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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Gaaaah! One day to go!

No pics again, far o busy plaster boarding and painting our bedroom. Will those four snakemen get their NMM's done in time to go to Newark? Find out Friday!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The BOYL countdown... TWO days to go!

No pictures today, but a progress report. Here's what's left on the workbench:

Tonight's effort- 3 of my 4-man warband for Do Rogue Traders Dream of Electric Goats? Still to decide whether to paint the fourth or go with a Cyber Goat (counts as Gyrinx).

Four snakemen and my entry for the painting contest awaiting NMM armour- ordinarily a nights work in itself, eep!

The sail for the Slaaneshi Hellrammer.

Well, I think that's it. It'll be tight, but I might just make it!

Monday, 27 July 2015

The BOYL countdown... 3 days to go!

Yikes! We're pretty close now! Took my first load of models over to Harry's yesterday for a game of Oldhammer Ahoy, testing out ship special rules. With the exception of a few crew members the ships are completed so without further ado here's my fleet for the weekend:


Clan Myeri take to the seas in their black longship. There's been a bit of talk about several Fimir clans converging this year so it will be interesting to see how much love there is for the cuddly cyclopean bog rapists.

The crew are a mix of Nick Bibby and Jez Goodwin classics, Oakbound Marsh Demons, converted lizardmen and Diego's excellent Fimir warlord... complete with his favourite captives chained to the mast.

Zee Klindenbourg now has balloons and an extra free-floating Schutzen nest. Test flew this baby last night, and although no balloons got punctured the crew were massacred by hot-shot Wood Elf marksmen. There was also a long-winded but epic conflict between a Goblink and a Nipponese (or Cathayan?) Pirate, swinging wildly at each other as they dangled in the schutzen nests below the airship. Very Johnny Depp.

By special request, here's a close up of the Dropper with his boiler suit, gas mask, tanks of perfumed air and bucket of rank Goblink Manure. The Goblinks have hearty meals before taking to the sky and the Droppers have the un-enviable task of maintaining the airship's altitude by dumping (no pun intended) the offensive ballast.

Then there are the Rotors, who provide the forward momentum... when the wind allows!

OK. That's Ahoy sorted. 4 Cyberpunks for the Electric Goats game and some surprises for Deathrace and I'm done... need to swot up on Rogue Trader rules and Forenrond's last stand too!


Friday, 24 July 2015

Glued to a good book. Collected Warhammer Volumes part 3

It is an exciting day...
Today I flicked through for the first time pages of a book of my own binding. :)
It began with a difficult hour this morning trying to get the shape of the spine right:


 Every time I got the curve right something slipped and I ended up having to do the whole process again. Finally I settled with something I was happy with and the clamps went on:

Next, a copious amount of glue to hold the pages in place. They're already sewn so this is just setting the spacing and bonding them to the fabric hinge. Making sure plenty of glue goes down into the gaps between the gathers.

Then the fabric hinge itself, a piece of my Father-in-law's old shirt which he generously donated last night. I only own two shirts and wasn't about to cut up my dress shirt for this! Held on with, yes, more glue!

Piece of card glued across the back for strength- this is the sleeve our Deed Polls arrived in last week! What a tribute to our marriage this book is turning out to be. ;)

Of course, there's always something you forget... elastic bands! Ah well, roll of electrical tape seemed a good substitute.

 And so, after a nervous few hours and even more nail-biting unclamping... the book holds together! It feels very satisfying, a weighty tome of 2nd Ed Warhammer goodness!

Even the full colour spreads line up... well, about as well as they were ever going to!

So, apart from the ornate spine and covers, that's volume 2 done. :) No, not quite. There's a gap on the 'Chaos Shield' competition page... now which artist at BOYL can I get to fill that in? Tony? Wayne? Looking forward to that!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Boontha Eve Deathracing at BOYL

There's a very exciting sequel to the Wacky Races happening at BOYL this year, DEATHRACE 40,000! The cars have been lining up on the Oldhammer forum over the last months, and an exciting bunch they are too, but racers need a track and since Captain Crooks is coming from somewhat far overseas he is unable to bring much with him. Step up Erny, Colin and myself to pull together a suitable arena.

As soon as I heard about this project I was reminded of a stunning moment from my childhood, witnessing a Star Wars Pod Race for the first time! For all its faults, episode 1 contained some magical sequences that caught my young imagination and the Boonta Eve Classic was one. Given that my forthcoming roleplay system, Factious Waste (free playtest copies will be available at BOYL and Captain Crooks himself is already testing the mechanics for me- I'm hoping to recruit his vehicle rules to make it suitably Mad Max) takes place in a desert wasteland what a perfect excuse to redo my desert terrain. Here's where I am so far:

This is a 4'x4' corner piece, with Erny's section fitting into it to make it 4'x6' and Colin's expanding it even further. There are still a few bits of greenery and rocks to add and some wreckage to paint but it's mostly there.

Incidentally, that things floating over the board is not part of the Deathrace but my WIP  Goblink Airship Klindenbourg for Oldhammer Ahoy.

The crew of the Klindenbourg are pretty much painted, I have just the base and the balloons themselves to do now, then I'll do a post all about it.
But for now, just the desert boards of Redrock Canyon on the Eve of Boontha:


Thursday, 16 July 2015

Maximum Volume! Collected Warhammer volumes part 2

Ok so it's been a while since we looked at how the Encylopaedia Warhammica is coming along.

Well, I was hoping to have volume 3 (the one I'm starting with, confusing no?) finished by BOYL ready to bring it and get lots of great autographs. Sadly this is not possible, partly due to the amount of stuff I need to get painted, partly because of my Bookbinding tutor Stephen's availability. Anyhow, I thought it was better not to rush it and to do a good job in August. However I have been busy on volumes 1 and 2.

Volume 1 (Warhammer 1st Ed, Forces for Fantasy, Compendium 1 and 2) I got from original form, through disassembly, cutting and gluing the new gathers, marking, sawing and stitching in 3 and a half hours, which I was very pleased about. Volume 2 has taken somewhat longer.


The first part of Volume 2 was straightforward. The three volumes of 2nd Edition rules. These were originally magazine stapled so I needed to take them apart and cut and glue the pages to get them into slim enough gathers (collections of folded pages) to sew into the book. This really means a maximum of eight leaves per gather. Fortunately these rulebooks are slim enough that I managed to preserve the centre fold as a gather and simply cut away the first and last thirds to make up three or at most five gathers. That was quite quick.

Part two was a bit more time consuming. Not only is Ravening Hordes glued as individual pages into the spine, it is also taller than the rulebooks. So I had to carefully pull the pages out (in bunches intended for a gather each to prevent confusion and getting pages out of sequence) and slice them top and bottom to the same size as the rulebooks. Fortunately there was a fairly generous margin top and bottom so I even got away without trimming off page numbers in most cases. Because they are now individual pages I had to glue a strip of paper down the middle of each pair to collect them into gathers. I had to do this for the 3rd edition volume so am pretty au fait with the technique now but it does mean that the spine ends up almost double the width of the text block with the extra paper. Stephen's creative solution to this is to make the spines curve neatly to prevent the books from looking wedge-shaped. Hopefully you'll get to see that when I come round to putting the spine on.

Scenario packs. Fortunately they're quite slim so can go in as they are or with a bit tweaking like the rulebooks. Also needed a trim top and bottom but had decent margins.

Journals 1, 2, 3 and 4. These were a bit more of a pain. 1 and 2 were significantly larger in page size than the rulebooks so needed trimming along three sides to get them down to the same size. Again, luckily, they mostly have large blank margins so although the odd page number or pit of margin-bursting illustration was trimmed off nothing too vital was lost. They were magazine stapled which cut down on a lot of work. 3 and 4 though? No, they were both too large AND glued into spines so involved the whole gamut of processes, trimming along all 4 sides and gluing into gathers. Thank goodness for broad margins!

I'm now amassing quite a lot of cardboard covers. Not sure what to do with these yet. Did think they might look nice framed, but one problem with marrying an artist is that wall space tends to be limited... Did also think of using them as endpapers, but that would still only take up two per volume. So creative solutions please! What do I do with my spare covers? Anyone need a replacement for their own dog-eared specimens? ;)

Next step is to mark the spine at regular intervals for the thread spacing, take a tenon saw to it (yes really! You'd be surprised how deep you need to cut to reach the inside fold of an 8-leaf gather!) and start sewing. Maybe by the end of August volumes 1, 2 and 3 will be complete and on my new bookshelf... how exciting.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Kicking up a fuss: Some thoughts of Crowd Funding

I am a big fan of Kickstarter and other crowd funding platforms. Just under a year ago I ran Oakbound's first Kickstarter for The Woods miniatures and we were delighted with our almost 150% funding. Through the process we learnt a great deal about how the platform works, what goes down well and what doesn't and what is reasonable to expect from crowd funding.

Yesterday two Kickstarter-related things happened.

Firstly Oathsworn Miniatures' 'Burrows and Badgers' arrived.

This set of anthropomorphic animal minis are beautifully sculpted, highly detailed and full of great character. As a fan of Brian Jacques' Redwall series I couldn't pass up the chance to have these guys in my collection. Their Kickstarter was almost 400% funded, not surprising given the quality of the miniatures, but also a testament to how they went about it. There were regular updates throughout the campaign and after it, with plenty of thanks for backers, but it was the nature of the updates that were really special. These weren't just "we're doing really well" updates, they were photo tutorials on sculpting, hints and tips on character design, a glimpse at the game development, insights into the process of having castings taken. They were updates that would inspire others to have a go... and that's what Kickstarter's about. It's a way of giving individuals and small companies a chance to have a go at something they wouldn't have the capital for otherwise. It's about cultivating imagination and ideas and freeing entrepreneurial spirit from the tie of finding rich backers to give greater wealth to.

But something else happened yesterday.

I've had my eye on the Modular Underground project for many months now. Yes, it's digitally sculpted (something I'm not usually a fan of), but the quality looks good and the design is great. So I was very excited when their Kickstarter finally went live and jumped in with an early bird pledge for two sets.

With 20 days to go yesterday they were following typical Kickstarter form of being 50% funded and it looked promising that the project would go ahead. I have been reposting it in places where I thought others would be interested and promoting it as I think it looks like good value and excellent quality. Then this email arrived:

"As all our backers we were expecting a bigger success of our product from the early days of this Kickstarter. This hypothesis led us to plan the Kickstarter in its actual form. To continue this crowdfunding campaign at this stage would mean to waste a wonderful idea. For this reason we have decided to cancel this project and to allow our loyal backers to invest their funds in other projects, trusting that the same backers will still be interested in our project in the future."

Kickstarter cancelled.

What does this mean? They looked on track given the record of previous campaigns. My only guess is that they were expecting to run a Mantic-style 'preorder', hitting their target and exceeding it the instant the campaign launched. But this is exactly what Kickstarter is NOT. You work out what you need to make the project go ahead in a way that is worthwhile to you. You promote it and give people the chance to vote with their wallets whether they want to support the idea or not and at the end of the period you've either done it or it's a learning experience and you need to go away and research what you need to change to make the idea better. Ending a project a third of the way in because you've only got halfway to being funded goes against the spirit of the thing. "All our backers" suggests that they already have stakeholders who wanted a larger return than they were seeing on this project and pulled the plug. Needless to say I am very disappointed. I am sure that with the last-week funding spurt that is typical of these projects they would have made their goal, but their email suggests they wanted a "bigger success" than just meeting the goal. As I've implied, there's nothing wrong with wanting a successful campaign, but in my opinion 'success' just means getting the idea funded and project off the ground rather than making a huge profit. The tone of the email seems to me to be saying "We wanted to make more money out of this than it looks like we're going to so we're going to scrap the project, it's not worth doing". That's something that should be factored into your funding goal if that's what you want.

It could be that they plan to run another Kickstarter at a later point, perhaps with better promotion, more informative updates, stretch goals and all the other things that might have encouraged more backers, but I will hesitate to pitch into that one having seen the way this one has ended.

Crowd funding is, as I've said, an amazing way of getting projects out there which would otherwise not have the money to go into production. It's a chance for people to see their dreams come to life, and more than that- to see them come to life because other people had something of the same dream and wanted to help make it a reality. To see it as merely a glorified pre-order system devalues this. To end on a positive note, here are two Kickstarter projects in the pipeline I'm very excited about:

Following on from 'Space Riders' (or should that have been Raiders?), Diego has been working with a bunch of talented chaotics devising new taints and terrors for the Pantheon of chaos.

It's great to see a handful of talented sculptors, artists and modellers being able to step aside from commission work and commit to having their own visions made flesh, erm, putty.

The second is Tim Prow's Diehard Miniatures.

Some of these sculpts have been around for over a year now, but the project has grown in ambition and scale, which is only a good thing as far as I'm concerned! Tim's not stranger to the sculpting world having been with Citadel in the 80s and more recently worked for Reaper and Wargames Foundry. What's been great about Diehard is the advice, tips and process shots they're been so willing to share with sculpting Noobs like myself. It's not just "look at the cool things we're doing, go buy them when they come out", it's very much "look at the cool things we're doing, here's how we do it, why don't you give it a try?". Very much the participatory spirit that Kickstarter does so well to promote.


Sunday, 5 July 2015

A tale of two longships. Oldhammer Ahoy part 4

Having done the Blood Bowl team there's been slow progress on ships this week. Time to post some pics of some that have been kicking around for a while now:

Back in December Amazon had a sale on these Revell 1:50 Viking Ships, so I got two, planning to use them as raiding vessels for my Fimir. In the WFRP fluff the Fimir travel in black longships. In flicking through an old White Dwarf though I came across Slaaneshi Hellrammers from Man O War and decided that I needed to turn a longship into one. The ship on the right is for the Fimir, that on the left my reinterpretation of the Hellrammer.

Rather than go massive spike I thought a number of spiky protrusions would scale better on a Warhammer scale ram. The Man O War ship has sails and oars so I've kept both, whereas the Fimir ship has lost the mast (it will be replaced with... something else). I've used a pudding tub, some milliput and plastic bits discarded from the Nurglitch to create the 'house' in the centre of the deck. The sides have been lined with heads on spikes and I've been using the old (though recently discovered by me) comb technique to make tentacles.

The Fimir ship will have shields lining the sides, I'm leaving the studs on the Slaaneshi ship and painting them as metal spikes down the railings. I've also done a figure head swap so the Slaaneshi ship has swirly ends to the bow and stern whilst the Fimir ship has a dragon head on both.
I also realised I neglected to put up any close ups of Captain Skullett of the Nurglitch, so here are a number showing him in all his Orcy glory. He's a Foundry giant orc by Kev Adams, and has all the qualities you'd expect, he weighs a ton! There'll be a couple of attendant snotlings scurrying around his feet if I have time.



Bowling for Blood... The Black Forest Chateau Dark Elves

Last week's painting schedule ahead of BOYL 2015 was my Dark Elf Blood Bowl Team, the Black Forest Chateaus. I've never played Blood Bowl so this team has been pulled together by using random figures I was unlikely to use for anything else- Dark Elves and a handful of Dark Eldar Wytches.

Captain and two Witch Elves, denoted by their face guards. The captain's fist spikes are from a Wargods of Aegyptus Basti warlord

Two runners and a line elf (centre). I've had the Wytches for a long time and always thought they looked like chunky, goofy, nasty sculpts. Surprisingly they actually painted pretty nicely and the poses fit the team really well. There's more detail on them than there looks at first. The Line Elf's pointing hand is from a plastic Phoenix Guard.

Five more Line Elves. The Witches and Wardancers are posed pretty well for Blood Bowl, just needed to remove their weapons and green stuff the tops and bottoms of their fists to detail the fingers. The old Dark Elf warrioress is more, um, modestly dressed than most of the team but looks like she means business.

Apparently we can pick from a Star Player or an Apothecary and two Bloodweiser Babes. I've opted for the latter, with promotional foam weaponry of course. What? They're not foam? ;) The tankards are from the Oakbound Games 'The Woods' accessories pack.

Pretty happy with how the paint jobs have turned out, they're just missing their name tags and coloured bands for ease of identifying their positions. How the team will work out on the day we've yet to see! I might have to play a few practice matches before the end of July...

Fimm McCool's

Fimm McCool's