woensdag 31 augustus 2016

My orders from Sarissa Precision Ltd and TT Combat - a review

A few posts back I said I wanted to use MDF for my TNT board, so I ordered up a few things. Directly from Sarissa Precision Ltd, and the TT Combat stuff through my preferred Ebay.co.uk shop, the Trolltrader.

Both were ordered on the 17th of August, both sending a order confirmation by email. Trolltrader sent me a shipping confirmation the same day, Sarissa sent me one on the 23rd of August. The TT Combat order arrived on the 24th, the Sarissa one yesterday on the 30th. The TT Combat order was sent in one box, which arrived ship shape, the Sarissa one in 2 boxes, one of which arrived banged up on every corner.
I've seen this plenty of times in my previous job when items are packed with room left in the box, so it can bang around and either break free of the box or break itself. There was only some thin loose plastic put on top to fill it visually and that just won't cut it. So the box took the brunt of it. Oddly enough the contents of the smaller box had been taped to the bottom so they would not move around, so they know this can be a problem? There was nothing wrong with the contents though, everything nicely shrinkwrapped and no banged corners.

For this review I will start with the TT Combat stuff first.

I ordered the Bus Stop (5,95 Pounds), Construction Office (3,95 Pounds)  and Subway Entrance (4,95 Pounds). I paid 4,72 Pounds in shipping. Total order cost was 19,57 Pounds.

The Bus Stop
In the pack is a cover sheet with the code, name and finished product, a 2-sided instructions sheet, a thin piece of lasercut cardboard and a lasercut sheet of MDF with 2 acryllic inserts. Both cut sheets seemed to be well laid out, with no waste of space. The bench looks a bit flimsy being just a thin piece of cardboard but it is supported on both end and in the middle, and I like the fact it has been designed to stand up as is, without the need for a base, so it should blend in on your table with no problem at all. The acryllic inserts were a bit of a surprise as I had thought all the glass areas were open. This will make it easier to add posters or graffiti. There seems to be a lt of thought put in this, with a pole with a timetable to a map with the routes. Quite good I say!

The Subway Entrance
 In this pack is a cover sheet with the code, name and finished product, no instruction sheet and 1 medium and 1 small sheet of lasercut MDF. Again the sheet is pretty much full of parts. It looks simple enough to go together without any problems, and should look nice in any 1920's, Modern or Post Apoc table, as either a point of interest, a spawnpoint or a escape route. Happy with this one!

The Construction Office
In this pack is a coversheet with the code, name and finished product, no instruction sheet and 1 medium sized sheet of lasercut MDF. This is a really versatile building, with a door and window on one side, and 2 windows on the other. It is labelled as a Contruction Office, but with some signage on top it could be a check-in counter for my trailerpark, or a booth for some Carnival rides, a Border Guard checkpoint and give me some time and I'll make up some more uses for this. Will fit any Modern table really. The roof, if you don't glue it, should come off nicely so you can stuff inside as well, which is a nice option. The sheck itself is standing on 3 raised legs which might be an issue if you move it around a lot, but adding a form fitting base should negate that problem. Cheapest of the lot, and well worth picking up if you are making an order and have a few spare Pounds in the bank.

Next up, Sarissa Productions Ltd.

I ordered the Retro Americana Bundle #2 (67,50 Pounds for a pack of 6 trailers, this gives you a 7,50 Pounds saving to buying them seperate), the Children's Playground (7,50 Pounds) and the Park Bench Set (5 Pounds). Shipping is a fixed fee of 2,50 Pounds worldwide. The total cost for this order was 82,50 Pounds.

The Retro Americana Bundle #2 (which consists of 6x Residential Trailers)
In this pack is a coversheet that doubles as a instructions sheet printed on the back, 4 sheets of lasercut MDF, 1 sheet of cardboard (well, matboard) and 2 pcs of clear acrylic. The sheets are well layed out, though there are some empty spaces that could have been filled with something like lasercut pink flamingoes, the instructions easy enough and this is actually a pretty big piece of scenery. The trailer alone is 24x8 cm's.
What I don't like is the overly large base, as this kit does not need that (Caveat: I belong to the "School of minimal to no basing"), the trailer can stand on it's own, it just adds weight and will need to be flocked with sand or astroturf to blend in with the table. Sure, you don't pay much for shipping so the extra weight bit is a bit moot, but leave it out and save a bit on costs? The 2 top windws are a nice toutch, the matboard sunshades I have doubts if they will survive frequent handling. Filling in the openings with some left over bits of wood or cardboard will create variation if you build more then one (as in this case, 6). There is plenty of space inside for figures or scenery or objectives. You should have no problem lifting off the roof if you would like to do so.

The Children's Playground
In this pack we have one cover sheet, with the instructions printed on the back, 2 pieces of lasercut MDF and 1 small bit of matboard. As you can see, both MDF sheets have wasted space. Basing wise, I see some odd choices. The roundabout (please correct me if this is not the correct term) has a very large round base. I've never visited any playground which has such a large bit of concrete underneath. We just use astroturf or rubber tiles, so I will not be using that base and just glue it down to a washer that fits nicely underneath the roundabout. It is very well put together though, it looks like a real one (not that you can find these around here anymore, Health and Safety has them replaced with versions with bars all around the outside to prevent kids from being ejected at high speed. Lawsuits, funerals, etc). The See-Saw suffers from Basus Maximus too, again not needed, a small base should support it well enough. The Swing. The one thing that does need a base, lean on this a bit by accident and you'll break a leg easily. A misplaced elbow, dice at speed, plenty of rougness on the table that happens by accident and this just wont cut it. But it has no base.....:(  The tireswing is a nice toutch, but I'll cut the tires in half and glue them underneath either end of the See Saw to cushion the blow. Too many kids front teeth flying without them :). I think the wasted space on the sheet could have been easily filled with one or two Spring Riders (we call em Wip Kip) for a minor, if any, cost increase.

Park Bench Set

I'll be frank (as usual). I don't like it. A coversheet that doubles as instruction sheet, a piece of MDF and a piece of Matboard.. The base is matboard (which you have to blend in with your terrain unless you want to tell everyone it is based on a concrete plinth, or cut it down a lot), in which you insert the 2 nicely ornamental sides, and then you glue the seat and back to that. If you don't want to use the big base you will end up with something that has little lateral stability. As the MDF sheet has a lot of wasted space (again) it would have been nice to have 2 MDF beams added, one on the base, one underneath the seating, for more strength and easy blending with your table as it can be a stand alone piece then. I have no faith in the matboard adding strength as just picking it up made it bend quite a bit. I will be returning this one as I think (well, know) I can buy a better product elsewhere.

There you have it. I'm happy with most of it, some layouts I question and it's been ages since I last returned a product, but I'm really not happy with those Benches (I had hoped they would be able to stand withou the base but it does not seem so).

Leave a reply if you liked the review, or disagree, of generally feel like replying. Final note of the day, all of the items you see in this review have been paid for with my own money, no freebies were asked or given. 

Now to build, basecoat and paint the lot as fast as possible so to finish the TNT demo table.

dinsdag 30 augustus 2016

2 Necromancers enter. Neither leaves....cause they are both dead!

Well, tonights Frostgrave game went pretty disastrous! Erik/Modhail decided to field his Necromancer vs my Necromancer on this table.

From here it just got bad. Really, really bad....
Ok, looks a bit shitty, but we discussed  how the blocks look and making bare plastered walls and blocks 3 inches high should make a pretty quick dungeon...at a later date. This gives plenty line of sight breakers though. Seeing as I have a shooting heavy warband and Erik a CC oriented one, this gave some concern on my part.

No monsters showed up today.....they were probably in the dark corners laughing themselves to death at our petty excuse for spellcasting. I managed to cast 5 spells, Erik 2 or 3. On the other hand my Captain managed to kill his Captain after I had softened him up with an arrow to the knee. At one point my wizard...standing on the ruined tower in plain view of everyone....dumbass....took a arrow to a more vital part of his anatomy and ended up with 1 life left. My apprentice then cast Leap on him and flung him through the blue portal (didn't do anything, was just there to look nice), saving him, only to have my wizard cast a spell in the next turn, failing, and killing himself in the process. <sigh> My Warhound did pretty well, tying up his Wizard in combat, and then managing to cast Bones of the Earth on his Wizard, literally pinning him in place.....only to see the same thing get cast on my Warhound by his Apprentice..... Ah, the smriking faces full of frustration.

It was nice to feel worry free for an evening.

We agreed that this really was our final test game and that the campaign should start in October. Just the 2 of us. First we will play the 3 mutual games to get some level ups, and after that there will be more games untill we tire of it? Or a wizard dies? Who knows.

My current band consists of 1 Wizard, 1 Apprentice, 1 Captain, 2 Archers, 3 Thieves and a Warhound. Sofar, only the Warhound is painted :D (well, I'm using the GW old plastic wolf for it). This gives me a month to paint the remaining members of the warband. Well, really just the Wizard, Captain and a Archer for the first mutual scenario, but better to paint the lot. Nothing that should worry me or cause me to hasten and stress out.

Also, my Sarissa stuff arrived today. I have some minor criticism about that, but more on that at a later date.

maandag 29 augustus 2016

I'm flying high.....

Well, sort of.

I'm still waking up full of energy, go to my room, clean, sort and well....be busy. Just finished the gaming table, using that right now as a packing and sorting table for all my stuff that I'm selling right now.

Nothing to see here!

 Also on there are the 5 boxes. Don't have anywhere else to put them untill I sort the cabinets. C'est la vie!

I've been listing stuff like crazy to raise funds for MDF scenery for Necromunda from Wargames Tournaments 30% off sale which runs untill Wednesday. 82.50 euro in 2 days time. Then it hit me what a utter crap idea it is. Will I do anything with it in the next 6 months? Most likely not. So it is a bit pointless, innit? I mean, I still have a stack of Frostgrave stuff to paint and that is a game I'm actually playing! More money in the Paypal bank is never a problem though, so that is ok.

Nice to know my brain still works like it should, if with a bit of a delay. I'm still very nervous, skittish and I'm looking forward to calming down a bit.

Next up is the painting table.

Looks like a lot, but considering I managed to clean the PC table, the floor and the gaming table in under a week I'm confident to engage the enemy and defeat him in battle :). Just draw lines and nibble away at the mess, from right to left :)

I've been outside now a couple of times, once even with the girls and I'm handling it ok-ish. It's very busy in my head, but I'm standing up straight and I'm smiling all the time so that is good. My brain chemistry should normalise in a month or so....or so they say. I'm not looking forward to the downward move, which I know is going to come, but I'm confident that with a clean room and plenty of time at the gym it will be a lot easier to ride out. Sure, there is always the worry the UWV will give bad news, but even if they do, we'll find a way to deal with that.

While cleaning, I found a few sheets of laminated planets and asteroids I had done up a few months ago, and I cut them all out (without casualties!), put them in the BFG drawer and called it a day.

2D planets and asteroids
Right, off to watch Frostgrave Youtube video's :)

vrijdag 26 augustus 2016

3mm ruins - now with block plates

Took a few minutes today to base up what I have already made, using the lasercut Blockbases.

It is nice to see Patrick lasering what I had in my head a few weeks ago. As soon as I feel safe with a blade again (next week? I hope?) I'll cut more buildings and glue them down.

Got an email from Dom at Dom's Decals that he is a bit behind, and my order should ship soon. I just picked some aircraft that I felt like I wanted to paint and went with that (P-47D's, I-16's, Hs-129's and Japanese floatplanes). Was worried not receiving anything almost 2 weeks after making my order, I found that to be unusual. I'm behind on painting airplanes anyway, but yes, life.

Slowly whittling away the stuff on my battletable, put up quite a bit for sale, the rest sorted in the correct boxes and a bit dropped in the bin.

Other then that enjoying my darkend room and trying not to annoy Kim too much. Did install new light fittings in her aquarium, so I did that much. Her fish are all wearing sunglasses now though......

donderdag 25 augustus 2016

New MDF pieces for TNT have arrived

I had a few distractions today. I woke up fully energized (have not felt that way in months) and after breakfast I just started clearing stuff in my room by myself. Lights low, shutters and door closed. My mother in law passed by to have a chat with Kim and wish me well, and was amazed at the progress I have made this week (and the enormous mountain of stuff on my gaming table). Sticking to the simple rules, drawing lines and finishing those parts, and not fretting when it is not working is making a big difference.....for now. I now have to teach myself to do this every day, and the closer I get to having a clean room, the easier it will be to stick to it. And if I do have an off day, so be it. There is always another, and doing a bit each day is much easier then doing 90 minutes of work in a day.

This must all sound like something completely logical to you, the reader, but to my brain, it is not. Ever since leaving my parents house at 17, I've never had a daily cleaning routine that I could stick to for more then a few days, before drifting back into chaos. I'm not saying it will be different now, or easier, but I'm trying my best. And Kim is backing me up 100%

Well, my morning ended with this:
No more junk under either desk, nor on any part of the floor for that matter. PC desk fully cleaned, the stack of books are books I'm selling off (if anyone wants a cookbook by various British chefs? Mostly Gordon Ramsay in this case). As you can see the painting desk still looks Hiroshima, used as a dumping ground.
Put up a temporary recycling centre for all the plastic, paper and other. Gotta do my part!
Meanwhile, I have 3 problem areas on the list to be cleared. My painting table, the small cabinet on my right with all of the new arrivals and other assorted crap, and the gaming table.
Yes, about that........gaming table :)  But the same principle, Draw a line. Sort, throw away, sell or keep. Clean. Next line.
So....after consulting with Delta Dog he asked me to clean the gaming table first, with the logic that I look at the painting table as the main prize. Fair enough.

I took the rest of the afternoon off as it is 32 degrees here and I'm happy here in my darkend, closed room. Kim left early for a barbie with her sister, one that I declined as I'm lacking people skills now even more then usual :)

But, with progress slow but steady, I was happily surprised to see a package for me on the doormat, with the first 3...well, 2 pieces for the This is not a Test table at Poldercon (the third being more city orientated). UK to me in 1 week, nice :)

The subway sentrance is for later, I'll only need one of the bus stops now but I'll build both at the same time, and the costruction office, which will be the check in booth. I already have some Fallout PC's, I just need to make/buy/beg/borrow a suitable table to go with it. But that can come after it is done and is not perse neccesary for the table either.

I'm not doing anything with these or my 3mm city right now though. I'm really nervous, and my eyes are all over the place (not literally) and it is extremely hard to focus my mind. Since I feel it is not safe for me to drive anywhere I'm just staying put.

Another early night for me. I might draw a line on the gaming table and sort it. Or I may not.

woensdag 24 augustus 2016

And then we try something new....Part II

Well, it have been some eventful days to say the least.

First up, the PC table is clean (all of it) the floor is clean (all of it) and I will be starting with the rest of the room this week. I've picked up a stack of waste wood from the DIY to build a stand for my monitor in which I can store stuff that belongs to the PC area. I just need to make a  design that works with what I have. So far so good.

Not so good was a angry call from the UWV (the non-government body that handles benefits for the sick) yesterday when I had just loaded the wood in the carrier bags of my bike. The man was upset that I had not called him between 9 and 9:30 as those are his open hours. (I called the day before and this day at 10, and no one at the departmeet bothered to pick up the phone and tell me this). I told him that the letter he sent me mentioned no such thing, only to call a 0900 number.

Anyway, how was my knee feeling? I'm more mobile now but it hurts a lot more cause the UWV doctor has forbidden me from taking painkillers. "So a large improvement then?" That is NOT what I said..... "Well, it sounds like a large improvement so I will note that down." (ehm...hello....wtf?). "Is there anything else we can help you with, a meeting or help trying to find a job?" Yes, there is. The UWV doctor has sent you papers for Werkmans, a group that helps autistic people with high IQ's find fitting jobs. "Well, I can't find those, but why would we help you with that? You are sick because of the accident, not because you are autistic."I'll ask my boss but I don't see why we would have to help with this" <floor falling underneath me> <speechless> "Do you have anything else to report?" Yes, my depression is pretty bad right now, I'm sleeping through most of my days and am only active in the evenings. I'm seeing a Psychiatrist this afternoon. "And how often will that be?" Once a month? "Ok, thank you, I will call again in 1-2 weeks, goodbye".

I'm standing there completely baffled with my phone in my hand for a minute or so. Then get on my bike, and my chain snaps. 27 degrees outside, 30 minute walk to my home with a bike loaded with wood and I have to catch a train to see the Psychiatrist in 60 minutes from now. Fuck :(

I'm not sure how I got home, I'm not even sure how I got to the trainstation, but by the time I got out of the train I was seething inside. Only to find a Fair going on there and the place was packed. And....I....can't....stand....crowds. Or heat. I just barged past everyone (aploagies who I bumped into) and went as fast as my knee would let me, to meet my appointment. Which was at 14:00. At 14:10 someone finally picked me up and I was limping badly all the way as I had really overstressed my knee.

Now in my head I had mixed up what a Psychiatrist does and what a Psychologist does. I've been dying for months to get things off my chest, to just let it go, and I thought it was this meeting. Turns out it was just about my medication.

8 Minutes later I'm out the door, my medication has been stopped effective immediately and come back again in 5 weeks time. If there is any kind of problem call the hospital. No one is available for over a month due to holiday.

I left the ACed building only to be slapped by the hot air and the realisation that this is it. I've been on these meds for over 6 years now, and this was the first time any doctor told me that Risperidon actually makes it easier to get into a depression. This is my third one in 5 years! I went back home, picked up the kids, made them pancakes and my wife took them to my parents for the rest of the week. I just took a sleeping pill and that was that.

It has now been 48hrs without medication. I've stuffed tissue paper in my ears to muffle the sounds, closed the blinds and locked myself into my hobby room to manage the input that is flooding me right now. I'm shaking like a leaf and typing is a bit hard but not impossible. It is something I need to get over I suppose.

I don't think I'll do any hobby stuff today...I'm dying to grab the box of 3mm buildings and build more but in my current state holding a sharp blade might not be the best idea!

Edit: Not too end to depressingly, here's what arrived today for my Frostgave table! That cheered me up! 15 euros plus shipping on Marktplaats. Looks as good as new (had one, got stolen off my table 20 years ago when I was out on my lunchbreak)

zondag 21 augustus 2016

And then we try something new....

Recently, I've had some highs and lows. A lot of people have come into my life to help me out with stuff, and I've been doing a lot of talking. A bit of a emotional rollercoaster really. I've also sold a lot of stuff that just didn't do it for me anymore. Changes. Lot's of changes. (and if there is one thing people with Autism don't like it's changes....). Pretty scary for me.

But sometimes, change flows naturally without me kicking and screaming every inch of the way. Lastnight was one of those moments.

I was having a chat with fellow Aspie Delta Dog, about how we deal with basic day to day stuff, how the hobby fits in, etc, and at one moment he showed a pic of his desk. Look orderly enough, so I showed him a pic of mine.

Chaos in all its glory
Yeah.....a tad different, innit? A messy workplace is supposed to show that you are a intelligent person, but I feel I have been overdoing it a bit. Well, a lot really. Thing is, I really dislike clutter (bet that surprises you) and I want a clean, clear desk, with stuff I grab from the cabinet, work and paint it, and then put it back in the box at the end of the day, give the desk a sweep and feel good about it. My Aspie demands me almost to see things in Black and White. It is either perfect, or it is shit. It is either clean, or chaos and disorder (though to be frank, when I look at that desk I know all the projects on it, what state they are in and what plans I have for it. You just see a ton of junk).

A little bit of clutter I can handle, I do the same in the rest of the house all of the time, recycle stuff, wipe the table after dinner, go to the store everyday for groceries (and cause I need the excercise), and everything falls into my routine day to day pattern (another Aspie/Autism thing). My hobby, having no set goal most of the time, is a bit vague to say the least. I don't paint every day, I don't build every day, I have no set pattern and tend to do things/projects on the fly, which is great in a creative manner but hell on the wallet and planning. Keeping my focus on something for days, let alone weeks or months, takes a ton of effort, even if it is really interesting, and some items get put aside for weeks or months (or years) before I can get the interest back into my life.

Delta Dog then decided to tell me his rules, what works for him. It may or may not work for me too, but there is only one way to find out. So here goes (in my own words).

  • A way for an Aspie to clean a messy desk/tabletop is to clear one section of it and see how it annoys you to have a clear, clean space in amongst the chaos. In ttheory, it will spread like an oil slick. Why? No clutter I love. A bit of clutter feels like something I can handle and a total mess freezes me up, but the line between little and total chaos is really, really thin. I only look at the bigger picture and what a monumental task it is to get everything cleared and cleaned (which I think normal people have issues with too :D ) cause I simply have no routine in doing it. (recently, Kim put me in charge for cleaning the kitchen and after some hick ups it has become routine and I no longer think about what I need to do, I just clear and wash the dishes, clean the stove and the rest of the kitchen and then I have free time for the rest of the evening, not before. The caveat is that if for some reason I don't go through that routine, the chain can be broken and I have to learn it again, Fortunately though much quicker then before, but still. Sad, but I can't do much about how my brain works.)
So, while chatting to Delta Dog, with a podcast in the background, I drew a imaginary line in between both tables, and drew another one alongside the compressor on the left desk. I cleared everything in that area in about 10 minutes, either by throwing it in the bin, putting it in the right boxes or on the sorting table behind me. Right, could this really be so easy? I drew another imaginary line on the right desk halfway between the edge and my keyboard. And repeated the same thing in another 10 minutes! Yup, it is behaving like an oil slick :)

Now, take a break, take it easy and don't spoil the moment. It is pretty easy for me to go in balls deep with everything I got, but that would be exactly what I should not do! (which I know all too well, when I was still single I had 6 months of clutter stacking up and then 1 or more weekends of frantik clearing, binning and cleaning to get everything perfect again. Well, my kind of perfection anyway.)

Less then half an hour in.
 Well, it was still early, only around 22:00 hours or so (for me that is early) so decided to draw another line right alongside my printer and take it slowly. There was no need to finish it tonight, I should be happy with reaching 2 goals in one night. So I binned more stuff, removed all of the paperwork and updated our mutual online calendar with all of the details from what I could get from the papers. So, time for lesson 2.

How I ended saturday night.

  • Lesson 2 is in one way much simpler, but also much harder for me to stick to. You want projects to build and work on? You can have 5. No more. They have to fit inside a shoebox. If your project takes up more space you can put it in 2 boxes, but the grand total must be 5.
Ouch. Yes, I can get rid of projects I'm no longer interested in, but the goal here is to finish one project, empty the box, then put in a new project if you find one.  A project may expand or wane, but it has to fit in the box. Right, I can work with that. It is also based on my own honesty. I and only I can keep a check on things. Fair enough.

So, 5 projects ey? Well, number 1 is simple, the TNT project. But with the recently ordered MDF stuff it will be a 2 box project as I don't see how I can fit everything in that I want to do now. Box 2 will be the 3mm Stalingrad/Berlin project. Box 3 will fit a large collection of 15mm, 20mm and 28mm containers and finally, box 4 is reserved for the various 3mm aircraft that I'm working on or need to paint for me and Modhails bash-up.
  1. TNT
  2. 3mm Stalingrad
  3. Containers
  4. 3mm aircraft

I spent part of the Sunday thinking about what I did on Saturday, cleared the rest of the desk right up to the printer, grabbed and labelled the boxes (see above) for my current projects and when it came to the evening decided it was in my best interest to dust off my cleared desk, get some junk off the floor and recycle the waste bin. Not the job that I had in mind, but creating space is creating space :)

And thus my weekend ends, with a 90% clear and clean PC desk, a motivational meme and a solid plan for the rest of the week. I like where this is heading :)

woensdag 17 augustus 2016

Where I am at with the This is not a Test (TNT) demo for Poldercon 2017

Over a little less then 6 months Poldercon is up, and I have not made the progress I wanted to. I´ve noticed, and this is nothing new, that I prefer to start and finish something in one night (excluding varnishing) as in my current state of mind I have a lot of trouble focussing. This works fine with smaller scale stuff, not so well with larher items unless I do just one thing.

Call me bad, lazy or anything like that, I just lose interest really quickly in one particular item of the bigger plot (not all the time though).

So, TNT. I've decided to move away (for now) from making a full ruined city and make something more manageable on a 90x90 table, that can also double as a table for Modhails zombies, Supernatural stuff like Big Trouble in Little China or Chtullu. I've been working a lot recently with lasercut products, be it MDF or Cardboard, and I like it, and I have sold a lot of stuff (wouter, including some of your old stuff, thanks again!), so I have some funds.

I've decided to go for a trailer park. I've painted a 15mm trailer before and that turned out ok. I've been spending the last few weeks looking at options (resin, MDF, thick card) and availability, put some hard thought into what I wanted to spend etc, and settled for the following map.

Since the aim here is to spike a pre-War water heater, I've given that centre stage. I've made a conceptual design of a 4 booth and 8 booth shower, with room for the water heater in the middle. C = car, T = trailer. The red lines are fences. The trailers I picked up from Sarissa Precision Ltd, they have an offer for a bundle of 6 trailers for a reduced price and 2,50 Pounds flat free shipping worldwide, and they come reccomended by friends. I've added some park benches as scatter to the order, as well as a Children's Playground. There goes 80 Pounds. The other parts come from TT Combat. Initially I had my focus on them, to make 2 rows of Brownstones and a centre street, but (for now) that costs too much. Through Trolltrader on Ebay I purchased the Bus Stop, the Construction Office as a stand in for my reception desk, and the Subway Entrance (not for this game) so goodbye another 20 Pounds. Cars I have plenty, just need to finish a few more. Fences won't be a problem as I have my mighty The Chopper and plenty of basing material, so I just need to measure stuff for a bit and get cutting. The Pool I'd like to have cut by a Evin, custom size, 3 layers of MDF (2mm Base, 2x 2mm thickness walk area, 2 pool stairs, maybe a springboard, with the baseplate painted glossy black/brown for the water with plenty of fixed (newspapers, leaves) and non fixed (skeleton on a air cushion, bike handle, both based on 1mm plasticcard) debris. The rest of the MDF used can be filled with more bases, 2 birds with one stone. All of this based on my Concrete floor mat.

The Sign.....I can't decide on a name yet. Shady Acres being the standard one, but Heavenly Haven is nice (for you Dredd fans). Shape wise there are tons of options to choose from, but I see no problems there ordering this from Patrick/Evin. Anyone have any nice name ideas?

Final detailing will most likely be a mixed order from Black Cat Bases (I have a substantial gift coupon from them that I want to cash in) and bits and pieces from Delta Dog. He's a gifted sculpter who does a lot of 28mm Fallout stuff, and a Aspie like myself, and after a brainstorming session earlier this week we decided we must have plastic flamingoes. He'll do the printing and moulding, I'll do the buying of quite a few of those as well as other items like a Nuka Cola machine and smaller items. I'll need a bunch of letterboxes too, now that I think of it.

While those items arrive (just the MDF bits I mean) I can spend all of my attention to the 3mm Berlin/Stalingrad table, and tomorrow I should receive a medium sized box full of corner pieces and city block bases, so I can glue down what I have and get cracking with the rest of them.

Also, I need to sell more stuff :) And clean this hellhole. Other then that, just dandy. Shrink next week, can't wait :)

Go out and look at trees!

No, I have not gone hippie on you.

Right now, here in Europe, it is time to collect the following:
  • Birch seeds....by now the whole pods will be dry yet still clinging to the tree. Grab em, dry them, and sort them, then use as dead leaves on your scenery
  • Black Alder pods.....dry them and paint them green to use as 3-6mm trees or potted plants for 15-28mm. Add green flock to them for a different look.
Microwaving your collected stuff kills any bugs, and soak them in a glycerine/water mix for a few days to preserve them.

If you have purchased a leaf punch (available at various locations) now is the time to collect dark green leaves and preserve those too with the same method, then use the punch to make in scale leaves.

If you can't be bothered you can always buy the stuff in hobby shops. That works too :)

donderdag 11 augustus 2016

Wonderful world of Frostgrave and how it feels to be understood.

It has been a funny week sofar. On monday we took the kids for a 2 hour drive to the sea, for their very first ever dip in the sea. Nikki took to it like the proverbial fish in the water, Emma....not so much :D (but eventually she too stepped in the surf). In the pictures I look like a mule with 1 backpack, 2 pairs of shoes and a extra bag full of beach toys :) Very fun day, nice to see the girls so happy, but utterly exhausting keeping my eyes on both of them, and the soft sand and the long drive was hell for my knee. We got back pretty late, put the kids to sleep and crashed 30 minutes after that. Sadly, my alarm clock was set at 6 as I had a appointment with the Autism team in Den Bosch at 8 in the morning, and since they had not specified for how long (or even what the meeting was about) and I don't want to spend a fortune in parking fees, I took the train and took a 30 minute walking to their office. My legs were literally killing me as they were very sore from the beachwalk yesterday so by the time I got there I was limping a bit. And then their coffee machine turned out to be broken!

The meeting itself was very good. We discussed the questions I have about my Aspergers (now grouped under Autism Spectrum Disorder) and they put forth many examples of how my brain works. For example, he drew a couple of trees together on the board. Most people will say that they see trees, period, or even specify the types of trees. I see trees but my mind sees 6 trees (3 pine and 3 deciduous) and a proverb, "door de bomen het bos niet meer zien" (Can't see the wood for the trees) all at once. If we then add a tree in the back without you knowing it, and ask the next day to look at the picture if anything has changed, 98% of the people will not see it. But I will., and I felt myself agreeing with almost everything. You have no idea how good it feels to have someone in front of you, who is "normal", yet still knows the ins and outs of my problem, and condense that in simple, thought triggering examples. In the end I was asked what I really wanted from them. As there is no cure for my problem, all I want is a handle to get to grips with my problem, work withing the confines of it and improve my quality of life, and to make it easier to find and hold a job again. He surprised me in that he had properly read my file and noted I had already done research on a local company (Werkmans) that helps Aspergers with high IQ's find fitting jobs. I said that I had mentioned this to the doctor at the UWV (they pay my sicknes benefit each week) but had received no further news sofar, and the company had mentioned that the UWV needed to approach them to set thing in motion (and pay for their services). Low and behold, he tells me that they have the power to inform and motivate Werkmans to contact the UWV directly to plead my case, and that with my level of intelligence I would be a prime candidate. That made me so elated, to hear such potential good news really cheered up my mood by 100%. I never limped home with more enthusiasm. I have another meeting next week. So tuesday was another good day.

The problem with feeling great and happy for a while is that it is, eventually, followed by a low, which in this case was the start of wednesday. I had trouble getting out of bed and getting started, I did a few chores but a major headache and muscle ache from the beachwalk combined to make me feel really miserable. No problem if you can just shake it off, but I could not, so slept some more. 2 hours later I wake up refreshed, do some more chores, feel a bit better and take the car out for a round of local plant nurseries for a paerticular plant (African Lilly) my mum wants for her birthday this saturday. After visiting 3 nurseries i just started calling the other ones in the area first cause they were either sold out or they never had them in the first place. Noone has it. Drat. Since I was near a goodwill store I decided to see if they had anything useful for the kids or me, and I picked up another Cars car for the TNT table, and a box full of rubber stamps (disney figures) for the kids. Jay happy :). Then shopping for dinner, back home again and off to Fysio (nothing to report, things are going well, she wants me to go to the gym 3 days a week to do cardio 3 times, and then split  to legs 2 days a week and upper body 1 day a week to help me with my back and to better lift my girls.....they weigh 13 kilos now and I'm having problems carrying them for more then 3 minutes at a time.

So I come back home, all happy, Kim just got home, I showed her what I had bought, including stuff from the dicsount bin from the supermarket which I knew she used and I thought she was running low of, only to be turned down, that she did not need it right now, and she even asked me to take the stamps back to the goodwill store and get my money back as she felt it wasn't a very good toy for our girls.

And I was right back where I started that morning, so I withdrew to my hobby room only to be greeted by this:
Yes, I have been cleaning my room, but dumped all the hobby stuff on my painting desk while sorting out everything else and then I did not get round to clearing that mess up, and now it made me feel even more useless and miserable.

Kim then came to check on me and I told her how I felt. How I wasn't happy with the state of the room, that my great plan to clean it once a week and keep everyting shelved and sorted just wasn't happening. Because I get distraced by everything every single moment, and I want to work on it. Kim said I just have too much stuff and I need to let more go so I have more space to store the things I do want to keep. She not only has a point, but she is right too. So, starting friday, I will begin a new round of cleaning and sorting and put up more stuff for sale. I thanked her for her insight, took the box of stamps and brought them to a mother of 4 that we get a lot of support from and gave it to her as a gift.

But wait......wasn't this Blogpost about Frostgrave?

Well, yes. Rikh, who I met online 6 months or so ago, had informed me he would be back this week (and a bit of the next) and was looking forward in a few games. I had to admit that since the last time he was here i had not gamed Frostgrave and the gaming group had fallen apart again (1 quit wargaming alltogether (so he said, but he bought a new army 2 weeks ago), the other shifted his focus to Age of Sigmar and Erik (Modhail) is having his own demons to deal with atm so I don't want to ask too much from him. I also had not painted anymore Frostgrave stuff, neither scenery or figures, and I don't even know in which box most of my Frostgrave scenery is!

Quite shameful really.

But I grabbed my case of figures, the 2 boxes of 20mm desert scenery that I have, the Urbanmatz cobblestone mat and books and dice and went, grudgingly, on my way. I took the drive there to just relax, feel a bit better and to enjoy the moment, as I did feel very nervous about gaming again.

Rikh was there to greet me, and after a friendly chat and writing down my warband for the umpteenth time (I keep losing my roster sheets) we placed the mat and scenery. We decided to play the solo (actually duo) campaign from Dark Alchemy, so we teamed up to get ourself through the harrowing ordeal.

For future reference, this is the list I'm working from for this campaign and will be my gaming list for the future:
  • Necromancer
  • Captain 
  • Archer 2x
  • War Hound
  • Ranger
  • Knight
  • Infantryman
  • Thief 2x
Built around the assumption that I will recruit a apprentice after the campaign is over (if I survive that long)

My wizard has the following spells:
  • Bone Dart (8)
  • Control Undead (12)
  • Bones of the Earth (10)
  • Fog (10)
  • Crumble (12)
  • Enchant Weapon (12)
  • Leap (10)
  • Push (12)
My Captain has:
  • Leather Armour
  • Hand Weapon
  • Bow
Game 1 is about a Alchemical monstrosity in the middle of the table, rats coming out of a hole and 2 doors, one of which is the exit. I took my Wizard, my Captain and my Knight.

First thing I noticed is that my Middle Eastern 20mm scenery works really well with 28mm. It did not feel small at all!

We start by avoiding the middle of the board like the plague, and when we roll to scatter the Monstrosity the arrow points straight to the door leading to the stairs of the big archway building, so the monster wobbles up to the top of the building. In my turn I exit from the archway in the back of the table and Push the monster off the edge. The resulting fall took off half of his health in one go. We were slightly more confident now :) Next turn sees a dazed monster getting up and climbing back up the (garages) building and spotting Rikh's wizard, who promplty cast Wall to block the monster (as we did not have a wall ready we just put up s folded sheet of stickers from his daughter....whatever works!). I cast Enchanted Weapon on my Captains Bow, giving it a +1 to shoot, and he killed a rat with that ( I killed 7 rats all game).
Rikh's band sneaking up behind the Wall (the folded sticker sheet) with the monster on top of the garages. I'm sneaking up on the left, making sure I stay out of line of sight, and grabbing treasures along the way. A rat has spotted my Captain (who is hiding behind the Minaret) and is moving to intercept.
The next turn I Enchanted my Knights weapon just in case, my Captain killed another rat and we kept hiding. Rikh tried to do the same.....sort of.

Rikh cast another Wall to block the line of sight and sneak past the Monster. That kinda worked.
Rikhs wall worked well, and he was sneaking up next to it, when the random move made the Monster drop off the roof beside the wall....right next to his team. To add insult to injury he was attacked by a rat as well. Things did not look well.

I found out that the door on my part of the board was not the correct door. Bugger. I then killed more rats and moved to the cover of the garages, with the monster on the opposite side, about to maul Rikh's team. It didn't go well for him, within 2 turns the monster killed them all (which makes me to blame in a way as I rolled for the monster.....oops). In the next turn the random move made the monster climb the roof again and he ended up right next to us, looking down on us, unable to move to attack us this turn.

My team quickly moved away towards the building in the middle, trying to increase the range on the Monster and to pepper it with (magic) arrows. Sadly we hit it for just 2 or 3 points, so the Monster dropped down, and moved in to attack, fighting with my Knight ( we both rolled the same number, both not being able to puncture each others armour. In the next turn I got to go first, and my Knight slay the beast in one go, ending the game and leaving me in possession of 6 treasures, a dead Monster and a pile of dead rats.

My wizard gained 2 levels, gained 100 Gold, 1 Grimore (Elemental Hammer), 1 Scroll (Summon Demon) and 4 Potions (Explosive Cocktail, Elixer of the Chameleon 2x and Potion of the Eye and Mind. My Captain gained 60 XP for his efforts and took the Exploding Cocktail for himself. My Wizard decreased the Bone Dart and Push spells to 7 and 11 respectively and took the scroll and the Elixer of the Chameleon.

I'm not sure what Rikh did, but he rolled a 1 for his Wizard, which he got to reroll for a 20, and another 20 for his Captain as well. I can't remember what his 3rd chap was but her survived too.

Quite a succesful first round I think. It took us a bit less then 2 hours from startup to finish, and it waqs only 22:00, so we deciced to do the next game as well.

Scenario 2. On a 2x3 table, we would be fighting flaming skeletons and zombies, in a across the table run to safety.

We had to move from lower right to upper left.
 We both started in the middle of the starting area, and splitting up almost immediately :D I cast Enchant Weapon on my Captains bow again, giving it a +1. I went left, Rikh went right. Next up, my Captain killed my first of 7 Skeletons in the game, and we moved up to the first treasure. A sneaky zombie moved in behind us. They moan so loud....

Rikh's team went right and through the middle and the Skeletons randomly moved all towards his area. In the turn before this picture was taken, he was surrounded by 3 Skeletons and I had just cast Fog between him and the Skeltons so he could climb to the top of the building, with my Captain working around the back of said building to nab the treasure next to it. His wizard then cast one of his many Grenades and blew up 3 Skeletons in one swoop.  Nice shot Sir!

My wizard then Bone Darted every skeleton in sight and we nabbed 4 out of the 6 treasures before ending the game.

My wizard leveled twice again, and my Captain moved to 90XP, so in theory next game will cause him to level up (if he lives and/or kills stuff). I found 90 Gold, 4 potions (2x Healing Potion, Elemental Absorption and Filter of Fury) as well as a Magic Item, a Faith Stone. My Wizard and Captain both took a Healing Potion, and the Faith Stone was taken by the Wizard as well. He then used his levelling to decrease the casting level of Bone Dart and Fog down to 6 and 9 respectively.

Rikh had his Captain taken out of the fight, ending up with a wound that decresed his Fight stat by -1. He did find a nice Magic Weapon and some Gold and potions, so it wasn't all bad.

We just had 2 fun games, and like clockwork, his wife and mother-in-law came home and that was my cue to leave. If Kim agrees, I will game again on Friday, either here or there, and we will play the third and final game of the series. If all goes well I should be able to reach level 6 with my Wizard and my Captain level 2.

The day ended on a high, I'm tired but happy and really feel like I need to paint my Frostgrave stuff and game more with it. Let's see if Erik is up for that every couple of weeks.

maandag 8 augustus 2016

3mm ruins - Block 4 and 5. And a midnight 6.

Lazy sundayevening.

Block 4

Block 4 from the other side

Block 5. When based, this will get some walls with a doorway to fence the alley off

1,2,3,4,5. We are getting there!
I REALLY need more corner pieces. At least 15 alone for this set if I don't want to be staring at blank walls all the time. As soon as Patrick is back from his trip I'll have a word.

Edit: Could not sleep. Built nr 6
Nr 6

vrijdag 5 augustus 2016

3mm ruins - well, not all of them

When I made the design it was actually to make Cold War Kaserne for a German board. It needed no modification for the ruins. Also nice as a Hopsital or Government building.

In my infinite wisdom, cause I was just going to make ruins, I decided I did not need roofs.....well, do I have egg on my face :) Well, I need bases anyway, and due to a communication mishap with Pat I have hardly any corner buildings and those are pretty essential tbh for my ruins. Can't have a ton of blank walls in the city. Speaking of which, 2 more blocks done.

We are getting there.

3mm ruins - Block 1 basics done

Well, the basic part of Block 1 is done now.

I might add some side supports on the inside, very thin ones, to improve the look a bit, but these are wargames buildings, not museum pieces. Besides, I need to be able to easily fit a 20mm square base in there if I need to.

Simple field test to see if my fingers can reach in there, and I have no problems doing so, so success.

I did see one thing while building them. Look at the following picture to see what I mean.

  1. 4 walls
  2. 3 walls
  3. 3 walls
  4. 2 walls
  5. 2 walls
  6. 2 walls
I noticed I can leave out walls because I will be glueing it all together to make solid blocks anyway, so I'm ending up with a lot more spare parts then anticipated, which in turn means more buildings. I just need to keep cutting down scrap cardboard to fill in the holes, but that is a 2 second job. I also noticed that the top parts that I cut off to trim the size of the building can be easily converted into shopwindows by trimming off the bit inbetween (not in this picture, just in my head right now). I did notice I'll end up short on corner pieces, so some of the blocks will have just blank walls facing the street....but I think I have a nice plan for that as well....we will see, some simple cuts here and there should transform the pieces anyway.

Just dandy really, it is coming along as planned, with some minor alterations to make, and the cardboard is pretty damn tough to cut which is good for the final strength. Patrick will cut bases to fit the various blocks next week or the week after, so I have to wait with glueing them toghether till then. Still, doing one or 2 blocks per evening should not be an impossible task, so in theory I could have them all made up by next weekend-ish.

With that sorted, a bit of a rant from me.

I go through my stuff on a regular basis to find stuff to sell to fund things like this. I take good pictures, properly describe it and ask a fair price (or so I hope). I've noticed a trend for a while now that people ask me "to cut them a deal on postage" which for most EU locations is 12-15 euros. In my kindness (and I really want that deal to put money in the bank) I take off 3-5 euros and make the offer. Only to have people agree with me there and then and then tell me straight away or a day later that they think that another 5-10 euros off or completely free shipping is more fair. I find myself getting more and more annoyed by people doing this over 10-20 euros worth of miniatures....are people just getting more greedy or what is going on here? Even tonight I had 2 people contact me over a lot of lasercut stuff worth 35 euros that I was asking 15 euro for just to get rid of it, only to have one chap make me an offer of 7,50 euros, and then contact me a few hours later saying that he made a shitty offer, and what was my REAL askingprice? When I told him I already had offered it to another chap including shipping, he kept asking me what price I was selling the lot for. When the other guy accepted the offer I told this chap it had sold, and told me that he would not make a higher offer. Which made me look puzzled, as he wasn't in the position to make an offer anyway! Also, I offered up a larger lot of Epic40K stuff on various FB groups that hadn't sold 3 months ago, although I had plenty of interested parties then. Again, some of the same interested parties from last time contacted me with offers that were much, much lower. These were the same persons I had given a previous deal including shipping, and not a single one of them had bothered to reply to that offer. Not even a simple No (common cuortesy seems to have died?). One of those persons was particularly brazen, made the lowest offer of them all, telling me he was being generous and this was the best offer I would get online, and that I had to include free shipping! When I pointed out that he had failed to reply the last time around and because of that I would not deal with him (well, that and the lowball bid), he replied annoyed and abusive. Fortunately for me, a couple of new interested parties did reply to offer including postage that I sent them, most with a request to think about it and one person who accepted the offer almost straight away, and even paid within the hour. I informed everybody else and that was it for me. Don't get me wrong, I offer stuff after checking prices from other sellers and ebay Sold listings, and I don't mind taking lower offers, but don't go telling me what I need to do. It just pisses me off and I will do no more business with you, period.

Maybe it is me and my Aspergers, but I try very hard to be sociable (while I'm not really that good at it), say "thank you" and "you are welcome" a lot, outside to cashiers and people I meet on the street, even online, and for some stupid reason I think normal people should respond the same way. Like this:
The meme should add: "....or a wargamer"

Sometimes it makes me wonder why people call me different or unsociable, while I think they should take a hard look in the mirror cause they are not exactly poster children of proper human interaction (if there even is such a thing as that....considering all the wars, terrorism and crime you'd think there are too many people with a few screws loose now a day).

There, I feel better now.

donderdag 4 augustus 2016

3mm ruins - the start

This afternoon, I was greeted by the postman who gave me a sturdy little box. Upon opening, I was greeted by the smell of burnt stuff :)

I grabbed the bag of bases and started fiddling about. In my head I have 2x2, 2x3 and 3x3 as base shapes, and I had been playing with paper cut outs, but now I have the real stuff, so after some quick sorting and printing off some sheets of graph paper, I ended up with the following which was more or less what I had in my head, with some additions:
The grey speck is a 20x20mm base with a tank on it. Well, I always knew 3mm would not be as glamorous picture wise as 20mm, and 3mm will be a top down and close up shots for battlereports.  I have enough spare bases to make a 4th row of ruins, plus enough spare bits to make a 5th row of ruins, if I wanted to, but for now, I won't.  The bit above is 55cm x 35cm , but with what is left in the bags I have more than enough to cover half a square metre of table (my basic table is 80x80 cm) so I could do a complete cityfight on it. I'll make the buildings in such a manner that there is plenty of space to put the 20x20mm bases in, though some will be more extensively modelled then others. Bombcraters will be easy too, just some milliput surrounded by scatter. God I love 3mm scale, I can finally put all my dreams to reality without costing me another house in storage, another fortune and my marriage. When I say fortune, I mean it....the money I have spent on wargaming over a lifetime is scary! Fortunately, all this stuff cost me 32,50 euros and a book in trade, so total cost for half a square metre (and then some) in scenery is 45 euros. In 20mm that would buy me maybe 2 houses, in 28mm maybe a single farmhouse (unless I went MDF, then maybe a bit more).

What is the plan? Taking the above picture and gridpaper as a base, I will cut out, round off and sand down 12 bases and feg, there goes my plan. Just checked my stash and I  have only 1 sheet of 2mm plasticcard left, which is only sufficient for the bottom 2 rows, and there are no more local sellers of the stuff so this means back to the lasercutter. Which costs more money. Feg. (my buddy lasercutter is unavailable for the next 3 weeks and he's not the most accurate measuring wise so I won't risk that).

Not a problem. Cause Pat cut all of these with bases I can just assemble them ahead of time and glue them together in the correct shapes so they are ready when the blockbases arrive. See, problem solved. Pffeww.. now this won't happen again when I do the next part, the factories, so lesson learned.

Right, back to the normal routine of cleaning and clearing out all the stuff I don't need anymore from the hobbyroom and selling it. The income for this week alone has been phenomenal, more then a years budget in just 2 sales, but I've put most of it back into my bank account to make it greener as I have been skirting the thin red line and I want to stay out of debt. I have enough left over though for a small 3mm force though :)

Enough for today. Tomorrow, the world! :)