Monday, October 22, 2007

Seriously, I am alive!

Hmm, it’s beginning to look as though a multiple month gap is becoming the normal amount of spacing between a flurry of postings. I promised myself I wouldn’t become that kind of blogger but it appears I failed. I’ve had good excuses though, honestly. The new school semester started, and though I’m taking fewer classes than previously, I’m also now working a steady number of hours per week. The classes that I am taking are also tending to require a greater amount of out of class time than before as well. In particular, I am following the Ph.D. requirements for my information policy class, which thus tasks me with creating comprehensive reading notes on assignments that are typically better than 100 pages a week. Compared to law school that seems like cake, but I guess I’m just no longer in that sort of academic shape.

Speaking of being in shape, another recent timesoak for me has been running. A friend convinced me to join a relay team for the Detroit marathon, and though I was running the shortest leg, my out of shape ass required a fair amount of whipping just to be able to accomplish that. The marathon was this past Sunday though and I am happy to say that our team did rather well – 63 out of better than 170 teams in our category. Go Hi-Five Trotters! It was a great, if painful, experience and I fully intend on making running a regular part of my routine. Next year, the solo half marathon.

Tack on my Saturday obligation to Michigan State football, an occasional foray into the digital realms of WOW and Guild Wars, and frequent visits to the Arena, the favored watering hole of a few of us, and it’s obvious to see where my time has gone.

But enough excuses about why I haven’t posted and back to what this blog was supposed to be about. Unfortunately the Totanem figure shown in my last post came no closer to completion than the application of a first base coat. Coated in nothing but a single layer of dark gray paint is how he has sat on my dresser since early August. However recent events have gotten me fired up to paint again. GenCon was a hugely successful event, even despite having nothing to enter into the painting contest. I picked up a ton more Heavy Gear stuff to flesh out my Peace River force. Impact miniatures had a deal I couldn’t refuse and I walked out with a full Valkyrie fantasy football team. While I immediately suffered buyer’s remorse, I realized it wasn’t a wasted purchase as I didn’t have a Blood Bowl team of any kind beyond the plastic humans and orcs that come with the game. I also picked up a variety of one offs just to paint – a Reaper fig, some cool trenchcoat clad gal from Rezolution, a handful of figures from Wyrd, and the beginnings of a fleet from Ninja Magic. This last purchase has me especially excited as my buddy from down under demoed Full Thrust and I found myself a particular fan of the rules. They’ll definitely be finding a home on my shelf next to Silent Death. I also got to try out the great Ironclad-era naval rules produced by Majestic 12 in a demo run by an old friend who authored the rules. Though I am unsure if that’s a genre I want to get into, the rules gave me tons of great ideas.

Speaking of ideas, I have three playing around in my head that I have great incentive to actually develop. The first is a set of 15mm mass combat rules that has existed as a seed in my head for a few years now. Talking to my GenCon buddies gave me a lot of inspiring concepts as well as a serious kick in the pants to get something produced. In fact, I believe I am reaching the deadline by which severe bodily harm was threatened if I hadn’t sent off early drafts for them to review. The other two products are a bit hush hush right now – yes, I am a dork like that – because both are things that I am hoping to turn into production quality projects. One, which I am working on with my good friend LordFishbane, I am particularly excited about.

But what about painting I hear you say. Have I resorted to nothing but buying miniatures and tinkering around with rules systems? Hell no! My Heavy Gear figures are grumbling to be assembled, my Spinespur thugs are begging for paint before their manufacturer folds, and, in a shocking turn of events, the release of Games Workshop’s Apocalypse rulebook has me so excited for 40K again that I’ve actually purchased a few new space marines and have dug through the refuse of my collection to see what I can scrounge together. Yes ladies and gentleman, after a 6 year hiatus, I am returning to my first miniatures game – though, to be exact, the game has gone through so many revisions since that point that it’s barely recognizable as the same game. It is on 40K that most of my initial painting efforts are going to be focused. Though I was originally planning on doing space marines from the Dark Angels chapter – my first army and still my favorite marines despite GW’s insistence that they now all parade around in silly robes over their powered armor – I have chosen to create my own chapter based upon an awesome paint scheme provided by a dear friend of mine. Thus the Wolfhounds are born and, as I have no desire to labor for hours on end on each individual marine, they will be the brave test subjects for my first forays into the “dipping” method of painting. I’ve seen a lot of really great results from this method and I think the intended color scheme will work well. Of course my character models, of which I plan to have many, will receive this treatment only on their armor (to maintain uniformity of appearance), and even that will subsequently receive substantial brush touchup.

So that’s it fair readers. Within days I hope to have pictures of my Wolfhound test model posted, followed up by progress shots of my army assembly. As I want to get these guys done quickly, I plan on working in large batches, probably assembling the entirety of the force in one go, and then painting to completion a full squad at a time. When all of that is finally finished, my attention will undoubtedly shift to Heavy Gear as I need to get my Peace River force completed before I can justify buying a Southern army for them to face off against. So, wish me luck and feel free to prod me along if you feel that I’m being less than productive.

Over and out.