Killer Rabbits: Dogs and snails

Been working on the painted stretch goal rewards for my Killer Rabbits Kickstarter. Here's the Hare riding the Hound, and entourage, based upon this manuscript marginalia

Then on the other side of the fence, we have the rabbit riding a snail. This was a really fun piece to paint, as it's raining here and I had lots of snails for models.


The concept idea.

Off to paint more and more rabbits. Stay tuned!


All City Kings- N Guage style


I visited an old friend a few weeks ago, and he was showing off his cool N Guage train and set up he had. I painted this up to sneak onto his track next time I visit. :)

I really had a blast with this one night project: lots of good weathering practice and getting my old Graf chops back. I could totally do more of these! 


Fort McHenry Project: Naval officers

US Naval officers, ready to repell and other nautical words!

Naval Officers

I'm getting close to finishing up the Fort McHenry commission project (yay). The rangers have been more than patient with me, as I realized that this was a much bigger project than I thought it would be.

US uniforms, aft view
 These US and British naval officers are the last troops needed; now I have 9 civilians to do up, then focus on the ships, which are already half done. I am excited to see this all in the hands of the fort, and put to work.

British officers- all prim and proper

British stern costume


Breaking Lances: A Grail Knight and Joe Con

"grail knight" mounted and foot versions

Breaking Lances at Joe Con!

This weekend I had the privileged to run a breaking lances tournament at Joe Con, a 3 day convention my pal Joe puts on at his house. One of the great things about the con is all the faced I may not have seen throughout the year, many of them fellow SCA members (although I've been inactive for about 15 years now).
The Tournament table set up with great bayeux backdrop. Note foot combat area in the fore

So with the latest version of the rules cleaned up, I set up a table or 8 players but quickly expanded it to 10 players as the crowds demanded more action!  The other big thing we did was to give the foot combat rules a real shakedown.
Another view of the field, knights at the ready

Action commences! After the first couple of runs, the cheat sheets went away.

I unfortunately didn't take any pictures of the foot combat in action- but I had all 4 fighters participating, all were SCA fighters and at least one was a knight! This providing for great "feel and pace" feedback. And also, a few good laughs! Thanks guys!
Josh tries his hand role playing Sir Brion Beletrix.

 Rules wise, I think that they are all ready to go, sans some editing work, and adding in stuff like a better crit chart for foot combat, and how to run a tournament. My durrent goal is to set this off as a Kickstarter in Q2 of 2019. Fingers crossed.

Grail Knight 

This is a new design I finally had a chance to finish painting, as I needed 4 foot knights for the playtest. The color choices were inspired by Alan Lee's painting the blue knight, where He uses a great contrast in colors. In Watercolor! The man is a constant inspiration!
Alan Lee, The Blue knight

Different shots, on grey background. I need to build a bigger lightboxc

Well, that wraps up 2018!

What's on the docket for 2019?   stay tuned blog followers, and may you all have a wonderful, prosperous and happy new year!


Cool Yule!

I just wanted to take a moment and thank you all for showing up at my blog from time to time, and especially to those who have commented. This year I've had over 20 new followers and over 250K views!  Next year we are going to hit 500K views, and I'll  have a cool giveaway...somehow.

Again, thanks for you joining in and making this hobby special!   And if you haven't you should take a look at some of the folks that I follow (on the side board)- I am continually inspired and awed by the work they do and great tips they have.

Cheers and have a cool Yule- see you in 2019!

I remain, your most obd't toy maker


Eagle knight Zombie

8 deer gets ready to take a bite out of his lunch.

Antediluvian Miniatures

My pal Andrew Taylor, owner and proprietor of  Antediluvian Miniatures knows my love for the Aztecs, and was kind enough to send a pre production cast of this Mixtec Eagle knight zombie from his new kickstarter line.  Needless to say, it got primed and painted ASAP!

Growing up in California, and in a working class white and Chicano neighborhood, the lore and myths of the Meso American culture was all around me. Even our Jr. High School mascot the Warriors, was an Eagle knight!

Because of this it has been a passion of mine, especially the art- and in particular the art from the Codex Nuttall, a wonderful book from the period. Sadly few of these books have been discovered, but there are recordings of the Spaniards burning thousands of them.  Dover has a wonderful facsimile of the codex. The original is in the British Museum.
Buy this book! 

It was the color choices in the Codex that inspired my painting palette; yellow ochre, that dark red and the jade/ malachite greens, along with white.
I went a bit brighter on the yellow, to help make the mini pop a bit

A page of the codex, for reference

All in all it is a wonderful miniature to paint, and I thank Andrew Taylor for the early Christmas present!  Looking forward to getting the rest of the set!

Did I really use that many paints on one mini?!


Mecha!: Zentraedi War Pod

I've got my mind on my Mecha, and my Mecha on my mind

Back in the Late 80's my self and a group of college buddies launched a new game company called Seventh Street Games. The name was the based upon the street where the house that most of them lived. Our first foray into actual publishing and making models was a game called Mecha! "An Explosive System for Science Fiction Combat!" The rules turned out pretty well and were distributed to many stores across the states- it almost ended up paying for the publishing costs- but it was a great spring board into my career. And because of that, and the fondness of mech combat, I'm dusting off the old rules, seeing what still works well, and then updating them for 21st century game play.

Here's the cover, and  the Intro, that basically explains the game approach.

Rules Cover

Intro Blurb

Mech Models: Then and now

Back in the day we were really trying to recreate the fantastic Macross genre fights between all the Zendraeti  mechs vs the stalwart human pilots in their Veritech mechs. The trouble was, those models were rarer than hen's teeth to find, even though I lived next to some of the best stores in Japan Town for a source.

But those days are now over!

Thanks to the Robotech Kickstarter, both Veritech and, more importantly the Zentraedi War Pods (my personal favorites) are very easy to come by via Ebay and flea markets. I scored a bunch and although a bit smaller than the old school models ( a pod measures 70mm to the end of it's top barrels)  the details are tight and models are easy to assemble- and fun to paint!

Examples of model sprues

War Pod Test!

here's my first war pod test paint. I based it on a wonderful blog post that I found by Collection DX
Which features some nice weathering and the grey legs instead of the typical white.  Here's my take on that theme.

Death on a stick!

My war pod is mounted on a battle pole using the battle nipple (yeah, it needs a new name) That I had cast up for my starship! game and models a decade ago.  I may update it, but honestly it works really well, and protects them models much better than having magnets as an attachment.

So, we'll see how this shakes out- I am keen on painting up a slew of these and getting the gang back together for some battles! Stay tuned for more!

Oh, if you have any of your own mechs to share, I'd love to see them. Also looking for any extra decal sheets :)


Fort McHenry Project: US Volunteers

US Volunteers 1812: Baltimore boys

Finished up 24 of these bright and bold lads for the Fort McHenry Project. Overall super happy how they came out. Even better, weather permitting I'll be taking photos of all the troops I've done so far and then packing them up to send off to the Fort. 

Ready for Review
What commanders usually see

These Woodens take about 2 hours each to paint. Most colors are three layers, especially all the Non Mettallic metallic bits, like buttons, gun barrels, etc. 

The over all look gives them a "printed page" effect similar to the period. I'm super happy as to how these guys turned out. 
On the march- Regulars and Volunteer troops side by side

What's next?

I have a few naval officers to paint up, and then 3 sets of 3 civilians do design and cut (and paint), including Mr. Francis Scott Key himself. Then I move on to finishing up the ships for the project. The Hulls are all done, but I am still noodling with the best way to make the masts and sails so that the park rangers can use the models in exhibits and teaching moments without them being too fiddly and fragile. 

Thanks for following along on this adventure!