Tuesday, 13 November 2018

To Paint Or Not To Paint - Semi Professionally

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

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

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

Monday, 12 November 2018

RIP Stan Lee

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

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

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Remembrance Sunday

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 10 November 2018

The Urge To Paint / Mobile Paint Station

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Blood Bowl Nurgle's Rotters

I may have mentioned a number of times that I Like Blood Bowl (and zombies, and sci-fi, post-apocalypse, and fantasy, and WW2, well the list goes on). The truth is that I am a bit of a Blood Bowl Fanboy. Whilst I have loved all the figures that have come out, the only team to come out so far that I haven't had in the old edition was the Goblins, perhaps my least favourite team.

Nurgle is not a team I have ever owned. If I recall correctly it was a team that wasn't actually a team in the last official rules but an officially sanctioned team in the Living Rule Book. It did get supported with a team but these were just figures from other existing teams. Correct me if I am wrong. Now that it is here I was going to be a must buy.

So with Nurgle being on the market, I asked for a box for my birthday last week. Due to a slight misunderstanding I ended up with only one sprue. No problem really. When I get round to it, I might buy another box set or I might use some of the Chaos All stars that I already have to fill in any gaps. Sadly I expect that I will always have a few spares.

Reality is usually a hard place in my experience and I have not been a big fan of GW over the years. Most of the nineties I referred to them as the Nottingham Company due to their absolute betrayal of what I thought they stood for when they stopped stocking every product not made by them. This quickly seguey ed into grumbling about the figures. Whilst I am not a big fan of snap-fit the quality and the poses are just getting better and better.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Maybe I Am Not So Niche After All - I Am Not A Nerd Anymore

I have been told several times lately that as I play board games, war games, RPGs and computer games that I nerd. If you actually knew me, other than the glasses, I am guessing that as long as I wasn't wearing my Atari T-shirt (which is a bit of a give away) that I probably don't come across as a nerd.Some may argue about that with me but what the hell.

What I am about to say might not be news.

Nerds are now everywhere. 

There were more women in my FLGS than men the last time I was in there (a rare occasion admittedly). My local bookshop (and the chain it belongs to) have been stocking board games for years and used to sell RPG stuff as well. Within ten miles of where I live there is just less than ten shops that sell games. You can play games in three or four different pubs within a similar radius.

This week things are changing again in a way that seems to me at least to be a paradigm shift. I happened to turn on Radio 4 on Sunday and this week The Archers are going to feature a board games night. No less nerdy maybe. The Archers is no exactly mainstream itself. But the real killer came today. When I went to the supermarket.

Today I found out that Tesco is selling Pandemic and Codewords. These are two "mainstream" euro-board games. Whilst not the best prices I have ever seen for the games they are not far off a good prices. I mean Tesco for flip's sake. My hobby is now so mundane that you can pick it up with the bread and milk. Where does this end? Will there be a copy of The Walking Dead - All Out War there next week? Will Games Workshop have a shop in shop by the end of the month? Will Warlord be selling boxes of Africa Corps just in time for Christmas? I guess not. But still.

The world of gaming is changing. "What a world. What a world."

Friday, 26 October 2018

Blood Bowl - The Champions Of Death

It is fair to say that I am a bit of a Blood Bowl fanboy. Even when it was out of production I was still buying the odd team of eBay. I have my favorites but my first love was The Champions of Death. When the third edition came out I was too skint to buy it so I made my own out of what I had available. Possibly my first conversion project and it has to be said it was pretty bad.
The latest release from GW is my old favorite. If somewhat slow they are a reasonably robust team that can soak up punishment. What I liked about them the most was the ability to resurrect a the team players from your opponents if you killed them, which happens a lot more often. This means you can fill up your players bench quite quickly in a competition. Sadly it's skeletons not zombies.

Having only seen a video and one picture I have already presumed that this will be my next project when I get round to buying it at least. Whilst I am a big fan of the whole range, this team, like the other recent releases, is amazing. The YouTube Video is pretty good but I am still hoping to see decent close up pictures.