Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Strange Day


Today was a strange day, you see Rob and I were going to throw down a game of Bolt Action today. He rolled over here around 10:00 this morning with his stuff and I had cleared the table off to play. But our discussion was not about Bolt Action, but of our up coming Black Powder ACW game. We talked for about an hour or so and it was all about the ACW game. I then told him that I wanted to play Bolt Action, but would rather be playing Black Powder.

It seems that the Bolt Action game is just.. well just okay. Both of us agree that it is a good game, but it has us both feeling like we are missing something from the game. I mean it just doesn't really have anything that sort of grabs you and wants to make you play. I don't know, I want to be excited about this game, but it is just not doing it. Now when I played Battelground, Arc of Fire and some others, those games made me want to play more games. But Bolt Action has me feeling like there should be more, sort of like drinking a flat soda, it taste the same, but is flat and therefore not the same.

So instead of playing a game, we did an early lunch and hit up two local shops, Crusaders Retreat and Imperial Outpost Games. Rob picked up a Wargames Factory box set of Vikings and I did not find anything even though I had money to spend.

Also tonight seems to be a bit strange as well, for the first time in a while I am able to work on a few things for myself instead of for others (the next commission was primed and drying). So I decided to work on a little surprise belated Christmas/Birthday gift for my brother. Way back when, I used to play AD&D and we had a nice small little group of players. Well as a prerequisite for our AD&D games, I had the players buy miniatures of the characters. Well that was a long time ago and I just recently (last year) found the old metal figures. So I decided last year that I would re-paint them up and give them to my brother as a gift. Well I got busy and it never happened.

But about a month ago I figured I should try again to get this little diorama completed for my brothers birthday on June 26th. So here is a little shot of what got done tonight as well as what I have planned. First up is the overall diorama, it is mounted on a Gailforce 9 60mm base and has five figures on it, representing four characters coming down a spiral staircase and one monster ready to pounce on them (as it always seemed to happen in games).

To Boldly Go
First up is the spiral stairway that my friend John over at Plastic Legions did up for me out of Hirst Arts castings. I e-mailed John the week before Adepticon to see if he had anything like this lying around. Luckily for me he did and he packed it up and sent it out to me, thanks John!!

Got to have stairs!
Next up is my buddy Don Gow's character, Dijion Boarhog, a fighter that seemed to carry everything he ever found with him on his character sheet. This model is an old Citadel miniature thief model from the mid 1980's. The model used to be mounted on a old Hex base and once I took it off the base, I noticed just how small the figure was next to the old Ral Partha models. So I cut his boots off at the knee and added to boots from an old Bretonnia archer and pinned them onto the Dijon here, could not have the fighter being smaller than the elves!

Dijon Boarhog with some new shoes!
Next up came my brothers character, Krrf Oakleaf who was a thief.(Krrf is the name of a drug from the story Thieves World). This is an old Ral Partha model from the mid 1980's as well. Krrf did not need anything but to be removed from his cast on metal base. Oh and you will notice that I have already stripped the models some what because the paint jobs were terrible. I should have taken pictures of them before I stripped them, but that was done last year, trust me, they were bad!

Krrf in all his glory
Next up is Pathos the Cleric, This was another character that my buddy Don ran along with Dijon. In the game, he was the healer and pack mule since that was how Don played him. Got extra stuff, give it to Pathos, he did not care, heck his deity was Boccob, known as the Uncaring. It was funny, when Don would ask me (the DM) by having Pathos pray to his god, I would always give him vague answers since he did not care! This model was from the Ral Partha 3 stage pack and I still have the other two figures from the pack.

Pathos, the great uncaring pack mule!
Lastly we have Blackmoor, a dark elf Fighter/Magic user played by my buddy Jeff Ott. This is another old Ral Partha figure and Jeff wanted to play something different, so he asked if he could play a dark elf. I think he started playing this character right before the Forgotten Realms books came out about Drizzt, I can't remember now. This is another one of the Ral Partha 3 stage models as well.

Blackmoor being all magical!

Last figure on this little diorama is an old Grenadier Beholder out of box 2012 Dwellers Below set. It is one of the first monster miniatures I used in a game and looks perfect hiding under the stairs, plus it fit under there as well. I picked this model up in the mid 1980's as well and it is an oldie but a goodie.

I see you!
So there you go, you get to see what I am working on for myself right now, stay tuned as I will be posting pictures up along the way of the painting and finished diorama. I just hope I can get it done by June 26th...


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Searching for...A Common Goal?


I have been in a weird mood of late towards my gaming, not sure why just feel like I want to do something more. In fact today, I entertained the idea of taking my game table down and replace it with a Model Railroad layout (something I always wanted to do). But after talking with Robert and thinking about it all day I knew that was a bad idea. But it did make me wonder why I entertained the idea and I may have figured it out.

You see about 16 years ago I was a big time Model Railroader and was part of the Orange County Modular Railroaders, in fact I was President of the club for two years. My goal while I was the President was to improve the quality of our scenery and I was able to inspire most of the club members to join in (which it seems is still a main focus of the group today). There was something about all of us coming together for a common goal.

Prior to leaving Southern California, I started playing Warhammer Fantasy with some friends from work. We would get together and play all day starting at 8:00am and going until 8:00pm. My good friend (Ed Kastler) would host these WFB days and besides playing and having it at his place, he would also BBQ lunch and dinner for us (as well as make Breakfast). There was four of us and we were all working on building our armies together. In fact, one stipulation was that you had to have at least one unit completed each month. Since we all worked together, we all did lunch together and talk was of course about WFB and what we were working on. In fact at lunch we would make trips out to Brookhurst Hobbies to purchase new models (one advantage to having an hour for lunch and only being 15 minutes away from Brookhurst). Good times were had by all and we actually had almost all the armies covered by the time I came out to Phoenix. Once again it was the camaraderie of all of us working on a common goal.

We now move forward a few years and as some know, Gathering in the Desert started and once again I was trying to inspire folks around me to build 600 point armies for Lord of the Rings. I would say it was a success and many folks from around the country participated in the events over a 5 year period. My goal was to run the best looking and best run event that I could do and from what friends have said, I was a huge success. But once again it was all about bringing a community together for a common cause or event. (See a pattern here?)

So to take this back to the top, it is the camaraderie of doing a large project that I am missing or to put it another way, the common goal. So that is what I am looking for, something big to be a part of. I have tried with a few friends to get them involved in some big plans, but it never panned out. Either we all wanted different things, or just had no interest.  I often wonder if I am the only one that feels that way because most of my friends seem to have gamer ADD and bounce off to other projects. I too have a bit of gamer ADD, but not as bad as some I know (you know who you are!).

I look at groups of gamers like the guys over at The Guns of April  and wonder how do they get everyone all on the same page. I know most of these guys (Both Dave's, Jamie, Merle) and they too have some gamer ADD in them, but they have found common ground and have for a second year been able to put on a good game (well the second game will be this weekend at Adepticon). Does it take something like a major event to get people excited and too participate? It happened for Gathering in the Desert, so maybe that is it, I don't know.

One thing I do know is that I am still looking for that next big thing or common goal. I may have found it with ACW Black Powder game that I played in a few months back with friends. It seems that we are going to get together again in May to play another game. While talking to Robert tonight, I decided that I will build a Brigade of Confederates to hopefully play in the game, so in a way, I may have found that common goal. I know that another buddy of mine (Dave C) is going to join in as well as he has been working on some ACW stuff lately.

So to come full circle, that is what has gotten me in a weird mood, it is the lack of a common goal, I believe I may have found it and I hope it inspires other folks. If not, oh well, it will be just Robert and I plugging away at it.


Monday, April 08, 2013

US Paratroops are on the ground!

So, a few months ago, myself, Jerry and Mike set out on a little paint challenge called the Tale of Three, you can see the rules here.

Well, I got the first installment done with now problem but once that was complete, real life got involved and I missed the next two installments. Well a few weeks ago I had a window of time open and I busted out the missed installments as well as the rest of the army!

Yeah, I know, this may be seen as cheating, but when you have a busy paint business that you run, you do not get much time to paint for yourself, so I just slammed it home. Here are the pictures of the finished project.

The Whole Airborne Force!
Stick 1

Stick 2
Stick 3

Stick 4
 Yes, that is 4 sticks (or Squads) of 12men each giving me 48 paratroopers, more than I will ever use but hey, I love these figures!

Bazooka Teams

81mm Mortar

Now, below is a conversion that I did for the para sniper. I had bought a blister of Warlord US Paras, but 2 of the figures that were kneeling had the gun barrels broke off at the end. Well I contacted Warlord and they sent me the replacements. But As I waited, I had an idea to use some of the Plastic Warlord parts to convert a sniper. So I cut of the cast on hands and cut away the gun as close as I could and replaced it with the plastic Sniper rifle and a set of plastic hands from the Warlord US plastic box set. After about an hour of work, this is what I got! I am pretty happy with it and it is a great figure for my paras.

Sniper Team

.30 cal teams

Command Squad

75mm Howitzer

75mm Howitzer

57mm Anti tank gun

57mm again
Back of 57mm

Close up of army

Close up again

Last close up
So there you go, my US Airborne troops are done and now I have an American force for Bolt Action. I am glad to get these figures painted, they have been sitting for about 6 years awaiting paint, so I feel good about finely getting paint on them.

Next up will be some Dark Age stuff (man that stuff is huge!) and I just played my first game of Saga this weekend and had a blast. I will be getting out my Viking Army to rob figures for a Viking warband for Saga, oh heck who am I kidding, I want some new Vikings!!!