Friday, August 31, 2012

Colore ton Monde, August: Saga Vikings III

No longer eligible for July's 'Colore ton Monde', but finished just in time for August's (and still eligible, as it's a female model). She may not be wearing a bikini, but she's certainly going suffering from a case of the "non-historics" there with that chainmail.

There's a shield to add to the standard bearer, but I'm not sure if he actually needs it, as it seems to work without. I'll paint it up anyway and see.

As to Freydis's shield, it's finished in the most basic fashion. I may very well go back and redo it. Either in bronze, or with some kind of freehand design and a steel rim.

I'm very happy with the standard. I like the deep red colour with a little bright red to draw the eye. I'm also happy with my experiment in blonde hair. Much more realistic than my earlier yellow efforts.

close up if the standard. Less shiny IRL.

Some WIP shots after the cut.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

20 Questions

Fran and Ray, or as they shall now be collectively known in my head "Fran 'n' Anna" (decide for yourselves who's who boys), started what can only be described as a meme with a batch of 20 questions, used to fill blog time, whilst fighting off a bout of the painting doldrums.

As I find myself in a similar situation where I just can't find the inspiration to pick up a brush, decided to follow suit. I feel however that I may have missed the boat slightly, and am following on from a great many other posts in the same vein. So, if you're not all sick of these bloody questions already, here are my responses for your delight and entertainment.

It appears somewhat later in the week than other posts of the same meme, as my home computer is dead. Time to go looking for a new one, as I think it's finally beyond all repair.

1.       Favourite Wargaming period and why?

I'll play pretty much any wargame/period at least once, but the greatest exposure I have, and therefore games I have played, have been in the fantasy genre.

2.       Next period, money no object?

I'd love to game in Civil Wars period. By that I mean everything from the Wars of the 3 Kingdoms, through to the last Jacobite rebellion (the '45). There's the combination of so many things there (I realise I'm stretching the time frame a little too large to cover more than one 'period' here, but it is money no object).

3.       Favourite 5 films?

  • Princess bride
  • The Avengers
  • The Duellists
  • The Tao of Steve

4.       Favourite 5 TV series?

Off the top of my head (which is to say things from the last few years):
  • Doctor Who
  • Castle
  • Firefly
  • Sherlock Holmes (Stephen Moffat Version)
  • Anything by David Attenborough
5.       Favourite book and author?

No way we're having 5 of all the rest and only one of these. Fran 'n' Ray can't be big on the reading thing. Mostly authors, as I like more than one of their books, and an't chose between them (except for the last, as I don't think he wrote much else, least not that I've read). 

  • Arthur Conan Doyle (not just for Holmes)
  • Stephen Erikson,
  • Bernard Cromwell
  • Ian Rankin
  • True Grit (Charles Portis)
I would have added Tolkien and the LoTR trilogy, but I find the quote from Sit Terry of Pratchett to hit the mark rather well on this one.

" If its not your favourite book at 14 their is something wrong with you.
If it still your favourite book at 40 their is really something wrong with you!"

6.       Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!

Ok, so I'm struggling with this one. I'm rather a weak historian when it comes to the ins and outs of each of the historically significant generals, so I'm not the best person to compare and contrast. My little knowledge would suggest that Napoleon was one to watch. Does he count?

7.       Favourite Wargames rules?

I would have to say Warmachine/Hordes for this. Although I would like to do more historical wargaming, I don't have the contacts in town to pull that off. as for Warmahordes, I've been playing that system on and off for the last 8-9 years, and have yet to tire of it.

8.       Favourite Sport and team?

I'm going to break the mould with this one, in that I am not a follower of spectator sports per se, so my favourite sport is one that I myself have competed in. My favourite sport is fencing. It's a passion I picked up at University, and continued to practice up until recently, where I've taken a break from training due to life, jobs and children getting in the way. I fully intend to get back into it soon, as the eldest is about the age where I can start her off.

As to team, well, obvioulsy there's no team to follow in fencing as such. If pushed, I have a historical soft spot for Aberdeen FC. This comes mostly from growing up in the west coast of Scotland, where there are only 2 team, each one aligned to a religious 'tribe', at least in the minds of my fellow citizens of Glasgow and surrounds. To this end, at a very early age I decided I wanted nothing to do with the tribal flute blowing, and went with Aberdeen, as that's where my maternal Grandfather came from, and any relatives that had an interest in football resided. My father, I believe to his great credit, was not a football man, and made no claims on my sympathies.
9.       If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?

I'd use it to cross paths with either the Doctor, or Bill 'n' Ted, then hop on for the ride with those guys.

10.   Last meal on Death Row?

A nce curry. A good lamb rogan josh, or chicken dansak. Followed by lemon merangue Pie, washed down with Deuchers IPA. Lovely.

11.    Fantasy relationship and why?

That's actually really hard. At various point in the poast I have had celebrity crushes, which I assume is where the question means to lead, but at this point in time, I don't believe I do. Of course the stock answer is that I'm living the dream, but if pushed, I must say I have a soft spot for Emily Blunt. As to the why? Dark hair, blue eyes is certaily my type. Also, she's not often seen playing the wallflower, I like my women strong.

12.   If your life were a movie, who would play you?

Hugh Jackman. I'd love it to be Robert Downey Jr. But I'm not sure I have the screen presence to warrant him.

13.   Favourite Comic  Superhero?

Was going to say Batman here, but on a little reflection, I think I have more of an attachment to Nightwing. He has all the same starting points as Batman (non-super, gifted human, tragic past), but has a more cheery outlook than Bats.

14.   Favourite Military quote?

"I had rather have a plain, russet-coated Captain, that knows what he fights
for, and loves what he knows, than that you call a Gentleman and is nothing else."
Oliver Cromwell

15.   Historical destination to visit?
The Ring of Brodgar. I've never bee up to the northern ilses of Scotland. The western isles, yes many a time, but Orkney and Shetland are too far away, and there's nothing much there. But the Ring of Brodgar alone would take me up there.

16.   Biggest Wargaming regret?

I don't have any regrests per se. I could wish i had spent more time wargaming with my friends back home, but to be honest, I was, and am, more into role playing than wargaming, so that was the choice I made back then, and would likely do the same.

17.   Favourite Fantasy job?
My fantasy job as a kid was to be a zookeeper. For a time in my adolescence/university years I lived the dream, kind of, as a volunteer at a local wildlife park, where I swiftly realised that doing that job was not all it was cracked up to be, and it was more fun to be a visitor at the zoo than to work there every day. So with that dream realised, whet next? It is a topic I have been ruminating frquently recently. Not so much the fantasy job, but what I really want to do with my career. I did think manager/owner of a gaming store, but knowing one or two of those, it doesn't live up top the dream either. If I ever find out, I'll let you know. Otherwise, I'll just fantasise about winning the lottery and not having to work!

18.   Favourite Song, Top 5?

For a top 5 songs, ask me tomorrow and it'll have changed. So I've gone with top 5 bands/artists instead. Even that can change from day to day.
  • Green Day
  • Matchbox 20
  • P!nk
  • Pearl Jam
  • The Offspring

19.   Favourite Wargaming Moment?

Don't have one. Crap response for a wargaming blog I know. Okay, how about this: any game that finishes (win or lose) when I've had fun. Thankfully for me, I'm lucky in my opponents and this happens more often than not.

20.   The miserable Git question, what upsets you?

Oh, here we go! I'm getting older and grumpier by the day, and could easily fill a list like some that have gone before. If pushed for one, I'd say creationist. The sooner we evolve beyond their viewpoint the better for the race as a whole.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review: Ravage 1 (English edition)

When I started this blog, it was not with the intention of writing reviews of products, there are many better blogs and sites to go to for that. But once in a while, I feel the need to put my thoughts on a subject down on paper, so to speak. This is one of those times.

There was a bit of a buzz at my FLGS, particularly amongst the french crowd (as in those from France, not the local francophones per se) over the upcoming release of the 1st English edition of Ravage Magazine. This buzz convinced me to pick up a copy and have a leaf through. I wanted to like it, as there,s a distinct lack of magazines that cater to the range of mini games in the fantasy/sci fi bracket, at least magazines that are not tied to one particular company. Not only for the fans, but also to give these companies a published outlet for their own scenarios, backgrounds, etc.

The Good.

Okay, so on first impressions, this is a nice looking mag. Maybe a bit thin for the $10 Canadian I had to put on the counter, but the but the artwork, design and layouts are top notch. The quantity of games covered, as you can see on the cover above, is also impressive. All the big names are there. Most of which I play, and the others I have an interest in, if ever I have the spare cash and time to pick up another game. So colour me interested.

The Bad and the Ugly.

As I said, I want to have a mag that allows me an insight into the other games, to see what people are saying, and to inform me as to what else I might like, to this end, the first article I read was an introduction to Malifaux's Puppet Wars. A game that I want to know more about. The article was unreadable.

In what I can only assume was a rush to get the magazine out on time, they took a bunch of articles from the original French mag, and translated them. This is not a bad thing in itself, this is after all the English edition of a French magazine, in fact, I would expect them to do this. What I would not expect them to do, however, is to translate them using Google translate, and not even have an anglophone read the article through before printing it. This really is unacceptable.

The worst article for this was the Puppet Wars article, but the others that had been translated. Indeed, I suspect most of them, except for an interview with Raphael Guiton on the new edition of Confrontation fall into this category, and even there, one could say he didn't understand all the questions being asked of him.

But it's not all about the articles, it's about the painting! yes, I agree, there are some wonderful painting and modelling guides in there too. Only 2 of which I had previously seen online, and even here, the written English that accompanies the articles was badly translated. And here, we find the rub. I want this magazine to succeed. I really like the idea of having a magazine that caters to multiple fantasy and sci fi games and settings, with scenarios and the like, the problem is, in its current form, Ravage is not that magazine. For it to be able to survive in this internet age, where people skip from Blogs to forums to seek out painting and modelling 'how-to' articles. Where anyone can post their scenarios and reviews for multiple game systems. For any magazine to survive in this climate, it has to be flawless. Ravage US edition is far from flawless.

Is there anything this magazine can give us that was can't get in a better form from the internet? I hope so, and I for one want it to survive, but this edition had the air of a badly written local gaming fanzine, not a professionally published international magazine.

One last point is the article on Privateer Press's release of Wrath. As reviews go, it was fine, if not again badly edited, but with a cover date of April-May 2012 on the magazine, is it really all that pertinent to have a review of a 'new' book, who's actual release was July 2011?

I give this magazine (or at least this edition of the magazine)  2 stars out of 5. Only because I want it to succeed otherwise I would be tempted to give it 1 star. But for it to succeed in the internet age, it really has to do much better than this.

Putting my money where my mouth is.

"But Derek," I hear you say, "whining on the internet changes nothing!" I agree wholeheartedly with this, and I also believe, if you want to change something, you have to be proactive. So, instead of just leaving this article to float free on the internet to be read by some 20 or so followers, I will be sending an email to the editors, with a link to this post, and a sincere offer of help. If they require someone to read through their articles before print, I am more than happy to offer my services as freelance editor. Heck, I won't even charge them. At first.

I hear that the editorial team was changed for edition 2, and things have improved. I'll wait off sending that email just yet.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

"La saison des bikinis."

July's entries are in, and the first trimsterial (is that a word?) draw has taken place. Even though I was not the winner, the quality of the other entrants always makes me glad it's a draw and not a straight off painting contest, as I would not be in with a chance against some of these guys.
Go on click on the link at check them out!

Also, August's theme has been decided upon.
Pour août, voici le thème:

La saison des bikinis

C'est l'été, il fait chaud, on aime ça être en maillot. Ou du moins admirer celles qui le sont. Pour le mois d'août, nous vous invitons à peindre un modèle féminin.

Augusts theme:

Bikini season

It's summer, it's warm, we love to be in our swimsuits. Or to admire those who are in their swimsuits. For the month of August, we invite you to paint a female model.
Of course, there's no need to actually paint a model in their swimwear, so this is not necessarily a challenge to paint a real cheesecake model (of which I have a couple, but I mainly bought those to practice painting skin tones, honest). As with any theme, it seems, I have a cupboard full of naked lead, awaiting my brushes, so we'll see where the wind takes me this month

As the alternative translation of féminin is feminine, I am sorely tempted to paint up my woodelves and enter those!