Monday, 30 January 2012

Topic: Its That Time Again

It's that time again folks, work continues on the Zombieville Post!

Submissions gratefully accepted - Pictures of Painted Hordes, Scenario Ideas, Zombie Reviews (books, movies etc), new Cast Member ideas (both Survivor and Zombie) - anything to enhance our enjoyment of Zombie TV!

Submissions to the Usual Email Address -

Thanks In Advance - Drew

Friday, 27 January 2012

A Return to the Community . . . . .

Don't worry I haven't forgotten about this, in fact I did some writing this afternoon (I needed cheering up) and Miniatures to follow.

Including the New Numeral II . . . . .

Saturday, 21 January 2012

7tar Trek II

One of the big things I am attempting is to be comprehensive, so 7TV Gadget Cards are renamed (or sometimes omitted as they don't 'fit' the setting), new Event Cards (these are actually proving a problem, I want distinct Federation only cards - but do I do I go that far with Klingons, Romulans, Orions etc?

Oh and Federation Gadgets differ from those allowable to other more unscrupulous races too.

I've broken it down to different positions on a Federation Vessel or Station, Captain, Helm, Engineering, Science/Medical (only one Archetype there, that's tailored to fit), then additional Special Effects to customise further - making someone Head of Department, First Officer etc.

To further that, each race is presented as a Special Effect too - but as with Department Heads, a cost in Ratings is associated with each Race (one for Stars/Co-Stars and another for Extras) - this enables quite a bit of customization with your Federation Casts. All Stars and Co-Stars have one less Special Effect choice, as having the Racial Choices adds more into the mix.

Klingons are being done as Klingon Captain, Klingon Engineering Officer, etc. This is so the Klingons stay, well - as Klingons with not faffing around changing things.

Romulans and Gorn (the other two Major Villainous Races Covered) are being treated the same.

HOWEVER there are also Merchant/Trader Crews - leaving Room for Scoundrels like Harry Mudd and Cyrano Jones in the mix. So there are seperitve Profiles for Ship Captains, Engineers etc - then further Race Special Effects for Orions and other Races to do your "rogue" Casts too.

Lastly I plan to have some "Special Guest Stars" as well, so expect to see Kirk, Spock, and Crew and a few surprises.

Right, back to transferring my rough notes into Word LoL!

Friday, 20 January 2012

7tar Trek

I always seem to come back to Star Trek Gaming, no matter how far I stray.

Generally its with RPG's, whether it be the FASA RPG, Decipher, or the Last Unicorn Games (I've got them all) but recently, I've come around to skirmish gaming.

What I'm working on at the moment are guidelines for Cult TV Wargaming in the Worlds of STAR TREK The Original Series  – presented in the style of Crooked Dice’s amazing set of Action Engine rules 7TV.

Unfortunately they won't be stand alone - you will need Copy of 7TV, and (of course) Miniatures or Card Stand-Ups to represent your Casts and Crews.

This PDF will be split into sections – an Introduction to the Universe of Star Trek, Starfleet Casts, Starfleet Weapons and Gadgets, Alien Casts, Alien Weapons and Gadgets, Event Cards, and Scenarios.

My love affair with Star Trek started when I was very young, I was already a Doctor Who fan - my first experience with Starship Troopers was two years off (Uncle Joe gave me my first copy of the book when I was nine).

I can clearly remember sitting there in my pyjamas, full of Saturday night tea (Saturdays were a big thing tea-time in our house, we always had something nice) – I had no Doctor Who to watch, as it had finished its last series a few weeks ago – but my Mom came to the rescue as she always did. “Don’t forget Star Trek is on tonight” – my Dad rolled his eyes and sighed deeply (he’s never been a Science Fiction fan, not like me and Mom) and buried his head in his paper. Luckily I knew he would most likely sleep through it, so nothing would be spoiled or interrupted - and I had a feeling Mom and I were in for a treat.

"Where No Man Has Gone Before" was the first episode to be shown in the UK by the BBC on July 12, 1969 – I was just 7 at the time (quite literally, my Birthday is in May), and my wonderful Mother let me stay up past my Bedtime to watch it.

I wasn’t (and still aren’t) disappointed. Everything was amazing, the music, the spaceship, the characters – I can still remember going to bed buzzing about it.

I’ve done quite a bit of Star Trek Roleplaying over the years (the FASA Rules remain my favourite) and wanted to do skirmish gaming, but no set of rules ever “fitted the bill” till now – with Star Trek being one of my all-time favourite TV Franchises, and 7TV being one of my all-time favourite Miniatures Games – it just made sense really . .

Thursday, 12 January 2012

7TV Fans Yahoo Group

There is now a Yahoo Group for 7TV - A Yahoo Group for Fans of Crooked Dice and their wonderful miniatures and Games - Focusing on 7TV and 7ombieTV!

If Yahoo Groups are more your thing than Forums - join up now!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

You Only Live Dice in Birmingham UK

Crooked Dice are coming to Birmingham in the West Midlands, UK on the 18th February 2012!!!

Famous games stockist Waylands Forge in Birmingham UK are hosting some participation games of hit Spy-Fi miniatures game 7TV on Saturday 18th February.

The award winning participation game "You Only Live Dice" will be played, so come and meet Karl and some of their Crooked Minions.

Click the link to go to the shop website if you need to contact them for more details.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Issue Two of the Zombieville Post

Issue One of the Zombieville Post is pretty much a success, and everyone seems to really like what we've produced - Thanks Again to Everyone who contributed!

193 Downloads since Christmas Eve overall, so again I'm very pleased!

Still, more to do - Issue Two is now officially "underway" - I know Andy (Ainsty Castings) and Tony (Shadowking) have stuff for the issue, Carl (of Creature Feature fame) has done some more Paper Terrain too!

It's all to do people - send any ideas or submissions to - we are looking to a Late Feb/Early March release date for Issue Two!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Basing Ideas

I got so frustrated looking for Resin Bases I liked, I started making my own - for my 7TV/Sci Fi Miniatures, I use a simple cross carved into a flat surface, easy to press mold and has loads of uses. Black and White Chess Board for 60's style Sci-Fi, drybrushed in metal for Sci-Fi deck plating, or drybrushed Grey for groovy street paving slabs.

My Pirates are based in the same way, but I sculpted a planking base - made the molds and pressed them out.

I use a mix of Miliput and Greenstuff (yes it works) the GS stops the Miliput being too brittle, and the Miliput stops the GS being too flexible.

I've done some rocky/moon/desert toppers, and have taken pictures of the process just in case people might me interested.

First, cut two discs of 2-3mm plasticard out. I used a pound coin as a template, its slightly smaller than the top of a 25mm round base. I used sand and fresh clean cat litter (before anyone goes eeeuuiii, Cat Litter is fantastic as ballast when terrain making, the crumbly clay based non-clumping is the best, it holds the glue better) - cover the top of your disc with PVA, and put your Cat Litter Rocks where you want them (it actually doesn't matter where, as the cast rocks can be filed/cut to accommodate your miniatures feet) then cover with sand and leave to dry overnight. When dry you must clean up your edges so everything nicely circular, and seal the topper with thinned down PVA - VERY IMPORTANT, it stops bits coming away in the mold.

Soften your Instant Mold/Thermo Plastic (use the soft rubbery stuff, not the rigid stuff for complex shapes like these) - press a blob on the piece to be cast, and leave to harden for a while. When its cool to the touch, turn your originals out. Repeat as many times as you think you need molds.

Mix your putty (or Dental Plaster, mix a little PVA in with it its less brittle then) and fill your molds, don't be tempted to put them putty side down on a flat surface, as this causes bowing in the center of the mold. Just use your fingers to work it into place. It doesn't matter if its rough, you can sand the underside down for a snug fit onto the top of your base when its set. I usually leave them over night.

Turn them out, and sand the bottoms/clean up the sides as necessary - you will end up with variations just from cutting/filing down areas for the miniatures to stand, but a little static grass can go a LONG WAY to making bases such as these look really different!

After a quick drybrush and a wash, done - they take paint well, aren't so absorbent it becomes a pain to paint them (unlike with sand and gravel) and aren't going to flake or chip at a later date.

All my Astronaut/Intelligent Ape/Quarry in Doctor Who needs are catered for now!

Monday, 2 January 2012

More 7TV Madness, Pirates this Time!

The Return of the Scarlet Buccaneer

The Return of the Scarlet Buccaneer was a 1979 swashbuckler Movie from Knight Pictures, produced mainly in response to the Movie “Battle for the Galaxy”.

Even though Battle for the Galaxy was set in a Universe Long Ago - and was to all intents and purposes a space opera, it never the less contained many heroic action sequences reminiscent of the old Hollywood swashbuckler movies of the 1930’s.

When Al “Romeo” Knight, and his partner Harry Salterman saw Battle for the Galaxy - they knew there was a way of cashing in (and keeping it cheap production wise) and their way of doing so was to produce a Pirate Movie.

Battle for the Galaxy drew its story heavily from Greek and Roman myths, and its epic story-telling style from Japanese Jidaigeki films (in particular by Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress) - Knight & Salterman saw no reason not to take  the same inspiration, after all it was easy - and cheap, as most of the influences were public domain.

The script (such as it was) was finished in late 1978, and production began in early 1979 - with a really REALLY small budget. They shot locally, to further keep costs down, and recycled a lot of the old props, ships, and costumes from the old Hammersmith Pirate Movies of the early 1970’s.

The cast was assembled quickly, a relative unknown actor Richard Marx was cast as Lucas Seahawk the young lead. 

Lucas  was the orphaned Son of a Buccaneer, he was taken in by his Uncle Owain and Aunt Beryl who  raised him to hate Pirates and Buccaneers.

When old Ken Bonnie (portrayed by the late great Alexander Cafrey) returns to Plymouth, and tells Lucas his father was the most famous of the King’s Buccaneers, an heroic figure who sailed the high seas in service of King George I - Lucas is horrified.

When it turns out the last thing his father did was steal secret plans to the King of Spain's most secret weapon, a huge War-Galleon known as the Dark Star. A ship so powerful and well armed it is capable of destroying entire towns and ports with its firepower - Lord Tarrant (played by the amazing Peter Wilton) and his aid, a huge Warrior clad entirely in black referred to only as the “Dark Warrior” (played by stuntman Dudi Prouse, and voiced by Earl James) is in league with King Philip V of Spain, and Plans to destroy British ports around England, finally targeting London - with the intention of sending Britain into uproar and economic collapse. 

This upheaval would Lord Tarrant free to assassinate the King, and place a “puppet” monarch on the throne.
Documents outlining this were in the safe keeping of Lady Lena of York (played surprisingly well by Al “Romeo” Knights Daughter, Christina Knight), who (whilst on a diplomatic mission to Spain) simply vanished - she is in actuality being kept in shackles on the Dark Star, awaiting her inevitable fate. 

Fortunately, Lady Lena had passed the plans onto her man-servants Mr Thorpe (Daniel Anthony) her Butler, a very prim and precise man with no appetite for adventure at all, and Mr Ratto (Kenneth George) a small but hardy footman - who though comical in appearance is much smarter than he appears to be.

After Ken Bonnie convinces young Master Seahawk he needs to take to the high seas to become a Buccaneer and serve his King (and by doing so finish his fathers last task) they leave for a dive known only as “Mo Smileys” a disreputable Tavern where they might hire a ship and a crew.

Ken Bonnie and Lucas Seahawk quickly find themselves engaged in conversation with Captain Jon Swallow (played to great comic effect by John Nathan Christopher), a ne'er-do-well Pirate Captain who needed funds desperately to get out of Plymouth in a hurry. The deal was quickly settled, money changed hands on the deal, and Captain Swallows first mate (a huge hairy Scotsman) named McNally (Robert Logan) leaves to buy provisions for the Ship.

Just after McNally Exits, Lord Tarrants men arrive in for form of a group of British Marines, resplendent in their red coats. 

A fight ensues, this is the first time we see Lucas Seahawk  fight with a blade - Ken Bonnie holds his own too (in spite of his age), and at the peak of the fight shouts to Lucas “here take this, your Fathers blade” which spurs Lucas Seahawk on to defeat several opponents at once. 

Even though Captain Swallows holds his own in the fight, his fighting style is planned for comic effect rather than drama or action - and balances the swordplay displayed by Lucas Seahawk and Ken Bonnie quite nicely.

They take flight from Mo Smileys and reach Swallows ship - the Wicked Wench, just as McNally is ready to weigh anchor. Seahawk is not impressed, calling the Wicked Wench an old crate as the set sail.
As they pull away from Port, the shots from the Marines Muskets clattering harmlessly off the hull of the ship.

The Wicked Wench finally catches up with the Dark Star, late at night. It is pitch black and the sea is calm, and they take a launch and pull quietly along side. Climbing up the hull of the Ship, Seahawk and Captain Swallow kill the two Guards on Watch - and begin their search for Lady Lena.

When they find her, she is barely alive - having been tortured by the Dark Warrior. Swallow has a start when he sees the Dark Warrior’s armoured form in the corner of the room - but his signature black leather armour and face-mask are empty. 

As they flee the Dark Star, the alarm is sounded - and they quickly return to the Wicked Wench and set sail. Cannons are fired, and musket shot rings out in the dark. They seem jubilant over their escape, only to find that Ken Bonnie is dead, his throat cut - as they sail away, they can just make out the form of a muscular man swimming away from the Wicked Wench towards the Dark Star. 

Lady Lena is reunited with Mr Thorpe and Mr Ratto who have the plans, and she seeks audience with King George. Lucas Seahawk is introduced as the son of the Kings friend the Scarlet Buccaneer - and so is charged by King George to take a fleet of Privateer Ships and destroy the Dark Star before it can begin its assault on the ports of England.

Swallow takes his reward for helping Lucas and Lena, and bolts - he has a price on his head put there by Desi Triure  (a Pirate for whom Captain Swallow has worked from time to time) for dumping a smuggled cargo when boarded by the East India Company, and he wants to pay Triure off before he is killed. 

Lucas and Lena take to the open seas again, this time in an English Ship. A great Sea battle ensues, between the Dark Star and the Privateer Fleet. Things take a turn for the worse, the Dark Star is still going strong - and most of the Privateer Ships are either sunk or sinking.

Then, through the smoke, the Wicked Wench appears - seemingly out of nowhere, and delivers the coup de grĂ¢ce shot to the Dark Stars hull. Holing her, causing her to sink rapidly. The next shot we see is of Lord Tarrant, lying amongst the remains of his sinking ship - as the Dark Warrior swims away. 

Once back in England, Lucas Seahawk, Lady Lena, Captain Swallow and McNally receive their rewards from the King - the movie ends with a heroic flourish.

The Return of the Scarlet Buccaneer came about for two reasons, firstly how much "Star Wars - A New Hope" reminds me of a Pirate Movie plot (and I had watched it and the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie back to back) - and I KNEW if I did a 7TV-Style Pirate "homage" I would actually pull my finger out and start painting my fricking Pirates!

Of course, this also meant searching through my miniatures for Characters - which (excepting with McNally) just weren't there - so it meant conversion time. So far Ken Bonnie, Lucas Seahawk, Captain Swallow, and First Mate McNally are ready to paint, and I've started work converting Lord Tarrent, I've already got Marines - as for Spanish, the Freebooters Fate Imperial Navy look suspiciously like Spanish crew anyway.

The Dark Warrior is an issue, but I'm sure I'll get there.

Lady Lena, Mr Thorpe and Mr Ratto I can do without conversion.

 First - Ken Bonnie.

He's a Black Scorpion Pirate (the one with two Pistols) with a head-swap (a Crooked Dice Man from 3000 head) and a sculpted beard, lastly I gave him a Cutlass in his right hand.

 Next Up - Lucas Seahawk.