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Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Starting Work For The New Year

For the last week or so I have been feeling a little disconcerted. Despite a few hours a day trying to figure out what it's all about. I have come to the conclusion that I haven't painted enough minis. Go figure.

Soooo...The main reason why I am not painting of last is that I don't have much a place to work. What I do have is a puff. In truth it is a very comfortable place to put my feet but It's not a workbench. It is what I have at the moment.was

I guess painting is out of the question. My eyesight is not the greatest and I am kind of dependant on using a magnifying lamp. Given the "workbench situation" I can only do what I can do. So this is it.

As part of the overall plan I was going to do some Blood Bowl stuff. I only have a few figures to hand so I thought I could at least get things started. Some of the stuff I got last year were the Doom Lords. Chaos is one of my favourite teams to play. Bashing things in Blood Bowl is where it's at for me. It lacks a little flair maybe but it feels good when you see your opponent start to twitch when they see their third player carried off the field of play.

As I cannot paint without the lamp so I figured I could at least get them put together. The twelve figures in the box will get you a team but it rarely covers all the options. Games Workshop want to sell you a second box which means you end up with a sprue you don't really need. At least with this set there aren't too many wasted figures.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Happy New Year Or 2019 - The Plan

So the end of a another year. Time for the usual renewal and looking forward to the future kind of post. Right now it does feel like a time of renewal. The new year appears to be a time when my life is about to change. Significantly so. In previous years this has been an upbeat post. It is odd that it was this day last year that everything started to change. Today things seem very precarious still. My predictions for the year to come seem to be more vague ideas than they have been in years gone by.
This year has seen me me lose my auntie, my home, my relationship, my beloved car and about seventy five percent of my income. I have recently quit my job and now have to find one. Where I am living may be untenable soon. Many of these problems may sort themselves out and I have a feeling they will. Sadly it looks like nothing is going to sort out Fallout 76.

This year has been a bit of a let down on the gaming front at least so I am at a bit of a loss of what to write this year. After splitting up at the beginning of the year I haven’t had a proper paint station. So, whilst I have done a little bit of painting, I haven't finished a figure since March. I guess this is the real reason why I haven’t done much blogging this year.

I have been blogging for almost seven years now. This year has seen a bit of a bump. When I look at the blog numbers, the post count seems to support this. The post count plummets in April and there have even been three months with no posts at all. That said it has not been my worst year for posting. Somehow I have managed to but on about sixty five thousand hits. Not all of these have been from dodgy sites in Russia either so not bad when all considered.

It has also been a year where money has been tight. I have purchase very few figures. Again less than any other year. The grand total would be less than fifty. I have had about as many again brought for me. I am very grateful for that especially as I have had little free money.

There have been a couple of things I am proud off this year. Firstly, and mostly related to painting was the fact that I took the time to clear my bench of part painted stuff. This took a good chunk of time at the beginning of the year. Like many of you I have a significant lead mountain (and plastic and resin) but the part painted mountain was driving me up the wall. It felt good to get all the part painted stuff done. Then of course I realised that I have even more part painted stuff but that is by the by.

Perhaps the best for me was that I finished the rules for the Viking game. Now formally Northmen: A Time Of Sagas. I have been tinkering with them but they are playable. I have also done a lot of world building. Now I am happy to play the game and plan to start the ball rolling in February.
Figure painting wise this has been the worse year in a decade. My much maligned paint station is now sorely missed. Currently the shortage of space makes the prospect of getting another workstation unlikely in the short term.

Of those new figures Blood Bowl has featured highly. This has amounted to about a third of what has arrived across the year. I now have what I need to do Doom Lords, Skaven, and Dwarves with a few other bits and pieces. Last year the Skaven Team was the next one to be done. In terms of painting I have not painted a single figure for this game this year although I did finish the Orc team troll that had been sat around, 95% finished since the year before. All in all a bit of a wash out and I have not even started on what I had planned which was 24 figures.

At the beginning of the year Titansgrave, or rather the figures for it was catching my attention. Many of the figures could be used in other games. Some Sci-fi dwarves were finished. Obviously there were not enough of these. I have no specialists and no female characters and so may get some of these this year. One of my friends plays a lot of Shadowrun so I figured they they would also
work out for that. I up-painted some Future Savages for this game. I really like these figures, which were designed by Mark Copplestone. These will do double duty for post apocalypse. Also doing double duty for Titansgrave and post-apocalypse were the chaos cultists. I was quite pleased with how these turned out in the end. As part of the plan I would have liked to do some conversions of the plastic gnolls originally purchased for Frostgrave I planned, and would have liked to have brought some more figures for his game. That said I think I pretty much achieved my target for the year on this one. Like most other games, this will be a few years in the making I think.

The Viking game I run was expected to take up a big chunk of my painting time this year. It didn’t. I have plenty of stuff primed for the game from the year before last. If I totalled up all the fantasy figures I have done this year I might have painted about twenty, many of which are not really Viking in nature. I was expecting to paint fifty and maybe ninety. So again a definite undershoot.
Frostgrave was also part of this years plan. Some of the figures might be useful for this but not many. I have more or less given up on this as a project but I suspect that most of them might get used for other things.

Zombies is another failure. I was going to take part in the annual Zomtober event. I even had figures purchased last year that I had planned to use. I did get six Mantic figures for Christmas which was nice. I had hoped to get about thirty figures done. I think I managed four as part of finishing off what I had on the bench. There is still a pile of older plastic stuff as well but U was expecting to get a fair chunk of the Mantic stuff I got last year done. I was hoping to paint at least a trays worth of figures so again a bit of a bust.

Kingdom Death Monster is something that I would really like. It is a game that I would throw a lot of effort at. Sadly I haven’t had the money and whilst I could be looking at it it as a present that is just too much money to spend. This project looks like it has died on the vine.

As far as background projects go nothing has really advanced. 6mm Napoleonics hasn’t gone anywhere. Weird War II/VBCW has seen some figures being primed but nothing more. In my head the 15mm mecha game has become a 28mm mecha game. I have done some work on the idea and have updated the rules but nothing more. Earlier on in the year I did some work on my ideas for a Savage World game set in the Underground of a post-apocalypse London. Some of the figures I painted at the beginning of the year will count as progress on this front. I quote “The English Civil Figures I have seem destined to stay in their box and the super hero figures are probably going to stay unpainted.” about sums it up.

X-Com is a game I talk about almost every year (going back for twenty years) and this year I haven’t really done much of that I haven’t painted or brought any figures although it has been on my mind. The new computer game left me a little uninspired. Having talked about it with a few people there seems to be some interest in the game so maybe things will progress. I would be happy to get a game on the table. At the moment it’s on the back burner but maybe I could get some stuff done later in the year.

In total I have painted just under 120 figures this year. This is about half of what I had hoped. This only really happened because I had a good start to the year. Even with this limited amount of figures done the lead mountain has officially gone down this year.
The New Cruelty is very unhappy.

This is the point where I start making predictions for 2019. This seems like a fools game at the moment. There are some things I would like to do but I think I am going to be a little less ambitious this year.

So for the new year Blood Bowl is something I would like to work on. I have planned to get some Forgeworld pieces for the Skaven team but haven’t had the money. So I would like to get this done in 2019. I would like to get another team, probably he Dwarves, done as well and maybe buy some more figures and paint another team as well. I have the Doom Lords in boxes and it would be nice to get them done as well. As I put a lot of effort into these figures they tend to take up a lot of time so this might be more ambitious (already being ambitious within a paragraph of me saying that I wasn’t going to do that) than I can manage. Some more Nurgle and the Champions of Death would be nice. Two teams of about eighteen to twenty figures would be a reasonable objective.

Having played in a Star Wars RPG this year I have been taken with the idea of running that game although probably as a Savage Worlds game rather than one of the published rules. Solo was a great film no matter what the critics say and I have watched Rogue One several times. All this keeps giving me ideas. About half the figures that have come my way this year have been for the Star Wars Legion game. I thought about the Imperial Assault game but like the figures for Legion better even if they are massively too big. These are ripe for conversion. I suspect that I will be buying some more and maybe some conversion stuff. I would like to see sixty figure/two foam trays full of figures completed.

As I am going to be running the Viking Game I suspect that I will be painting figures for this came at some point during the year. If I throw in some more mainstream fantasy stuff in this section I can see me doing quite a lot of work. I have a load of small lizardmen primed and based and ready to go, just like last year oddly. The same can be said for some GW LOTR rangers which is fancy more as thieves or bandits. There are gnolls and cultists too. Celtic dwarves and some gnomes from CP Models are still on the wish list. The latter will probably get ordered in bulk and converted for Titansgrave. There are some halfling figures due out that might catch my attention (some of which may end up being converted for Titansgrave). I would be surprised if I painted less than fifty this year although a few more would be nice.

Zombies are bound to play a part if I get my painting mojo going. There is plenty of Mantic stuff still to do including the Made To Suffer expansion that I got for Christmas. A couple of boxes of prone figures might get brought and Here’s Negan might come my way this year. Whilst I guess I have sixty plus figures to paint I would be happy if I managed a foam tray full/about thirty figures.

As far as background projects go there is stuff I would like to work on. The apocalypse is never far from my mind. It would be nice to do some work on this he post-apocalypse in the London Underground seems like it might see some work and some of these may morph into Fallout. I have been playing Red Dead Redemption II a bit and I might think about doing some more cowboys but this seems less likely (it should have been Fallout 76 but I really don't want to talk about that right now). Having seen a few things about strange happening in Arizona (an area that I am drawn to for gaming for some reason) I might try and do some Conspiracy X like.

The New Cruelty has called for about five figures per week. Obviously this hasn’t happened this year and I don’t think it is going to happen this year. I am not expecting to start painting in the next month or so. When I do I am not expecting to have as much time on my hands. Setting a target of an average of ten figures a month rather than five per week seems more appropriate. The New Cruelty will be a little less cruel this year.

The future of the blog, well it is still pretty secure. I would like to think I am going to do better than I expect at the moment. I would like to get back into it a bit more so would hope to do at least two posts per week. If I can manage a little more I may even get to a thousand posts. This means that I need to do something to blog about. This year is another birthday milestone for me. This seems to be a year for a change.

So here we are. It’s a watch and wait kind of year in the offing.

Thanks for reading the blog this year. I really do do it for me but it is nice to know that somebody else is out there and reading what I have to write. A happy new year to you all. Hope it’s a good one and brings you everything you want.

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Christmas Is Come (ing)

Wishing you all the seasonal stuff. Hope it's a good one for you all and that Santa brought you everything you asked for. Assuming you are on the nice list that is. If you are on the naughty list, you have me sympathy. I think I am on the nice list but I am not too sure.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

To Paint Or Not To Paint - Semi Professionally

Today, for the first time in a long time, I have sat down with the intention to paint something for sale. As it happens I didn't do anything for sale in fact I didn't do anything at all. My workbench is my dining table and I didn't get much time to do anything before having to pack things up.

I have been trying to come up with a way to price my figures. Whichever way I look at it, if I want to do it professionally, I have to charge a lot. A decent paint job takes about an hour for a fairly basic uniform and maybe more. Doing a character figure or one with a complicated uniform of camouflage takes even longer. This does not take account of gluing things together, basing, prepping and all the rest. This is putting me off. If each figure is going to take about an hour then the price is going to be huge. I cannot see me charging less than £10 per hour and £15 seems more reasonable.

Has anyone paid for people to paint figures in the past? If you did, what did you pay and how happy were you with what you got?

Monday, 12 November 2018

RIP Stan Lee

Originally I was planning a different post today but the passing of Stan Lee made me change my mind. It's official, his death is all my fault. I had been watching David Bowie on YouTube earlier pn the day and thought it had been a while since one of the cultural icons of my life had died. Never, ever...EVER! tempt fate.
When it came to comic reading in my early life the works of Stan Lee were not really my thing. My heroes were from Star Wars and my comic of choice was Star Wars Weekly. I might look at Judge Dread but it was Star Wars and not the superheroes of Stan Lee that caught my attention. If I did go for a superhero comic it would be Batman.

As I got older and started to look for more nuanced characters I found that Stand Lee and his cast of characters were much more intriguing. Things were muddier for them. They had real world  problems to deal with.  My mantra, as my dad would have it, was "do the right thing". In my world and the world of Stan Lee, doing the right thing is seldom easy. For a long time I have nailed my colours to those of "Team Cap". Even though this might have cost me dearly, I have come to believe that the right thing is the right thing even when it has cost me.


Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembrance Sunday

Today is a special day in the history of the British Isles. A hundred years since the end of World War One. 
My grandfather fought in the war and there are a number of uncles I never met because of it. I guess my grandfather was lucky. He joined up at the age of sixteen in 1914. He spent the first two years of the war guarding German prisoners in Wales. This was probably a lucky billet for him. We are pretty sure that he served with the East Lancashire Regiment first. No one is quite sure why. This regiment was based a fifty miles North of where he was from. That said his brother ended up in the Scots Guards, so maybe not a total surprise. By the time he was sent to war the Battalion was in France. He spent about a year with the Battalion fighting in various, far from glorious engagements. Although not especially well known they appear to have taken a beating. Two battalions of the regiments were combined into one. They must have taken a further beating as the battalion he was in was eventually folded into the Manchester Regiment.

I recall being told that about sixty men of his battalion went over to the Manchesters. His record shows that he ended the war with the Northumberland Fusiliers. He may also have served in the Lancashire Fusiliers but we are not quite sure if that was the case. According to the records he never made it beyond the rank of Private. If he is half the man I recall this would likely be done to his sunny disposition rather than a lack of talent.

The war affected him badly although he seems to have gotten away without serious injury. The man it left behind affected my dad and me in turn. It seems strange but I still feel the effects of that war that ended a hundred years ago in the way I was brought up and the man it made me.

Unlike his brother, for whom my dad was named, he did not fight in World War 2. His brother had a more chequered military career. But maybe that is a story for another year.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

The Urge To Paint / Mobile Paint Station

Painting 28mm miniatures is my passion and along with the building of terrain, video gaming, roleplaying and board gaming this is what takes up my free time. I have spent the last six months of so not painting. The move and the need to get some money coming in has kind of superseded the urge to paint. As much as anything else it has been finding a place to paint. Despite being a house, the place where I am living at the moment is smaller than pretty much anywhere I have lived in the last twenty years. So I have no place for workbench. Right now I am regretting getting rid of my old cupboard. I know I complained about it a lot at the time but right now I am longing for it. I started the year with the desire to continue The New Cruelty. Perhaps it is time to get back to both.

So I have had to come up with an alternative solution. The only place I have to work is my kitchen table. Obviously this is not a great place to paint and it's a fairly high traffic area so I can't leave anything setup indefinitely. Despite being broke I looked up some of the commercially available solutions. Mostly they don't suit me and are far from cheap. I am used to a lot of space and a lot of paint. This leaves me with what I have to hand. Which is a lot of boxes. Most of my stuff is currently in Really Useful Boxes, the hobbyist's best friend. So this is the idea....

So Really Useful Boxes it is. It will work out fine. Just as long as I breath in through my nose and out through my mouth and remind myself that this is a temporary solution. With non-bespoke solutions nothing quite fits but this is not a big issue as the setup does not have to be hyper-portable. I would like to have all my paint in the one box but I guess that's my own fault for having too much paint.

Let's see how quickly I can get naffed off with this.

Things would be progressing further if I could actually find any paint brushes.