Friday, March 20, 2015

Colore ton Monde: March, the Green Lady

I'm on a roll thi month, three minis done and posted, and more to follow. Here's my mini for this month's Colore ton monde painting challenge, which was to paint something green, for spring.

This is a Reaper mini, and was bought to act as a sorceress for my fledgling Bretonnian army. It is a beautiful Werner Klocke mini, and deserves a better paint job than this one, but it will do for now. I'd like to go over the eyes again, as the close up of the photography as always makes them look scrappy.

 

Traditional Oldhammer Goblin Green for the base, but with some very modern flowers, in-keeping with the spring theme.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Ulf the Finger-Eater

I had a particularly productive weekend in painting terms, finishing two minis!

This is the third manhunter mini I have painted, and second one completed (I'll get round to finishing the other soon, promise). This one is to represent "Ulf the Finger-Eater", my hero model for the current PP leauge at my FLGS. His name being taken from a children's book the girls love.

The first one I painted, in a more traditional brown scheme, can be found here. That one is also a good point of reference for the original axes.

The conversion on this guy is rather light. He has gained some bear traps, to represent his Bear Hunter ability, a medal, to represent Medal of Honour, and some new axes, to represent Hooked Blades.

New Axes
Bear trap

Medal

And then the painted version...





The axes are extras from the Devil Dog unit. The bear trap is from Yuri the Axe, and the medal is a decoration from the shaft of a GW Dwarven axe I bought as a possible conversion for the axes, but in the end didn't use.

The base is a scratch built, with wood chips and real lichen, which is a pain to paint, as it's so flexible. I may have to put a layer of varnish over its roots to fix it better in place.The arrows are just to show he's a hard-ass!

Another point for my league score, and once my hero buys the right advancements to go with his conversions, that'll be another 3 points. Onwards and upwards.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Gorman Di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist

Another one of those minis that's been sitting around for a loooooong time with out more than an undercoat to keep them warm, Gorman is a very old mini for Warmachine. I think he's even one of the first wave of minis.

In a recent game versus Khador, I was re-initiated in the ways of Gorman, and the use of "Black Oil", one of his signature abilities. I fielded him in my forst league game, and he managed to pull ff the same ability for me, allowing me to get a caster kill (in concert with Eiryss, another first wave and still useful model, I think she'll be getting a coat of paint soon too).

Going back to my Khador, has also meant going back to a lot of the Mercs I bought to go with them, mainly becasuse they won't run with my Highborne army. So I have been rediscovering a whole other set of minis I haven't used in a long time, and more importantly, having fun with them.



So, that's 1 more point towards my score in the league.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Sir Terry Pratchett, 1948-2015


I think I was quite late along to the party, as I first picked up one of the Discworld novels when at University. "Faust Eric" was the first one I read I think, then I went back to the start and read all the Discworld novels, and continued to do so, as soon as a new one was available in paperback (hard back books take up so much space).

There are a lot of funny authors out there, but I can list on one finger the number who could so consistently make me snigger and laugh out loud when reading his books. He had such a great way of looking at the world, then mirroring it back to us in a way that made the mundane seems absurd. Add to this the fact that it was not unknown for me to shed a few tears when reading his work to, and we have the sign, IMHO, of a truly great author.

The fact that he was always a genre writer always worked against his credibility, especially at the start, but the sheer number of people who read his work, and the way in which he spoke on the subject did so much, more than any other author in my mind, to bring works of Fantasy and Science fiction to light in more serious literary circles. I contest the works of the gazillionaire J. K. Rowling would never have received the attention they did if Sir Terry hadn't already broken the ground for her.

I searched for a pithy quote to put here, but there are just so goddamn many of them out there that are so witty and perfect, it just goes to show what a sharp mind he was, which makes the manner of his passing all the more poignant.

I am happy to say there are a couple of his books I have yet to read, but I am extremely sad that when they are done, there will be no more. But to ask for more in some ways would be greedy, as he has left so much of such a high quality, it is just churlish to think otherwise.

All that is left now is to pass the books on to the girls, and hope they get as much pleasure from them as their mum and I have.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Colore ton monde

March's Colore ton monde painting challenge has been announced. Last month's entries are found on Facebook here, and more pictures of my entry are in this post. Looking at the other pictures on facebook, mine seems rather dark. I need to work on my photography setup!

This month's challenge is as follows:


* Un peu d'espoir, ou de bière ! *
Le printemps débute officiellement pendant le mois à venir. Avec lui devrait en théorie venir les premières pousses vertes. On sait bien que ça peut prendre un peu plus longtemps avec notre climat, mais la Saint-Patrick nous offrira notre touche de vert pour le mois, si jamais la neige ne part pas. Pour le mois de mars, nous vous invitons à peindre un modèle contenant du vert, signifiant le renouveau,... ou alors un modèle festif, un peu porté sur la boisson.
 

* A little hope, or beer! *

Spring officially begins in the month to come. With it should come first green shoots in theory. We know well that it may take a little longer with our climate, but St. Patrick's day give us our touch of green for the month, if the snow doesn't leave. In March, we invite you to paint a model containing green, signifying renewal, ... or a festive model, a little worn on the drink.


So, what to go with? I can't think of any minis I have that have a beer or drinking theme, so I'll go with green. I'm unlikely to get one of my casters to fit this scheme. There is a bit of green on the Butcher model I'm finishing off, but he was mostly painted a long time ago, so I'm not going to enter him here. I pulled out a couple of other minis that I had started in green, so maybe one of those will be finished off...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Review: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Card Game

It was the lil'un's birthday last week, and one of her presents was the Very Hungry Caterpillar card game. We sat down as a family to play it with her, and well, let's see shall we...

Rules
The cards are You start with 5 cards each, and the idea of the game is to work through the week, by playing the cards with the days of the week marked showing what the caterpillar ate that day in the story. If you don't have the card you need, then you either pick one from the pile, or play the Sunday wildcard, that resets back to Monday. You win by getting rid of all your cards, and having a butterfly card. The stated goal of the game, apart from being 'fun' is to teach kids the days of the week.


Theme
The strength of this game is in it's theme, and how well the card game matches the book. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, like all the great kids books, is a very simple story well told. The cards are all decorated with images from the book with the original Eric Carle artwork that we all know and love, and this is very appealing, as all kids love this book. It even takes me back to reading it as a kid. Very pretty.

Gameplay
The idea is that you play through your hand, learning the days of the week as you go, then win when the only card you have left is a butterfly card, just like in the story. However, this is where this game falls apart. The simplicity of the story works against us here, as the designers have stuck to the script to the detriment of the play-ability of the game. We've played through it 4 times, on two of those games, we couldn't actually play to get a winner, and of one of those, I forced the game to work due to not shuffling the deck after having gone through the pack completely once. So of the 4 games, only once came out at a natural conclusion with a clear winner. The winning of the game is pure luck, with no skill involved.

Sunday is a wild card, when you can't play anything else, you play a Sunday card, and you reset back to Monday. In reality though, all this does is reset the blocked play to another day. It's fine to have more Sunday cards, but if there are just the same number of Monday cards to all the others, you hit a wall with Monday instead. You end up running through all your Sunday resets early in the game, then being completely stuck unable to complete the game. This leads to frustration in the big'un, who gets the rules and wants to play through, and boredom in the lil'un, who, although the game is supposed to be for 3+, just isn't old enough for the rules as written, who then wanders off to do something else.

The other clunky mechanic is the butterfly card. You need one to win, but if you draw more than one, you put the other one back in the pile (it is not stated where). This just seems inelegant to me. I know there want to make it a mechanic to get the butterfly, and there are only 4 in the game, but having to put it back in the pile once you have one seems not to be the best way to make this happen.

Improvements
Overall, a poorly thought out game, with no real draw. The cards are pretty, and could be used for a matching game, but the rules are broken to the point that you'd have to start from scratch rather than house-rule some fixes, although we are going to try with making the Sunday card a Wildcard that can replace any day, but doesn't reset the game to Monday. The box is pretty, and the illustrations are fun, but there are better ways to teach your kids the days of the week. Finally, the game is supposed to be for 3+, but the reading of the days of the days of the week is beyond most 3 year old. Lil'un is now 4, and she lost interest quickly. Don't bother buying this one.

The game on Boardgamegeek.com where it was given 3.59/10. Which I think is a fair score.
Buy it, or don't, on amazon.ca.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Le Zonion

I would like to pass on to you all, the socal media co-ordonates of another local artist and friend, who has recently launched himself into the ethernet.

The man behind this is one of the voices behind the previously mentioned Geeks of the North podcast.

Meet "Le Zonion", first stop is his website and blog, and there's also a page to like on facebook. Go check it out, to see some great painting, and some wonderful scenery and custom built gaming tables, as well as some sculpting (especially of the eponymous Zonion, pictured here).