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...