Fimm McCool's

Fimm McCool's

Monday, 12 August 2019

The All-New Oakbound Studio! or Why I Haven't Been Blogging Much Of Late.

As I mentioned in my last post things have been rather busy for the last 6-8 months what with buying our first home and all the work that comes with it. Yesterday some of the chaps from Dursley's Epic Roleplayers/GROGG came over to play the first game in my new games room/studio so it has all been worth it. Not that the rest of the house is entirely finished of course, but the wife and I now have our studio spaces complete so to both our minds that's the important bits done!
It has felt like an epic journey and now I have my own space I am looking forward to being able to sculpt, paint, game, photograph, blog and maybe even get some videos shot with far more ease as I can leave things out without fear of irritating anyone. I tried to do a fairly comprehensive photo record of the quest for hobby space, so please excuse me whilst I photo dump.
The attic room as it was when we looked at the house just over a year ago...

...and when we got the keys in November.

 Playing with layouts and acquiring furniture.

With help from the upstanding gentleman Harry the cracked, wonky lath and plaster ceilings came down (in a shower of 20th century dust!) Many trips to the dump ensued...

Plenty of room up there for a loft space, now boarded and with access hatch. 

A spot of plaster needed around the window.

Finally the roofers arrive to remove the old, flaky slates and cut in the gaps for the velux windows. More light required! 

Felt goes on.

New windows in. At this point we were having so much trouble trying to get the roofers to come and do a day's work... you'd think they didn't want to be paid the ridiculous amount we ended up agreeing to!

Ready for plasterboarding.

A spot of DIY with my parents lending a few very capable hands. Wonky joists meant my careful measuring left a few gaps to fill, but nothing serious.

We found a very capable plasterer who got the studio rooms done nice and quickly. Unfortunately he then "had to rush off" to another job, leaving me with lots of sanding, filling, sanding, sanding and sanding to do on the landing ceiling, but at least the big rooms were done. He did a really nice job of curving the slope of the roof and blending into the walls. Not so nice around the skirting boards, light switches, radiators etc. so a bit more filling and sanding for me there.

Tradesmen off site we were able to crack on with the rest of the job at a much quicker rate. Once the dust had settled the carpets came up and out. The floorboards showed evidence of a few drips of paint from previous decorators but as these are both arty studios we didn't try to get it all off. After a couple of good scrubs the floor was sealed with hard wax oil.

Skirting boards stripped with a hot air gun and varnish remover, finished off with a hard wax oil. Tops of skirting boards neatened off with caulk and any significant gaps below them filled with expanding foam and floorboard sealer. Sadly our neighbours on one side smoke and the smell sometimes drifts through so I am in the process of trying to block as many cracks as possible!

Paint going on. I was having difficulty picking a green (I wanted green) and had several samples that were either too lurid or too dark. In the end we picked a colour we are calling "Nouvion Museum Green" as we picked it after watching an episode of 'Allo 'Allo and holding swatches up against the screen.

Furniture moves back in. Or, more accurately, moves in for the last time having shunted between the two studio rooms whilst we were decorating!

There are so many screws in that wall unit... I just didn't trust them to hold up the weight, the unit itself is super heavy never mind the amount of (precious) lead going on it! If I had room to put more screws in I would do so, but 16 seems to be enough to hold it so far. No sign of it (or the wall) shifting so far at least!

The alcove bookcase between the two studios, something we decided on very early in the process. 

A couple of gumtree bargain bar stools. Adjustable to suit the height of both my painting station and the high gaming table.

My action figures finally escape my parents' attic.

How can the unit be so nearly full already? 

The base units for gaming table (built from an old pine wardrobe, bookcase and chest of drawers) in place. It will double as a guest bed when we need one and handily fits the the airbed as well as being a decent size for wargames.

Mr Kiwi inspects the room from a new angle.

The top section of the gaming table which puts the boards at a height of 900mm, comfortable for me to work and game at. The sides flap down and the top is removable to give a lower height table for sit-down games or use as a bed.

My just-over-2' by just-under-1' modules sit side by side nicely. I have made a canvas to fit between the two cabinets which Sol is generously painting (one of a series of) backdrops onto for photography purposes. Eventually I hope the painting I commissioned from John Sibbick for the cover of The Woods will hang there too.

With the top section folded down ready for a spot of roleplay. The green cloth is a strip of 'fake grass' from Lidl.

Studio pretty much finished.

A final inspection from the boss. He didn't stay for the game, he preferred to hide under our bed!

Before and after.


Tuesday, 30 July 2019

The siege of Brewer's Droop! BOYL 2019 playtesting

Hello! I am still with you. Yes, I know I have not blogged in ages and ages and ages and with BOYL approaching it's time I pulled my finger out and wrote something. This year I think I have a legitimate excuse for being lapse on the blog front, I have been moving house and sorting out our new studios. With that largely done I look forward to being able to blog a bit more frequently and maybe even get some more videos made.
For BOYL 2019 I'm putting on an idea that's been kicking around for a few years now, a siege game on a tiny scale with snotlings assaulting a dwarf brewery. My lovely new gaming table means that with just under a week to go I was able to lay everything out for some testing. Of course, since I had painting still to do for it I didn't actually get to test until last night, but thankfully everything seemed to go to plan. Rather than give an account of the battle (which I'll save until after BOYL) I'll just leave some teaser shots here to show some things that could happen. SPOILER ALERT! if you don't want any surprises spoiled for Saturday's game don't look until Sunday!

The snotling horde is glimpsed from the battlements of Brewer's Droop

A squad of ratlings pops up from a convenient drain and makes an early raid on one of the stranded beer wagons.

The dwarf brewmaster and his team manage to get the other wagon back inside the gate, but with a lapidified cart weighing the drawbridge down they can't get the way sealed behind them.

It all goes rather wrong for the snotling shaman on turn 2 as his mushroom addiction overcomes him.

One siege troll makes it to the walls and a hapless handgunner is mobbed by 5 determined snotties.

The second squad of ratlings makes a push for the open gate...

...and make it inside just as the dwarfs get the cart clear and raise the drawbridge.

The giant mushroom beast contemplates the gatehouse as the batlings swoop on the defenders.

Big Momma Snot falls prey to an angry watchdog.

The shroomy beast begins to climb the tower...

...and the dwarfs flee in terror as the dreadful apparition scales the ramparts.

All in all the game ran very nicely. Despite the pictorial evidence the dwarfs put up a stirling defence and with the snotlings unable to summon more reinforcements only two barrels were whisked away to the grotty grotto. I have gained some important tactical insights which I will use to test again tonight and see if the snots can fare any better. Of course such insights may be wheedled out of me through the use of beer at BOYL on Friday night.... :D