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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Ape Man Cometh and the Return of Zeke and Mitch

     These past few days have been really good for getting sculpting done. I'm feeling better and there aren't a lot of travel or family plans on the near horizon. I still have one commission to finish for tomorrow so it can go to the mold maker, one to be wrapped up by mid August and three more for the end of August, but it's good to have work and to be almost on schedule.

     I also get to work on new Space:1889 figures this month. I'll be wrapping up the Hill Martian command, the London adventurers and hopefully the British command. I need to make some time to finish the 1/1000 scale airships as well. I'll have enough printed pieces from various projects near the end of October to justify the cost of a low temperature mold.

     This week so far has seen the completion of some more zombies for the ATZ Indiegogo campaign. I've also been working on the Hell Divers parts for Harold at Clear Horizons. Those get wrapped up tonight and delivered tomorrow.

     Crawling zombie. I'll probably do another that is crouching.

     Mitch from the rednecks set has returned from the dead.

     So has his buddy Zeke. He's the smart zombie with the shotgun for the ATZ campaign. The last two zombies for this series will be Darla and Robbie. Friends of mine have been after me for years to make zombie versions of the rednecks.

     Another project that was completed this week was the Ape Man set for my Victoria! (formerly Victoriana) line. The ape man was completed last night.

     He's loosely based on the Frazetta painting.

     More recognizable now?

     I'm adding a big ape to the set. For no other reason than I wanted to sculpt a big ape.

     The final piece is another that has been seen here before.

     The nekkid woman from the painting.

     As seen from the painting's perspective.

     It's always exciting to wrap up projects and finally get them cast. I'm looking forward to the next month's work.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Land of the Living

     Historicon has come and gone. The trip was big fun, but I've been ill since Sunday. Could just be exhaustion or it might be some sort of Montezuma's revenge. Either way, the last 5 days were not very productive. However, I seem to have traveled through and arrived in the land of the living once again.

     I wasn't at the convention as a retailer this year. Splintered Light and Rebel Minis provided me with a badge and some space in their demo area to sit and sculpt. Thursday morning started off with lung clogging diesel fumes as someone was moving a deuce and a half to a new spot in the middle of the dealer hall.

     The rest of the morning and afternoon was spent helping a few friends set up games and talking with other vendors and attendees.

     Friday and Saturday were spent sculpting, and spelling some vendor friends while they took short breaks. I managed to get two commissions completed by the close of the dealer hall on Saturday. Friday evening several of us ventured into downtown Fredericksburg to eat. The Mexican place we had chosen was really small and couldn't seat nine of us together or at all for that matter. We ended up down the street at the capital Ale House. Excellent food and a jaw-dropping selection of beers. Blue Mountain Dark Hollow was my beer of choice for the night. It's an impressive Imperial Stout with a whopping 10% alcohol content. I'll be looking for more of that here in Pittsburgh.

     Saturday evening I wandered the gaming area and took a few pictures. This is one of the few conventions that I actually made time to do this. Usually I'm busy blabbing and running and/ or playing games. But I had a few hours to kill until my 930pm race start. Here are a few of the games I found interesting.

     Tarawa was impressive for it's sheer scope. The whole island was modeled and the troops were just hitting the beaches when I walked in.

     Another truly impressive game was the pirate game with the sea, ships and islands. It wasn't possible to get a picture of the whole layout as it spanned several tables. I only have one picture that doesn't do it justice. No close ups as the game and judging was in process while I was there.

     Not all of the games were that expansive. This little Civil War battle was really well done terrain and figures.

     There was a nice looking smaller scale iron clad battle.

     And a much larger scaled ironclad battle. with an area of land fighting off to one side.

     Two games that were of particular interest to me for the subject as well as the terrain were a wild west game in 40mm I believe.

     And a post apocalyptic table.

     It always happens that when I'm playing a game I get too involved to remember to take photos. So I stupidly don't have any of the Sky Runners race late Saturday night. It was however a very eventful race with six of us flying, Brian at Acheson Creations was the winner for the evening which was good. Next year maybe he won't whine about getting some sleep and just jump into the mayhem.

     I have one more game to show, but it will wait for another post.

     Overall, a really good weekend. And now that I'm feeling recovered, I need to get back to sculpting.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Oriental Goblin Opp-force - Goblin Ninjas

     I'm just posting a short notice that the Goblin Ninjas I sculpted for The Goblin Factory were delivered to me at Historicon. These are for use in 28mm gaming and come unpainted and unassembled. There is a sword that will need to be glued to each figure and a quiver to add to the archer.

     There are six different figures, each with a different weapon.

     The set sells for $12 and is available from the shop at Highlander Studios.

Buy goblin ninjas here.

     The other oriental goblin sets and the BFRs are also available from the same page. Thanks for looking and happy gaming!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Savage Worlds French and Indian War

    I've been collecting 15mm French and Indian figures and terrain for several months and slowly getting it painted. You can see some of the results in two previous blog posts: French and Indian Progress and Last of the Virginians.

     We've played several skirmish games since then. Some have been campaign-style linked games using Two Hour Wargames' Long Rifle. Several were straight forward games with humans and animals. For others I added some supernatural elements; zombies and werewolves. My plan from the beginning was to run an RPG or RPG-lite campaign involving trade and exploration in the Ohio River valley that included supernatural creatures and events.

     On a trip to Half Price Books I found a copy of Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition for $5. I had heard good things about Savage worlds so I bought it and started reading it. I continued collecting more 15mm figures for the campaign and started talking with a few friends who were interested in doing some more role playing games. One wanted to fight zombies, one wanted to play FIW  and one had no preference as long as things were quick and easy to learn. My French and Indian campaign idea using Savage Worlds seemed like just the thing.

     Living so close to the climactic events of Braddock's march on Fort Duquesne, I decided that Braddock's retreat would be a good opening scenario. Of course there needed to be a twist.

     On July 9, 1755 Braddock's force  was ambushed by a French force made up of mostly Indians. It is a particularly savage attack and Braddock is severely wounded by a gunshot and several slashes and gouges. His force is forced to withdraw and begins the long march back home. Braddock is in bad shape and is not expected to live long.

     The morning of July 12, 1755. The camp awakes and finds Braddock's body missing from the wagon in which he was being transported. Two of the night guards are found dead with several deep slashing wounds to the neck and abdomen. Braddock's sword is still in the wagon with a small scorch mark on the pommel and the barely detectable smell of cooking meat lingers near. Colonel Washington tasks the party with finding Braddock and returning him to the column as quickly as possible.

     From there it was up to the adventurers to investigate and track Braddock and his abductors.

     The game moved quickly. The mechanics of Savage Worlds are really quite elegant and were easy to adapt to whatever on-the-fly rules I needed to come up with. Everyone had a good time and we're looking forward to the next game.

     Now that the players have an idea of how the rules work and what abilities and skills may be needed, I'll let them adjust their characters a bit for the start of the long term campaign.

      I was also able to score a copy of the Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane on my visit to Half Price Books this week. While it's set much earlier than the FIW, it has a lot of good information for incorporating supernatural beings and spells that will come in handy.

Kickstarter Manifesto

During the last six months I've had several people approach me about sculpting for Kickstarter campaigns of one sort or another. Most discussions involved a lot of sculpting in a short time period with a lot of the work being done before the campaign even started. Most also involve paying my regular rates to sculpt for a project that the owner hopes will become the next big thing and make a ton of money. That's all well and good, but at that point I'd be better off sculpting for myself and doing my own crowd funding. So after several weeks of serious thought I've decide to write my Kickstarter Manifesto.

Clients who wish to hire me to work on a crowd funding project can do so for a percentage of the total funds collected. That percentage will be based on how much of the actual project is miniatures. For example, aboard game that requires a few miniatures 15-20% may be enough. For a project that is mostly based on miniatures 50-75% would be more appropriate. A lot depends on exactly how many figures would be required and the original funding goal.

Sharing the risk of a project is good. However, sometimes actual sculpts are wanted to show when the crowd funding launches. If work is required before funding is obtained, I'll require a $50 - $100 non-refundable retainer for each figure to be sculpted. This retainer will be subtracted from my percentage of funds collected. If the project doesn't fund, the retainer can be used toward the purchase of the sculpts at my normal rates. Any figures not purchased remain my property to produce and/ or sell as I see fit.

The last item I'll require is one complete set of all the project's materials including any stretch goals.