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Monday, March 30, 2009

Camera Question


As anyone who has perused, or followed my blog knows: My pictures of my minis suck.

I mean they look like they were taken by someone who lost their glasses and has a bit of a palsy. They're either blurry, distorted, grainy, or a combination therein.

So what I need to know is, what's the most important thing I need to look for in a camera for miniatures?

Is it megapixels? Optical zoom? Digital zoom? Something else entirely?

I want something that I can rely on to take good quality pictures, but not something that is going to break the bank.

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Force Not Even the Orks Can Withstand

The attack was sudden. The devastation untold. The mighty Ork army fell yesterday, to the seemingly all powerful force known as...My Daughter's Cat.

Der wuz bits of boyz all over da place. It wuz bad, even to us Orks.

Thankfully, Da Painboyz wuz able to fix the lads up.

Still, it was a scary moment.

And now, if you don't mind, I'm investing in a doorknob with a lock for my computer room.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The First of Several Updates on Boss Zagstruk

The pictures of the pieces did not come out well, but I have been working on Boss Zagstruk.

Also, to recap, I'm cheap and almost always broke so I use generic model and craft paints, not Citadel paints.

After removing the pieces, cleaning them up, and then painting them with primer, I did a light coat of black wash to get coverage on the small areas that the primer didn't get to. For the wash I mixed black with a little water to thin it out so it would run into the recesses better. I didn't really measure it so much as just mix until I had a consistency I was happy with.

Then I started on the arms and face to get the green skin out of the way. I based with a 2 parts noel green, 1 part black mixture. this gave a very dark green color that worked for not only a base coat, but for a good color for the depths between muscles. Then I added a coat of noel green leaving some of the recesses untouched to give the look of depth to muscles. Finally I topped with a dry brush of bright green to really enhance the tendons, veins, and high spots on the muscles. I'm hoping it works well (sometimes I'm too close to really say whether it worked or not, no matter how far from my vision my lack of talent leaves me). So I'm really bummed the pictures wouldn't work.

I'll update as I continue to work on him.

New Site Design

***UPDATE 2*** Comments are fixed. I had selected to have an embedded comments form in the page, but it was missing a line of code. That line, thanks to the help of Our Blogger Templates, who created the template we use, has been reinserted.

***UPDATE*** Apparently the new layout has broken the comments. I am diligently avoiding my real job to work on this issue.


Never one to be happy with the layout of my web pages, I've settled on this design for 40K Neophyte...for now.

I wanted something that had 3 columns, and then I added some features I wanted, but didn't want them buried "below the fold" with a 2 column look. We now have the status of my Ork army, the slideshow of my Boyz, and an actual navigation menu along with my blog roll, and a link to the FTW Bloggers Group. I still have stuff below the fold, but before it was ridiulous how much had to be scrolled to.

It has taken all of my rudimentary html skills to get this template to where I'm okay with it, but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to them.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Community

Being new to Warhammer 40,000 I have been impressed with the community of gamers. The people who play this game are passionate about it, but also encouraging and accepting of new people. Unlike other gaming communities (particularly video games) new people are not discouraged to learn the game. We are not discouraged to play the game. We are actually *gasp* encouraged to learn, to play, and to have fun. Oh sure, I'm not naive enough to think there aren't people who don't have the patience for new people, but I have yet to get a "Quit while you're ahead noob," comment too. The toxicity level is low for the community...that I've seen so far.

That's why I'm pretty excited as someone new to the game (I'm still building my army, and have yet to actually play the game...) to be a part of this FTW Bloggers Group. I kinda feel like I'm part of something. And that is cool.

It's almost enough to warm my cold, dead husk of a heart.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Update...of sorts

So no major updates this week, just a couple of quick points.

  • I've started painting Zagstruk, but he will take some time. I want him to be the best thing in my army. I am chronicling my build to show how I work on Orks, and why it takes me freaking forever to paint them.
  • I'm also knee deep in my job hunt.
  • Battlestar Galactica ends this week. I'm thinking the only way to fill the gaping hole in my life with BSG ending is more 40K. So say we all.
  • Oh yeah, and my family tells me the weather outside is spring-like. The bright orb of fiery death in the sky frightens me, so I haven't experienced this so-called beautiful weather.
  • To make the time go by better as I start to inventory items for our plant closing, I've been playing a lot of the Dawn of War soundtrack. I wish I had the Dawn of War II soundtrack.
  • I've also been muttering "Dakka Dakka Dakka Dakka" a lot lately. I do not consider that a bad thing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Big Shoota is done

I finally finished my Big Shoota.

He was a complete blast to paint. The extra details like the pile of empty shells at his feet, and the discharging shells from the gun made it fun to paint and put together.
I didn't get any good pictures of it, but one of my favorite things about him was the backpack. Something about a bag that's sewn together with bullets sticking out just seemed appropriately Orky.
The holes on the gun are decidedly dark, because I painted the barrel silver, and then highlighted black around the holes to look like smoky debris had built up due to excessive heat from the dakka.

So now I'm on to Boss Zagstruk.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Portent of Doom

So last week I wrote this little blog post about the economy and gaming. And then 2 days later, the company I work for announced they were closing the plant in Jackson where I work in June.

So what does this mean for me? Well exactly what I said before. I am now officially not buying any new 40K stuff for the time being. I am forgoing Dawn of War II. I am not giving up on 40k. More than ever I need an outlet. But I am much less ambitious about the size of my army, and the units I want to get.

So long Stompa, my dream to own you has been put to bed for a while.

What does this mean for you? Not much. I'm still a babe in the woods learning the ins and outs of this game. I'm still gonna blog about it.

But now, the blog will have an improved formula with 20% more nihilistic bitching with each post.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Economy, Hobbying, and Other Musings

So I'm not sure how many people saw this announcement last week, but Turn Signals On a Land Raider is ending soon. It appears the creator is losing his job, and the cost of producing his comic far outweighs any return he could use to support his family. He contacted Games Workshop about being able to publish his comic strip in book form, but regrettably GW had to say no as a means to protect their intellectual property.

This sucks.

Not that I'm mad at Games Workshop, because I'm not. They have to keep a watchful eye on how their property is used. But having just discovered TSOALR a couple weeks ago, I'm bummed that they are going away before I got to really know them. I'm reading the archives, and I hope to be caught up before he's done, but I can't imagine if I had been reading this strip since 2003 how this would feel.

But it got me thinking. We live in some scary times. The United States is facing the scariest recession since probably the great depression. I talk to Baby Boomers and they don't remember it ever being like this. Money is tight, people's sphincters are even tighter with fear. How do hobbies like 40K fit in? If I was a veteran player it would fit in nicely. I would have enough units that if something were to happen I'd still be able to play and enjoy the game with the army I have. I may not be able to pick up anything else, but I'd survive.

As a newcomer to the hobby it's different. I have the beginnings of an army, but I still have investments to make to get to a spot where I have a playable army that I could use in various scenarios and army points values. Ideally I'll eventually get to the point I'll have an army capable of an Apocalypse battle. But I'm nowhere near there yet. So I have to find ways to save money. That's why I don't use the Citadel paints or brushes. I use stuff from the local crafts stores. I may not have the selection available, and I may have to find substitute colors (my orks are based in Noel Green as opposed to the Citadel Orkhide...or whatever it is), but I'm saving money. Which I can then turn around and use for more figures.

But I understand TSOALR's sentiment. I almost feel bad when my family is hungry because I spent our food money on some Nobs. When my daughter cries because all she has to eat is mush it breaks my heart, until I crack open those new Stormboyz. When I see the sunken cheeks and listlessness of my family the only thing I can do is crack open some McDonald's and paint some figures. These times even test me.