Friday, December 11, 2015

7TV: Lady Winterly and Mr. Mangel

"I take it you've met my...associate..."
Following on the heels of my last post, I present Lady Winterly, modern sorceress, and her magical construct, Mr. Mangel.

Admittedly, I'm veering into Modern Gothic Horror here - but I don't wish to start Yet Another Blog. To my way of thinking, this is just a step away from Doctor Who, and in fact I will probably tie the two together so my conscience stops bothering me.

Lady Winterly is the scion of Winterly Grange, a manor and village in a remote and somewhat backward unnamed shire in England (but probably Wiltshire). Lady Winterly is an adherent to the Old Law, and rules her modern demense with the power of Nature and the Elements.

Miniature by Crooked Dice

I need to make another attempt at her right eye - it looks as though she's had a round with Mr. Winterly. The miniature for Winterly is available through Crooked Dice. Even comes with a little corn dollie to use as a talisman, or to sell to curious tourists.

Next is Mr. Mangel, her ladyships golem-like enforcer, and is raised using arcane magic to deal destruction to Lady Winterly's foes. I was at a loss for what miniature to use, having visited Reaper's Chronoscope line as well as one that sells witches and scarecrows (but neglected to post enough pictures to cover the range) without a satisfactory result.

The project was headed towards the back of the workbench when a chance conversation with an old game friend brought Malifaux's The Carver miniature to my attention (thanks Cam!). I bought the miniature on the spot - despite it having giant scissors for hands.

Miniature by Wyrd Games
Back of Miniature also by Wyrd Games

A bit of modelling with milliput, styrene sheet, piano wire and glue and Viola! Mr. Mangel will shortly rise from the fields. The plastic model comes in pieces, to be assembled, so I took the liberty (whilst making his hands) of filling the void with milliput for added weight (also added a small pebble from the back garden). The original model also comes with a groove in the back (cunningly hidden on mine with a burlap-coloured patch) which needed filling. A model railroad corn stalk (should be wheat or barley) was added for colour.

I actually resisted the urge to glue a dis-corporated 28mm head, rolling at his feet - Megz thinks I need professional help as is...

Monday, November 30, 2015

7TV: Children of the Corn Fields

The second post contains pictures of Lady Winterly's Animated Corn Dolls/Scare Crows.
Miniatures from Gripping Beast

Also from Gripping Beast, these horrors are raised by Lady Winterly's dark magic to wreak vengence on those who scorn the Old Laws or fail to show concern for heath and woodland.

"Hay, summon else might need th'phone!"
Animation: 4
Detail: 5
Proportions: 4
Variety: 5
Overall: 4.5 out of 5

The village green depicts the commons of Winterly Grange, and is taken from the 7TV Episode Guide "Rogue's Gallery", available from the publishers at Crooked Dice. Plans are to bring this to the Cold Wars convention as an introductory game.

NEXT TIME: A full article on the village and the paper models used will feature in an upcoming post...

Morris Dancers of DOOOM for 7TV

When I mentioned to the Friday Night Pals that I needed Armed Morris Dancers for a 7TV game, the reaction was a bemused one. Albrecht said that was a sentence he had never heard before.

These were had from Gripping Beast. They came in good time and are perfectly 28mm. Contrary to the listing's description, they are armed with more than just pistols - two, indeed with pistols, and two with shotguns/rifles - though one of the Morrismen is going to have some difficulty unslinging his piece with a "zyder" jug glued to his face.

Morris Men by Gripping Beast and Telecom Box by Black Cat Bases (?)
These represent the servants of Lady Winterly, the severe mistress of Winterly Grange. A devotee of the Old Religion, her family has held sway over the local countryside for untold generations - but more of her anon. 

Animation: 5
Detail: 5
Proportions: 5
Variety: 5
Overall: 5 out of 5

The Morrismen are shown with the one trace of modern technology permitted in the village - a Brit-telecom phone box. I think I had the box from Black Cat Bases, but the clear resin ones seem to be discontinued...

Monday, September 14, 2015

And some 28mm 7TV: Archer Vice

Three new minis from Hasslefree Miniatures - this might be my very first Hasslefree order. I've browsed the website, admired the figures, but over the years I've never had an application for Kev's sexy little figures. Until recently...

I'm very pleased with both the minis and the result. There was even some candy sweets enclosed in the packet, and an extra miniature included, as a consolation for having taken a bit longer than is usual for Hasslefree to dispatch - though it didn't seem it took that long to me. Still, free candy + miniature = morning win.

Minis are part of their "Mission Improbable"  line and painted to portray a certain well known secret agent, codename "Duchess" (Oh, she loved that dog...) and his on-again, off-again girlfriend.

Miniatures by Hasselfree

The animation is very nice (and while I did have to glue his right arm on, I'm getting used to it) and Kev has captured the look and character of the subjects. To obtain the series look, Agent Stirling's hair and trade-mark turtleneck were painted black and then dry-brushed with midnight blue and then a light gray-blue.

Agent Cain was painted to look tan-ish ("Well, what's the word. Lana? You freaked out when I called you a quadroon..."). I'm very pleased with the colour. Upon seeing the result, Megz commented "That is one hot little mini..." and I don't think she meant the dress.

Miniature by Hasselfree

As an added benefit, Hasslefree also sell Agent Jashun, the somewhat intoxicated version. I painted him holding a Glenfiddich bottle - if one is going to swill whiskey, swill one of the best brands.

I've statted both models for 7TV - I'm going to need to introduce a rule for being intoxicated (the miniature, not the gamer) and the effects thereof. Possibly an event card entitled "Stirling Shivered" that swaps drunken Shtirling for the sober one...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

More 7TV Space Madness

Nice long weekend saw some miniatures painted, for our first 7TV foray:

First is some backup for Dr. Lake - Brock Hampson: 50% Scottish, 50% Swedish, 50% Winnebago:

Miniatures from Reaper and Denizen

Miniature is from the Reaper Chronoscope line (50044: Frank Russo, Mercenary Hero). Nice mini - I wasn't mad about having to glue his right arm on, but I got over that. I also had some trouble with the orange-on-red dry brushing on the space suit - for some reason the tint kept darkening instead of lightening. I might try this miniature again, and give him a green-stuff mullet.

Second, playing the part of The Guru, is Roger Delgado's "Master" miniature, from the Black Tree 3rd Doctor Who line. Lovely miniature and captures a lot of the actor's/character's natural charisma.

Miniatures from Black Tree Designs and East Riding Miniatures

Last and most deadly is the Guru's young ward/executioner Kali, from the East Riding Miniatures Corporate Wars/Assassin line (JBA1).  Kali required a bit of modding, and the pistol she had been brandishing was cut away and an easy ivory blow-pipe added. I have a couple of addition ERM25 minis on hand for conversion to Sisters of Kali-style assassins.

Next up will be some additional 'rogue' agents for some added mayhem and variety...Ω

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


7TV and the world of Cult TV fascinates me, especially all of those wonderful TV shows I would watch as a kid (either from atop, or behind, the settee). Add to that a sprinkling of James Bondian-esque miniatures, and I was hooked on my first read-through.

Much to my delight, I realised I could put on a decent game with impressive scenery without having to break all that much new ground. I have a 28mm space station in storage, I have forces for the extras on both sides. All I needed was Melody Lake, Professor Kneale and Brock, er, Jock Hampson for the A.R.C. (Albion Rocket Consortium) side, and the Guru and Kali on the S.H.I.V.A. (Bad Guys) side.

One minor issue I had was ordering from Crooked Dice, as the "Guru", in his classic suit, was listed as Out of Stock. I understand they have recently had to move to new digs. That said, OOS does not help your business, as purchasers will go elsewhere for the product. Miniature gamers want what they want when they want it - based on current market models, only 20% of your customers are willing to wait.

Pictured here is my first painted mini for 7TV - Melody Lake in her scarlet space suit.  She is accompanied by her A.R.C. supporting  cast, also in space suits. Ms. Lake is a Denizen miniature (SF38) - she was already primed and waiting to be painted. The supporting lads from A.R.C.  were painted about 10 year's ago for a Traveller game - it's interesting to see how my painting style has improved (IMO) since then.

Denizen 25's are a breeze to paint. Time and funds permitting, I hope to purchase the Melody Lake from Crooked Dice, along with some other of their exceptional miniatures, in the not-too-distant future...Ω

Sunday, July 12, 2015

What Have I Been Up To?

Regular readers may have noticed another long absence, well, I'm back, and I'll share (guiltily) what I've been up to...

There's been quite the gap in posts lately, and it's entirely my fault - we haven't been able to link up with my friday group, and I've only been to one Mid-Week Wargame Wampage since January.

Not that I haven't been gaming - but, dirty secret, it's been online. After some 15 years of being online, I finally found my first MMORPG, and Megz has been sharing the madness.

For the stone-knives-and-bearskins fans amongst the readers, that acronym stand for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Play Game, and in this case, it's Star Trek Online (hereafter STO).

Character Screen - Note the Traveller reference name...

Yes, space-cadets, it's now possible to boldy split an infinitive, where no on has split, before  - online. STO is a combination of the Sims 2 meets FASA'a Star Trek Combat Simulator, all in the universe of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek.

Players may select Federation, Klingon or Romulan as their character.  There's also an "alien" sub division, which is allied to either Fed or Klingon. Also, the Romulans aren't exactly a full faction (locals call them a "fraction") since Cryptic Studios decided it would be easier to ally the higher ranked Romulan characters to either the Federation or Klingon Empire (to be clear, I think this was a bad, sloppy, lazy decision...)

Gotta love the "bad" guys

Your character progresses from a Cadet to a Fleet Admiral, over the course of play. Lower level missions are more reminiscent of the TV series - there are some negotiation missions, search party missions, patrol missions and such like.

That said, most missions, either ground-based or in space, are combat oriented. As you character gains rank and prestige, new venues will open: there's the planet Nukara - hot as hell where an environmental suit is all standing between you and fiery doom.  There is New Romulus, where the refugees from the Hobus Supernova are rebuilding their home.  There is Defera, which is being invaded by the Borg. There is Kobali Prime, under invasion from the Vaadwaur, and harbouring an unpleasant secret.

Marooned on a barren world...
In addition to these "Adventure Zones" there are the canon worlds of Vulcan and Andoria (which seem to have been forgotten by the developers at Cryptic) and Risa, the Resort World, where the Galaxy Relaxes (for a short time during the summer).

This game is not without its drawbacks - the social element is a trifle...awkward. If you thought miniature gamers had genetic social handicaps, just have a read thru a MMORG's user forum: after following a few threads, you might think you were reading an HMGS "Lets Move/Not Move Historicon Thread".

That said, there are some delightful people playing Online, with the advantage of being able to meet ad hoc, and with no boxes of miniatures, terrain, dice, measuring tapes to cart about. Players organise themselves into fleets, the STO equivalent of World of Warcraft guilds.  Fleets can be helpful resources, providing access to rare equipment and supplies, or they can be barren monuments to their founder's vanity.  Megz and I have been in both kinds.

Other hitches include a lack of Quality Control in the programming department - there are harmless bugs that are so old ("Talk to Loot Critter" springs to mind) that the current programmers seem to have no idea how to fix them. These aren't glaringly bad, but they serve as a pointer to a deeper issue...

Probably the greatest drawback - which some might label a "feature" - is how much TIME this game will burn. Many tasks have a 20-hour cycle (or "cool down") which encourages the player to log in daily.  At the higher levels, assigning Duty Officers, R &D, plus supporting the various "fronts" (Borg front, Tholian front, New Romulus, etc) can easily add up to an hour, and more if one wishes to play some tactical encounters.  Include making friends (most of the other characters are players - especially the ones running and jumping about like idiots) and one could easily spend four hours and up online.  It's happened to me.

After six months, the obsession is passing, and I find myself able to go back to working on miniatures, or work, or watch the news (bleah!) without wondering if that Level XIII Anti-proton bank my engineers are working on is finished...think I'll log in for a minute...

...nah!  I'll check in tomorrow.  I have miniatures to paint...