Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Real Life Stuff

I'll keep it brief, as I know that no one visits this blog for "IRL stuff."

For reasons I can't get into publicly (on the off chance my employers track this down), I am looking to leave my current job due to "professional growth limitations."  It's disappointing because I've given so much to my employer over the 8.5+ years I've been there (including family/hobby time and friendships), so it's time for me to find another path to success and happiness.

I'm really looking to perhaps finish school (especially if I can do so via tuition reimbursement with my current employer) so that I have a piece of paper that might make me more attractive to prospective employers, because they can't possibly know ahead of time that I learn quickly and possess the kind of integrity that makes me a good employee.

I assume that finishing up school will be quite the distraction, so I might be clearing out some unfinished projects and unplayed board games to clear out some of the clutter in my home.

In any event, I make mention of it here because a change in career might drastically alter this blog, for better or worse.  With any luck, I might have a career that will enable me to spend more time doing what I enjoy instead of working 40+ hour weeks at a job that may fiscally enable me to buy things but doesn't allow me the time to enjoy them.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Deathwatch Solicitation

If anyone has any Chapters they'd like to see in the Deathwatch, feel free to get in touch with me if you have a shoulder pads or transfer you can send my way.

Especially if you have custom shoulder pads for The Emperor's Pointy Sticks. ;)



Now I might have to start painting up gangers, even though I'm sure I'll want the new plastic ones...

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Upcoming Stuff

-Tomorrow I'm due to get both Raxxon AND This War of Mine in!!!  Super stoked about the latter for sure...shipping took forever because I ordered damn near every extra bit or expansion I could!

-Relatedly, if someone is looking for a Raxxon invite code, I have one left to spare; drop me a line in the comments.

-I think my next project might be some simple re-basing of existing models (like Deathwatch and Blood Ravens) with some minor touch-ups; the new SM Codex mentions some "new" canon on how the Blood Ravens denote their company color (right kneepad) which means some shoulder pads need new trim and whatnot...

-I haven't had time to do a complete analysis of the new SM Codex, but I noticed that Librarians and Chaplains lack the option to take a Bike...which is a bit of a problem since I have a Bike Chaplain and had a Bike Librarian in the works, both for the Blood Ravens...

-And speaking of the Blood Ravens...Gabriel Angelos is finally up for pre-order!!!  But since I know my wife thinks I'm difficult to shop for, I'm leaving this one for her to order as a Christmas present. ;)

Completed: Angels of Redemption Tactical Squad

I can honestly say that this wasn't my best work, but I managed to get the project done by the deadline!  Well, I thought these were due on the 27th, but it turned out I had an extra few days...but it didn't really matter, since the day I thought they needed to be turned in was my last off day before the actual due date (and since I never know when I'll get to leave work or might be forced to come to work early, I had to submit them around my schedule, unfortunately).

Squad Bardiel, Angels of Redemption 3rd Company, 3rd Squad (Tactical)

The boltgun marines (beaky was the test model, and it shows unfortunately).

More interesting boltgun marines + plasma marines + Sergeant Bardiel

Bardiel has a plasma pistol, but the gun is so ornamented that it's difficult to tell.

Their attached Rhino.

I saw a Razorback painted up with swapped door colors on a quick Google search, so I tried that out too.

I definitely don't like the hand-painted look, but since I don't own an airbrush...

Because the ornamentation covered it up, this is what the front of the Rhino looks like underneath all of the fanfare, lol.

I'm considering placing these up for sale once the competition is over, as I have no real reason to have members of the Unforgiven around to question my Blood Ravens...

Here is the bit of lore that I submitted for the competition:

Brother-Sergeant Bardiel read his orders: Mordia was being abandoned by the decree of the campaign’s High Command, and his squad was to extract immediately.  A fighting retreat was being organized by High Command, but he and his men were to take no part in it, per his Captain’s orders; they were being redirected to a priority target in a different system.

The Brother-Sergeant surveyed the carnage before him; Mordia was already a barren world before the Chaos invaders came, and the siege had merely added scores of corpses to the otherwise desolate landscape.  The Chapter’s departure would likely only add to the Imperial body count.

Combat actions alongside other Imperial forces were becoming increasingly harder to come by, after their departure from Gatlinghive several years prior.  Each time the Angels of Redemption were turned away, it was a stain upon their honor.  It may have been the crusade’s decision to leave Mordia to its fate, but the Chapter’s rapid redeployment to another system without aiding the survivors would likely add to their dark reputation.  

Bardiel’s helmet concealed his scowl; the ranks of the Angels of Redemption were filled with honorable men, but that mattered not to their allies.  While the Brother-Sergeant fully trusted in his commanders, he was concerned about the Chapter’s reputation when the Angels of Redemption had not finished a campaign in centuries for reasons unknown to him.  He would have to speak to his Chaplain about his misgivings, and accept whatever penance he was assigned.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Progess: Angels of Redemption Tactical Squad

Spent another 4 hours or so down in the basement today hacking away at these guys.  Let's just say that I can't wait to be finished so that I can get back to working on my Deathwatch projects!

I found that painting the left shoulder pads I'm letting the glue on these guys to finish drying (sub-assemblies all put together now) so that I can hit the rest of this list:

-black paint on remaining 4 pads
-drybrush green on green armor
-drybrush brown on pouches
-touch up purity seals
-blue wash the plasma
-burnish the plasma gun barrels
-touch up any mistakes

So, that's Friday's list of chores, then I can start on the Rhino!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Progress and Other Stuff

I'd mentioned last time that I was roped into a painting competition, and had rolled up "Praetors of Orpheus" as my d100 randomly selected Chapter.  While out to lunch with the wife later on, I noticed a lack of availability of anything for the Chapter (i.e. transfers and custom shoulder pads), so I went back to GW to buy a transport (contest requirements were 10 Marines + a transport) and look into getting a re-roll.  The shop was out of Rhino and Razorback kits, but this was still in stock... I bought it ($55 for everything I needed?  Score!).  And that was before my re-roll gave me a Dark Angels successor Chapter!

I've never put together a vehicle before, so after building "babby's first Rhino" I went ahead and slapped together my Corvus Blackstar that's been sitting in a box since Christmas.  Both kits weren't nearly as bad to assemble as I thought they'd be; I'm not sure why people rubber-band their vehicle kits together during assembly, as I had no such issue keeping everything together.

Really, the only irritation I had (aside from clipping/scraping/filing down bits of sprue that didn't come off cleanly...but that's every model) was the track link assembly; those little track links are a bitch.

Also went ahead and put together some Primaris characters, because I couldn't use spray on my project models due to the humidity.

Got these from my brother (a Dark Angels player...yeah, I know...) to jazz up the Rhino.  So I thought I might modify them slightly to better match their Chapter logo (winged skull)...

...and left is the end result; right for comparison shot.

In hindsight, I shouldn't have glued them on before spraying everything.  Oh well.  At least the hatches aren't glued on yet!

After Zandri Dust spray, masking off to add the Caliban Green half off.  Zandri Dust makes the metal bawkses look like cardboard bawkses instead.

Not 100% clean, but workable.  Better than painting the entire thing by hand!

Test model on right (Caliban Green/Ushabti Bone).  These were the first couple of models that I tried to spray outside on the first day of low humidity we've had here in a while; unfortunately, I failed to factor in that while the humidity was low, it was 91 degrees Farenheit outside, so it jacked up my first couple of models.  I hate spraying inside the house, but since I'm on a time crunch with these...desperate times call for desperate measures...

Here's where I left off on Monday night.  I'm planning on spending a good chunk of this weekend trying to get the majority of the models done.  I'm sure I'm not going to win the competition (since I hand paint everything, i.e. no cool airbrush effects) but I'm determined to make myself see this through until the end without compromising my standards.

I do still need to figure out how I want to base these models.  And I have to write up some lore for these guys.  So basically, lots to do and less time to do it in!

Now, on a more personal sucks.  Like really sucks.  Over the past 6 months, I've gone from mandatory overtime once a month, to once a week, to twice a week...and it's not a problem that can be easily fixed.  Training new people to save lives and manage resources takes months, not to mention the months it takes to simply hire them in!  We don't require trainees to work overtime, so that they can be well-rested and focused on learning the job, which means that those of us who can work overtime are working a shit-ton of it.  So for me, every workday is a matter of leaving home and not knowing when I get to go home...and that drastically impacts my life in so many ways.  Socializing has gone out the window; if it's not the usual fatigue and long days, it's a sad mixture of my scheduling not lining up with others' + no one wanting to attempt to work around my schedule to spend time with me.

However, I'm not writing this to invite people to a pity party.  Rather, I want to underscore that while things are bleak for me personally, all hope is not lost.  The fact that I'm getting anything done at all hobby-wise is a remarkable improvement, instead of wasting my time on the Internet or playing one of many games that basically involves bashing zombies' heads in (zombifying me in the process).  Usually when I paint/build, I listen to Pandora and just zone out.  However, when I'm feeling particularly depressed, I'll load up my digital copy of Rogue One and watch it while I'm working.

I can't stress enough how much this film means to me.  At a time in my life where I'm really hurting, Gareth Edwards and Disney put out this film that was, essentially, the Star Wars movie I've always wanted: something true to the setting, more "adult" in theme, and minimal on the shit they insert for the toy sales children.  It's a story of how lots of people are suffering due to circumstances beyond their control...until they dare to hope, actively working to make their lives better.

Does the movie make me sad at times?  Sure.  Galen's message to Jyn gets me every time.  Chirrut's death and Baze's subsequent suicidal rampage, even more heart hurts for them beyond the obvious reason of "they're dead."  But the movie also makes me tear up because of what it is: a labor a love by people as into Star Wars as I am...a film that captures the fantasy of the Star Wars universe but grounds it with the realism of our own universe.  Initially, the idea of putting a franchise type of film as my #1 film, even back a few months ago, was silly; it was The Shawshank Redemption for the longest time (for its fairly universal theme of hope), then it was Interstellar (even though Inception was more entertaining), a movie less about sci-fi and more about love as a driving force, so it had to be something like that, right?  But what's the theme of Rogue One, really?  Hope.

Here's a snippet from my social media from two weeks ago:

So, to cheer myself up, I'm watching Rogue One for the eleventh time now. Sure, it might make me a little sad, but overall the feeling I get from it is one of hope; not just because that's the overall theme of the film, but because this film is truly representative of patience being rewarded with great things.

For the record, I've watched the film 13 times now (4 of those in with your wallets!), and will likely watch it again at least once this weekend.  I can't say enough good things about this movie.