Saturday, 23 April 2011

Salute: a (much abridged) pictoral journey

Well, as previously mentioned, I forgot to pick up the camera on my way out the door to go to Salute, and in my excitement rushing around throwing money at traders I only managed to snap a half dozen or so pics on Uncle Johnny's phone camera. Some technical diffiulties (and a week) later, I've managed to get sme photos to the point that I can post them on the internet (in the end, havng to email those that managed to get through to myself from my phone... lord knows where the wire for that went...)

And so, I present to you all: Salute 2011 in four pictures:

Crooked Dice's 7tv table, which was absolutely beautiful but sadly fully booked to play on by the time I strolled over. I've got plans rolling around to build a similarly styled modular board, but who knows where I'd have the space to store it... There was a rather nice Doctor Who game on display too, but sadly no pictures of that survived the journey to here...

This picture did though, although I can't honestly remember whose it was or what game was on it. It might be that I stumbled upon whilst in a snap-happy mood, who knows. There's a giant mushroom on the board though, so that's something...

Obligatory picture of the Heresy Dragon. He's a big old bugger, I'll grant him that. I was extraordinarily tempted by the special offer on the day, but couldn't think of a surefire way to smuggle it into the house without getting caught, so had to politely decline.

And sadly, the final picture on our whirlwind tour is of me, shortly after I'd gotten bored of posing for a picture and become distracted by something out of shot. Please note, people journeying to Salute in groups: 6'3" and a Jayne hat make you easy to find if you get seperated (and yes, I was amused at people stopping me to tell me what a cunning hat I was wearing). Dressing all in black like Uncle Johnny (and a hundred other guys) makes it somewhat hard to spot you in a crowd. Just saying. Talking of Uncle Johnny, the picture of him that was to accompany this one mysteriously didn't make it from his phone to mine. I suspect foul play...

Anyway, as a whole week has passed, inevitably some more miniatures have turned up:

A bunch of ooold-school slayers, complete with Gotrek to accompany the Felix I managed to pick up off eBay last year. I worked out once this parcel arrived that I'd only need to convert 5-7 slayers to have a full unit of 30, including command, without any identical poses (5 if I used doomseekers in the unit, 7 if I didn't - admittedly, that includes counting the old Games Day slayer on demon head unit filler as four slayers too...)

Black Cat Bases sadly weren't at Salute, but handily have their annual sale on. It's probably for the best that I wasn't shopping in person, as they have a fair few bits and bobs I plan to pick up in the future (zombies and deep ones for starters), but had they been in front of me I likely wouldn't have been able to show the same restraint and just bought everything in one fell swoop.

There's two packages on their way to me currently, but until then the tally stands at:

80 vs 252 (-13 to a chap in Norway, +12 dwarfs, +18 from black cat bases) = -172

(maybe if it hits 999 it'll roll back round to 000...)

Monday, 18 April 2011


Yup, it's the inevitable post-Salute 2011 post, as seems to be dominating the blogosphere currently. Unfortunately, due to being perhaps the worst blogger ever, I forgot to take the camera (and must have walked past it at least three times whilst getting ready in the morning). On the other hand, if I hadn't of forgotten the camera, I wouldn't have been texting Uncle Johnny bemoaning my own foolishness whilst walking to meet him, which would have meant he'd have remained asleep at home, along with our coach tickets. So I guess there's a silver lining there, if nothing else. I did manage to take a couple of pics before we left using Uncle Johnny's spy-fi telephone though, so I'll post them up once he forwards them my way.

Getting up to Salute wasn't too bad (I can deal with the early morning start as long as I have access to coffee and chainsmoking), although as soon as we got on the Underground, the train was brought to a grinding halt by a 'trespasser' on the line. Cue much bemoaning of the foolishness of people going for a wander in tunnels and an overland trek to Westminster (only partially slowed by my terrible geography skills) and we were back on our way. What's nice was that once we reached a certain point in our journey, navigation became simply a case of 'follow the men with beards'.

The show itself was great - far too much to take in, and I'm still seeing things on other peoples' blogs that I missed! There was an awful lot of nice games on display, but special mention should go to Crooked Dice - lovely chaps, lovely minis, lovely looking games (although all the slots were filled by the time I got there - next time, Gadget, next time...) - It was cool to meet Karl (Crooked Dice South) as well, although it was a bit weird meeting someone you've previously only spoken to via the internet - and I forgive him for overcharging me 50p (there was an awful lot going on around their stand).

On the 'meeting people you've previously only spoken to via the internet' front, I may need to get myincubliss tattooed somewhere on my body, or else change my internet name to something more manly (McAwesome?) or generic, as it's a bit weird introducing yourself as your handle...

On to the purchases... There were many, many lovely shiny things there. I had a bit of a wander at first, scoping out what sort of wares were on offer before returning to dole over ever-increasing amounts of cash rather than just leaping in bothfeet first. Which is probably for the best, as several things I'd seen had sold out by the time I returned, like the Perry Ninjas I only remembered I wanted when I saw a youngster waving the last pack at his father... Still, there were many things that were purchased, the majority of which are readily available at any time on the internet. At the same time, I'm a terrible sucker for buying miniatures placed in front of me that I'd been putting off ordering online (then again, I'm a terrible sucker for buying miniatures placed in front of me full stop). By the end of the day, I'd accrued the following:

Only 33 miniatures (including the freebie for attending), which is a lot less than I thought I'd bought. I managed to avoid the temptation of the various buckets of mage knight and heroclix, but that was mostly due to not fancying crouching down on the floor for extended periods of time to sift through them. Also, it's probably for the best that I didn't have a read of Uncle Johnny's newly acquired copy of Hail Caesar until we were on the coach home, otherwise I'd have likely bought a couple of hundred Ancient Britons to pit against his Romans or Germans... (in other news, whilst googling to double check the name of the rulebook, I discovered that Warlord are running a Tale of IV gamers over on their site, which I've decided not to read yet lest my love of the 'four gamers' format encourage me to buy more miniatures...). As well as all the various minis destined for future service in Strange Aeons and dnd (including some random minis I picked out of a pot), I picked up the Foundry Oriental Flesh Triad, which I'd wanted for a while but was loathe to pay the £8 postage to get it direct. I might even paint some minis for my Three Kingdoms project now (but don't hold your breath).

With the inclusion of that little lot, the tally to date is as follows:

80 vs 235 = -155

Hopefully my refired enthusiasm for 7tv will result in some more miniatures getting finished.

What's that? Refired enthusiasm for 7tv? Look what was waiting for me when I got home from Salute (after a ridiculous amoung of food at Wagamama's, that is):

Alas, Royal Mail managed to take a chunk out of the top-right corner, but that doesn't detract from how ridiculously cool this is. I had the pdf for pre-ordering, but it's not quite the same as having the book in your hands. I won't go into any more depth than that here, otherwise this post will double in length as I heap praise after praise on the book and those lovely chaps over at Crooked Dice.

Alongside that came the limited 'Battle for Canary Wharf' booklet, which again I already had as a pdf, but is really rather nice to own. Also, I've managed to acquire most of the miniatures I'd need to play all the scenarios in the booklet, so this might even get some practical use at some point...

Friday, 15 April 2011

A whole lotta evil and a hairy guy...

Well, to get the usual business out of the way:

Yes yes, minus one to the tally, I'm a bit rubbish really - although in my defence I stuck a 99p bid on him on ebay and forgot all about it until the email telling me I'd won arrived a few days later - he'll go into the stripping pot with all those other unfortunate souls, hoping to one day see the business end of a paintbrush...

On a more positive note, I managed to finish a whole bunch of miniatures!

Ahh, lovely lovely single colour easy to paint nightgaunts, how the tally loves thee. I'd originally planned to only buy one, as that's probably all I'd really need for Strange Aeons, but they're just so cute! Well, cute for a faceless haunter of the night... Who am I kidding, they tickle people with those barbed tails. But they do it silently...

I know, I'm surprised too, this makes two lots finished from a package that arrived last week, normally it takes me a few months (sometimes years) from receiving miniatures to actually painting them! A nice 'man in a suit' type alien, suitable for menacing the good Doctor, or perhaps used as a terrible experiment gone wrong unleashed by some evil genius [cue seamless segue]

Boom! My 7tv rulebook is in the post, so I thought I should at least have one miniature finished expressly for use with it. And look, he has an adorable kitty!

Which admittedly probably isn't meant to be photographed at such close range, but hey, just look at his little face... In other news, there are some femdroids currently winging their way to me to add to the growing collection of 'undercoated miniatures for 7tv'.

I even managed to finish off a miniature that's been in the painting queue for a ridiculous amount of time, this zombie from the Frothers sculpting competition set.

I even spent several minutes with a pin teasing TCR so that it looked like the blood spilling from the severed head was following the laws of gravity and flowing down the gulley between two tiles towards the open drain. Because it's the little things that make me chuckle. Also, I'm sad like that.

The zombie project has fallen off my radar a little bit, as there's so many other projects demanding my attention (the span of which isn't exactly great). Then again, I've got a decent number of zombies finished, and the rules are at least half done, so I can easily pick it back up when my mood swings back that way (as it inevitably will).

Last but not least, we have:

A barbarian! 2 classes down, only a dozen or so to go! I really like this miniature, it was an absolute joy to paint, which meant I spent a little more time on it than usual (although it's hard to tell with pictures this close up).

As is inevitable, we come to the tally:

80 vs 202 = -122

I wish I could say that I'm not going to buy any more miniatures this year, that I'm going to power on and even up those numbers, but today Uncle Johnny called and asked if I wanted to go to Salute...

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Back on the horse...

As previously mentioned, I found some more Moria goblins that I'd originally been painting around nine years ago, so thought I'd get back into the swing of painting by finishing them off:

Painting over the top of the old paintjob, I slapped paint on with wild abandon, and you know the sad thing? At arms length, or on a tabletop in front of you, they're much of a muchness with the goblins I painted before. Also sad is the fact that I only noticed toward the end that I'd originally stuck the shields on upside down (cue some careful cutting and re-glueing on all but one - I thought it was funny to have a dopey goblin that's holding his shield wrong...)

So now, we have enough goblins to suitably chastise a wizard if need be:

(that poor wizard - hopefully he'll have some friends soon, if I can stay focused on one thing for more than five minutes...)

Which brings us to:

73 vs 201 = -128

As always, there's plenty of half-finished (or WIP, if you prefer) stuff in the painting queue, so we'll see if we can work on that number a little bit. There's some nightgaunts, for one (they're a single colour all over, so should be fairly quick to knock out), but at the same time the imminent release of the 7tv rulebook has had me digging out some minis for that...

Friday, 8 April 2011

You wouldn't believe it, but...

...36 hours after ordering, this turned up:

My first order direct from EM4! (Don't worry, there are some miniatures in there amidst all the bases). First thing's first - these came crazy quick. I think the only reason they took 36 hours was because I placed the order at midnight. Secondly - the Future Wars and Fantasy minis I ordered arrived cleaned up and undercoated! I'd heard rumours of this madness, but have now seen the truth of it with mine own eyes. I always find cleaning miniatures to be a bit of a chore, so this really is a blessing. Example:

A lovely barbarian, primed grey! Admittedly on this one the primer's scraped off a bit on his nose and hair, but even so he's quite the looker, no? As an aside, yes I might be stealing the idea from Evilcartoonist of painting a mini for each D&D class in the near future.

The tally as it now stands is:

61 vs 201 (+14 from EM4, -4 spaceships to Rob at work) = -140 ()

I'm still amazed at how quickly the order came, I'm still waiting on the arrival of something I ordered on ebay over the weekend...

In other news, I've been frantically cleaning and basing miniatures in preperation for having a week off from work, but managed to slice my thumb open (worse than usual - you can tell a modeller by the thin cuts on their thumb) so that I struggled to hold a knife or paintbrush for a few days (I tried, but kept dropping the knife into my lap, at which point I decided it was probably time to give up...)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Procrastination apace!

So, yeah, not much happening...

Procrastination has set in, and I've not really been painting anything. I think the paints have only come out once in the last three weeks.

This turned up a while ago (thanks to a lovely chap by the name of Bezzo) and I've only just got round to adding it to the tally (sad, sad times for my plans of staying in the positive).

61 vs 191 = -130 (boo!)

So, procrastination. The other day I made a spreadsheet of what miniatures you'd need, and in what quantities, to play every scenario featured in the pdfs from the Doctor Who Miniatures Game for the modern series. Once I'd finished that I made several more spreadsheets, for each pdf, listing how many of each mini I'd need to play pretty much any scenario ever. And then (and only then) I basecoated some (not all) of the metals on my human Blood Bowl team. Sigh...

I have managed to prep some minis though, as well as throwing yet more into the stripping jar, so hopefully I'll be back on the painting horse soon enough. I even found some more moria goblins lurking around half-painted, so I might ease myself back into the swing of things by finishing those. Plus, I've got a week off from work soon, so hopefully I'll finish something then...