27 September 2011

Bran Redmaw

I forgot to mention that pictures of this upcoming release from Forge World have popped up on the blogs. I believe the model was on showcase at the UK Games Day 2011. I pulled the picture from this post on a Space Wolves-specific blog. I think it looks like everything a Space Wolf should be, with the fur, the big hair, the big axe, and a big helping of feral rage. I may not wind up getting one, but it's pretty to look at.

I've also been eye-balling the Contemptor-pattern Dreadnoughts that Forge World has been putting out. At current conversion rates the base model, two weapon arms, and shipping comes out to just over $80, so that takes some of the steam out of the sails. Even the prices on the regular Games Workshop models have given me pause as of late. After the most recent price increase and the release of Finecast Failcast, I have pretty much just stopped buying GW models. The price increase before that one really caused me to slow down on hobby purchases, but this latest one just went too far for me personally. I know the ire over the move has already flared up and dropped to a simmer, but for me at this moment I am likely to work on what I have and hold out for good deals on second-hand stuff.

There is a miniatures gaming convention called Tactical Solutions in Spokane, Washington that I've flirted with attending every year, but it seems like I always have a military commitment on the weekend of the event. It is kind of looking like I will be home by the time it kicks off this year, so I began making tentative plans to go. Then my wife reminded me that my sister is getting married on that Saturday. Curses! It looks like I'll be spectating from afar for at least another year.

26 September 2011

I had a couple of meetings today that will hopefully lead to getting my medical issues sorted out. The people I talked to about it last week were all hellfire and brimstone, but I am not quite ready to burn down City Hall without giving the system a chance to answer my questions. The people I talked to today are a little more level-headed and seem to have good working relationships with the medical personnel. Hopefully I can get some answers and get this sorted out. The military is a decent career path as far as pay and benefits go, but it can be mind-wrenching sometimes to sort through the many levels of administration and bureaucracy.

Just saw an ad for the video game Battlefield 3, and noticed that the guy loading the round in the tank at 0:55 pushed in the round with open fingers instead of a closed fist. That's a good way to get your glove caught and at best lose some fingers. With the way that breech comes back, you're more likely to get maimed or killed. I suppose I'm being a bit of a pedant, but after you've seen that gun jump back once, you never again want to be anywhere but plastered up against the side of the turret when the gunner squeezes the trigger.

I've got a large pile of gaming projects in mind for when I get home, but without all of my books and figures close at hand, it's hard to remember what I've got for any given project. I've been following some stuff on eBay and The Miniatures Page, but I'd hate to duplicate things I've already got or relegate even more stuff to the dusty pile in the attic. I'd like to put together a few small forces for The Lord of the Rings, which is something I've mentioned on this blog a few times over the last few years. I've actually got four or five lists written up, mostly using figures I've already got in my collection, but each army needs one or two units or heroes to complete the 500 points. I even have a good number of the Evil forces (Moria Goblins and Easterlings) painted up already. My Dwarf army is still sitting in boxes, and my Fiefdoms list exists only in my imagination aside from a Prince Imrahil I picked up on clearance at some point in the hazy past. I would really like to do a Far Harad list, but that range is all metal models in blister packs, which gets expensive in a hurry. I love the way the GW Lord of the Rings figures paint up. They are a joy to paint. I think they strike the right balance between being too simple and being overly complicated. There is detail where you need it, but not six billion skullz and bitz and details that turn into a huge time sink, like you see in the Warhammer and 40k ranges. I may sell off some of my spare figures in those lines so that I can expand into more Lord of the Rings stuff. It's a shame I didn't do that several years ago when the local Hobbytown had a metric buttload (as opposed to an Imperial buttload) of the stuff on clearance. Now I think they've just got an Attack on Weathertop boxed set that has been there long enough to pull seniority on several of the employees.

22 September 2011

Back in the USA

I've been back in the US for about three weeks now, but I haven't made it all the way home yet. During the demobilization process I expressed a couple of my medical concerns and got pulled into a Warrior Transition Unit pending some surgery on my feet. Today I was informed that I will not be receiving the surgery as my condition has been rated by the doctor as not serious enough to prevent me from deploying again, and now I will start the process of being sent home to return to duty. I will probably wind up opting to have the surgery done on my own dime by a civilian doctor as it causes me a lot of discomfort and affects my ability to do my job. It has been a frustrating process, but I guess the upshot is that I will soon be able to return home to my wife and kids. I should not complain much more as too much whining is unprofessional, so I will close out by saying that today I am in a rather dark mood as I feel I've been strung along by a series of doctors and have been delayed in coming home to my family without anything to show for it.

The twins have been growing their first couple of teeth and have just recently become mobile. They are quite adept at finding ways to get into trouble while they explore the house. Their older brother is no stranger to mischief, either, as he usually has more energy than he knows what to do with. I am looking forward to seeing all the kids again and getting to know the twins, who are now twice the size they were when I was home on my R & R leave.

I have plenty of idea for hobby projects, but I am not sure how much time and space I will have when I get home. One of my first tasks will be to clean out the garage. I hope that will not take too long, but there is a lot of stuff. I need to do a few things to my car to make sure it's good to go. I had hoped to get out to a convention this year, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. School starts for me in January, so I need to get mentally prepared for that, especially if I am going to be taking Math courses. I would like to fit some painting into my schedule, but that always seems to go out the window. My time management skills are awful, and when you add that to all the little emergencies that pop up in a household it seems like nothing ever gets done.