28 February 2012

Disaster strikes- end of month round up

This post will be brief due to my Laptop hard drive dying yesterday, all the images are on that drive and its now gone for repair but wont be back for the month end, I shall post pictures etc when it gets back. I have borrowed one of my little ones netbooks to post this.
Target not met I have 12 archers that are almost finished but these will not be completed in time.
On a positive note I exceeded the Saga table target with one finished board and one that now only needs flocking.
I also constructed a couple of special pieces, (photos to follow) as an extra for Craig n Kelly.
I finished the campaign rules and map (although these lay on the dead hard drive so I hope this gets restored)
Finally I have based everything up that was painted in Jan so that met a partial target.
Well thats it for me Im of to console myself and just hope my laptop can be restored to some working order.

22 February 2012

How big is your Stick :)

Sorry if you have dropped in here for some warped sexual thread, you are going to be disappointed.
I have got side tracked from my target this month severely, and all hope of actually hitting my deadline has gone. The entire weekend was spent bed bound with a virus and no painting at all. Last night however I decided to do something a little different.
I went to the COGS show at Newark a couple of weeks ago to pick up a large order of stock, part of that was a small gift for every player in my upcoming Saga campaign at the club. So what has this to do with sticks, well I spotted an opportunity that is Saga Measuring sticks, and lo and behold being able to get them direct meant everyone will have sticks to use in the campaign.
The sticks are perfectly fine as MDF but with 13 sets all the same at the club, how would I be able to spot mine so I set about customising them.

I added some nifty push pin handles (I borrowed the idea from Kev), this makes picking them up a lot easier.
I then colour coded the etched details and added some knot work designs. The set comes with 30 fatigue markers so I did 25 black and white for normal fatigue and 5 in red and white for any units that should end up exhausted.

20 February 2012

KIlling Captcha

I admit it the most annoying thing about blogging lately is try to read the invariable amounts of ancient texts that the new version of captcha is throwing up. I am NOT repeat NOT F***ing psychic or into ancient languages (short rant) and the rubbish the new system is spewing onto my screen when I try to comment on fellow bloggers sites actually makes me want to give up.

I implore you all to banish this instrument of frustration as soon as you can, after all you can moderate your own comments should the need arise. I was unaware I even had this on my blog until it was pointed out to me by a fellow blogger. Now being of the technically illiterate type I sought help from the blogger help pages in order to remove this blight... If you are thinking of doing so yourself you will find no help and a dead link.

Now the reason I could not find this simple set of instructions that follows was due to me having updated to the new interface and there are no options to disable the damn captcha. So after a spot of Googling I produced the following result.

To disable CAPTCHA with Blogger, switch back to Old Blogger by going to the "Blogger Options" cog icon underneath your photo on the right side of the page. A drop down menu will appear when you click on it. Click on "Old Blog Interface."  Once in the Old Blog Interface, go to "Settings" Tab then under that go to the "Comments" Tab. Scroll down to "Show word verification for comments?" Select "No." Save settings. Go to top of page where it says "Try the updated Blogger interface" and you are set.

Et Voila I am now Captcha free, Please consider disabling your CAPTCHA if at all possible!and make leaving a comment easier for everyone.

After all I got asked to answer this on a friends blog any ideas on the first word????

16 February 2012

Saga Tables in Progress (3)

Kelly unfortunately was not able to make Tuesday evening so that left myself and Craig time to move the tables along. I had base coated Craigs board earlier in the day in preparation for his arrival. First we base coated Kellys board ready for the next session, before working on Craigs table.

The first job was to dry brush two additional earth colours over the base coat.
Base coated and dry brushed
The next stage was a healthy application of glue to one half of the board, this is because you have to start the flocking before the glue starts drying.
Whilst Craig glued the second half of the board I started application of the flock I have specially mixed for commission work.
Once the whole board is under glue the flock is applied to the other half. The waiting game begins the flock has to sit on the glue for at least 10 minutes.
Once the flock has been on for 10 minutes the excess is knocked off by turning the board on its side and giving the back a few wallops.
The result is a big smile from Craig, the board has to be left overnight to fully dry then the excess flock is gently brushed off and then sealed to protect the surface.
The final result after sealing, it will get its first game in a fortnight before Craig takes it home. This just leaves us Kelly's table to complete.

Basing the Hoard (2)

Due to a restless night I got up and completed the basing of the Vikings so far. The good thing is I have enough figures to campaign with and a choice of opens for the field of battle.

First up the archers.

Then Finally for this round of basing 4 points of warriors.
first point

second point

third point

fourth point

so thats the lot for now just 12 Hearthguard and 12 archers to do and target 1 for the year is done.

15 February 2012

Basing the Hoard (1)

My time has been swallowed up this month so far on everything but painting. I have only finished 1 figure so far, and have another 7 half done, but the 12 archers are a mile off being done. This is a worry as the Campaign starts soon and my back up warband will be leant out to another player. So I have started the basing (normally done at the finish of a project to ensure consistency) because I am in danger of not having the figures ready for use at the club.

So out with the paints, flock tufts and away I go only 65 figures to base in total LOL

Here is the result of a couple hours work today. First up you have seen this figure before, but the base had not been fully finished it is now
Jarl Snorri Ravenmaster
Next up the first 4 Nutters in camp (the rules only allow 1pt of beserkers in a warband) There will be another 4 of these as when I am not using beserkers in my force I can add another 4 figures and use them as an additional unit of warriors.
Finally for today 4 points of Hearthguards, This still leaves me a few more to base, but means I will be able to choose from a selection of 10points for the campaign when all are based.

10 February 2012

Saga Tables in Progress (2)

Last time we left this project with the framing completed and some minor ground works in place. December and the festivities interrupted the intended schedule and events in January meant that Craig and Kelly were unavailable to assist me. However I needed to make some headway as my workshop is becoming overcrowded with terrain boards. I have 10, 4ft x 2ft boards for a customer and 16, 2ft x 2ft boards for another to complete along with a multitude of other items so I set about getting the tables up to speed.

The first job was to smooth off the ground work areas and then plaster the edging so as to blend back to the table top.
Features smoothed and prepared ready for texturing
Once the plaster was dried plenty of elbow grease was required to smooth the features off and ensure they were smooth and no visible hard edges. In a way I was thankful for the lads absence as I could see if left to their own devices my workshop would have been a right mess letting them sand the tables down :)

A close up of the undulations
The next stage is the application of the texture, I use a sieved sand for this process to eliminate large lumps and stones from the ground work. A liberal application of water/pva glue in a ratio of 25% water to 75% pva is brushed over the entire surface then the sand is applied and left to stand for 10 minutes so the sand is bound together by the glue mixture.
Liberal application of Glue mix
Sand applied over the entire surface

Once this has stood The table is stood on it side and any loose sand falls away. Leaving the textured surface, this needs a few hours to dry before the application of the base paint colour.
Table textured and ready for base coating.
So that is part 2 completed, The Dangerous Bros are due back at the workshop Tuesday evening and will be let loose with paint and some brushes. Im off to purchase some sedatives in preparation ;)

8 February 2012

Saga Campaign rules released.

Its been an effort and after a few sessions of tinkering I have completed the Saga Campaign rules we will be using for our clubs saga league. I actually got to version 5 before I was fully satisfied they will make a comprehensive system. Click the rule book to go to the rules pack.

I also had to tinker with the campaign map due to the inevitable late arrival. It is now at its final incarnation as it would be impractical to try and add any more territories to the map. The campaign now has 13 entries.

7 February 2012

Oh Bugger

I got some cheery news from Microsoft today, they host my small website and recently re billed me for a two year subscription and hosting fee.

it reads:

On 30 April 2012, we are discontinuing Office Live Small Business. We would like to offer you an opportunity to self-transition to Microsoft® Office 365 for professionals and small businesses.

To get you started, we are offering you an exclusive 6 month free trial of Office 365 for professionals and small businesses and Office Professional Plus.

This really annoys me as they also make it clear if you dont move it to our new system yourself everything will be lost. Now I have next to no technical knowledge and its taken me 3 years to get my website to the point I was happy with. They havent even got the decency to make it an easy move. Even the transition pack is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike to someone like me. Whats more after 6 months its going to be very expensive at about £15 a month for stuff I dont even know how to use.

Well thats the rant over, because as a result I have decided to change host completely and build a more up to date site elsewere, thankfully a good friend has pointed me in thedirection of webeden and I am happily wearing my fingers out but the new site is looking better.  I wish I had moved sooner as I always had functionality issues with Office Live and the support is lousy. I will just have the problem of transferring my domain name now.

With all this said getting the business working properly online is now a priority and will over rule my targets for the month.

6 February 2012

WFC Saga Campaign Map

I have been fully inspired by the game of Saga, the simplicity of the game to play combined with the tactical use of the battle boards is a breath of fresh air.
Whats better is it is a skirmish style game so with a small number of figures you can get playing fairly quickly, (well if you paint a bit quicker than me anyways).
Our whole club has taken up the mantel and everyone has a warband for at least one faction, many are onto a second and third faction.

My aim was to develop a campaign game for this, using a simple system. I have used some of the scenarios in the book to deal with common events that would occur in plotting movement on the map, and battles etc. In order to maintain some balance I have devised a scoring system that only by playing the campaign through will I be able to see if I got this element right as it was an intention to stop it being to easy to run away with a high score. However I have a couple of points to sort with them as of now.

Original inspiration came from a fellow blogger Dalauppror who kindly sent me a copy of the map he was using, he had however no set rules for a campaign and events in his campaign can be followed by clicking the link to his blog. This meant I needed to set up the campaign rules and allocate lands to the various players. Unfortunately for me I ended up with 12 players and the map was not large enough so I had to think how to expand it. I ended up with a blank UK map and went from there. Now the map was sub divided several times and its final incarnation below has 85 regions for the 12 players to fight over.
I will complete the rules pack later this week, but thankfully the starting map is complete.

3 February 2012

February Already this months target

My target this month will be smaller than last month simply because I have a lot of terrain orders on hand and with over 100 sections of bocage to cast and ship out I know I will have limited painting time this month.

I have prepared the last of my Vikings so I have 12 Archers and 12 Hearthguard to paint and all 84 figures to base. This will be the warband completed to 12 pts with options too. Whats more I will have completed one of my objectives for the Year. I will also finalise the campaign map for our clubs Saga campaign that I will be running from March, and finalise the rule pack for this. I shall also make further progress on the Saga terrain tables I am making for Craig and Kelly and at least get them to the stage of base painted by the end of the month.

Sunday will see the first off Internet spending trip of the year, my annual pilgrimage to Vapnartak in York. There is nothing like a wargames show to make a fool part with his money. Once again I expect to return with my arms laden with shiny toys and my head full of ideas. However I am going to try and resist the urges, and those of my travelling companions and only purchase what is actually required. My main aim is to purchase the additional figures I need to get my 15mm ACW up to 50 infantry stands per side. I also want to check out Gripping Beast as I want a nice Warlord for my Anglo-Saxons that is a bit different to the norm.
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