Friday, 31 March 2017

Taking Your Hobby Too Far

It is possible to take things too far. I like my models in scale. Somehow over the years I have become deeply suspicious of anyone who is in the reenactment side of things. I can just about cope with the idea of the English Civil War reenactors. When it gets to American Civil War reenactors (in the UK at least, I am sure that in the USA ACW reenactment it's fairly normal, ish). What I found the most odd of all is the World War 2 reenactors. I went to Tankfest a few years ago. There was much less than a platoon of British reenactors. There were about a platoon of Americans (made up of infantry and marines). It was the number of German reenactors that came as a shock. There was almost a company of them. There were a few SS reenactors that I have seen at other shows to. This just seems wrong.

Anyway someone brought this to my attention. I know it might be a little out of date but I thought it was funny. But speaking of collecting, but in one to one scale.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Dead Robot

I was farting about  with some green stuff really. I found this Paranoia figure a while back. I was one of the robots that was released by Games Workshop when it was a proper company. That always winds the staff up in the shop.
The X-Com project is still on the cards. I have a plan still, not a very good one but it is still there. My mind has also been on post apocalyptic stuff and Fallout. This robot is too valuable to me to waste as a piece of terrain so the thought occurred I could take a mould of it and see what happens. I don't think it turned out too badly.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Bad News Day

Today has not been a day for good news. That said you get on with it. Hump or die as Steve says. There is a day when the future starts to look even worse when family members are ill. Four interruptions on my sleep and what is starting to feel like a chest infection are perhaps the icing on the cake today. I have talked about focus a lot lately. Today has not been a day for focus either. Tomorrow will be a better day.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Another Busy One - Every Day In The Post Apocalyptic World

I have spent most of the day typing and doing stuff around the house. Typing was easy. I am working on some post apocalyptic stuff and, as the post apocalyptic world much more appealing, I will stick with that world.

I watched something about dust storms on the TV the other day. This set me on the road of doing some post apocalyptic environmental effects. A lot of them would be quite portable to other backgrounds. I did a little bit of work for the bestiary. This is the thing with doing design work, everything is interconnect. If you do one bit on something, it begs some work on something else. So the page count gets bigger and bigger. I am quite proud of the work I have done on that and I might put a couple of samples up of the work.

I have eventually got round to doing a bit of painting. Once I had cleaned up my work bench and played about with some greenstuff copying bits of an old paranoia robot which I am going to use in a trash heap, I had time to paint a conjouring table and use some of the left over paint to put some colour on an Imperial Guard/X-Com medic.

Again this has not been my greatest day but I have made some progress. Who needs therapy when you have a blog to write

Monday, 27 March 2017

Spiders Are Done

Anyway I have finished off the Reaper Bones Spider Swarms for Savage Worlds and Dungeon and Dragons. It's good to have something else finished. All the time consuming drying has been done already so it was a fairly quick process.

Maybe I am getting work done because I am naffed off that I am finding the urge to do something. The house is generally never cleaner that when I am naffed off and it is pretty clean today not to mention getting a load of jobs done around the house. The truth is probably that I am a bit naffed off with myself because of what I am doing or not doing. Decisions to be made I think.

I went with brown as the main colour with a little bit of a wash and a highlight. Perhaps it's not as menacing as black but I have just done the beetle swarm in black, blue wash and grey and I didn't want the two  bases turning out like carbon copies of each other (I am not sure that I like the phrase carbon copy any more, it makes me sound older than I feel). When I think back this model this is actually quite a pricey model. £7 of figures and a £1 of bases plus a few bits and pieces. It's certainly the biggest base I have ever used. Now I just need to figure out a way to transport them.

I have also done a bit more written work on some post apocalyptic stuff I have been working on. I have been working on it for a good long time now, you would hope it would be finished by now.

Still, I am tired now.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

A Little Bit Of Work

This is the closest I have come to missing my deadline with only minutes to go before midnight. I have been an hour behind all day after the clocks went forward last night. That's my excuse and I am sticking with it.

Today was Mother's Day. I got to spend some quality time with my mum which was nice. I am feeling lousy still and my other half is still ill. Not a great recipe for me to get things done. I eventually got everything done at about 9:30 this evening. Rather than reaching for the laptop, which I really wanted to, and instead I went to the paint table. I got about an hour painting up the spider swarm bases and then hitting them with a wash. This was a bit if a wet blend and the overall colour has come out quite nicely. I wasn't aiming to we blend I just ran out of patience. Whilst I was waiting for things to dry I had a play about with some of the scatter terrain I was working on.

I quickly ran out of time as I have to be up in the morning for the school run. Again.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Spider Swarms And Making Progress

I have come very close to missing the post tonight. Having posted at least daily for three months now I really didn't want to miss the deadline. My other half tells me the clocks are going forward as well which really would have cut into me time to post. So I just made the deadline which still counts.
Time is never on my side and I haven't had much time today. My other half has been hit by another illness which has meant she has been out of commission most of the day. Worse still she has needed a huge amount of attention along with family commitments. I did manage to find the time to sleep through two films. No great shakes as I have seen both of them already. This is after another night of sleep broken by outside forces. My current plan is to put the dog on tranquilisers and lock the cat in the kitchen.

Despite all that I have done a bit of work. The spider swarm base and it's two sub bases is just about finished. The texture I have used on the base is now curing and when that is done, I will get it painted. I am still not feeling the love for this model but it has been sat around, in kit form at least, for a while now.

Once I have finished that I have done a bit of policing up of stuff on the desk. I have done some trimming on another one of the X-Com Cyberdiscs and played around with a couple of the cars. Small steps but definitely progress. The blog is helping me focus.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Not My Most Successful Day

I feel like I have spent most of the day battling the NHS. My problem has been I have been stuck with staff sickness (four doctors were off sick today) and the practices exemplary record on safety (they are not going to get sued for negligence but we won't always do what we are supposed to either). Due to privatisation the NHS is no longer able to transfer medical records within a fortnight. Now that Capita are involved GPs are lucky to get medical records withing six months if they do indeed arrive at all.

I have spent over four hours today trying to get her prescriptions. It reminds me of the last week of my fathers life when I spent seventeen hours correcting the thirteen separate mistakes made by the same doctor like prescribing 100 times the lethal dose,not signing the form, not dating the form, not proving enough doses and of course prescribing drugs that the NHS and the suppliers no longer seem to have in stock in this country.

So here is hoping that Saturday will be a better day.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

End Of The Swarm

I think this is just about finished. Add some more highlighting, a little more texturing and a bit of flock later and this is about it. It looks okay to me.
Looking back at the process I think I got things pretty much right. Maybe I could have built the lip up around the smaller bases a bit more. If I had a laser cutter I would probably cut out to layers of thinner MDF. If I was more into playing D+D I would probably made a couple of 25mm/1" bases in the gaps. This would allow the D+D bases to be made up of 1" bases so that it could morph shape.
With a 28mm X-Com trooper for scale
The next task is probably going to be making the next swarm base which is spiders. I have said a couple of times that I am not so struck by the models. This is kind of putting me off the idea but I have already half started the base. I am still looking for some Reaper Bones rats but I am guessing that I will have moved on to something else.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Swarms Again

Today has been hard work but at the eleventh hour (well the tenth hour to be accurate) I decided that I had to do something. This is probably down to the power of the blog. If I am going to post every day then I should have something to post especially as I figured that tomorrow is going to leave me a little bit discouraged.
I looked back at yesterday's post and I think I have achieved everything I thought I would but nothing more. Actually thinking about it I added an extra step. I didn't think I was going to like the end result on the bugs so I decided to give them a blue ink wash hoping that it will give them a bit more depth of colour.

I was hoping for a good nights sleep. The situation has conspired against me and now it's an early start followed by a long day. It looks increasingly like I am not going to get much done tomorrow. I hope that is not the case.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Swarming All Over The Tabletop and #Pet Shaming

Although I should have done more with the day I had the urge to play Fallout 4. I have all but finished Far Harbor and I am enjoying running down the last parts of the adventure. There have been the usual distractions and my other half is ill so there has been more to do about the house.

I did a bit of touching up on the beetles. I now need to get round to washing the base and then dry-brushing the base and the beetles. My hope is to get that done tomorrow. With a bit of luck I am hoping to get something of a paint job done on the beetles and then add a bit of variation to the base. The next move will be to sort the spider swarm out. I am a lot less struck on these miniatures. The other obvious bases are rats and bats but I still can't find any of these in the U.K.

Tomorrow is also looking like a busy day. I have to take my mum to see the nurses and work might actually rear it's ugly head on me as well as all the usual day to day stuff to contend with.
The dog was fun today as she has managed to get herself stuck. I have a three year old Hungarian Viszla called Leelu. A beautiful dog but not the sharpest tool in the box (more of a mallet in fact). When I was asked what take away I fancied last week, I said Hungarian. This fell on especially stony ground. She has taken a liking to the cat's food in preference to her own food. This is the fifth time she has managed to eat the cat food in two days and the second time she has gotten stuck there. I am not sure how she got stuck as there was an easy way out the back. She has a similar problem getting past doors that are slightly ajar. that is one other thing to do tommorrow as we are now out of cat food.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Swarm Bases For Savage Worlds And D&D

Swarm bases have been on my mind for a while, mainly for Savage Worlds and although I don't really play D&D it would be nice to cover as many possibilities as possible. Swarms are one monster types that you don't see a lot as models. It's not that there aren't figures out there it's just that people don't seem to buy them and use them. Despite this being a really busy day and my other half being Ill, I managed to make some progress.
 I have a number of possibilities in mind but I thought I would start out and see what happens. The first attempt is what I see as the easiest. i was worried that there were going to be gaps texturing and gaps there are. I will see how this ends up. Bases for swarms in Savage Worlds are supposed to be four inches but I had a lot of difficulty finding four inch bases so I found some 100mm bases. If there are gaps when I am getting a bit closer to the finished product some more texturing could go around  the rim and not really cause a problem, In Savage Worlds bigger bases can split up into smaller ones of 2" which is close enough to 50mm for me.
I have avoided putting any significant bits on the bases. The aim was to make these bases as generic as possible. Whilst mainly a fantasy thing, swarms also have a place in post-apocalyptic games (go an watch Damnation Alley I am pretty sure the creators of Fallout did). The two styles have different trappings so I'll just dispense with them.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Quartermaster General 1914

I have played the original Quartermaster General game a couple of times. It was okay as a group game but playing the game as a two player game can be a bit too much. I was promised that this was a better game. I was a bit dubious as I get told stuff like this all the while to get me to play in the game.
Not my picture but it might as well have been
So the gameplay is alright. It has learned a few lessons from the original game. The board is nice the cards are alright and it even has some plastic figures instead of counters. I fought the battles and did okay as the central powers. I did eventually win in 1917 but breaking the victory point margin but I still felt a bit unsatisfied. I didn't really manage to take any territory in fact I seem to have a lot less space that the Germans started with in the real world. I got into Belgium in the first round but never got close to it after that and invading France was never on the cards.  Russia always seemed to be a long way away and the was a lot of Russians between me and them. The French seemed to do well, the British struggle to do anything at all, the Americans never arrive and the Russians never go away. I felt like I had no chance from the get go. I had assumed that the game was all about territory when in fact that it was all about getting bonus victory points, as the central powers at least. As each national group has a deck with a different amount of cards, it becomes a game of making your opponent use his cards. Some nations run out of cards very quickly. When I did win the game I had one playable card left out of about and there were two more turns to go.

This is a game about scoring points. You can lose the war and still win the game. This is supposed to say something about the skill of the player but I never felt very skillful. World War One. to me at least was a bit of a bloodbath. This was not a war about how much you won but how much you lost. This should be a game about losing points no gaining them.

It's not a bad game. I would play it again but think it is more a game about the interaction of personalities on a side and that this would make it a more fun game than the two handed version I played.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Insomnia , In Your Face And Some Work In Progress

Insomnia no, miniatures and stuff yes. Swarm bases are going to be the next project.  I got to spend last night in an actual bed and a bed big enough for me to fit in. I had a great nights sleep and have been full of beans all day. I have hardly spent any time sat down. The House is much tidier and a load of jobs have been done.
I got some reaper bones swarms a while back. Nice and cheap but I still wanted more. After I got these I needed some bases for them. The aim is to do them for savage worlds. This means that they start as a medium burst template of 100mm/4" and can divde into two small burst templates 50mm/2". 50mm is also the same size as a basic d+d swarms, well kind of so I might need to make some smaller bases as well.
So what you can see here is a couple of test layouts. The plan is to have two small template with two bases in each. The main base would have a couple of single bases to fill in the gaps. My original plan was to have just one cut out withe no extra bases on the, but now I have some cheap bases so what the hell. The plan calls for some moulds to be made with some green stuff impressions. These are to be cut up and spread around the base. So far I have beetles and spiders. I am not sure I like the spiders.

If the concept works out I will get rats next. There are a few possibilities for these models and I can use them in just about every genre. I would like to do bats but I have had a lot of problems finding them. Birds, like ravens, would also be nice for a horror post apocalypse game. The same go for bats.

On the wish list but I have no idea how to make it happen are: flying and none flying cockroaches; I would like a mixed base of creepy crawlies (something along the lines of of Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom); piranhas; and ants.  I guess when you have the figures you make sure that they can fit in with the genre of games you play.
So before I did anything, I tidied the workbench as well. It's the cleanest it's been all year. Around the edges of this I tied up and sorted out stuff. I may have just made more space to fill it up again but that's progress?

Focus - And How To get It

Having just managed to delete my most popular recent post from the 14th, I thought I'd better re-post it. Sorry if you have already read it. I am hoping that this doesn't invalidate my stream of blog posting.

Today is probably a crazy day for me as a miniature painter to talk about focus. I have been dragged every which way since early morning. I have made a gaming related purchased today but for someone else. They were looking for some really useful box storage trays over the weekend and I found some. Seems like common sense.

Focus...Today I have flitted from thing to thing. Snatching a few minutes here and there. I have one eye on the future and another on the past. So when it comes to the present, I am looking the opposite of cross eyed. It's a hard look to hold without getting eye strain. Focus should be easy as I have set out a plan which involves doing figures for X-Com and Titansgrave, not to mention the Viking Game.

Focus...Is about deeds not words. That is doing something active rather than walking about it or worse still watching someone else talking about it. I blame Google and especially YouTube for this, in the nicest possible way. Despite how it appears to most of us most of the time, the natural position for the human body is vertical. It's only supposed to be horizontal when it is asleep. For me this means that there should be a significant part of my body in the vertical plane. Specifically, it should be in a chair in front of a work bench.

Focus...It should be about having a plan and working to it. It should not be about mentally wandering off and taking the easy choice. For me the blog is actually a distraction at the moment. It's doing well but I am sure that this is not down to people actually reading it, sadly if I am being honest it's probably down to kids in Russia and China doing god knows what. Most importantly, I am blogging not painting.

Focus...I am going to quote Patton. Probably a stupid thing to do and bound to upset Martin, who is a big fan. Or was that Rimmer dressed up as Patton? But I digress. The quote is "A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week". Now this might be a bit obscure but it's important. I have a plan but I keep playing about with the plan. I, like many others, get distracted by whatever appears to be shiny. In the past when I have been short of money I just wouldn't go near shops. It's not that I couldn't resist things at the time, it's more that the idea would sit and fester in my mind and I would dwell on it too much. YouTube, as good as it is, is making this problem reoccur in a new and interesting way. The See It, Want It, Buy It thing is common to most of us. An old trope for mini gamers is the lead mountain. This is because we easily get distracted by what is going on here and now instead of violently executing what we have already started.

Focus...For gamers at least, the process should be See It, Want It, Buy It, Prime It, Base It, Put It In  A Box Until Needed. Rinse, repeat. Thinking about it wastes time. By the time you have your plan, something else will have come along and taken over.

Every year I start with The Plan. I write it down and publish it. I use it to shame myself, and only when no one is looking but it has helped me keep on track in the past..

Friday, 17 March 2017

It's Insomnia Apparently

I was told today that I suffer from insomnia. This is why I have be so tired lately. This made me pause to think for a minute. Not "do I suffer from insomnia" but rather has this person had a, listened to a word I had said and b, if this person had any concept of what insomnia actually is.

They don't seem to know what insomnia is so I looked it up. Rather than going straight into rant mode I checked my facts first. According to the NHS if you have insomnia, you may:

  • find it difficult to fall asleep
  • lie awake for long periods at night
  • wake up several times during the night
  • wake up early in the morning and not be able to get back to sleep
  • not feel refreshed when you get up
  • find it hard to nap during the day, despite feeling tired
  • feel tired and irritable during the day and have difficulty concentrating
So back tracking through the symptoms, "I don't feel refreshed when I get up" and "I feel tired and irritable during the day". This qualifies as insomnia apparently. The fact that I have been sleeping on a sofa to give my mum somewhere to sleep since September and people seem to want to wake me up when I do fall asleep (this happened six times yesterday not to mention the dog, the cat and two phone calls). 

Apparently I definitely suffer from insomnia because I couldn't fall asleep when I tried to get a mid morning nap today. Apparently, the fact that there was a house alarm going on a dustcart going around the estate where I live and people shooting rabbits with a shotgun was not relevant.

I am pretty sure that I don't suffer from insomnia. I am also pretty sure that being irritable during the day is not a side effect of the insomnia. Sadly it's a personality trait apparently.

For various reasons I have been beating myself up lately for not getting stuff done. Focus is a hard thing to maintain when you can't keep your eyes open. I keep blaming tiredness. This is probably fair enough. This is not proving to be the best years of my life. There is too much going on and at the moment I need a bit of a break. Every time I think that there is a chance of something good happening, the situation conspires against me. The phrase I have used a number of times lately is that I feel like a second class citizen in what should be my first class life.

Tomorrow I should have a day off. I know this isn't going to happen but I can hope. So, with a bit of luck and assuming the weather is so bad that we can't go out, I might get some time to do.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

More Titansgrave RPG Miniatures

Well the title should be More Titansgrave RPG Orcs it's more orcs really but I have put up enough posts with the word "Orcs" in the title already this year. So I can safely say I have my focus back. Having put four of them together yesterday I wanted to finish gluing up the rest of them off today.
Unlike the way they are intended, these figures need to show a lot of variety of poses and gear. These are figures for role playing not wargaming so there is no unity integrity. The box set is geared up to make a unit of ten but you can actually get eleven figures out of the box. I need about eighteen to twenty figures to cover most of the bases for each race, ten female and ten male. There are only three character classes in the game but those classes cover a wide range of figures. Whilst twenty ish figures is nice (I have more than twenty eight magic users for instances and I would have more clerics and thieves if I could find stuff appropriate to the dark ages), more would be nice. I plan things in terms of trays of 28 figures so that was the number I want to aim for for most of the races. Lizardmen have two genders but they look the same in my mind although I could use slightly bigger temple guard figures as male rather than as wild saurus. Humans are easy, dwarves are a bit harder and elves, well I might just get rid of elves altogether for lack of figures.
The plan involves a bit more work being done. There are always a few games that need filling in and I will put a bit more equipment on the figures. This will give them even more variety. An emphasis on variation in the paint job on the skin and the clothing should push this even further. A variation in skin tone, if only a slightly different green, seems appropriate.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Focus, One Hour, Orcs / Orks And Titansgrave

Titansgrave -  Ashes of Valkana caught my attention this morning. It popped up on YouTube and has been on my mind since. It is something I would like to be able to play by the end of the year and if that is the case, I would like to get something underway now. Along with X-Com these were things I was looking at doing at in The Plan at the beginning of the year so I had better get on and do something about it,
I wrote about Focus last night after a day when I pretty much didn't have any. Today has been a day on constant interruptions. Despite that I found a way to make some time. It may only have been an hour but it was an hour more than yesterday and the day before that. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

I wanted an easy win. What is easier than gluing figures together. It still takes time and in the hour that I had I managed to glue together only four figures. A while back I got some plastic space orcs from a popular high street manufacturer. For a while now I have been trying to figure out how to do female orcs. As this is a game of characters people are going to want to play female orcs. I don't need a huge number but I need some. My man idea had been to give them greenstuff boobs and redder lips. As part of the plan I was going to get some wild orcs. Most would make another opfor but a few were going to be wild orc characters. I got to thinking (whilst I was doing something) that the heads for some of this were flowing locks as it were. Doing a mix and match of the two would be okay for females. The plan calls for about thirty figures at most so this will mean I have a few spares but I am sure that I can always find a use for them.

A single step is all well and good. What I have to keep focussing on is the next step and the step after tha. I would have been happier if I had got more figures done and that the ones that were done were a bit further down the line. That said I am happy that I have done something. So now I need more plastic orcs, more plastic lizardmen, female dwarves, some halflings and elves (and I have no idea where I am going to find space elves that don't look like Eldar in power armour)

Monday, 13 March 2017

Just Can't Shake It

As it were...

I have had health problem after health problem over the last month or so. I am now utterly worn down. It is as if all the joy has been taken out of my life and the blog is what I have to keep me going. I am not sure all of this is down to being a bit run down from the flu or just part of  a growing sense of frustration I am feeling.

Oddly, my blog has never done so well. Maybe there is something to this posting everyday thing. I think I have gone over 300,00 hits today. Oddly I only posted once in the month I hit 200,000 posts. That took more than four years to get there. Now that I am posting so frequently I have got to 300,000 in a matter of months.

600 posts and 400,000 hits are now in my sights. If all continues as is this could be a close as three months away. My will to keep it all going is still strong. Content might be a little light however still someone is reading. It might be a bunch of Russian hackers or Trump supporters but they are there.

Sunday, 12 March 2017


I like board games. This is because I usually manage to do okay. Games for me have a definite curve. The first time I play a game I usually do okay. More often than not I will win and I can pretty much guarantee being second. My friends are competitive. Some can be very competitive. Some of my acquaintances are much more frequent players of games and they tend to give me a much greater run for my money. Anyway, by the second time we play, people have usually managed to come up with a better strategy.

Tonight I have never quite been on the money. I have managed to come first or second in every game it's true. That said there were only two of us.  I lost more than I won. Now this is the problem with a lot of board games. Skill is important but luck does play a big part. Chess really is a game of skill. There is no random involved. Dice are seen as a good way to act as randomiser but this is just random and random is as random does. These games involve card pulls and if you don't get the right cards then you don't get a chance at winning.

I prefer games where the actual random element is as minimal as possible. games should have some sort of sequence, nothing written in stone as you need people to be able to play an angle. games where a stratergy can be played out and contrasted with others. Nothing too mathematical because that leads to a lot of book keeping which tends to detract from the overall all enjoyment of the game. A good game should feel more  like gladatorial combat.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Nearly At Days End

I have had a day pretty much to myself. Part of me wants to say that I am dead on my feet but I haven't really got off my backside. I have spent most of it working on the Viking game. I have cut a few things out. Nothing vital and all work I intend to come back to. It's not been done already because it's difficult and probably not all that useful.

I have a bit more work to do on the background. This involves maps and geographical background. There is one Saga element that I need to finish. it is all about how the Vikings forced out the Angles. It happened in the real world, kind of, but is aimed to be part of why things are the way they are in the game. It's a big part of the myth so it needs to be done. I am a little excited because it feels like I am about to finish something.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Ever Sustaining Circles - X-Com And Vikings - The "Not" Skyrim Game

Going around in circles again today. Not as bad as it sounds because I  have done some stuff today. There has been no way I was getting anywhere near the work bench during the day and in the evening I have just been too tired. So I have had an evening in front of the lap top. I have done a little work on the X-Com game but again most of what I have done today has been on the Viking game. I am trying to create something that has the Epic feel of the Skyrim computer game. A strong mythology of it's own and weather you can feel.

I did a set of trading rules for the game not long after I started. Due to an inbuilt ufpcuk with Open Office, I lost it all just after finishing it. As I basically cobbled it from basic old school Traveller it has not been too hard to reassemble but I did put a lot of work into the flavour side of things which is taking it's time to recompile.
I have also worked on redoing the cover. The original had a picture of Travis Fimmel as Ragnar in Vikings. I thought this was a little too much of a rip off so I thought I was do something different. As part of what could be called the second edition, I converted the document into landscape format so I really need a new picture. This is it. What do you think?

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Vikings - Some Work On The Savage Worlds RPG Game

Today I have felt pretty bad. Man flu I am told. This has meant that I have spent  a lot of time sleeping. That said, what time I have spent awake I have tried to work on my Viking game. Another game that seems to go on and on. I haven't felt like painting for a few days so maybe there are other ways to get some gaming prep in.  I have not added a lot of new material to the document but there has been a lot of tidying up and some reorganisation.

I have not wanted to restart he game for a while. I want to get the paperwork right before I start. Things never work out well in games that go off half-cocked. The trouble is I am a bit of a tinkerer. This means that I keep playing about with things. to get them right. It's not going to be perfect but it needs to be close.

The world I am planning involves a world that bears resemblance to Norse cosmology. So I have ben working on the world and it's legends. There might be some similarity between what I am planning and what happened in Viking myth and saga but I want something different enough to ensure that it is not going to be picked apart by pedants. There are a lot of students of Viking history around.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

I Must Be Psychic - And Military Zombies

I predicted yesterday that I wouldn't get much done today. I was right. The total sum of my hobby output has been a momentary look at what I did yesterday and watching a few YouTube videos whilst I dozed off. Setting aside the need for sleep being down to me not feeling so well I have spent about six hours taking my mum to hospital. No bad news just lots of tests and scans.

Whilst I was sitting in the waiting room I was thinking about zombies. I want to run a zombie game set in the UK. I know Cold War Miniatures  do a few British themed zombies but no one seems to do any significant number of British zombies. Then I saw these from Puppets of war and for a minute I thought I had found what I was looking for. Close but no cigar. Nice minis though.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Good Weather Means That I Can Do Something - Spray Painting For X-Com

28mm Cars in Progress
This really is going to be a quick post. I am tired and I need some sleep. As the weather was a little better for much of the day. Well there was no rain at least, for a while anyway. Got to love the British weather. I managed to get some spray painting done on the cars I started in the time that I had. It really did not go as well as I was hoping so I guess that more spray will be needed yet. Still another step closer. The cars are going to need at least another coat of paint.

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I also got round to playing about with the Cyber disc for X-Com. This is a different one which I got gold off the other day. The last one in the shop and was a different colour. I have chopped the lip off and glued the movable shield in place. It has also had a spray undercoat. I know you can't tell but apparently the stuff I got was clear.

Another busy day tomorrow so, given that I feel lousy now, I am not sure what I am going to get done.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Short Term Plans - 28mm Miniatures, RPG, X-Com and Vikings

I have spent a lot of time not doing anything productive. In fairness I have had a lot on. Family and work have taken over for a few days. That said, there is a bit of a mojo problem going on. I do keep doing stuff a bit at a time. I am lacking a bit of focus. I had a plan and I had focus but I kind of lost it. The focus was on the cars but the weather got in the way then there were problems getting the time. I am hoping for a better day tomorrow and I have some masking tape so the cars, as part of X-Com and other projects, might actually get some traction.

There is more than a glimmer of personal interest in the Viking game but I doubt that I will keep this going for long. There are a number of other games I have in mind. The truth is there are a number of games that there would be little problem getting going. I think it's more a question of confidence at the moment.

Generally, I do this blog for my own amusement. I am not a good social networker as well. There is no grand plan for the blog. Sometimes, like today, a bit of feedback would be nice.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Titansgrave - Ashes Of Valkana - Saurians/ FantasyLizardmen And Demi Human Character Miniatures

Tiatansgrave -  Ashes of Valkana keeps grabbing my attention. I got hold of a few GW plastic saurus (I mean they are lizardmen, GW and their love of changing things so they are slightly different) last year. I haven't got any lizardmen for bad guys in my fantasy games. The main focus of my fantasy figure painting has been dark age/Viking and lizardmen don't really play a part in that. Then neither do the gnolls I got last year either. With the saurians I wanted to do some more mainstream fantasy figures.

No one in my traditional gaming group has any significant number of figure and often the same dozen aging night goblin figures double for everything from skeletons in fantasy to corporate security guards in Shadowrun. I hate this. I guess this has been a driving factor in my figure painting which has taken me away from wargames miniatures.

Anyway, "I got hold of a few plastic saurus". Then I started watching Titansgrave on YouTube. I quickly decided to use the figures for this instead. This meant doing conversions, lots of conversions. Some figures are a bit more tradition but as the game has a strong fantasy/sci-fi crossover theme, the figures as they come out of the box, was never really going to be enough.

I like to have a lot of figures. Each race should have a few options for each class and ideally at least one female figure per race/class. I would like more female figures but they are harder to come by. Even for fantasy games, many of the figures are designed for wargames. For humans this is always easy. For elves and dwarves, well it's a bit more work to get everything to be about the right look and scale but it is doable. Hobbits (they are not halflings) are much harder. Fighters are easy to come by but specialist are more difficult and females are much harder still. I have some old GW halfling which I need to move on from. They are lovely minis and I spent a good long time (and a generous amount of money) finding them on them on eBay but they really are tiny when compared to modern miniatures. I have a plan for these but they are not a priority. Gnomes? Forget gnomes, I usually just trim them off the list. Nobody makes anything like enough gnomes in player character types and every manufacturer has a different idea what they look like.

Titansgrave really requires a sci-fi slant to them. So some conversions to the saurus were the obvious idea. As well as more sci-fi ones I wanted a few that were like barbarians

I was originally going to do some male and female figures. Then I got to thinking about lizardwomen. That is one miniature no one is going to make. Them I had the idea that you can't really tell the difference between genders in real lizards so no need to sculpt boobs on to the carapace or paint their lips red. It also means that I have about half the figures to paint. A win win. Aim for about a dozen. If I have any extra I need a couple of saurus players for blood bowl and I can always go back down the fantasy route.

Humans are easy enough. There are almost too many to chose from. I could probably get away with what I have already. I would like something about the right style though. Aim for about a dozen but expect to end up with more. I can see these getting some use in sci-fi/post-apocalypse games. aim for eighteen

Dwarven fighters are easy. I can even see a few female dwarves out that that would do and few more with some conversion. I already have some figures. I am sure that these can be used for Shadowrun to. The aim is eighteen player characters with as many female figures as I can get hold off which won't been many.

Orcs are a player race. The new GW plastics look much better in the role that the old ones, which is a shame as I have loads of these. Again I would like a few barbarian orcs and would probably get GW wild orcs to mix and match. To get the females I may have to resort to green stuff boobs and lipstick. In my minds eye I keep seeing Sarah Palin when I think of this. These can always be used for Shadowrun. Aim for about eighteen again. As these are plastic kits, they are easier to convert so I should be able to manage a fair mix of classes and gender.

Elves are my current bugbear, well not literally. No one does elves that I can really use. I have some older eldar figures which I see as bad guys. They could used but what I don't need is endless power armoured elven characters. Some fey humans would do me fine and I can find some heads from a few places. I would like about a eighteen of these but I don't see that happening so would probably settle for half that number.

The final player race is hobbits. I have some old ratling snipers which will do nicely. That said, I have five figures in similar poses and equipment. No females and nothing that is going to look right. I would do some conversions but I can't find much to convert either. Swapping swords for guns and adding in a few webbing pouches has worked in the past so lets see what I can find.

I would also like to use robots as a character race. I can find a few figures but would like a lot more. Robots figure quite in the game so it would nice to have some.

There are a couple of shows coming up. I will see what I can find.

The thing is, in order to runs most games you are going to need a fair few figures. Looking at what I want for PC's alone there is a couple of foam trays full of minis required. Then there are bad guys. The thing about playing games where it is more than just humans is that you need a huge number of figures. Even with player races, there is a different look for cultists, pirates, police and the like. Just doing a rough calculation, I need about a one hundred and fifty figures. I know they don't all need to be done all at once but is a lot of painting to get them all done.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Distractions Of The RPG Kind

I have been working on a background for the Viking game for a good long time now, over four years I think. Most of my efforts end up in a document which has grown and evolved over time. It's now about 140 pages long. I don't do things by halves. It has sat there for a while, since the beginning of January. However, this morning YouTube, the new cornerstone of my life, threw up a random video about Vikings. That has got me back in the writing front.

What time I have had today has been updating the document and adding some more details. It's not a straight interpretation of the Viking world and has a number of ideas which make it a more easy world to play in. It is strongly influenced by the legends but it is hard to come up with anything that is hard and fast because the myths, like much of the history are lack a lot of detail.

This post was really difficult to get round to doing today. I have stuck with the daily postings for a little over two months now. It is the sheer regularity that is keeping me going. I don't actually want to miss a day of doing this. I still like the idea of hitting a thousand posts by the end of 2018 but that is going to be very hard work.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Building Site Scatter Terrain

I seem to remember in the X-Com game, one of the best missions took place around the site of some foundations giving a nice multi level feel to it. There was also a few other building sites like missions including one on top of a skyscraper. So I am hoping for a two (or three or four) for one out of this.

I already have barrels, pallet stacks, foam board, wooden planks, large concrete pipes and some piles of plywood in the works. Brick stacks, smaller pipe stacks, covered packages, a portacabin, cement mixer truck, some regular crates, skips, portaloo and maybe some earth moving machinery would be nice. Throw in a few walls, some cars and the odd tree and I should have plenty of scatter terrain for this site.

I have also been working on some trees. These are very simple and meant to evoke trees and still make a playing surface easy to use.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

I Hear YouTube Likes Forced Positivity

If YouTube really likes forced positivity then I think I will stick to blogging. Today is not a day that I would have been able to stay positive about. I was about to say no matter how hard I tried but that would be inaccurate. I have had another run in with the NHS today. My GP practice has made a number of mistakes not least of which was cancelling an appointment for my mum and not telling me that it was cancelled until I got there. Then cocking up a form which I only realised when someone made an off the cuff remark just as I was walking out. If I could find another GP, I would but for the time being I am stuck with them.

Then just after it got dark my other half told me I needded to pick up this awkward 40kg weight and bring inside over uneven ground. This was complication by a lot of bruised muscles and a dog that does not seem to know when to get out of the way. I have spent most of the evening on the floor trying to ease it a little. All she currently seems interested in is that I don't think it's her fault. Now that I have knocked back a load of painkillers I feel no better and slightly grumpier I can say, with a degree of certainty, positivity  is not for me.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Keep It Brief - X-Com And The Cybderdisk

I suppose today is all about little steps. I have felt lousy today. I think (hope) the pain from the lactic acid build up and unexpected exercise from Sunday has reached it's peak. The last time my legs were this painful was when I broke my leg and didn't realise it.
 One thing of note has happened today. I think I have found the model for a cyberdisk for the X-Com Game. What I want is the look of the cyberdisk from the original game but the new game's cyber disk, before it transforms wasn't too bad either. This model will be neither but then none of the other stuff is perfect either. No point being a perfectionist and it is close enough to what I want.
It is actually a £1 eraser from Wilkos in a snazzy plastic cover. So Not quite a Pound Shop find but close enough. I might make a couple of trims to see if I can smooth it out the front end. It might even look better than the original. I also thought of using it as a template for the UFO but I think I will stick with paper templates for them.