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.


Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Desperados for Thunder Mesa Mining Co.

Quick little update today.

Painted up a few old west figures for a friend up in Camp Verde for his On30 layout called Thunder Mesa Mining Company which is a model railroad blog that I follow. You will notice that the model railroad layout is based on the Big Thunder Mine train rollercoaster at Disneyland and the Calico Mine Train at Knott's Berry Farm. Dave Meek is an outstanding modeler and I love looking at his layout.

A few weeks ago he did a post on an expansion of the layout and I thought I would send him a few extra old west figures I had lying around to populate the layout. Now these are Foundry miniatures and are 25mm ( or 1/56 scale) and will be pretty close to 1/48th scale figures. So a few hours of work and off went these four desperados to join the Thunder Mesa Mining Co (or rob their trains!). So go check out his awesome blog and once the figures arrive I am sure they will make an appearance somewhere on the layout.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ragnarok 2015


Today was the big (or small) event for Saga her in the Valley of the Sunstroke. We had eight folks that committed to the event. But life got in the way for one person so we had seven total folks. The breakdown of players and armies were as follows:

Tom O - Vikings
Robert B - Vikings
Jerry A - Vikings
Mike W - Vikings
Matt W - Scots
Al R - Brentons
Tim K - Anglo Saxons

We played three scenarios that were set on each table and we rotated to each table with a different opponent. Table one had Clash of Warlord on it, table two was Battle at the Ford and the last table was Home land.

We kept it simple just tracking wins and victory points. Since we had an odd number of players, we had one player take a bye and get a win, I took the first bye since I was running the event. It all worked out well with only one issue with paint judging.

So here are a few pictures from the event: .

Clash of Warlords Board

Battle at the Ford board

Homeland Board

Jerry with Vikings vs Tom and his Vikings
Al with Brentons vs Matt and his Scots

Robert and Vikings vs Mike and his Vikings
Mikes Viking Raiders

Jerrys Vikings run to defend their village!

Toms Vikings looking for trouble.

Roberts Viking Jarl viewing the battlefield in the shade.

Mats Scots proudly displaying their banner.

Al's Breton force, looks like a WAB army on the table.

My Saxons forming up a shield wall.

Jerry's Vikings advance through the rough ground.

Mat's Scots defending their homes!

Tom's Viking warriors.

Tom's small Hearth guard unit.
My Saxons charge across the ford to engage the Vikings.

Another view of the epic ford battle.

Saxon Hearth guard and warriors cross the ford.

Vikings cross the ford
So after all the dust settled, I added up the win/loss of all the players.

Tom O took overall winner, Robert took the best painted and then everyone else got to take turns claiming their prize.

All in all it was it was a great time and everyone enjoyed themselves. We had a bunch of folks come by and watch the their you go, Ragnarok is in the books, we will be doing this event again in the near future.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Saga 6 Point Anglo Saxon Army Done!

Saga Anglo Saxon 6 Points Done!


finally finished up my 6 point Saga army about two weeks ago. I wanted to get pictures up sooner but had a few things come up (wife had to go to hospital for kidney stones and a quick trip out to CA for work). So here is what I got done:

So the force is as follows, the Warlord, 2 Hearthguard units, 2 Warrior units and 2 levy units. All the models are Gripping Beast plastics except for the warlord which is a Gripping Beast metal figure. It took about two weeks to assemble and then another two weeks of painting off and on each night between writing and working on paint commissions. I took my time with painting and did a bit more highlighting on the figures which makes them pop on the tabletop.

Here are a few more shots:

This army is for our little "Non-Event" called Ragnarok, which is a small 3 game Saga event being held at Imperial Outpost games here in Phoenix AZ. We have two main reasons for doing this, one is to show folks Saga and that there are folks playing it here and the second reason is just about getting together with friends to play Saga.

The fine folks at Gripping Beast sent out a few items for prize support, which Is awesome. Gripping Beast has always been more than happy with us gamers here in Phoenix going back to the days of WAB and the tournaments we ran here.

We also have a Viking Drinking horn from my good friend Jay Ryan and his company Feestzaal Horns, which if you were at Adepticon this year you saw their cool horns and they gave one away at the Saga Grand Melee event. Now ours is a smaller one, but it's just as cool as the larger ones.

Mike and I also had some cool Saga movement sticks done for us from Hollow tree studios.

So there you go just a quick update for the blog.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Anglo Saxons for Saga


To get ready for our little Ragnarok Game day here in Phoenix on May 23rd, I decided to bust out and build a new army for Saga. I have been picking up a few Gripping Beast Plastic Saxon Thegans and Dark Age warriors box sets over the last month and decided that I needed to get started on this project. So about two weeks ago I started assembling the warriors.

First off I have to say the Gripping Beast plastic kits are awesome, and with two boxes of Thegns and one dark age warrior box I was able to assemble this whole army with only one metal model. I first started working on a two Hearthguard units of Ealdormen. I gave them all swords and did some extra highlights and brighter colors since these guys are the Warlords personal bodyguards.

Hearthguard Ealdormen
I also tried a more stark high lighting with a two tone look on the shields. I wanted them to pop a little more than the rest of the army and I think they do. At first I did not like the high def colors, but it works on these models. 

New extreme high lights on shields.

I like this pattern and color scheme

Red looks good as well!
Next up are the warriors or Ceorls, now these pictures are the work in progress shot. The shields and extra highlights have not been done, but wanted to show the more subtle color compared to the hearthguard.

Warrior unit one.

Warrior unit two

All together.

Since Saxons have a special rule about levies getting better armor, I decided to do two units of Geburs armed with spear and shields. These guys are still waiting to get painted, but as of the time I am writing this they all have been primed black.

A unit of Levie of Geburs

Two units of Geburs
 Last but not least is the Warlord, which is the Alfred the Great Model (and only metal figure in the whole army). As of the time of the picture, I was going to mount the standard bearer with him, but it doesn't look quite right. So I may just mount him by himself.

So there you have it, a quick little Saga update, will post more as the army progress'. I am really looking forward to the event next month.