Monday, August 30, 2010

Painting Update

This past weekend has me reaching 85 paint points so far for the year. The past couple weeks without a computer combined with finally getting past the "overwhelming busy" that has been my summer helped me get back to business painting. Getting the missing parts for my air-brush and the start of Malifaux Tuesdays at Huzzah Hobbies has helped as well.

I am actually very happy to have reached 85 paint points for this year. It is a bit past the middle of the year and I just crossed the threshold of half way to what I painted up last year. I am not counting the terrain I painted with the airbrush recently, although I should probably get some pictures of that up as well. For me, this is a fair accomplishment as I believe my quality of painting is going up along with the quantity of models I am getting added to my collection. While it is not really about quantity, it is about making more time for my hobby this year. On top of that my real push each year comes during the end of the year, when I usually accomplish about a quarter of all the mini-painting I do all year.

As I mention, I have both my GW Paint Gun and an actual Air-brush now in my hobby tool bag. I got the airbrush set-up and knocked out a respectable amount of terrain the other night while practicing using it. I have painted up a 12" x 12" GW Chapel with a fenced yard that I can use for a free-standing building. I also painted up 2 new craters, a GW modular hill, and a stand alone watch-tower. All of this was accomplished to a decent table top standard (no washes, only base and dry-brushing) in about 90 minutes. Not too bad, although I will go back on some pieces and touch up the details.

On the more direct side, I have knocked out another set of models, primarily for Malifaux but also a 40K Farseer. A portion of the motivation for this is the now regular Tuesday night Malifaux at a new local game store. Its been nice to actually get out and play for the last couple week, and I am averaging 2 games a night. I also had a chance to attend a semi-regular gathering named "Whiskey & 40K Night" but the regular attendees. I grabbed a quick teaching game of Malifaux while there, bringing even more players into the fold. I had brought my Eldar as well, but a friend of mine has been waiting to learn Malifaux and this was the first opportunity she had. I plan to attend "Whiskey and 40K" regularly going forward and will certainly get more practice with my Eldar.

That brings us to some pictures of the models painted up. I will start with the Farseer, as this is the Dead Tau Project. I am happy with how he came out, and he is a good addition to the army. This brings me up to Farseer with clear Farseer models, and allows me to field a stand alone Farseer or Autarch along with fielding an on foot seer council.

That brings us to the Malifaux models. First up we have the compeleted Saber Tooth Cerberus which I have painted to fit into my Rasputina crew. The goal was to go along a siberean tiger motif, with a bit of coloring to make him fit into the icy Rasputina crew. The end result did not quite hit the mark, but I am satisfied with the result. Overall I think my Rasputina crew is just at Table top quality, and while I do not think it looks bad it is certainly not my best work. Its good to knock these out quickly though, as it works a a secondary crew to play.

Next we come to the additions to my Lady Justice Guild crew. I picked up a couple Astringer models, which I have now painted up:

I also added in a Peacekeeper, which has been interesting to play with:

Lastly, I have to mention that I received my new Malifaux bag from Battlefoam. This bag is fantastic and well worth the money, which wasn't that expensive in my opinion. The front compartment for books, cards, and markers is great. The pockets even fit my laminated stat cards for my crews. The foam has enough room to fit all 3 of my crews, with enough space to put in a lot more models. Overall, I am very happy.

You can continue to track what I plan to work on in the Queue on the left hand side of the page.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Games Day 2010

So last year I swore off Games Day after attending and being disappointed by 2 US Games Days in the same year. While both had high-points, I was overall very disappointed and disgruntled by how they went. I have been going to Games Day yearly (missing only 1 year) for the past 7 years and the 3 years previous to this have gotten progressively worse each year. GW reduced the multiple North American Games Days into 1 event this year, located in Baltimore. I decided to give GD one more chance, but was expecting additional failure due to my recent experiences with local stores and what not. I am happy to say I was pleasantly surprised and offer my heartfelt compliments and thanks to Games Workshop for a return to the glorious Games Days I remember.

I will say that it is the minor details about games-day that make it so memorable. This year there was multiple True Size Space Marine statues, a Giant Space Marine blow-up (see below), and incredible props through-out the hall. All the events appeared well organized, the tables were incredible, and the competitions were great. My wife and I spent the day walking around and enjoying ourselves.

The lead in picture for this article is a little of what I mean. The replica Eldar Scopion helmet was fantastic, and I was jazzed to see it. To add to that, here is a picture of the Giant space marine with my wife standingin front for comparison.

As for my overall games day experience, it was great. Funny enough, I spent most of the day walking around and chatting with numerous friends (both online and RL) who I ran into. I think that the combination of my recent involvement in local groups, along with the podcast and blog, added to my involvement with the NOVA Open have made me a fair amount more visible than previously. I am by no means an "Interwebz Star" but the minor notoriety I seem to have gained definitely made the day more fun.

Here are some great pictures of the day.

Waagh Teek Stompa:
and a closeup of the welding grot:

A nice Farseer from the Golden Daemon competition:
And for those looking for Spoilers, Forgeworld had the greatest spoiler of the day. Apparently while they have been working on the new Eldar Imperial Armor books to come in the future, they also had a stealth project ongoing. Thats right, all those new suits of Marine armor are for Books 1 and 2 of the Badab War. My friend Jay is in 7th heaven waiting to go broke buying the new stuff coming! According to the guys at the Forgeworld booth, both of these are expected out before the end of the year.

I do have to admit that the Huron model is much nicer (in my opinion) than the GW model currently out.

I know this has not been the most exciting post ever, but I wanted to give a quick update to all you readers. Its been a tough couple weeks as summer is drawing to a close. I did have a complete computer crash 2 weeks ago and just got my machine back on Monday of this week. I then found out my back-up software had gone on vacation back in March, so I lost about 5 months of data. Its a fun week trying to recover and figure out whats still missing.

I should be back on a normal schedule however, so look forward to more frequent posts. I have been doing a fair amount of work on my models, although the new Malifaux stuff is staying heavily in my hobby highlights. I do have my airbrush working and was able to knock out 5 solid pieces of terrain to table top quality in prep for working on my titan and tanks. The Titan base is nicely put together and primed, so thats next on the table. I also just recieved an Eldar Phoenix that is adding to the painting queue. I need to make a base for that as well, but the base will take more work than I was expecting.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back, but not really.........

I was preparing to put together this blog post and was contemplating the last couple weeks of life, and how they have related to my hobby. I realized I was incredibly busy over the lat 2 weeks of "Working Vacation" and did not really realize how busy until I sat and thought it through. I then added into that my recent work schedule. If I go back to Sunday, June 20th my work schedule and trips have accounted for 32 out of 49 days being gone from home. I am pretty sure that qualifies as a lot, although I recognize that my employees spend more time than that away from home. On the other hand, I am a bit of a home-body so this creates growing stress over time.

August, while it should be a slower month for me, is anything but. I will be volunteer staff at the upcoming NOVA Open this weekend, which is very exciting for me. I am looking forward to the success of this tournament, and happily putting in the time. On the other hand, nearly 40 hours of volunteer time over a three day weekend is a lot of work. I am confident it will go well, as the whole volunteer staff seems to be just as dedicated and Mike Brandt is pulling together an incredible event. This whole week has been madness with work during the day, and then Event prep at night. My stress has kept at a fairly mid-high plateau with not only staff prep but also prep for the Gamers Lounge live broadcast from the show, which will have our podcast broadcasting live internet video and interviews with players on Friday night, then again on Sunday for the top table game. There is lots of small prep going on for that, which has delayed my goal of painting up my Battlefoam X-Board to put on display at the event. On the plus side, I know the scheme, and have an airbrush so painting up the board should go quickly.

So that brings us to Games Day Baltimore the weekend after the open. This event is trending toward being smaller than originally expected on the Podcast front, but still an exciting day. Dinner and Drinks after the show may be a small event, which to be honest could be a blessing. On the other side, Jay and I need to pull together a fresh episode of the Gamers Lounge that weekend as well, since we did not get enough segments together for a Summer Sessions #3. Not a bad thing, just a thing to plan for.

So all of that is some rambling on how my summer has been going. There are other little tidbits added in, such as the fact it looks like I will be founding a gaming club in a couple weeks, a friend of mine is opening a new gaming store (which I am trying to help with), and I am trying to get a regular Malifaux group together for weekly play.  So whats the point of all this. Well, what started me thinking was an initial disappointment with myself for the amount of hobby I have completed lately. Going through the previous thoughts, I realize I have been more productive than I originally felt, and I am, perhaps, being to hard on myself. I took a look at what I have done:

First, I need to give a heartfelt thanks to Teek and James in Atlanta. I look forward to seeing Teek at Games Day this year and catching up with him. Teek and James met me while I was on travel in Atlanta, and I played a great game against James. James brought a fully painted 1500 point Deathwing army to the table to face 1500 points of my Dead Tau Project. We played one of the space marine battle missions and had a fantastic game. Following that we headed out to grab some pizza at "Big Pie in the Sky" in Kennesaw GA. Yes, that's one huge pizza you see above.

While in Seattle I had a great conversation with Tim, owner of Games & Gizmos in Redmond and John, the creative director of Soda Pop Miniatures. Games & Gizmos is a great store and I really enjoyed speaking with Tim. In addition, the chance to talk to John about Soda Pop and where they are headed was very exciting. I look forward to getting John onto the Gamers Lounge for an interview in the near future. I also grabbed one of his mini's which I plan to paint up soon!

And then comes my trip to NH. I was, disappointingly, unable to meet with with Russ Wakelin of D6G fame for a Malifaux game. He says he was working, but I believe he was scared of my crews! I did get to spend some time at Myriad Games in Manchester and this is also a great store. While I did not get to meet the owner, Dan, I did speak with his wife a bit and they are very invested in being part of the community. This truly breeds success for their store.

And that brings me to the painting I accomplished. Back at the beginning of July I was able to get in an Apocalypse game with 3 friends in the area. This was an excellent 8K per side game and was my first Apoc game. We did not use any super-heavies for the first game, but there was a flier on the table, and I was able to field my Phoenix Court pictured at the start of this very long post. I also had a chance to play a Malifaux game with Jay between all the travel. I lost the game (Jay tabled me) but it was still great fun. I am really falling in love with Malifaux and looking forward to playing more games. Lastly, I was able to get some painting done. As promised in an earlier post, here is a look at what I accomplished.

First, I actually did some work on the Dead Tau Project and completed my last two Phoenix Lords. The first is Baharroth, Call of the Wind.
And then we have Jain Zar:
 I can honestly say that these are two of my least favorite 40K models to date. And between these two, I really, truly dislike Jain. The sculpt is just not good, and I have developed a true dislike for painting black hair. On the positive side, my phoenix court is completely painted and on the shelf and my army has reached 6800 points of painted models!

Then we have a slew of Malifaux models painted.

We are starting with a look at my full Rasputina Arcanists crew. I added in a Razorspine Rattler which I completed painting in "Icy Blue" colors to match the crew. Here is a closer look:

Next we have my full Lady Justice crew. I added in:

New Death Marshal:

A Student of Conflict:
My Student needs some work, but honestly I will probably just paint up a new model and replace him. I ended up with too much glue on the hands, so when you look close up you can see the mess up. On the good side, I do not think he looks too bad at a table-top distance (see above).
And I added in a Govenors Proxy:

I also completed the basing and painting of my wifes Neverborn crew. I really like how the bases came out and think they look great with the models! Here is some close-ups of the new models:

Malifaux Child totem:

and the Sorrows:

So thats pretty much it for a very long post. For those that stuck through this far, I have a bit of a teaser for you. As I mentioned, my goals for the near future are larger models. I have a Forge World flyer in bound, a Titan, and 2 Night Spinners to put together and paint up. Toward that end, I have started work on the Titan base. Here is a glimpse:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Gamers Lounge Live Field Test

I wanted to bring some podcasting news to those of you who are interested. On Tuesday, August 10th the Gamers Lounge podcast will be doing a live field test on U-Stream. This is in preparation for the very long weekend of staff support I will be providing at the NOVA open, which includes a fair amount of live broadcasting of the podcast, high-profile "Celebrity Death Matches" and then a broadcast of the top tables on Sunday.

Check out the details of the field-test here and join the chat room.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Slow updates at the end of the Month

How I wish this was where I actually am while on vacation. To be fair, how I wish I was actually on vacation and not the "Working Vacation" I am actually on. Its funny how a "Working Vacation" actually works out with my job. For the past two weeks, my wife and children have been gallivanting around enjoying the beach, shopping, and other sundry vacation activities. I have been sitting on some conference calls and other sundry work related items, with very few days to actually vacation. Ahh, the enjoyment of it all.

To be fair, I have dug through a small bit of personal time to do some painting. Of course I then ran into problem #2, which is my photo-editing software is on my Mac at home. Bleh..... No pictures of my newly painted models this week.  I will say, however, that I have returned to accomplishing some of the 40K models, knocking out both Jain-Zar and Baharroth for my Phoenix lord collection. This will provide a completed set of Phoenix Lords, which I am very happy with. I do not particularly like the Jain-Zar model, I think it is a very ugly sculpt. Its done though, so I can move on to the remaining DTP models on the list.

I have also been working on a fair number of Malifaux models. As you can see, I have a new number assembled and primed, waiting on my painting tray for completion. I knocked out a Student of Conflict for my Lady Justice crew, along with an Icy Razorspine Rattler for my Rasputina crew. I am very happy with how these came out, although the Student has a bit of Super-Glue-Elphantitis in his hands. I may put together a second one down the road and pin the hands to get better detail.

On a sad note, Russ Wakelin did not make it out for gaming last week, so I did not get a chance to play a game with him. It appears that the NH love for Malifaux is fairly constricted to just a few players (Russ, Craig, and 1 other as I understand). Myriad Games is an incredible store, and was a joy to hang out in. These NH'ites are big board game players, and I saw very little actual miniature gaming going on!

That's it for this update. I will be returning next week (after August 9th) with a flurry of pictures for whatever I accomplish around work. I also plan for 1 more Forgeworld order in my near future (this week?) and then I will be pulling out the Air Brush for some large model painting! If things go forward as planned, I will be knocking out 2 Night Spinners, 1 Eldar Flyer, and the Titan over the next month or so.