Welcome to the Highlander Studios blog.

I won't promise any earth shattering revelations here. What I will be trying to do is post some new products as I release them, share some thoughts on gaming and show some pics of games and other stuff that I enjoy. So come in and make yourselves at home.

Friday, August 24, 2012

And sometimes...

    ...even a blind pig finds an acorn. It's true. Not every project that gets started here in my studio is left to gather dust for, well... about ever. The problem I run into is that I just like too many things and have too many ideas bouncing around in my head. However...

    Early last year I started assembling an Arthurian army. What else was I to do with all of those artist castings I had piled up from Splintered Light? I decided to use Warrior Kings/ Rally Round the King from Two Hour Wargames so I wouldn't need to paint a huge amount of figures. Here is the Arthurian army, mk I.

    I based the army around a small core of 3 elite cavalry units. Now in Warrior Kings one stand is a unit; a lot like elements in DBA.

    I added 6 units of heavy infantry which will become elite infantry if I expand my army in the future. Of course, they can be used that way now if I desire. I simply wanted to have them finished first.

    The core of the army is 6 units of unarmored infantry and another 6 units of archers. I don't generally have all of these on the table at the same time. But having several units of each type allows me to mix and match a bit due to the battlefield.

    Often I don't use formed archers and replace them with units of skirmishers instead. So the last addition was 6 stands of skirmish archers.

    Now I do own hundreds of castings of Saxons for Arthur to fight, but after painting that many figures for one army, I wanted an army made of fewer more powerful units. Enter the Giants!

    I built this army around several old Ral Partha castings. Their 25mm giants are truly memorable when fielded with 15mm figures. I used a couple of models for the mountain giants.

    Some Ral Partha ogres became my hill giant contingent.

    I added some ogres and trolls for variety. The ogres are Splintered Light castings with a couple of their savage orcs to fill out the base a bit. The trolls are from Ral Partha.

    Sorry about the fuzzy pic. My camera evidently didn't want to differentiate between greens.

    I played a couple of early games with just the above troops and found that they really didn't have enough flexibility when faced with overwhelming numbers of stands. So I added 6 stands of Splintered Light savage orcs as peon troops for the giants to kick around.

    As mentioned before, I haven't fielded the entirety of both armies at the same time. However, having a decent mix of unit types and several stands of each type allows for a wide range of battles from a small cavalry break out to a large stand up open field fight. I'm looking forward to many hours of both solo and head to head gaming with these two armies. Oddly, I'm  also looking forward to adding some new units as well.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

French and Indian Vandalism

    Having grown up in western Pennsylvania, the French and Indian Wars have always held at least a passing interest for me. Some times that interest has been stronger than others. About 2 years ago I decided I wanted to do some skirmish gaming with 28mm figures.

    The problem I have with 28mm is that it takes me so long to paint them compared to smaller scales. But a friend was starting to collect some and I had already purchased some Conquest Rangers and woodland Indians several years ago when they were first released. So I bought a couple of bags of Old Glory castings to bulk out my forces.

    Both painting and sculpting commission work limits the time I get to spend on my own gaming projects. When I do so much of it for work, I don't always have the desire to do more painting during my down time. So things have progressed really slowly. Around the end of march this year I had 18 Indians and about a dozen settler types ready to put on the table. But I had no buildings or even trees. What's a guy to do?

    Old Glory/ Blue Moon released FIW figures in 15mm last year. So in true gamer fashion, I decided that I could pick up a few items from them and have a game ready to go in a few short weeks. Then came the rest of the wedding planning and personal projects once again took a back seat. Actually they got shoved into the last remaining space in the trunk since available space was filled by all of the other things that got shoved aside for the wedding preparation.

    Late June came around and I was able to start painting again. I'd love to say that I had time to paint the 3 cabins and 90 figures I bought. But at this point, I have one cabin ready to go.

    I do have hills, trees and other assorted terrain items already available from my other 15mm games. And I did manage to paint a small band of 10 Indians.

    Unfortunately, I think they're really going to be disappointed when they arrive at the cabin after a long canoe trek down river and have to settle for breaking a few windows and scribbling graffiti on the walls. There are settlers and militia on the painting table now. Maybe they'll be home when the raiding party makes it's way back up river in the Fall.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Incoming this Week

    The mold maker finished the last 4 production molds on Friday. Production casts of the latest Highlander Studios products should be arriving around the end of this week. They are listed for sale on the site as of today. I'll be shipping at them out at the end of the week or early next week.

    Here is what's new:

    Space: 1889 British Firing Line (5)    BRI-01     $5.00

    Gideon's Dust Wild Spanish Pigs (6)   GID-AN03     $5.00

     Zap, zap zap! Die, Die Die! Monkey Boy Mercs (5)     ZD3-101    $6.00

     Space Kendo Masters and Student   See the Space Pals for Red Cross page to donate.

    All of these miniatures are sized for 15mm gaming and come unpainted.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Holding Patterns

    My test print of the 1:1200 Steam Launch arrived in the mail today. I've been anxiously awaiting it so I could compare it to one of the old plastic Aphids for sizing. I was also concerned about the thickness (actually thinness) of some of the elements. Here are a few quick shots I took this evening.

    I had the printer leave the support system in place to help with future designs. It's always good to see how either the machine or the operator decides to position the model.

    One of the details I was worried about was the depth of the portholes. You can see in the last two photos that they are printing quite well.

    The ventilation tubes, fins and the forward gun mount also printed well. I left the gun off of this build to get a feel for the actual printed size of the mount.

    Here's a shot of the Steam Launch and the plastic Aphid from the old boxed set. I have to look up the lengths of the ship and compare them to see if the size ratios are correct. I can tweak the Launch 3D model either way for the final print.

    I'm also left with a lot of decisions about how to bulk up certain parts so they will actually be castable. The fins and sidewalls are less than 1/2 a millimeter thick. I'll need add thickness there and I'm thinking about repositioning the air ducts and thickening them so they cast more easily. The gun mount will probably need some extra bulk with the actual gun just being suggested since it's so small. The last thickness concern is top to bottom along the hull. I'm probably going to need to thicken the whole model in the z axis by 10-20% to end up with the actual thickness I want.

    So... back to the drawing board for me when I get the chance. But for the next week or two I need to focus on commission work and get it out the door.