zondag 19 maart 2017

Geta job!

Job done, that is! 😁

With the help of my lovely wife (and her fabric collection and sewing machine), the geta got finished:
I just need to fidget around with the straps, get them neat, and find out the right length before I permanently attach them.

The wood is  "steigerhout" from a local DIY, which seems to be a low grade of pine. It's light, but not very sturdy, and hard to get really smooth and neat.  I finished it with boiled linseed oil, in the hopes of protecting them from wet and dirt at least a little bit.  The straps are terry cloth wound around sisal rope, held togehter inside a black cotton tube.
These are just a quick test of concept and construction, to see how they would be to walk on. If they work well, and I actually manage to wear these out, maybe I'll make a pair of decent wood. Maybe, someday.

They're a bloody hazard to walk around with on wooden flooring, but on carpet I can manage a (careful and nervous) run. Hopefully I'll get to try them outdoors sometime, the type of terrain they are intended for. We've got some inland dunes nearby so I might get to test them out on both woodland soil, some light mud and loose sand. Plus I get to confuse the locals...

See you next time!

zaterdag 18 maart 2017

I feel like sushi tonight.

Our  DnD Campaign set in mythical Japan has picked up steam again, which has gotten me looking at my medieval Japan references again. At the same time Gunbird started building Japanese houses and a second hand copy of Daisho came along on the LAF. Apparently Samurai are in the air... So why fight it?

Especially as I have a Pappis box full of the belligerent little dudes. :D A couple were already paint in progress and I had a basecoated Torii. As good a point to start (or continue) as any.
Here's the results of a day's painting:
I tried to get the Torii to look like a simple, weathered, rural one, the design just lent itself to that. No idea where it came from, it was a gift from Gunbird.

And more of a close up of the Samurai themselves:

The mini's are from The Assault Group, Gempei Wars era Samurai.
I've got a few more primered and ready to paint, but those will have to wait for another weekend.
Once my Daish rule set arrives, I'll have a root through my box and assemble a warband/Buntai. I should have some ashigaru as well. And if I have the right mix of weapons and gear, they may even visit Frostgrave?
For now, it's just fun to be doing hobby stuff again and sharing enthusiasm with Gunbird.

See you next time!

zondag 26 februari 2017

Warhammer Questions: Hesitations over Hammerhal

So, a new iteration of Warhammer Quest has been released. And unlike Silver Tower, this one actually had me interested/excited: Hidden conflict in the catacombs under a great, magnificent city, seeping corruption. The preview art showed the Heroes facing off against corrupted Nurgle warriors. Rumours of campaign rules, options for adding more monsters and creatures to the game. So, the right mood, the right setting, promise of replayability, this could be it! I said to myself that, if the funds were available at the end of this month, I'd treat myself to it.
Now, the end of the month is here, the funds are there, but I'm still holding off the order.
Why? Because doubt has set in about wether this game is really worth my money...

Part is because the setting of the game isn't as focussed as I had anticipated, instead of being more Nurgle-centric, GW has tried to cram all four Chaos Gods into this set. Which struck me as odd, as the first WHQ-reboot game was all about Tzeentch.

This was also reflected in the miniatures. Several let-downs on that area, in my eyes: First: no new sculpts, at all. Plus, there were less mini's than in the Silver Tower box. (And even less still, than in the original WHQ box...)
And to be honest, of the mini's in the box, the only ones that I'm actually interested in are the Cogsmith and Putrid Blightkings. Oh, and the Gryphhound. :)
The Kairic Acolytes actually annoy me for being in this set. I don't like the sculpts, far to bulky/beefy and not near mystical enough for followers of Tzeentch. Apparently they are the cockroaches of AoS as well, as you seem to find them everytime you go into a dark and dank area...  Sigh.

Finally, there is the doubt about how much I'll actually get to use it. Aside from some (semi) regular RPG campaigns and the occasional wargame with Johan, I don't really game that often anymore. (Something that I'm trying and willing to change, but hey, calendars and real life and stuff.)
So, I'm not sure I want to spend the cash on something that may just end up a closet-filler.

On the plus side, it has got me thinking about dungeons and dungeon terrain again, in other words, it may have lit a spark under my Dungeoneering project... (Which may turn out to be bad news for my Howling Griffons. But then again, that project has lain dormant for a month already. And maybe this will fire up the old hobby engine again? Which could benefit the Griffons as well.)

As a result I've been looking at options for dungeon terrain again, and thinking about what I really want from it.

There are ofcourse various commercial options, like Dwarven Forge, Hirst Arts molds, Ziterdes and things like Maki Games' M.U.P. and te offerings Manorhouse Workshop (though I discovered their excellent dungeon walls are no more to be found on their store.). Quick to get up and running (except maybe for Hirst Arts), but very spendy and ofcourse, clearly mass-manufactured.

So, I'd be expending a significant amount of cash (which I don't have to spend) to get a reasonable sized setup that isn't very unique in the end.
Plus, being an artsy git at heart, I like the stuff I use to be unique and "mine".

However, I have learned from my Space Hulk 3D project, that if I do build it from scratch, I need to do so in a way that is both quick and easy. I need to acknowledge that I no longer have the (near) unlimited time and energy of my youthful years.
What I've taken away from my Warhammer Quest Display and the walls for Frostgrave is that most time is consumed by the various styles and types of stonework.  I'll need a way to speed that up, and still get good-looking final results.
I could look at sheet materials for the textures (plasticard or resin), casting molds or maybe even texture rollers (though I don't know if those are tough enough to texture foam, most I see are intended for putty or clay). Or I could go monolithic and carve or stack XPS blocks.

What do I want from my dungeon terrain? I want it to be both modular and atmospheric and moody (just look at the picture above). I don't want/need squares or hexes per se, though it would be nice if it were easily made compatible with the original Warhammer Quest. I'm not sure if I'd want terrain tiles with (groups of) rooms and corridors or separate individual rooms and corridors. I think I'd even be fine with combining the both. A Forgeworld Zone Mortalis type set-up, expanded with a number of moveable walls would also be worth considering. I'm a bit hesitant about the Dwarven Forge style modules, I'd like a whole corridor or room to be a seamless whole where possible, plus all those little bits take a while to set up before a game. Definitely no papercraft for me! I'm looking for a (moderate) variety of styles, including cellars and dungeons and crypts/catacombs.
At some point I'd definitely want to expand it with caves as well. Multi-level is cool, but may already be too ambitious, let's just get a basic set done first.  I'd like to be able to build some larger dungeons, so I should be able to fill a 3x3' or 4x4' square table, for warband-sized skirmish wargames.

So, anyone have any suggestions or ideas how to go about this? Maybe there are some products or companies I haven't seen yet, that would be perfect for this?

See you next time!

dinsdag 31 januari 2017

Complete at last!

It took me a while, but now I finally have all the Appleseed movies and books I know to exist:

I've been re-watching the movies in order of release. Today I received Appleseed XIII and Appleseed Alpha. I'm two episodes in on XIII and saving Alpha for the weekend. Good times, and a nice distraction from the worries about the In-laws' health.

See you next time!

zaterdag 21 januari 2017

Clamping down on issues (A progress report)

Painting hasn't been progressing as much as I'd hoped. Part is just general lack of Mojo (a recurring theme on this blog, sadly), part is because Friday before last, my "boss" (Being the temp agency, as I do temp work) surprised me with a re-assignment to another project, starting the next Monday!
So the past week I've been in training for that new project, and I'll be starting actual work this Monday. Speedloading all that information into my brain the past week has fried it a bit. Plus some medical worries concering my father-in-law have cropped up, further dampening enthusiasm.

Nevertheless, there is some progress to report.
Painting on the second tactical squad is (slowly) proceeding:
Basecoat, wash, and the first layering on the yellow segments (except for the rightmost one). Still a long way to go, and there is the second half of the squad yet to come...
I've made a quick list of the squads, characters and vehicles I want to have, at minimum, in my 2nd Ed army for the planned Badab War Campaign. I was suprised to discover that it totalled 45 miniatures, of which 12 are already painted, and a further 10 are either already built or being built at the moment.
Suddenly this plan seems a lot more achievable!
Ofcourse I would like to have a larger variety of squads that this minimal list, and I'd like to have a few more vehicles and characters as well. But my daydreaming and wishlisting over the past few weeks had caused the project to grow very large and unachievable in my mind. If I can keep focussed on building this core first, I'll have a respectable 2nd Ed 40K army, as well as a generous chunk of a more modern one. Hopefully without getting discouraged or distracted along the way. Maybe tonight or tomorrow I'll clear everything that isn't part of this core list from the hobby table to assist in keeping this focus.
I really want this to succeed, as I really, really want to play this campaign!

And I've commenced battle with the notorious 3rd edition era Landspeeder kit:
I guess you can now tell why I chose the title for this post....
This kit is infamous for it's poor fit, and has since been redone by GW to adress these issues. But I still have this old one to contend with. It's currently drying up, as is my swearing streak! What a bugbear to build.
I've magnetised the underslung gun, and intend to do something similar for the gunner's weapon, so I can switch between the classic 2nd Edition 40K loadout of Heavy Flamer and Multimelta and the more modern/effective Assault Cannon and Heavy Bolter. Or even go single weapon, if I need to budget my points.
I'm also swapping the torsos and heads for more modern ones, stolen from the Assault and Tactical squad sprues. Once the basic assembly is done (and gap filling), I will be "Griffonizing" this one; adding details and decorations befitting my Howling Griffons chapter.
Together with the Assault Squad that has arrived recently, I should have a decent mobile element to my force.
And now I'm off to have a nice relaxing read in my 2nd Edition Codex Ultramarines. :D

See you next time!

zondag 1 januari 2017

A year in review, and a half-decade as well.

Well, another year has passed, and with that this blog is now, today, five whole years old!

Let's start with the traditional year in review. How productive has the past year been?
I've painted 40 miniatures, less than last year, but still, for me, a pretty decent year. I haven't been as focussed as the year before, as these 40 miniatures have been spread across several games/projects whereas my 2015 production has been almost entirely on the Dungeoneering Project. The past year I've painted, for example, some giant frogs, a converted Appleseed Landmate, a pair of Japanese priests/wizards for an RPG, 3 Escher gangers (after which painting stalled, sadly :( I'd like to finish the gang. ), I've cranked out a BFG Eldar fleet, I've made a good push on my Man O'War Dwarf fleet and painted the first half of my fantasy urban militia.
All in all, this year has seen an ebb and flow of both Mojo/inspiration and various subjects.

Scenery-wise, 2016 has been a pretty decent year, with me seeing 26 items of scenery completed. Admittedly, a far few of these were the tiny islands from the Dreadfleet boxed set, but they also include terrain for a friends as well as the Warhammer Quest display diorama, which was a lot of work!
Hopefully I can keep up productivity on the scenery area the coming year as well, as I really like doing it, but have neglected it for years. Plenty of plans and ideas, but I need the time, room and materials to make them reality.

Today also marks the exact date of this blog's fifth birthday! I know it's somewhat of a tradition to hold competitions and giveaways on such milestone blog-anniversaries, but honestly, the excess stuff I have is minimal and made up mostly of errors of purchasing judgement that I wouldn't want to foist on anyone! Plus I'm a near-broke and stingy Dutchman who can barely afford his own hobby/hobbies... I hope you will all forgive me! 😜
So, what is there to say about these past five years? Well, that my Space Hulk 3D project will turn 10 years old this year, and will still less than 20% completed... And that my interests and output have changed, as well as my approach to the hobby. I've moved more and more towards narrative and or skirmish gaming. I've also found I'm gaming less and less over the years, so maybe I should really rebrand myself as a wargaming collector and modeller rather than a "true" wargamer. I still model and build with the intent to game, though and I really miss having a stable group of fellow gamers that meet up frequently. Basically, I miss having a gaming "club" of sorts to bounce ideas and enthusiasm off, and to engage in joint projects with. The two local gaming communities aren't a great option for me, as they're both store-allied and thus limited to their product selection, and I like going on weird tangents...
 I've blogged at a fairly consistent 45-50 posts a year. Which I find both surprising and reassuring as I started this blog with a "we'll see where it goes and how long it lasts". It also reminds of how important this blog has become for my hobby. In a way, as much as my hobby keeps this blog going, in turn having this blog keeps my hobby going... You folks reading this are, in a way, my substitute game club, that I get to show off my weird little projects to. And I am truly grateful for your interest and readership, thank you all very much.

And now, let's look to the future:
What are my plans and desires for the coming year(s)?
 -The first, and most prominent is of course the Badab War Retro-Campaign. It's a joined project with a group of Belgian wargamers I met (funnily enough, through intervention of this very blog) last year. We will all be building/expanding armies for the Badab War a "historical"Warhammer 40K conflict. For me it means assembling and painting an entire Howling Griffons Space Marine army. Luckily, we will be gaming it in the Warhammer 40K 2nd edition rules. Which I still remember very fondly, but also featured smaller armies than today's edition. Since it ties into my Space Hulk project, hopefully some mojo will spill over into that, leading to some more finished corridor sections. Especially as Space Hulk: Deathwing is also feeding that particular reservoir... I'm really looking forward to this one, but I'm also dreading the amount of effort and painting in a, for me, short amount of time.
-Gaming: The past years, with the exception of 2015, by grace of Frostgrave, have been mostly barren of gaming. Not just wargaming with "serious gamers" but boardgames with friends as well. The past years have seen me turn more and more into a sort of hermit and I hope to break that pattern the coming year. Chronic non-alignment of calendars among friends will keep being a problem on that point, sadly, which means more effort expended. Nevertheless, the dice must roll.
-Fantasy: I hope to keep going on the fantasy project, even if off and on. I really need to settle on a set of rules and start having games, get people interested and returning for this. Also, there is still that planned dungeon to build.
-Games Workshop: Games Workshop seems to be making a comeback and redeeming themselves in the eyes of many long time fans/disgruntled veterans (two categories with a fascinating, but disturbing overlap). As a result their products have regained some of their shine for me as well, combined with a good dose of (near) middle-age nostalgia for me. I hope to finish that Escher gang and get something of Necromunda going again. =I=Munda is still holding fascinations, from both modelling and narrative gaming standpoint.
-RPGs: As always there will be the monthly games of IKRPG, great fun and a regular meeting with friends that is very, very dear to me. I will also try to keep GM-ing my DnD Japan campaign, despite it's regular scheduling gaps and issues, as this also means meeting up with people dear to me, that I don't see nearly often enough. Another friend has recently returned to our area and has invited me to a free-form rules-light narrative rpg campaign. So, maybe, just maybe, the coming year this crazy old hermit will finally crawl out of his cave? I sure hope so.
-Other stuff: As always, I reserve the right to go off on some weird tangent at the drop of hat. I've come to accept that this is how my mind works, and it is useless to fight it. Also, Johan seems determined to teach me the Battlegroup rules and get me gaming them as well. As I still have a stockpile of 20mm DAK and with the North Africa expansion coming out this year, I see little problems or reasons to resist on that point. :D

For now, all attention and effort will be going towards the Badab War Retro-Campaign. It's been a campaign that has had my interest for the longest time, and it also means meeting and gaming with a new group of people. So I'm positively chuffed that this is now a thing! There will/must be occasional sidesteps to prevent me from running out of steam and drive. Plus there is real life to contend with.

Which brings me to another point: Woodworking. This will also be seriously competing with my wargaming time and budget. I really like doing it and in a way need to do it. Hopefully, in time I can find a way, as well as the skill and experience, to do this (near) full time or at the very least make a side-income or self-funding hobby out of it. I've found that, despite doing it for more than a decade, I am really not cut out to live at a desk for the rest of my working life. Making things out of wood is, to me, an essential antidote to a life in a deskchair and the evils that works on me. I need to make things with my hands to keep my mind and body working properly. I can no longer deny or postpone this.
For now, I will be focussing mainly on acquiring the skills, tools and resources (wood! more wood!) needed to do this, and to find out what it is within woodworking that I like the best and am good at. Again I am very lucky to have friends who share this interest. I've already got a few shared projects lined up, including plans to build a gaming table. Which then feeds back into the desire to play more games, as I would dread building a gaming table and then not use it. "Build it and they will come" ;P
I've been thinking for a while what to do with this, if I should start a separate blog for my woodworking, or find another channel to share this with a wider audience, or even to share it at all, since it feels like boasting about baby steps? In the end, I decided it will be part of this blog for the foreseeable future. I've intended from the start for this blog to be an online documentation of my creative endeavours, and have shown non-wargaming things on here in the past as well. It just so happens that wargaming is my main and oldest hobby and thus forms the vast majority of my bloggings. This blog has always been, and will be, my digital archive of "Things-that-keep-Modhail-from-going-(more)-insane" and from now on, this will also include stuff made from wood.

I hope you will all keep reading my ramblings in the coming year(s) and wish you the best, both inside and outside of our weird little hobbies.

Geez, what a wall of text! Here, have a picture as a reward: :D

A happy new year, and see you next time!

zondag 18 december 2016

Sunday painting

Just a quick spot of painting today. I've had these marines stood in assembled state for years now... Thanks to the Badab War project, they're finally seeing the paint table
And while I do love my Howling Griffons, and think they look great once finished, I seem to have forgotten how much of a chore it is to basecoat the little Battenberg Bastards... ;)
Hopefully I can steal away a few hours on the Christmas weekend to basecoat the red as well.

See you next time!