Monday, 21 April 2014

A few words from me...

Well, there's actually been a lot of words from me recently, but they've mostly been on the topic of Salute or similar. I planned to have a long weekend doing a lot of painting and modelling, but it turns out what I actually did was a massive amount of blogging! There are posts planned out into June now, with four or five already written and scheduled.

I am constantly amazed how productive I am when I am procrastinating something else. The amount of housework I got done over Easter is also incredible.

I've also been nominated for a "Liebster" award by a couple of other bloggers, which is really nice. I hope to have that post up next week. (I am breaking my own rule there about talking about a post in the future which I haven't written yet!)

So, what was I meant to be doing this weekend? Well, my mental plan was to finish off the Collodi crew, get out the airbrush and paint the Sarissa silos I've been meaning to finish in forever, and hopefully get a little progress on the Beastmen / start my Commissar Lord. Ambitious, but four full days should be plenty for that, right?

I kit bashed this Mk I "Thunder Armour" figure. The plan is to paint it up like it was being used as some sort of protective environment suit before being rediscovered and put in a shrine - and then pinched by an Inquisitor and given to one of his retinue.

Collodi has had two layers of water effects added to his base - and needs a third to finish it off. I'm waiting for the existing ones to dry out a little more first, though.

There is also a tiny bit more paint on some Beastmen. I really need to man up about them, and get them finished, though. Maybe if I plan to do some housework, I'll do the painting instead? Got to be worth a shot!

Edited to add:
Oh, yeah - Astra Militarum Codex. Lots of other people have talked about it. I'll save my thoughts until I've played with it! I've drafted my first army list with it, and hope to get in a game this week. There's a backlog of battle reports, though, so it'll be a while before a full report hits the blog.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Salute 2014: Accessory Companies

So, one of my favourite finds at Salute was The Dice Bag Lady. She does handmade dice bags, which are awesome, as you can see. Sim got all excited about the wool, for that is her other crafty hobby. I would definitely recommend checking the Dice Bag Lady out if you're looking for a nice dice bag.

Sphere Products make lots of clever and interesting things. They have really thought their stuff through and will do custom things for you as well - paint racks and so on. But what caught my eye was this handy iPad / tablet stand.

I was also super impressed with Dubreq Games / Etch Master - they only have a couple of sheets of etched brass at the moment, but its really good quality and Sim grabbed some to play with. There was also Name It! who make name plates to label up model display pieces and so forth.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Salute 2014: Scenery Companies

I know, I know. I have a scenery problem. So, whose stuff did I see this Salute around?

First up are some new pieces by Antenocitis Workshop, which aren't for sale just yet. This one is interesting, because Antenocitis Workshop are currently dropping some of their "Governance of Technology" range. They seem to be moving towards designing things for other people, like Mantic and Infinity. They are going for the laser cut MDF, but adding to that with resin accessories to add extra detailing. That's a really smart move, because the risk of the MDF is that it can be obviously large, flat areas, and the greebles add to the look.

This is a piece that was on Oshiro Model Terrain's stall. This is actually a mix of scratch built and Games Workshop pieces. I loved the overly tall and thin look to it. Most of Oshiro's non commission stuff is either Japanese or Victorian right now, so would be a good choice for Malifaux stuff.

This was a board from 4Ground, who do pre-painted, easy assemble MDF stuff. Previously, I wasn't too interested in their WWII stuff, but they're starting to stray into areas that I find interesting. The magic words "pre-painted" also help!

I only got a quick shot of these at the time, because my darling wife threatened me quite a lot when she saw me getting distracted by MDF terrain. That then meant I needed to do a teensy bit of detective work, looking at whose stalls were between the photos on either side of this one! So, it turns out that the stall belonged to Minibits, who are actually a retailer. The MDF is by a company called Wargame Model Mods. I have seen these before (I suspect Tabletop Fix of being responsible for that). The stuff is a bit hit and miss - some I really love, other bits I couldn't care less for. But that's all down to taste, I suppose.

This board was intended as a display board for Bandua's Infinity terrain. You may remember I've already picked up a few of their shipping containers, and I may be back later depending on how the assembly of them goes.

The sign is not a mistake. Wargames Tournaments were selling all that scenery for £50. That is a lot of terrain for your money. So much, in fact, that Sim bought it. Yup. She of the "dragging me away from laser cut terrain only twenty minutes earlier" bought it on the spot when I was holding back on getting it because I was wanting to see what other stalls had before I committed.

I foresee some skirmish games in our future - quite possibly Necromunda...

Sarissa Precision were showing off some railway arches that they are going to be releasing soon. I remain a massive fan of Sarissa, but I still have such a backlog of their stuff, I didn't pick up any more this year!

More Sarissa buildings...
So, who did I abjectly fail to get photos of on the scenery front? Fenris Games do miniatures as well, but it's their scenery that interests me. Their "Arkham Avenue" range is just amazing, and I really want a Griffin House at some point. I also have all the time in the world for Tablescape, whose pre-painted stuff is the saviour of most of my current model pictures.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Salute 2014: Miniature Companies - New Friends

If your first thought was "What in the name of sweet baby Jesus is that?" then that is the exact reaction that got us investigating this stall in the first place! This is a game called "Stalagbite" by Midlam Miniatures. Now Midlam do an excellent range of adventurers and dungeon monsters very suitable for D&D players and so on.

So, this is their giant demo version - the version they sell is much smaller, but apparently they have a lot of people mentioning they're interested in the larger version. The Stalagbite models are also extra to the game, but easily worth it for the sake of making it look more awesome. The idea is that you are dwarf adventurers, trying to mine stalagmites for gold and treasure - but some are actually nasty bitey monsters that might have you arm off!

Otherworld Miniatures had a lot of good D&D type stuff. Their giant spiders are really good, to the point where some arachnophobes in my party were giving entire cabinets a wide berth.

This is Thundercloud Miniatures, who are just getting started by the looks of things. They've also bought the rights to one of the GoblinAid miniatures, now that's winding up. I look forward to seeing what they come up with.

I have never painted a bust. I now own one (actually from Infamy), but Dark Star Miniatures very nearly got me to part with some cash for one of theirs!

This adorable orc with the big tusks was the one who was tempting me into something like this, and I still absolutely intend to get one within the next couple of years.

The alien head is adorable and an awesome painting challenge. I think Sim managed to purchase one of him while I wasn't looking.

Ax Faction had a beautiful case full of miniatures, and I managed to fluff up the big group shot. Still, this was the latest release, a girl riding a giant rabbit / hare. And why not? Their women do seem to be rather lacking sensible outdoor wear, though.

Now, I've seen quite a few bits and pieces from Anvil Industry on the web before - mostly their release announcements through Tabletop Fix. I will certainly say, I'm definitely very impressed.

The dogs in this shot are brand new - and do interest me a bit. Most of the rest of what they do are definitely intended to be Space Marine alternative sculpts - and I'd really rate a lot of them alongside the Forge World Horus Heresy ones in terms of quality - but just design wise, I much prefer the Forge World ones from a personal taste point of view. They are also looking to come up with their own game soon (called Afterlife), which I will watch curiously.

This was their display table. It's a huge multi-level building / 'skyscraper'. I think it's awesome, and really want to try playing Infinity over it.

And finally, lets save the best creepy clown company in the industry until last. Mad Clown Miniatures are associated with British Indie, and one of a number of small wargaming companies which seem to be taking off at the moment.

Who did I fail to take photos of the newer people?

Well, there is Smart Max. They make Smog 1888 and Mauser Earth, which are very pretty games I'm considering taking up in the future. I seem to have done a lot better with photos of the stalls I'd not seen before.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Salute 2014 - Miniature Companies: Old Friends

I'm breaking down my Salute posts into something coherent and . . . aw, who am I kidding? This is the only way I'll get my Salute posts done at all. Aiming for coherency is just pushing my luck.

This post consists of photos I remembered to take during the day, so is rather erratic in its coverage and focus.

So first up are Heresy. They of the Dragon. In short, Heresy have been making a Dragon model for absolutely years. There have been epic number of delays, and the pre-order backlog is currently sitting at 164, with a handful actually sent out.

But they are still going, not dead, and starting to do the resin casting by hand, one by one. I have the utmost respect for that determination in the face of adversity.

This chap is the Netherlord, one of their old metal sculpts, redone in resin to help pay the bills. You may be guessing already that Sim had a teensy bit of a budget slip at Heresy. Some day she will not be painting a titan commission and hit some of her own backlog!

One of Sim's favourite purchases from last year, Troublemaker Games were there again this year. In addition to Timeline 300, they are now working on Defeat in Detail, which is a 6mm Sci Fi wargame with plastic pieces. It successfully funded on Indiegogo during the year, and there were plenty of examples available, which I'll be showing off in a later post.

There was also Taban. I was super tempted by the Puppet Master and the Escape board game, but I decided to leave that for another day.

I liked JoeK minis' stuff last year. This year I bought some! He's also planning a Kickstarter soon.

There were also a couple of miniature folk who we already know who I didn't take any photos of. Forge World unsurprisingly got a ton of my money, but didn't have any miniatures on display that I saw. Hasslefree also gleefully parted my darling wife from her money in a pretty cheerful fashion. Sphere Wars is also something I really want to get into - I'd signed up to demo games for them, but had to back out as work has gotten super busy. We also said a quick hello to Warploque Miniatures, who had a lot of the Kickstarter models for Arcworlde on display. Studio McVey remain awesome people who put out excellent stuff, although this year I didn't pick anything up - I still have to paint the one I got from them last year!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Sa-lewt 2014 - The Revenge of the Shopping

How did Operation: Go Shopping fare this year?

Well, Forge World unsurprisingly got a pile of my money. I'd pre-ordered a Trojan Support Vehicle, an Ork Trukk with Enclosed Cab, and a variety of doors and hatches for an Inquisition Rhino I have in my queue. At the end of the day, I spent some of my last few pounds on one of their new T shirts.

And yeah, yeah, I know, it is a bit "Yo, that's fifty dollars for a T shirt", but it's a nice design and not overdone, so it will see some use.

The recipients of my last money at the show were Bandua Wargames. They have started to do some "Designed for Infinity" stuff. As a result, I ended up grabbing a few shipping containers to feed my habit. One in particular has a lovely tube design which I haven't seen anyone else do yet. Very cleverly done.

There was, obviously, the show only miniature and a free dice, but the rest of my money was taken up by the various folk from British Indie.

I felt I really had to pick up an Evil Clown from Mad Clown Miniatures. It will be a nice, fun, quick project to do. Infamy Miniatures are going to be doing a crowd funding campaign soon to pay for their game, but for now I picked up the Uncle John bust to paint. I've never painted a bust before, so I'm quite excited about how that will turn out.

I then picked up four miniatures from JoeK minis. Who are also planning a crowd funding campaign. I'm sensing a theme here... I picked up the strange alien chap with the staff, the demon with the ray gun and baby, and then the two evil scarecrow critters from the Oz range.

I'll be putting up a bit about the companies I saw which I didn't buy from but intend to in the future, and the general Salute experience later. There's also some thoughts in my head about the new Guard codex which I need to translate into something coherent.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Painting 9 to 5...

I had today off from work, so decided, as an experiment, to see what would happen if I tried painting "9 to 5". In the end, it was about "9:30 - 4:30, with quite a long lunch break", but that's still more painting and modelling than I've done in ages.

Collodi was still not glued to his base.

Collodi is now glued to his base and just needs water effects to finish him as a model.

I've done the skin base coat on the first nine Beastmen.

And I mocked up (with blu tac) a kit bash Mk I Power armoured character for inquisitorial type things.

I then started prepping and assembling him properly.

This really isn't a lot of progress for a 'day' of modelling and painting. But I am now getting progress where I had completely stalled without any movement. So I'll take that as a small success, and keep pushing forward.

Monday, 31 March 2014

The Kickstarter Problem

I have a Kickstarter problem.

I don't think anyone who knows me will be even mildly surprised by this statement. I've 'properly' backed five Kickstarters, with another three on behalf of my wife for various reasons. Last week, I got my first ever Kickstarter fully delivered - which has motivated me a little to have a little talk about the Kickstarters I've backed.

(I've had an Indiegogo campaign fully deliver, but this post is long enough as it is, and I've already talked about it before.)

Oh no, wait, I haven't got all that Kickstarter yet. I just went back to the site to get the information to start putting these posts together and . . . I haven't got all my rewards yet.

So, still 0 for 5 on delivery so far...

So, the Kickstarter delivery which prompted this crazy post was the download notice for "Girl Genius and the Rats of Mechanicsburg". I pledged as a minion, so I got a shiny medal, a game, and a bunch of digital art.

The digital art is the bit I just realised I don't have yet. Not sure if it was delivered and I missed it, or if it hasn't been done yet.

The game itself? The voice acting and your little avatar are lovely and very pretty, with some nice cartoon-y artwork (it is based on a webcomic, after all). The mechanics are a bit . . . awkward at times. It's the sort of thing I'd download for free or a few pence, but not get super inspired by. I'd probably not have noticed it if it wasn't for the tie in.

I probably won't back computer game projects in the future - at least, not for the computer game rewards.

Funded: December 2012
Target Release: May 2013
Actual Release: March 2014 (ish)

Through the Breach was my first Kickstarter. I was utterly broke at the time, so only pledged for the Core Set. I do wish I'd been able to afford to go in for the full monty on this one and get All The Things, but financially, it just was not an option.

I did also pledge early, which earnt me a limited edition figure. Well, it will do when it finally ships. The entire project got delayed by Malifaux 2E, which was frustrating, but Malifaux 2E is also pretty awesome, so I'm not too narked about it.

I have had a partial delivery on this one, though. Wyrd sent the backers a PDF copy of the rules (along with a lot of beta versions along the way) as soon as they were ready. I'm still waiting on the physical copies of the books and the mini, but they will be along eventually. I have, sadly, not yet found the time to run a game.

Funded: January 2013
Target Release: September 2013
Partial Release: March 2014

Maki Games Kickstarter for plastic terrain was the first full wargaming Kickstarter I backed. It is Maki who are responsible for my unhealthy interest in collecting model shipping containers. I suppose there's worse things to be interested in.

And this is what I'm waiting for. Two of the most ridiculously "blinged out" shipping container models you will ever so. They are covered in skulls, and absolutely perfect for 40K. They suffered a hefty delay with their engineer falling ill but have been up front about that with the backers, and are giving regular updates to show what's going on. I am super excited about this one, and can't wait for the final delivery.

Funded: June 2013
Target Release: November 2013
Not yet received

I have mentioned Arcworlde on the blog before. Their website is down while the Kickstarter gets sorted, but I'm sure it will all be back up again soon enough.

I got a couple of warbands and the rulebook, so I could play with my darling wife. She's gone undead pirates while I've gone with Bayou Orcs. Their original plan was to deliver in February 2014, but they are currently running a little late.

Funded: September 2013
Target Release: February 2014
Not yet delivered

T5: Tile City was a recent Kickstarter for HDF terrain. These are pretty common at the moment, because people have realised they can buy a laser for their garage and off they go - and that initial outlay is perfect Kickstarter fodder. This one was going on at the same time as the Underground Lasers terrain Kickstarter, but for the sake of sanity and available money, after a lot of thinking, I went with T5.

Ooh, they have shipping containers. That's pretty! I don't understand why everyone doesn't find a well put together shipping container model gorgeous. However, I was incredibly strong about this and did not bulk out my pledge with some shipping containers as well as the core thing I was going in to get.

This is the set I went for - not the boards underneath, but the building. I'm getting a higher detailed version of this due to stretch goals, but it's a lovely modular art deco look that no-one else I'm aware of is really doing, and is really suited to laser cut terrain.

Funded: March 2014
Due: September 2014
Not overdue yet

In summary: Kickstarter (and Indiegogo) is a cool way to support companies who might not do something otherwise, or might not release as much. Do not pledge with any delivery date in mind. These are mostly start ups, and successful campaigns will end up getting swamped. Other times, illness or rookie errors like "forgetting to book your slot with the caster" will lead to delays.

There is another big danger. Stuff does not immediately arrive. That means that you have "hidden backlog", and the act of backing the Kickstarter doesn't necessarily associate in your brain with a big box of stuff you're going to need to assemble and paint turning up on your doorstep. Sim has more Sedition Wars models than she can count due to a runaway success. And that's before you talk to anyone who pledged on the "Vampire" level of the Bones Kickstarter...

Monday, 24 March 2014

My wife is awesome

So, I've been on a training course all week that had me revising in the evening, so no painting. I then ended up wasting my free weekend and doing very little apart from wandering around gaming stores chatting to people and doing a little undercoating.

So, at least team "easy Beastmen" are undercoated.

And here are the "hard ones. Sim, goddess that she is, pinned the arms and heads, and put in a rough filler for all the arms. On Sunday, I at least managed to green stuff their necks in to hide any pins from repositioned heads. I now need to file down the filler on the arms then liquid green stuff it to make it a little smoother.

The only other thing I achieved was undercoating Sim's goblin knights riding flying sharks. I haven't taken a photo of them, though.