Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Serenity RPG – First Reading

October 12th, 2013 No comments

For whatever reason I got a bug that I needed the Serenity RPG.  More on the bug in a moment.

Unfortunately Paizo seems to have half the books in stock and seems to be in no rush to get the other half back in stock.  I happened to be on Amazon buying a different book when I decided to look around.  Yeah.  My seven dollar purchase turned into more.

I did my first read through of the rules tonight.  Mind you, it wasn’t scouring the rules so I knew everything there was to know about the game.  What struck me immediately was how closely they resembled the rules for Savage Worlds.   I would almost say Serenity is Savage Worlds in Space with Licensed Characters.  This isn’t a bad thing because the Savage Worlds rules are fun and flexible and it’s nice that they’re similar in nature so that knowing one gives you a leg up on the other.

A few things got old quick.  Quotes from the movie litter the book.  References to Firefly episodes are scattered throughout the text.  The writing style tries for the vernacular of the series/movie.  It’s like they were trying to make SURE that you knew this was a Licensed book by using as much as they could.  Given that they probably paid quite a bit for that licensing I can’t say as I blame them.  Yes, I just did the same here.

I’m on the fence about this now that I own everything.  They do provide pre-gens for the Characters as well as pre-gens for characters, if you get my drift.  If anything I could see running this as an RPG at a convention using the Characters but I don’t know how it would hold up for a campaign.  Trying to stay as close as possible to the canon means it’s very possible to come up with characters even more useless than a bard in a core group.  Someone is going to want to be Inara and it just may be the 50 year old guy.  Creepy but true.

The bug.  The reason this all came about was someone asking about the game and minis in a forum.  It doesn’t seem like there’s a good set of Character minis out there.  There’s some attempts but I haven’t seen The Crew and the singles I saw weren’t of the greatest quality.  This is where the bug comes in.

I’ve been meaning to try sculpting.  I took some classes at ReaperCon when I still went and I’ve got extensive notes and pictures.  It’s something that I’ve almost done many times.  Now I’ve got a project with detailed artwork I didn’t have to provide.  I’m not sure when I’ll start and now that I’ve read the rules I’m not feeling the push to do it immediately.  We’ll see how things go with creative leanings.  If a miracle occurs and I turn out good figs then I can decide if I want to start a “Space Cowboy” line in my store to go along with the rules.  That’s really a pipe dream but I’m not ruling it out.  I won’t pay to have others sculpt them but if I can do it myself it’s a possibility.

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A bit of a rant. Go figure

April 21st, 2013 1 comment

As is well known I don’t enter painting competitions.  My personal feelings are that they’re horribly biased towards whatever the judges like that day and that I don’t need someone else to tell me if my painting is good or not.

There was a convention this weekend with a painting competition.  There was only ONE ENTRY that did not win some kind of award.  ONE.  Everyone got something.  It may be that whole feel-good of making the painters feel like they were worthy but c’mon.  Every single entry (EXCEPT ONE) was worth an award?  I don’t think so.

I also saw a lot of favoritism since the entries aren’t anonymous.  One that should have been laughed out of the competition got a silver because of who painted it.  Seriously.  Now I have several personal issues with the guy but I can judge painting with the best of them and there’s no way this one should have won anything much less a silver.  Then again, everyone (EXCEPT ONE) got an award.

This is one of the many reasons I don’t compete.  No matter what they say there’s bias, there’s favoritism and it’s completely subjective even though this method of judging is supposed to be objective against a standard.  The same people win the high awards every time and now this particular competition is of the 4H mindset of giving awards for participation.

I’m glad some of my friends won awards but looking at this as a whole I wouldn’t value them nearly as much as if they were more honestly judged.  This competition has been a joke since about the third year they held it and it’s only gotten worse.  At least the local con seems more honest except for the favoritism, the bias and the subjective judging.  Oh wait…

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It’s an addiction..

May 28th, 2011 No comments

I swear I just can’t help myself.  When I see a nifty porcelain palette I must have one.  I must.  Obviously if it’s one I can’t or won’t use then I can resist but if there’s even a chance that I’ll use it I must have it.  Since they’re functional items and I don’t get the ones I can’t use it’s not all bad, is it?  Is it?

Anyway.  I have 3 new palettes on their way to my stash, err, home.

I saw someone using this fabu traveling palette when I was at ReaperCon.  He ordered it from Amazon and then I ordered all that were in stock.  No, I’m not going to hoard them.  They were simply too cool not to share and already I have 3 of the 4 “extras” sold to fellow club members.  And the last one will go quickly to someone who doesn’t follow our forum.

Note the very nifty lid which can double as a quick wet palette if you carry a few pieces of baking parchment.  Handy, isn’t it?  It measures about 3 x 4 inches so it’s quite portable.  With the addition of a rubber band, I think.

Next on the block is the big one for when I’m working with lots of colors.  I don’t know if this one will travel or not.  I do need something that stays on my paint table more regularly.

This sucker has, count them, 28 wells and a large area for washes or a teeny wet palette if you’re into that kind of thing.  It’s more of a beast at 7 1/2″ by 6″ so I think it’s going to become my at-home palette.

Then, because I saw them and couldn’t resist (addition, remember?) I got these nifty little suckers.

I honestly don’t know how useful they will be.  They’re 3 3/4″ in diameter and stack up to about 4 1/2″ including the lid.  The height of the stack makes them a little iffy to transport but again they might turn out to be very useful for army painting or other things that need a lot of paint in few colors.  Rubber band for these as well.

To round out the order I picked up some more brushes.  I’ve been meaning to order another Size 1 and kept forgetting so I got that and a few different brands of Size 2, just to see what I like.  I did that with Size 0 only to find they’re too small to really compare.  So I splurged.  Then added another brush to get a discount.  I think it ended up as a wash cost-wise but if you think about it I got a free brush.  Makes my head hurt too.

The big palettes are on back order so I don’t know when that order will show up.  The covered palettes should be here sometime soon and I’m looking forward to trying it out.  It may end up as a permanent part of my travel kit.  Right now I have a regular 12 well palette that I take with me but occasionally pull out for my paint table.  And to clean.

Oh, um.  I forgot that I got one of these too.

It’s a bit large at 9″ but I can see using it for some of the minis I paint with lots of dabs of color and for terrain when I need more paint on the palette.  Yes, those are complete justifications for buying yet another palette.

So now you know.  I’m a palette junkie.  If you know of any other cool palettes please put the links in the comments so I can spend more of my hard earned money on them.

FYI – everything except that first covered palette is from Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff if you’re interested in what else they have to offer.

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Oh come on people!

May 8th, 2011 No comments

I’m just starting painting a Games Workshop Warhammer 40K Eldar army and I thought it would be good to start with Elites because there’s so few of them in a unit.  (Go ahead and insert a Beavis and Butthead laugh because I said “unit”.)

I decided on the Fire Dragon Aspect Warriors because, well, they were the first ones I grabbed out of the box.  After a nice bath in Purple Power to remove the previous paint they were ready to prep and prime.  Which has been done and they’re on sticks so I can paint them more easily.

Right.  Good.  Fine.

Mind you, these aren’t the most current version of the minis.  I got this army as part of the estate from a gaming club member who died a while ago.  So I’ve got what he had in the way of minis.  That’s why I’ve got Eldar.  And because I like painting gems.

So I’m getting started with the base coat and want to see what other people have done with the various and sundry parts of the minis.  I like using other people’s paint jobs as reference and ideas.  Google image search!

Um, yeah.  Lots of pictures of the front of them minis.  Not so much the back.  Yes I know that the front is the “pretty” part but if you’re going to post them please post a booty shot so that the entire mini is captured for posterity.  Get it – “booty shot” and “posterity”.  I crack myself up.  Or I need more/less caffeine.

I’m going to have to make my best guess at how to paint the backpacks.  It’s not like I can paint them incorrectly.  It was more a case of getting ideas and making sure that I got all the bits painted.

I’m taking them with on my trip for the new job.  With any luck I won’t have time to paint them but I prefer to err on the side of boredom.  Minis, brushes, paints (yes they fit in the approved bag size along with everything else) and a small lamp since hotel lighting is never quite good enough for mini painting.  If nothing else I can get the base coats on and maybe start moving up to the midtones.  They’re army minis but that’s no excuse not to make them pretty.

Where’s the new stuff?

April 20th, 2011 No comments

Um, there isn’t any?

As posted previously I’ve been working more on getting my apartment in order.  That’s still the case.  I hit a bit of a slump but will get back on it soon enough.  I can’t stand looking at the disorder much longer.

I’m also almost finished selling things on eBay (yay bidding wars!) so that means I can get rid of the boxes really soon as well.

I might have another week off when I can focus on getting this all done and not whine any more.  Without the pressure of trying to organize I will be able to relax and have fun.

There’s a very, very good chance I’ll be spending a week in AZ for work and I’ll bring the 15mm with me since I’ll probably have evenings with nothing much to do.  Might as well paint minis.  Now that I’ve got my portable light it’s practical.  Trying to paint using hotel lamps is just silly.

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Getting so much closer!

April 14th, 2011 No comments

So I emptied more boxes, one more plastic bin and took a box of things over to the thrift store.  That *should* be the last of it, except for the Christmas stuff.  But I knew that.

I did find the last 2 boxes of things my dad brought up years ago and went through them.  One of them was baby stuff so that was easy to put in the thrift store box.  The other one had all kinds of old birthday cards, report cards and other miscellaneous clippings from when I was growing up.  It was interesting to read over the old report cards.  Seems like more than a few of my teachers were frustrated that I got good grades without much effort.  Back in the day they graded those separately – achievement and effort.  So I’d get an A in achievement but a B or so in effort.  Um, if I’m getting an A does it really matter that it was easy for me?  I had a lot of “could apply herself to excel” in the comments.  And the standardized test results always had me way up in the 90th percentiles.  I think my lowest was a 92.

Regardless it’s done.  I have the rest of the things to put on eBay and a couple of things to put on Craigslist.  I did put 2 of them up today – hot press embossing film rolls that my mom had (great for crafts!) and my wedding dress.  It was time.  It’s been cleaned and packed in a box for years and I’ve moved it around out here without quite knowing what to do with it.  I removed the veil from the really spiffy hairclip so I have that to wear.  But the dress is simply taking up room and I would rather someone else use it.

With the dress and the 3 large plastic bins of Christmas things gone (I think I’ll end up with one large-ish bin left) my storage closet will have more than enough room for the things I want to put in there.  And when that happens I can say my life has been tidied up as much as it can be, my apartment is as uncluttered as I can make it and that I’m done sorting through my life.

I’ve been very, very good about not accumulating more.  Unless I have an immediate need for something it doesn’t get purchased.  If I have to dust it, I don’t need it.  That’ really helps keep the clutter down.

With the new way I have the dining area I can finally move the dog crate from the end of the couch to tucked in front of the washer/dryer next to the paint table.  It really opens up the space and I can leave the door open for the dogs if they want to curl up in there.  It opened up the room nicely.

I still have a pretty good sized stack of empty (broken down) boxes and until I’m done with the rearranging stuff I’m holding onto them.  It would really be annoying to give them away and then find out I need a couple of boxes.  I don’t think it’s going to happen because of all the empty plastic bins I have now but I will be mailing out all the things from eBay and some of them are bulky enough to justify using smaller boxes.

To recap.  The last of the boxes of personal items have been sorted.  The last box of things has gone to the thrift store.  Auctions are continuing for things of value I no longer need or want.  Craigslist is being used for the items best sold locally.  The Christmas items will be sorted and purged, just not quite yet.

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My new home

March 31st, 2011 1 comment

I’m putting it all together on my web site so that I know where the heck everything is.  I had blogs all over the intarwebz and now they’ll all be here.  And because I like you I’m keeping two very distinct hobbies separate.  Feel free to check out the costuming one if you’re interested but only the miniatures, terrain and some random musings will be on this one.

Now, if you’ve been wanting to blog but know you just don’t have the time or interest in putting a lot of posts out there let me know and I’ll gladly let you on mine so you can post away whenever you like and get the info out.  I’m not saying I’ll host a completely new blog for you – there’s plenty of free sites for that.  But if you’re a very random poster we can chat about adding you onto mine.

I’m working on a file upload gallery so that the pictures are hosted “here” too but permissions are giving me a headache.  It would be nice to have a gallery of some kind.  I wonder if WP has a plugin…

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Decisions, decisions

March 24th, 2011 No comments

I pared down my hobby supplies a LOT in the first move, not so much in the second, and somewhat while I’m doing this unpacking.  That means the very questionable stuff is long gone.

Now I’m dealing with “The Rest”.  I have supplies for building larger pieces of terrain, but I’m not really building larger pieces of terrain.  So do I store them, if I have room, or do I donate/sell them and deal with possibly replacing as needed?

Overall I’m doing really well at condensing and sorting out various craft supplies.  I’m on the prowl for a plastic 7 drawer storage unit since 4 of the drawers are shallow and therefore are useful.  I already have plans for the deeper ones.  I hope to have one this weekend and can do the closet rearranging to make it fit.  Then I would certainly have space for the stuff.  I think I have room for a lot of it in the new storage units.

The real question is whether or not I should keep these things with no clear purpose in mind.  I’m keeping all the tools so that’s not even a question.  I can replace supplies easily enough.  Replacing tools is more difficult.

I want to get this settled this weekend so that the boxes/bins are out of my living room.  They’re currently residing there because I moved them out of the second bedroom/sewing room/computer room so I could sort them out and be done with them.  And I’m very tired of seeing boxes in my living room.

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Why oh why?

March 16th, 2011 No comments

Free does not always mean “good for me”.  The game club is starting into Warhammer 40K and I didn’t want to make the investment.  Until I literally got a carload of eldar and high elves (for fantasy) as part of an estate.  So I now I have the makings of at least one army.

Why is this bad?  It’s one of the only factions that doesn’t have set color schemes.  You get to pick your own.  Oh, they suggest them but I never like using canon colors unless required.  So now I have to make up color schemes for each freakin’ troop.

Reading the codex and I’ll be getting a basic copy of the rules tomorrow.  And if I don’t have other plans this weekend I’ll be sorting out what’s in the boxes and making lists.  Then I can start looking into army lists and what I will need to fill in the gaps.  A small investment is fine – a large one is not.  And I also get to strip and repaint them all.  Woo?

Dungeon Bash Layout

February 25th, 2011 1 comment

I took a lot of pictures while running the game but haven’t cleaned them up.  As a tease, here’s what one of the large layouts ended up as.

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