24 November 2009

I've been meaning to post some sort of review of the new Skaven book, but I haven't even found a spare hour or two to read through it and build an army list. I've even been too short on time to read through the latest White Dwarf, and that's mostly pictures.

Today was my birthday. I worked a couple extra hours trying to get a little closer to caught up. We usually get a big influx of work prior to holidays as the various unit clerks try to get their desks cleared off before the long weekends. Just kind of goes with the territory. Once I got home I had some schoolwork to do and now I've got about five hours before I get to wake up and do it again. Ah well, at least I am somewhat securely employed.

My dad took me out to lunch today, and the wife and I might go to dinner tomorrow. She cooked up a turkey today and we'll probably have to have another one by next week. If there's a cooked turkey around we won't leave it alone until it's all gone.

The kid is feeling much better, so hopefully no more trips to the doctor or the Emergency Room. Along with feeling better he's got his sense of humor back, so that's been fun. He's a total loony bin and he loves to goof off and make faces. He's been "cooking" a lot lately. He's got a bunch of pots and pans from the kitchen and he'll put his toys in them, mix them around, put the lids on and take them off, and transfer items from pan to pan.

22 November 2009

A Realization

I think I figured out why the snake wasn't interested in eating. A couple of days ago I was looking at the burrows it lives in from the bottom of the aquarium and I saw some shed skin in one of them. It probably wasn't eating because it was in the middle of a molt.

In other news, this was a horrible weekend. The boy has been sick and is quite miserable, which means he's required a lot of attention and everyone else has been miserable along with him. Pretty much nothing that needed done got done and I'm going into next week feeling very far behind on everything.

20 November 2009

Only one of the shops in town had the new Skaven Screaming Bell/Plague Furnace in stock today (today is the release date for it). I went in to have a look at it, but couldn't stomach the price tag for the kit. This particular shop caters only to gamers, unlike Hobbytown which covers all sorts of hobbies, and they charge full MSRP for their products. I will probably wait until Hobbytown gets it into stock or buy it online at a discount website. Although I tend to get the figures I like, I still have a little cheap gamer living inside of me.

18 November 2009

It's About Time

I have been quite worried about the new snake, as it was not wanting to eat and it's been almost two weeks since it arrived in the mail. I tried just about everything I could to get it to eat, but it would run away from or just ignore the food. A few nights ago I even tried putting a live pinky in the cage to see if it would take that. No dice, so I wound up having to kill the pinky rather than let it die a slow death by starvation.

Tonight I saw the snake moving around a couple of times, which is supposedly a signal of hunger. So I got a mouse out of the freezer, thawed and warmed it, and presented it to the snake with some hopefully realistic wriggling motion. At first the snake started to pull back away from it, but when I began bumping the mouse's head against the snake's tail he grabbed onto it and coiled up around it. I wiggled the mouse a bit while the snake had it gripped and that seemed to trigger a little more aggression in the snake. Then I left the snake alone for a while so it wouldn't get spooked before it swallowed the food. I checked once as it was getting the mouse situated and the next time I checked it had burrowed back down into the substrate with a nice little bump in it's belly. So now I at least know the snake will feed.

14 November 2009


My cousin invited me to play Warhammer 40k with him today. I declined, citing a need to do schoolwork. I imagine I also had underlying reasons like unfamiliarity with the rules and lack of a full-sized army. I have spent the morning thinking I probably should have gone to play games and done my schoolwork tonight and on Monday.

12 November 2009

More Wargames Factory

As I mentioned previously, I got my initial order of Wargames Factory Vikings in the mail. The boxed set isn't available yet, but the introductory sample pack is on the website. Each set contains 3 sprues with enough parts to make 8 figures. I wound up getting 40 Vikings for about $30. Also included in the box were a couple of sampler sprues for the company's Ancient German infantry and some Zulu warriors. It looks like I've got enough parts for 5 Zulus and 6 Germans. The free figures are nice, even though I don't really have a use for the Zulus.

Overall I am happy with the Vikings. It looks like you have to be careful which arms you put on each figure, as the figure I put together looked goofy with a sword and shield. I had to build him as an archer instead. Mold lines were pretty minimal, and much easier to take care of in plastic than in metal figures. Looking at it from the cheap wargamer perspective, the impression upon opening the box was that there was a lot of plastic in there for the money.

11 November 2009

Viking Comparison

I got a few sprues of the Wargames Factory Vikings a few days ago. I put one of them together to see how it would look. I had originally intended to give him a sword and shield, but they looked goofy when I test-fitted them and I gave him a bow instead. The picture features the Wargames Factory archer on the left, a Foundry Viking in the middle, and a Gripping Beast Saxon on the right. I was going to have all three be Vikings, but I grabbed the wrong Gripping Beast box and was too lazy to go back upstairs.

To my eyes the Gripping Beast figure fits fairly well with the Wargames Factory sculpt, while the Foundry figures look a bit shorter and heftier than the others. The difference isn't enough that I would feel uncomfortable mixing all three on the table together. I'll probably mix and match what I've got and fill out the rest of my purchases with Wargames Factory.

07 November 2009

New Skaven

The new Skaven army book is out. I haven't had a chance to really look at it yet, but it appears that not a lot has changed with the army I've got painted. It does add several new units that weren't available in the last edition. I'd like to get some of the new models, especially the Doomwheel and the Plague Furnace/Screaming Bell kit. Not much else to say as I'm off playing army for a couple of days and typing on my phone.

05 November 2009

A Snake

I got a snake. It's a Kenyan Sand Boa, with a different coloration than most. They are generally orange and brown, but breeders have taken recessive traits and bred them without the orange pigment, resulting in a white and brown snake. I haven't named the snake. It is currently under a foot long and about as big around as a finger. These are a small species and do not get much longer than a couple of feet. They do get pretty thick, though. One interesting thing about this species is that it burrows. I guess you could say that makes it a boring pet as the most you ever really see of it is a head poking out of the substrate, but they are rather fascinating to me.

In this picture you can see that the eyes are a little bit forward and high on the head. This helps them to see while sitting mostly under the ground. You also might be able to see that the snake has got a bit of an underbite. The pronounced upper jaw helps the snake avoid getting sand in its mouth when digging into the ground.

This photo was taken from the Vida Preciosa International, Inc. website gallery. It shows a large female with normal coloring. You can see that the Kenyan Sand Boa is very thick with a relatively small head.

I am hoping that my snake will get acclimated quickly and begin eating soon. I saw it waiting at the surface this evening, but it didn't take the pre-killed pinky mouse that I offered to it. I imagine the snake was just checking things out rather than exhibiting hunger.

01 November 2009

Wargames Foundry vs. Wargames Factory

I've been thinking about Vikings lately, since Wargames Factory is now producing plastic Vikings by the truckload. * A few days ago I got an e-mail from Foundry about a 20% off everything sale. So I decided to dig in and crunch some numbers. I could throw Gripping Beast in as well, but I've had shipping problems with both orders I've placed through them and don't want to deal with that. The issues always got resolved, but I'd prefer not to have to send e-mails and wait an extra month to get my figures. Your mileage may vary depending on location, I suppose. On to the numbers.

As a base, I took the Viking starter list from Field of Glory's Wolves from the Sea supplement. It doesn't really seem like a starter list at 247 figures, but it's just a baseline for the number-crunching.

For Wargames Factory you could get the figures for $219.45. You'd have a few figures left over, and probably a lot of repetition when it comes to torsos, arms, and the like. Positives are that you can pose them how you want and mix them with other kits.

The Foundry army would cost at least $430 at the sale price, and quite a bit more at the regular price. I do like the sculpts, and even if I go with another option I may still get a unit or two of their berserkers. From my limited reading it seems like berserkers and ulfhednar (berserkers wearing wolf pelts and possibly on drugs) may be more fiction than reality, but they are so characterful it seems a shame not to run a few of them. But that price tag really pushes me away. I do not have a nostalgic attachment to metal figures and even usually prefer plastic figures anyway, so the plastic/metal argument doesn't come into play for me.

By price point alone the Wargames Factory figures seem like the way to go. With the money saved I could buy a full Saxon army whenever they get around to releasing their Saxon set.

I am probably going to order a couple of the Wargames Factory preview sprues to see how they look. I have doubts that they will fit in sizewise with the Gripping Beast figures I already have as plastics generally seem to run a little big, but that's something I will check. Any sort of massive army-building in this era is a long way down the road, but that won't stop me from window-shopping.

* - Size of truck may vary.


We had a combination birthday/Halloween for the boy today, as he turns one next week. He took all the excitement surprisingly well, not getting too worked up throughout the day. He probably did better with it all than I did. And he was a pretty cute little pirate. Of course, with him being so young he didn't really know what all the singing and cake was all about, but that's fine.

I got to see my sister's baby for the first time, even though he's a few months old now. He looks about like any other baby. They live across the state, so I don't get to see them very often. I finally got to show the new motorcycle to my dad. He took it for a spin around the neighborhood. And my friend E. A. and his family came over. He had to spend much of the day doing homework (probably something I should have done as well), but we did get to talk about games a little. We mostly just discussed different game systems we'd like to try, the cost of sourcebooks, and the lack of time available for the pursuit of gaming.

[old man mode] One thing I noticed as kids came to our door for Trick or Treating was that a lot of the older kids didn't even bother to dress up. Really, are they so lazy that they can't even bother to smear some face paint or something on and be a zombie? If you're too old to dress up, then you're too old to go around and beg for candy. [/old man mode]