Sunday, January 20, 2013

Vintage Gaming Magazines in PDF
Ares, General, Dragon, and more

This evening while stumbling around the World Wide Web and thinking about one of my favorite gaming and fiction magazines from the early 1980s--Ares Magazine from SPI and later TSR--I discovered that has posted PDF scans of all 19 issues of the magazine, complete with scans of each issue's games.

For me, this is a treasure trove bringing back fond memories. I had a nearly complete collection of the magazine but stupidly left them behind 16 years ago when we moved across the country. Ares was responsible for me buying SPI's Dragonquest and Universe roleplaying games, along with Delta Vee, War of the Ring (two copies mind you!), and many other games back in the day.

To me, Timothy Truman was Ares art!
I clearly remember spending countless evenings playing some of the mag's excellent solo games: Wreck of the BSM Pandora, Voyage of the BSM Pandora, Rescue From The Hive, Return of the Stainless Steel Rat, Damocles Mission, and Nightmare House.

While some of the 2-player games were dogs in my mind, others I also enjoyed. Albion, High Crusade, and Star Trader come to mind. Ironically, I had the same problem back then that I have today--finding someone to play against without having to twist their arms. So  back then, playing multiplayer games solo was the order of the day, outside of our weekly roleplaying games at least.

So have a walk down an old fellow's memory lane and check out what it was like in the halcyon days of gaming. Check out PDF versions of Ares Magazine!

More Gaming Magazines
Looks like was busy the other month because they have also scanned the following other gaming and related magazines: The General. Dragon, Space Gamer, Omni, Starlog, and a lot of others. Wow! Check out the list at their magazine page.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pistol Packing Something Something

For the past couple days, life here has been turned upside down. My wife was robbed at Walmart. The thieves, a young Asian woman and man, stole her handbag right out from under her. No one was hurt, but they got away. So after the police, we got out ahead of the game and began locking down all our accounts and putting our fraud alerts. The bank helped a lot yesterday. It's been crazy and stressful. I don't feel like going into all the details. Thank goodness for ant-anxiety meds! So be careful out there!!!

To relax a bit tonight, here's a shot of some Western figures from Old Glory and West Wind. When I took these photos in October, I should have organized them by pack to make life easier. Sorry about that. I was in just too much of a rush to take the photos

Figures Left to Right:
 1 & 4) MW-105 - Tombstone 10 Figure Bag (Old Glory)
This bag actually has some nice figures I think. They are for the Gunfight at the OK Corral. They look much better painted than on their website. The figure on the far left I call Doc Hartley because he looks like my neurologist of the same name. The figure on the far right my son named Lon, though he looks nothing like my best friend of the same name back in PA. People really like Lon because I was able to get the blending just right on him. Sometime we all get lucky, eh?

2) ZCW-12 The Cattle Barron and Boys #2 (West Wind)
Welcome to the Gun Show! One of the few Western figures in a fistacuffs pose. Right away, I saw him as Seamus McFly from Back the the Future III! So he had to have read hair and talk in a really bad brogue.

3) ZCW-16 Mexican Rancheria and Vaqueros #2
The man in black. I really like this figure, along with his bandito partner I'll post in a bit. The pose is fun and it was easy to paint. His shirt is an off white craft paint.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Old Glory Female African Explorer

One of the figures from Old Glory's large pack LAT-10 Explorers Missionaries Renegades and Constables. She definitely has that Old Glory look to her, but painted up better than she looked in raw metal. I started her three years ago, but left he unfinished until recently. Not my best work, but I had fun painting her hair red. Unfortunately, I still can't find my notes on what colors I used. I also can't find the rest of the figures from her pack! Sigh. I seem to lose miniatures, like a black hole suddenly opens and sucks them in. Same thing happened a few years ago to my box of 6mm Eldar from Space Marine and a box of my Heroclix. Who knows.

Still gotta finish her base!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Doing the Mummy Shuffle

Three years ago, I had so much fun painting these mummy figures for some The Mummy pulp games, but I've yet to play such a game. The four figures in the front are from West Wind's pack GHM-02 Mummy Servant Priests. The figure in the rear is from Reaper, which I got at a Hurricon learn-to-paint table. I love the WW figures so much more than the old Reaper figure, which is a whole lot less scary and less animated. I really need to paint some more mummies. They are dead simple to paint and so much fun.

As I mentioned three years ago when first posted (bad) photos of these figures, here is how I painted them: I primed the figures black and then painted the linen wraps using Folk Art Linen. (If I were doing them today, priming white would be an easier road to take than black.) When the Linen dried, I brushed on a black "magic wash." I then drybrushed with Ceramcoat Antique White. For the flesh, I used discontinued Ceramcoat Hammered Iron, though any German WWII uniform gray would work. I painted these guys in a couple hours.

Are they attacking or just doing aerobics? Sometimes it's hard to tell with mummies. :-)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

West Wind's Women of the West

For a while, I've been posting photos of either Victorians getting crazy or WWII Soviets. So let's change things up a bit. At the end of October, I took photos of my entire collection of miniatures and models. Having a bit of free time this past Friday afternoon, I ran the photos through the old photo editor and loaded up the blog with several posts featuring them. Since I only began painting miniatures when this first came online, you can really see how I've been experimenting over the years. You can also see when I was getting lazy and didn't feel like blending or doing much else! (I think we all have those days...or months...or years as the case may be! LOL!)

While a few of these figures have been seen before on the blog, most only have been seen from afar in large group photos, in-progress photos, or badly edited photos. (Yeah, I'm still working on some of their bases.)

Women of the West -- And More
Up fist are five female gunfighters from various packs in West Wind's Cowboy Wars line. I purchased all these figures years ago from Old Glory during the only sale they've had for Army members. I love West Wind's horror and Western figures. Some of the sculpts can be a bit off, but overall they are very nice. Across the web, West Wind doesn't seem to get the love I think they deserve. They have some unusual (and interesting) figures that no one else has, like the European and Russian hunting parties along with the cast from Bonanza.

So here is today's group of figures, along with their pack info and some of my recollections. Sorry the photo's thumbnail is so small, but clicking on it will blow it up real good.

Figures From Left to Right:

1) ZCW-23 Women of the West #1
She is a homely looking lady, but not everyone in the Old West was good looking. Trying to paint her fat, pudgy face was a real bear for my novice skills years ago. I think it took me three or four attempts until it look decent enough.

2) ZCW-24 Women of the West #2
I really like this figure. I painted her skirt using pink craft paints. I was seeing if I could handle blending, which is hard to do using pink craft paints--just not enough pigment. In the end, the figure looks pretty good on the table. Our eyes tend to blur the colors together more than does an old digital camera close-up. It's like looking at an Impressionist painting close-up and then from farther away.

3) ZCW-47 The Russian Royal Hunting Party #1
She is the Lady Romanov from this pask. Her husband is the other figure in the pack. A great pack if you like Western or Colonial gaming. Her husband's figure is in the que, primed and partially painted.

4 & 5) ZCW-26 The Local Ladies #2
I love the women in this pack. Yes, they are pretty much the same sculpt. So guess what? I made them twins, and created a complete backstory for them. Meet Mary and Margret Slaughter, the Slaughter Sisters, the most feared Winchester marksmen in the West. They inherited their father's ranch when he was murdered. Now they seek revenge for his  death, not settling until the entire pack of outlaws is brought to justice---at the end of their twin Winchesters.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Get Off My Lawn, You #$*# Kids!

Well, today ends the first week of teaching a new semester. As always, it took quite a bit out of me, especially by the evening. As I'm getting older, it seems to be taking more out of me than it used to. (While sitting on the sofa in the afternoon or evening, I'll suddenly fall asleep without realizing it. Ahhh! I've become my grandmother!) So no model work got done, and I was online very little this week--usually to check the forums during an office break or other "breaks." I haven't had any time to even glance at all the blogs I follow! Anyway...

Below is a West Wind gentleman that I had painted a couple years ago. However, a couple weeks ago I decided to tweak the original painting a bit. I applied new highlights to his coat for better contrast. I also highlighted the scarf, beard, gloves, cuffs, and other bits. I love this guys and always think of him yelling "Get off my lawn!" My only gripe is that his scarf is sculpted very oddly once it wraps around his collar. Part of it just seems to end halfway down the right collar. Not much we can do about that, but it's a mistake that just bugs me. This fellow is painted using only craft paints, except for his flesh, which is always Privateer Press Paints.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Another London Thug: Ah, He Don't Too Tough To Me!

This is the third figure I've finished from the West Wind London Thugs pack. These guys know how to rock the 'staches and 'burns! While I use many craft paints, I also use some model paints. I recently bought Vallejo's #124 Iraqi Sand and have come to really love the color, which I used on this fellow's jacket and the the previous figure I posted. It's just perfect for 1800's clothing. At the moment, I can't remember what highlight and shadow colors I used with it. I thought I had written them down, but I can't find the paper. I really really need to get more organized! LoL. Until next time...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Another London Thug I'd Hate to Meet in an Alley

Earlier this week, I finished a couple more of the West Wind rioting thugs and mob figures, and redid the highlighting on another old figure from the London Gentlemen pack. I'll be posting those photos during the weekend. First up, is another figure from the London Thug pack. These guys really look the business and have been fun to paint.

The Figure and Paints
You might notice that this figure reuses the head and hat from London Mob figure I posted a couple weeks ago. I've noticed that West Wind likes to do this with several figures across different packs, but the same thing happened many times with my Black Tree Design Soviets. No big deal to me. However, I painted this guy's jacket using Vallejo Russian Green, as I did it's "twin" from the other pack. I wasn't thinking about it until it was too late. I guess their mommy likes to coordinate their colors. His shirt is Americana Warm White with light grey shadows and P3 Morrow White for highlights. Morrow White is probably the brightest white I have found.

I haven't based any of these figures yet. I'm tempted to make their bases look more like streets since these guys would look good like that. I don't think they will cross over into Western games! Something to ponder, I guess.

Get Them Done!
I'm hoping to finish these guys soon because I'm itching to work on some werewolves and vampire kids. You know, I'd like to actually play a game for a change. I've been cobbling around with my own rule set and am itching to put it into action. More photos to come this weekend.