Thursday, August 4, 2016

Scale Comparison - Perry Covenanter and Old Glory Covenanter

I feel it's important to share information - I'm always searching the net for this kind of info before I buy.

Perry Miniatures Covenanter scale compared to Old Glory Lowland Musket scale:

Perry on the left - Old Glory on the right

The Perry figure is "leaning" over and stooped a bit. Old Glory figure is wearing a morion, standing up straighter. Also, the base is much thicker. 

A Perry figure stsanding up much straighter than the previous one. Even with the thinner base (Proxie Models) the eye-level of the figures are about the same.

Overall, the difference is so minute it will make little difference. The Old Glory sculpt is a bit deeper but, other than that, very minor difference.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

On the Bench - August

I always have a few little projects going. Here are the current main ones"

Another squad of Covenanter Musketeers. Ten of them and an officer and drummer. Here's a pic of the musketeers I'm painting right now:



I'm using Renedra plastic 20mm bases. The figures are a combination of Old Glory Scottish Lowland Musketeers (ECW-41) and Scottish Lowland Command (ECW-50). Using poster tac I've mounted them on plastic soda bottle caps, my new favorite tool for such things.

and... that's about it. That's the only major project I have right now. Should be done by this weekend, I have a second squad of musketeers to do. I am 6 figures short of a 12 musketeer squad so I ordered a 6-pack from Perry miniatures. Shipping from England so I'm being patient. I hope to get these done before my 2 week vacation come last half of August. I hope to not have any painting lined up for that 2 weeks, the first week will be easy as I will be up in Levenworth, WA with family. The second week will be a staycation so we will see if I can stay away from the painting table.

**I typed this last night. This morning I got a message from one of the other firms in my work building in downtown Portland that a package was delivered to them accidentally, and it was from England. Went and got it and BAM - 6 Covenanter musketeers from Perry.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Friday Night Game

Usual Friday night game with Spencer. This time we went to Guardian and played some Saga.

I had some new terrain pieces - a resin ship (Old Glory Viking Longship), some wattle fences (Renedra), and a resin well (locals Monday Knight Games) - that I wanted to show off. I also brought my Normans and Spencer played his Irish.

We played a scenario out of The Crescent and The Cross, we both feel those scenarios are much clearer and better playing than Saga Dark Age Scenarios. We had a good game and I got a few pictures. I was in the fifth round when Spencer rallied and, in the end, we had a draw.

I played William the Bastard who has some good abilities that boost archers. Also, with him, you get "warrior archers". An Irish weakness is lower armor when shot at. As is usual ranged combat is not that good in Saga, understandably so, but I was able to keep the Irish at bay and at range. Things folded when I lost 7 of my 8 crossbowmen. I sent in the knights who did not hit as hard as I had wanted and just could not score well enough for a "comfortable" lead. It ended up being a very tight game and Spencer's rally was rather spectacular.

Norman ship landing and needing some repairs. Patrols sent out and Irish were found!

Lone survivor crossbowman returns from the front line. "Get back on the ship!" orders William.

Spencer plans his rally, down by 5 points or so.

The beginnings of the rally, at the end of this there were much less Normans riding around on horses.



Thursday, July 21, 2016

Heavy Metal

Went to Enchanted Forest (the famous one “7 miles south of Salem, OR” as the 80s TV commercial would always say) a few weekends ago for a special record release party. The person that made all the music for the park put out an album (label Wyrd War) of her music for the park. Vinyl of course. The release party was at the park itself where she played music from the album, a show from her band Almost Irish, and that was proceeded by a metal show with Thrones and Danava.






I’ve gone to four Wyrd War events this year so far and they have all been phenomenal. Like, I feel at home at their events and they have all been fun, affordable, fun, and highly entertaining. Tiffany and Dennis are good people too and I enjoy that they love what they are doing. For a guy that always feels like an outsider like me, I have never felt like one at a Wyrd War show.

I’ve mentioned before I am a metal-head. I like a lot of stuff – punk, hardcore, new wave, hip-hop, rock, metal, funk, R&B (and many of the niches and sub-genres in between) … actually it’s easier to list what I am not into:
1) Pop (in all iterations)…. I’ve liked a couple pop songs but I’m just not into pop.
2) Jazz… I respect, but that’s a lot of work to get into it.
3) EDM or whatever it’s called now …

It started with AC/DC. Before that I liked Adam (and the) Ant(s), DEVO, and whatever but AC/DC is what got into me. Then Black Sabbath, then Van Halen, then I got into British stuff like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, et al. *

*then came punk, then came hard core, then came the Big Four and all that thrash…

Instead of listing the history of my metal-pedigree, I’ll just note some points in my life.

My very first concert was Ozzy and Motley Crue. Shout at the Devil – Bark at the Moon tour. I was in 7th grade so 1984? The whole concert-going process was new to me and this was to be my first experience, at Portland Memorial Coliseum. I bought one ticket at the Ticket Master kiosk in GI Joes sporting goods, I had saved up some money from some allowances and my Mom gave me some to cover the cost. I got some nose-bleeds.


My Dad dropped me off at The Coliseum and there were thousands of metal/stoners there. None of them scared me. I even ran across a guy I was in Tae Kwon Do with and we chatted but had to take off as he was meeting friends and he was a little older and “cooler” than me but I understood.  I found out where to stand in line and kept to myself mostly.

While waiting in line a youth minister (they were there in force protesting the show and reiterating the Ozzy Bites Chicken Heads off myth) approached me and said he saw I looked scared. I told him this was my first concert. I mean, I was a perfect target for them – some lonely fat kid with braces. Some stoner girls (18 years old or there-abouts) stood up for me. Told the minister to leave me alone and not scare me. The minister offered to buy my ticket off me and take me to the nearby church where they were having a party and praying for everyone at the Ozzy concert. No way man! I saw that after school special… I mean:
Get in a stranger’s van, go drink some kool aid, sing hymns, pray, get $20 back.
--or—
See Ozzy and Crue, fire and giant bats, and think I’m going to score on hot stoner chicks I have zero chance with.

I chose the latter. I had a good time!

In the same year I saw the exact opposite of the above show – Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I believe the B52s opened? I’m not sure. This show was great. My first look at “gay-music culture”, so many pretty people, and I made out with a girl I went to junior high with though I forgot her name… it was a one-night summer romance.

The following year I went to my third show, again this was totally different than the previous two, and saw Poison Idea and Suicidal tendencies. There were a few other bands playing before them too but I’ve forgotten who they were. Hard core, mosh pit, cheap beer flying in the air, and sweet sweet 3 chord riffs really loud. Plus it was cheap and a small venue and I got to meet ST and Poison Idea (who are from Portland!). This was it for me. These guys were not gods, they were what I was looking to be when I grew up in a few years… well, not literally as I was never in a band. This was it for me – songs actually about how I felt which was pissed off, guarded, and ready to fight back.

I followed the above with Circle Jerks and 7 Seconds, Poison Idea and Cro Mags, ??? and Black Flag. Seeing Rollins sing My War was a chapter in my life.



Mid 80s and MTV was playing The Young Ones. First episode I saw introduced me to Lemmy and Motorhead. Later I figured out that’s what all the kids at hard core shows, and later thrash shows, were wearing Motorhead shirts for. I loved them.



I loved Thrash; Anthrax, Metallica, and Slayer mainly. Not so much Megadeath. I also got into SOD and the Thrash/HC cross-over was heavy on the west coast. Especially in a suburb like Vancouver, WA, only so many punk-metal kids and access to it so you got into it all. I never went full-stoner though as those guys were burn-outs and I got into sports.

90s came grunge (which I already was leaning towards as I was into stoner stuff back then and grunge comes from that and punk hybrid stuff) but I was in the Navy and out to see so most of that scene I missed. It cleaned the world or a lot of the lame shit though – hair and smile metal. By the time I got out of the Navy I was into White Zombie and Ministry.



By 1999 I had been burnt out on metal. Everything was so serious and/or industrial. Someone burnt me a copy of Sleep’s Holy Mountain and that was about all the metal I listened too for a few years.

In 2005 I was introduced to High on Fire. Fuck that was awesome! About a year after that I found out Matt Pike was also in Sleep… Holy Shit!! 2006 rolled around and I would cruise Comcast On Demand “metal station” and I found The Sword and Early Man. I was totally back into metal.



The only consistent in my life from the late 80s to now was GWAR. I love GWAR. I have never been let down by GWAR. Dave Brockie dying a few years ago was a serious shot to me. Lemmy too but every day after Lemmy turned 50 was a blessing to us (so, 20 year’s worth of blessing). Brockie was still pretty young (50) and I miss him today. I cried at the last GWAR show I went to last year as we said goodbye to Oderus, I’ve never cried at a show before and I was not alone. GWAR still moves on though.



In the late 90s I saw TOOL. That was, probably, the best show I ever saw. I got lucky and got ground floor tickets. Before this show I kind of liked TOOL. After that show I loved TOOL for the rest of my life. There have been a few nights in my life that I was feeling alone and worthless and not in a good place and I listened to TOOL all night long and I heard wisdom and picked myself up and made things better. Mainly the thought it was my fault thus my responsibility thus under my control.




I never got into the darker/spookier/Satanic-y-er stuff like Norwegian Black Metal. I don’t think Satan is real (I’m an atheist) and, though I appreciate the neo-satanic-atheist movements currently, it’s all just dumb to me. Also, way too much neo-nazism.




Currently really into the Doom/Stoner/Sludge stuff. At 45 years old that may be where I settle too as my wife also likes a lot of it (she’s a recovering goth) and I think I’m just getting to old to spend so much energy discovering new things. I’m pretty satisfied now.

Have a good day and I’m off to buy a record player!!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Lead Mountain – My two year stint in the Old Glory Army

Three plus years into the hobby of historical wargaming I feel confident in my lead mountain. I meant to build it and I actually have one that is!

Two years ago Spencer and I partnered up on an Old Glory Army membership. Mathing it out he figured it was a good deal – splitting the $50 annual fee, splitting the shipping, and ordering monthly. An average pack is 30 figures and with the discount it comes out to $21.40 per pack. Shipping is around $9 (split it’s $4.50) so just under $26 a pack. One pack a month plus the annual fee split ($25) comes out to $337 for 360 minis.

http://www.oldgloryminiatures.com/

This was the “big plan” for year one:

1)      Split annual fee
2)      Make a monthly order
3)      Fill all the niches and voids for all the armies I wanted to play in different rule-sets

Before that I spent a lot of time wondering how to get the figures I wanted to play with and shopping around for prices and sales. I’m not adverse to spending money on things but that usually happens when I am dialed in on something (see past post on Winsor & Newton brushes).

Initially it was kind of hard as the pictures of figures on their site are average at best, they are not as popular as some of the “cooler” names like Gripping Beast or Warlord or (add name of your favorite company here), and the price did seem a little too good to be true. On average, a pack of thirty 25mm figures is $26 shipped. That’s almost ridiculous compared to other deals out there. To “advocate” I decided to, in this blog or when I post pictures on Facebook, add “Old Glory” and the name and, sometimes, catalog number of the figure pictured.

 
Bondi Archers DA-04 from Old Glory main site.

Bondi Archers DA-04 from alternate site Old Glory 25s.

We went forward with the big plan and the result was I fell in love with many of the minis. I ended up with a lead hill after a year, then we renewed for another year of the big plan as I was satisfied with what I had gotten but not satisfied with my lead hill. Most months I’d buy my one pack of historical minis but sometimes, when the budget allowed (and more often in the second year) I’d get more than the one pack. I’d get two packs or a pack and something else that interested me like bikers or SWAT snipers or something like that.

The first year ended and we opted to renew for a second year. By now I had some “tastes” develop and my gaming developed too. We started playing Lion Rampant so I started sourcing Hundred Year’s War figures. I got into English Civil War so I started sourcing those from Old Glory. I felt, as I am ID’ing myself as a “metal-head that plays historical wargames” that a badge of honor would be to have 2-3 units of Romans on the shelf … game or no game. I also started noticing that it was nice to have some dress-up options like a figure of a priest or a medieval woman with a basket of bread – OG had packs of those too so I bought some.

My second year of being in the Old Glory Army ended last month in June. My last order was a pack of Norman Crossbowmen and two resin Viking longships (waterline models… flat on the bottom so they sit on a table). Coming up on the 15th of the month this month and that is when I start getting ready to figure out what I’m ordering…. And I don’t have to do it. Being cognizant of that, I’m blogging about it.

Yes, I am going through with withdrawals here. I’d order sometime around the 15th, give Spencer cash for my order, and a week or 2 later we’d get a nice little package in the mail at work. It was a nice little surprise and I’d spend my lunch break the day my stuff got delivered opening up the package and playing around a bit with my new minis at my desk. Then I’d send Spencer an e-mail (he’s on a different floor… we work at the same place) and give a dumb little review on the minis.

Wooot!! My order is in!

 Old Glory would always fulfill the order in good time. Two years of monthly orders and we never got cheated. None of my orders were ever messed up, Spencer had one missing a part once I believe but that got fixed real fast by OG. A few times I had questions and I’d e-mail them and they’d get back to me the same day with an answer. Sometimes we’d get the order in a week, sometimes two weeks. No biggy. Always packaged well and no damage. On an Amazon 5 star scale I’d give them 4 stars and recommend them. I’ve only given 5 stars to a few things as, to me, that is perfection in the thing’s arena.*

*Some models of Mora knives, Glock 19, a couple movies, Winsor & Newton brushes … things I have given 5 stars to.

If I were to note any cons it’d be these:
You’ve got to do some pre-paint prep on these. Sure, you’ve got to file and snip flash and mold lines and wash all minis but OG minis really need that prep.
The Norman figures are a bit undersized when next to any other company’s Norman figures. True 25mm as opposed to the scale-creep of 28mm figures; you can see the size difference when lined up with other brands of minis, all of which are 28mm-32mm anyways. This kind of sucks for me because I have been gravitating towards Normans the past year for Saga and Lion Rampant.



Wire spears with separate spear heads – I love them and I hate them. They look great when mounted and painted and you are done crafting them. It is hours of frustration putting them together, what with drilling holes in spear heads the size of ants and gluing them to thin steel wire.



Some of my favorite figures from OG are the Rus line, all fur hats, neck beards, and poofy pants! I also really like the Biker pack and the modern lines of SWAT and “SpecOps” soldiers I got. Highly impressed with the Dark Age Scots I got.



All in all, and most of you old Grognards already know this or have your own opinions already, I HIGHLY recommend Old Glory Miniatures – especially if you are new to the hobby and want to be like an old survivalist in a bunker and stock pile things. Split an Old Glory Army membership with a friend and order frequently. In the end you’ll save a ton of money and have a Lead Mountain big enough to break the Rubbermaid storage box you store them in in half (that just happened to me on Father’s Day).

I was thinking to myself late last year:
“You know what would be cool? Some kind of monthly subscription service like Loot Crate or Razor Club but with minis instead. Oh wait, I kind of do that with the added benefit of knowing what I’m getting that month.”


Proud to be an Old Glory Army Veteran (not to take away from real vets … come on, do you think I’d do that?) and going to take a break from the OG Army life and be a civvy for a while before re-assessing and going back in.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Premiere of my Scots Covenanters - Friday Night Game

Quick post today - heading off to the famous Enchanted Forest with wife and friends this afternoon. Record release party for Wyrd War productions and a concert with Danava! AT ENCHANTED FOREST!! Awesome.

Anyways...

Spencer wanted to try out his semi-home-brew of what we are calling Pikes Rampant. It's an X Rampant rule-set that he modded for smaller ECW games. We'd done some blue vs. red demos and last night he wanted to see if it'd work for a 4 player game.

Also, it was the first game for my Covenanters. The game worked well, Spencer and I being "two generals" each. Using a Lion Rampant scenario the game was a draw and a lot of fun.Got it done in a bit over 3 hours. Pretty good for 4 armies on the table.







Edit July 11:
Check out Spencer's blog D.D. Tinzeroes and his view (and better pics) of the same game.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Brushes

I’m having an emotional moment with my Winsor & Newton series 7 Kolinsky #2 brushes. I tend to not have many emotional attachments as serious as this. Really, I don’t. This is new to me. I’ve only had emotional attachments to a few items in my life and the crisis I’m having now is making me look inward into myself and dig around. It’s weird how this happens.




There are only a few things I regret losing or getting rid of. I sold a lever action Winchester 94 for $200 once. I got it for free, I had bought 3 firearms from a guy and he threw that 94 on top of the pile to sweeten the deal. My initial thought when selling it a few years later was “pure profit!” but a few years after that I was regretting the sale. I have a Marlin 336 in 30-30 and only shot that Win. 94 once but I was feeling incomplete for an odd reason. I’m still not over it but I trudge on without it!




I’m very happy that I still have the chess pieces I learned to play chess with. I played Chess with my Dad, by myself, and with the couple of friends that understood chess. I’m not good at chess to this day but it’s still something I play – albeit on my iPhone.



I wish I still had some of my old action figures I played with when I was a kid. I didn’t have a ton like my “richer” friends did but I did have a few and I bought half of them with my own money that I earned working and doing chores. As is the typical story most of what was left by the time I had left home for The Navy was sold off in a garage sale my parents had. I will not fault them, I was gone and they needed the space. I plan to do the same when my kid leaves. I will ask her what she wants to keep though. I do have my Darth Vader figure carry case. It’s not worth a lot as there are still a lot of those floating around but it still lives and is above my desk/workstation.




A few years back I had run across some harder times and had to move out of a nice large apartment and into a smaller space. I put a lot of stuff in storage. After a few months I was not able to pay the rent on that storage space and a few bad decisions later I lost it. It was mostly furniture but there were a few other sentimental things in it I regret losing. I had my old foot locker in there with my “uniforms” in it. Cub Scouts, Tae Kwon Do, Alderbrook Park shirt, and my Navy Dress Blues. Other than that the only regret is my old SCA helmet (I still have the horse tail) and my splinted “Varangian” greaves I made. Those were in that storage locker too. The rest of the stuff I could care less about and I hope somebody made some money off of an old couch, 400+ 90s era comic books, and some other random junk.


Back to my W&N Kolinsky brushes, I bought them in 2010 after recommendations from peers and the internet; on Amazon and ordering two. I wanted to up my painting game a little bit and, other than some skill increase, what could I do equipment-wise? My old brushes were Reaper brand brushes I got back in 2001 when I first started painting minis. I still have and use those actually, though relegated to junk and craft as opposed to mini-painting.

I must add, prior to getting into Historical War Gaming 3 years ago I painted 10-12 minis per year for RPGs – Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons. Low-mileage = old stuff still working.

There was a bit of sticker shock, after shipping we’re looking at about $18 a brush, and I am one of those guys that looks for the deal and doubts anything that is “more $$ = more quality” … though, as I am about to relate, I am proven wrong in that often.

Immediately I start to paint with one of them Kolinsky No 7s; a larger figure, a cyclopean lich that was the big-bad for one of the Pathfinder adventures I was running.




These brushes were a game-changer for me. Holy shit they were nice.

Now, I will never be a pro-painter and I will never enter a mini of mine in a contest. I do not have the patience or aptitude to ever be good enough for that. The Kolinskies made me better though – pushed me to use them at their ability to be a brush. I was limited in growth by sub-par brushes. One of them situations where you think this is it only to find your view was quite myopic and there was a whole world out there you denied yourself.

Like with kitchen knives and flashlights, I was being stubborn. Like with kitchen knives and flashlights, I was shown the truth of the matter. I firmly believe that some things just can’t improve on skill. Then I got a decent kitchen knife, then I got a decent flashlight, then I learned I was wrong.

The main thing No. 7 Kolinskies did for me was increase my volume of painting. One of the bars keeping me out of historical gaming was the volume of painting needed to get stuff on the table. Averaging 11 minis a year I would never be able to get any kind of army on the table but now, just in 2016, I have painted:
60+ Dark Ages figures
4 SWAT/Spec Ops figures
24 100 Year War billmen
40+ English Civil War Covenanters
… off the top of my head … I’m sure there are a few more in there.

Those brushes, and a few other major factors, turned miniature painting, a thing I knew how to do, into my #1 hobby currently.

…and that’s how I gained an emotional attachment to these two, 5 year old, getting pretty ragged, high-end paint brushes.

The Kolinskies are pretty old now, over 5 years. Looking back at my Amazon history they were delivered to me November 2010. I did not care for them as best I could though I did wash them with paint brush soap and applied conditioner occasionally. I hear they should only last you a year or 2 anyways, I don’t know if that is true or not. They don’t hold a tip well anymore and, when loaded with paint, the bristles split sometimes.

This past week I looked at my Amazon order history just to see how much of a difference 5 and a half years makes and the brushes are a bit cheaper now, plus I’ve got Amazon Prime so free shipping, and two new No. 7s will cost me about $21 now as opposed to the $36 I spent in 2010. I might shake it up and get some various sizes and I do use various sized brushes though the #2 size takes care of 90% of my needs. I’m thinking a #2, #1, and maybe a 00 for eyeballs and belt buckles.

I’m not sure I know what I want to do with those old No. 7s though. I’m not going to throw them away, I know that. Framing them seems a bit pretentious. As usual I’m sure I’ll figure it out though.


I hope your summer is going well and hope to see some of you across the table from me in the future. Good gaming to you all.