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.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

And We'll Trip Along Merrily...

     Still one of my favorite Looney Tunes cartoons.


     After several months at the mold maker and caster, the 40mm Robin Hood set is ready for sale.

     This set includes Robin, Tuck, Scarlet, Marian, Alan and Little John with axe or staff option

ROB-01           Robin Hood set 1           $40

      My website is not working correctly right now. Orders can be placed by email at Highlander Studios.



     Again, it has been far too long between posts. Things started moving quickly at the old house. Several things needed to be done for the occupancy permit. Then the cleaning happened and it went on the market. Susan and I were prepared to settle in for the long haul while it was being listed. The agent listed it late on a Saturday night and we were stunned when she contacted us the following Monday morning to tell us three people were in a bidding war. It was on the market less than 36 hours before we chose a buyer. Then came all of the inspections and negotiation and hurry up and wait stuff. We closed last Friday for several thousand dollars more than asking price.

     Saturday I got up fairly early and started thinking about what I needed to get done at the old house over the weekend. Then it hit me... not a damned thing! Twenty five percent of my existence over the last 18 months has been defined by that house. So now what?

     I've decided to re-brand myself as a Viking. OK. So maybe not a full fledged Viking since I'd still like to spend some time gaming, learning new skills and sculpting. I had started reading Make Mead Like a Viking just before the closing. So that's the part I'll focus on.


Make Mead Like a Viking

     I started with the ginger bug (starter) and some homemade coffee liquor. The not-Kahlua turned out pretty tasty.

     I moved on to some homemade ginger ale and got the first batch of small mead going.

     Small, or short, mead is one that doesn't age long and is consumed fresh. This gallon test batch should be ready in a few weeks.

     We have 5 crab apple trees and a quince on the property, so some hard crab apple cider is in the works this week. In about three weeks I'll brew a batch of show mead. Unfortunately that mead won't be ready until Christmas of 2017 at the earliest. I'll definitely need to perfect the small mead in the mean time.

     So there you have it. Highlander Studios, Inc. re-branded as a sculpting, gaming, prepping Viking.

    If you have any questions about methods or recipes, please don't hesitate to email me at the Highlander Studios address. I'd be happy to talk brewing with you.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Week in Review

     Twenty five hours at the sculpting desk this week has seen seven figures finished. Here's the week in review: the big, the small, the real and the fantastic.

     15mm Anubis hero for Splintered Light

     28mm "Bugbear" from Nogglestones

40mm Alan-a-Dale for Highlander Studios

     28mm WWII Americans for Acheson Creations

     I think I'll call this week a win.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Big Grey One

     House things are starting to get under control which has allowed for some concentrated sculpting time this week.It felt great to sit and work for several hours four out of five days this week. But getting to that point again hasn't been easy because, well... artists are generally screwed in the head. There's a fine tightrope act that I walk between creativity and productivity. Between enjoying what I do and being my own worst critic. Between supreme confidence and abject fear of failure.

     Part of the fear stems from the fact that sculpting still seems an awful lot like magic to me. On the brain level I understand that it's a craft and, theoretically, a person gets better every time they practice their craft. On the heart level I don't always feel that way. When I get in the putty zone things sometimes just happen. Sure it's directed on some level, but it's not always a conscious direction. It's the Muse at work.

     After a long hiatus I'm filled with trepidation at the thought of sculpting again. What if the Muse has left? After all, I haven't been treating her very well lately. What if those previous works were just a fluke? What if it's a time-limited skill set? All of these thoughts besiege my soul.

     When I finally get over the resistance and get back to work, things are difficult for a short while. Then they start seeping. That seepage becomes drips that soften the blockage. Drips become a flow that erodes it. The flow becomes a torrent barely contained and I'm left in  wonder that I ever doubted. I swear that I'll never leave the Muse alone that long again.

     Until next time.

     Here's the first figure of the year. I have 4 more on the table from this week that need about 20 to 30 minutes of work each to wrap up. But this was the first: a 28mm American WWII G.I. It's part of a 4-figure set for Acheson Creations.

     More to follow next week.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Where's Rodrick?

     See if you can find him in this picture of bamboo.

     Holy crap! Time has gotten away from me. The purchase of the house and getting the old one ready for market has consumed my existence for the last year. I've learned a lot of new skills for home repair and remodeling and I have a few more yet to learn. Some plumbing, electrical work and plastering walls. I have three more weeks to go on the old house. The new will be an ongoing process for years to come.

     I've also taken some time to learn new crafting and self sufficiency skills. I finally finished my foundry.

Ramming the refractory

Starting the charcoal

The fires of hell

     I learned a couple methods of making charcoal.

Paint can burn

Pine charcoal

Barrel burn

Clean burning afterburner

     There was also some canning,

New canning equipment

Home made sauerkraut canned

     Some leather working and some black smithing.

Anvil secured to the new anvil stand

6-7 oz. and 8-9 oz. shoulders

First buckle forged

Test assembly

Smithing apron parts so far

     There were also many small projects such as: pickling garlic, making malt vinegar, stacking fire wood and, of course, the ever present clearing of bamboo. It's all good knowledge to have and I've saved us thousands of dollars, but now it's time to sculpt again.

     This week I got back to projects for Splintered Light, Acheson Creations and Noggle Stones miniatures. Once those are out I'm on to some more for Pictor's and Empire of the Petal Throne. I'll be showing some of the new work in a week or two as it is finished up.