Television is rather a frightening business. But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers.
Peter Cushing

Saturday 20 June 2015

Going Deeper Underground

Last night we played....

Yes, Descent. Also known as Lazy Man's D&D. A good old fashioned Dungeon Bash with no planning or set-up required. 

For those that haven't played it, you create a dungeon for each quest from a series of modular tiles. One player is the Evil Overlord - think Sauron, Randall Flagg or Margret Thatcher - and the other players control heroes. Each hero has a class and career and spends XP to gain new abilities as well as new equipment. For your money you get a lot of stuff. I mean, a lot of stuff. And all very high quality. 

That's about less than a third of the stuff, by the way. 

There are around 25 quests in the base game and last night we played the first two. I was elected as Overlord - fairly predictably - and The Good Lady Er Indoors and a wandering RS teacher (lord, random encounter tables have really gone downhill) as the mighty heroes. 

Look, I'm going to cut to the chase of this little mini-review. Descent is great. It deserves a place on your table. In two hours we had more drama, laughter and stupidity that you normally get in a month's worth of RPG sessions. Including but not limited to:

-The goblin archers being so distracted by the Cleric's manly ass they were unable to shoot him

-The same cleric getting bitten in the same ass by a spider

-A dwarf being thrown across the dungeon by an ettin only to waddle back and smack the ettin into next week

-and, glory of glories - a TPK:

Of course, the joy of Descent: like Jaws in a Roger Moore Bond movie, they pick themselves up and dust themselves off ready for the next adventure. 

We'll be playing some more next week. If there's any interest I'll do a proper write up/review explaining how the game plays and so forth. 

Saturday 13 June 2015

Sir Christopher Lee

I'll level with you, I've not done much towards the end of this week. I've actually been quite upset by the loss of the last legend of screen horror and British cinema. 

This man - in his guise as Dracula - was responsible for my lifelong love of cinema due to the late night BBC2 showings of the old Hammer movies when I was a kid. 

I'd've been 11 or so, I think. Lee sweeping down the staircase, his urbanity, the sheer adrenaline of his and Cushing's fight as Van Helsing forces Dracula into the light... It's fair to say that my love affair with film started there. My opinion of him was only confirmed when I saw how much pathos he was able to wring out of the Monster in Frankenstein, even when deprived of his voice and the helpful makeup that Karloff benefitted from. 

He could turn crap into watchable gold via the alchemy of his gravitas, and the Devil Rides Out proves that monsterhood's gain was heroism's loss. I am glad that the last scene I saw him in was Saruman kicking arse in a truly operatic fashion as he deserved a send-off of some magnificence. The film was pants, but once again he was good. He rarely disappointed. 

A life well-lived but I still feel I was robbed as I wanted him to be as immortal as the characters I grew up with. As someone else said, if you have grandchildren - they know who Christopher Lee is. If you have grandparents - they know who Christopher Lee is. That's what being a legend means. 

So this week I dug The Wicker Man, my Hammer box sets and The Man With The Golden Gun out of storage and didn't do much painting. 

I did do a little bit of construction today, though, so here's a sneak peek at the first building for my western games: 

Monday 8 June 2015

Weekend Painting

Just a quick update to show off the work on Doc:

I'm your Huckleberry

And a shot from the back to show off the shading and highlighting on the black:

Doc Holiday

Wild Bill:
Wild Bill

and The Preacher:
The Preacher
Hopefully will have some more done this week and then a basing session.

Friday 5 June 2015

A Fistful of Wood

Having all these cowboys painted doesn't do me much good unless I have a game to play. As I'm a bit short of the old dineros at the moment, A Fistful of Lead at a mere $6 is a more attractive proposition than Dead Man's Hand which requires a little more of an outlay. I'm intending to pick up Dead Man's Hand as I like the idea of the cards doing special things as well, but from a first read through I'm quite happy with the rules for aFoL.

There are a few paper counters included in the rules for keeping track of wounds an' ammo an' such like, but that's not really in keepin' with that there frontier aesthetic. So an offcut of wood from a fence repair in the garden and a bit of a faff with the laser cutter at work gives us these beauties:

Fistful of Lead}

So the plan is to get the rest of the posse painted and then knock together some cheap and cheerful scenery and then we'll have ourselves a good old fashioned shootout.

And to make up for the lack of painted miniatures, I'll leave you with some photographs I took a year or so ago:

 The Time of the Preacher: The Lesson's Begun

 Time of the Preacher: The Lesson is Over

The gunslinger there is the man who helped we out with the laser-cutter, by the way.

Some painting for the weekend promise!

Wednesday 3 June 2015

I'm your Huckleberry...

Tombstone had a massive impact on me in the halcyon days of university. It's still one of my favourite westerns. I am happy, therefore, to show my latest nearly complete miniature;

Like the other Artizan minis, it's a fantastic likeness and I hope I've done it justice. I'll admit frankly that I stole the sallow skin look from Mr Awdrey's Penguin.

Next up is another Artizan sculpt, this time of Wild Bill Hickock from Deadwood, seen here on the left:

This time I took inspriation from the colour palette but went with a similar feel on on the waistcoat to Doc. Although I fancied it up a bit; the man's a legend, after all:

Finally, the first of the Black Scorpion shots, The Preacher:

A lovely sculpt but I really dislike the resin they use. It has a slightly gritty texture which doesn't do the flowing lines of the figure any favours.

I'm aiming to get these based and finished for the weekend, along with a few more, so expect proper pictures then. As always, thanks for stopping by.