Tuesday, February 22, 2011

J.Wappel's GK Land Raiders, etc.

Well it's good to be back everyone, sorry about that unanticipated absence. The past couple of weeks RealLife has overrun my defenses and collapsed the entire hobby front, leaving me with no progress to report whatsoever. Things have been so hectic lately I haven't even had time to keep up with my beloved blogosphere [Gasp!] or post up any of my usual blather. After reading this over at Musings of a Smurf and reflecting on it a bit more, rather than feel down about the lack of hobby time I'm instead thankful to have accomplished a lot that needed to be done along with spending lots of time with my family. Thanks for helping to refresh my perspective, MoaS!

Enough rambling for now, let's get to it. All the recent excitement over the imminent return of the Grey Knights reminded me that I never got around to posting all the pictures I had of an amazing pair of Grey Knight Land Raider Redeemers painted by James Wappel of WindyCity Miniatures. I'm fairly certain I remember RealGenuis of BoLS fame showed off pictures of these last spring at that website and maybe also at The Painting Corps. Even so they're such brilliant models it's worth taking another look. Right then, check out these lovely Land Raiders...

While on the subject of WindyCity Miniatures, the next two photos are of miniatures painted by Cathy Wappel. These were also brought to last's years Adepticon and available in the Wappels' seminars for us to see as examples of their work and to admire. Also the Bretonnian was referenced specifically in the class on painting free hand designs to show how their techniques for painting tattoos can be applied in other situations. I know I've posted these here before but why not post 'em again? They're simply awesome!

(I'm not positive but I think that's RealGenius in the background taking photos.)

Alright, I've run out of time for now and need to wrap it up. If you ever get a chance to meet the Wappels, do so as they are some of the sweetest, nicest people I've encountered in this hobby. Great people with great talent... dig it!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Reminder: Loq's B-Day Contest

This is a reminder for you procrastinators (no offense intended, I assuredly am in that group as well) that today is the deadline for Loq's birthday contest. So hurry hurry if you haven't already sent in your entries! If you were waiting for the last minute, well you're pretty close... the deadline is set for 10:00AM CENTRAL.

Details about the contest and guidelines for submissions can be found here. All you need to do to enter the contest is help Loquacious out a little by writing a descriptive sentence about her blog, World of Wonder. There's also a way to enter for the more visually oriented of you but I imagine time's running short to design anything. Now go on you slackers, send something in and wish Loquacious a happy birthday, too.


[Edit: I posted this earlier today when there was just a little more than an hour before the end of the contest, which has since then closed. Thanks, folks!]

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Games for Consideration

One of my hobby goals for 2011 is to continue experimenting with new game systems, even if only to learn the rules as an excuse to paint different sorts of miniatures. Last year I really enjoyed delving into Hordes especially although I did begin peeking into Warmachine and Malifaux a little as well. Early on I even made a decent start on painting my Circle Orboros army before running out of steam and resuming work on GW projects. I believe those are games I'll have fun with for quite some time to come so I'm happy with the investment I made in learning them.

I would therefore like to again expand my gaming horizons and so I've been looking around at what's available, mainly with an eye toward the miniatures but also with some curiosity regarding their rules too. There are quite a few systems that I'm considering but at this point I still do not know which appeals the most to me. I suppose I've already started in with Super Dungeon Explore very recently but I don't count that as it lacks the army collecting/list building elements that I want in a new game. What follows is a list of those that have caught my attention for various reason and from which I expect to further pursue at least one or two of them.

I really don't know much about any of those yet except what I've found out about them poking around their primary websites and a few very tentative visits to some of their forums. If anyone has any experience or opinions concerning these games, I'd really appreciate hearing them. I am particularly keen to learn more about the three from Spartan Games and would be very interested in hearing about how those games actually play. Also I'm always eager to find out about other games people are playing so if there's anything else you really enjoy, I'd love to hear additional recommendations.

Okay, that's it for tonight... miniatures await!

Friday, February 4, 2011


Eeeeeeeeeee! Super Dungeon Explore is here, yippie!! Well I have been downright giddy today since receiving my set of miniatures for Super Dungeon Explore, a game still in development by Soda Pop Miniatures. This release represents what they say is only the beginning for their new dungeon-crawl miniatures strategy game. Supposedly inspired by old school video game classics like The Legend of Zelda and Gauntlet among others, it promises to be a quick, easy to play, and light-hearted gaming experience. And yes, I am indeed quite excited about this one. :)

To challenge the initial batch of five heroes, the first set of monsters made available are the Kobolds and they are absolutely adorable! I would have bought these miniatures just to paint such cute little critters so the fact that there is a game to go along with them is an awesome bonus for me. The last few nights I've studied the downloadable rules pdf for the demo version of Super Dungeon Explore and am now even more excited as it seems like it will be a genuinely enjoyable game with a lot of room for future development. It sort of reminds me of the old Milton Bradley HeroQuest game, another staple of my gaming adolescence. The full version of the game hasn't even been released yet and already I have lots of ideas for what I'd like to do with it so I think that is all rather encouraging.

I currently have a lot on my hobby plate but that's not going to prevent me from putting in some time this weekend with my new toys. They're simply too tempting for me to resist. Right away upon seeing the basic 25mm slotta-bases that come packaged in the Super Dungeon Explore blister packs I realized that I want to mount them instead on some fancy resin bases. As luck would have it I even have leftover from another project an ideal set of bases to use, the Sanctuary style round bases from Dragon Forge Design. I think they work quite nicely representing the cold stone floor of a dank, gloomy dungeon. Woohoo!

You can see in the following photos the quick progress I've made on them with only a short amount of time sitting at my desk tonight. So far I've assembled the Human Paladin and the two Kobold Flingers and prepared all the necessary pins I will use for securing the miniatures to their resin bases. I plan on mounting the treasure chests that come with the heroes on bases as well so I also drilled and pinned the first of these this evening too.

I'm really looking forward to diving into this game as quickly as I can and will no doubt try to sneak in some brush time for these Super Dungeon Explore miniatures in the coming weeks. I know that it was only a couple days ago in my previous post that I talked about focusing in on the Dark Elves in preparation for Adepticon but it would be unrealistic for me to expect that degree of exclusivity from my hobby. Nonetheless I do seem to have an inordinate amount of distractions.... that is something I never have in short supply. No worries though as it's all just for fun. It would be really cool to have them painted in time to go with me to Adepticon for some after hours gaming silliness. Therefore in addition to all the other projects and games covered here, tonight marks the beginning of what will hopefully be an amusing and perhaps somewhat different type of hobby adventure.

Wait... what am I saying? It's going to be SUPER HAPPY FUN of course. Happy gaming, everyone!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Asheville Plans on Hold, etc.

Okay, things are settling down again so I'd like to briefly update a few things tonight. The mother-in-law has departed once again for frozen New York, the monstrous Hydra is done for now, and in the past week all I managed to assemble for my Dark Elves was one little crossbowman. (Uh-oh!) How's that for an update? I suppose that's the most pertinent info anyways, the rest will just be details.

All that extra hobby time I thought was just around the corner for me turned out to be entirely imaginary... shocking, right? My daughter turned two years old yesterday so we've kept busy with friends and family stopping by in addition to having a very exciting and noisy birthday party on Sunday at the beach. We were staying one island over while my mother-in-law visited because preparations for the expected move to Asheville, NC have lead to a lot of upheaval at home and no space for guests. In vain I brought my Dark Elves to assemble but there were no good opportunities to work on them, although the stay at the beach was otherwise a great time. Getting to sleep in a bit as my mother-in-law took the early shift with my daughter was bliss. :) (Thanks again, Cheryl!)

As I said, the only progress I made on the Dark Elf front was putting together a single pitiful crossbowman. Oh and the Hydra is mostly done, still some minor greenstuff work to do on all those gaps but that's almost finished too. What this means however is that my timetable for this project is already thrown off track but worrying about it won't help, the only thing to do is press on. I'll focus my efforts on the miniatures I most expect to use for the 1000 point tournament at Adepticon, and if I can pick up the pace I might then look at some of the other models I've purchased. Hmmm, I think I should save details about this for a future post.

While I've made little tangible hobby progress recently, on the other hand I did find plenty of time last week to really dig into the first volume of the Malus Darkblade collection. I'm enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would even with its moments of face-peeling grotesqueries. (As an aside, I sometimes forget what a sicko Dan Abnett can be.) So despite his cruelty and all around horribleness, I've quickly grown rather fond of Malus and find him to be surprisingly funny and even kind of endearing in a weird way. I actually find myself thinking of him as almost a Warhammer version of one of my all time favorite characters, Ash from the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness movies, in that he is constantly being pummeled, beaten, stabbed, knocked out, captured, poisoned, suffocated, drugged, and otherwise generally abused at almost every turn. Yet to his credit he never stays down or out of the fight for very long and always seems to come out ahead in the end. As a hero, or antihero as you please, his greatest virtue so far appears to be his ability to take a beating. Also as I had hoped it would, the reading is helping me tremendously in my understanding of the Druchii as a people and their culture which previously had felt somewhat bland and one dimensional. Good stuff!

Another positive, albeit still somewhat disappointing, development from last week is the new plan my wife and I devised concerning the aforementioned move to Asheville. Musings of a Smurf kindly enquired not long ago how things had been going with this and I realized it had been awhile since I last updated the situation. As the title of this post suggests, unfortunately we've had to put everything on hold after getting burned recently by the anemic housing market. Less than two weeks from closing on my wife's old house, now on the market for more than 39 months, the current renters had to back out of their contract which they had signed almost a year ago to purchase the home. Instead they are moving out at the end of February so not only did we lose the sale but also the rental income as well. Their financing fell apart at the last minute and so now there's much to do to get the house back on the market again by spring.

The result of this is that we're going to have to wait on moving to Asheville for the time being as we deal with these new circumstances. Our goal now is to have everything resolved by summertime and will hopefully then resume our ambitions for moving to the mountains. So while I'm still eager as can be to translocate the family, for now we're staying here and will likely only unpack things as needed but otherwise restore order as best we can. Candidly I don't know what's going to happen but I'm optimistic everything will turn out for the best. I'm very grateful for everyone who has been so encouraging of me and who so graciously invited me to come game with you once I have moved to North Carolina. I appreciate it very much and I'm sure that such a welcoming spirit will provide ample motivation to see me through the coming months. Demolition work on the house begins March 1st, hooray!

Well I've rambled on long enough tonight. I apologize for the amount of RealLife whining contained in this update, it was something I had wanted to avoid for that reason alone but I didn't know how else to explain the situation. I remain very hopeful however about our chances of still being able to move to Asheville in the near future. Besides it was a perfect 75 degrees today with beautiful blue skies so I think I should manage alright in the meantime. For now though I've got some Dark Elves to attend to... goodnight, everyone!