Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nurgle Drives a Mini-Van

I’m home! What a day, what a day it was. Seventeen hours on the road have left me feeling rather weary and depleted so please forgive me if I seem a bit off. I slept about four hours last night after packing and loading everything up, then awoke with the family at 4am and was on the road driving fifteen minutes later. It rained the whole way and I didn’t once see the sun the entire day. I drove the first half of the way and, after napping through the state of Virginia, spent the rest of the time trying to keep my daughter entertained and happy. Our little one, 22 months old, did very well as always and is turning out to be an excellent traveler for which I am so grateful.

Unfortunately I cannot say her parents fared nearly as well. It was during the last half of the drive that my wife and I both began feeling ill. For sure it made it an even more interesting trip than usual with the onset of our symptoms, but it was worth it to press on so that we are at least home to recover. Sick or not, it’s good to be back. I suspect my brother-in-law may have passed on a mild flu to us as he has been suffering similarly for a few days now. (Cheers, Jeff, I hope you feel better soon!)

Normally I’d say these are less than ideal conditions for blogging. I saw something however on my phone just a short while ago as we neared Charleston that has compelled me to not let this opportunity pass. It’s b.smoove of A Gentleman's Ones birthday today!

Happy birthday, b.smoove! Hooray! I’ve gathered together a bunch of the Beasts of Annihilation to help me wish you a happy birthday and all the best in the year to come.

Leading the huzzahs is a miniature that’s very dear to me, a Chaos Lord of Nurgle (MoN, Personal Icon, Wings, Daemonic Weapon) who now commands this warband of vile renegades. He’s still a WIP but I just had to bring him out for the occasion. Pretty cool, right?

What’s so special about him is that he is in fact from the b.smoove collection, sent to me as a surprise gift following one of my contests in which the Gentleman was a runner-up prize winner. The contest was based around the idea of passing on old projects to new hands and so b.smoove returned the favor by sending me this awesome model to finish and add to my own army. Amazing!

I originally planned to show him off here once I had completed the little bit of work left to do but I can’t wait any longer. Life is what it is and I still haven’t gotten around to completing him yet. I just think it’s too cool of a model to go uncelebrated, and considering the special day, I thought it was time. Needless to say he takes pride of place in my army and will no doubt lead them to glory.

Thanks again, b., and happy birthday!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Full of Bluster

Despite my hopes for an active hobby week, I instead have very little progress to report. All I've managed to do so far has been some tinkering with army lists as I still am trying to decide what Fantasy army to collect for the 1000 point tournament at AdeptiCon 2011. Otherwise this week has been something of a wash as my wife and I decided at almost the last minute to pack up and head out of town for Thanksgiving. We've been in western New York visiting her family and will be heading back home on Tuesday.

This time around I decided to leave behind most of my hobby projects, having brought with me just a couple of panels from my Realm of Battle Gameboard for flocking. I'm optimistic that I'll have time to work on them tomorrow and, all things considered, would be satisfied were I to finish them off before heading back home. It's been since the Spring that I last did anything with the gameboard so I'm eager to see some progress. As it stands now two panels are complete, two await flock, and the last two have only been primed. I forgot to grab any of the paints I need to address those last two panels so really all I can aspire to accomplish while in NY would be gluing down some flock and hopefully not making too much of a mess of my in-laws' house.

Meanwhile, following on from my previous post regarding blog networks, this evening I wrote out my application for joining the Int'l House of Paincakes and submitted it for their review. I really appreciate receiving so much input from all of you about your experiences both with the HoP and the numerous other networks with which you are associated. Some of you also warned me that the essay section of the application to join the HoP is perhaps not as crucial to admission as I otherwise might have believed. Nonetheless I thought it would be fun (i.e., self-obsessive) to take a stab at it anyways. Also, since I'm not getting a lot done on the hobby front, I thought I would publish it here to help pad my post-count as I am not above such shameless tactics.

So here then is my essay answering in five hundred words or less why, "[I am] God's gift to the Internet." Of course please feel free to skewer, lampoon, and ridicule to your heart's content. Besides, I suspect that is what is in store for me should any of the head honchos over there bother to read it. Therefore a good ripping might even help prepare me for whatever may come of this. Enjoy!


Dear Sirs,

Congratulations on the burgeoning success of your blog community. I am happy to report today it reaches the pinnacle of accomplishment as I, God's gift to the internet, seek admission to your network's blogrolls. I believe the inclusion of my blog, diceRolla, will prove to be a great coup for the House of Paincakes, the reasons for which I am prepared to detail for you in a manner completely devoid of pomp or hyperbole.

My innovative painting style puts Golden Daemon winners to shame and has even inspired a series of articles at Laubersheimer Industries. My tactical and list building advice provides a foundation for imitators the world over, including YTTH and 3++ is the new black, prompting their authors to send me daily emails asking for help. My battle reports are more epic than The Iliad. Dethtron even had to coin a new phrase in order to adequately describe my gaming prowess, AAAC, which means, "Awesome At All Costs." In short, I have had more impact on our hobby in a year and a half of blogging than the other JJ has had after decades of designing games.

But diceRolla is so much more than just the most valuable gaming resource on the...

YUCK! Even joking around that's more internet bluster than I can muster. I admit there is nothing groundbreaking about my painting and I've not yet written a single battle report for my website. Further only someone truly desperate would seek my advice on tactics or army lists, and a sense of propriety precludes me from offering any out of consideration for my dismal win-loss records. Even Jervis Johnson has accused me of peddling meritless articles, and that's really something coming from him.

I like writing for my blog and other people seem to be enjoying it as well, but I certainly do not consider myself God's gift to the internet. I nonetheless think I would be a good member for your online community and would strive to my utmost ability to contribute in a positive way. On most days I've got a cheerful disposition which I think is reflected in my approach to blogging and I try to offer support and encouragement to those who share my passion for the hobby. While that may not be a terribly exciting prospect for many in your network, I do very much look forward to engaging with your associate members and having some fun.

It would be an honor for me to be accepted into the House of Paincakes, thank you for your consideration.

Jason, aka Papa JJ

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Post That Wasn't Meant to Be

It finally happened. I've heard about it before but never quite understood the pain and frustration involved until it just happened to me moments ago. A post I had been working on for the last two and a half days just disappeared into the electronic aether. All that remains of it are a few cute animal photos and the last paragraph of what I assure you was a most eloquent piece of self-reflection and blogging introspection. At this point I no longer have the patience to stoically press on and rewrite the blasted thing, instead I'm going to skip all of that and cut to the chase.

I'm interested in signing up for some blog networks, starting with the Int'l House of Paincakes and then any others for which diceRolla might qualify. There's been quite a little psychodrama unfolding in my head about no longer being on my own as an unaffiliated blogger, the details of which you're probably better off having been spared. Suffice it to say this is something I've been thinking about for a long time but only now feel confident enough in what I'm doing with my blog to actively seek out a wider audience. I appreciate with the utmost sincerity all of you who are already readers of my blog, I certainly do not take you for granted. Truly, it is because of you and the encouragement that you've offered me that I now am ready to take this next step in my silly blogging adventures. So thank you for sticking with me, by pushing myself into new arenas of ideas it is my hope to make this a better experience for all who come here.

Right then, I trust everyone has had a fantastic Thanksgiving with plenty of food, family, and football. Heck, even if you don't celebrate this holiday I'm still wishing you a happy Thanksgiving! (Ha ha, how's that for cultural imperialism?) On the hobby front I am genuinely thankful for all of you who have shown such wonderful support for me, so you are included in my experience of holiday gratitude whether you like it or not. ; ) Thank you.

Alright, that's it everyone... time for me to drift off into a blissful, turkey-induced slumber. Goodnight!

[Note: I've left in place the remains of my original post, either for the sake of posterity or to spite it, but really just as a personal monument to the occasional frustrations of blogging. It might not make a whole lot of sense when read out of its original context, but I don't have the heart to delete it entirely. Oh well, them's the brakes.]

+++ Not Deleted From Imperial Records +++

So I've decided there is to be no more hiding for me like a scared little squirrel. Instead at this point I think I'm ready for diceRolla to spread its wings and soar majestically like the noble titmouse. This weekend I'm going to write the required essay and try to figure out what keywords would appropriately describe all that goes on here, then submit these for review and hopefully admission to the HoP. Besides, with more than 130 loyal readers (again, thank you so much!), the self-delusion of going unnoticed beneath the radar has become untenable even for me. I don't foresee any dramatic changes here because of this, though I'm always open to suggestions about what I could or should be doing better.

Tufted Titmouse, in honor of the House of Paincakes

Further, if anyone knows of any of blog networks for which diceRolla might qualify, I would really appreciate hearing about them. After the HoP, the only other ones I know of are BoLS, FTW, Librarium Online and the Iron Agenda. Would I be able to add my blog to any of those? How strict are they with their requirements? Are there others out there that might be accepting of my wandering ways? I greatly appreciate your help with this, thank you for whatever advice or recommendations you should choose to pass on to me.

Best wishes to you all... take care, friends!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Citadel Woods Finished

Even though it took me a couple weeks longer to finish painting this group of Citadel Woods than I'd originally planned, I am still very happy and am quite satisfied with how they turned out. So much so that I decided to have some fun taking pictures of them today. I painted the miniatures seen in the following photos at least 15 years ago, but the trees were not finished until 3am this morning. Actually before going to bed I went to put my new terrain pieces away and promptly dropped two trees, snapping off a number of branches and breaking a few leaves. It was therefore another hour before I had everything repaired which made for an exciting conclusion to my late night hobby session.

I love this terrain kit! I think Games Workshop did a fantastic job on it and I look forward to working on my next batch of Citadel Woods perhaps sometime in the coming weeks, though likely not until the new year considering all the projects I'm juggling. I have another three sets of Woods still unassembled which I will paint in the same fashion as these. I like this scenery so much, however, that I now would like to eventually get a couple more kits to be painted as burned up sections of forest that have seen heavy fighting. I think that would introduce some nice variety to the collection and would look pretty cool as well.

That's all for later, though. Regarding the matter at hand, here are some pictures of my newly completed terrain pieces:

Citadel Woods #1

Citadel Woods #2

Citadel Woods #3

A surprise encounter.

"Look out, he's right behind you!"

"Artillery's hard work, lads, so be grateful for the shade."

The garrison was alert for any potential threats...

... but they still didn't stand a chance.

"Hi, I'm a wizard. I wear sensible shoes."

All the [miniature] world's a stage...

These trees were a real joy to paint and it's nice knowing that they'll be of use no matter how much jumping I do from one army project to another. I'm not sure what this coming week will be like for my hobby activities as Thanksgiving is on Thursday, but I will nonetheless endeavor to get in as much hobby time as RealLife allows. If you can't tell by my choice of subject matter in tonight's photos, I've had Warhammer Fantasy on my mind recently so that will likely receive a fair share of my attention.

That's all for tonight... happy painting and gaming, everyone!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Badab War - I'm In!

Na na na na, na na na na, na na na na, na na na na, BADAB! Na na na na, na na na na, na na na na, na na na na, BADAB! BADAB!!

I've decided to build a Raptors army from the Badab War and have a few squads worth of models already assembled. Years ago I started work on a Crimson Fists project but realized after painting five Tactical Marines that I was not really enjoying the experience that much. So I began experimenting with other color schemes but did not find any that I liked significantly better. I therefore set them aside to work on other more compelling interests. That was back in '05 or '06 I think.

In that time almost two squads worth of Marines and a Dreadnought from the original Crimsons Fists group were taken either for use as color tests or for other projects. What's left however should still provide for a solid core from which to build the new army. I'll likely add in the models from my AoBR set and some vehicles, then go from there. I expect with this army I'll just add units as they catch my attention rather than building to a particular list. Here though is what I'm starting with that's ready for priming:

Chapter Master/Captain with power fist and combi-melta
Chaplin with plasma pistol and croizus
10 Tactical Marines - plasma gun, lascannon, and a power weapon
8 Scouts with 2 sniper rifles and a heavy bolter
6 Assault Marines with a power weapon
6 Devastator Marines with 4 missile launchers

The miniatures are very basic Marines largely without adornment which is okay as my aim is to get this army painted quickly, whatever that means. I ordered a sheet of Raptors transfers from Forge World to save me from the embarrassment of trying to freehand the chapter badge. In the meantime I'll add these guys to the painting list and see what happens. I don't know anything about the chapter other than what's on Lexicanun (Raptors, Badab War) but I doubt any of what's assembled will be inappropriate for this army. I mainly like the color scheme for the Raptors and anticipate it being fairly straightforward to paint which would be nice.

It's been an edition or two of Codex: Space Marines since I last played vanilla marines so this should be an interesting challenge learning how to make use of what the current book can do. It does feel nice though to have finally figured out what I want to do with these miniatures after hanging onto them for so long. Also I really like the background for the Badab War so I'm excited about having found an aspect of it to add to my own hobby schemes. Neat!

Okay, that's it for now. I'm still plugging away at those trees so back to the painting for me. I hope everyone had a great weekend, bye!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Redwood Raven

So if the current internet buzz can be believed, it looks like the Stonecutters will be getting a Spruce Moose* after all. Woo-hoo!! I haven't had a whole lot of time today to check out the news but I hope this is legit. My first impression is that the design doesn't look terribly intimidating or mean, instead reminding me of a cross between a bumble bee and a lawn dart. Or something else equally silly. But for a Simpsons-themed army I think this model would be perfect. It's got a lot of comedy potential and will be a nice centerpiece for the army once I get around to them.

I'm psyched. The Blisstonians already have their Copperhead in which to chauffeur around Plant Manager Burns. Meanwhile it looks promising that the Stonecutters will have a Storm Raven to spearhead their drunken (airborne!) assaults. Hooray, flyers for everyone!

Sorry I've been quiet the last few days. I became ill at the start of the week but am feeling better now. Painting continues on the Citadel Woods although there has not been a whole lot of progress since my last post. More to come soon... cheers!

*From "$pringfield," episodes #1F08. Another plane belonging to Mr. Burns, the Plywood Pelican featured in episode #FABF16 "Midnight Rx", would also provide suitable inspiration/precedent for a Stonecutters Storm Raven. I cannot however find any reference pictures of the Plywood Pelican so that's why I'm going with the Spruce Moose. It's also from an earlier episode so that gives it primacy.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Citadel Woods WIP

Wow, where did the week go? These have been some busy days for me without as much hobby time as I'd anticipated. I've started painting the first three of my Citadel Woods and have managed to make slow but steady progress on them. With many army projects needing my attention, and now with a deadline to finish a few in time for AdeptiCon, painting terrain seemed like the obvious choice for this week's focus. Good call, Jason.

I had originally hoped to finish these kits by the end of tonight but I realized a few days ago that such would be unlikely. Nonetheless I'm satisfied with what I've been able to get done and think it will only be a couple more days until completion. Well... so long as my supply of washes does not run out first, that is. My usual camera is currently jet-setting about the country with my wife as she attends a series of conferences, and I'm too intimidated to try out her fancier camera for the first time without proper supervision. I therefore present to you bad iPhone photos of partially painted and unassembled terrain... hooray!

Is this perhaps the worst iPhone photo ever taken? I think so. Those blurry, undifferentiated blobs of brown are actually nine trees and their three bases. At this point they have been primed black, then sprayed again with Leather Brown colored primer from The Army Painter, followed by a thorough washing of Devlan Mud. After drybrushing the trees, roots, and logs I will next paint the stones and add flock to match my gameboard. There are some details to pick out like skulls and whatnot but otherwise that should be it.

Now for the leaves. Because it took me so long just to clean off the seventeen miles or so of mold lines from the trees and branches that when it came time for the leaves, I simply said "never mind" and decided not to bother with them. This is a very rare concession for me as I am normally diligent when preparing my minis, but I really don't mind slacking in this case. I'll clean up the worst offenders once I start clipping the pieces off the sprue but I'm not going to worry about the rest. You are therefore forewarned should you happen to see any leafy mold lines in future pictures that get posted here. Thank you but there's no need to point out my laziness. I know the mold lines are there and I am at peace with them.

Another sacrifice I have made for the sake of expedience concerns my choice of colors and my overall approach to these pieces. Originally I had thought I would paint and highlight all the leaves individually and mix in a variety of shades of green like you see on the trees in White Dwarf. When it came time to actually start painting them, however, I realized how insanely stupid that would be if I ever wanted to actually finish these and move on to something else. So instead I primed 'em black and then blasted away with Army Green colored primer, then washed liberally with Thraka Green. In these pictures I've also almost finished drybrushing the leaves with Iosan Green (P3) and will follow up with one more light drybrushing to pick out the more prominent edges. After that I'll just need to paint the little branches poking through the canopy and I can then start snipping and gluing.

As mentioned I am running low on the two washes I've used so far. The pots you see to the left were new and filled completely just this past Thursday night when I opened them for use on these woods. I believe I should have enough Devlan Mud to complete the job but it's going to be close. Otherwise they're all now empty. I've been feeling increasingly ill and worn out beginning yesterday so I'm grateful to be working on a relatively simple painting project. Thank goodness for my happy little trees... time for me to paint some more leaves!

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Halloween Zombies

I finished painting the zombies last night and had a great time in the process. It was a fun Halloween project and definitely made the holiday more memorable for me. The downside of this however is that I am now fighting the urge to begin constructing a horde of the hideous things for use in Apocalypse games as suggested by jabberjabber of Warpstone Flux. For a more immediate use I think I've found a way to fit these five into the next Killzone team I'm planning out. I need to put some more time in with the codex to see if it will work so for now I just have pictures of my new zombie friends.

Looking at these guys I now wonder if I should go back and add some blood stains or just make them dirtier and drippy. I always worry about overdoing effects like that so I may leave them alone for the time being. Now for a few closer shots of the zombie gang.

I hope everyone had a fun and safe night regardless of whether or not it was a holiday for you. We didn't have an trick-or-treaters so it was a quiet night and a good one for painting. I'm not sure what is up next for me to paint but I'll sort that out quickly enough. Oh well... good night!