Saturday, October 1, 2011

Some general notes on nickers

After nosing through the novels again, I have a few notes on nickers for the Half-Continent.

In Factotum (chapter 16), Europe and Rossamünd encounter a creature that could be straight out of a Lovecraft plot - a creature that is fairly amorphous and can reshape itself, even divide into smaller yet independent units.  And in chapter 22, there is mention of a 'pillboy' (pillbug) nicker and also one that is more akin to a treant.

During the fight for Wormstool in Lamplighter, some are described as bulbous and pudgy, while some are thin and lithe, and another has the legs of an enormous rabbit.

All of these are in addition to the beastman types that seem to be the most common.

So, in general, a wide variety of monster archetypes exist.  In my personal opinion, I would stay away from those minis equipped with armor and weapons, although some do use them.  The ettin in Lamplighter is using a lamppost for battering the walls of the outpost and he is wearing a small, two-wheeled cart on his head for protection!

A good example of nickers can be seen at this post at Lamplighter's Haven.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Of quartos and bogles...

With the recent work on getting ship-shape I have not forgotten about the land-based minis.  It is still my plan to acquire some 28mm minis for skirmish gaming, as the budget allows.  I am looking forward to the release of the WSS line from Ebor Miniatures, as they appear to be wonderfully sculpted.  And the nickers - that is a special subject and one that will require me to plunge happily again into the books for more snippets of information.

Along with the 28mm minis I do desire to collect a smaller scale force for mass battles, either 6mm or 10mm.  The smaller scale will make the appearance of massive monsters more likely, as 15mm or even 25mm minis could be used, and they would be appropriately large compared to the small-scale troops.  10mm WSS minis are available from both Pendraken and Old Glory, while in 6mm they are produced by Baccus.

And the rules.  As time allows I want to try Song of Drums & Shakos.  I dug up some old minis - some Old Glory French colonial troops (?), and some medieval crossbowmen that I will use as proxies to just try the rules.

All that is left is for me to actually get some of this done...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ships, part 9

With just a bit of effort, I was able to take the plastic masts off the iron dought, and replace them with brass:

These are much taller than the previous masts, so there will be enough room at the top for spandarions.  I still need to add the bracing but it is close, finally, for paint.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Getting re-organized

After having taken a 4-month break from this project, the first item on the agenda is to get re-organized.  The rules dilemma for the skirmish games is still milling around and needs to be seen to.  I have an idea that the blending of Ganesha Games' Song of Blades & Heroes and Song of Drums & Shakos would work for small scale actions.  SBH would have material for the nickers and SDS for the troops.  I now realize that I have copies of both of the rules although I do not remember getting SDS (!), and with the long week-end here in the US I should cobble together some minis and try it out!

Speaking of minis, there is a post on the Grimsby Mariner blog about more WSS minis coming out soon.  I have to admit I am not too interested in the new Foundry range - although if some nice infantry vignettes are produced I could change my mind.  There is a new range of minis coming from Ebor Miniatures - check their blog post about WSS minis.  Very nice!

And the ships - I am working on replacing the masts - originally made of plastic, to be replaced with brass.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's a bit dusty here!

Apologies for the long delay - it is high time to sort things out here!

I have to admit that I hit a mental wall of sorts with this project, mostly because my budget for hobby materials collapsed somewhat.  I have been concentrating on the Tékumel minis more, but it is time to get going here as well.  However, the quartos and baskets will need to wait a while longer; I have yet to get any suitable minis for the skirmish games.  So, I am going to try and get the slipways going again for the ship project with a critical eye turned out towards making the ships faster and of course nicer.

The first ship still does not look quite right to me - the masts are too short and off-kilter especially.  I have yet to decide if I should tear it apart for another go or just leave it for now and replace it later when my skill level increases.  She is a nifty little vessel, if you squint a bit!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ships, part 8

More bits and pieces have been added to the first iron dought in my shipyard:

The ship is pretty close to being at the end of the build phase now. I have yet to decide on whether to add the gunports or to decorate the stern. For the sake of simplicity the rigging will not be added. The masts need some adjusting - when the supports were glued in they appear to have pulled the masts a bit when the glue dried. A gentle application to a knife should fix that as the crooked masts just do not look right. Then it is off to be painted!

One more pic:

I think a different background is needed for these pics!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ships, part 7

Another brief update:

I have added the rostrum and some more superstructure bits. The metal pieces are some 1/2400 scale ship's boats that I have hoarded for a long time. They are produced by CinC ( website ). 1/2400 might seem too small for this 1/1200 ship, but they match the original drawing almost perfectly; I suspect they are a bit too large for 1/2400 in the first place. But they look the part!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ships, part 6

More and more small steps on the way toward launch:

On my other blog, I wrote about purchasing some Xyston 1/600 ancient ships. Along with the ships, I bought some extra ship-board artillery, and after they arrived, I thought that some of them might make good lambasts for Half Continent ships.

Here is the basic hull and a sprue of ballista. They are a little large, but should work just fine. Also in this photo, one can just make out the deck planking - it will be much more apparent when painted.

And this is the hull with some extra parts for the deck fittings alongside. After looking again at the original artwork for this ship, I have made my mini with a greatly exaggerated vertical measurement - the hull is much taller than the scale. It is OK though, it does not look too bad and I like it! Even the piece with the hole drilled off-center...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ships, part 5

Another small step towards completion:

The deck planking sheet is being glued down to the hull pieces. Unfortunately I forgot to take a pic of the planking pieces before this, but once it is painted it will be easy to see.

Also, I miscalculated the scale on this mini - it is 1/1200, not 1/600 as previously stated. I am now wondering if I am using balsa that is too thick. It is certainly not to scale but I like that fact that the mini will be more robust and more easily recognized on the tabletop.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ships, part 4

Balsa + a new cutting mat + a sharp blade =

Here is the base hull for my first ship, with two more blanks waiting.

The hull and upper deck.

And this stuff is for the deck planking to be fitted onto the deck pieces, next time!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ships, part 3

A supply of balsa has been secured...

Finding these sheets took a bit more work than I had hoped. The first two stops, the local model train shop and art store, did not have any balsa. We had to go down to the area of the mall to the nearest HobbyTown USA, and, hidden away in a corner, was a nice supply of the material. My wife also found that shiny new cutting mat in the background - it is huge, at 24" x 36" it is bigger than the hobby table! It was also ½ the price of a similar mat at Michaels so there was much rejoicing!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


The hobby table is set up once again:

Now, I just need to get some balsa and the shipyard can start up again.

And, some 28mm minis are in my future as well...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Getting back on track

We have successfully changed residences. Even though we moved only a short distance (still in Seattle), the process has jumbled up everything! My hobby area is not set up yet, as you can tell from this pic:

So, I am plowing my way through the trilogy again, making notes on scenery and buildings and such. I am also going to look into using either balsa or basswood for the majority of the hulls for my naval project, simply because it will be easier to shape than the plastic sheet I tried before.