guess is the Wizard of Zao, that being a favourite Lin Carter book of mine. Not sure if he will have green skin though...
Actually, a thought: perhaps this is the guy with the walking palanquin from my last Ngála post (Part 1 - see previous).
So, some dollar store crafting: a Christmas decoration, some packing material from something I bought online, some duct tape and a few staples... 

1) First I covered the cone with duct tape.

2) I discovered some packing material that was flexible and easy to cut...and not
too thick. Suitable material for tiles?

2) I tried stapling on the first few strips, but quickly switched to duct tape.

3) Somewhat belatedly I realized that I should be cutting the strips into curves!
4) The last step is to cut into the edges of the strips to make the individual

Compared to a 28mm figure they are quite large! Which is why they have lasted so many millenia!

5) Finishing? A coat of Gesso, maybe?
Cost so far:
Christmas decoration: $1.50
Packing material: free (somebody sent it to me).
Duct Tape: $4 for the roll. I used about 3' maybe. Maybe 5% of the roll.
Staples: about a dozen (from "stock").
Time? a little over 2 hours, including time to take pictures and compose email.

A Note About Ngála

When I went to put Part 1 of this series up on other forums, such as the Lead Adventure Forum, or The Miniature Page, I realized that nobody would have any idea what I was rambling on about. Or, at least, many people wouldn't. So I wrote a bit of a blurb as a sort of intro. But then I realized that I should have included that in my original post. I never got around to editing that, so here is the blurb, belatedly, for your enlightenment and enjoyment. ;-)
An ancient city on Tékumel. I tried counting how old it is. The current empire, the Empire of the Petal Throne or Tsolyánu, is also known as the 2nd Imperium and is over 2000 years old; the empire previous to that was Éngsvan hla Gánga, "the Mighty and Powerful Empire" - the Empire of the Priest-Kings, which lasted 3000 years, give or take. Before that was the 1st Imperium, Nayári's Empire. That went on for 10,000 years after her death and Ngála was old even before Nayári founded her empire.
You can see it up at the left edge of this map...

Of course, after 15,000 plus years nothing could possibly be still extant above ground, right? Yes, well, sure, if one were talking about an ordinary city. But Ngála was no ordinary city, and now is no ordinary ruins. We know the Temple of Hriháyel, the Dancing Maiden of Temptation, uses at least parts of the site for summoning demons so it is not a great leap to think the city as a whole is special.
Furthermore, there are probably multiple iterations of the city, possibly some distance apart as the city developed historically. My "take" is that there is 
1) Ngála, the ruins where the Hriháyel priestesses carry out their rituals. This is on the Nyelmáyel river, the River of Dreams. At least in My Tekumel, it is! Your mileage may vary, as they say. I see it as a sort of Tékumel version of Deadwood, or Bartertown, or the Five Points area on NYC in the 1800's.
2) Then there is Pála Ngála, literally "Old Ngála", which sprawls further to the West and comprises many of the older incarnations of the city spread over a large area.
3) Finally there is "Greater Ngála" - I still need to look up this would be in Tsolyáni.  ;)   Greater Ngála exists beyond this realm, in the realm of sleep: the Dreamlands. Greater Ngála exists as it was at its height, or as some version of it at its height, or possibly all versions; the priesthoods are still debating these points.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Exploring Ngála - Part 1

An almost bare table...

My usual ground cloth...

Some strips of old roads; a lucky a flea market find...

A broken old Chess set...

Hecho en México! 
These are, I think, quite common in 
tourist traps down in Cancun or Acapulco...

I found on mine ebay. Most versions were close to 
$200 US but this one was damaged, and with an 
incomplete set of figures, so I got it for a good price...

When it arrived the board practically fell apart in my hands!
Which was a good thing! I might not have wanted to do anything to 
it if it had been undamaged...

I could use it with the chess board upright, but I think reversed, 
as a platform is more useful...

Here is my test layout with bits from a variety of sources: 
Aztec-themed Terrarium ornaments, SE Asia statuettes, 
and unpainted resin bits from Acheson Creations.

Other bits are from Stone Mountain(L) and Fenris Games(R). 
The lanterns and statue are from Petsmart. 
The chess men are from yet another Aztec-themed 
chess set I own. One of three!

I think the city-scape should be cluttered. 
A mixture of Acheson Creations, 
Flea Market finds and Pet store products.

And it should be all overgrown. Still need to do that bit...

The strange contraption with legs is actually a
candlestick I bought in some tacky knick-knack shop. 
In my game it belongs to some Lord: his walking palanquin!

Chess men arrayed "terracotta soldier" style...

I need either taller platforms or buildings to put on the pyramid base.

And stairs leading up onto the platform...

And there should be lots of different levels. 
Ground level should not be so flat!

At left, I have added a Sarku-style crest to my Petsmart Buddha...

The platform at left is a Petsmart offering from a few years ago. 
I can't believe I only bought one! 
Why wouldn't I buy two so I could put them back-to-back?
Must have fumbled my "Bargain Hunter" check...

Note that the statue has undergone a bit of facial surgery. 
Gone are Buddha's serene features, 
replaced with a head from what is I believe a Gulper Eel 
from the Safari Ltd, "Deep Sea Creatures" Toob.
I call him "Prince Caspian"...

Lots of work to do...
Platforms to make!
Columns to make!
Sets of stairs to make!
Chess figures to convert into statues!

(And I haven't even used any of the Zombie Quadrille stuff yet!)

Monday, September 2, 2019

Best Kept Secrets: Ral Partha Europe, Part 3 - The Chaos Imperium!

Chaos Command Group

Note that these figures are each available separately which is useful if one wants extra drummers, for example. These are part of Ral Partha Europe's Chaos Imperium range. Unlike the Divided Kingdoms range these were Ral Partha's own range and not part of the Crucible Miniatures line.

I'll admit I haven't figured out entirely how I'll incorporate this range, but there are lots of figure variations so it could potentially span many nations and legions, and temples as many I think are useable as Temple Guards or Warrior Priests (and some are sold as such!)

Shock Trooper Pike (b)

There are three Shock Troopers, this one being my favourite. I use this figure as Pijeni from the The Inimitable Forces of Ancient Kai, which I have previously blogged about. I think I would also use him as Temple Guard because the pose is "just right", as Goldilocks would say.

Shock Trooper Pike (a)

This Shock Trooper pose I also quite like. I am using it for a Mu'ugalavyani legion. At least I've started painting a "test" figure red. I haven't quite found a legion for it to proxy, and I might raise an entirely new legion to bolster the Mu'ug forces. 

The third Shock Trooper I like the least:

Shock Trooper Pike (c)

I guess I could see him posed behind a wall of shields like the Persians used to do, perhaps partnered with a crossbowman? Actually, now that is an idea - I'm making this up as I type - I mean, that style of fighting is quite common on Tekumel. Professor Barker was always combining fighting pairs of warriors, particularly for Yan Kor, but not I think exclusively. I like the spear tip as Mu'ugalavyani but could do for other nations as well. I actually just bought some nifty Sassanid pavise shields from Aventine Miniatures:

Sassanid Large Shield/Pavise (Aventine Miniatures)

I had originally thought to use them with either crossbows or in a siege context, or both, really. But this actually works quite well. I can paint them black with a red pattern and they could be part of a combined fighting formation Medium Pikes, paired with crossbows. Now there would typically be a heavy legion also in the mix so maybe that will be the Shock Pikeman (a) figure, or maybe I find something else...)

Chaos Archer (c), with Crossbow 

I've jumped to the Chaos Archers because I just know the crossbowman is the figure to match with the third Shock Trooper pikeman. The other Chaos Archers are shown below:

Chaos Archer (a)

Chaos Archer (b)

I haven't figured out which legion or nation these might belong to yet.

Next up in the Chaos Imperium list are the Chaos Guardsmen. There are four(4) different figures. The same bodies but four different weapon arms. And they can be bought as a set or individually.

Chaos Guardsmen

The weapon choices are two different swords, an axe, and a long-hafted mace. The shields are the weak point for these figures, at least for me. For one, I believe they are moulded on (ugh), and secondly, there are those spikes on the shield. Now Professor Barker does describe some legions as having spiked shields - did he use these figures? 😉 - but personally I would have preferred plain shields - and detached shields, even better!

Chaos Guardsman (a), with sword

Chaos Guardsman (d), with curved sword

Whether a particular unit has a curved sword or scimitar is often mentioned in the legion descriptions so that might help to guide the choice, however, the skull masked helmet is even more prominent a descriptor. Are these Sarku troops? The skull motif isn't exclusively Sarku or Durritlamish though it does feature prominently in their costume.

Chaos Guardsman (b), with axe

Chaos Guardsman (c), with mace

Another thing to consider is that one could cut away the existing weapons, drill out the hand and add a wire pike or spear. The arms are separate so there might be some room to pose them at different angles but, looking closely at the pics, perhaps the axe pose is best as it seems the arm is posed to hold the weapon upright. I haven't splurged on these guys yet and so cannot offer guidance at this time.

Chaos Foot Knights

Sold as a pack of six but also available individually. I haven't considered these figures much before. Perhaps they could be officers if there isn't a legion choice available, or Temple Guards or Warrior Priests. Temple Guard units are mentioned as taking the field, most notably at the Battle of Ry, but I think units of Warrior Priests could also be formed. I think they would be small contingents but I think they could see a place, especially during the Tsolyani Civil War.


Unless one uses these as character figures,  the one with the whip could be a slaver, for example, then one has to invent aridani legions for them to serve. Not that that is a bad idea, of course. Alternatively they could be Temple Guards. As far as nations go, I have been considering Pijena and/or Salarvya. The former is too small - canonically - to field many units, but then in my books, canon is a four letter word. And the latter doesn't have as many aridani warriors as Tsolyanu, for example; it does have some all female units however, so perhaps there is room for more. Again, sold as a pack of six or as singles.

Chaos Berserkers

Berserker (b), with greatsword

Except for figure (b) with the greatsword, I don't really like these figures. Figure (c) is slightly larger than the others. As always, Your Mileage May Vary. (Aside: what expression is used in Europe?) Maybe I haven't devoted enough time to considering the uses for these figures. Berserker (b) with the flame-shaped blade could perhaps be Vimuhla-related, perhaps?

War Monks

A four (4) figure set this time, available separately per usual. I haven't really considered the first figure, the Bishop of Chaos. A priest of some sort perhaps, possibly with the headdress being altered. 

Bishop of Chaos, War Monk (a)

To be fair, you could cut away the crook, replacing it with a spear or maybe a halberd, and perhaps add a shield. Alternately perhaps that crook is actually some sort of exotic halberd-like polearm? Hmm, maybe I have been dismissing this figure out of hand. In any case, I think maybe as a Temple Guard unit is the route I'll take.

War Monk (b)

War Monk (c)

War Monk (d)

The other War monks could be Warrior Priests, or some sort of Temple Guard unit, or from multiple legions and/or nations. I haven't worked that out yet. The shields are a bit too spikey for my tastes, with the exception of figure (c).

This pretty much covers the Chaos Imperium range available from Ral Partha Europe. The rest of the range are not really either for Tekumel or for formed units. There are the Winged War Demons, which might do as Vorodla, perhaps:

Winged War Demons

Winged Arch Demon

Winged War Demon #3

Winged War Demon #4

Winged War Demons in flight (2)

The latter are available singly as well as a set of two. I think maybe they are the strongest candidates as well. I don't have any of these War Demon figures and so can't really comment otherwise. 

They have other figures that are useful for Tekumel gamers, but they are in other ranges, and I will do a separate post for that. One last figure I should mention from the Chaos Imperium range is the Scorpian Man, possibly of interest to Glorantha gamers...

Shock Lord - Scorpianman