D&D Monster Manual 1: Purple Worms – aka Reaper Bones 77006: Great Worm

My latest Blast from the Past. And okay, it’s not more than 5 years old (close to 4 this time) but still, it’s not been seen by the majority of people who now browse my blog, and I’m still very pleased with how well these came out. Might even be time to try and paint that Space Marine finally…

Azazel's Bitz Box.

There’s a bit of discussion about at the moment, regarding how Bones is not a great material for certain figures, and can be a bit of an unpleasant material to work with for some people. While I’d agree that it’s far from perfect, it works out really well for certain figures. I bought this pair of Pre-KS Bones over a year ago, but they got put to one side for most of that time when I had to pack up to move, then move, and unpack and so forth. Recently I finished them, and finally we had some decent light, so today they got photographed. There’s a bit of mould line that I missed on one of them. Noticed it when it was too late, and I didn’t want to butcher my paint in order to fix it. You barely notice in person, anyway. Mostly pictures in this update, so…

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Aethiopian Pegasi – or Winged Unicorn.

Another Blast From the Past!
I’ve been slowly working my way through and fixing up posts that Photobuckey Phucked, in a combo of working backwards and picking the ones off the “Top Posts” sidebar (because it means people have tried to look at them but they’ve been broken), and I’ve noticed some of them are
a) Still pretty cool.
b) More than 5 years old – so most people who follow the blog now won’t have ever seen them.

So based on that, and the positive reception to the Noise Marine Champion I (re)posted some pics of back in March, I’ll be doing a bit of reblogging of old stuff, on “off” days when I wouldn’t have had any new content anyway.

So here we go…

Azazel's Bitz Box.

While trying to find the proper name for this thing, I found a link that describes it as an ancient Greek beast, which makes some sense. Regardless, this miniature is an old Grenadier Miniatures figure, that luckily remains in availability via Mirliton these days. I’m not sure who the sculptor is, as I can’t find that info anywhere. I painted this figure as a gift to my wife, and according to the message I painted on the base, I finished it on 17th Nov, 1996. Nothing like that to make me feel old!

Grenadier Miniatures Mirilton Winged Unicorn Aethiopian Pegasi

Grenadier Miniatures Mirilton Winged Unicorn Aethiopian Pegasi

Grenadier Miniatures Mirilton Winged Unicorn Aethiopian Pegasi

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Phuck Photobucket!

So from my last post, I got the following comment from Alex:

Nooo, can’t see them! Something about Photobucket demanding an update to enable 3rd party hosting – just in case you don’t see it from your end.

hmm… so I found this in my Spam Folder:

Some features on your account have been disabled.

Inbox
x

Photobucket <special@special.pbdeals.com>

14:16 (9 hours ago)

to me
photobucket

WE NOTICED THAT YOU HAVE BEEN USING
PHOTOBUCKET FOR 3RD PARTY HOSTING*

TO RESTORE YOUR 3RD PARTY HOSTED IMAGES,
PLEASE UPGRADE TO A PLUS 500 PLAN.

Our Terms of Service does not allow 3rd party hosting with your current account level.

UPGRADE NOW

*What is 3rd Party Hosting?

Photobucket defines 3rd party hosting as the action of embedding an image or photo onto another website. For example, using the <img> tag to embed or display a JPEG image from your Photobucket account on another website such as a forum, Etsy, eBay auction listings, a blog, etc. is definitively 3rd party hosting.

Why Photobucket?

Photobucket continues to have the distinct pleasure of hosting 15 billion photos from 100 million unique users since inception 14 years ago.

The subscriptions we offer are price competitive & we offer unlimited 3rd party hosting, no matter how popular your image is on your forum, blog or online store.

Additionally, we offer our users the opportunity to promote their business or products with the rest of the Photobucket community.


photobucket | for the love of photos.

To manage your notification settings, click here.
If you no longer wish to receive emails from Photobucket, simply unsubscribe.
Photobucket respects your privacy. For our complete privacy policy, please click here

Ⓒ 2017 Photobucket.com

All rights reserved. PO Box 13003, Denver, CO 80201

So… what the fuck does all this mean?

I went to Photobucket to find out.

I see that their Terms of Service have just been updated, as of 28th June, 2017. And their plans have changed on us.

———————-

PLUS 50

52.0 GB Storage

$5.99 / MO
Billed Annually

$59.99 / YR

Plus 50 offers 50GB of Storage and No Linking or 3rd Party Hosting

MOST POPULAR & BEST VALUE!
PLUS 100

102.0 GB Storage

$9.99 / MO
Billed Annually

$99.99 / YR

Plus 100 offers 100GB of Storage, Unlimited Linking and No 3rd Party Hosting
PLUS 500

502.0 GB Storage

$39.99 / MO
Billed Annually

$399.99 / YR

Plus 500 offers 500GB of Storage, Unlimited Linking and 3rd Party Hosting*

——————————

So… if I – or any one of us hobbyists – wants to be able to host photos on Photobucket and use them on our blogs, or post them on forums, they expect us to pay US$400 a year.

I have two things to say to that:

  1. HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH
  2. FUCK PHOTOBUCKET

So with this in mind, normal service is going to be pretty much disrupted for a little while, as I move all my photos to (most likely) IMGUR. Since I’ve got 5 years worth of Blog, that’s going to take some time. So I’ll start with my next post, and work backwards, uploading photos and changing links. It’s going to be a right pain in the arse, but unfortunately it’s the only option open if I want to retain my blog and its history and posts. My Dakka thread is also going to be proper fucked.

Some of you can apparently still see my images, but it seems from some googling that PB has been rolling this out over a period of time, so it’s only a matter of time before others can no longer see my images. I can, but I’m presuming that’s because I can see the images in my own account, but if they remove that, then even I’m going to be unable to properly rebuild my page without even more difficulty. Either way, it’s going to be a ton of time wasted.

I’m not even personally opposed to paying them for the hosting. I’m lucky enough to be able to afford to do so, though it pretty much kills younger hobbyists who are still living at home or at school as well as others who might be studying at uni or out of work. You’ll notice that the $60 and $100 plans state

 

No Linking or 3rd Party Hosting

Unlimited Linking and No 3rd Party Hosting

And that apparently means:

*What is 3rd Party Hosting?

Photobucket defines 3rd party hosting as the action of embedding an image or photo onto another website. For example, using the <img> tag to embed or display a JPEG image from your Photobucket account on another website such as a forum, Etsy, eBay auction listings, a blog, etc. is definitively 3rd party hosting.

 

Oh, and as far as my bandwidth and storage use, here’s my stats, since I drop the size of my images to make them easier to load and don’t store all (any) of my personal photos on there:

STORAGE USAGE

USING 0.2 GB OF 2.0 GB (13.98%)

Free!

I rarely reblog anything, but Graeme Davis is a very cool guy, and so I’m happy to spread the word on this post. If you’re interested in Miniatures or RPG games, or design, background, etc then go sub to his blog!

Graeme Davis

free

Everybody likes something that’s free – so here are some links to free and try-before-you-buy deals on some of my books and articles.

FreebiesMy Freebies page has a lot of free downloads and links to old articles of mine that are still available on other sites. People seem especially fond of my AD&D articles from the 1980s.

Blood and Honor cover

Amazon is offering a free audiobook of my D&D novel Blood and Honor from 2006 as part of the trial offer for their Audible service. I beat out 1,000 other entrants in an open call to win the contract for this book, set in the then-new Eberron fantasy-pulp-noir setting designed by my friend Keith Baker. Keith is also the designer of the hit card game Gloom and the new RPG Phoenix: Dawn Command. I am hoping to have him as a guest on the blog some time in the next few weeks, so…

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Review: Urbanmatz’ 6’x4′ Badlands Game Mat.

Warning, Pic HEAVY! – Also, most pics can be clicked for larger versions.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Here’s the next of my gaming mat reviews. Once again, this one is from Urbanmatz, based in the Czech Republic. The Badlands Game Mat. I chose this one as I’d been wanting something to (approximately) match the style that the majority of my models are based with. That is: dark earth, patchy grass and the occasional bit of rock.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Citadel Miniatures Zoat.

Like MY base!

As with the other mats I’ve gotten from Urbanmatz, the design is printed onto neoprene (mouse pad material) and is quite nice. The following pictures of a Kings of War game basically show the mat off for similar Rank & File-based games, so your WHFB, 9th Age, WotR, or historicals such as Hail Caesar, Pike & Shotte, etc. I recently reviewed their 6’x3′ Space Mat along with the Fantasy Flight 3’x’3′ X-Wing Starfield Mat and also their Snow Territory 6’x4′ mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

While the mat may look a little glare-y in some photos, and perhaps a bit washed out – it’s my lighting and photography to blame there. In person, it looks really nice.

Having said that, this is probably the time to emphasise again that despite them sending me a (stained) snow mat gratis, this isn’t any kind of paid for review, I paid full price (plus shipping to Australia!) for this mat and just as when I’ve reviewed and links to places like Red Box, Maxmini, Kromlech, Scotia Grendel, Brigade, RPE, Reaper, Games Workshop or anyone else, I don’t get any kickbacks from the links inside this review to pimp their wares, nor to I carry on and on about how wonderful (X company)’s products are every post. Unlike some others out there. 😉

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

I also took a few 40k-themed photos as well. We set up a small imperial supply outpost out in the boonies somewhere, where the Imperial Guard present are assaulted by (who else?) the Iron Warriors.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Badlands Game Mat.

I didn’t set up any fantasy or historical skirmish games for photos, but I think you can pretty well judge for yourself at this stage. It’s going to work well for a lot of genres and games from dinosaurs, through ancients, all flavbours of historicals and moderns through to sci-fi. It’s a nice, generic rural “out int he bush somewhere” pattern that works well with the three elements that I use in most of my models’ basing. I also found that it works both with “forest” and “jungle” foliage when I was playing around with my scenery, so that’s a bonus in my book.

Once again, the mat came in it’s own, labelled bag at no additional cost. I really like these bags, and it would be great if Urbanmatz would consider selling them separately as well. I need to get one for my FFG X-Wing mat so I don’t need to store it in the box anymore, one for my GW “green grass” mat, one for my ancient Armourcast (I think) mat, and then a few (or one) to bundle my smallish Mantic ones into. I know of another vendor who does sell them, so I might have to sort it out that way later on.

Verdict: This mat is pretty much what I wanted it to be. I can’t say that I’m surprised, but if it wasn’t a good one, I’d be pretty disappointed and would not be shy about sharing that. It’s a good mat, the quality is there, and the design is one that I’m happy with. If you like the design, I can’t complain about the quality of the mat or the service I got from Urbanmatz, so I really don’t have any hesitation in recommending them.

I’ve got one more of these things to review now – Dirty Roads. We’ve actually got an AoS game set up out in the shed ready to go, so I’ll try and get some in-progress shots to include in the next review.

Review: Urbanmatz’ 6’x4′ Snow Territory Game Mat.

Warning, Pic HEAVY! – Also, most pics can be clicked for larger versions.

Recently, at the end of 2016 I placed an order for three gaming mats from Urbanmatz, based in the Czech Republic. There was a delay on one of the mats I ordered, as it was out of stock for a few weeks, though Martin was kind enough to offer me a freebie Snow Territory mat, which he explained had some yellowed stain marks on it. I gladly accepted the offer, and am reviewing the mat now, with the noted discolouration noted and allowed for. I recently reviewed their 6’x3′ Space Mat along with the Fantasy Flight 3’x’3′ X-Wing Starfield Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat.

 

Once again, the Urbanmatz mat is on neoprene (mouse pad material) and is quite nice. I wasn’t sure what to expect when it was offered, and while I was secretly hoping for a 6×4, was expecting a 4×4, not wanting to get my hopes up – but it turned out that it was a full-sized 6×4 mat.

——

Now I don’t have any models at all based for a snow environment, and even my thoughts around (eventually) playing Frostgrave involved basically ignoring the cold-weather setting but my initial thoughts when it was offered was actually to use it as a second mat for X-Wing, especially given the precedent from the recent films for atmospheric fighter battles.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat.

 

Now I don't have any models at all based for a snow environment, and even my thoughts around (eventually) playing Frostgrave involved basically ignoring the cold-weather setting but my initial thoughts when it was offered was actually to use it as a second mat for X-Wing, especially given the precedent from the recent films for atmospheric fighter battles.

 

 

Unlike some other Snow/Arctic mats I’ve browsed recently, the details in the Urbanmatz offering are quite subtle and non-specific, even being pretty scale-agnostic. Just offering a hint of something buried below the snow, but subtle enough that the mat could also be used as a cloudscape if that was something needed for a game. I’d take some comparison pictures showing the textures with 15mm armour followed by 28mm infantry if I had anything painted appropriately.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Star Wars X-Wing

I did spend the better part of an afternoon with Marouda setting up and laying out figures to see how it all would look. First up were a couple of flights of X-Wing ships.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Star Wars X-Wing

I honestly think it looks a treat for X-Wing and gives a nice unique look to the (pretend) battle – and should do so when we actually do play X-Wing on it.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat.

Here’s a close-up of some of the discolouration on the mat. I was expecting it to be far worse, potentially in large yellow piss-patches in the middle of the mat but the issues are limited to a few places around the edge. While I can fully understand why Urbanmatz are unable to sell these, they’re minor enough for me to be able to ignore, especially given that the mat was a freebie

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat, Bolt Action

Time for some 28mm models, then. As mentioned before, I lack enough proper painted WW2 to really do much, and I’m completely lacking in snow-themed terrain, so I laid down some old, old Armorcast ruined building corners and my platoon of painted Warlord T-34/85 tanks. The tanks looked alright, though obviously whitewashed would have fit in more effectively.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat, Bolt Action

The buildings, left unbased as they are is usually a positive on darker surfaces as it allows for much more modularity, but on the Snowy Terrain mat they do kinda stand out too starkly. Clearly, if I want to do much with this mat, I should sort out some snow-covered hills and perhaps a few copses of snow-tipped trees. Frozen lake? Snow-covered cabin? Grimdork from Dakka did a whole little snow-themed table recently, and I do have a jar of Jo Sonja’s texture paste around here somewhere…

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat, Bolt Action

The buildings could probably work reasonably well on the Snowy mat if I were to make some squares of “internal damaged building” to lay in the middle of them. Or maybe even some squares of appropriate-looking linoleoum cut with slightly uneven edges?

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Frostgrave

Next up was to lay some more dense scenery onto the mat and see how it looked. First up we went for a kind of Fantasy layout, a pretend-game of Sorta-Frostgrave, to see how it all looks. More specifically to see how my existing terrain worked with the Snow Territory Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Frostgrave

And… it actually looked decent. To me at least. The dark, scorched brown looking bases on both the models and some of the terrain obviously contrast quite starkly with the Snow Territory mat, but it kinda works for me. Obviously snow on bases would make everything tie in much more effectively, but it’s far from awful.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Frostgrave

I hadn’t expected it to work this well, but I found it quite reasonable. Far from perfect, but very workable.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Frostgrave

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Frostgrave

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Frostgrave

Next up I added my Conan Wolves into the fray. Frostgrave has random encounters. Probably not 10 wolves at a time, but whatevs. This is for photos.

So yeah. Not too bad at all. Next up was to swap some of the fantasy terrain out and do the same with some 40k models and terrain.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Warhammer 40,000, 40k, Kill Team

Yeah, that’s a lot of 40k photos. Basically, I took a ton photos and used a small proportion of them above. I guess the point of them all is to give a good “feel” of how the mat works in a smallish 40k game with a pile of scatter terrain on it. I wasn’t hopeful when it came to using it for 40k, but as with the “Frostgrave” game above, I’m pleasantly surprised with how well it works.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Wolf Pack

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Wolf Pack

I thought I’d see how the wolves I painted recently look on the mat without vikings and scenery in the way as well, especially given their snow-grey coats. The answer, pretty decent.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Star Wars Miniatures

Star Wars Imperial transports in roughly 6mm scale? Seems to work well…

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Star Wars Miniatures

As does their larger cousin in (sorta) 28mm scale from the Hasbro/WotC Star Wars Miniatures game.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Star Wars Miniatures

Leading to potential use next time we go to a snow planet in the Star Wars Edge of the Empire RPG (The PC’s minis are on the far right).

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Star Wars Miniatures

I evidently only have 6 Snowtroopers. How embarassing! I also couldn’t find my AT-STs.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Axis & Allies Angels 20, WWII Dogfight, WW2 Dog Fight

Bringing us full circle with some air combat, I got out some Axis & Allies Angels 20 planes to see how it looked.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat. Axis & Allies Angels 20, WWII Dogfight, WW2 Dog Fight

Once again, I feel that it looks fine – Great even for air combat battles. I got out some Soviet and Luftwaffe planes for these pics, but it would work just as well for Western Europe 1945 or any other era’s dogfights above the snow. I had a feeling that it’d look good after seeing the X-Wing ships on it, but I wanted to put the WW2 fighters on it and see for myself.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat.

Urbanmatz' 6'x4' Snow Territory Game Mat.

Once again, the bag shots. The 6×4 bag comes with a carry bag that’s noticeably larger than the 6×3 (above in the shot).

Verdict: I’m very pleasantly surprised with the snow mat. I have to admit, it’s not something I’d have ever really considered purchasing, and getting it for free is the only reason I own it. Having it in hand and having had a significant play around with my models on it along with the camera, I can really appreciate it now – especially given the versatility that I managed to work out of it. It’s perhaps not the very best design out there if you only want to play Frostgrave, but I personally really appreciate the fact that it’s very scale-agnostic and works for games and scales from X-Wing to WW2 Dogfights to the more typical 40k/Frostgrave/etc. Clearly it’d work just as well for SAGA, WHFB, Kings of War, Bolt Action, Flames of War and pretty much anything in pretty much any scale needing a winter snow theme, given some complimentary scenery (which I lack).

And to reiterate – while I received this mat for free, there was no request for, no offer nor any implication of Quid Pro Quo in exchange for it. It was kindly offered (I’d guess because I’d already bought 3 and 2 of them were OOS) and gladly accepted, without knowing the size or condition it would be in, given that they were upfront that it was marked. All of the photos were taken over a couple of sessions as I worked out how best I could make use of it myself, and all of the review text are my honest thoughts, feelings and reflections on the mat.

Dust Tactics Supply Drop Boxes

No wanker jokes, please...

No wanker jokes, please…

Since this became a thing last week (along with a roof leak that has had half of the house lights out of action only the night before), I haven’t been doing much proper painting, and typing has been limited to pecking at the keys with one hand. So neither painting nor blogging have been all that much of a thing, and my cleaning up of the paint desk got halfway done (underneath) but I only got as far as cleaning up the Old Citadel/Coat D’Arms/P3 style pots that were scattered about. I’d been wanting to write up a post about the second squad of Minotaurs Space marines I finished recently, but my mood hasn’t been great enough to concentrate on it, so I’m doing this one instead on the scenery I’ve just finished up with this weekend.

Allied DUST Tactics Supply drop crates.

Allied DUST Tactics Supply drop crates.

I have done a little bit of painting of sorts though – more simple scatter scenery. These crates come from the various DUST Tactics boxed sets I’ve accumulated over the years. Like so much in my collection, they sat around unused for ages before I got them out and primed them with PSC US Armour and Dunkelgelb Warspray cans. I did that several months ago, before winter set in and made spraying in any form very difficult. Since I could do very little else with my wrist as it is, I got Marouda to help me out over the weekend and tried out the Plastic Soldier Company spray stains that I purchased several years ago but have avoided using on my models in favour of more controlled washes and so forth applied by brush. I didn’t really enjoy using them, but they did the job – especially once I went over them with a drybrush afterwards (and a little dark spot wash on the US ones). I completed them with a gloss polyurethane varnish afterwards for hardiness, followed by Testor’s Dullcote to give them a nice matt finish.

Axis DUST Tactics Supply drop crates.

The Axis crates were painted in the same manner as the US ones, though painting them and even looking at them now brings huge annoyance, as the assembly line workers in China seem to have mis-assembled several of the crates, as they have three different types of end-cap mixed across two different types of chassis. Still, if I don’t look too hard, I’ll be able to get past it.

Abwurfbehälter with Fallschirmjäger  Abwurfbehälter with Fallschirmjäger

Abwurfbehälter with Fallschirmjäger

This style of supply drop canister is loosely based on the Abwurfbehälter that were used by the Fallschirmjäger during WWII. The real ones went through several iterations – beginning as wood and finally ending up in a metal style that was the most common and well known. In WWII the Abwurfbehälter had specific markings that denoted their contents, though in the case of these Dust ones, I’ve decided to keep mine entirely without markings – so as to be more generic to work more easily across more games – From DUST (if I ever play it) to Konflict ’47 to 30&40k, various 28mm Star Wars games and hell, even moderns or Bolt Action.