Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Importance Of Family - Obviously Not A Gaming Post

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

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

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

Monday, 27 November 2017

Late Night

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

Sunday, 26 November 2017

End Of The Week & Ghouls

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 25 November 2017

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

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

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

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Work In Progress

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

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Speeding Ahead

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

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Start Of The Week & Ghouls

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

Sunday, 19 November 2017

End Of The Week, Black Elves & Next Week

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

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

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

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Black Elves Are Almost Done

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

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

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Red Dwarf XII

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

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Black Elf Update

These figures are being painted for my ongoing Viking game. The inspiration for this is mainly the Norse sagas but there is a little bit of Skyrim and the odd little bit of high fantasy thrown in. At it's core is the sagas. Little is said in any of the material that still exists about elves but black elves are mention a little. As I said yesterday, the reference states their skin is as black and they are bad. Anything else you might think you know about elves comes from Tolkien and D&D. Especially the pointy ears.
As you can see, the colours are a ways off from being completed. I am sticking with mostly metallics and some black. Although there is a hint of of purple in the skin tone, there isn't going to be any purple in the clothing. Outside of the metallics and the odd splash of colour for gear, most of the paint will be black.

I have finished off the base coat for the last three figures. These will just get rotated into the queue. So far, having gotten the priming of the last figures few figures, I am happy with the progress. I have even found some time to clear up the bench which should make my week a lot easier.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017


I did have a post in mind today but as I forgot to take any pictures I guess that will do another day.

So I am still looking for an overall project. I guess my main interest for years now has been painting figures for the Viking game. I guess I am about five hundred figures down that road now. There are now not that many figures in the queue. There are about another fifty in the queue and I guess I could buy figures almost indefinitely. I mean I only have a dozen berserkers and I don’t have enough Scandinavian lookings thieves. Not to mention nordic looking clerics and I can always use more civilians. For the most part even the monsters are done. Seriously though. I found a list a while back of potential figure purchases for this game. They would give me more of the same but I am not sure that they would actually add anything.

So that got me thinking. Maybe it is time to move to something a bit more mainstream fantasy. I have humans. I could probably manage at least one for every conceivable class and gender. I think I could probably manage that with dwarves, well maybe not female dwarves but there are a few potential figures that I might like, just for completeness. As for elves...well I am working on some at the moment and I already have a stack of wood elves.

In game terms that leaves me with hobbits and gnomes. I address the lack of gnomes a while back and there is a plan for these. As plans go, it would probably be overkill. As I recall in all my time playing RPGs there have only been two people who have played gnomes and they both played the gnomish version of Tim the Enchanter. I have a plan for about twenty figures which is way more than I could ever need. 

For a while I had been using some old Grenadier (now Mirliton) figures and just hid the feet. This was because I have numerous old  (very old) preslotta hobbits. Whilst I love these figures they are really small and I thought were a bit short even for 25mm. Nice as they are, I don't think I have ever used them.

Part of me hates to say it but I am looking back to GW for their LOTR hobbits. There are even a few other manufacturers out that that have figures in the right scale and size t match them. You don't see many female hobbits or figures that wouldn't be anything other that poorly equipped fighters or militia. No clerics or mages. 

So maybe this could be a direction for some point in the future. Throw in some conversions and paint up some hobbits and gnomes. No use for the Viking game but maybe I can find a wayto use them.

Monday, 13 November 2017

The Black Elves Are Coming

I have fifteen black elves to paint so I guess this is me for the rest of the month. Before you say anything there are only twelve of them here, the rest are in the priming queue.This is a good start on the process however.
Not high elves
The Viking myths describe them as having skin as black as pitch. This is a bit too monochrome apart from where it is shiny. It is a pretty good bet that this would look awful as a skin tone. Pure black probably isn't the way to go either. The current plan is something slightly off black with a hint of a light purple in it. The plan is to give them bright white hair. D&D cannot have gotten it all wrong.

A colour scheme has always been a bit of a problem for me. I was looking at something along the lines of the elves in Thor: The Dark World. Black and bronze seemed about right. Too much black was going to clash with the skin. I am still looking for something dark but I do want some colour in them. There appears to be some lizard like skin on the scabbards and some other pieces. This gives me a bit of an option to make them green. I also need to work out what the black elf king's colours are. This will give me a few ideas about what colours to use kind of like gang colours.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

End Of The Week - Goblins & Varag Done

It's been an odd week. It's been busy but I have taken time to find the time to paint. Whilst I had higher hopes of getting more done, I have managed to meet my expected target of five figures. There has also been a bit of finishing off of figures that should already have been finished. I have also found some time to play around with some greenstuff. Why, I'm not so sure and there was no real purpose to it. Perhaps this was part of the future plans that I have.
 The bench is not looking good. It needs a bit of work to get it sorted. The construction of the bench itself is not exactly conducive but it is what I have. There may be a bit of sorting out done before I get into the real work next week.
And speaking of the real work. To be honest I can never tell what the next week will hold. What I am thinking at the moment is that it is going to by the Black Elves after being inspired by Thor 3 yesterday.

The Soldier

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

         Rupert Brooke

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Getting Closer To Finishing Off & Remembering

I should start this post with a brief remembrance of the Fallen. Today is the day we remember our fallen soldiers in the UK. More than a few relatives died during the Great War, and a few fewer died during the Second World War. Luckily for my family, most of them were too busy making chemical weapons or were too old to fight during the second world war. I have lost a few friends during our more recent, poorly chosen forays into international politics. They will not be forgotten.
Earlier on I was confident enough about finishing off my paint queue for the week that I allowed myself to become a bit distracted. This has meant more farting around with Greenstuff. Then I moved on to doing a bit of painting. Not my best work to be honest I am not unpleased with the situation. With a touch of luck I can finish off the five figures I have been concentrating on and then finish the Blood Bowl troll that has been hanging around for a while.

I've been to see Thor Rganarok today. Whilst I take a few exceptions with how they treat the myths, it wasn't a bad film. It did give me the feel of the myths and it was really quite funny. Well worth a watch. What ut did do for me was reminded me of the post I did about the Black Elves. Maybe next week should be the week I start painting this project. This was in part why I got the Greenstuff out so I could finish off the bases for the last three figures

So I am now just listening to Sailing by on Radio 4. It'd the piece of music they play every night just before the shipping forecast. For a long while this was part of my going to bed ritual. this was the point when the lights went out. I kind of miss this kind of regularity in my life. It certainly used to help me get to sleep.

Whilst I would have liked to get a bit more done, it has been a busy day today. I have high expectations of the day tomorrow.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Actual Progress

I have managed to get some painting done and I am even where I wanted to be by this time of the week. Normally I aim to complete the painting of five figures per week. By this point in the week I hope to have the base layer down on all of them and maybe a bit of work done on the flesh as well. Despite trimming my plans, I am still hoping to finish four goblin players for the orc team, my Varag conversion and the all but finished troll which has been on the bench for months.

I have managed to get some highlighting done on the armour and inked in the uniform base colour. So by own, somewhat limited standard, I am ahead of the curve. Now I am looking at what next week is going to hold. What part of the paint queue is going to rise to the top I wonder. I still haven't got a real long term plan but I remain hopeful.

Really not feeling well. My other half has given me a bug that is far from pleasant. I have a busy couple of days ahead of me so I am hoping the big isn't going to interfere too much

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The Mighty Zug - WIP

I couldn't bring myself to paint this morning but I did find the replacement 28mm head I was looking for. In all the incarnations of The Zug, he is bald. The only really bald spare head I could find was this one by Mad Robot Miniatures. I think the head is supposed to be Bruce Willis and if it is, it's a pretty good job. It's not quite the chav head I was looking for but it will do.
Still very much work in progress
I wanted to evoke Zug, so I looked at the key features across the history of the figure. Apart from being bald, he has a gold chain and medallion, no right shoulder pad and some spikes on the left pad. In the early ones, he has an impressive cod piece. Some of these are done, some will be done.

I wanted to give him some animation, so I cut one of the feet from the base and then chopped his leg up a big so it could be bent back. No matter how I placed it, the arm only really looks right in the position it is in. Forward or back looks wrong and down doesn't look good either. A bit of greenstuff in all the right places and he should be good to go.

Anyway, I think he will pass and he has all the criteria of the Zug so should be okay for tournament play.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

A Start Has Been Made

Late on today I have found some time to do a bit of painting. I have more or less finished what I was doing last week. Abandoned gracefully might actually be a better term. The figures are good enough for tabletop.

Now I am really just at the blocking out stage for what I have started today. Definitely not ready for a close up and most of the colours still need a second coat of paint. There are looking like a few opportunities to keep the work going as well.
The immediate queue is four goblin "linemen", a troll, Varag Ghoul Chewer and Griff Oberwald. The troll on it's own would be a big ask but he is most done already. I am hopeful that I will get these finished. If need be, I might drop one or two of the figures. The troll was started months ago, it's been in the paint queue since the beginning of August and it's been on the bench since since February, so finishing it off would put a smile on my face,

Monday, 6 November 2017

Baby Steps

Not much done today but at least I have got somewhere.
It is beginning to feel like this week should be cancelled.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Griff Oberwald Conversion And The End Of The Week

Whilst I am still feeling lousy, I have to be up and able. This means that I am moving a lot more sluggishly today. But I am still moving. That said, I have no intention of painting but sitting at my bench was more comfortable than sitting in the sofa.
So over time I have gradually put Griff together. Although I haven't put the eagle on the shoulder pad, I have a plan for that as well. It wasn't that difficult to put together. Given that it is a gaming piece, I felt that I should pin pretty everything together. When they end up knocked down, there is a lot of falling over, turning over and standing up to be done with them.

My time yesterday wasn't wasted. I now have an idea for a few more figures. If I can find the right heads, which are in the bits box somewhere, I have an idea how to do The Mighty Zug and Zara The Slayer, although this is looking like a project for another time.

Anyway, The New Cruelty is unhappy. I haven't managed to complete the five figures despite the ones I ended to complete were already half-finished. The five are pretty close so I am thinking I will get five done next week and finish these off as well.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

I've Got Nothing

Whilst I started out well this morning, the day got away from me. I was up early enough to start finishing off Varag with a bit of greenstuff but I've been ill since getting back from FabLab. So basically, I've done nothing but baby sit a fairly skittish dog hiding from fireworks. I am now guessing that all bets are off for this week.

I was hoping to start work on a few human star players, Zug and Griff for definite and maybe do a Zara the Slayer if I could find the right bits. In the end I did some research as I like to call it. Or surfing the net and farting around as most other people would call it. It has to be said that I a feeling a little bit more hopeful that I can do the job on converting these figures well enough.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Varag Ghoul Chewer Conversion

Yes I am getting distracted again.

Well kind of. Something I mentioned in a post has been making me think. When I first started playing Blood Bowl I was very, very short of money. So my first team was made out of what figures I had. I converted some spare undead figures and when I say convert, I stuck some shoulder pads on some figures.

Anyway, I was thinking about buying some more Blood Bowl figures. Specifically, I wanted to finish the teams I already have. As I have what I have on the workbench (Human and Orc) I was thinking what I could do. So I looked at what I have left and for the orcs, like most teams, if you buy two boxes of figures, you end up with a couple of extra catchers and maybe some others.

So I dragged out an orc thrower. Throwers are perhaps the lightest armoured figure in the team and Varag is perhaps the heaviest. So what to do. It isn't an obvious conversion. The pose of the figure really is that of a thrower. Even so I thought I could work with it. Chopping the arms off seemed the obvious choice. The left arm was particularly distinctive. Then I remembered about the space orcs/orks I did a while back. There were plenty of spare parts. So I took one of the arms from this and chopped it to size. Maybe it is a touch smaller but I can't really tell when I look at it. It looks a bit more like the figures is trying to push off another but not as much as I would like.
Then it's down to a head swap, chopping off some bits of cloth (especially the bits that would defy gravity), added some armour plates after a few more bits to allow the extra armour. Job, almost done. A bit of greenstuff, when I get round to it, and then it will be job done.
Looking at the actual Varag figure, it's nothing like it. What is more important is that it doesn't look like the thrower that it started out as.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

What To Say About Today...

It has been mostly busy or busy sleeping having had a terrible night's sleep. Still busy because my other half is still ill.

I spent a lot of time talking to my uncle learning about my family history. There is a bit of awe in there and there is a bit of an object lesson as well. We spent some time trying to figure out how my grandad got to Cairo from the western ront when he was demobbed after world war one and we spent even more time to figure out how he got back to the UK.

Whilst I enjoyed FabLab I didn't get much dofne. I am more or less out of materials and have gotten to the end of my rope waiting for staff to order some more materials. So I might have to go out and order some of my own in the morning.

The big news is that I actually picked up a paint brush. Not exactly a hold the front page moment but it was the first time I have managed to do so this week. Although I have "tinkered" a bit I have mostly kept on track. There are some details to be done, the inking has mostly been done. So I am pretty confident that I am now going to make my painting target for the week.

Despite all this my motivation is still absent without leave. I am focussed on clearing the bench rather than on a particular project, although Blood Bowl will do for now.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

I Said It Was Going To Be A Blood Bowl Year

What I have found in the past is that if you don't know what to do, do something that you have loved doing in the past. So that has to be Blood Bowl at the moment.

Today has been about clearing up the bench and not killing the dog who has been driving me up the wall. I wish dogs could speak human because I would really love to know what she wants.

After dithering about deciding what to paint, I have settled on the Blood Bowl stuff. There has been a load of it sat on the bench for months in various states of incompletion. I figured that I wanted to start the Skaven Team, one of the more enjoyable teams to play, as long as you don't get hit.Then I thought maybe I should finish what I have started first. Then I looked up how much all the Star Players and Big Guys I need for the four teams I already have and figured that this would amount to well over £200. This has got me thinking proxies. I can't really do proxies for the big guys but there are prospects for the Star Players.  But that is a story for another day.
Anyway, I have to finish off the Troll big guy for the orc team and start the four goblins. This isn't a huge job but maybe one for next week.
The human team is a little closer to complete. I still need the star players but I am thinking maybe I could do some conversions here as well.

All that said, it's Wednesday and I haven't picked up a brush yer. I am not too worried. I have a load of half done human catchers and an almost complete ogre so I should be able to catch up and get to five figures.