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.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A busy week...

This week's post is a little late as I'm on a work training course which is taking up most of my time! I have a pile of posts I want to make, including battle reports, my Beastman painting tutorial and some thoughts about gaming things in my head - but the need for course revision is seriously knocking them for six, along with any hope of getting any painting and modelling done.

Last week, however, was pretty eventful from a hobby standpoint!

The Goblinaid figures I ordered from Ral Partha Europe while I was on holiday for my birthday arrived, along with a lovely note from them explaining the delay - they'd been completely swamped in the last week after it was announced they weren't going to be available any more.

I went to a massive Apocalypse game at Dark Sphere, which will deserve a post of its own at some point. I fielded 3,200 points of Guard, Inquisition and Assassins, and my side didn't actually lose!

My wife saw my blog post talking about my Beastman woes and decided to kick my motivation into gear by solving the problem for me... She is a wonderful woman.

She's sorted out the nine chaps who don't need cross body rifles to give me something to paint while she does the 11 difficult ones. As soon as my training course finishes, I will be right on these! They just need a little liquid green stuff and a few more grenades and pouches, then I'll be underway with the painting.

So, sorry about the silence, but it is because the world is so full of good things I've not had the time. Hope to be able to post again soon.

As a side note - who is coming to Salute this year? Would people be interested in meeting up after the show for dinner, or arranging to meet around lunch time in the venue somewhere?

Monday, 10 March 2014

Regaining the zen - putting some paint on a model

I really, really don't like to think about how long I've had my friend Becky's Tzeentch Herald. I'm a terrible, terrible person, but I'm gosh-darned going to get it finished for her eventually!

Anyhow, after my little issue earlier in the week with my Beastman Kitbashing, I decided to try and regain some of my fragile equilibrium with some actual painting, and turned back to the Herald, who has been sitting resolutely not done on my painting board for far too long!

I'm now working on getting colours other than pink onto our Herald-y friend. The blue on the feathers is a nice contrast, and the two different shades of metal seem to work quite well.  This is his back, where he has a little crop of feathers coming out from under his arm pit. Tzeentchian underarm hair / feathers does seem to be a little out of control!

Here he is from the front. I've now started up the layering and blending on the beak. My idea here is to have his pink flesh blend into a bone coloured area which is clearly harder, then through to a dark purple where you'd normally do horn / bone with a dark brown.

I'm also intending to bring the blue on his dagger back a bit - that's the first wash, and I want to put more silver metal back onto it, but I went a little too heavy on the wash, and you've got to wait for that to dry before trying to fix it, or it will All Go Wrong.

I started painting this model before my painting lesson from Tommie at Golem Painting Studio. It really has highlighted how much I've come on in terms of thinking about where to put paint on a model, let alone in the techniques to actually put it on the model, as a result of that class. He's just held a "Painting Essentials" class this weekend (I know Mr Lee went, so check out his blog for the inevitable review), but there will almost certainly be more.


No matter how far you are in your painting, from starting out all the way through to some genius with a brush, he will probably have something to teach you. I currently regard it as the best money I've ever spent in the hobby.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Oh nuts - Imperial Beastman kit bash problems with assembly

In continuance of the Hobby Progress Challenge, I got as far as adding arms to my Imperial Beastmen today.

Or rather, I didn't.

Here's a dry fit from the front, using blu tac to hold him together.

And here's the problem. The arms on the Ungor body fit on by sloping inwards - the Catachan torsos were designed to be parallel. I could get away with it when both hands aren't on the gun, but for the models where both hands are holding it - and I want some like that - this is going to be a big pain and a bunch of green stuff.

The head also needs to be raised really rather significantly to not get in the way of the gun.

At this point, I was moving my light to get another shot and knocked a pint glass full of water all over my painting area and me. That's now cleared up, but I have decided I have most definitely had enough of modelling for the evening.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Painted Guardsmen, Viking Horror, and finding military history in the oddest places...

To start off with some good news, I've successfully finished painting my first commitment in The Independent Characters Hobby Progress Challenge! I'm really pleased to have shrugged off last year's painting curse - these twenty models, painted in a month, are more than twice what I painted in the whole of last year.

For this month, I'm trying to do 20 Imperial Beastmen, which I will use as Penal Legion. I will be super sad if the new Guard Codex does away with Penal Legion once I've finished modelling them! I'm also acutely aware I still owe you all a "how to" painting guide for them, which I hope to get up this month.

A good friend of mine, James Holloway, who I have sometimes mentioned here as The Gonzo History Project, has written a short book. It's called The Barest Branch and is available to buy on DriveThruFiction. If 9th Century Lovecraft inspired horror is your thing, then I would suggest going and having a peek. Its available for the same sort of pocket change that the short Games Workshop ebooks go for, and I'm pretty sure a few of the people who read this blog would similarly find it interesting. So please, go buy it, read it, and leave a comment on James' blog telling him what you thought of it!

The other day, I went for a walk near my work, and was surprised to turn a corner and find an anti-aircraft gun.

It turns out that Mudchute City Farm is based on land that was an anti-aircraft site during the blitz. There's a little history about it on their website, and a little more on plaques around the site.

The purpose of the site was to help protect the London docks during the blitz. There were plenty of interesting facts, including that the guns did not actually shoot many bombers down - their main purpose was to force them to fly higher and make their bombs less accurate.

There was also mention of how they were usually electronically and remotely fired from a bunker, but that in one particular incident, a bomb hit disabled the remote firing, so someone got a medal for rallying the crews to go out and man them manually through the raid.

This is definitely the sort of thing I would recommend people make the effort to go and see if they are nearby in the area - its not much, but its in easy reach of Canary Wharf and Maritime Greenwich, so would not be too hard to make a trek to via the DLR should you happen to find yourself in either place.