Thursday, November 29, 2018

Bond Characters And Podcasts

I've been wanting to get this post out for almost four weeks now, but as usual, the farm is just crazy busy and hobby time is at the bare minimum. It's pretty frustrating that no one realizes how I need to get up to the studio on a regular basis to keep my sanity 😃

This batch of James Bond figures are all from Crooked Dice Studios and consist of characters from the movies Moonraker, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Goldeneye. All have the new clear bases.

Hugo Drax


Anya Amasova

Alec Trevelyan

Xenna Onatopp

This is Diego, who finished sixth at Nationals about a month ago!

As busy as I have been with the horses and the farm, the one huge positive that does come from it is it allows me to listen to podcasts all day. There are a ton of really great podcasts out there that focus on the tabletop hobby, but I want to call out one that I think is just heads and shoulders above all of them.

The Cast Dice podcast is hosted by Brad "Old Man Morin". If you are, or were into Bolt Action at any point, and listened to BA podcasts I'm sure you will recognize Brad's name - probably from the LRDG podcast.

He's branched off on his own now with Cast Dice and this is hands down my favorite podcast to listen to. He has a wide range of guests and games that he talks about (and has even started to touch on pop culture stuff which is super exciting) so you're going to get a little bit of everything that's currently out, which is great for someone like me who can't stay focused on any one project and always gets sucked into the newest shiny game that gets released.

What really strikes me about Brad is that you can really tell by the way he talks that he has an absolutely incredible passion for gaming - and it's all aspects. Rules, figures, terrain, developers, current trends, etc.  And I love his interview style - it's extremely professional and he really tries to make it balanced between himself and his guest, and you will often hear him say "I've been talking too much, what are your thoughts". He interacts with his guests really well and you can tell he genuinely listens to them talk by the questions he asks. I know that I'll probably never meet him, but spending several hours a week listening to him, I feel like we're cut from the same cloth and could easily be friends - so a big thanks Brad!

I also wanted to put out a quick plug for two of  Brad's more recent podcasts. The first features Simon Quinton, from Brummie's Wargaming Blog fame. I'm sure most of you already know Simon, but he does some absolutely incredible work over on his blog that you should definitely check out.  He and Brad talk all about Crooked Dice's 7TV rules set in Cast Dice episode #42 and it's great stuff! The second one features Jayson over at the Doctor Merkury blog. Jayson is doing some brilliant tabletop stuff with classic G.I.Joe from the 80's (and I blame him for making me seek out those original comics I sold years ago again - thankfully I found them in collections at my local library and have placed a hold on the first one), and he and Brad talk quite a bit about that along with some other cool stuff in Cast Dice episode #35. Highly recommended.

And now on to part duex of the podcasts. As I mentioned above, Brad has started to touch on pop culture with his podcast, and last month Cast Dice talked about the classic James Bond film 'Never Say Never Again' - episode #40. Brad's guest for that show was Jarrod Alberich, known as the Yard Sale Artist, and it was an absolute blast to listen to Brad and Jarrod talk through the entire movie.

One sequence I always loved from that movie was the opening. And to me it really felt like it could easily be a great little tabletop game; one agent alone to infiltrate the compound (and it was an awesome location that could make for a brilliant model) and free the hostage. But as the guys discuss, the music in this movie is just horrendous. I mean it could easily  be used at a poison control center to help induce vomiting. Anyway, I stumbled on this fantastic re-cut of that opening sequence with classic Bond music and a whole new title sequence - so this ones for you Brad! Never Say Never Again Classic Bond

I love my spy-fi stuff as followers of the blog will know, so when I found out Jarrod has his own podcast called "MI:6 Rookie Agents" that talk about ALL the Bond movies I was super excited. The "MI:6 Rookie Agents" podcast falls under the "OHMSP" (the photo above - there are several other podcasts that I highly recommend that also fall under the OHMSP heading all talking about Bond as well) where he and his brother Jason take two of Jarrod's friend's who are not familiar with the Bond franchise, through the entire series one movie at a time. It's both really fun and interesting to get what is essentially a "newbies" perspective on the franchise, along with Jarrod and Jason's expertise - and let me tell you, Jason is a Bond encyclopedia! The production value of this podcast is top notch and a whole lot of fun to listen to, highly recommended for any Bond fan.

*I listen through Podcast Player on my phone, but you can also find both on Podbean and iTunes as well*

But my real hope is that Jarrod and Jason will do a podcast dedicated to Victory Games amazing James Bond role playing game - this is my collection. I have everything except one adventure and two of the supplements. I've heard them speak briefly about the game on their podcast and that it was one of their favorites when they were kids. This was one of those games I was absolutely obsessed with as a kid too - and it really was the game that got me building models and terrain specifically for the tabletop and specific encounters. So fingers crossed that they will do something in the future as I'd love to hear about their thoughts and experiences with the game.

What was really great about each individual adventure was the amazingly detailed maps that they came with. One of my very first large scale terrain pieces was Auric Enterprises from the Goldfinger adventure. I remember scaling up the map of the facility so it could work with my N Scale cars and figures I had from my model trains. I really wish I had a photo of the model! I do remember my step-father not being too pleased with me that I cut up an extra window screen to make my fencing for the facility though lol

They also came with these boss envelopes that said "For Your Eyes Only" that would hold props for the mission - like briefings, letters, maps, transmissions, etc. Anything that could be used as clues that the gamemaster could hand the players to help them complete their mission. Great stuff!

I know last time I mentioned I was continuing on with my Jonny Quest project, well, as usual I got sidetracked. This time with a new Zorro project. Here's a quick peak at the table. 

I think it was the mariachi band that made me lose focus on the Quest gang - who doesn't want a mariachi band on the tabletop??!! And with a dancer no less.

And a couple of amigos. I still need to go back and rebase all my Zorro figures from earlier this year to these new thin clear bases though.

Now for winter farm projects... how mad is it that we are actually building an extension onto the barn!? That means another 8 stalls added to the existing 6. I guess I need to think positive and realize job security.

Lastly, I managed to get a couple more followers of the blog (I am all of one away from fifty lol) - I'd like to thank Steve Hamner and Doctor Merkury (Jayson) for following along, very much appreciated guys!

Until next time,
Thanks for looking!


Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Close To Zomtober 2018 - I Guess You Can Never Have Enough Walkers

Another year and another Zomtober in the books. This year was pretty good as far as totals were concerned - 46 models were completed and based for the month. Here's my obligatory splash photo with every walker I've done so far, with a couple of select survivors putting up a last defense.

This week had me finish 20 figures. I think that I only have a total of five unpainted Mantic walkers left to do, which is pretty amazing honestly. There were no new poses in this group except for the Shane walker, so I didn't think there was any need for close ups this time around.  I really like the look of the horde bases, so I did two more on the right.

One thing I really wanted to do this month was get some of the prone figures done. But with the switch to the thin clear base that meant I had to cut them off their resin bases.

Oh my days, what a chore that was! I had to use my jewelers saw as the Xacto knife wasn't going to cut it - the jokes just write themselves folks :)  I broke like three blades, but finally did get them all done.

A zoomed in photo of some of the prone figures in action. And Negan being Negan to the poor lad kneeling on the left.

I moved to another corner of the unfinished board for this final week, as I felt the loading dock of the factory would look way too similar for photos two weeks in a row.

Even though I have 73 walkers it wasn't nearly enough to fill up the intersection. I guess I need to buy more undead figures :)

I'm extremely lucky to have an entire room dedicated to nothing but my hobbies, but it is frustrating that the ceilings are so low (about 6'1").

That means that the lights are literally right on top of the tables and it creates shadows all over them, as you can see above. Definitely a bit frustrating.

So a pretty successful Zomtober 2018. Thanks to everyone who participated this year, there was a lot to be inspired by and I got to follow a few new blogs along the way. I also want to take a second and say "thank you" to some new followers of to the blog as well :) - myincubliss, Steve Hamner, and Doctor Merkury. Appreciate you following along!

I'm ready to go back to my favorite genre of gaming next, pulp. I've started working on a one off Jonny Quest adventure featuring that temple I worked on earlier in the year, with some of the new Kickstarter dungeon tiles that arrived from Germany a few weeks ago. It's been almost two years since the Quest gang was out on the table. That is way too long, and it's definitely time to see them again.

As always, thanks for looking!


Sunday, October 21, 2018

Zombtober Week Three - More Survivors

I felt I really needed to move out of that corner of the board where I've been taking group photos of the zombie apocalypse over the past year. Every time I would add more figures I would just throw them in that same corner and move a few things around. Pretty boring really, so apologies! But honestly, because this board is no where near finished, I still feel odd trying to set up these staged photos even though I do think they look better than just the light box photos. Anyway, over to the trackside factory I went with the resulting zoomed in splash photo above.

I imagine that this was a supply run into the factory that has gone horribly horribly wrong!! This is the original photo - where clearly the author of this blog shouldn't have included it because it actually shows in full color detail just how much work still needs done lol

Ten more survivors were based this week, with a large number of walkers started for next weeks grand finale. Here are the first five - three Mantic figures and two from Studio Miniatures.

The first is Herschel Greene from Studio Miniatures. Obviously this version is from the television show and not the comic. Having only ever finished the first volume of the comic book series, I'm only familiar with Herschel as portrayed on the show and I quite liked that character a lot. When I saw this figure I had to grab him.

Next is Darrel Dixon, again from Studio Miniatures and another television show only figure.  Darrell is definitely a favorite of mine on the show, and just like with Herschel, when I saw him I absolutely had to get him into the shopping cart too.

Darrell's vest has some fantastic detail on the back with the wings. Overall the details on the SM figures are just amazing. The only thing is, as you can see in the group photo, they are a bit smaller than the Mantic figures. For me though it's nothing that isn't going to prevent me from mixing them in with the Mantic line of figures.

Patrick. Baseball bats seem all the rage with early figure sculpts.


And last in this group is Glenn.

This next group of five has Michonne, Tyrese, Andrea, Negan, and Chris - all from Mantic Games.

I know Tyrese is supposed to have been a former football player, but this particular sculpt has always bothered me - his shoulders just seem a bit too big, though in this particular angle he looks ok, the group photo not so much.




And last, Andrea.

Until next time, when we'll close out this Zomtober with a boatload of walkers, thanks for looking!


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Zomtober Week Two - Atlanta Survivors

This week I decided to stay away from the undead and get some survivors completed.

Five survivors from the early days of Atlanta got put onto their new bases an immediately placed on Main Street :)

And a close up of the horde about to overrun them!

Here is Lori, Morgan, Jim, Carol, and Liam.

Jim is my favorite figure of the lot. The sculpt really captures the terror of being in a zombie apocalypse.

The Liam sculpt is another favorite. I like figures that aren't armed to the teeth so a majority of this group falls under that heading. What I really like is that this particular sculpt captures a moment when Liam was clearly caught off guard.



And last, Lori.

I also worked on one of the trucks from the All Out War scenery set. It's a great set and highly recommended if you don't have it.

I decided to think way outside the box and went with red as my color choice for the truck.

I think the weathering turned out ok, definitely need more practice with it though. And I didn't realize the lights on the roof looked that bad until I started to put this post together. Oh well, I have another truck to hopefully improve on.

And to wrap this post up, I was able to snag last years event exclusive set from Mantic off Ebay for the bargain basement price of $27.00 - which included the shipping! Can't wait to start on this one :)

Until next time, thanks for looking!