Monday, 30 April 2012

Bran Redmaw – First thoughts

So Bran. Lovely set of rules, which are covered extensively elsewhere on the web, but to summarise, Decent wolf lord, good in CC, frost weapon axe type thing rerolling wounds..And he turns into what is basically a Demon Prince when he’s pissed off. okay, that’s good, I'll buy that…

..oh but wait.. he can outflank if you put him with wolves. and if you go that way, then once he “turns” he can benefit from the unit’s fleet.. oh and he allows you to give outflank to a GH pack too.

So I need this guy. and typically with awesome FW rules, there’s no model yet.

Conversion/Kitbash time!

I blu-takked some initial thoughts together –
I’m going to do much greenstuffing of pelts, and while I like the calm, assured nature of this model/pose, I fear I might need to try and go balls-out feral with this guy.. dunno, he IS all about patience, control until the right time.. hrm

‘course one can always go in a different direction and “use the pointyfinger” for a classic GW captain style pose..


again, much GS to follow.. just looking for his form I guess..

..and then there’s the “use both Hands” option..
(Bigger axehead goes here)

I did think about using a nice dynamic sculpt like Khan as the basis of this, but ya know, he’s mail order only.. and metal.. How hard do I want this to be? especially when the minute I finish him the FW release will happen :)

Anyway I thought I’d let you guys see every stage and fettle of this to see what I play with before I get to a place I am happy and reach for the glue.

I’m also more than happy to entertain comment/notions from you. although I reserve the right to carry on regardless :)

Friday, 27 April 2012

On the Bench

Well, desk really..

Thought I’d post what’s going on, as nowt is actually finished, that and talk about some plans.

In my office I have a desk with two “wings”, and usually one side is where I build, the other where I paint, but sometimes I let one thing take over, at the moment I’m trying to get my eye back in with the painting, it’s amazing how quickly you get rusty.


over here on the left in what is usually the build area (and also where I do any real doodling or illustration type stuff) you can see two MM/HF speeders in full flow of being painted. I’m treating these like any other vehicle and going to give them the full weathering treatment. kindof unhappy with current state of paint as they came out a bit less contrasty than I wanted in the grey department. a problem i also had with..


The wolf scouts that are on the other side of the bench. I may well give these fellows some weathering too, I want them quite gnarly.

so that’s what I’ve got “in paint”. both giving me some issues, finding it hard to get back in. I think I need to build something.

That said I’ve some ideas for a Bran Redmaw build, having read the rules he’s just utterly perfect for the way I play the wolves, and is likely to mean I( can no longer play them in polite company as he might well just give me an “I win” button. not because he’s overpowered, but because he synergises so well with my view of the wolves as fast, outflanking and uncompromising.

So, watch this space – I may even ask question as I try to build a Bran :)

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Tres Anos!

Yeah, three years of blogging. well, intermittently.

The first post was made to this blog Friday April 24th 2009.

Lets do some stats.

At time of writing (Saturday 21st April 2:30PM) Yeah I know, queued posts, but no way I'll get time on Tuesday :)

351 Followers have made  94,264 all time pageviews of 239 posts!

Wow. Now, I know that compared to sites like FTW and BoLS that’s nothing, but for lil’ ol’ me just rambling along that’s fantastic, and I thank you all for your attention, time and feedback.


Clearly you can see that both my readership, and my activity goes in fits and starts, and that this year has been a bit slow, but steady. I haven't had much time for the blog to be honest and am aware I’ve just been keeping it ticking along, which makes the readers I do still have all the more valuable, so Thanks for that. I would still be writing if only twenty people r4ead this, but over a hundred daily hits is amazing. it does however make me feel kinda guilty when I go a couple of weeks without a post :)

Anyway. What can I learn about what you want to read?

All-Time Top five posts?

Numero Uno is still that AoBR Grey Knight tutorial. wow. I don't even play them since the new cheese umm codex came out.

Second most popular is the Daemonhost tutorial.

Third we get The Cadian Snipers

Fourth is Logan

and fifth is that Grey Knight again.

I was expecting to see that it was mostly Tutorials, or maybe mostly content I know has been widely linked out in other sites, but it’s a mix of those factors, three of those posts aren’t “how to” articles at all. so what can I say?

It looks like conversions get as much attention as tutorials, and what seems to get people here is more my modelling than my painting. (I guess I can understand that :) ) If you’d like to add any thoughts on why you come here, what you;d like to see now I’m back in the drivers seat post mass effect, then drop ‘em under the article.

But whatever you come here for, Thanks for doing it, thanks for saying something in the comments box when you feel you’ve something to say, and for just reading and moving on if you feel you haven’t.

I didn’t think about how long I would be doing this when I started, but I’m glad it’s still something I keep up with most of the time, and hey, I play so little and get out into the gaming world so little, without the site no-one would ever see these dudesmen :)

So thanks, and here's to three more years!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Mass Effect 3


250px-ME3coverIf you will excuse the diversion, I thought I'd add my comments to the discussion about this game and particularly the furore about it’s ending. there may be light spoilers, but I will try to speak more generally than that,

Obviously, there haven't been any posts for a while. this is because of Mass effect 3. those of you who read these  blog will know I teach game design, particularly as it pertains to game art 2D and 3D, and as a fan of the previous Mass Effect Games, I had to play this, the last instalment.

In my opinion it’s an absolute masterpiece of a game, and of a game series.

But yes, there has been a virtual internet riot over the ending, and I’d like to offer a few thoughts on that. My experience of playing this game is that the whole game is denouement, exceptionally plotted denouement. decisions are made, consequences deeply felt, and the narrative rolls on.

One of the main criticisms I hear is that your decisions were of little consequence.. well that’s a fault of the game’s success I am afraid. Each title in the mass effect series is a linear narrative. sure you make choices but the choices are always about HOEW something goes down, not what actually happens, but the ME series does this so9 well.. especially for a one-play through gamer that the illusion of massive, universe altering change is perfect. it’s not unless you are like me and play the games several times, making different choices that you see that all the choices are only for a given value of Shepard.

that is to say you are allowed to rail around and act within the parameters of a linear story and within the boundaries of a characters extreme possible reactions. many people playing this haven't realised that. and so for there to be an end. a single end to the narrative, without much variation, then that’s understandably disappointing.


There’s another thing at play here too, and that’s a wide user base not being used to some of the curve balls truly epic sci-fi can throw you. I consume a lot of this stuff, so I expect the odd “star Child” ending. for many this will be their first encounter with such, but me, hey I was there when the hand of god descended in that Stephen king book, I’ve watched angels appear in Galactica and winced when the advanced AI’s showed up in.. well in AI.

My point?  That if Games are to grow up as a genre, we need to accept more that esoteric narrative has a place here. further, and the really really instrumentally odd thing – we have to accept the author’s narrative.


The feeling of audience entitlement, to demand that a product be changed because they don't like what happened, is phenomenal. we’re talking “Misery” level of fan obsession here, but on a unified scale not often seen.

Sure there are examples of society railing against such things, Arthur Conan-Doyle's famous resurrection of Holmes by popular demand chief among them, but should this be creation by consensus, or should authors be allowed to stretch the boundaries of creative game making without fear that the mob will turn on the, pitchforks and brands in hand?

My worry is that this pressure to deliver the expected, to play safe is already huge in the industry, not least of which because of the sums of money involved, and without studios feeling that they can be brave and push at boundaries, and sure, make mistakes sometimes, disappoint people sometimes, then we will never grow as a genre.

That makes me sad.

So for those reasons, and because it’s truly a stunningly crafted game and more a game series with a story arc spanning three titles and six years, I’m a fan of the author’s intentions.

Mass-Effect-N7-Wallpaper-1200x800If you read this far, and you aren’t one of my students, then I applaud you, and thank you for your patience during this interlude.

I’ve finished the game a few times over now, so normal hobby content service should begin to be resumed :)

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