27 July 2009

Moving time

Well, its been a while since I posted anything of interest and so while I cannot promise an especially thrilling subject for this update, I did want to stick to my promise of chronicling the process of moving. In anticipation of signing our lease and taking possession of this new house, my girlfriend and I have been packing up all the bits and bobs that seem to inevitably pile up around the house after extended residency.

To that end, I have four boxes of books, hobby supplies, and computer gear, along with an army case (containing all my Necromunda minis), a shoebox full of paints, a large toolbox full of sprues, and a smaller bits-drawer tacklebox with loads of bits, glue and a few tools to boot. These are all ready to go to the new place after we sign the lease tomorrow, and I've secured a half-day off from work to allow for a quick and efficient start to the process of transferring all our crap from Point A to Point B.

The plan is to get all of this listed stuff over there in the first day and if I carefully load my truck, I can get it all over in one trip and simply take all that stuff with me to work and then the rental office. I'm also working on getting the girlfriend to clear up her stuff from shelving units so they can be disassembled and relocated in short order, preferably witin the next couple of days. The nice thing is that if I can get some stuff loaded before I go to bed, said items can be loaded into my truck before work, and dropped off after work, on the way back to the old house.

At any rate, tomorrow is the first of 20 days in which we will be moving, so wish us luck and I'll post at least a couple of times throughout.


22 July 2009

New Digs!

Hey everyone!

I put down a deposit on a bigger better living arrangement today, and damn if it isn't quite a bit exciting. Although it means the Necromunda campaign will almost inevitably see some delays, it also means that I will likely be able to host the games and avoid the "store rules" and "business hours" problems that we ran into on our meetup.

In other good news, this, the premier Necromunda-in-Reno blog (he said with great humility) has found its first follower, a very dedicated and prolific fellow goes by the name of KRUG. < His work at the Eastern Fringe> is impressive in both vision and sheer volume and by my estimation it does me quite a service to have his support. Please, by all means go take a look at what he has created - quite nice work!

At any rate, the group in Reno has been informed via email of this new development and I await their feedback about this turn of events. As frustrating as this might be given my recent change of pace and its promises of more regular updates, I hope that this won't dissuade anyone from checking this space for updates. I plan to keep a pretty close record of the move and all its repercussions.

Okay, that's about it for now. Thanks for reading and I'll be back as quick as I can.


13 July 2009

Gaming again!

Hello again from Reno! We had a meetup with the newly interested gamers at Heroes in Sparks, and despite a compressed schedule (my fault) and lacking in good Necromunda terrain pieces (store policy), we had a great time of it.

After being contacted by a couple of gamers in the area who wanted to see about joining our new campaign, we sorted out the details and started to make preparations for the game da
y. For me this meant FINALLY finishing "Version 2" of my Orlock gang - I started my Necromunda experience in August 2007 with this gang, based on plastic Catachan kits and painted in a rather boringly uniform color scheme.

A bit boring, right? I agree.

Roughly 10 months ago (September 2008) I started the revamp and it's all done bar a couple weapons details and cleaning up paint on the bases. I'm really happy with the changes I made, and the gang is much more in line with my original idea about the character of the gang and their role as working-class antiheroes.

Better, closer, warmer...

As you can see, the difference is quite striking and regardless of public perception of the success/failure of my new take on the OI-FU, I'm quite content with the new look. This revamp was partially a result of being slightly underwhelmed by my first go at the gang, and partialy a desire to push my painting, sculpting, and modelling skills a bit further with some personalizations. For example, the
extremely awkward first posing of Seamus, gang leader, was annoying as hell to me for a long time; the revamp allowed me to give him a "folk hero" pose and attitude. I'm now considering a quick head swap, but haven't decided. After all, it's far too easy to keep going and going and going, without ever getting to say "it's done" and that can really bring inspiration to a grinding halt. However, his billowing cape calls for a similarly-affected hairstyle... hm. You can see the problem here, right? For now I think I'm calling it for the OI-FU. I'll sort the final details and find some sealer, and there will be my first "finished" gang.

So next on the list comes an interesting (and potentially frustrating) new project. I've been planning and buying supplies for a kit-bashed Enforcer/Arbites squad, and I think it would be a great chance to come up with some amazing one-of-a-kind minis. So far I'm looking at a parts list that includes:
  • (2) Space Marine Scout kits (standard, non-sniper variants)
  • (1) Cadian kit (20-trooper box) + (7-8) odd troopers' worth of bits
  • Assorted Space Marine arms
  • Other random bits as needed
So there's theoretically a whole squad plus three replacements according to the new WIP ruleset for Enforcers in Necromunda. The main problem is that a cyber-mastiff and handler are pretty much inescapable in that roster and I frankly don't care for the models I've been able to find. I'd sooner use an actual dog and sculpt canine body armor but still, this is a big stumbling block for this project. At any rate, those are my plans for the next big thing on my workbench, along with the incessant parade of terrain that finds its way to my "to-do" list.

For now our campaign is going to continue with two new players, and a possible third, but our next meetup hasn't been planned quite yet. More information will be posted as I get it.


02 July 2009

NPCs, Terrain, and Computer Problems

In keeping with the new direction of this blog, I thought I'd take a minute to describe some of the stuff I've been working on and where I'm headed with my hobby.

First, I can breathe a huge sigh of relief, as my computer is back in working order. I had a true bastard of a problem that was finally resolved and let me say that I am readily ashamed at how big of an impact the downtime had on my efficiency and attitude with regards to my modeling and painting. I got a lot of work done, and felt great about what I had done, but the entire time working I had this unshakable sense of my missing computer, and how inconvenient things had become for me. Boo Hoo, right?

Anyway, it's fixed and now I just have to find a missing camera charger so I can get some damn photos of my works-in-progress in this space.

Speaking of which, the workbench has hosted a number of different jobs this week, from hired guns (bounty hunter, PDF deserter, ratskin scout) to gangers (three OI-FU members) to terrain (a wall with gate and watchtower, a couple of ruins/barricades from foam packing materials) and the results so far have been really enouraging.

I've tried some new techniques on the bounty hunter - I did a pseudo-German-style camoflage pattern on the trousers, which turned out really well - and a County Cork tartan pattern on an OI-FU member - which, to my chagrin, looked like crap and eventually was painted over.

I've also been making heavy use of the Payne's Gray wash technique in my miniature painting and terrain. For those of you not familiar with this method, it's pretty straightforward and easy to acheive great shading and definition from a simple basecoated model. If I can get myself organized I might try to do a quick tutorial writeup here to show the method and the results it can yield even for an amateur painter like myself.

For those more eager readers, check out Dakka Dakka's tutorial section. There's some amazing stuff there.

The OI-FU will finally be revamped and ready for play for the meetup on July 12 - I'm in the home stretch, and it's a good feeling. It's been far too long a road for this project, and I just hope the end result looks worth the wait. The members Liam the Shootist, Cillian, and "Chickenhawk" James are almost complete, they need to be detailed and fixed to bases, and that's that, save for painting and attaching weapons to the whole of the gang.

The terrain work is tending towards the post-apocalyptic, for several reasons. First, I LOVE ruined and/or abandoned buildings; there's a massive opportunity for playability, details, and dark humor. Second, while I am a current fan of Necromunda and don't plan on giving up the game any time soon, I recognize that other games exist and that I may want to give them a shot. Therefore, I don't want any blatant "hurrrr GAMES WORKSHOP hurrrrr" stuff strewn about. I'm trying to build it all from scratch. I've looked at sources like Fallout (1-3), 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead (2004), I Am Legend, Left 4 Dead, Mad Max/The Road Warrior, , etc. where society has just stopped, leaving the infrastructure to die a slow death.

The result of this sudden (often violent) halt is recognizable-yet-drastically-different versions of things like roads, apartments, houses, offices, etc. as well as the patchwork shantytowns that might crop up. Especially interesting to me is the variety and juxtaposition that can occur where purpose-built structures are modified or adapted to fit a new use or role. It's great to think of, say, a sandwich shop that's had its windows smashed, with tables upended and used to secure the building against raiders, or undead, or what have you. Or the burnt-out high-rise whose third floor has been equipped with a sandbagged machine gun bunker out the window, ready to repel a direct assault.

At any rate, the table I want to play on looks like any number of societies and cultures have moved through/fought over/scavenged/settled the ever-loving crap out of the area, leaving their mark in the form of soaring towers and gutter-cities, with bullet-holes, crashed vehicles, and craters to mark the changes of power.

Okay, that'll do it for me for now. Feel free to remark on your ideas of hobbying, gaming tables, whatever comes to mind, and maybe I'll get a few ideas out of the exchange.


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