Thursday, March 31, 2011

Paint-A-Thon... GO!

Hello, friends! Today I am writing to you from my hotel room in beautiful Lombard, Illinois, now with just under a day to go until my first event at Adepticon. Woo-hoo! After unloading my gear last night and settling in to my new home for the next four days, I tried to put in some time with the brushes but was too worn out from the drive to make much progress. No worries, though, as I am set to spend the day painting away on my Dark Elves. Also DrGabe should be here in a few hours and he says he is looking forward to helping me out as my painting assistant. Hehehe... sucker! :)

I'm sure I'll be busy not only today while painting but also during the Con itself. I therefore don't know how often I'll be able to post updates while here but I will check-in when I can. If you're interested however I believe DrGabe will be posting twitter updates during AdeptiCon so you can follow along with his own adventures in gaming by that means. Our schedules wil overlap somewhat although he is playing in only 40k events during the weekend. He does already have pictures of his army posted which can be seen here and here. I'll be commanding part of his Imperial Guard army, the Cadian Blackjacks, during the 40k team tournament on Saturday. I don't know yet which portion of the army will be fighting and dying for my glory, but I do have my eye on a certain HQ model that looks suitably distinguished...

Okay gang, I've got painting to do... I hope it's a great one for you and that anyone traveling today has a safe and pleasant experience. Take care!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Yesterday's WIP

Last night I began work on the Dark Elf Crossbowmen after having finished the Shades earlier in the day. Of course finished at this point is a very relative state of being, meaning only that I now think they're good enough to hit the tabletop but will still need more time later on for highlighting, washing, and picking out additional details. Likewise for the Harpies which I tidied somewhat and added a few more touches since my previous update. The Sorceress received more attention than the others however as she is currently my army's only Character model, and therefore I felt the extra time spent on her was warranted. She's not fully done either but is very close and will hopefully be the miniature that gets looked at most carefully at the tournament.

It has been quite tempting to spend more time painting the Shades so I have to keep reminding myself to resist the lure of Citadel Washes and simply move on to the step. Nonetheless I repeatedly found myself thinking, "Oh, how easy it would be to just go over things with some Devlan Mud," or, "A quick highlight would do wonders right there, that wouldn't take long...." But with plently left to paint I must press on. These are some of my favorites of the Dark Elf models that I've worked on so far and I definitely look forward to seeing them complete.

I only just started in on the following unit of Crossbowmen before pausing for pictures so there's not much to look at yet. I did however continue painting last night and was able to get the base coat of blue onto the rest of their armor and clothing. Out of consideration for my post-AdeptiCon plans for the army I'm working on 16 of them even though I will only be using 12 in the tournament. My normal comfort zone for painting is usually not more than five miniatures at a time so this unit presents another interesting change to my usual habits.

Eventually all of the armor plates on these guys will be the same greenish-tourquoise color as seen with the Harpies' hair and the column of magic upon which the Sorceress is perched, but with a glossy coat to hopefully make them appear like lacquered metal. Since I skipped painting any test models when choosing a color scheme, I am not sure how the end result will look although I do have a good sense of what I'm aiming for at least. Presently I am content for them to remain blue to allow me to hustle along to other areas in need of paint, bearing in mind the modest requirements I face in order to play in the tournament.

Three color minimum... three color minimum... three color minimum. :)

Speaking of which, it's almost time I resumed my painting. Goodbye for now!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Painting Underway on Dark Elves

One more week until the 1000 point Fantasy tournament at AdeptiCon and there's still quite a lot left to paint. After my last update it ended up taking a few evenings to prepare all of the bases, something I had forgotten about when writing my previous post. (D'oh!) Unfavorable weather then prevented me from priming anything until Tuesday, and lastly I chose to spend that night cleaning my painting desk of the detritus from the past four months of hobby projects. So it was not until yesterday's nap time before I belatedly commenced painting my Dark Elves. With brush in hand however whatever stress I had started to feel over this project went away and I'm really quite happy to see just what I can get done in the time remaining.

I don't expect to have my army painted to what would normally be my finished standard. I plan on sticking with this army for a long time past AdeptiCon and so I don't feel any pressure to significantly change up my approach due to worry over how much time is left before the tournament. That's why I have decided against the dip method as was kindly suggested to me by James Brewerton among other commenters. I'm really impressed with the results from that technique, it's just not what I would choose were time not a concern for me for this army. I'm content to finish painting whatever is left after the event as I already am making plans for the next 1000 points of Dark Elves.

So after my first day and a half of painting I have my Sorceress general almost fully painted and a unit of five Harpies not complete but good enough to use next Friday. Tonight I'll start on my unit of Shades and hope to have them and the War Hydra painted by Saturday morning. That would leave me one day each to work on the Crossbowmen, Corsairs, and Cold One Knights before hitting the road next week. But will they all be done by that point? Almost assuredly the answer to that is no. DrGabe anticipates helping me finish painting my Dark Elves the night before the tournament, and truly I would hate to disappoint the good doctor. :) Oh and I want to make a display board too so add that to the list as well. Hmmm, I might just have to get that one done during stops along the road.

Okay, I've got minis to paint... happy gaming, everyone!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

AdeptiCheck - 2 Weeks Out

At long last I have finished assembling my Dark Elves. Well, almost... I have about a dozen more Cold One Knight bits left to clean and attach tonight but after that I will have more than 1250 points of Dark Elves built. Phew! Tomorrow if the weather cooperates with me I'll prime the minis and can then finally begin painting. That leaves two weeks to paint as many of the 50 or so models as I can before the tournament begins on the morning of April 1st. Oh and I'll need to travel to the event in Illinois as well so it's really twelve painting days left to go. Noooooo problem.

Considering last year I painted approximately 30 miniatures total, the prospects of showing up the morning of the 1st with a fully painted army seems to me rather unlikely. I am however very keen on finding out just what I can do in the time remaining. The tournament has a three-color minimum painting standard which I suppose must be my first concern. I'm not used to this sort of approach to painting but I think it could be helpful to shake things up a bit and deviate from my usual routine. Regardless it's worth a shot at the very least as I am still quite eager to play in the tournament and this should make for an interesting experiment.

My schedule at AdeptiCon has changed however in the last several days as I will no longer be playing in the 40k Combat Patrol event on Saturday morning. Instead I have been recruited by a desperate group of gamers in need of a fourth for the WH40k Team Tournament, billed by AdeptiCon as their "flagship" event, whatever that means. What it means to me is getting to spend the entire day rolling dice with DrGabe and a couple other pals from the Midwest. They're taking care of the armies that we'll be using, the display board, and the team beverages so all I have to do really is show up prepared to make a long series of what will surely be poor command decisions. Neat! I was scheduled to attend several seminars that afternoon but I'm more excited about playing in the team tournament after watching some of the action last year.

With little time to prepare the guys have been scrambling to sort out what type of army lists we can play in the tournament and what projects or details would remain depending on these choices. I have been fortunately spared from any such responsibilities and will continue to put whatever time I have toward working on my Dark Elves. Now that the opportunity for actual painting has arrived, I do hope to post more frequent updates as we get closer to the start of AdeptiCon. That's it for now though as I need to finish building those Cold One Knights. Happy gaming, everyone!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Flashbacks and Nightmares: Stone Trolls

Since the new Orcs and Goblins book was just released this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at one of my old O&G units, a mob of Stone Trolls. I don't remember exactly when I painted these but suspect it was around the mid to late 1990s. Along with being influenced by the more colorful period of Games Workshop's stylistic history, apparently I was also in a rather experimental mood when painting them. I wanted to do something different from the norm for Stone Trolls, which I'd say I achieved handily, though whether the results were worth it or not I leave for you to judge. While I am fond of these miniatures in a nostalgic way, my assessment of them leans more toward hideous....

Now for a closer look at the individual trolls... yikes! I do however like those bases right down to the classic Goblin Green edges.

This mob of Stone Trolls is lead by an Orc Big Boss but I'm not sure if that would still be allowed by today's rules. I admit to really liking this miniature and think it's a good example of the outright silliness that used to be fairly common in GW designs at the time.

So that's it for this look at some of my old miniatures, I hope you enjoyed it. I really admire creative and innovative color schemes but there is a certain risk when straying from the tried and tested. Not every experiment can be a success, after all. Nonetheless I do like these trolls but if I had to paint them over again I would likely go with a more conventional approach. I would not, however, change a thing on the Big Boss as I especially like the brightly colored skulls on his wrist and orange belt buckle. The sides of his bracelet which you can't see in these pictures have a green skull facing to the right and a red one looking back. Taste the rainbow!

As evidenced by these pictures, this was my first attempt at using a lightbox photo studio thing. Along with getting some brighter lights there's obviously still much for me to learn regarding miniatures photography. It is my good fortune then that just earlier today I saw Nesbet of Nesbet Miniatures has posted what looks to be a very helpful tutorial on this exact subject. Part 1 of the tutorial even has instructions for making your own portable lightbox and photo studio. Awesome! Part 2 looks at correcting common mistakes made when photographing miniatures, and Part 3 is about photo editing. Good stuff if you're interested in that sort of thing... thanks, Nesbet!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Gratuitous Puppy Photos

Hello and welcome to a special birthday edition of diceRolla. That's right, folks, today I turned 34 years old... woo-hoo! It's been a great day for me and I've had a blast visiting with friends and family. I'm putting together a hobby-related post for tomorrow but right now I just want to share some pictures of the newest member of my family, a puppy dog named Charlie! As an early birthday present from my wife, last week we went to the animal shelter and adopted the little guy. He's super sweet, loves to snuggle, and gets along extremely well with our daughter and two cats, although he does seem slightly intimidated by one of the kitties.

Awwww, he's such a good puppy! I haven't had a canine companion in twenty or so years and did not realize how much I had missed the experience. With a toddler already in the house it's been close to nonstop mayhem but tremendous fun, too. :)

Okay, that's all for now. I need to take Charlie for a walk and will then get back to work on those Dark Elves. Goodnight, everybody!

Friday, March 4, 2011

28 Days to AdeptiGlory

With AdeptiCon now just four weeks away, the big push is on to have everything ready in time. There's still much to be done for the events in which I'm registered, but I do have a relatively open weekend on my hands so hopefully I can get a lot accomplished over the next couple of days. The 1000 point Dark Elf army will be my primary focus as the other projects are much further along and should only take a couple more nights of painting to be finished. With the Dark Elves however the project has been mired in the assembly phase so my current goal is to have them built and prepped for painting by the end of the weekend.

Here then is a run down of where I'm at with these Dark Elves, what's been built and what still needs to be glued together:

- Dark Elf Sorceress on Cold One
- Dark Elf Assassin
- 5 Dark Elf Shades
- 5 Harpies
- Dark Elf War Hydra and Beastmasters
- 8 Dark Elf Crossbowmen

- 4 additional Dark Elf Crossbowmen
-15 Dark Elf Corsairs
- 5 Dark Elf Cold One Knights

There are some more Dark Elf models that I'll eventually work on but those listed above are the minimum needed for the upcoming tournament. I don't want to get my hopes up too much but I might even be able to start painting before the weekend is over. I haven't decided yet on a color scheme and likely won't have time for any test minis to paint so that could be problematic. I'll worry about that later however as I've got enough to keep me busy for now. In fact it's time for me to get back to it and return to the knives and glue. I hope everyone has a great weekend of gaming, painting, and modeling fun... take care, friends!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Old Stuff Day!

As decreed by Rob over at Warhammer 39,999, today is Old Stuff Day for all of us hobby bloggers. It's a chance to dust off some old favorites and to take another look at posts that may have been forgotten, overlooked, or otherwise somehow missed by the internet since originally being posted. Not many folks have the time or interest to dig around through archived material to find the juicy bits, and certainly some blogs [ahem, diceRolla, cough cough] do not make it terribly accessible either. So hooray for Old Stuff Day!

For today's fun I've picked out links to a sampling of vintage diceRolla posts, including a bunch of still unfinished projects, all of which I plan on returning to later this year. Therefore as well as being a sort of review of diceRolla's past, this is also a preview of some projects which I hope to work on in the coming months. Even though I might not have mentioned them in quite a while, they have not been forgotten. For your consideration the posts I have chosen are: a 40k army project, a Killzone project, the collaborative results of a contest, a "semi-regular" blog feature, and a 15mm historical minis project from long ago relative to the lifespan of this blog.

The Drones of Sector 7G (Illustrated) - I love the Simpsons, and I love 40k. Newer readers might not be aware of the ways I've been trying to make the two subjects intersect. This post describes the selection process I went through in choosing which units to include in one of my current army projects, the Blisstonian 9th, an Imperial Guard army based on the workforce of Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Competitiveness, efficiency, and all other normal gaming considerations were discarded in pursuit of my chosen theme, an admittedly silly one at that. Work on this project has been on hold for several months with just a little bit of occasional painting but it's still one that I am very eager to get back to, hopefully sometime this coming spring or summer.

Killzone WIP: Rogue Trader Crew - What can I say, Killzone is awesome! Unfortunately I've only been able to play a handful of games so far since Big Jim and the Killzone development team made available this amazing set of fan-created skirmish rules for 40k. As part of the 10/10/10 Killzone Blitz I decided to put together a Special Ops team based on a Rogue Trader accompanied by his closest associates, bodyguards, and allies. I didn't finish painting these guys in time for the Blitz but was able to get a decent amount of color onto each one, certainly enough to get a sense of what they'll look like once fully painted. I'd like to have them completed later this month in anticipation of the big Killzone extravaganza at this year's Adepticon.

Contest Links Bonanza - This was the culmination of the most recent diceRolla contest, a big list of links supplied by lots and lots of hobby bloggers. To participate in the Good Karma Pre-Heresy Celebration and qualify for the prize drawing, I had asked everyone to provide a link to something of which they were particularly proud, or to link to someone else's work that had inspired them in some way. I really enjoyed following the links to learn more about my fellow hobby enthusiasts and to see the sort of things that really motivate and inspire them. This contest was a lot of fun for me and I look forward to hosting another one in the coming months, though details of which are yet to be determined.

Flashbacks and Nightmares: Plaguebearers - Ahh... the sweet, sweet taste of internet fame. :) This post garnered the much sought after approval of my peers in that it made From the Warp's Tuesday's Top Ten list. WOOHOO!! Many thanks to Ryan for being so kind as to honor some of my own handiwork with inclusion in one of his weekly lists, this was indeed an early highpoint in my blogging adventures. It also happened to have been the second and final installment in what I had planned on being a semi-regular feature here at diceRolla. I have a fair number of old minis I'd like to photograph for use in future Flashbacks and Nightmares, I just haven't gotten around to it yet... almost a year later. Pitiful, just pitiful. We'll see, I'd like to revive this series if it can even be called that.

Woo-Hoo!! Painted Archers! - I generally advise against going too far back into the history of my blog but this is a special day after all, so for this last one let's go waaay back. This post is from the second week of diceRolla and showed off the first minis painted since having started the blog. At that point I was primarily focused on de Bellis Antiquitatis and so I spent most of my hobby time working on various 15mm armies. These archers from Corvus Belli are for an unfinished Hundred Years War: English army that I haven't touched in over a year. Since moving on from the idea of collecting Bretonnians, I've realized that whatever interest I had in painting medieval knights and archers could be directed at this old HYW project instead. I don't know when I'll work on them again but it's nice having them around should I feel so inclined. And once I've finished with the English there's still the French to be painted, too.

That's it for my participation in Old Stuff Day. I hope it's been an enjoyable look back at some of diceRolla's past glories. Thank you very much to all my readers, both old and new alike. It's been an exceptional joy posting up my hobby ramblings here for you to read. I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to check out what I've been up to and I am grateful for all the excellent feedback and comments I receive. I understand the blog has been quiet lately but with Adepticon less than a month away it's going to be a busy couple of weeks. Thanks for sticking with me so far... there's lots more hobby fun still to come!