Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mystery Project Pt. I

If you follow my Twitter feed, you know I've been putting up photos & hinting about a "mystery project" - this is a scratchbuild project that I've decided to do for a friend of mine for Xmas.  I'll be putting up occasional pics to give hints about what it is, and will hopefully have a successful unveiling when it's finished.  I will say that while it's technically a "model", it's not really related to any miniature/wargaming universe - I guess the most accurate way to describe it would be a "replica prop", and I'm going to be using parts from lots of different sources.

Nevertheless, here's the first pic:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First FailCast FineCost FailCost FineCast Model

(LOL, the title is just having some fun w/ the haters).
I picked up my first FineCast model the other day:

...Inquisitor Karamazov on the Throne of Judgement - the last model I needed to build my Grey Knights list.  I was looking for one of these for quite a while, but nobody had it in stock (I even scoured all the cons I went to this summer) and all the ones that were showing up on eBay were either in sad shape or so-called "pro painted" (yeah right) and they wanted a fortune for them - I actually kept back a little bit of the spending money that I took to GenCon, and as soon as they released the FineCast version I snapped one up.  (This was actually the first time I've bought anything direct from GW's website, now that I think about it - I always had my local shop order stuff from Direct for me).  I haven't built it yet, so I can't speak to what the FineCast is like to work with, but I examined it pretty closely, and it doesn't appear to have any bubbles or other problems  like I've heard about on the Intarwebs.  My Grey Knights are at least 3rd in line to be built behind other armies that are sitting on the shelf, but I might have to go ahead and build this model early - it's one that I've always thought was extremely cool ever since I got into 40K, and I'm kinda chomping at the bit to paint it...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Winner Is You! might remember my Karchev the Terrible warcaster model, which I built & painted using some cinematic effects from Armorcast:

...well, I'm happy to report that the model won first place in the "Vehicle or Monster" category in Armorcast's first annual cinematic effects contest!  Much thanks to sponsors Armorcast & Battlefoam for putting on this contest!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Board Games: Shadows Over Camelot

I got a really good deal on a new copy of Shadows Over Camelot the other day:

If you've never played Shadows Over Camelot, it's a fun co-op game where the players have to work together to complete "quests" and stop The Black Knight.  However, at the start of the game, each player receives a "loyalty card", and one them may be "The Traitor" - who actually works against the other players.  You can earn points by exposing the traitor - but if you accuse someone wrongly, you lose points, making it even harder to win the game.

Funnily enough, the first time I played this game was not a good time - I remembered that I originally posted the story in a Board Game Geek thread titled "What's Your WORST Gaming Story!?"


The place: Origins 2009. The game: Shadows Over Camelot.

There were 5 of us playing - me, my wife, a guy in his late 20's / early 30's and his twelve-year-old nephew, and an older guy (early 50's, maybe). The twelve-year-old was the only one who had played before, and was being a bit of a know-it-all & criticizing other player's choices, but no worse than most twelve-year-olds I've played with. The older guy gets real irritated at this, until he starts making really inappropriate comments, calling the kid things like "idiot" and "jackass" and poking his finger at the kid's face while he's arguing with him. After all of us giving him the stink-eye several times, the uncle tells him explicitly to knock it off. The older guy mumbles an apology, and something about not usually playing with kids.

A little bit later, the older guy gets worked up over one of the rules (I don't even recall what it was - when to draw a card or something. It wasn't a rule that would have made a huge difference in the outcome, just would have made the game longer). Everyone else at the table is pretty easygoing, and we tell the older guy, "Okay, it's fine, if you want to play that way, then we'll play that way". This still isn't good enough for him - he gets up, finds one of the people from the club running the event, and yells at them until they get on the DoW web site to look up the rule.

A little bit later, it comes around to the older guy's turn. We look over, and he's asleep in his chair. The uncle reaches over and barely taps his shoulder and says, "Hey, it's your turn". The older guy jerks upright, grabs his lower back, and starts screaming "AAHHHH!! MY BACK!! MY BACK!!" and goes on a tirade about his back problems.

If you've played Shadows Over Camelot, you're familiar with the "traitor" concept. All of us are having fun with it, saying things like "Oh, you would do that, TRAITOR!" and "Nice move, TRAITOR!" We're doing it throughout the game, and it's obviously being done in a good-natured, humorous way. It comes around to the older guy's turn again, and the uncle says "Well, it's your turn... traitor". The older guy jumps up and screams, "THAT'S IT!! SCREW THIS!! I'M DONE!!" And starts gathering up all his stuff. The uncle is apologizing and asking him to stay. I was sick of it and say, "Just let 'em leave". On the way out the older guy points to the uncle and says "Oh, by the way, HE'S the traitor!" (The uncle had dropped a few of his cards on the floor early in the game, and the older guy must have gotten a look at them). We all sat there for a minute, bewildered, and we actually started laughing a bit at what a HUGE jerk the guy was.

Actually, a very nice younger guy who had been hanging out nearby came over - he was very familiar with the game, and we managed to salvage it, play it out, and had a great time relating stories about the jerk to the new guy.

This whole thing actually came up tonight - my wife & I were discussing our GenCon schedules over dinner, and she said "I was thinking of playing that Camelot game again". I said, "Well, it probably won't be as memorable as last time" and she cracked up laughing. So, at least we have a funny memory about it...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Re-organizing the Studio

I spent most of the other morning reorganizing my painting area:

I added the cart in the foreground to store all my terrain/basing materials, and have my paints organized into the Battlefoam P.A.C.K. 216's on top.  I'm going to have to purge some stuff out of this room in order to make some space, and all the stuff I acquired at Adepticon & GenCon this year didn't help... I'm really looking forward to when we start seriously house shopping in a year or so, when the wife finishes school - I need a basement to serve as a dedicated game room!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Winter Guard Mortar Crew - Painted

I finished a Winter Guard Mortar Crew the other day: I said in the post about my Winter Guard Infantry, the reds don't look as intense in person as in the photo.  I'm pretty pleased with how the wood grain & the metallics came out on these models.  This unit has proven to be invaluable in games, I'm working on another one right now...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Accessory

I got a great new accessory for my studio - I'm really hoping it helps take my painting to the next level:

...well, it'll definitely have some kind of effect on my painting, anyway :-)  I've wanted one of these for a while, since I hate having to run downstairs for a cold drink during marathon painting sessions - I saw them really cheap at a back-to-school sale, so I grabbed one.

And of course I had to make sure it matched the decor:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Winter Guard Infantry - Painted

I got my Winter Guard Infantry painted:

I cranked these out pretty fast - for some reason, I'm really adopting speed over technique when it comes to painting most of my Warmachine models.  I'm pretty pleased with them - the red doesn't look as intense in person as it does in the photo...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Book Review: Legion

I just finished the seventh book in the Horus Heresy series, Legion by Dan Abnett.  Previously I'd heard a few people on different blogs & podcasts say that this book was the stinker of the series - maybe I was just ready for a change of pace, but I loved it.  I can see where some people wouldn't like it, as it has much less of the cinematic action sequences that some of the other books have, and the majority of the book doesn't show that much of the Astartes at all - what it does do much better than many of the other books, however, is show some truly three- dimensional characters.  The book is mainly centered on John Grammaticus, a powerful psyker working for The Cabal.  The Cabal is an organization that is many thousands of years old, made up of myriad different xenos races, whose ultimate goal is to defeat the powers of Chaos - it turns out that the Alpha Legion plays a pivotal role in this battle.  I won't give away the story, but I did not see the ending coming at all - it really expands the scope of the Heresy, and the choices some of the characters have to make really illustrate just how big the conflict is.  I found John Grammaticus extremely interesting, and think he's compelling enough that Abnett could easily spin the character off into a dedicated series of his own.  I also found the Alpha Legion fascinating, and would love to read another book that gave move detail about the way the operate.  Overall I enjoyed the book tremendously, and I'd have to say it's one of the standouts of the series for me so far, along with Fulgrim and The Flight of the Eisenstein.