29 November 2009

Et maintenant pour quelque chose complètement différente

Oui, c'est vrai, j'ai succombé à l'attrait du jeu napoléonien!

(Which my rusty memory, and a bit of help from Babelfish, assures me means I have succumbed to the lure of Napoleonic gaming!)

Yes, too much watching of Sharpe, reading of Aubrey/Maturin, and too many banner adverts from the Perrys and Victrix over on The Miniatures Pages, has led me inexorably to a New Venture, in which our Hero valiantly struggles against Tyranny, the Frenchies and the Corset Fastenings of Dusky Hispanic Maidens.

I had been instructed by the parents to give them a Christmas list, and I was having difficulty. I do need (!) some street furniture for Thorncreek's continued expansion (carts etc), but I rather fancy having a go at making some of it myself first. So I was idly trawling for a set of skirmish rules for Napoleonics in 28mm and discovered a company that was new to me - Too Fat Lardies. They produce a .pdf ruleset specifically for Sharpe-type gaming called Sharp Practice for the princely sum of Seven English Pounds.

They read like it's an absolute blast to play, so I've asked for a whole bunch of Victrix and Perry figures to allow me to do so.

I shall be tackling this project alongside my existing ones once I've got another 3 bases painted of HYW English for Impetus, my Outlaws are finished and I've constructed six buildings for Thorncreek. I've got two done so far:

Obviously this means other Unfinished Projects will suffer, but a couple of them have basically already been put in a box for a few months until enthusiasm for them returns.

Please note - this does not break the Pledge, as it's not my money.

Happy Advent Sunday, all.

8 November 2009

How cats helped win the West

I hope you'll be pleased to know that I haven't been just been sitting sulking about GW for the last few days, I've also been beavering away on the first building for Thorncreek, which I think is in the southern part of Colorado. This should allow mountains, plains, and (at a stretch) the occasional gang of Mehican bandidos that are on the run from down south. Well, quite a big stretch...

In case any of you would like to see how I did it, I've laid out the in progress pictures below. The method is very heavily based on this set of articles over on Geektactica, and using Gungnir's sterling work as inspiration as well.

First off, I measured out some templates (sorry, can't find the picture, but it's not that exciting anyway) for the walls, cut them out of 5mm foamcore and glued them square. I then started cladding the walls with the splints/spills/little-bits-of-balsa-like-wood-for-lightning-bunsen-burners-with. This took quite a while!

The elastic band was to hold the end piece in place while the glue dried. Use lots of glue!

More cladding in place...

I realised I had to add a pointy roof bit on the back of the false front to support the roof - lesson learned for next time, when I'll just make two of the back end pieces and stick one on the back of the false front.

This is where the cats come in! The corrugated iron roofing is made from the box my cat's food pouches come in. I just peeled off the outer layer and was left with the beautifully even corrugations you can see :) It took a little while to find the best way of removing the little bits of 'outer' that stuck to the bits I wanted, but I found that a sculpting tool scraped down each corrugation allowed me to clear the stubborn bits off in about ten minutes. Free and reused - bonus!

The finished building! I trimmed the scrappy bits of foam core around the windows so that they were smooth and stuck bits of splint to form door/window frames. I stuck the whole lot onto some thick card, put a ridge-cap over the tin roof, backed the door/window holes with thin card and used some more of the base card to make a front door. I cut two pieces of thin card rectangle to make the sign, removing the central section from one and sticking it over the other to make a frame. The boardwalk was made by gluing a few modelling matchsticks (from a massive bag I picked up for a song) at right angles to the direction I laid the planks which were more splints. I'm pretty chuffed with it for a first attempt, and now that I've done it once I reckon I'll be much quicker next time.

What will I use it for? As I hope my future buildings will be less crude, this should really be the oldest Thorncreek building. The Land Office, perhaps? Suggestions on a postcard...


5 November 2009

GW helps me reach a decision

One of my favourite websites out there (which has given me great hobby inspiration, advice and enjoyment over the last few years) is www.talkbloodbowl.com

However, if you're reading this entry after the 11th November then the above link will probably not work. This is because Games Workshop, in their wisdom, have sent a Cease and Desist letter to the website manager because it contains the word 'Bloodbowl' in the URL. Now, I can understand protection of Intellectual Property etc, but the manner in which it was done (a week's notice after operating for nine years as the premier fan-site which was heavily used by GW employees to test and produce the last couple of manifestations of the rules) was incredibly heavy-handed and angering. I do not see how it would have been any less effective to politely request that the URL or sitename were changed.

Which is the better way of doing things? To say 'Excuse me', or to roughly barge past, shoving aside the person in your way? Which leaves a better taste in the mouth? Quite.

So the decision? I will not be attending the Bloodbowl Grand Tournament in May (I've been to three of the last four) and I'm right on the edge of a total boycott on future purchases from the main GW. (GW Historical seems to be much more by gamers/for gamers, something I approve of wholeheartedly, so they escape my ire). I will be writing a letter to them to explain the reasons for my decision.