Triumph the comedy Jack

| Tuesday, August 30, 2011 | 1 comments |
So I completely missed the deadline and ability to play at the local big game.  I've heard really good things about it and am really upset I missed it.  But real life comes first.  I thought I would include a shot of my newest reinforcement to my Cyngar forces, Triumph.  Folks on the interwebs are very polar about him.  I think he looks cool, saves on some mana here and there when fielded with Siege, so he's in my force.  The original plan was to get ahold of a metal devastator and do the conversion work so he would have a bit more character.  The folks I was trying to get one from were sold out and I don't think PP is casting up an more.  Then came the hunt in the DFW area for a Cygnar heavy Jack kit.  I found it at store 3 of 3 when I went hunting.

Steampunk Friday - Cheap Goggles Project Part 2

| Friday, August 26, 2011 | 0 comments |
Welcome back! One thing I forgot to mention, you'll want to buy some Mineral Spirits (at wal-mart or something over in the paint department). That will make cleanup easy.

Anyway, on with the tutorial.

Here we see the goggles with a drybrush of Reaper MSP Chestnut Brown. If you roughed up the surface with sandpaper and used black primer, this will go very very quickly.

Next image is with a drybrush of Reaper MSP Honed Steel. Note that I've given the goggles a fake leather and metal effect by the use of paint. It works on your Warmachine minis, why not goggles too!

Here we put on the Rub N Buff. For photo purposes I used Silver. You just put a tiny amount on your finger and rub it on the screw-on lens caps and the vent hole covers. Don't be stingy. When it dries fully (maybe 20 minutes, say 1 hour to be sure) you just buff it with a small piece of scrap cloth or a paper towel and it'll start to shine like metal.

FYI - Clean up your finger and any spills by pouring out a little Mineral Spirits in a cup (or the lid of the Mineral Spirits jug) and wash your hands with it. Then when the wax is gone, just wash with soap and water to take off the Mineral Spirits. Easy.

Here we see the finished product on my derby. The gold one is mine, the silver one is my wife's. The lenses were replaced with some 50mm discs I had Litko cut for me from their transparent acrylic plastic options. I just emailed him for a quote. The silver has "Fluorescent Blue" and mine were made using the "Transparent Bronze."

And here's me wearing my gold accent goggles with my derby (with my facial hair I've been growing for fun).

Super easy. I spent maybe 15 minutes (tops) painting the goggles once the primer was dry, not counting time waiting on the wax to fully harden. Hope this gives you ideas for your own first goggles.

This now concludes my Electrocypherscript Aetherlog entry; direct to your personal omnifunction visoscopic difference engine from my lab.

Steampunk Friday - Cheap Goggles Project Part 1

| Friday, August 19, 2011 | 0 comments |
Sorry for the long delay since my last update.

So, I wanted to do a post about cheap but functional "Steampunk Goggles." As we all know, they seem to be THE iconic first clothing item for folks new to Steampunk.

This is not meant to be a definitive guide, it's just meant to get you a cheap "first goggles" while you work out the rest of your "look." Not all Steampunks wear goggles, but most do.

I also wanted to do a post that talked about the wonderful properties of framing wax (sold in the US as "Rub N Buff" at Michaels or Hobby Lobby).

This is part 1. Parts and preparation.

The cheap goggles I prefer are the AES Industries Welding Glasses. Dirt cheap online. After shipping you might pay $10 or just find it local for about $6-7.

Google Shopping Link

When you take it apart it'll look something like this:

Next steps:
Stuff to buy

1) Rub N Buff Antique Gold - as a Steampunk DIY guy, you'll use this a lot. $4-7 at Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

2) Some really fine sandpaper (Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. - the finer the grit the better).

3) Black primer (cheap Wal-Mart brand black spray paint is just fine)

All you need to do is
1) Disassemble your goggles (unscrew the lens caps and it all falls apart)
2) Use the sandpaper to rough up the surface of all the black parts of your goggles
2b) Optional step - Grind off all the corporate logos and copyright stuff molded into the plastic
3) Primer your goggles (not the elastic band or the lenses of course)

Wait for next week when we'll see how to apply the Rub N Buff, drybrush a faux leather color, and look at the final product.

Update 10 days and counting

| Thursday, August 18, 2011 | 1 comments |
Well, things never go like I want them to, there will be no fully painted army by the event.  I did get a game in last night with the proposed list and while it did OK, I got stomped by elves.  It actually was a good game and a good learning experience.

So the mini's will not be painted because the house has been. I must see to the needs at home before the little plastic and metal men get painted.  I'll probably still have time to build the command trench section, and might get one of the Jacks' fully done by then, but most defiantly not the trenchers.

Trench War 25 Days and counting

| Tuesday, August 2, 2011 | 2 comments |
So I picked up the last of my models needed last night and pretty well blew my gaming budget for the month.  Here is what I'm looking to have built.  Everything on the list is purchased and at least assembled.

Army Name: Siege 35 Point Trench Army
35+5 points, 17 models

Major Markus 'Siege' Brisbane  +5 points
* Triumph  11 points
* Squire  2 points

Journeyman Warcaster  3 points
* Hunter  6 points

Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator  1 point
Trencher Master Gunner  2 points
6 Trenchers  6 points
* Trencher Officer & Sharpshooter  3 points
* 1 Trencher Rifle Grenadier  1 point
** Grenadier  5 points

By the way this list was put together using iBodger which I can not recommend highly enough for anyone with an Android or iOS device.

Start the Clock

| Monday, August 1, 2011 | 1 comments |
Well I've done something I told myself I'd never do again.  I signed up for a tournament event with out first finishing the army.  Heck none of the proposed forces are even finished at this point.  So I have until August 27th to finish a 35 point Warmachine force.

The gang at Gunslinger Games are hosing a Wrath release event.  I will probably not win anything but I think it will be fun either way.  I had a chance at the Cygnar coin until the other three Cygnar players signed up.

I will be trying to keep track of my progress, as I don't think I'll be giving away any huge advantage to my opponents by posting my force here.  Simply because I can't afford to buy some of the uber units I'd like to play so I'll be fielding a single list all day made up of models I already have.  Coming from and still playing in the 40k world I'm still not used to the concept of multiple lists for an event, but there are actually a couple of soft score points for playing the same caster 5 games in a row.  So win for being cheap!

So keep your eyes peeled for more posts from the road to No Man's Land.

Menoth Reinforcements

| Monday, July 25, 2011 | 0 comments |
Quick update with no pic yet. Over the weekend my reinforcements arrived!

- Reckoner
- Full 10 man Knight Exemplar Errant unit + Unit Attachment (Officer & Standard Bearer)
- Vassal Mechanik
- Covenant of Menoth

And from Reaper I acquired proxies for
- Nicia (using Moraia the Warbride converted to have a cannon sword)
- Eiryss (using Grace Holy Assassin with a crossbow)
- Piper of Ord... I can't stand the fig because of the crappy thing on his back is most certainly not a bagpipe. (Dwarf Piper)

Should be able to go with 35 or so points now if need be.

Finished Commander Stryker

| Friday, July 22, 2011 | 4 comments |
I've finally finished Commander Stryker from my Cygnar Battlegroup.  Painted mainly with Reaper Master series paints as well as Games Workshop colors.  I did a simple block paint with no high lights or shadows at the time of painting.  I then used the Dark Tone Quick Shade by Army Painter to give it depth.

All in all I'm pleased with the dipping process the only thing I missed is a small pool of the dip solution on the back of his coat.  I saw the dipping solution pooling up on the front corner of his coat and the tip of his sword.  I managed to soak that up while it was still wet with a handy paper towel.  I missed it on the back. Now just a few more jacks to go.

Steampunk Friday - Vocabulary

Let there be amity twixt thee and I as you acquiesce to read my curtailed Electrocypherscript Aetherlog entry. Part of Steampunk pertains to having a prodigious lexicon.

My first disappointment.

| Wednesday, July 20, 2011 | 4 comments |
I have been pleasantly surprised by all of the WarMachine products I have purchased or come across.  Other then some snobbery on casting that comes from working around the folks who actually pour metal for a living, everything has been fantastic.  A full color faction book for less then the cost of the competitors book, great.  Nice models that come precut from the sprue, and often have widgets cut so you know how arms and legs are supposed to attach.

Until I received my Black 13 in the mail.  Granted they are a first gen sculpt that will hopefully be redone soon but WOW.  Weedy was the first word that came to mind.

What we have in this quick cell phone photo is a comparison between the new "Plastic" Stryker, one of the Black 13, a Trencher, and Reinholdt the gobber.  Stryker and the trencher look close in scale with the trencher bent over, and I'm unsure what the human to gobber scale is but he seems to fit with their builds, but my poor Black 13 look like some malnourished emo kid who will blow away in a strong wind.

I'll still put them on the table and let them run rampant around the board but I do hope they come out with replacement sculpts soon.

Steampunk Friday - Cowboy Action Clothes

| Friday, July 15, 2011 | 0 comments |
Something I hear a lot from guys that are interested in Steampunk is "I don't want to make my own clothes" (or don't know how, etc. etc.) but "I don't want to pay too much." Here in Texas you also hear, "I'm afraid it'll be too hot."

This post is for guys that want something that looks very Victorian (or accurately Victorian). There are many other posts out there for how to modify modern clothes to make them "work" for Steampunk.

Well Victorian gentlemen... I have one possible answer. Most folks outside the big cities already know about Cowboy Stores (those places you go to buy boots) but may not know that a couple of companies serve the CAS/SASS market and make historically based (if not accurate) Victorian clothing. I came to Steampunk from Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS) with the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS). It's a shooting sport where you dress up like somebody from before the 20th century and shoot old fashioned guns.

Three of the better known are Wah Maker, Scully and Frontier Classics (my favorite). Wah Maker and Scully can sometimes be found at those big chain cowboy stores... but Frontier Classics is the one I think Steampunks should know about.

When my friend from England came to Texas for ReaperCon we went driving around Denton to get him some real spurs. We discussed how much he was paying for Victorian men's clothing and I directed him to my favorite online retailer company: Wild West Mercantile.

My personal favorite is the "Gunfighter" series. 100% cotton, historical patterns. Comfortable to wear all day for shooting in the Texas sun or just standing around looking good. Matching trousers (less than $40), vest (also less than $40), and optional coat (around $80). You'll need old style suspenders ($20 or less). Add a Derby/Top Hat an undershirt of your choice and you're ready to go. The picture above is actually me, in my Frontier Classics Gunfighter outfit ... I love my boots.

Intro Video to CAS/SASS

One down...

| Monday, July 11, 2011 | 1 comments |
sooo many more to go.  Commander Styker ready for dipping.  Mostly just block colored and some detail work here and there.  I'll dull coat him in the morning for use tomorrow night and then dip him some time over the weekend.

Steampunk Friday - Music

| Friday, July 8, 2011 | 9 comments |
This Electrocypherscript Aetherlog entry is about Steampunk Music... a bloody huge thing to try and codify in a single blog post... hopefully this will be the second and last "really long article" so here I go.

In general, there are three things that make up genre music. First, partly how the band identifies itself with costume choices. Second, partly the content of the lyrics. Songs about cogs, machines, airships, macabre carnivals, etc. tend to be giveaways. Third and last, partly a few musical concepts that seem to be common: industrial machinery or tools helping provide the backbeat - especially clockworks, steam equipment, hammers, etc., the use of 1 or more classic and common-to-the-Victorian-era instruments, or sampling or drawing inspiration from the composers that created music at the turn of the last century. Only three, but a pretty broad three... and to say that "the debate rages on" would be an understatement. As we all know, everyone's cup of tea is different, nevermind the biscuits.

So, rather than try to define what has yet to be defined... these are MY personal observations and opinions when it comes to "Steampunk Music." The bands I've listed below are generally regarded as part of the "Steampunk Music" movement. Depending on the band's musical roots, they're coming into the movement from different starting points (industrial, punk, goth, folk, etc. etc.)... so you'll notice they can sometimes have wildly differing styles.

Your mileage may vary depending on your own tastes in Steampunk. I make no attempt to coerce or convince, as mentioned last week ... there's plenty of room on the airship after all.

Last two notes. First, I am simply focusing on "Steampunk Bands" in this post, partially to help "get the word out" and I'm not listing any "steampunky songs" from non-Steampunk bands (which there are many of those). Second, most of these bands are "garage bands" at best... so if you're not the kind that likes stuff that hasn't been professionally recorded; please accept my apologies in advance.

  • Abney Park - They did a frontal assault on the Steampunk community with "Airship Pirate" (on their Lost Horizons album) and have not let up since (AEther Shanties follow-up album). Many lists show them as the #1 Steampunk band and for good reasons.

  • The Cog is Dead - Anyone who's been woken up by the bleating of their digital alarm clock should love "The Death of the Cog" ... and all the rest of their songs. I like to call these guys the tops of the "Wild West Steampunk Sound" (The Copper War will show what I mean).

  • Deadly Nightshade Botanical Society (DNBS) - I don't know why these guys don't make EVERY list of Steampunk bands... well yes I do, they're not really on YouTube and that's a drawback. Link provided to samples from their albums below. They also feature a talented female lead vocals which is often a big plus.

  • Doctor Steel - Ok so strictly speaking he's more "Dieselpunk" but this guy is just fun. He does songs (Audio Experimentation) when he feels like it and just talks at you on YouTube when he doesn't (He's trying to take over the world after all). I often I find myself spontaneously humming a Doctor Steel song (usually Back and Forth) more often than not.

  • The Extraordinary Contraptions - I'm pretty neutral towards most of this band's stuff, but I include them as an honorable mention due to "Prelude for the Nocturnis" which is just awesome. A sea shanty about a steampunk submarine!? Yes please.

  • Unextraordinary Gentlemen - Good music... crappy YouTube presence. The bass guitar and sledgehammer in "Black Iron Road" is worth the price of a Google search at the very least. Sometimes I think they're trying too hard to be Avant Garde (but they're by no means the only band guilty of that in this genre).

  • Vernian Process - Their "Behold the Machine" and "The Forgotten Age" albums have a lot to like. If you're looking for lots of great soundtrack/background/mood music albums light on lyrics... you could do worse than these guys, but there are probably very few better (if any).

  • Victor Sierra - French Steampunks. Seriously how cool. What I've seen so far I like (A Steampunk Symphony). I can't wait for more stuff to come over the Aetherweb.

Ok, so I have no idea how to classify these next two. I'll use the term that Mr. B "coined" (Well I think he coined it, I just put it in quotes to avoid having to don Fighting Trousers and deal with Professor Elemental). So...

In the "Chap Hop" category of music (white guys rapping with British accents) we've some tunes that are probably not for everyone. But... I find it nearly impossible to be in a bad mood after listening to Chap-Hop.

  • Mr. B The Gentleman Rhymer - I'm pretty sure Mr. B was first with songs like "Straight Outta Surrey" and "All Hail the Chap." His "axe" of choice? ... a banjolele!

  • Professor Elemental - Fighting Trousers. Seriously. It says it all. Now, realize he's written that song as a "direct shot" at Mr. B. - kinda silly overall I think. The song is brilliant. "Cup of Brown Joy" I think was his first "big hit" ... a song about tea. What could be more English?

  • ... note that a LOT of Doctor Steel's stuff I'd put here in "Chap Hop" too in the sense that's it's a white guy ... basically rapping ... with Steampunk (mad scientist) themes. But he's not a chap (no British accent) so he gets a red card.

These last groups... I dunno how to classify them either. Maybe "minimalist" ... or maybe Steamfilk? Less punk, more folk. That's probably not entirely fair to them. They each have a song or two I really enjoy.

  • The Clockwork Dolls - I have to be an a particular mood to enjoy Steamfilk. I think "Impartial (The Battle)" .. one of their more easily found YouTube vids is really good. But I must admit I don't listen to much Steamfilk. Their cover of Lady Gaga's Poker Face is worth a chuckle.

  • The Clockwork Quartet - I like the quality of their lyrics and what they say. There's just a ... something ... missing that keeps me from really loving these guys. "The Watchmakers Apprentice" and "The Doctor's Wife" (both on YouTube and easily found) are pretty cool.

Thus concludes my primer of various available auditory stimulations considered by many to be within the genre; broadcast direct from my lab to your personal omnifunction visoscopic difference engine.

New local stockist - Texas Toy Soldier

| Thursday, July 7, 2011 | 0 comments |
Texas Toy Soldier now joins the fun, they've just gotten the first shipment of Warmachine box sets and are selling at 20% off MSRP.

Add this information to the fact that they are now open until 10pm with open gaming on Thursdays and Fridays... looks like we've got another great weekday night option for games.

If there's something you've been needing, I'm sure they'd be happy to put in an order for you.

4220 Spring Valley Road
Dallas, TX 75244
ph: 972-458-8501

Terrain: Barrels Simple Cover

| Tuesday, July 5, 2011 | 0 comments |
So I was at Michaels over the long weekend and remembered reading on Blitzbattles about some simple terrain he built.

So, over in the wood toys/crafts I found a package of the smallest barrels they had. They cost $1.50 (approx.) for a single package which included 9 barrels.

Then I stained them with my basic wood stain: 1 part Sepia India ink to 2 parts water. Looking back, if I do this again I won't skip the bands. I'll just ink the whole thing.

Once mostly dry I drew lines on the barrels with a micron pen.

Then I painted the bands black. Poof! Done. Simple. Looks great. I did the entire batch of 9 barrels in roughly 30 minutes (that includes drying time).

Now I can glue these barrels to any other piece of terrain, use them as objectives, or glue them in stacks/lines as cover. Dirt cheap and super easy to do.

Quick Update

| Sunday, July 3, 2011 | 0 comments |
Just a quick update for the forces of Cygnar.  My recently acquired heavy jack kit is mostly together and fully magnetized.  I only setup two of the three options due to the fact I already had a Ironside from the starter set.  I'm pretty happy with how the cyclones chain guns fit on the right arm, the left arm is fully magnetized at the shoulder the left at the wrist.

Steampunk Friday - What is Steampunk?

| Friday, July 1, 2011 | 0 comments |
What is Steampunk?

To any readers coming here from IABN, don't worry this is still a Warmachine blog! We're just trying something new.

On our About page, we mention that a secondary focus of this blog is the Steampunk subculture in general. I thought it might be fun to make Fridays about Steampunk. After all, that's one of the areas where Warmachine and Iron Kingdoms really first stood apart from the crowd with its look/feel/fluff.

I had written a much longer blog post... but then realized that all I was doing was paraphrasing the most excellent work of Ben Hamby (Captain Samuel Taineous of the Delirium of Grandeur) of Austin from his "Steampunk 101" panel at A-Kon in Dallas this year. So... since I have the full text from him directly, I shall simply present his work as he intended rather than do a poorer job simply restating the same things.

Steampunk 101

What is Steampunk?
A. Wearing lots of brown with goggles on your head?
B. Wearing your old Goth gear with goggles on your head?
C. Wearing goggles on your head?
D. Victorian science fiction, based in an alternate reality where steam remained the main source of power.

I hope everyone brought their goggles.

This panel is to talk about what exactly IS this steampunk thing, the different types of steampunk out there, a bit about the fashion, the multimedia that's getting it right (YAY CASTLE!) and wrong (BOO CSI!). The movement both as an aesthetic, cosplay, and fashion choice as well as the people who are embracing it as a lifestyle. The panel will cover a catagorical list of different types of steampunks that I made up, so it's not like it's canon. Then again, people are starting to call me grandpa steampunk since the Delirium has been around since 2006, which makes us about 1000 years old in Steampunk years.

Ok, I figured I'd first talk about the different types of steampunks I've observed, and we'll play a little game of 'how many of these catagories do YOU fit into?'

Tinkerers & Mad Scientists - (Mad scientist laugh) How many of you are the type who took apart the remote control when you were a kid? Played with erector sets because legos didn't have enough moving parts? Welcome home. You probably got sucked into steampunk because of the toys. The aesthetic of brass and flashing lights are just icing on the cake. You are the type of people who, when handed an awesome piece of hardware IMMEDIATELY try to figure out how they did that and start working up a 2.0 version of it by the time you hand it back.

Cosplayers - people who have either written a character (and you won't be able to get them to shut up about them), or who are dressing up as a character they've read or seen. Noticing who they are dressed up as will make you their bestest friend in the whole wide world; noticing something wrong with their outfit will make you their mortal enemy.

Lifestylers - Living Steamy as a lifestyle. Either you can't help yourselves from tinkering 24-7 so you might as well live it, you're in love with the concept of living in a more romantic time period but still want your LCD 3d TV and your Droid so you covered them in brass, copper and leather, or you're independently wealthy and living in some Victorian manor, so why not tart yourself up appropriately. However it happens, these people wear something steampunk daily and are a lot more dedicated to it as a lifestyle rather than just fashion.

Dark Steam - Got a closet full of bondage gear, black clothing and goth gear but reaaaaaaaaaaally love that whole steampunk thing? Trot it all out, strap on some goggles and a few interestingly Victorian accessories and you've got Dark Steam. A lot of our goth brethren and sisters have fallen in love with us, and that's awesome! The Victorians wore a LOT of black after Albert died, and if they're gearing up and joining in, we love them for it. I don't think of them as a separate part of steampunk, but more its shadow.

Renn Steam - Seeing a lot more of it these days. A blurring of the timelines even further, with music, clothing and accessories from the Renaissance festival world creeping into the gear, and with good reason. Most of that costuming is EXPENSIVE and very well made, and let's be honest, the Victorians didn't exactly wear their corsetry on the outside of their clothing, did they? Doesn't keep that from being part of the most pervasive and repeated imagery in our weird little world, does it? A lot of times, the basic skirt can be bustled, the bodice altered and a few accessories added and bingo! Steampunk! But these two lead to me mentioning the next group...

Purists - You'll find some in every genre of fandom, and steampunk is no exception. These are the people who have a very specific view of what steampunk is and what it is not. Generally, purists want only real brass, leather and wood gear. Clothing period to the time-frame that they are portraying. Wouldn't carry a Nerf weapon if their lives depended upon it. I have no problem with purists, as I can get awfully persnickety myself about a lot of things, but it is a dangerously slippery slope. After my next category I will come back to this to talk about a very important point for me personally.

Oooo Shiny! - Our fledglings, noobs, chitlins, whatever. It's where we all started, and where we'll all start again if we move on to something new. Bright eyed and bushy tailed and extremely excited about everything, Oooo Shiny! You'll see Oooo Shinys walking around in street clothes and a newly painted Maverick, or wearing a pair of goggles. And, this is the very important part... that's AWESOME! We are rightfully proud of our costumes, our accuracy, our gear or whatever, but guess what? We all started out as Ooo Shinys, and they love the same things we love. Sometimes our persnickitynessnessness... it can get in the way of that. People can get a little sneery and snarky. Don't let it. Talk to the Ooo shinys, let them ask questions, go out of your way to bring them into the fold.

This moves us onto another thing. Accuracy? With what, exactly? Our world is wide open! There are very important images and accepted tenets to our Steampunk universe, but nothing is set in stone. Most of the clothing basics come from the Victorian era, with most of those tending towards Victorian England and Europe, but there were other countries, ya know. We happen to be sitting in one right now. The old West? Exact same time frame, with steam trains chugging across this nation of ours... why not dress up as Cowboys and Engines? The Orient was certainly different and amazing and chock full of clothing and accessory ideas. Great Britain was still colonizing India at the time, which allows for another amazing culture for us to steal!

I am not saying to absorb all of this into your own personal characters, concepts or ideas. But I am saying to respect it. We have friends who are amazing tinkerers and mad scientists AND lifestylers AND Dark Steam AND Cosplayers AND OOOO Shinys, and they have incorporated time travel into their Steampunk world. H.G. Wells, anyone? Our own group all have characters and back stories to explain how we got where we are, with a fully realized version of Victorian England and the Americas behind it. Babbage created his difference engine in the early 1800s but never built it... in our world he did, starting the Information Age in the 1850s instead of the 1950s. Very different versions of our alternate histories, resulting in different character concepts, clothing and gadgets. But they're both completely valid, and in my humble opinion, completely awesome.

SO, there you have it in a nutshell... a very, very large nutshell. But a nutshell nonetheless. I suppose the entire Delirium is a nutshell really, ah, right... you may all let the tangent dragons go free. I hope that was entertaining, or educational, or, at the very least, helped you get to sleep.

Cheers, Tally Ho, Toodle Pip, etc. etc. etc.

With love,
Captains Samuel Taineous and Helena Gaskit

Finally, in closing I wanted to touch on the terms "Renn Steam" (above) and "Dieselpunk" real quick.

Based on the artwork I've seen, many of the miniatures, the terrain used in publications, and the general feel of the fluff - I believe "Renn Steam" to be the "default" mode for Warmachine (obviously, much like any other Steampunk... it blends several).

I like to paraphrase Renn Steam this way... it draws more heavily from the Era of Queen Elizabeth than the Era of Queen Victoria.

"Dieselpunk" tends to draw from a literary and artistic source in a dystopian future. Rather than bringing the steam era forward, it's as if the world has decayed back to steam (apocalypse, disease, etc.).

I like to paraphrase the style difference this way. If Steampunk is brass, wood, patina, and brown leather... Dieselpunk is steel, rubber, rust, and black leather.

"Dieselpunk" and "Dark Steam" go together really well which is why I believe Captain Taineous only mentions "Dark Steam." Because they go together so well, Dieselpunks often come out to play with Steampunks! So, though it is its own own distinct beast, it warrants at minimum a brief mention of what it's about.

Thus concludes my first Electrocypherscriptoaetherlog broadcast upon the aetherweb about Steampunk. I make no attempt to convince nor coerce your own views on Steampunk, there's plenty of room on the airship after all. These are simply my thoughts on the matter, direct from my lab to your personal omnifunction visoscopic difference engine.

Next week, we shall direct our spectroscopes towards Steampunk MUSIC!

Matt & Chris - Menoth v Cryx

| Thursday, June 30, 2011 | 5 comments |
So, Wednesday night rolls around and we migrate back to Reaper. Matt and I faced off -- My Cryx against his Menoth (and his Shrinky-Dink tokens). Many thanks to everyone there for answering our many questions.

With Menoth peanut gallery (and photos) this time! - MR

Turn 1 - Simple movement, our models get to stretch their legs, but no-one quite gets in range.

Turn 2 - I get some of my models into combat range and do superficial damage to his Crusader. I aim one of my bane thralls at a rack near his Repenter, but don't quite get there. I also fail to engage the Repenter. My bonejacks take a couple of shots, but don't accomplish much. Menoth proceeds to show me what happens when you don't engage a model with a spray, and crisps most of my half-unit of bane thralls. The Crusader rips an arm off my Slayer, and the Revenger thumps my Nightwretch, leaving him without a cannon.

Turn 3 - The Defiler sprays sludge all over the Revenger (minor damage), pKreoss (moderate damage), and one of the Choir (there went the top tenor). pKreoss responds by knocking over everyone in range (the only exception was my Necrotech), and backing off out of range.The Crusader turned my poor Slayer into a wreckage marker and finishes off my bane thralls, and moved into range to threaten pDeneghra. The Revenger finished off the Nightwretch.

The damage on pKreoss would come into play later! - MR

Turn 4 - pDeneghra Withers everyone in range. I Ghost Walk my Defiler into Sludge Cannon range of pKreoss, and miss him. Everyone else (that's left) spends the turn standing up. Because of the Withering (-2 to everything is SUCH a pain!), Menoth has a harder time hitting, but manages to munch my Defiler down to just movement points.

Yeah... Withering SUCKED. Well timed sir, well timed. - MR

Turn 5 - My scrap thrall gives the Repenter a BIG HUG, and then blows up. The resulting blast does minor damage to the Repenter, but kills off the Vassal who's been hiding behind him all this time. My Necrotech engages the Repenter and accomplishes absolutely nothing -- beyond engaging him. The Repenter kills off the Necrotech.

Turn 6 - Desperation time. pDeneghra is my only functional unit (yes the Defiler can still head butt, let's be realistic here). I Ghost Walk pDeneghra into range of pKreoss. This puts her 3/4 inch away from the Crusader. If this doesn't work, he'll pound her into the ground on his turn. She sprays Venom on pKreoss, and kills him off.

Indeed! This is why we play dice games, you rolled extremely well and was able to pull off an improbable win. I think you needed like 8s and 9s on 2 dice. It was awesome, very cool! - MR

Lots of fun for all

Iron Kingdoms Alphabet

| Wednesday, June 29, 2011 | 5 comments |
I found these while surfing the web. Mad props to whoever put these graphics together and did the original research! If you're the one that did it, lemme know and I'll add the credits accordingly.

Most everybody...

...and Ios

TrueType Font download link: Click Here

Now I should be able to have some fun with "graffiti" on Terrain and slogans on the Warjacks!

Dipped Vassal of Menoth

| Tuesday, June 28, 2011 | 0 comments |
Finally found a Vassal (they've been sold out everywhere!!!) and got it painted and dipped. Used the Army Painter Quickshade Soft Tone again. Except this time over a very light, very fast chestnut ink on the hair and skin. I also sprayed all my figs down with Dullcote finally.

Shrinky Dink Tokens

| Monday, June 27, 2011 | 0 comments |
So, this is not necessarily for the "frugal minded" if you're only making these for a single army or just for yourself. However, if you want over a hundred customized tokens for roughly the same price as a single set of tokens from a commercial source... this is for you.

The secret? Inkjet Shrinky Dinks.

What you see is my "test batch" of customized Menoth Tokens. I used Inkscape (open source vector graphic software) to create a sheet of tokens. In the software they were 1.5 inch squares. Shrinky Dink name brand sheets shrink 66%. So they are now roughly 15mm square by 2mm thick.

All I had to do was apply a layer over my artwork that was pure white, set to 50% transparent. Then print using the printer's "print on transparency" setting. Cut them out with scissors. Bake on a cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes in a 300 degree oven. Spray with Dullcote. Done.

Here, I was experimenting some more. Slightly larger "Upkeep Spell" tokens.

Terrain: Pringles Can Water Tower

Lots of folks have made terrain from Pringles chip cans. All I did was take pictures along the way. I was trying to come up with terrain ideas for "Steampunk" and ... well ... can't have steam without water. Tough to have water without a way to store it. Apparently I wasn't the only one that thought this way, I found somebody else that had the same idea.

Thus was born this piece of terrain. Props to Gareson at Blitzbattles for giving me the lion's share of the ideas for how to get this done. I skipped a few steps - speed was my focus.

~ Pringles Can
~ Hot Glue Gun
~ Wooden sticks (coffee stir sticks works great)
~ Paint
~ Sepia tone "ink" (I used Daler Rowney Acrylic Artist's Ink, but any sepia tone ink should work fine. In a pinch, heavily watered down brown paint will do just fine.)
~ Thick paper or cardstock
~ Heavy Duty Scissors
~ Sprue Snips (or cutters you're willing to use on the wooden sticks)
~ Base material (foamcore and flock)
~ Elmer's Glue (PVA glue)
~ 1 bendy straw
~ black thread

Here I cut the can into two parts. The length is equal to half the length of my wooden sticks.

Primer black because otherwise you'll see bits and pieces of the Pringles can though your woodwork.

Hot glue the sticks on, snip them off once in place. Continue all the way around.

I didn't do this perfectly straight so my last stick, I had to cut into a wedge shape to make it fit.

Trace a circle bigger than the diameter of your water tower on to cardstock. I used a plastic drinking cup.

Cut it out, slice a line towards the center. Glue it in on itself to make a flat "cone" and then trace the seam with hot glue. This will look like a "weld" when you're done.

Make the support in a manner that seems right to you. I made it tall enough that I'd be able to put a heavy warjack under it and still feel like it would believably be putting water into the 'jack's steam system. When you're done, cut off the bendy part of the straw to act as your water directing pipe.

I then mixed my sepia ink with water (50/50) and stained all the wood.

Then I painted the roof and the bendy straw. I did this by first painting it all black. Then slopping on some silver tone paint. Then I stippled rust colored paint in various places to show rust/weathering.

Add a base, and detailing. On the side of the bendy straw, I added a pull chain made from black thread. There's also a tiny piece of cardstock cut into an L that is used to represent the cutoff valve. At the end of the thread I put a glob of hot glue painted silver to represent the pull chain weight.

The base is bevelled foamcore, liberally slathered with Elmer's White Glue (PVA glue) and then dunked in a box of flock. Then I shook off the excess.


I'll probably touch up the flock and add a few extra bits and pieces like bushes and whatnot, but for the most part... it's done.

Base Marking Tool

| Saturday, June 25, 2011 | 0 comments |
So I worked up a little tool in Inkscape to help me mark my bases. Probably way too precise for most folks, but I can't help it... I have a little OCD sometimes.

Basically, paint a line on your base. Line up your base with the graphic, and it'll help you paint your other lines. Easy.

Link to Google Doc: Download File Here

ps - When you print it be sure to set your PDF software to Page Scaling: None

Mad Pat and Matt's Learners Duel

| Friday, June 24, 2011 | 2 comments |
Wednesday several of us on this blog went up to the Reaper Game Store for their weekly Warmachine night. I figured I'd post my thoughts, impressions, and some pictures.

**And now peanut gallery comments from Mad Pat!!!

Chris, LofArabia, Me, and Mad Pat all showed up. NickTompkins9 was also there, teaching us the rules and providing tips and pointers.

First, about the location:

REVIEW: Reaper Game Store

For those that don't know, Reaper Miniatures is headquartered out of North Texas (speficially Denton). They are makers of the Dark Heaven line of D&D compatible miniatures and monsters, and possibly one of the top 5 US-based miniatures companies ... and depending on your points of view about what constitutes a miniature, most likely one of the top 2 or flat out top dog US maker in terms of product breadth and scope.

Attached to their million dollar manufacturing facility is a Game Store that sells their product, Magic the Gathering, Pathfinder, board games, Warmachine, dice, or just about anything else you might need to enjoy your hobby (and what they don't have in stock, they can order). Magic is played there at the store pretty much every night. Pathfinder organized play events are also featured.

Well, on Wednesday night, the Warmachine guys invade.

The downstairs is the store and manufacturing facility, but there is a "second floor" area (complete with restrooms) just over the lunch/break room and game store. And this folks, is what the generous folks at Reaper give over entirely to Warmachine on Wednesday Nights. ... seriously how many other manufacturers do YOU know that would let their customers come to their home shop/R&D facility and play a competitor's game system?

THREE eight foot tables (with shelving underneath the tables for your stuff) and dozens and dozens of pieces of fully painted terrain of many kinds are made available to those who come to play. Tokens/markers, pens, tape measures, paint, brushes, primer, and a place to paint/prime (if needed) are all available; you just have to ask.

In the unlikely event we run out of space, there's also several tables downstairs in the shop and lunchroom. Table space is NOT an issue.

(OH! And if you come up on Saturdays, one of Reaper's staff artists is also there for the "paint club" and will be happy to teach you tips and tricks to improve your painting or even just provide a place for you to go and paint your stuff alongside other gamers. How cool is that!?)

BatRep: Game 1

This game went quick. Mad Pat and I set up (his Cygnar vs my Menoth). We're still building our armies so it was just a 15 point Duel.

Turn one was basically walking around, not much happened. Turn two we learned a lot about the rules as it involved some of our first and actual "Combat" - there were spells cast, and my Repenter set stuff on fire (I'm Menoth after all) ... Nick helped us through that. By turn 3 it was pretty much all over except for the screaming. Mad Pat made a tactical error exposing his Warcaster to a direct charge from my Revenger. It didn't end well for Cygnar... game over in Turn 3.

** I have to add that Nick was really patient with both of us and did his best to give us tips and tricks.  Even though he did profess his love for the might of Cygnar, he tried to help Matt out along the way. -MP

From my side:

From Mad Pat's side

** Ya this was my first lesson in Protect the caster.  Often when I play games protecting the leader model isn't as big a deal.  Even if the mission requires killing off the leader its not the end of the game in most cases...this was a whole other matter. -MP

... obviously Mad Pat hasn't had a chance to paint his guys yet. That'll be soon I'm sure since we all know that painted models fight better.

** I'd like to point out there is at least a base coat on 50% of my models!! One of them even has a second color.  That's not bad for me this time of year on top of Moving My House! -MP

BatRep: Game 2

Mad Pat and I just reset and played again. We're mainly learning rules after all. This game went a lot longer as both of us protected our Warcasters. Turn 1 was just walking around. This photo is from Turn 2 after Cygnar's move. As you can see, my Crusader is turned around. We did this to represent Knockdown (bloody knockdown effects!!!) ... Menoth is about to reply...

Menoth replied with pKreoss knocking everybody down and then my Choir enhanced 'jacks beating the snot out of his 'jacks...

My Crusader is here obliterating a medium Cygnar jack in a single turn... I don't remember what it was. All I remember was the "gush" sound made by the steam and parts flying everywhere as it went from "undamaged" to "wreck" so very suddenly.

** It was my poor Charger a LIGHT jack, but I do have to say it was pretty impressive watching your HEAVY rip both arms off before crushing the rest of it to finish it off.  Both of us kinda stepped back and admired the shear amount of damage inflicted in one combat action. -MP

We didn't take any more photos and honestly forgot how many more turns it lasted. It was a warjack slugfest the whole time. However, when we called it "done" due to time... objective neutral observers awarded the win to Menoth (most of Cygnar's jacks were no longer functional, and Stryker had taken a lot of damage. All three of Menoth's Jacks still were able to fight (beaten up badly but still fighting). The Choir was still basically intact lending their buffs, and my warcaster (pKreoss) only had taken 1/3 of his health as damage.

 ** There was some brief discussion of sure possibly maybe I could pull out a miracle, but it wasn't going to happen.  I did take glee in the fact that there at the end as Matt set my Caster and one of my Light jacks on fire he also set his Crusader on fire, which was just fun!- MP

Overall... it was hella fun.

It was a blast, and ohh there will be a rematch soon!!! - MP

Scratch Built Wracks

| Tuesday, June 21, 2011 | 0 comments |
So... I'm cheap. I'll pay the money for something I feel is worth the cash, but the Privateer Press Wracks are a bit pricy for a glorified stick. So, I raided my old Reaper figs, busted out my pinning set, nippers, files, and went to town.

The figs used are (from left to right):
  • 65002 (or 2749) Jade, Dancing Girl by Werner Klocke
  • 2760 Jalinrix, Female Devil (as bits, this is 2760A) by Tim Kaufman
  • 2741 Nymph (as bits, this is 2741A) by Werner Klocke

    I just bent the arms/feet/legs into the position I needed with my fingers (gently). Jalinrix is the easiest to work with (if you don't care if they all look the same, this is the best one to use).

    The wracks are just spare bits and pieces of sprue, pinned with brass rod and glued with superglue. The "rope" is just common everyday black thread (black so that you get free "shading" in the recesses).

    The bases are Litko Aerosystems 40mm wooden rounds. Then I added a washer and a small nut (the washer and nut provide weight and counterbalance the tall structure). Into the nut, I shoved the bottom of the Wrack post. Then I put on Liquitex Ceramic Stucco (GREAT STUFF FOR BASES I LOVE IT) and smoothed it with my finger.

    The rest is paint. The "wood grain" is done with a darker shade of paint (I believe I used the Reaper MSP bone triad - Aged Bone and Bone Shadow). The Hair is Reaper HD Yellow. The Skin is Rosy Flesh Highlight. The Violet Red and Gold is the same as I have been using for Menoth. Then I dipped them in Army Painter Quickshade Soft Tone.

    I'm going to add Dullcote and some flags or banners next dangling from the crossbar.

    Total cost... zero (well, all this stuff was lying around already not being used so I don't count the price).