The War Room

So, last time I showed off this WIP room was back in January, where we put a ton of work into the space. That link also shows the development of the shed from “full of junk” to the start of what it now is. Also shows many of the first shelves go up, for those interested 😉

By request (and let’s face it – it was gonna happen anyway!) – here’s the (virtual) grand tour:

Bike Racks, out-of-the-way shelf, closed terrain cabinet.

Finally got the bike mounts installed and got them out of the way – giving us much more floor space. Likewise with the high shelving that I finally got finished which gets those detolf boxes out of the way – even more floorspace freed up. Continuing on that theme, the cheap pine shelf will be disposed of. The boxes that fill it are all basically empty. Just being kept for now to rebox stuff that comes out of storage inside much larger boxes after culling. There’s a set of shelves with Rackham prepaint models behind it.

Scenery!

Yep, the metal cabinet is filled with scenery. The GW boxes in the pic are filled with things like fences and hedges and such so they take up less storage space. I reckon it’s about time I finish painting those bloody adobe buildings. At least doing them now, 10-15 years after buying them they will be painted as more generic buildings so they can fit into modern and historical middle-east gaming rather than being covered in checks and dags to become Ork buildings. (though they can obviously do double-duty!)

Shelving!

Two new metal bookcase-style shelving that replaces the old, shitty MDF bookcase that we had for 20 years (and was falling apart). Allowed me to move some of the boardgames out of the inside of the house to a more appropriate place to store them – so I chose “large tabletop” ones to bring out. The Sedition Wars box has been gutted and just filled with 3 copies worth of floor tiles. How I wish I could get my money back for that Kickstarter! The white crate is filled with bottles of homemade pasta sauce which my parents still do every year or so. The bottom right shelf is filled with old roleplaying books from my youth. Cthulhu, Twilight 2000, Judge Dredd and others. About half of that shelf is filled with MERP and Rolemaster (Rulemaster!) I’m wondering if I should palm those off on my friends that I used to play RM with, since they take up a lot of space, and I’d like to have my old WD mags out here.

Alien, Predator, Jeep, models, scenery.

On the neighbouring shelf there’s a bunch of scenery kits that need to be built (some really old now – from the Necromunda era of plastic bulkheads and card). A 1:6 scale 21C Jeep that needs me to find some troops to crew it, and a duo of the Kotobukiya Alien and Predator from AvP. Nice statues, bad film. Top shelf mostly contains resin and metal scenery bits, as well as oversized models that I’ve gotten assembled/primed from eBay – DE dragon, a griffon, and a couple of other things. The LED Lantern was bought on a lark, but I’ve actually found it useful, and should I ever play Cthulhu again it’ll be making an appearance. The lower shelf has a bunch of resin and metal scenery – which like the Fleshhounds just above them were planned for my next set of blog photos about a month ago. So I’ll hopefully get those pics taken in the next week since much of the other work that was stopping me has finally been done.

The other shelf!

And yes, I finally found a place to display some of my Star Wars Kotobukiya statues. They share the space with the Star Wars miniatures AT-AT. It was quite a decent game, and even as a longtime painter and miniatures collector, having a game with prepaints is no bad thing. While it’s a shame that the game was discontinued, I picked up the VAST majority of my collection once the game had gone into liquidation. I was lucky enough to pick up most of the rules (that Sith box is filled with maps and rulebooks) so I guess it worked out pretty well for me in the end. Other than that, it’s the partially-painted KoW Ogre army who have featured in these pages before, sharing space with the partially-painted Elves, the blu-taced Basileans/Lions, some trees and a Dranei Paladin from World of Warcraft.

Desk – ready to work on!

One of our old computer desks is my new workbench out here. I’ve got the ultrasonic cleaner out to strip some figures, who are right now soaking in Simple Green. Need to pick up some cheap lamps later today to use for my light box, so I can take some better quality mini pics from here on out. I probably need to get an A1 sized cutting mat as well. The idea is that I’ll do things like dremelling and scenery building and paint stripping resin moulding and casting and things on the “large and heavy” (and toxic) side of the hobby out here, while the more delicate and arty stuff happens inside. Big box there for the recyclers. We have a fortnightly pickup. We filled our recycling bin and those of our close neighbours up, and three days later our recycling bin was totally filled up again. Looks like we’ll be doing the same again with our neighbours’ help once more when they come again. It’s been a pretty full-on cleaning operation. My old printer also now lives out here as a photocopier (if not for the driver incompatibility we’d have kept it inside – one of the best random late-night purchases we ever made. Going out to buy some blinds this afternoon for the window.

The War Room. Today.

Pretty much the “room shot” – best compared to the following image from before we started at the very beginning of this year:

The Shed full of Junk. January this year.

No need for a pile of text there. I think the two pics say it all.

Spotlights!

Not the most exciting photo – but a pretty exciting thing to have. A set of LED spotlights above my gaming table spot. As originally suggested by Chris, the awesome electrician I had in to do my work. A real top bloke and a gamer himself, though more of a CRPG/Console gamer. It was great to be able to have someone doing the work who could appreciate our hobby, and chat about shared interests like games, movies, pop culture and all of the rest.

Another flouro!

Equally unexciting from a photo perspective but brilliant if you’re actually here is the addition of a second flouro light on the opposite section of ceiling to the existing one. Really, really brightens the room. With the original, it was still quite decent, but now there’s really no comparison, especially at night.

Entertainment and Atmosphere

The “atmosphere” is supplied by a 50″ 1080p LG plasma. I actually planned to get a much smaller TV (30-40″ or so)  but then I found this particular plasma model had been marked down to less than the 40″ LCDs. So I did the only thing I could do and bought it, and rejigged the entire original wall-mount plan. The green is one of the burn-in slides that are still cycling through. Added another floating shelf, picked up a new, cheap Blu-Ray player and put it in the bedroom, brought the old one down here, added a WDTV Live box and a bunch of appropriate DVDs and Bob’s your uncle. I know it’s right next to the window, but the tv is padlocked to the wall mount, the alarm unit has been moved to right there, the “flyscreen” is actually security mesh that will apparently break your hand if you try to punch through it (I’ve declined to try it out myself) – we got every window covered in it before we moved in – much nicer than shutters.

Games table, and some junk.

Not the best photo, I guess. But you can see the shelves we put up earlier in the year. The lower level is filled with models and such while the upper contains empty boxes and some more random things that aren’t too heavy. The big white board is the games table, in storage mode. The white cabinet behind it is a cheap pantry cupboard that we bought to use in our previous shitty rental that had no clean storage space for the kitchen. Now it holds hills and unsorted scenery objects.

Spray paints and more junk.

Finally, the final corner of this long-winded panorama. Some art supplies (Ink, PVA glue, etc), latex and resin for moulding that I never quite figured out to any decent skill level, spray paints for modelling, a desk that needs to be disposed of. The remaining junk boxes of the moment that still need to be sorted through, and more scenery and things to make even more scenery with. And a bunch of HeroScape stuff.

Welp, that’s it! A bit more sorting, throwing junk away and cleaning still to go (does that ever end, though?) Blinds. A split system cooler/heater in the future perhaps, but that’s pretty much one gaming room ready to roll. After so many years of wanting and planning for it to happen, it’s still pretty unbelievable for it to actually be a thing that exists. Now I just need to make sure I use it!

The Games Room – An Unexpected (that it’s finally happening) Journey

Aside from the big spring cleaning in summer project we’ve been doing here, the other thing that we’ve been working hard on was to turn the shed from a junk room filled with boxes and random shit into a games room – which was a long-term aim of the space from when we moved in. In the last two weeks, and with a bit of help from a friend, we’ve done an awful lot towards that goal. (Including putting that trellis up outside!) Regular readers might recall this pic from a couple of posts ago:

The Room, she is filled with the junk!

So rather than rattle on with talking about, I’ll just show off the efforts of the last couple of weeks (the heatwave set us back about a week through lost daytime worktime, exhaustion and lost sleep)

Still lots of Junk…

See what I mean?

See that board on the left?

Too bloody right! That’s shelving, me lad!

Yep, that’s the games table (top)!

A dry run – to see how it looks.

The Lord and Master – Leonard approves.

Moved some furniture around. Gamer’s Fridge FTW!

An almost cosy space…

There were a couple of transformative steps in the process so far. The first and most obvious one was when we got the shelving up on the right side of the room, which just sucked up a bunch of the large boxes that need to be kept off the floor (as well as a ton of stuff from inside the house). The second was after clearing much of the floor when I laid down the medium-sized rugs. Really warmed the room and made it almost cosy. We’ve since bought a large pile of cheap carpet tiles, which is going to require a fun full day of laying them while playing furniture Tetris. We also got some 6′ bookshelves to replace the shitty falling-apart MDF one we’ve had for about 20 years and a blank space. After that, one more shelf to go up to long-term store the detolf boxes (those long, 6′-odd cardboard boxes you can see on the left) and a couple of bike hooks on the wall to get them out of the way. Later there’ll be two more of the shelving units you can see in the above picture to replace a couple of cheap & nasty metal ones that want to slice open your hands.

Other than that, the desk at the window still needs to be cleared off and out so it can be used as a workbench for drilling and large terrain-type projects.

At that point it becomes about creature comforts. Maybe an old TV? A decent fan (or heater, once the weather turns), some speakers. Maybe some plants since I quite like the way they looked when we brought them in to shelter them from the direct heat(wave) when I took those pics. If there’s any space left after gaming junk storageland finishes, we might even be able to put a couple of nice things on display. Star Wars Kotos perhaps?

I’ve only done the smallest bit of painting. Started a few DUST Zombies, and did a little bit of work on some Dark Elves as well as painted some Secret Weapon scenery pieces. I even got to play a game in there! More to come on all that shortly.

 

 

New Year’s Hobby Resolutions 2014

So I guess it’s that time again, the year is done, the party is over  – Time to reflect on the year that was and blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda.

Pictured: Leonard doing what I *still* feel like doing.

I had a kind-of painting goal for 2013. Even when I set it, I knew it was unrealistic. It was to finish 365 “things“. So that included finishing half-painted figures, individual pieces of terrain, rebasing, renovating and touching up old models, and, oh yeah! – and painting stuff from start to finish. A modest goal, compared to the many people out there who seem to manage to paint entire armies in a couple of months, but a laudable one, nonetheless.

Pictured: Some stuff that got painted or renovated in 2013. Except for 2 of the dwarves.

Unfortunately, I came up with it in March, after more than three solid months of partying playing World of Warcraft – so I was 3 months down to begin with. By day 226 I had 124 completed, and by the end of the year I had 142 models painted. Not too bad, and my best year in many, if not ever – though it does include a lot of “updated’ models and doesn’t even touch the amount I bought this year… 

Pictured: Some of the backlog. A lot of this stuff arrived this year.

I’ve had my 2014 goal planned since I came up with the 2013 one, though – Finish painting more figures than I did in the preceding year. Which I’ll continue on with, probably till I drop dead. The “stretch goal” will once again be to try and finish 365 figures.

More specifically this coming year, I want to get a few projects done, across a few genres:

Fantasy:
Finish the 2k pts Ogre Army for KoW
Paint a 2k pts Dark Elf/Twilight Kin Army for KoW
Paint a 300?600? pt Allied Detatchment for KoW to ally with others (Giant, Trebuchet, Wolves)
Paint an Undead Army for KoW using GW, Mantic and LotR Undead (also doubles as an Army of the Dead for LotR SBG and WotR!)
Finish a ton of Men of Gondor for SBG/WotR and KoW armies of Man

Pictured: Not yet 2k points of KoW Ogres, with some older stuff and a Contemptor from Damo.

40k:

Resurrect/update my previously-finished old Dark Angels Combat Patrol into a 6th Edition 600-pt Combat Patrol
Paint 600-odd points of Deathwing as a CP
Paint 600-odd points of Ravenwing as a CP
Add some extra DA stuff back in – like the almost-finished Dreadnought, Asmodai, etc and Bingo! 2k+ point DA army!

Pictured: Finished 2E and 3E-style Dark Angels models with some WIP Ogres. Proper gallery to come later when the updated force starts getting put together…

Resurrect/finish/update my old 3.5-edition Iron Warriors CP force into a 2013-edition 600-pt Combat Patrol, then expand into 2k points or so.
Resurrect/update my 3rd-edition Mentor Legion Marine army into a 2013-edition army (including a Combat Patrol force)
When the IG codex comes out, resurrect/update my 2nd/3rd-edition IG army into a 2014-edition army (including several Combat Patrol forces)
When the IG codex comes out, resurrect/finish/update my 3rd-edition Deathworld/Jungle Fighters/Ogryn/Sentinel Maori-themed IG CP into a 2014-edition Combat Patrol force.
When the Tyranid codex comes out, resurrect/update my old Tyranid CP force into a 2014-edition 600-pt Combat Patrol.

Pictured: Formerly-complete Tyranid Combat Patrol (with Aliens as CC-warriors) now needing to be updated to 6E. Also some unfinished large models.

Resurrect/finish/update my old 2005-edition Ork CP force into a 2014-edition 600-pt Combat Patrol. Despite previously being close to finished, this is one of the harder ones, since in the interim they’ve changed the way Ork units buy and allocate special/heavy weapons pretty substantially, and also halved their point values – so it will need a lot of shuffling and a busload of additional Orks to bring back up to 600pts…

So as you can see, there are a couple of themes running through there… hopefully I can make some or most of it a reality, since much of it shouldn’t involve painting too many additional models… for all but the Orks, anyway.

“Stretch Goals” for the 40k-2k/600pt-Combat Patrol project are Grey Knights and Blood Angels.

Pictured: A huge pile of junk/future wargaming room.

Also – Convert the shed into a games room, and actually play a bunch of games! The major part of the clean-up and carpeting is planned hoped to happen over the next few weeks since I have annual leave. This will allow a lot of the mess being stored in the “painting studio” to be moved out.

Pictured: A bloody mess.

This will allow me to move my “long-term” painting projects onto the actual, proper painting desk that I have, while I’ll still be able to move individual models into the living room to work on when I want to paint while being less isolated. It’ll also allow indoor/late night gaming & boardgaming to take place on the table in the living room, rather than being covered by my crap.

Pictured: Where I *should* be painting. Note how covered in crap it all is.

Pictured: Folding table in the Living Room. AKA Where I *actually* paint.

A lot of this is due to finally purchasing our own place, after renting for years and having things in storage and then living in a short-term rental for 18 months with most of our stuff in boxes. In the last year, there’s been much unpacking and lots of culling, but that stuff happens sporadically since work seems to become more demanding each year. Every so often buying some more Bookshelves or Detolf cabinets (AU$150 for a Detolf compared to US$60? Talk about regional price fixing that would make GW blush!) As well as that, I appreciate a good videogame, so I like to chill out with some Battlefield4 or GTA5 or what have you as well as working on hobby and home.

One thing it was really nice to finally get finished only a week and a half ago was turning the small “second lounge” room or whatever the hell real estate agents call them into a display space for cool crap. This room had been half-filled with boxes (literally, not figuatively) for pretty much a full year, so it really brings a smile to my face whenever I walk through it now. I’m even able to stop and look at these things now! I’ll do a proper update on the stuff in here a bit later, but here’s the room, about 90% done as it is today (move the miniature cases out, put some more stuff in the cabinets, sort out under the desk a little). Here are a couple of pics.

Pictured: Display Room, Left Side.

Pictured: Display Room, Right Side.

And yes, I’m clearly a very lucky man in that Marouda shares my enjoyment of this sort of stuff on display, and is even willing to play games and do a tiny bit of painting with me. I should point out that the consoles are all her fault, since it was at her urging that we bought our first SNES and Mega Drive, all those years ago. That’s about it for this post. I haven’t done any painting since just before Christmas, but I hope to start again in the next couple of days. So last of all, I’ll just wish…

~ A Happy 2014 to you all! ~