Ah, another bout of quiet on the blog-front. Usually that means I haven't done anything hobby-worthy. That was indeed the case. To be honest, after the disappointment of the last batch of minis I wasn't all fired up to do something else. Oh, I had a list that didn't involve painting minis (more on that further down) but I lacked the gumption to follow through on any of it.
Thanks to Jer enjoying his gaming rig and regaling me with stories of adventure in Elite Dangerous, I managed to switch my free time focus to flashing back to my teen years and sat around playing video games. I'd tried playing Elite Dangerous before but just couldn't get the hang of the controls - I could never complete the 2nd dog-fighting tutorial. Thanks to some tutelage from Jer, I spent the better part of 3 hours customizing my controls to be more intuitive, and eschewed dog-fighting and instead stuck to delivery missions. Intergalactic UPS! It's been oddly fun.
I've also been prepping for Black Friday 2018. Much like last year, I started cutting back on my DVD ordering early and had a list of what to go after, with Skyscraper being at the top of my "This isn't worth $25, but I'd pay $10" list. Thanks to Amazon, Target, and Best Buy making more sale items available online starting Wednesday I was able to get all but 1 thing on my list by the time Black Friday actually rolled around. Season 2 of Lethal Weapon is avoiding sale coverage. It will be my grail item of the season!
Outside of DVD shopping, 4Ground had another 25% off coupon sale this year. I decided this was a good time to get some Mayberry-esque commercial buildings that would fit in with the rest of the scenery I've been making. RPGNow had downloads of Star Trek Adventures, for 25% off, rules that had been sitting in my wishlist for a while. While I was there, I picked up some maps that I've got plans for (more on that further down).
Outside the realm of game stuff, I took holiday sales as an opportunity to enter the realm of the smart assistant and got some Echo Dots. I've been using my Fire tablet to stream stuff when I go to bed, and the idea of a Dot had been appealing to me for a while. There was a good sale on a 3-pack, so now I have Dots in the bedroom, kitchen, and garage. I'll be a streaming fool! Or at the very least I can ask what the weather forecast is from 50% of the house.
This Is Further Down
My hobby list has plenty to do, but as stated before I've been lacking gumption. One of the things to do that keeps staying on the list is making maps to print via Poster Ninja. My standard map tile for Potham is 7.5" square. The specialty tiles I made for the mini mart and coffee shop were 22.5" x 15". Piecing together 6 pieces of paper together didn't work as well as I hoped. Enter poster size (affordable) printing! At Poster Ninja, I can use their 36" x 48" poster and fit four of my over-sized map tile layouts. If I get 4 of those posters, I reach the free shipping threshold. 16 special tiles. I can plan that!
The easy route is to alot half (eight) for full grass or asphalt coverage. The other half will be more specialized, or more than half if I need it. I printed sidewalks and driveways for houses, and glued those to thin sheets of plastic and cut to size. While it works, it doesn't look that good. With larger tiles, I can dedicate the sidewalk and driveway per house. The same with any commercial buildings and parking. To do it right, I should make the building(s) and have the proper footprint and know where sidewalks and driveways should go. That doesn't sound crazy.
Now, instead of trying to print off everything and then make the buildings, I'll make a building, measure, and set out the lot on the map. That sounds a lot more grown up than I intended. I'll start by setting up the buildings already made (phase 1) and go from there. Hobby path forward is set!
Another batch of "taking too long to paint", with only 4 minis to show for it. There was another that I'm not naming and leaving "in progress" although I don't know if I'll ever finish it as it's more of an objective marker piece than a usable figure.
Today's batch is brought to you by "it was on sale". The first two are left over fantasy figures from the last batch.
Above is the wizard Juliette from the Reaper Dark Legends line. This one turned out to be the best of this batch, as I was able to keep to my working method of primer + washes + drybrush + actually paint a few bits of details. The base is hopefully suited to something dungeon-y. Not really sure why her cleavage looks like there's 3 boobs if you look closely. Go look closely, you can't un-see it now.
Last up from the Dark Legends line is the Crusader Justifier. Armored up with a big freaking sword. I didn't want shiny silver armor, and I read Kevin's Weathering Metal Armor Tutorial. I didn't follow said tutorial, as I decided to start winging it after the second step. Between washes, metallic drybrushes, more washes, and more drybrushes, a slathering of blood splatter made sure I didn't end up with "silver". I've gotten used to brushing on the glossy Citadel sealant where needed after a standard matte spray sealant, and it worked well on this one just to keep the cloth from being overly shiny. The base is 50% bigger than normal, as the stance for this mini is so blamed spread out it was needed. Another dungeon-y fitting floor base.
Back to the good old Chronoscape line, this time with the super heroine Incredible Woman. I had nothing specific in mind, other than testing out how to eventually paint Batman. Primer grey with 2 heavy Nuln Oil washes has been giving me a consistent look I like by bringing out the body highlights. The yellow at the collar (eventually for the bat symbol on the chest) gave me fits as my yellow is just ALWAYS too runny and streaks. Citadel's Cassandra Yellow wash works well for me, but it needs a white base/primer to work well on. I still need another good practice run before committing to a Batman. For fun, I topped this mini off with red hair - honestly the orange Citadel wash works great for hear - and I think it turns into a vaguely Black Widow style mini. Same style base as the other two, just because I was cranking them out to the end at this point.
My obligatory crap paint job that was due. I picked this one up on Amazon for $4.79, and I have no idea what the game is that it actually goes with, but Takoshi University - Dodgeball was, well, I could have done better. I covered up the details way too much, especially the face. My dodgeball turned into a soccer ball. The skin tone turned runny, I was trying for a yellow shirt but the shadows came out orange. She's standing in poop. With perfectly white shoes.
Sometimes you just have to realize there's no fixing something and say "eh, I don't have to use it" and file it away.
4 more doesn't feel like a big hit to the overall total, but I'm close to 50% on the realistically painted total.
This is another busy meeting week at work, topped off Thursday by getting a new windshield on the car. Friday, on the way to Florence for Maw-Maw's 91st B'day Extravaganza, an errant pebble found its way to the bottom corner of the windshield well enough to nick it. Over the weekend the nick grew about a foot. With the length and location, the windshield guys said it had to be replaced, and they would have to order the windshield. I had a windshield replaced on the Explorer so it's not my first windshield replacement, just damned annoying. Since there's a good chance of rain Thursday, I'm going back to the Safelite shop to have them do it there instead of wondering if the weather will mess it all up - and force me to take it to their shop anyway.
I think my next fun hobby thing will be to work on the 15" x 22.5" maps for my cityscape that I've had on my list, yet been putting of for a couple of months. It's all computer/Paint Shop Pro work, and usually I do hobby stuff to get away from the computer, but I'm at the point where I've been putting it off for so long that THAT'S starting to bother me the most.
I may, possibly, play Dungeons and Dragons with Daniel. I've played one-off games a couple of times since 1984. I played a nice little campaign, with 2 other people, when going to Calhoun back in the 90's. I don't know what the current rule set of D&D is, even though I've managed to get a hold of PDFs of whatever is current. The important part of any role playing game isn't deep understanding of the rules and proper commitment to playing the role. No, it's the minis.
Not really, but it's the most fun prep for me. It's been a while since I've painted something not zombie or (modern) building related. I hit Amazon for cheap Reaper fantasy minis and found some good ones in the $5-$7 range. I could get them cheaper elsewhere, but shipping always kills any deal for something this small. Small in both size, weight, and price. Thus, JeffyB wins my hobby money for this round. I wanted some women, both to practice painting and to see if when it comes time to play I don't go my normal route of "human fighter". Lady Magic User is un-me. Perhaps with a mini to inspire me I would pick such when it came time to crack open the rules.
I took my time with this batch. I actually primed 2 more minis with these, but something got me started on these 4 and I just stuck with them. Basing was a little tricky. These minis come with part of the base attached to the feet, not the slotted bottom/base most minis have. Goldar was set in an oversized beveled base, while the girls went atop a standard (non-slotted) base. I aimed for a rocky style base except for Goldar. He was an experiment in Citadel's Martian Ironcrust, which got primed and heavily doused with at least 3 coats of earth wash.
The red dress on the Strumpet was my first use of Vallejo Thinner. I've had problems in the past with yellow and red not covering very well. From now on, thinner is the way to go with light colors like that!
The Painting Spreadsheet (again) doesn't show much progress as I ended up buying new minis and immediately painting (most) of them. On the realistic list, 209/454 has gone to 213/456, which is ONE PERCENT PROGRESS.
Next up is to paint the other 2 fantasy minis that got primed, which may or may not have a few other minis added if I get a wild hair. After this next batch, it'll be time for some more buildings or maybe start on the Antenocitis Workshop vehicles I got back in July.
I'm taking a little bit of a hobby break. After wrapping up the gas station, and it taking as long as it did, I just haven't had the gumption to finish up, well, anything. I could force it, but a hobby is supposed to be something for fun, not because I have to.
I've been catching up on watching TV, which for me is Netflix and Amazon Prime. The great thing here is that I no longer feel guilty when I start to watch something and don't finish, after deciding I don't like it. On the other hand, I'm more likely to watch something I'm iffy about in case I like it. After wrapping up season 5 of Agents of SHIELD, I was in the mood to watch some movies. While this may not make sense to common folk, there are times I want to watch something that's a story encapsulated within 2 hours, and other time I'd prefer the serialized adventures of a TV show to develop characters and story. Also, there's a fresh batch of DC and Marvel shows on Netflix (7 shows, I think) to watch, and I while I don't binge I like to keep a steady trend of watching so I don't forget what's going on. I've taken breaks from Game of Thrones and Walking Dead to where I don't know if I could remember what's going on or who's doing what at the point I left off without going back and re-watching more than I really want to.
So with that, here's some of what I've seen recently.
I'm not just vegging out in front of the TV. Hard to tell with that list, I know. I'm reading Crucial Conversations in an effort to better myself while not biting the heads off people I think are trying to sass me. It's a good book, but I'm rueing my slow reading speed on getting through the 240 pages because I can really use this stuff at work!
This weekend also sees Dr Blondie turn 50. The first of my "school friends" to hit 50. I have to push down urges to give her hard time about her elderly status. Mainly because it's my turn in March.
After mentioning the TTCombat gas station for the past couple of weeks (or maybe a month), the final product really doesn't live up to the hype.
Thanks to a suggestion from Bob, I was going to go with the Gulf Oil color scheme of Orange and Blue, but the signage on this version of the kit had Dinogas and the dinosaur burned into the wood instead of heavy cardboard (which could be easily switched out) that I was expected. For whatever reason, I thought of the Joker and his classic orange & purple motif, which was an easy jump to make the dinosaur purple, ala Barney!
I still need to work on masking when spray painting stripes. I still got a little bleed this time around. I was also using old, and I mean old, Citadel paints for the detail work on this kit. Most of the paint was just shy of dry in the pots. I was thinking the thickness of the paint would work well on the MDF - and once again I think I came away with mixed results.
The 3D printer was cranking out interior fillings for this building for the past couple of weeks, too. Thanks to a Kickstarter (which I'll link to the website when I can dig it back up) of modern furniture and building materials, there was a "Tire Shop" set which gave me enough stuff that would fit in my little gas station. I actually printed a lot more than I used. Once again, my little trick of using sticky tack to keep everything in place worked out. I Google-Imaged some random vintage signs to help fill out the walls. My favorite little inside joke was getting some Roxxon signs as a throwback to when I read Iron Man all the time, a good 20 years before the movies came out.
I don't really count buildings in the To Paint tally. They're on the list, just not the part I show. As such, this counts as progress in spirit!
As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).
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