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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Goin' down to Nashcon gonna have ourselves a time...

Goin' down to Nashcon gonna see some friends of mine.

So my friend, Don, from the Goblin Factory gets this bug up his ass to add Nashcon to his show schedule this year. I decided to tag along, see some friends, meet new people and maybe even make a few bucks. The drive down was a bit longer than comfortable; it was a 10 hour trip and I have about an 8 hour ass. The trip back was more of the same. But everything in between added up to one of the most relaxed and enjoyable road trips I've taken in a long time.

From the start, I was impressed. The hotel is nicer than any other convention venue I've attended except maybe GenCon of the mid 80's. The staff was courteous and professional. The rooms were spacious, well kept and comfortable. And the breakfast buffet was my favorite of any place I've stayed.

I really have to hand it to the convention staff also. HMGS - Mid South runs a really good show. They book a great location with a good discount on the room rates and breakfast for two included in the price. The atmosphere is relaxed but well organized. Folks were pleasant, helpful and seemed to enjoy being there. NashBucks are a nice touch also. When the people running the conventions do little things like that to encourage sales in the dealer area, it is greatly appreciated. That branch of HMGS has it's head firmly seated on straight it seems. I heard none of the conversations regarding the board and stupid decision making that I usually hear at conventions. Perhaps HMGS -East could take note and emulate this model.

I was a little out of my element when I heard that the dealer hall was in the main gaming room. I'm used to wrapping up at 6pm and going off to do my own thing. But about the middle of Friday night I really started to enjoy the setup. I could take off and see a few games and still cover the booth. I could leave for a while for a meal if I needed and feel comfortable that things would be fine. The best part though, was that I didn't have to pack up all my tools and projects and drag them around with me in the evening if I wanted to get some more sculpting done.

Being a small convention, sales weren't stellar but acceptable. I felt like I got to see everyone who showed up at least once. I met several new people and had a few surprises as I ran into friends I wasn't expecting to see. And I was able to get a good bit of work done throughout the 14 -15 hours a day I spent in the hall.

I limited my purchases to some 15mm miniatures from Splintered Light and Rebel Minis and some 15mm buildings that Scale Creep was clearing out. Oh, I also found the Winsome Warriors books at one vendor which got me to thinking about sculpting some 40mm gentleman's collectibles.

I was able to finish the last three pieces of a Khurasan project, two more new goblins for the Goblin Factory and made good progress on my 15mm Han Solo and Chewbacca. For months people have been bugging me to sculpt some additional Space Bugs. I finally decided on what I wanted to do and was able to finish three new ones, part of two more and decide on the design for another and the jump packs. I'll make a separate post about them later.

All in all, Nashcon was a great trip. Thanks to all those who made it possible and I look forward to seeing y'all again.

Friday, May 20, 2011

My heroes have always been gadgeteers

During my childhood my favorite superheroes were always the guys with the cool gadgets. Give me Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Iron Man and Batman over those other chumps with "special" powers. I'll make an exception for Dr. Strange since he was just way out there, but those other retards... just as well to have saved the ink for all I cared.

So when the Star Wars movies came out, it was no big surprise that my favorite character was Boba Fett. You don't see him do much other than haul Han off in a block of carbonite in The Empire Strikes Back, but my eyes popped out of my skull when he finally gets to cut loose with a few of his toys in Return of the Jedi. Oh, man. Wrist rockets, a jet pack and the best looking blaster of the bunch. Then those sissies push him in a big hole with an over-sized ant lion. Dumbest movie idea ever. But I digest... er... you know what I mean.

Anyway, Boba Fett has been on my ever growing list of cool things to sculpt for about 4 years now. I finally made time to create my tribute to a great character in 15mm. Without further ado I give you...

Boba Fett.

Suck sarlaac digestive juices you pansy-ass rebel scum.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New terrain piece - stone hut

When sculpting, I often have some putty that gets too firm to continue using on a small figure. Rather than throw it out, I use it on a larger project that I keep off to the side of my work area. Over the last couple of months these bits of putty have gone into a new terrain model.

I decided I needed some huts for my Dark Age/ fantasy gaming. So here is the first completed piece, a stone hut with thatched roof.

It is sized for 15mm gaming and the roof is removable. I'll be making 2-3 more different styles of hut walls to to fit the same roof.

I haven't decided if I'll be producing these myself or if I'll sell them outright.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

QWIK - Mud Puppies vs. Dust Mites - Post game report

        Tonight the field of honor was witness to an epic struggle between two less than notable teams. The Mud Puppies took on the under dog home team, the Dust Mites.


Mud Puppies Orange Crush 60
Johnny Lightning Qwik 4 3 5 N
Vance Chain 4 4 4 S
Kyle Drive 1 4 4 5 S
Leroy Drive 2 3 3 4 N
Sarge Drive 3 3 4 3 S


Dust Mites Mellow Yellow 51
Fast Eddie Qwik 4 3 4 N
Lou Chain 3 2 4 S
Carmen Drive 1 3 3 3 S
Hank Drive 2 4 3 4 S
Benny Drive 3 3 3 3 N

        Spirits were high; both sides exchanging insults and taunts as they lined up to do battle.

The teams line up
        The two Qwiks faced off as the first stone was thrown. They scrabbled in the dirt wrestling for the dog skull. Fast Eddie of the Mites twisted Johnny's arm up behind his back and out of its socket.  He grabbed the skull while Johnny writhed in agony on the ground.

        2 stones down.

Johnny Lightning goes down hard
        The Dust Mites set themselves into motion. Lou swung his chain attempting to take the opposing Qwik out of the game. He connected, but did no further damage. The rest of the team moved to support Eddie as he moved to the right of the field.

        Johnny stood up, nursing his arm. Vance caught Mite's Drive, Hank, with his chain, protecting his Qwik while inflicting minor damage. Sarge followed with another attack on Hank, but failed to gain any ground. The other Mud Puppies moved into better positions.

Everyone back on their feet
        8 stones.

        The Mites spend the next few seconds consolidating their position.

United front
        In a flurry of aggression, the Puppies press attacks against Hank and Benny. Hank holds off Leroy but takes an incredible whack from Sarge and is knocked out of the game. Benny dodges Vance's chain while Sarge  and the Mite's Qwik dance around trying to find an opening. Johnny darts in to grapple with Eddie and is thrown to the ground a second time. Kyle moves to protect the stake.

Johnny face dances again
        20 stones. One Dust Mite out of the game but they still have the skull.

        Lou's chain attack fails to impress Sarge. Carmen attacks him as well and is slammed to the ground by Sarge's pile driver. Benny seizes his chance and clubs Johnny Lightning into submission while he's down. Eddie moves toward the stake, dodging a sweep attack from Leroy on his way past.

Eddie breaks for the stake
        Leroy looks for an opening against Eddie,  and finds none. But Eddie's luck doesn't hold as Kyle hammers him into the ground, dislodging the skull and pinning him. The other Puppies maneuver for better position.

Eddie gets pinned
        29 stones. The Mud Puppies have no Qwik, but they have their opponent's Qwik pinned and hurt.

        The Dust Mites move to try to help their Qwik.

        Kyle moves to attack Benny to no effect. Sarge puts the pin on Fast Eddie again. Leroy lands a hard strike against Lou's head and takes him out of the game.

Two Mites left standing
        35 stones. The Mites are in dire straights, but the best the Mud Puppies can do is pin or knock them out of the game and wait for the 100 stone break.

        Carmen launches a ferocious attack against Leroy pushing him back into Benny. They scuffle a bit, but Benny is knocked down and pinned.

        Vance catches Carmen with his chain doing a little damage. A follow up by Leroy slams Carmen to the ground and knocks him out of the game. Kyle moves in to pin Benny. 

Two pinned, three out of the game. Poor Dust Mites.
        43 stones.

        The pinned Dust Mites struggle against the Mud Puppies as the stone count continues.

        100 Stones done! Both teams stagger back to their side of the field trying to recover or find replacements to continue the game after the break.

         To be continued...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Space: 1889 license deal closed

I am pleased (and really super excited) to announce that Frank Chadwick and I have recently closed a deal for Highlander Studios, Inc. to create 15mm and 1:1200 scale miniatures for Space: 1889. I am currently designing the prototypes for the first release in mid to late summer of 2011.

The 15mm line will include adventurers, soldiers, creatures and some vehicles/ ships. Both lines will begin with basic troops and ship types from the original Space: 1889 material. Down the road I'll be adding some new designs as approved by Mr. Chadwick.

Why 15mm? In the words of Mr. Wizard, "Because I like it." Well, that's mostly it anyway.

I have a lot of 25mm VSF, but I like the cost, space and painting time savings I get from 15mm. There is also the fact that there isn't a whole lot available yet, which leaves a niche to be filled.

But the greatest factor in choosing 15mm is that I enjoy sculpting that size. I can complete several figures a week while working on other commissions. That's a big consideration when one is the only sculptor in a company.

The figures and 1:1200 ships will be cast in white metal. The 15mm vehicles/ ships will be done in resin. I'm also considering expanded foam for items larger than a foot in length. But that decision is for much later.

I've had a couple of emails from folks already to request certain types of figures. Please feel free to drop me a line with your wish list. I can't promise to get to it all, but suggestions to draw from are always good.

Look for updates on the project here and at Frank's Space: 1889 blog.