Smart as Paint, dead as a…rabbit

The hall continues to be repainted now I know the right paint colour for the walls. Looks a lot smarter !

However, I have also started painting my figures again, and I chose a nice easy way back in to ensure I didn’t continue to procrastinate again.

Yes, Eric !
The Kharibdyss.
I checked the Dark Elf Army book for inspiration, and decided to go pretty much with GW’s colour scheme. It also helps that the blue underside will help to tie it in with the rest of the army (eg Witch Elves’ hair colour).

Unfortunately, I got interrupted yesterday whilst uploading the pictures. The usual kerr thump of a cat coming through the kitchen window (it was open, honest) and then the soup dragon purring of BlackJack filled the study. So I looked down to find that BlackJack had helpfully brought me a rabbit he had caught. So I tossed the still warm corpse back out of the window, only for BlackJack to bring back my present.

At this point I also learnt something new, a rabbit killed by a cat tends to empty its bladder. So I now had a leaking rabbit corpse to dispose of for good. Good job the cleaner is coming tomorrow. And people wonder why I don’t fit a cat flap. I’d forever be finding the decaying remains of one of the cats’ victims.

More scenery for undercoating. First Corps Russian thatched cabin (and shed). Being undercoated along with Eric’s two Beastmaster handlers. This means I should have enough scenery for my next BoB Big Game on the 31st May which is now getting close.

WHFB: A right drubbing ! Part Two

Not wanting to mix it up with the Phenix Guard the Dark Riders and Worlocks (both fast Cavalry) made a dash round them towards the melee in the centre of the table in a last ditch effort to help out the Cold Ones who had survived another round of combat depleting the Lothern Sea Guard. Both sides were succesful in casting spells, hexing and augmenting units but it was a war of attrition that I wasn’t winning.

The Dark Riders over-ran one of the RBTs and then charged the spearmen – no it wasn’t going to work really was it ?

The worlocks headed for the next RBT and out of harm’s way.

Talking of which my sorcess was alone and on foot, and had the two Giant War Eagles headed her way with no chance of fending them off.

Eric faced off against the Phoenix Guard – that wan’t going to work either ! So at this point I threw in the towel and conceeded edefat.

What had gone wrong ?

  • Assuming one army list, and my opponent bringing to totally different one
  • Not deploying in a sensible way, I should have refused a flank
  • Going in piecemeal…
  • …against a numerically superior enemy
  • Frittering away the Hydra, it should have moved to support the Dark Riders on the flank instead of hanging around being the target in target practice for the Shadow Warriors
  • Not getting Eric into combat with the Cold Ones, again he didn’t see action so was another couple of hundred wasted points

All in all an embarrsing list of failures for me as a General. “Could do better” would be on my report card.

Bag Diving & Other household recipies

BlackJack found Anthony’s green bag, the one he kipped in two times previously (w/e before last and at Xmashammer). Why he likes this bag is known only to him.

Safely ensconced he’s a happy cat/Emissary of Satan. Before falling asleep in the bag.

Anthony has learned not to leave anything in the bag that can be damaged by a cat sitting/lying on them. BlackJack came back several times to have cat naps in the bag.

There’s been a dearth of painted figures recently, partly procrastinating, partly other household projects.

The builders having painted the kitchen/hall doorway showed up the state of the gloss wood work. The previous owners of my house were smokers, and with a multi-fuel stove in the lounge its not surprising the gloss work has become yellowed over 14 years.

But in painting the wood work with undercoat and gloss, its shown up how the walls in the hall have accummulated scrapes and marks. So I’ve been too and fro from the builders’ store (Travis Perkins) identifying what exactly is the paint in the hall, and the stairs, and the landing, and the lounge – if I get it wrong and paint the hall the wrong colour I’ll have to to the entire lot.

Luckily the builders gave me a clue, and today’s purchase of a sample pot seems to have been a success.

In the corner, is magnolia, a subtly darker shade than the original paint. In the lower portion, the new paint, the rest is the original with a bit of water damage. I’ve also fillered a bit of the cracks.

So what’s this got to do with miniatures painting ?

Several of my co-conspirators keep recipes for their painting shades so they can extend and reproduce the same paint jobs at a later date.

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting the right shade of colour, and then not being able to reproduce it a few weeks/months/year later !

WHFB: A right drubbing ! Part One

Byakhee Anthony and I had a game on Monday, Dark Elves vs High Elves.

I’d thought I’d be facing a cavalry heavy army, so planned accordingly for my own cavalry heavy army.

Dark Elves:

  • 3 Sorceresses
  • 10 Cold Ones, plus BSB and a hero
  • 2×10 Dark Riders
  • 10 Worlocks
  • 10 RXBs
  • Eric, the Kharbdrys
  • Spitty, a Hydra

Instead, Anthony brought an entirely infantry army.

  • 2 War Eagles
  • Lothern Sea Guard ~20
  • Spear Men ~30
  • Two RBT
  • Phoenix Guard ~20
  • 2 Mages, one of whom had all the signature spells from all the magic lists
  • 2 heroes, one with the Moonbow

Vanguard move – lots of Fast Cavalry moved forward.

But Anthony won the roll for the first move…

Anthony rolled two 6s for the winds of magic, and proceeded to carry out a very canny tactic of lots and lots of low level signature spells, which eventually wore my dispel pool and reduced the RXB unit to 4…in the first turn ! Shooting then reduced them to 2 !!

I charged forward anyway trying to outflank and encircle his infantry blocks to pick them off.

On my flank, the Dark Riders raced passed the Shadow warriors in the woods, whilst the hydra headed for the war eagles. This was a mistake.

Because Anthony then charged the War Eagles into the back of the Dark Riders, who held for one turn before (as ever) I failed the LD test and they were cut down, including a Lvl2 Sorceress.

The Cold Ones charged the Lothern Sea Guard losing 2 on the way in ! Anthony then moved the Spearmen to line up a flank attack.

Film: The Desolation of Smaug

As a young squirt I was made to read The Hobbit in my English class at the age of about 9.

I found it fascinating and it lead me into the Lord of the Rings and many other sci-fi and fantasy books.
The image is Tolkein’s depiction of the death of Smaug above Lake Town, a rarer cover version of the book.

The first part of the film is ok, and close to the book. The portrayal of Beorn is a bit disappointing (goblin heads on posts!), Mirkwood is ok though I really missed Bilbo taunting the Spiders (Attercop, Attercop…) and one can even accept the Wood Elves being more aggressive under a much more fleshed out character in the King Thranduil.

The inclusion of Legolas and Tauriel was ok, Tauriels flirtation with Kili a bit unlikely but not a show stopper. It also helps the continuation with LOTR WRT Legolas and is in keeping with the deeper background of Tolkein’s works.

The escape from the Woof Elf Kingdom is a bit OTT but not wildly so, the involvement of the Orcs is in terms of a filmatic theme ok. Laketown itself is well done and The Master (Stephen Fry) is well done and better fleshed out than in the original book. The background of Bard in Lake town was good, and his link with his ancestor Girion, Lord of Dale.

There’s a few caveats at this point, but moving on swiftly…

I liked Bilbo’s encounter with Smaug. It wasn’t as passive as in the book, but this is a film so that is forgiven. It may have been too long and his finding of the Arkenstone a bit too premature – I guess I’ll hold fire on that until the third film.

Smaug is portrayed excellently, a half lizard half cat like capricious creature, and the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch captures the spirit of this evil creature well.

The inclusion of Dol Guldur and the rise of the Necomancer aka Sauron, is perfectly in keeping with the original book’s narrative and I don’t have a problem with it. In fact Jackson et al by knitting together Tolkein’s references from all his books makes it a much wider narrative and much more enjoyable.

At this point it all starts falling apart.

For some as yet unknown reason (the pretext being Kili’s injury and some shoehorning in of Tauriel and Legolas), four of the Dwarves are left back in Laketown. Totally out of kilter with the book. There had better be a good reason in the 3rd film. The attack of the Orcs under Bolg is well done cinematically, but again nothing to do with the book, nor even Tolkein’s wider plot.

The Lonely mountain should have been approached over dismal swamps, but it isn’t, just lots of icey foot hills. Where are the burnt out fir tree woods the Dwarfs sang about on the first film ?

The Dwarfs descend into the mountain way too soon and get caught up in a very boring stereotypical CGI chase scene with Smaug, and launch a wholly implausible attack on Smaug from which he survives, makes an implausible deduction and randomly flies off to torch Laketown.

Thorin goes off the deepend with gold lust way too early, and this is only rescued by Balin’s reaction. Most of the other Dwarfs remain ciphers which could have been fleshed out during this unnecessary set of scenes instead.

Why not stick to the original book ? That would have had more than enough opportunity for Smaug to come out of the mountain track down and chase the Dwarves, toast some ponies and then fly off to Laketown in revenge. It misses out the Thrush mostly and probably the Ravens.

As a film, its good, but as an adaptation of a book its disappointing. There are way too many loose ends, odd plots and digressions to make it satisfying for Tolkein fans. A strange mish mash of the enjoyable and the “eh what ?”.

A busy week

No new postings here this week for a number of reasons.

  • Monday – Thursday every evening I have been out attending a community event. Community Newsletter, Parish Council, Sub Contractor, and Action Group to save the P.O.
  • During the day I’ve been painting the house, not the figures.
  • and been varnishing the scenery I’ve done, none to exciting I may add.

BlackJack being intimidated by the new sheep and lambs in the field behind me.

The builders having painted the kitchen/hall doorway, showed up the deterioration of the paint work in the house.

So as you can see I am now having to paint the rest of the hall gloss work, which shows up the damage to the walls, and its all open plan with the lounge, stairs and landing…

So I have been round DIY shops getting tester pots for the wall paint as it is not Magnolia.

In the meantime I have watched a certain film several times…

A Happy Outcome

Weekend before last I posted about Sean Davis, a guy I’ve never met who had attempted suicide after racking up a small amount of debt.

As a survivor of bereavement by suicide, rather than offer platitudes I organised on the Steve Dean Forum a whip round to pay off his remaining debts (a paltry £600) which was succesful.


Sean is now out of hospital, and has proposed to his gf, and they are now engaged.

So that was my good deed. When did you last do a good deed ?