Wednesday 30 October 2013

A to Z Blogger Book Survey

Here's another blogger survey doing the rounds at present - the "A to Z Blogger Book Survey".

Steve from Steve's Random Musings, Vladdd309 from Too Much Free Time, Legatus from Legatus' Wargames Armies and Laughing Ferret from Laughing Ferret Lab have all had a go. I don't always get on board with these but my inner librarian can't let this one pass (yes, I have a real qualified librarian locked away who has never been allowed out to play).

So here we go...

Author you've read the most books from:
Hard to say for sure. It would be one of three - Raymond E. Feist (Riftwar series), Bernard Cornwell (Sharpe's Rifles series) or Peter F. Hamilton (pretty much everything he ever wrote). All three I go back to on occasion and I am just finishing the entire Riftwar series for the third time.

Best sequel ever:
The Demon Lord by Peter Moorwood. One of my favourite all time fantasy novels. It even says it's that good on the cover! If you have never read the Clan Wars series I thoroughly recommend them all. In fact I think I might just read them again...

Currently reading:
A Bastard of a Place by Peter Brune. Only just started but it looks very good and has great reviews. I haven't read much on Aussies in the Pacific so when I was given this I was quite chuffed.

Drink of choice whilst reading:
Tea, always tea. Beer is for football and parties.

E-reader or physical book:
Both. I am slowly divesting myself of my paperback novel collection and turning to eBooks for those. My history and wargaming collection will remain in paper for a variety of reasons. eBooks are great for text only and never running short of reading on the train BUT they aren't much chop for maps and images, nor do they smell right.

Fictional character you would probably have dated in high school:
Goldberry. I wouldn't have had a snowball's chance to be honest. Tom Bombadill would have kicked my ass for starters. Still...

Glad you gave this book a chance:
Kitchener's Last Volunteer. A truly amazing story. I don't often lose my well hard manly exterior but I teared up a couple of times reading this.

Hidden book gem:
The Seashell on the Mountaintop by Alan Cutler. I loved it and apparently so did Simon Winchester.

Important moment in your book life:
The day I came across Don Featherstone's War Game Campaigns. I found it by chance in our local public library when I was about 12 years old. I'd never read anything on wargaming at all beforehand, not even a magazine article. 31 years later and I've got a massive pool of amazing mates (in the flesh and online), a wonderful miniatures collection and a hobby I'll be doing to the day I fail my last saving throw.

Just finished:
Tobruk 1941: The Desert Siege by Timothy Hall. I have far too many books on Tobruk and have no plans to stop collecting them...

Kind of book you won't read:
Self-help, how-to-be-a-better-xxx, trash fiction or pretty much anything a LOT of people tell me I SIMPLY MUST READ. To this day I've not read any Harry Potter, Dan Brown or sparkly vampire crud and I seriously doubt I ever will.

Longest book you've read:
War and Peace. Glad I made the effort but not something I'll be going back to.

Major book hangover because of disappointing endings:
Amtrak Wars series. I have no idea what Patrick Tilley was thinking but there was a distinct "um... and then I woke up" feel about it. His editor should have kicked his ass.

Number of bookcases you own:
Ten(ish). A couple are only half full. I've been cutting down my paperback collection of late so it could easily be more. Doubtless it will be again once I get past the large pile I'm currently working through.

One book you've read multiple times:
The Demon Lord by Peter Moorwood. See above.

Preferred place to read:
In bed, or in a beanbag in the sun by my back windows on a Saturday morning. Bliss.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read:
None in particular. I tend to take a general feeling from books more than individual quotes. For instance, every reading of Don Featherstone reinforces my desire to enjoy my gaming and ensure by fellow gamers do too.

Reading regret:
Game of Thrones. Great books, great story. HOWEVER, George R.R. Martin is one of history's great procrastinators. I've now reached the point where I refuse to buy his books any more. The gaps between were for so long far past reasonable and his excuses for not writing whilst happily doing all sorts of other stuff just annoyed me*. I'm simply going to watch the TV shows now and buy author's other books instead.

* Don't get me wrong, I'm not some crazed reader who demands author's finish works because I bought a book and there is now some massive obligation owed. But still...

Series you started and need to finish:
None I can think of, given my comments about Game of Thrones above. I'm a serial finisher thankfully.

Three of your all-time favorite books:

Demon Lord (see above)
Comfort food in book form!
Cracking stuff!
Unapologetic fanboy for:
Basic D&D. I love it. So sue me...

Very excited for this release:
Anything at all by Peter F. Hamilton or William Gibson.

Worst bookish habit:
Reading at least three books at once. Usually that's fiction for the train, non-fiction for bed/weekends and gaming stuff whenever I can fit it in.

X marks the spot - Start at the top left of your bookshelf and pick the 27th book:
Crikey! Which bookshelf? I went with the closest to where I am right now.

Your latest book purchase:
About to start this...

Zzz snatcher book (the last book that kept you up waaay too late:)
The Death of Achilles. Akunin writes top-notch historical fiction. If you've not read any of the Fandorin books get into em ASAP.

And that's me done...


Tuesday 29 October 2013

Loki's Great Hall Giveaway - Great Scot!

One of the driving forces behind Bloggers For Charity (and all-round good bloke), Loki, over at Loki's Great Hall, is celebrating 200 rowers on his longship with a giveaway of this superbly painted and based limited edition Scots Warlord for SAGA.

As regular visitors would know, I have something of a penchant for SAGA Scots, and have already passed more than favourable comment on Loki's miniature; I will certainly be throwing my hat into the ring!

If you haven't been to Loki's before, get over there now and check out his many posts of interest; you won't be disappointed! And check out Bloggers For Charity as well; both Millsy and I have signed up for this worthy cause, and any support you can give is welcomed!

Stay tuned!


Saturday 26 October 2013

Necromunda Cawdor Gang Complete!

I finished the painting on these Necromunda chappies some 10 plus days ago. In an effort to maintain interest I tried something I don't often do - a more stark and high contrast painting style / colour scheme. I figured it suited the genre and I was up for something new.

So after over a week of doing nothing at all in terms of modelling I have *finally* managed to squeeze in a couple of small sessions at the modelling workstation. I wanted to put an extra effort into the basing so they look like they are fighting over the blasted wasteland that is the Underhive. Consequently we have broken pipes, masonry and all manner of robotic and other mechanical detritus lying amongst the ash, dirt and grass.

So here they are, Macbeth's Maulers in all their glory.

Leader, Heavies and Specialists including Long Rifle conversion.
Poor photo composition with a sword thrust up the hooter for poor old heavy stubber guy!

Leader, Heavies and Specialists rear view

Regular Gangers with a variety of weapons

Gangers rear view

Juves, including a leader with a broken sword arm who has been demoted to the lowest ranks...

Juves rear view

The gangs all here...

One final shot

And before I forget my manners, welcome to czaki, James Fisher and Carl...


Monday 21 October 2013

(Lack of) workbench updates

Sorry of the lack of updates fellow bloggers. Nothing but fire fighting, eating and sleeping at Chez Millsy at present. Even if I wanted to paint the air is so dry and hot the paint would dry on the brush. Can't varnish completed stuff either due to all the ash and crud in the air outside. I can just about see my back fence now which is a dramatic improvement over earlier this morning but unlikely to last.

Before chaos kicked off last Thursday I had at least got all the various materials applied to bases of the Necromunda Cawdor chappies but there work stopped. Evman, cover my six and post something more interesting please!


Monday 14 October 2013

Workbench update, bits and bobs

First up before I forget, Jonathan from Paulouse Wargaming Journal is having a giveaway to celebrate his blogging anniversary. Well done sir! Head on over for plenty of interesting stuff and your chance to snaffle a prize.

Next up, as you can see the Necromunda Cawdor are rapidly approaching completion. The first ten are entirely done and the remaining six on blocks are only a night away too.

I've already given some thought to basing and have dug up a bunch of junk including pipes, chains, 40K bits and more. I'm still trying to decide on the main base colour, torn between a brown like my other 40K or a ashy grey...

BTW, if anyone has a spare one of either of these chaps I'm happy to buy / trade / semi-enslave myself.


Today was rather exciting as waiting on my desk on return to work was a pile of packages for my Old(ish)hammer Christmas project. I'm not going to share any more on that just yet but it promises to be far more fluffy than most things I do. Ev already knows what I'm up to so you can consider yourself sworn to secrecy for now matey.

And lastly, welcome aboard to Tomsche and Sidney Roundwood.


Sunday 13 October 2013

SAGA Clash of Warlords - Scots vs. Anglo-Danes

On Friday both Ev and I were lucky enough to be on leave so Ev trooped up to Chez Millsy with his Scots in tow and had his first ever game(s) of SAGA. I'm conscious that we don't do nearly enough AARs on the blog due largely to most gaming being done at night and the light being poor. That being the case we took full advantage of the daytime and took a pile of photos!

Ev bought the starter set for Scots giving him a Warlord, 2 x Hearthguard and 2 x Warriors for his four points. I fielded my Anglo-Danes including a Warlord with Dane-axe, 1 x Heathguard with Dane-axes, 1 x Hearthguard and 2 x Warriors for my four points. As it was Ev's first bash we stuck with a simple Clash of Warlords scenario, fighting over my scratch built terrain.

The battle had a bit of a slow start and then really kicked in hard for a couple of turns. Both sides held the upper hand at various times with the God's fickle favour in evidence. Over time Ev's Scots wore my Anglo-Danes down and eventually triumphed.

We discovered during our second game that we over-powered Ev's special abilities on the battle board in part through lack of attention (entirely my fault!) and in part through an inconsistency regards cover on the QRS in the back of the book. More on that later in the week when I post the second set of pics.

Here are the pics and a few comments...

The two forces converge

Anglo-Danes advancing 

Scots hiding in the woods

Coming to blows. Note my funky custom movement stick!

Village life temporarily on hold

Come on, get stuck in!

Now you're talking. Forces collide

And both sides get hurt

Canny wee Scots on the flank

More mayhem

Things going badly for the Anglo-Danes at the last

Stay tuned for another SAGA AAR later in the week, plus an update on the Necromunda Cawdor on the workbench.


Wednesday 9 October 2013

Workbench update

I blame Cory. Martial law was in force and the workbench was getting cleared at a pretty darn decent rate. All going according to plan.

Then Cory mentioned Necromunda, and like any plan this one didn't survive contact with the enemy.
I looked at my existing painted gangs (Delaque and Pit Slaves) and decided I wasn't that interested in them right now. Then I looked at my half painted Ratskin Renegades and decided I wasn't that interested in them right now either. Then I remembered I had Cawdor stashed away and this happened...

Completed test ganger in front and first batch behind

The other ten...

Long rifle conversion. We allow extra weapons from supplements like Ash Wastes in our normal games

I expect I'll have all fifteen gangers painted over the next 48 hours so at least I can get back to clearing the workbench soonish. And in my defence you can see some paint on the ECW already. [ahem...]

In other news Ev is coming up this Friday for his first game of SAGA. Really looking forward to seeing his superb Scots warband and getting some great gaming under my belt.

And before I go, welcome to Gary Amos and Captain LOL who have joined us recently. Welcome aboard chaps!


Saturday 5 October 2013

40K Techmarine and Servitors

My declaration of martial law on the painting desk seems to be working well. I've just finished another seven miniatures for my custom 40K Space Marine chapter. Given I have an Adeptus Mechanicus theme I simply have to include Techmarines and Servitors. Here's the first batch...

The half-and-half red/green colour scheme follows on from my chapter being half Dark Angels and half Blood Angels.

After a great deal of eBay foo I've finally managed to nab myself one of the larger Techmarine chappies with the full servo-harness. He'll be my HQ and accompanied by a further retinue of servitors. I'm also chasing down other Adeptus Mechanicus figures which won't do anything game-wise but will add to the fluff, plus I love the whole bio-mech cyborg theme of this part of the 40K universe and really enjoy collecting and painting these miniatures.

The remaining two miniatures are my customised Scout sergeant and another close combat scout. Now these are finished I can field a full ten close combat scouts plus a further five with sniper rifles. In total I'm now over 1,200 points painted. Slow progress but getting there.

Next up on the painting table... 28mm ECW command stands.


Bloggers for Charity

I can't help myself. I see a project like this and I have to get involved. This isn't a bad thing, in fact it is quite the opposite, good people doing good things for those less fortunate than themselves.

Last year I was tempted but the fact I'm on the other side of the world put me off. This time I've decided I shouldn't let that matter and Andrew was kind enough to accept my offer to paint for the team. I'm going to be painting a couple of units of Compagnie Franches de la Marine which look like great fun.

If you haven't seen or heard of the project head on over to Bloggers for Charity and check it out. You can donate money, follow the project or otherwise get involved however you like.

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