Friday, 2 January 2015

**** 2015 - the Year of Tékumel! ****

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of "The Empire of the Petal Throne" by TSR. The creation of M.A.R. Barker, it had me hooked as soon as I saw it!

2015 - the Year of Tékumel!

As many of you are aware, our catalogue has a lot of holes in it in the form of "Not Available" or "Coming Soon" figures. It is my intent to bring all those into production during 2015. The model I intend to use is the same sale that I did with the Sapphire Kirtle figures. That is, 50% off to non-members and 60% off to members. But, as you know, that didn't go so well with some "technical difficulties" - to put it nicely - throwing a spanner in the works, so to speak. So - the first step is to get that situation resolved. This I hope to do early this month. Note that some of the figures damaged will take longer to repair as they actually have to be repaired by the sculptor but the majority of the figures can be fixed up fairly easily.

Once I have clean castings on hand I will put that that initial sale on again for any newcomers and send out the shipments to those who have been so patiently waiting. Once this is resolved to everybody's satisfaction I intend to offer the Shen for the same sale price. And following that, the intent is to work through the backlog of Yan Koryani until all of our old figures plus all those un-released figures are in production.

Note that we also have new figures in production. The sculpting of the Legion of the Red Devastation is well advanced and the casting for the initial Swamp Folk figures is under way. Note that I will not be able to put the Swamp Folk on for the same sort of sale as the others just because the production is so onerous.

Anyhow, those are the plans as they stand now. Comments and suggestions welcome, as always.

Best Regards and Happy New Years,

Howard Fielding
The Tekumel Project

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Excellent Travelling Journal: a new fanzine for The Empire of the Petal Throne!

Simply Superb...

Over at Grognardia, James Maliszewski has been very busy working on a new fanzine for The Empire of the Petal Throne. It is called The Excellent Travelling Journal and is available in print form only. The Empire of the Petal Throne, the first roleplaying game set on M.A.R. Barker's world of Tékumel, will be 40 years old next year, so his timing is impeccable. I've seen an advance copy and it is "simply superb"! :-)

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Get Your Free Figure!

Did you contribute to any of Dark Fable's previous three Egyptian Indiegogo campaigns? If so, don't miss out on your free reward figure!

Contribute now! :-)

22 days to go and lots of cool stretch goals left to unlock...

And, yes, I am a contributor. I think this range offers a great many figures that are perfect for Tekumel!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Putting together a Command Platform...

Far Eastern "Community Building" by Sarissa Precision

Actually these go together so easily that you hardly need any input from me. I just wanted to touch on some things I've encountered.

1) The building is designed so the roof comes off, but in doing so they designed it so that the walls were intended to be glued to the platform. Of course, I want the platform but then would like the option of using it for its original purpose - and I still want the lift off roof. To do this I have to leave the holes in the floor. No problem there, as I am intending to have rugs and daises (and people) covering the surface anyway. The problem is going to be with the walls of the structure which are pretty flimsy, being very open. My solution is take the triangular cutouts from these same walls and glue them in the four corners - top and bottom - to act as bracing for the structure. I will then just have to build a box to keep it in to make sure it doesn't get bashed about.

2) I am going to glue the platform in place but I want to finish the base before I do that. If I were just using it as a command platform just set up for the battle I would do the base as normal for my bases. But I want to use it for its original purpose and I am thinking it might work well with our upcoming Swamp Folk. And guess where they prefer to live? My current thinking is to put tufts of grasses around the perimeter and slightly under the platform but to otherwise to the base in irregular areas of sand. If I then use black or black/blue or black/green for the inside part of the base I might be able to make it look like its in shadow and also leave the possibility that the ground is swampy. Or is that expecting too much?

3) The other thing I am considering is whether to paint the platform or not. I have an idea to paint it a blue suitable for Tsolyánu and perhaps weather it a bit. Or should I leave it the "natural" wood?

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Command Stands

A Command Stand any Imperial Prince would be proud to own!

I short time ago I was made aware of some new laser-cut MDF buildings from a UK company called Sarissa Precision. They make a number of very nice buildings, carts and wagons, boats and bridges, but what really caught my eye was their range of "Far East" buildings.

When I first saw them on the Shadowkings blog it immediately occurred to me that the platforms might serve as command stands. So after some consideration I ordered the large Community Building. I knew it was going to be big but what attracted me to it over the others was that it had three steps up instead of two and the steps were wider and were placed front and back.

And it is quite large! The platform measures 6" x 12" if not exactly then very close to it. Is that too big? There are a couple of smaller village houses to choose from, some of which are on tall stilts (which I think rules them out) and some which are L-shaped rather than rectangular. There is a low rectangular style, with the two steps mentioned above. This might be a possible, smaller alternative. There appears to only be a single set of steps.

Myself, for the main field army - led by an Imperial Prince or High General - I think that the larger platform works pretty well. It will accommodate not just the Prince and his aides and generals but also possibly the large war drums that are used. And there is room to have the offensive and defensive magical contingents flanking on either end.

The smaller platform might be an option for a smaller force - or if your table size creates limitations.

I had intended to eventually produce a command stand but I was thinking of getting one made from resin. Or resin and metal bits. I envisioned it having carved wooden supports and totems or stelae and being decorated by many banners. (The irregular finish to the ends of this platform are a minor thing I don't like - I think the platform would be better finished.) I think the commander and his sub-generals would stand or sit on daises or piles of rugs to delineate their respective statuses. There would perhaps be scribes and slaves in attendance, or standing near at the ready. Also runners and junior officers. These would perhaps be at the foot of the stairs as would a contingent of bodyguards. Perhaps tapestries would be suspended between the posts along the edge of the platform? Or banners draped over the edge?

I think it has the potential to make a really nice display piece! :-)

What I am going to look into is getting some accessories made that could be used to dress it up a bit. And I'm going to order a smaller version to make a better comparison. 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Chlén Beast and Carts

Here are some pictures of our Chlén beast model. Some of you have seen it before on Chirene's blog. Well, now we're going to be releasing it. Of course the nekkid version shown above isn't much use. We need a version with a harness and tack sculpted on, And we need Chlén carts - both 2 and 4 wheeled varieties.

I've actually been considering this for sometime. Close to a year now, in fact, maybe even a little longer - like closer to two years! There are a number of things to consider.

3D printing, all these new laser cutting companies making not just buildings but carts and wagons, traditional sculpting and model-making techniques - all have been looked at and considered. And at the same time there is the look of the thing to consider. The design of the carts. The design of the harness and tack. The two wheeled cart has only one beast pulling it so the harness is probably different from that used on the four wheeled cart. The beasts are probably harnessed in tandem rather than in pairs. They would be too wide otherwise.

How big should the two styles of carts be? How large should the wheels be? Are the front wheels smaller than the back? Are they spoked or solid planks? How thick are they? Do the carts have sides? What do those look like - how high are they?

For inspiration I once again turned to India. The traditional Indian bullock cart and the Indian temple wagons (called Juggernauts) are what I searched for. The temple wagons have been referenced in one of the issues of the Seal of the Imperium. These are massive carts with equally massive wheels and frequently with cart bodies of elaborately carved wood. The concept is for something in between the fantasically scaled Juggernauts and the practical bullock cart.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

LAST CALL - The Legion of the Sapphire Kirtle - Sale Ending Soon!

LAST CALL to get in on the Sapphire Kirtle skirmisher sale:  

60% off sale for Tekumel Club members;
50% off for non-members.

The casting order has been placed and is in RAFM queue. When I receive the castings I will probably give a few days grace but then the sale will be over.

"But I'm not a member anymore" 

- that's OK. You can assume your membership is still good and just renew "later" (or at the same time, if you like. Every little bit helps!) ;-)

Summer Convention Amnesty

"I'm heading off to GenCon/ComicCon/or wherever and this is really bad timing" - No Worries. If you want to get in on the sale send me an email and I'll put you down at the sale price. Then you can just pay when it is better timed. Provided it is within a reasonable timeframe and with the understanding that I can't ship until the figures are paid for.

I'll let everybody know when I get the castings and when the sale is officially kaput. Still a little time yet. This is just a reminder. :-)

Best Regards,