You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Machinas: Up next in a few days

I ordered a few more vehicles and picked one up at Walmart while I was doing other shopping. The Hudson Hornet (above) is the car I picked up today. I think I will put a hatch over the driver side roof, a fixed mount machine gun on the passenger side roof, and a ram with spikes on the front (I had some extra spikes left over.) Not sure what color I'll go with this one yet, but I'm thinking another two-tone vehicle would be nice.

The other vehicles I ordered online. I was spending time on the Hot Wheels wiki page looking for appropriate 1950s-style cars I could add to my collection. That's where I discovered both the 53 Cadillac custom (looks like a retro-retro el Camino.) That's a tiny plastic gravity cart in the back of the Caddy (fixed, not a separate vehicle.) I don't have the tools (Dremel) to break the rivet heads to take apart the cars, so I'll leave the cart int he back of the Caddy, and perhaps incorporate it into the base of a weapons mount (though, I'm not quite sure what I'll do with the Caddy yet.)

The other car is simply called "Evil Twin," which is also based on a 50s Cadillac model. I'm keeping the engines and probably going to mount some sort of heavy machine gun between them, though, that sloping back end is just asking for some rockets - if I had any left. (I'm almost out of scale weapons, so I'm gonna have to start making my own.)

And to make shipping reasonable with this order, I threw in one more vehicle; I wanted something a little different, so I sought out a van and found this nice little Dairy Delivery van which sticks to my 1950s preferred style. I'm thinking of doing armored plate across the front window, with a ball-mounted machine gun cut into the armor. I don't want to mount anything on top of the van since it is already a taller vehicle (I'm trying to plan out storage options, so I'm trying to keep the vehicles close in size.)

That should be it for the post-apoc cars for a while. I actually only needed 5 or 6 vehicles to play my converted "Charioteer" game, but I like to give my players options. And maybe one day, we'll do a grand  battle race with all 13 vehicles.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Machinas: Tormenta and Vae (plus sale)

Here are the last two from my current batch of cars. The first car I think might be my new favorite. It's a 8 Crate from Hoot Wheels. I cannibalized most of the interior, including the moon roof, so that I could fit this German 88 inside. But it's not just the gun I like; The two-toned color scheme plus the orangish rust of the armor plates just seems to work for me.

The low-ride profile also fits the concept of a large gun mounted in the back. But since Hot Wheels are awesome, this beast actually still rolls.

The second is a '62 Chevy fitted with a couple German guns from flames of war. This one was a straightforward conversion, though, no less post-apocalyptic.

These two are for sale: $20 for both cars (includes shipping)
I'm a little obsessive compulsive with these cars already; This 62 Chevy (the green car above) and the Plymouth Fury (the "police car" from my previous post) just don't fit in with the classic 50s Atomic Era feel of the rest of these cars. So I'm thinking of selling them. I just gotta figure out how to pack them.
If anyone is interested, I'm setting the price at $20 (which includes BOTH cars and shipping), payable by Paypal. If you're interested, send me an email at evilcartoonist at yahoo. I'll only sell the cars as a duo. First-come, first serve.

And if no one wants'em, I'm sure I can grow comfortable with them as time goes on. Or they can be target practice for the other cars :)

Machinas: Saint Plymouth's Fury and Saint Buick's Conception

I guess even if I post two cars at once, there's no slowing down, so don't forget to check the last few posts to make sure you haven't missed anything.

The first car here is a Plymouth Fury II. I probably wouldn't have picked this car up had I been thinking at the time and realized all the other cars were 40s and 50s; this one seems just a little out of place style-wise, but it's no less post-apocalyptic. But it turned out a little less Color-gothic post apoc and a little more traditional Road Warrior post apoc.

Yep- that's a flamethrower on the front; Any car with the name "Fury" has to have a flamethrower.
Another thing I noticed is that this car (though the wrong year and model) reminds me of the Bluesmobile. Hmm, I wonder if Hot Wheels makes a 1974 Dodge Monaco? The other car it reminds me of is the Deathmobile from Animal House (that one being a 66 Lincoln Continental ... modified just a touch, of course.) I wouldn't mind adding one or both cars to my collection. Especially the Bluesmobile, with a big megaphone on the roof, so I can randomly yell, "You two girls!"

The other car here is a Buick Le Sabre concept car (hence the "Conception" in its name.) It's my favorite of the bunch. The most difficult part of this conversion was adding the blast shields behind the missiles and shaping them to conform to the lines of the car. But they turned out just fine. (I used green stuff. The car is rounded out with a couple rockets from GW orc bommerz, an M-60 from Foundry's Street Violence range, and a gun shield from Flames of War/Battlefront.
It's hard to see in my photo, but the whole car has been painted silver.
I have just two more cars sitting on the table. Should I buy more? I'm thinking at least one more; I have 11 cars, and 12 would be a nice round number.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Machinas: The Custom of Saint Henry J, and Saint Studebaker's Ferculum

When I was choosing my first batch of cars, I knew I wanted mostly 1950s looking cars, but I also wanted a pickup truck. Saint Studebaker's Ferculum filled that need. My original intention (on which I still plan to follow up) was to create different, interchangeable "loads" for the back. These may include artillery, a machinegun, a tow truck arrangement, and maybe a classic ancient catapult for shits and giggles.)

The second vehicle here, the Custom of Saint Henry J, was an impulse buy (all $1 of it) at Kmart when I stopped in to get a cool soda. The bomber turret on top was an accident; I balled up some leftover green stuff and put it on the roof of this car. It only took one look to decide how to modify this vehicle. It turned out better than I hoped, enough that this is one of my favorites of this collection (though, my one favorite is yet to be painted (("Saint Buick's Conception.")).

A quick note: I noticed others would use a hole punch or similar device to make circles of plastic to place over the hubcaps/tires to give their cars a post-apoc look, as well as to cover up Hot Wheels decidedly un-car-like wheels. I simply used a small blob of green stuff, smoothed out with a finger. It's still a rough look, but it IS the apocalypse.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Machinas: The City of Saint Nash

This is a Nash Metropolitan chopped into a funny car (called the "City of" after "Metropolitan.")
It's sporting quad German AA guns; it's probably the most imposing armament on any of the cars in the collection (until I get that 88 mounted.)

Now that I think about it, I think I'll go back and add muzzle burns and missile blast scorching on all the cars that need it (such as this one.)

Machinas: Tela Coupe of Saint Ford

This is a "tail-dragger"  based on a Ford Coupe (from Hot Wheels' Cars of the Decades collection). The missiles on this car (as well as on all the other vehicle) are from Games Workshop Orc Bommerz (old Epic stuff.)

I picked up a couple more cars today since these are getting finished fast. Among the new purchases is a 50s Chevy station wagon with a moon roof, perfect for mounting that German '88 (well, probably 75mm at this scale.)

I have a couple more cars that are almost finished. I'll probably post those tomorrow. For those of you who haven't kept up with these rapid-fire posts, here's the post explaining the background to these cars (and their holy names): Machinas at the Circus Acceleratus (scroll down just a bit.)

Machinas: Saint Buick ex Cineribus and the Idol of Mercury

Saint Buick ex Cineribus
A couple more cars before I call it a night. The red car Buick is called Saint Buick ex Cineribus, and the yellow Ford is the Idol of Mercury.

This is the third (fourth?) post today, so if you're just now taking a look, go back and read the past couple post- especially if you're confused about why I named these cars as such.
The Idol of Mercury of Saint Ford
On Saint Buick, I put a 20mm (?) gun along with a hatch and tank commander from my Flames of War bits box. The 15mm figures are too small for the Hot Wheels cars, but just having a head peaking out the hatch works fine.

Since these are going fast, I may purchase a couple more. I might have to get a Chessex box and see how many cars I can fit into it; it would be a good way to limit how many vehicles I ultimately add to this collection.

Though, I am running low on armaments, so that might limit the size of this project as well. I'm also still looking at semi trucks to add, though, I'll probably keep to just the cars for the time being.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Machinas: Saint Chevy's Custom

Here's the first car. This one was kept simple. All I added was a gun barrel from a Bren machine gun tucked into a pod made from green stuff, and a ram made with plasticard and green stuff spikes.

I chose to finish this one first because it had a lot of surface area to test weathering techniques. I'm happy with this kind of wear - a few spots of rust, some bare metal showing through, and everything covered in a light layer of dust. (Oops, I just noticed I need to finish the headlights ... and probably the tail lights.)

This car cost me all of 84 cents. I think this was an easy investment. I think this was one of my Hotwheel cars. (I also have a few Johnny Lightning cars and an M2 pickup.)

Why is it called Saint Chevy's Custom? Well, here's the narrative tying this project into my post-apoc setting:

Circus Acceleratus

Though the Circus Acceleratus (in Septimontium) plays host to parades, large markets and gladiator games, it was built for one main reason, to host the Festival of Saint Machinas, patron saint of the infernal engine. The festival is a showcase of the ancient technology known as the engine. And the main event of the festival is the races between the dozen or so ancient automobiles.

The festival is put on by the Church because it possesses the only reserves of gasoline. When citizens or nomads discover a cache of the precious fuel, they’re required to give it to the Church; it is illegal to own gasoline (though the penalty is not severe. A few infernal class gladiators have their own tiny stockpiles, a few pints or so - hardly worth the Church’s effort.) The Church, in turn, puts on the spectacular Races of Saint Machinas (known simply as the “Machinas”) for the public.

Though there are around 100 functioning vehicles within the Temple Garages, the Church only races about a dozen for each festival, rotating the different models in and out, and rerunning those vehicles that are more popular with the crowds. This gives the church mechanics time to find replacement parts and perform repairs between festivals. (Many epic quests have been chartered to find carburators, spark plugs and camshafts in and beyond the Wasteland.)

Many of the vehicles were discovered with names already engraved on them, so the Church canonized those names. Spectators cheer on the likes of the Sedan of Saint Chevy, Saint Buick’s Conception or Saint Plymouth’s Fury. Every vehicle has a similar lyrical and holy name attached to it. The drivers, however, are nameless once they enter the Holy Driving School. Until they have finished racing in the Machinas, each driver is only known as “Brother Pilot.”

All of the drivers are priests. Each festival features a new group of drivers who train for 10 years specifically to drive in the Machinas.

There are two main goals in the Machinas: Win the race, but also try to put as many opposing vehicles out of the race. The object is not to kill the other racers, only to put their vehicle out of the race. In fact, many priests who survive a horrendous crash receive it as a sign from the Oppenheimer that they have been given a second chance. From then on, they become even more devout, usually becoming missionaries so that they may share their personal experience of being the subject of a miracle. It is not uncommon to meet a former Brother Pilot-turned missionary who is maimed, blind or scarred.

Before the priests race, they recite the oath at the base of the Statue of Saint Machinas:
“I will endure to be hurled, to be rolled and to be flipped by wheeled metal. And to be shot, and to be burned and to be exploded by missile. Blessed is Saint Machinas.”

 Since gasoline is rare and the vehicles difficult to repair, the festival is only held every four years. But the Circus has enough seating to accommodate 90,000 spectators, almost the population of the known Wasteland. And the Church provides tickets free of charge. So if citizens are able to make the trip to Septimontium, it is certain they will see the Machinas at the Circus Acceleratus.

Machinas: WIP update

The cars are coming along finely. Priming is finished and dried, and painting has begun.

I've started by painting the base colors on all the cars (except two- time constraints) and building up successive lighter layers. I paint with the brush going from the front of the car to the back to emphasize light coming from the front. You can see the effect best on the orange car in the photo.

I'll try to slow down, now, and start doing the accessories of individual cars. I plan on painting windshields, hubcaps, lights and weapons next. Trying to get the windshields to where I like them will take long enough.

After all the accessories have been painted, then I'll weather the cars -- some rust, chipped paint and dust. Then varnish, then done.

Machinas: Death race cars WIP

Yep, it will all be explained later. I've worked out a narrative to tie in this current project into my post-apocalyptic Septimontium universe (Personally, I think the tie-in is pretty cool -- for one thing, all the drivers are nameless priests who are all referred to simply as "Brother Pilot.") But explanations all in good time.

Here is the first batch of my cars (in the pic below), all converted and primed (the second batch still has wet primer.) These didn't get converted as fast as you might think. Sure, I bought these only Sunday, but since then, I've spent all of my time working on these cars. The only other things I've been doing is sleeping, eating, going to work, and going to the bathroom. No TV time (except as background noise), no reading, and no computer time (except for a little research and inspiration-searching for this project.)

It was tough to figure out what to do with these cars. There was a lot of trial and error. A lot of test- and dry-fitting a variety of parts in countless combinations. I didn't start hitting on some ideas until I started throwing the green stuff around a little more liberally. Then the plasticard came out, and I was off.

I ended up having all the bits I needed; I didn't have to order anything (which would have sucked- I hate waiting, and I'm totally into doing this project right now.) I raided my humble collection of Flames of War stuff (never put together; I got it all in trade for my old 28mm Old West figures) as well as my War Rocket stuff (I only repurposed some torpedoes into missiles.)

Plasticard formed a few extra armor plates, and green stuff helped make gun blisters, turrets, missile blast shields. and spikes. I tried not to go TOO over-the-top. Though it's a post-apoc setting, I wanted to tone down the swaths of armor plating, rusty fenders and survival stowage, and focus more on the gothic(??) aspect of the cars' designs. Sure, these cars will get a healthy coating of rust, but they will have (I PLAN to have) a good covering of color. They won't be pearlescent or glossy with flames and skulls, but they'll certainly have some color.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

And my next project is ...

Post Apocalyptic Highway!

Mad Max, Road Warrior, Atomic Highway, Dark Future, Car Wars, Death Race (and 2000) -- plenty of inspiration.

I spent a little more than I expected (I guess $25 isn't expensive for a guy who needs to budget in miniature purchases); I went for the higher-end Johnny Lightning and Hotwheels Boulevard cars (with a couple of the $1 cars to fill out the ranks), but I got exactly what I wanted. And as you can see, I prefer a more retro look to my dark future.

I'm not sure what I'm getting myself into. I don't have any plans on what to do with any of these cars, so I'll try to approach it one car at a time. The one thing I do know is that I'll make different modular loads for the pickup truck (rocket launcher, or technical, or cannon, or cargo etc.)

Next stop will be my bits box and then to see where I can get machineguns, rockets, turrets and whatnot to arm my vehicles.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Septimontium: Cutto Gustus

Brother July was a missionary assigned to spread the word of The Oppenheimer to the few souls who dotted the wastes between the nomadic settlements and the northern tip of the Only Mountains.

During his travels, he happened upon a scene of carnage near a cave mouth in the mountains. A family of mutants of the skinless tribe lay slaughtered, each with the unmistakable bite of a froggy. They were mutants -- outcast, shunned and hated -- but Brother July was still sad, because he knew the mutants were still human at their core. And as he prepared a sad lament from the Book of Sands, he heard a small cry. It was a child of the skinless hidden under a hide behind a rock -- a miracle! And as all miracles were made by The Oppenheimer, it was Brother July's duty to protect and raise the baby mutant as a child of The Oppenheimer.

Brother July brought the child back to the church, and he was raised as an apostle, a defender of the words of The Oppenheimer and as an enforcer of rules of the church. He is called Apostolic Gustus, and he has grown into a beast of terrifying visage, yet a pure heart. When he fights in the arena on behalf of the church, he wears the armor of a Cutto class fighter. And when he is not in the arena, he walks at his father's side throughout the Wasteland as they spread the word of The Oppenheimer to humans and mutants, alike.

This figure started off as a D&D prepainted Foulspawn. I cut him off his original base, and rebased him on a poker chip (as are all of my figures in this range.) I added some greenstuff armor, and plasticard and brass rod blade.

The bucket with blood hoses was an afterthought; I wanted to "post apocalyze" him just a little, and I think the addition works well with this figure. I like the weirdness of a random blood bucket hanging off of a gladiator's back.

This will be the last of my 54mm post apocalyptic gladiators for a while. I have no more plans for this range of figures in the near future, though I might stick to post apocalyptic stuff depending on what I do as my next project.

Next project possibility: I finally broke out Charioteer with my friends, and they loved it. After the game, we got to discussing variants, and one idea that was well-received was simply replacing the chariots with souped-up, armed and armored matchbox cars, and playing the game as a Deathrace.

It would cost me only around $10 on matchbox cars. I've seen a couple conversion kits with machine guns and armor and such, though, I'm thinking about how I can make those additions on my own, out of my bits box.

Again, it's just another idea in my small but growing list of ideas. It may be a little while until I decide. But that's OK; I upped the activity of this blog the past couple weeks. I could use a break.

Apocalators WIP: Mutant Cutto

Here's the next figure I'll be painting for my post-apoc fighters. The figure was originally a large D&D prepainted Foulspawn. The figure stands almost exactly 54mm, so he fits in perfectly with my other fighters. He's the same height but with just a touch more mass.

The way his arm was posed made him a natural to be a Cutto class fighter. But since he was a big scary mutant, I gave him a big scary blade (instead of the usual shortsword or dagger blade such as on my other two cuttos).

I made the blade with a piece of plasticard. I used a triangular-sectioned microfile to make the serrated edge on the blade. To attach the blade to the cutto armor, I strapped a small length of brass rod to it (the reason for the wrappings at the base of the blade.)

The "besagew"-like piece is made using the wheel from a 28mm Russian maxim machinegun carriage. The strap is made from a piece of Neosporin tubing (toothpaste tubes will also work.)

Friday, June 22, 2012

How the hell did I do that??

This is a follow-up to my post about Kobblestone; Apparently, I forgot that I did try making my own false-front building before. Not only that, but I tried doing it in forced perspective- and I think I did a pretty damned good job of it.

I think this was about three or four years ago, I threw this together. And it was specifically for lining the back of my bookshelf housing my fantasy miniatures. I only got around to building this one front.

But, Lord only knows, how the hell did I do it?? I can't remember. I certainly couldn't have just bumbled my way into this piece. I suck at math, though I aced Geometry. Still, I can't think how I did this, otherwise, I think I'd might make more.

(On a side note, does anyone know who makes nice figure flats (for a decent price)? I was thinking of trying my hand at it. Specifically, I was thinking of using flats for playing Two Hour Wargame's Joust game. I guess my Google-fu isn't that bad; I'll have a look around.)

Looking at Kobblestone's Bookshelf buildings

Copyright Kobblestone Miniatures
Now this isn't a bad idea. Nor is it original; train hobbyists have been doing it for years. But Kobblestone has certainly given these buildings enough character to take notice. I saw the dimensions, and these are still 4-inches deep, which I think is big enough to put out onto the table (though I believe there is no sculpting on the backs of these buildings.)

I'll put this is my list of ideas if what to do next. I won't be purchasing any of these- I'll try building and painting my own. I think I have enough terrain building experience. And a false front should be a little easier than making the whole building (a whole hell of a lot less measuring; that's for sure.) Still, if you don't have building experience, and if you don't mind spending a few extra dollars for something special, I recommend Kobblestone (not just for the bookshelf buildings, but all their stuff- I love their Spanish Mission church.)

OK, I'm done here; now, let's all of us go and visit Kobblestone's site.

(Nope, this is not a paid promo. I just think Kobblestone's stuff is neat.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Looking at Reaper's new barbarian prince

Copyright, Reaper Minatures
When I first saw Cal Arath, Barbarian Prince (Reaper No. 3619) I thought, "What the hell -such terrible proportions - look how wide that guy is!"

Then I realized the shape of this figure is perfect: He's just overweight.
I like playing offbeat characters in D&D, and an overweight barbarian would be great (if somewhat cliche). And I think Cal here, looks the part. (This barbarian will be played by Mickey Rourke.) I even wonder if the sculptor couldn't get the size right, or was a genius and got the size exactly right (Cal is a barbarian "prince," after all.)

If/when I pick the figure up, I will probably use a smattering of greenstuff to smooth out those abs and give him a few extra pounds. If I'm feeling ambitious when I have this figure in front of me, I may even file away all the belt buckle stuff and give him a pot belly drooping over his belt line. Charisma: 3.

Oh barbarians; so much fun. I think Cal will be joining the ranks of my barbarians in the near future.

Septimontium: Arena fighter classes

The war priests have classified a few classes of gladiator throughout the Wasteland, though their standards of identification aren't consistent (some classes are identified by armor, and others by weapons.)
Most of the classes will only fight others of the same class, though crossover is not uncommon (such as Infernals vs. Heavies). The exception are the Vulgars who fight opponents from all the other classes.


The Plebes are a light to medium class of fighter. They are armed with a one-handed weapon in conjunction with a small shield. They are called Plebes because rookie fighters and layman who like to "dabble" in the arenas are usually outfitted in this class, carrying a small shield because they have not yet developed the strength or skill to use a heavier shield. This is one of the two common classes.


The other common class are the Heavies. They are the most popular of the classes throughout the Wasteland. They are the most well-protected and are usually the most experienced of all the fighters. A heavy is similar to a Plebe except that they carry a heavy shield along with a one-handed weapon. They also have one or more limbs covered in leather and/or metal armor as well as a helmet (almost always metal.)


Vulgars refers to fighters who come from the ranks of Juggers teams who want to try their skills in the arena. Some are expert fighters, while others are not so good. Most Vulgars are drivers on their teams, so they carry a large two-handed weapon. They will sometimes also don a few extra pieces of armor before entering the arena. The rare Qwik will also fight in the arena. They usually outfit themselves as Plebes or Cuttos.
Many Vulgars are used during animal hunts in the arena. In a hunt, one Vulgar will usually be teamed up with two Cuttos versus a large animal.
Chain fighters also sometimes fight as Vulgars, but prefer the better pay of the Juggers leagues.


Linkers always fight with a ball-and-chain type weapon (steel ball on a chain, chunk of concrete on a cable or other similar weapon.)
Juggers chain players who enter the arena are officially labelled as Linkers, though, most spectators still consider them to be Vulgars.
Linkers are slightly different from other classes in that they are usually teamed up with other fighters during a match. Since Linkers fight for less pay, many arenas will put on group battles and fill out the ranks with the Linkers.


The Cuttos are most commonly called "knifers." Their class is named after the Cutto armor they wear during combat. The Cutto starts on the shoulder as a small shield protecting the head, and extends all the way down the arm ending in an armored gauntlet that covers the entire hand. A large dagger or small sword blade extends from the gauntlet. Cuttos wear no other armor and sometimes will fight entirely naked
The ranks of Cuttos are mostly filled by two kinds of people. Many Waiteri tribesmen come to Septimontium to remind the population of their martial prowess (a display which serves as a deterrent to the cities who might think of subduing the tribes.) They always fight as Cuttos so that they can wear the least amount of "tainted" armor (Many Waiteri will fight with their own primitive weapons, wearing nothing more than a loin cloth.) The other Cutto fighter is almost always a debtor. In the arena, a victorious Cutto fighter usually gets at least double the rewards, so many debtors choose this class so they can quickly repay their loans ... if they live.
Cuttos are mostly matched up against other Cuttos, but sometimes take part in animal hunts. Some specialty matches will pit an experienced Cutto against a novice Heavy or Plebe, or a few debtor Cuttos against a Con Heavy. (Con = a top-level fighter.)


Infernals are always identified by their weapons, which are almost always a machine of some sort, using either mechanical or chemical components to work. Weapons can include, for example, chainsaws, flame throwers, crossbows, guns or power drills. Infernals also carry a secondary weapon since their technology is not always reliable. This secondary weapon is usually a small cutter.
Infernals are usually matched up against Heavies, but are sometimes matched up against other Infernals. This is indeed a rare matchup and is reserved for the largest arenas during the most popular holidays (such as the Conspiratorial Games.)
Since the technology is rare and valuable, infernals usually have a state sponsor such as a senator or priest. The War College of Rubikon also maintains its own cadre of Infernals who are used as enforcers and escorts for matrons, referees, war priests and other arena officials.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Around the Metae: Charioteer!

I stayed up late last night finishing the rest of my chariots. I think these will make my games of Charioteer even more exciting. I have each of the four color factions represented plus purple (which I read was actually a faction, along with the Golds, for a short time during the time of Emperor Domition; So my colors are all good.)

My track here is made from a scrap of VFF suede (the same stuff I use for my Red Sand Black Moon arenas.) Along one side I have a painted wall marked with sections of race track to determine race progress using a glass bead (read below). I also have on my track Roman numerals to keep track of laps.

Charioteer: The game Charioteer is fun, but it's different than your average racing game. For one, you don't actually race your models over a model or map of the entire circus. The area where you place your chariot miniatures/counters is of one section of the race track upon which your chariots jostle for position within the pack. A marker is moved along a small diagram of the track, indicating where on the track the pack of chariots is currently racing (either on the straightaways or on the turns.)

The pack mechanic is also advantageous because it requires very little table space (my track is 4" x 12" using 15mm chariots.) And since the footprint is small, you can use much larger chariot models. A dining room table should easily accommodate Games Workshop or any other 28mm chariots, for example.

This section of track is divided into Slots and Spots. Think of Slots as lanes across the track, and spots as racing positions (first, second, third etc.) A basic game will have three slots and as many spots as you have chariots (so games can be as large and unwieldy as you want them ;) I like this pack mechanic because it doesn't allow a player to take a huge lead, or let a player drop back too far out of contention; Everyone is in the race ... until folks start crashing.

There are only three stats, Savvy, Strength and Speed. Savvy and Strength are stats held by the driver, while speed is the stat of your horses (so drivers and horse teams can be mixed and matched in a campaign game. There is also an auction mechanic that can be introduced in which players, between races, can play as owners vying for ownership of the best teams or drivers.)

Savvy represents your general knowledge of racing and is used to determine your success in passing other chariots (or in trying to cause them to crash!)

Strength is needed if you prefer to make passing attempts in the turns, or to whip your opponents, or to gain control of your chariot if it's in danger of crashing.

Speed is used simply for passing on the straightaway. Sure, that's the only time this stat is useful, but you have a lot more chances of passing on the straightaways than the turns. I think that's half the fun of the game, is determining your stats to match a style of racing you prefer.

You roll dice based on your stats and cross reference a few tables (there are only four short tables -- we're not talking huge Avalon Hill lakes of numbers.) There is a lot of dice rolling, and, for the most part, the chariots are balanced for the course of the race (unless you decide to race with more or less total stat points for handicapping etc.) But there are also (a limited pool) bonus dice for each player, which represent stamina and/or momentum. The player can choose when to use these dice during the race to gain advantage.

That's the gist of it all. It's a light game (light, but not beer-and-pretzels) and it's quite fun. You can race as few or as many laps as you want. To some, it feels like it's just dice rolling, but there is definite strategy, especially in regards to bonus dice (and when you blow the wad to make that final pass.) I also enjoy it because you can play it solo against non-player chariots.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Charioteer: Green chariot

Here's the first my chariots by Two Hour Wargames for their game "Charioteer." After painting this one, I'm wondering if I should have got more; this one was fun to paint -- small and intricate, but fun.

This one is the "green" team's chariot. In ancient Roman chariot racing, there were four factions, all named by color: The Reds, Blues, Greens and Whites. (In fact, THW's chariot minis are cast in those colors- I simply chose to paint mine.)

According to the author Marcus Junklemann, the Blues and Greens were the main factions, while the reds and whites were subsidiary teams. When the races were run, each team would field the same number of chariots, so there would be 4, 8 or 12 chariots racing. (Though, Junklemann mentions Greek rules were used int he East in which anyone who could afford a chariot and horses could race without the support of a faction. (Hmm, maybe I better see about getting three more chariots, so I can do some team racing? No biggie, I'll be racing in the east for now.)

I will paint the remainder of my chariots in the other faction colors (Red, Blue and White are left over.) I'll paint the fifth chariot in purple; when my friends and I play games, each of us have our favorite color, and one of them likes purple (another likes Blue, and I like Red to honor my hero Tom Servo.)

A quick note: After weeks of painting 54mm figures, there was absolutely no needing to get used to painting something much smaller. I just went right to it with no problems. I look forward to painting the remainder of these (and hopefully getting a few more from Ed so I can eventually field 8 teams.)

I might MIGHT do a piece of terrain for the track, but no promises. The game actually doesn't use a full track (in the traditional sense.) I'll explain more once I get all these chariots painted up (A review over at Boardgame Geek does a good job of explaining how the game works if you don't want to wait for me.)

Then off to play a few games of Charioteer!

Coming soon: A change of pace

Post Apoc: Missionary and Tadpole

Here's the last of my post-apoc stuff for a few days (I do have one item on the way.) The first is another priest, a low-level Oak Street missionary. He was made from another Marx figure. He completes my collection  of "clergy." I'd still like to get a figure to represent a "gene" priest (the last branch of the Septimontium church which I don't have represented.) In due time.

The other figure was actually an impulse buy. I had yet to try out a figure from Reaper's new Bones collection, and my local game store had a couple. So I picked up the purple worm (only $2.95!)

It's made up of essentially the same material as my dinosaurs, so I used the same technique as on my dinosaurs to paint this worm. The material remains tacky with a spray primer, but takes and holds an acrylic base coat just fine.

I'm calling this beasty a Tadpole. I'm letting the figure dictate a little bit of my setting (in this case, biology.) I'm calling it a Tadpole, because it is the young of a Froggy. As it ages, it will lose its digging teeth and grow limbs, at which time it will emerge from underground to live the rest of its life hunting angrily around the Wasteland.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Septimontium: Incident on Meat Street

The vendors of the Meat Street Market couldn't take any more. The Crosses gang had taken too much in "protection" money, and their chief enforcer, Vax, had broken too many of the merchants' bones for lack of funds or simply for pure enjoyment.

Enter Kirna, driver for the Brownies juggers team, fighter on the Con Sunrisers circuit during the offseason, and new cleaner of Meat Street. Her price was steep, but the merchants saw it as a one-time investment; if Kirna could kill Vax, the merchants would get their livelihoods back, and if she lost, the Crosses would kill everyone on the street, anyway. It was a good investment.

Vax had just began her rounds when she encountered Kirna standing alone in the empty street. Vax knew what was up; word travels fast in the outer towns. Full of cockiness, she smiled, pointed at Kirna to accept the challenge and made her move.

Vax was a knifer, and with plenty of strength behind her shortsword, but Kirna was experienced in battling skilled fighters. Still, Vax had a little knowledge of the streets and moved herself into a small alley to try to negate the effectiveness of Kirna's two-handed hammer. Kirna would not fall for the ruse and kept to the main street. Positioning her long knife to strike, Vax smiled and trotted at Kirna.

Vax thrust with her blade and missed; Kirna swung her hammer over Vax's ducking head. The hammer came around again, and though Vax was able to parry the heavy hammerhead away with her armored gauntlet, the strong blow still knocked her to the ground. Kirna brought the hammer down, but Vax was able to dodge the strike.

Vax's cockiness easily gave way to anger, and she charged at Kirna. Kirna had fought brute strength before. She knew that brutes usually backed up their strength only with rage. Kirna brought smarts. And it was her smarts that easily dodged Vax's attack, while, at the same time, bringing the hammer square into Vax's chest.

Vax went down without a sound, dead on impact. And with her death, quickly would come the end of the Crosses gang. Meat Street was soon back to business.

A couple notes on Post-Apoc terrain

Nothing much new here; I just wanted to mention a couple things about my terrain.

I did a couple new pieces. One has a metal water trough (complete with epoxy resin-made "liquids"), and the other has an ice cream freezer as its centerpiece. (the freezer is actually a milk cooler from the Marx dairy set I recently purchased.)

Most of the junk has been painted with rust. I overdid the rust on purpose; by painting everything one basic color, it helps the terrain to blend into the background so players can focus on the action. There's the obvious exception of my street vendor, but even that piece has some rust added.

I'll use the terrain to form barriers for post-apoc matches as well as with games of Qwik.

And though the terrain might add to some of the games (rules-wise), I want the focus to remain on the game (Red Sand Brown Sky) with the terrain as eye candy. Which leads me to my last note: I think I will expand just a little (miniatures-wise) on my post-apoc world of Septimontium, but the focus will always be on the gladiator fighting. So I'm not going to make any buildings; I'm happy with the amount of terrain I have; But I wouldn't mind adding another fighter or two (or three or four), and I also wouldn't mind painting up a couple more bystanders (civilians other than the priests.) But you won't see me expand as much as my Street Corner project, for example.

I'm happy with what I have. There is enough terrain to make a nice little area for fighting (My next AAR will take place on Meat Street, using all the terrain shown here as well as my Oppenheimer statue and a couple trees - see the setup at the end of this post.)

I will also continue to write up details about my world. Even if they don't directly relate to the matches, I enjoy having a lot of subtext to my games to help with narration. It will also help me to actually take up a campaign, which I admittedly haven't done with any THW rules set yet.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Post Apoc: Oak Street priest- Brother March

I'm much happier with this figure than the last. I'm sure it's because of the patchwork coat. In fact, I think I will go back and add a few patches to the other priest. This figure also has a light coating of (drybrushed) dust which I think helps unify all the colors.

This figure is from the Elliot Ness/Al Capone set by Marx. This figure was Al Capone, and now he's Brother March, Priest of 7602 Oak Street.

I'm approaching another crossroads of painting. I have one more 54mm figure to paint up for my post apocalypse collection and then a few random fantasy figures I need to get done for my friend Jeff. After that, I have no large projects planned. 

I do have a few small resin chariots on the way from Two Hour Wargames for playing Charioteer. I will paint those up. But then, after THAT, I don't have anything else planned. I might just continue with my post-apoc stuff.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Post Apoc: Brother August, war priest of Rubikon

Here's one of my war priests -- Brother August of Rubikon bearing the sacred relic "Snubnose of the 16th Precinct." I had thought about cutting the pistol out of his hand, but then I realized it would be more fun (and easier) to just write it into the setting.

The gas mask and sash are all green stuff. You might notice the sash is a piece of small moro skin.

This figure is another Marx reissue, from the set containing Elliot Ness and Al Capone; this was is Mr. Ness. I am beginning to like these Marx figures as another source to enhance my post apocalyptic collection. The figures paint up well and have a decent enough amount of detail to stand alongside my other figures. There is also a good selection of accessories to choose from in the Marx catalogue.

Oops, I forgot to coat this fellow with a layer of dust. I knew something looked out of place ... I mean beside the guy with a fedora, three-piece suit, gas mask and wild futuristic animal sash.