Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Space Hulk Mission 1: Beach Head

To get pumped up for play we listened to Bolt Thrower "Eternal War" first.

My son and I decided to play a cooperative solo style game. My wife offered to help us make decisions on where the genestealer reinforcements would enter. I the future I may try to incorporate some THW mechanics for moving the blips around.

Now onto the report:

Game wise we fumbled around a bit. My son and I deferring to each other led to some compound bad decisions which got Sgt. Lorenzo killed. We made up for it by bad genestealer decisions of charging down a corridor hoping for a bolter jam. In the end it was a draw. The Blood Angels still had 5 marines left. The genestealers were down to 4 but would have been mowed down had play continued.

As for the report, you can see I used Comic Life 3 again. I used the same "futuristic" template as the X-wing report, but I played around with editing the panels some and adding effect images for the first time. These are the lightning and muzzle flashes. I also helped myself out by pre-selecting the shots I wanted to use before sitting down to lay out the comic. I think that helps to plan the pages a bit more. Finally, i also learned how to add page numbers.

I still need to work on getting better shots. I was rushing a little so as not to break up game play too much and lose my son along the way.

The game was enjoyable but, as expected, some of the genestealer poses were problematic. They don't easily fit in a space so lining up and facing are difficult. I still haven't heard back from The Black Library so I'll have to figure out where to find more Space Hulk fluff. Perhaps there is more in the Mission Book. I only read the stuff before the first mission.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Space Hulk has arrived!

I forget whose blog I saw it on, but when I saw that GW was releasing a new version of Space Hulk I had to buy it. Not buying Space Hulk or Blood Bowl back in the day are my two biggest regrets vis a vis the hobby.

For pre ordering I also got a nifty poster of the box art.

We're going to try to get a game in today. For your $125 you get 3 sprues of Genestealers and one sprue of Blood Angels plus the Librarian on his own sprue. The Genstealers in particular have a lot of stuff going on,  skulls, steel beams etc. I'm not sure that I like them better than just having Genestealers without the scenic elements.

The rule book is 22 pages and the mission book 55. The wife and daughter have already rejected playing out of hand. I haven't finished reading the rule book, but I'm trying to find a solution for the boy and I playing that will be fun. His idea was a sort of solo +1. Essentially we play together like we were playing solo. Not a bad idea actually. That way we can cooperate and learn the rules together and not get too fussed if daddy is killing our men or whatever the problem was the last time we played.

I also thought I'd take a look at some 40K reading material. Reading has been tough for the boy and he's only just now starting to find things he enjoys reading. I thought it would be a plus if we could find a book or series that would be fun and possibly tie into the mass of 40K fluff out there. A quick search revealed that there was a Space Hulk novel written by Gav Thorpe. If you bother to read the reviews you'll see most think it is pretty crap. But people who are fans describe it as "Bolter Porn" (we'll how many page views that phrase garners). Sounds like just the ticket.

Of course the 2009 released novel, also characterized as a glorified battle report, seems to be unavailable from The Black Library and 2 used copies on Amazon for $199.98 each. For a book that cost £3 at publication five years ago? Verb you! I was hoping to find an e-book or something but GW has missed a quick sale. Perhaps I'll shoot them an email just to point it out.

In late breaking news, my wife has started reading the Saxon Chronicles, my review of the first six books in the series is here. I had pre ordered the seventh book, but it has languished unread on my computer.

Hopefully we'll have some more reports and posts coming soon. Flag Football season is in full swing and we are crushing our opponents thus far. Yesterdays game was a not very fun 42 - 0 affair. We had jumped up to the Red division, hoping to get more challenging opponents. Thus far the competition has been lackluster. The opposition took forever to call their plays, which were then uninspired and predictable. Our team ate them alive. I suppose one bright side is my son got a lot of playing time and the boys got to work on some skills and play some different positions once we didn't care if they scored.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What's in a name?

Or how I came up with the name of my leader for the Nemroth Campaign.

I believe I have mentioned my interest in name generators before. I like the one from the Mighty Empires rule book. As I mentioned here you can get some fun names, but it also returns a lot of gibberish that is not s pleasing to the ear.

So aside from the Mighty Empires table, where is an aspiring Orc Warlord to go? In a google search there were a number that turned up.

Fantasy Name Generator turned up Abbas, Sugigoth, Xothkug, Yashnarz, Kogan, Sbghat, Ughash, Zarhbub, Bandagh, Uram. Not horrible but some are a little weird. This site also apparently has names for the World of Warcraft (Urthanurgul Deathbleeder, Kamkada Bonetaker, Guldarrosh Gorecrusher, Lumada Bloodaxe) and Elder Scrolls (Gadgnak gro-Huban, Magush gro-Dulbag, Shaznag gro-Ufthduk, Shagrn gro-Shakgham).

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Video Capture Software - a review of sorts

As you may recall, I have been trying to do some video capture of my gaming sessions on After meeting with mixed success I wanted to share with you all what I have learned so far.

I have found three candidates for FREE video capture, they are OBS, Camstudio and Virtual Dub. I have used mostly Camstudio and OBS, I have only just installed Virtual Dub and briefly played with it.

OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) seems to be primarily geared towards live streaming video game play, but it can also be used to record to your hard drive. Straight off I'll just say I liked this one the best. It has a lot of flexibility and makes clear MP4 encoded video. It doesn't seem to be a resource hog, and I could be capturing video, recording audio, and have the internet browser running with the chat and sometimes even skype all at once. That's not to say that there haven't been some issues. First off, there doesn't seem to be an easy way to get back to default settings. If you change something that's what it is now. So unless you have a good memory you may want to write the default settings down. I also was initially confused by the 32 bit and 64 bit versions. I believe that the shortcut made by the installer was for the 32 bit version. After I figured it out I put a shortcut to the 64 bit version in the task bar. The last issue I was having, and one which almost made me give up on OBS, was only recording a partial screen area. I'm not sure when, or how it happened, but at some point I was only recording a corner of my screen area. Nobody on the forums seemed to be having this problem, and I was at a loss. I fixed it by just setting a sub region to record that was the size of my monitor (1920 x 1080). Et Viola! It seems to have fixed the problem. I have not used Game Capture mode, but have used Window Capture and Monitor Capture. Both work fine with a caveat. In window capture you need to be sure that the window is active when you start recording, otherwise you get a black screen. I ran into a couple of issues when trying to record gaming sessions that would not start because I had minimized the browser to fuss with Audio and recording settings. What I have always wanted to do, and just figured out the other day, is Monitor capture. When you preview or record you will see an infinite screen effect. You a picture of the screen in screen ad infinitum. (Why does blogger say I spelled that wrong?) If you minimize OBS it will disappear from the screen as well. For some reason I got it stuck in my head that it was buggy and just didn't work. The reality is user error.  It records what's on your screen, just like I wanted.

Camstudio is another free one that works pretty well and I had used it in the past. It seems pretty intuitive, especially compared to OBS, but does have some limitations. It records to AVI and uses quite a bit of resources. I was still able to have everything running but it did seem to struggle at times. There is also a max file size, which going above will crash the program. I was fortunately able to save the audio, because I thought I could strip it from the video later, but the video was lost.

Virtual Dub I essentially have zero experience with this program. It is a little more complex than Camstudio, but I was able to set it up and record video pretty quickly. What I could not figure out was the audio settings and it sounded like I was at a Kraftwerk concert. Ok, maybe an exaggeration, but it sounded weird. It also records AVI and I have no idea if it would slow your computer down or have a maximum video size it could record.

A big thing to keep in mind is that I am using a Windows Surface 2 tablet and so don't have a lot of things to worry about as far as video cards or hard drive access times.

Hope you found this helpful if you are looking to record things off your computer.

I'd also like to take this time to welcome Rab of Rab's Geekly Digest to the blog. He's an Oldhammerer who is working on a most impressive Giant at the moment.

The follower counter also jumped from 161 to 163, but I can't for the life of me figure out who the other person is. So if you followed me in the last few weeks and have a blog let me know. I always try to link back to followers.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Too long without a post!


So many great plans and then I sort of got swallowed up by it all. Too many irons in the fire I guess.

So what am I actually doing?

I am painting and basing the few bits of Brethren and Treyine forces. As per my usual it starts of great and then I get bogged down. After reading Painting Matters: In Defense of Hobby Standards on Chicago Skirmish Wargames (I do actually read the blogs I follow, albeit a bit late). It may shock you to know that I had originally intended to never field incomplete troops. That quickly went out the window as I felt the pull to play games. I now see saw back and forth between trying to play and trying to paint and model. I'm trying, with varying degrees of success.

I also read about roads on Itinerant Hobbyist here who was place holding a post by Sound Officers Call here about how he made some roads out of cork ribbon. So I have duly bought a roll of 2.5" cork ribbon and 12" x 12" square of thin cork sheet. I intend to try my hand at roads and rivers with it. I had originally bought some thin craft foam, but this is thinner still.

Which brings me in a round about way to the next two things. My Photography guide and refurbishing and or making terrain. I don't want to let my shabby, unfinished stuff detract from what I'm trying to convey about photography so I've sort of paralyzed myself for the time being.

I already tried to write this post once and felt it was too much of a downer. Whiny, rambling etc. so I'll wrap this up.

I'll endeavor to use the draft and schedule feature to not go so long without another post. I'll try to keep to my usual style of what's on my mind, but try not to bore you with too many WIP, I still haven't finished, shots.

I hope to bring you some somewhat useful posts on pictures and video, as well as consult the hive mind on techniques for Chaos flesh Oldhammer style. Boyyy!

Here's another video by Rob Scallon. He makes me laugh.

And no Chico, I don't mean this:

One inappropriate place to find metal \m/

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ebay Hammer 2 - The Second Marauder Giant

Well, I told you I found another one after I realized the first was incomplete.

Still in the shrink wrap
 A glorious unopened box! For $9 less than the first one.

Looks like it's all there
 The rattling around inside the box was a tad disturbing, but it's all there.

The missing pieces are now here.
 I'm waiting on an order of the Alumilite  super casting kit. Then I'll try my hand at casting these up for the other giant. I still need to strip and break apart the various models for repainting.

I do have one question for those of you playing Oldhammer/ Warhammer. What do you do about the giants (or whatever figure) not fitting on a base. The base size for Giants, Trolls, Ogres is 40mm x 40mm and for the Marauder Giant that is tiny. The out of box one is on a 50mm x 50mm and he doesn't even fit on that. I can't seem to find the BOYL pictures with all the Giants right now. Just wondering how y'all would handle it?

I almost forgot. The sword appears to be angled/bent. I'm not sure, but from what I can tell this is intentional. Anybody know definitively?

On to the next question.

What do you think? Too big?
I dug out a chaos knight and a chaos warrior (my brother painted him back in the 90's and was going for a covered in gore look with black plate and red mail) [Now that I think of it, I'm going to try to recreate his concept]. But back to the point, in the middle is a Reaper Bertok the Barbarian figure. As you can see he is quite massive. For some reason this makes me feel like he is a Chaos Warrior who has been "blessed" with massive size. I know some of you incorporate non citadel or non classic figures {Heresy Hammer (tm)}. How do you go about it and what do you think. My initial idea for my Oldhammer project was to base everyone on square bases, perhaps I can get a Rendera 25mm. The standard 3mm just makes him too tall.

As always, thanks for looking and thanks in advance for any advice you care to give.

Monday, September 8, 2014

20mm Size Comparison - Splintered Light Fantasy

Hi All,

There was a post on the 1/72 - 20mm fantasy miniature group on Google+ about how some miniatures that Splintered Light had recently acquired measured up to the 1/72 plastics currently available.

Since I have some other Splintered Light minis, I thought I'd show what I have.

For scale I have included an IMEX American GI who stands almost exactly 25mm tall. Next to him is the familiar Fladnag, the Wizard from the Caeser Adventurers set. I have placed them all on washers to start at the same zero.

DRRE07 Rat Warriors 1

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ebay Hammer - more lead

Well I went and did it. I bought a bunch of stuff on ebay. What follows is a documentation of sorts and some things I learned along the way. I don't mean to sound whiny or sour grapes, just to point out some things that I could have done better and observations of a noob to trying to acquire some of this "classic" lead.

Along the way I'll also mention how I photographed things as I am supposed to be writing about photography.

All shots with the trusty Nikon D5100, using the 18-55mm lens. I tried using the M setting ( I need to find my manual to find out what that means) but ended up falling back on A (Aperture Priority). Set to f16, I used a 10sec timed shutter (misplaced my remote) and ended up using the Incandescent White Balance and an EV of +1.0 or zero as the white metal objects were washing out. The background was from a pack of 22" x 28" Poster board bought at Staples. The other side is a lighter blue. The lighting was my same desk lamp setup, but this time no other lights in the room on and dusk outside. The lighting seemed a tad harder than I would like.

Marauder Giant, Azhag the Slaughterer and a Lead Belcher
 The Giant and the Lead Belcher were Buy It Now items, the Wyvern I actually won.

Not the right wheels and no scythes.
 It was only after I got all the stuff that I thought to look it up on The Stuff of Legends. You would think I would look there first but I thought it was complete, although unboxed. The wheels should have spikes and scythes that can mount on. I haven't decided if I will build as is, try to sculpt it, or source a second one to cast the missing parts from.

4th Edition I think. Solid, if basic paint job.

A little oops in shipping.
 I was a little bummed when I opened the box and saw that the banner pole had bent and the right wing snapped off. Although it is straight block painting, except for the wash on the scales, it was a solid effort. Someone put some love into it. Now that it's broken I feel there is nothing for it but to strip it. I'm also concerned that it will be impossible to take apart to easily clean and then paint the nooks and crannies of the rider and saddle.

I knew this is what he looked like.
 It was looking at this figure on that I realized he was missing the sword and barrel. This bummed me out as I had already lost out on an auction for an in box version. I was still feeling the sting of losing and the buy it now price was less than what the other one had gone for. At first the sculpting bodging of the missing items went through my mind. Then I thought I'd look on ebay again, and sure enough there was another in box Giant. I bid on it and won it. It has yet to arrive but I'm going to make a mold of the missing parts and cast them up.

Where the sword should be and a gap that needs filling.

Other side where the barrel should be.
 Lastly, on a lark, I picked up a Safari Ltd. Cyclops for $10 at Michaels. I think he would work well for a Warhammer Giant. He's not bad for a prepaint and cheap. Just needs a base. And maybe a paint job if I'm being honest.

So I guess the lesson is, don't give up. Don't pay more than you're willing to pay. Do a little homework to make sure that you know exactly what you're getting and what it is worth to you.

Also anybody have any tips for breaking the Marauder Giant of his base. I'd like to see if  can get his feet to hang off less.


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