Monday, 28 October 2013

Sarissa's Gaslamp Alley Corner Pub

The corner pub from Sarissa's Gaslamp Alley series arrived just before the long weekend.  You can check out the Gaslamp Alley range here, which has been designed it seems for games like Empire of the Dead specifically (Victorian Steampunk 28mm).  Because Sarrissa are nice people they will not sue me for using their pictures for promotional purposes (unlike another Games Workshop Manufacturer):

I had high hopes for getting a lot of terrain work done this week while SWMBO was in Auckland.  Alas, illness restricted my output, but I did get this done.  Here it is painted up:

I added some textured paint to the first storey to give it a bit of a solid look - don't know if they had concrete render in Victorian England (doubt it), but then they didn't have infernium either did they?  Close up ground floor with Prof Erazmus:

The back:

The top:

The three levels:

It fits height wise quite well with my smaller Sarissa building of the set I had previously bought:

But looks quite nice with the bigger one, albeit a little more Upper West Side rather than East End:

I intend to add words to the signage on the front, and I will be putting the Westwind PDF posters up around my town soon.  I will post more pictures as it takes shape.

Rating wise, this is a nice piece of kit.  The levels are a bit "sticky" getting together and off, but given the number of pieces, that isn't surprising.  Sarissa Precision live up to their name - the bits are cut precisely and I have never found any issue with them.  There is a little of that MDF look that you just cannot escape - with paint, some green stuff and some creativity you minimise that, but there is always a little of that feel remaining.

In terms of building a good looking 28mm cityscape though, I do not see any better options on the market (unless Mr Bowman commercialises these little pieces here).

Next job is working out a road system and building yards and stuff in expectation of our first EOTD game when Steve comes back.  Good thing EOTD boards are only 4x4!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Professor Cavor (and some reflections on sickness)

I am just recovering from a rather bad gastro bug.  Not my favourite thing to have in the world, and with my wife up in Auckland with the youngest, me and my gastro bug were left to look after the 6 year old and the 4 year old (with the same bug).  Fun times. Last thing I want to do when sick is paint.  Not sure why that is, but I was lucky enough to finish painting Professor Cavor before the bug kicked in.  Here he be:

Has anyone seen my Spaceship

Is it over here?

Nope - here perhaps?

What's that strange shadow - is that my spaceship?
Without any colour guide to go from, I painted him up in the orange that was used (I think) for those cool old diving suits.  I do quite like the model, I must say, just have no idea how he would ever be used.

Prof Cavor is from HG Wells "The First Men on the Moon" - here he is in the B Grade classic 1961 adaptation:

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Sabines and a bit more

When I was just a young lad I had a friend who would host monthly mystery movie nights where we would watch films so bad they were good. This got me into a whole world of weird and wonderful films. At these events we would also watch trailers, one trailer which was particularly humourous was for the film "The Rape of the Sabines". Legend tells us that Rome wasn't built in a day, and they didn't have any women either so they went about using less savoury measures to acquire women and reproduce. The trailer had some great lines in it such as "we doubt this film will fill a gap in history, however it will broaden your mind" and "a film for the whole family" as well as exclaiming "The Rape of the Sabines" repetitively. Anyway here is the trailer for your enjoyment, don't worry it's mostly PG.

I thought of this film while in Florence because one of the squares we visited had some statues detailing the rape of the Sabines. Until now I only thought the film made up that idea as i didn't realise it was an actual myth. The statues are slightly less PG than the trailer: 

The square with the statues under the arches.

The rape of the Sabines statue with two men carrying off an unsuspecting Sabine women all in their birthday suits, and unsuspecting tourists (not in their birthday suits) sitting on the steps in front. It is quite an odd myth. 

While walking around Florence I also noticed a church I recognised.

I recalled quite clearly climbing to the top of the tower while playing Assassins Creed 2. I'm not much of a video gamer but that is one I have dabbled in and can appreciate it for its vast replicas of cities in Italy and the ability to climb all over them. While walking through Venice I felt at times I could almost recognise some of the streets from the game.

As this hasn't really been a gaming post I thought I would quickly go through some of the boardgames I have been contemplating while overseas. First up is Firefly the game, based on the amazing TV show Firefly. It comes out mid November in NZ. I have watched and read some reviews and read the rules, and it sounds like a lot of fun and quite thematic. I am getting excited about adding this to my collection and am considering pre ordering. 

I have also looked into A Study in Emerald a bit more, a kickstarter game which is getting shipped out this month. I pre-ordered it from my flgs a few months back. It's theme is a mix of Sherlock Holmes and Cthulhu, in some ways similar to Empire of the Dead. You may remember we did a play test of a print and play version of this game a few months back. The last two games are Sparticus which I mentioned a few posts back, although with A Study in Emerald and  Firefly I may wait a bit before possibly grabbing it, and the last one Bohnanza. Bohnanza is a card game where you grow and trade beans, it's pretty simple and quick but my wife likes it and it's good for the casual gamer. Another cool thing about Bohnanza is it is designed by the same guy who made Agricola one of my favorite boardgames. My wife has agreed for us to add it to 'our' collection. 

A photo of myself, my wife Sharlene and her sister playing bohnanza while staying at their place in London.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Perambulator Boots Man

The last of the three equipment based figures that I got - the tesla projector and the steam cannon being the others.  I really like the word "perambulator" - there is something quintessentially Victorian about.  The word itself being as quirky, cumbersome and impractical as the thought of actually wearing springs on one's shoes.  Anyhow, aside from the fact that this fellow will struggle to get any sort of concealment, I just had to paint him up:

Those pesky tufts of grass keep sticking to shoes and scabbards and the like

Here's all of them together:

Who invited these guys to the party?
Was quite happy with the white shirt.  Started with a fortress grey base, and didn't use a wash this time.  Effect I think is much better than my previous work (see steam cannon man for instance).

Trivia of the day - the word perambulator has given rise to the term "pram" of course.  To perambulate means to traverse by foot.  Thus a perambulator is a fancy name for a  baby walker I suppose, and "perambulator boots" simply means "boots to walk in" - not springy boots as one might have suspected.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Sainted village in the Cotswolds

Going back about a week and a half now my wife and I went out for an overnight trip from London to the Cotswolds. I tried my hand at driving on UK roads, it wasn't as scary as driving in France which I did almost a month back! Plus unlike France they drive on the same side of the road as NZ in UK which made things easier.

We drove through the Cotswolds checking out some of the little villages. One of them was Upper Slaughter which has a bit of interesting World War One history, no one from Upper Slaughter died in the war so they call it a sainted village. To be fair it was the smallest village we went to, probably only 100 or so residents live there (that's just a guess by the way.). 

Checking out these little villages gave me ideas for both Flames of War and Empire of the Dead terrain, though I am still a way off creating my own table as Dans does the trick for now and I have a fair amount of painting to do. 

When safety back in London with a dentless car returned I checked out a few game stores on our various excapades. One of my favorites was in Camden town, a pokey little store although it had a good collection of boardgames. I was looking out for a copy of Gloom a game I have been wanting to pick up however they were out of stock. One thing I did notice is we don't pay to much more for our games in Ne Zealand which is a nice surprise.

Just to finish of, a picture of me in front of out little Fiat in France. Driving in France is not for the faint hearted! 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Steam Cannon Man

Another day another Empire of the Dead Requiem model.  This time it is the Steam Cannon man - a handy addition to any faction.  The steam cannon can pack quite a punch - but has a tendency to be a little unreliable at times, and to build up a scary amount of pressure if it goes unused.

The cannon operator has a little of the freezing worker look to him:

Lots of detail on these models which I am enjoying

Has a strange bottom bit to the tank on the back

... looks like he should wag it like a tail

I must say I do enjoy the contraptions that come with steampunk

 Next up is the perambulator boots fellow - I am working through the gadgets that I got before turning to the characters.  As you will see, the aim is to get a new figure painted every two days.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Tesla Projector

Next model on the conveyor belt was the Teslar Projector man.  Rather than start a new faction, I have chosen models with equipment that reflects what I want my Darkfire Gentleman's Club to potentially have.  So Gentlemen with Guns (you will see that later), Steam Cannon guy and of course the Teslar Projector.  Here he is:

There's a little switch on the back - this is what happens when you turn the projector on:

Pretty cool.

By the way a Tesla projector is named after an inventor called Nikola Tesla who claimed to have created a particle beam or "teleforce" type laser.  Called the "death ray" by the media, it was never actually created.  Indeed, after thieves broke into his laboratory and left empty handed, he said that they stole nothing because he had committed no part of his invention to paper (let alone actually making it) and the blueprint was all in the mind.  Tells you everything really.

Saturday, 12 October 2013


I'm skipping past my past week of travel to present day, in Rome. Out of the good and bad news I'll start with the bad.

Today my wife and I went to Vatican City. On the way home we got onto the tube. It was a bit busy and some guy, about 13-15 years old was pushing past me to get onto the tube. I managed to get in first however once I got on I checked my pocket and said to my wife "my phone just got stollen" as I saw the guy getting of the train and realised it was him. I thought better of myself to not chase after him because it's probably better to protect your safety and the doors were closing. He was wearing an orange stripped shirt but I didn't catch his face. 

That was a pretty awful experience which only happened 4 or 5 hours ago. I'm trying to reassure myself that it's ok and in the end it's just money. Luckily I keep my wallet safely inside my bag. Still it's upsetting and a hard lesson learnt. Don't use your pockets in Europe. The phone wasn't to expensive so not loosing out to much. It does make me think, I hope the blighter that took it needed it for something like his dying mother not just drugs or what not. He also had pretty amazing fingers as I didn't feel a thing. Grr it makes me feel angry and slightly silly, but it could of happened to anyone. 

Anyhow the good news. Visited the colosseum yesterday and it was amazing stuff. Although slightly daunting realising how many people were killed needlessly there. 

It got me thinking of a game I played a while back called Spartacus where you all are a Dominus, a ruler of a large roman house. You are in charge of gladiators and slaves who run the house. The game involves you trying to undermine your fellow players, gamble in the gladiator arena while pitting your gladiators against one another. In the game there is also a neat bidding component where you blind bid to buy items, slaves and gladiators. Originally I was sceptical about the game but I do like the idea of it and only being 52NZD I think it might have to join my collection for a few good nights at gaming group. I guess I should also mention the game is related to the tv show Spartacus, which I have never seen. 

Now I better write the obligatory, 'I wrote this on my iPad so photo formations will be a bit off. 

Friday, 11 October 2013

Empire of the Dead Requiem Model: Nadezhda Durova

I have finished the first of the Requiem models from Westwind: Nadezhda Durova.  She appears in the rule book and looks like this:

And here she is painted by me:

The only thing I think I could really improve on is the bases.  I sculpted the cobblestones with milliput, and my sculpting skill really are not the best.  I am thinking of getting more bases from Slave to Painting to use instead.  See here.

Apparently, she was a real person.  Born on the 17th of September 1783, she would have been 105 in 1888 when Empire of the Dead was set.  She has, then, aged rather well.  The daughter of a Russian Major she disguised herself as a man and went and fought Napoleon in 1812.  Aside from being 105 in 1888, it appears she wasn't born that much of a looker anyway:

File:Nadezhda Durova fem.jpg
Apparently had a husband and child before running away to fight

And this time as a fella:
File:Nadezhda Durova.jpg
Struggled to grow the required moustache expected of officers

So there you have it, Nadezhda Durova.  Learn something every day, don't you.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

My New Games Room

With the arrival of the new Empire of the Dead miniatures motivating me, I finally finished off setting up my games room.  The big job was constructing a 6x4 table over the top of the smaller table I have.  The room houses a few of my other hobbies as well (beer brewing, guitar), and I am pretty happy with the space I have created.

Painting desk and table:

Note I did not choose the curtains
Evidence of an English degree, models and wargaming books:

The guitar collection, and my daughter's cello:

Close up of the models, FOW on top, Isengard army below with EOTD and then Rohan and the Escape from Goblin Town figures:

Looking forward to spending a bit of time in here.  You don't see the storage cupboard for the terrain pieces as well, by the way and the stereo to keep me occupied.  I have a bit of 28mm steampunk to paint up now!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Empire of the Dead Requiem Kickstarter has Arrived!

After a few months of waiting, our box set of goodies from Westwind has arrived.  For those of you who live under a rock, Westwind started a Kickstarter project earlier this year to fund the development of a wide range of new miniatures for their Steampunk Gothic game "Empire of the Dead".

Westwind has done really well getting the miniatures sculpted and out.  Although the estimate of late July has well and truly passed, the updates from them have never led to anyone doubting that the miniatures would arrive shortly.  Here they are coming out of the box:
10% off Voucher

A box full of new toys still excites me...
Here is the Bedlam Brotherhood:

The gentlemen with guns:

The bobbies:

Some of the single models (stretch goals and individual choices):

And that Nadezedha chick that everyone gets:

Lots of painting to do - I want to get a 28mm cityscape finished with my Sarissa Precision stuff ASAP so that when Steve comes back from his overseas trip we can jump into EOTD.  Haven't looked at them too closely, but they look like fine sculpts - not a lot of flash and lots of detail there.  Woohoo - going to be a fun few weeks painting these guys up.
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