Monday, August 27, 2012


Not a lot going on hobby wise. Check out the painting challenge over at Chest of Colors for a chance to win a copy of Two Hour Wargames Fantasy Gladiator Title Red Sand, Black Moon.

What with the kids school and extra curricular activities heating up and having to get the house in a presentable state for my sister-in-law to visit, I'm finding even more excuses to not game or paint. I have played a couple of games of Munchkin Conan with my son, but he is only happy when he wins. The first game was more fun than the second, just a dismal drawing of cards at the wrong times.

As for the computer, well... still dicey. I am now requisitioning the family computer as I have repeatedly tried and failed to do a system backup of my laptop. Basically I set it up to do a backup to an external hard drive, it fails and gives me advice about running chkdsk. I do that, it takes forever, and the run another backup which also fails. I've tried various drives and cables all with the same result. I am now getting ready to use clonezilla and my drive docks to clone the offending drive onto the new Solid State Drive I bought over the weekend. Wish me luck.

I hope to have this sorted soon so that I can fight the last Seniira vs. Treyine battle and put up that tutorial for making an old letter. I also want to try something using Dan's map as a jump off point.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What to read next?

Well I finished "A Dance with Dragons" (book 5 of A Song of Ice and Fire) the other day and found out that it may be years before "The Winds of Winter" comes out.

So I did some searching and found this site with suggestions for books like Game of Thrones et al.

I also thought I should take a look at Bernard Cornwell, since many have recommended his books. I see he has a website but I like the wikipedia entry for him as it lists the Sharpe novels chronologically according to events in the books. The Grail Quest and Saxon stories series look to be right up my alley.

It looks like I can get them on the Kindle Fire, but I'm also tempted to get a H.P. Lovecraft Anthology for $2.99 or something ridiculously low like that.

Of course I should probably just wade through all the rules I purchased recently.

Now to switch topics (my wife always complains that I never let her know when I've switched topics), after reading Nicholas's post here I got to thinking about another tutorial to spiff up an old letter.

Of course that leads me to the fact that my computer is still ailing. I copied some files, ran check disk and then thought, what the hell, I'll run a disk back up. Well of course it failed and I got a disturbing notification that it could be nothing or my hard drive could be about to die. So I am currently re-attempting to back up and considering my options, including making a drive image and buying a new solid state drive. So much is on hold for now.

Hopefully I get it sorted and be back to flailing around with projects as usual.

And what I tell my wife when she gets mad about the switch is "Plate, Shrimp, Plate of Shrimp!" And this fits in with the 20 questions. The lattice of coincidence? It's all part of the Cosmic Unconsciousness.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The 20 questions post

So here are my answers to the 20 questions, I wonder how different they are from my answers to a previous one of these Q & A's. (I'm also not sure why the formatting has gone all weird.)
1.        Favourite Wargaming period and why?
       Fantasy, but that's not really a period. I'd have to say of late my leaning is towards Dark Age, particularly the Viking Age.

2.       Next period, money no object?
       18th century/ SYW imagination and 18th century colonial have recently caught my interest. Of course I still have Sci Fi, WW2, Zombie Apocalypse, Post Apocalypse, Ancients etc in the wings.
3.       Favourite 5 films?
       Unforgiven,  Blade Runner, The Empire Strikes Back, Sanjuro/Yojimbo (because they are conflated in my mind), Repo Man

4.       Favourite 5 TV series?
       The Walking Dead, The Killing, MASH, Ken Burn's Civil War, I Claudius
5.       Favourite book and author?
       Too hard to name only one. Tolkein (although I don't have the patience to read through the songs anymore), Robert Graves (I Claudius, Count Belisarius), R.E. Howard (Conan canon) and when I was a kid I loved Andre Norton.
6.       Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!
       I still love Alexander the Great, spent hours reading about him as a kid.
7.       Favourite Wargames rules?
       Tough one. Probably have to be Squad Leader, because that is what I played the most. Only dabbled in Warhammer. Right now I'm a big fan of Two Hour Wargames, but I haven't settled on a favorite from them yet.
8.       Favourite Sport and team?
       American Football (like there's really any other kind ;) ) San Francisco 49ers, since about 1979.
9.       If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?
      Probably back to highschool, suck it up and graduate rather than tell them to @#%! off and get my GED.
10.   Last meal on Death Row?
       I'm not really a food guy but a ribeye steak, roasted vegetables and new potatoes with garlic and a few martinis followed by a chocolate cheesecake and some cognac and cigars.
11.    Fantasy relationship and why?
       I don't spend a lot of time thinking about this kind of stuff, but since we're talking fantasy it would have to be three girlfriends like "Our Man Flint" or any of the Flint movies. I was going to say Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher just to bug Ray.

12.   If your life were a movie, who would play you?
       Either David Beckham or that kid who played McLovin in Superbad.

13.   Favourite Comic  Superhero?
       I always identified with Spider Man. He was a dorky kid who had mutant powers but also some super geek inventing ability. And he kicked ass.
14.   Favourite Military quote?
      Well I was going to quote one I read in Fiasco, the book by Thomas Ricks, but I can't find my copy of the book or remember the General's name. So the one I can remember is "The British Navy has but three traditions. Rum, Buggery and the Lash." - Purportedly said by Churchill but he claimed he never said it, only wished he had.
15.   Historical destination to visit?
       I would probably like to visit the Civil War battle fields where my ancestors fought so Bull Run and Gettysburg in the East, Shiloh and Corinth in the West.
16.   Biggest Wargaming regret?
       Not buying Space Hulk or Blood Bowl back in the 90's when I was making good money and didn't have anyone to tell me how to spend it.
17.   Favourite Fantasy job?
       Artist or Photographer.
18.   Favourite Song, Top 5?
       Anthem - Agnostic Front, Manimal - The Germs, Ace of Spades - Motorhead, Arthur McBride - Planxty, Pimp's Ballad from Three Penny Opera - (The Raul Julia recording) Kurt Weill.
19.   Favourite Wargaming Moment?
      My return to a wargaming con in Lebanon, PA in 1991 (I think). It was an ASL tournament and in the previous one I had lost every game. Studied up played some games and went back for the next one. Beat this one guy who had beat me the last time, he packed up and went home after that.
20.   The miserable Git question, what upsets you?
       Mother@#$!ing software updates that @#$! up your @#$!ing computer. White supremacists. Religious Fundamentalism of any kind. Rules lawyers/ power gamers who try to loophole or break rules or just find some stupid army composition that wins tournaments but would make absolutely no sense. I could go on but I'd probably have an aneurism.

I'm still futzing around with the computer. It works but freezes up at odd times and crashes when I try various things. I've been cleaning the registry and running virus and spyware scans. So far nothing has done the trick.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Computer woes

Well I'm having some issues with my computer. While I was surfing the other day I ran into a three way glitch of the Chrome Browser hanging up, while the computer was telling me it needed a restart to install up dates while I was trying to call up the task manager to force something to close, at that point I didn't care what.

So now after several restarts and one system restore it seems to take about 20 minutes to boot up and I don't have the patience to wait for Chrome to get to the start page. Luckily Firefox still works so I can at least use that.

I've been reading blogs on my kindle but cannot post or leave comments from it. I hope to get to Fran and Ray's 20 questions at some point today, but now it is time to be off on shopping etc trips with the family.

I'll let you all know what I get sorted out, although I have a feeling that I may never get to the bottom of this in terms of what specifically went wrong.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dux Homunculorum prize giveaway.

For those of you who may not know, Dux Homunculorum is giving away a very finely painted 28mm mini of Harald Hardrada here.

I don't play Saga myself, nor have I gamed 28mm of late, but who wouldn't want an awesomely painted figure of the man who was almost King of England instead of William the Conqueror.

Just the usual requirements. Follow his blog and leave a comment to enter your name in the drawing.

Good luck. (I realize that this lessens my chances of winning, but he has a great site and you owe it to yourself to check it out.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Make your own Hogan's Heroes set up.

Some one on the solowargame group for yahoo was asking about some set up that they had seen at a convention showing a WWII German POW camp. They were looking to use it for some Post Apoc buildings.

Turns out they are a free download of paper buildings from Ebob Miniatures here.

Nice buildings with some good detail. I think they are in 28mm scale, but not 100% sure.


So I received an unsolicited email starting with "Hi dear" and then informing me that a "friend" was recommending me to try blog-train(dot)net.

It seems to be a blog listing site and I read somewhere that it was the English version of the German site Blog-Zum, not sure if it was hyphenated etc.

I did find the wargaming site It came from the Bitz Box on the main page. An interesting site if you're interested in scratch building WH40K stuff. I emailed the blog owner his opinion of blog train. I'll let you know what he says. And if you have experience with this site, let me know.

Welcome to:

Ender of Ender's games, some fantastic 1/72 dioramas. That water effect on the Viking dio is top notch.

Steve from Sound Officers Call with some very nicely painted figures and vehicles. The last three posts run the gamut from Sci Fi, to WWII, to Napoleonics.

And I do like Spam.



So I did hear back from the guy I contacted on blog train and he was in essentially the same boat. He didn't know who recommended him but he did point out that one more person respectively looked at each others blogs. So not too bad.

Welcome Primarch from It came from the Bitz Box.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Winner of the 100th Post Prize

Drum roll please:

Darth Maul got a little testy when I had to change batteries.

Congratulations Fran of The Angry Lurker, I'll be contacting you and we can work out what you'd like done.

As you can see we used the scientific method of writing down the names on a strip of paper and putting them in a cup for a completely disinterested party to withdraw. Fortunately Darth Maul was available and only required one potty break during the photo shoot. Although it was difficult to pry him away from cartoons on the last day before school starts here.

To the rest, better luck next time and we'll hope to have another contest soon.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mixing and Thinning Paint - Part 1: Research

Since inadvertently drying out my Flesh tone paint I've been researching mixing and thinning artist acrylics. I'm probably making more work for myself than is necessary, but humor me.

Google Search Term: thinning liquitex to paint miniatures

Most interesting Links:

Key points: Makes a “thinner” of 50/50 Acrylic Medium and Wet Water (water mixed with either Isopropanol or Dishwashing liquid) [Can also use flow aid]

The Flow Aid (a Liquitex product) recipe is to dilute 1:20 with water. The Wet Water recipes I have are from a model railroading book. Wet Water: 16oz Water + 1tsp liquid dish soap. Super Wet Water: 8oz Water + 8oz Isopropanol (Rubbing Alcohol, usually 70%).

  • This thread on Warseer seems to have some good info too:

The third post down by CarbonCopy talks about dealing with the translucency that can come from thinning Liquitex and gives the 1/1/8 (Floor Polish/Alcohol/Water) formula for thinner. And talks about 1 drop thinner to 2 drops paint.

  • And this Article from Reaper:

A really good article on the subject. Gives two recipes for thinner and then fives pictures of consistency for thinned paint based on its usage. with the guidelines Basecoat 1:1, Layering 4:1, Wash 10:1 (solution:paint)

One other thing I noticed in this article is they are thinning the Reaper paints from the pot. In other words already "thinned" by comparison to art acrylics which can be as thick as toothpaste.


I originally got started with the idea of making my own washes and found this resource

I have matte medium, flow aid and acrylic inks. So we are in business on the supplies end.


(Later that same day)

Well I went ahead and bought a bottle of GW Dwarf flesh. $3.75 for 12ml!? I went to a local game store that I drove by last week because I had something to do across the street. For reference:

Crusaders Retreat

13825 N 32nd St # 11 (Thunderbird Rd & 32 Street), PhoenixAz 85032-5680

So stay tuned to the misadventures of a guy trying to get back into painting tiny little men. In part 2 I'll try to document how these experiments pan out.

Also if anyone wants to share their basic painting ideas or techniques, feel free. Most of what I found here has been a revelation to me.

And finally welcome to new followers:

Ed the THW Guy needs no introduction, check out 2Hour Blog and of course the Two Hour Wargames  Store. 

brutpaul, another THW afficionado. His Google friend doesn't show his blog but it is No Guts, No Glory! I am particularly a fan of the comic book style battle reports.

EinarOlafson is a very talented painter and has three sites. Lost in Carcosa (I like the Pulp Horror stuff), Soft Wars (nice 1/72), and Einar Olafson Painting (very well done).

Beccas from Wargamer Blue some really nice WWII Aussies.

Okay, whew! That really wraps it up.


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