Monster May(hem) continues, and this one’s for Dave! For my second submission, may I present: the Spiny Death Worm!
This miniature is one I’ve had for a couple of years now…one, in fact that I wanted to get painted for last year’s Monster May(hem); but alas, I didn’t get to it in time. The Spiny Death Worm is available through Wargames Terrain Workshop; a.k.a. our buddy Dave’s joint!
There’s a nicely painted picture of this miniature on Dave’s site; but of course I wanted to put my own spin on it, so I didn’t copy the color scheme. You’ll have to tell me if I did ok. I considered basing this Spiny Death Worm on a snowy base, but instead went for a dry desert base.
Here is the blogroll of other participants in Monster May(hem), and their projects that I’m aware of so far. Drop by their sites and show your support!
Dave, from Wargames Terrain Workshop, has sculpted the majority of his own miniatures for his submissions: a Dragonkin warrior, a Clawed Fiend and a Jerba (a Star Wars beast of burden) thus far. He’s also done some GW Dark Elf Khymera, and they look terrifying, and a Slaan Lord on Palanquin (which definitely counts as a monster, Dave!) Did I mention he sculpted the Spiny Death Worm, too?
Matt, from PM Painting did the creepy Jötunn Moder from The Ritual, and a Fungal Troll that may be one of my favorite things I’ve ever seen by Matt, and that’s saying a lot; considering how talented he is. The colors on this are inspired. Everyone should check this one out!
Tom, @The_Goodground has painted a creepy demon miniature, a storm elemental, a Rat Ogre, an objective marker so monstrous it counts as a monster, a vulture demon and a Gnoph-Keh! You can see them over on his Instagram!
Malcolm, @mdcampbell_dunwichcreatives has painted thee monsters so far, a Runequest Walktapus, a classic Grenadier Shadowrun miniature, the Feathered Serpent and a Reaper Carrion Crawler! So far, he’s posted the Walktapus and the Feathered Serpent on his Instagram account! You can see all of them in my #miniatures channel on the Discord server, if you have access. If you don’t, ask!
Mike, @sasquatchminis is working on a White Dragon. He has also posted some WIP shots to the Discord server.
As a kid growing up in the 80’s I had my pick of cool cartoons: G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe, Transformers, Dungeons & Dragons, and Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. Nothing was cooler than Thundercats, though. A couple of weeks ago I splurged and bought myself the complete, original Thundercats series on DVD. I’ve been watching it ever since, and I found out I still love it.
Despite having many miniatures in their 7TV line that I salivate over, I’ve only ever placed one order to Crooked Dice, because shipping is absolutely insane between Britain and the US. As a result, I couldn’t get everything I wanted all at once, but I made sure these awesome “Beastman Heroes” were in the order. They were supposed to be painted as part of the Year of Pop Culture; but like so many of my painting projects last year, I didn’t get to them.
This set contains Panthro, Lion-o, Tygra and Cheetara. Crooked Dice also makes miniatures of Wilykit and Wilykat; and they make a Snarf miniature. They didn’t make the cut on this order. I can do without Kit and Kat, and Snarf is more annoying than any other cartoon character I can think of, with the possible exception of Gleek, the Wonder-Twins’ pet space monkey on Super Friends. No big loss there. (Come to think of it, that unicorn on the D&D cartoon was pretty fucking annoying, too.)
So let’s talk about the sculpts. They’re pretty good, with the exception of Panthro, who happens to be my favorite Thundercat. Panthro is smart enough to design and build the Thundertank, strong enough to LIFT and throw the Thundertank with a full load of passengers in it, and tough enough to kick the asses of all the other Thundercats one at a time or all at once. Plus, he uses nunchaku as his weapon, which automatically makes him cooler than anyone who doesn’t. And he’s voiced by the guy who played the grandfather on the Cosby Show. His sculpt is pretty meh, though, especially when compared to the others. He’s just standing there; and his weapon doesn’t have the telltale cat claw handles, nor does it have a chain connecting the sticks. He’s still a cool figure, he just could have been a lot better.
Up next is Tygra, hands-down my favorite sculpt in the set. Tygra is probably my second-favorite Thundercat next to Panthro. He’s the architect of the Cat’s Lair, he can turn invisible, and he uses a bolo-whip. He’s pretty cool. The miniature is fantastic.
Cheetara can run really fast, which is why I guess they sculpted her running. I find it an odd choice, considering all the other Thundercats are brandishing their weapons; but it’s a pretty good sculpt nonetheless. I would have been happier to see her posing with her staff, like in the intro.
Lion-o is also a wonderful miniature; although in the cartoon, he’s my least favorite Thundercat of the main four. Voiced by the great Larry Kenney, he probably has the most iconic and recognizable voice on the show (at least among the heroes). When they did a Thundercats revival on Cartoon Network a decade or so back, Larry provided the voice of Lion-o’s father. (I actually thought he was playing an elder version of Lion-o, which would have been fucking AWESOME; but I was wrong.) I didn’t watch much of it, because I wasn’t a fan of the art style.
The Mutants of Plun-Darr were the main antogonists for the Thundercats: Monkian, Vultureman, Slithe and Jackalman.
Monkian is my favorite mutant and my favorite sculpt.
Slithe comes in a close second, both for favorite mutant and favorite sculpt.
Jackalman’s sculpt is fine, I guess. Jackalman annoyed me a lot.
Vultureman’s sculpt is pretty lame, the worst of the bunch. Come to think of it, Vultureman is pretty lame. He wasn’t one of the original mutants. Vultureman just showed up one day, like he’d been there all along.
“Ancient Spirits of Evil…Transform this decayed form…to Mumm-Ra…the Ever-Living!” Of course, no set of Thundercats miniatures would be complete without Mumm-Ra, or as he’s called over on Crooked Dice’s store, “Abomination.” Crooked Dice makes a buff version of Mumm-Ra, too (i.e. the “transformed” version), but once again, I had to pick and choose. Maybe someday.
I thought I got that mold-line; but it sure shows up nice when it’s painted.
Since I’ve been re-watching Thundercats, I’ve found myself slipping into the voice of Mumm-Ra without warning.
“You dare ask Mumm-Ra to mow the lawn?! Your insolence tempts the wrath of Mumm-Ra, the All Powerful!!”
“This coffee has grown cold. Mumm-Ra is displeased! Bring forth a fresh cup, lest you be destroyed!”
“Your loyalty to Mumm-Ra has been rewarded. Your time-off request has been granted!”
Guess what? Turns out not everyone appreciates Mumm-Ra.
This project was originally intended for last year’s Year of Pop Culture. This is not a Monster May(hem) post. More monsters to come soon, but in the meantime, check out all the other participants this month at their respective blogs/Instagram accounts and show your support!
Dave, from Wargames Terrain Workshop, has of course sculpted his own miniatures for the first two submissions: a Dragonkin warrior and a Clawed Fiend. Both look wonderful!. He’s also done some GW Dark Elf Khymera, some models I didn’t know existed!
Matt, from PM Painting has completed the creepy Jötunn Moder from The Ritual, and it looks better it does in the movie!
Tom, @The_Goodground has painted a creepy demon miniature, a storm elemental, a Rat Ogre and an objective marker so monstrous it counts as a monster! You can see them over on his Instagram!
Malcolm, @mdcampbell_dunwichcreatives has painted thee monsters so far, a Runequest Walktapus, a classic Grenadier Shadowrun miniature, the Feathered Serpent and a Reaper Carrion Crawler! So far, he’s posted the Walktapus on his Instagram account, but he’s posted all of them on Discord. You can see them in my #miniatures channel on the Discord server, if you have access. If you don’t, ask!
Mike, @sasquatchminis is still hard at work on a White Dragon. He has also posted some WIP shots to the Discord server.
I don’t want to point out the obvious to my regulars here, but the Instagram crowd is kicking our asses! It’s a challenge, not a competition….but still…
To miniatures hobbyists, Julie Guthrie is one of the most talented, prolific and well-known sculptors working in the industry. She is legend enough to have had her own line of Grenadier miniatures back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I own more than a few hundred old-school, metal miniatures of that era, many of them from Grenadier, and many of them by Julie Guthrie. She still sculpts for Reaper Miniatures today.
I painted her Red Dragon way back in 2016, before Monster May(hem) was a thing. This time I decided to give this Skeletal Dragon the treatment.
Full disclosure: this thing was terribly painted once before (with Testors enamels, of course) but had been stripped for repainting about ten years ago. The reason I never got to it was because I couldn’t get the wings to stay on. I tried Gorilla Glue gel and regular super glue, they just wouldn’t adhere. I even tried using green stuff as an adhesive. No luck.
Finally, at age 50, I learned about the baking soda trick. Do you know about the baking soda trick? Because I sure as hell didn’t. Some kid in a Warhammer video showed me. Put some super glue down where you want it. Add a tweezer-full of baking soda. Join your parts, and watch as the baking soda instantly cures the glue and forms a rock-solid bond. Blew my mind.
Here is the end result. I used Reaper’s Bone Triad (Bone Shadow, Aged Bone, Polished Bone) for the skeleton, then used the Ivory Triad (Stained Ivory, Yellowed Ivory, Creamy Ivory) on the horns, along with some Brown Wash. The glowing eyes were done with Vallejo Yellow-Green, washed with GW Waywatcher Green and a dot of Dorn Yellow in the center. Then I scattered some rocks and twigs on the base and that was about it.
I considered making the eyes an eerie blue rather than a sickly green, and once the base was complete, I remembered I had a bunch of treasure piles I could have used instead of rocks and tufts, but…oh, well.
I have a few more projects to get to this month, not all of them monsters. It sure as hell is nice to be painting again.
Once again, the blogroll of participants for the month! Go visit their sites and check out what they’re doing!
Tom, @The_Goodground has painted a creepy demon miniature over on his Instagram.
Malcolm, @mdcampbell_dunwichcreatives has painted two monsters so far, a Runequest Walktapus and a classic Grenadier Shadowrun miniature, the Feathered Serpent! It seems he hasn’t posted them anywhere but Discord so far. You can see them in my #miniatures channel on the Discord server, if you have access; otherwise, check his account. I’m sure he’ll post them both sooner or later…
Mike, @sasquatchminis is hard at work on a White Dragon. He has also posted some WIP shots to the Discord server!
I’m checking all the sites and I will update this list periodically throughout the month. Happy painting!
Don’t see your name here and want to? Drop me a line with your info and you’re in! There’s still time to join the fun!
For my own sanity, I will post Monster May(hem) updates once a week rather than try to keep up with every submission…but the blogroll is here for a reason! Drop by the sites and accounts listed here and have a look for yourself! Support our fellow hobbyists!
There has been much speculation ’round the blogosphere (ok, it’s just been Dave) as to whether or not I plan on hosting my annual painting challenge this May, Monster May(hem), considering I have been scarcely seen around these parts lately and that my recent posting history has been somewhat erratic. The answer is yes.
As in yes, I am hosting Monster May(hem) for the fifth year in a row, and you are all most welcome to participate. How do you do that? Sound off in the comments on this post, or drop me an email at email@example.com, and tell me you’re in. And just like that, you’re in.
THE “RULES”: What is Monster May(hem)? Why, it’s the month you paint monsters, of course. Any monster will do, although it should be a proper MONSTER; no skeletons or orcs. I mean something truly beastly; like a wyvern or a shoggoth or an owlbear. Your monster(s) doesn’t have to be strictly a fantasy miniature, and it may be any scale and from any manufacturer. I will link to your stuff throughout the month, and (if it’s not there already) add your blog/website/social media to the blogroll on the side! If you don’t have a site of your own and still want to participate, I’ll happily host your pictures here and ensure you get proper attribution!
How many monsters you paint is up to you. The minimum is one, of course; but feel free to do as many as you like. The only caveat is that they get painted sometime in May. I usually average around five or so over the course of the month, but guys like Azazel and Matt regularly do more than everyone else combined, and Roger and Dave have even been known to sculpt their own monsters prior to painting! Talk about a bunch of overachievers!
Here are some of my monsters from past challenges.
Last year I opened this up to folks on Instagram, and I will do so again. But fear not: this challenge began here at Dead Dick’s Tavern, and here is where it will always be hosted.
So, who’s in? Let’s make it formal so I can start May off with a blogroll of participants!
Finally, to wrap up my three-part Star Frontiers posts, an actual post about miniatures! (Yes, I still do that here.)
Back in the mid-80s, TSR released a couple of boxed sets and blisters of Star Frontiers miniatures, both for the Alpha Dawn game and the Knight Hawks spaceship expansion. Let me skip to the end, here: like most TSR miniatures, they suck.
I have vented my spleen about the TSR line of miniatures before. In addition to Star Frontiers, TSR released miniature sets for Marvel Super Heroes, Indiana Jones and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. They all suck. Awkward poses, poor sculpts, no sense of scale…all made out of what has to be the shittiest white metal alloy ever produced. It’s too soft, holds paint like shit, and is prone to metal rot. This was not a good era.
The best Star Frontiers miniatures by far are the spaceships for Knight Hawks. Although also prone to metal rot, these are in scale with each other (mostly). Spaceships in Star Frontiers don’t have artificial gravity, rather, gravity is achieved from the centrifugal force generated by the spinning of the ship on its axis. All the interior decks of the ship are perpendicular to the ship’s body. The miniatures look pretty good, but then again the sculpts should be hard to fuck up, considering they’re mostly cylindrical as a result of this gravitational concept.
Which brings us to the modern era of miniatures. Star Frontiers definitely has a retro vibe to it. Although there are several companies that make terrific retro sci-fi models (like Hydra Miniatures, Killer B Games, and Black Cat Bases; not to mention our own friend Roger from the now-sadly-closed Wargames Supply Dump), none of these really capture the feel of Star Frontiers, which has a retro vibe firmly rooted in the 1980’s. It seems like there just weren’t any good options, until now.
Behold! Reaper’s Chronoscope line has done it again, coming out with a Korkosan Explorer (a not-Yazirian if ever there was one) and an Argamite Explorer (a not-Dralasite). Together with their “Rand Daingerfield, Smuggler” this trio could have walked off the pages of any Star Frontiers book published back in the 80’s.
Check out that vest and those metal pants on Rand! Sadly, there’s no “not-Vrusk” miniature yet; but I’m holding out hope, as Vrusk are by far my favorite species in Star Frontiers.
I painted the Argamite and the Korkosan last year with the intent of doing a Star Frontiers post for the Year of Pop Culture; but since I didn’t have Rand painted yet I put it off. I only just got around to painting him last month.
I converted the Korkosan by removing his pistol and giving him a GW laspistol, then adding some wire as a power cord connected to a beltpack. (Everyone knows beltpacks are the way to go. They hold five times as many SEUs as a clip.)
This brings me to the end of my Star Frontiers retrospective. Maybe I’ll get around to running that game this year. Best way to find out is to join my Discord server and keep your eyes peeled in the announcements channel!
I love this picture, painted by the great Larry Elmore. I was fortunate enough to meet him at Gen Con in 2012, and I bought this signed print from him. It was the cover art for the second edition of the Star Frontiers RPG, renamed Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn. Until then, the only sci-fi RPG of note was Traveller, which many people found somewhat inaccessible. This game was marketed to a younger crowd, and the system was much less complicated than Traveller (which isn’t really saying much).
A separate, compatible game, Star Frontiers: Knight Hawks, was released a year later in its own box, and dealt specifically with spaceships and space combat. Although it also had roleplaying elements, it was a spaceship combat wargame that used cardboard counters on a hex mat. I played a lot of Alpha Dawn but only dabbled in Knight Hawks. (We really just used the rules for ship design.) Both games enjoyed a decent amount of product support in the form of adventure modules and articles and scenarios published in Dragon Magazine.
The real draw of Star Frontiers, at least for me, is the setting. It takes place in a region of space known as The Frontier, where the boundary of known space meets whatever else is “out there”. Players create characters from four playable races: Humans, who are pretty much like us, but live longer; Vrusk, a race of insectoid beings that resemble mantids, only without the big claws; Dralasites, an amoeba-like race that can change their physical form; and Yazirians, a race similar to flying monkeys, only with anger issues.
These races worked together almost immediately, freely exchanging information and technology, sharing scientific advancements and generally getting along. They formed the Pan-Galactic Corporation (PGC), a massive conglomerate that, like it’s name implies, spanned the galaxy. They even developed a language called Pan-Galactic (PanGal) that all four races could speak which allowed them to effectively communicate, given their differing anatomy and communication methods. It was a pretty good time.
Of course, good times don’t last forever, and another alien race, known as the Sathar, suddenly attacked the Frontier with what seemed like the intent to destroy everything the PGC had built. The Sathar are a wormlike race with strange telepathic powers who are aggressively xenophobic. No one knows much more about them, because any Sathar will kill itself rather than be taken captive, and they’re not much for chit-chat. To combat the Sathar threat, the PGC formed a combined military force called the United Planetary Federation, or UPF (not to be confused with the United Federation of Planets, which would have probably got TSR sued by the Star Trek guys over at Paramount). The UPF managed to drive the Sathar back to wherever they came from, but not for long.
Knowing that they can’t take the UPF in a fight, the Sathar have since turned to espionage and treachery to topple it from within. Sathar agents from all the frontier races actively work to undermine the UPF, so the UPF created another organization: Star Law. Star Law Rangers travel the galaxies looking for these agents in order to bring them to justice.
And that’s Star Frontiers in a nutshell. The published adventures assume your players will work for either the PGC or Star Law; but nothing says you have to stick to that. You can be pirates, privateers, salvage crews, planetary explorers or even military agents of the UPF. I’m pretty sure my group was a group of mercenaries, because it was the 80’s and I live in America and that was pretty much every movie of the Reagan era; but the game actively discourages this. The first adventure, Crash on Volturnus, effectively strips your characters of all their weapons and useful equipment right at the beginning, forcing them to survive on a hostile planet using their wits and diplomacy; a big departure for groups used to kicking in doors, killing everything in sight and looting the bodies.
There are a couple of big problems with the game. The system is a percentile-based system: roll under your attribute or skill and you’re successful; over and you fail. Pretty standard for TSR boxed games of the time, and still used by many games today. That being said, the system is sometimes a bit more complicated than it needs to be, especially where skills are concerned. Each character can picks a Primary Skill Area, such as Military or Science. Each one of these PSAs have a group of skills under their umbrella, each with a rating of 1-6. Each of these skills are improved individually and usually offer a 10% bonus per level of the skill. The problem is there are too many skills, so advancement takes a long time.
Combat is another matter. It takes forever because of clunky design, and if there’s one thing I can’t stand in games, both as a player and GM, it’s combat that drags on forever (J’accuse, 5E!). There are a ton of different weapons in Star Frontiers, each of which does a different type of damage (electrical, energy, sonic, projectile, etc.) There are an equal amount of defensive suits and screens, all of which are usually effective against only one type of damage. Having the right defense for the right attack is tedious and pretty much down to luck; but equipped properly, your characters can trade shots all day with little danger of dying. Even if not properly equipped, your characters can take a few shots before they have to worry, because most weapons that aren’t energy weapons do shitty damage.
Energy weapons and defensive screens use power tracked by Standard Energy Units (SEU). Tracking SEU use is a bit of a chore. In the case of weapons, the damage you inflict is directly proportionate to how many SEU you expend. For example, a standard laser pistol has a damage rating of 1d10 per SEU (max 10 SEU), and a standard ammo clip contains 20 SEU. That means you could get twenty 1d10 shots out of a clip, or you could burn the entire clip in two 10d10 shots before you’d need to reload.
Either way, you’re unlikely to kill your target. Most characters have an average of 60 hp (their Stamina score). The average d10 roll is a 5.5, rounded up to 6. I suppose it’s possible that a character could burn 10 SEU (10d10 damage) and get a result over 60, which would kill someone with 60 hp (assuming you hit), but it’s unlikely. It becomes even more unlikely when you factor in defensive screens and suits, which will reduce the damage even further. Why anyone would bother shooting a 1d10 shot is beyond me. Even at maximum damage (10) that’s not enough to be more than an irritation. If the target is wearing any kind of defense whatsoever, forget it. You’re just wasting ammo.
Both these issues are easily fixable with some house rules which I use. First, I cut down the number of skills. The military PSA as written, for example, contains a separate skill for each type of weapon, which is ridiculous. Is it safe to assume that military-trained characters know how to shoot all kinds of guns? Yeah. I’d say so. So let’s just group all those separate skills together and call it “firearms” skill. For combat, no more adjustable shots based on SEU use. Laser pistols, for example, do 5d10 damage and a clip contains 10 shots. That makes them more dangerous and more effective then they are in the rules. I use two types of defensive screens: energy and inertia, not an individual one for every conceivable type of attack. Inertia protects against projectiles and explosives, energy protects against electricity, energy and sonic attacks. Two screens, no more. Same with suits. One for energy, one for inertia. Mix and match as you like, but no more nonsense.
It should be noted that combat in Star Frontiers was probably not intended to be deadly. Like I said, it was marketed to a younger crowd. There are plenty of non-lethal weapons in the game: stunners, needler guns, and the iconic doze and tangler grenades, which render an opponent unconscious or immobile, respectively. The equipment lists are both futuristic and a bit dated…for example characters are often equipped with a chronocom, which is a wristwatch/ video communicator with a range of…wait for it…10 whole kilometers! It’s an amusing reminder of when the game was written, long before cell phones were commonplace or the internet even existed.
I’m not the only one who has a love of Star Frontiers, not by a long shot. There are two fanzines that are regularly published: The Star Frontiersman and Frontier Explorer, both of which have a ton of fan-generated content that’s worth looking at. Both of these zines used to be free, but now they’re available for sale at (sigh) DriveThru RPG. The original Star Frontiers rules are also available there in PDF and Print on Demand format.
Up next: a short coda to the Star Frontiers posts, as I discuss…the miniatures!!!!
Back in the 80’s, during the heyday of roleplaying games, TSR Hobbies released a ton of RPGs in addition to Dungeons & Dragons: original properties like Gamma World, Top Secret, Boot Hill, and Gangbusters; and licensed games like Marvel Super Heroes, Indiana Jones, and Buck Rogers. These games were sold as boxed sets, just like the Basic and Expert D&D games. With the exception of Indiana Jones, the rest of these games were successful enough to warrant at least a second edition (some, like Gamma World and Gangbusters, would get more than that) in addition to a line of adventure modules and sourcebooks.
I never played Gamma World or Buck Rogers. I played Boot Hill, Gangbusters and Top Secret, and I enjoyed them all very much. I played Indiana Jones, and…well…let’s just say I played it. But my favorites, hands-down, were Marvel Super Heroes and Star Frontiers. I love MSH so much I still play it. In fact, I just ran Marvel Super Heroes in February for a group of Instagram friends over on my Discord server. I also planned on running Star Frontiers last year, but it never happened. The last time I played the game was a few years ago; but it wasn’t technically Star Frontiers. Like many of these 80’s TSR games, the system was a bit basic and we wanted more, so my friend converted it to GURPS. It was a lot of fun to revisit the setting, but we didn’t play for very long.
A couple of years ago, I heard a new version of Star Frontiers was in the works and I grew excited; at least until it turned out to be a racist, homophobic shit show of a game.
Here’s a summary, best as I can deliver it. Keep in mind, this is my opinion, and my knowledge, such as it is, may not be 100% accurate. If you really want to know, check the internet yourself.
TSR Hobbies, the original company that published Dungeons & Dragons, went out of business in 1997, and was acquired by Wizards of the Coast, the company that, until then, was most famous for publishing Magic: the Gathering. WotC was later acquired by Hasbro, and is a shitty company with a history of trying to fuck over creators, but that has no bearing on the rest of this story. It’s just me stating my opinion.
Anyway, back in 2011, Gary Gygax’s sons, Luke and Ernie Jr., along with another guy started a company called TSR Games in order to publish a new Top Secret game. Apparently, Luke and the other guy missed a trademark filing date in 2020, so Ernie Jr. filed for the TSR name and the two brothers cut ties with each other. It seems to be a bit acrimonious, as now there are two companies with the TSR name run by two brothers who apparently don’t much like each other. WotC doesn’t seem to like either of them, either.
While promoting his new company, Ernie did an interview where he made racist remarks about Native Americans, mocked Trans people and people who support them, and implied that being anti-racist is bad; and people who agreed with him should be very happy with “his” TSR. It got so bad that his brother Luke and a ton of well-known names in the hobby industry, like Jeff Dee and Skip Williams, officially cut ties with Ernie Jr. Larry Elmore even returned money Ernie had paid him for work he had done already.
Which brings us to Star Frontiers. Ernie Jr. decided he was going to revive Star Frontiers, and came up with a new game called Star Frontiers: New Genesis. A playtest doc for that game leaked and…well, shit. It wasn’t the Star Frontiers game of old, that’s for sure. There’s a lot of explicitly racist stuff in it, like how Humans are now split into sub-races, one of which is inherently superior to the other in every way. One of these sub-races is described as Nordic, and the other is described as Negro. Care to take a guess which one is said to be the superior race by racist asshole and known Caucasian Ernie Gygax, Jr.?
Wizards of the Coast has filed a lawsuit against Ernie’s TSR, not wanting to be associated with his bigotry and apparent assholishness. They want to make sure the game never gets published; and they claim they are the true owners of the Star Frontiers IP and the TSR logo, both of which they purchased when they bought the original TSR back in 1997.
My feelings on censorship are well-known. I think it sucks. I feel that Ernie Gygax, Jr. can say whatever shit he wants, and that includes racist, transphobic stuff. He can make games about it and publish them, and if people want to play them because they share his racist, transphobic, alt-right views, they can.
Unless, of course, WotC owns the trademarks. In which case, fuck Ernie Gygax, Jr.
Well, this was supposed to be a post about my love of the OLD, ORIGINAL, not intentionally racist Star Frontiers RPG, and I have veered off the mark. Guess I’ll make this a part 1 and talk about the game I actually like in the next post.
Hi there. Remember my last post, where I said that this year, I would do this and that, etc., etc.? Well, just forget that, because I clearly have. My hobby output has been dismal thus far, and I’m tired of making plans I can’t possibly deliver upon.
I guess I’ll paint what I paint this year, and that’s about it.
So, here are the remaining expansions to the Bespin Gambit set for Imperial Assault, starting with some ISB (Imperial Security Bureau) Infiltrators.
These two similar-looking fellows are led by Agent Blaise, who is an ISB Interrogator who supposedly was assigned to Bespin to uncover rebel activity…
…namely, the rebel activity of one Lando Calrissian, Cloud City Administrator.
Lando’s colors are pretty bold, especially compared to how he looked in The Empire Strikes Back. I followed Sorastro’s tutorial for Lando and I love the results.
I’ve barely painted anything this year so far. I managed to finish running my year-long Lamentations of the Flame Princess game earlier this month, and just last weekend I got to talk to Roger on my Discord server again, but that’s about the extent of my hobbying. I’m definitely feeling the disconnect from the hobby community that my unplanned absence has caused, and hope to be able to contribute more soon.
Well, 2023 is here, and it’s time for a look back at last year’s resolutions and what I accomplished; then it’ll be time to set some new ones. Last year wasn’t great, in particular I had a pretty crappy third and fourth quarter, to be sure. Still, I managed some things better than others. So, what were my resolutions, and did I meet my goals? And what do I want to do in 2023?
More Roleplaying Stuff: Goal met. I wanted to post more stuff about RPGs last year, and I did. I posted a couple of Character Studies for Call of Cthulhu and Star Trek Adventures; I started a review/repair post for old adventures that I want to continue, starting with the Call of Cthulhu classic “Trail of the Loathsome Slime”; I started my own homebrew game, The Hub, based on 1970’s street crime movies like Taxi Driver and Dog Day Afternoon, set in Boston; I wrote a post about the utility of swapping systems from games to use in other games, and I bitched and moaned about censorship, the double standard and general hypocrisy over at DriveThruRPG.
I wanted to do more, and in the coming year, I will.
As far as actually PLAYING RPGs, 2022’s gaming plans didn’t turn out the way I expected. Out of five one-shot games I planned to run, I ran exactly zero. That’s not to say I didn’t run games (I did), they just weren’t the ones I planned on running. Instead, I ran a couple of Star Trek Adventures sessions to introduce the game to new players. I ran a Call of Cthulhu scenario for Halloween, and I even ran a couple of sessions of my own homebrew 1970’s Boston street crime game, The Hub. I ran a short-lived Mutant: Year Zero game for some friends before I came to my senses and decided I don’t enjoy being aggravated (and I don’t mean by the game); but the main thing I ran was a monthly Witch Hunter-themed campaign using Lamentations of the Flame Princess.
I plan on running a new campaign and more games this year, and I have posted my 2023 Gaming page; so check it out if you’re interested in playing some RPGs. I also opened up my Discord server to new players and hobbyists. (Yesterday, I even got to have my first Discord conversation with none other than Dick Garrison himself, Roger Webb! I know, pretty cool, right?) Drop me a line if you’re interested in joining the server.
Painting Challenges: Goal met (kind of). I took part in Fembruary, Forgotten Heroes, and Deadcember (over on Instagram); and I hosted Monster May(hem) again. Then the world went to shit for me smack in the middle of Dave’s Season of Scenery, and I had to bail on it completely, after first abandoning my idea to finally build my Deep Space Nine model. The one challenge I’m amazed I was able to complete (and on time, every time!) was…
One Character a Month: I didn’t host it this year, but I took the opportunity to paint all old-school metal miniatures for this challenge. I’m pretty happy with the results.
Here’s a group shot. Top left to bottom right: January through December.
This year, I will absolutely host Monster May(hem) again, and I hope to take part in all the other painting challenges from last year, including the Season of Scenery, dammit. In addition, I am continuing the Character of the Month personal challenge, but this year I’m making it all demi-humans! Tom is also hosting the challenge again (he calls it #paintanadventuringparty); but his take is a bit different. Remember the old Ral Partha 3-stage characters? He’s doing that: paint a character as a rookie, experienced and veteran version. That’s a bit too much for me to commit to, given my other projects, but YMMV. Drop him a line if interested!
More AARs: Goal not really met. I started my Star Trek gaming project, The Pawn, all the way back in March. The premise of the project was to tell a story based on the results of games played. Well, I definitely told a lot of story so far; but I only managed to play ONE underwhelming AAR before I took a break and never got back to it. We left Lieutenant Barclay in a precarious position, pursued by Romulans on the ice moon of Varuna 3; and we left the rest of the Enterprise-D heading back to that system after almost starting a war in the Neutral Zone. Will I get back to it? I sure hope so. I have a lot more story to tell. Just need to find the time. You can enjoy what I did manage to write thus far if so inclined. All the posts are tagged “The Pawn”.
I also planned on getting back to my Green Hornet game, and even a new Christmas scenario featuring The Crimson Hound again…but you see how that turned out. This year I want to return to both those games and some Super Mission Force; but we’ll see what the cards hold. In the meantime, I’m living vicariously through Matt, who posted a shit-ton of AARs on his site last year!
Personal Projects: Goals partially met. I had two: paint my Star Wars: Imperial Assault miniatures and make 2022 the Year of Pop Culture. I managed to paint The Bespin Gambit and one expansion (Bossk), but I still have a couple of expansions to paint before I can call that set all done; then it’s on to Hoth or Jabba’s Palace for 2023, I’m not sure which one yet.
As far as the Year of Pop Culture is concerned, I painted a lot of pop culture miniatures in 2022; but nowhere near what I wanted to. So, the Year of Pop Culture continues into 2023; where I suppose I should consider renaming the challenge, since it’s more than a year.