Thursday, September 25, 2014

Buy Our Crap!!!

Like the pic says: It's National Comic Book Day! Buy Our Crap!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Painting Vintage Star Frontiers Minis.

Having played Star Frontiers in the early 1990s, I have a soft spot for this forgotten game from TSR back when that company was the galactic center of the gaming universe. I found some of the miniatures a few years back and thought that it would be fun to paint them up. Unfortunately the boxes that I found had severe cases of lead rot and most of the minis were unusable. Luckily my buddy Dave, who also ran our SF sessions in the 90s, had some beautifully clean castings so I at least got to paint a few of them.

Lead rot can be caused by acids from cardboard leeching out and causing moisture in the air surrounding a mini to begin the rot. Shrink wrapping causes this to be even worse. Be wary of shrink wrapped boxes on Ebay and keep you minis in plastic that has good airflow. Don't let this happen to your vintage minis.

So far I've finished five minis. 3 Dralasites, 1 Vrusk in spacesuit, and the newest, a human in spacesuit with jet-pack. I now working on a Sathar in spacesuit, then a Yazirian. I'm also thinking about sculpting some of my own minis to add to the collection. 

I really enjoyed Star Frontiers and was greatly disappointed by Alternity which promised to be SF's sequel in spirit if not actuality. But luckily I still have some of these fun minis and all of the original rules and modules for SF are available online. Might be time for another Star Frontiers campaign. And this time I'm not playing a Humma medic.

The amoeboid Dralasites are one of my favorite races.

They both seem to be pointing their pistols for shooting birds.

A Vrusk in spacesuit and "Doorknob" pistol.

Because ringed planets mean SCIENTIFICTION!
And finally a human! Spacesuit and jet pack. I really dig the guns on the shoulders.

Notice base sculpted to show blast effect.
A bit heavy on the ratio of Dralasites but still a solid party.
A cool Wiki site about the various races:

Lost Minis wiki with all of the Star Frontiers minis:

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Beginnings of Modern Wargaming: Making and Collecting Military Miniatures by Bob Bard.

One of the treasures in my library is a trim little volume called Making and Collecting Military Miniatures by Bob Bard. The book was published in 1957 and although it focuses on toy soldiers instead of miniatures designed specifically for gaming, there are plenty of glimmers of what modern wargaming would become. What began with Wells's Little Wars in 1913 would be developed to a level by the 1950s that dice were used in place of toy cannon and various rulesets were being created for particular eras of warfare. And even in this early age of gaming discussions about the proper scale or best ruleset were beginning as well as how well a miniature needed to be painted before being used in a game.

Below I've posted some of the most relevant images from the book along with their captions.

The game that started it all.

Monday, September 1, 2014

"More Chrome Please.": The MK14 Bullock Jet Cycle.

Only cowards need handlebars.
I've been doing more practice comic book coloring and have started using vintage black and white gaming art as my line-art. I used this drawing of a Warhammer 40K MK14 Bullock Jet Cycle by Pete Knifton as my most recent piece. The scan I had wasn't that great so I did this one quick and dirty but was still pretty happy with how it turned out.

I then went through my collection of White Dwarfs and found a much better image that I could have scanned and used. But I've already colored it once so so c'est la vie. But it made me realize how cool these little bikes were so I scanned the other reference I have in my collection.

Although I don't want to dwell only in the past I still enjoy the humor and obvious fun that the early creators of 40K shared. The test report by Johann Blank sums up this mood quite well.

The detachable combat blade is a nice touch.

"More chrome please."

From the Citadel Miniatures Catalogue Part One, 1988.

From the Citadel/Games Workshop Catalogue Sheet: Warhammer 40,000 Part Two.