Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: Illithid raiding party

Beautiful ain't it?  I thought so, and based on the quality of the Purple Wyrm I  took a punt on it.  I have to review this product.

Do not buy it.  It is not fit for purpose.

This product will not yield miniatures you can paint to a fine level and it most certainly will not give you playable miniatures if that is what you are after.

There is a golden rule in miniature sculpting.  Nothing finer than 1mm- and thicker if you can.  It is 101.  Day one.  First thing a caster asks you.  It is definitely the first thing as a product manager you should check.

 Now that rule is for pliable lead, not resin.  And filled resin (talc added)?  Absolutely not.  Go thicker in a support area, weapons and legs.

Okay, so I am a mini sculptor.  I can merrily sculpt eyelids on a halfling.  It is safe to say I have a light touch, and I do not think it a stretch to say I am an experienced, if not advanced modeller.

Every single model broke during assembly.

Every single one.

The duergars hammer was first, snapping in two in the middle as I ran a carving scalpel along the flash.  Yes, that weak.  As I glued this back together the spike snapped off, lost forever.  Then the handle again and I tweezered the hammer into place using accelerated superglue.  Okay, so I guess I can make a new hammer.  Uh, he doesn't go with any of my druergar minis in style, so I guess that would mean a long wait in my fix queue.  At least I have the mind flayers...

Nope.  Magician snapped in three places along his staff, crystal, magic bolt.

The Hyena mans toes snapped, his spear wrist (unpinnably thin) went. The shaft is gnawed through.   Now sculpt something that protrudes far, like a spear,  it must be reinforced because it is basically a lever. 


Here is the spear staff of the Gnoll stickman compared to a regular cocktail stick, just to give you an idea of total pisstake this kit offers.  See the nice casting on the spear?  This will break.  Not might.  Not 'if handled well'.  Will.

The brain eater you think would be fine.  It is in two bits, fore and aft.  Nope.  The arms snapped as I eased the model into the cradle and pushed the dab of glue at the belly closed with the tip of my finger.  A fingertip killed my braineater!  That is not even 1HP damage!

One by one the models disintegrated into my 'fix this at some point... probably when hell freezes over' pile.

"Oh, but Laney you must have a bad cast!"  No.  It isn't the resin.  I home cast resin.  Resin bends, and you can fill up to 50% with industrial talc and retain integrity- the problem is the sculpts.   

Pretty, yes- but they are all too thin to handle.  You cannot even drill and pin, there isn't room.  Drop one of these and god knows where your limbs will end up!

Sculptor, hang your head in shame.  You failed sculpting 101.  Why?  clearly you can sculpt.  These are... or at least where gorgeous sculpts when they left your desk.  But these are absolutely useless miniatures. Literally without use.  You can't assemble them, you can't handle them, you cannot play AD&D with them.  Fail.  Fail. Fail.  Take off your optimiser off.  Throw it away.  Feed your minis some more putty.

The sculpts need serious reworking and reinforcing in the masters, recasting and rereleasing if you want this product on the shelves. This is simply not good enough, especially for this huge price tag.  

I am going to skip the rest of the range unless they are large thick set creatures.  I suggest you do the same.

Grrrrrrrrrrr.  Teeth.

What a Total cult!

Want a work in progress shot of my dirty great cult?

This batch is abooooout fifty percent done.  Lots of cheques, skin work and details to go.  I start base up, in case ya didn't know, so I can use big brushes without worrying about dirtying the models legs.  Feet are usually last to finish.

And here is the rest of their team so far.  I hate having doubles, so I just head and weapon swapped a whole bunch with daemonette and millitia bits.  Arrr.

I had planned to do much more with converting the whole lot, but this is part of my 'just get it done' campaign.  There is nothing stopping me stripping and reworking things later!

The bases are the new citadel 32mm bases.  They are a bit tall and chunky for my liking- plus here they cost 70c each, which is fucking ridiculous.  But GW is pretty much an evil cult.

Once these are used up and I going back to the normal 30mm bulk buy bases for my 40k moderns.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Miniatures. Actual miniatures. In a miniatures blog. Whatever next?

I have been insanely sick with flu this past month, and it is really grinding everything to a halt re: hobbies.  Work and sleep are pretty much it at the moment.  But one thing did happen tonight that was nice.  I got the good camera back.

So though nothing here is recent, the photos are now quality and finely detailed.  You know.  Like finecast.  (cough, cough)

90's Plastic warrior.  Shit just got shit yo.

So first up in my quick photo session tonight between pixel pushing and dying by degrees, is a classic 90's chaos warrior.  After the wonders of the drastic plastic orcs, psychostyrene dwarves and ultra classic skeleton warriors boxed set and purely brilliant plastic space marine box, citadel did a shit stained backwards slide into the single posed dross of the 90's.

No wonder I left the hobby to have lots of sex with goth chicks.

I went with a quick Mike McVey-esque style paint job (painted on crackles and smooth blendin')- Rodney Matthews color scheme and finished it off with a John Blanche style graphic pen attack.  Hate must be written on knuckles.  It must.

The base is also worth noting.  Based on the AD&D battlesystem pictures, the base is made from mounting board card.  You often find old school minis glued to cardboard, and prior to slotta bases this was pretty standard practice.  Beer mats, by the way, where the best material as they are designed not to warp!  I had a theory you could turn it to rock hard plastic instead of freying paper shite by soaking it with superglue.  You can.  It also lets you sand the edges to smooth, plastic like finish.  There see?  No more excuses for not basing that irregular sized mini up.

Minotaur Lord.  Citadel 1980s.
On the day I first bought miniatures, this was one of the chosen.  Sadly, my original is gone, so it was a joy to get my hands on a second copy and do him justice.  The base needs work.  It is merely a poker chip with grit and cork stucketh upon yonder surface.  Mid green and highlight missing.

And to finish up a picture of my mostly done Ral Parth storm giant.  A classic Tom Meier sculpt if I am not mistaken.  Somehow, my money is on the Gypsy.

Ral Partha Storm Giant VS. Citadel Talisman Gypsy
Blending!  Blending!  Yarrrr!

Well, a productive break considering I have not picked up a brush in ages.

Enjoy peoples.

Seriously.  You can enjoy peoples.  I recommend the danish.

Damage: War gaming Vs. War (or why I am so very, very angry at seemingly harmless comments)

This is a revision of the spooktalker post, which I will delete shortly, that may explain my anger. I think it is better to be positive and look at the underlying problem as to why I am furious at two faced internet behavior.

Gaming should be positive. The difference between wargaming and war is damage. What you say about people can harm them. If you catch them at a critical, fragile moment in their life, it can make them extremely ill or be the last straw that ends up killing them.

I used to go to Frothers (Frothers United Uk!) because I find censorship vile, and a bunch of people calling each other 'c*nts' perfectly fine, because at the heart of it it was a bunch of guys who actually like each other. But you see, this is where I was wrong. There is a difference between play fighting and actually making damaging comments.

Take a closer look at Frothers, maybe this time from my perspective as a transgender woman. For those unaware, I was born intersex- somewhere between male and female. I did not choose this, I have no control over this and depending on the numbers you look at between 1 in 2000 and 1 in 100 people you meet are actually intersex. Very common.  Transgender is merely a form of intersex where the development is focused on the central nervous system. You look one sex, but your brain is physically another. Again, not a choice. Around 1 in 15,000 people suffer from this.  

The suicide rate before 20 is officially 48% in the USA, but more likely to be well over 50% if unreported cases are factored in. 1 transgender person is murdered somewhere in the world every 72 hours, 10% of these children. Check this out...

Though I am intersex, I was assigned male but had a female gendered brain, I chose to transition to female. Because of this, I am classed as transgender (lit. "crossed gender"). The archaic term for this was transexual (lit. "crossed sex") which was discarded because it incorrectly implies it is about sex. It is absolutely not.

I am not a transvestite- (lit "cross dresser"). The term 'tranny' came from transvestites, not transgender people. The term is absolutely, utterly repugnant. It is equal to the 'N' word to people of color. Why? Because it is dehumanizing, and that dehumanization has been (and continues to be) used to abuse, murder and oppress trans people.

So let's look at some members of our community using this language.

Stedders: I watched a video of the German Tranny painting a Nurgle marine, it was excellent. I didn't book mark it and can't bloody find it  Help!

Stedders: That's the one! He/She sounds like a super villain out of Austin Powers!

Oh, a he/she for good measure. Thanks for that Stedders. Clearly you think it is open season.  Incidentally we get the brain gender as our gender, mine is she.  Call me a heshe and you will have a problem on your hands.

So is Stedders (who has Pmed me and asked advice on several occasions) an isolated case? Well, no. Not by a long shot.

The Jim Jones Cocktail: 'I've assumed my alter ego, dressed up as my dead mother and I'm wanking to tranny porn'.

Monkeyborg: "My mind is going Bill. There is no question about it. Got any tranny pics? Amicalement."

The cat with a human face: Ye gads!! Zombie Ainsley Harriot! Fucking hell they is scary bad. The tranny reminds me of Quagmire's sex change dad from family guy!Are all their miniatures that bad?
This is a re-occurring theme. If a female miniature that is poorly sculpted it is often dismissed as a 'tranny'. A lesser being, a poor joke. An ugly thing.

If you really want to wade in utter filth and hatred... be warned, not only disgusting but not safe for work. Now I raise this thread in particular becomes some of YOU, my readers, have posted in it.
Apparently people like me, heck, let's just say me for context... apparently I am an 'it', perhaps part of a crime cartel of 'ladyboys' and really only good for pornography, which judging by the comments, pictures and language taken directly from trans porn, is actually quite popular with these guys. One member even knew who Buck Angel is (he is a former porn star turned vital trans activist who has saved many lives). Another named female porn star Bailey Jay (also a former porn star turned activist). Clearly, we are not as repugnant as they are making out.
Oh and it is not just Frothers. Check out this hate speech, dehumanization and sexualization of those unfortunate people born like me.
I just want to add what a 'chaser' is.  It is a trans attracted man who fetishize pre-op transwomen, but hate them for it due to shame.  They are extremely dangerous, as they do not see the source of their attraction as human.  Avoiding chasers is part of everyday life for us online.  I do not know Bill Armintrout, and have no idea if he is a chaser, or is trans attracted or is simply trans supportive.  I hope the latter, because goddess knows we need it.

Back to my point.  So after reading through this bile, I come across my old name in a Forthers thread. Fortunately, not assaulting me based on how I was born, but instead dismissing my ability as a game designer based on someones opinion. Hardly harmful, right? Yes. Very harmful. You see, some of us rely on our skills for vital doses of self esteem. I am proud of sixteen years in games design, of hundreds of beta testing fans, of all my fans who support me and get me through this living hell of living in a world designed to destroy those like me.
It was a small poke, but on a criticial support. One of my life supports. And for what? As far as I can tell, self aggrandizement. Trying to pull himself up the nerd pecking order by assuming his opinion is worthy enough to make hurtful comments.
And yes, it was by someone who comes here to read my blog. This free magazine I put my heart into, has readers who feel they can dismiss or mistreat me elsewhere.

You can only put out enough free material, free floorplans, free rules, free advice, free tutorials, free magazine pages... before you begin to question why you bother.

Make sense now?

Back to miniatures next post...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Into the woods

I am sick with flu.

Having that 'can't concentrate/can't sleep' bullshit.

So I wasted a little time trying to finishing up the box of unfinished scenery that has been unfinished since I didn't finish it.

This is about half of the fucking things.  Lots to still do on these, but playable quality now.  By the time I am finished there will be fruit, flowers and shrooms, hidden animals and stuff like that.

My second deathworld cactus.  Needs paintjob fixed up.

Get well me.

Yes, other me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Grace is gone (revised)

"Grace is Gone"
I painted this for my wonderful wife Kat, who is very pregnant right now and a showing me just how much of a total warrior she is.  She loved it.  :)

Grace is still gone.  As is my iphone focus.

The mini is called 'Grace is Gone' (gone meaning pregnant in this case- not her Grace is gone because she let someone up the duff her).  It is back in production over at Here. Be warned, the price will make you feel like someone at Cmon is trying to impregnate you.

I scored this copy many years ago at my first Mother of All Battles com, and it has sat in a little baggie waiting for the day

I really hate working with resin.  Right now I am looking at all the broken pieces of the AD&D collectors Ithillid raiding party and wondering who the hell thought making details less than a mm in resin was a good idea.  I also rather dislike integral resin bases, so I snipped it off with tin shears and mounted it on a 30mm plastic one.  With resin, I always glue a thin washer in the base to give it some weight (but not enough to snap the ankles if tipped).

To be honest, the paint job isn't the greatest I have ever done but I only had a short window to do it in whilst Kat slept.  I focused on overall feel, rather that precision.  It is really nice that I cannot paint this in my usual hobby time as my wife actually takes an interest in what I am doing.  She can even identify minis with cute terms like 'that's a nurgley thing' now.

To protect it, I put it in a clear chessex dice box as a display case.  oooh, you handy little things.


I was in a game store the other day talking to a lovely chap about the dire state of Sydney game stores re:tabletop mini gaming (we agreed on this matter) and our recent other conversation at CANCON.
I mentioned I wasn't sure I would make the next one as "my partner is about to give birth to our son".
He paused and blinked for a very long moment, looking confused.
"I am gay".  I said without adjusting volume from the 'I am a nerd talking to one other nerd in a game store, therefore talking loudly so that ALL the nerds in the store can nod sagely at our righteous nerdfuckery volume'.

Now, this is really interesting.

Interpretation :  "Gosh, you look like a natal straight female.  I thought you where suggesting your boyfriend was giving birth and got confused"

Interpretation 2: "Gosh you look like a transgender woman, and the media portrays transgender women as male attracted as part of the woefully incorrect and offensive "dem transgenders are all just reeeeeaaaally gay men" trope.  I thought you where suggesting your boyfriend was giving birth and got confused."

Interpretation 3:  "Dammit!  I just had two long conversations with a woman about mini wargaming and it turns out she is gay.  When will I ever catch a frikking break?".

Now the latter is rather unlikely with my supermodel looks* but by the manner of the previous conversation I would rule it out.  Contrary to what you believe guys, we girls do know when you are subtly chatting us up... oh and whilst we are on that subject, do NOT spray deodorant like in the TV commercials, where the guy appears to be varnishing himself... just a light zap under each arm will do.  Please- to all the lawful deities-  stop.

*(super model currently unassembled and requires painting- glue and paint sold separately, contents may vary).

Oh, I suppose there is also...

Interpretation 4:  "she is having a baby?  A baby.  Fuck... didn't I have one of those a moment ago?  Where did I put it?"

And the old...

Interpretation 5: "lesbians.  Hmmm... The scripture specifically says "man layeth with a man like
with a woman"... I guess women laying... Uh... Layething.. with women as a woman is okay.  A touch abimination-y I suppose.  Maybe just lob gravel at them for a bit instead of stoning with stones".

"You said Jehovah... roll for initiative."

Oh wait...

Interpretation 6:  "gay?  She's gay?  That reminds me, I forgot to be gay in college. Must get around to that.  Maybe once I finish painting my Saga Skraelings".

I am going with interpretation 1, mainly because my ego needs it.

I have to say that it struck me just how wonderfully loud " I am gay" (said in the manner, I now realize, not dissimilar to the way Princess Leia said "what?!" to Moff Tarkin... and boy, how differently that scene would have gone had SHE said "I am gay" instead)...

uh... Where was I?

Oh yes.  Saying "I am gay" out loud to a room of men and the complete non-reaction you get these days felt good.., because once upon a time it would not have been a non- reaction.  It would have been quite, horribly, different indeed.

Even gravel hurts when thrown.

These days, I can be openly a lesbian, openly in a serious relationship with a woman, openly having a child together and most importantly openly blogging about openly painting her extremely overpriced miniature of a preggers cyborg killer.

We can forget just how far we have improved things.

Hopefully soon, we will be grudgingly given back the right to be married by our inbred, catholic private schoolboy government.

On that day I will paint a couple of girls standing on a pile of defeated twisted monsters and blog the shit out of it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What's in the box?

Girls like me love box...

...especially when that box is filled with miniatures!

That is one sexy box.  Cannot wait to get my hands into it.

A mate of mine very kindly donated this box of figures to me.  He is both having a big clean out and is ex GW staff.  An excellent combo if you ask me.  Most excellent.

Let's crack it open and have a butchers!

It's like someone poured the 1990's on the table.  Note the girl behind the window also appears very 90's,

Yeah, my thoughts exactly.  It has all the bitz to all of these too!  Beers shall be bought in his honor.

Girls like me also like carpet...

...when it stops the little critical bit of the expensive miniature you dropped disappearing forever into that dimensional zone where all odd socks go.