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.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

AHPC: More Prep Work & Bringing Out the Big Guns

 Yet more Prep work in progress

On the 28mm Frostgrave front a bunch of plastic and metal knolls and 11 adventurers.

On the 15mm Ancients category the first of a whole bunch of Romans and Sassanid Persians.

Yeah, yeah, I know this figure prep really isn't the best indicator that the Challenge is coming around - but there's another more accurate indicator....

A new set of Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes!   I always like to start the challenge with a new set and have learned that both in business and in life it never pays to go cheap on your tools...

Oh yeah, just look at those babies purring in their custom "garage".  They're just aching to get painting.  Truly Winsor & Newton's are the Bugatti's of the miniature painting world.

I take good care of the brushes whilst engaged in painting combat - cleaning after every session.  However, despite the best of care, the wear and tear of the challenge session often proves too much even for the most well crafted brush.  I am amazed at their bravery in the face of such daunting survival odds.  Never has so much paint been applied by so few tiny brushes.

Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes, I salute you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

AHPC: Prep Work

I'm expanding my WW2 Western Desert collection as part of the upcoming Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge this year.  Being prep'd now are 30 28mm French Foreign Legion figures and some British LRDG vehicles - 3 jeeps and 2 trucks.  All of the miniatures are from the Perry line and are superbly sculpted and cast.

I did screw up one item - I forgot to was the vehicles to remove the mold release.  With the Perry/Blitzkrieg vehicles sometimes your paint will not adhere due to the mold release agent.  Given all the metal parts and details, I'll need to be careful in trying to do so now or have some un-intentioned "battle-damage".

This lot totals 46 figures and 5 vehicles, which traditional AHPC points totals to 305 points, or a little under 10% of last years production total - I've got a lot more figure prep to do this month!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Frostgrave Terrain IV: All done - for now

 The ruined tower is done - the static grass still looks a little fades as the matte medium is still drying.  This was a lot of fun and like most of my terrain projects had no planning at all.  I had a 4 inch wide cardboard shipping tube in the workshop and decided to make a tower on a whim.

I made add some more interior details if I've got time this week.
The two pieces side by side.  I think they came out well and will be put to use next weekend in a Jon's Frostgrave game.  It may be hard to see in the picture but each piece has an access point on all four sides - some are easier than others.  In a "treasure hunt" game like Frostgrave it's important not to let the terrain give an advantage to one player over the other.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Frostgrave Terrain III

 Another Terrain piece for next week's Frostgrave game - this one will be a ruined tower.

 I decided to "fake" the blocks for the tower by using a shipping tube and some mounting board cut into 0.75 x 1.50 inch rectangles.  These are then "curved" by hand and glued in place.  It was actually a lot easier to do when I thought
 Oops ran out of "blocks" and had to cut more
All done!
Test fit with the ruin.  I think it looks pretty good!