Tuesday, 31 January 2017

PETA, Games Workshop And Are You really Doing This?

To me this is a bit like asking a vegetarian to give up meat. I cannot think of any nerd I have ever known that would wear a fox fur jacket or any other kind of animal fur. Let alone contemplate the pros and cons of the matter. A bit of fake fur trim n a jacket is about as close as they would probably come. This PETA statement is about making a rather pointless statement to people who are pretty much irrelevant to the debate. Not uninterested but irrelevant.

I am a nerd. I like nerdy things. I see nerdom everywhere I go. For the most part nerdom is pretty far removed from the real world. Things in history. Things in the future. Things from alternative realities. Other than history, things from unreal places and times clearly do not reflect the world as it happens around us. I have some sympathy for animals. I have pets so it is not just I like animals roast on a stick kind of thing. Killing something just for it's hide seems perverse to me. Killing something that is going to end up in a pie with it's hide being used for leather seems a lot less perverse. Plus I like pies.

Historically people wore fur. Are PETA going to write to every manufacturer of Dark Age miniatures for instance, asking them not to use fur on their viking miniatures then? What about stopping Zulu miniatures from wearing cheetah skins? They seem to have singled out 40k and not the fantasy game because it's newsworthy and GW is a big worldwide company. I can see that this is all about changing attitudes towards fur. Things still need to change but the reality is that this is about as obscure an idea as you can get. It seems inherently crazy to ask a company like GW to alter a product for nerds.

How far do you take it? No fur in films and TV. What about comics? What about fake fur anywhere? Maybe we ban Chewbacca from all Star Wars films. Mind you that might be a blessing if it means you can get rid of Ewoks as well. Super heroes end up killing people, often lots of people so lets get rid of them too. Lets get rid of science fiction, war, action adventure and cop films not to mention westerns. It is just crazy to ask things like this of people.

It's a wargame. Why be bothered about having a miniature with a little bit of fur? Wargames involve shooting and killing. If you are going to ask for a ban on fur as a product placement why not ask to ban wargaming altogether. I cannot help but think this must have been a slow news day at PETA and someone's mum, who works for them objects to paying the obscene prices that GW are asking.


This has been another busy day. They are all busy days at the moment. It's not over yet and I need to pay some tax before the end of the day and do some other paperwork. This is going to take up what head space I have left. I have a bug developing so I am not feeling great either. Grumpy does not sum it up. I will sleep on it and see how I feel in the morning. I then have a few busy days ahead after this. I am feeling that I am looking for my own place within my own home. Everybody seems to have somewhere to sit except me. For example...

That said. I have managed to get some decals on the X-Com figures and a little bit of touching up. The decals are a bit of a mixed bunch. Some are 28mm Parachute Regiment decals by Warlord. Some are 15mm Flames of War decals. At this scale, they are difficult enough to make out to make them usable as near future unit insignia. In the game I have planned, units are truly international which is why they are also in different uniforms.

I have prepped some scenery suitable for the X-Com for painting. That is looking like the next project. Not a big project. Sunday is a game show in York. I am expecting to go and see what is happening. Hopefully come back with a load of new stuff to play with. I hear the Blood Bowl dwarves are on pre-order. I am hoping to get some "The Silence" figures from Warlord. These should do the Thin Men for the X-Com games. If I can find some suitable head swaps, that would be great. Maybe a few more bits too. I hate going to shows with no clear shopping agenda. It tends to end in a free for all. I have been sniffing around stuff for "The Walking Dead". Maybe I can find some stuff that will help me with the Titansgrave game. I might have a look at some of the Rogue Stars stuff which will hopefully fit in with Titansgrave. Scenery for that and X-Com might also be there but I am not sure what I will find. Anyone selling reaper bones is likely to get a look in as will Midlam.

I have managed to get through a whole month of posting on the blog every day. I am hoping to go though at least all of February doing the same. Starting the year off right. I am feeling inspired enough to try making this a daily part of my life for a bit but I wan't put my money where my mouth is just yet. I have also gone through a lot of hits in the last couple of months, not all from Russia (but  a fair few) and some from oddplaces (I got a few from an American pre-school teachers blog for instance). So hooray for me and the blog and you.

Monday, 30 January 2017

A Day In Gaming

Today has not been my most productive day but there are good reasons. I have managed a second blog though. I had a terrible nights sleep due to the dog, this following on from a particularly bad night the night before. I did manage to pick up a brush and play about with it for about five minutes. I have basically inked in the lettering of a ritual table. I need a bit of focus.

The second reason is that I did get out for another game tonight. This follows on from a zombie game I played in a few years ago. After eight sessions I finally got my crossbow. The ref likes to keep us under control and there are many things that make like harder for us. Some might see this as a negative but it makes the game a challenge. Restricted ammo is a central part of post-apocalypse games. You can't rely on rock and rolling your way through a fire fight. You will run out of ammo all too soon.
Cognitive Dissonance
Whilst I was out at Tesco, I did see this. It sums up what life is like at the moment.

Looking Back - The Worst Thing About This Blog For Me

I like doing this blog. It helps with my motivation, most of the the time. It helps a lot with my painting too. The biggest problem is that it highlights all the flaws. This should help me get better but it usually only serves to bring me down. I had thought I had finished, more or less (more less) but I can see that there is a still some work to do. As the project has taken so long, my painting style has changed. This means that they look different.

I like to think of myself as a reasonable painter. My painting style is constantly changing. I mainly blame YouTube. I want to try new and interesting things. These don't always work for me.

Food for thought.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Finished Painting The First Batch of X-Com Forces

I am not sure that every single detail is done (there is certainly one flag that needs doing) but they are close enough that I can spray varnish them. I will add some decals. After that I will add a few final details before giving them more varnish.
There seems to be no end of riflemen.
Then there were zombies. Normally I like lots of zombies. At this point in time I only need five. I would like some zombies that are stylistically in keeping with the game. I might just settle for what I have.
This me moving at my maximum pace. I looked up when I started and it was the end of March last year. In fairness, last year was not my best year. I have kind of wander off from the project because I couldn't work out how to do some of the figures. Now I kind of need a game to run this year and this is looking like the one. Although I would like to run  Titansgrave as it strikes me as more fun, I really haven't got the figures for that yet.
Did I mention that this was the first batch? In the game I expect that the technology will develop and I was hoping to do some figures with the improved tech. Rifles become laser rifles which become plasma rifles. The armour will also gradually improve (and no it won't end up as space marines although now I come to think about it with a few mods and no jet pack they wouldn't be that far from the ones in the old game).
Now I am thinking about what to do next. Possibly something X-Com related. I have no figures in the queue so maybe it's time to do some terrain.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

X-Com And All That

I am now getting towards the mopping up process for the X-Com forces, the first batch at least. There are a number of figures which I can safely say are actually done, as afar as painting goes. It is now down to just detailing. One more evening should see them all done.

As usual, I have made the same mistake. Whenever I end up pouring too much paint on the wet palette I find another figure to put them on. So now I have started a few more figures that don't really fit with the plan. Alongside that I have spent a bit of time and paint that would otherwise be wasted on the Blood Bowl orcs. I have a feeling that these are about to become the new background project.

I have now got to look for the next project. Although I have been feeling the call to paint, it hasn't been a productive week for me. There must be something that will keep the fire burning. I am thinking that I am going to stick with X-Com. This requires some scratch building. That said, I am hearing a call for Titansgrave and the Viking game.

My day has been a bit of a struggle. I am looking at making a few big changes, none of which are especially appealing and talking about them took u a chunk of the morning. This has been followed up by an afternoon of clothes shopping for the family followed by a trip to the vets and a pharmacy. A bit of a soul crusher really. By comparison, tomorrow should be better as the only thing on the horizon is a visit from the in-laws.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Nearly Missed It

Well I have had a busy evening. A little too gassy to be comfortable and another day with nothing done. It's just about to turn midnight and it has been a very busy day. Aside from doing a lot of thinking about gaming and watching a lot of youtube videos about terrain, I haven't done much about anything hobby wise. Still, the weekend is here and after a good lie-in I am hoping to crack on with some actual work.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Sitting At The Workbench

This was about as much as I have managed to do today. There may have been a little procrastination bit team. for the most part I have been busy. I spent most of my morning navigating the perils of the NHS. They are really not good when things go wrong. Which they have on the last two times I have taken my mum for treatment. It has meant that I have had to chase person after to person who is unable to help as a result of the system being in the way.

It might be fair to say that the rest was procrastination. A bit of tiredness also had a hand. Then there was all the usual day to day stuff. Followed up by working on my tax return. I was hoping to pay some tax which would help me get a mortgage but it looks like I have a much bigger tax bill than I was expecting.

I did get to sit at the bench for a bit. This was a bit like playing chess without any rules. Mainly moving figures around the work bench.

I have found some of my old blood bowl figures. This was the last project I worked on before starting the blog, all those years ago. It reminded me that I need some more lizardmen saurus for the team which has been my main playing team. I might look for a few on eBay but I am thinking that it might just be easier to make a couple out of plastic.

The dwarves were going to be my next big project, at one point at least. I was hoping to get some star players before starting the project so it got canned. I have a death roller somewhere which was going to be the center piece of the force.

So sitting was all I got to do today. Maybe I need to go and kill some zombies.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

I Was Beginning to Think...

...that I wasn't going to manage to do a post today. It's turned out to be another busy one. Dealing with anything to do with my mum seems to have the adverse effect of proximity to a black hole. One trip becomes three and then the trip today ended up lasting three times as long as I was expecting. Still, I have made her quite happy today and it was worth it just to see the smile on her face and her sat in a comfortable chair at last.

I am supernaturally tired at the moment which isn't helping. There hasn't been any time for painting or anything remotely table top game orientated. I have managed to do a bit of console gaming. I did manage a bit of gaming on the XBOX. I have been playing Homefront 2. It's Red Dawn (the remake) for the console. It has a nicely post apocalypse vibe. It's a low level apocalypse, more of an overwhelming crisis that an apocalypse.

That said the basic premise is a bit ridiculous. North Korea used their high technology edge in the twenty twenties to develop weapons and technology so good that the Americans decided to buy that rather than use the home grown tech (so mercifully Trump can't still be in charge). Then they used a back door to turn off all their tech. I know some say they are supposed to have the largest army in the world (if you include reserves) but to get a big enough force over the Pacific to pacify and occupy the whole of the United States, with a population seven times that of North Korea is a bit of an ask. This is especially difficult to credit when the game is largely about one man taking the whole thing down.

It has given me the urge to do some scenary. I haven't done much 28mm terrain. If I am going to to the X-Com game I want a ix of a nice play mat and some actual (3D) terrain. I have some stuff but I can't help think that more would be better.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

A Long Day

Really a long day with very little done. Lots to do but very little gaming stuff done. I got some dice but that is about it other than moving some figures around the work bench although I don't think that counts. The day has really been about my mum. The gaming really should not come into it. She has had a bad few days. Today I have taken her for another scan and then I have been out to buy her som chairs that will hopefully make her a bit more comfortable.e

Having had a really bad nights sleep I have had no energy for anything other than what has been absolutely necessary. So I should probably make this a short post.

Monday, 23 January 2017

An Actual Game

For the first time in a long time I have managed to get an actual game in at my local gaming club. Lots of last minute problems and an issue with dice I don't really want to talk about. Still plenty of zombie killing. Even some good company. I have missed it a lot.

Good to be back.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

X-Com Leads The Way

At least on the paint table. I have touched up a few of the Blood Bowl orcs today but to be honest, this has been a day that has been focused on the forces of X-Com. They are actually starting to look like they might be acceptable on tabletop. Mostly I suspect this is because I have played about with the bases which always make even a mediocre figure looks better.
There are a few more bits to do on the casualties and zombie but they are mostly done. A bit more detailing on the bases wouldn't go amiss.

I think I have said in the past that I am to paint enough figures to fill a foam tray for each type of figure. This would be about thirty six figures. So the aim was for twenty four soldiers, four teams of six. Five casualties, a couple of pilots, a few officers and a technician or three would be my full tray.

Then I need a tray of of civilian types. Police, casualties, alien fodder would be the main part of the tray. I'd also want some figures for players that don't fight. Scientist mainly maybe a general and some agent types too.

The next tray would be the bad guys. I have sectoids and chrysalids done. I have a plan for the single outsider I need which is going to be a modified tau warrior. Other modified tau warriors will make up the ethereals. Zombies will be more GW soldiers and zombies mixed and matched. Floaters are going to be a bit of a mixed bag. I can see a few ways of doing this. I need at least half a dozen of them so whatever I do it must be repeatable. Drone are looking like the them might be the flying disks used by the tau.

It has been the remaining figures that have caused me to um and err on this one. I am thinking that I should just do the ones of figures I can handle. Worry about the other stuff later.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Slow Day

Well actually it's been a busy day, just a bit slow on the hobby front. I've done a bit of blocking out on the remaining orcs and some base painting and a little highlighting on the X-Com stuff. The orcs, like winning a 2-1 game in Blood Bowl are becoming a bit of a grind.

I have just got back in from having a meal. I've had python, camel and crocodile. I don't recommend python but camel is well worth a try. Now I am tired and I want to go to bed so I thought I'd better check in first. Having taken the dog for a work earlier it's currently a bit difficult to tell who is the most tired, me or the dog. So my other half is happy.

My sister is down to see my mum who is really unwell at the moment. Good to see her but would probably be better under different circumstances.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Little Steps

I went out today with the intention of spending money. Pure retail therapy. I came back with a brush. An expensive brush because the only shop in town that now sells brushes other than GW, Hobbycraft (which has become a bit crap, sorry Andy if you are reading this) never have any brushes of the right size in stock.
I have done a few bits of painting today. I have done some blocking out on the remaining orcs and a brief bit of messing about with the X-Com stuff. If I keep working at it, I might sneak up on the X-Com project and finish it. I did some tidying up and then stuck figures to old paint pots to help with painting.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Just About Finished

Having thought I had done all the work I found a few more minor details to do as I was inspecting them. Nothing too major but a number of little niggles. Easy to put right, still a pain though. Mostly done with ink.
The decals are drying and the grass tufts are on, the base highlighting is done. I am beginning to think that this project is nearly over. Actually, wait on a minute, the figures are complete so they are actually done. This may be a record.
Then I guess I already have another six linemen to do. Then there will be four goblins (possibly?), a hero and a troll to do. Then there is a human team in the draw and I don't have a painted human team. Then I have some unpainted old style dwarves (with all the options, including the roller) and I think I may even have an old school dark elf team.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Another Update

Not much of an update today. No pictures, apart from the one of the kitten. If nothing else, it will amuse my other half.
I was expecting to have done a bit more today than I have manged to actually do. I have done some of the decals but not all. I have noticed that the varnish has caused a few problems. It's tarnished on a few figures. So when I have finished with the decals, I was going to touch up around them, now I am going to have to do a bit more work.


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

X-Com Corpses And Zombies

I found myself with a bit of an enforced gap with the Blood Bowl orc team. I needed to go on a brief hiatus whilst I wait for the light and the weather to be good enough to do the spray varnishing. This is never going to be my best work. The planned usage is pretty limited, a fraction of a game, not even regular usage within the game. I don't plan on putting a huge amount of effort on the corpses. The zombies, well there might be a bit more of a job on them.
So back to the background project, figures for an RPG of X-Com. I have plenty of work to do on this project but I am trying to box off some of the figures, if only to stop them gathering dust on the work bench. I have had this project on the cards for two decades but in a practical sense, I have been "actively" been working in it for two years. I am currently thinking that a game may actually happen at the start of 2018.

This was going to be my Zomtober project for last year and I have been working on it intermittently. Just enough figures for the month. Time was short then (it should be short now as I should be doing my tax return) so I didn't get round to it. Still there is always time to finish off the lead (or in this case) plastic mountain.

To recap, the plan is to run a game a bit like the reboot of X-Com (not X-Com 2). I seem to have spent a lot of time doing RPGs that are inspired by computers games. A deep and darkly twisted part of me wants to add in bits of the old Gerry Anderson show, UFO into the game. I run RPGs with about 4-6 players. This fits in nicely as the aircraft used for transporting troops has between 4-6 seats. This means the maximum number of casualties (and zombies) I need to put in the table is five.

Still a fair amount of work to do but they have moved on from this which is what they looked like earlier.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Finishing Touches

Not so much done today. I have done some red highlighting on all of the figures. This was a biggish job and has taken up much of the limited time I have had today. I have decided to put a bit of blood on some of the figures and onto the pitch as well. It's called Blood Bowl for a reason after all. Finally I painted the edge of the bases. I am tempted to do a few more bits and pieces. Skulls, severe heads and arms spring to mind. Too much hassle at the moment but when I get round to the next batch, I might do it. It helps to differentiate between the models on the table. It got a little too dark to spray them with varnish today, so I'll have to put a bit more work into them tomorrow. Then onto to the decals.
In the meantime, I might do something else.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Nearly There

I have managed to get a fair bit of work done on the figures today. I think I need to do a bit of red highlighting and paint the edge of the bases but that is it for the painting. I'll finish that tomorrow. Spray varnish. Add the transfers and some flock or tufts and then I'll be done with these. Although I have enjoyed painting them, it will be a relief when they are actually finish. But they are not finished, I have another six or seven to go. Maybe next week, maybe the week after.
 If I have any sense I will leave them until I can get a troll, some goblins and Varag Ghoul Chewer.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Almost There, Almost

Despite my protestations yesterday, I did manage to get some painting done last night when things eventually got quite. For the most part this was just blocking out. Today I have filled in the last of the blocking out and some inking up. My dad would have had a thing or two to say about my cutting in. Not sure what that says about my painting skills. I am beginning to think that I don't need a double zero brush but should possibly go and buy myself a paint roller. Anyway, they are starting to look a little less like the paint has been daubed on.
So despite a false start this morning, I am well on my way to finishing them. Getting them all done by close of play tomorrow is still a possibility but may be a bit optimistic. I have done a bit more painting since I took the picture.

It's a shame really. Up until a few days ago, I was assuming I was going to be out airsofting today for the first time in a good few years. Then my sister said she was coming up to see my mum. Then at the last minute cancelled because of the bad weather. So far I have seen a few patches of hail stones one morning. SO much for the predictions.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Friday The 13th

A good title for an okay film?

This morning I had a good plan. Get some painting done. Not exactly a new plan in fact it's a one size fits all kind of a plan. It ended up with me not starting painting till 2pm. By the time I had picked up a brush it was time to finish. Then there was the school run. Then I had to tidy up before visitors arrived. Then I had visitors. Then house work then dinner. 

Now I am coach potatoing as I am completely knackered. In and out of consciousness expecting to get a take away in the next hour or so and I won't have to cook dinner.

So in the round I guess I was a bit optimistic when I got out of bed this morning. I seem to remember that there is a phrase about no good plan survives contact with the enemy. The more I think about it, no good plan survives.

Tidied Up?

Other than tidying up the bench about three times, I spent a fair amount of time painting. I don't seem to have gotten very far. This might be the multiple coats of paint for  light colored pants. This worried me for a bit as I thought they were going to end up look more like the Washington Redskins than the Gouged Eye. Even though the trousers aren't quite perfect yet, I think I will see how it looks after washing and highlighting with the hope that this process will bring them around. I am hoping that I should have all of the team (the ones on the table at least) done by the end of the weekend with all of the main colours blocked out by the end of the day. That said, I have a few things going on today that might get in the way.
There is one little detail I have decided to add. There is an old tradition in Blood Bowl about colour coding bases. I think this dates back to second edition when the game was released with identical figures for all positions with only rings around the bases to differentiate between them. I know some players still follow this. With my memory it couldn't be anything other than useful. I am not normally into aesthetics but I don't really want brightly coloured bases. Then I noticed what I think would be the loops on the back of the shoes. I had eventually planned to paint most of the boots with a black or dark grey loop and maybe paint the odd pair orange or lime green. I have decided that instead of the black for all I am colour to paint the loops at the back of the show that appropriate colour.
The last picture is of paint. Not even paint drying. Thrilling, right. I just thought it would be a good way of reminding me what colours I used just in case I wander off and do something else rather than finish the last seven figures off.
I am not sure that this has been the most interesting sequence of posts I have ever done. It is true that I am just doing this for the sake of having something to post. It makes me feel a bit better that I am not yet half way through January and I have manged to post nearly as many times as I did in the whole of 2015.

Thursday, 12 January 2017


I have spent the day painting the Blood Bowl Orcs. I am getting closer to having a team done and I am "confident" (subject to change) that I will get the orcs done by the end of the month. I am having fun at the moment. I haven't taken any pictures yet. I was tidying up the work bench and thought I should do something with these ratmen rather than have them gathering dust.
I was working on these miniatures just before Christmas. It proved to be a quick and easy project. I thought that I would put some pictures up of them now, before they get put away until I can spray them.
I think they are from Black Tree Designs now but I think the models I got were actually made by Harlequin Miniatures (I may well be wrong). I have had some for years and found them again at the beginning of last year in a box gathering dust. I got a boxed set donkeys years ago from a shop long since closed down. I had lost a few of them in the mean time so I didn't think I had enough of them so I ordered more and a few mages and clerics besides. Just because.
The pictures are a bit rubbish but hopefully I will eventually find time to update the. I think I should have taken a bit more time with them but I wanted to make sure I posted today just to keep with my goal.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Orcs, Fousands Of Em

Well only twenty actually. It just seems like there are thousands of them. I had another look at what I had done already and decided that they were a little too red. I looked around and most of the pictures I could find showed much more variation on colour. After some thought I decided that it was probably better to repaint the trousers and shirts. Covering a high pigment red with a lower pigment beige took a lot of doing and I guess that even more paint is needed. I guess this means that I am not planning to finish the first batch completely, rather I think I will get a basic paint job done first and then ink them up before highlighting.
I did a bit more detailing on the ones I have started whilst doing the trousers and shorts of the first batch. For the second batch I wanted to get a few basics done. Shadowing and shirts and trousers so far, with the flesh of the black orc blockers, which use a darker skin tone, done too.

I picked the figures that I think I am most likely to use in a team  and selected 3 blockers, 3 blitzers and a thrower as the next painting batch. With these done, I would have a full team with a few basic options. I should get some goblins, just for the sake of completeness. I'm not sure about this as I doubt I would ever use them but it might be fun. I have a troll already but if a new plastic troll comes out then I might get that as I am sure that it might be a better fit. Again I am not a big fan of the larger plays. I would sooner spread the money around by buying better regulars. Ripper might be a better bet, he could double as a regular troll as well.  Varag ghouls is a more likely purchase as there are not too many special players for the orcs.

Whilst I was at the work bench, I did some very basic stuff on the remaining linemen. Blacking the eyes shadows and metal. They are now back in the draw.

I better get a couple of games out of it when I've finished.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Almost There With The First Batch Of Gouged Eye (With The First Coat)

I remember the first load of Citadel miniatures I got many, many years ago. By modern standards they are tiny. They were more like 25mm than 28mm and far less "heroic". I had a troll amongst them. It looks scrawny next to the Blood Bowl orcs. I want to play a game using the orcs against the human so that I can keep saying just so I can say "puny human". I am not say that they are on the scale of the hulk but they would do as big bulging bad guys for a superhero game.
This is going to be a time consuming project and it has taken a good long time already. If all goes to plan, I am hoping to finish them (and I mean actually finished meaning based and varnished) by the end of January. I decided to do the black orc in a darker green (the old orc hide paint). There will be a few details I need to finish off and a little bit of needed touching up but I am hoping to have everything inks and some highlights done tomorrow. The red is a base so will get a lot lighter when it's done (it's a bit too Washington Redskins at the moment). I will probably try to differentiate the armour and the metal a bit more by using a glaze on the painted armour and some gloss varnish on top to the steel armour after I have sprayed the who;e thing with matt varnish. I am probably going to paint the pants on all the others in a different colour too.
With a bit of luck I will find some time to work on the X-Com stuff as well and I would like to have the soldiers at least, finished by the end of the month too.. Then I might look at another quick project. I have some plastic Frostgrave stuff for something for Titansgrave. There are some more X-Com stuff for the good guys to do, casualties and zombies, maybe even a few other soldiers. Then move on to the human Blood Bowl team. By the time that is done I will have to make a choice about buying the skaven or the orcs. It's not about the money but about the space.

I usually get a burst of energy in the new year but even I can't seem me spending the year painting nothing but Blood Bowl figures. I had a look back at my 2017 plan.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Silly Ideas And More Primer

As I was set up to use some primer and the weather was a little bit better this morning, I decided that I might do a bit more. The good weather did not last long and the heavens opened up again so I have come back inside. In previous houses it was possible to do this in the garage, here, not so much unless I want the whole house to smell of primer.
Most of it was just random stuff left in the draws next to the work bench. All sorts of stuff really. Some for X-Com, Frostgrave/Viking game/Skyrim, post-apocalypse, a reaper dragon and even some D+D in the form of some plastic carrion crawlers from a D+D board game I found cheap on a market.
One bit of frivolity though. A relatively time consuming piece of frivolity though. I saw someone online with a painted a Blood Bowl range ruler, throw in template and scatter template online. I have had some gold paint knocking about for years so I figured I would give it a go, So a coat of primer, paint and varnish later, U had this. Nicely dull thanks to the matt varnish.
What I didn't get round to doing was varnishing the figures I already have painted. Probably a good job, I am not sure matt varnish and rain mix well. Maybe another day. Still, I might try and get some painting done.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Multi-Tonal Grey Orcs

I have been working in my first half dozen orcs. I have only got a few pics of the shading effects. I have put some white over the top and some dark grey in recesses and hard to reach places. The white was easy enough but the dark grey was harder. The trouble was that the places the dark grey really needed to be was where the primer didn't manage to get.
This didn't take long. I have done a fair bit of work since then but I just haven't taken any pictures yet. Still a lot of work to do, even on the first six models. I am mostly happy with the results so far. The first coat is done on a few. Inking next and then highlighting.

X-Com Pilots

There has been some more work in progress of the X-Com game during down time on the Blood Bowl Gouged Eye orcs (primer takes a long time to dry thoroughly). Giving how long I have dragged out this project now I wanted a bit of a win and I figured the easiest way was to finish the two pilots. If nothing else it would free up some space on the work bench. In the game I wanted two of them, one for the interceptor and another for the skyranger.
I wanted to give the pilots a slightly different aesthetic to the soldiers to make it obvious that they are not soldiers and to give them some personality of their own. Unlike the others, these figures don't really need to follow the national aesthetics that I have used on the soldiers. There are two here and I might do another one. The head gear is probably the most different, It's still a Cadian head but it's a comms helmet with a visor made out of green stuff. I was hoping for something that looked a little like the flight helmets in Star Wars. I've also played around with (taken a knife to) the gaiters to make them look boots to give them more variants on the standard uniform.

Instead of camo, they are in solid dark green flight suits. A little like what contemporary pilots wear. I probably should have gone for something like a more olive drab than this. That said, this gives the flight crew a more particular look and it gave me an idea for the base for DPM camo that I have done on one of the British team members.

It has thrown up a small problem in that all the gubbins on the shoulder is where I was going to place the flag. Maybe this is an opportunity instead. Still a litlle bit of work to do but they are a lot closer to being done.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Grey Orcs

Well the orcs are now primed and I have had time to do a bit of work on them. Twenty of them. Way too many. This is proving to be hard work. There is a lot of them, they are big miniatures and the plan is to put in a lot of detail. Even the priming was hard. I often don't prime miniatures conventionally. I use a base coat of the primary colour and by the time I have gone over it several times, there is enough paint. Coupled with the spray on varnish it makes the figures pretty tough. So I decided to paint up six this time (one of each pose) and then two block of eight.
The trouble with the orcs is that they are just too green. It's even the wrong shade of green for the flesh. So I have spray undercoated them grey. I didn't want to use black or white for the main coverage, too light and too dark. I was going to give them a very light spray of white from above to help with shading later on but found out that I had run out of white spray paint. I have decided to paint a bit of white on the top as well. I will daub a bit of black into the deepest recesses to see if this helps as well. This is a first for me, it is something I have seen online and I thought I would give it a try.

Even using a rattle can was a pain to get decent coverage on the figure because of the way figures and some dryads as well. Not the current project but something I am thinking about doing in the near future.

I usually aim to do a post a day at least one month a year. The flow is with me at the moment so I am hoping that I can keep this going. With a bit of luck I can keep it

Friday, 6 January 2017

Blood Bowl Rumours

It seems that I might have been wrong about the goblin team. They might be the next one out on the shelves after the dwarves. This is probably going to coincide with the next Death Zone season book some time around Spring/April. It would follow that all the goblin specials would follow. there is a lot of them if I recall. There is some suggestion that there will be new secret weapons goblins as well
Speaking of the dwarves (and presumably the other stuff that has been seen recently as well) they will probably be out around the end of the month or the beginning of next month. There seem to be some dwarven  star players too.

There is talk of an extra skaven booster pack. If I could I would have picked up two skaven packs yesterday so this might save me some money. There are possibly some skaven star players too.

There was also talk of a skaven/dwarf pitch. Judging by how quickly that one ended up on eBay for £100+, I had better get in there early for that.

I would also guess that the elves are coming. They are in the Death Zone Season One book as are their star players. This is a shame as elves suck :( Others are saying that some of them might even be next year. Some of the figures might be in resin MIGHT be in resin later down the line

Finally the next Death Zone is likely to have the underworld and chaos pact teams and more special play cards have been kind of confirmed.

X-Com Again

After I sent a lot of time farting around the other day I did eventually get some time to do some work on my figures today. Although I had intended to prime the Blood Bowl Orcs after I had green stuffed the gaps I was going to base coat the orcs but it seems that the only times it hasn't been raining today is when I have other stuff to do. Then when it did stop raining I thought that maybe I hadn't left the putty to dry for long enough. Even though it is only a thin layer I was thinking I should probably leave it overnight.
X-Com wounded, zombies and a sniper
It wasn't that much time but at least it was something and the X-Com project was part of my Plan for 2017. It seemed that I managed to glue on a few heads and pieces of equipment and do a little bit of painting after that. Small steps but steps forward. They have become what I call my background project. The job I turn to when I can't work on something else. When the glue or ink is drying mainly but sometimes I pick them up when the muse strikes me This happens often enough for me to give it a name. At some point I am going to have to crack on with them to get them finally done.

I am still thinking this cold be an RPG project that I could get of the ground this year. It's down to the figures. I tend to plan things in terms of trays of figure (about 36 standard sized figures) The good guys are on the table. The bad guys are going to be the next project. I can see some more bad guys and civilians after that but I guess I could do those as the game starts.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Blood Bowl Orcs

The pre-painting process for the orc team has commenced. I did get to spend some money today mainly on another full set of Blood Bowl. I worked out that I wanted effectively two boxes worth of figures for both the human and orc teams. That would mean spending £40 for both teams. As the full game costs about £55 I figured I could sell the bits that I don't want (at a reasonable price) and make some of my money back.
I glued together the new players and based them. With the PVA on the sand now drying it was time to stop. This process seemed to take forever. There are a few gaps, nothing major, but they will need to be filled in and when that is done I will hopefully be able to prime them tomorrow. I will probably paint them up as Gouged Eye. Might as well go with the classic colour scheme.

What I have now should be enough to cover most of the options. The team consists of two throwers, four black orc blockers, four blitzers and ten linemen. I could use some of the linemen I have left over but I think I will end up selling them. I might keep the thrower, there may be a new golden orc award next year if I can get people to bite. I need a goblin but I guess that I will need to wait a while. The goblin team isn't in the first book so I guess it won't be out for a few months. I will probably get the team when it comes out and paint it up in the gouged eye colour scheme. Then there is Varag Ghoul Chopper, not out yet but not far off. He'll probably be in the same basic colour scheme but with some brighter bits. There is also a troll and morg and thorg to come. I might paint the troll in the same colour scheme as it will with nicely with the goblins and orcs.

Blood Bowl - Do I Like It?

Yes. Yes I do. And no.

The game looks very nice when you pick it up. The components are a step up in quality from previous editions. Nothing other than actual cards and the pitch is  Everything seems bigger or better. The range ruler, throw in template and scatter template are made of plastic and not acetate sheet. This makes them a little more user friendly. Shame that the range ruler does not seem to fit in the box nicely. Counters are now plastic rather than card and each team gets it's own set. The minis are bigger as are the bases. This means that the old pitches seem a little too small. I am not sure if this means that older minis will need re-basing for tournaments. I like the idea that the each sprue comes with some game balls. One of the problems always used to be losing the few balls that you got with the game. There are player cards in addition to the special player cards. Getting back into it, the standard player cards are a fantastic aid. The player cards are so  good that it great if these were produced for all times. It is essentially keeping the same old rules. This is really good. I haven't found anything that looks like an effective change.
Image result for blood bowl board game
The figures, for me at least, are just a bit too spiky. They have gone the way of all recently released GW fantasy miniatures IMHO. The snap fit figures are a blessing and a curse. They give the figures great animation. The snap fix is far from perfect and this has lead to be biggest gripe. See the Golden Orc Award post if you want to know how I really feel about it. It is the kind of thing that seems to come with CAD designed figures. there is no chance that they will be compatible with older figures. That is a shame but to be expected.

The game does not come with stats for all the teams. There are more teams in the Season One book and I suspect that there will be at least another two books to cover all the teams. In fact there seem to be a lot of teams missing at the moment. There aren't so many special play cards. Again, I suspect there will be more later on. There was only the one extra team, the Skaven at the time of release. I have all these teams and they are fairly standard teams. It looks like the dwarves are about to be released and usually GW release products every month. I am guessing that they are spreading the popular teams among the books. Probably a marketing ploy and again, this is to be expected.

Overall: Blood Bowl is a great game. It hasn't been tinkered with so much that it makes it a different game. It means that it is going to get a new lease of life, which is a really good thing. It's different enough that people are probably going to buy the stuff. This gives the game some legs. Assuming that GW stick with it, and all the teams get released I would be a happy man. I would have like figures that were less spiky and compatible with the old ones but this was a bit of a punt. On the whole I am quite happy.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017


My workbench is still tidy. It is probably tidier than it has ever been. Everything is in it's right place. Even my storage draws are in some sort of order. I have even made space for more stuff, should I happen to buy it, ahem. The problem is partly about procrastination. Every time I sit down to do something, something happens to stop me. The phone, my other half, the school run or my mum. I should have plenty of time, as long as I can use that time in five to ten minute slots.

So on the workbench are a few projects. The X-Com figures, still in need of some work but getting closer to being complete. Some rat men, almost done but need a final bit of detailing. Some Titansgrave saurians (converted plastic GW saurus) which are probably going to stay there because I need some more to finish the project. Finally some GW dryads, glued together and based but other than that, nothing done to them.

What should be on the workbench are the new blood bowl figures, some animals for RPG games, "some" Frostgrave stuff and even more stuff for Titansgrave.

I might have a chance to nip out and buy some stuff tomorrow, as if I needed it.

This isn't procrastination, it's planning.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Think This Is Going To Be A Blood Bowl Kind Of Year

Mighty Zug?
I was going to start of the year painting some Blood Bowl figures. Not just a Golden Orc. It was part of the plan and it's a good plan. The trouble is that I wanted to get some extra figures first so they could all get the same paint job. I have been shopping around on eBay and the figures seem to be going for silly money. I am planning on buying another six per team and them maybe selling the extra sprue off on eBay although maybe I should hold on to them and the price will go up.

Griff Oberwald?
With such a limited initial release there have been no special characters (like Griff Obberwald or The Mighty Zug) which I would want to paint up. So no one to paint up alongside the teams when I do it. So again, I am putting myself off starting the job. That said it looks a lot like the figures are on the way.

There seems to be a fair amount of scalping going on eBay of Blood Bowl kit. Despite GW prices being expensive already. People are expecting some silly prices for stuff already sometimes five and six times the original price. Given that you need way more figures than are in a single box (obviously 8 figures per sprue would cover most of the bases) I am expecting to get more boxes. Maybe the scalpers have the right idea.

New Dwarf Team?
The dwarf team is about to come out alongside with some of the special characters for other teams and a separate boxed human team. This will help me out as I won't have to pay the scalpers prices to get the extra figures. There is even a death roller in the background. It looks really, really expensive.

I can see a spend of well over a hundred already. For a game I rarely play but I love dearly. I have some money from Christmas that I was going to spend on boardgames. This might well change.

Renewing The Workbench

The new year is well under way now. Looking forward to getting some stuff done. Before the bench gets covered with stuff I thought that I might work on it a bit to get it up to scratch. Probably just work avoidance. That said, it would be helpful if I could get near my work bench in the first place. I am always tinkering with the bench so I guess this is nothings new.

One of the big problems with this setup is the fact that the second-hand Ikea writing /computer bench is black so lighting it is a bit of a pig. So I have  decided  to make sure that  at least  some of the  area is white. I have tried relfectors at the top in the past which didn't do much good and the stuff on the side used to catch in the table mechanism. So that leaves me with the surface so I think I might try sicking some paper down on it but then I have always intended to paint the whole of the inside white.

I need more light. There is some LED strip lighting which isn't very good. I have a magnifying lamp which is greater and a floor lamp which is the main source of light. The desk is in the living room and my other half does not like the main light on. Space is tight so nothing by the workbench and nothing on the floor so I am hoping that I can find some clip-on lights. Brighter the better (up to a point). Maybe I will make a quick trip into Ikea (despite me not much liking what I have seen online) as I am at bit of a loss where else to go. 

Monday, 2 January 2017

Blog Mini Update/Cull

I have been looking at the blog thinking that it was about time I should do something about making a few changes. The first thing to do was a blog list cull. If you haven't posted in over a year I am sorry that you haven't done so because you obviously had something I was interested in but I need to trim the list a bit and this seemed the fairest way to do it.

I have mucked about with the gadgets a bit to. There isn't much there to do. Maybe I should change things around a bit more. If you have any ideas, let me know. I keep thinking about Adsense. A bit more money would be useful but I am not sure about it. Any suggestions about AdSense would be gratefully appreciated.

The Golden Orc Award

Not wanting to start a meme but I have found my calling for the year yesterday. I played my first game of Blood Bowl in twenty years on New Years Eve with my nice shiny new figures. In the process I have managed to lose an arm because I hadn't actually glued them together yet. Not quite a Darwin Award but not too good for me as I now have a useless model. Or do I?

Just to seek out a purpose for the year, and the model, I have decided to turn him into a Trophy. The idea is that I will give this award for the dumbest move a gamer has made this year. Nothing too tragic, but the funnier and more cretinous the better.

Spent £500 on figures for an army you bought but will never get round to painting? Left your much loved, pro-painted, award winning, tournament winning army on a train and lost it for good? Accidentally gassed yourself with paint fumes because you forgot to open your window whilst spray painting. Ended up with fewer fingers at the end of the year than you started it with in a hobby knife related incident? Dropped your expensive large heavy duty plastic figure carrying case on your foot and broke three bones? Set fire to your house because you forgot to turn off your glue gun? Well this is the award for you!!!

The orc is going to get painted and based and I will send him out to the best story I have heard at the end of the year.

The Rules
1. It must be hobby related (I'll accepts wargaming, boardgaming, card-gaming, painting/figures and RPGs)
2. It must have happen in 2016/17
3. If you have lost an arm off a figure that isn't funny enough to qualify (sad really, sniff)
4. It can't involve anything illegal (immoral is fine as long as it's funny)
5. It must be true. Pictures would be better, Eye witness reports are even funnier
6. There is no rule six
7. Anything I think of later on

I would like to make this a worthwhile and maybe even annual award. If anyone has something they would like to give as a prize (that is better than a spray painted plastic orc with an arm missing) I will put it as an award. If anyone would like some advertising for their products, donate something, no matter how small. If I get a good response I may do second and third prizes and even some awards for achievement.

Anyone who has any ideas, please let me.

Feel free to re-post this.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Frostgrave Soldiers

Happy new year. I thought I would start the year as I mean to go on. I am hoping to do at least 100 posts or 2 posts per week this year. So I am now about 1% of the way there already.
I made up a few of the Frostgrave plastic soldiers when I got the box set well over a year ago. I found them a little on the short side compared to the metal models and compared to most of my stuff in general so I opted for putting a penny on top of the base for a bit more height. The extra weight helped too as plastic models can sometimes seem to lose their centre of gravity.

You may notice that they are mainly crossbowmen. I think I did this because I don't have too many figures equipped with them. I have one or maybe two metal crossbowmen so I figured they will fill the gap. They don't quite fit the dark age vibe I like but they are close enough. There is enough variety to make all of the minis look different. They do well as brigands in mainstream fantasy RPG but they will do as Saxons as a pinch. I picked the most period appropriate heads out of the box which helped a little.
Like a lot of plastic minis, they have softer edges compared to metal which seems be able to cope with the harder squarer edges better. That said, they hold the paint well. The arms fit well on the torsos leaving very little gap around them. There are plenty of plastics that look great from one angle and not the other, these are not them.