Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Ooo... Blogger App Update

It looks like they updated the Blogger app. It looks more modern. 

the old app had a bug with large pictures, so I'll use this screen shot as a test. 

It didn't work. Blogger is still restricted to 400k. 

How about a Crusader Castle?

Dad is a busy guy. How about a tour of a Crusader Castle today?

Mom and Dad live down south so I don't get to see them much. We do talk via email and Facebook. You can follow him over there and get your own, more immediate updates rather than just the castles I like.

 I've never seen this castle in person, but from the details I guess that it's 25 mm.
It's impressive from an angle. 
And the side. I suspect this is fairly small, perhaps a little less than 3 feet by a little over 4 feet. 
Dad works in Styrofoam, but then adds details of plastic and wood. He skims the structures in plaster to get that texture.  
As you can see, he uses a simple dry brush style. 
Note the difference from the stonework on the bottom of the walls vs. the plastered look of the top. 
One of the painting tricks I picked up from my Dad was an item will look realistic if it repeats the colors from the surrounding terrain. 
You can see the castle shares the same colors as the rock it sits on. 
This building is obviously worn, another technique that makes an item look authentic. 
This angle shows the details of the stairs and such. Funny, this model is made for figures on bases, so their tiny feet can never reach the stairs. 
I'm going to leave the last couple of images comment-less, but check out Classical Hack on the web or over on DriveThruRPG




Monday, October 14, 2019

A walk down memory lane... thru a Motte and Bailey Castle.

The Shell Keep
Overview of the keep
Ah, memories.

My dad has been a gamer since he was a child. His collection of books, resources and material is unsurpassed. When I was in high school, I needed to write a report on the Middle Ages. Obviously, he wanted to help. What I didn't expect was, he told me to bring my whole class.

A horde of kids came in to our house for a lesson on the Middle Ages. Hand on, armor, swords, models, books, and history. On whim.
Gate and decking work.

He was always like that. When I was a toddler, I recall a massive Motte and Bailey castle in our living room. And some times part of the dining room and kitchen. It was a huge undertaking.

I have no idea where that castle went, perhaps it was broken in our many moves from the projects in Lockport to the Eastside of Buffalo and finally to Tonawanda.

It wasn't the only castle he had, it was one of dozens.
Side view
These pictures are of a castle in the classic motte and bailey design that I loved so much. I'm not sure when dad started building this, perhaps Dad doesn't know when he started building this, but here it is. Sometime in 2018 or 2019, perhaps.

This one is 4 by 3 feet. It's tiny compared to some of the work he has done.
Inner gate detail. 
This is my favorite view of the Keep. Dad always painted details on his gates, in classic blue, yellow and red. I am not sure of the historical details of those colors, but these remind me of Dad.
Inner ward
This shell keep has 3 inner buildings, with multiple floors. Since this is used for a wargame, the rooves, floors and ceilings come off.
Opposite side view.
This is a work in progress, so the exterior details are missing. There will be trees, stones, grass and perhaps water features in the finished work.
Rooves
Again, the windows and doors have those colors.
Rooves and floors removed.
The interior is incredible. 
Second floor in place. 
In this view, you can see the doorways leading to the interior spaces. When he builds these things, he scales them 15 or 25 mm. I suspect this one is 25 mm.
Other buildings, rooves removed. 
The scale is important because wargamers use a particular basing for the figures. He needs to be able to fit those bases inside the structures.
Possibly a kitchen area.
Not every part of the keep is for military purposes. This is a cooking area.
Main gate, roof removed. 
I love the way he plans areas to be removed for the game action. This is the main gate.
Walkway of the parapet removed. Latrine area. 
And bathrooms in the walls. Waste would fall into the moat, for an extra deterrent. 
The Bailey. 
The exterior area has a couple of buildings, with thatched and wooden rooves.
Interior with rooves. 
The Keep has stone or tile rooves, not show in this image. The smaller building have blue slate. That is my favorite color. 
The Keep
I love the circular pattern of the keep's ward.
Bailey gate. 
And finally, our journey ends at the outer gate.
If you want to see more like this be sure to check out my dad on Facebook and on the web.

Classical Hack on Facebook

Classical Hack on the web







Sunday, October 13, 2019

Update for Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners!

Send out the criers and the messengers. Have the herald hoist the flag. Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners has been updated with several new classes, some campaign notes from history, and many rewritten sections for clarity.

Ever wonder what the difference was between a papermaker and a parchminer? How about a leather worker, a lorimer and a tanner? What is ostracon? What is the difference between amate and papyrus? All updated to answer your questions.

I was thinking of holding off on this until November, but had the chance to get things done this week.

Everyone who purchased the old product can download the new product from their Library on DriveThruRPG.

If you haven't looked at Zero to Hero: Uncommon Commoners, let me tell you what it is and is not. In B/X and AD&D, characters were permitted professional skills to supplement their backgrounds, with nary a word on what those skills would be or how they would work. After decades of play and having my players want to have useful and memorable NPCs or codified professional skills, I wrote a set of rules to outline many common professions in historical times.

This expands in the information from D&D and AD&D, in a way that is very different than "skills" or "feats". Each commoner class member can advance up to 5 levels, from apprentice to master with hard work. Level determines the ease of success when operating as a professional class. Each class has distinct tools and skills, and where crossover exists, I have explained how these characters would work, while leaving the rules open to interpretation so they can fit into any D&D or AD&D campaign. 

There is commentary on economies, hiring, firing and all other aspects of gaining skilled tradesmen. Make no mistake, these are not alternate adventurer classes, they supplement the player characters, not replace them. It is not a sieve or character filter. In fact, this rule set can rescue hopeless characters and save you time at character generation.

It also answers some age old dilemmas about who can do what and why.

Price at PWYW, this rule set can enhance your campaign. Go ahead, give it a try.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

STA Pigment Liner Pens Review

A set of ten pens for $10.95? Probably not a good buy, but I went for it. I had a coupon code, free shipping, blah-blah-blah. Amazon got them here in 2 days, which was a surprise. I used the slow method of shipping, so that was nice.

On opening the package, you can't help but notice that these pens are cheap. I gave them a try, and it was better than expected. The set comes with 2 brush pens, a 0.8, and 0.6 to 0.1.

I don't general use brush pens and they felt odd to me. Actually very bad. The nib or whatever was very soft. The 0.8 to 0.5 felt pretty good. The 0.4 felt like the nib was bent, but all visual inspections showed it to be straight. The smaller pens felt really good. I could see using these a lot.


I returned to the brush pens and felt that maybe with a little practice, they would be ok.

So how do they rank? I'd say a solid 3 of five stars. If they last a long time, I could see bumping them up one star. The links below are paid ads and will take you to Amazon.com.


I can't say it'd stop using my Faber Castell pens, but these would do in a pinch. If I had something experimental to work on, I would totally use these pens to save the good ones. Realistically, the F-C pens are $25.00 and these are $11. It isn't a horrible set.

Ads provided by Amazon help fund this website by remuneration. 

#Inktober2019, Artwork for Timeout.

Inktober is on. I have been binge watching TV while working on my main project for the month. I can't say I am getting a lot done, but I am learning.

My main project is a copy of New Mutant's #50, in stippling. One of the issues with this design is, I need a background which I pictured in black. In stippling. 8.5x11 mostly back composition in stippling.

Mmm. What did I do?

Anyway, my binge watching has been BSG. Being a space show, everything in the background is grey or black. I gave myself a timeout project which includes an all black background. I used BG 5 and 9 plus 120 black for these ships. I am not good with tones and color, so again, I am learning.

It's super rough, you don't even need to enlarge the image. Smaller is better.