Oni preview

Today we preview the 70mm scale mythical model that will be included with the Japanese starter set, the Oni. Sculpted by Oliver Cook this 70mm scale metal and resin kit is our rendition of the renowned Japanese Yōkai.

Oliver Cook is a Sydney based 3D character/creature artist  who has worked across TV, Film and Games. Olivers credits include being a character artist for the popular computer game LA Noire and having created CG creatures for the various BBC ” Walking with Productions such as ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’. Oliver is currently a 3D art teacher at the AIE in Sydney teaching 3D Art & Animation. Olivers journey into character and creature design started after having seen Jason and the Argonauts when he was younger, a life changing experience we are grateful for! Since then he has been passionate about mythology and creature design – making him an ideal fit for our design team.

In approaching the design of the Oni we first looked at a lot of historical references that were generally more comical and unrealistic in design, knowing that this would not fit into our design aesthetic we then incorporated Oni designs from a  alot of other Japanese cultural references including traditional and modern tattoo art. Merging both the historical, traditional and contemporary reference along with some artistic license brought us to our final design that Oliver managed to pry from the pages of history and drag it into the real world. The end result is what we think an Oni would look like if it were real. Olivers next challange is to take on one of the centerpiece models for our Greek range, so watch this space!

The final model has an optional dignity loin cloth (pictured) to cover his demonhood, this was made to look as if it was pinned to his skin. We are looking forwards to seeing  how hobbyists approach painting this model and  we are confident that it will look awesome marching alongside your Japanese army on the table. Please note that the base this model is on is not the final base and that the assets for the final base have changed between these renders and the final print model that is now complete and sitting with our 3D printer for printing!

 

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Norse fiction preview

Today we have something a little different for our preview post. Instead of doing a model preview we are going to give you a taste of what you will find within the epic tome that will be the Conquest of the Gods core rule book, specifically an excerpt of some fiction.  As previously announced, we have 4 talented fiction writers working on the fiction for our book, each with their own unique style – giving the fiction for each army a unique feel.  We are very happy to announce that the major body of fiction is in its final draft, and 3 of the 4 short stories are now tied up and ready for publication once we finish the books layout. The book itself has evolved beyond expectation and we are eager to get both the free mini rule book and the full rulebook that will include the fiction, model rules and artwork (to be sold separately) ready for print.

 

Raymond Gates, writer for our Norse fiction has prepared an excerpt for your enjoyment. Raymond has now penned the Norse fiction, the title of his short story for the book is titled ‘Fjori’s Bane’. We hope to show you some more fiction previews from our other authors before we publish the book. For those wanting to know more about our rules mechanic we will be developing a rule preview video in the new year.

 

If you love this expert let us or Raymond know! You can follow Raymond Gates other projects over at his website – http://raymondgates.com

Alpha Sphinx preview

Todays model preview features what will be the largest model in the Egyptian army in the initial releases found within the pages of the Conquest of the Gods core rule book. Sculpted by Australian artist Carly Glover, this multi-part resin metal kit has an intimidating wingspan just over  18cm, the height of the sphinx himself (without is base) is just over 10cm.

Carly Glover is a Sydney based 3D Artist who specialises in the design and modeling of the weird and the wonderful characters that have yet to exist. With a Bachelor of Design from COFA UNSW, her professional background kicked off in Graphic Design and Television Production within the Art Department for several Australian Networks. More Recently, Carly moved into the 3D Arts where she studied Animation & VFX at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment. Carly is currently producing a short film with a team of six as a proof of concept for a children’s series pitch later next year. As an artist, she is always seeking new adventures and exciting characters to bring to life and Demigod Games has provided just that! Carly is already working on another monstrous creation for Conquest of the Gods, this time for the Norse army.

The design philosophy of this model follows the broader philosophy we bring to all of our models, what would this look like if it were real. As each army will have at least one ‘giant’ model in it, we wanted this to be the giant model for the Egyptians, and for it to have a truly fearsome presence. This originally was not going to be the ‘giant’ model for the army but as the concept evolved we felt that making the model larger was the only way to truly give the concept the respect and attention that it deserved.   Given the importance of the sphinx units within the armies rules it made further sense to make the Alpha sphinx a centerpiece model, one that will only be rivalled in presence by the Egyptian god model that we will be previewing next year before we launch our crowd funding campaign.

The Alpha Sphinx will act as a conduit between your god and the non-winged sphinx models that we will be featuring once they are closer to completion. The Alpha Sphinx will not only be a key strategic mythical unit (if you opt to field mythical units in your army) but is also a fearsome combatant that can hold its own if necessary.

Whilst we did give you a small preview of this model in our initial preview post, it’s only fair that we give this beautiful piece of art a proper post to show it off. This model is presently in our prototyping queue with  the growing number of models we need to have printed with our 3D printing firm and should be ready for casting sometime early next year.

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Norse Vikings Preview.

This week we are previewing one of the core units for the game, the Norse viking unit. Sculpted by Elijah Akouri, these multi-part metal miniatures will be the foundation of most Norse armies.  They have been designed to have interchangeable arms, weapons and shields. Each arm has a degree of poseability and interchangeability so players should get a nice range of diversity within the unit once these are assembled.

The design process for the viking unit was a fairly long one as these were not the first sculpts done for the vikings. we had originally gone in a slightly different direction, alas  all involved were not happy with the first viking miniature we produced – a picture of this can be found on our Facebook page and it may be released as a limited run miniature during our kickstarter campaign early next year.  Following some trial and error we opted for a total redesign and Elijah has done an amazing job in creating something that is modular whist fitting within the constraints of what your basic Norse viking would have looked like.

Players will generally field 10 to 20+ of these in a unit and this will be a unit that we will be releasing with the Norse starter set.  These are now in our production que for prototyping before they are off to moulding. We will be publishing pictures early next year of the final production casts for these.

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Valkyrie preview.

Today we present another model preview in what should now be smaller yet more regular previews  between now and when we launch the crowd funding campaign some time early next year.

Australian artist Adam Bax has been working busily on our Valkyrie model. Our representation of this Norse guardian angel is truly a stunning piece of work and we are very excited to be showing you her 3D render. As i type this update she is being uploaded and prepped for quoting before being printed by one of our 3D printing partners.

This metal and resin multipart kit was designed to not only suspend the model up off the base but also be balanced enough so that it would not constantly fall over. Our design and focused on keeping the weight of the model down low to the base so that it can be used as a gaming piece.

The final release model will be available in 2 to 4 versions depending on demand and how much capital we raise during the crowd funding campaign to cover the 3D printing costs of the other iterations. We will be releasing an adult version (pictured) and a PG version where hair will cover the breasts. Further to this a ‘busty’ version of both adult and PG versions has also been designed.

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1st Round of Conquest of the Gods miniature previews

Today we are going to show off some of the hard work that has been kept under lock and key at Demigod Games. Specifically we are going to show off some miniatures and renders of some future miniatures that are either being prepared for production or are very close to being finished and prepared for production.I am presently weighing up the option of doing a pre-release run of some of these before launching some crowd funding early next year. For those who are unaware, our miniatures are 31mm scale. This essentially means that they are the same scale as most other popular wargaming ranges.

A brief note on our design philosophy and approach. Each miniature is designed through a collaborative process between John and the artist, with the same fundamental philosophy being central to the process. With our mythical units the initial approach it to look at what the unit would look like if it were real, this element of realism is a huge underpinning philosophy behind every miniature we produce. With the more historical miniatures, we always start with historical reference and then look to make them fit within the game and the range whilst being faithful to the history and still injecting a little artistic license. We have also gone for more realistic proportions on our models, again to try and keep things looking as realistic as possible.

So without further adieu, here is a sneak peek of two units from each of the upcoming army for the Conquest of the Games that we have not already previewed (so we are not showing off the Norse troll within this preview).

 

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Hersir.

The hersir leads units of Norse vikings into battle. Sculpted by Chris Elizardo this is a 4 part miniature has been based on several historical references.

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Thor

Thor is the first ‘God’ miniature that will be released in our range. Sculpted by Kris Hammes, our rendition of Thor seeks to release a translation of the Norse god that is more Norse than superhero.

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Greeks

Strategos.

Leading phalanxes of hoplites, the strategos has been primarily designed on amour found in a number of museums, with some artistic license creeping in to the current iteration of the model. The render shown below is not the final version of this model as we are still reworking several smaller components (as we are on several other greek miniatures). Several artists have been involved in the evolution of this and the other greek miniatures, all of whom we will try to credit once it is finished.

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Minotaur.

Sculpted by Michael Barnes, the Minotaur was another miniature that evolved to fit our setting and design philosophy. Standing at an intimidating 70mm scale, this bad boy is sure to attract allot of attention on the tabletop. The Minotaur is in the final casting stages of production and pictures of the final production model should be available soon. This will be a resin and metal hybrid kit.

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Japanese

Ashigaru.

Sculpted by several artists, this miniature will be sent to production soon. Again we have gone for historical accuracy. The minature posted below has gone through several changes since the render was made, it does however give you an indication of the direction we are going in with this one.

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Oni.

There has been several attempts at doing an Oni in the past, and for me they never quite looked right. Being a fan of Japanese tattoo art, the aim with this one was to bring to life the fearsome Japanese demon that is not only an important part of Japanese culture and mythology but also a fairly iconic creature in the wider artistic community. Like the Norse troll and the Greek Minotaur, this 70mm miniature that was expertly sculpted by Oliver Cook is ready to go to prototyping and we should see production casts of the final metal resin kit some time before before early January.

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Egyptians

Mummy.

Our first mummy miniature was sculpted by Matthew Lavotha. Not shown on its final base, this was designed with the premise of what a real mummy would look like if it were reanimated. Based on several real mummy references were used from a number of museums, the end result is something we feel is unique and brings a more realistic looking mummy to the tabletop.

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Alpha Sphinx.

Sculpted by Carly Glover, the alpha sphinx is Demigod Games take on what a sphinx would look like if it were real. Some gamers have been wanting larger models,  this massive miniature has a wingspan of 18cm and should make a great centerpiece to any egyptian army. It is now ready for prototyping and we hope to see production casts of the final metal and resin kit ready by the end of January.

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I hope you enjoyed our first model preview. we will show off more updates like this (admittedly they will be smaller in size) over the coming weeks.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them below, like us on Facebook, or sign up and say hi over at our forums!

Journey from 3D into metal casts

In 1913, some 100 years ago, H.G. Wells published little wars. Little did he know that he would start an industry of toy soldiers and the ‘wargaming’ hobby. Since then table top wargaming has been a constantly evolving industry. Over the years we have seen industry leaders constantly raise the bar as far as quality and complexity of miniatures go, that said in more recent years some of these leaders have started to shift their focus, most notably towards the production of plastic ‘miniatures’. Taking large steps away from the ‘tin soldiers’ of old. Painters are becoming far more savvy and with the diverse range of products available now to help gamers produce expert looking models more easily – I am certain that the increasing trend of better and better models being painted  more easily will only continue to grow. The range of basing products alone to help gamers base their models at that high end level is in itself is quite astounding.

 

One of the  interesting things we have observed with the current industry trends is that with the rising popularity of plastic miniatures, comes with it a sense that the target audience is perhaps getting younger, there seems to be a trend moving backwards towards the miniatures becoming simpler (yes a generalisation, there are plenty of exceptions) and in some cases we are seeing a shift towards miniatures produced in cheap soft plastics that are more like toys than scaled model kits. Clearly there is a large fan base for plastic miniatures and they have some great advantages such as the ease in which they assemble and can be cut up for customising other models. That said there are also some old school gamers who prefer the metal miniatures and to a lesser (yet growing) extent – resin. One of the things we often hear in the good old metal vs plastic debate is that the weight and feel of a metal miniature when using it during a game gives it a more quality feel, and that meal miniatures can be more easily stripped back and repainted. I won’t go too much further as this discussion tends to quickly dissolve into school yard style arguments over what is better when one looks at the views on the online community, Though one popular argument is that you can get more detail into plastic and or resin miniature’s, a claim and a myth that we hope to dissolve a little with the release of the metal miniature’s in our range.

 

The advent of 3D sculpting is in some ways helping the drive towards plastic miniatures. It is easier to prototype from 3D straight into plastic these days and with talented 3D artists being easier to find  then traditional sculptors, manufactures seem to be embracing change. 3D can be more cost effective if utilised the right way, reposing, tweaking and redesigning components being the prime example. Plastic sprues can be designed digitally, 3D models can be used for basic things like instruction manuals and repainted for model art.. the list does go on …

 

What we wanted to do is bring this new technology and meld it with the old. Rather than use 3D to make great plastic miniatures as others are doing, we wanted to try and enhance what can be done with the metal and resin miniatures. We found that in moulding our larger models for resin production (yes our large models will be metal resin hybrid kits) there was a small loss in quality and detail from the sculpt or 3D print to the final model. It si generally accepted by most industry insiders and gamers that resin models tend to hold more detail from the original due in part to the moulding process and in part to the materials… though the 2nd half of that assessment is really not that true, you can get comparable quality in metal if you go the right way about it. The aim was to minimise this and see what could be done with metal and I think the results are rather exciting.

 

Our vision to bring a new level of detail to metal miniatures started with finding an affordable yet high end 3D printing service. Unfortunately this meant going off shore but the results have come back and we have had models printed with details well below the 12 micron level, 24 microns being the magic number where any detail below this isn’t viewable by the human eye without assistance (i.e. magnifying glass, high res cameras to enlarge areas of detail and so on). Some of our prints have been printed down to the 4 micron level, most are printed at the 12 to 8 micron level so the level of detail in our prototypes can potentially far exceed anything that a traditional sculptor can do. Now just because you can print something this detailed does not mean that you ‘should’ as we learnt quickly that adding too much detail to a miniature can result in you having details there that will never get painted, that is if they were not covered up by undercoat when the painting process started. The translation from screen to print was also an interesting journey a we mentored a number of computer game artists who had to re-train their eyes to exaggerate items that would be too thin to cast up – for example a tiny thin spear that whilst we can sculpt and print it – casting it is another matter, let alone how fragile the end product would be.

 

Here are some pictures of a prototype model that won’t be making it into the final range (we may consider using it as a promotional model once some improvements are made). The 3D model looks pretty good, and we sectioned him up to experiment with assembly options such as having a separate head (we won’t be doing this in 99% of our range as it’s a nightmare to glue on).  Here are the 3D renders to 3D print comparisons:

 

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Now the challenge was to make this metal without losing most of that amazing detail, or in the least to have a comparable loss to the detail lost during resin casting.

Thanks to some clever ingenuity by our casting partner here in Australia we have success:

 

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So what’s next? Well we are in two phases of development with the miniatures, the range at large is presently being worked on by our talented team, as each model is finished its then queued up for printing via our preferred printing process (this is quite costly). This is an interim plan whilst we seriously look at making the sizable investment into an ultrahigh resolution 3D printer. The models are printed on a first come first can be afforded basis as the project is still being funded personally from my wage. Once printed they are cleaned up and sent off to our casting partner who prototypes a metal cast and then we go to vulcanised moulding. The process seems to be sorted so it’s more a matter of funding at this point. Whilst the above examples are fairly old now as far as the wider project is concerned (6+ months old now) it was well overdue for sharing so i hope you enjoyed some insight into how we are approaching miniature production.

 

I hope to be announcing something on the bases front soon as we plan to do something different here too.  So yes, the thick metal base on our prototype is not what you should expect, we are again working on a process to bring something that is both high in quality and unique. You won’t be getting a fraction of a cent worth of plastic as a base with our miniatures.

 

Announcements are around the corner on not only the first metal miniatures releases but also on our miniature basing system so be sure to tune back in when we make our next round of announcements.

 

John

Conquest of the Gods Development and Production Update.

Whilst we primarily work with 3D models, sometimes it’s nice to see some traditional sculpts. Our range will feature the occasional traditional sculpt because this is really the best yard stick to use when comparing how our 3D work is going both in quality and in cost. Whilst 3D ends up being a lot more expensive, it’s good to see healthy competition between traditional and 3D sculptors and the results that follow. This week saw two traditional sculpts for the Conquest of the Gods range be sent to our casting partner for moulding and casting.  Whilst we will hold back on showing you all the fun details of these until they get back from the casters, some sneak peek pictures lay below.

 

In other news the fiction for the game is going wonderfully. We have one short story piece in final draft and the main body of fiction has surpassed the half-way point and is looking fantastic.  Hats off to our talented writers who are producing some very entertaining work. The games core rules are in their final draft and the model rules are about to make the transition from the alpha test into beta testing with a small group of play testers.

 

The design of the core game accessories are also well underway. We have now settled on how we will be doing the model bases and we have also have made a lot of progress  on the design of the cards for the game with the games ‘card deck’  finished and ready for prototyping.  The ‘model cards’ card templates for each army are well into development  and should be tied up in time for when we release production models for sale to the general public.

 

Model wise, we have several 3D models ready to go to casting. We are waiting to confirm some details with our resin caster before sending most of the larger models off to be cast in resin, some of  the smaller 3D stuff will be going to our metal caster sometime in the coming weeks. We have a large number of key models being worked on by some Australian 3D artists and the results are looking amazing, some of this can be shared soon!

 

The to do list is still long and there are several key items to get ticked off the list over the coming month, of these are some key models for development, packaging, book layout and the ever elusive issue of sorting out game dice and locking in a reliable (and cost effective) supplier.  We also need to finalise designs for the game effect tokens and templates…

 

So what does all this mean? It means that by Christmas we should have some prototype boxed sets to show off, some models should be for sale up on our site and we should also be well positioned to confirm if we need to raise some capital through crowd funding. Having an in house 3D printer would speed up the process significantly as we use an overseas printer due to a lack of onshore high res options – crowd funding this may be the only way to really fund the costs of the high resolution 3D printing process we use to print our models. In an ideal world we could build the fan base up through a crowd funding campaign so that several key people on the project could transition to working on it full time as well having an in house 3D printing service.

 

We now have a Demigod Games Forum

With great thanks to Ian at the Australian Tabletop Gaming Manufactures Association (ATGMA) we now have a public forum to discuss all things Demigod Games. As more detail about the game and the product range becomes publicly known, we hope that the forums will be a great place to ask and answer questions about our little project. The link to the forums can be found on the Demigod Games home page.

 

While your over at the ATGMA forums, be sure to check out some of the other manufactures areas, there’s some interesting stuff going on here in Australia and I am sure that there will be more manufactures joining the site in due course.

 

stay tuned as we creep ever closer to some product spoilers! Three models are off to final production molding this week. Once our casting partner has some casts done and ready to show off they will make an appearance here, hopefully with details on how to order 1st cast run copies of them before we attempt our crowd funding campaign.

Conquest of the Gods Fiction writers announced!

It is with a great sense of pride that I can now formally announce who the fiction writers are for the Conquest of the Gods core rulebook.  The rules for Conquest of the Gods and the range of miniatures that will be found within its pages have been in development for some time, in fact if we go all the way back to the games inception, it has been a 4 year journey – with the last 2 years having a more focused development effort.  The game rules and the miniatures production are now at a point where we have needed to seriously look at having the fiction drafted for the final book. We still need to get some nice artwork done for the book (an ongoing issue) but with this announcement we are taking one large step closer to the games eventual release – tentatively set for some time in the first half of 2014.

 

Finding the right people to do the fiction has in itself been a long and educational process, we have shifted from initially using an overseas industry fantasy author to  settling on a style and direction that would work much better for the adult audience that the game is targeted at. This evolution has resulted on a focus on local talent as originally intended with 3 of the 4 writers residing here in Australia. Exploring and using local talent where possible has been a focus of the project since its inception. Most of our models and other components of the game are designed and made here in Australia so it’s great that the fiction is also for the most part being penned either in Australia or by Australian and New Zealander writers. We have decided to go down an interesting path with the fiction for Conquest of the Gods, to ensure that adult gamers are going to get a new and fresh take on the ‘fluff’, we have recruited published Horror fiction writers to do the fiction for Conquest of the gods. The work that has already come past my desk is defiantly hitting the mark and is very promising! We hope to bring gamers something new, dark and no holds barred, a philosophy that we intend to bring to everything that we produce.

 

So what are we bringing you as far as fiction is concerned?  There will be 5 bodies of fiction to be found within the pages of the games core rulebook. The major body of fiction will cover events spanning all 4 release armies and should be comparable in length to what most tabletop wargame companies release with their rulebooks. So expect a book that will hopefully come in around or just under 250 pages. On top of the major body of fiction there will be 4 short stories. Each of these will be specific to each army released in the games rule book.  Each of these will be done by a different author to not only give each armies fiction a unique feel, but each of these have also been catered towards the writers strengths with the aim to help drag readers deeper in to the games setting.

 

So who are the writers?

 

Tracie McBride – Tracie is our lead author and is not only doing the major body of work but is also doing a short story for the Greek section of the games rulebook. Tracie is an adopted Aussie; originally from New Zealand, she now lives in Australia with her husband and three children. Tracie is based in the beautiful city of Melbourne, known not only for its F1 circuit, trendy cafes and trams, but also for the talent hidden within the city’s limits. Her first short story was published in 2004, and since then her work has been published or is forthcoming in over 80 print and electronic publications.  In 2008 she won the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best New Talent. Tracie is also an associate editor for Dark Moon Digest and vice-president of Dark Continents Publishing.  Her first short story collection, “Ghosts Can Bleed”, is now available in e-book and paperback. Tracie is both a talented writer and editor. She may also be helping polish John’s first foray into fiction writing by editing his introductory short story that might sneak its way into the book as a short piece to help introduce the setting.  Be sure to check out Tracie’s blog over at http://traciemcbridewriter.wordpress.com

 

Next up we have the talented Mr. Raymond Gates whose writing style is very dark and very gritty (be sure to check out some of his freebies on his blog cited below), Ideal for the Viking hiding within all of us so it was a no brainer decision to approach Raymond to work on the Norse short story the core rule book.  Raymond Gates  has had his stories published in several horror anthology books, more recently Massachusetts-based publisher Grinning Skull Press will be adding his short story, All I Want for Christmas, to their soon to be published Christmas-themed anthology and Ticonderoga Publications published ray’s short story, The Little Red Man, in their anthology of Australian vampire stories, Dead Red Heart. Raymond Gates is based in sunny Queensland, better known for its hot weather, theme parks as well as beating New South Wales (where Demigod Games HQ and John is based) in the state of origin football almost every year. As for what twisted journey Raymond Gates will take us on with the Norse fiction is something you’ll have to wait to see. In the mean time I encourage you to check out his musings over at http://raymondgates.com

 

Lee Pletzers – Lee is a horror writer with 70 short stories in print and 5 novels under his belt.  More recently are RAGE (2012) and Resurrection Child, (2012) via Dark Continents.  Lee grew up in New Zealand before becoming a well-traveled writer who now lives in Japan. It stands to reason that he was recruited to work on the fiction for the Japanese section of the rule book. Lee brings both an amazing writing style but also a cultural knowledge that is sure to help readers dive deeply into the Japanese aspect of the games setting. You can check our Lee’s site and blog over at http://kobefiction.we.bs

 

Finally but by no means least is the multitalented Nerine Dorman. An editor and multipublished author, Nerine currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa, with her visual artist husband. Her more recent novel Inkarna is presently available via Amazon. Nerine also edits the Egyptian Society of South Africa’s quarterly newsletter, so it was an easy decision to bring her on to do the short story fiction for our Egyptian army.  To find out more about Nerine and her other musings we encourage you to visit her website at http://nerinedorman.wordpress.com/