Monday 28 April 2014

Liebster Award: Its like a chain letter, but a bit nicer

If you haven't encountered the "Liebster Award" yet, it's basically a chain letter on blogs where you nominate some blogs you like to get people to go read them. I was pleasantly surprised recently to be nominated twice in quick succession - by Jordan Lee over at Pencils and Plastics, and by the Questing Artificer at, erm, the Questing Artificer.

The downside of this is that I now have two sets of questions to answer, not one. And I know, its a chain letter, and its a meme, but it's actually quite a nice one - and one that doesn't send me running to Snopes because Someone Is Wrong On The Internet.

Interestingly, I found an old post on Mr Lee's blog where he won a Liebster, there were no "truth about me" things, no questions to answer, just linking five other blogs with a small number of followers. I have no idea where all this extra gubbins has come from. The Liebster meme appears to be alive and mutating.

I therefore heartily recommend to all my nominees - the core of this is nominating other blogs. Answer questions as you will, provide truths as you will. Change numbers, change sections - it matters not. From my point of view, this is about bringing other people's blogs to the attention of my few readers so they hopefully find something interesting and fun, and asking those blogs I mention to pay it forward in turn.

11 Truths about me

1. I have a degree in War Studies.
2. I have entered Golden Demon once, pushed by my wife so I would actually finish painting something.
3. I came up with the "Responsible One" online persona to separate my wargaming online presence from my LARP online presence. Also, I'm the responsible one compared to my wife...
4. I went to a boarding school which has a uniform which hasn't changed in centuries.
5. Once, I was sent a preview copy of a book because it was thought I was influential and might persuade my friends to buy it. I was never sent another one, so I suspect I was not as influential as they first thought.
6. Most of the time, I think I'm a peripheral part of a lot of social groups rather than being a real member of any of them.
7. I have a massive webcomics habit.
8. I cannot play Munchkin against my wife without risking my marriage
9. I once flew to the US for a weekend for a LARP.
10. The Ammobunker INQ28 forum is currently a massive source of motivation and inspiration for me (if also an excuse for procrastination looking at all the pretty things)
11. The first single I ever bought was Natalie Imbruglia's Torn, and I am not ashamed of that.

Jordan's questions

Q1: What is your favourite food?

When I was a kid, it was always the family recipe for Kedgeree, which basically skips on the curry sauce. I haven't eaten that in years, which is a bit of a shame. I had a more traditional recipe at a restaurant a couple of years ago, but that's the closest I got.

I'm really fond of a nice piece of beef or lamb cooked at about medium (I used to like it well done, so don't wince those of you who like it bloody). But really, if we're going for comfort food, right now my preference is for a fishfinger bake, covered in a tomato based pasta sauce and topped with grated cheese, served with a bit of pasta. It's pure taste of childhood comfort food, that my wife is incredibly allergic to, so it's a guilty treat for when she's away.

Q2: What was the first model you painted?

You know what? I really can't remember. As a kid, I had Heroquest, and inexpertly applied paint to a bunch of them (without undercoats). I then had some Empire for a bit (I remember the first plastic mono-pose Halberdiers, which got painted up in the Altdorf scheme) - and then some Skaven. I mostly played with unpainted minis, with a few small exceptions painted.

The change came when my now wife moved in - I was getting back into painting as it was a shared hobby. I entered into Throne of Skulls and needed to get a 1,500 point Imperial Guard list painted. There was an unfortunate miscommunication about how much of the army was painted, and it was all done in six weeks - with Sim getting twice as much of it done than I did. However, the models I now use as conscripts and the tanks and Valkyrie were me - and the Manticore was, I think, the first of those.

Q3: How did you get into your miniatures hobby?

Well, growing up, my parents owned the Narnia books - and I absolutely loved them. This led me into The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and a general love for Fantasy. I also ended up getting into the Fighting Fantasy game books at some point. My interest in war games was actually started up by Gerald Durrell's account of an old war-gaming soldier in Fillets of Plaice (who, I now realise, was probably playing using a variation of H G Wells "Little Wars" rules).

We sometimes went on trips to Leamington Spa, and there used to be a massive toy store just outside the Royal Priors Shopping Centre. It was huge and varied, and one of the many things they stocked was a selection of roleplaying and wargaming books. It's gone now - looks like there's a Superdry store there instead.

I found my local Games Workshop store, got Heroquest (I had to choose between that and Space Crusade), and a short while later, went away to boarding school. There, I found some kids on the upper years who played - they had a tendency of playing games of Fantasy Battle where every model was a level 25 Hero, and other craziness. I never actually properly played with them, but instead found some kids on my own year to play with when 4th Edition came out. I got a little more into 40K as the years went on, but Fantasy was my first serious wargame.

Q4: What is your favourite book?

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, though I have a deep love of all Neil Gaiman's work.

Q5: If you could choose any fantasy/sci-fi race to be, what would it be?

Not one based in a Games Workshop universe, certainly! I think I would be the sort to carefully research as many different settings as possible to find the most pleasant, least dangerous, long lived life I possibly could that allowed me to get involved in academic and artistic pursuits, and pick that.

Q6: Do you have any other interesting hobbies besides collecting miniatures?

I'm a LARPer. I mostly play "pub LARP" type games set in the modern day, like Vampire: The Requiem and so on. During my war-gaming hiatus I took Vampire: The Masquerade pretty seriously, played almost every weekend, and travelled abroad to play in linked games as often as I could afford.

I used to do a little sword LARP, but I'm no longer practically able to do so as a secondary contact latex allergy which my dearly beloved suffers from would basically mean I'd have to do a complete decontamination job in someone else's house before coming home, every time. I sometimes miss it and wish I could go to some of the amazing things people are doing with the medium these days, but in practical terms, I don't think it's ever going to happen again, and that makes me quite sad.

Q7: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My health. Its pretty good, but there's enough little niggles and mild lack of healthiness I wish I could wave a wand and be rid of rather than go through the hassle of actually fixing it properly with all that pesky hard work and exercise.

Q8: If you could pick ONE model to paint/convert/have, what would it be?

I think I'd have to say asking Spiky Rat Pack to do a 40K version of me would have to be my dream miniature.

Q9: What's your most prized possession?

I believe I'm contractually obliged to say my wedding ring at this point, but it is more a symbol of the thing I care about (which is, in turn, not a possession). That aside? Whatever I got most recently is the usual answer. I am definitely incredibly materialistic and like acquiring Things. It gives me a happy buzz when I get new things. But there isn't an absolute, specific thing which I prize above all others.

Q10: If you were to travel to the Chaos Wastes/The Warp, what one item would you bring with you?

I would want some sort of blessed protection from the creatures of Chaos, but I don't own one of those, so at that point, I'm really stuck. There's really not much that would help my survival time, which would be measured in seconds.

Q11: Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

No. But I'd probably do so with a sufficiently cute demoness if asked nicely.

Questing Artificer

Q1: Favourite colour?

Purple. An opinion shared with my darling wife.

Q2: Favourite glue?


Q3: d6 or d10?


Q4: Fantasy or sci-fi?

Sci Fi. It's taken over. It used to be Fantasy, but at some point, I know not when, it switched.

Q5: Karl Kopinski or John Blanche?

John Blanche

Q6: Favourite sport?

Currently, I think it has to be ski cross and boardercross. The Olympics and Paralympics this year hooked me as a fan!

Q7: Buried alive or strangled to death?

You're weird. I'm not answering that.

Q8: Beer or cider?


Q9: Favourite musical genre?

I'm an absolute sucker for this folk-y, poppy stuff that's been coming out recently.

Q10: Favourite model?

You may recognise this chap - I use him as a forum avatar all over the place. The model is a resin Privateer Godwin by Hasslefree. He was the wedding cake topper at my wedding along with a figure representing my wife, so it will be a hard fight for anything to knock him off that lofty pedestal for many years to come.

Q11: Favourite paintbrush?

My paintbrush. I use a Creative Models 1 Kolinsky Sable Triangular Brush, with a 3 for larger work. Unless I'm painting a tank, I don't need anything else.

Nominate 11 blogs

1. Fort Wynn
2. Gonzo History: Gaming Edition
3. Col Scipio's Palladian Guard
4. Battle Group 82
5. The Song of Middenheim
6. Do You Have A Flag?
7. Tales from the Maelstrom
8. Devos IV
9. Admiral Drax
10. Mordian 7th
11. Levitas

11 Questions for my nominees

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. If you could change one thing about the wargaming hobby, what would it be?
3. What is best in life?
4. Do you want to live forever?
5. Fame or fortune?
6. What miniature are you most proud of having painted?
7. How do you deal with burn out?
8. Why is a raven like a writing desk?
9. Star Wars or Star Trek?
10. If you could only buy from one miniature company from now on, which one would it be?
11. What is your favourite take away?


  1. Hope the thread keeps spreading.......I found answering more fun than I initially thought!

    1. I was very surprised by some of the questions mugging me down memory lane.

  2. You are too kind, sir. I hope to address this tonight...

    1. I look forward to seeing what you have to say...