Saturday, 28 February 2009
February Poll Results
Every Day 3 (23%)
At Least Twice a Week 2 (15%)
At Least Once a Week 1 (7%)
At least Once a Month 1 (7%)
Less than once a Month 4 (30%)
Never 2 (15%)
For the record I sit down to paint four or five times a week but often this is just 15-20 minute sessions. However I do have longer sessions (in excess of an hour) at least twice a week.
I was interested to see that 45% of respondents paint less than once a month or even never.
Anyway I'll be setting up a new poll later today so keep an eye out for it.
Now I'm pacing up and down counting the days till the next game. I had promised my Dragonborn's warhammer a date with a Kolbolds skull and I don't like breaking my promises.
Friday, 27 February 2009
Toray 'hair' Brushes
Toray 'hair' is actually a synthetic fibre designed to replicate the flexibility and strength of natural hair. I've never used it myself but I may pick up a brace of these at Salute to give them a try.
I rushed the picture so its not as good as I would have liked. Thats what I get for trying to squeeze things in before leaving for work.
Thursday, 26 February 2009
Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Cheep Nylon Brushes
I bought two types, one in white Nylon and another in coloured nylon. The white brushes have angled heads so I can use them to get into awkward spots like underarms and inside cloaks. I finally got to use them yesterday and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The nylon 'hairs' were flexible and didn't loose their elasticity once wet. At the same time they were still stiff enough to rub across texture and do a good job as dry brushes. Of course I will try and get some quality brushes at a later stage but I think that for a reasonable £6 investment I have picked up some useful tools.
Tuesday, 24 February 2009
Monday, 23 February 2009
Once these are finished I'll be starting on my competition piece... oooooo scary!
Sunday, 22 February 2009
Game Night by Jonny Nexus
The story consists of two overlapping threads. On face value it is about the heroic (or not) actions of a group of adventurers in their bid to save the world. But their narrative is constantly inter cut with the squabbling of the six gods sitting round a games table controlling those heroes. And patiently trying to keep the story on track is the creator of that world, the All-Father. This archetypal GM is reduced to distraction as the world he created and the story he is trying to tell gets abused and trampled on by his players. The squabbling of the gods often reduced me to out loud laughter as they took back actions, sniped and bitched at each other and rules-lawyered on an epic scale. Yes it is an extreme caricature of a gaming group, but it is grounded in examples every gamer will recognise.
The author, Johnny Nexus, was a regular columnist for the magazines Valkyrie and Signs & Portents and is the editor and chief writer of the cult webzine Critical Miss. This book was given the well deserved honour of being nominated for a Gen Con ENnie and you can see a free preview of the first chapter here [ chapter one ].
Saturday, 21 February 2009
D&D Players Handbook 2
I keep telling myself that I won't get sucked into the Wizards marketing machine but I just...can't...resist.
OMG I want one!!!
Friday, 20 February 2009
A very old Halfling
Thursday, 19 February 2009
Blogging is Brain Food
Keeping the brain active is one of the less recognised ways of keeping fit. It’s easy to slip into a daily routine that is completely devoid of mental challenge and like any muscle the mind withers through lack of use. I’ve always enjoyed cerebral challenges and my hobby has been at the forefront of that exercise regimen. At times this has seen me throwing myself into world building or writing a D&D Campaign. Other times I have put my efforts into painting or building projects. And most recently this has all been brought together writing this Blog.
I have set myself the aim of updating every day. So far I have only missed one day so I think that’s not a bad record. Some days its hard finding something to write about but other days it’s easy. I usually have one or two half written articles in reserve for dry days and I have been taking pictures of everything. Odd pictures, like one of a clay D6 Sarah made me years ago, have spawned some of my best (i.e. most popular) blog entries.
Keeping up with a Blog is certainly hard work but its proving to be a very enjoyable experience. I ‘came out the closet’ about my hobby a couple of years ago. Everyone in work now knows about it. I spent years keeping my hobby a secret under the false impression it would somehow damage my career. I guess part of getting older is I’m less bothered by what other people think about me. Experience has taught me that people are less interested in what you do in your spare time than they are with how you do your job in the real world. I know it’s corny but ‘I am a gamer and I’m proud’. The blog is just the latest expression of this recent desire to tell everyone who I really am.
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
I've got a bit of time this weekend so I'm hoping to get them completed soon.
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
Liar Liar, Pants on Fire
This was an Epic 40k game c1995. Note the oval shaped table pressed into service as a games table. Note also the 'high tech' scenery in the form of felt rivers and painted styrene hills. This picture shows my friend Andrew pondering his soon to be overrun positions.
Another good friend, Peter, moving his Eldar into position for the killing blow. It must have been a stealth move because Andrew seems oblivious to the impending disaster. Both these guys are still part of my current gaming group, the Dagenham Dungeon Delvers.
If I turn up any more pictures of these old games I'll post them as well.
Monday, 16 February 2009
When Worlds Collide
All this adds up to a long winded excuse for not posting any progress on my current projects. I promise to get back to painting tonight and should have some new pictures up in a day or two.
Sunday, 15 February 2009
Dave's artwork is made of awesome and this book includes some of his best work. You can see some of his other pictures at his blog http://stokesbook.blogspot.com/
Edit: You can now Purchase a Copy of his book at the Blurb Bookstore. I promise you won't be disappointed.
Saturday, 14 February 2009
Origins pt 2
Kobolds 1 - Adventurers 1
Our heroic characters caught a small group of the scaly critters by surprise and was able to overwhelm them within a few rounds.
Having eliminated the Kobolds in that room without alerting the whole clan, we carefully explored some of the adjacent rooms.
Fortunately our GM is generous with his rewards (unlike some) and we discovered a locked chest filled with treasure. As always much fun was had by all and our game was filled as much with the sound of laughter as the clash of swords.
Friday, 13 February 2009
I'm a Troll, fol-de-rol!
Once again the Dagenham Dungeon Delvers will get together for chaos, mayhem and slaughter. Ours mainly.
Thursday, 12 February 2009
The Turquoise Death
I fielded a largely Blood Angel Space Marine army and tried wherever possible to only use painted models when I played. One of my regular opponents played an Orc army and despite the predominance of bare metal in his fielded miniatures he nearly always won (the injustice!!). Then there was "The Turquoise Death". This was a space marine army painted in vivid Turquoise. They struck fear into the hearts of... well nobody actually... except perhaps Trinny and Susannah. But despite the fact that they looked awful and never won a battle we all still remember that army. Which just goes to show that even a badly painted army or model has more impact than a bare metal one.
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
Salute 2009 Tickets
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
On the Origin of Gamers
It was waaaaaay back in the very early 80’s as a teenager that I had my first encounter with the Sword & Sorcery genre. I read a compilation book of stories by Robert E. Howard, featuring characters like Conan & King Kull. I was enthralled and excited by these books, but even then I knew that I wanted more. Then one of my friends gave me a copy of a new type of game, a Fighting Fantasy book (Warlock of Firetop Mountain) by Ian Livingstone.
It was a short step from the Fighting Fantasy books to proper role-playing in the form of the D&D Basic Set. I can still vividly remember my first D&D game and the Carrion Crawler my character - a barbarian of course - killed in a pitched battle. This game undoubtedly changed my life and set me on the path I am still on nearly 30 years later. I painted my first model back then – a Knight in black armour with gold trim – It was an awful paint job but I was still very proud of it. I recall I used enamel paint and I was one of only a handful of player's to use fully painted miniature in those early games.
Later we moved to Advanced D&D, Call of Cthulhu & Ravenloft but I did very little painting back then being focused on role-playing. The revolution came with our introduction to Warhammer 40,000 with my first Space Marine model. I went on to paint various models in the 28mm range. From there I went on to play Warhammer Fantasy Battles & 40K ‘Epic’ and always prided myself on fielding fully painted armies whenever possible. Sadly it never occurred to me or my friends to photograph our games and my Undead army has long since been passed on to another player.
It was with my return to D&D (this time 3rd edition) that my painting became more serious and I tried to improve my skills. As a player I have always liked to paint a good character model but when I became a GM I transferred that enthusiasm to painting scenery, monsters and NPC’s.
Over the last three decades I have played lots of other games, from historical wargames to CCG's. For much of that time I have played with a core of close friends that now form a gaming group collectively known as the Dagenham Dungeon Delvers. Between us we have spent hundreds (probably thousands) of hours gaming and painted lots of miniatures. Time well spent? Absolutely!
Monday, 9 February 2009
Saturday, 7 February 2009
I have started to prep a couple of models as my next projects. The First is a Dark Nymph - Princess Araucaria by Foundry Miniatures. The other model is a Kluruch Wraithlord from the Celtos range of Fir Bolg.
I often work on two models at the same time because I find it more interesting and because I can work on one while the other is drying. So far all I have done is clean off the flash and casting lines and fixed them to bases. I then normally use a black undercoat (my preference) but for the nymph I think I will use white for a change. The light skin tones I intend to use will benefit from a white base and should result in a brighter finish.
Friday, 6 February 2009
I bought a tub of Scenic Water by Deluxe Materials a few weeks ago from 4D Model Shop and have been wanting to try it out before using it on a finished model. This material is like a rubbery gel and can be melted, poured, set and remelted as needed. I found that I could put a required amount of gel in a small ceramic tub and melt it either as suggested by placing the tub in hot water or by nuking it in the microwave for 5 seconds. I also conducted a few experiments adding colour (acrylic paint) to the liquid to create a slightly more opaque finish. I'm not entirely happy with the end result so more experiments are needed until I get the desired result.
Deluxe Materials also do a two part crystal clear resin that might be better suited to my needs. I have used resin in the past (see Gelatinous Cube) although I found the whole process rather 'messy'.
Thursday, 5 February 2009
Wednesday, 4 February 2009
Nerd, Geek or Dork?
Nerd is a relatively modern word whose entomology derives (it is believed) from the book If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss and published in 1950. By the late 1950’s 'Nerd' had come to mean a “square” or uncool person. This general definition stuck and is still used describe untrendy individuals. It often has a derogatory connotation that refers to a person who pursues intellectual activities or obscure interests that are considered age inappropriate (playing with toy soldiers anyone?). Nerds are stereotypically described as loners but in reality often associate in communities of like-minded people (clubs, online forums, conventions etc).
The word Geek has a much older origin, being commonly used as far back as the 1880’s to describe a fool or circus performer engaged in bizarre acts. Its current usage however often describes a computer expert or enthusiast. When a Geek uses the word it is considered a sign of pride but in general its usage has a derogatory connotation.
The dictionary definition of a Dork describes a socially inept person, or one who is out of touch with current trends. Contemporary usage is synonymous with Nerd and Geek and tends to refer to people of high intelligence but with hobbies or interests that make them social outsiders. I think that pretty much sums up gamers / mini painters / roleplayers pretty well. Usage of the work Dork to describe gamers in general has been popularised by the web comic Dork Tower.
These days I tend to describe myself as a Nerd or a Dork. I have taken a leaf from the Geeks and now use it as a badge of pride. I have spent far too many years keeping quiet about my hobbies and interests. That was back when I thought of myself as having a 'career' (oh youthful pride!). But over the last ten years or so I have made a conscious effort to be more open about my hobby. Mini painting & gaming is a very creative, intelligent, social (despite the stereotype) and highly rewarding hobby. I guess that as I have got older and wiser (the Jury is out on that last one) I have felt less need to conform in order to make my way in the world.
This gradual epiphany has manifested itself as a couple of moto's which I repeat to myself every day: "The Geeks shall inherit the Earth" and "I'm a Nerd and I'm Proud".
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Looking back its not a very good paint job but as a gaming piece it served its purpose. I like the sculpt so I may pick up another and have a go at it a second time.
Monday, 2 February 2009
Sunday, 1 February 2009
Hannibal was the Carthaginian military commander who famously lead his army and their war elephants, over the Alps into northern Italy. His victory in 216 BC at Cannae against a numerically superior army of the Roman Republic is regarded as one of the greatest tactical feats in military history.