A Very Long Hiatus

Meanwhile During Finals Week…

If you thought this blog was dead, you were wrong. The blog will continue during the year when I have the time and I will be posting some new projects that I will be doing with a friend of mine. Here is the list of projects for this summer:

– Project One

I am very excited about this project. The project I have in mind, with my friend that is, will be a very long and tedious process. Not to mention that he is the only person available and capable of helping me. This project will remain low-key until further notice. I have to do some legislative logistics, because it does involve, not to profit reproductions.

Will I tell you what project one is?

Those who know to much have treasonous thoughts, treasonous thoughts are heretical... you get the picture.

If you have to ask. I will say it involves old models of highly trained elite soldiers and people who live in the Norse afterlife.

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WIP: Veteran Armored Fist Squad 005

Mean While At College

I started this project in May 2012, while looking for work.Originally I wanted the squad to be a grenadier squad, but since I had no money at the time and the fact the pewter models for the Cadian plasma and meltagun shock troopers were at a higher price. I decided to redo the squad and made an armored fist forward sentry unit. Sure it might sound silly, but the idea that a mechanized unit doesn’t have a recon didn’t make sense to me. Plus, the idea seemed kind of cool.

The Squad So Far…

Three veteran snipers equals BS 4 of fun!

Three veteran snipers equals BS 4 of fun!

This squad is going to be model with some camo cloaks and I will update this post when that happens, or link it or re-post. Currently the squad is at the finial stages of its formation were only a few members of the squad are actually painted and I still have to plan and make the camo cloaks. I’m not sure which camo pattern I want to use, but I have an idea.

This guy was originally a Dark Heresy character, but he looked to cool not to use.

This guy was originally a Dark Heresy character, but he looked too cool not to use.

I originally wanted the whole squad to look like this guy right here, but it didn't really happen.

I originally wanted the whole squad to look like this guy right here, but it didn’t really happen.

Some the members of the veteran squad have different camo-patterns to represent that the squad is completely different from the rest of the platoon. I now realize that doing this creates a mish-mosh of wacky camo-patterns. However, repainting 2  models will have made for wasted time.

So now I’m going to make this squad look like a veteran squad of leftovers. The only thing that will have changed for these men will have been their insignia and squad number. I’m hoping that will make them have some more depth.

They are a mish-mosh, a haphazard if you will.

They are a mish-mash, a haphazard if you will.

The guns that veterans in squad 005 have, are different from the rest of the company. The veterans of 912th sport customized lasguns, and most the lasguns have wooden stocks, shortened stocks, cut-stocks, improved optics that vary in quality and size, or different pattern lasguns.

A lot of the veterans have extra las packs and grenades, since they know how tough it is out in the field. You will also notice that the sergeant has a respirator.

The Complaints of the Old Guardsman

When I first got into Warhammer 40k back in 2001. I thought veterans were  the coolest thing to have in my army during 3rd edition when the imperial guard still had doctrines which limited the troops choices you had. With the current Imperial Guard Codex, which is now being changed (according to certain rumors) that doctrines may be coming back. Like most of the older imperial guard players that I know, Doctrines made your imperial guard its own regiment and had its own identity which in my opinion has been lost with the current imperial guard codex.

As much as I would like to say, ‘at least we got cooler tanks,’ I really can not. To put into a better perspective, image if all the space marines chapters that don’t follow the codex Astarte were suddenly rewritten so that they all look like an Ultramarine Army. There is only one hegemonic identity and the only difference is the chapter symbols. Point being; no customization, identity and personality for fluff players kills the game.

WIP: Armored Fist Command Squad 306

Mean While At College

This project I started in the summer, but I had to take a quick break for the time being while I was working at Ariens Company during the summer. Now that I have time during Winterim break to sit down for once, and finish something, I would first like to say that I like the newer command sprues that Games-Workshop has made for the imperial Guard.

Imperial Guard Ho!

Imperial Guard Command Squad, Ho!

Squad 306 is a platoon command squad for 10th company’s first platoon. So they have to look over glorified, so I gave them the best thing ever, a platoon standard. The squad is nearing its painting phase and the models are almost complete. What I have to focus on right now is getting the Chimera repainted, but since it’s already done, I may ink the tank.

As for right the now, the only models I have done are the junior officer model and the vox-caster, who needs a chainsword attached to his communication pack. They might get an extensive overhaul once I’m officially done with them. However, we will see what happens.

Problems, Set-Backs and Re-paints!

The flag was the first challenge to tackle, I had paint and re-painted the flag multiple times in order to figure what kind of color I wanted to use, but in the end I decided to go with orange and blue, barely highlight it and ink it with black to give it some depth. Even though I’m done with the flag, I still have to detail it, and highlight it more.

This is last time I'm painting this flag!

This is last time I’m painting this flag!

Other issues I ran across while painting was thinning the paints  to paint the flag. I may be an amateur at painting, but I think I need to use the new paint system from Games Workshop. I’m not sure if I want to, but I’m not going to get left behind. I got left behind in 5th edition and was shocked to find about that they switched to a hull point system.

Miniature Wargame Video!

This is my first Vlogging experience, ever, so I’m pretty excited. I hope you enjoy it!

Special Thanks:

Thanks once again to Galaxy Comics Comic Games and More, and a very special thanks to Matt Schmidkamp of angryelfbrewing.blogspot.com, Eric Skarenes, Justin Wilzba, Chris Randazzo and Fred Simmons.

Picture Credits:

  • Matt Schmidkamp  – Warmachine Photo
  • CSW Expo 2009 Photos – Wargame Photo
  • Alan De Smet –  Gary Gygax Photo
  • Photo of HG Well is Public Domain

Music Credits:

  • “Consort for Brass” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Games Workshop: Increased Prices, Complaints, Problems and Paints!

Games Workshop’s increased prices on both their models and paints are causing modelers and retailers to be more cautious.

Last year, Games Workshop announced they would increase their prices world-wide. Then in June of 2013 they announced a price increase on their paint pots. Since the initial price increases, independent retailers of Games Workshop and hobbyists are still feeling the pinch.

These just a few of the kits that were subject to change from last year's price increase.

These just a few of the kits that were subject to change from last year’s price increase.                     Chart Was Made By: Morgan Zwart

Warhammer 40k is Games Workshop’s most popular franchise. Adam Ludwig, a regular at Galaxy Comic Games and More in Stevens Point and avid player of Warhammer 40k since 2008, says that Games Workshop’s problems may be because of the current miniature war-game market.

“There are other companies trying to compete against Game Workshop like Privateer Press and other miniature games that are becoming popular, but the price has gone up almost double from when I started playing. I think it is really hard for new players to get into the game and I  think  its hard for anyone who is not in the middle class or above to really start playing the game and keep up with the game.” said Ludwig.

He also said that this is especially true when the company constantly changes the rules, rule books and codices, that It becomes a lot harder  for anyone to keep up with the game financially. As a player of the hobby, Ludwig says that the current price increases has affected his relationship with Games Workshop.

“It certainly has made me stop buying all of my minis through Games workshop. I actually  started looking at alternatives.  I don’t buy nearly as much of the base product from Games Workshop like I normally do,” said Ludwig.

Over the past five years, Games Workshop has been slowly increasing their prices. Now with the current price increase on their paint sets, it has some cause for concern when carrying any Games Workshop miniatures and paints.

 Chris Randazzo, owner Galaxy Comic Games and More in Stevens Point, says that the sudden price increase on the paints in June of 2013 was a nightmare for him. On the same day of the price increase he  quickly had to change every one of the paints in his system to get the prices up to date.

“I will not have anything bad to say about it in a general sense and it is not even a retailer trying to protect a distributor like Games Workshop, it is not even about that. To me Games Workshop is a very frustrating company to deal with at times.” says Randazzo.

Randazzo also says that Games Workshop’s main rules for their games change drastically at times and will often change how your armies will play in their games.
This makes players need to buy new products from Games Workshop for all intents and purposes, even though officially Games Workshop says that you can use their miniatures.

“I will tell you that, before you ever buy a product from me, before you ever buy a Games Workshop product. Please don’t think that you are going to buy one army and play that army forever and it is your $200 investment and then you are done buying.” said Randazzo

Although this these models may not look like much, they collectively cost $90, plus tax.

These models may not look like much, but because of the new price listings, they collectively cost $90 plus tax.

Randazzo says that as a player of the Games Workshop franchises, you are going to have to buy new stuff, new editions and rules books are coming out and you are going to want to buy new stuff. He then stated that if people were still playing 2nd edition with our old army books players would be bored with the game.

As a realtor though, Randazzo has said that the current price change doesn’t change the way he feels about Games Workshop. He says that good distributors and good game companies see him as a partner, such as Wizards of the Coast.

“For the last 7 years I have been open, Wizards of the Coast has figured out its business model, and their business model is organized play. It used to be that what good products I could buy was based on how much I spent.” said Randazzo

Randazzo says that he was on a different customer tier and the more money he spent the better products he received. Then Wizards of the Coast figured out that if retailers ran enough events then he and the company were going to sell more products. Everything Wizards of the Coast does for him now is based on the events he runs and the more events he runs, the better the products he gets. Randazzo then stated that this model is not used by Games Workshop, however.

“Games Workshop is not my partner. They have never been my partner. Every couple of years they will change the retailer agreement, like what I have to sign, how I have to order and how I pay shipping. And they always present it as, ‘ we are finally going to see you, oh small retailer, as a partner and that we know that your business is as important as anybody else out there and you are what makes us go’,” said Randazzo.

Before June of 2013, all paint pots officially cost $3.50.

Before June of 2013, all paint pots officially cost $3.50.

Games Workshop changed their retailer policy just before the launch of the new paint line, claiming that the change was because of the new paint line. Randazzo did not know that they would be doubling the SKU’s on the new paint line products, much to the complaints of many retailers at trade shows. Game Workshop is still making it mandatory that retailers need to buy their paints in a package of 6 paint pots.

“They only gave me a paint rack if I bought all the paints and said that I might be able to get the rack later on, but if I didn’t buy all the paints then they couldn’t guarantee me one and continued to package the paint pots in 6. Paints that don’t sell as well die on my self. It’s hard for me to stock their paints when I have to carry six of everything.” said Randazzo.

The Dungeons and Dragons Effect

Dragons in the Dungeon

There are many role playing game (RPGs) that are in existence in this day and age, but there some more iconic than others. One role playing game that stands above the rest is Dungeons and Dragons.

Brief History

The Iconic D20 has been used in D&D for nearly 40 years now. Anyone who has played D&D has their own set of dice. The more venerable players ten to have more than one set of dice.

The Iconic d20 has been used in D&D for nearly 40 years now. Anyone who has played D&D has their own set of dice. The more venerable players tend to have more than one set of dice.

The role playing game, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), was originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave ArnesonThe game was derived from the miniature wargame, Chainmail, which was the first game created by Gary Gygax and Jeff Perren in 1971. Dungeons and Dragons was then published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules. Inc. and soon became a rousing success. Today, Dungeons and Dragons own by Hasbro’s subsidiary company, Wizards of the Coast, who now publishes the game. The game is currently in its 4th edition which was published in 2008. however there is a still a number of players that play older editions, like Advance Dungeons and Dragons (AD&D) which used the THACO (To Hit Armor Class Zero) system or Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 which uses the newer d20 system.

How It Has Impacted People

This the Players Handbook for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. It is one of my more preferred editions next to 2nd Edition AD&D.

This the Players Handbook for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. It is one of my more preferred editions next to 2nd Edition AD&D.

Dungeons and Dragons has touched my people’s lives over the past 39 years. It has been featured in pop culture and has won dozens of awards. Dungeons and Dragons has done different things for many people. It’s even helped people recover from their injuries.

William Helmke, a student at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, says he started playing Dungeons and Dragons after a motor cycle accident.

“Basically, I was inexperienced at the time and I had just gotten my temps. It was my first time on a motorcycle, a motorcycle that was too big for me,” Helmke said, “when I went around a corner and caught some gravel on the edge of the curve, I wiped out.”

During the course of the crash, Helmke tried to catch himself to minimize injury. He managed to dislocate his shoulder and break his leg. It was impossible for him to use crutches and was in a wheel chair for two months. It was during this time that his friends from his hometown of Marshfield, Wisconsin, introduced Dungeons and Dragons to him.

“At the time I couldn’t walk, so being able to play a character that could wield a sword that was as tall as my character and being able to cut through hordes of enemies was a really nice way to escape into a fantasy world that was something different than the real world,” Helmke said.

Helmke says that he has played many role playing games and was always interested in playing the game. Dungeons and Dragons is still his favorite role-playing game that stands above the rest.

“I really enjoy the aspect of being able to play a character that can do things that I can do and things that I am not capable of doing,” Helmke said.

Chess: Not Just a Game

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/224405146/CWTTG_SoundSlides_Chess_Story/soundslider.swf 

Special Thanks

I would like to thank Al Bond and Lynn Schober for there time and patience during the interviews. I would also like to thank Jadeco Hobby, Galaxy Comics Games & More, as well as the members of the Deviant Art Community for photographs.

Music:

“Gymnopedie No. 1” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Copyright Law & Fair Use Doctrine

Interested In Chess?

Here are some related articles:

Apocalypse Kits: Emperor’s Talons Recon Company

DSCN9939

This a Waste-hounds sentinel unit I painted two years ago. The shorter looking sentinel actually has the pewter parts which made it cost $35.00 about five or six years ago.

Finally Something I Can Get Behind

After seeing the current pricing on the Emperor’s Talons Recon Company, I have to say, ‘why didn’t they do this crap sooner so I didn’t have to spend almost $350.00, plus tax?’ Currently, the price of the Emperor’s Talons Recon Company stands at $300 and what is funny is that you can still buy 10 sentinels and get the same price; if it was not for sales taxes.

Why I Like This Kit

Once I have enough money I am going to buy one of these. I’ve always thought that sentinels have always been an important aspect of the Imperial Guard Army list. They are useful for a hard hitting advances with mechanized infantry, especially if you do not have a tank for support, and if you use them correctly they can be used for flanking tightly held enemy positions. You could say that the armor value alone does not make these for a sensible buy, but I’m an old 3rd edition guard player at heart and I love the idea of fluff based armies.

In My Opinion

To be fairly honest, when the finally turned the whole sentinel kits into all plastic I was rather happy about the change. If you wanted to buy a sentinel you had to buy it in different patterns: Mars, Cadian, Armageddon. Each individual model was priced, to the best of my knowledge, was priced as: Mars, $25; Cadian,$30; Armageddon, $35. If you think that is ridiculous, at the same time these prices were around, an Chimera APC was about the same price as the Armageddon pattern sentinel.

By making everything plastic, it really cut the cost that made the expensive pewter parts the Armageddon pattern had, but because of the kit be change into a more universal sentinel kit at a decent price rate.The one thing I will miss though about the pewter parts though and that is the hardiness. I can drop my old sentinel on the floor and it does not shatter like the newer models.

On that note I would like to say this. I’ve worked in manufacturing, both in metalworking and carpentry and know what quality control is, but I feel as if the quality of the plastic the models once had, is diminishing.

If you are wondering if that is a dead Eldar, then you are correct. I do not like them and they make great model base material.

If you are wondering if that is a dead Eldar, then you are correct. I do not like them, and they make great model base material.

I think that cost cutting on the quality for quantity has made the models cheaper for some of the armies (sorry space marine players), but somewhere along the line quality should be more important when it comes to plastic models.

Inflation: Is it Affecting Traditional Gamers?

Meanwhile In Economics

Recently, in a New York Times article that outlines the current  inflation rate; which is at 1.2% and has been slowly rising like a sloth in the Amazonian jungle. 

The New York Times article stated, that the federal reserve has worked for decades to suppress inflation and that Janet Yellen, the presidential nominee to lead the Federal Reserve next year stated in the article that,”Rising prices help companies increase profits; rising wages help borrowers repay debts. Inflation also encourages people and businesses to borrow money and spend it more quickly.”

Current Inflation Rate

Current Inflation Rate

Experts also said in the article that low inflation is not good for the economy because very low inflation increases the risks of deflation. However the outcome for increasing profits for larger business entities.

In a Hobbyist’s Opinion

However, the price of a product is everything thing to anyone that is a hobbyists, both non-traditional and traditional, though raising the inflation rate could be damaging or beneficial to the hobbyist community. One has to understand that a majority of the products today are much more expense than what they used to be.

I asked Lynn Schober, an employee and particle owner at Jadeco Hobby shop in Stevens Point, for his opinion about the Federal Reserve raising the current inflation rate from 1.2% to 2%. He thought that it would be a not be a good idea and that it will probably impact the hobby. Schober has 45 years as a veteran hobbyist and he has seen the rise and fall of prices in the hobby industry.

“What used to be a $20 dollar model, is close to $60 now and the 1/32nd scale stuff, bigger planes and stuff like that are $150,” Schober said, “who can afford that?”

Schober states that prices of products in the scale hobby such as: military planes, trains and automobiles, as well as board games have gone up over the years. Making it very difficult for people in the traditional gaming hobby to buy certain models and games.

The price of this game is $84.25

The price of this game is $84.25

“We see a lot of people  that come and look and say, ‘Oh man, I love this, but its going to take me 6 months to be able to come up and buy this,” Schober said,  “I know a lot of our games, were people get together for a small gaming group and will pool their money to be able to buy a game, because they just cannot afford it.”

Halfway through interview with Schober, a couple had walked in and wanted to purchase a game called, Lord of the Rings Stratego, but did not have enough money to purchase. The price of the game was $100, due to its rarity. The intensity of the young couple’s gaze was similar to anyone who has ever wanted anything in their life. After brief exchange with the couple, Schober told them that he would go down to a more affordable price. The couple was relieved and then promptly left to return later with the money.

That orange sticker does not lie, it really says $100.

That orange sticker does not lie, it really says $100.

After witnessing this event, Schober stated that what had happened was perfect example of what was happening to hobbyist.

“If everyone had an extra $50 dollars in their pocket, I could make $1000 a day,” Schober said, “because people could come in and make the impulse buys. Impulse buying is down, way low. So yeah, it’s hurting us a lot.”

WIP: Armored Fist Squad 317

This has been a work in progress for the last three months. I was working overtime at a factory over the summer. The only time I had to work on my miniatures was Sunday and I don’t know about you, but if I’m really tired, I just can’t work. I have some time now to show the progress of this squad.

This is the Chimera I am using for the squad.

This is the Chimera I am using for the squad.

The squad is currently being painted, but what’s bad about it is the painting progress. When one of the heads started become caked in paint.

DSCN0076

I cleaned the mold lines off the head and then realized I had mold lines on all the other models. Most of these models are from when I was twelve (which is why paint was caked on) and I now have the graces of cleaning all the models. This is a huge bother, but I’m pretty confident that I won’t have the same problem with the second platoon, I hope.

DSCN0075

However, this has been a very long project and I’m willing to finish it up. This platoon project has been really fun, but I wish painting was as easy as modeling.