Thursday, 29 November 2012

Base-x-of-war Product review

Ok so I will freely admit to having been a tad....quiet on here of late. I can assure you I am still alive and the several dozen hitmen you all sent out have failed.
Work however has dismembered my hobbying time a fair bit.

However today i have something worth blogging and saying (go meeee go meee 'does a little shuffle')

What I'm talking about is the order i very happily received from the guys over at Base-x-of-war.
You can find them here

As a heads up and it's fairly obvious from their name, they do bases. But oh they also do more. Alongside basing materials they also do custom movement trays. Now I'm not talking your typical black blob of plastic, I'm talking moulded custom trays that match up to their basing options.

Yes upon seeing them online, i tracked down the company and drooled muchly.

A bit of leg work provided very little information about the company though. With my rather large network of gaming contacts and loooong existence in wargaming, i had expected to hear about this company. But nope, only 1 other person knew of them and they in truth were full of praise.
So with a little trepidation i placed an order for 20 bases from their fantasy Celtic range, a matching 5x5 model movement tray and a 5x5 Desert kings movement tray for my other half. The company tell you to expect dispatch withing 7 days for normal orders, 14 for larger ones of custom heavy sets (yes they will make trays to your own desires). True to their word 7 days after ordering i have the package here in hand.

So here's the nitty gritty bit.

First impressions.
The products have been very securely packaged meaning no chance of damage from those carefree postal type people.

The Bases
All 20 bases are perfect. On first look i thought there were big problems, but after checking the website and images i realised that rather than it being a base problem, it was actually a problem with my eyes and memory. The Celtic bases and done in such a way to represent moss/grass/rubble on sections of the base. This was what i initially thought to be miscasting. My bad!!! I really must face it...I'm getting old.

A snap of some of the bases

The Movement Trays
Having learnt from my previous mistake i looked over the movement trays and once again they were flawless. Colour me impressed.
I used the 20 bases to check the snugness of the fit within the tray and there is just enough freedom to allow easy removal of models without them sliding all over the place.
All in all a well planned shape and execution.

Detail on the front edge of the Celtic tray. The Desert Kings one is equally as good, alas my photo skills are not lol

Fit/snugness test

Or lack of it. We are all hobbyists, there cant be a person amongst who enjoys the tedious job of removing flash and mould lines. I'm sure a lot of us have experiences with products like finecast and know how this can be further compounded with resin models.
My one reference on the company had said in his glowing comment 'beautifull detail and no mould lines'. The old wargamer in me found this a bit hard to believe. But i take my hat off to him and the guys at Base-x-of-war. There is zero flash and i failed to find a single mould line on any of the bases or movement trays. Bravo....bravo.

This was one of the areas which i initially found to give me cause for concern. I was told as a kid 'if it looks to good to be true, it probably is'.
I have purchase plenty of bases from plenty of different suppliers.
Usually they go for between £5-7 for 5 standard sci-fi/fantasy bases.
I also expected a 25 model strong movement tray to set me back £8-10.
Nope, considering the reliability and quality of the product i would have to say i am once again surprised and impressed.
5 20x20mm bases cost a mere £2.60p and the movement tray a mere £4.
So realistically you could base and provide movement trays for a full fantasy sized army for a relatively cheap price indeed.

In final thoughts, i would struggle to find a bad or even mildly negative thing to say regarding the price/quality and service from Base-x-of-war.

I would more than happily and readily recommend them to anyone looking for that little 'extra' for their project.
10/10 Across the board.

A very happy, very impressed Demented Wargamer signing off.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Up above the streets and houses rainbows flying...ok i'll stop

So today's post is bought to you by the word 'knackered'. Too little sleep, too much work and nowhere near enough play.

But that wont really stop me from continuing on with my dwarves.

Right now though i have the dilemma....and you can guess it's colour related from the rather silly title.

It revolves solely around clan/hold colours for my dwarf warriors. I really cant get my head around which option.
I'm totally drawn between a brighter and more stand out scheme and the more accepted natural colours.

It's a conundrum and one i will eventually solve. Even if it drives me even more insane than i already am.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

What a difference a day makes.

That about sums it up in a nutshell really.

Today the world looks on as Obama take office as US president again. For me the right choice as Mitt the tit just didn't seem 'credible' and was creepy as hell. Much like our own overfiend here in the UK Cameron.

Today as a football (soccer to the Americans out there) fan i look over my club and sing 'we're not bottom of the league' and pray the small step up a place is the first of a climb to safety.

Today as a hobbyist.
Well that's the most important part for me. In the most unusual turn of events i actually woke up feeling enthused and positive about the hobby for the first time a really long time. Praise be the dwarf king eh.

Last night saw me feverishly trying to dismember my thumb as i cleaned up a box of Dwarf Warriors. God only knows how someone who spends his spare time hobbying, works with a meat slice during the day and appears to be mildly accident prone, still has TWO pose able that kitties!

Amongst all this positiveness there is a glimmer of insanity. It involves ideas of a rather angry and rage filled dwarf king atop his shield bearers. It's an image i just cant shake and may well try to put into action for my lord choice in the dwarven throng...i said THRONG you filthy minded maggots. (yeah i made that mistake a few times too lol)

Today i have set some aims to achieve.
1)- Undercoat and start painting the dwarf warriors.
2)- Watch Prometheus
3)- Play some Borderlands (yeah the 1st one..I'm a little behind the times)
4)- Drink enough tea to sink a battleship.

1 is about to happen. 2 is a plan for this evening. 4 is well underway and 3 depends on me surgically removing the xbox controller from my fiancees hands. She will deny being addicted to the game. Well its been in the house 3 days. I have a single solitary hours game comparison she is into her 13th as we speak...type...eeeer blog. Oh whatever!

On a final note for now. If you enjoy a good comedy, love a few puns and  lot of bad language. I highly recommend watching the movie 'Paul'. I honestly haven't laughed so much in a long time.

That says it all about the movie

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Hammers, War and Anvils. With a dose of eight legged freaks

Today i unveil my grand master scheme to recharge my hobby batteries.

As some of you know i have really been suffering from a lack of drive and enthusiasm lately and i struggled to pin down why.
After talking to some people and a bit of soul searching i think simply put. I am 40k'd out. I may be wrong but it's the most logical explanation for the last 2 years of struggle.

How to address change.
I would have loved to explore Flames of war, warmahoardes, dystopian or 1 of the variety of other games out there. Alas the local community is pretty barren. Maybe when i win the lotto and open a wargames store up here in the grim dark of north Norfolk i can change that. But for now my plans to take over the world must wait. (can i hear brain asking 'what are we gonna do tonight pinky?')

So the choice pretty much makes itself. Warhammer Fantasy Battle.
Up until 1996 i was a pretty avid WFB player and had amassed a might host of the sons of ulthuan. 10,000 points to be precise. But i moved house...and a misunderstanding (read- ignorance that lead to the box labelled 'fragile' being placed under all the heaviest items) lead to that 10k of elves being squashed flatter than snotling under the tread of imperator titan.
Time passes, wounds scab over and a brief foray back with the elves never worked out.
More time passes.
Burn out arrives in my hobby mind and here i am today.

There have been stoic moments and crazy gibbering maniac moments. Neither strong enough to win and only one plausible answer.
A return to the old world with 2 armies.
The first in the shape of a few hundred pounds of muscle, wrapped in armour and coated in beard. Yup i will embark on journey of the dwarves. This is to exercise my need for a challenging and tactical force.
The second..which involves a lot and maniacal cackling and a fair dose of a goblin army. Mounted on spiders. Yes i mean EVERYTHING.

So thats the plan, in en effort to rejuvenate my flagging 40k levels I'm taking a break from it and working on WFB. This should work well as carol (my better half and fellow wargamer) is currently working on a tomb kings army.

Well here's hoping anyways.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A custom paint rack

Whilst I'm battling with the inner demons of hobby hell, i thought i would take a chance to share with you my custom paint rack.
Complete it looks like this

Now its far from perfect but it serves the purpose well. But I'm not sharing it just to say 'wooo look at what i got'. I thought i would share a bit of a how too in the hope it helps inspire some of you in need.
So here goes.

Material required
Backing board
upvc conduit (look around at home it usually holds the pipes etc. But don't nick that! the Mrs will be annoyed and its readily available from decent diy stores)
Some sort of adhesive. In the end i used an epoxy glue as it was the only thing that worked.
Tape measure.
Screws/drill etc for mounting to the wall.

Now i admit mines basically my MK1 version and i will replace it when time allows but it certainly services the need and holds well over 150 pots of varying sizes.

The backing board
For this you can use whatever is handy, mine was off the back of an old cabinet. You need something sturdy enough to resist warping and yet light enough to not require a crane to hold up.
Once you have acquired/scavenged said backing board, you need to rough up the surface to provide a bonding surface. Remember to dust off the wood dust.
Next measure the width of the board and make a note of it  (this is to measure the 'shelves)
The next bit is a personal choice.
Measure the paint pots you intend to use and then add a centimetre or 2 (the extra is to allow room for pot removal). On your board make a number of marks this distance apart all the way down both sides. Then draw lines between them. These lines will provide a guide to where the bottom of your upvc racking will sit.

You should end up with something like this

Next up is the fun and naturally...the messy bit

UPVC shelving
The conduit i got was about 24mm deep. The best way of making sure it's suitable for your needs is to take a pot of paint with you and test fit it. I wanted a snug fit so my paints were held securely.

Now take that earlier width measurement of your board and along each section of the conduit mark out that measurement. Then take a hack saw and if you have one a mitre block and get hacking that conduit into conveniently sized pieces.
You should end up with a pile of plastic strips like this (feet are optional). I should probably mention here that the conduit comes in 2 pieces. A small upper cover and the main trunk piece. Its the main trunk piece you need. The cover can be used for scenery projects, reinforcing the back of the board or giant whippy stick fights with your fiancee if you so desire. You can guess which i used it for.

Now each of those sections will be very rough at the ends and you need to sand them smooth again. It will help with the bonding later and also help avoid any nasty accidents as it can be sharp. It also avoids any accidental mess after you have been a good hobbyist and tidied up late.

The next thing to do is adhere the shelves

Now i suggest taking a lesson learnt. Upvc and wood do not like each other and getting the right glue is a must. I suspect a hot glue gun would work but i don't own one. I probably could have afforded one with money wasted on adhesives but hey like i said...trial and error and MK1 shelving.
Substances i can guarantee wont work.
Super glue
No more DOES NOT glue anything to anything with surety...even after 24 hours bonding time.

What did work. 2 part epoxy glue.
Now this stuff is dangerous so please take care with it. It has a very short working time so you have to mix just enough for a single shelf at a time.
Don't get it anywhere you don't want it or you will never remove the stuff.

When attaching the shelves to the wood make sure to line up the bottom of the conduit shelves to the drawn lines. This will help to avoid any mishaps resulting in small spaces....nope didnt make any of the here *innocent whistle*
Once again stripey footed fiancee is optional though desirable if only to help hold pieces.

After a good amount of glue, struggle, swearing and general diy stropping you should end up with something like this. I allowed about 24 hours drying time for the adhesive.

Here its mounted to the wall using the normal rule plug, screw, drill type of set up. I hope i don't have to describe that to you. The little squares of plastic were used as the board was thin and the screws would have ripped straight through.
As you can see there is a small amount of sag in the shelves. This is something i hope to address in MK2 version when i finally tackle it. But it doesn't prevent the rack doing its job.

Mine is currently mounted in the space behind my hobby room door. Its perfect really as its a blind spot in the room unless the door is closed.
All that remains is to fill it up with paint and enjoy

As can be seen mine will hold everything from standard current gw pots through to older citadel pots, vallejo paints, tamiya and anything in between.

I hope this does indeed help and inspire some of you and if it does...its a job well done.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

and the world is woe

Oh look it's a post...yup been a tad on the slow side on the blog.....ok ok...there has been more life in the recently deceased.

But today's post is more of a rant slash whine. Or simply put...the woes of a wargamer.

I have been at this hobby for over 25 years. Owned just about every army gw have produced, and tried a few other games along the way. But over the last couple of years i have found myself slowly sliding down a slope of despair.
It all started when i took up Malifaux. I took the game up as the card mechanic was 'new' and the models screamed 'best painting level'. For a long while it provided a refreshing challenge. But it came a cost, i couldn't paint a normal army as i couldn't escape the 'best painting level' mentality. This in turn frustrated the living hell out of me. Trust when i say i have a room full of 'bit armies'. Projects that i started with the best intention and then lost interest in when i couldn't reach the painting level i wanted.

Eventually and after many hours of struggle i broke the habit and can say I'm fairly happy to set an 'army' standard and character standard for my painting.
There is of course a but....

Somewhere along the way i seem to have become something of a 'jaded wargamer'. By this i mean enthusiasm and interest has waned.  I personally don't know why, whats caused it or how to address it.
I have tried to think of the cause to no avail. No matter how much the start of a project may enthral me, it never goes further than a few weeks at best.

Despair is upon me and i turn to you my fellow gamers and ask your thoughts and advice.

The option to diversify into other games extends only to my fiancee and fellow gamer. The rest of the local community of 40k only.

My commitment to the hobby is something that wont wane even though my project interest does. As for the hobby seriousness.

My lair