Monday, December 18, 2017
Last month, my wife and I spent Veteran's Day at The Museum of Flight.
On the way back home, one of the radio stations already started playing Christmas music. One of the tunes that popped-up was Snoopy's Christmas vs. the Red Baron by The Royal Guardsmen.
I was surprised to discover my wife never heard of it. I remember having a 45 RPM record of it and playing it constantly during the Christmas Season.
This inspired me to concoct one of my e-greeting cards for the year. The picture is from an air war game during last year's Enfilade Convention.
I scrolled through my picture files for other images I could convert to a greeting card. The only other picture that struck my fancy was this image from the same file of my friend Dean's First Battle of St Albans game.
Now it is a bit anachronistic, because the carol, Here We Come A-wassailing, wasn't composed until 1850. But I I thought it'd be funny to have this band of knights signing a "road trip" Christmas carol, instead of some bloodthirsty fight-song.
And finally, here's a picture of my siblings and I. Despite the fact it was taken during our mom's funeral I love this picture, especially since it was the last time we've all been able to get together.
Since we looked like a team of professionals, I thought paraphrasing a line from Die Hard would make a great opening line.
Best wishes to all of you this Christmas Season and throughout the New Year!
Friday, November 3, 2017
While GeekGirlCon bills itself as "the celebration of the female geek," men attended and made a good showing among cosplayers at this year's convention.
My first encounter was with Charles Arrasmith (a.k.a. The Omnus) looking badass as Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier.
Now this teenager, who was with his family, put on some Spider-Man poses.
I had to tell him "okay, thanks" otherwise he would have kept on posing. His mom told me he practices all the time. His practice certainly paid off.
I'll end the "men's category" with a sinister, but debonair flourish with this picture of
Jareth the Goblin King.
And now for the Women's Category:
I'm not sure who this woman was suppose to be, but her costume was striking. There were several of us snapping pictures of her.
Okay, now here's a cosplay character I recognized--Natasha Romanova (a.k.a. The Black Widow.
Several crossplayers were also attended. This woman impressed me with her Indiana Jones, not because I've dressed as Indy (okay, that's part of the reason)...
...but I loved all her props! The Golden Idol was a piggy bank she found in Thailand or Japan (I forget which). Her Holy Grail was half-filled with water, and her Headpiece to the Staff of Ra was printed on both sides.
Cosplayers often travel in pairs or packs.
I ran into Belle a couple of times and had to give her wide birth because of her ballgown.
Now here was an odd match up: Snow White, the Evil Queen and Lara Croft.
Here was a mother and daughter dressed as steampunk versions of Pokemon characters.
Right after the Cosplay Contest, I ran into this badass Merida and told her she should have entered the contest.
She said she found out about it too late to sign up.
The only "Couples' Category" I managed to encounter was Black Widow paired-up with Thom Cruz as Red Hood, whom I've never heard of until I looked him up for this post.
I didn't by too much merchandise. However, one item really caught my eye. This Exasperated Woman Switchboard Operator poster from RxLetterpress. I even had the artist, Emily Riley (holding the picture) and her friend sign it.
Since I got my boss's approval, I plan on framing it and hanging it up at work.
The Cosplay Contest drew practically a standing-room-only crowd. I found a seat on the stage-left end.
The lighting was dim, and I still suck at taking action photos.
But here's the best one I managed to take featuring our emcee, Lauren (a.k.a. Random Tuesday) seen below in the fairy costume holding the microphone:
Here's one of the little girl in the steampunk Pokemon costume:
And this is best picture I took of our finalists, along with our emcee and judges (on the right):
Since I had to work the following day, I left shortly after the Cosplay Contest.
I've always liked attending GGC and hope to attend future conventions--work schedule permitting.
Monday, October 23, 2017
If you go, be sure to check out--or better yet--sign up for the "Bolt Action for Indochina" game my friend Tim will be hosting.
Here's the synopsis, with pictures from one of Tim's play test games:
Relief of Outpost PK42
Outpost PK17 on the Black River is in trouble. We have received transmissions that they are threatened by a substantial force of Vietminh. Elements of the 1re Flottille Amphibie has been ordered to transport a quick reaction force of French and Vietnamese paratroopers to Outpost PK42 to relieve them and then engage and destroy any enemy forces encountered.
This outpost is critical as it is a well-used ferry and if it falls into enemy hands they will greatly strengthen their ability to supply Vietminh and local forces operating in the region.
Platoons from 1st BEP and 5th BPVN have been tasked with the operation. Strength and location of enemy forces in the region are not known, but assumed to be Vietminh regulars.
Make haste! The garrison is counting on you.
Players 16 and up or younger, if supervised by an appropriate Commissar.
Players 16 and up or younger, if supervised by an appropriate Commissar.
Well? You read the initial briefing.
What are you waiting for? Sign up for Fall-In! and for Going Up River.
The garrison is counting on you!
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
A few weeks ago, I managed to zip up to Seattle on my one day off and attend the first afternoon of this year's GeekGirlCon.
This two-day event was held at the Washington State Convention Center.
I arrived at noon, even though I wanted to be there when the front doors opened at 9 AM. So I managed to take about a dozen photos of roaming cosplayers, and about 65 usable pictures of the Cosplay Contest.
These will be the subjects of upcoming posts. In the meantime, here are some of the crowd scenes I snapped:
|(The Gaming Room)|
|(The Do-It-Yourself Science Zone)|
|(The Ticket Line)|
|(The Photo Booth)|
|(The Merchandise Sales Desk)|
I attended one panel discussion listed on the Saturday Schedule: Creating a Webcomic from the Ground Up.
This was hosted by the creators of The Unadoptables.
Talk about "herding cats."
As I was making my way down to the Cosplay Contest, I snapped a picture of the Let's Play Overwatch, featuring Lucie Pohl.
Since I don't play Overwatch, or any other video/computer game for that matter, I pressed on to the Cosplay Contest.
So "stay tuned!"
Sunday, October 15, 2017
|(Image: Bavarian Infantry at Borodino by Alexandr Yezhov, found on Pintrest)|
But alliterations aside, I received enough feedback from my previous post, that I
Among my newfound collection of Napoleonic miniatures, I assumed the handful of miscellaneous troops were Austrian.
Some of them are, like the figures in the middle (maybe)...
...but not all of them.
For instance in the picture above, the figures in the yellow coats are from the Canton of Neuchatel, while the white coated figures on the opposite end are from the Kingdom of Italy.
[Update, 0930 hours, 15 October] Correction II:
The troops on the right end are, in-fact Austrian while the figures in the middle are their Hungarian comrades-in-arms.
As for this picture...
...I'm not sure who the mixed unit on the right belongs to, but several people reminded me the troops on the left are part of the Bavarian Army.
Saturday, October 7, 2017
|(Image: 28th Regiment at Quatre Bras by Elizabeth Thompson)|
Nothing evokes the image of WAR IS GLORIOUS like the Napoleonic Wars: Soldiers in splendid uniforms marching to the beat of the drums, dashing cavalry troopers riding noble steeds, and regimental banners fluttering in the breeze.
Of course, such impressions are safely viewed from more than 202 years, after the last blast of canister mowed down the defiant Imperial Guardsmen hunkered down in their square formation during the final moments of the Battle of Waterloo.
Heroic fantasies aside, the Napoleonic Wars have been, and still are, my favorite era.
However, despite my love for this period in history and fiction, I've never amassed a collection of Napoleonic miniatures. Painting such ornate uniforms requires talent and patience--both of which I lack.
Instead, I settled for buying GDW's System 7 Napoleonics. While I'm happy to have assembled the entire collection, I've always yearned to own some actual painted miniatures.
Thanks to my gaming buddy, Dean, author of the popular WAB Corner blog, my tabletop heart's desire has finally been fulfilled. Last year, he offered to sell me his collection of Napoleonic figures, all based on the rules Black Powder.
|(Image by Warlord Games)|
Now without further ado, here's the latest batch of figures from my WAB Corner Collection...
The Forces of France:
The vast bulk of Napoleon's Grande Armee consisted of line infantry, which were organized into regiments consisting of several battalions.
The Black Powder rules simply refer to a group of figures as a "unit," which, for the French I'll call a battalion based on the units' flags and the typical composition of 4 x fusilier companies, 1 x grenadier company and 1 x voltigeur company.
I can now muster three battalions, the first from the 19e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.
In the above picture, the grenadier company is next to the 1st company with the battalion standard, while the voltigeur company is to the right of the grenadiers, and the remaining fusilier companies are formed-up next to the voltigeurs.
My second battalion is--well--the second battalion of the 2e Regiment d'Infanterie d'Ligne.
For this picture, I used the same arrangement as I did with the 19th.
Now this last battalion surprised me.
Here we have the 4th battalion of the 9e Regiment d'Infanterie d'Ligne--in red uniforms. Meaning they're actually Swiss troops.
I didn't know Swiss troops wore red uniforms--until now. I thought they were outfitted similar, if not identical to their French counterparts.
I guess the British didn't have a monopoly on red dye during the wars.
Unlike the masses of infantry, cavalry units were much smaller, and based on the regiment. For the French I can field two regiments, the first being chasseur a cheval...
...and the second being the famous Dutch Lancers.
Based on scrolling back through our message traffic on Facebook, the French infantry came from Old Glory Miniatures, while the cavalry were made by Front Rank Figurines.
The Forces of Austria:
One of the leading antagonists against France was the Austrian Empire.
As a bonus to the French, and British figures (which follows this short section), Dean gave me his smattering of troops from the Imperial/Royal Army.
Here are a few similarly attired line infantry units with a mix of headgear. The shako replaced the helmet in 1806, but many units still sported the helmet. (Personally, I think the helmet look cooler).
Next, from left-to-right, is a stand of line infantry next to what looks like a stand of grenadiers. The figures in blue could be jaegers (light infantry).
Finally, here are two small cavalry forces. The one on the left is a small unit of cuirassiers, and the one on the right is a detachment of Hungarian hussars.
The Forces of Britain:
I have to admit when it comes to the Napoleonic Wars, I'm an Anglophile. Reading all of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe novels only reinforced my appreciation for the Perfidious Albion's army.
Dean mustered some of the best of what Britain had to offer.
British infantry regiments were organized quite differently from their French counterparts. I regiment usually consisted of only two battalions, which often didn't serve in the same theater. Some regiments were only one-battalion strong.
This battalion-sized regiment was divided into 8 line companies, with a company of grenadiers and a company of light infantry. While these companies were smaller than their French counterparts, the British battalion/regiment had almost as many soldiers as a French battalion.
So I'll refer to my British infantry units as "regiments," starting with the first:
The Coldstream Guards, now Britain's oldest regiment.
Then there's the 71st (Highland) Regiment of Foot
To back up these two regiments, is a detachment of about three companies from the Royal Welch Fusiliers.
Here's a closer look at the Welshmen. I wonder if they're singing Men of Halrech?
And finally, no British collection would be complete without a representative from the noblest cavalry in Europe (and the worst led): In this case, the Household Cavalry.
Once again trying to piece together our year-old message traffic on Facebook, I believe the following figures came from these manufacturers:
The Household Cavalry, Royal Welch Fusiliers and the Coldstream Guards were made by Perry Miniatures, while the 71st Highlanders were from Old Glory Miniatures.
Well folks this wraps up my WAB Corner Collection--unless Dean sells me any more of his fine figures.
Now that I think of it, I do need some artillery to support all my troops...