Friday 31 December 2021

Salute 2021: The Fighting Pits of Baad Tibera

Tucked away as part of the Extraordinary Laser Company (or The XLC) stand was a small game called "The Fighting Puts of Baad Tiberia". Its a "fighting pit" game intended to let you pit any of your fantasy models against each other in gladiatorial combat.

They've partnered with XLC (who do some really excellent pre-printed MDF terrain you should also check out) to produce a game board, scenery and so on. You can either buy a PDF of the rules from DriveThruRPG or a physical book and accessories from XLC.

It's always nice to see new small games on the market, and this one seems to have a pretty low buy in to try out. There's plenty of extras and widgets you can get if it turns into a regular thing, too.

Wednesday 29 December 2021

The Reassuring Familiar Feeling of Abject Failure

With three days left in the year, and still with a single piece of scatter terrain painted, it's time to admit that painting scores of figures to justify buying Dungeon Bowl isn't happening this month. Looking at my desk, the "limited work in progress" ideal of Kanban I try and follow definitely isn't happening.

So, for the end of year, rather than rushing to finish one more figure, I'm going to tidy up. Put everything away. I can then get out the thing I'm going to be working on and have the space to actually work on it. Starting the New Year with a clean slate will have a good feeling to it.

(I do still want Dungeon Bowl, but that is going to move to a running total of what I've painted before I can get it.)

Once everything is tidied away, if I have time, the first "project" will be sorting out the Deathwatch commission I got back from Squiggle's Studio recently. There's a couple of transport casualties that need fixing, and having got them back, I want to very slightly tweak the base rims. It's not worth sending them all back just for that, so I'll get it done myself before putting them away into their KR cases.

I'll have a think about what I'd like to do first while I'm tidying. I won't decide now, I'll find three cool things while tidying up at least!

Friday 24 December 2021

Salute 2021: Mad Gaming Terrain

I remain a sucker for MDF terrain, and while I'm leaning towards pre-painted these days due to a lack of time, I was pleased to come across Mad Gaming Terrain at Salute this year.

They primarily seem to be aiming at the 40K market, but they had a modular system of "Hab Blocks" that would definitely suit Infinity.

There were plenty of different examples for how you could use them.

I quite liked the "abandoned and overgrown" look this example had. The sand and rock piles really help bring out that they've been abandoned a long while.

They can build up to quite large structures too.

Walls and crates remain a reliable option that looks good and has a narrative.

With some very small changes you can make a real ramshackle assortment of goods yards and workshops.

They also had a bundle deal to get the current standard "London Grand Tournament" terrain pack for 40K. If competitive 40K was your thing, this seems like a pretty good deal!

Monday 20 December 2021

Can I Buy Dungeon Bowl Painting Challenge Update

So, it's 20 days into December, a month I've set myself the target of painting 76 models in order to be able to justify buying Dungeon Bowl. Two thirds of the way into the month, we should be rocking along, right?

Another photo of this Stargrave objective marker I made? Wait, that's all I've painted, isn't it? It turns out that coming out of a painting slump, and also having a busy time with both work and stuff around the home has not led to the most productive of painting months so far.

That said, I now have two weeks holiday booked, I'm alone in the flat for Christmas and New Year, and there's nothing in the way of me getting stuff painted now beyond my own brain. So . . . yeah, well, chances aren't great, are they?

You will notice the quality of photos has significantly increased as I finally snapped at my old, broken light box and bought myself a new one. I could have asked for it for Christmas but I was just so over the old one I needed to get it replaced.

This one is much nicer and also has a little hole at the top to do overhead photos. The one thing I need to look into is some matte photo backdrops, as the acrylic shiny ones I have aren't great for miniature photography. Still, the lighting improvement alone is amazing, and I'm super chuffed with it.

Now to go paint a ton of stuff to photo in it!

Friday 17 December 2021

Salute 2021: Eureka Miniatures

Eureka Miniatures is an Australian company that's recently opened a UK branch, which makes shipping much less of a chore. The car is for their game Maximillian 1934, which is all 1930s cars roaring about with guns.

While they do primarily historical stuff, they've got a really eclectic range of bits and pieces that I really appreciate - Bosch style chaos models, warring frogs and turtles, faerie English Civil War, and so on. Sadly, I didn't get much on my quick pass.

As mentioned, their main focus is historical, which they're pretty darned good at with a number of scales, although that is not my thing.

And apparently the new release is Chinese Warring States? Hopefully someone among my followers will have always wanted to do this period and will give them a visit . . .

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Work in Progress Wednesdays: Galactic Bastards

One of the Facebook groups I'm on produced an old school figure a while back, calling him the Galactic Bastard. I had a bout of indecision because he came with an assortment of different heads, so in the end I got multiple copies so I didn't have to make a decision. 

First up, we have spiky hair man. I reckon this fellow is a flamboyant street dealer, or maybe a mad scientist or excitable villain?

Then there's sensible hair man. I think this is more of a wise mentor figure. Perhaps a military veteran turned advisor?

And finally, we have the one in a creepy gas mask. Perhaps it's one of the two above armoured up for conflict? Or maybe an advanced robot, or a horrific super villain, who hides his identity to conceal his crimes...

Monday 13 December 2021

Commission Painted Inquisitor Greyfax

A while back I sent off Inquisitor Greyfax to Blightforge, a commission painter on Instagram. I'd picked her up when she came out because I really wanted to support GW putting out more badass female characters, but never quite managed to find the time to paint her myself. I still want to use her in games of 40K, though, so decided to get her commission painted. Now she's back and ready for some games!

Friday 10 December 2021

Salute 2021: Frothers Unite UK

At Salute 2019, Frothers Unite UK unveiled their "Project Fear" Brexit inspired game, and won an award for the most innovative game. This year, at Salute 2021, they not only brought "Escape from Brexit", but also their new game, "Fake News - Escape to Mexico".

They liked the stickers I was giving out to people, and decided to add one to the game.

The Tea Party seemed to be represented by daftly dressed people riding an elephant.

There were some Klan available to be shot, guilt free.

Trump was accompanied by a bunch of little orange munchkin Trumps. Pure nightmare fuel.

Also joining the game I can see Travis from Taxi, the Statue of Liberty and the God Emperor of Mankind.

The kids are alright, though.

Meanwhile, on the Brexit table, the Queen has had enough.

Femi made an appearance.

As well as a couple of political figures we haven't heard from in a little while...

The villains were what you'd expect.

Another villain...

The Brexit unicorn from last year appears to now be a shambling undead horror.

We don't seem to have made many trade deals, have we?

The Brexit golem made a return.

And the fish people continued to campaign for awful policies.

Another anti-fascist sticker snuck its way onto a Dover lorry...

Wednesday 8 December 2021

Work in Progress Wednesdays - Left at the Bottom of the Garden

Today's work in progress is the Left at the Bottom of the Garden set by Statuesque Miniatures. I picked these up from the Kickstarter some time ago, and decided to get them ready for paint.

I've gone for just a flat grey undercoat on these rather than the zenithal you might be used to seeing, because these large, flat surfaces will not do well with contrast paints, and will need a bit more of a traditional approach.

The penguin is giving me the fear, because I'm going to need to do a tolerable white on a quite flat, unforgiving space to get him to work. The crows are some of my favourite models. I could just see them being a hag's creepy puppet bird spies, or some weird fae creatures.

I'm not sure what to do with the cat, but the two dolls have a lot of personality to me. They could work as weird creepy doll servants, or possibly real children under some nasty curse that the players have to try and break. Plenty of high fantasy folk horror vibes you could play with.

The singing cloth mice feel like they need their own weird little rules and could be a nice encounter when you've strayed to near the fae wilds, or maybe are trying to find the home of the mysterious magic toy maker. I may also use them as some of the strange animals you find in Forbidden Psalm, which is a very different feel indeed.

Monday 6 December 2021

Dealing with hobby hoarding

We all know the stereotype of the hobbyist who buys more stuff than they have time to use. It's not just wargamers. I've heard knitters refer to "SABLE" (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy). I am pretty sure the reason why is simply the effort to benefit comparison.

Buying a thing takes very little effort, and then having the thing gives you some nice happy brain chemicals. Assembling and painting a thing, or playing with a game, takes more effort to get those same nice happy brain chemicals. Sure, you might get more satisfaction and positivity from a finished model, or a good game. But you have to spend more time to get to that point, where a very small effort can get you a little hit right now.

This is hard to do something about. Just knowing you're doing it doesn't solve the issue. I've seen some gamers try and solve it by setting a time period where they'll buy nothing, or selling off all their still in box kits. I think that's going too far for most hobbyists.

So, lets try something more restrained. Lets start by saying I'll try and paint two models for every model I buy. That means that my pile of unpainted miniatures will get smaller as I go. Rather than buy something then try and paint a bunch, I'll count at the end of each month and calculate my "model allowance" for the following month.

This won't count for things I'm buying to be commission painted, but I'll only be buying those things just before I send them off to a commission painter anyway.

There's one other key thing I need to do though - storage space. I live in quite a small flat and its already quite cluttered. Anything I buy needs to have a storage solution before it arrives.

So, lets apply this in practice. Last month, I finished painting two models. So, I can buy one model. I'm not going to jump immediately into buying something, because if something new and limited comes out near the end of the month, I'm pretty doomed.

But I want to buy Dungeon Bowl. Dungeon Bowl has 26 team members and 12 bits of scatter terrain. That means painting 76 models in December to let me buy it in January. Given I only just passed the 50 mark for the whole year, this is A Challenge. And to dissuade myself from cheating by painting a huge pile of crates, I'm going to try and stick to at least 52 actual models and 24 pieces of scatter terrain.

For the models, I'm going to learn from previous attempts at painting blitzes and focus my time on stuff I've already got assembled and undercoated. It's going to be hard enough to paint models as is without trying to assemble them in the same month as well.

For the scatter terrain, I don't have much already undercoated, but I'll paint what I've got and undercoat up a pile of Mantic Terrain Crate scatter I've had prepped and assembled for months since I got it in a sale . . .

I guess I'd better get painting!