Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Back to the hospital

My wife's strength and mobility have dropped off precipitously in the past few days. She was unable to even lift her legs to get out of the car when we went for her usual visit to the pain clinic Tuesday. One ambulance ride later and we're in the local ER. They've transferred her up to the hospital where she had her spinal surgery in June. So postings here and on Facebook will be erratic and probably not about miniatures for the next few days as the doctors try to figure out what's happened. I've got my smartphone, so I'll try and keep up with everything, even if I don't have much to contribute. Thanks, everyone, for the well wishes, prayers and good thoughts. Tracey and I appreciate it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Arrrrr, take a swill o' grog and batten down yer hatches, it be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! In honor of the occasion, here's a video from the best rappers with buccaneer technique, Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dr. Moreau and the Army of the Abandoned

I promised in my last post to bring you a writeup about my new idea for a warband for Empire of the Dead. After seeing the amazing Greystoke faction that Laughing Ferret created, I figured I'd have a go.

Thus, I bring you the first bit of fluff detailing the Army of the Abandoned.

They are the remains of experiments conducted by Dr. Moreau at his laboratory in England before the townsfolk discovered his repeated use of vivisection and went all torches-and-pitchforks on him. He had retreived many samples from Noble's Isle before he took up permanent residence there and built his compound (which is where Prendick encounters him in Wells' novel). This misshapen bunch of crocodilians that Moreau had experimented on (I guess later science fiction would say he had "uplifted" them) has banded together for their mutual survival in this unfamiliar land. Although they were native animals of Noble's Isle, they predate Moreau's compound and the prohibitions and praises voiced by the Sayer of the Law. They most certainly will follow men, eat fish and flesh, and go on all fours, if that is what they need to do.

They seem to want to be left alone, but when they do strike, the violence can be horrifying and brutal. I plan on running them as a Lycaon list, unless a better option presents itself.

Here are the words of Gulth Deathroll, Speaker for the Army of the Abandoned:

This land hurts. The air hangs thick and wet, but not warm. We seldom see the sun so that we may bask in it.

The doctor brought us here from our island, then he awoke us from our long dreaming, living in the memories of our ancestors stretching back to when the Great and Terrible strode the land. We had not changed much, until the doctor woke us with his machines and his potions and the hurt of his sharp knives. Now we are awake. Now we know things, and think things, and walk upright and hunt and kill things other than those foolish enough to come near our water.

The doctor has gone, chased from his buildings and his domicile by angry others of his kind. We smashed our way free, lashed the gates with our spiny tails and slashed those who stood against us with claws and teeth as their paltry weapons beat ineffectually upon our scales.

And now, like others we have found, we have taken to the sewers beneath this city, where great brackish rivers move slowly through the manmade tunnels. The ruby crystals the men so adore keep us warm even in this northern clime, and our numbers grow. We slither up the river banks and raid; we clamber from the sewers and destroy. And we wait.

The doctor will return, or he will not. And we will murder him, or not. Our patience is far greater than man's, and the memory of the saurians is long.

As usual, I do not yet have any painted models for this faction of my dreams, but I do have many such models already in the Unpainted Mountain of Lead. Here are some catalog shots from the various manufacturers of figures that I'm likely to use:




Also, if giant monster rules are ever forthcoming, either from West Wind or one of us home-brewers, I could use several of the different BaneBeasts monsters from Maelstrom Games:

Of course, that would also necessitate me suddenly being made out of money, so we'll see what the future holds.

Further bulletins as events warrant, genties and ladlemen!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

"Super J" lands at my house

I stopped by the P.O. box Friday, and I was greeted by a tiny, wonderful visitor. Brain Cottrell produced these "Super J" minis in honor of his son, Jason. You can read my earlier post about it here, and Brian, whom many of us know as WeirdWWII, tells the story here on the Lead Adventure Forum. The proceeds from sales of the mini are going directly to the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance.

Brian said the first batch sold out in a matter of hours, but he is expecting another shipment shortly.

Like many, I was glad to help out and delighted to receive such a mini. Every time it graces my table I'll think of Jason, and of other children who could use some help as they soldier on against the heavy burdens life has placed on them. The warmth it engenders in me will, I'm sure, push me to make other donations later. Thank you, Brian, both for letting us share in helping out your son, and for helping me be a better person by sharing of what I have, now and in the future.

One thing I wasn't prepared for, though, is the size of this figure. I know Brian said he was 18mm high, but I certainly didn't look on a ruler. He'll scale right in with my 25-28mm minis, but seeing him IRL is a shock. The excellent paint job by Simon of Stone Cold Lead must have been done with a scanning electron microscope. Super J is so (to use a good Southern word) tee-ninsy!

(That's a long i in the second part of the word, by the way, for those of you unfamiliar with Southern dialect. Watch "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." They play up, exaggerate and exploit that family plenty, but those ARE authentic (mid)south Georgia accents. Even I need the subtitles sometimes.)

Here's my copy of the mini:

"Super J" mini from Brian Cottrell, sold as a fundraiser for the Friedreich's
 Ataxia Research Alliance. (Sorry it's a little blurry. Still learning
 to use this camera phone. And yes, my desk is always that dirty.) 

And here is he up against a U.S. penny.

That penny is sitting on his base with him and is tilted
 back slightly to rest against the keyboard base.

I doff my invisible cap to all those involved, and I hope Brian and his family raise a great deal of money for the charity through their efforts. I am eager to get Super J and his ever-present pal Snakey fighting the menaces in my own particular Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Coming up soon: More Empire of the Dead ideas. I actually wrote a few paragraphs of background for a new warband I plan to field using the Lycaon rules. My wife has decided to go for Vampires (as if there was any doubt. My wife is an evil mastermind.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Weird WWII: "SUPER J" Charity Miniature

Brian, whom I know from the Lead Adventure Forum, has crafted a mini honoring his son Jason. In real life, Jason faces plenty of challenges and a bleak prognosis from Friedreich's Ataxia, and the proceeds from sales of this mini are going to research into the genetic disease.

I'll let Brian tell his own story, but suffice it to say in my dealings with him, he's proven to be one of the jewels of the wargaming community -- a true talent and a hell of a stand-up guy. That his efforts here are about providing hope not only for Jason but also for others who suffer from this currently incurable disease show you how big his heart is.

Brian is behind the excellent WWII-era Cap and Bucky minis you've seen floating around, and he's just done a Princess Diana of Themyscira that I'm eager to get into my mountain of unpainted lead.

The "Super J" unpainted mini is $10 with free shipping, and the proceeds go directly to the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance.

Brian, my best to you and your family! Here's a link to Brian's post from his own blog:

Weird WWII: "SUPER J" Charity Miniature: This gaming mini was made in the image of our son Jason and his sidekick, Snakie.  Jason was born with a rare genetic disease called ...