A lotta painting to do.


Part of my resolution(s) for the new year is to not get as much crap. I've got a lot of crap. I like getting crap, for whatever reason. The "getting" has often been the peak of my experience, ignoring "what to do after it's been gotten". Over the last year I noticed, or maybe concentrated, on my hobbies getting narrowed down to things that I both enjoy and don't feel overwhelmed by. The main constructive hobby I enjoyed was prepping for board games. Games that I don't necessarily play.

I have a lot available to paint. 2166 unpainted minis. That's a lot. If I were to paint 1 per day, I'd be finished in 2023. Those are just the 28mm scale figures. There are still different scale minis for other games - Team Yankee (1:100 vehicles), space stuff (Star Trek Call of Duty, Firestorm Armada) - who knows if I'll ever get around to painting any of that, honestly.

I'd told myself before I was going to concentrate on painting what I've got. I spent the weekend going through what I've got. I found minis that I'd forgotten I'd ever gotten. Some of them I can't see ever using. Why would I need 600 Zombicide minis? I played 2 games of Zombicide and didn't really care for it. Sure, I can use the minis for other games... but 600???

Making a list of what I've got to paint, as well as what's been painted so far, helps put things into perspective. Mainly, I have enough shit to paint for a long, long time, and with that in mind I have no need to get anything else that needs painting for the next half-decade minimum.

Except for the Star Trek Adventures game, once the miniatures start coming out. Those I can get. I mean, it's Star Trek. How could I not get them?

Next up will be to prioritze some of what I've got to paint. Some of those found minis would be useful in Walking Dead/Batman boardscape I'm constructing in the background. Cops, for example. I found batches of police from 3 companies - and who can't use more police in the world I'm creating? Nobody, that's who.

gaming miniatures hobbies



The final batch of minis painted for the year were a batch of Reaper Chronoscape figures that have been sitting on the shelf for a while. A 3 pack of Townsfolk (Chick, Jock, and Nerd) along with Deputy Wayne Tisdale and Dr Thomas Welby gave me a little break from zombies and zombie fighters. Out to try something a little different this batch was primed grey instead of my normal route of white. This served as a chance to see how the washes that I've come to enjoy would react to the darker undercoat. Turns out it made a bigger difference that I thought.

From a distance, or typical game table play distance, this batch turned out ok. I didn't even try to paint eyes (curse those eyes!). These also served as my first attempt at filling in bases with putty (Milliput). After my attempt YouTube showed me a couple of tips I should have used - mainly wetting my finger to smooth things out.

This batch served as a little change of genre that I needed. Next up is a combination of more Walking Dead minis and the first of the 4Ground Shotgun Houses. I'm putting forth a little extra effort on the house. We'll see, probably over the course of the next month at the rate I'm likely to go, if that effort makes any difference.

gaming miniatures

My Tony Robbins Is Coming To Town


Not the most traditional of any blog post made on Christmas day, but this morning I checked my email and saw an alert that good old Kev was coming to Huntsville in May. Every other time I've had a chance to see him I've either been too late to the ticket line or there's a late night trip to Nashville involved.

This time, I was early enough for the general admission ticket line and it's a 6:30 show in Huntsville which should get me home and likely in bed by 10:30. 10:30 is a respectable bedtime for an old fart like me.

After seeing Kevin in Nashville last time I had told myself it would likely be the last that I would try to see him in person as I'd heard a good 75% of what he talked about before. That thought passed through my head as I clicked the button to purchase my ticket, but come on, he's basically coming to my doorstep.

At the very least I won't hear the story again of how his father loved Nashville and their trip to the Ryman. I have to see if that sentence comes back to haunt me in May.

road trip



I got a new toy. Well, for me it's a toy. Many years ago I gave up using mice and went with trackball(s). My trackball of choice was the Logitech Trackman Marble as I can use my fingers to roll the trackball instead of my thumb. I seem to have finer motor control over fingers. A Logitech trackball lasts about 3 years for me. That's when the left button decides to work intermittently. I don't think it's a problem with the components or a connection gone bad, but instead a build up of gunk from my fingers clicking the button for years. I know it sounds gross, but given the dirt I clean out of the ball holder (yes, that sounds bad too) about once per month I can only imagine what creeps into the crevices of the button.

I could try to clean it out, but given that one of those trackballs is $20 it's just easier to get a new one.

Well, the trackballs used to be $20 when I could trot down to CompUSA and pick one up. The last one I got (for work, Aug 2016) was $23.

Whenever it's time to replace a trackball I look to see if there's anything new that I want to try. Kensington has a nice selection, but the ergonomics don't work well with my hand placement. I could swear I've tried others but nothing else comes to mind just yet.

The latest flakey button induced search brought me to the ELECOM M-HT1URBK Wired Trackball Mouse. This one caught my eye because

After watching the inventory go from low to out-of-stock and back to low, I ordered one to try out. Sure, it was $60 instead of $23, but given the number of hours per day I would use the blasted thing if it was even a marginal improvement over the Logitech series I'd been using for at least a decade then it would be worth it.

After 4 days of using the one that came in, I like it enough I've ordered another one to use at work. The size is perfect for my hand. All the buttons are naturally located for where my fingers want to fall. The scrollwheel is quickly my favorite part. The buttons are a little soft when they click, but only because I've been paying attention to all the little details. When I press naturally those buttons act like they should.

Now, the funniest part to a boonie hick like me was that the package didn't have a bit of English on it. Elecom is a Japanese company, so I'm going to guess all those characters I couldn't read were Japanese.

Except "HUGE trackball". I could read that one.


Population Up By 12


It's been a few weeks since the last hobby update. After focusing on buildings last time, I went back and opened up 4 Walking Dead boosters. This gave me 4 zombie and 8 regular folk to paint. I've learned that I really like washes and dry-brushing. Primer white with a blue wash gives a great denim look, so I tried washes on different base colors. Light colors work the best, so using a light tan with a dark brown wash, and light grey with a black wash was able to bring out some details and highlight on clothes. Skin tone has also been hard to nail down of late. For non-zombies, this batch got a pale flesh base and then a light skin tone wash (whatever Citadel calls it). So far I like it, but this is one of those things that I'll have to look at off and on for a while for my true feelings to come out.

My true focus on this batch was to pick out details and not get caught up in rushing through painting them as if I was on an assembly line. That's part of why it's been almost a month since the last hobby update :) Clothing details were the key I focused on. Shirt tails sticking out from under a sweater. Piping on shorts. The tied drawstring on those shorts! That last one I'm kind of proud of.

Glenn's baseball cap was a good test for detail. His NY Yankees hat has been done well by many. Thanks to a fine tipped pen that works on paint, I manage to get something close to NY pinstripes. The one problem with the pens I use is that the sealant will make the ink run, so when it came to sealing I sprayed lightly and from a distance. There was still a little running of some type - in the right light there's a slight, pink-ish hue to parts of his cap.

I'm still having fun painting minis. There's a batch of buildings I want to start on, but I may fit in a couple of regulat minis before then. Just to mix it up I think I'll grab some of the Reaper Chronoscape figures and take a break from the sanctioned Walking Dead minis.

gaming miniatures

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