Tuesday 31 December 2019

Hobby Spends 2019

Following on from previous year's spending record I've kept another log for 2019 [and will do so for 2020]. The final figure of £150.42 was roughly a 75% reduction than last years gross spend of £624! But again I tried to limit my spends as much as possible to Christmas money and vouchers, and my GT4 refund of £65 helped balance the books.

On top of that I still have a number of surplus items earmarked to sell on ebay to cover my hobby costs. And I managed to save up some of those Amazon vouchers again and won a couple of social media competitions for Element Games [Use this code: DAV910 for DOUBLE Element Crystals], so I thought I had £10 added to may account and a further £10 voucher but when I checked I seem to have accrued of £100 from their Element Crystals reward scheme!? At some point I may find a use for that.

So my net spend of £55 over 12 months is £120 less than last year! My figure purchases are down again [9 models, although 1 is a big a$$ building] and having queried the group about Zombies!!! and whether it was a legitimate hobby cost, or something for the family, I included it in my spends. Having done that I feel even better that 10% of my outgoings wasn't even 40k related and not solely for me [even though we've not played it yet!]. And another 10% was on the Humble Bundle Black Library Audio books. I've not listened to any of them either but it was too good of a deal to miss. One day I'll get it all sorted.

I've still got the Warhammer Conquest Calsius models to sell on ebay, maybe need some bits for conversions and paint [always paint] but not much else planned. With my limited gaming there is really no urge to add to my grey tide. To beat this year's spend will be tough but I feel like I've plenty to paint already, so paint consumables could be my biggest outgoing in 2020 and even if I do spend on gaming I've got £170+ of vouchers to cover it!

Anyway, I had a very frugal year, bring on 2020.

Monday 30 December 2019

Blackstone Fortress - Espern Locarno and Beastmen - basecoats

Despite my muse being the Middenheim MaraudersI was suddenly overcome to get my #blackstonefortress commitment done. Basecoats on the Beastmen - following my Garrek's Reavers colour scheme - Stonewall Grey for the hair, brown for the horns [I'd do the hooves the same too], Khorne Red fur/skin, gun metal and Brass Scorpion.

Purple wash over everything.

Hair in particular looks very different.

Khorne Red highlights on the skin/fur

Then Bloody Red highlights

Not 100% happy with things, think they still need some more highlighting but don;t want to lose the redness.

Espern Locarno was more in keeping with Steelheart's Champions - Stonewall Grey for the tabard, purple for the cloak and Warplock Bronze.

Monday 16 December 2019

Blackstone Fortress - Espern Locarno and Beastmen Big Build - TO DONE!

After our game of #BlackstoneFortress we each went away with a unit of 'baddies' and our respective hero. I think I got the hardest part with the Beastmen but as I paint more than anyone else that might be the best disposition of the task.

I'd wanted to try the official Blackstone Fortress basing tutorial I hope the other guys give it a go too, so we have some consistency but it's Liam's game and he's just happy for it to be dark so if we all start from black it should all look similar. I sanded all the bases, added a small triangle of plasticard for some change in height and a small stone and debris for variety. I also used the 3D Dimensional paint to fill any gaps in the model. I'm thinking about painting them in the same colours scheme as my Garrek's Reavers, with one difference - Liam is not a fan of gloss varnish or even Tamiya Clear Red X-27 so I have to steer clear of those shenanigans.

Espern Locarno was based at the same time.

I'm not 100% sure on my colour scheme, although I'm lazily thinking back to my Steelheart's Champions as an option. The 'eavy metal version has a purple cloak so it would fit that but the white robes might offer a personal touch. all the metals will by my usual bronze fair.

In truth most of these had already been built by Liam so I don't really deserve the badge but I won't use them otherwise so what the heck.

And they're kind of based too, I mean not painted base which is the true criteria but... sod it.

Meanwhile, despite Liam saying he hasn't painted in months because he has no time, he only went and painted Janus Draik and the Ur-Ghuls in a day. He's still to do the bases but I'm suddenly very conscious about doing the Beastmen justice after he's done such an amazing job on his models...

Friday 13 December 2019

Blackstone Fortress

Got a message from Ben the other day to arrange a game, he's had a renovation and house move recently so gaming has been low priority. He'd got Otty and Liam on board and the plan had been Blood Bowl but Liam brought along #BlackstoneFortress which I've been itching to try since I realised it could [up to] 5 players at once. Low model count with RPG elements we can play together, it seems like the perfect solution and antidote to the high model count and convoluted mechanics 40k has seemed to become within our group.

Anyway, we drew our cards randomly and I got Espern Locarno - the Navigator. I also drew some pre-game event card where I discovered a booby-trapped 'chest'. To defuse the bomb I had to roll 5D6, score a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 and stack them in that order on top of each other, without toppling over within 20 seconds. Now I could delegate the challenge to someone else but as we didn't know what we were getting into I did a test roll, though it was a doddle and went for it. First roll got me everything but the 5 and then I rolled and rolled and rolled that one dice until the timer ran out and got 2 damage worth of shrapnel in my face. Half my wounds gone before the game begins! To add insult to injury, Otty, who had had a practice beforehand immediately picked up the lone dice and rolled a 5! He then did the challenge himself in under 10 seconds. Anyway, this was my player card at the beginning, with another element of note I'll mention later but you might pick up on if you've played the game.

This was our entry into the Blackstone Fortress. It's also worth noting no figures had been painted by Liam. It's worth noting because we never play with unpainted figures and that fact was repeatedly noted by us to Liam at every opportunity - and that's why we play folks - the ritual humiliation of our friends for $hit$ and giggles! 😂

Having arrived on the mag-lift [Otty was the Kroot Mercenary Dahyak Grekh, Ben was the two Ratling explorers Rein and Raus and Liam the Rogue Trader dandy hisself Janus Draik], a gaggle of 4 Ur-Ghuls appeared top right, 8 chaos cultists top left and 6 cultists bottom middle.

I went first, moved to the side and think managed to heal a wound. Otty advanced and shot half the cultists to death - he was utterly brutal and efficient in his capabilities. What had seemed overwhelming at first suddenly looked achievable.

The Ratling Twins managed to get some more kills and then Janus Draik took a number of activaiton dice to sprint across the board and just scythe through all but one of the cultists. Everything was looking easy... too easy and it was then that I realised we were all playing our characters in their 'inspired' profiles 😞 There wasn't much we could do at this stage and I suggested we just played it like a temporal warp anomaly had boosted our prowess. We would play as uninspired the next turn and return to inspired, for those that had achieved it [everyone except me because they had all been killing machines].

In the mean time the Ur-Ghuls managed to reach the Ratlings and do some damage, the other Cultists skulked behind their barricades.

A turn later and we'd killed the xenos filth, the last of the cultists holding one of the objectives and searched both of the objectives. My adventuring colleagues had discovered some serious loot [mainly archaeotec wepons]. The remaining cultists finally started to investigate the noise of fighting in the fortress so we arrayed ourselves to receive their charge.

And then swamped them. With the last three cultists cut down we were free to remove all the artefacts on board and although I didn't kill enough to become 'inspired' I came away with an arteffact to trade with my colleagues.

Back on board our transport vessels I soon discovered Liam had found the secret co-ordinates required of my personal mission. By trading my artefact with him I would start the next game automatically inspired so everything was looking rosy and we were all back-slapping each other that our first game had gone so well.

OK so we'd been inspired when we shouldn't have been and so the capricious chaos G.O.D.s intervened to temper our hubris and it transpired such success did not go unnoticed - Chaos Lord Obsidious Mallex himself would be joining his throng to prevent further incursions from our intrepid band of heroes.

With hindsight only fair, we were over-powered from the get go, no we will be challenged appropriately. Hopefully my inspired nature will help mitigate his impact.

Anyway, we thought the game was great, suggested we play it once a month [although Blod Bowl is also an option]. We each took our hero and a unit of baddies and promised to paint them ahead of the next game. I got the Chaos Beastmen, so expect updates as I go off piste of my To Do List...

Monday 2 December 2019

Blood Bowl - Human Team Original Middenheim Marauders - team badge

Following on from my last #bloodbowl post I decided to take tackle the team badge, I mean it's a challenge - the straight swords would have been easier than the cutlasses but I can be a little masochistic sometimes.

So, here's how I did it. I started with one banana shape, from the centre of the diamond to just above it's top-most corner.

I then mirrored it on the other side.

A couple of extensions on either side to lead up to the sword guards and hilt.

And them little circular swoops for the guards themselves. Not too pretty but OK.

I managed to get better as I went along though. Some of the smaller badges are a bit clunky but not too bad.

I then painted Tau-Sept Ochre [still going strong] in the sword blades themselves.

There was a bit of bleed over the outlines, I tried tidying it up afterwards but I'm not going to lose any sleep over perfection.

I added a yellow highlight inside each blade and then tried to add Bahama blue for the sword guard. The blue was a much greater challenge, there really wasn't enough space within the black and my ability to paint tiny details was not up to the challenge.

Instead I ended up with some blue blobs, which at least from a distance manages to achieve the same effect.

So I can live with it. I have thought adding a yellow fill to the number decals might help them stand out and tie in with the badge a bit. There's sufficient space for my level of skill to achieve what I'm hoping for, it won't be like the blue at least ;) 

While I was at it I managed to paint the eyeballs on my 3 helmet-less players. I had some white from picking out highlights on the badges diamond which also helped with the contrast on the symbol. Pupils to do next, lets see how they go down.

Compared to the quartering these details seem to take so long for not much return but it's quality not quantity in this case. Unlike my last post of the painting the diamonds which felt like there wasn't even quality for all the effort involved, this one feels like a step further on. So I've the numbers to address, all the black elements need highlighting and various other little bits but they're so close to being done now, which is handy as I have another project that has suddenly caught my attention...