Wednesday, February 14, 2018

15mm XCOM: Snakemen reinforcements

I managed to bury a few figs from my lead pile. These 15mm figs are from Critical Mass games and originally were 'mercenaries' but I believe there was a bit of a kickstarter to expand their range. I grabbed these fellows within the last year when critical mass were closing but hadn't yet been announced as being picked up by Ral Partha Europe. 
I previously had a set of 5 but thought it would be wise to get some extras when it was possible the range might disappear. Looking back at the blog I realized I haven't done anything on this front since late 2014. Shameful. Expect some developments soon.
A number of people have recognized their excellent suitability as 'snakemen' miniatures to match the some of the enemies in the wonderful computer game series XCOM.  So this is what I was channeling. 
 I first played xcom in the mid 90's and it was a very cool game. The reboot in 2012 took all the good, stripped out the tedious and made a sweet new package. Sweet enough to do a reimagining where the humans lost and are now the resistance in XCOM2. It's pretty amusing to see how far graphics have come in a side by side placement.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

28mm French Napoleonic Legere - test paint

I spent a large chunk of Nov/Dec hobby time assembling (trimming, cleaning, gluing) models rather than painting. It's not terribly interesting to document on a blog. These guys were finished right around the start of the new year but I was remiss in getting a photo of them.

My big push was to clean up and put on painting sticks all my French 28mm stuff. Help to figure out what I actually have (as I have a small pile of warlord, victrix, perry's, and lead). I did a small lot for my initial test paint as I decided to see how priming in blue would work. Seems to have turned out okay. I still need to base these guys properly, but I will wait till I have a large block to work on.

 These fine gentlemen are from the perry box of french line. They come with 6 out of 42 skirmishing figures as voltiguers. I decided to paint them as legere voltigues (blue pants and different poms/shoulder boards). The dead figs are from a cavalry box I beleive. Don't look too close as one of them is actually a british sculpt (le gasp!).

Monday, January 22, 2018

Boost the Blog Signal (BtBS)

In a continued consideration on how to promote the (endangered?) blog community, I had some
thinking on a challenge that would promote social connections within the blog community, and encourage people to engage with the content, rather than just be a lurker that consumes content without contribution.

For the moment I'll call this "Boost the Blog Signal" (BtBS) as you probably want a clear name that conveys the intent, and has a handy acronym. BBS was sorta interesting to me as I'm of the vintage where I dialed into other peoples computers to play text games, but I suspect there'd be some issues with that.

Let me lead early with: I would very much appreciate readers comments and thoughts on any of this.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Re-Building (Blog) Community

The new year post on plastic legions (link) started off by rueing the state of the blog. Social media has swallowed a lot of the vitality from the blogosphere and old style forum. The comment section on that post is quite interesting (go read it, I'll wait).

It's quite obvious that other the last few years there has been a steady fall off in blog activity. Non updated blogs, viewership numbers dropping, much less comments.  It feels like like the pic to the right, there are people around but just not many, and not right here.

On the other hand, I look at how vibrant the oldhammer community is (both with rogue trader style items, as well as fantasy). I believe that this issue comes down to community. Humans are social animals, and we wish to make connection with others. On the interwebz, specifically within blogs, that ends up coming through comments. I assume that you move onto greater things where you start creating group projects and mailing each other minis at some point, but that's like shangri la to me.

One of the problems of social media is that you post pictures instead of tell tales. There is a need for a balance between concise writing and enough photos: we've all seen bad examples of posts of solid text [like this one] but social media falls on the other extreme. You don't make connection with a well painted mini, you make connection by hearing about painting struggles, reading paint recipes, appreciating plans for the future, or steps in the conversion.

Another problem is that it's too easy to lurk in social media. You can like on a like button instead of commenting. It makes us lazy. Too lazy to exercise our ability to comment. I expect that readership numbers on most blogs are far, FAR higher than comments, even taking into account bots. We expect to have a stream of entertainment sleet through us without us needing to make effort to engage it.

Social media isn't just killing the blogs by leaching their traffic, they are killing them by making us entertainment zombies. Our hobbies are about doing stuff. If you can't manage to do stuff yourself, don't you owe a debt to those who do by commenting on their work/effort?

I think my favorite part of the hobby challenge I did in the past (6MMRPC) was the regulars you saw churning out work and who would comment on your own efforts. One of the key features in my mind was about requiring regular posts (weekly). I would personally have added a requirement to comment on at least two other peoples posts. I haven't seen much in the way of (painting) challenges lately (except, again, with the oldhammerers).

Maybe some sort of challenge that is more about (re)building the blog community is needed?  It may be time to explicitly state that as a goal with painting tagged on, rather than the other way.

I, personally, have resolved this year to engage more with the blogs I read, and try and comment on every post I read. It is but a fraction of the time and effort the authors put into them.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Year Resolution Post 2017/2018

The blogosphere is busy with people posting their year end/beginning posts, and I though I might as well join in. It felt a bit of a dismal year with regard to hobbying, as I've done miserably little painting lately. Looking back, however, it seems I achieved a lot more than I currently 'feel'.
I finished ~70 infantry, 12 cavalry in 28mm, and >200 infantry and >50 cavalry in 15mm....and 2 elephant. Numbers that make you feel good.

From a resolution point of view I even achieved 3 of 4 goals. Another feel good moment. Obviously aiming low is the way to do it. I suspect I should have my resolutions somewhere visible, or review them or something.
2017 Resolutions
1/. Get a FOG force table ready CHECK. Carthaginians whoo!
2/. Attend Enfilade again with at least one command worth of troops CHECK Heavy french cav Hah!
3/. Resurrect a failed resolution FAIL
4/. Host 2 games this year Check. I managed to get some 'all units engage' played, which although my opponent had his own painted figs, I *COULD* have fielded both sides.

Life wise, we have had a baby this year, so I suspect that the drop in hobby time I have had will probably worsen. I started bee keeping in the summer, which is also another pull on time, and the yard work transformation of the home continues. Spring/Summer is most likely a write off. I'll have to be clever about what I honestly think I can finish this year.

2018 Resolutions
1/. Document my work better/Increase blog posts.
I feel like there quite a few things that I finish that never get pictures, or never get blogged. It's great to see your success at the end of the year.  I will informally target at least 24 posts this year.

2/. Attend Enfilade (again) with a (new) French command.
This will be the 3rd year. Cleverly I will be getting quite close to having enough troops to field both sides of a fight.

3/. Don't be a lurker. Be a commenter. 
An interesting post, and the resulting comment thread has me a bit worried about blogging. I hope that the 'death of the blogosphere' is oversold.....but the move to facebook is to the detriment of the community in my mind. I'll do a real post on this, but I resolve to comment actively on most postings I see. Build the community, give positive reinforcement to those who write rather than post a pic on social media.

4/. Finish two 'in progress' batches of figures.
 There's so much lying around from small groups to hordes. This *shoudn't* be hard.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Undocumented work: Jungles

I was swapping emails with a local gamer and tried to send him pictures of some of the terrain I'd made. Turns out I'd never put pictures on my blog. Even more surprisingly, I didn't have pictures. Ver strange because I could swear I took a photo when I finished the project. Strange stuff.

These are jungle terrain bases on CDs. I got the idea from Too Fat Lardies walkthrough for "charlie don't surf". It took me a coon's age to track down the dark green 'grassy' door mat stuff. Months and an international border before I spotted one in point roberts. Pain in the posterior to stuff in my backpack and motorbike with it. Even more annoying that now I see them regularly in many hardware stores. I must have been ahead of my time.

The original pictures appear to be casualties of the photobucket shakedown that has screwed a lot of blogs recently. Basically you use cake topper palm trees, various aquarium plants, doormat grass, hot glue gun, and (for me) pumice gel media.

I find the palm trees too cartoony and too short. I'd like to make some extra bases with taller palms to make a 'triple canopy' type thing. The cd shinyness also seems to peek through too much. I suspect hitting this stuff with primer before hand might help.....although it might just flake off and leave a worse bond. Though I've noted a bunch of damaged trees that need some fixing (off picture there's probably another 8ish bases) so I probably shouldn't store them at the bottom of a rubber maid container with all the extress build materials on top (dur).

Friday, September 29, 2017

Columns from the East.....More Perry Russian Napoleonics

Marching out of the painting pile, I have a host of Russians (plastic and metal Perry figs) reinforcements for my 'General du Corp' Russian Army. As mentioned before these rules are convention fast play set by Doug over at Dots of Paint blog.

Hoping to one day have enough figs of my own to host a game I long ago decided to aim for enough figs for '3 corp'....ish.  Looking at the OOB of the battles makes me realize it's very helpful to have friends contributing....I am often impressed by Doug's wisdom in his approach to gaming.

Above are the old style grenadier with the 'busch' style plume (pipe cleaners I think some call them). 

The remaining 5 bases are regular line infantry.
I FINALLY used the flags from the plastic box set. I can see with future expansions (if any) that I'll need to score some more flags to avoid duplicates (or use the plain white regimental flags a lot more.

These fellows are my 'lazy line', as the standard bearers have shouldered their kit. Even the drummer and officer are taking it pretty relaxed. The standard emblems have an unfortunate tendency to fall off and didn't make it into the picture prior to repair.
The final base with a single metal fellow wiping his brow. Painting is hard work!