Monday, September 23, 2019

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Grumble Bowl 2019

So, its Monday morning after the Grumble bowl 2019 here in Phoenix and I have had some time to mull over my experience and I thought this may be the best way to document it, so let’s get started.

The Good – Well we had a Blood Bowl event at my local shop, that is awesome enough! This would be my first ever Blood Bowl tournament as a player! When I arrived, the tables were all set with GW pitches, dugouts, templates and quick reference sheets. All the boards were using the regular pitch, some boards are hard to use due to the graphics in my opinion. So, to arrive an hour early and everything was set up and ready to go was awesome! Check in went very quickly as I was early and one other person (Mike) was there. This event you had to register for the NAF and if you had not done that the organizer was getting you signed up there, once again awesome.
I got to play three games for the event and they were enjoyable, although my second game had me loose 8 players to casualties, that hurt! But all in all, the games were fun and no major issues with any of the players.

The Bad -  Well, as this was a NAF sanctioned event, you had to pay $10.00 to join the NAF. So this in a nutshell added $10.00 to the entry fee of $15.00, so it was now $25.00 to play three NAF sanctioned games. Now I have been a member of MAF from when it was free, but now in order to be a member you must pay $10.00 a year, which is not bad, but I still do not see the value in being a paid member of the NAF. Yes, you do get a token and two dice for your $10.00, but it can take up to 9 months for those to get sent to you. Seeing how I would only play in this tournament, I am not sure if it’s worth it.
Also speaking that this was a NAF sanctioned event, I would have thought more players would have been there, we only got 6 players! What the heck happened to all the players? Did the event being NAF sanctioned scare off folks? I will admit, when I heard it was NAF sanctioned, I almost backed out. I play these games to have fun and a good time, with it now being something that players all over the world track their win & loss record, I was expecting to see a lot of “hard core” tournament players. Maybe that is why players did not show.
One other thing that was a downer for me, is that last year what you got for your entry fee was a draw. Last year each player got a ball tray, a Beer Mug and a few other things. I was really looking forward to at least the ball tray as the store prints these on their 3D printer. But the store owner was out of town for personal reasons and nothing got made by any of the other employees (now many may not be able to use the printer, so I get it), but I was really bummed by not getting anything for my entry fee.

The Ugly – Well the lack of promotion for the event, now to be fair the store owner knew he failed on this and apologized for it several times. He has had his time split with being here in Phoenix and doing repairs to his families homestead in Montana, but couldn’t the other employees have stepped up to help? I know a few of them promote other games, but this may have been a reason for the lack of players. What happened to the community? The other thing is that we started late and this was not the organizers fault as he was waiting rather nervously for players to walk in.

So overall it was a well-run event once we got started, but I was rather disappointed in the lack of players. Other than myself, Mike and Eric, we were the only ones on time, the others showed up late (granted one was the store owner who stepped up to play as we only had 5 people). I was asked if I would play in this event again, right now I would say no, the cost and the return was not there for me. I bought a new team (two boxes actually) and spent time building, and painting and even fabricated a display board all for not. The money expended just does not make it feasible to pay all that money for little to no return when I could get in three games with the paying so much.


Monday, September 16, 2019

Just about time...


Work continues on my Beastmen team for Grumble Bowl 2019, here are a few pictures of some of the mutants that are on the team. For this event we are allowed to have a few players with skills chosen from the team list. So I decided I wanted to model some of the mutations.

So first up is Billy & The Goat, a two headed mutation for the team. This was a pretty easy conversion as All I had to do was file down one side of the neck of both heads to get a nice flat surface.

Billy & The Goat

A straight on shot of the two headed mutation. 
Next up  was the Big Hand mutation which I think I will name him, Big Hand! Once again this was an easy conversion, I just chopped off his hand and replaced it with a extra Crypt Horror hand I had in my bitz collection.

Big Hand in his Glory

Another shot of his Big Hand!
Next up is a mutation with extra arms, which was an easy conversion as well, I just did some filing on the lower set of arms to get them just right and glued them together.

With those few models, the team is now ready for the main event this coming Saturday, here is a few shots of the team.

White and Gold!

Team Photo on its display board
So I look forward to seeing how well the team works out this weekend, this will be my first official NAF approved event, player number 14769 ready to hit the pitch!



Monday, August 12, 2019

On the Road to GRUMBLE!!!!!

Okay Sports Fanz,

Back with a new Series called "Road to Grumble" my documentation of building, painting and playing a new Blood Bowl Team for Grumble Bowl 2019, a local run Blood Bowl event here in Phoenix

Local Blood Bowl Event at imperial Outpost Games, Phoenix AZ

Last year was the first annual event and I missed it because the wife surprised me with concert tickets for the same day. I had planned on taking my Azog Ardinals Ork team, but it was not meant to be.
So this year (September 21, 2019) I have no concerts or other surprises planned, so I should be able to attend. (crossing fingers!). So another buddy of mine (Mike of the former Dagreenskins and now Tabletopin) will be playing and he is going to paint up a brand new team for the event. So I thought why not do the same thing.

New team

So with that said, I took a look at what team to build, a few months back I purchased the Beastmen team and figure this would be a great way to get them built, painted and onto the pitch. So with that being said, The Herd was born!

The Herd

My plan is to go for a white uniform trimmed with gold which in a way will make them look a bit angelic to me, but perfect for Chaos, it should be a nice look on the pitch, will we will see.

Markers for the team

Also since I am a modeler, I had to do up a few tokens for the game. In each of the new box sets you get a special marker for TD’s & Re rolls and one coin token for Re-rolls (or which ever one you want to use. So I decided that I liked the had holding the flaming trophy so that will be for the TD’s, I then took the second marker, took the top part of the flaming trophy off and placed the coin token on it to represent my turn marker. I had another box set of the team so I used the third one to be my re rolls but decided to add instead of the trophy or token, to add two dice to it to be my re roll marker. I am very happy how these turned out and fits for the theme aspect.

So there you go, the beginnings of   my next journey in the next few weeks, stay tuned for more updates.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Tanks, Modern Age

So, about 4 or 5 months ago I picked the Tanks Modern age game up from my local shop, loving the original Tanks game, I knew I would love this one. Also my brother really loves the fast pace of the original Tanks game so this was a no brainier.

Then about a month ago I decided to assemble the three tanks that came  with the game (2 T-64's and 1 M1 Abraham tank). Still have not played yet, but one way to get it to the table would be to paint the models up and that's what I did for Memorial day 2019.

First up was the Soviet T-64's, these two painted up very quickly, but hey, its Russian green, no camo, nothing out of the ordinary, just pretty simple really. Did some light weathering on them and they look very realistic.

M1 Abrams Tank
 next up is some American armor, M1 Abrams tank, this is the command variant and was problematic on assembly, but once assembled looks very nice. Now in the 1980's American tanks sported the MERDC color scheme of about 4 or 5 colors. Well I was not a fan, but I did find some tanks painted in the US armor green color, so I went with that, these are for Tanks, so simple was fast and easy. once again some light weathering and I called it done.

With that the base game was fully painted and ready for the battle field. After assembly I went back to my local shop to pick up a few more vehicles, at this time, nothing has come in but the next model I found, the British Chieftain

British Chieftain
This one is a two tone color that was pretty easy to paint, did some weathering and this one is complete. The only thing I would say I dislike with all the Tanks kits, is they do not give you any decals for the models. Not a major issue, but would be nice if they did.

Now after building and painting these four tanks, I am eyeing possibly starting a force for Team Yankee, rumor is that a new version is coming, so I may hold off until that hits, but I will be buying more Tanks Modern Age in the meantime.


Monday, May 20, 2019

There and Back Again

It's funny how watching a movie can bring emotions and feelings flooding back again for something! It happened this weekend, and sort of took me off guard, let me explain.

As most visitors to this little section of the inter web know, I loved the Lord of the Rings game by Games Workshop. I built many armies, built many terrain pieces and ran just a few events for the game. I was a LotR Fan boy for sure with Games Workshop and the movies that came out were visually appealing too me and GW captured that in their models.

But then, like that, I was done with the game! Games Workshop did what they usually do and made some sweeping changes to the game that broke a lot of the rules in my opinion. They also focused on the Hobbit which did not hit the same level as the LotR movies and the visual appeal was lacking. I started getting rid of armies and swore off GW products and most of the guys I played with did the same. The LotR game was lost like the One ring to time.

But then Games Workshop decided to go back and revamp their Specialist Game line, starting with Blood Bowl. I watched and waited to see what would happen. Blood Bowl as well as Necromunda went back to the versions that I had played in the past. Yes there were changes, but they returned to what was familiar to me, I bought both games and much money went back to the GW coffers!

But yet, I still waited to see what would happen to my favorite game. There were rumors and rumblings but I waited and watched. Then about six months ago, Games Workshop released the Battle of Pellnor Fields box set with a whole new set of rules which were toted as being for both LotR and Hobbit. I still watched from afar.

Then they came out with an Army list book for LotR and a separate army book for the Hobbit, I noticed and I started to wonder, what if? Then most recently they released a Battle Companies book for the game which is about developing your own hero and characters and playing smaller games. But yet I still waited.

Then this past weekend, the extended version of the Fellowship of the Rings was on cable, I stopped what I was doing and was drawn in to watching it. And as i sat there watching it, the love of the books, movies and more importantly the game came flooding back. I remembered that I still had lots of un painted models in the closet of shame and after the movie went and dug them out and started working on a few.

First up was Radaghast the Brown which GW did a sculpt for LotR but was never seen in the movies (I dislike the one in the Hobbit, he is a wizard that they make out as a buffoon!)

Radaghast the Brown GW style
 I figured painting one model would scratch the itch and I would be good, but like the pull of the ring on men, I could not stop with but one model. After working on this model, I pulled out 8 Morannon Orcs. I had just recently did a few rusted out cars for Gaslands, and I thought why not use the same paint technique on them.

8 Morannon Orcs
While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I took a look through my unpainted box and saw the Nine Nazgul on foot. I had forgotten about them and I was drawn to them as they are drawn to the one ring. So Nine kings of men landed on the paint bench!

9 Nazgul waiting for the wash to dry!
 I had forgotten the power of these models and while the washes and paints dried, I decided to look at some reviews of the new version, I also tweeted out and messaged a few friends that have the new game. Everything I was hearing was making me see that GW did go back to the core of the game that I enjoyed. I then watched a few youtube videos that confirmed what friends said and the minor changes were not that big of an issue.

So now, as I sit here writing this, I am planning on picking up the rules and LotR army book and will look to get it back to the tabletop once again. So it would seem I am coming full circle wit the game and look forward to working on more LotR models. And since hindsight can be so damm clear, I am missing the armies that I sold years ago. As it will cost more money and more importantly, more time to get those back.

So here is to looking forward to many more adventures in Middle Earth!


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Great Train Show 2019 Phoenix


This past weekend I attended with my HO modular club (AZMR) the Great Train Show at the Phoenix Fairgrounds. This show used to be called the Great America Train Show and when I lived back in Southern California I used to attend with my old club Orange County Modular Railroaders. Yes after years of being out of the hobby of Model Railroading I came back to it a few years ago.

The new club (or group of guys as we are not really a club) set up a 36'x36' layout to run trains on. Our group likes to run long trains and when I say long, I mean 80 plus cars! This layout set up had us running much smaller trains as dictated by the length of sidings.

Right side of layout

Left side of layout
As some know, I am working on (very slowly) a switching layout in my game room, it is really a point to point layout, so if I want to run trains in a larger layout I attend and operate on the groups layout. Nice thing is I am able to use locomotives that would not work on the switching layout due to size here.

Southern Pacific Railroad is my favorite and I model the time frame in the late 80's to 1996 when the Espee was merged with the Rio Grand Railroad. With that being said, one of the most iconic Espee Locomotives is the SD40T-2 Tunnel motor. When I used to do model railroading 20 years ago, no one was making this locomotive except in brass. But Athearn did finally release one and as soon as I heard about it, I knew I had to have one.

SP SD40T-2 
Also another iconic locomotive that was all the rage back in 1996 was the GE 39-8B (or as Espee designated them as GE 40-8Bs). My buddy Rick had an Atlas unit for sale so I bought it from him to add to my mainline road power.

Cotton Belt Dash 8
 Now one thing that you will notice is that both locomotives are very clean, this was not normal for the Espee as they rarely ran the locomotives thru the wash racks. now I intend to dirty up the Tunnel motor, but the GE unit will remain as it is as I am representing when it was first delivered.

The show was good, not as good as they used to be, but still not bad. It was busy on Saturday and Sunday saw a smaller crowd at the Fairgrounds. I got a lot of folks complimenting my train I ran as all but the Locomotives are weathered really well like the real things. In this day of ready to roll equipment, most model railroaders are not doing anything to their cars or locomotives to make them look weathered. It leads to a very toy like appearance as most buildings are weathered and the trains are not. So while my train looked beat up by the weather, it stood out from all other trains being run that weekend.

Here are a few more shots of trains being run on our group set up:

My locos together working the mainline.

A GP9 Rio Grande unit

ATSF Steam Locomotive

Amtrak out this weekend
So there you have it, another one of my many hobbies that compete for my pocketbook and more importantly, time.


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

WW2 German Armored Reinforcements

So about two weeks ago after a game of Bolt Action, Robert & I were talking about some of our projects that we needed to finish up for our German armies for Bolt Action.

I had 4 vehicles that needed paint, so I decided that I should finally get painting on these. So first up was a Warlord 251 with PAK 36 and a Rubicon Hetzer. For the Warlord kit I went with a very simple strip pattern over a German Yellow (Middlestone) color. The Rubicon kit was a bit more time consuming as I did an Ambush scheme.

Left side

Right Side

Ready to Ambush
Just an FYI, these are all hand painted, I did not use my new airbrush on these. The 251 painted up pretty quickly, but the Ambush scheme took me about 3 hours of paint time to do. The hardest part is doing the dots and trying to make them random. Human beings love patterns and trying to do a random pattern is very hard.

Next up was a Rubicon 250 and Stug G from Rubicon as well. The 250 got a variant of the German three color scheme that I sponged on as I wanted it to look like the crew did it in the field. The Stug G was a simple two color scheme that I copied off of a 15mm Stug I did for my FoW army years ago.

250 NEU

This kit included crewmen

Stug G

Simple scheme

15mm vs 28mm
So there you go, four new vehicles for my 28mm German Bolt Action army, these took way too long to get to the paint table, but now they are ready for action.