Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Rockin out


Tonight I am doing a little rock work for terrain for Gathering in the Desert Operation Torch. I need a few rough ground sections for a few of the tables and here are a few. It's just Pink insulation foam cut out with a wire cutter and some of my super secret method of doing rocks.

Here is the other side before I do my "rock method" so you can see a difference.

Here you can see the right side done and the left side getting ready for the rock treatment.

So what is the super secret method you may be asking? Well its a simple rock out of my front yard, big secret huh? I just use a rock and press into the foam, basically just embossing the foam, that's it. Pretty simple really and the results are awesome.


Tuesday, January 05, 2016

DIY Palm Trees


With Gathering in the Desert fast approaching I needed to get on the ball to have a few more Palm trees for the tables. I have a few from Pegasus hobbies, but these are a bit expensive. So I remembered years ago doing a few Palm trees when I did model railroading. Back then I used feathers and pine tree branchs, but those were a pain and fell apart. I then saw an article on the web about using wire and self sticking labels. While this will work, it still was a bit high on the price. So I thought why not use floral wire and masking tape? I did a few years ago for my sons school project and thought I should see if I could do that again., so here is what I came up with.

Here is how I went about it, first I visited Michaels for floral wire, which is Panacea 22 gauge wire. Next I bought a roll of 1 1/2" masking tape.

I cut about 9-10 8" pieces of floral wire. The size is really up to you on how tall you want the trees to be. Then I cut about a 3" piece of tape and folded it over onto itself with the wire inside about an 1 1/2" inside the tape.

Do this to all your floral wire. I then cut out a leaf shape as seen below. The shape is up to you but I like the way this one looks.

I then cut the frowns into the leaf. I just cut until I hit the wire inside. Do this on all the leafs.

Now you will have all your leafs all cut out and ready to go.

Now I gather all the leaves up and twist them together, twisting them keeps them together along with the tape for the trunk.

I then cut about and 8-10" piece of tape of the roll and cut it into 1/8" strips. These are used for the trunk when you start wrapping it. I start at the top and work my way down.

I wrap on a angle and vary how much is showing. This represents the growth of the trunk. Keep wrapping until you get to the bottom.

Once wrapped, you can now start to unfurl the leaves, think of a Christmas tree. I generally put a bend in the leaves at this time.

And there you go, a masking colored tree. Next is painting. I had a buddy ask why not use green tape for the leaves? Well I like the fact that you can see the tape sometimes after painting and it looks like the leaves are starting to dry out and die like a real tree.

Painting is very simple on these trees, I used Rust Olleum Camo greens, one dark and one light.

I first spray the dark green on, covering the tops and bottoms of the leaves. Once this dries I then do a light spray of the lighter green from the top only. I generally hold the can further away so I "dust" the leaves. You can go a step further and dry brush some lighter colors if you want, but I like the effect that the two colors give the tree.

Next is painting the trunks, which is simple. I use Americana Mississippi Mud as the base. Paint the whole trunk this color.

Once this dries I then do a simple dry brush of Americana Fawn color to pull out the trunk detail. You can now see the trunk "growth" rings from the tape.

And that's it! The trees are now ready to "plant". 

So there you go, cheap and easy day Palm trees. Total cost is roughly $10.00 for the paint, wire and tape. Now these do take some time, about 5 minutes or so, but it's great if you have a couple of friends helping out and doing assembly line style.


Monday, January 04, 2016

Dirty Dozen


Been working on some terrain today, getting ready for Gathering in the Desert Operation Torch. Here is a quick picture of one of the tables. This board will be used in a scenario called Dirty Dozen, which I will keep under wraps until the event.
The newest part is the board base, which is MDF and sprayed with textured paint. Once that dried I painted over it with a dark brown followed by a dry brush of desert sand color. pretty simple really and a quick board for this scenario is complete. You may notice that the board is sitting on my regular game table which is 4'x6'. This board is a lot smaller and this will work out great for the scenario as well as games of Pulp Alley.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

New Possibilities


2016 is upon us and what better time to lay out my plans for some of my hobbies and games. So let's take a look at what I want to do.

Saga, I have two armies on deck for painting and Mike and I will be running Ragnarok again. Also my local store would like Mike and I to run some regular demos for the game. Our goal is to get some traction under the game and see if we can build a bigger community for the game. 

Beyond the Gates of Antares, picked up this game late in 2015 and I am committed to building a Concord army. Once again the local store would like me and Mike to run some demos for this, we already have painted up the demo set and in the next few weeks we will start with demos.

Batman the Miniature game, this is something I have been eyeing for some time. A mutual author helped with the edits for the second edition. The Models are cool and the game is a skirmish game. Also there is a Marvel game in the works. So we will see what happens.

Black Powder, well I hope to get more of my ACW done this year as well as get my 15mm AWI painted and hopefully onto the table. I am also interested in possibly doing some ECW in 28mm, but we will see.

Infinity, I picked this game up in 2015, but only gpt as far as assembling half the models. I would like to get the starter set all assembled and painted and get this to the table. Recently Rob has expressed interest and I know Mike is also interested. In fact Infinity has a very good following here in Phoenix. 

Bolt Action, in just over a month, Gathering in the Desert will take place so Bolt Action will be back on the table. I did get my Perry DAK painted up for the event as well as terrain. So this will be a success for sure. After the event we will see how Bolt goes after the event.

Flames of War, in just a few weeks I will be playing in Shifting Sands 2016 which is a early war event. I only had to paint up a few infantry stands and I am ready to go. As for what lays ahead, we will see in 2016 where FoW .

Pulp Alley, so I fore see Pulp Alley being back this year. In fact in 2015 I got the Tales of the Golden Monkey on DVD and there are a ton of ideas for games in that show. So Pulp Alley will be back on the table in 2016.

Conventions, so for many years I have traveled to Chicago for Adepticon. It is starting to get rather expensive to travel and it's not getting easier to travel now a days. Last year Mike and I attended Rincon down in Tucson. It was a great little convention and we will be going back down in 2016. The reality is I would rather support events here in AZ rather then traveling to other places to play games.

Model Railroading, well I ordered the last bit of track right before the end of the year, so my layout will be getting track all laid this year. I have been working on the rolling stock and generally getting ready to lay track. This is a long term project so as long as I get track laid it will be a success.

So there you go, a few of the plans I have for 2016, we will see how it goes throughout the year.


Friday, January 01, 2016

New Year, New Horizons


We are now in 2016, so it is a good time to take a look back at what I wanted to get done in 2015 and what are my hopes for 2016. So lets take a look at my goals for 2015 and see how I did.

Saga - Well I built and painted up a new Anglo Saxon army and I have gotten in a good amount of games in and also ran a "non" event called Ragnarok. I also decided to build another army, Vikings, so that I would have two armies. I also ended up getting some of my old WAB Normans back to do a Norman war band. I also got as a birthday gift, a few Gripping Beasts plastic Arabs for a C recent and the Cross army. So I say that Saga was a success.

 AWI - Well, AWI did hit the paint bench, I painted up a few stands of my Old Glory 15mm figures but we never got in a game, we still have a few more stands to paint up. I also got about half of my force for Muskets and Tomahawks painted and Mike & I got in one game. I liked the game but we didn't get the game back onto the table.

Pulp Alley - This was a huge success this year, in fact I think I logged in about 20 games this year of Pulp Alley. I played it in Chicago, Tucson and here in Phoenix. I introduced the game to a ton of folks and I was able to get a lot of figures painted up for these games. Pulp Alley is starting to catch on here in Phoenix and it will be on the table this year.Mike and I are also looking at writing a supplement for Pulp Alley, but we shall see.

HEROIC - Well this game is sitting at the publisher waiting to move forward. The good thing is that the publisher likes the rules and what I have done. In fact I may be helping with a version of the rules for a Mordheim style of skirmish game, more on that later.

Flames of War - Well, I added a few models to my WW1 British that I got last year, but other than that, nothing really happened. Part of the problem was my own issues. I sort of had a mini melt down with the game and I started to get very argumentative with my regular opponent towards the end of 2014. So I took almost the whole year off of playing FoW. But in the last few weeks I decided to get the game back on the table to get ready for a Shifting Sands event in just a few weeks. So I think I Flames was a fail this year.

CAV - Well a few folks got into the kickstarter, I got 8 Bones models and got them painted up. Then nothing, no games, no talk, nothing. So this was a huge Fail.

That pretty much was it for my goals for 2015, didn't go out on a limb. Now I did start a bunch of new projects in 2015 and these are carrying over to 2016. First I got back into Model Railroading, I also got into Gate of Antares as well as a few other items. I will go into my goals in the next post.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Model Trains and Miniature Gaming


I noticed that it has been a while since I posted up anything and seeing how we are coming to the end of the year I better get posting. Another reason for the slow posts here is that I started a Twitter account, @TimTjkulinski and I have been pretty active with posting up pictures over there. Anyway, now onto the post.

Well back a few months ago, March 1st actually, I entered back into the world of Model Railroading. This was a hobby that I was into heavily back in CA and was very active with my HO Modular Club. After I moved to Phoenix in October of 1999, I had grand plans to build a layout or join a Modular HO club out here. Well things never really got off the ground, first I couldn't find a HO modular railroad club and also I was in a two bedroom apartment waiting for my current house to be built. The dream of building my own layout quickly faded into history. I then switched over my hobby time to gaming as my main hobby.

Now flash forward about two years ago and I found a blog called Wargames and Railroads which is about another fellow gamer that is doing both hobbies.Now I do not know this fellow blogger, but his story matches mine with gaming and model railroading. In fact he is working on scratch building a old west town called Calmity for his 28mm old west gaming. I highly recommend this blog, he does some great work and painting.

Then about a year ago, another blog popped up on the radar called Thunder Mesa Mining Co, which is a freelance railroad in On3 scale based on Big Thunder Mountain railroad. Dave Meek is the owner and he is another amazing modeler. He has captured the look and feel of Big Thunder railroad at Disneyland remarkably, and I give him high marks since I worked many days on Big Thunder in my Disneyland days. Well thanks to Dave's layout, I was inspired to get back into Model Railroading again. I tried to get my buddy DrunkenSamurai back into the hobby, but he was done with it and was happy to leave the thought of model trains back in his memories (which may be a good thing as I have come to find out! ) But another buddy, Da Greenskins was more than happy to jump into model railroading.

Now Da Greenskins and I had to make some choices about where we wanted to go in this new hobby. We were both getting into this with nothing, Greenskins was starting out as a newbie. I was a veteran but had given all of my stuff to a couple of friends in CA that are still into Model Railroading. Now Greenskins loved the look of N scale, but I was really wanting to go into On3, like Dave at Thunder Mesa. After spending many trips to our local hobby stores (and getting prices shock!) we decided to venture back into HO. Now with that figured out, what era to do? We decided on a time set in the late 80's & 90's, since both of us had memories of trains during this time, we decided this would be the best place to start.

With that I started planing my layout for my game room. The big decision I had to wrestle with was would I be able to have a layout and a game table in the room or would I need to take down my gaming table (6'x4')? Well after thinking about it and with my wife's input, I decided to keep the table and build a switching layout along two walls. I have always enjoyed operations rather than round and round style layouts. So this past March I started the reconfiguration of the room. I had to loose my gaming display case and a nice size dry erase white board, but I was able to get a L shaped lay out being 7.5' on one side by 9', not bad for a small switching layout.

With that figured out I needed to come up with an area to model, which was rather easy, I would model a portion of the Southern Pacific Anaheim branch line that runs along the 5Fwy in California. Specifically I wanted to model the area along Artesia Blvd and Knott Ave in Buena Park/Anaheim. This branch line is still used by Union Pacific and if you ever drove down the 5Fwy in Anaheim, you have seen this branch line. Back in my Disneyland days, I used to drive by the Anaheim Wye and SP would park a ton of different locomotives there. Cool thing was you could walk right up to the locos and take all kinds of pictures.

So with that figured out I started looking at gathering the materials for the layout. My good friend Bill in CA, built me the modules for the shelf layout. A trip to Home Depot had me bringing back the brackets and shelving for the layout. And a few trips to the Hobby store had me acquiring track and roadbed. The part that gave me sticker shock was the rolling stock and locomotives. Remember I gave away everything so I was starting over again. So after thinking about which locomotives I wanted, I picked up a brand new Athearn SW1500 in speed lettering.

My first locomotive in over 20 years!

Now when I was into model railroading, this locomotive when new was only $35.00, now this time around, it cost me $95.98! Wholly crap, now I see why DrunkenSamurai wanted to leave the idea of model railroading in the past! Although since I didn't need more than two locomotives, I justified the price and plunked down my money and brought this little beauty home with me. Now to be honest, when this kit first came out, it cost $35.00, but then I would drop another $30 to $40 in detail parts. This kit has it all so there is no buying all the detail parts. So in reality the price is not as bad as I thought at first, but it is hard to justify it in your head!

My favorite switcher of all time!

My second locomotive I purchased was another Athearn, a GP40-2 in Kodachrome scheme. This was a proposed merger of the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific which both companies thought was a done deal, but the government had other ideas.

SP Kodchrome GP40-2

Both New Locos

Now I needed rolling stock, but after seeing the prices of locomotives, I was scared to look at what a boxcar would be. The hobby didn't disappoint, box cars were now starting at $25.00 a car and up. Something that I noticed right off the bat was that there were no more "shake the box" kits anymore. Athearn, MDC and a few other companies had either went under or up detailed their kits and were now charging more. Another thing was the art of detailing locos and rolling stock was now pretty much gone. Everything was ready to run and all detailed out for you. Something happened to the model railroad hobby along the way. Now customers wanted everything already done for them and it seemed the model railroad companies were more than happy to put out detailed kits all ready to go, you just had to have the cash. Once again I started thinking DrunkenSamurai was right, but then I realized that he said he still had his stuff.

So off I went to my good friend to see if I could get his stuff. After a few months of asking, we settled on a price (my FOW Airborne force plus $80.00) and we had a trade. The great thing was he had more than enough of the older kits I wanted. I also got 5 more locos in the deal, three more Athearn locos (GP 35, GP38-2 & GP40-2) as well as two Frontline GP9s. Oh and when I got my modules from Bill, he gave me another Athearn GP40-2!

GP40-2 from Drunken with SW1500

My rolling stock now numbers about 50 cars or so and my buddy in CA is going to send back a bunch of my old cars that as he put it "were just in storage on his layout until I came back".

Some of the 50+ cars from Drunken!

More Rolling Stock

And a few more!

So, where am I now? Well I still need a few more switches for the layout. I also need to figure out controls for the layout, am I going DCC or standard DC. I think right now it will be standard DC, Bill once again is hooking me up with one of his old throttles. There then is wiring, scenery and detailing to do, I have a long road ahead of me, but this is a long term project. My goal is to have the track all laid by the end of January so that I can test out the track plan.

Oh and I have to disclose that my wife was not too happy with me going back into this hobby especially when she saw the cost of it now. So now I need to spread my hobby funds over two hobbies and sometimes make the tough choice of which to spend it on. But both hobbies can live with each other and they are a perfect balance for me. So you will be seeing more Model Railroad posts here at Cursed Treasures in the future. Now, how do I expand this layout???


Friday, August 28, 2015

Pulp at Rincon


It has been a few months here at Cursed Treasures, where did the time go? Well I am still here and still going strong with gaming. We have been busy moving my mother in law out of her old house and into her new one, so gaming has taken a back seat sort of.

So what have I been up to, well Mike (from Da Green skins blog) and I have been running a few games of Pulp Alley. In fact we are going to run a few games down in Tucson at Rincon 2015 and we will run two types of Pulp Games.

The first set of games will be my Over Due Book Hunt which I ran at Adepticon.

The second set of games are going to be Gothic horror/ Halloween game. Basic idea is that there are 4 leagues, Vampires, Werewolves, Mummies and Monsters. The good thing was I have all the figures and I only needed to paint four figures (or so I thought). I also had two Garden of Morr GW sets. So I set out to paint up everything. Good news is that I got it all painted up and now I just need to do some computer work for the games. So here is the board, excuse the lighting, I was trying to go for a creepy shadow effect with the light, didn't work out like I hoped.

Halloween board.

Another angle
Now here are the four leagues for the game, first up are the Mummies. These are all Westwind miniatures from their Gothic Horror line.


Next up are the Monsters, Which the Monsters and the Bride are all Westwind miniatures. The Doctor is from Pulp Figures from Bob Murch.

The Doctor and his creations.

Here are the Werewolves which are all from Westwind Gothic horror range, I also use them for Emire of the Dead.

Werewolves of London, wahoooo
 And lastly are the Vampires which are all Westwind miniatures, you may have figured out I like the Westwind figures, they have an almost cartoon sort of feel to them.

So there you go, I hope to get back on the blog band wagon, although I have started using Twitter which my handle is @TimTJKulinski which is pretty quick to upload pictures.