Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Space Marines Codex: Ultima Edition Unboxing (Vid and Pix)

  As you, my good gentle-readers know, I am a sucker for anything collectible.  You could probably bag crap, if you labeled it correctly, I just might jump on it.

  This time, it was the Games Workshop, Space Marines Codex: Ultima Edition.  (Only 129 left, get yours NOW!  LOL)

  And because I am finding it funnerer and funnerer to do videos, I made you all a great little video unboxing of the package.  I really didn’t do a video, it's more a like a slideshow with narration, but I have been pretty sick lately and I didn't want anyone to catch anything viral from my video...  So, without further ado, here is the video I made, for you's guys...

  After the break, there is a all the pictures and the text review for those who hate youtube, or videos or both.

  All in all, I have to say I am not disappointed with the product, nor do I think it is worth the $250.  I think $200 would have been stretching it a bit.  But product wise, it's very cool.  High production value and lots of little extras.  Not as much as a forge world book, but not too bad.

  So, here is the break, and off we go into the pictures...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Thoughts on Escalation and Stronghold Assault

  Just some quick thoughts on the Escalation and Stronghold Assault books.  Picked these up this weekend from the FLGS.


  I was kind of incredulous at first, since I started with Escalation.  For those who don't know, this is the expansion that allows you to bring "Lords of War" into the normal 40k games.  Lords of war are nothing more than Apocalypse models that are normally held only within the bounds of Apoc games. Not every super-heavy from Apoc is here, but most of the signature models are here.  I have to imagine ForgeWorld will be adding A LOT to this as time goes on.

  First, You have to remember that allowing Lords of War (LoW) into the normal game is strictly optional and needs to be agreed upon by both players.  (EDIT: I should point out, there is nothing that says, in the book, that these are optional rules, the community consensus is that these rules are now standard, I say optional since nobody can force me to play a game I don't want to play, nor should you!!) That being said, these are still big time game changers. I do not see these rules being the norm for many games.  A single Apoc type model is going to seriously change a game.  There are D weapons on those things.  D weapons are such super-heavy weapons that they kill everything on a good hit, no save, no invul saves, no cover saves, no reanimation, just DIE.  Luckily, to have this huge effect, D weapons have to roll on a separate chart to determine the severity of their impact.  At the lower end of the scale, they just cause A LOT of wounds and carnage.

  There is a lot of talk going on some of the boards, that I have seen, that these are going to ruin the game.  I don't think so.  First, you have to agree to use them.  Second, they are not unkillable by normal units.  Most of them have between 9 and 12 hull points, so they are not beyond the scope of most armies to kill.  Of course, they do not roll on the normal vehicle kill table (no 6 to explode a Thunderhawk gunship).  Lastly, they cost a BUTT load of points to put on your list.  Oh, one more thing, there is a Warlord trait table in here for the person who does NOT take a LoW unit.  This is a MASSIVE table that you WILL use if you play against a LoW player, they are warlord traits that will even up the game immensely.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Got my OGRE Designers Edition... unboxing

  Yeah, yeah, I know the kick starters have been out for a while, and the really cool kids have theirs already, but I just got mine from my FLGS (Active Imagination... Thanks Ben!!) and is it ever COOL!  I said I would do an unboxing for them, and I am, and I will...  And it will be my first ever video unboxing, so you all get to laugh your butts off as I meander through a video...

  The first thing you'll notice, this game is FREAKING HUGE.  The box is 2 feet wide, 20 inches high and about 6 inches thick.  It weighs 23.7 pounds.  Yes, that's more than the turkey you ate on Thanksgiving!!  It is HUGE.  Everything looks very high quality, and a lot of thought went into it, you can tell.  On the OGRE website, there is a ton of resources and fun stuff to download and enjoy as well.  You can get all the rules, scenarios, record sheets etc for free...  (Learn this GW... learn thissssssss).

  So, here is the 5 minute video, then I will put in the pictures after the jump...

  Quit laughing, jeez, it's my first video...  Pics after the jump.... and .... jump

Monday, December 2, 2013

Review: IA Model Masterclass Vol Two

  As promised, here are my thoughts on the second volume of the Imperial Armor Masterclass series.  If you thought (or believed me when I told you) that volume one was good, you ain't seen nothing yet!

  Again, volume two does not show you how to build a model or even how to paint it.  It gives you techniques and ideas (tools for your tool box) to use when building your models.  This volume also spreads the love around the universe, but just a bit more.  Imperial guards are still the star of the show, but there is Eldar, Chaos, orky bits and terrain in here too.  What you get is a host of ideas and step by step shots of how to take your models to the next level.  These things are not beyond the level of the avaerage modeler, they show you how it's done.  You can take these techniques to any model from any race (or even any game!)

  First up is some beautiful effects on a Reaver Titan.  Everything from the enamel (looking) paint on the large surfaces to some amazing details on the pumps and gears.  After that we get a Red Scorpions Land Raider.  Lots of good detailing and weathering here, but for a Spess Mahrine vehicle, so it's not too overdone.  Lots of weapon effects and trackwork.  Some photos of an Eldar Phantom Titan bust are next, but no good hints here, just beautiful pictures.

  Coming in next is an amazing winter scene board made from 2 sets of Realm of Battle boards (4' x 12').  A great deal of extra terrain, hills and plaster cast rocks, are added to the boards and then snow effects are done.  The ideas are applicable to any board you may have.  Great photos of the Eldar are here too, all from the Mymeara campaign book.  

  You should have the idea by now, everything here is high quality, great looking stuff.  There are chapters for Nurgling things, diorama-ing things, aircraft and lots more tanks.  Everything is well done and well presented.  The ork themed board at the end is very cool too, lots of bits box ideas.  The book finishes with a chapter on using the Forge World Weathering Powders.  While this is a great, albeit short chapter, I would tend to rely more on the recent videos and ideas from Secret Weapon Miniatures and other web sources for even more ideas.  There is a lot of emphasis on weathering with pigments and powders these days, but it does not take away from the usefulness of the info here.

  All in all, another A+ effort from the boys at Forge World.  A high quality book, great presentation and photography makes this a valuable add to your collection.  I know I don't regret it.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Review: IA Model Masterclass Vol One

  Am I late to the party on this one, yep, sure am.  This book was first published in 2008.  But maybe, if you're on the fence, I can help nudge you one way or the other.

  I got my forgeworld order in the other day, and there was my cool books.  I was really looking forward to getting these two master class books, as the descriptions made them sound very useful.  They are, indeed!

  The book is beautiful, as you would expect from a forgeworld publication.  You will not be disappointed with the quality of this book, from the binding to the pages and printing.  Very durable and worth the money.  But what about the guts, you ask?

  Well, here is where you get your moneys worth.  I am not going to break it down chapter by chapter, but I will overview the book.  The first thing to know, and they tell you this on the web page, it is not a "how to build a model" book, this is a master class level item.  Not to say that the techniques in the book are beyond the 'average' modeler, far from it, they teach you well.

  The first chapter is, as you might expect, about tools and equipment.  What you may not expect is that it is not the typical fact sheets for GW tools and such.  It is a good, solid run down of things you'll need, and things you never even thought about needing.  And lots of stuff not made by GW even?  (Heretics in forge world department, inquisition please report to forge world!)  For instance, they talk about taking apart a water filter to get a lifetime's supply of rivet heads, and how to use them.  Bang on!!

  They then move on to building tanks (Armour is the focus of this book... go figger).  They show a step by step build of a Renegade Medusa tank.  From bag-o-parts to finished product.  They do not show you how to build and work with resin, but rather how to doll it up and take the existing vehicle and dress it for war.  In the article they make tank tread holders from old brass sprues (never throw those away!!!!).  They also run some hydraulic lines to the dozer blades and put rivet heads everywhere.  In short, they take this chapter to give you ideas for how to take your models to the next level, how would the crew be using it, how it would look after a fight.  There are SCADS of pictures, and the keyed text is great at not just saying how to do a step, but in many cases why.  Another cool idea, hairspray to make some great use/damage effects on the plow blade.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The ForgeWorld order arrives... Munitorum Battlepack and more

  Just a quick note to say (to the American audience) Happy Thanksgiving and get ready for some reviews, because the Forge World order came in.

  Here is the list of new toys...

Fire Raptor Gunship
Horus Heresy Book 2 - Massacre
Imperial Armor Masterclass Vol 1
Imperial Armor Masterclass Vol 2
Necron Scarab Swarm
Eldar Vehicle Upgrade pack

and from the boys at GW...  the Munitorum Battlepack.

  So far, all the forge world stuff looks GREAT, but I am rather disappointed with the Munitorum Battlepack.  I had thought might fit a KR Cardstock case inside it, but alas, it does not.  Also, it is not made from exceptional high quality material.  It is not cheap, and I don't think it will come apart any time, soon, I can certainly promise you it is NOT worth the $100 price tag.  So, learn from my mistakes people, don't piss money away on this thing!!!!

  That being said, I can see where it will be useful as a pack anyhow.  The side pockets are very large and deep, easy to see the templates going into there without effort.  It does have a certain very World War I feeling to it, like the rest of the munitorum stuff.  I do like the way it all conjures up images of the WWI stuff.  The warnings and imagery on the outside are pretty cool as well.  But, it is not worth the $100 by any stretch of the imagination.

  I also picked up photo resist etching kit from Micro-Mark to try out for making small parts I need for my home-brew chapter iconography.  It's gonna be a busy few months!

Author's Edit

  Well, that was a bit WRONG!!!  I meant to say it would not fit TWO KR Cardstock cases inside, it handles 1 without any problem...  I'm sorry if I messed anybody up...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Space Battleship Yamato... And a PK-PRO mini-holder!

  Before Robotech, there was Star Blazers!  This was one of my favorite shows ever, before Anime was cool, it was what I ran home from school for.  Well, lo and behold, I was looking around the interwebs and I found a 1/500 model kit for the ship.  I just got it in the mail the other day and is it ever cool.  Can't wait to build this bad boy and get it on display (somewhere...) First done in 1974, it really did lay the groundwork for a lot of the space anime that was to come.

  There is a much bigger model of this ship (1/350) and it has sound and motion, but also a $400-500 price tag.  Sheeeesh.

  This plastic model is really well done by Bandai.  The instructions are totally in Japanese, but I found a site that had them all scanned in and translated to english.  Woooot!  The turrets all rotate and the pieces are really beautifully done.  They are molded in colors, but it will get a paint job, that's for sure.  I'm also pretty sure I will be getting another light kit from PoweredPlay Gaming to light this bad boy up.

  Also, I picked up this pretty cool mini holder from PK-PRO in Germany.  It's quite cool, but this is a lousy picture.  It is a nice, ceramic base with a split cork in the center.  The metal rod wraps around and gives you a VERY comfortable place to rest your fingers, not on the mini, marring up the paint job.  The split cork is very nice, because you can put the pin (if you pin your figs to the bases) into the split and it holds it very securely.  You can also just glob on the hobby-tac as well.
  Not a great image, but I will be putting up more about it.

  And one last Star blazers image...

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Comparison of Matte Finishes, and Veteran's Day!

 Welcome back!

  First off, as a retired Vet of 26 Years, 11 Months and 15 days, I want to thank every service man & woman currently serving for their sacrifice and dedication.  I want to honor all those honorably discharged veterans and thank them as well.  And I want to honor all those who fell in service to their country.  All gave some, some gave all!

  I know the image over there is the American flag, but I would like to extend my thanks to all the British, German, Canadian, French, Australian, Swiss, Norwegian, Greek, Turkish and countless other soldiers of nations I have served with (and sometimes drank with!) as well.

  Now, on to our show.... 

  I was working on a lot of stuff this weekend, when I had some home time, and one of those items was to finally seal some of my models with matte finish.  I have three cans of matte finish sitting around here and I didn't know which to use.  So, I decided to compare them in actual use.

  I made three test sticks of models, mostly Necrons, but some trees from the citadel wood kit as well.  The three contenders are;

  • GW Purity Seal
  • Army Painter "Anti-Shine"
  • Krylon Matte Finish
  I used the same area to paint (my back porch) on the same day and time to minimize any differences because of conditions.  Same goes for the photos, all in the same light box, same background and same messed up light placement.  (Yes, I know had the bounce of the lights wrong.. I was committed by then :) At least this way I'm not favoring one brand or the other.

  I'll cover each in turn;

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

GW Coolness - New (corrected) Apocalypse Collector Chaos Daemon data sheets

  Hey guys, just a quick note.  Got a package in the mail today, well, envelope really.  What got me was the wife called and said there was a space marine on the envelope too.  I hadn't ordered anything in a while, so I was a bit befuddled!

  Get home and see it's from Nottingham.  Only one thing could be in here.  My golden ticket from GW that gives me a lifetime sub to White Dwarf and a copy of every model ever released in the fututrre, right?  Nahhhh.  But almost as good.

  The letter inside said thank you for buying the Apocalypse Collector Set and that there were some issues with the Chaos Daemon sheets.  They had enclosed the corrected sheets for me to use, and confuse my opponents with the others... lol.

  Just thought I would pass this on, very cool of them to do that, I guess you do get what you pay for after all. 

  Read the letter for yourselves, it's kinda cool.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Feast of Blades, Grex and Dropzone Commander

  How cool is that badge number?  I was "the Devil's Con-Goer"  or the Devils's geek...

  So, Feast of Blades was on a three day weekend, and I managed to sneak up there for the day to watch the happenings.  I also wanted to see the vendors, especially Spikey Bits, since they would have the Grex Airbrush stuff there, and I wanted a new airbrush!!  Lets face it, I went for the vendors.  I also wanted to go to Ikea and the GW store up in Denver, and Caboose Hobbies too.  So, it may have been a whirlwind trip, but it was fun.

I didn't play anything that mattered, and I only was able to watch for a while, but it seemed to be running very smoothly and I didn't see any hiccups while I was there.  The open and the invitational seemed to go very well.  Never saw any rage, and people seemed to be enjoying their games.  I'm not the kind that goes up and butts in, so who knows, maybe everyone hated everyone?  LOL.  Saw a large number of Eldar and Taudar lists, as you might imagine.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Halloween - Great time for bits boxes!!

Halloween, what a great time for the bits box.  Just wanted to quickly share some items I bought at the spirit store today.  All of this is for my 40k bits box, none for the holiday yet...

This is a shot of the Teeth necklace, the skull actually caught my eye though, that skull will be a great scenery addition somewhere, and I may even make a mold of it to just duplicate the front half.  The teeth, well, what Ork scenery would be complete without some teef lying around??

Blood drop Jewels, do these not just SCREAM blood angels???  Perfect for drop pods, buildings, you name it.  Awesome sauce!

Just like the necklace, but with more skulls. 

Skull pile anyone?  With some flat paint and touch ups, these are a charnel pool for any Demon world!
  So, like I said, quick post with just some ideas!  Enjoy!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Laser Cut Card - Cyborg Sentinal (twin pack)

  Hiya folks,  Just a quick review of another FANTASTIC kit from Laser Cut Card. This one is the Cyborg Sentinel Twin-pack.  As you may recall, I built the previous incarnation kit, the Monolith and I was thoroughly jazzed with it.  Well, this kit is even, and I mean A LOT better!!

  As you can see in the pic right here, the Sentinals have a nice angle to them, unlike the monolith, which is a square.  Also, gone is the cardstock crystal, replaced by the green power crystals that mount into the holders perfectly.  The package comes with 2 complete Sentinals, as you see here.  Ingenious cut outs in the 'sprue' allow the crystals to ship relatively flat in the package.

  Assembly is dead easy, even more than the square monolith.  I like the fact that all the stuff in the symbols on the sides is 'backed up' by a small piece of card that you glue in.  You can see it in the pic below.  That means the highlight painting is even easier on this kit!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Talk Wargaming Network

  Quick post, heading out to Feast of Blades here soon.  Joined the Talk Wargaming Network today.  This is a new blog alliance and I like the direction it's going in a lot.  Quite a few things to recommend it.

  • The web widget you get is not just a banner ad, it's also a mini-blogroll of the last 7 posts made in the network.  Very cool and makes life easier, nothing to update at all.
  • Fast response from the guys.  I had just barely e-mailed my request to join when I got confirmed that I was in.
  • There is a crap ton of content already there on the main site.  Tutorials, tactics articles, reviews, you name it.  It's a feature rich!  All I can hope is that I can add a little something worthwhile now and then.

  So, if you're a blogger, and looking for a network (and who isn't?), this is one to definitely check out!!

See ya after the Feast!!!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Laser Cut Card Objective Markers - Necron

  Well, Neal from Laser Cut Card did it again!  Another home run in the Necron coolness department.  These are some dead simple objective markers for themed for a Necron force and they are just great. 
  What makes them so great?  Notice the dice in the midst of the marker.  This is a great way to show what mysterious terrain you are in.  You can just roll the die, set it into the marker and voila, instant remembering.  I have the GW munitorium objective marker sets, and I like the stands and the dice, mind you, but the color and contrast makes them damned hard to read.
  These markers are pretty big, but not overly so, you can see the size in relation to a die.  One side has the normal spread of number 1,2,2,3,3,4 while the other side has a generic Necron emblem.  They are three layers thick of the heavy duty card Neal uses, so there is very little chance of the die getting bumped or jostled out of the marker during a game.  If you're tough enough to knock the die out of it, you're probably a rage-quitter... seek professional help :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Working Trip to Hawaii, LaserCutCard and more

  Sorry to be away so long, and not getting to post anything about the best release to date - Space Marines!!!  I have been on a working trip to Hawaii.  I know, you're thinking drinks with umbrella's on the beach, but no, this was a hell trip.  Over the last 30 days I had 1 day off.  I even went so far as to ship some of my Eldar figs, paints and some tools to my room there so I could paint them on my down time.  LOL, I never even had a moment to uncap a pot of paint.

  Here are some random pics I grabbed while out there.  It was fun, and we got a lot of work done, good work too, but now I need a vacation.  I need to get back to work and decipher this Space Marine release.  I bought a lot of the models on the pre-order, but really haven't looked at them yet.

The thing I was working with in Hawaii.  Cool pic of this ship

  Also, just before I left I got a package from Neal over at Laser Cut Card.  I know inside is my new monolith and those awesome objective markers for the Necrons.  I'm psyked about those!!  So, more soon, when I get unpacked and back to normal (nuttiness) around here!

On the way to Queens Bath on the Island of Kauai, amazing sights here

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The $20, 286 pot paint rack (wall mounted)

  Yep, you heard me.  $20 will get you this 4ft x 2.5ft wall hanging paint rack.  It is bottle agnostic, so you can store GW, Valejo, P3 and any old kinda paint bottle you want. No way, you say.  Yes, way, I say. The key here is laziness and letting someone else do all the hard work for you.  And here is how it's done...

You will need;

  • 1 - 2x4 sheet of pegboard (~$9.00 at Lowes or Home Depot)
  • 33 - 36" 5/16 Dowel rods (The job is way easier if you get 3/16" dowels rods, but they seemed a little too flimsy for me) ($0.59 at Michaels Hobby Supply or $0.79 at Ace Hardware)

Tools you will need;

  • Drill (easy) or Drill Press (easier) with 5/16" (or 3/16") drill bit
  • Table Saw (easy), band saw (easy), jig saw (harder), hand saw (damn! buy a band saw!)
  • Sweat
  • spray paint (optional)

Now, follow along with the pictures...

Friday, August 16, 2013

First Look - Space Hulk PC Game

  Yeah, it's here.  The Space Hulk PC Game.  How cool is that?  Here is a first look at the game.

Overall  B+
Graphics - A-
Gameplay - B-
Immersion - A
Learning Curve - A (if you've played Space Hulk Board-game,  B- if not)
Fun Factor - B+
Buy - Yes, if you love the board game, Yes if you are just curious (BA Curious??).  No reason to give it a not buy for any reason.

  Graphically, the game is great.  It has the real feel of the cramped and tight corridors of the Space Hulk.  I have not seen the error/issue that some have reported with marines and Nids walking through walls, but I haven't played through it all.  There is a darkness and fog of war that pervades the game and makes it feel very good.

  Gameplay - Well, the lowest score went here.  Not that there is anything wrong, as far as I have played, it is very faithful to the game and has the same fun value.  There is an issue with animating every genestealer and terminator.  Moves tend to take too long to 'play out'.  At least, you can issue order to all your squad(s) personnel at once, so you can speed it up that way, but there should be an option to just move your guys statically to speed it up.

  All the options you know and love are here, and they all seem to work, but there are a few niggling things that might bug you if you never played the board game.  Quite honestly though, this is a very simple game, just like the board game.

  Immersion is great, you do feel the threat and tension of the board game, and the situation.  There are bugs upon bugs upon bugs and they are scary as hell when they come up in huge groups.  The voice acting is pretty good, but again, it gets a bit repetitive after a while.

  One nice twist is the shoulder cam.  As you order and move your termies around, you get a shoulder eye view of what they are seeing in the upper right corner of the screen.  Really makes you feel like you are in the control room giving orders.  Very nice touch!

  The learning curve is pretty easy, even if you don't do the tutorial missions.  It's not hard to figure out the action points, and what it takes to move and act.  No real "gotchas" in the game.

  Fun Factor... very good.  The game is the board game we all know (and hopefully love).  I'd say it's a must have and for $29.99 on Steam, it's a pretty decent deal.

Enjoy the new game and have a great weekend.  I've been sick all day and I think I'll go sleep... lol

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Necrons with Lollipops, or masking with Silly Putty

  Well, not exactly lollipops, but the first time I looked at at this setup, it struck me as a good title.

  A while back I saw a video from Les Bursley on his youtube channel about using silly putty to mask figs and how easy it was.  Well, I had just painted up Nemessor Zhandrek and Vargard Obyron and done a feeble attempt with ghost tints and power weapons, so I wanted to mask that area off before I hit the figs with dullcote (Or in this case, Army Painter Matte finish spray)

  I rolled out the silly putty into a thin sheet with my clay rolling pin and then cut out some sheets;

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The new game table - awesome sauce!

  Yep, this is awesome filled with awesome sauce, with awesome sprinkles on the top.

  Ok, maybe that's over the top, a bit.  Or alot.

  You see, I am a wargamer by nature, I mean the cardboard counters on paper map type gamer.(Boardgames... ala GMT Games, Compass games etc.)  My friend, Mark, and I have a regular Wednesday game going on at both our houses.  2 weeks we play at his place, the next two week at mine.  Part of the problem is that we play big, long games, and it chews up real estate in the hobby/game room.

  Well, not long ago, Mark got a spankin new game table from Geek Chic, but that was a little too much green for my tastes.  Grand old table, I must say, but I am a minimalist at heart and my goals were quite a bit different;

  • I wanted to build it
  • I wanted to steal the idea of the inset table with a topper to save/protect the game in progress
  • Under $750
  • Had to be 4' x 6' so it would fit my Realm of Battle and other terrain tiles!
  So, the wife and I, with lots of wood tools and a little skill set to designing a game table.   

  When all was said and done, it came in for well under $500 and we actually had fun making it.

  What follows is the picture and text reference of how it went.  Hope you like.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mysterious Terrain - The Dead Pools


  Hey guys, sorry for the lack of updates lately, but it was a crazy week.  The big news is that my new gaming table is almost done!  That will be a huge post all by itself, so I shant dwell on that.  I have done a lot of side work though...

  • I set up a KanBan board (thanks to Carl at Independent Characters for that one...)
  • I started a forest piece (with magnetized trees, more to come)
  • I built a crap-ton of Eldar and got some of them primed...
  • And I built some mysterious terrain pieces (maybe lethal terrain even!)
  Now, in the spirit of total transparency, I stole this idea directly from Nick at IDICBeer.  He has a GREAT YouTube channel and blog, I recommend you check it out.  He has a ton of great tips and tricks and he is very easy to listen to in the background.  Here are his links;

  In his video about lethal terrain, he covers how to make this effect using PVA glue and super glue.  The two have a chemical reaction and the result is very interesting.   The glue looks like it is boiling up after it dries, very cool.  But in his video, he was able to just pour the glue onto the cardboard and it stayed in place.  On my first attempt, I had Elmer's glue all over hell and creation.  I knew I had to change tactics.

  So here is how I changed Nick's idea, just a tad.  I won't say improved, I will just say changed.  here goes.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tool time - Glass Rocks - Multitaskers!

  Just a quickie here, wanted to share a very cool tool I use a lot around here.  They have these bags of glass 'rocks' at hobby lobby, probably at Michael's too.  I would imagine something like them appears at any store that has crafting supplies.  These were found in the wedding area, of all places.

  In the bag is a bunch of very small to medium sized glass rocks.  They are not sharp at all and there is a multitude of sizes and shapes in the bag.  At around $5 (US) they are pretty cheap and you get a lot.

  What do they do?  Lots.

1.  They are great for scenery, terrain and other things like that.  By themselves they look pretty cool, but if you take just a small dot of paint on the 'bottom' of the rocks before you glue them down, you can get some nice colored reflections.  Good for Necron and/or Eldar crystals and such.  Experiment with metallics and colors to get some cool effects. 

2.  Paint mixers.  Yep.  I have a small container of these at my paint station and whenever I open a new GW paint pot, I toss a couple of the larger rocks in there.  (I also use a sharpie to mark the top of the pot so I know that pot already has a mixer in it.)  Now, when I use my patented, super amazing paint mixer, I get a better paint mix.  The glass is nice because, unlike metal, it does not corrode or leech into the paint pot, ruining the color.  I used to use BBs for mixing, but they ruined several pots and I learned not to use metal of any kind.

3.  Floating things...  after all, they are very small rocks... (if you don't know Monty Python, that makes no sense...)

That's all for now, just thought I would share that.

Ciao for now.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Rules - Digital Edition - Quick Review

  Hmmmm, another $40 gone and all I got was a whole crap-ton of electrons that exist only on my iPad.  But are those electrons worth it?

  In my humble opinion, GW should be giving the rules to 40k out for free.  Like any good pusher knows, get 'em hooked and you have a customer for life.  This product ought to be handed out at every convention and game store like candy.  "hey little kid, want a rule-book?".  The problem is, we all know this is not the GW way.  Instead, I got to pay $40 for the honour of having the rules on my iPad.  Yay me!

Back to the question - is it worth it.  Yes.  overall, an emphatic yes.  Why?

1 - Current.  The rules are current with the latest FAQ and changes, so that means a bunch to me.  No more searching the rules and the printed out FAQ pages, or going to the GW site to look for rule changes.  That is too cool.

2 - Portable.  Hmm, huge unwieldy rulebook vs slim, trim iPad.  Well, you decide.  It is a matter of personal choice anyhow.  Some folks are saying that iPads are too easy to carry off (i.e. steal) at Cons and such.  I guess that might be an issue, but only if you're a five year old.

3 - iBooks functionality.  Highlighting, notes, book marking, hot linking and all the other iBooks format tools make it super easy find.  There is also a great glossary section and everything is linked and cross linked so you can find what your looking for very easily.  Just being able to highlight sections and takes notes is handy enough, but the fact that you can actually just sit there in review mode and see all your notes and what-not makes it very handy.

  As far as I can see, the rules are the same as the book, albeit with updates and FAQ changes.  There are some changes to the reference section, but these are obvious changes that you would expect after a year of being out there in the wild (6th edition).  There is no more need for the reference section statlines and info for the factions, as just about everyone has the codex(es) that they need.

  Drawbacks?  Hmmm, I'm trying to think of some.  I know some folks balk at taking the iPad to games for fear of loss/breakage, but I say... be careful.  That's all, just know where you are and what you're doing, man up.  I did hear an argument that the total cost (iPad+Codex+rules) was just too high.  <sigh> my only possible answer to that is STFU.  It's a product, not a requirement.  If you have the tools and money, go for it, if not, there are a myriad of other options. 

  So, for $40, you get all the meat, none of the fluff, in an easy to use format.  No more books for me, I have my iPad and I am ready to game.  Rules, check... Codex, check...  Dice... there's an app for that.

  Now, if only Army Builder would get the damn iPad version out... LOL

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Apocalypse Collectors Edition Unboxing - Pictures

  Ok, who's a sucker... who's a sucker?  That's right, I am!  Games Workshop said, "Look, it's shiny and new!" and I said - "Take mah money!!!".  Well, they did, and I did and so on.

  Yes, I know at $250, this is WAY overpriced, but I just loved the advert movie trailer and had to have one.  It just oozes immersion in the world, and I like it, so blast me for it, but it's here and I thought I might share the unboxing of it all.  It is very cool.  I will also try to justify my purchase as we go... LOL.

Here we go....

 Ok, so this is not a toy or childrens product.  Good thing, because I didn't want to spend that kinda money on a damn kiddie product!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hobby Management - Project Tracking Spreadsheet

  Ok, so I was listening to the video-cast from WGConsortium last night, and they were talking about how they stayed on track with their hobby work commitments.  Made me start thinking about the spreadsheet I use to track my stuff, so I thought I might share the sheet I made.

  It's real easy to use, and be warned, it has no protections or cell locking, so you can mess up the format pretty easily.  Luckily, that’s not really a big deal.  It's just a tool I use to keep me on track of where I am on any particular project or task.

Here are the columns and how they all work;

Unit = The name of the unit I need to work on.

Index = The number of the fig from the squad (10 space marines would get #s 1 thru 10)

Loadout / Notes = I use this column to keep notes on the weapons each fig gets if it is not to be magnetized or anything else I need to remember.

The next 8 columns are the check off area.  They use conditional formating in Excel to go from red to green if you type anything but a space while the cell is highlighted.  This is how I get the 'bar graph' effect that shows me with a quick glance where I am.

The columns are;

Built - is it built and ready for the next step?
Magnet - Is it magnetized (if necessary)?
Primed - Is it primed yet?
Basecoat - Base coat applied yet?
Painted - Painted is the big time eater :)
Based - is it all based up and ready to go?
Detailed - are all the final details done? (Clearcoat, clean up, bits added)
Complete - Ok, all done now!

To use these columns, you can enter any character (except a space) and the cell will change from red to green.  If you decide to go back, just highlight the cell and hit delete, it goes red again.

The last three columns are rarely used, but they are for

Due Date - Really?  Hobby Deadlines... I hate that
Estimated Time - How long do I think it will take, in hours
Actual Time - How long did it really take... lol.  I use this to modify my guesses in the future.

  So there it is, pretty simple, but it works for me, and it might for you.  Who knows?  I'll just leave it out there and you decide it it's useful or crap.  Feel free to change it however you like, it all free.

The link to the file...  Blank Build and Paint Plan (xlsx)

And a filled out one for example...  Eldar Build and Plan

Hope you like it and see ya soon.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Realm of Battle - Expansions done, now with charnel pools!

  It is coming...  after all.  My Apocalypse Collectors version really did make the cut at the last minute and is winging it's way here.  A more thorough review of the box when it arrives.

  Today is another chapter in the Realm of Battle board saga.  I bought the extensions some time ago from my FLGS (Active Imagination) and they sat, languishing in the corner.  A couple weekends ago, I decided it was time to get them ready for Space Wolf corpses, so I had better get to it.

  So here it is, in pictures...

The boards, primed in white acrylic primer and the rocky areas sprayed with Black.  The primer is any cheap acrylic primer from a hobby store (Hobby Lobby or Michael's ...), no need to wasted Valejo or <god forbid> citadel primer on this.  Scuff up the boards a bit too with really light sandpaper (after you wash them in water and dish soap, like you do with all your plastic minis, right?)

  The two boards after having been painted with acrylic tube paints (thinned with tap water, no special care needed here).  I used umber/sienna colors to match the theme of the old boards.  This step helps in case you get a divot or ding in your flocking.  I tried to roughly feather the colors out from the black to the lightest shade, but having variation and hard lines no and then does not hurt.  If you ever look at "real" terrain from high above (i.e. an aircraft) you'll see that nature is made up of some blends and some very hard lines.  You'll also notice that even in the most unending 'boring' terrain, there is a vast amount of texture and hue difference.  Even flying over Kansas wheat fields you see marked differences in the texture and color beneath you.

   Again, a closer shot just to see where I airbrushed some paint for fun, brushed and generally played around with it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

My crazy life... IMP Armour 12, Night Shroud, Nova Open Raffles

  Ok, writing this post on my iPad as I lie in the hospital bed I'm chained to for another night.  Long story short, sat night/Sunday morning I went into anaphylaxis shock and was not able to breathe.  Not a cool thing, but the Rio Rancho FD was on the scene ASAP (heroes!!)  Lots of doctoring going on and I find out that I also have type 2 diabetes.  To add insult to injury, I ordered a collector's edition of Apocalypse on Friday, only to find out today that they had sold out before my order went in.  Shitty weekend, all in all.

  But, I did get some cool stuff in the last few weeks.  quick reviews follow...

Forge World - Necron Night Shroud Bomber

 Yeah, this thing rocks.  For one, the model is way better than  the Storm Eagle I bought previously.  The parts are much better fit and it looks like this one might go together pretty easily.

  And... it has Death Spheres.  Think photon torpedoes for the battlefield.  S10 AP1 Large Blast, bomb with blind and pinning.  That's a world of hurt and it carries 5 of them.

  I cannot wait to build this thing and give it a shot.

Forge World - Imperial Armour 12 - The Fall of Orpheus

 Wowza!  Expensive but is this ever great.  I have never picked up an imperial armor book before, but after listening to the Independent Characters podcast review, I had to order it.

 Am I ever glad I did.  Just the fluff section is great, but it really shines with the 3 army lists and campaign systems.  The army lists are for a new Necron dynasty called the Maynarkh.  Very cool options with these guys and you can take a lot of it to regular 40k.  The new units are fun.

  The other lists are for a Space Marine Minotaurs chapter, again, cool stuff here.  The last entry is for the update ImpGuard Death Corps of Krieg.  Again, very cool to look at, and I am not a Guard person at all.  If I was to do any Imp Guard stuff, it would be these guys, no question.

  The campaign system is outstanding.  Very fair and balanced while allowing you to play anything you like.  There are some example missions but they are suggestions and you can do anything you like, Zone Mortalis, regular 40k, even BFG if you like. 

  The book is way worth what you pay for it 48 Brit Pounds or $71 dollars at today's rate.  Expensive but you do get what you pay for.  

Forge World - Abbadon and Loken

 Ok, who doesn't love Loken and hate Abbadon, when reading the book(s).  This is a gorgeous set of figs and base.  The great part is both characters are on bases that slide in and out of the diorama, so you can have this as a great display piece, but also use the characters in a game.


Well, that's about it for now, getting tired and it's almost time for a vital signs check.  Signing off...

DOH... one more thing...

The guys at Nova Open are doing charity army raffles at this years open.  Here is the text from their website raffle section.

Our biggest fundraising events will be charitable army raffles, which focus on engaging the tabletop miniature gaming communities. Raffle tickets are sold online HERE continuously until the drawings which will occur at the NOVA Open Convention on Sunday, September 1, 2013. This year, there are three painted armies being created for the following causes:
 Sounds awesome to me, and they are giving .95cents of every $1 spent on raffle tickets and you do not need to be there to win.  Very cool!  I just had to plug that.

Now I'm outta here...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

BatRep 1250 - A good embarrassment??

Stolen shamelessley from ADHD gaming blog
  Well, it's been a while, but Devin and I finally got back together last wek to continue our escalation series.  To say he handed me my ass is a sort of kind to me.  But I walked away from this one feeling not too bad.  If I hadn't blown the roll for that Jaws of the World Wolf crap, I think it would have been a lot closer.

Sooo, I am a saaaad Necron.  But this too shall pass.

Here is a look at my army list.  I like it and I plan to use this core again in the future.

1250 Pts - Necrons Roster - Necron Force OU-812.3

HQ: Nemesor Zahndrekh (2#, 265 pts)
   1 Nemesor Zahndrekh, 185 pts
      1 Catacomb Command Barge, 80 pts

: Vargard Obyron (1#, 160 pts)
   1 Vargard Obyron, 160 pts

: Royal Court (2#, 85 pts)
   1 Royal Court, 0 pts
      1 Harbinger of Destruction, 35 pts = (base cost 25 + Harbinger of Destruction 10)
      1 Lord, 50 pts = (base cost 35 + Mindshackle Scarabs 15)

Troops: Warriors (11#, 230 pts)
   10 Warriors, 130 pts = 10 * 13
      1 Night Scythe, 100 pts

Troops: Warriors (5#, 65 pts)
   5 Warriors, 65 pts = 5 * 13

Troops: Warriors (5#, 65 pts)
   5 Warriors, 65 pts = 5 * 13

Troops: Immortals (5#, 85 pts)
   5 Immortals, 85 pts = 5 * 17

Heavy Support: Doomsday Ark (1#, 175 pts)
   1 Doomsday Ark, 175 pts

Fast Attack: Destroyers (2#, 120 pts)
   2 Destroyers, 120 pts = 2 * 40 (base cost 40) + Heavy Gauss Cannon x2 40

Created with Army Builder® - Try it for free at

Things I learned.

  • Zahndrekh in a CCB is a waste of 80 pts.  He didn't have a warscythe, so no douche-canoe action here. 
  • The 5 man warrior squads were fun, but not effective.  In the beginning, I sacrificed a squad to tie up up the nut-job of the Space Wolves, nigel ninnyhammer(Njal), but they only lasted maybe 2 turns.
  • Doomsday ark is fun, even when it dies early.
  • Need more than 2 destroyers...
  • Screw reserves.  I have never not had them come in on turn 4.  Never again.

So here is how it went, briefly.

I deployed first (Bad thing, the long fangs got the bead on the doomsday ark) but I also got to go first.  The mission was standard deployment, Big Guns Never Tire.  Pretty straightforward.  As you can see from the pics, I tried to spread out his forces so I could use my mobility (from the destroyers and Obyron's teleporting) to be "firstest with the mostest"

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sergeants Miniatures Game - A++

  I know, I know, this has nothing to do with 40k.  Well, not every day is a 40k day, and with all the talk about Malifaux, Warmahordes and all the others, I thought I would give this a review for you. So...  Sergeants, Day of Days

If you need a break, or side game from 40k...

If you like or are even interested in WWII  (That's World War II for you Albuquerque Public School folks)

If you like GREAT, simple gaming...

RUN, do not walk, to go get this game.

  This game is beyond a lot of fun, it's a hoot.  My wife learned it in about 10 minutes and is playing a great game.  Anyone can learn this game quickly, and it will not push out any of the W40k brain cells you have trained.  It really is easy and fun. 

  Now, I am a veteran of years of ASL, ATS and even Combat Commander.  I rate it higher than ASL, since ASL is simply broken and is just a game, not a simulation.  It's more fun than ATS and easier than Combat Commander.  Bang on good times!


-- The miniatures are painted already.  Yes, they are 20mm scale, so they don't fit with other WWII mini games that well, but that is not a factor.  More later.

-- The map is dead easy to set up.  It's laser cut wood heavy cardboard that feels just as heavy and durable as wood. (I was corrected, sorry) and fits together like a puzzle, each tile is double sided and geo-morphic, so no two games will ever have to be the same (After you leave the printed scenarios and design your own).  The options are incredible. 

-- There is ONE over-arching game mechanic, and that is how to count distance and compute the modifiers for the look/shot/cover attempt.  Once you figure out that, the entire game is playable in 2 minutes.  It is really easy.

-- The figs have stands that have a lot of info and keep them in good order when you put them in a box/plano/whatever container you have.

-- The game is card driven (and action oriented).  Once you have gone through the first turn, you will "get" the system and how it plays.  There is now convoluted wacky systems to learn that 'don't quite' work the same as everything else.  Everything works the way you think it should.

-- NO DICE!  everything is resolved using the action cards

-- Soldiers have identities, you get to know them, you feel their pain, live their glory, you live vicariously through your men!  (ok, got carried away there.)  But really, there is a story in every scenario, and it's a blast watching it play out.

-- Soldiers are not 'cookie-cutters'.  They are all unique and have different values and 'stat-lines' if you will.  Each one brings his own set of abilities and foibles to the table.  You can build your squad with a hodge-podge of soldiers, or tailor make a unit for objectives you need to achieve.

-- (Added) it's also all made in the good ol' US of A, Maryland to be exact.  


-- I don't think any of them have arrest records, so no cons...  LOL... sorry couldn't resist.

-- Expensive game.  Yes, there is big Dollahs here, but come on, we pay GW top dollar and the components in this game are 20 times the value.  Painted miniatures, laser cut maps and components,  Full vivid color everywhere, great card decks.  You get a lot more than you pay for with this one!  (I kinda made that a pro... not a con...  ok, I'm jazzed about this game.)

The Game

   Gameplay is pretty straightforward.  You chose your squad from the available pool of VPs in the scenarios.  The printed scenarios may also list certain soldiers or Sergeants you have to take.  You add the Action Cards for each soldier (They all have 7) to your deck. shuffle up and deal yourself a hand and get ready.

  The Story Cards control the action directly.  Of the 4 actions in the game (Look/Move/Shoot/Hide), the story cards each have only two.  You turn over three story cards for each turn.  On your own display, you have to play action cards in each phase that match one of the two actions on the story card.  After you have done that, the turn starts and you resolve all those actions.

  The uniqueness of the game is how the Story Cards dictate the action, for both players, since you each have to respond to them, and how the Action Cards tell the story during the turn, controlling how each soldier behaves and interacts.  It makes for a highly balanced game where tactics and knowing how your soldiers will perform win games, not dice rolls or charts.

  Right now, there is the basic game (Day of Days) and some expansions, as well as a few extra squad and leader boxes out there.  The new set (Red Devils) is on the way soon and it sure to be a hit as well, after all, they're adding Brits to the mix!


  Again, if you like WWII games, or even just FUN games, this is something very much worthy of picking up.  I was at ConSimWorld last week and got to speak to the designer and even learned the game from him.  I was totally impressed and everywhere this game seems to go, it hits like wildfire.  You will simply not go wrong if you want to do something on the side that is not W40k.

  And the mini's are already painted, how Freakin' cool is that????

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Take it apart, there's bits inside!

  In the shot over there on the left is just a sample of the pile of bits I made by taking apart two old DVD players I had lying around. Quite the haul, I think, and all this was for about 15 minutes work.  This was 2 old DVD players that are now gone, not used, kaput!

  (As an aside, I bought the Blu-Ray for the bedroom so we could watch Blu-Ray movies in there, chiefly, the UltraMarines movie I just picked up on Blu-Ray.  Yes, I am that guy who thinks that movie doesn't suck all that bad.)

But anyhow, from just these two drives, let me take you through the pile.

- 6 good motors that can either be speed controlled via battery size, or a decent potentiometer.  Automate the turret on that Predator, I think maybe?  The motors are small enough to also be used for the turret on my StormRaven, who knows?

- Gears! Everything from scenery effects to using them for that Turret!  There are different gears in there, but the ones that have the attached belt and pulley are screaming to be added to my Generator scenery piece.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Review - Laser Cut Card 'Cyborg Monolith' - Awesome!

  I have had this card stock kit from Laser Cut Card for a while now, just have not had time to build it.  Boy am I sorry, this is great stuff.

  I had a Sunday night off (no mothers day here, we're monster-less :) so I looked for something to knock together.  There on my desk was my envelope from South Africa (where Laser Cut Card resides) and I decided to do it.

  It looked slightly intimidating at first, but reading through the steps on the instructions at the website made it look easier.  I have to say that Neal must have put a great deal of thought into his design, because it goes together without a hitch.  Super simple, easy to build and very forgiving of a guy with little manual dexterity and lacking modeling talent.

  The instructions on the website are clear and concise, but they lacked any information on painting.  That kinda sucked 'cuz I spent quite a while looking.  In the end I decided just to airbrush regular acrylic paint onto them.  It seems to have worked well, but we'll see if there is any warping as the paint sets overnight.  I am betting it won't, or I'm sure Neal would have warned users not to do it.

  Hint - If he says to do or not do something, he means it.  Tolerances are very tight and everything fits well if you 'do it his way'.  I won't bore you with tutorial steps on assembly, I'll just put in some pics showing where I deviated because of the paint job I wanted on mine.

  All in all, I give this kit a big A or 9.5 (I hate giving perfect scores, it tends to cheapen the scale, I think).  It went together, paint and all, in just a couple of hours.  A sharp knife and some super glue is all you really need for a great looking terrain piece / objective for your Necron game table.  Easy to build, fun to build and paint, what more can you ask for?

  I am now totally looking forward to building the 'cyborg defense line' for my next game, since I really haven't painted my Aegis defense line yet...

Pics Follow....

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Jumping on the CSM/Chaos Bandwagon

  Ok, ok, so I did it.  I jumped on the bandwagon of the old Chaos/CSM steam train.  It's not like I wanted to, it's Chaos damnit, it worms it's way in, it finds ways into your day.  It didn't hurt that a friend was selling his Chaos army and the price was right.

  I got a heck of deal on this army, and having already tried it once, I like the way it played.  And get this, I played without a Heldrake.  Now, I did go buy a Heldrake, and it is on the list to build, but for now, I like what I have.

  Oh yeah, here is the stuff I got.

  • Daemon Prince (Metal, painted)

  • Abaddon (Metal, Primed)
Fabius Bile (Metal)
Kharne the Betrayer (Metal)

  • Ahriman (Metal)
Lucius the Eternal (Metal)

  • 2x Chaos Sorcerers (Metal, Different models, 1 painted)

  • Chaos Lord (Metal, Painted)

  • Chaos Lord in Term Armor (Metal, with extra set of arms)

  • 17 Chaos Space Marines (Mix of painted, primed and non-primed)

  • 1 Chaos Space Marine with Banner (Metal)
6 Chaos Terminators (Metal, 2 have Reapers, all primed)
12 Khorne Berserkers (1 painted, 11 Base Coated)

  • 1 Khorne Berzerker on Steed (Metal, Primed) 

  • 7 Plague Marines (Metal)

  • 7 Possessed (5 Metal, I have box)

  • 1 Noise Marine? (Metal guy, big gun)

  • 5 Raptors (Metal in box)

  • 2 Obliterators (Metal)

  • 1 Chaos Rhino (Primed, well used)

  • 2 Defilers (1 primed)

  • 1 Chaos Land Raider (Needs some assembly)

  • 1 Daemon Bloodletter of Khorne (Metal, primed, missing a wing)
5 Daemon Hounds (Metal, primed)

  • Various Chaos bits

  • Chaos side of Dark Vengeance Limited box
  Yep, that makes a good start for a CSM force, and some of it gets well used into a Chaos force that is on my mind.  While this force is heavily Khorne-ish, I will be taking it down the road of Tzeentch. 

  What I really like is that most of it metal, love the metal figs, really.  The plastic is great, but I like the heft of the metal figs.

  So, some of this goes to the stripper barrel right away, but a lot can just hit the paint line now. Ahhh, the joys of Chaos!!!!

  No game this weekend, had a trip to Ruidoso for some cabin/camping/getting away from it all...  Back to BatReps soon, I hope!