Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Adepticon 2015 Recap!

Come and gone yet again. It went by so fast. As last year, I had an amazing time at Adepticon. There was so much to see and do, and I know missed a ton of stuff, too, despite my best efforts.

It was held at a new venue, the Schaumburg Convention Center. This place is quite larger than the Westin, laid out better for the con, and the hotel was fancy as all get out. How fancy, you ask? So fancy that the bathroom mirrors were also televisions. Television mirrors. I felt like I was living in the future.


I don't travel a whole lot, but this is the fanciest place I've ever stayed. Unfortunately, the food prices were reflective of that. The bar, the restaurant, and even the concessions set up in the con were all much pricier than I anticipated. I didn't have a car, so I ended up spending more on food than I intended. However, the draft beers at the bar were $6, and that was awesome because I was expecting it to be more like $9.

As expected with a change of venue, there were some hiccups- lack of signage, mostly- but what an improvement over last year. The flow was much better, bottlenecks didn't really happen, and there was so much more room in the vendor hall. They probably could have even put a few more vendors in there, even.

As part of the VIG badge, I got early access to the vendor hall. There wasn't anything in particular I was dying to get except the Forgeworld event-only model. And they didn't even have him! Post office delayed him until later in the day, so I was able to pick him up later. I also picked up Konrad Curze.

I feel like I might have missed out on some of the VIG perks, only because this was my first year having it. I didn't know about the early access to the vendor hall until I saw a random tweet about it. No idea what else I might have missed, but I sure didn't miss out on any of the swag. That bag was swag-tastic.

I got about a dozen free individual figures (some inside the bag, some from coupons in the bag), plus a Legion Everblight starter for Hordes, and a Post-Human Republic starter for Dropzone Commander. I also got a coupon for a Wrath of Kings starter, so I picked up the Goritsi box because I love the wolves in there. I also got some paint, a Hordes mini rulebook, several coupons to use for vendors, Adepticon shirt, and Adepticon pub glass.

All in all, I didn't bring home quite as much stuff as last year, volume-wise (that Mumak is big!) but I definitely spent more money. If I hadn't just taken a big commission (doing a ton of Dark Angels soon) I wouldn't know what to paint first.

In the vendor hall, Reaper did a Paint-n-Take which was free and really fun. They had several Bones models you could choose from. I skipped a few because I already have them but settled on this creepy guy. I spent a solid hour working on him and chatting with some ladies I met there.

 In fact, I met a ton of people. I haven't had a better experience than I did this year, especially when it comes to painters. Every painter I met was a) crazy nice and b) so willing to share their secrets and give advice. It was fabulous, I can't wait to start applying some of the tricks and techniques I heard about. I also had some of the most fun opponents I've ever had, too.

Overall, I had a fabulous time, got to hang out with some really awesome people, and best of all, just had a lot of fun. I hope it works out that I will be able to make it back next year. With it being in the midst of tax season, it's too soon for me to tell. But I'd be heart-broken to miss it.

I'm going to do some additional posts on the hobby seminars, the 40k Friendly, and the Saga Grand Melee, so be sure to check back for those soon.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March 2015 Kickstarter Recommendations

March is a bit of a banner month for Kickstarters. Because who doesn't have enough projects going on already? Certainly not me.

The first one is Blood Rage by CMON. I've not been too enamored by most of their Kickstarter campaigns but this one has so many things I love in a single game. Vikings? Check. Bad-ass ladies? Check. Giant Monsters? Check. Gorgeous sculpts? Check!

First, it's a board game, which is a nice change of pace for me. But what sold it was the absolutely lovely miniatures you use with the game. There are four different clans, each unique and tied to a particular animal. There are also plenty of big beasties (including a Frost Giant) for you to fight in the game as well. I'm really looking forward to getting this one.

The second project I'd like to mention is The Edge by Awaken Realms. It's a miniatures game. Details on the game itself are a bit thin- but I don't care. The miniatures are just stunning. Absolutely stunning. They have two factions unlocked and have a third as a potential stretch goal.

This Terror Cultist is one of the cooler sculpts. A little Tzeentchy, no? They also have some daemon hounds that I think would be amazing Khorne dogs.

Lastly, Outlaw Miniatures has unfurled their Wild West Exodus Unfinished Business campaign.  They are essentially trying to fund the four long-hinted-at additional factions for their game. As with their previous project, I really think the minis are spot-on and have a lot of character.

 I became familiar with this game at last year's Adepticon. They gave away a free mini as part of the swag bags. A lot of companies make crummy plastic minis, but Outlaw Miniatures isn't one of them. I'm very impressed with the quality of the figures and how easy the figures are to assemble.

 I've played the game several times but have not yet brought myself to buying a starter. It's a cool setting and a fun game, but I just don't know enough people locally who play it (as is my curse with several other games I enjoy).

Hopefully these projects haven't done as much damage to your wallet as they have to mine.

Friday, February 6, 2015

My Wings, a Hurricane

I did a bad, bad thing, you guys. I was checking up on my phone, minding my own business during my lunch break last week, when suddenly the news came that more Smaugs were in stock on Games Workshop's website. And, somehow, before I knew what happened, I had a confirmation email saying thanks for selling your first born, here's a dragon. Joke's on them, no first borns here!

But in all seriousness, I bought him. And now, he has arrived in all his glory!!

First, I'd like to point out that the box he came in is so big that my beagle easily fit into it. She's somewhat catlike and won't turn down an opportunity to get in a box.

Once I set him down and dug into the box, I was really quite amazed. Most of the pieces are individually wrapped in bubble wrap. The first piece I unfurled was the main section of his tail, and the detail on it is stunning. He is covered in thousands of teeny, tiny scales. In fact, if you run your finger across it, it feels just like a real reptile does. Impressive.

Each piece I pulled out and carefully unwrapped was as detailed as the last. He has battle scars galore. Eventually, I came to the first of his wings and I realized how truly massive he is. This massive, in fact.

That is my small, girly hand, which is about 6 1/2" from the palm to the tip of my finger. Smaug's wings are about 10" a piece. That would give him a wingspan, if he were posed as flying, of about 24". I hesitate to call him a "miniature" at this point.

I have really no complaints about this kit whatsoever. Bilbo looks much smaller than he should be, but compared to other Hobbits in the LOTR range, he's similar. He looks too small in the photos because Smaug is just that big. About three of Smaug's spikey bits broke, but given that he has about 90 of them, I'm going to say "well done". There are only a few bubbles in the resin (he's made of FW resin, in case you wondered). Nothing serious that I wouldn't expect on any other model.

The only drag is, how on earth do I paint this thing well enough to do him justice? I don't know if I can. But for now, he's going to sit in his box and taunt me while I work on my other current projects. He's such a big project that once I start him, I can't be working on anything else. So for now, I am going to clear off some outstanding minis to make some room for his vast might.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Huzzah RTT 1/31 Recap

The monthly tournament at my local FLGS was this past weekend, and it was hopping! Usually there's around 12 players. This time, 31 people showed up. Must be tournament season! I know I'm trying to make sure I get in a whole bunch of games before Adepticon.

My first game was against a whole bunch of Heretics. Forgeworld units were allowed, so there were some crazy things on a few tables.

Unfortunately, the Sons of Russ didn't do very well. That was sort of the theme of the day, really. My second game was really fun, with some hot Drop Pod on Drop Pod action.

I really like the caution lines he painted on the leaves his pods. Definitely going to take some time to do that to mine. It's sharp. It was a little tricky during the game though, remembering that no, not all of these grey and red drop pods are yours.

The third game was against Necrons, old book. I've not played them too many times, but bleh. Just bleh on them. I started out strong by killing his Warlord, which was also first blood, but things just totally went to hell after that. My new big unit of 5 Thunderwolves really tore them up, though, they didn't always stay dead. I'm really liking this beefier Thunderwolf unit. They're an iron fist if ever there was one.

My Knight didn't see a whole lot of action throughout the day. I dunno what it is about that guy, I think I'm just bad at using him. I'm not taking him to Adepticon, though, so it's no big thing. The Friendly is 1500 points and, well, supposed to be friendly, so I've opted to leave him at home. More points for wolves!

It was nice to see some old friends as well as to meet a whole bunch of new people, too. I got to play three good games with three new people which is just the best. And maybe I even learned a thing or two. I'm really looking forward to next month's event.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Logan Grimnar on Stormrider

Finally, here is my most fun commission to date: Logan Grimnar on Pimp Chariot, I mean Stormrider. I actually finished him up in December and turned him over to his owner, but I'm still playing a little catch-up with posts.

This model is absolutely packed full of cool details. So many details. Ooodles of them, even.

Even his details have details.
My favorite part of working on it was definitely the murals on the sides of the chariot. On one, it's the Great Wolf defeating a pile of Tyranids (die, Xenos scum!) and on the other he's shattering the sword of a big ol' nasty Daemon. You know, just an average day for one of the greatest beings to ever don power armor.

More than anything else though, I'm pretty proud of how the fur came out on his cloak. I spent a ton of time trying to get it just so. It has some very deep recesses, so it was a good opportunity to work on my two brush blending skills.

The Thunderwolves were fun to do, too, and I did them up similarly to the studio paint scheme. It really sets them apart from the Thunderwolves I painted for this client previously, so it'll stand out on the table even more.

Speaking of standing out, I made the whole chariot body bronze. Because, of course it should be bronze, who are you kidding? He's Logan-freaking-Grimnar, if he's stepping out, he's going to do it in style. It turned out way better than I had envisioned. I was very slow and deliberate with my application of the bronze, doing several thin layers, and that's what I think really made it work. Metallics can be tricky across large surfaces.

Per request, I magnetized Logan so he could be on the chariot, or on foot, depending on how many points you're willing to spend. This was necessary for two reasons. First, Games Workshop stopped selling the on foot version of Logan just before this model was released. Second, and more frustratingly, Logan does not fit into his chariot if he's mounted on his proper 40mm base. It's just a bit too small.

It was a little annoying to have to work around that, but I'm glad it actually turned out OK in the end. I put a magnet under the floor of the chariot before I glued the two halves together, drilled into his foot to put one in there, and put a third on the underside of the 40mm base.

One last really fun detail is the inside of the chariot. When Logan is standing on it, you really don't see it, but it was the first part of the chariot that I completed.

I don't have a completely finished image of the inside (oops) but the annulus itself is complete. Just imagine some silver around the detail work on the floor. The hole in the floor is where Logan's foot is supposed to be glued in, a bit like a tab. But I stuck that magnet near there instead, to line up with his foot magnet.

Putting this kit together and painting it was an absolute blast. Logan himself was a little tedious at the end, only because he's got so much going on. I should have left his cloak off to paint separately. That would have made things a lot easier.

After putting him together, I'm still not sold on adding one to my own Space Wolf army. I do have one of the on foot versions in my stash, however, so anytime I want to paint him up, I can throw him into my army on foot. But assembling and painting a whole other chariot does not sound particularly appealing at the moment.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2014 Daemonette Project

I finished her up early in the month, but I'm just finally getting around to posting about her. Been a busy month.

I managed to almost entirely avoid purple on her, unlike all the others. She has two little gems where the cloth connects to the chains and that's all I did in purple. I wanted to go for a creamy yellow skin-tone, something lighter than the 2012 model.

This one has a little bit less in the details department that previous ones. When I selected the model for this year, I made sure to pick one I had not done before, although she is very similar to last year's. There is a surprising amount of variety in the sculpts of these models. I originally thought there were only 6 but I think that all ten that came in the original box were slightly different.

The base is, I believe, a Secret Weapon Miniatures base. I'm not too sure, because I pulled it from my bag of vagabond bases. I've been to a lot of events, and most give out bases as part of their swag bags. I started throwing them all in a single bag so there's a weird assortment of stuff in there now.

I put some Realistic Water in the base, and around the skulls, too, for a little muddy marsh effect. Basically, wherever she is, it's probably a place you don't want to be.

The claws are always the hardest part of these ladies for me. I'll probably do another knife-wielding hand next year, just to make it a little easier on me. Unfortunately, there are very few of those hands in the kit, mostly claws.

For comparison, here she is with the previous year's Daemonettes.

All in a row.

I hate to say it but my 2012 is still, I think, the best of the bunch. I do see some improvement from last year to this year, but 2012 blows all three of them out of the water. I wish I knew what I did to make her look so great.

Now that I've taken some nice photos of her, I'll add the year to her base, too. I'm weirdly looking forward to doing this year's already, though, because she'll be number five.

For previous posts on this project, you can check out the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Daemonettes.

Stuff, Stuff, Buy My Stuff

Howdy all. I'm downsizing and I thought you'd all like a crack at some of my stuff before it all hits eBay. As things get claimed, I'll update the item so you'll know if an item is still available or not.

If you're interested in an item, please email me at eaton.ashleyn @ gmail.com (no spaces, of course). Payments will be handled through Paypal. I will send you an invoice which includes shipping, too. Please remember I am in the US, so consider what shipping costs that might mean for you. But if you happen to be local, DC/MD/VA metro area, I'd be happy to arrange a pick up meeting in lieu of shipping.

Prices in USD, and are negotiable. This post will remain active for about a week, and then everything remaining will go to eBay. I'll include links here when they do. 

**Items are now up on Ebay, please go through the auctions there with the links provided.**

Current Tyranid Codex: SOLD
       Condition: New, in plastic wrap

Tyranid Psychic cards: SOLD
       Condition: New in plastic wrap

 Box of Termagants: On eBay
       Condition: New, but not shrink wrapped

 5 Hordes Warpborn Skinwalkers: On eBay
       Condition: Plastic. 4 fully painted, one primed white. Card included.
Close up photos can be seen in this post.

Hordes Winter Argus: On eBay
       Condition: Plastic, new in box.

Hordes Warpwolf: On eBay
       Condition: Plastic. Assembled, primed white. Includes card.

Hordes Woldwyrd: On eBay
       Condition: Metal. Assembled, unprimed. No card.

Hordes Orboros Krueger Stormwrath: On eBay
       Condition: Metal. Assembled, unprimed. No card.

Lizardmen Battalion: On eBay
       Condition: New in box, not shrink wrapped

Lizardmen box of skinks: On eBay
       Condition: New in box, still shrink wrapped

Current Lizardmen codex: On eBay
       Condition: New but opened. Leafed through maybe twice.

I'm still on the fence about selling my Dwarf army, so they're not on the table just yet.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Break Over, Break Extended

This is not a post about minis today. This post is a bit about my personal life and a bit about the blog. It's not exactly fun, so here's a picture of my dog in her Christmas sweater to lighten the mood.

Last month, I posted about taking a little break from blogging. That break has now concluded. I have several posts queued up for your reading pleasure. Posts coming up include my 2014 Daemonette and a commission of Logan Grimnar.

The reason I issued the break in the first place was that my husband and I decided to split up. I didn't feel much like painting, let alone blogging, for a while after that. It's a decision I'm still struggling with but I think it's for the best.

I don't entirely know what all the consequences of that decision are just yet, but it means, at the very least, that I'm moving soon and that I'll be spending a lot less money on minis. That second one is a silver lining, I suppose, since I have a ton of unpainted things I can work on already.

But it also means that I need to do a little purge of hobby items, including some projects I wanted to start but never got around to. I need to downsize in a big way. I'll post here and on Twitter about them first, but anything that doesn't go will hit eBay later this week.

Items in particular include some Lizardmen, some Circle Orboros, and quite possibly my entire Dwarf army (mostly metal, mostly painted).

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 Year in Review

Party Troll is back, here to wish you a Happy New Year.

Party, party!
All in all, it wasn't a bad year. Just not a great one, for several reasons. I saw my hobby time shrivel. Work picked up in a big way, and school demanded a lot more of my attention than I anticipated. I worked on lots of projects but didn't finish as many as I wanted.

Luckily, I was able to go to most of the major events I wanted to attend. I had a fantastic time at Adepticon 2014, and I will be going again in 2015. I'm very much looking forward to my "mini vacation".NOVA Open was on par with previous years, but I might be skipping 2015. It's nothing personal against NOVA, that is just shaping up to be a really tumultuous (and expensive) time of the year for me. For events in 2015, it looks like just Adepticon and Historicon for me.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to do much more playing than last year. 2010 and 2011 were big years for me, table time-wise. But life's gotten a lot crazier since then. I hope I can scare up enough practice time before Adepticon, particularly for Saga which I haven't played in too long.

Most exciting, though, it that I'm starting a commission painting service. The last quarter I did several commissions and had a lot of fun doing it. So I'll be making it an official business this year, hopefully in the next month or so all of that will be finalized. Still have to think up a decent name to register, though. I'll make a formal announcement and add a page to the site once it's official.

Lastly, my 2014 Daemonette is a WIP. I have had some personal things going on and haven't been feeling much like painting. She's about halfway there, so hopefully in another week she'll be done.

I don't really have any hobby goals this year other than to paint some more models. There's just too much up in the air right now for me to have any idea what hobby projects I really want to accomplish this year.

I hope you have a lovely and productive 2015.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Taking a Break

It's been a little while since I did a hobby update, and it's going to be a little while longer still.

I'm taking some personal time but I'll be back sometime in the new year.
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