Imaginations: coach making 101

A Coach Fit for the Marshal

I started this project almost 3 years ago, as a brain storm late night sketch session with my good friend Jaye Wiley when visiting as a guest of honor for Recruits gaming convention. I reckoned as with all good lace wars soldiers, one needs a fancy coach (and eventually noble ladies).  Well one thing led to another and also the realized complexity of how coaches were made left this project standing in the wings...
The original sketch

Enter Procrastination- Stage Left!

I currently have on my plate a large commission for (can't tell you yet), getting geared up for my upcoming Triumph of Death II kickstarter, and some more edits and new photos for Breaking Lances, on top of a crazy work schedule... and Kublacon coming up.  So- what better way to procrastinate on what needs to happen then pick up a project that could happen and make it "important". After all, I do need new stuff for my ImagiNations battle for Kublacon, right?

Send Me in Coach!  

Working out the details in vector lines. Soldier for scale 

I jumped into my vector program and started figuring out the pieces. It took 4 revs to get it to all come together in scale, size and fit. I'd not call it ready for production; more like a good Alpha candidate. That being said it will be just fine once painted up for the game table. I'll try to get one for each side, hopefully with different details.

The Marshal approves and gives advice on colours


Triumph of Death II: First casts and the foibles therein

always exiting to see this!

 The Magic and Perils of Mold Making

Seeing a master old is like Christmas. There is always that chance that whatever was put in the mold will either melt, explode or get squished. My master molder is really good but even then, as this time, something happened.  Read on if you dare!

 Some shots of first casts.. looking grand so far...

The usual M.O. of my caster is to spin the mold a few times and send me those samples for review. Once I give the thumbs up on a piece it is ready to be cast enough times and then recleaned and put into a production mold.   Many of the pieces like the horse and Pestilence, and the weapons and shield were gang busters, but then I looked at the crossbow and pike. Hands... hands were the issue.

Here we can see in this image that the hands were not casting properly. Mold issue? Actually no! After showing these to my sculptor he figured quickly the issue. He used some super glue around the hand area of some of the masters. When super heated the glue expanded into a "foam" of sorts, which filled the hand areas. Bummer, but mystery solved.

So, masters have been checked and recleaned, and go back into a mold. It's both art and science, and a learning experience.
 I love getting these kind of things out of the way pre- Kickstarter. 


Triumph of Death II: from concept to greens

Zweihander captain- looking every bit the part!

April is the month where I start picking up steam for the upcoming Triumph of Death II Kickstater- and here's some sneak peaks. Last time you got to see several of the concepts, now here are a few of the greens.

 I am super pleased with this guy! Drew Day Williams, my sculptor, has managed once again to take my chicken scratchings and make magic!
From concept
to green!

There are never enough missile troops for the undead, and only one undead crossbow sculpt from way back that I remember, so I thought we'd start off a unit of them.  Think of them as "late" Italian wars period.

 These poses will form units of crossbows, with a front rank of pavise to protect them (or to put on their backs.)

And one more teaser. 


Mad Maximillian 1934: Brutus V12

Putting the "GRRR" in grill

I'm a bit obsessed by making cars for Mad Maximillian 1934. This is my Brutus V12 driven by the famed racer and adventurer Oscar Schlepper.

With a crack driver, a single machine gun, some extra armor on the engine and an ACME caltrops dispenser, Brutus is innit to winnit.


Happy Easter from Skull and Crown

Wishing all of you out in bloggy land a very happy Easter and other spring like festivities!


Triumph of Death: Moar Greenz!

 A couple of shots of the upcoming Triumph of Death line up. 4 pike poses, and the second of the four horsemen, Famine. Looking a bit thin in the arms, he is...

Next time I hope to have some samples to show you.


Triumph of Death: From concept to Greens

Crossbow firing mid, with Pavise

 From Concept to Greens: Crossbow

New Triumph of Death crossbow greens and pavise, sculpted by the roguishly handsome Drew Day Williams. This set comprises one of the units that will be available in my upcoming Kickstarter.

These bad boys have already been sent off to be master molded. With luck and weather holding, I'll have some castings to show off in a week or two.
Crossbow firing high position
Crossbow at the ready


Triumph of Death KS II: Concepts

Gearing up for my next Triumph of Death Kickstarter, tentatively called "March of Death".

Here's a few concept drawings currently in the old sketch book.
Crossbows will come with a pavise

This KS will feature crossbow with pavise, armored pike, sythe bearing lads, a command group (or two depending on how well the KS goes) and  two of the 4 horsemen (maybe 3). 
Famine judging all 

Pestilence- She'll be mounted as well. 

More on the table soon- and some shots of greens, hopefully!  Let me know what you'd like to see in an undead landsknecht army!


Breaking Lances: Birthday Party Tournament

The Breaking of Lances!


This weekend was my eldest's birthday party- the theme being tournament. Mrs Foss, known for her award winning cakes did the boyo proud, and I ran a breaking lances tournament for everyone. A good time had by all.
The cake! Anyone guess the Coat of Arms?

Yes, that is some thick 70% chocolate ganache!

Children for scale. That cake could feed 30! (and will)
the tournament set up. We had 10 players, rotating out on different fields.
A squire's eye view of the action!

The night before...

The mad scramble!

I found out the night before how many young knights would be attending- so I scrambled over to the painting table to fill in some gaps. I didn't get them all done in time, but actually got enough done for everyone to have a knight.  I'll be finishing these up this week and will get some good snaps.

Say- when can we play the game?!!!

Fair question. I've been play testing and working on the rules over a year now, running tournaments at home, club, conventions and even drive by's at friends houses.  During that time I've been designing new knights and fiddling tuning gaming pieces like the tilting trays and jousting fence.  I'm happy to say that the rules are in second final layout stage and only need new photos added, and a bit more editing.  At this point I'm being "convinced" by my colleagues to do a kickstarter for Breaking Lances, which will probably happen in the early spring, after my Triumph of Death II- KS.
Breaking Lances on the run- Testing at House Dallimore

Sir Treadaway gloats over his victory, unawares that Kev has called in the Daleks

In the mean time I do have a few of the knights on my store for folks, and to test the waters. I'll also be running a tournament at Kublacon in the Bay area later this year.


More Light Box Backdrops

Captain Terror and Guido Veloce race across the wastelands

Light them up!

You'll have to indulge me as I am on a bit of a binge. I've discovered that painting back drops is easier for me that 10mm Roman shield patterns, so I've diverged a bit.  Actually I'm really having a blast doing these and it puts my BFA to good use.
Stage 1. Canvas, a big brush and some wet paint

Stage 2. adding in the land.
This particular back drop is for a face book friend and fellow designer. He does 3d stuff, so at some point I'll Rumpelstiltskin him for a project that I can't do. I love bartering!

Stage 3. Drybrush and add highlights. Fossling sold separately
The trick to getting these solid is big brushes and making sure the land section is painted up high enough on the material so that when you curve it, you get the right amount of land and sky.  Pretty happy how this came out, and I did one for me at the same time.

City Stuff

All the light box is a stage!

Another idea I have for light box backdrops is actually building a "stage" set.  Here's the start. The buildings were originally designed by the talented and handsomely rakish Jaye Wiley of Wiley designs ( Jay is my artist who does all my flags and cool add artwork!)

I've taken his original designs and started changing them up for scale, and layering. This is the first round of test shots.  Now that I look at them, I want to get a bit more depth to the set, but not full on 3D.
The Rum Thief, dress rehearsal.
For this backdrop, the cobblestone road is made of craft foam. I may just go back to an MDF for this though, as the floor is more floppy than I want. It does have a grand texture though, so I'll paint it up along with the buildings and take another shot.

Right- that's all I have for now. I'm thinking of doing an article for one of the gaming mags on backdrops. What do you esteemed readers think?