Thursday, December 29, 2016

AHPC VII: First 2 Submissions

 The challenge is on!  My first two submissions are in 28mm scale WW2 themes.

First is a 76MM m4 Sherman from Trenchworx. It's just a superb model and a joy to paint.
Next up, a small force of French Foreign Legion with some aging armored support in the form of an old FT-17.  The figures are from the Perry line and are wonderful sculpts but required a good bit of effort in the clean up.  The tank is another Trenchworx kit and (again) is just superb.  You may not have noticed but I've become a huge fan of Trenchworx and the quality product they put out.

Back to the painting workbench....

Monday, December 26, 2016

Blood Bowl

Its a big hit with my son!

The game has really well done components and typical very high GW plastic sculpts

I'm very impressed and having a blast with the game

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Lamps Done

 The switches for my son's steam punk lamp Christmas present are all done.  More impressively, I didn't give myself a shock (it's happened before)

There's an on/off switch on the base and the water valve acts as a dimmer (that was a bit of pain to figure out how to do!).  Technically since the bulb can be controlled via a phone app (and it's a blue tooth speaker), it really doesn't need a dimmer.  I just thought it would be cool and a great excuse to pick up a few rotary switches.  Amazon can be a very "bad" thing.

 A better shot of the lamp.  The white power cord is temporary - it's what I had in the shop.  I've got a old cloth covered one on order from Amazon (it's a fake antique) but it will not arrive by Christmas.

If you try this project please read up on switches and good safety steps in building something that mixed electricity with iron pipes.

I doubt I'll wrap this present but I'll think he'll like it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Painting Weaponry

The Challenge version VII is on and out come three new Winsor&Newton Series 7 brushes ready for painting combat.

Lets see how they do!

Monday, December 19, 2016

It works!

 The lamp has been wired and lights up!  More importantly, I didn't get an electric shock and the house hasn't caught on fire.

The next step will be to wire in the the toggle with on the base but that's pretty easy.  Well it's easy if I remember to unplug the cord.  If I don't then.....

I was thinking of using the the valve as a dimmer but after reading the Sengled light bulb instructions it the bulb doesn't need one as it is controlled via wireless and a phone app.

I'll test the blue tooth speaker out tomorrow and then finish the project up.

 A few in progress shots - the base is a simple design from an unknown type of hardwood.  Rockler sells a box of hardwood scraps that is one of the best buys I've every made.  I've gone through a third of the box on 6 different projects.

A shot of the base plate and toggle switch.  The hardest part of the project was chiseling out 3/4 x 1 1/4 inch slot for the toggle with to fit into.  The wood is Really hard and I had to stop and resharpen my chisel halfway through.

This was a fun project.  I stole the idea from Steve Ramsey's YouTube channel.  His videos are really corny but fun and the projects he demonstrates are very accessible by beginners and people looking for something quick.  I really like the channel.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Steampunk Lamp

 Am I the world's worst plumber?  Probably, but not in this case - I'm making my son a "steampunk" themed lamp for Christmas.

I think I can use a rotary switch to let the red handle act as the on/off.

The light bulb will also be unique - I'm installing a sengled pulse light build which also acts as a bluetooth speaker and can be controlled from a smart phone - pretty cool.

Hopefully I can get it done in time!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Prep, Prep, Prep.....

 My workbench felt like a plastic sprue bunker as I was surrounded by spurs of Battlefront Team Yankee soviets (T-72's and Hind Helicopters)

Another 9 T-72's and 2 Hinds have been added to the prep'ed pile.  One of the Hinds is still on my workbench.

That's about all I have to get ready for the challenge - whew.....

Saturday, December 10, 2016

More Prep and an International Video Chat

 A bit more FOW Pacific has been added to the painting prep pile - Some LVTP's, an Marine Engineer Assault Section and some light AT guns.

There are even some Japans light tanks in the lower left (well the Marines need something to shoot at!)

I also participated on the Analogue Hobbies video chat this morning - Truly an international conversation with 2 people in Australia, 2 in the UK and little ole me from the US.

Paul O'G made a request that at first I was dismissive about but am now reconsidering.  He suggested making the tracking of the coveted "GIMP" award dynamic so that we can all see the ebb and flow as people battle for painting challenge immortality.

The calculations behind the GIMP award are both arcane and astonishingly complicated.  In fact they are likely beyond the grasp of you mere mortals.  Yes, it takes a mathamagician years of toiling at our trade before we can even grasp the very basics of the calculations in their terrible beauty and exquisitely painful exactness.  I worry that some of you who are not "Math-Hardened" may be driven insane by the exposure to the thinking of the gods.

That said, this year has seen very divisive level of political discourse and I think the watchword going forward should be "HUUGGGEEEE Transparency" so I am reconsidering.  What do you think, Dear readers?  Do you want to peak behind the curtain?  Can you handle the truth?

Friday, December 9, 2016

Chipping away at prep

Slowly my painting prep for the challenge continues - now 3 15mm Marine LVT's for FOW Pacific have been added to the pile.

Is it Dec 20th yet?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Jet Lagged Prep Work

I got up at 3:30am today, which is early even for me - I'll attribute the sleeping pattern change to jet lag.

Anyway, rather than waste this new found time enemy schedule, I used it to prep more figures for the Challenge - in this case a 15mm US Marine Infantry platoon for FOW.  You may see some more of these fellows and their associated transport over the next few days.

The challenge is up to 100 participants this year, which is pretty amazing.  I've also finished rebuilding the tracking spreadsheet and I think we're ready to go.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Back from London

 Sadly, painting challenge prep took a backseat to business needs as I was in the UK on business.  It was longer than usual trip (7 days) but overall very good.  I really do enjoy wandering around the city.
 Of course the gaming related highlight of the trip was dinner with the "famous" Legatus Hedlius.  In fact I now know one of the greatest secrets in the gaming world - Legatus's real name.  Sadly I am sworn to secrecy...  We had a very nice dinner and I appreciate him taking the time to meet with me.  I will try to lure him across the pond to attend a US Gaming convention.

 The obligatory visit to the Hotel Chocolate (this is the one in Waterloo stations).  My wife really likes their chocolate and with Christmas coming up it was a must do.
 More pictures of Lambeth Castle - I really like it and will be using these for ideas for terrain making.

 I made it a point to eat at pubs almost the entire trip - here is a English turkey dinner fro the "The Rose" pub in Vauxhall - very nice

 I always enjoy going to the Imperial War museum and really took my time going through the WW1 exhibit.

 My new "favorite" place to eat in London is the "Black Dog" pub also in Vauxhall.
Sadly this trip proved expensive since I was held over for 4 days so that required an additional Christmas shopping visit to a certain location in Mayfair......

Other than a few day trips next week, I'm done traveling for the year and can return to more important things such as prepping and priming figures.  Oh yes and spreadsheets to - mustn't forget those!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Back to Challenge Prep Work

Back to prepping for the Challenge - Curt is a harsh taskmaster!  First up an starter US Force for Team Yankee.  I still have another Cobra helo to build but the was missing a parts sprue.  Battlefront is usually very good about these things and I'm sure it will be along in a few days.

And to go with the US a Soviet force.  The new Plastics for Team Yankee are superb as was the US infantry.  Unfortunately. the Soviet infantry was rather poorly cast but those are the breaks.

 It wouldn't be a challenge with a few "big battalion" units painted up.  Up first is a 40 figure 28mm US Infantry unit from the War of 1812.  I purchased these figures from Brigade games and they are superb.

And back to 15mm - a Japanese infantry company and heavy machine gun unit for Flames of War.

This round of prep work totaled:

- 40 28mm infantry figures
- 231 15mm figures
- 25 15mm vehicles

Not bad for a few weekend mornings.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

 Yesterday was Thanksgiving and it was a wonderful day - perhaps my favorite holiday of the year.

All hail the Turkey - the epitome of evolution's magic - turning a dinosaur into a tasty flightless ball of meat with legs.

 Prep work for the meal is very involved and requires skill - hence you'll not see any images of me in the prep process.  No I've got a very special task more befitting my limited skills and IQ level...
 Cleanup - Ughh...

But its all worth it for a dinner of
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Roast Turkey
- Mashed Potatoes
- Stuffing
- Gravy
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Mandarin Orange Salad
- Green Bean Casserole
- Steam Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce
- Greek & Spanish olives
- Crescent Rolls
- Pumpkin Pie

MB getting the bird ready to make soup - yup that's right, we also get a couple gallons of soup out of this operation.

In addition to the gluttony experience, the day also reminds of what we should be thankful for.  For me that's my family and I'm a very lucky man indeed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge VII: The Plan

Given the scope of the Challenge effort, I find it helpful to plan it out with a spreadsheet just to make sure I've got all the figures I need.  The fact that chicks dig guys with spreadsheets is just a happy coincidence.

The red line is my current plan, which totals just under 2,300 points for AHPC-VII.  That's a good bit lower than the previous two years but still respectable output.  As with past challenges this years effort will be focused on both figures and terrain for my upcoming Historicon game.

I'll also be helping Curt out as a minion by keeping track of the whole event in a spreadsheet (Hey, Ladies....) and providing insightful and stimulating statistical commentary.  If you thought Algebra class was boring in High School, well you 'aint seen nothing yet!

Last years point total of 3,306 will be hard to beat - it represents painting 46, 28mm infantry figures a week for 13 weeks.  Thats a lot of figures but we shall see how this year plays out.

Monday, November 21, 2016

It's Official: The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge 7 has been announced

Sound the trumpets, bang the drums and kick the cat - Challenge VII has just been announced.

Yes, that fan-favorite of the painting world is back again, with all it's exciting thrills (who will be this painting champion?) and spills (will Mr Millsy retain his title of "GIMP"?)

Want to learn more: click here

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Analogue Hobbies Challenge Prep: Workbench Organized

Yesterday I was tasked by executive management to clean up my game room and hobby area in anticipation of the 20+ guests we're having for Thanksgiving Dinner*.  Surprisingly, this drastic choice was made over what I thought was a more reasonable alternative of me standing by the stairs with a shotgun muttering "make my day"

Anyway, I needed to clean up the work space in anticipating of the challenge so two birds with one stone as they say.

To be honest, I was very surprised she took the drastic option over the more reasonable "shotgun sentry" option - it's not like I would have a live round in the chamber....

* We never really know how many guests will show up - most are my wife's students and their significant others.  I always remember one of MB's sediments from China who exclaimed on seeing the turkey being served "That's a beautiful Ostrich!"

Sunday, November 13, 2016

St Michael's Con: Fall 2016

 This past weekend was the second rendition the St Michael's Gaming Con - or - St Michaels Con as we call it.  OK maybe calling this a con is stretching things a bit but I was able to cram 2 full days of gaming with 8 like minded souls this past weekend.  It was a blast hosting this crew and we're looking forward to more.
 The festivities started friday morning with some Guild Ball and Imperial Assault.  A LOT of Imperial Assault was played over the weekend.

We had planned to run a Guild Ball tournament but never got around to playing.  Too many other distractions.

 I put on a Napoleonic naval game using my 1/1200 Langton's and the Trafalgar ruleset.
 A combined US, French and Spanish fleet had to escort a merchant ship with "secret documents" from the harbor to the far edge of the table.  Of course there was a large British fleet trying to intercept.

Each player controlled 2-3 ships and we used the basic Trafalgar rules.  I thought the game went really well - the guys seemed to be having fun.  It was great to get the Langton's on the table - they've been on the shelf was too long.

 In the end it was a very narrow British victory!
Next up some Frostagrave!
 Frost greave was a lot of fun.
 First session of Runewars - this one is very complicated!
Imperial Assault - I think this game was the one played the most

Back to Frostgrave
Mike in deep contemplation about his future Frostgrave war band....
Jon thinking how he can spring traps on us as the Frostgrave GM
A make shift gaming table - Dano brought a 6x4 tabletop and we affixed to some old saw horses with twist ties.  It was surprisingly stable.
I think Steve is pulling the chair out for behind Gary - very sneaky
Even more Frostgrave

I got to play BloodBowl for the first time - it was really a lot of fun - actually a good bit more fun the Guild Ball.
A trial game of the HALO ground assault rules and mini's
Zombiecide Black Plague - a very silly but very fun game
We lost....
Another run of Runewars.  I played in this one.
Arkam horror and we ended the session with a 8 player run of the Western card game BANG!, which was a fitting end to the weekend.
Alas, the two X-Wing token Steve left last April at the first St Michaels con were returned to him and then promptly left behind again.  These are very sad little tokens right now.
Lastly, a glamor shot of the Intensify Forward Firepower podcast crew.  I'm very sorry if this picture offends any of the more sensitive members of my readership....

All in all a grand weekend.  It was a pleasure to host it and I'm looking forward to another one in six months or so.