Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Pew pew

10/10 Abrams.  The Force was strong with you.

No spoiler posting below people.  Just know it is daaaaaamn good.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Official! Darkling is back!

Thanks to everyone's generosity, I am pleased to announce that I have just secured Darkling Games new Melbourne studio.  I am just upstairs from the folks who made Crossy Road, funnily enough.

Work begins January 4th, then there will be a delay as I build our new website, wrap up outstanding comissions and set up our Patreon launch vids and redbubble shop.

Then it's full bore on all new releases, tutorials and art.

Once my old pcs arrive and the discs are recovered, Skulldred will begin again and Kingsminis will return!


Now... If you will excuse me I have to find a house.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Thank you all again

Yesterday I grabbed a Reaper Bones 'Pillar of Good'.  I was just window shopping with a friend when it caught my eye.  I got it to remind me what a pillar of strength you have all been to me.  Gaaaaw, look, you made me go all soppy.  Soppy and geeky all at once.


Hmm.  That needs work.

Planning the future

Thanks everyone for helping me get back on my feet.  I thought I would just give an update on my plan for the new year as it stands.

I will be setting up residence in a games startup collective in Melbourne.  This time, however, the focus will be on doing what I do best... this stuff.

I am thinking the best path for me is to reboot Darkling Games around a Patreon core structure.  Patrons will allow me to just sit all day and make Skulldred, new fantasy illustrations (for posters, cards and merch), new miniatures and then expansions, scenario packs and other old school things.  Patrons will also get access to painting tutorials, videos, skype tutes, exclusive content/minis and hand drawn art originals and painted mini commissions.

This means me at a desk, 8 hours a day, doing nothing but cranking out old school goodness.

Skulldred, Bride of Skulldred, Pint o' Skulldred, 30mm Dungeon Tiles, Stardred, D'Undred and so on, plus t-shirts, merch and minis.

Sounds like a dream for me.  What do you think?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Please help me get back on my feet

I have to swallow my pride and do this. I know many of you have approached me asking to help, but I have turned down all donations because I was taught this is deeply shameful.

I was always taught to earn things by myself through hard work, but I just cannot seem to catch a break. Everything just keeps getting worse. I cannot seem to stop the slide. The job I have taken that was to rescue me actually made things worse by not covering moving costs. I am literally working myself back onto the streets.

The last two years have been a nightmare I just cannot seem to wake up from.

To be honest I have tried to end my life several times under this pressure, out of shame, out of hopelessness. The situation looks impossible. My industry has shut down here, and being transgender makes getting work difficult overseas, plus I am loathe to leave my son behind- he lives in Canberra with my family. I had to move a nine hour drive away for work.

Last week, I gave up. It was too hard. I rang emergency services because I was suicidal, the police that came where, unfortunately, transphobic. Rather than helping me and getting me the attention I needed to save my life, they taunted me, inflamed the situation, and when I tried to end my life on the spot they drove me to the ground, hand cuffed me and, unbelievably, peppersprayed me: an unarmed woman begging for help. It isn't like in the films... pepperspray is an agonizing ordeal that lasts hours. After processing (for, get this, assaulting a police officer) I was finally dumped, blinded (no contact lenses left) outside the police station- still with no help. Having called for help to save my life, they made it immeasurably worse. This is the transphobia I had heard about, but only have just now encountered first hand. I don't have words to describe how horrible things have been.

So, with great shame I have come to a point where I have to admit that cannot survive without charity. I have the means and skills to get myself out of the hole but large ticket items are standing in my way and I just cannot get to a point where I can cover those costs. My PC's are dead and so I cannot freelance or get to my showreel to get a VFX job... however someone kindly donated a PC, so if I can ship them here to Melbourne from Sydney, I can switch the drives over and get back to business.

I need desperately to:

* Replace the contact lenses the police destroyed with the pepperspray. - I cannot afford to lose another contact lens. I need to see to work.

* Get my hormone levels checked and my estrogen implant replaced. It should have been removed months ago.

* Ship up my belongings to Melbourne, allowing me to transplant my HDDs to the old PC friends donated to me (♥), and get my ability to freelance and my showreel back online. This will also gives me kitchen utensils, bedding, art materials and restore me to a functioning household. Currently I have to eat out for every meal- it is killing me both financially and having to eat junk to keep costs down. Once I have my stuff and a pc I can ebay a lot of my collection off to raise funds.

* Cover my rent over the Xmas period when the industry shuts down and there are zero jobs (I am looking at retail jobs to cover myself but a 40 year old transgender woman is pretty unlikely to find one... still, fingers crossed).

And hopefully if I can raise enough...

* Travel to Canberra to see my son for X-Mas. I want to be there for his first Christmas.

* Fix a damaged tooth before it becomes a serious problem.

*Pay for proper therapy to manage the stress of my situation.

* Bring my credit card debt I ran up whilst I was sick and unemployed down as much as possible to stop the cycle of fees and interest charges eating my income. My moratorium ends in December.

* Pay upkeep on my business websites to keep my folio online. Get Darkling back up to where I can make sales again.

If you can donate, thank you from the bottom of my heart.



Happier Times:  Me and one of my babies, The Skaarj from UT2004.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

We can rebuild her- we have the technology (and $100 bucks)

Miniature painting is my idea of therapy.  Through dark times, those little inch high bastards have kept my mind from the maelstrom.  
I will just say that things have not gone well with my move.  It has been the darkest time of my, er, extremely interesting life.  I needed a lot of help this week.  My therapist said to find something I enjoy that can distact me from all the horrible things going on.  Something to calm my mind.  You know the first thing my mind went to?

Well, yeah, of course it was dirty, dirty sex... but after that, I could think of nothing better than losing myself in the craft of miniatures.

It's time to get back to doing what I love. So here it is... the next phase of my miniatures adventures.  Laney rebuilds.

With my studio packed up in a storage unit nine hours drive from me, this meant starting again from scratch.

So, I went to Mind Games today and with a budget of $100, I set about picking the best paints for my style.

 I put together this kit.

•German blackbrown by Vallejo (for me, it's a no brainier.  It's one of the most replaced paints in my collection.  Infact, I find anything vallejo with the word 'german' in it extremely handy.)
•Cryx bane base.  Shading up grey looks dull, but the green tinge this gives is super pleasing.  It works for stubble glazes too.
•'flesh' (I say scowling at the racism) i.e a warm caucasian skin color that has enough titanium in to be a great base to glaze over.
•warm leather (which is skin colored for many I might add)- a great punchy highlight to the cool german black brown.
•turquoise- a great accent color, good for aging metals, eyes, magic, clothes.
•hot magenta- which will really pop flesh when glazed and be a bold accent color on pouches and stripes.  My drunken noses need it.
•Lahmian medium was a must too.  I am a glazy bitch.  I glaze into the abyss.

•0 and 000 brushes:  I prefer windsor and newton watercolor brushes but time was short.  These expensive ones will do for starters.

Finally something to clean off flash and add battle damage.  It's a new fangled thing called a craft knife.

So, something to paint.  Hmmm... The bones range at Mind Games isn't huge- it irks me that I had no money when at PAX so couldn't buy any of the thousands of Reaper minis there.  So, I just grabbed some bugbears because they where cheap and frankly just badass cool.  It also interested me to try to color them with just those paints.  I would have gotten more sandy colors and rusts had I planned it.  This is a fun challenge.

So here I am... Once again armed and dangerous!  And yes, I am starting to look a lot like my Darkling games logo character- apparently I was subconsciously drawing my true self all along- how's meta is that?

[edit] aaaand first one done.  No lamp, not much light, bad camera, and I suck, but so nice to be back on the lead horse.

It occurred to me that the paints I would buy would vary hugely to what you lot would get.  So, if you had to start off all over again, what would you pick?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Melbourne. I am in you.

I am alive and well and living in Melbourne.  Nice place you have here.  According to the Maslow hierarchy of needs I need...

1) A geek/queer friendly house
2) A geek/queer friendly girlfriend.  Or several.
3) A chicken parmigiana with a side of poutine.
4) Somewhere to ship up all my miniatures and paints (and furniture and other less important stuff).
5) To not be severely allergic to poutine.
6) More miniatures.  Naturally.

The universe is providing.  Good little universe.  I have a cute date tonight in a place that sells parmigiana.  You would think that a 39 year old polyamorous transgender lesbian who makes her living making monsters for video games and collects miniatures obsessively wouldn't get dates.  But actually I would say I am far, far more successful now than when I was pissing around with living as a straight male.  Go figure.  Now, I am not saying that it is a great strategy for you if you happen to be a white, straight male who desperately wants a date, but it has worked for me nonetheless.

This is a weird, weird world.

I also have visited and firmly approve of Melbourne's Mind Games store, where I spent what little spare cash I had on a single Reaper Assassin as a little reminder that I am now an solo female adventurer, and that if I stop eating poutine and parmigiana and get my ass to yoga that I can have legs like Bobby Jackson sculpted them.  She has my haircut too.

02643: Diedra Dark Willow
Bobby Jackson

So PAX wasn't the great experience I hoped, mainly because I was exhausted from packing for a week, mentally strung out from the whole ordeal and broke.  With trade shows, you bring with you a certain energy that is magnified by the place.  In my case it was not the great, cathartic experience I had hoped for.  A big hi to Turelio and the folks at the Reaper stall.

I did get to meet all my games friends, who are now quickly forming into a dangerous drinking posse.  This is good news for my creativity and happiness.  Not so crash hot for my liver.

Hopefully next year will be a bit more grounded for me, and I will have had the opportunity to bring Darkling games back to life and have a test game running at PAX.  Limbo is nice and all, but I wouldn't wanna live here.

How the flying fucklesticks is everyone else here going?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Packing positives

On March 17, 2010 I took my first steps into the world of blogging.

It's only been five years, people!

I have amassed a huge collection and painted a fair whack of them.  This week I have been hand wrapping and packing every single treasure I have, ready to go into storage for an indefinite period. his is bittersweet, but let's talk about the sweet.

The Sweet

In five years I have achieved a lot and a lot has happened.

  • I have managed to assemble a collection that makes people cry.  It is making me cry right now, as I have to lift the bloody thing.  I have enough unpainted citadel minis in one box to act as a weight for a trebuchet.
  • I have gone from dull, quite rudimentary painting to a punchy, vibrant, smooth style that I was always aiming for.  Fraser Gray, thanks for being a fantastic inspiration.
  • I have amassed literally* all the paint.

    *figuratively speaking.

  • I have learned to convert and scratch build miniatures- to the point where I started a business selling them, and have made minis professionally for other companies.
  • I have made many friends, all who have helped me immensely through my dark days.  Just one example of many examples, Frank Mentzer messaged me because I was having a particularly dark day on FaceBook one day.  That day happened to be the 30th anniversary of Red Box.  Teenage me would have exploded if I told her that.  <3.
  • I now own this very model from Ratspike...
I know right?  Mine.  Allll mine.  Thanks Steve.

  • I have three quarters of The Undead Assault project done.  As a child I could never have imagined this would be possible!
  • I had a beautiful baby boy! We named him Tobias after both Labyrinth and the Tim & Tobias books.
  • And of course, The Mumak in the room, I was finally diagnosed as intersex and transgender, and decided to go public with my transition, despite the openly transphobic nature of the miniature community at the time.  This took a lot of guts to do, but ultimately was for the best.  Again, your support was astounding and heartwarming.  This of course caused major disruptions in my life and resulted in Skulldred and Darkling miniatures being put on hold.

What now?

Going forward, I am very much looking forward to setting up a new studio, getting these boxes shipped and unwrapping them.  It is going to be the most epic Christmas ever.

I am going to enjoy finishing some of the projects I have been looking forward to, but have not had the strength.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

End of an era

Hey folks,

 I survived my ordeal!
Thankfully, a job came through for me, which is a literal life saver.  The double edged sword of this is that it is based in Melbourne and I have to relocate.  But that is quite exciting.  Melbourne is particularly good to it's geeks, with geek culture shops like Minotaur, a fun gaming scene, some lovely tabletop gaming shops and of course it hosts PAX, the Penny Arcade game conference.  Speaking of which I will be attending PAX as a booth bitch for The Academy of Interactive Entertainment, doing live digital creature sculpts.

Today marks the end of an era, with my studio being packed down into shipping containers.  It's easy to wax lyrical.  This room has seen my first faltering steps in my return to mini gaming, going from a handful of miniatures I still had kept from my childhood to one of the most enviable collections in the southern hemisphere, made up of thousands and thousands of the glorious little lead bastards.  This room has seen me go from tinkering with green stuff, to becoming a professional miniature sculptor.  I made The Bederken Dwerg here.  I designed, sculpted, packed and posted every mini by hand from here.

It wasn't usually this messy.  Well...  uh... not always.

There is so much to do, and I have to individually wrap and pack each figure well enough to survive storage for a year or so and a nine hour truck ride handled by half-orc minions.  I have decided to wrap them each in toilet paper and densely stack them in plastic tubs.  Toilet paper is acidic, so only those with paint on them will be stored this way.  Still, it's a huge job.

All my current faves,  Bottom left you can see my limited edition shelf with some torture chamber victims.

The picture above shows just one of the shelves to pack down.  So many memories.  It will be a while before I get to play with them again.  It's kinda nice putting them all to bed, safe and sound.  After being homeless and away from them, I was so happy to see them all again.  Little treasures one and all.

The tubs bottom right contain unpainted minis, the ones on the left contain painted ones.  I haz a lot.

A move is, of course, also a wonderful chance to de-clutter.  I have thrown out tonnes and tuns of foam, unfinished scenery and enough scratch building junk destined to make my Necromunda martian table.  That is a loss, but hey, I did dump all those shitty redundant codexes and books. Someones gonna have a field day down on the street with this stuff.

As I will be living in share houses whilst I rebuilt my life, I doubt I will be able to do much painting.  I plan to take a small sculpting kit with me, the one I bring to Cancon, but it is doubtful I will be back to King's miniatures for a while.

Thank you for your fandom, your support and your encouragement.

Now go paint your fucking minis!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Gives good head

Got a lot of sculpting done tonight and prepped armatures for the three ass cannon crew, their six heads and the base body for the Cenboars.  I went with first wave Kev Adam's Ravenin Hordes era boar bodies (I am also sculpting a boar for a client based on citadel's fiend factory one, so that's weird.  Boars everywhere!).
The cenbor base boar body will go off to be moulded and once the masters are back, variants and the upper bodies will be made.  So I get a war boar mount as an extra model for sale!

Ass cannon head number one.  Based on the original, but with a little more strain on his face and a ball in its mouth.  He gets ears next then once the cannon collar is made it is finished.

Ass cannon head number 2.  'Fen cyclops'.  It is having trouble firing, so is biting down on it's lip.  I know, I know... You want some fen cyclopses.  Noooope.

I think perhaps an ogre-like head with an underbite and fangs may be in order for orcish teams.

Whilst all that was drying I also rolled put some sheeting yo cut the Juggernaut test panels.

Lots to do.  Lots to do.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ass Cannon

Well people, I spent the night sculpting a Chaos Demonic Ass Cannon.

I figure if my computers are down, at least I can kickstart some capital by catching up on my Oldhammer miniatures.

The length of the model is three inches along the wooden base (top right).  I had to guess based on the bases of the crew pictured along side it.  Still, that is a satisfyingly heavy chunk of lead to mail. I don't have the set up for quality resin at the moment.  Plus resin is often poo poo.

My version has seperate heads, allowing you to field several cannons with different looks and poses.  The two corks show the cores for two of the heads.  The barrel core is also shown- the cannon will be wider than this after the greenstuff is layered on.

My verson has more details and sharper sculpting than the inspiration.  The neck will have a collar so the head ball sockets into.  I may add some chains and other details.

Following this is Dwerg Cenboars, a metal Jugganaut kit and finally masher / dicer machines.

If this helps get me in the black, Dwerg crossbows/guns and McNastybeestie heroes and highlanders /sassanorks.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Bomb squig amidst a war zone

Well life has been a bit of a nightmare since last post.  Among a sea of troubles are features such as every single computer I own dying, my backup drive being dropped and my job vapourising a week before my son was born.  It isn't easy to be a freelance digital artist with no computers and no money left to repair them.

That means Skulldred is trapped in there too.

It has been... Interesting times.

Still, a friend has a blood bowl tourney coming up and needed a bomb squig.  I managed to get him done in a few gaps in the shitstorm that is my life.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

So much fiend... We need a factory.

One Fiend Factory goblin, as promised.  (Shitty iphone pic.)

I went with classic DnD ocre skin, and took the oriental themes in the model into  account for colors- so this goblin pack should double as XP grinds for both oriental adventurers and western dungeon bashers alike.

The rest of the goblins will be dressed in all kinds of colored fabrics to help identify each in combat.  The skin, metals and green hair will tie them together a bit.

And since I was in FiendFactory mode here is more stuff...

Uh, Oh... Spongebob Squarepants is fucked!

The Angel of Hell, or as I like to call it- Evolved Squidworth.  This photo really doesn't do the glazing justice... The orange windsor and newton over white in the eyes really pops off the gaming table.

I have a lot of projects to get through, but it would be cute to redo this model with a modern eye from Rus' Original Fiend Folio art. (Anyone got a PDF?).  I realised halfway through that I could have asked him what colors he imagined this blighter... I am currently working with him on a private comission and have his email.  Doh!

I love FF stuff because it is kinda like a turd polish challenge... Plus I get to experience old school at its oldest.

Friday, April 17, 2015

All of them.

Goblins with thankful hafts

I just wanted to thank everyone for all the emails and facebook messages showing support for my decision to be openly trans, intersex, lesbian and completely unable to settle on a basing standard.  Plus all the lovely baby congrats!

There are just too many and some are quite long and heartfelt, and deserve more than a 'ta very much luv'.  I hope to get back to everyone eventually.

Your support is really important to me!

So last night was my first night with some hobby time in aeons.  Actual, literal aeons.*  Strange aeons, at that.

[*Oh stop it, your thinking in linear time and space, mere mortal. ]

My focus at the moment is cleaning up and storing so I can get dust and sand free to finish my commissioned mini sculpts.  One day I will have a separate clean desk and a dirty desk.  Mmm.  dirty desk.

To that end, I just rebased my Fiend Factory goblins from 30mm ply down to 1" round bases ready for some old school dungeon bashing fun.

Fuckity fuck, these little fuckers are fuckers.

The spear shafts snap easily, are thin (not DnD collectors series thin though- still grrr) and seemingly hard to fix.

To solve the problem, I sliced mine off an hand and haft (great pub name) and rebuilt the naganata by threading thin wire through metal pipe from a railway hobby store.  I could not find any flexible plasticard or nylon tubes- which are better because they will bend back rather than snap.  Broom bristles make awesome pikes that won't spear you through your hand.

I am tossing up whether to headswap and augment them to make a little variation, but not sure yet.  I am not overly fond of these minis.

Now that the whole team is on 25mm rounds rather than 30mm ply, they fit in a small tray and fit neatly into my overflowing FF box.  A few more sessions like this and I may be able to move.

Paint jobs soon!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Here comes trouble

To coincide with the end of The Old World... Here is my son Tobias!  Ain't he a cutie?

This kit is awesome.  Though it takes two people nine months to assemble and you are not really supposed to paint it beyond a tiger or spiderman face once in a while.  Costs slightly more than your average Warhammer army, but it does not require gluing and the sprue is a single cut to remove.  There are no rules or instructions supplied, but it will keep us both entertained for decades.

This little blighter is all thanks to the wonder and miracle of hard, medical science.  Thanks to the hundreds if not thousands of hard working people behind IVF, dopplers, safe Caesarian section, rhesus negative anti-d, heart rate monitors and, most of all, to those who donated the 2.5 litres of blood required to save my wife's life.

Donated blood recently?  (I mean, not offered to the hobby desk boggart through the rite of slipped scalpels?). It would be lovely if you did.

Awwww look at that puddums!

I am a mum :)

Monday, April 6, 2015

George R. R. Martin.

Fuck you, George R. R. Martin, I KNEW you would kill her off!  

Aww... Can't stay mad at you for long.

Spoilers in comments will die, you know, like my favourite character.

Bases? Again? (Updated)

My 30mm bevel bases are great, but I am having issues with them.  Let's talk about that, shall we?

Yes.  We shall.

So first problem is that some early minis look just swamped by their bases. True 25mm scale need so much decoration to fill the void, it is eating into painty sculpty time.  So that is a concern, but only on some figures.

Problem numero two is that I am running short on display and storage space.  Space is a hard thing these days.  Also the bases do not fit doorways easily so my city scenery is cramped and tricky to use.

Third problem is I am running low on 30mm multibases and money is getting tight.

So the obvious solution was to downsize to 25mm bases for figures that need it... stick to 30mm for the rest.  Basically use the bevel as the constant.  This also means some models can have hex bases (Talisman) and so long as the topping i similar it all looks unified.  I did some tests and liked the result.

80's Skeletons and zombies looked particularly swamped.  This test warband nails it for me- they can swarm together suitably Harryhausen style.

I played with Renedra bases for a little while, and they are still great for gaming.  However, I decided the bevel let me pick up the mini by the base- so better for display details like mushrooms and ferns. My collection is part gamer, part painter, part collector.  It make sense to have the base as handle.

  I also like the black edge as it is what I grew up with.  Renedra is great for gaming minis because of the low profile, and is the next best thing to washers (but the paint sticks nicely).  I will still ship my minis with Renedra by default.

Another thing that ha been bugging me with my standard system is that it does not quite conjure the mossy, burn scrub from John Blanches paintings.  Tufts also look out of place.

So to that end upgraded my dirt mix from beach sand to a special blend of flock (sawdust), wood chips and pet store shellsand, to give a more John Blanchey scrub feel to the base when tinted with scorched brown and olives.  The goal is to have that rotten, mossy feel where you are like 'what the hell is that? Feel.  I want to hide details in the base and have people go 'hey look..'

Welp, I will have to sleep on it.  Comments welcome.  :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Realms of Fido

I love dog minis, so even though I am not fond of the style of Marauder Miniatures, I  still got excited when I found this in my mate Pete's box of delights.  I pushed this one up the queue because I wanted to show Pete that his donated figures are in good (and grateful) hands.
 I started with natural ghoul greys highlighted in menoth white base but was attacked by the demon 'fukdisforralaff' and changed to crazy chaos mode.

I feel the trick with minis you do not like stylistically is to go all out batshit crazy on them. We all know just how prone to serious mental disorders guano can be.

Stay frosty people <3

[Lgbtiq bit:]. Speaking of bats... DC comics not only gave us a lipstick lesbian batwoman (and a redhead too) but recently announced Catwoman is officially bisexual.  The original, retired Catwoman  Selina Kyle is to be involved romantically with the current Catwoman). This is massively important, because erasure of bisexual identity is a real problem, even in LGBTIQA communities. Just youtube the Anna Paquin interview on bisexuality and you can see it in practice.   I had the pleasure of discussing this with a fired up bisexual friend recently and she got me all fired up about the problem too!  Some people like chocolate, some people like strawberry.  Some are happy with either (or both in one bowl). And that's that.  

I like mint choc with the chocolate picked out.  That isn't a metaphor by the way.

Well done DC!  I must get some DC minis to celebrate.  I hope Marvel makes Spider Gwen a polyamorous pansexual.

Look it up if you have to.

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.