Sunday, July 31, 2011

HoA: Games Day



I am exhausted beyond my ability to describe, but please know that I fully intend to smother (unashamedly) this blog with images from Games Day as the week progresses. Thanks again to Tall Paul, Skarvald, and FrozenJoe for all the work, time, and effort with assembly, paint, transportation, display, and so much more; it was an epic experience that has left me energized, stunned, spent, eager, timid, enthusiastic, and... again... exhausted. I am uncertain how I could draw the exact feeling more precisely. 

Until I am able to sort through more, please enjoy these first few photos (of literally hundreds) that I have of the HoA project and of the tables. 


Also. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you to all of the readers and supporters who have stopped by over these last few weeks. The pressures of putting all this together has caused me to neglect (to some degree) the comments and all the well-wishes for some time now. Please know that all of your kindness and consideration has been greatly appreciated even if I have not always been able to respond directly. Cheers, one and all.



Glorious.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

HoA: Table Progress (11)


a journey of one thousand miles starts with one Trukk

Once more, I am left with frightfully little time to drone ceaselessly about these tables; however, I must reiterate that they are still very, very much in play if your are feeling both particularly charitable and gamey. Email me. We understand completely that this kind of investment is... well... considerable, but please remember that all of your contribution will be directed to charity -and a tremendous one at that.

from left: Tall Paul's elbow, Skarvald, and FrozenJoe -pretending to be camera shy

As you will see, we are nearing the endgame with these monsters -thanks particularly to the very potent skillsets and generous assistance of Skarvald and FrozenJoe, both of whom have come down to the city twice this week and put in two very sunny, very long, and very demanding days of work. Cheers fellas. 



I will finish with two thoughts: First, this series of posts began with several photos of inspiration that I had found around the neighborhood. Second, there remains another source of inspiration in the form of one exceptional and expansive Porkster, who has posted an evocative series of his own creation. When the dust settles on all of this, and when I have the time necessary, I intend to revisit both those photos and some specific elements from Porky's very cool contribution that have had considerable influence on these tables. Until then, I encourage you to have a gander at both and try to find where/how. I would offer a prize if you can identify three or more from each...

Titan Class Boyzilla prepares to unleash hell
Third (?), I will leave you with a few atmospheric shots of the underhive...





Glorious?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

HoA: Table Progress (10)



This will be brief. 

Yesterday was an amazing day of progress; however, by the time I had got the babies to bed, walked the dog, and enjoyed a modest dinner, I was absolutely spent -genuinely, thoroughly spent. This morning's post hopes to compensate for my absence yesterday and fill you in on the bounds of progress we made on the day. 

FrozenJoe and Skarvald (two local bloggers of both swagger and repute) dropped in yesterday, and intend to do so again today, in order to do their part for HoA and DWB. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to detail nor to discuss adequately the stunning help they provided.


Instead, I will simply offer that both the extra talent and the additional hands made for one of those days in which left me feeling that the whole mad caper was going to come off splendidly. 


I find this part tremendously exciting, as all the little pieces start to come together to make the whole thing


I hope to type some more soon and describe some of the more interesting events, but time presses. Look for more photos tonight or tomorrow morning from another day of ambitious progress today. Fingers crossed.





Friday, July 22, 2011

HoA: Table Progress (9)




There is not much time left. 

If you have yet to contribute, I recommend that you act immediately. If you have contributed and want to increase your chances now that you have had a proper ogle at the goods, do not hesitate a moment longer. Tick. Tock. 

... and best of luck.





And now for your daily Chicagoland area meteorological update:

On the fifth day, the heavens opened and it rained… a lot.

While the deluge certainly makes a welcome break from the swelter, it is also a bit of a wet rag on table progress (heyo).

So it goes. We have arranged to regroup in force on Monday and to get properly stuck in to the remaining tasks –mostly painting at this point.

Here are a few shots of the industrial detritus. As you will have seen me mention here in the past, I save just about every single bit that comes my way. These lovely piles of junk (see earlier posts for inspiration) have just about exhausted that. This, to me, is amazing. It took years to compile this mess and, when stored on the shelf, it seemed massive.  On a much more massive table, well, the impression is more tactful than overwhelming. I plan to bolster this a bit (most likely with spru) to make the piles more demonstrable.


Naturally, the closest table will be one for the Orks -what with all that wreckage and bitz. I expect the top left table, in these photos, to be for the IG as it currently offers the most unencumbered real estate and Dave Taylor’s force is positively overflowing with both infantry and vehicle alike. Although these details will certainly be sorted on the day, this arrangement would likely place the BA at top right, with the other Ork faction bursting in-and-on to the hive at bottom right.

It’s getting very, very exciting.

More on Monday, as the gears set properly in motion for our final push.  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

HoA: Table Progress (8)




Another absolute scorcher today. They tell me this builds character, but I suspect that this is just an aphorism we tell other people for sport. Tall Paul and I got crushed before AdeptiCon with snow then freezing rain, and again now but with 100+ degree mayhem (40+ degree C). Tall Paul and I have decided that if we are to continue with this table building malarkey, we need a workshop –a proper one, with plenty of space as well as both heating and air conditioning, and very thick walls. It seems an appropriate thing to do.

Grumbling concluded.

More slow progress today. We have continued working the architectural elements in an attempt to push the hive upward. We intend to keep all the more ambitious vertical gestures at the back edges/corners of the table in order to help suggest that the hive moves ever more steeply as one progresses inward/upward. Here is to hoping that the illusion works.  I suspect it will.

Today, we had some trouble with the wood glue, as it wanted to dry both before I could work with it properly, and then again as it was drying. The outer areas were hardening so quickly in the heat that it was locking pockets of moisture underneath, causing various spots to remain gummy ad odd while others hardened with astonishing haste. We know better than to paint in this heat and humidity, but I did not expect glue to give such bother.

Top Tip: I learned this one from the odd blister or two and you can apply it just as well to your feet as to your tables. I threaded a needle and ran it through the pocket of wood glue that had solidified on the outside but remained gummy underneath (the texture is really quite like a blister actually). I left the thread rather long and (unlike a blister on my foot, which I would just leave for a day or so) tugged it along every once in a while. The thread wicked out the moisture and allowed the glue underneath to dry without necessitating more dramatic, drastic, and/or time consuming measures. Before it hardened completely, I pulled the thread the rest of the way through and discarded it. We will see tomorrow if this sealed (apologies) the deal.


And there you have it. More tomorrow, then a pause for the weekend, and then the final push to Games Day. Glorious.  

As before, I must mention that these could be yours with just measures of charity and gumption.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

HoA: Table Progress (7)



Today was somewhere between brutal and shockingly brutal. I am not sure where exactly, but remain confident that the measurement is broadly accurate. The heat index reached roughly 110 F (43 C), which makes for a reasonably challenging day of outdoor work. Tall Paul looked like he had been fried in butter by the time we called it a day (which was early).  I would like to say that, for my part, I still appeared both dapper and gentlemanly, but know better.

Obviously, progress was slow, but I am proud to say that said progress was still quite steady despite the strange extremes of our Chicago weather. With storms on the horizon the rest of this week and Games day looming, we needed to push forward.

To be fair, I had hoped for more. In fact, we were scheduled to put the proverbial “band back together,” as both FrozenJoe and Skarvald were set to make the trip into the city this morning; however, we had at least one hundred and ten worthwhile reasons to put that on pause for a moment. We have planned to get back on the books for a couple days next week, during which we hope to fine-tune these tables –a particular specialty of these two fine fellows.

So. The most important points of interest today were the (more or less complete) installation of the pink industrial wasteland at the top tables and the “ground floor” of the hive on the closest and top right tables. We have also begun to work on the upward movement of the hive, as the levels start to suggest the dramatically vertical thrust one naturally expects from the hivescapes.

Once more, I would like to mention that should you feel sufficiently charitable and in need of gaming table glory, one or more of these tables could be yours. Email me, and we will talk.

More tomorrow.  


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

HoA: Table Progress (6)




Good evening, one and all. If, by chance, you have missed the hullaballoo, please let me direct your attention toward all of this gloriousness. Time is ticking away rather quickly, and I encourage you not only to place your name in the hat for some absolutely stunning prizes, but also to contribute for a tremendously decent cause.

Although the armies have been completed and wait patiently for their new owners, the tables are not quite done and/or dusted as you will see here (…I get a bit of leeway here as the tables would be impractical to “raffle,” as such, and will not be part of the actual drawing. I could only imagine the cost of shipping). Instead, while we count down the days until the drawing, I will be posting day-by-day progress reports for these monsters.

One important note: the fact that the table will not be part of the drawing does not mean that these bad boys are beyond your grasp. If you are interested in owning one, two, three, or all of these tables, please contact me directly on my email (gentlemanones -via- g mail; you get the picture), and we can talk about a direct donation to Doctors Without Borders through the Heroes of Armageddon project.

That is correct. They may not look like too much yet, but they will. Oh yes, they will ...and you can take these tables home with you if you have the gumption.

Glorious.   

And so a quick recapitulation seems in order:

There are four tables to accompany each of the four armies in the drawing. Each individual table measures 3’x4’ and can be combined with one other table to make a 4’x6’ table, or with all the others together to form a massive 6’x8’ table of unmitigated glory. These images show the entire ensemble together.

In order to help you form an idea of what you are looking at, the tables describe the borderland or the “foothills” of a hive as it bleeds out into the industrial wasteland. These specific images show the underhive area, which you can glean from the foam build-up starting to take shape, and which slopes down into the various entry points. Here, I have taken the notion of the city/hive (and particularly that image of the hive) and run with it. The idea is that the city is not really a fortress, as they are often described, but a functioning, permeable beehive of industrial horror and waste. Naturally then, much of what you see here will be covered as the city folds upon itself and grows.

More tomorrow evening. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Heroes of Armageddon

Feast your eyes on this. The Heroes of Armageddon armies are up and up and up and up. Tremendous work all round. The drawing is in just a few days (see counter at right), so please do not miss your chance at this unprecedented collection of grit and glory.


A Gentleman's Ones has been quiet this last week after an otherwise seamless holiday (which is odd; I had planned it otherwise). Well. I have been working feverishly on the tables that will display the stunning armies above, so there has been little time to dally. Never fear. There will be regular posts this week with the progress of those tables, followed by a return to all those other things that I had mentioned not so long ago (a recipe for bronze, Warmalove, a rare dabbling in Fantasy of some description, a return of the Arrugginiti, and so on). 

Oh, and one more thing. If you are feeling both particularly charitable and in supreme need of solid gaming tables, the HoA tables could be yours. You read that correctly. The tables are going up for sale as well. More on that particular tidbit soon.  

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Top Ten Models.... according to me: #5 The Librarian



Yes. I bought two. The original Space Hulk game (circa: days of yore) was my transition point from Epic (then called Space Marine –a game that I adored but played maybe two or three times total) into the 40K Universe as we know it; Space Hulk was also inspired my unceasing affection for all things Terminator. Granted, the transition in full from Hulk to 40K was about a decade delayed, but that pause was created by circumstantial, more than aesthetic or ideological, obstacles.  

Regardless, I loved the original Space Hulk and when I saw the plastics for the new game, well, I couldn’t have possibly resisted. I am not suggesting that I purchased the game solely for this model… not precisely, but I would have thought about it even if the rest of the game were absolute rubbish (which I am pleased to report is not).

You will not be surprised to read that I simply adore the fact that these models have been created in plastic. Obviously, this has lent itself quite generously to conversion and personalization; it’s pretty much a compulsion, but one that I encourage as a matter of principle. Make it yours. Always.

Fundamentally, I enjoy the sullen, morose gesture of this model. The step. Down. As if he condescends to melt his enemy’s mind.

His face is clearly the focal point of the model, and that face is wonderfully intense. His look is focused, sharp, and brutal. I am reminded (appropriately and in no small manner) of the first entry on the list of top ten models –the Magus. There is stunning power in the understatement of this model’s appearance but, while the Magus is frail, the Librarian is massive and foreboding.

Of course, he also appears quite bulky and perhaps seems restricted by his own mass and armor, but this fits firmly within the concept of the Terminator, and particularly within the Terminator Librarian.

Despite that solid girth, the step, and the row of skulls beneath it, helps shape the force of the model’s imposition –helps give the model a slow and purposeful inertia, like a ten ton train traveling at two miles an hour. Remember: Force equals MASS times acceleration.

If there is one strike against the original model, I would argue that this appears in the force axe, and the cord supporting it. The axe head appears to flat across the model for my liking and that power cable appears a bit too clunky and forced –it certainly adds little to, nor relates soundly with, the movement of the model.

And so, I return once more to the pleasures of plastic. I had an easy enough time simply scratching away the cable, cutting the axe head, and replacing it with something more forceful/direct in both shape and gesture. The cape I added to reinforce that sense of movement. 


But I must insist that these modest alterations are more cosmetic than substantial. The model is a wonder all its own.

Again, plastic, is there anything you can’t do?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Warmachine: Cryx preview of sorts


As mentioned, I am still on holiday. Does it show?


In lieu of another vapid preview post, however, I thought it worthwhile to mention my expanding interest in WarmaHordes and jump right in to the matter. I enjoyed a decent (and astonishingly rare) glut of gaming in the weeks preceding the family’s departure for more mountainous terrain. 

Moreover, although my heart is with the Protectorate, and through the subtle machinations of bartering, I have found myself in possession of yet another Warmachine starter set, which is now the third time that Cryx has landed on my doorstep genuinely unsolicited. Perhaps this is a sign? Certainly, it would seem so.

Well, third time’s the charm, and I figure it would be rude at this point not to put glue to resiny-plastic and paint to the same. I do not really expect to play Cryx myself, but have embraced this timely task simply for the love, as the kids say. The Cryx faction is undeniably cool, and creepy, and it will be a fair bit of fun just to try my hand at the matter.These three BoneJacks represent the progress I have made thus far.

More importantly. I have now officially played six, yes six, full games of Warmachine. Game Five was a thrashing at the hands of Frozen Joe’s Orboros menace. He has kindly taken off the kid gloves now that I have enough games under my belt to know better. It is time to learn.

Having said that, this game was also a bit of an upset. Although FrozenJoe and basically dismantled the Protectorate in a clinical and shocking fashion, his last gamble to pinch Kreoss ended just one or two wounds short of the mark. As such, Kreoss promptly turned around, flailed wildly, exhausted every ounce of Focus available, and bashed Kaya in the noodle with his mace.

Victory to the Protectorate. This game was the very definition of the phrase “winning ugly.” Lesson learned: Protectorate Bastions are beasts. 

Taking this rare win into Game Six, the Protectorate squared up against Chris growing Cryx faction. The game was tense and dramatic, with both of us making desperate gambles for the victory, only to find our Warcaster frighteningly exposed in the aftermath. Neither of us was able to take full advantage of the opportunity, and so the battle swung back and forth and back again.

In the end, attrition made the matter, and Chris sucked the soul from Kreoss’ weary bones. Victory to the Cryx. Lesson learned: BoneJacks are deceptively resilient, and pinched my plans at the jugular. I will be affording them greater, more respectful consideration next time out. 

Alas. My impression of the game grows from strength to strength as I learn not only the game mechanism but also as our blossoming rivalries begin to form properly.

Here’s to more.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Preview


Though on holiday through the remainder of this week, but I wanted to drop this (and the next) post as a kind of preview teaser-trailer of posts on the horizon. 


Here is a brief overview:

-a Recipe post for Bronze (very soon, promise)
-a Battle Report of my loathsome Arrugginiti v. Roberto Vo5's Dark Angels
-some Warmalove (see: next preview)
-and some old school rollicking adventures (pictured here)


Note: these images may not be what you think... as I have yet to enjoy a game of Warhammer Fantasy in any edition this year. hmmm. scratch your chin.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

HoA: Table Progress (5)


As it turns out, I am actually away for the holiday weekend so this post is a bit hasty and thin on, well, me –or at least my ramblings- and heavy on photos. Also, the last two posts were queued, which accounts for the uncommon delay in my response to your comments. There will likely be more of the same before I return later in the week. Please accept my delay in good humor and all that.

And so. Here are a few shots of table progress taken not too long before I left last week. Naturally, Boyzilla was on hand to help in his own particular manner. He grows.


As you can see, the “ground floor” structure is starting to come together and all those spaces underneath are hidden (but not lost, as you can still access them throughout the two board edges as well as through various tunnels and stairs). With this ground floor piece fitted, but not yet nailed, we are branching out onto the remaining city spaces before building upward with the remaining hive “foothill” layers as well as the insulation foam that will compose the industrial wasteland hive exterior.












By contrast, I would like to risk the label “smug” here for a moment and draw a stark comparison. For the holiday, the wife and I have packed the wagon and taken the family out west, you see, and there is a notable lack of post-industrial muck and other forms of “grimdark” inspiration in my current surroundings. Behold.


Glorious.

Ahem. Well. Last time, I mentioned a scrap yard and forge. Today, I would like to talk about the latter.

I have passed the forge about a million times, and always wanted to return with a camera. When passing at night, one can often hear the deep sonorous hum of the melting/slag pits and see the peculiar, otherworldly, orange glow from the fires. In the odd hours, we often here the whistle calling shift changes.  While wildly evocative to the imagination, I am also comforted in these trying times, that such work exists.

So. I recently ambled down to the river for the research and photo opportunity. Unfortunately, I only managed the task with my phone, not a camera proper. On an otherwise very, very warm day, the heat coming off the giant ingots was staggering -just staggering. Well, here’s what I found:









Industrial wasteland made to order. If that is not a fair representation of Armageddon, I do not know what might be. It’s enough to make one want to stay in the mountains.