Friday, December 5, 2014

Touching base and update

It's been a little bit now since I was able to get to the blog.  It's been really busy at home and I've actually hit some trouble making progress on models at the moment.  Recently we've had holidays, relatives, and more work to do than in awhile.  Plus I look over at my table and it is packed!  Funny though I'm still shopping new models for Christmas!

Well, I've slowly been building up some Orks for 40k.  I've got a couple of the old Assault on Blackreach sets to use and that gives me some great models to start with.  Also I have several Space Marine projects and my Tyranids.  Besides this I recently found a new Star Wars toy that is something like plastic army men.  I decided to paint some up and they've really been looking neat.  If anyone wants to check them out you can find them as Star Wars Command in stores.  Really inexpensive and decent looking.  I plan to use some generic rules and make a game with them myself.

To the left is a pic of the Yoda figure I just finished.  These models are quite small but still bigger than your common 28mm figures.  They might be close to the Tamiya line of military figures found in small packages.  This guy started out as plain injection molded plastic.  He had a coat of gold paint on him because he was the special character in the package though.  I simply cleaned him and re-primed and then painted it like any other figure.  I still have a lot more of these to work on but I'm planning to keep them simple so they should go quickly.  I think Chewie is up next!  Really if anyone else gets interested in these let me know.  I'm pretty excited about them myself.

I also want to get a look back at my Infinity models sometime.  I never completely finished my Nomads and I have a remote that needs some repairs in fact.  If I get any of them more nicely done soon I'll post them up.  As it is you're more likely to see 40k progress though.  At least there I've got a lot cooking already.  A little spoiler is that I just might have an old Kharn the Betrayer to work on.  Never know til it pops up here I guess.

Alright, that's it for now.  Hope to be back again soon with more!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

So little time lately...

Hey to the blog!

I've been forced to be scarce since the last post for a few reasons.  Planning to get back soon with some more updates and material.  Just thought I'd drop in and give a brief as I can be update on what's keeping me busy.

Since I was injured in the summer I was out of work on disability.  My injury actually caused me to miss out on a lot of hobby time for a good while unfortunately but eventually I got back to it.  After that another car accident in my family caused even more difficulties.  Thankfully it wasn't major other than damage to our primary vehicle but this was another setback.  

Just recently I've been able to get back to work part-time, and just today we got our car back.  To top it all off my mother-in-law has been in town for almost two weeks from overseas!  Lol, you might see where between rehabilitation of my body, family and work commitments, and trying to squeeze in hobby time, I've just not been able to get the blog fed.  No more though and certainly no long gaps like after my injury.  Coming up very soon will be some more hobby update including Tyranids, Iron Hands, Raven Guard, perhaps some Orks, and even a new project I've been working on for a homemade Star Wars wargame!

Stick around and see what comes up next!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Painting Tips: Buy or Mix?

Hey again!

As a quick preface I'd like to say that I am not showing how to mix paints in this post.  I think there will be some good info in here though so read on!

Tonight I was fooling around here at my hobby table, had YouTube on, and was digging through and looking at various paints and supplies here around me.  I made a trip to one of the hobby and gaming stores not too far from me earlier in the day.  I purchased a few paints and the newest weekly White Dwarf.  

Normally I don't get any of the White Dwarf issues unless there are very particular topics of interest to me and this time that was the case.  A new Warhammer 40,000, Tyranid release for the Toxicrene/Maleceptor model is being featured and it includes the rules for the model.  I am big on the ol' space bugosaurs and so I wanted that one, but looking around at the painted models inside and then the paints I had bought I had a seed of a question forming.

Here is an example of two 
similar "bone" colors.
So now, at my table, I looked over at a couple of the shades I thought I would definitely use soon.  I was surprised when I looked at one of the new ones again but had actually picked up an older paint pot.  They looked nearly identical but there was a very small difference, mostly in the brightness.  I'm not surprised that those closely matched colors are for sale, I knew that already.  I was surprised though that I had known so certainly that I needed this new color, even though they are barely different.  So then it lead me to the question...  Would I have been better off just choosing to mix and blend the older paint when I needed it brighter?

Now, first thing is I can say from experience that this type of thing is common among all companies that make paints that I am aware of.  Various and similar hues, shades, and values, are produced depending on multiple factors.  I have to say this is really a positive because more options is almost always better.  But we still want to know if it's really better to buy more colors, or just mix to achieve what you want.  Truthfully I had asked this question to myself long ago but it came back to me consciously today. For me the answer is both and I think there is no right or wrong answer to this one.  Each person painting will know what they really want in their mind's eye, and they'll likely have a good idea of their own skill and budget.  If they know these things the choice becomes very easy anytime that question is asked.

Different company, similar situation.  
Tricky to tell these reds apart.
Let's say perhaps you're a bit like me.  I believe my skill level is quite good and so I'm comfortable mixing colors at will.  I have a background in art and lots of experience and so I can choose what I want and have success at realizing it.  However I also often buy new colors as my projects and knowledge expand.  Many times these new purchases make mixing paints unnecessary and so there are easily times I don't choose to mix colors.  Those similar but slightly different colors can be a time saver for highlights and gradients and they also have the bonus of being consistently the same color when you use them.  Mixing always carries a margin for error.  This is why it's good to make precise measurements and notes when you mix colors.  You can repeat them with good success later on.  

If you're a newer hobbyist and maybe have a limited budget, mixing paint can actually be very good.  You gain more skill the more you work with paints and also mixing to make colors saves money.  You should always plan your project though and make sure you have a grasp of some color theory.  You can do your own searches on this topic but I have found a link here that seems to be good to start with.  NYU Color Theory link  I am not affiliated with anyone connected to that site but the information looks good and also it didn't seem to be related to any purchasing or selling.  You might find a lot of that while searching.  For how to mix paint I recommend a lot that you can find easily on YouTube.  I haven't written about that as of yet.

Of course if you have the extra budget and you want the colors I say go for it.  Having more options is better in my opinion and if you're putting more time into your hobby it usually pays off sooner or later.  I've certainly amassed a big collection myself.

Well, that's it right now.  Thanks for reading if you did and share, comment, and definitely come back!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Painting tips: Masking with ease

Hi there!  

Today I have a tip for hobbyists who want to paint models with a bit more confidence while using spray techniques.  There are a good number of pics for this one so be prepared for the post to be a bit long.  What I will show is a form of masking, which is the term painters of all types use to describe how they create separations between multiple layers of paint and build patterns or just protect an area they don't want to touch with a new color.  Of course hobbyists with a little experience may be familiar with this already in some form or another.

What I am about to show is a type of masking using a cheap and re-usable material often called tack, or blu-tack.  This is the sticky putty that is usually sold in stores near office or paper supplies and often sits near scotch tape or the non-damaging wall hooks.  I first learned about this stuff when I was in grade school because all my teachers used it for hanging the classroom posters.  I have shown this product before when I built my model grips and I use it there for holding the models I paint onto the grip.  Now it's a widely used practice so chances are you can find it elsewhere on the web but hopefully my post today will be sufficient to teach using this.  

Today I have a Warhammer 40k Storm Talon as my example.  This model is a bit interesting because it's about to get it's third base coat.  This is because the destiny of this model has changed a couple of times.  Originally I was building it as a gift but when that idea became unnecessary I decided to keep it myself.  I wanted to build a Doom Eagles detachment then but since that time I let the model sit and then changed my mind again!  Now it will be Iron Hands so, back to black.  The reason I'm masking this vehicle though is because I had done a little work on some of the metallic parts of the main fuselage including the cockpit.  I'm going to spray this model black once more and so I'd like to preserve those parts.  So, let me show you how I will do this.

Above is an example of the putty-like tack that we are using.  I have the more recognizable blue type on the right and some even cheaper white tack on the left.  Both work equally well for our purpose because they are pretty much identical substances except for their color.

Here is my Storm Talon.  This model was primed once long ago and then received a coat of Tamiya USAF Silver acrylic base spray.  The Tamiya paint does behave differently than many of the paints sold by gaming companies.  It is primarily for standard model hobby but I have found that many of the general model and train products are excellent for gaming models as well.  Something to keep in mind.  What I have done here is added some black shade wash to specific parts as part of a previous plan.  I want to keep certain of these areas the way they look here instead of them being painted black with the rest.  I will take the putty and apply it to the parts as you will see below.  For this I recommend keeping at least one sculpting tool handy so you can push the putty and form it where you like.  If you don't have a sculpting tool many other objects can work but aren't absolutely necessary.  Of course be sure not to use anything dangerous or valuable just in case.

Here I have added a piece of the putty to the area I want masked.

Now you will see that have formed the putty right up to the edge I want covered.  The parts shown here are for the engine nacelles to sit on and they have a circular recess.  It is not necessary to fill this all the way to the edge of the body panels because the putty would also keep the black from hitting the edge of the body panels here.  For this reason the putty is close to the edges, but not actually touching it.

So here you can see I have done this on both engine mounts, the optics recess in the nose, and the cockpit.  For those of you who have planned ahead you might not need to do the cockpit this way but for this model the plan was abandoned a couple of times.  This is a good example of how to go back and work around a mistake in a painting process because normally I would paint the exterior of a model like this with the canopy already in place after finishing the cockpit.

Now I have re-sprayed the model in black.  You can see the paint is covering the tack well and that's to be expected.  Later on when the tack is removed and re-used the paint will mostly disappear.

One other important thing you might notice here is that as I have sprayed I have not put on a thick coat or put paint completely in all the crevices.  This is because it is unnecessary and might even create problems.  In fact I will use at least one more thin coat of black paint with a brush to finish the model's base color.  More thin coats are usually better than fewer thick coats.  Now I will simply remove the tack from the model.  This is not difficult but if some bits of tack try to stick just be patient and use the tack you have in your hands to help pull it away.  A sculpting tool or other similar object can also help but again, be patient.

Here you can see the masked and protected areas.  First is the front view showing the cockpit and sensor recess.  Next is the engine nacelle mount.

There we have it.  Blue or white tack makes a great alternative to liquid masking products or tape in many cases.  The pieces I have just used were simply removed and rolled up again for later use with no problems.  Besides the technique I have just shown it is also very easy to use tack masking for patterns of all types.  I have seen it used to make great camouflage in the past and really it's only limited by imagination.  Always be sure to use this and other masking techniques on painted surfaces that are well dried so you can avoid pulling up paint or causing other defects.  

So, questions or comments?  I love to get feedback and am really glad to chat about anything related to gaming and hobby so please feel free to contact me.  Also share if you like my content!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Work table update: Space Marines

Hello, yet again!

Three times today in fact!  Lol, it's not going to be regular that I do that but I had some things waiting to get posted here.  

Right now I'm going to post up a little progress I've made for my Space Marine allies.  As I'm sure many can tell I'm a very big fan of the Dark Angels and so I do have a sizable force for the First Legion.  One day though, not long before 7th edition 40k came out, I decided that I really liked how allies were shaping up as a prospect for my collection.  I bought the Space Marine Codex and started to figure out what I was interested in.  Of all the great options available a few stood out to me and one in particular was right up my alley.

Sergeant Torias Telion is a Character for the Ultramarines, and what a guy.  I mean, who doesn't love a legendary sniper!  So right away I knew I had to get this figure and actually attempt to use Space Marine Scouts as a regular addition to my forces.  Of course as a collector I didn't stop with Sgt. Telion, or Ultramarines, but that's another story altogether.  Here though I present to you my WIP Sgt. Telion figure in all his glory.

Now, the Sgt. here is certainly a ways off from completion but I figure he's about 50% finished.  I took these pics to send to Kris Belleau and get his impression on the flesh mainly.  I had decided that he was a bit pale and that I wanted him to have a bit more tan color on his head.  I mean, who ever heard of a Veteran Soldier who never went outside!  Anyway I have done a bit more and addressed the flesh tone since then, and I'll get those up later.  You might also notice I'm using the Soda bottle top grips I built earlier in the blog.

So, questions?  Comments?  I'd love to hear any feedback on this guy or any other chatter that's on peoples minds!  Please share if you like and I'll hopefully see you later!

Deathwing Relic Contemptor Update

Hello again!

As previously mentioned I'm building up some update material for the blog here.  Right now I've got news regarding my old Deathwing Contemptor some of you may remember.  This poor bastard was sitting on my shelf for nearly two years after a very anticipated purchase at the Chicago Games Day in 2012.  In truth I was so excited to have this thing back then that I started on it as soon as I returned home, but all was not to turn out as I'd hoped.

At that time I was feverishly trying as many  new hobby techniques as I could.  I had found a guy who was selling a box full of cheap airbrush supplies plus a compressor and tried that out and I was also testing my limits with magnetization of models.  The airbrush equipment is a whole other story but the tale of this Contemptor Dreadnought can't be told without the nightmare of botched magnetization.

If you go back into my previous posts you'll find the story which tells how I made a key mistake in the torso of this guy.  A little after you can see where I finally got the courage up to attempt a rescue.  Today I'm back with a little more progress!

Just below you will see the images I most recently collected of where it now stands.  Not 100% but certainly on his way.  See what you think!

This model has been pretty important to my progress in model hobby.  I tried out many techniques for the first time while working on it and I think that shows a bit.  When compared to newer projects there are times you can see a difference in the sophistication of my style as well.  Perhaps later I'll do some comparisons and show what I mean.  But, the extra pics here have made the post a bit gangly so I'll head on for now.

Questions?  Comments?  Send them my way because I love to chat about the hobby.  Please share if you like my blog and come back and see me soon!

Work Table update

As promised I do have some more pics for the blog.  

This is an update from my work table in fact.  I've been coordinating with a couple of local friends to try and get some more armies finished so that we can get some more games under our belts and even do batreps in the future.  It's a worthy goal but it's not easy to keep up the progress.  However I have had some success.

In this case one of my pals is interested in playing and he owns some models, but he really doesn't want to paint.  We've had some long conversations about this in fact.  Ultimately I sort of volunteered my services to help him get his models finished up.  He has a small Tyranid force of some mixed unit types.  Anyway I decided to ask him what he liked aesthetically and we came up with a green and brown scheme.  

See what you think of the prototype Carnifex model for his army(still WIP):

Here's another shot of this beastie.  Keep in mind I'm working to clean up some brush strokes as I go.

In fact these pics are slightly old since I have done a bit more work since then.  I'll be sure to add more as I continue.  But, what do you all think?  I'm pretty happy with the colors so far and might add just a couple more accents to the "weapon" parts of these Nids.

Questions?  Comments?  Please let me know what you think and if you like my posts please share!  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Just some fun.... With Magnets!

Hey there again.

Wait, are you slightly surprised I posted twice today?  Don't be.  The truth is right now I've got a lot of items building up to talk about so hopefully you'll get to see more of that.  Here though I just wanted to quickly share a bit of fun.  

Since I magnetize models frequently I've built up some differing pieces and pretty soon I'll include some details on my style of magnetizing models.  Here's a little teaser that's literally just, FUN WITH MAGNETS!  ;)

Feel free to comment or ask questions and please follow and share if you like my content!
Thanks for stopping by!  

I'm Back! Check this out!

Hello Internet!

It's been an excessively long time since I posted to this blog and for that I have to apologize.  There have been some personal problems for me lately and it just became lost in the shuffle.  Chiefly was that I was in a Motorcycle accident back in the middle of the summer and while I'm still not 100% back to normal I'm now doing much better.  The good news is, I'm back!

One thing about being injured and stuck inside is that I had a lot of time to think and look at my life.  Without getting too deep I can say by this time I've become reinvigorated to work on my hobbies and produce relevant and high quality content.  I'm not going to sit here and promise a certain schedule or anything but I'm going to definitely be producing content regularly.  In the future I might even escalate things a bit...  We'll see.

So for this post I wanted to say hello again and to add in a little interview video I took part in with Mr. Kris Belleau of YouTube fame as Miniwargamer Kris, a.k.a. The Name Butcherer, a.k.a.  "Hey you!  Get off my lawn!"  Lol, well you have to know his show to get the jokes but here's hoping you do.  If not, get with it and check him out.  I learn a lot from Kris all the time.  

Feel free to comment and ask questions and if you like my content follow and share!  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Deathwing Relic Contemptor Dreadnought update

I have to apologize for the lengthy pause in posts again.  Lots of things going on lately and my focus has been off.  However I do have at least a little progress to report on several items.  Tonight I'll stick to the Relic Contemptor that I was repairing after some serious build errors on my part.

One of the things I had to contend with for this model was the fact that I had already very nearly finished it's paint.  Let me tell you it isn't easy to go back to the modeling phase of a resin model like this when you've already gotten that far.  One thing I have noticed though is that even though I've got quite a lot of paint on this beastie the additions aren't actually hurting anything.  I had chosen to go with a weathered look on this Dread and what I've added to it for the moment is blending in well enough.  I'm optimistic let's say.

So, here you can see the stage I have left off on since the last post.

As you can probably tell I did a repair on the resin parts that were drilled out, really just the abdomen piece shown on the upper left.  The other parts I masked with blue tack and re-primed where I had previously failed to get any paint at all.  This was delicate because I wanted to preserve the bleached bone color of the Deathwing scheme on all the parts.  So, the two smaller pieces now have black primer where shortly there will be metallics and weathering added, as well as the underside of the upper torso.  Where needed I will remove small sections of paint for more secure glue bonding during assembly.

I can tell you that this is an extremely important model for me.  I've owned it for nearly two years now and have really wanted to see it shine out there.  The main reason it's been so long on the shelf and work table is that after I made the mistake in magnetizing the body, I just didn't have the stomach to tear it apart.  I'd like to give at least some credit to a buddy on the Warmaster, Dirty Harry, for giving me the nudge I needed to tackle the repair work finally.  

The model itself is kitted out to be a ranged combatant rather than a melee one, though I do have a very nice close combat weapon build for this with full magnetization, including the palm weapon.  It has the option for the hull mounted missile launcher as well as a Mortis configuration for the Kheres pattern Assault Cannons, giving it the ability for Interceptor and Skyfire.  A nice weapons package for the Contemptor.  I'd like to pick up the two Twin-linked Autocannons as well but that will wait for a bit.  As soon as there is more progress I will post it.  In the meantime I might make some entries detailing the work I did on the close combat arm and maybe the base, which is a favorite of mine.

To be continued...

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Back with a brief few words...

Ok, so here I am back again.  It took a little longer than I thought to get back actually but I'm glad I did.  It's really a lot tougher than I though to keep up with the blog everyday.  Some good things are going in life at home for me at the moment, but they do take time and energy away from things like the blog, and the hobby.

So, I do have a topic in mind for this evening though.  I'm an avid fan of MWG and most of their content.  I don't care for all the games they cover, but I watch most of them.  Today was Friday and MWG Matt put out his Sit and Talk.  Infinity came up and as usual he had some wise comments, but in this case I was somewhat more inspired than usual to sit up and take notice.  The notion that Infinity is a great game isn't new, and neither is the statement that it hasn't hit that critical mass to bring in good sized communities in many areas.  I'm sure if you're living in a major population center you're going to be able to find players but in my small area it's not even easy to bet a game of 40k going, let alone Infinity.  So, where to start expanding this wonderful game?

I decided to seek out as many as I could that were connected to the game through their site.  It's just a beginning but I'm hoping to connect with some new individuals regardless of their location and really contribute to bringing buzz and exposure to this game.  One main source of information updates for Infinity has been Beasts of War.  They have been able to cultivate a very good relationship with members of Corvus Belli, who produce Infinity, and actually bring excellent exclusives to us as well as give face-time to some great individuals who work for the company.  The game is produced out of Spain and so it's understandable that it might take longer to catch on in the United States.  I think helping it along is important though.  

I have a good sized army for Infinity and I'd love to be able to play and develop it.  So, I'm in the Southeast US, East TN in fact, but my location isn't supremely important to my goal.  It's merely to build more interest in general.  If you haven't looked at Infinity before, I highly recommend it.  The miniatures are terrific and the game system is unique and very exciting.  It's a game I can't wait to play more of even as I get drawn into working on 40k on a regular basis.  So leave your comments.  Let me know what more we can do to expand this community and create more games for all the players.  I'll be getting back to more hobby related entries and you all can expect me back again  very soon!

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Oh, so shameful...

Oh no!  Just like that I missed a day already.  Well, I'm going to have to make up for it.

Without getting too deep in any regret over missing my post last night I'm going to jump into the first one today.  That's implying I might post more than once.  We'll see about that.

So, I've owned a Relic Contemptor Dreadnought since Games Day 2012.  I went there for a few reasons but one was to pick up a Forge World order I had made.  Of course after I got home I was a bit over-zealous and got right to work on the figure.  I did do some great work in my opinion but I also made some silly mistakes.  Things like not getting a full primer coat into all the nooks and crannies of the figure.  Finally my worst mistake was when I had nearly completed the model I decided to take it apart in a couple of sections and add more magnets.  In my desire to forge ahead I used a very large magnet in the pelvic section and didn't sink it's twin in the abdomen in deep enough.  The results can be seen below.  Sad face.

You can see there where the hip meets the abdomen section there's too much showing.  It should sit much deeper into it's setting.  So my main task was to fix that as well as find a way to more properly finish the paint job.  The good news is I was able to figure out a way to remove this magnet configuration even though I had used JB Weld two part epoxy to install them.  I chose to break the abdomen piece away from the upper body and drill down through its top.  That allowed me to get in with some other fine Dremel tools and remove this large magnet while not destroying the very soft resin cast part.

So now I was able to use some Green stuff to fill up those parts and smooth them back properly and they were ready to get a new prime coat.  I did do some masking with blue tack which really helped me keep some of the old paint.  As it stands it's still a WIP model but well on its way.

To be continued...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tonight I have a little treat in store for the blog.  A lot of gamers and hobbyists paint 25-28mm models on bases and they sometimes need ways to help them get better at painting and techniques.  One great way to help is to sort of be open to cheating after a fashion.  If you don't naturally have great control or steady hands you need every advantage you can get.  One of the not so well kept secrets is that those that are considered very good at painting often do this as well.  

What am I talking about anyway?  What constitutes cheating to get a higher quality result in a faster amount of time?  Tools and tricks.  In the case of having an item or items that make your painting life easier we should be looking to use everything we can get!  Now I'm going to show you a great and extremely cheap way to do just that, and also sort of recycle after a fashion.

When you paint a single figure or even mutliples it's great to have something to hold onto that helps you control the model in your hand without actually touching it.  This is often just called a grip.  There are any number of things you can actually use for this and there are even products for sale for this purpose.  Really it can be anything that you like the feel of in your hand and that also holds the model well.  It's common to see models with pins in a Pin Vise, but I do like to paint with models that are already glued to a base so that might not work.  Another common technique is to attach a model to an old paint pot that has had its lid secured and has some blue tack on top of it.  For our purpose here the idea is actually very similar to that.

For my little method here you will need:  

Two twist caps from a 20oz. beverage bottle

Some masking tape

1.  Stack your two twist caps one on top of the other

2.  Tear off a strip of tape about 6 or so inches long and attach one end to the sides of both caps at once like this

3.  Wrap the tape around the two caps firmly until the other end is smoothly applied.  It should look like this

4.  Now, you actually already have the grip finished.  Simply apply about a quarter sized piece of blue tack to the top of this, or however much you like really, and then a model to the top of that!

Voila!  Super cheap and perfectly functional model grips that actually last for a long time.  If you ever needed to fix them you only need a fresh strip of masking tape.  

Now, I actually have about 10 or 12 of these made at the moment and pretty much replaced all the other ones I had created out of paint pots with them.  Ok that one the Assault Marine is on I kept.  I have that many made because it's the common number of many squads or units.  I came up with the idea because I'm always on the lookout to recycle everyday objects into useful hobby materials.  This is one of the great ways to save time and money when you're a wargamer.  Almost everyone drinks a soft drink or bottled water now and then.  Just save up the twist caps until you have what you need.

Well, I hope that's helpful to even one person out there.  If so I'm thrilled!  Can't wait until the next blog tomorrow and see you then!

To be continued...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I nearly didn't get any kind of entry in today as I really let time slip away from me.  Two things, chat rooms and army books.  Those two things really made the time fly by and before I knew it I was basically nodding off to sleep.  Well, not tonight!  I'm getting my daily post in if it kills me!  Lol, well it's not really that big of a deal but it is important to me to not fail to post once a day.

It's a test for me, something I need to do as a sign of mental discipline.  There are a lot of things in life that I let fall away from the proper routine.  That's not to say that anything is necessarily suffering in my life, it's not like that.  The idea that I'm keeping up with something is important to me though.  So, here I am.  I made it and have yet to let myself down.

Another thing I need to do is make sure that this isn't some type of random stream of thought that bores the tears out of my audience.  Who wants to just read the rantings of a half-asleep mind with no direction right?  So, back to the point of my blog.

I was going over some history of sorts today with a few wargaming compatriots.  The topic of Cypher resurfaced and I found that we were in a debate about this model and it's stat line really in comparison to some other game HQ heavy hitters.  Now, I'm not going to really go into detail on the stats here but I invite anyone and everyone to weigh in their two cents on just how good this character really is in battle.  I was certainly fighting for his merits this evening myself.  Seems pretty solid in a game that favors shooting.  His range is a bit short but all the other bonuses are impressive.  

The storyline itself that he's involved in is very nice.  So much maneuvering happening in his cloak and dagger one man crusade through the galaxy.  He plays both sides of the great conflicts so masterfully that you would think he operates with a head full of knowledge that no one else possesses.  If you haven't really looked into Cypher yet or don't even have the slightest clue what I'm talking about do check out the character in the 40k universe.  He's very well worth the time to investigate and learn about.

All right, I'm keeping it short and sweet tonight.  I really wasn't kidding about the nodding off part earlier!  I'll see you all tomorrow.

To be continued...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Greetings again from the silent hours between dusk and dawn. 

Silent for some I imagine, but hardly for myself tonight.  As a relatively new father I'm still not greatly experienced with many of the negatives that come with having babies.  Tonight my son has decided to be rather vocal in his discomfort or maybe he just can't sleep.  My wife is convinced he's doing it on purpose as a test though.  I guess we'll see.  In truth I don't feel too bad in the whole thing because I can't help but look forward to the times we'll be having in the future.  My little wargamer I hope one day.  Not so much in any major way but at least we can have fun together in a hobby, or that's my hope.  I guess we'll see.

So I'm writing this even later than the other days just because of my unwinding routines, chatting with community members and entrepreneurs, and visiting sites like the Warmaster.  I found myself chatting everyone's ear off so after a few lines with nitrodavid and him asking about the blog I realized,'I really do need to get over there and write something!'  But this is a great thing actually because truthfully I am having a lot of fun with his and I haven't even scratched the surface yet.  I'm definitely in need of some advice when it comes to formatting this project so ideas and feedback are certainly welcome.  I can't imagine many people are reading my posts at this time but those that are, please join in!

Tonight I'm going to talk briefly about my Infinity army.  This army is for another game, namely Infinity, which is far newer than Warhammer 40k, and also far less popular at the moment.  It is a very up-and-coming game though and has some innovations to it's rules set that many have found very fun and addictive.  One of the main features is that players get reactions to their opponents movements and actions on the table during the opponent's turn.  The rules call this an A-R-O.  40k is more traditional in that mostly you only react on your own turn.  Of course many players are aware of or have experienced this.  Personally I love Infinity and have played it more often recently than 40k.  That's not really a trend towards diminishing Warhammer though because I plan to get more serious about it as well in the near future.

Infinity is truly impressive though.  It's produced by a Spanish company named Corvus Belli.  They do make other products and games but Infinity seems to be the hit in their line.  Relatively new to the market it has grown exceptionally fast and is spreading in the American market.  In my own area though I only know one other player and it does seem like this is a common problem for many wargamers at the moment.  Luckily the game is so good most of us aren't worried we'll be waiting too long.  The minis are all metal at the moment but are cast in a 28mm-ish True Scale as opposed to the Heroic Scale that Warhammer is produced in.  This means more realistic proportions for the models mainly.  As for getting a little more practical and in-depth info on Infinity and how it works, check out many of the larger wargaming businesses like Blue Table Painting, Beasts of War, and Miniwargaming for batreps, news, releases and more.  Or, you can check out Corvus Belli's own Infinity Official website.

I'll finish up today with my very first Infinity model ever.  I play an army called the Nomads which are exactly what their name implies but also much more complicated.  It's a Sci-Fi game and the Nomads make their home in giant traveling city sized space ships.  I'll probably go into some more details in the future but for now I'll show off my Zero Hacker from the Bakunin Sectorial.  I'll also try to explain all that more later as well.  Let's just say for now that he's a very sneaky Hacker soldier and quite sick looking too.  You will probably notice a couple of his fingers are too short and unfortunately this was how my model was cast.  When I put him together I was a little bit disappointed but really it's hard to notice on a table.  I should also mention that I have used resin bases from Secret Weapon Miniatures on my Nomads.  They're the Tau Ceti set and I really like them.  Enjoy!

I only have the one pic of this guy currently but I'll get some more.  The rest of the army numbers around 20 models at the moment, a very good sized force, and I plan to show them all off in time.  

To be continued...

Friday, June 20, 2014

I'm noticing that my blog entries are a late night affair for me.  I have now consistently began after midnight, but luckily the online clock is being lenient.  It still thinks it's the 19th so I'm not going to correct it.

The goal is to keep up posting everyday.  I think that's definitely the best goal for my writing to improve and most certainly my audience.  But today, we're getting to the point a bit earlier.

I spend a lot of time on the Warmaster forum lately, and I'm chatting with some great gamers and hobbyists.  The current buzz on that site is the Warmaster Painting Challenge.  It seems like it might be in a growth period and the contest is gaining momentum.  I like it.  Not sure I'm entering though.  Painting contests can be hit or miss with me even though, or perhaps because of the fact that I'm competitive by nature.  But the Warmaster itself has been a great forum so far.  I've stuck with it much more easily than some of the larger, well known forums like The Bolter and Chainsword, or The Farseer.  I recommend checking it out to any 40k fan.

Going to keep this one a bit shorter today as I'm near the end of my energy and the night has continued to pass me by.  I do want to share a bit of hobby in the blog today though.  A while back I entered a painting contest as part of  a gaming community for a video game strangely enough.  The game was for 40k though.  It was called Space Marine and is actually very fun.  I had purchased it on release for my PS3 and was instantly hooked.  The campaign was really great and then I turned my attention to the multiplayer mode and found a whole new realm.  I won't go into great detail here, not yet anyway, but it's a fact that with others I joined up into a competition association and fought in a Chapter of sorts, kind of like a clan in Call of Duty or Battlefield.

I met a great group of friends and we were the Dark Angels in the association for several years.  Eventually the community there had many types of activites and not even that long ago one was the contest I mentioned.  The leader of my group at the time was a good friend I had made who went by the name Dr-Pepper81.  For the contest we were asked to build and paint a mini of one player in the community, so  I chose my good friend.  Using the in-game graphics I copied his armor pattern and motif and the result I will share with you now.  Totally inspired by the game this model is one of my favorites and marks an advancement in my ability to sculpt on the figures.  See what you think.

I'll add in another setup for it as well because his weapon is magnetized with three options.  I believe the Plasma Gun didn't make it into a photo however.

This image includes photos of the actual in-game armor.

Well, I hope that you like my model and if there are any questions or comments I always welcome them.  

To be continued...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

And so where were we?

Reminiscing on my gaming past and how I got to this page.  Well, a small shock for you is that I'm not going to finish that story just yet.  I like a bit of the cliffhanger style myself.  So, if you're patient with me we'll get  a little bit more of story time in soon.

One of the things I do love is writing in general.  I might ramble on here or there.  I might use language that seems a little silly.  Perhaps my time in roleplaying and narrative gaming has made me more eccentric than the average bear.  But I find that writing is as much art as the pencil sketches or pastel induced chaos I have put to plaster since I was younger.  As I get used to blogging, find my way, I suppose there might be a bit of the chaos mixed in.

So the real meat of this blog is supposed to be wargaming and the hobby around it from my own experiences.  I often turn my mind on the hobby, the games, the community.  I watch YouTube and look at the forums.  One thing I don't get to do nearly enough is actually play. Sometimes life is getting in the way and sometimes it's where I live.  I'm a little too far away from town and trying to change that for a lot of reasons but one small reason I have to say is that it would get me closer to a gaming community.  I'm sure my struggles to get a solid group together will feature here as I continue.

I can't keep going with this blog without more clearly getting to the point though.  Let's start where I started now some years past.  The game that truly brought me into the wargaming community specifically.  Warhammer 40,000.  What can I say that hasn't been said?  It's the biggest game, made by the biggest company.  It has the sheer gravitas to be number one in an industry that is now exploding with new content and ideas.  It's the game that is largely responsible for making that explosion possible.  In an era that sees computer and console gaming as an intrinsic part of life for so many.  Where virtual games, not physical ones, are the truly dominant style.  Warhammer 40,000 or just 40k has cut out a firm place for people who still value a real experience that must be seen, touched, and developed on a table rather than on a screen.

I began with an army that will always be first, at least for me.  The First Legion.  Dark Angels. Space Marines to be sure but not exactly like any other.  The lore of this army is perhaps the greatest of all.  Anyone can choose to argue the virtues of their own favorite army of course, but they won't convince me it trumps that of the true Angels of Death.  Before other armies rose in popularity the Dark Angels were built on the idea of the Knights Templar.  A monastic knightly order steeped in the traditions of feudalism, esoterica, and combat prowess.  Every line of text and every brush stroke of depicting artwork brought their mystery to life.  I remember I saw an older piece of artwork that showcased their massive power armored forms cloaked in heavy robes and hoods and brandishing wicked medieval swords and I was hooked.  And really, what's not to like?

So, in order to get a little hobby put in here I'm adding a link to the very first well known Dark Angels figure that I finished.  In fact he's one of their villains, perhaps, but one of the best as well, and so I had to make this model.  A very great Dark Angel website called The Dark Fortress and it's Chronicler Isiah were kind enough to host my photos of none other than Cypher, The Fallen Angel.  Rather than embedding this I'm going to leave it as a proper link so you can actually enjoy The Dark Fortress if you haven't before.  It's a great site and many thanks to them.

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A new beginning

Welcome everyone to my first ever blog.  A bit scary right?

I've never done anything like this before and I guess you might call me a late bloomer to some of the Internet's most common features but it's never too late to start, or so they say.  This blog is primarily focused around my love for gaming and model hobby.  I have some specific games and armies I'm working on most often which are Dark Angels, Codex Space Marines, and Tyranids in Warhammer 40,000 as well as the Nomads faction in Infinity.  I'm sure there are going to be some other ramblings from time to time but that goes with the territory.  You will be able to expect entries, pictures, ideas, etc. as pertains to Wargaming and related topics.  

So, let's start with my specific interests in gaming.

I've been involved in different types of gaming since I was a child but was introduced to roleplaying and some table top wargaming when I was about 14.  We're talking 1994.  The very first game I ever played in the RPG genre was Call of Cthulhu.  The storyteller(that's the title of the game master or narrator if you like in CoC) was a buddy of mine and he wasn't a master at this type of thing but back then it was a magical experience.  We would meet at a FLGS or Friendly Local Gaming Store that was a bit unorthodox in that it was a lot more like a gaming club with rooms for rent that were all set up for different gaming options.  Most often we'd end up in the attic space of this place at the long formal dinner style table and spend long hours going through our scenarios.  
This time was an excellent one for me.  With my friends and a small rotating circle of different players and game masters we expanded to other games.  I played AD&D, Vampire the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Gamma World, and lots of Magic the Gathering.  On the edge of our group there was always this other genre of gaming that was Miniature Wargames or scenario based games in some cases.  Since I could hold a crayon I had been heavily into art and the idea of painting and playing with these figures was always in the back of my mind.
Fast forward a little bit and I had been hired by a small local Game Distribution company.  This was great for me even though it meant I put my own paychecks nearly entirely back into the stores.  Even better though was the exposure it gave me to miniatures.  When the store received a new shipment of the original Warzone: The Mutant Chronicles, I was asked to paint up many of the store's own figures for display and demo games.  I went to town on this and I still have a few of those figures from 1998.
There was another, much more powerful company making miniatures back then, and truthfully for much longer.  I had always known about them but never had the opportunity to learn more.  This company was Games Workshop.  The local company that I worked for actually refused to purchase from them because the costs and business practices they upheld apparently didn't sit well with the owner.  As a consequence my town rarely saw any Games Workshop product at all.  Somewhere along the way though I was able to find some artwork from the company for their Sci-Fi/Fantasy wargame epic title Warhammer 40,000.  I was inspired.  Driving about 40 minutes away I found a general hobby store that happened to carry a very mismatched grouping of the product and I immediately bought a box of Assault Space Marines, having no idea what to do with them.  This was effectively where I hit a dead spot though because I didn't know anyone that was involved with the game.  So, somewhere among my belongings my original package of Assault Marines sat collecting dust while my own life caused my interests to drift and took me further away from my old gaming circles.  Years would pass and life would go on.

To be continued...