Monday, December 26, 2016

WIP, 30mm GW High Elves, 27DEC16

Here are photos of a current WIP, 30mm GW High Elves:

                                          WIP, 30mm GW High Elf Spearmen parts.

                                          Assembled 30mm GW High Elf Heavy Weapons.

                                          Putting together 30mm GW High Elf Spearmen bodies.

WIP, 15mm Roman Gladiators, 26DEC16

Here's a commission piece I did for Mute Bystander (Glenn Wilson).  He has a 15mm arena for gladiatorial combat games in 15mm:

                                         WIP, 15mm Roman gladiators, 26DEC16.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Late December 2016 reading....

Here's what I've been reading this past week:

1)  Tour of the Merrimack:  The Myriad/Wolf Star by R.M. Meluch.  See previous blog entry.  Finished this past week.

2)  The Gate of Futures Past by Julie E. Czerneda.  Sira di Sara, Captain John Morgan, and the Om'Rey are aboard an alien spacecraft that's taking them to their home world.  Just got started it yesterday so I'm not that far into it.  The intelligent spacecraft operates by telepathy.

3)  Sedan, 1870 by Douglas Fermer.  I finished up the Austro-Prussian War and dealing with German unification in the 1860s.

4)  Four Days in September by Jason R. Abdale.  I started a military history book on the battle of the Teutonberg Forrest in 9 AD.  Went into detail about Imperial Rome's history and the subsequent conquests of Germania.

5)  The Lost Stars:  Imperfect Sword by Jack Campbell.  General Drakon's power armor division takes on the remaining Syndicate "snakes" on Ulundi while the Midway fleets deals with CEO "Mad" Hua's battleship group in orbit around the planet.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Review of Tour of the Merrimack: The Myriad/Wolf Star by R.M. Meluch

Author:  R.M. Meluch.
Title:  Tour of the Merrimack:  The Myriad/Wolf Star.
Publisher:  DAW.
Copyright:  2005, 2006.
Pages:  650.
Price:  $8.99 (US).

Overview and Impressions:
The crew of the USS Merrimack are at war with the Roman Palatine Empire, who desire to conquer the galaxy.  In the 24th century, America's best devise a containment strategy of Roman's ambitions.  Then the alien Hive ran amock Roman's outer colonies and crushed the empire.  The Romans are forced to ally with the Americans to defeat the inhuman invaders...

The Myriad is a story about the Merrimack rescuing an alien race in the Myriad, a globular star cluster when the core star holding it together becomes a singularity or black hole.  Wolf Star is about Roman attempts to capture the Merrimack after they get a hold of her sister ship, the Monitor.  The Hive plays an important part in both stories.  However, you need to read The Myriad in order to understand the following novels in the series because of its twist ending.  It caught me off-guard.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Mid-December 2016 reading...

Here's what I've been reading recently:

1)  Tour of the Merrimack:  Wolf Star by R.M. Meluch.  I left the Merrimack being boarded by Roman boarding parties and the defenders repulsing them.

2)  This Gulf of Time and Stars by Julie E. Czerneda.  See blog posting.  Finished this weekend.

3)  The Lost Stars:  Imperfect Sword by Jack Campbell.  General Drakon and his division of power troops attacked an internal security fortress manned by Syndicate World "snakes."  The invasion and liberation of Ulundi was a trap for the Midway forces.

4)  Sedan, 1870 by Douglas Fermer.  Started a study of the famous French disaster that ended the Second French Empire in September 1870.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Review of This Gulf of Time and Stars by Julie E. Czerneda

Author:  Julie E. Czerneda.
Title:  This Gulf of Time and Stars.
Publisher:  DAW.
Copyright:  2015, 2016.
Pages:  458.
Price:  $7.99 (US).

Overview and Impressions:
This is the seventh The Clan Chronicles novel by Julie E. Czerneda.  The Clan is a telepathic race of teleporters who settle in Human space.  Their leader is Sira di Sarc, Speaker of the Clan.  They have a problem with their reproduction success.  Female Choosers can kill an unsuccessful mate (unintentionally).  In desperation, Sira falls in love with a human telepath, Jason Morgan.  The two successfully bond.

Sira also faces assassination attempts by a race known as "Assemblers," who want to eliminate the Clan from Trade Pact space.  Sira and Morgan jump from world to world as the Assemblers chase after them.  They finally wind up on Cersi, the world the Clan originated.  The native Om'ray are being used as cattle between two different races, the bird-like Tikitik and slug like Ood.  The Clan's arrive upsets the balance between the two rival species.  The Ood eventually attack the Om'ray, the fleeing survivors join the Clan in a giant starship that takes them to their home world.

The different alien races are well thought out.  I couldn't predict the outcome of the novel.  The Clan were an offshoot of the Om'ray, who were descendant from the Hoveny, an advance race of telepaths.  The politics and intrigue of the Trade Pact kept me guessing, too.  The bad guys were spelled out at the beginning.  I assume they'll so up in the following Reunification novels.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

End of the year regrets and resolutions...

When I moved last year, I had to downsize my figure collections.  I got rid of 28 mm Reil Rebellion figures, 28 mm Spanish-American War armies, 28 mm Trojan War armies, 30 mm High Elf army, and some 28 mm Napoleonics.

I regret selling off the 30 mm GW High Elves.  Now I'm redoing that army.  It's more expense to replace the figures now.  I want a fantasy army to fight some local gamers.  I have no regrets over selling the rest and giving the Napoleonic figures away as a present.  I only have so much room where I currently live.  My collection of figures are now in GW figure cases.  I spent a small fortune on figure cases....

So I'm currently assembling GW High Elves.  Here is my painting schedule for the next year and beyond:


1)  Finish up 28 mm Masai Warriors.

2)  Work on 30 mm GW High Elves.

3)  Paint 30 mm Warmachine Rhulic Dwarfs.

4)  Assemble and paint small GW WH40K Adeptus Mechanicus army.

5)  Paint 28 mm Viet Cong fighters.

6)  Paint 28 mm  ARVN Rangers platoon.

7)  Paint 28 mm US Vietnam Marine platoon.


1)  Paint 28 mm Sudanese Mahdist army.

2)  Purchase and paint 28 mm Amazon army.

3)  Purchase and paint 18 mm SYW Swedes.


1)  Purchase and paint 18 mm SYW Prussians.  That completes my 15mm SYW armies.

2)  Purchase and 28 mm French Foreign Legion and 28mm Republican Mexican & Mexican irregulars for a 28 mm Camerone game.

3)  Purchase and paint 28mm terrain for a 28mm Camerone game.


1)  Purchase and paint 15mm Chilean, Peruvian, and Bolivian armies for the Great Pacific War, 1879-1884.

2)  Purchase and paint up 15mm terrain for a 15 mm Great Pacific War game.

3)  Bastardize stats for home rules to handle a 15 mm Great Pacific War game.

I'm unsure on the last thing.  I wouldn't mind doing 28 mm Russo-Turkish War forces.  However, it might be too costly.  The Great Pacific War in 15 mm is more manageable.  I'm trying to keep my figure purchases to a minimum next year....


Saturday, December 10, 2016

WH40K AAR: 10DEC16

Here are some photos of a WH40K game I played with a friend today:

                                          Hostile Contact (Curtis Turner) moves his Space Ork hordes.

                                          I foolishly advance Deathwing towards their doom.

                                          Space Orks start mopping up my Space Marines.

                                         After the game, picking up everything.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review of The War of Spanish Succession by James Falkner

Author:  James Falkner.
Title:  The War of Spanish Succession 1701-1714.
Publisher:  Pen & Sword Publishing.
Copyright:  2015.
Pages:  281.

I read this book on my Nook e-reader.  It's a critical study of the War of Spanish Succession.  Louis XIV put his grandson on the Spanish throne.  The Allies declared war in protest.  The conflict dragged in most of western Europe.

The French had the largest armies, but the worst led generals.  Many marshals were royal bastards who didn't know how to command.  The generals who knew how to fight weren't gentlemen and didn't get along with their compatriots.  The Allies were no less fractured.  The Dutch didn't want the British to leave Holland.  The Austrians were only concerned with Italy.  Eugene of Savoy had his hands full keeping his army in the field fed and clothed.  Marlborough had similar problems with his forces.

In the end, the map of Europe went back to its antebellum borders.  The French and Spanish lost influence and property, while England became a maritime power at the expense of the other European powers.  But it was a long and drawn out war that should be settled much sooner than it was...


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review of Dhampir by Barb and J.C. Hendee

Authors:  Barb and J.C. Hendee.
Title:  Dhampir.
Publisher:  Roc Fantasy.
Copyright:  2003.
Pages:  376.
Price:  $6.99 (US).


Dhampir grew on me.  Its about two fantasy vampire hunters and their travails with a group of vampires.  The fantasy named vampire infested land seemed too over the top.  The mixture of English named characters didn't do much for me in a fantasy Slavic setting.

It was basically "Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Lord of the Rings."  The action kept me reading.  It took a while for things to get going.  When it did, things got interesting.  It should be noted, lots of characters die in this book.  These are not the sparkly vampires of Twilight.  They're old school fantasy vampires who want to defend their turf from the two vampire hunters, who just want to retire.  Recommended once things got going....

Early December 2016 reading...

Here is what I've read so far this week:

1)  Dhampir by the Hendees.  Full review on my blog.

2)  The War of Spanish Succession by James Falkner.  I'm at 1707 of the conflict.  The Allies are having trouble uniting against the French.  Louis XIV wants peace.  But on his terms.  The Allies have expanded their war aims to unobtainable goals.  The result is more war neither side can afford...

3)  Imperfect Sword by Jack Campbell.  The soldiers of Midway are sent into a trap against CEO Harris and his minions on Ulundi.  The good guys have begun their ground attack as the enemy sets their sights on the Midway taskforce....