Sunday, August 24, 2014

[Pendragon] Diorama-rama

I'm currently running The Great Pendragon Campaign for one of my tabletop RPG groups (which you can listen to here, if you're so inclined as to listen to RPG actual-plays). For those of you not in the know, this is an epic campaign for the King Arthur Pendragon game that takes players from the rule of Uther all the way through to the death of Arthur.

Part of the conceit of the game's framework is that as you move through the Arthurian saga, you move through the history of the Middle Ages. When you start out, technology and social mores are equivalent to the time of William the Conqueror; by the end, everyone's running around in Gothic armor and there's chivalry and chaste amor and all that stuff.

The campaign is divided up into Phases, and with the advent of a new Phase generally comes a shift in technology and fashion. The Great Pendragon Campaign features little vignettes at the beginning of each chapter showing a typical knight, squire, and lady of the Phase. As this venture represents a significant investment of time on my part, I decided to do the thing properly and take that vignette idea and turn it into little three-dimensional dioramas.

At present, I've so far made two dioramas: one for the Uther/Anarchy Phase, and one for the Boy King Phase. There are four more remaining to be made, and I'll post them on this blog as they come along.

First up, then, is the Uther/Anarchy diorama. These phases are not only evocative of the Norman period, but also feature some elements of the historical late-5th/early-6th century time that the phases nominally take place in, so I had fun researching Dark Age fabric dyes and colors. This is a time of pugnacious knights, Saxon invaders, and high social mobility.

Next up is the Boy King Phase. As the name implies, this is the period of King Arthur's appearance and  subsequent consolidation of his rule, and this is when the Medieval gloss fully overtakes the Dark Age period. It reflects the time of Henry II in England and the appearance of concepts of chivalry and tournaments. Hand-painting those chekers was fun!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Starting a Miniatures Gaming Club

Pictured: where I hope to get one day.
I admin my local tabletop gaming Meetup group. It started out as RPG-only, but when I took over adminning, I opened it up to miniatures gamers as well (due to my old-fashioned ideas of RPGs and wargaming being two sides of the same hobby coin). We've had a good number of miniatures gamers sign up, but no one's really stepped up to get anything going by way of regular meetings.

 And so, on top of my other hobby and work-related commitments, I've been thinking of jump-starting an (initially) monthly miniatures gaming club. I'm currently in the process of finding a suitable public space to hold meetings, but beyond that I'm a bit in the dark. I've never been a member of any kind of gaming club, miniatures or otherwise. I know these sorts of clubs seem to be pretty regular in the UK and parts of the US, so I thought I'd put out a general call and see if any of my readers have pointers to blog posts or other resources that might cover some "best practices" for setting up and running a miniatures gaming club. Or, if you have personal experience with same, feel free to sound off in the comments.


Saturday, August 09, 2014

Paint Table Saturday (8/9/14)

Hmm, it looks like this is turning into more of a bi-weekly thing... Who thought it was a good idea to have this be on a Saturday? I'm always so busy that day! Ah well.

At any rate, not a whole lot of new stuff on the desk. I ended up ordering the remainder of my WarmaHordes Skorne army thanks to a couple nice online sales, so those are all assembled and primed, but since they're primed black, they sort of fade into the background. I've also started on that Pendragon diorama project, as well as my 40mm AWI diorama.

I took some close-up shots of my completed Titan Gladiator, but I didn't like the way they turned out, so I'll have to try again in a future post.

At this point, I've got more than enough to be getting on with, so I'd best be getting on! Hopefully by the next update, there'll be far fewer minis on the table and a few "glamor shot" posts to show for it.
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