Saturday, July 29, 2006

Replacing Legends

But first, High Paladin Dartan Vilmon:
The CMON link: >>here<<
The auction link: >>here<<

"Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me?
M-I-C ... K-E-Y... M-O-U-S-E!"

Imaging having to rewrite that song? What a high-pressure concept... like having to rewrite a score to Star Wars or something. The task went to the band "They Might Be Giants", probably based on the great theme song they wrote for the Disney show "Higglytown Heroes" about a year ago. I think the new version fits the new show very well, but still pays homage to the old one. My two-year old loves the song, and sings it with me all the time. I know it's nerd stereotyping, but I have really liked TMBG for going on 20 years. (what? has it really been that long?) They have put a couple of albums for children in the past several years, so my kids are getting to like them a lot too. Yeah, these girls don't have a chance.

Done, minus one detail

Well, here he is. The only detail I've changed from this picture until now is that I've drybrushed a light brown onto the little grass clumps to make them look a little more dead. Once I redo pictures, it'll be eBay time.

Not to make this secondary news, but I have a new nephew today! William Christopher Alvarez was born 5:30~ish this morning. Stef was present for the birth, so she's crashed out in bed now after a night of no sleep. Congrats to the happy parents and his two big brothers. He's a cute little guy, with very apparent physical attributes similar to each brother.

Wednesday night, Brian and I played a 500 point game of Warmachine, about 60% larger than any game we'd played to date. Big, big fun. We had to proxy some models, but it convinced us to buy more 'jacks / units for our armies. There's a 750 point Warmachine / Hordes tournament in late October, and both Brian and I are considering entering.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Who is Werner Klocke?

Short answer: he's the guy who sculpted the mini at left.

It's getting there. Mr. Klocke sure sculpts nice cloth, but white still give me fits (shading the white back of the cloak, that is. The white in the front seems nice.)

I think I'm ready to start painting the arms so that I can glue them on.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Planning and Execution

On Wednesday I was able to buy High Paladin Vilmon, a new solo for Warmachine. The sculpt is big fun, as you can see. I have to paint a fair deal of it before even assembling it! I play a Menoth army, but I'm painting him for eBay. Ouch... up until now I have painted things that I don't play or collect, so I had no attachments to them as they went on the block. Part of me wants to keep this fellow, even though I don't field Paladins in my army. I have to remember that he's a brand new figure, and selling price will be maximized if I'm one of the first on eBay with him. There's one out there now, but I'm not worried about competition... yikes.

I had planned on having him ready for auction tonight, but plans change. Hopefully he'll be done tomorrow. The pic here is from the first night of painting (Thursday) and the current model is a tad more complete.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Another One on the Block

Woo hoo another auction started!
Auction link >>here<<
CMON entry >>here<<

I'm fairly happy with how the snow turned out, since it was my first time trying it.

I used the fluorescent desk lamp in addition to the day lamps, and I think it yellowed the image a little. The leather on the axe handle looks very nice in person (if I do say so) but is washed out in the image.

The family went to the Manchester Chicken Broil today, and I ate leftover Kraft Mac'n'Cheese for dinner. Disparity.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Paint Faster! oh, and movies.

Okay, I've spent two nights with the Rune Priest, and I think one more serious session will finish it off for auction. Okay, maybe two nights, but by the end of the week for sure.

Tonight was basically just face, hair and a freehand on the left shoulder (which I cleverly hid in this photograph) but each could be something of a "show stopper" if done poorly. I'm happy with the results.

I've still got the second half of Bunty aur Babli to watch, but I just can't seem to sit myself down in front of a TV and watch it. I have become unaccustomed to watching much of anything, although I did watch Zathura with the kids a few days ago. I suppose it's sitting down and watching something by myself that is strange.

"The Lady in the Water" teaser trailer was one of the most evocative minutes of film I have ever seen. It seems like high praise for a teaser but I was absolutely riveted by the whole thing. The newer previews seem to give the farm away, but I suppose your usual movie patron expects that now. Do people feel some sort of accomplishment when they recognize scenes in the movie as having been in the trailer? Does it make them feel that they somehow intuited the parts that they had previously seen? I see people take such delight in seeing a joke that had first heard in a trailer finally being uttered in the full film, I almost think they believe they themselves had written the joke. I'm too hard on people...
M. Night Shyamalan is an unpredictable fellow. His movies range from all around amazing to head-scratchingly pointless or heavy handed. I don't really trust him with his own movies anymore, as strange as that sounds... as delightful as the teaser was for LitW, I have no delusions that the actual movie may not be utterly retarded. In his defense, The Village was very well done... for the most part... and maybe it shows he learned the lessons that Unbreakable and Signs had to offer.

Monday, July 17, 2006

...and back to eBay I go.

Now that the Thane is done, I'm painting another piece for eBay before camp is upon us (less than a month at this point.) It's another Space Marine, this time a character called a "Rune Priest" from the Space Wolves chapter. I love the face and hair; it should be a blast to paint.

Before I get too distracted, take a look at the leather on the inside of the hide. I was particularly pleased with how it turned out.

This was a busy weekend... I spent a good part of Saturday canvasing the neighborhood around our Pastor's house to advertise our upcoming VBS. The seven of us hit more than 400 homes, and it was really hot out. Crazy hot for Michigan. I'd appreciate prayer support from anyone that families respond to the idea of a VBS in their own neighborhood and attend.

Thane Completed

Bill's Thane is finally done. I think I have spent more time on that particular mini than any mini I've ever painted, and it looks pretty darn good. It's hovering in the low 7's on CMON (link >here<) which is probably where it will stay. Irregardless of the final CMON score, Bill is happy with it and that's what matters.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I'm doing everything I had planned for the Thane, but something is not coming together. It just doesn't have any pop. Take a look at the last few WIP photos and they just don't show a tremendous difference, despite having spent hours and hours painting. Maybe this is one of those minis that will emerge in the final night of painting, and not a moment before.

Mark came over last night and painted the sergeant from his terminator squad, destined for eBay. With only white primer, the bone color for the armor and green base coat on the tabard, it looks featureless. I'll be watching how he approaches the next couple painting sessions to see how he handles it. Mark has been painting a lot longer than I have, but he still wants to paint fast. For games that require 100 models on the field that's a good thing to be able to do, but it compromises quality. I greatly look forward to seeing what he can do now that he slows down and paints for quality.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Thane Progressing

The gold looks better on the helmet, but I might give it another chestnut shade level just to increase the highlight/shade differential. The gloves (not including the ink spill on the gold studs) are pretty much done, and show what the army will look like most other places in the end.

I need to move my lights forward a bit, so that the model is front-lit more. You can see the right eye, but the left is completely shadowed with the current setup. I hope the final pics show both eyes. Yes, I painted skin and eyes inside the eyeholes of the helmet.

Knock Knock

Jay told me a joke today during lunch. Yes, two years one month old Jay.

Jay: Knock knock.
Me: Who's there?
Jay: Owl
Me: Owl who?

At which point he just erupts in high pitched toddler laughter.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Quiet Here Today

Stef, Sarah and Lily went to "the lake" with a friend of ours. I stayed home with Jay. Honestly, I can't stand beaches, and Stef gave me the out to stay home if I wanted to do something with my friends. I ended up staying home with Jay, and painted while he napped. I called the pawn shops instead of driving there, and none of them had received a bike today. I'm fluctuating between cheesed off and just exasperated about the whole bike thing.

A few nights ago I made an Oathstone from some Loctite brand epoxy putty, the kind that comes in a tube with a gray outside and a blue core. It really is nicer for large shapes than green stuff (kneadatite) and can be sliced, but it doesn't hold detail like green stuff. Instead it sort of crumbles as you carve into it. I'm not very happy with the gold on the helmet. It has a base, highlight and shade layer, and you can't see anything but bright gold. After the gold on the Blood Angels Chaplain came out so flat, I wanted to figure out gold with depth. Clearly from the photograph, I have not gotten there yet. Maybe I'll wash the whole thing chestnut just to take it down a peg, then re-highlight with a brighter gold.

Thieves Smell Like Poopy

Stef's bike got stolen last night. Not just her bike, but the expensive baby seat on the back (a really nice one we got at a garage sale) and the child carrier trailer attached to it. Yup, her entire "take the kids for a bike ride" setup. Granted, Sarah and Lily can both ride two-wheelers now, but sometimes they just liked to ride in the trailer. All in all, it would cost a fair bit over $450 to replace everything new. We're not likely to find those same things at garage sales.

The sad part is that we both somewhat suspect a fellow that has been coming around looking for work lately. He has helped us with a couple things, for which we paid him, and he seemed like a decent fellow. The fact that he asked for work, and then actually worked hard when offered the work, earned my respect. But yesterday he told me that his mother had died that morning and he was trying to get money for a suit. Call me cynical, but hard luck stories like that seem.... unlikely. I lent him my lawnmower to mow a neighbor's lawn a few doors down. Stef's bike was parked up by the house in the front yard during all this, and when she got home sometime after midnight it was gone.

I really want to believe he didn't steal it, but I can't discount the possibility. Maybe it's the time proximity. Maybe it's the hard luck story. I'm going to drive to a couple pawn shops today to see if anyone has tried to fence it. I mean, how many hard-up parents would need to steal a bike with capability to carry three kids? I still don't want to think bad of him, but we've never had anything stolen from us before (despite ample opportunity) and the timing was just too close.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Template Tragedy

Note to bloggers... don't ever edit your template without scrolling all the way to the bottom of the little windows to ensure that it all loaded first. If the template didn't load into the little window first, then your blog will be broken and you will need to pick your template again from the list, blowing away all your customizations.

I honestly can't remember what links I had out there before, but I'm pretty sure I got all the blogs that I read. Thankfully sitetracker is easy to reimplement.
Wow, was that annoying.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Home'ing from Work

The gang at work and I have joked around about how much work people who "work from home" are actually accomplishing. Talking with them today, I suggested that some people come into work but spend a substantial amount of time talking on the phone to their kids, doing bills, looking for things on eBay and generally fielding everyday life problems that come their way. I called this "Home'ing from Work" and I hope it catches on in the vernacular. A quick search on the phrase came up with a couple hits, but not the number that a pop-culture saying typically gets. Come on people! Spread the word! Homeing from work!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Note to self: SHARPEN

Busy day. Church was at one of the members' houses in Tecumseh (about 45 minutes drive if you don't get lost) immediately followed by a barbeque. We spent several drizzley hours under the tent awning. It wasn't raining hard enough to keep the kids down, so I ended up following Jay around, keeping him out of trouble and getting not wet per se, but just sticky from being in the rain. We then made the drive north to a birthday party for a 3 year old we know, another spitting rain event. I am sunburned, but that is no surprise. I sunburn in the dead of winter.

When am I going to learn about posting late night pictures of minis. The CMON entry I had created, including paying a credit for the featured auction, was pretty lousy. Since the entry could be accessed through the auction links before it was made completely public, a few people had come in and voted on it. The score: 4.3. I kid you not. There were only around 6 votes, but come on! I figured an early low snipe like that would kill my auction and the photo was the problem, so I deleted the entry, eating the credit in the process. I then resampled the photos down to a reasonable size and, more importantly, applied the sharpen tool to them, and resubmitted. I have got to remember to use sharpen more often. It really gives minis a crisp look. The mini is up now >here< and is doing fairly well.

Auction started.... goodnight.

So I went to bed at 3:00 AM last night, and Lily was up bright and early at 6:30. Daddy, get up. Daddy, it's morning. Daddy, can I have breakfast?

Black Templar is on eBay. Link >here<.

Drove to Howell to "Hero Quest Comics" with Mark today, since they supposedly have Privateer Press stuff. Ummm, they do. They make Riders look like ... something... unpleasant. I'm too tired for similes. That's sim-il-ies, not smilies.

Going to bed.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Nearly on the Block

The Black Templar is nearly complete. Or maybe complete... I haven't decided. In any case, here is a chance to try out one of the nifty backgrounds that came with my light tent. The camera settings haven't changed, but the details on the black figure come out so much better with the blue background. I wish I had a nice gray one, but I suppose I'll have to find a piece of gray paper or something for that.

Mark was over assembling his second Hordes army tonight. That means between Mark, Bill, Brian and myself we have six Warmachine armies and three Hordes armies, and only one repeat in those nine. I rely on Mark's painting advice a lot. He advised me tonight that Black Templars wear ivory tabards, not white. Oops. The axe had been red after last night, but enough people didn't like it that I decided to change it. I'm glad I went to blue. Since the power weapons all have those conductors on them, I figured I would use the axe's round shape to simulate one of those electric spheres that make a cool arc at your finger when you touch them. I also tried to light source the surfaces facing the power weapon to try and accentuate the fact that it is glowing. In game terms, the model is a veteran sergeant, basically a more powerful version of the basic soldier that leads a squad of 5-10 marines. To add the power weapon and plasma pistol that this guy is carrying takes him from being a 15 point model to a 50 point model. So what's my point? For all those extra points, I might as well make the weapon look cool for whoever is going to buy this fellow.

The ultramarine sergeant is lingering at the minimum bid. I'm hoping for some late auction sniping action, but even if there isn't any I'm still satisfied. For now.