Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year Or 2018 - The Plan

So it's the end of the year. Over the years I have taken time at New Year to look at what I have done in the last year and see how I have progressed. Time for a little bit of retrospection on what I have done on the blog and a look into the future.

Christmas week has been a bit busier than I was expecting but in a good way. The downside of this is that the blog has suffered a bit. I have missed more posts in the last week than I have in any two other months this year.
Figure painting wise it has been a good year. Since creating the idea of The New Cruelty, I have largely stuck with it. On the weeks where I haven't I have usually made up for it somewhere along the line. Where I think I have done especially well is at looking what has been sat around for years and getting in painted. A lot of stuff that is five or even ten years old has made it onto the painting desk alongside a few much older models and into the paint queue.

Blood Bowl has figured highly this year, which looking back to last years post is not much of a surprise. I have painted two full teams with a number of extra players. Whilst there are a few special characters (star players and big guys) still to go, these team are pretty much done. I have even managed a couple of games. All in all I am happy with the progress here.

I haven't done too much on the X-Com front this year. The plan is still here though. I have acquired quite a bit of terrain but I have a few decisions to make about the miniatures and a few total gaps. Whilst it's not back to the drawing board it has been a year where I have reviewed my choices. Mostly I am thinking about backing the Chronicle X kickstarter. So X-Com is still going ahead.

Titansgrave has had a bit if work done on it this year, although it seems more likely that these will get used for Shadowrun than anything else. The film Bright on Netflix gave me a bit more impetus. Most recently I got a dozen orcs done for the game. A number of figures are now on bases with grit on them and need priming. This is usually a good indication that things are going to get done but more of that later.

The Viking Game and dark age stuff in general has been a big focus this year. The plan was that this was going to be a bit more on the back burner this year but some models have captured my imagination. The buying of specifically dark age figures seems to have dropped off a bit this year but there have been a few. There are also a few that I have plans for. I have been saying for a while that I want to some period appropriate zombies.

Zombies and survivors have seen a fair bit of action this year mainly due to Zomtober and the release of The Walking Dead: All Out War. Another game I haven't really played but it is the single game I have spent the most on this year.

Frostgrave is, as far as the figures are concerned, still a going concern. Playing the game is not really a current prospect and I have yet to play an actual game of it. The minis for the game I love. I have painted a load of them over the year and there are still a number of works in progress. I have backed most of the games Nickstarters but I did not back the Ghost Archipelago one this year. The stuff I gave focussed on has been anything that would do double duty for the Viking Game.

The New Cruelty calls for about five figures per week. So that would mean a minimum of about 250 across the year. I would hope to get closer to 300 though but we will see. Some terrain would be nice as well.

Blood Bowl is I have enough figures for a full Skaven Team already but fancy some of the Forgeworld replacement figures and some Big Guys and Star Players. These are probably  going to have to come from Forgeworld as they would be difficult to do myself. The Elf Blood Bowl Team is now out and that is likely to be a purchase soon. I have some goblins painted for the Orc Team but need some more to make a full team plus the specialists. What is left of the Goblins and Skaven will go to make another team. Somewhere there is the bare bones of a Dwarf Team as well which has been gathering dust. There are a few boards out there as well which I am likely to get. I assume that other teams will be on their way too. Finishing at least one team and about half a dozen special characters is the goal for the year so around 24 figures.

As I mentioned earlier, there are still more figures in the Titansgrave queue so I can see that a couple of dozen of these might get done this year. It would be nice to acquire some more suitable figures and get these done. Some of the Frostgrave plastic gnolls are destined for this project this year and maybe some fantasy stuff as well. There are some figures already in the active queue but needs priming.  My plan is to have a look at Starfinder but I somehow doubt that I will go that way. I usually plan my work in terms of foam trays (36 figures) so completing one tray is the goal but two trays would be really good.

For the Viking Game/fantasy there are plenty of figures in the queue. I did get hold of some plastic rangers for LOTR. Whilst I have no use for rangers I do have the need for masked thieves and brigands and the thought was that these would do nicely for that. If I am venturing into the fantasy game side more I have some ten year old plastic skinks which have been primed for an age. These might get a look in soon as they have made it to the bench as a clear out in the garage. I might get some CP Models gnomes. These represent a gap in the collection and some more up to date hobbits might be nice. Celtic Dwarves figure in my Viking game so they might make an arrival. I don't want to put a figure on how many miniatures that I am going to paint but I would be surprised if painted less than about 50 figures but two or even three trays is possible (up to about 90 figures). I also expecting to finish my Viking background for the RPG I run and the wargames rules I am working om.

Frostgrave is still WIP, ish. There are some figures still to paint especially the plastics. There are still plenty of soldiers, gnolls, cultists and undead to do. Although I can see a number of uses for the figures, the game is pretty much a dead parrot. I like the look of the figures but they are all a bit small.

Zombies and TWD There are still a few big gaps in what I want from Mantic. This is bound to get worse as Mantic will release more stuff. My plan would be to finish, or get close to finishing, what I have already before I buy any more. I would like to run a zombie game at some point but I am still trying to source the right figures for that. Zomtober will likely be a feature again this year. There is a plan for this but I will likely do that closer to the time and this plan does not involve Mantic. I suspect that this will be most of October so with a bit of look about 30 figures. If I get the urge, zombie might figure in some other weeks but I couldn't see more than a couple of tray of figures this year..

I would like to get hold of a copy of Kingdom Death Monster if I can get it at the right price. If I do, then this will feature highly. I will also get a copy of Star Saga at some point as the figures fit in with a few plans I have. There are another 30+ figures here. I would like to think I will paint the figures for Tokaido this year. This would probably be with inks, my latest painting techniques.

Speaking of new techniques, my plan is to get a better work bench set up in the garage. This would allow me to get the airbrush out. This in an area of painting I have yet to master so would like to give it a whirl at some point.

There were a few projects that have been in the background for years. I have enjoyed doing some 6mm Napoleonics. Whilst my mates were talking in terms of a big campaign, this hasn't happened, for several years. This is a shame as we were looking at a decade long campaign (real world time) which would have been something of substance. If I do any of that this year it will be for my own amusement. Weird World War II has been thought about a few times but I guess this is a dead duck for the time being. The same goes for VBCW. I like the idea but I am a little short of opponents at the moment. I continue to tinker with a 15mm Mecha game for Savage Worlds, which now seems destined to become a 28mm mecha game. Still a way off but closer to completion. A lot of the stuff I have done, am doing and plan to do would do double duty for a post-apocalypse game. I have worked a lot on my Underground background and some of this is getting close to completion. I may even seek to get some of this published. The English Civil Figures I have seem destined to stay in their box and the super hero figures are probably going to stay unpainted.

The future of the blog looks pretty secure. I have gone out of my way to post a lot more this year. Including this post, I have  put something up 370 times with December being the slowest month by far, more than double my best year yet and a massive multiple for my worst year. Some days have been harder than others to get something done but the fact that I have done is down to trying to honour the commitment I made to blog. The New Cruelty, may way of making sure that I do some painting (at a lot of other stuff) seems to have worked well for me. My gut is telling me to do fewer posts this year as it has been very hard work to keep it going in 2017. For the time being I am going to stick with the daily posts.

My hope for the year was to get to 500,000 hits which I thought was a big ask. A very big ask. Sadly I haven't got there. On the plus side I got with 500 hits of my target which was pretty good I thought. The temptation to load up some pages to get over the 500k mark was tremendous but I resisted. For 2018 I would love to get to the million mark. That is really not going to happen but I think getting to 650,000 or eve 700,000 might be achievable but would be happy if I hit 550,000.

The blog has added about 20% to my follower and a similar amount to the number of people following me on Google+. This has been fantastic and thanks to everyone who has followed me this year and especially to those who have been following me for even longer. A number bloggers have put my blog on their blog rolls. Most of these have been on blogs I know well, follow and admire. For me, this is the biggest measure of success. Knowing that I am deemed worthy for this is a big boost to my blogging confidence.

Thanks to all for reading and A Happy New Year to all of you.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Terraforming Mars

This was the other game I got for my birthday and was quite happy to get it. It's been on my wish list for a while now as what I have seen of it I have liked. It's not an especially big game, the rules are fairly lightweight but it does have a lot of variables to juggle, which is what I like.

The component quality was largely pretty good. It uses plastic, rather than wooden resource cubes. I know most gamers like wooden cubes but the plastic cubes were actually pretty good. My only complaints are that there wasn't enough of them and some different coloured cubes and multiple token markers would have been useful. The play mate, whilst functional might have been better on card rather than heavy paper.

Artwork wise I was quite happy. The board is very good. I have another two boards to play on yet so there is even more variety there. It's also quite well laid out. The artwork for the cards is also at a good standard,#. I think they are all different and clearly considerable effort has been put into them.

So assume you want to colonise the red planet, what do you need to make the planet habitable? Heat, oxygen and water. To get these you need power, raw materials like steel and titanium, heat and power, a variety of plant life, maybe a few animals and a big, big stack of cash. You use the resources you have to build up the infrastructure you need to terraform the planet.

There were five of us playing the game. All of us have played a lot of games over the years so we all have a good idea about strategy. This helped us out but there are a lot of variables that go to make up winning the game meaning that there is no clear dynamic for winning. There are a number of angles to try but I am far from sure of the best after the one game even if I did win it. It appears to me that anything that increases your pool of resources and give you bonus victory points has got to be a good strategy. I did end  up with a huge amount of heat generation capacity which meant that I could raise the temperature almost twice every turn if I didn't have anything else that would my situation more, which meant that I amassed a huge stock of heat.

One of the more interesting dynamics is that many cards can only be played before or after certain points in the planet's development. You might get some good cards early on ut you can't play them early on. There are others that can be ripped from you as the cards cannot be used after a certain point. This is especially bad as you have to buy cards that can become useless in a matter of moment later.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Getting Close To The End Of The Year

The phrase "Another year over and a new one, just begun". It has been that kind of year. I'll be doing a full review of the year and a guestimate of what the new year will bring in a couple of days which is what I do every year. I am just wistfully thinking about missed opportunities this year. There have been a few games and kickstarters I have missed out on and, more importantly, some missed opportunities in the real world.
I had a chance to buy a copy of Kingdom Death Monster today. For some reason it has an attraction for me. It's different from just about every other game and at about 17 pounds in weight. The figures were a big part of the game for me. The monsters are just so different from anything else. They give the game such an other wordly vibe. However, at £250 I dropped out of the bidding.

Then there was the Nickstarter for Ghost Archipelago. I have back a lot of stuff to do with Frostgrave and I was tempted to back this. With the exception of some of the monsters, most of this did fit anything else I do, even the frostgrave stuff.

I was talking about Chronicle X yesterday. This would mean an opportunity to go back to my sci-fi roots which is something I miss and maybe push the X-Com project on a bit. Since going back to painting 28mm figures it has been a bit of a fantasy fest. Not that I am complaining. Even though I prefer sci-fi, people do want to play fantasy.
As a stop gap I might buy a copy of Star Saga. To be honest I have no real interest in the game itself and I doubt anyone in my gaming group would actually play it. The minis look like the fit in well with Chronicle X and the X-Com project so the game is worth a punt. When I look at this I like the figures but I like the terrain more. This really will fit in with my idea of X-Com.

Although these are not RPGs in the true sense, they all depend on the persistence of characters. My plan for the X-Com game is to give players a range of characters. I don't really want them playing soldiers as their main characters as I want the game to be bloody. On top of what I have already there might be some good stuff in the other sets as well.

I still have a load of The Walking Dead to do. I don't really want to leave them until Zomtober especially as I have another plan for that. I have a pile of figures in my draw, mostly characters still need painting.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Chronicle X - To Back Or Not To Back

I am a big fan of the computer game X-Com. It's been a passion of mine since it first came out in 1994. Ithas been something I have wanted to do on tabletop for a long time. The board game, based on the last but one computer game, was nice but it wasn't a tabletop skirmish game which for me is the best part of the computer game.
 So there is a new miniatures game on Kickstarter called Chronicle-X. This obviously isn't X-Com, that would be copyright infringement. It is however close enough in scope to give us a worthy tabletop experience. $200 all in or $100 for all the basics might seem a little pricey. Then I am looking at the Fallout game and Kingdom Death: Monster, so maybe not. I have probably spent more than that on The Walking Dead already.
There are lots of figures. Mostly they are Greys of some form or another. There are a couple of none Grey races and what look like a range of what would be Terror Units in X-Com. Whilst they are not all individual sculpts there is some variety in them. I like the fact that all the bases on them are nicely moulded and look like the kinds of stuff that would cost significant money to buy as extras. There is in the region of 70-80 alien figures (I think) and around fifteen good guys. So that is in the region of $2 a figure for the plastic alone and some of the bad guys are big.

It accomplishes terrain by the use of boards. Whilst there are only six in the basic $100 box there are another 14 available if you go for the $200 set as add ons from the goals. Each game is played on four boards. The boards look about 10" square. Assuming they are double sided, this is a lot of terrain to fight over. There looks like some stand up terrain as well although I have seen better.

Over the last year I have been wondering if I could ever get an X-Com game off the ground. Along with what I have already, this game and maybe some of the stuff from Star Saga and similar terrain, I can see this being a game I can finally get to grips with.

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Twas The Night Before Christmas

I've had my mulled wine and I have watched It's A Wonderful Life. It must be Christmas Eve.

So happy Christmas to you all. Have a great Christmas and I hope Santa brings you all you want.

Friday, 22 December 2017

What The Blog Wants For Christmas

So far it has been a hell of a busy week and today has been another day of pre-Christmas running around. Whilst I have received an early base. I was hoping to get some priming done today and it has been the first day all week that I might have done it but between finding myself on the road in what appears to be a dress rehearsal for Death Race 4 and doing stuff around the house it just hasn't happened. I have done a bit more prep but no actual painting.
I have worked hard on the blog all year. I have posted almost every day and some days I've even managed a couple of posts and I am set to get to my target of 365 posts. I might get to five hundred thousand hits but the jury is still out on that.

Doing the work on the blog really is all about me as there has been plenty of stuff going on for me over the last couple of years that has made me think more and more about leaving my mark on the world. That said I would be a liar if I didn't appreciate the people that have visited the site, left comments and given me a link on their websites. It has given me considerable joy to see the links coming in and especially getting followers for the blog and for myself on Google+. If you were going to get me a present this year it would be to give my blog a mention on your blog roll if you have one or give me a follow through blogger or Google+.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

A Good, Bad Guy

A good, bad guy is great for most RPG and having a 28mm figure to represent them on tabletop is even better. I talked about the idea a while back HERE. In my game that bad guy is a necromancer (possibly the best bad guy for fantasy) called Vetis Bane. He is written into the myths of the land but the players have yet to meet him in person. Not that I am modelling him on Sauron.

Once you have done the big reveal and put the bad guy on the table with the players his days are numbered. You need an exit strategy or the players are eventually going to catch up with him. However, this guy is a necromancer and if he can bring zombies back from the dead then why can't he bring himself back? This would give me a bit of a back up if something went wrong and the players got closer than intended.

The idea is to have the bad guy in various stages of decline. Normally, withered and decayed. I looked for a metal min for the purpose but couldn't find the right figure on one that could be easily converted. It wasn't until I had gone through that process until I thought about what I actually had already.

So I was going  through what I had in boxes and I found some Northstar Cultist figures from their Frostgrave figures. Whilst no absolutely perfect I figured that they would be a good place to start. I didn't like any of the heads in the back so I found this metal head and thought it would just about do. I haven't made up my mind. What do you think?

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Still Looking For A Plan

Not my most productive day. Although I am fairly well exercised I haven't got much else done. The some total of the day is to have glued five two piece figures together. Not much but I guess that this is progress.

Whilst I still have no clear path ahead things are again looking a little post apocalyptic. What I have glued together is definitely in that domain. I keep looking at hobbit goblins which I have always planned to convert to a race I call dregs in my game. Chop off a few weapons and add some new ones.
I have been on eBay for the first time in ages and ordered some more old skinks. These are definitely looking like lesser lizardmen to me but I can see a post apocalyptic use as well. These look tiny next to the newer skinks which are pretty much man sized when compared to most 28mm figures.

Tomorrow is looking like a busy one but should get easier after the morning. Maybe I can get some priming and painting done.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

How Long Is It Possible To Look At The Workbench Without Doing Something?

The answer is a couple of hours at least. This evening I am tired. When I got in I slept for the best part of three hours in front of YouTube telling me how to paint better figures. Hopefully I will be able to take all this on board in my sleep.

Having just got this Fitbit thing it is kind of ruling my life. My aspirational goal for yesterday was to hit 15,000 steps. I managed that and more again today mainly down to the joys of Christmas shopping and a rather overly energetic early morning plus a little dog walking. So I am tired. There is a fresh hell coming my way in the morning. No more shopping but there is the house to get ready.

At some point today I was expecting to start painting. By this time last week I had three figures more or less done. Today was another day of PVA and sand. Tomorrow is looking like hell day again. Time to declare martial law and suspend The New Cruelty till after Christmas.....

Monday, 18 December 2017

Start Of The Week And STILL Working On The Lead Mountain A.K.A. The Time Of The Lizardmen

Today has been a busy day. I have started on an exercise program that is basically walking. It's not the most intensive exercise I have ever done but it is working. I have done something like just over 17,000 steps today, getting to almost double the minimum daily suggestion. Some of it is just day to day life, some is me putting a little extra in here and there, in the run up to Christmas a good chunk has been shopping but mostly it has been dog walking. Sadly the dog appears to me losing more weight than me. That said, the Fitbit is telling me that I have burned around 4,000 calories today.

This has not left me with much time for anything else. No painting again today but my workbench is beginning to get crowded with unpainted and based figures some of which are actually flocked. Although it had been my plan to prime some of these today the weather here has been pretty bad. I am not sure that I would have been able to see the grey primer for the fog. I have dug out some more including some 1996 lizardmen skinks. I have about fifteen of them and would like some more. Compared to the newer plastic skinks, they are tiny. I guess it goes to show how GW figures seem to be creeping up in size over the years.

All in all another thirty figures have found their way onto bases today and almost all need gritting. I am hoping that there will be some painting at some point this week. At the moment though the plan looks like basing stuff up until the weather breaks or Christmas arrives.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

End Of The Week, The End Of The Lead Mountain

It's odd but I can contemplate being at the end of my lead mountain. Well pretty close to it anyway, in 28mm at least (there are all those 6mm French Napoleonics to paint and some WW2 Americans and a slew of 15mm stuff but I am not talking about them). It's not that there won't be any left it's more that I am getting to the end of the line with what metal figures I have that I intend to paint.

Looking at the figures I have in hand I am going back to paint stuff that in some cases has been knocking around for ten and in a few cases, twenty years. I have stuff a lot older than that as well. This is stuff that I am realistically never going to paint. I have a load of old GW space marines, a few of which I brought but most of which I was given. I cannot see me ever painting them but they have a certain sentimental value that prevents me from selling them. I could almost fill up all of next years blog with that. Well maybe not but it's an idea.

Anyway, back to the week that is and isn't going to be for much longer. Technically, I have only painted four figures this week but as two of them were big figures I am counting that as satisfying The New Cruelty. I haven't had a huge amount of time in the last few days and what I have had has been in short bursts. This is no good for me to start painting but it is good for me gluing things together and basing them. So that is what I have been up to. I finished off some of the stuff I started yesterday and have done some more. I have glued and gritted 15 lizardmen, 10 space dwarves, 10 human sci-fi warriors, 4 early saxon warlords, 12 space greeblies and a lot of other bits and pieces. Some I have had a few years but the sci-fi warriors must be at least twenty if not twenty five years in the queue. Other than the Saxons, these are mostly down for Titansgrave but I am thinking the greeblies will make a good bad guys for X-Com. There are also a number of swarm bases in various states or (un) completeness that need to be looked at.

Upcomming is a lot of priming. This assumes that the weather is okay. I can see me doing some more basing first. There is still plenty of that to do. These days I usually think in terms of doing projects that are going to be multi use. Things that I can use in a number of games and maybe even cross genre.

I would like to get the lizardmen done next week but there are a few of them missing and I would like to find them first. If I do, this should be a quick job as I am planning a simple black/grey colour scheme for them. Whilst these are obviously fantasy figures I can see a use for them in Titansgrave and maybe even as a post apocalypse race.

No decisions yet so I will see what next week brings.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

State Of The Workbench

Christmas Is Coming is a phrase I use a lot at this time of year along with Dashing Through The No. It's a busy time, especially as I am mid health kick, so I haven't had a huge amount of time to spare. That said it's been a reasonably productive week.
On top of the painting I have been doing some prep work. The Rangers, mostly to the left in the picture are planned to become robbers and brigands. Along with a few thieves, these should make a nice opfor. There are five space dwarves. These will eventually become good guys and maybe PC for Titansgrave. The aliens that look like a smaller version of Genestealers are also being prepped for Titansgrave. I can see a campaign based around them. I can see them becoming an alien race for the sci-fi wargame Future War Commander. There are some old GW skinks which are planned to be lizardmen. The plan for all but the dwarves is to give the a fairly tabletop standard paint job. Simply quick and easy.

There is a lot of part finished figures as well and some terrain. Whilst I have worked on the terrain this week, I haven't finished any if it. I have also worked
on a rat swarm base but that's not on the picture.

Next week is going to involve a lot of sand, glue and primer.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Workbench Space?

There is something about my current workbench that I hate. I can't quite put my finger on it but maybe that is because there is so many things wrong with it. It's too small, it's to dark, it's too deep, there is not space for a cutting mat, I can't get any more light into it, the storage space around is difficult to access and there is just not enough of it to name but a few.

At the moment there is the chance I could have a five foot by two foot workbench in the garage. The down sides with this is that this is pretty much all the space I would have and right now, and for most of the year it would a little bit chilly.

Every now and again I work on a design for a workbench. Like most of us what I would really like is a games room with a bit of workshop space. Well maybe a lot of workshop space. As well as being a gamer I am a bit of a tinkerer and I like to make things out of wood using big big power tools. So space for that would be good.

SO WHAT I AM ASKING IS does anybody have any good ideas about designing a work area/gaming area?

Thursday, 14 December 2017

River Troll

This uncommonly large beastie has been my main focus today. I am not really sure what he is meant to be in my games but According to Reaper he is a Marsh Troll. I don't have a clear purpose for him in the Viking game but I can see him as a Mutant in the Underground game. He is still work in progress. there is some highlighting left to do and some details to touch up (the teeth look pretty grim in the picture). I plan to do a water effect on the base but I am going o test this out on another base before trying it out for real.

I kept finding myself getting distracted again today. On top of painting this big guy, I think I have worked on another dozen miniatures. Nothing major, just tidying up. I have also moved into to doing some basing prep. I have gritted about twenty bases and attached another twenty to bases prior to gritting.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Painting Handle Vs Paint Pot Handle

For a while now I have been using paint pots as a base for my figures whilst painting them. It makes the painting process much easier. It keeps my fingers off the figure I'm working on, especially the head. You can get better angles with the brushes with a figure on top of a paint pot.

For  preference I use the older GW paint pots (pictured below). At one point I used to turn them upside down as the lip around the base of the pot fits around a 2p base quite nicely. I did try corks and bits of wood, maybe ten years ago but these didn't really seem to work. Unless you are the kind of painter that pins figures to bases corks do not seem to work so well. Bits of wood did not seem to do much at all.
It's big
Over time I have made up quite a sizable collection of empty of empty GW pots. At any one there are probably forty pots on the workbench. Of course you have to add plenty of Blue Tac and this needs to be replaced every now and again. Blue Tac, being what it is, is not especially tacky and things will fall off if you don't press them down hard enough and even then, they can still fall off.
About a 20mm base
The painting handle has a lot more positive pressure on the base. I could see a figure being knocked out of it but is seems unlikely that it would just fall out. It's a good size to fit in your hand and is a little more comfortable to hold. It has more heft to it with a fairly balanced centre of gravity. This extra weight might not be so good if you have to hold on to it for  a few hours.
And this one is about 50mm
All in all the painting handle is pretty good. I've had a go painting with it and it works well. In the round, the handle beats a paint pot every time but only just by a fraction. In the round, paint pots are free (well kind of) and the painting handle costs £5. To my mind, if you are the kind of painter who focuses on quality not quantity (really not me) or concentrating on a single figure then this is a worthwhile investment. If you are painting an army in a batch of ten figures or more, I am not sure that you would want to be buying ten of these or swapping the figure out every time.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Undead Of Some Sort

I've had another go with the inks today and have all but finished off what I started yesterday. These are some more Frostgrave figures. I am not sure what I will use the for. Mostly, I have selected them to paint because they have been hanging around, primed and based for about two years now. They also seemed like a good choice to try the inking things on.
Still a few more details to finish on them, especially on the faces but they are pretty much done.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Hill Or Frost Giant

I think I got this guy from Northstar as part of the Frostgrave range when it came out. It's not the biggest giant miniature I posses but he is nicely posed and has what I consider a very giant like face.

This week I thought I'd try out a few techniques that are new to me. One of the things I came across lately was to use washes as the main paint. It does work for all colours, especially on bigger areas and it seems to work better on grey. The colour on the base is the one I started with. Obviously on black you are not going to see it and on white it's going to be a bit too translucent but maybe that's not a bad effect either.

The skin and the fur are essentially washes which have been highlighted. The flesh has worked out very nicely and the fur is not too shabby either. The white hair and anything that is brown has had some paint and I think I gave the head of the axe a different colour of grey than the rest of it.

My plan is to try this out on a few other models. If it works this should speed things up a lot. This giant took about an hour which is pretty good for a bigger model.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

End Of The Week - Dark Age Men In Black

It's been an odd week for me but I have in the end reached my goal and then some so The New Cruelty is happy. You might have noticed from some of my posts it's not been the happiest week of my life. As I didn't start painting until Thursday I am prey happy.

My usual goal is five figures per week and despite not starting until Thursday I was pretty confident I cold handle ten figures in all. Given that they were men in black and they were spray painted black, there was always going to be a limit to what was needed. There are still a few bits and pieces that need doing but these are mainly required on the shields which I don't normally include within my challenge for the week.

the shield are white for a reason. In the plan, these guys have white shields. If I do plan to change the shields in the future, white is a could undercoat for shield transfers which is what I would probably use.

As I mentioned yesterday I have done a fair bit of work on one of my RPG backgrounds. Whilst this strikes me as a project that is destined never to be finished it is approaching a more acceptable state of incompleteness.

As usual I have no idea what I want to paint next week. There is nothing obvious in the queue. There is plenty of The Walking Dead stuff to do but I am not feeling and all the other stuff is odds and sods or stuff that has big gaps in the figures available (like the Blood Bowl Skaven Team for instance). I have some bigger figures to do and some swarm bases to finish off so I might get to that instead. Come to think of it there is a few of those that need attending to. I have been putting this off because I have nowhere to put them when they are finished. Sadly the weather is looking cold so I doubt I can do any more priming any time soon or I would move on to some other Titansgrave figures I have been planning in doing.

And speaking if The New Cruelty I had another look at what I actually wanted to do. When I looked at it again last week I recalled that I had told myself that I was going to take some exercise. So I ordered myself a Fitbit/ I haven't worn a watch in years so just the feel of the thing is odd. It is however having a positive effect already. Hopefully what get too Bridget Jones's Diary on you but maybe I will start thinking about it more often/

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Writing Your Own RPG Background Or All Is Vanity

I have been working on what I have called the Viking Game for about five years now even though in my head it's called Northmen. I made a couple of key decisions back when I started the project and I have pretty much stuck with them. The world expands but the central idea does not. Some of this expansion has been down to ideas that I have had and some is down to the figures that I have or have painted during the process.

In the past I have gone as far as writing my own rules so that I could make the world I wanted. These days I more or less stick with the Savage Worlds rules. It's simple and generic enough that it is easy for the players to follow and for me to run. One fairly basic rulebook does all you need it to. If you want a bit more flavour then there are other books to buy but none are major pieces of work. What the game does do is encourage you to use other backgrounds inspired by rules and media that you like as well as creating your own.

This is where the vanity bit comes in.

The game started as a bit of a cobble. I took some inspiration from elsewhere. Computer games, books, regular fantasy, films and RPGs. the only ideas I took from anywhere became section headings but I was clear with myself right from the beginning that I wanted it to be all my own work. You never know, I might get round to publishing it. What I really wanted was a pdf I could give to the players with all the rules in it right from the get go. This kind of happened but having a complete document starting to delay things so I thought I would start with what I had. This was a bit of a mistake but it was one I was prepared to live with.

Over time though I ran into a problem. What I had was great but I just kept tinkering with the book. At the front of the document is a table of contents. This has been a big waste of time as I keep adding things in and deciding that the sections need to go in a different order.

So after a year of cursing my judgement I decided to bite the bullet today. As a way of getting out of painting, I thought I would just get on and chop it into bits.

The core rules haven't changed significantly in well over a year but the background has. There were basically two bits to the background as I saw it. The world (or worlds, all nine of them plus a few extras), the town in which the game was based, it's surrounding region, the kingdom it's part of and then the other peoples of the world. the second part is the sagas and legends for the world. These have now become two separate books.

I like to tinker but in this game it is really about adding  more new bits. The details of the town already amount to about four pages. I expect to extend this so I have allowed space for about a page and a half of extra writing. For the time being I will fill this space up with a few pictures. There is supposed to be a map but there are supposed to be a number of maps. Originally I had planned to put all the maps in an appendix but this is more faff when it comes to rewriting the contents so I will add the map at the end of the section.

The region the town is in is called the Symark. This has had a similar amount of work as the town. Again I can see that this was going to get expanded in the future so I have allowed more space for this and for the map at the end. Early on I did a rough map and then I spent some more time on a more details map. Integrating it into a world map (chunking up) proved to be all but impossible. Starting with a world map, which is at this point not totally fixed, is a better idea. The region fits into the world much better.

The myths is the second big part of what I have been doing. Mostly I trying to ape the myths although I am not averse to taking some myths and bending them to fit into my needs. To my mind at the heart of every good fantasy story and rog scenario is a piece of history or a myth. As I have played about with the world in the game, the myths need to reflect the changes in that world. All of the scenario elements I have planned are also rooted in myths, even some that might take a long time to happen. The build up can be important.

This all plays to my ego. I want to be a good GM and for the players to have "fun" in the worlds I create. As a place to start I want them to have a firm base in the documents I provide. Rather than have a major piece of rambling work, it better to reduce it down into books or supplements. People, even the author, can get their heads around it better.

Friday, 8 December 2017

End Of The Week - Well The Week That Was

After what has been a fairly brisk week I thought it was time to put up some pictures of last week's work. 11 orcs for Titansgrave or maybe shadowrun.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

The Slump

I'm in a line of work where the work/life balance is normally pretty good. This is something that has tuned my life around. In the last two years or so I have had cause to want to savour that time as much as I can. There is only a finite time for us all so I should probably give up blogging.

I finally got my workbench back today. Well I got as far as opening it and putting a cup of tea on it. It's Thursday today and so far I haven't picked up a brush since Sunday. I still think I am going to make my weekly target though and I may even get to smash it. There are ten dark age figures on the workbench and they are mostly black. As they have already been primed black I just need to do the heads and hands and a few bits of detail. These were brought as Arthurian British but with a few changes they are going to double as the men-in-black for my Viking game. Just another opfor for the players to get their teeth into.
Headless Spearmen
The title of the post isn't really about the above. Before anyone can say humbug I am going to bring it back around to Christmas. In between the gas engineer turning up for his third and sadly, not yet final visit, I have been doing my bit to prep for Christmas. Not for me the relative joys of putting up decorations. I get the more mundane jobs. These usually involve me being in the coldest room in the house and getting dirty or dusty. Today might only be one day but this is what the last three days have been like and is probably what the next two at least are going to be like (hopefully with some time for painting).

Over the years I have come to think of myself as a simple man of simple pleasures. Well maybe a complex man of complex pleasures (usually involving a rulebook and some dice or a paintbrush). Despite the way I make it sound I have things pretty good. So when Christmas comes around, the apple cart gets a little upturned.

So tomorrow is going to be a me day, at least as far as I can make it a me day. Hopefully we will get the snow we have been promised and it will keep the chaos from my door just a bit longer.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Blood Bowl Elfheim Eagles & Other Stuff

Although the Elfheim Eagles for Blood Bowl have been in the offing for a while there are been some genuine publicity for them today and alongside that there are a few other new releases pending.

In the first supplement for the game, Death Zone all the elf teams got a mention. It seemed odd to me that they haven't come out earlier as they tended to be one of the more popular teams especially if you liked passing plays and dying players. I was expecting the other elf teams at some point but as GW came up with a kitbash way to do Dark Elves and High Elves could easily use this box (well maybe with a bit of conversion) leaving the wood elves to do, so they may not be hitting the website any time soon.
The Full Team
The box set has all the usual stuff. In order to field a reasonable team you are still going to need a couple of boxes. This is probably going to leave you with four of the twelve figures in the second box (two blitzers and two throwers) being pretty much useless but this has been the case with the other boxes as well. There are a couple of deals including one with all the new elf releases and another with just the team and the dice. Neither of these seem to have any cost saving though.
It's the look of the figures that is all important and they do look good. They have the distinctive elf style and grace. I thought the catcher was nicely posed and the thrower and the blitzer look pretty good to.
Not a Nazi salute

As I said earlier there is plenty of other new material and some "new" material which is also on pre-order. There is obviously a set of dice. As all teams now have a set of dice I guess they are just following form and they do seem to make money. There are card sleeves for the special play cards. At £7 for fifty they are no prohibitively expensive and are almost value for money. There are three team decks also due out. Obviously the elf team deck is there as is the deck for humans and orcs and I assume decks for other teams will follow. There is also the Almanac which is everything from Death Zone 1 + 2 plus a few extras. I haven't seen a copy of DZ 2 so this book might make it on to the shopping list.
The full Monty
There are also several new boards. Along with the Elf Team release the is a nicely manicured elf pitch on one side and a wintery pitc on the other. This comes with suitable dug-outs. Also out is the Blood On The Snow board with orc and human themed winter boards. Then there is the goblin board which has two fairly mashed up looking pitches. Both of these also come with dug-outs. Forge World have also done a couple of neoprene boards.

All in all they seem to have made it on to the wishlist.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Gifts Or Presents?

I use the phrase Christmas Is Coming a lot in December. Not much of a surprise. When I say it out loud, I say it in a way that would lead you to believe that ten thousand white walkers are just on the horizon would be a more appealing prospect. As an adult Christmas becomes little more than four weeks hard work followed by a whole load of indifference and disappointment.

Do I sound a little cynical? Well I am. After trying to think of a word that is a little stronger than humbug to convey my feelings, I decided that this is a nice blog and I should probably stick to humbug rather than the words that are springs to mind. I am definitely a bit of a cynic but it's a cynicism born out of real word experience. Does that make it better? Perhaps not. What it has taught me is that you might not get what you want but you usually get what you pay for.

This is the good bit. What I am talking about is do it yourself. I am not talking about hanging doors, I did that I while ago. 

Even yesterday I was talking about having a list of presents to avoid getting gifts. It has now become clear to me that this is going to be a Christmas of gifts. Mugs, socks and that I don't want and don't have space for. This is despite having a conversation where I thought I had steered the other half away from making the wrong choice.  Sometimes, no matter how hard I try,  the message just isn't going to get through.

So if I want presents I am going to have to go out and do it myself. I started of with a good sized list. After today, that list is going to get bigger. If I have the money why should I get what I actually want. If there were consequences then I probably wouldn't but the money is in the bank so why not use it.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Gifts For Gamers

What do you get the nerd in your life?

I was talking to one of the lads earlier about the buying of presents. It is that time of year after all. The nature of the conversation was about the difference between men and women. It has been my experience that women like surprises. Nice surprises. A light activated electric spider would probably not count as a nice surprise for my other half as an example. Men on the other hand are not all that keen on surprises.

If I might slightly misquote Dave Gorman, there is a world of difference between gifts and presents. My fear is that I am going to get all gifts and no presents. A gift being the kind of thing that someone buys out of a sense of duty. In my childhood this was socks, anything that could be vaguely useful for school such as pens and copies of the Guinness Book of Records. Presents on the other hand are things that people actually want. At Christmas gifts are pretty much anything purchased without much thought that are not on somebody's letter to Santa.

A while back I mentioned that I had made myself a birthday list. I didn't get much off that list so it's still floating around. What I tend to do is put things on the list that I probably would not go out and buy. As an example, I am a big Blood Bowl fan but I can't see me spending a huge amount of money to get some of the single Star Player figures from Forgeworld. This is definitely a present.

So the time is coming where gifts are getting ordered. Don't leave things to fate. If you want something let people know. If you want a surprise, give them a big list. You might just get all of it.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Gluing Things Together

Gluing one bit of a mini to another bit seems to be taking gradually more and more time as I get older. This coupled with all the playing about with the bases seems to have extended the amount of time I spend with a model before I even start painting it drastically. At least I don't have to prime everything by hand now.

I think I have already mentioned that I went to a game show yesterday. So as well as finishing off this week's work (probably what I should be blogging about but i don't have the pictures) I decided that I would strike whilst the iron is hot. This is probably a good way to go as most of what I purchased yesterday is larger figures and I always spend a lot of time staring at them and not painting them before I even start work.
This is the Reaper water elemental.  I guess it is somewhere in the region of 100mm/4" high. I am not sure about the material it's made from as I am assuming they think you can use it as is. If they do they have very low standards. It's a big beast but I am hoping it is relatively easy to paint.

The fire elemental is much the same thing. Just as big and maybe slightly heavier. Flames a little harder to get right so this may take a bit longer.

I've had one of the bat swarms for a while now. In games I like the idea of swarm creatures so I have done quite a few of them recently. A flying swarm was something I was missing. Now I have enough of them. I can't remember what the other beastie is called but it looks like one of the creatures kept as pets (I think) by Skyrim's versions of goblins. I can also see a post apocalypse use for it.

The one on the left is destined to be a demon/fire giant for the Viking game. It's not that long since I did one of the ones in the middle. I liked the pose and think I could do him with a vastly different colours. On the right is a sea troll which again I can see a post-apocalyptic angel on.

Lastly another big beastie. I don't have any gryphons and I am trying to cover all my bases. Not really all that good for the Viking game but it looks the part and I can see other uses for it.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

The Curious Nature Of Pricing In The Hobby

I've been to the Recon Show in Leeds today. It is perhaps the smallest show I go to and seems to be getting slightly smaller but still busy. Despite this, it still manages to take a large amount of money out of my pocket. I got four metal miniatures and a lot more resin figures, a rule book and a couple of second hand boardgames.

I can't be the only one that is noticing a change in the way things are being sold. Christmas in the city centres seems a little quieter this year and the traffic around the town centres seems much less chaotic. The death of the high street has almost become a trope. In the towns and cities where I go there doesn't seem to be have been much in the way evidence to support this idea. Shopping in the conventional sense hasn't stopped but it has changed.

The main reason for going to a show is that you can get bargains. Most of the stuff I buy there is cheaper by as much as twenty percent than the recommended retail price. Just about all shows have a bring and buy. In times gone by I didn't spend much there but as the years have gone on I am pretty much certain that I will spend something there.

On Friday I was at a high street gaming shop in Southport. This is perhaps my favourite shop and runs a close second to a shop in Llandudno. These are all miles away from me. None of my local game shops, there are four that sell gaming stuff in my town, carry the stuff I really want. I do support my FLGS but find the big chain bookshop a better experience as the staff, well some of them, are way more knowledgeable about games than the staff in other shops. None of them are cheap though and all the stuff is cheaper online than in the shops. Most will have a sale but not as frequently as most shops. Not the GW shop, the last time a recall a sale wasn't in this millenia. Even in sales, the discounts are not all that good and I can probably find a better deal online.

Whilst I understand that there is a chain of supply and operating expenses, there has to be a way of making things cheaper. More than this, there has to be a way to give a bit of variety of stock. Three of my local shops sell essentially the same stuff. Products in high demand are what are on the shelves. All seem to sell ten times as many copies of Exploding Kittens as they do anything else. Profits are what keep the shops going but they also seem to be driving away the very customers they need by not meeting their needs.

Gaming shops are becoming more multipurpose with table space and fresh coffee available to keep the customers happy. On top of these multiple income streams there is often a greater variety of products. Gamers are usually on the geeky side of things so any products that appeal to geeks will probably appeal to gamers. At the moment they are game shops that sell coffee but coffee shops that sell games.

As I said earlier, much of what I got today was resin and a lot of what I buy is now plastic. I prefer metal figures but I, like most of us, am fairly price sensitive. Many of the figures were Reaper Bones which are direct copies of metal figures. These are about half to a third of the price of the metal miniatures. For figures that I use a lot I am probably going to stick with metal miniatures. For larger figures, that come out of a box once in a blue moon that would be prohibitively expensive in metal, Bones are ideal. Whilst not without their flaws, they are good enough.

One of the more noticeable things about Reaper and Reaper Bones miniatures is that there is a significant price difference. GW, an early adopter of plastic figures, produce a lot of figures that are not noticeably cheaper than anyone else's metal figures. Rather than bringing the cost down, plastic has increased profits for GW.

Come to think of it, it's not done too badly for some other companies. I like Malifaux figures but they are not cheap and they are in the region of GW prices and may be even more expensive. Production runs are probably smaller than GW so I guess they have to make their money and the do seem to be making good money.

So where am I going with all this? Well the market is changing. The means of production are maybe not in everyone's hands but the skills to operate them are within practically everyone's reach. 3D printing isn't there yet but give it a few years, maybe five and small scale 3D home printing is pretty much in everyone's hands with good end results. Home made figures are out there now. Get a camera and you can take a pictures of pretty much any figure and make a fair copy so bootlegging a mini digitally rather than taking a mould is also just around the corner. Colour 3D printing will be coming along eventually. Why paint your own when you can get someone to pro-paint or digitally render the perfect painted figure. For a long while now, even though I have a lot of RPG and gaming books, I have had more digital ones. Even board games can be printed out.

So what am I saying. The MP3 changed the music industry. It's been a decade since I purchased a CD and the buying of DVD/Blu Ray is becoming a rarity. Now, even though I have an impressive music library, I listen to most of my music through a digital streaming provider through the computer or assistant. I am not especially creative or skillful but I can make a lot of stuff that I once bought for myself and you are close to that to. Those in the game industry should be aware of that and look to the music industry to see how they handled the change. What I think is that prices are about to get better for the consumer as the means of production comes to us and gaming companies see how to manage that.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Painted Or Not

I read an article in one of the UK wargaming magazines this week that was in response to another article about the merits, or absence of them of playing with painted versus unpainted figures. It's an argument I have heard a lot over the years and it seems pretty devisive within the hobby.

Years ago I went to the Grimsby Wargaming club. They have a rule of no unpainted figures on the table. By painted they mean a minimum of three colours of paint. I guess that this is probably about the minimum requires to paint a naked figure. This strikes me as someone, somewhere has put some thought into it but it also strikes me that someone is trying to push their own agenda. It also strikes me that there are people out there that want to break the system, like making something out of 100% GW parts.
I guess making  a figure out of their sprue counts as 100% GW parts
What people tend to do is look for loopholes when you start producing rules for gamers rather than rules for games. If you put a three colour minimum, you have to then have a rule about historically accurate colours. This in itself is a bit of a minefield as there are a lot of gaps in actual knowledge and people tend to just make them up.

This is a blog mainly about painting figures so what I argue might seems a little counter intuitive. It is true that I like playing games with painted figures. It would love to play games using nothing but Kev Dallimore painted figures in all their exquisite glory. I live in the real world and I know that I don't have that kind of money.

Grey is grey. It is difficult to tell the differences between units if they are all the same single colour and this is the really  core of what painted figures mean to me. To me that is the long and short of it. I have a friend who used to describe bases of miniatures as pretty painted counters. Although I riled at it back then, I do kind of see the point he is trying to make. Wargaming rules frequently dispense with reality but that does not mean we dispense with rules.

Having played games for the best part of forty years now, I have to say I prefer painted figures. I recognise the nature of most gamers works against this. Most of us will not sit down and paint an army in a week or even a month. It can take months or even a year to get everything done. Most of us lack the ability to maintain the focus required for this. What I have found is that if you start painting an army, you want to play it. If you don't use it, you go on to the next thing that is catching your attention.

It stops people playing on the spur of the moment ideas. I have seen a few games that only use unpainted 1/72 plastic kit figures. It might not be pretty but it is gaming. They wre embracing a chance to play experimental games that didn't cost three hundred pounds to buy and six months to paint.

All of us use rules, that is part of what gaming is about. When it comes to wargaming most of us tinker with the rules. I am used to the free and easy side of gaming. I am never that sure that I like the idea that a club committee dictates how I play a game and the spirit that I play it in. So  if you are going to potentially tinker with rules if not throw them out and start with a different ruleset, then, all least when you are starting out, why base them. As games mature you would expect to have all the figures based and painted but making it a require stifles creativity and leaves each wargaming with a lead mounted of expensive dust collectors.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Importance Of Family - Obviously Not A Gaming Post

It is said that Christmas is just around the corner. At the moment it feels like it more round a blind alley. I have been to the local Christmas market today, all eight stalls of it, just to have a hot dog. Except that it's a bratwurst because we all know that German sausage brings out the true meaning of Christmas. Tell me if I need to up the irony for anybody at any point.

To be honest I haven't done much other than some computer gaming for a few days. My cousin has been up for some work and I have had him staying with me whilst he is up here. This is no bad thing. he is not a bad bloke and I am happy to help out.

But Christmas is coming. lest we all forget that. A time of good cheer, beer turkey and massive bills. I can't help but think it's about family. I have lost the two most important members of my family in the last years so it ha made me think more and more about the wider family. And Christmas is coming. It's a bad time of year for all, in a lot of ways but it does have it's good points. One of those is family. So, take my advice, as someone who is not going to get to see his mum and dad this year, family is important and if you have a chance to do something with them, make it happen whilst you can.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Late Night

It's been a long day and a day of hard work, by my standards at least. It's getting to the end of the month and I feel my work is never done. And the space orcs aren't done either. i wa kind of hoping to have them complete today. I have instead kind of strayed onto a new background project. That said, I am pretty damn close to finishing them. Sadly, I am no closer to deciding what to do next.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

End Of The Week & Ghouls

I have had a good week this week and The New Cruelty is happy. I have managed to achieve all of my goals from last week. I did get all seven of the ghouls I started done. Done, based, varnished and completely finished. As far as it goes I am never happy but I am happy enough with these.

On top of this I have been working on six space orcs. Well in truth I have been working on eleven of them but I have been concentrating on just six. The six are pretty much finished, with a few details needing finishing off. For this reason I am not counting them as complete. The remainder are not that far of being finished either.Another good day should finish these off. If memory serves I got that at a show at Leeds last December. So a year turn around time is not that bad, for me at least.

In terms of writing  have been working on the Viking Game again. I have finished one of the background myths about the Romans and another which is roughly based on the Volsung Saga which has already been liberally borrowed from. I have done relatively little on the later but I have done some thinking about it.

Next week does not have much of a plan yet. The space orcs will not take all week. They will not be my finest work (still tabletop standard but not much more) but they will do nicely for what I want. As ever the question is what's next? I've had a look at what is about on the desk. It is finishing things of rather than doing something new. The plan is to do another basing bash but this is not the immediate plan.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Rough Month On The Blogging/Life Front - Not A Gaming Post

It's getting to the end of the month and I have just realised that I have managed to miss posting on three days. I had planned to post every day this year and at the very least post once for every day of the month and that seems like a target I am unlikely to meet. Christmas is now on the horizon. Whilst I love the day and the spirit of Christmas, it's looking like a month of hell at the moment. This calls into doubt my ability to get enough stuff done to make the daily blogging thing anything worth reading. That said, it seems a shame to stop now, especially as I have gotten so close to my goal.
Whilst it really is a state of mind thing, there is a lot going on at the Jackson place at the moment and none of it is conducive to getting things done. This is starting to annoy me in fact a number of things are starting to annoy me. The worst of it is that I don't actually see anything changing that anytime soon. This is not all bad. It has been at the heart of the burst of effort early in the week however it is getting in the way now.

When I think back, I am starting to see a pattern. I am looking at what has gone on recently and it all seems to be related. This means that I need to start looking at the bigger picture to see what is going on.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Work In Progress

Today has proven to be another busy one. Whilst I seem to have been busy enough painting I haven't got that much done. My mind has jumped from one project to the next. The ghoul figures are pretty much done but I am now working on the bases. They looked pretty bare so I thought I needed to njazz them up. Although they were purchased for a fantasy game I also have a plan for them in a post apocalypse setting. This means that I want the bases to do for both settings. So I have done a few bricks to dress them up a bit. I also got the GW box of skulls a few weeks ago. I can see every project from now on having at least one skull on them. Given that ghouls feed on the dead, pr anything they can make dead, I figured adding a few skulls would fit this. If I can find a few more bits to add to make them look busy I will.
I have also done a bit of work on the space orcs for Titansgrave. The figures are a pain and their arms bend in such a way that they can cover up a lot of details making it awkward to paint them. the base coat is pretty much done now. Some inking and highlighting is still needed. With abit of luck I should finished the six orcs and the seven ghouls well before the end of the week and maybe even have moved on to doing some more.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Speeding Ahead

Today has been a really busy day. My other half is ill again. the fourth bug in five weeks. I;ve had a plumber in changing the sink, laundry needing doing, do needing walking, not to mention a pile of work needing doing to be done. This morning I was expecting to crash during the day but have been too busy to sleep. This means that I have been up and about and productive. When I have had time I have used it for painting. In fact I have managed to do a lot of painting. My target for the week is almost complete.
As well as doing all of this I have done some work on a dozen or so other figures. Another project I put off is the orcs for Titansgrave. Then there is a stream of fantasy figures that are background projects. These are not really any closer to being finished but it makes me feel good that they are just a bit closer to being done.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Start Of The Week & Ghouls

After a bit of digging around I found some bits that I needed for one of the projects I was thinking about. Ten years ago I got some Heresy miniatures 28mm ghouls. I was pretty keen to get them done and glued them together. So for the last ten years they have been staring at me from the paint queue. Every now and again a head or limb has gone missing. I dropped them all on the floor once. There is also a ghoul king figure and a baby ghoul. I can't find the baby and there is a specific limb for the king which is around somewhere. There were primed very badly and It have had to prime all the new bits as well.
Anyway the plan is to go green. A fairly fetid green perhaps. There is some nice With a bit of luck this should be a simple paint job. If it goes my way I should be able to get all of them done this week and maybe move on to something else.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

End Of The Week, Black Elves & Next Week

I started the week with fifteen figures to paint with a plan to paint them in batches over the next three weeks. Short of a little bit of touching up, shields and some work on the bases, they are pretty much done. I guess anything done in a batch with similar uniforms is fairly quick and easy to do. This would make it not far off my most productive week of the year.
This leaves me with a bit of a quandary for next week. I haven't planned to need a new project. What is currently lighting my candle is two projects that I can't find parts for. This kind of leaves me with some space orcs for Titansgrave or some more The Walking Dead: AOW or more Blood Bowl. I am a little tired of painting zombies and I don't have all the stuff I need for a full Blood Bowl Team. So I guess it's Titansgrave.

Elsewhere I have working on the Viking Game again. I started with a few ideas. I like to create the myths for the background which are loosely based on real myths and relate to the background for my game. There has been a lot of progress but none are close to being finished.

Computer gaming wise I have been playing Conan again. The game inspires me to create a tabletop version. To be honest this would require a lot of figures and a lot of time. So sadly I am not going to get into that just now.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Black Elves Are Almost Done

I usually set myself a target of five figures a week. What I have done in the past is plan on doing ten in a week and essentially never finishing them. If I stick to five I tend to get them done. Occasionally I stick one or two more in but it tends to get to be too big of a job. Not this week however.
Still work in progress
Basically all that is left is to put in black in all the bits where there isn't any paint. I am hoping that I will get all this done by close of play tomorrow. The fallback plan is put all the work into the non-leader figures but that will still mean that I will get twelve or thirteen figures done.

They did come with shields but they were a little on the high fantasy side and not very dark age. As for finding a replacement, I haven't made up my mind. These are bad guys so I need a suitable bad guy shield. The standard dark age round shield doesn't fit. I was thinking maybe Norman or Roman. I am currently leaning to the Norman kite shield.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Red Dwarf XII

There are not many series that keep going and going. In truth there was a very long gap in the middle but aside from a few soaps and documentary series, I can't think of any that have been going since 1988. I recall the first season being the biggest distraction from doing my A levels. If I watched it once, I watched it twenty times. So often in fact that, even now, I can still quote it word for word.
Back from the dead twice, at least, the show is going from strength to strength. I keep expecting to to fade but it keeps coming back stronger. The plots still find different twists on what is essentially the same themes. Pretty much the entire universe seems to want this crew to suffer but not nearly as much as the crew members want each other to suffer. Each episode sounds like a afternoon with my mates. The bitching and the infighting is just like the real world even if me and my mates manage to throw in some quotes from Red Dwarf.
Whilst this is the second batch of shows shot in 2016, the tone is similar but different. Different enough to make it look and feel like a new season. Nearly all seasons of the series cultivate a new look and whilst this season doesn't, the vibe still feels fresh. I get the feeling that this season has more than a tip of the hat to the problems we all face in the real world.