Saturday, 5 December 2009

Tangency ahead ...

It's late and I'm listening to the THACO podcast interspersed with Julian Bream playing Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez (there's some culture for you fuckers) and attention span problems are hitting. I need to be doing about four or five hobby projects at once. Stupid, yes, but it's how I'm wired. Rather than berate the reader with vitriolic diatribe interspersed with gay sex jokes (hurr u liek it up teh botti), I'll just get on with my latest scheme and what's going on with my Desert Nazis (just switched to Bream playing Bach's Fugue in A Minor).

The Skorne will be coming along (I'm just prepping my Tyrant Commander, a mini that looks like it's been fucking hit with a tattooist's needle it's that fucking pitted), to be followed by some Cataphract Cetratii. These will be speed painted (but hopefully not rushed). I have the mini I'm painting for my fellow pressganger (still in need of prep), Kaelyssa (bloody Matt DiPietro), basic sculpting to learn (blocking forms, correct proportion and the like). Add to this a novel I'm plugging away at in the background and I need one more project to fritter away my life with.

Enter the great devourer.

I know, it would have been better if I had wrote 'Enter the realm of Chaos, your nightmare has just begun' and waffled on about Bolt Thrower and how music was awesome when GW was more open to random projects and added some more gay jokes (u stil liek it up u'r bum) but I'm quite mellow at the moment (must be the music, I'm back to Rodrigo).

My history with GW has been quite odd. I think that the management buy out circa White Dwarf 120-ish was a bad thing, and their propensity to simplify and add space machines to everything pisses me off (not to mention the legal department headed, I'm reliably informed, by the very
cliché of a greasy lawyer type) but GW kept the hobby alive during the dark times, and as I hob-nob with the higher-ups of the design studio every now and again (who are all really nice guys), I'm prepared to forgive them. Fuck, they aren't hitting me with a cease and desist and I don't really give two squirts of piss about your opinion on Bloodbowl.

The oddness comes from the fact I have never had a full army of GW's before. There, my shock admission is out in the open. When I played my only two games of 40K (then called Rogue trader) 22 years ago, I got had twice and decided to stick to roleplay. Battle at the Farm, where you could be Crimson Fists or Space Orks. My one game of Warhammer Fantasy came during my quest to paint like his holiness Mike McVey and I played with a friend's gobbos against his Dark Elves.

Then I stopped with the hobby for about 10-12 years. I had seen some of Mike's miniatures in real life (specifically his Heroquest diorama and his Eversor Assassin and Emperor vs. Horus dioramas) and I was shocked at how different they looked in real life. For one, you couldn't see the filligree painted on the Emperor's armour and the colours looked so much more rich and vibrant in reality. I was basing my painting style on the lighter way the models appeared in White Dwarf. So they looked quite bland compared to how the high end painters I desperately wanted to emulate really painted.

Add to that my rather punishing training shedule (8 hours work, 6-8 hours gym and martial arts a day) and there wasn't time to do the hobby any more. However, the great thing about toy soldiers is you can always go back to it. I also have found one of the last minis I ever painted before stopping, a test model for a Chaos army in WFB. Yes, I'll get some pictures so you can have a good chortle, you pack of bastards.

Which brings me to the point of this rather meandering post. I am embarking upon my very first 40K army, and it is Tyranids. The greatest menace the Imperium has ever known, and an archetypal 'horde' army. I have started at the top and got my army leader, the Hive Tyrant. He's huge, far bigger than most generals, and directs the will of the intelligence behind the 'Nids on the battlefield. He's also a bit of a bullet magnet, so I imagine there will be very angry posts on how everyone 'lieks it up teh bum bum' because they can beat me easily.

I'll be at Wargames Inc assembling and painting this army, so if you want to come on down and get or give hints and tips on painting, modelling (miniatures or 3d only please) then pop in for a chat.

I promise not to post about your propensity for receiving the sossage up your brown eye at all.


Angry at ... err ... racism. Yeah, that's always a good one to be angry about

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The after-con report in full lacklustre-o-rama

Well, last con of the year and it was Dragonmeet. Run by Angus Abranson, the director of Cubicle 7 Entertainment (publishers of SLA Industries and Cthulhu Britannica among others), Dragonmeet has been going for a little while to say the least. So, time to pack up the shop and head down to drizzly London for what is essentially an indoor market place for the hobby industry. Turned out it was a 16 hour day. Fucking 16 hours to get to and from and trade at what, essentially, is a roleplayers convention. This fact was hammered home later on in the day when a couple of Anne Rice twinkly vampire woe is me Twilight types pointed at the stall and opined 'We don't need any of that here'.

I was ready to perform one of the following actions: berate them with the history of roleplay games - essentially they are derivative of a game called 'Chainmail', which featured a fantasy supplement called 'Dungeons and Dragons' - or perform an anal lobotomy. Unfortunately I then remembered I can't pick on the disabled and left them to their rousing discussion of GNS theory and how cool it would be to suckle at Ron Edward's cock or whatever shit they were burbling on about.(Don't you just know that when the cover of an RPG has shit Poser models rendered in wank-o-vision it's going to be great. Or a portentous piece of storytelling twaddle).

Anyway, back to the con. The wonderful Smog:1889 miniatures I was sure that any self respecting miniature lover would give his functioning testicle for (or at least pay the price on the fucking box for) turned out to be a bit of a bust - only one person bought any. I did get complaints about the pricing, though. Apparently a direct conversion via isn't good enough for people who, surprisingly, are prepared to pay a premium for models cast in cheap-shit resin that don't fit together from Forge World. Oh no. Because it's not fucking space machines, because they are well cast with minimal (if any) mold lines and fit together almost perfectly people expect them for fuck all. People forget that these are 54mm minis, and the price point is competitive with Forge World on comparable models and the product is far more imaginative to boot. Bastards.

However, there were some great things about the con, too. Chief of which were Pagan Angel, where I got some awesome t-shirts (and the lovely lady who runs the shop wears skimpy fetish gear ALL DAY), and Leisure Games, who have a real cute girl working for them. Real cute. Shallow of me, I know. But it made the day worthwhile. Also cool were the guys who actually bought from me, especially Rob, an American who likes his Flames of War and Fred, who is into his 40K and Fantasy. I ended up talking to Fred and his friends quite a lot, and getting free cooking theory lessons from a Frenchman is all good.

Now I imagine some of you are thinking I'm one of those people who dislike roleplay games, and I do. On the computer, they generally suck (WoW is just a fancy chat program if you ask me). However, I got into the hobby through real roleplaying games (well, eventually, anyway) and I have a stash of goodies, including a pile of books from the greatest roleplay game ever, Cyberpunk. I'm just getting back into roleplaying, so I'm getting into it with a system I know and love - Dead Reign, from Palladium Games. Why the Palladium system? Because I like their stuff. I don't care if Kevin Siembieda is a dick who fucks people over, I like his product. So the trials and tribulations of my foray into the RPG world will feature here too. You lucky, lucky bastards.

The final highlight (aside from sneaking glances over at Leisure Games Girl and Pagan Angel Lady) was meeting Nigel and Ash Pyne, creators of War for Edaðh (Edath), a two player card game. I played Nigel and got crushed pretty handily, and I knew I had to have the game, so I borrowed the money off my helper and bought it. I also got my rulebooks signed by the pair of them. Just like a comics convention. Wargames Inc will be stocking it very soon, I'm sure.

I really enjoyed talking to people just to see the hunted look on their faces - you know, the 'Oh shit, I have to interact with someone and I bet the bastard is trying to sell me something' look that was on a fair few faces, I can tell you. It seems the average RPG geek is no better at social relationships than their digital counterparts, just more looked down upon. And I have to say, trim, good-looking French and American men aside, that I was a veritable sporting 'jock' type compared to some - even smoking 20 a day I could finish the 100 metres an hour before some of the people I saw. However, Dragonmeet is well worth going to, it's a great day out, just watch out for the expensive parking and the fact that it's £1.20 for a single can of Coke. I dread to think how much a pack of fags is.

Today, the plan is to get some prep done on my Skorne inbetween serving the multitude of customers (dodging the tumbleweed) so I can get some more batch-painting done for my Skorne. I want to get a unit done, so it might be the Praetorian Karax, or it might be the Tyrant Commander (which is a shitty cast - 90% of the model is covered in extensive pitting, so it's going to look like it's pebbledashed). I can't be arsed to change it though, so it stays. I'll be putting pictures of the progress up soon, along with some pics of my latest flight of idiocy which will provide many a chuckle, I'm sure.

As I sit here on my fattening arse at shitty o'clock in the morning typing this diatribe, all I can honestly think about is how much I would like a latte with an extra shot of espresso. What a cock, eh?

Angry at his insomnia