Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Goblin Spider Riders

First, I'd like to welcome kingsleypark, Bill, and hankesslinger as the most recent followers of the site.

Second, as promised, goblin spider riders to serve as Riders units for Hordes of the Things.

The only thing I really regret about these guys isn't visible in the picture.  There were two "skull" design spiders and two "zig-zag" design spiders, and I didn't alternate them but glued the two identical ones to the same base.  At least the goblins are different.

Thinning out the BlogoHerd

While Spartan adds a blog to his repertoire, I'm culling the herd down by two, namely Graph Paper Games, which was my RPG-themed blog, and my "personal" blog.  I am just not doing that much that is noteworthy in terms of RPG's these days.  In fact, we have cancelled yet another session this Friday because of scheduling conflicts.  And while I have, in fact, been doing many things of interest to me in my personal life, I've learned that recording too much of my personal life is unwise.  And besides, whatever I do want to share can go onto Facebook.
I'm leaving up Hard Boiled Zombies because I still get an itch for zombie/post-apocalyptic wargaming.  That genre is currently in a good position for my next project, along with Victorian Science-Fiction.  I have been holding to the course of finishing the two Hordes of the Things armies and only indulging in the occasional odd miniature on the side.  The goblin spider riders are finished and need only to be sprayed with matte varnish.  Once they are done, then it is only a troll and two hero characters to complete the goblin army.  It doesn't look like I will get it finished by the end of the month, but hopefully in the first weeks of May I will be able to begin fielding the two armies in battle.
I have decided, after some long consideration, that one thing I won't be getting into is the casting of my own miniatures using Prince August molds.  I do a lot of ceramic casting with Hirst Arts mold, but the whole "handling molten metal while inhaling fumes" thing has put me off.  I'm pretty clumsy, having dropped more than my fair share of miniatures, and my wife (Mrs. Q) has told me she has no doubt that I would eventually burn myself.  Best to avoid that.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dwarf Army Finished

I have finally finished my dwarf army for Hordes of the Things.  I had actually finished painting the Hero General and the Artillery several days ago.  Unfortunately, in the spraying of the matte finish it came across as opaque and gray, ruining all the pieces.  Thankfully I had a spare cannon and general, but no engineer, so I had to do without.

Here is the dwarf cannon as Artillery.  Double-click the image to enlarge it.

Here is the dwarf thane as a Hero General.

And here is the shot of the final army in all its glory.

Now I just need to finish the goblin army.  Sorry for the poor pictures--I can't find my regular digital camera today.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Roger, Zombie Apocalypse Ganger

While I let the wood polish finish on my dwarfs, I thought I'd tidy up this fellow and get him ready.  He's "Airborne" from one of Foundry's "Street Violence" blisters, but I changed the name because it sounded inane.  I actually glued him to his base years ago, hence the square rather than the round one I would normally use on a modern, not-to-be-ranked-up figure.  I figure he'll make a good gang leader with his grenades, SMG, and assault rifle.  He even appears to have some sort of tactical vest on under his overcoat.

I got some good responses to my query about energy.  Friday is always a great day for me in terms of creativity, because it is my day off and the kids are at school and the wife is at her job.  I tend to putter about the "Daddy & Daughter Cave," paint a bit, cast some plaster, and listen to an old mystery novel on CD.  Not the most exciting life, but it gets me by and lets me have a little rare bit of quiet.

I am still kicking about ideas for what to do when I'm done with the two armies.  I want to keep up the tempo and get the remaining goblins done once the dwarfs have been completed, just so I can move on without too much delay.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dwarf Lurkers

I had a spare point to spend in my army, so I decided to add a unit of Lurkers to round everything out.  I thought dwarf miners, fellows who might pop out and attack their opponents.
 Dwarf miners, Games Workshop
The end is in sight for the dwarf army.  I have just four figures and a cannon to go.

15,000 views and creative flow

My little blog hit 15,000 views yesterday, which is very cool.  I looked at bit at the stats, which show that I am on the whole getting more traffic as time goes by, but there is distinctly a connection between how many or how steadily I am getting miniatures painted and how many people want to check out the blog.
I am also reading a book with the unfortunate title "Kick Ass Creativity" with the subtitle "An Energy Makeover for Artists, Explorers, and Creative Professionals."  First I have to say that, in my own somewhat starchy way, I despair over unnecessary profanity, particularly in a professional work with ones own name on it.  That's not to say I refrain from profanity entirely--I don't--but it seems cheap and desperate to employ it in such a context.
But the book caught my eye not because of its title but its content, namely its attempt to help artistic people be able to create a better creative flow in their work.  I'm one of those people who sometimes struggles to maintain that flow.  I get sidetracked, work and real life bog me down, I lose interest or become disheartened when projects hit snags.  And I would love to conquer that, to enjoy this hobby of mine, and to be more productive, to experience the flow more often.
So, with that in mind, I'm going to take one of the exercises from the book and do it here, namely by asking the question, what is the model for your own experience of the creative flow?  Do you experience it in the evening, the morning, or some other time?  Do you have a particular place?  Are there elements to the environment that facilitate this experience, like listening to music or having no one else around?  What makes it work for you?  Feel free to share in the comment section.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Chaos Sorceror

First, welcome this blog's 50th follower, CPBelt!

Next, I decided to paint one of my impulse purchases over the weekend.  After The Angry Lurker's question about whether we were better painters as we grew older, I decided to go "slow style" on this figure.

I bought him thinking he'd make a fine leader for a Nurgle-themed chaos warband for Mordheim.  If I never get around to Mordheim, he'd also make a fine "I built this dungeon you've been grinding your way through" NPC.

Friday, April 8, 2011

More Dwarf Shooters

I finished the third and fourth unit of dwarf shooters for my Hordes of the Things dwarf army.

Lately I have been suffering from a complete surge in buyer's remorse.  In the light of my rapidly dying (if not already dead) RPG group, I went a little "I can find a game people want to play" and purchased, thankfully at a discount, Traveller, Earthdawn, Shadowrun 4th Ed., and the Essentials version of D&D 4E.  None of these actually garner me more players--it is just a shopaholic response to the stress.  Now I think I am going to see about unloading some of these things to recoup the expense.

What's worse, actually attempts that have even small degree of legitimacy--posting notices around town and in local forums, have been a bust.  I am thinking I am at some sort of crossroads--that what I had hoped to create here in my new home may be very difficult, if not impossible.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

So what's next?

Is it my hobby ADD or Springtime in the air that causes me to begin to wonder how I might be spending my hobby in the "Daddy/Daughter Cave" (see earlier posts on that one).  It's my hope to be finished with the dwarf and goblin Hordes of the Things armies.  If I do, I calculate I will have painted 83 or my 150 miniatures for the year.  Not bad, but no reason to begin slacking off.
So I have been considering a couple of options for what to do next.  Here's what I've got so far:

Expand the dwarf and goblin armies:  Add more units to allow some flexibility for Hordes of the Things, or get the units up to size for Hostile Kingdoms or Fantasy Impetus.

Build a third army for Hordes of the Things: Mantic is doing some nice undead and orcs right now.

Get going on All Things Zombie again: you know what caused me to stall out here on this project?  Terrain.  Modern day terrain seems to fall into three categories.  The first is cardstock terrain, like what Vampifan uses.  The second is foamcore buildings that look like adobe houses, often used for the Middle East.  The third is model railway houses.  I don't see a lot of 25/28mm terrain made for wargaming.  There might be several reasons.  Modern buildings tend to be large, which don't quite work for wargaming schema.  There is also a wide variety of architectural styles.  There is also a lot of detail (just look at the cardstock stuff).  Anyways, if I can crack the terrain nut, I'd be more likely to move forward on this.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Does painting get easier and/or better?

The Angry Lurker posted on his blog the question about whether painting miniatures gets better or easier with time, or do the ravages of age cause a general decline.  The answer is a mixed bag of shells.
I'm proficiently better, know when to take time, know how to work paint, etc.  That I know how to doesn't mean that I do.
When I started painting, it was directed by the teaching in the old 'Eavy Metal Painting Guide which was a base coat then a shade and highlight coat.  Still not a bad method, but a tad labor-intensive.   Eventually I discovered the idea of painting the darkest shade first and highlighting up.  After that I learned about ink washes and using wood finish as a wash.  That made painting the sizable number of rank-and-file troops a more likely prospect.  There is no way I could have painted an army using the original technique.  Believe me, I tried.
So now I paint very well for single pieces like RPG minis or characters for an army, and paint in a pretty lackadaisical manner for the bulk units.
I guess you could say that I am painting smarter, not harder. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

More Dwarf Blades

First of all, welcome Watchtower78 and Desert Scribe.  I'm glad you have chosen to follow this blog.

Second, here are two more units of dwarf blades for my Hordes of the Things army.
dwarf warriors, Games Workshop

That is six more towards my painting goal, and a good start for April.  That also finishes my blade units for my dwarf army.  I have two units of dwarf shooters almost completed and I hope to finish them by week's end.  It is actually my hope to finish the entire dwarf army by the end of the month, and perhaps even the goblin army (which has fewer miniatures to paint) as well.  If I can get that done, perhaps I could even go so far as to play a game in the month of April, the first one I would have played in six months.

As a small side note, you should check out my RPG-related blog, Graph Paper Games.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A large dungeon room

It has been a while since I have built a piece for my modular dungeon, but I decided I needed a large room, the kind that could either serve as the climatic battle or a central hub.

I'm continuing to work on my dwarf HOTT army.  Hopefully some new units will be posted soon.


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