Friday, 27 April 2012

Words, not pictures

It has been far too long since I last posted in this blog, everything else creeps up, it will never go away. The hobby is an escape mechanism, and sometimes its too good,  but that is a rant for another day. Needless to say I love the hobby, particularly the imaginative processes that it propagates.

For the past year or so these seedlings of imagination have grown in the form of a Space Marine/ Grey Knight(Henchman) force, and an Empire army. The 40k project involves a fleet of refugees from the Tyranid tendril fleet, and the pace Marines sworn to protect them. The Empire army will take the form of an assortment of cut-throats and mercenaries, not limited to Men, but Dwarfs and Ogres etc. 

Such is my nature, and that of my free time, I have far more background and story to these models and armies than I do models in progress, although it is a balance I am working steadily towards equalising. Although the rate is very slow it has not showed any signs of stopping. 

Life is going to change again, starting work in August, but with my own place, the pace of production should pick up again.

Anyway enough mindless musings! Progress on the Brunwasser Bar-Stewards will be up by the start o the week, and whilst most of them may still be black and grey, paint is going on!

Thanks to any of you who managed through this jungle of musings!

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Year Ahead

Seeing as everyone is doing one of these, I thought it'd be est to get my plans written down. I need to keep things very simple, I mean ridiculously simple. I get distracted way too easily. But for the next few months things will hopefully be different.

Unfortunately my fiancee is away for 2 months for work, its a pain, but I'll use it as an advantage to focus on imporving time management. Secondly,the Xbox is tucked away, so no distractions there, but no Skyrim to get lost in, or Gears or COD for a quick fix... c'est la vie, it was getting in the road. Thirdly, and very importantly, I only have one army to work on with me, with which to focus my efforts upon, all the rest are stored at home for the final 5 months of uni. Lastly, a non hobby New Years Resolution, work during the week, get the work done ASAP, so the weekends and down time can be fully utilised, and properly free of guilty thoughts of work not done.

SO! There is only one plan for 2012, but it can be broken down to many varying pieces.

1. Complete 1,500 points of a Warhammer Empire army.

This is broken down to the following points:

1. Use the models to tell a story(more on this in the next post), essentially each unit will have a back story, with the back story in several cases focussing on different models, and convert the models to partially tell this story in many ways.

2. Improve painting skills, especially faces.

3. Use this armies progress to improve the quality of the blog and frequency of blog posts.

3 and a half. Improve the quality of the photographs of models that I take. I'll give this a go at the weekend to show the current state of the army.

That is all I can think of just now, although there are many more minor factors.

The army in a nutshell is the amalgamation of a Trantian(a Tilean city) army in the employment of the Marienburg merchant elite. More on that later...

Saturday, 10 December 2011

The Place Holder and 'Free' Time

More and more it feels like I'm using this blog as a place holder, a reminder in my mind for the hobby.

Life is so crammed full of distractions, the hobby from work and vice versa, my fiancée and friends from everything, and the top trump of family, and the million other little things that seem to devour all the time I have. So when I do finally have free time, I'm shattered from all the other stuff, plus it feels like there is never any truly 'free' time any more, its got the hulking shadow of guilt hanging over it, with the whispers of the work projects that need doing, or the event that being shunned in preference for 'free' time.

What's left is the never satisfied hunger for everything hobby related. A massive factor will be the fact that I don't have and friends in the hobby, purely down to the fact I haven't had the time to join clubs of take any time out to go the FLGS. The internet and blogosphere make it easy to remain thoroughly entrenched in the hobby with the daily guilty pleasure of scrolling through the hundreds of subscribed threads I have, or jotting little notes of the passing threads of projects and stories from the imagination banks.

I dream of the time and energy to be able to spend an entire weekend working on the myriad of projects I have nestled in my imagination. Evenings that are completely given over to projects or games, or stories. Weekends with friends enjoying a couple of games.

The reality kicks down the door with the obvious facts of a final year university course, the impending job after it, the balancing act of a flat of 4 guys(in no way wargamers, or even gamers at all) and a fiancée(she isn't so bad) a bunch of friends i barely get to see, and the the friends from home that I haven't seen in year, and the icing on the cake family(they aren't so bad).

Its just life, and they have to be prioritised over little plastic models. Ranting does help from time to time, gets the stress out the system, clear and focuses the mind. I'm going to get into some BFG ships for a change, and get prepared for the (hopeful) peace I have over the Christmas holidays to focus on the hobby(I can dream).

Next time some meandering on inspiration and the weird places you can find it, Die Hard for example...

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Hectic

Every time I post I promise that I will have models coming, that would be the case if real life wasn't a factor. As such my hobby time has been non existent the past few months, elective and resits, plus catching up on all the other work now, doesn't leave much time for anything else.

I am however (painfully slowly) becoming more and more aware of how I can change my time management to maximise the time I do have spare. This will (hopefully) give me time to spend on the hobby, in particular painting and completing some models(finally).

The plan is to tackle something different from power armour and give the Saurus a lick of paint over the next few days, shouldn't be too hard, but these things always take longer than you plan for them.

As an aside, I feel I am going to take blogging differently from my initial idea. A good friend from university also has a blog but its for photography, they post in terms of a diary, getting things of their chest, an idea I want to take on board and use. A repository for thoughts...

Until next time

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The current state of affairs.

First of all, a proper introduction, I'm Will, a 5th year med student at Dundee. I've collected Citadel miniatures for about 11 years, I got into the hobby through a guy at school who brought in the old Tzeentch Greater Daemon model, and I have been hooked since then! I think the first models I got were some Space Marines, they were smothered in paint and have recently had a lovely Dettol bath to see if they can be reclaimed from a camouflage paint scheme(I was young at the time, I know now how much of a fluff mistake it was!). I have since gathered an ungodly number of models, and I still delude myself that they will some day be painted! This leads to Lesson 1,

Lesson 1: I will not buy any more models until I have at least a playable Space Marine army complete.

This will be tricky especially with eBay, however I cannot justly warrant buying any more models at all(my girlfriend might wring my neck if I do!). Its not my fault that GW release such lovely tempting models though!  This also leads onto Lesson 2:

Lesson 2: I must not begin another army until I have a playable force of each of those that I already have.

For 40k alone I have enough models 5 armies(Space Marines, Imperial Guard, Tyranids, Orks and Tau), and in terms of the Space Marines and Tyranids, I have calculated I have well over enough for a 3,000 point force for each of them. Ok, so I definitely cannot justify new models let alone a new army. In terms of Fantasy the army count stands at 4, with a potentially huge(4k+) Lizardmen force and much smaller Empire, Dwarves, Vampire Counts, and Tomb Kings. I suppose this massive collection of bare plastic miniatures makes me a proper hobby hoarder... Oh well, I had to feed the Plastic Crack addiction somehow!

In order to get round to painting the mountain of miniatures I have I must maximise the time I have, this is going to be very difficult with the lack of free time that I get with the course, a girlfriend and everything else. I started this blog for many reasons, the main being that it gives me a window to the community to show the miniatures that I am working on and hopefully get some feedback on them, and as a result push me to get the painting done!

Creating a narrative (or themed) army is the part of the hobby I find most interesting. The background for 40k and Fantasy, in my opinion, is amazing; Games Workshop and Black Library have created two colossal  universes, possibly the best part of them is possibility of creating your own characters and stories(within reason) within them. A hobbyist can then extend the stories and characters that they create to the tabletop by converting and theming their own characters or armies, giving the game a far greater depth and enjoyment. This is what I aim to do with all my armies eventually, I already have a lot of the background for the Imperial forces( due for a future post). In other words I want to make my armies truly my own, which I suppose warrants another Lesson.

Lesson 3: Make the models your own, through background, paint scheme, conversions, and basing. Create a narrative for each force.

Looking around the interwebs it is the armies and models that have had the time and energy dedicated to them that really stand out from the rest, marking the forces at the owners own and something to truly be proud of.

Using the opportunity for reflection that this blog gives me to create these Lessons and also to look upon the Goal I have for June 2012(of course the multitude of blogs I try to keep up with have an influence) I am going to change things slightly. I still am going to focus on creating the Honoured Sons Space Marine army, and probably break things up by chipping away at the Lizardmen I have. In addition to this task I desperately want to expand on the Imperial focused narrative I have had brewing for years, the ideal opportunity for this is  Inq28, the Citadel specialist game Inquisitor at a 28 mm scale instead of 54mm. The flagship Inq28 blog by Molotov is a great inspiration, and he is currently working on a INQinvitational, a project best explained by visiting his blog.

A massive thanks to anyone who made it this far though my ranting, I promise that pictures will be coming in the next posts, however work on the models will be at least 6 week off. I'm halfway round the world in beautiful Nanaimo, Vancouver Island for my elective, I strongly recommend visiting this part of the world, however I couldn't convince the girlfriend to allow me any hobby stuff in my bags! Any comments, queries, anything would be greatly appreciated!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Goal for June 2012

I do not have a completed army, I barely have a completed unit. As a result I am setting a goal to have at least a 1,500 point army for each 40k and Fantasy by the time I finish university next year. The plan is to have the Honoured Sons and Lizardmen, mentioned in the first post, completed to this level.

The only 2 models I have at a comfortable level of painting, the bases require work however.


There is no proper excuse as to why I have not completed any units or even models to a level I am completely happy with. There is always the "too little time" line, and it is a pretty shoddy excuse when a shocking amount of time is spent lurking on the likes of Warseer and Dakka, especially around exam time!

This goal setting is to prioritise my hobby time in order to get proper results rather than doing a little bit of everything. There will, no doubt, be sporadic posts of unrelated models. The next few posts will be an introduction to the two armies, first I need to take some pictures!

Heroes of Armageddon

The Heroes of Armageddon project has been going on over the past 3 and a half months and comes to a close tonight in time for Games Day Chicago next week, and it has really struck a chord with me.  I cannot begin to explain how impressive I find this project, the time scale, the awesome armies, the huge community effort, it really is a testament to the brilliant attitude of gamers.

In my opinion it is possibly the best choice of charity for such a worldwide group effort. Doctors Without Borders, otherwise known as Medecins San Frontieres(MSF), has been running for around 40 years and there are not many places that it has not worked. Due to the nature of my course, I have had the opportunity to speak to the inspirational doctors and nurses who are active members of MSF, and who spend up to 6 months every year abroad making a difference in umpteen countries with the charity. What sets MSF apart from similar charities is the fact that they do not have a political agenda, their primarily goal is to save lives and make a difference in countries without the health care us Westerners are used to, some that are undergoing acute crises, much like the droughts in Africa right now. This singular drive to help people regardless of the other factors involved often means MSF works alone in areas other organisations won't go near. This means that not only are the men and women that volunteer to work with the charity are working long hours possibly undertaking very complicated procedures, they are doing so in very unstable and dangerous areas. I cannot begin to imagine what this work would be like, I have heard many stories, both amazing and terrifying, and I realise that the money donated to this charity makes a difference, and will go where it is needed.

The armies speak for themselves, Doctors Without Borders requires some explanation however and I hope I have helped. Every couple of bucks will make a difference.