Friday, July 12, 2019

Proxy Figures: War Machines from Perth Pewter

Sculpted by Stephen Tofano

Old School Miniatures from Perth Pewter. I had been thinking about ordering one or both of these for a long time, only two things held me back: the price and that I thought they were coming from Australia. 

But the other day I noticed the company had a US address so I talked my way around the price and ordered one of each style - Demon or Dragon head design on the war machine. At the time the site didn't have a picture of the Demon head machine but after a little research on the Lost minis Wiki I guessed it was the one shown there.

The parcel arrived today, confirming that is the case.

TM-11 Dragon Crossbow w/ Crew $35.00
TM-12 Demon Crossbow w/ Crew $35.00

The sets have Games Workshop prices but they arrived in gift boxes and were pre-assembled so that is a bonus! :-) The crew is common to both war machines.

I think these make great proxies for Tekumel gaming. Not sure which nation I will put them with yet. Probably I will choose a legion that has multiple sizes of war machines - i.e. light and heavy ballista - because the Demon headed war machine is a bit smaller than the other. I think I'm leaning towards Salarvya however, as the Salarvyani are known to have gargoyles on their buildings and these designs invoke that sort of thing.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

A Band of Joyous Heroes: Actions and Combat



I'm a big fan of rules that can be distilled onto a single sheet. I don't think that will be possible with A Band of Joyous Heroes simply because of all the spell and creature descriptions that take up too much space, however, I can still make the attempt!

Yesterday I sent my latest draft of the first card: Actions on the front and Combat on the back. See above for what they look like. The are derived from the Dark Passage naval game I ran a year or so back. I'll be providing a detailed explanation later. Right now I'm trying to get ready for Cold Wars.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Creating a Dollarama Forest!

Almost everything purchased from Dollarama...

A few weeks ago I discovered a local Dollarama I didn't know existed so I stopped by and browsed for a while. I left with a few bags of "Stuff"!  :-)

Note that Dollarama is a species of so-called "dollar store" but one that items could be a buck, or $2 or $3 or more, depending on the item. All pretty cheap, though. In the above pictures, the bonsai tree (on left), the other plants (lavender?), the round bases, the cork, the white glue and the gravel all came from the store. The lavender plants came in the wooden holder which I think makes a good pedestal for a statue, or some other architectural feature.

The bonsai tree was one of two or three varieties and cost $4 CAD, including a rectangular display pot (not pictured). The lavender plants were $2 @ including the wooden flower pot. The gravel came in a jam jar sized container. I think it was $3-4 but don't remember exactly. The cork was two 12" square sheets for $2-3 and the round bases were all in one bag for about $2.

As soon as I saw the lavender plants I thought they would make some nice exotic looking trees for my Tekumel games. Afterwards I noticed that there are two types of leaves around the base.

The legion of Serqu trooper in the picture shows how they go with 28mm figures.

All in all, I think it was a pretty good find. Still some more work to do, but not much.

I might go back for more bonsai trees, and perhaps more lavender. How big a forest does one need?

Other things I picked up at the same time include some 12" square plastic grass mats (intended I think for backyard pools) and some plastic dinosaurs I intend to go all "Dr Moreau" on! :-)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Ship!

The Ship!

Over 18" long!

Stern Castle


On the deck



4" Beam

Height of Stern Castle is 5" (to top of rail)

This mighty was originally a 28mm Dhow made for a friend of mine by his Father-in-law. He gifted it to me after I did my Dark Passage naval game - Thank you again, Mike! :-)

For a home made model I don't think its that bad. The sides are not perfectly symmetrical but it has a sort of fantastical look to it. Its definitely got a "Dawn Treader" vibe to it! Which is what I want, as my ambition is to use it as a basis for some sort of large warship for Tekumel naval games. 

If you look at the cover of the Empire of the Petal Throne box you can see ships and boats drawn by Professor Barker; they have more fantastical forms than boring old Greek or Roman galleys! That is what I want to achieve. 

What I want to do is somehow mould this in resin and then make variants of it. The question is, how to best go about moulding something so large? It is 18-19" long, 4" wide and 5" tall at its highest point. and it has railings, which are surely going to cause problems. 

So I guess I'm off to YouTube to look for advice. If you have any advice or information please feel free to offer it! Thanks in Advance! 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Digitizing Tékumel, part 24: The Mssúma Delta

The Mssúma Delta

Latest work: I've taken my earlier attempt at sketching the delta and added my latest efforts at Nisuél. If you enlarge the image you might be able to get the hint that the splash of colour at Nisuél is in fact the cover image that I am tracing.

My older rivers are much wider than that in the cover painting. At least, as I currently have that scaled. Nisuél is about 600 meters from north to south along the river, measuring between the wall bastions. So the Nisuél map symbol shown above is about a kilometer across.

My initial canals now have to be re-thought out and re-drawn. And I need to decide how many other larger clan holdings are in the delta - and which clans they are!

The Red Marshes I've blogged about before >>> Here. I have to decide how large to make them...and how many forested areas to add as hunting reserves.

I also need to re-read the "Anatomy of a Peasant Economy" (LINK) to give me a better idea if I've scaled my Nisuél correctly. I can compare the real world example with the density shown in the artist's impression.

Edit: I just found a YouTube video from 2015 of  "Pila Laguna - Tansa and Tubuan".

Lots of footage of rice paddies and raised secondary roads; just ignore all the modern elements.

Barrio Tubuan, circa 1978

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Nisuél, Seat of the Clan of the Golden Sunburst - Part 2

Gylph of the Clan of the Golden Sunburst
(Artist unknown)


Original Source: 
Thonburi 1767-1782
Artist: Suthichai Ritthapatichai
Muang Boran Journal
Vol. 43 No. 4 October-December 2017

Plodding ahead with detailing the Mssúma river delta, starting with Nisuél, seat of the Clan of the Golden Sunburst, I have started to identify some of the location names. Don't forget to use the tags to find the rest of this series, and the overall "Exploring Tsolyánu" series.

Ever since I happened across this artist's impression of the city of Thonburi (Thailand) by Suthichai Ritthapatichai I have become more and more convinced that this is what the Mssúma delta looks like. Thonburi is even described as being a "canal and garden (or park) district". Which matches pretty much with Professor Barker's description of the delta being "...the Produce-Garden that feeds Jakálla..." and how it is "criss-crossed with canals and secondary roads." 

Nisuél amounts to a good-sized village. It is located on the Dhu’ónin River (Golden River), one of the many distributary rivers that thread to-and-fro across the Mssúma river delta. Between them are networks of major and minor canals, creating a patchwork of fields and ponds, with woodlots scattered here and there, and secondary roads weaving throughout it all as best they can. The population of the delta is pretty dense, mostly employed in agricultural practices. It is a pretty safe district, with Tékumel's more dangerous denizens kept far away by vigilant warders and a millennia old policy of extermination for any that stray too near.

I've done a bit of research on the Clan of the Golden Sunburst. I've looked up personages in the various sources, principal of which is always the "Hardison Guide", as I call it. One thing that bothered me was that Alva lists the Clan Patriarch as being named "Nisuél"; bothered me until today, that is, when it finally dawned on me that they were just following the long standing practice used by the legions of the Kérdu taking the name of the traditional Kérdu. i.e. "Sérqu" is passed down through the ages, from one general to the next. Indeed, the Hardison Guide mentions that the "17th Sérqu" was a member of the clan. So I am reconciled with the idea that the Clan Patriarch is called "Nisuél" even as it is used for the community itself.  

If you click on the above image you'll see I've used this in my attempt at naming the features on the painting. 

Nisuél's Manse - which is the principal residence of the sitting Clan Patriarch. 

Also shown is the Bastion of Sérqu, "Swath of Red", a reference to that 17th Sérqu mentioned in the Hardison Guide. A similar defensive work is at the southern end: the Tower of Kokún Vriyón, named after an Éngsvanyáli "Hero of the Age". 

Other features I've tentatively - this is still only a first draft - identified are:

The Channel-Master's Station and the Canal-Master's Lodge, two of the clan officials charged with the smooth running of the Clan's business. I suspect the Channel Master out-ranks the Canal Master. 

The Palace of Serene Repose, a guest-house for noble visitors.

The Domicile of Iron, one of the clan's own Temple and/or Mausoleums.

The Mansions of Resplendent Glory, the main clanhouse complex. 

The Halls of the Exhalted, more Temples and Mausoleums, including monuments dedicated to the Clan's greatest ancestors.

The Guild of Iron, one of the subservient clans I've identified, this being hereditary warriors and bodyguards. I don't think "Guild of Iron" has been used before, and while there are no guilds as such, the term guild has been used: the Temple of Qon's "Guild of those Who Repel the Dark" (Source: Mitlanyál, Vol. 1).

The Barracks of the Guild of Iron, barracks for the Household Guards, almost all members of the Guild of Iron clan.

The Palace of Heroes, being more palaces and monuments to the Clan's glorious past. Note that I think clan apartments would be scattered among these complexes for senior members of the clan to reside in. 

So that is my start. As I said, a first draft. Coming up with extravagant sounding names ain't easy you know! ;-)

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Best Kept Secrets: "The Economic Aspects of the History of the Civilization of Japan", Vol 1

I've blogged about this before. I had meant to expand on my initial post once I received my print copy but I never did, sadly. Need to follow through on that!

But that isn't why I'm blogging today. I just discovered a digitized version online! Yay!

Vol 1:

Originally published in 1930, I guess it is out of copyright now.