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My 2014 Hobby Not-Resolutions

01/13/2014 2 comments

Now that things are ever so slowly returning to normal, I think it’s time to run through a few of the ideas I have for the coming few months. I did seriously consider writing a list of ‘Hobby Resolutions’ for 2014 but given my track record, I think I’ll keep things slightly smaller scale to avoid disappointment, dissolution and frustration.

First of all, I need to finish my Hobby Room / Man Cave.

A fancy-pants panorama of the Hobby Cave a couple of weeks ago.

A fancy-pants panorama of the Hobby Cave a couple of weeks ago.

And as it looks today (about twenty minutes ago actually), I managed to fit in an extra bookcase which now holds...

And as it looks today (about twenty minutes ago actually), I managed to fit in an extra bookcase which now holds…

...all my wargaming books.

…all my wargaming books 🙂

As you can see, it’s currently taking shape however it still requires some more light (the ceiling light doesn’t work, thanks previous owners!), a couple more chairs and a gaming table.  Unfortunately the pictures don’t really show how long the room is, it can easily take a 6’x4′ table with enough space to be comfortable.  Most pressingly however it requires to be tidy, that will be my first challenge and one that can be completed without spending any cash. Doing so will also allow me to start painting and building again, something I’ve not done since the middle of December. As for the lighting, chairs and gaming table, that will have to wait until after payday.

Next up are the current projects that need to be completed. Before I started packing up for the move I had the following on my desk.

  • Three push-fit Warriors of Chaos – this is part of my Warmonger Secret Santa gift and Warmonger decency means that I’ll be finishing these first. As it stands they’re basecoated so I think I’ll get them completely finished in about four hours.
  • A Finecast Fabius Bile – the basecoat is almost done but significant work is required. This model is going to be a labour of love as I don’t know when I’ll have the chance to use him in a game. I want to get this model done right; it’ll take as long as it takes.
  • A Khorne Berserker Rhino – this is really close to completion. All I really need do is make the stencil for the icon on the top hatch and tidy up some of the detail. I reckon I can get this done during a weekend.
  • A Forgefiend – this has been built and basecoated using the Maccrage Blue spray. While I don’t want to give it a Fabius-level of attention, it will be a centrepiece of any deployed army so I want it to look good. I think maybe a couple of weeks’ worth of evenings and a solid weekend or two.
  • An Imperial Bastion – basecoat is done and I’ve been adding detail while waiting for other things to dry. That pattern will continue until it’s done, whenever that is!
  • Five Mutated Chaos Marines – all are progressing nicely, their amour is done so I only need to do the mutations. Maybe a couple of evening’s worth of solid work.

I have many other projects on the go, too many. The list above is sufficient to give me some mental clarity; I don’t want to become overwhelmed into inaction again as such things happen too frequently to me. On the back burner right now are my Dark Eldar, Bretonnians, Dark Angels and Imperial Guard, all of whom have half-painted or half-built models requiring attention. I also have a full box of Imperial Sector sprues I’d like to play with sooner rather than later.

Right, onto the not-resolutions.

As you can see from that list, it’s exclusively Warhammer Fantasy and 40K. I’d like this to be the year I explore other game systems. In the late nineties I played a tiny bit of Battletech, I’d like to revisit this is possible however I don’t know how big the scene is in this part of the world so that’s the first thing I need to find out.

I’ve also heard good things about Infinity, given that 40K has more or less abandoned its skirmish routes this game does appeal to me. That said, it would be cheaper for me to dust off my Necromunda gang as my regular gaming group plays this regularly but I fancy something non-GW for a change.

I’d also like to finally take the plunge and get on the Kickstarter bandwagon. There are so many great things to back, the main reason for not doing so up to now is that my wife and I were saving for a house. Now that’s out of the way, and the fact that there are no kids on the horizon, means that I should have a bit more cash to play with.

This year I’d like to try out a few new painting techniques that I’ve been too scared to go near thus far. As such I’m going to make an effort to experiment with Edge Highlighting, Object Source Lighting, and Non-Metallic Metal. I’m also going to try to rely less on washes and glazes, but that might be a step too far!

Finally, I really want to make Ramblings a better, more professional site. I’ve no idea how, but I’ve been doing this for a bit over two years and I think it’s time for me to grow as a blogger and for the site to grow with me too. How’s that for vague?

That’s all for now. Thank you all for reading, commenting and generally supporting the blog, it really means a lot. Here’s to 2014!

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Hitting a Brick Wall

08/29/2012 1 comment

That’s it. I knew that this was going to happen eventually but I’m officially stuck. You see, today marks a dubious record for me as it’s been exactly four weeks since I’ve picked up a paintbrush, dice or craft knife and I’m not sure how to start again thanks to all the part-finished projects I’ve temporarily abandoned.

I’ll get my excuses out of the way. This summer has been extraordinarily busy, at work our annual audit took longer than expected not to mention I’m both breaking in new staff and have just finished a massive office relocation at incredibly short notice. At home my wife and I have had to complete her application for permanent settlement in the UK, believe it or not this has taken us over three months to finish, we only just posted it yesterday! There have also been weddings, a funeral, birthdays, the Edinburgh festivals, hospital appointments and this is just what I can remember. In truth I feel that my feet haven’t hit the ground since early June!

On the hobby front I have the following outstanding:

  1. A half-painted Dark Eldar Venom
  2. A half-painted Dark Eldar Wych Squad
  3. An unpainted old metal Dark Eldar Wych Squad
  4. A half-painted Finecast Commissar Yarrick
  5. 20 Unassembled Imperial Sector sprues
  6. An unpainted metal Dark Eldar Incubi Squad
  7. An unpainted Finecast Dark Eldar Archon
  8. An unpainted Finecast Dark Eldar Succubus
  9. An unpainted Finecast Dark Eldar Haemonculus
  10. An unpainted Finecast Dark Eldar Lhamaean
  11. An unassembled Dark Eldar Razorwing
  12. An unassembled Dark Eldar Ravager
  13. A part-assembled Chaos Space Marine Predator
  14. An unpainted Chaos Space Marine Terminator Lord
  15. An unpainted Chaos Space Marine Squad
  16. An unpainted Chaos Space Marine Terminator Squad
  17. A half-completed Assault on Black Reach Dreadnought I’m converting for my Chaos Marine army.
  18. Two sprues of Battletech Battlemechs that I’ve had since 1996
  19. 14 Inner Sphere Battletech Battlemechs I’d like to repaint
  20. 18 unpainted Bretonnian Knights of The Realm
  21. 15 unassembled Bretonnian Men-At-Arms
  22. 40 unpainted Bretonnian Peasant Bowmen
  23. 10 unpainted Bretonnian K nights Errant
  24. 1 unassembled Bretonnian Lord with Great Weapon
  25. 1 unpainted Bretonnian Paladin with Battle Standard
  26. 1 unpainted Bretonnian Pegasus Knight
  27. 1 half-painted Deathknell Watch

So, what do I do? Thus far I have always prided myself on my ability to not jump on the new army / game bandwagon every time something exciting is released, all my 40K armies have been gestating for many years (and I have the out of date Codexes to prove it!) but I think it’s obvious that my enthusiasm and ambition have slowly got the better of me.

I’ve attempted to prioritise my hobby time based on upcoming games but since most of my regular opponents have been similarly busy this really hasn’t been effective. It’s impossible to go with what I like the most since that’s part of what’s got me into this state in the first place!

I think that the best thing for me to do is to bloody finish something as soon as is humanly possible and luckily I have this coming Sunday free to do just that. But what do I attempt to finish?

Watch this space…

Greetings!

10/24/2011 8 comments

I kept meaning to get around to this but life has a funny way of eating up your free time, doesn’t it?

Anyway, a bit about myself and my hobby. Like many other kids of the eighties my first real exposure to table top gaming game with the arrival of Heroquest and Space Crusade, shortly thereafter I picked up a copy of Rogue Trader from a tiny gaming shop run by a school friend’s family in Wormit, Fife. At the same time I picked up my first metal mini, the old Imperial Jetbike with an Imperial Guard rider operating a grenade launcher seemingly unconcerned that his was piloting an open-topped super fast vehicle without using his hands!

Like almost every kid I gravitated towards the Space Marines and soon I had a respectable force of Blood Angels, each model containing enough paint to easily service an entire squad but I was young and far too enthusiastic. By the end of secondary school I had amassed a 5,000 point Blood Angels army, a 3,000 point Eldar army, a burgeoning Imperial Guard force, 3,000 points of an Epic Tech Guard army, 2,000 or so points of High Elves, a completely hopeless human Blood Bowl Team, an (as yet) unbeaten Orlock gang and a two decent Battletech armies, one Inner Sphere and one Clan.

Then uni happened and I discovered beer, girls and eventually gainful employment.

Fast forward to 2009 and while I had dabbled a bit in the modelling side of the hobby it took a £50 GW gift voucher from my then fiancée to really kick-start my love affair again. Since that fateful June day I have been very busy much to my now-wife’s amusement, support and occasional ridicule. Due to time and budget constraints I’m only concentrating on 40K for the moment and presently I’m working on the following armies.

Imperial Guard: The 57th Menasan

Hailing from the unique planet of Menasa deep within the Calixis sector, a planet mined so extensively for force blade minerals it’s now in two separate parts each orbiting the other. Due to the nature of their main export they are subject to frequent attacks by Chaos raiders, as such theirs is a fortress world. Taking much inspiration from the successes of Cadia and other Chaos-ravaged planets, those who do not toil in the vast underground mines are subject to military service.

Although this is my oldest army since getting back into the hobby I’ve only recently started working out their background (and it shows!) but I’m working with a writer friend who’s also a fellow civil servant and member of my RPG group to include Menasa as a location in our next Dark Heresy adventure so I have a few more months to flesh things out fully.

Presently it’s a little over 4,000 points and I’ve recently built my first super heavy, the Baneblade Fury of Menasa which I’m currently still painting.

Chaos Space Marines: The Heralds of Woe

In the late 38th Millennium the High Lords of Terra authorised a secret project to create a new chapter of Space Marines who’s sole purpose was to explore out with the reach of the Astronomicon. Their goal was to finish the Great Crusade and bring the last of Terra’s lost children in to the Imperium. The origins of their gene seed is unknown although many suspect some kind of heretical amalgam of several strains were used. In any case, the truth behind this, along with the original name of this chapter, has been excised from history because of what followed.

Almost century after embarking on their mission they passed the threshold of the Astronomicon’s influence and disappeared. Two thousand years later ships matching the designs of their fleet began appearing along the eastern fringe of the Imperium and one by one the most remote systems and star forts began to fall silent. Those who fled talked about electric blue armoured warriors calling themselves the ‘Heralds of Woe’ who had returned to the Imperium to bring the light of The Truth to humanity.

Before too long the Inquisition captured a member of ‘The Enlightened’, a group made up of those converted by the Heralds. He told of the absolute truth that The God Emperor was in fact the fifth and most powerful Chaos God and that only by acknowledging and embracing this truth can humanity be saved. Since then the Heralds have fought to enlighten all those whom they encounter, particularly brother Astartes, those they best in battle are given a stark choice, convert or be sacrificed to The Emperor.

This is a relatively new project for me; as such I only have a couple of squads, a Terminator Lord and an almost complete Dreadnought I’m converting from an AOBR model. Chaos-wise they are more or less servants of Chaos Undivided however they do have some Tzeentch leanings which I hope to expand upon when I work out more of their background.

One of the elements that I’m really looking forward to is the inclusion of Enlightened Marines which would be those who converted from other Chapters. They’ll be basic CSM squads led by an Aspiring Champion but most of the models will be standard Space Marines with their original Chapter liveries with the occasional part of HoW replacement armour and, of course, their original markings crudely scored out. I’m looking forward to including members of some of my regular SM opponents armies in these squads.

Dark Eldar: As yet untitled Kabal.

After a particularly bloody attempt to topple the ruling classes of Commorragh a brother and sister fled with the remnants of his Kabal and her Wych Cult to the farthest reaches of Dark City. There they encountered an ancient Haemonculus known only as The Grandfather who claimed to be their distant descendent and agreed to help them resume their status at a price.

I’ve been collecting Dark Eldar since November 2009 as I’d heard rumours of an impending update and I wanted to have something together for when it was released. I had a solid core finished before the new Codex appeared and I’ve been slowly adding some new units and retrospectively converting the older ones to fit in with the new rules. As yet I’ve only had a couple of games with these guys as it’s still very much a work in progress, I don’t even have a name for these guys!

Aside from these projects I’m an avid roleplayer, I have a regular group of thirty-something gamers and we play a fair number of games from the FFG stable of GW licenses to Serenity, Mage, Spirit of the Century and many more. I also spend some time about once a month bouncing around the hills of Scotland on my mountain bike and very occasionally I go to work.

My aim to update this blog at least weekly with my observations, thoughts and any other drivel that pops into my head. I’m looking forward to showing people some of my works in progress, expanded army background fluff as well as the occasional review and battle report. I hope to entertain, sometimes inform and hopefully not annoy but in any case please feel free to comment either here or by tweeting me @jraferguson.

So long for now, don’t be a stranger.