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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Just finished my first 30 Years' War mini!

Well, it's probably been a year or more since I picked up my paint brush. I'm painting up two strike forces for the Early Modern Period for my Strike Force Commander game, and decided I was not going to get too detailed. I figured, pun intended, that my days of highly detailed, painstaking paint jobs was no longer in my personal bag of interests. I was wrong.

I will take some photos after dinner to show you my first 28mm TYW Imperialist captain. It's too windy right now to top coat him, plus we're having company over for dinner and I don't wanna fume up the place.

I tried a new eye painting technique. I'm a harsh critic when it comes to eyes. It seems too few painters paint the eyelids and then have models that look perpetually horror struck. Better to just paint a dark slit in that case.

This time I did the eyes, primarily because they were sculpted in correctly on the model. After they dried, I not only painted in the eyebrows, though you'll never really see them, and then took a very thin wash of flesh color and sunk it over the whites and pupils. Its probably the most realistic set of eyes I've ever painted, since you wouldn't see a real person with huge whites staring at you from 100 feet away...

I'm doing Imperialists and Swedes for these two forces. The connective color for the Impi's will be red of course, and I'm doing some Blue brigade colors for the damn dirty Swedes.

I guess if I like a mini, I can't do a quick and dirty paint job on it.

Gotta eat some Christmas dinner, be back in a bit.

Faust

Sunday, December 21, 2008

TIME TO PAINT!!!

Well, its about time I picked up the brush and had a go. I'm currently in the heat of a 30 Years' War fetish and busted out all of my Foundry TYW pikemen & leaders. I also ordered some Perry ECW musketeers to use as well. All in all Wallenstein is in the hizzie!

I also picked up a Rackham Kelt Centaur fig and my Babydoll got me a box of GW Beastmen for Christmas. Thanks Babydoll! So, not being happy with the GW Centigor models, I decided to convert my own.

I also didn't get too enthused about the TYW leader models from foundry, since they weren't carrying enough sword and pistol combos for my Strike Force Commander taste. So, out came the bitz box with the old Mordheim sprue bitz and viola! arms with guns. Some snipping and filing later and I had some officers with big fuggin' horse pistols and sabres ready for some storming party action.

My favorite conversion though was the Cuirassier officer on foot. He had an empty left hand, and I filled it with a single, handless pistol at first. However, the arm angle didn't look natural. I used some Empire Knights arm piece and did a complete conversion with a better angle. Now he can be my unhorsed Cuirassier that is leading an Imperialist forlorn hope skirmishing line.

I also added a sword and pistol combo to a fig that was waving his hat. Can't shoot Catholics with a hat, I always say, so I converted him into a Lutheran Swede!

I'm painting away to my heart's content. The final version of SFC is on hold, since I've had a period of writer's block. I'll do some figure work instead and still be moving the project forward.

Noch Weiter!

Faust

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Weekend of Awesome Coolness and Delight

OR God its good to have the friends I have.

My Babydoll & I drove up to Reno this past weekend to see our friends. I spent all day Saturday with my Boyz. We hung out and played pool, then went over to Q's pad and played Rock Band.

Now, as a drummer of 16 years I must say that playing drums on Rock Band is nothing like the real thing. In fact, I did better on vocals than on drums by a damn sight.

Thanks go out to Q for hosting. He lives in the apartment that is above the one I lived in when I was there from 2005-2006. Funny co-incedence that. It was so weird to drive up there.

All in all I had the best time in a long time hanging with my adopted brothers Scott, Gib, Matt (Q), Alan, Chas (WebOgre), & Joe.

Traveling with Babydoll is always the best time. I'm truly a joyous soul these days.

Unfortunately, the tragedy of the trip was when I broke my radio controlled Batmobile. Snapped the steering wheel off on a paving stone. Gotta pop the thing open and see if it can be fixed.

All told, it was a deeply rejuvenating trip with no talk of work or my game at any point. Just good time spent with great friends.

Noch Weiter!

Faust

Saturday, October 25, 2008

WOO HOOO!!!

So, I got a new job with a salary. What a relief! Now I'll be able to leave my job at work, and get some hobby stuff done. I can't tell you how happy that makes me.

I have been on straight commission for two years and am done with that. Now we'll be able to get on with life.

Happy happy joy joy...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Long days and once again, no time to paint...

So, the other day it occurred to me that I'm not busier than usual, I'm just always busy! Now this is a good thing, but it is also a tough mill to tread. However, the world around me is not slowing down, so I have to keep pace.

That leaves me in a lurch for modeling and painting. Whinge, whinge, whinge....

Sorry I'm so boring.

I have to say, though, that I did get a few hours in on the laptop finishing what should be the core rules final edit of Strike Force Commander.

Seems like I've said that before. It's probably gonna be over 120 pages when finished. But it should be awesome.

I'm especially looking forward to buying some Seven Years' War Hussars like those on Der Alte Fritz' blogsite and get the foot variants of them for SFC. That would be lovely.

I'm going to go ice my back.

Noch Weiter!

Faust

Monday, September 29, 2008

Truly inspiring!

So, I've been bitten by the Seven Years' War bug as I might've mentioned here before. While I'm still learning about all of the regiments/uniforms/and battles, there is one cat whose work on SYW is truly inspiring; his web handle is Der Alte Fritz and he's awesome.

I don't know him personally, and may never get to know him better than what I see on his site or read on his threads on TMP, but his SYW dedication and mastery is the epitome of this hobby, IMO.

He's the Barry Hilton of the Seven Years' War. Go check him out http://altefritz.blogspot.com/

God bless you Der Alte Fritz. Hip Hip Hussar!!!

Faust

Thursday, September 25, 2008

So tired I can't lift my arms...

I just finished 12 hours of paperwork, interrupted by 6 hours of sleep in the middle. I'm spent. Plus, I started weight lifting again two days ago and my damn arms are killing me!

So, I'm just whining. But I'm too fried mentally to write any more SFC, and my arms hurt too much to hold a figure for painting purposes.

Not sure why I'm writing this, but there you just read it.

Faust

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Morning thoughts and eldritch ramblings...

I'm having a slow morning. The low pressure system is making my head feel like I stuck it in a vice and have Billy Barty jumping up and down on it.

I've been working long hours and getting lots of real world stuff done, but nothing on the gaming end.

As I nursed my head with a hot cup of joe, I took a little 'me' time and surfed my usual miniatures haunts online. I found myself looking at the Games Workshop main page and my guts churned a bit.

Warhammer 3rd edition is where I got my first taste of wargaming proper. Yes, I admit, before I got in touch with my Humanity I was a nancy Wood Elf player. Hell, I was 6' tall and weighed 135 pounds soaking wet; which makes for one skinny elfling. I was intellectual and agile to boot, so Elfdom made sense. I fondly remember Scarloc's Wood Elf Archers as my first Warhammer boxed set. Thrilling that was.

But I digress. Games Workshop had my loyalty and pocketbook for the next 19 years. I sold more of the GW product line in my time in the hobby shop business than any other item or line. I was even an Outrider. Ahhh the halcyon years!

But now I won't touch 'em. Nope. Not a drop. Why? Simple economics: Low product value and high cost. I have no problem with paying heavy coin for a beautiful miniature. I have a big problem doing the same for a guy who is posed in the most unnatural position so some 12 year old has an easier time of lopping off his arm and gluing it to something else. Frankly, I'm like a former cigarette smoker who has quit the habit for years; I'm more disgusted by it than someone who never inhaled.

I am a Black Templar. But I sold mine off because of GW's sad drift from the position of leadership they used to be. There have only been a couple of minis in the past few years that look anatomically correct to me, and that's not enough to grab my wallet.

As you'll see below, some of their finer works are going on my desk from years gone by. Jes Goodwin & Juan Diaz are superstars in my book, so their figs are on my desk. But for the rest of my purchases, I've gone over to Heresy, Hasslefree, Infinity, Urban Mammoth, and Blue Moon. They are still trying to compete, and therefore have not become complacent.

Well, enough GW bashing from a guy who never thought he would. Growing up is a bitch...

Noch Weiter!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Game designing for fun and profit

I'll be frank, when I started Strike Force Commander over two years ago, I didn't think I would still be writing. Of course, I was just gonna write a simple WWII skirmish game, and then realized that if I did it correctly, I'd have an 'all periods' product. Hence, the extra time in production...

Now, granted, I have a lot of other important things to do, and writing a game is what I consider my 'part time job'. Some days I get more time than others, and finally, I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Along the way I have had to make some decisions that have expanded and narrowed the scope of the game. All told, I'm extremely proud of what I'll be offering, and really do think it will be a breath of fresh air for gamers everywhere.

In the mean time, I just keep plugging along.

Noch Weiter!

Faust

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Back in the saddle again!!!

Well, I've been a busy bastard of late. Actually, those of you who know me know that I'm always a busy bastard. However, I'm recommitting myself to the wargaming hobby in an attempt to reduce my stress level and avoid a heart attack.

Strike Force Commander is still in playtest, but going at a slow pace. Chas & Joe have been on vacation and Scott and I have had some solid development discussions in their absence.

My idea to do a Sci-fi/Fantasy expansion as my first release after the game itself has taken over my wracked brain. I've dug out all of my Traveller books and am reading The Butcher's Bill by David Drake at present. Hovertanks kick ass! Yes, I have serious Sci-fi brain.

The Dark Knight was flawless and I saw it 3 times in a row last friday. Bale was perfection in and out of the suit. He really showed his ability to shift between the two roles without the costume.

A couple weeks ago I dropped 200 bucks on figs. It had been awhile and I had sold off a gob of VS Sytem cards & Heroclix figures, since I rarely play either anymore. My intent was to buy Seven Years' War Austro-Hungarians and Prussians to use for SFC....

Well, did I say I have Traveller on the brain? I bought 12 models per side of the SYW armies listed above and the rest of the money I blew on non-Games Workshop sci-fi minis.

I bought the Spacemen from Blue Moon Manufacturing, 3 Infinity Nomad infantry, 3 Infinity Haqquislam infantry, 2 Urban Mammoth/Void Viridian characters, and 3 Rackham Duellists that will double as Traveller Imperial Nobles. Yeah, I went kinda nuts.

I dug out my remaining GW figs that consist of IG Cadians, some Inquisitors and some SM Scouts, all in metal. Now I need to buy one of the new plastic scout boxes to use with a Cadian Shock Trooper sprue or two to make uber cool conversions.

I've also had a real resurgence of my need to play a SFC skirmish with Wood Elf Wardancers....god I've fallen off the wagon.

So much for a guy who swore off anything but historicals, eh?

Well, here are a few snap shots of the figs I've put together. Notice the wild idea I got to make grilled flooring for the scifi figs using wooden rounds as bases with plastic needlepoint canvas sheeting for the flooring. I was pretty proud of the idea and how cheap it was. I have since seen that its not an original idea as some dude used the same stuff for his scifi building interior flooring. Why do I even try to be original?

Well, I'm gonna sign off for now. Check out the pix below and my two Ebay auctions that are really good deals for the money.

Noch Weiter!

Faust

Monday, April 21, 2008

Strike Force Commander turns two!!!

On April 20th 2006 (my birthday) I drafted my first document for the game that would become Strike Force Commander. Yesterday, I turned 38 and SFC turned 2.

As it turns out, I loaded my Publisher program on Friday and have been farting around with that. Pretty cool stuff. Now I'm getting ready to start an official re-write and add some new sections as well.

Joe can't turn off the Warp Field he wears that fries electronics, so he can't download my latest revisions so he and Scott can play with the new rules. Chas & Dan got theirs just fine, so I'm certain it's Joe's Warp Field that's doing it. Chas will have to use his Tech Priest powers to fix Joe's problem.

I recently discovered the .45 Adventure/Gloire/Fantastic Worlds Pulp skirmish games. Seriously, if I hadn't already put so much time and testing into SFC I might've just played with those rules instead. Rattrap Productions has done a bangup job.

There are some similarities between our games, in that we both use d10's, emphasize 'feel' of the periods, have clean mechanics, and go for the man-to-man level of action. Their rules are more cinematic and pulp fiction in their approach and mine are brutally realistic. For example, when a man gets shot in one of those games, he'll probably still keep fighting; while in mine, he's probably a pile of bone & guts.

I think once SFC hits the shelves, people will have a good choice between cinematic and gritty realism between our two rule sets alone.

Happy Birthday Strike Force Commander!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Painter's Block

Well, guess what? I have painter's block. I have some primed & base coated cowboys from Foundry sitting on my table and absolutely no interest in painting them.

I have some cool Artizan Fallschirmjager sitting on my table and not an ounce of interest in painting them.

I have some sweet looking Landsknecht conversions from Foundry with GW bits added that are sitting on my table, and I have no interest in painting them.

If I had someone close by, I'd play some Heroclix. But alas and forsooth, I'm stuck here writing a blog that nobody reads. And I have no desire to paint.

27 years of painting and modelling wargame miniatures does that too you I guess...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Strike Force in Hand

Well, the boys have their playtest copies. Joe already started in on his Stigmata routine, complaining that I used his name too much in the examples....

Just when I thought his martyrdom was over, he had to go reminding me again. We had a good laugh about that. And he calls me a drama queen! LOL

So, anyway, just working my butt off and making small corrections to the game here & there.

I assembled and based 15 Landsknect figs the other day. Looking forward to painting them sometime in June I reckon...

Scotty, Joe, & Chas have given initial blessings on the rules. Awaiting further playtest results.

Faust out.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Alpha & Omega

On April 20th, 2006 I started writing a squad level skirmish miniatures wargame I called Sturmgruppe. On February 5th, 2008 I finished the Alpha test ruleset for Strike Force Commander.

My game has changed quite a bit since I started out. What was intended to be a WWII game turned out to be a historical skirmish game that can be used for any time period. It's not 'generic'; in fact it has quite a lot of flavor that will bring your games to life. Besides, we all know that its the miniatures and scenery that set the flavor and feel of the game. Rules are just there to provide a method for moving your toy soldiers around and taking your buddy's minis out of play.

SFC is a balance of playability and realism. When models get shot or stabbed, they do what real people do; they fall down. It's a whole new day in skirmish gaming. I'm very proud of it.

So, now I have a set of Alpha test rules for my playtesters to sink their fangs into. I'll keep plugging away, though at a slower pace, to fill out the rest of the rules.

I'll set up a website and allow others to down load the rules and playtest it for themselves, thereby opening the circle of feedback.

It's been a long journey over the past couple of years. But I will say this; there is a deep seated satisfaction to finishing the bulk of this game. It is my best writing work in this genre, and I hope others will enjoy playing it as much as I do.

Noch Weiter!

Faust

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Writing Writing Writing

You know how it is. You have all of this hobby shizzle you want to do, but busting your ass for money takes precedence. So, I am waaaaay behind in a number of fronts. But simultaneously, I'm still making serious progress on writing my skirmish game, Strike Force Commander.

Chas, Joe, & Scotty are being patient, but I know that they wanna have a go again on the playtesting.

I was doing just fine on my time table until something Scott said at our last playtest in December took root in my mind. I said to them that I had over 50 Traits to modify troops with. Scott said I needed more. He was right; now I have 103. Not to mention a buttload of Weapon Traits. I also filled out combat some more with Mounted fighting and Elevated position rules.

I've been writing pretty non-stop for the past two days. That's no exaggeration either. I've been balls deep in finishing this thing.

Well, break's over. Gotta get back to writing about the Orders phase....

Faust