Saturday, 24 June 2017

Real Life Is Indeed, A Bugger!

I've never really been that materialistic beyond my lust for books and all things a bit nerdy and figure related.

But, of late that does seem to have changed. You remember I laid out my 'everything stops at 50' plan a few weeks ago? Well...

The bathroom at the Dark Tower needed overhauling and so we put plans into place last year to get it done. Alas, the kitchen also needed some work, despite being 11 years old and bloody expensive. The kitchen staff and even an insolent scullery maid had been somewhat rowdy and outspoken to both myself and the lady of the house, despite being flogged with a handy shoehorn and the dogs set upon them (the scullery maid will be out of hospital next week).

And so, we called in our faithful and favoured builders and in the end, it was decided that the Dark Tower would be brought into the Century Of The Fruitbat with the following work:

Replacement of bathroom suite
Full tiling of walls and floor of same
New fittings and fixtures
New ceiling and spotlights
Removal of wall between the kitchen and great hall (all the better to ensure that the staff refrain from spitting in the sauce Bernaise)
Bricking up of the kitchen door and addition of a window in it's place. (that should fox those damned tinkers  who are always bothering Cook and our footman with their wares)
New main kitchen window
Removal of no less than 3 previous layers of ceiling over the kitchen (what did the last incumbent Dark Lord think he was doing?)
Replacement of the entire kitchen with a 50% extension of space utilising the darker corners of the great hall.
Tiling of the floor s of the great hall and kitchen
Replacing the great hall ceiling
Replacing the kitchen ceiling
Re-plastering of the grand staircase, study and great hall
Re-carpeting of the grand staircase and study
New cabinetry in the great hall to display the fine glassware collected by the lady of the house, in our 3 decades together.

All in all, we were looking at around £20,000.00 of work and although we were able to enlist the assistance of Robin Shylock the local approved money lender at the temple of Humdingah, at rather favourable rates, we still had to raise some more funds when we extended the scope of the restoration work.

The lady of the house used some of the funds earmarked for her passion of collecting fine silverware and undead wargames figures, and I had to forego 3 rather wonderful 15mm armies which I had planned to purchase from the Duke Of Scarborough (late of this parish, but defending the coast against the barbarian hordes for several years now) as well as somewhat reluctantly also sell one of my recent acquisitions of WH40K Space Marines which was admittedly an impulse buy based on volume and value over a need or aesthetic consideration.

The hardest thing to come to terms with is that I am now actually getting excited at the prospect of the Dark Tower being brought up to standard, despite the loss of 4 armies, and I think it is a clear indication that I am becoming rather mundane in my middle years.

The Dark Tower is a mass of rubble, plaster dust and ancient spider webs, we have had no sink in the bathroom since Monday, the bath was installed in a somewhat rudimentary manner last night...



...and the toilet is temporarily plumbed in, with the disconcerting addition of being sat on floorboards, under which no ceiling exists, meaning that every set of 'maneuvers' can be clearly heard by the kitchen staff (mind you, if they look upwards in mirth, you can be pretty certain that you can piss in their eye through the cracks in the floorboards, so it does have some entertainment value).

I have a pile of game related reading material to get stuck into, but there's nowhere really suitable to indulge in that little peccadillo quite yet.

I have however also decided that I will be doing a lot of 6mm gaming, as i am arguably a fine painter in that scale (in every scale, come to mention it) thus it would seem to make sense that 6mm is a way forward. I love that feeling of being god of all you survey with the hundreds of, tiny troops able to roam over a far greater area than their larger counterparts.

It's my hope that I will have some eye candy of this sort to show to you in the coming months, but right now, I am very hard at work, creating things of beauty for my clients every day (even today as it happens).

That's about it for now, and if I am remiss in my reportage, please forgive me, but quiet moments in which I can sit and indulge myself at the keyboard are few and far between.


TTFN


Thursday, 15 June 2017

For The Emperor!

Today's bargain...

The seller was asking £1200 (not unreasonable really, given the quality), but I was being firm on my long term budget. Then yesterday, the deal on a rather nice Imperial Fists army fell through due to the seller dawdling, and, as I scanned the Imperial Psy-Net I saw this army had been slashed to £600...

And you know how it goes from here...



TTFN

Saturday, 10 June 2017

This will be brief as I got to bed at 2:30 after finishing a monumental painting stint just before midnight, grabbed a glass of wine, hummus, pittas and olives along with some cheery charcuterie, and took in a couple of 1984 episodes of Top Of The Pops. I was up again at 6AM, to sort out some steel pins, destined to become pikes, and so I am actually a tad fatigued as type this blog update.. 

My 20mm Vietnam stuff arrived on Wednesday, and was sent back on Thursday as the seller had just dropped them in a box with a few bits of newspaper. You may imagine - or prefer not to - how they arrived. I was not happy at all.

I am currently waiting for a 20mm Arab/Israeli collection to arrive from the Netherlands. It was quite a large collection and worked out at about 75p per model or vehicle. The seller I understand has taken great pains in the packing and so I am hoping that they will arrive in pretty good condition, some time next week.

My lightsaber also arrived this week and Parcel Force gave my wallet a real good going over   with their fees, charges and taxes racket - That's what it is - a racket!

Hopefully tonight we'll be gaming and drinking a few alcohol free beers. I'm not sure what we are playing, but it'll probably something fairly straight forward as we are all seemingly, pretty whacked out this week.

I buy copious numbers of audio books from Audible, which I listen to as I workI am currently listening to the travelogues of Neil Peart of veteran Canadian rock band, Rush. He's a really perceptive observer and writes well, painting pictures of Canada and the U.S which bring those places to life in the mind's eye. 


He describes his terrible shyness and how that shapes the way that fans perceive him as being somewhat misanthropic. 

I am also absorbing 'Down & Out In Paris And London' by George Orwell and it's OK in small doses - like arsenic. After that, I have Somerset Maugham's 'The Gentleman In The Parlour' lined up leaving about another half dozen of varying genres including the 60 hour long marathon which is Alan Moore's 'Jerusalem'.

I am now very certain that I will finish my 'last hurrah' of gaming spending a year earlier than planned. It all turns on the availability of Perry Miniatures 'Cape Wars' models at Britcon in August.

I've been so busy that my studio had got into a right old state. I am not the kind of artist who can wallow in squalor, so a 3 hour heavy duty clean has been in order and, I can now see all the work surfaces, but cleaning the dust from the lids of 200 pots of paint with a lump of Blu-Tak was something of an experience. Still, it's done and now I can feel a little more at ease up here.

I ordered all my 8th edition WH40K stuff last weekend and I cannot wait to get my hands on it all in 7 days time. It really does look to be a great leap forward and the figures I have recently purchased are all dying to get stuck in a.s.a.p. 

Well, that's all for now,


TTFN

Saturday, 3 June 2017

14 Months And 15 Days To Go, And All Is Looking Good...

Friends, both old and new were somewhat sceptical when I announced a couple of months ago, that after my 50th birthday, I would be making no further large purchases of wargaming stuff and that I had a pretty finite list of wants - considered the least plausible of my proclamations.

But with 14 months and 15 days until that historic day, I can say that at this time I am well ahead of schedule.

As I type, I am only short of:

6mm sci-fi
28mm Cape Wars
6mm or 15mm Dark Ages

I aim to have them all purchased by that date and indeed all painted and playable with the exception of the Cape Wars which, is to be my last grand gesture of artistic prowess and one which I hope will proved a suitably elegant swan song.

Fingers crossed, I'll probably have all but the Cape Wars completed by the end of 2017.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go and dress myself as a Death Eater and get myself frisked by security, under the watchful (and very welcome eyes) of police firearms officers at South Yorkshire Cosplay Con.


TTFN

Friday, 2 June 2017

All Spent Up... At Last!

Today finally broke the camel's back. I have managed to hit my spending limit.

As I had worked a double shift in the studio yesterday, my brother and I zipped down to Nottingham to Warhammer World for a spot of lunch and to grab some Adeptus Mechanicus decals. And a nice time was had, as always.

Thence I returned with a bee in my bonnet about some 20mm Arab-Israeli War models I had seen a while back. It's a period I have wanted to have a crack at for years and so mustering the last of my depleted resources (until Joy Of Six, anyway) I purchased the collection.

The following pics give you a taste but don't fully do them justice. They are very nice indeed...



Of course, now I just need to find some reasonably brisk rules. Any suggestions?


TTFN

'Charlie' In The Trees and Backwards Facing Knees

Well, sometimes my purchases do not go as smoothly as I'd wish.

You may recall I'd bought a nice little Sons Of Horus 30K force to be joined with another which I'd set out to buy from a German seller. The German seller got cold feet despite me meeting his asking price, so I was left with the S.O.H part-army.

Ho hum... No problem - It took less than an hour to recoup what I'd paid, but I still wanted a 30 era army. Anyway, on Saturday I'd seen a rather nice 30K Adeptus Mechanicus force which was only around 1500pts. To be honest I was not too enthused by the pushiness of the seller, so although it was nice, I passed on it.

This was what it looked like:




Well, I was looking on eBay yesterday and came across a smaller force which was very similar in style and which would, if combined with the army above, make a really nice force as well as coming with the Forgeworld rule book:



Some very swift Paypal action and both were secured - Result!

Now, a few months ago, I'd looked at some 20mm Vietnam models. The painting was varied, but at an asking price of 50p per figure and £4 per vehicle, I was almost tempted, but passed in the end... But, I have been watching M.A.S.H which whilst being supposedly set in Korea is a blatant nod towards the Vietnam War. This got me digging out my old books and the excellent Body Count rules, which led to me contacting the seller, who still had them. It seems that 20mm has lost it's pull these days so I was in luck and purchased the collection which is around 350 models:



A bit of TLC on the vehicles and I think it'll be a nice pocket money priced collection all told...

TTFN