Modular Sand Dunes

As we already know, I'm working on a game table. The table will have a tile-type of "ground" and two sand dunes to go with it. Originally I was going to have the sand dunes glued to the table. Now I've decided that the sand dunes will be removable. Then I can position them however I wish without having to rotate the table all the time. I don't know why I didn't think of this before.



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Before you, you see 18 Wraithguard in various stages of assembly and painting. Actually, they're all at the same stage of assembly: Done. The painting is the difference. Also notice that spindly Wraithlord to the side. Hi, Wraithlord!

This post isn't about how many Wraithguard I have, though. It's about basing. Tonight I based 18 Wraithguard with sand. I didn't paint the sand or otherwise decorate the sand. I just glued the sand on (and no, these pics don't show that). I also glued sand to the bases of nine Striking Scorpions (who will join the very same army as the Wraithguard, i.e. my new Iyanden) and to the bases of 12 Defender Guardians (same thing).

What I do is water down some glue, cover the base, dip in sand, move on to the next model. Then I do it again, adding another layer of sand over the first. I'm experimenting with doing this *before* I prime the model instead of after (like I usually do). Someone said it's a good way to seal in the sand, so we'll see if they're right.

Anyhow, that's a lot of sand. Pics to come soon.



6:10 PM: Find a photo off the internet and copy it to my hard drive.
6:10 PM: Rename the file "Nurgle_lord.jpg"
6:10 PM: Open MSN
6:11 PM: Message my Nurgle-playing friend and, without any preamble, offer him the photo.
6:11 PM: Make a duplicate of the photo and rename it "new_space_marine_sargent.jpg"
6:12 PM: Message my Space Marine-playing friend and, without any preamble, offer him the renamed, duplicate photo.
6:12 PM: Make another duplicate, rename it "eldar_autarch.jpg"
6:13 PM: Message my Eldar-playing friend and, without any preamble, offer him the renamed, duplicate photo.
6:13 PM: Report about it on my blog while I wait for the puzzled comments.

I guess it's a lot funnier if I actually show you the photo, huh?



I'm having bad dreams about the Eldar table. Last night I dreamt that I screwed up the engraved lines on the grid in a way which is impossible to fix and I had to throw the whole thing out. I didn't wake up screaming, but I did wake up thinking "I have to start spending more time with actual people".


Free Desktops!

The skulls are so lovely that I've decided to make desktop photos of them for you all. Free of charge!!


Skulls N' Skulls N' Skulls

Today these two small pots full of tiny pewter skulls arrived. There are roughly 200 skulls here.

That's what you get for having a pal who works at Reaper Mini. The little skulls are used as agitators in their paint bottles. They're rarely seen by human eyes, as their purpose in life is to be shaken around inside the bottle to mix the paint nicely. After the bottle is empty, one would normally just toss it away unless one feels like slicing open the bottle to get the single 25mm-scale skull. Getting an entire pot full of these clean little skulls is a hell of a coup, and I'm very, very happy.

Aspect Shrine... here we come...


Eldar Four-By-Four

Benoit, Keith, David & me all gathered at the St. Laurent Games Workshop for a small megabattle of two-on-two (David was my partner), and we each brought 750 points (in case you're math-impaired like me, that's 1500 points per side). Just to set the scene, here's what I brought:
Farseer: Witchblade, Shuriken Pistol, Jetbike, Fortune

8 Dire Avengers
Exarch: Shuriken Pistol & Power Weapon, Distract
Wave Serpent: Shuriken Cannon, Linked Star Cannons, Spirit Stones

8 Fire Dragons
Exarch: Firepike, Meltabombs, Burning Fist
Wave Serpent: Shuriken Cannon Upgrade, Linked Bright Lance, Spirit Stone
Due to time constraints, we could only go four turns in this Alpha-level Secure-and-Control game, but it was still fun and we emerged victorious. Highlights? David smoked a Wraithlord with Mind War, my Dire Avengers smoked a squad of Striking Scorpions, and between the two of us we paddled a three-strong squad of D-Cannon support platforms. Low points? Those same Scorpions, before I smoked them, they smoked my Farseer. I also think that David lost a squad of Guardians, but I wasn't paying attention to the other side of the table.

Are there photos? Darn right there are.


Hey, I *Like* The Manta

The Tau Manta.

In case you aren't already aware, the Tau Manta is a flyer so big that, when represented in 40k scale, is rumored to be 3.5-4' wide and 2' long. Forgeworld is currently working on one right now (link to the progress report is above). And I say "Why not?" True, the monetary cost of this thing will be measured in the thousands of dollars and the points cost will make it nearly impossible for almost any game (not to mention the absolutely ridiculous size), but I really like it. Ok, I admit that painting one of these is going to require you to take it to Maaco just to get a good undercoat, but this is something different... it's something ambitious. It doesn't have to be for everybody and, of course, very few people are going to even want one (muchless have the means to pay for one), but I like new ideas. I like stuff that's different. I like things which bring some variation and diversity to our games. Of course every change will bring its own set of weird problems, but we're creative people. We'll get past them.

I really hope I get to play on a table against one of these someday, if for no other reason than to just get some kickass photos. Wouldn't that be cool?


Thought I'd Forgotten About This, Didn't You?

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usWith all the crap that's been going on lately, I haven't had a chance to properly serve my pink foam overlords. Tonight I laid this baby down and made a second grid. Impressive to look at? Not really. Even so, it's a major chunk of work and I am now back in the saddle trying to make this table happen.

I've made some significant errors in puttings this table together; I glued two 2X4' sheets onto two other 2X4' sheets (cross-ways) hoping to strengthen them and make them less likely to warp. Well... that didn't work out so well, because the top layer of foam has warped and lifted off the bottom. They're still glued together, but the top layer isn't all that flat and there's an air pocket between the two layers. I'm considering trying to rip them apart and re-glue. I'll give it more thought. Otherwise, I am considering some very fine screws to go into the foam to keep them together. Not sure how that would work yet, but I'm rather sure it would work.

I was told before I started this project to build these tables on top of some wood, but I didn't listen. I'm not sure I'm sorry, though; I needed these tables to be light and easily stored and, what's more, I am on a budget. So I only feel half as silly as I otherwise might. Still feel silly... just... less than I might.

I don't see this problem as insurmountable, but I think I have to be careful about my next step here because if I actually damage the foam while trying to repair and secure the warped parts... that wouldn't be good.


My Favorite Nerd Quote Of 2006

From Warseer.com's forums:

"My buddy's wife calls it dorkhammer and dorkhammer 40k. Mostly because we get distracted easily with Dork talk (talk about 40k) when we are supposed to be playing D&D..."

God forbid you disturb the sanctified hip-ness of D&D with "Dork talk".

p.s. No offense intended to the author; it was the best chuckle of the day.


More About The Money Thing

Ebay and Bartertown are two great ways to get cheap models second hand. If the price of GW products goes through the roof (and I'm not saying it will... I'm just saying if it does), a lot of people will turn to these resources to get their models.

I don't like getting my stuff off Ebay or Bartertown. Don't get me wrong; I have no desire to discourage those who *do* prefer those outlets. It's just not for me. Here's why:

- I prefer not to strip models, and generally second-hand models are painted and assembled. That's just me. I don't enjoy it. I find it labor-intensive and a drag.

- Further to this point, I am very particular about how I assemble my models. I sand them, I file them, I fix imperfections with epoxy or other materials, and I ONLY start putting them together when I'm done prepping them. If I get them second-hand then that part of the process is taken away from me.

- I find that no matter how much I study photos on Ebay, there are always little "surprises" that I find on the actual product once I have it. A wad of Krazy Glue with a thumbprint... a gaping hole in the joints... other dumb stuff like that. I don't like having to do someone else's mistakes before I can get down to work.

- It's not quick enough. I like to buy something and have it on the same day.

- There's no warrantee or money-back promise. If I get something that seems a little miscast, I can take it back to GW and get another model or a refund. If I get something second hand that's miscast (via mail like through Ebay), that's a much more complicated process... if it's possible at all.

Again, these are just things that I prefer and things that I like. These are the reasons, however, why I don't see Ebay and Bartertown, etc., as viable alternatives to getting the goods straight from GW. So if the GW prices go up, that means very few new models (first or second hand) will be coming into my fold for a while.


This Might Be It

As I've mentioned a time or two before, I'm not mad for the Games Workshop pricing scheme. They charge too much and they know it. Their competitors sell for less and offer comparable quality (and, in some cases, superior). Thing is... if you love the game then you pay the premium, and it's okay. Just make peace with it.

I've recently read, however, that another (yes another) price hike is on the way in March from Games Workshop. Paints are theoretically going to be more expensive, as are tank boxes, etc. I'm not positive how much, but it's sounding like $10 per tank box and somewhere around $0.25 per paint pot. Something like that.

I don't know enough about it yet to know if it's all just baloney or if there's something to it. In fact, I am posting this now because just considering a price hike as a concept is easier if I'm not sure yet. So I'm sharing my thoughts before this solidifies.

My thoughts are this: It's silly when people threaten boycotts of manufacturers of gaming materials, or if they say "That's it! I'll show them: I'll quit!". No one cares. Certainly no dent is going to be made in the GW psyche if a bunch of people leave the hobby because of the prices. It just makes you look like a silly drama queen when you stand up on your soap box and exclaim "I'll show you, GW! I'll QUIT!!"

Having said that... if the prices really do go up, that might be it for me. It could provide me with a realistic, logical exit point from this hobby once and for all. When I consider all the things I could do with the money I've spent on Warhammer, it doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

I guess we'll see in March.


The Colors of San Francisco

The Metreon in San Francisco is just a mid-sized mall, for all intents and purposes. It's run by Sony and primarily caters to upscale technology-obsessed yuppie-age people with a lot of money. Still, it's a pretty neat place in a way, because it's got the latest in Playstation gizmos and a lot of the other nifty doo-dads you expect from a giant like Sony. Interestingly enough, there's also a Games Workshop. Naturally, I had to see what a Games Workshop in San Francisco would look like, so I went in. There were the usual assortment of painted armies in glass cases, tables for playing on, lots of shelves full of Land Raiders, Hive Tyrants and the whole thing, and (of course) Red Shirts wandering around. What caught my eye, however, was the paint. They had spray paints by Citadel that you just can't get in Canada: Bleached Bone, Shadow Grey, Space Wolves Grey, Dark Angels Green, Blood Red and Boltgun Metal. My mind was spinning with the notion of things I could actually accomplish with sprays like Bleached Bone (if you recall, I'm starting an army that's almost all BB). It just rocked my world to consider it. I bought two cans right away.

Unfortunately, I returned them. It seems that aerosol cans cannot be transported in an airplane, cannot be shipped by air and cannot even be shipped by ground. In other words, there was no way to get them back to the Great White North.

Sad. It's very sad.


Why I Have The Best Girlfriend Of All Time

Here are just two reasons why my girlfriend is the best girlfriend of all time.
1. When I told her I am building an Eldar-themed game table, complete with terrain and the whole thing, she told me (much to her own surprise, in fact) that she's actually incredibly proud of me for it. Get that, guys? A girl said that she was proud of me for making Warhammer terrain and a table.
2. She looks like this.


Gettin' Better

It just itches now.

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Hot Eldar Action

The word "Eldar" comes from the Tolkien description of Elves in his megagoogleubersuperduperalleyooper popular trilogy, The Lord Of The Rings. Therefore, certain analysis of the stories and the background has impact on understanding this mystical and enigmatic race. For that reason, I would like to present to you What Tolkien Officially Said About Elf Sex.

And yes, this will be on the test.


One Small Step

Set out to make a plasticard template. After a lot of little tiny fussy measurements I got it just the way I wanted it. Then, I put template to foam, got out some red paint and... well...

This, my friends, is step one of a Dire Avengers Aspect shrine.

The sketching:

The cutting:

The painting (and adding of dragons so you get the "ambience"):