Thursday, May 22, 2014

20 Questions

So, the Liebster Awards are making the rounds again. For those of you who may not know, the Liebster Awards are the chain letter of blogging. It's supposed to be awarded to blogs with fewer than 200 followers. We're clocking in at 347, so I can officially file for an exemption. Thanks to everyone for following along and sticking with me (even through the dry spells)!

I appreciate the nomination from Mr. Saturday. Check out his blog and show some love: Mr. Saturday's Mumblings

The interview questions looked pretty interesting though, so I'm going to answer them and fill some of this dead air:

The Questions

What does it take for a miniature to make you have to have it?

I generally only buy models that are for armies or games that I play, but if a model has some useful parts for conversions or terrain, I'll pick it up. I'll get a model that won't see much action on the table just to have it for my collection, but if a model is poorly sculpted or cast, I'll avoid it and convert something from another model. (For example, none of the older Vampire Counts necromancer models were very attractive, so all of mine were converted from something else. The new plastic one is great, though.)

The last miniatures that I "absolutely had to have" were the Vampire Counts releases from a few years ago- The Wight King and Terrorgheist. They were great sculpts, styrene plastic kits that were beautiful to assemble "stock" but also had a lot of potential for conversion.


Tell me about a miniature you absolutely hate.

I don't hate the models, I just dislike the kit in general– The plastic Grave Guard by GW.  They were very fiddly to glue together and didn't really have any extra detail bits. The great weapons didn't look very good, or even like any recognizable style of weapon. Of the three kits I picked up, one was exchanged for a Doom Wheel, one was assembled and painted to be sold as a 10-man unit on eBay, and the third one I kept because some of the legs and heads were nice and might find their way into a skeleton unit or character conversion.


What's your favorite piece of game-related art/ illustration?

I've always had a fondness for Matt Wilson's painting for the cover of Warmachine: Escalation. The Guardian looks fantastic, pulverizing that little Lancer. I was fortunate enough to see the original art at Matt's house, and the painting is even more beautiful in person.


Who's the biggest influence toward your painting style?

I blame my painting style on the old Undead Warhammer Armies book. It had the first painting guide I ever read when I was starting out, and it used something like 28 steps to paint a unit of skeletons! I followed along, and got some nice results. Ever since, I've used an organic process of repeatedly drybrushing and washing my miniatures. I've refined the process for skeletons down to around 10 steps, but things always wind up more complicated than they need to be.


Basing. Love it? Hate it? Don't care?

Models aren't finished unless they're based. Even the simplest basing can take a mediocre painted model and make it look like something that belongs on the tabletop.


Sushi, a fan? 

Absolutely! The only thing I don't eat anymore is eel, because I had a bad experience choking on one of those hair-thin fish bones. It's a shame because I really liked it, but the narrator has spoken: "And for the remainder of his days, Rob never ate unagi again."


What's your favorite cartoon series?

Archer. My No-Man's Land trenches even made a cameo in the episode Double Deuce!  

Give me a song that makes you want to throw the radio through the window.

Not a song, per se, but that "whoop whoop, that's the sound of the police" track they kept playing during the Ride Along TV spots was intolerable. The commercial was so prevalent I started having a pavlovian response and I still fumble for the mute button on the remote the second I hear Ice Cube's voice on the television.


What's your favorite fantasy/ sci-fi race? Reasons?

Undead. Even as a kid, reading through old D&D books, I was fascinated by skeletons, ghouls, and wraiths. Scenes like the skeleton fight in Jason and the Argonauts and the battle at the end of Army of Darkness is what it's all about. So when I began playing Warhammer, the choice was obvious.


Sci-fi or fantasy? Ancient or modern warfare? And why?

Ancient fantasy.  I love the way blocks of infantry and cavalry appear on the battlefield. Check out the scenes from The Two Towers and Return of the King where the camera pans over rank upon rank of orcs, just covering the battlefield. That's what I want in a miniatures game!


How did you first get into the miniature/ wargaming hobby?

I think it was 1997, my friend John had just returned from the army, and told me about this game "Warhammer" that was played with figures, rulers, and dice. He had the 5th Edition Fantasy starter box with Bretonnians and Lizardmen. I was hooked. A few years earlier, we had been playing the West End Games Star Wars RPG and there was a supplement for miniatures-based combat. I had amassed quite a collection of Micro Machine Star Wars figures, and built a series of modular hex tiles, textured with sand, flock, and lichen. The idea was to build the RPG campaign toward an epic climax and use the miniatures combat to resolve the battles. We never quite got that far, but I obviously had the "itch" to play a tabletop wargame. So, when introduced to Warhammer, I just couldn't resist.


What's the latest hobby-related book you've read?

I guess the Skaven army book or recent No Quarter Magazine.


What's your latest game you've played (tabletop/ board game)?

The last battle I played was against Josh's Ogre Kingdoms in the Warhammer map campaign. But considering how things are shaping up with everyone else on the map, I think I'll have my hands full before too long.


Would you say you are more a collector, painter or gamer and why?

I'd say modeller/ painter, because I get to work on terrain and build and paint models more than I play. But it all goes hand-in-hand for me. I paint models because I want to play with them, and I play tabletop games because I want to paint figures and model battlefield terrain.


Who is your favorite miniature sculptor? 

I have to say, it's my buddy Brian Dugas. I've learned a lot about sculpting from him during my time at Privater Press, and his work is just amazing. Anyone who can sculpt the Legion of Everblight Archangel is the tops!


Who is your favorite rule-book/source-book - illustrator/ artist and/ or writer?

Going old school on the art: D&D painting legend Larry Elmore. The Art of Dragonlance is one of my favorite gaming art books. For rules: Rick Priestly. He writes elegantly simple and fun-to-play rules that are very well suited for the experience of playing a miniatures game.


Who is your all time favorite miniatures producing company? 

Citadel Miniatures. Until other companies start producing styrene plastic kits with the detail and versatility of Citadel's plastic kits, they're going to be number one in my book.


What's you favorite miniatures game/rule producer?

Games Workshop, during the Rick Priestly era. 6th Edition Warhammer and Warmaster are still the best!


What's your dearest item in you collection– and why?

My Vampire Counts army, as a whole, is my favorite. I keep telling my wife that she has to bury them with me when I die. (She thinks I'm kidding.)
If I have to pick a single item, it's the Varghulf. It's a heavily converted centerpiece and I'm just really happy with how it turned out. If I ever finish my Terrorgheist, it will probably knock the Varghulf down to the number two spot. 


What recent hobby purchase do you most regret (if any)?

I picked up some of grey Tamiya acrylic paints and they're just awful. They smell terrible and seem more like oil paints.  Model paints in general are all over the board. Citadel's are hit and miss, and no one carries P3 in my area. That leaves Tamiya and Valejo which don't dry the same color as when they're wet. I've been having some good experiences with Army Painter, but again, the stores that carry them never have the full range in stock, so them having the color I need is a total crap shoot.

Well, back to work.

'Til next time!