29 December 2019

2019 Reflections

This is the tenth time I've done this little bit of self indulgence looking back on my hobby year. 
I always enjoy it, even if its just for me.

2019 saw me back at sea for my day job and also away on some travel holidays too. Between the two I have had the opportunity to visit Hawaii, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, Greece and Italy.  It was wonderful to see so many places and my friends there, and I am very fortunate to have had the opportunities.  My hobby output was commensurately curtailed, but you cant have everything.  What I did though, I thoroughly enjoyed - and thats the most important bit!
My AHPC IX tally - a new PB!
AHPC IX saw me post a new PB, get 2 runners up in the bonus rounds, and amongst my entries I finished a bunch of projects including 15mm DAK, my Orci Invicti fantasy army and my Dark Ages Irish for SAGA.  I had a ball with the great AHPC community and was pleased to help out the SnowLord as the Duels Wallah.  AHPC X is now in full swing and I have again foolishly volunteered for Minion duties -good luck to all the participants!

Some other non AHPC highlights from this year's painting bench:
FIW/SYW Grenadiers

My Templar warband and Desert Hut (The Saracens are Alan's)

Camel Caravan - my opening salvo for AHPC X

Veggie patch - useful for anything
Appeal to the gods!
Home made battle mat

Every family has its black sheep...

What games were new this year? Mostly Mortal Gods and Kill Team which Reilly has really taken to so we have unearthed and rediscovered a bunch of 40k figs that were way in the back of the garage.  I also enjoyed discovering Crusade gaming with Outremer and can see more of that in the future also. Otherwise I have been buying up some more FIW figs to expand my British force.

Some of my fav gaming moments from the year:

French attack column advances in Sharpe's Practice
The Illiad - in almost 1:1 scale!

8 player Dragon Rampant: The Slaughter at Clapgate Common
Reilly and I rediscover an old Favourite: Blood Bowl!
Convention wise we got to both CanCon and MOAB which was fun and many bring and buy treasures were procured.  The Race for Africa participation game at MOAB  run by Frank and Sven was a huge hit and Comrade James, Reilly and I really had a great day at it.

On a related note, I also completed another Goodreads challenge to make it 7 in a row with 49 books completed this year (some 13,000 pages in total) - mostly Historical Fiction.

What does 2020 hold in store? Well, I'm looking forward to the release of Mortal Gods Mythic and the 2nd editions of both Muskets & Tomahawks and Frostgrave. But my big change will be working interstate during the week.  Challenging, but an opportunity to hang out with a new gaming group in Canberra, with old friends and new, and that will be fun too.  With new game systems to explore and invest in too, inevitably!

I hope your 2019 Hobby year was great and may 2020 bring you more smiles than ever.

27 December 2019

AHPC X - Camel Caravan

One week into the challenge! My first entry for this year comprises my first ever Ships of the Desert! I've painted them up to be a scenario objective or baggage elements for Crusades era gaming, though they would also work with some Beau Geste type French Foreign Legion
Abdulla musters his Caravan and prepares to leave home (Terrain from my Outremer collection and not in this submission)
These doughty chaps are also my first step onto Challenge Island: I hope the harbour master is content with them!

The lovely Camel Caravan are from Castaway Arts in Northern Queensland - this makes them Australian Camels!  Did you know that Australia has approximately half a million feral camels?  Introduced in the 19th Century to support exploratory expeditions, species of Bactrian Camels and Dromedaries now roam the Outback. Indeed, Australia now (ironically) has a thriving live export business selling stock back to the Middle East.

Anyway, you can find Castaway here, and Gerry is a thoroughly nice chap who offers great service: http://www.castawayarts.com.au/

I kept the Camels colours rather sedate so that I could then bring the set together with bright and patterned luggage.  The colours will also look good on what will typically be a rather bland desert table. I'm really pleased with how well the contrasting patterns came out, and wonder why I haven't tried this earlier.

Painting notes: Camels were undercoated with Army Painter Desert Sand, washed with AP Soft Tone and wash and then highlighted.  Bases are Warlord Pill bases, wall grout filler with sand pressed into it, basecoated with Tamiya Sail, AP Soft Tone Wash, and drybrushed with Val Dark Sand.

So that is 70 points logged and posted to get me going in AHPC Season X

I enjoyed being in the top 10 while it fleetingly lasted! 
I'm moving house now so it will be a quiet 2 weeks on the Hobby Front

Submission post is here:

21 December 2019

16 December 2019

AHPC X - almost here!

Yes its almost time for another glorious AHPC and this year its Season 10!  I'm signed up once again to this, my favourite online hobby event of the year - made so by a great and supportive community.

This will be my sixth Challenge and I've again been press ganged signed on to assist Curt running this grand melee, this year as the Tuesday Minion.

Like many other participants I'm currently busy prepping figures, but experience has taught me that my eye will inevitably wander to other projects along the way (sometime quite badly!). That said, my anticipated focus will be:
* 40k Kill Teams (hoping to get in well with JB's "Skully McSkullface" side challenge)
* A second school of Gladiators for Jugula
* A Frankish Crusader force for Outremer
* My first ever...camels!
* Some additions to my FIW Force
* A secret project (shhhh....)

Last year I posted a new PB in AHPC IX but have set myself a more modest target this year as I am moving house in the New Year and the inevitable disruption that will cause.  But its never about the points (regardless of what some people brag say...), its about the fun you have posting and being part of the Great Game.

Good Luck everyone!

25 November 2019

Visiting The Shire (pic heavy)

I was recently relaxing  in NZ (or "over the Ditch" as we antipodeans say - in both directions actually) and amongst my wanderings took the opportunity to visit the Hobbiton movie set on the North Island.

Aided by a sunny day, spring blooms and a myriad of other details (including woodfire smoke from chimneys), it looked exactly like the movies.

I'm going to let the flood of pictures speak for themselves (yes there are a lot of them!), and show you why the Shire is "a grand place, where gardeners are held in high esteem".

 One of the best tours I have done anywhere - Highly recommended!