Monday, December 05, 2016

Warcasters and other miniature goodness

Another hiatus, and another long dearth of posting.

For those who might care, it happened that my later summer/fall got slammed with waaaaay too much work.  After my boss retired I took his duties for a month or so, then went full bore into teaching for 6+ hours a day, every day for most of October and half of November.  I'm still digging out from the pile, but am managing to leave (mostly) on time.  It's been a treat.

That said, prior to the madness, there was a Warmachine/Hordes Journeyman League held at Everything Games this past summer to coincide with the release of the Warmachine and Hordes mark III rules.  As such, my youngest and I participated in the league and had an absolute blast.  For those not in the know, a Journeyman league involves building your force from a starter box (essentially one warlock/warcaster and from two to four warbeasts/warjacks) to a mighty army of 75 points.  It also served to bring us up to speed on the new rules which, while not super different from mark II, had a few key changes.  Mostly, it sped up gameplay and made for more aggressive maneuvering and action, so overall, mark III gets a resounding thumbs up.

The league gives points for defeating opponents as well as painting miniatures over the course of the league.  You get a point per week for each win, as well as a point for having more painted (that means completed) models than the previous week.  The scenarios change as well, forcing you to give up your one-trick tactic and do something different.

Overall, a lot of fun, and I met a lot of cool players at EG who I would happily cross swords with again.  Sadly, the final tournament didn't happen as only three people showed up.  However, my youngest daughter took the Destroyer award (for most games won) while I took the Creator award (for best painted).  Out of a field of 20 or so, I'll take that!

Speaking of painted, I made good progress on my models for my Cygnar force.  First off is my warcaster, Major Beth Maddox.  She is new to the mark III release, and while it took me a game or three to start getting the hang of her gameplay, she turned out to be one of my favourite warcasters.

As a Stormblade turned warcaster, she is full of electro-goodness.  This gives her good synergy with other units, such as Stormblades or warjacks like the Firefly.  Frankly, she does a great job supporting an elite troop and several warjacks, by the end of the league I was really enjoying her and her battlegroup.

I do need to work on a better photo setup though.  Ah well, one thing at a time.

More model photos to follow, and a dissection of the list I finally developed during the league.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Gamemastering - just do it

Gamemastering, that is, being the game master (or dungeon master, for those D&D players out there) for a roleplaying game is not something done easily.  I've been playing for thirty-one years, and over those years I've been the gamemaster (GM) since day one.  Starting with the red box Basic Set back in 1985, I've helmed countless games.  I like to think I've become rather skilled at it, if my players are to be believed, but I'm not providing this information to brag, only to provide some context in that I know a bit about what I'm talking about.

First rule of gamemastering: just do it.  Get out there, take charge at the head of the table and run a game.

I leave that on its own line, because that's the most important part.  Gamemastering is, by and large, a performance skill.  I don't mean actual performance, though that helps and can be fun, but rather performing the act of running the game makes you better at it.

"Yes, yes.  Thanks tips, glad you're on that for us." you're thinking.  And in some ways you're right. Practice makes perfect and all that.  However, I've seen people be overwhelmed by the task of running the game, with all the story details, character details, monster/opponent details overwhelms them, because they aren't used to channelling that flow yet.  That's the real core of the practice part.  You've done it enough times that some things become mental muscle memory, and you focus on the action going on in a particular scene.  That's what happened over the many years I've been GMing.  Now I make it look easy, because I've been over the hard parts.  That said, I'm always learning and tightening my game.

If you're a new GM, one thing you need to accept is that your game will not run perfect.  Hell, I've been doing this for 31 years or so, and my game sessions aren't always perfect.  If it goes well, you and the players have fun, and you get to tell a group story, then the real goal has been met.

There are two areas that, if you pay attention to them, can help your first (or latest) session go well:


  • The adventure itself - whether written notes, a published module or something in between, you need this
  • Dice - if I have to explain this...  (mind you, have plenty)
  • Pens, pencils, erasers - include extra for 'that guy'
  • Paper for making notes, maps, etc.
  • A gamemaster screen - yes, I've known GMs who don't use one.  It's creepy and weird.  As a player I don't want to know what's going on there, and as a GM I like to have the privacy to keep things surprising
  • Campaign notes - even if it's your first session, have some idea of who the heroes are, where they are, and what is happening around them
Optional materiel (depending on game system):
  • Vinyl game mat marked in squares - for those games like Pathfinder which work well with minis for combat or situations where you have to ask "where, exactly, does your character step?"
  • Markers for said mat
  • Miniatures
  • Props - this one varies, but sometimes, the right prop at the right time works wonders
  • Read the adventure.  Oh, you wrote it?  Read it again.  Be prepared for what happens in it.  Think ahead to the NPCs and how you want to play them.
  • Make sure your notes are organized.  No one wants to wait while you flip for the random factoid written on the 35th post-it note stuck in your spiral-bound notebook, half the pages of which are scattered on the floor around your chair
It sounds like a lot, but really it's not.  Have the tools you need, and be familiar with the adventure you plan to run.  That way, when the players do something oddball, or a foe dies easier than planned, you can adjust because you know what else is there.  You know that if they whip through one encounter, the guard trolls in the next chamber are probably going to come to investigate.  If you misjudged their power, you can add an extra enemy or two to some encounters (or take them away).

And now a note for players:  cut the GM some slack.  I'm not saying put up with a terrible game, or not give some feedback, but when you know your friend sitting behind that screen is taking their shot as a beginner, understand that they're not going to be as smooth as your regular GM.  He or she will say "give me a sec, have to check something..." so be patient.  If they need to do a retcon here and there (yes, just because the baddies forgot to take your weapons doesn't necessarily mean it was planned that way).  Give them a chance, and they'll tighten their game.  Until one day when they forget to take your weapons it will be intentional, and that encounter, my friends, is like an open book exam.  Bring your worst because you'll need it.

More musings on the fine art of roleplaying games to come, but remember - gather your tools, plan your adventure, and get stuck in and do it.  Practice will make you perfect, and you'll have fun doing it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Star Trek Beyond – A Review

Image result for star trek beyond

We finally got out to see the new Star Trek movie, and frankly, I was impressed.  Full disclosure: I am not as much a fan of the new (Bravo) timeline as I am of the original (Alpha) timeline, with TOS, TNG, DS9 and VOY.  That said, I have been entertained by all three new Star Trek films to date.  In fact, I found Beyond to be the best of the three.

There will be some spoilers ahead.  You were warned.

Firstly, about Beyond it and of itself. This one seemed to have the best balance between activities for all the crew.  No one was neglected, and no one stole more spotlight than normal (let's face it, Kirk, Spock and McCoy are still the big three).  I liked Scotty's scenes and the guest stars were really good in their roles.  Jayla in particular I thought was a really fun character.  The action was well paced and neither too fast (such as in the first one) nor was there any dragging parts.  Well done to the writers, director and editor on this one.  I also found that each character started coming into their own, rather than being a slight caricature of the previous incarnation in the original series and films.  While they can't seem to go a single movie without showing some emotion on Spock, it was well handled.

The film itself gave some serious fanservice to the timeline that wasn't erased by the first film.  The USS Franklin is the same class of ship as the NX-01 Enterprise, captained by Capt. Archer.  They even talk about polarizing the hull plating and using phased array cannons.  Very nice to see, and it ties the movie into the greater Star Trek multiverse.

This one also had a pleasantly independent storyline.  It wasn't a less-effective remake of The Wrath of Khan (looking at you Into Darkness), and also wasn't loaded with heaps of backstory like Star Trek (2009).

Another good point is that J.J. Abrams was only a producer on this one.  While he's a decent director (not as hot as he's made out to be), he shows no respect for the established milieu of a world he goes to play in.  This showed in his blatant disregard of even the most basic treknology, and was also apparent in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  This film was much more true to the Star Trek milieu and felt much more like a Star Trek story.

While Star Trek's place is better served on television, this film was a solid addition to the new timeline and really set them on their own course into the new unknown being created in this film series.  While there might be some quibbles,  I recommend it highly to fans and casual fans alike.

It will be interesting to see the adventures of the new Enterprise-A.  (Though at this rate they'll need more of the alphabet.)

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Unboxing - Epix Haven Terrain

Here's another Kickstarter I threw in on.  A feed popped up from the Pathfinder Society facebook page, and the miniature terrain buildings from a Norwegian startup called Epix Haven looked pretty good.  When they said these buildings were true 28mm scale I figured I'd go in for one, maybe two.

Well, they arrived (back in the spring) on time and in great condition, thanks to the packing methods.  Each piece has it's own box.  The two I kickstarted for were the Freestanding Tower and the Tudor House.

Let me first say, before I let the photos do the talking, that these are awesome.  I mean really awesome.  So many buildings out there are not true 25/28mm scale, and while they're perfectly usable, these have full interiors with 1" grids marked in the surface texture.  That makes them good for wargaming and roleplaying games.  They are also super impressive and beautifully detailed and painted.

Now for the pictures...

First up is the packaging.  Every single one of these comes in it's own box.  And not just any box.

Each one comes in it's own full package, packed in tight-fitting foam to keep it safe.  Here's the Tudor house:

Take out the upper floor piece on the right and you see the packing job on the smaller pieces:

Take all the pieces out and you can see the difference true 28mm makes:
The miniatures in the photo are a few human-sized ones from the Pathfinder Battles range.  You can see the scale of it already.  The chimney is attached to the roof by magnets built into the parts already.  The upper floor is on the left, the ground floor on the right, and there's even a set of stairs.  This adds to the sense of scale:

The Tudor house is just waiting the heroes' next bar brawl.  Add that to the bar set from the latest Pathfinder Battles Rusty Dragon Inn expansion and good things will happen.

The stand alone tower is just as impressive.  Packed the same way:

Each segment is one of the floors of the tower.  The stairwells are packed inside each level, and assemble as shown (again with the built-in magnets):

You can see the 1" squares inside.  Ignore them and you've got perfect wargames terrain.  Note the warrior in the third photo.  Again, true 28mm scale.  The 'stick' on the right is a flagpole that goes on top (left off for photos).  The Tudor House in the background shows scale as well, and just how awesome a layout you could do with more of these things.

Look carefully in the windows and you may even see the archer in there.  

Ironclad approves!

These terrain pieces are premium models, and while not cheap, their price is certainly competitive for what they provide.  Without question this is a case of getting what you paid for.  Thankfully I got my pieces at Kickstarter prices.  Would that my budget was larger I'd have the entire castle.

In summary, these terrain pieces are fantastic.  They are high quality, well-painted resin that match the most common scale out there for RPGs and wargames.  You can't go wrong with laying some of these sweet pieces out on your table, and frankly, I can't wait to use them.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Batman v Superman - A Review

batman v superman trinity

We went and saw Batman vs. Superman today.  Yes, there's a bunch of critics saying it's no good.  I'll say it for the record, that I generally don't put much faith in critics.  Not unless they've got a proven track record of tastes that match mine.  As an interesting aside, for book blurbs, every time the late, great Anne McCaffrey gave a good review, I enjoyed the book.  Same for film reviews.  So, I went in wanting a good, fun movie that played with some of my favourite characters.

I'll keep things general, though there may be some spoilery bits below.

The story was generally good, and the filmmakers kept the flow tight, which was good.  I was afraid this might have become bogged down with backstory to get everything sorted out such that Superman and Batman would be at odds.  However, they kept the story moving, and all the pieces came together.  There were a few instances where they could have exposed more of the backstory prior to the main events, but overall it kept things moving.  In the first third to half the movie, there were some dream sequences that were way overused.  Could have better spent this time on detailing out the actions of the main characters.

They kept to the backgrounds of the characters, and it was nice to see all the events of previous movies captured in the greater continuity.  Marvel has done a great job of this in the Avengers series, and hopefully DC/WB will do the same.  One thing stood out, though, and that is the bat branding?  (as in Batman branding criminals with a bat)  WTF?!  That one thing was so totally out of character it threw me.  A small detail, but seriously folks.  Do you read your own comics?

The big bad fight at the climax was as over-the-top as you'd expect.  However, because of the characters involved, it totally worked.  Very much right off the page of a comic book.  It was also good to see each playing to their strengths.  Batman was smart, Superman the big, shiny hero and Wonder Woman the badass warrior.

Speaking of Wonder Woman, YES!!!!   Despite having very little screen time overall, I loved the character, loved the look, loved the actress.  More!  She actually was one of the highlights of the film.  Gal Gadot brought her to life with a bit of sass, a bit of savagery (look at her face when she gets back up after being smacked by Doomsday - she's relishing the fight) and brings some gravitas to the role.  Can't wait to see her solo film.

I at first was wondering how much of the movie would be the leads pummelling each other over something silly, but the plotlines were built up well,and it was believable that they would be at odds.  If anything, the film could have been longer in order to build up more of the backstory (instead of the fool dream sequences), but there's only so much time in a movie.

Batman is portrayed really well by Ben Affleck.  In fact, the most important part of that role is Bruce Wayne, rather than the Bat.  While I was concerned about casting, to be honest he took the role and worked it.  He was serious, intense and carried Batman's grimness without it becoming one-dimensional.  He was also completely intelligible, which is a big improvement from The Dark Knight Rises.

I think the length of the film made it difficult to involve every character they wanted to, such as Lois Lane, Perry Mason and Alfred, but again, it has to serve the flow of the film.  Props to Jeremy Irons for his portrayal of Alfred, as he brought the sarcasm to the role that Alfred has in the comics.  He also got to play the "Penney Two" role he so often does on the page.

The villain, Lex Luthor, played by Jesse Eisenberg, was perhaps more whacko than I would expect.  In this film it worked, but it was a bit jarring for those who know Luthor from the comics.  (I admit, I read the Bat-books but not the Superman books)  From what I've seen on the page, Luthor is normally more calculating. For those who aren't comics readers, the difference is minor and he makes sense in the story.

Finally, the cameos of the other Justice League members were pretty cool.  It was good to see the others noted.  Jason Momoa (of Stargate Atlantis fame) as Aquaman was a treat, and watching Cyborg come to life was interesting.  My only disappointment was the Flash.

Here's where I digress from a direct review, and talk about the overall film-TV continuity.  In my mind, the flash should be played by Grant Gustin from the TV show.  Not just because that show is awesome, but in order to develop the greater continuity.  Marvel does this between Agents of SHIELD and the Avengers films.  If Sif shows up in the show, it's the same actress and the same events as in the Thor films, for example. By the same token, the events of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman should appear in the various DC shows.  For example, Supergirl should feel some of the effects of this movie.  Word to DC/WB: tighten that continuity, and it will be even better.

So, overall, great movie, four out of five stars from me.

Edit: The soundtrack was excellent.  When Wonder Woman enters the fight, it gets awesome.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Dragons Don't Share update

As March break draws to a close, I managed to get some work don on Dragons Don't Share, the beautiful "miniature" from Reaper Miniatures.  I finally got all the terrain pieces cleaned up and ready for painting.  I added some sand to the base for some additional texture.  It looks really strange in the picture with the two-tone appearance, but the first coat of paint will sort that out.

Here are the terrain pieces, starting with the ruined stairs:

The next is the tower ruins, which has a top and bottom.  I'm leaving them unglued, so they can also be used as wargames terrain.  No way to handle models inside the tower if the top was glued.

Add to that, our intrepid heroes, who are trying to make an honest (?) living:

I grant, the photos aren't great.  The parts are also white-on-white-on-white, which doesn't help.  Once there's some paint involved, they'll look much better.  My desk also isn't a good photo studio, but it will work for this update.

Now we add the dragon herself:

This model is absolutely fantastic!  The assembly was smooth, only a slight bit of putty work on the right wing where it joins the body.  Otherwise, everything fits together perfectly.  Well done Reaper.  She's also a good looking dragon, with a solid body, beautiful wings, and a pose that just oozes anger.  The base is also a cool terrain piece.  While I haven't glued her down yet to facilitate painting, she'll end up stuck to the base.  There will be some putty work needed around her feet, but otherwise, the model fits up really well.

Combine all the pieces, and you have the final result:

The terrain pieces all blend together at their bases so the parts all come together.  Again, the white-on-white model doesn't photograph that well (and my skills as a photographer aren't anything special) but you can see it makes for an evocative diorama.  

Here's a close-up of the warrior mini about to become lunch!

That's it for now.  I have a few models I want to get off my painting table first, then it's time to start adding colour to this beastie.

Sunday, March 06, 2016


Another week done.

Lots going on, particularly today.  It was one of those days where you do a lot, but not necessarily a lot that gets things checked off the list, if you know what I mean.

Models were assembled, in that I finished several that were underway, and also did some mold lines and cleaning on the Dragons Don't Share terrain pieces.  Repaired a dragon sculpture that the cats broke.  Did some laundry.  Cleaned up and sorted some things.  Gave the lizard a bath.

Most of the week went that way.  Lots of goings on, not necessarily much for completion.  Right now I'm doing two jobs, as my boss is out on sick leave.  No biggie, but it adds to the pile.

That's okay though.  Work proceeds, and things will get done.  Tomorrow there should be more interesting things to look at.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Another Unboxing - Stones Dungeon Tiles

So today I got another Kickstarter rewards box.  Actually, thanks to Canada Post's ineptitude, I had no idea they tried to deliver my box until I did a tracking lookup.  Thanks, Canada Post, thanks for nothing.

So, Frontline Games had a Kickstarter for a set of Dungeon Tiles.  These are 2"x2" tiles that can be used to make rooms, halls, or other layouts primarily for roleplaying games.  Given that Pathfinder and D&D both use a 1" grid (and the tiles are marked in 1" increments), this looked pretty cool.  Well, they added other trappings such as columns, doors (which open) and other dungeon dressing, I threw some support at their kickstarter.  Nothing crazy, but I figured it would be a cool set, and maybe look at adding more as they ramp up production.

Today, I unboxed the lot.  Here's the sum total:

Inside the box is the hundred or so tiles, plus some single doors.

So far so good.  Everything is there as promised.  Nicely packed too, so no damage.  Opening one of the bags of tiles they look pretty decent.  You can readily see the 1" squares, cleverly integrated into the design.

The tiles are double sided as well, with the alternate side being more of an earthy look.  Not bad, and it continues the grid for ease of play.

Laying a few out, gives a pretty good looking play surface.

These are definitely going to need a scrub, as you can feel the mold release agent.  That's okay though.  No real surprises there.  I opened one of the bags of doors, and the doors come in two pieces, the door and the frame with the bottom lintel.  There are small magnets in the kits to glue in to the bottom of the door where it would pivot, which should make them much better looking and able to open to represent the progress of a party of adventurers.

As you can tell by the door frame, some boiling will be necessary to cure the bends and warping in the parts, but again, no surprises there.

So far, looking like a cool product.  For now, I'm leaving them packed up until I can get some scrubbing done.  In the bunch there's some columns, beds, tables, crates, chairs and other dungeon dressing.  Many of these will also be good for wargaming.  Once I get them out of their packages, scrubbed and ready for some paint, I'll post more on how they clean up and paint.  More to follow.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Firestorm Armada Scenario - Break the Conference

Here's a Firestorm Armada scenario we played a few weeks ago.  Written by me and playtested by myself, my daughter and stepson, we had a blast.  It started as an idea for how to have a three-way game that wasn't two-on-one, but had a real purpose as opposed to everyone just randomly blasting each other to pieces (not that that's necessarily bad).  We played it, and made some tweaks as we went, and the result is:

Break the Conference Scenario (by Rowan Wilson)

 A secret meeting in deep space between two rival powers has been discovered by a third.  Not wanting them to come to any kind of agreement, the third party plans to sabotage the conference and wipe out the attendees.  This should cause enough animosity between the two that any kind of accord will be impossible for years to come.

Number of players: 3

·         Two players are the defenders.
·         One player is the attacker.
·         Each chooses a fleet up to the agreed points value (for three players, recommend patrol fleets).
·         The defenders each have a civilian ship (stats given below) that holds their conference attendees, at no additional points cost.  If desired, the player may detach escorts from one of their capital ships to the civilian ship (choose at the start, the escorts stay with their new ‘parent’).

·         Each of the defenders chooses a corner of the battlefield.  That is their ‘home corner’ to which they must retreat.  Their ‘edge’ extends 12” from the corner on either side.
·         The attacker uses the middle of the opposite side as their table edge, and may enter over a 24” span.
·         The defenders’ civilian ships must be set up in the center of the board as shown.  The defenders’ fleets are set up in a 12” box, one side centered on the civilian ships but displaced 6” away from the center.  They may only leave up to 25% of their fleets in reserves, if desired.
·         The two civilian ships are in base contact, to facilitate their short range shuttles, however may face any direction.
·         The attacker enters the table as per the reserves rule, however the attacker begins rolling for reserves on Turn 1. 
·         Scale the battlespace proportionally for larger or smaller tables.

Game start:
·         Before anyone rolls for initiative, the attacker makes one attack on each civilian ship from the other one.  (i.e. make a 4 dice attack on each civilian ship), to represent their sabotage taking place.
·         The defenders may not fire at either transport in turn 1 as they do not wish to risk hitting their own ship.
·         Roll for initiative for each player, play for that turn proceeds as normal.  If two players tie for initiative, roll-off for that initiative choice.
·         The civilian ships act as a squadron on their own.
·         No ships may shunt in or out of the battlefield.  The location was chosen to prevent such surprise attacks.  Vessels must either leave the play field (count as destroyed), or depart their player’s table edge (do not count as destroyed).
·         Ships of either side may start the game halted (no minimum move, but will need to start moving to turn).

Victory Conditions:
·         Each player scores victory points as normal for destroying enemy vessels as well as losing their own.  Maintain battle tracks as normal, paying attention to which player destroys which vessel.
·         The following additions to the battle log are to be used:
o   Defender’s civilian transport escapes their own table edge: +5
o   Defender destroys other defender’s transport: +3
o   Attacker destroys any of the defenders’ transports: +4/transport
o   Losing your transport: -3
o   Attacker does not destroy any transports: -4
o   Capturing a transport: +5
·         At the end of the game, the winner is the one with the highest battle log.  The game is played until both transports are destroyed or removed from play.

Civilian Transports:
(Recommend use of Ares class luxury liner model)

We played with Terrans (me) as the attackers, Directorate (daughter) and Sorylians (stepson) as the defenders.  Initial surges by the Directorate and Sorylians led to some serious damage, while the initial Terran advance was obliterated the turn they arrived (just a squadron of frigates).  Later Terran arrivals were able to put paid to the transport ships after doing some serious damage to the other two fleets.  A fun game and having the scenario made it more interesting, as there was a clear goal to seek in the battle.

The only sad part was we didn't get any pictures.  I was more interested in crushing Directorate and Sorylian forces.

I recommend trying it out, if you play Firestorm Armada (and why aren't you?).

Let me know what you think of the scenario in comments.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Work in progress

So far, so good for this year.  The first week back I wrote almost every day.  Maybe not huge wordcounts, maybe not the best words, but that's for editing.

When I wasn't getting some writing done, I was doing some 'round the house jobs.  Not enough time in a day for both writing and house sorting, it seems.  Still trying to unpack, sort and set things to rights.  Once you're done moving, there's the big, important stuff that you unpack first.  Then the more 'steady state' items that you use more or less often.  Finally, there's the last things that you use the least, but still need unpacked.  In our case, if only to make space.  Especially considering that stuff is occupying the suite your parents are moving in to.

Besides that, there were some good games over the remainder of the holidays, including a Firestorm Armada game where my dice were on fire!  Sweet, exploding rolls.  Also a custom scenario which I will post shortly, after I adjust a few things we shook out during gameplay.

My year's project, Dragons Don't Share from Reaper (the Bones II Kickstarter) also saw some progress.  First up was to clean the parts, which you saw in the last post.  Next up is to boil them.  The boiling softens the parts and for the Bonesium material, it tends to push them back into their original shape.  They have a tendency to warp during mold removal and subsequent shipping and handling, so boiling, then dousing in cold water helps get them back to the original shape and hold them there.

The boiling:

This was just plain tap water, set on the stove at high to boil.  Once nicely bubbling (and toiling and troubling), just put the parts in and let them sit and soak in the heat.  Best done while building some other models.

Once boiled, remove: (tongs are a must here)

And place in the cold water (also in another pot).  Some people use ice water, in this case it I didn't find it necessary.

Though, I did find I had to overbend the parts in some cases, as they wouldn't return to a full flat condition.  I did this while they were still warm, before the water fully cooled them.  The cold water helps as water soaks in a huge amount of heat for its mass (also explaining why it is such a good cooling medium).  In this case, the overbending overcame the elastic region of the material and they now sit almost perfectly flat.

Repeat for all the pieces of the castle ruin, and the base area is ready to clean.  By cleaning I mean take away the mold lines, flash, and otherwise tidy up the model.  More on that in the next instalment of Dragons Don't Share.

I also took the time to work on my Razorthorn class battleship.  Not a lot, but I put the full body ink wash on the ship.  It looks really good in the details, bringing a depth to the crevices and other detailing, but it made the large, flat areas look dirty.  Not keen on that look, and I think I'll apply the ink more judiciously for future models.  It will need some cleaning up for the flat areas, but the weapons, hull plates and other details look good.  Next up is a cleaning pass with the base colours, then highlighting begins.

You know, it didn't feel as productive, but when you list it out, I actually worked on a bunch of things.  Not too bad for the first few weeks of the year.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Welcome 2016

Welcome to all in 2016.

Last year was a good kind of madness.  Finished my Head of Department qualification, bought a new house, bought a new truck and generally did some big and bold things last year.  Some big steps and some good times.

There was a new Star Wars film, a review of which will come, pending my second viewing.

This year is the year of discipline, finishing the book and generally buckling down and getting things done.

So far, I've written on the first, third and fourth.  Good, solid words that will need editing, but nothing terrible.  I will admit that today's words came out in a trickle, but I did sit my ass down.  Next up is a scene I've been itching to write for a long time.  That will be tomorrow's job.

I did take January second to have a cool Firestorm Armada game, in which my stepson, my daughter and I played a custom scenario.  I'll post that up sometime soon for those who might be interested.  (The revised version, as we made some adjustments after the game we played)

I've also decided to take on a major model project for the year.  From my Bones II order, the Dragons Don't Share set is something I'm itching to work on.  This year, I'm going to make it the year's project.  To prep, build and paint the whole thing.

Inside the box there's also the whole castle ruin set.  It's a huge piece.

First step is to break out all the parts and give them a scrub to remove any mould release agents.

Here are the pieces (as well as the resin parts from my daughter's Legion of Everblight gargantuan) laid out ready for washing.  It's really helpful to have a large countertop in the ensuite, as I can move parts from one side to the other as they get done.

A good scrub with dishsoap and warm water.  No special secrets, just a good scrub and lay them out to dry.  Here are all the pieces for Dragons Don't Share.  The adventurers in the pictures are about 28mm high, for a sense of scale.

Looking forward to working on this one.

All in all, a good start to the year.