maandag 19 september 2016

See you next week!!

Saturdays BFG battle was highly entertaining, with higs, lows and OMGs! During set up I suggested the 2x2 Cruiser clash would be more interesting with reserves coming on from random table edges. So we split our forces into pieces, shuffled the blips and rolled for reinforcements each turn.

First up we had 2 Imperial groups warping in, surrounding a small Chaos force. Eriks opening shot (Novacannon) had a long lasting effect on the Styx as it lost several hullpoints in one go. That was a high.

In the next turn a Ork Battlkroozer dropped in next to Modhails Battleship that was navigating a passageway through a asteroid field. He went all ahead full. Surely he won't make that? Well, he managed to exactly land his ship in base to base, barging through the astroid field like it wasn't there, slamming into the Battleship and oblitterating it in a single go. I believe it was 30 damage vs 1? That was pretty much rock bottom low.

With ships arriving piecemeal it was very hard to support each other and get enough hits on enemy ships to take them out, though we where wittling each other down slowly but surely.

Around 5 we called it a day, did the math, and the Ork/Chaos team beat us by a bit over a 100 points, making it a narrow, if costly, win. (Not for the Orks though, barely a scratch on those. The Chaos force came off much, much worse)

Really motivates me to get a start on my 2 cruisers and then work my way up from there.

Today, besides packing, I've been reading up on some early notes on scenario's Piers is writing for the 44 drive through Belgium and Holland, and picked 2 that are good frameworks to build a force around. I find this to be much easier then just randomly tacking stuff to your army. Choosing a scenario, building and finishing the rquired forces is a nice goal in itself. Also, not much is needed to finish the (German) army needed for the scenario.

I've checked out my stash of Britannia figs and found that while I have kilo's of the stuff, I don't have the men needed to round off the remaining bits so I put in a order with Grubby tanks today....my first in 3-4 years I think? I've also been hunting actively for 2 Jagdpanthers for the scenario, but found the available plasic models to be quite varied. I'll never build a rubber band track tank for instance, unless I can replace that with plastic ones from another tank. That narrowed it down to the S-Model one, but that is 19 euros for a box plus 7 euros shipping, and it has no tools on the sides so I would have to buy those plus tuned brass barrels. I'll keep an eye out on Crisis if anyone has them for sale, but till then I went over the second hand groups with a fine tooth comb and found 2 Hasegawa Panzer IV Lang including brass barrels at 8 euros a piece (though no reply yet from the seller) I hope to mate those (with some surgery) to PSC Panzer IV lower hulls like I did with the Brumbar and have that sorted and ready for paint maybe even this year?

Anyway, enough about all that. Off to bed and tomorrow a relaxing drive to the sea for a weeks vacation.

Yeah :)

zaterdag 17 september 2016

Counting down

On Monday my little family will take a small holiday on the beach. We have plans for a week, but if the girls decide we had enough we will just go home.....the little house by the sea for a week is a birthday gift from my aunt, so as long as we turn off the gas and lock up when we leave, all is good.

Since we have no wifi there, and I'm not lugging a bunch of electronics with me, just a couple of books, and no Blog for a week :P Should be interesting :)

Hopefully an improvement over the past few days as well, feeling rather down, not helped by my latest purchase of Ikea Moppe cabinets.

The white ones I picked up on Thursday, the cabinet underneath the 2 arrived by mail today. I was incredibly pissed to find out that the white ones are more recent (?) and are a bloody different size! They are both bigger, they look like 110% enlarged versions of the ones I already had! I had no idea! I put them up today but it just doesn't look right. Luckily, I found the perfect place for the 3 drawer cabinet as it has space for A4 sized stuff plus a bit of room for your fingers.

Next to my monitor, I just put my printer on top, and put my spare paper, laminating pouches/photo paper, whiteboard stuff and labels right in one place. Several loose boxes cleared in one go, so they can go back in the attic, and I created about 1 shelf of empty space in the cabinet next to me.

Left wall looks better now too. Kit boxes in the back I posted to Scotland shortly after this picture was taken.
The 2x2 grey cabinet is from the same current family as the new white one. They are not as deep as the others, the right edge is actually 1 straight line all the way down. But I feel that is too tall for me, so those cabinets will go into my scenery cabinet (still following me?) to sort in my hedges, barbed wire etc in one place instead of several loose boxes. Might even sell the 2x2 again. Everything above the 4 boxes now will become shelving....I want to display my army helmets somewhere. Top shelf will be a Pappis shelf again.

I'm done searching for Moppe cabinets now (well, maybe a couple of wide drawer only ones, if I can find them) and all I have left to find now is a cabinet with wheels for underneath my painting desk.

I'm actually realising now that my favourite drawer cabinet, the Alex, of which I have 3 already, would be an ideal size to roll underneath the desk and not be in the way when using the room for games. (this because I just sold my 2nd desk chair....it was getting a bit ridiculous hopping from one chair to the other while I can just roll from left to right with a single chair.). Having wheels I can just roll it out when I want to work there.

That's sorted then, after my vacation I'll:
-Hunt down an Alex (high priority) and a 3 drawer Moppe (low priority).
-Add rails for shelves on 3 walls.

If I do that, there will be enough space to store scenery and miniatures into the far future, with much more room then I should currently need. Better to plan ahead, right? Then clear out the next 2 cabinets (and sell stuff), clear out the Alexes (and sell stuff) and by then it should be November (Crisis time!) and I can get cracking on clearning the attic.

I'm actually supposed to turn 40 in a month time, too! As Kim will never buy me toys for my birthday, I decided to ask for a small Minitower with USB connector. Download some podcasts/music, keep the PC turned off, less distractions, more painting.

With the recent sales I now have 200 in the Paypal bank, but I haven't even bothered to look at the Crisis traders list yet....I honestly don't feel like buying anything or justifying it, which is really unusual for me as the 2 months before Crisis are always a busy time with lots of sales and planning pre orders for pick up. This year I seem unable to make that commitment, as I already have loads of stuff and I'm better off trying to build and paint that. Weird, using logic on hobby purchases. But that is just the way I feel right now. I'm unsure if there's work for me at the PSC stand. If there is, my 20mm purchases are covered. If there isn't, I'll scoot the Bring & Buy, talk to everyone I know, look at the tables for insipration, spend some cash at PSC anyway for Blitzes and Marders and call it day early. There is always so much (too much) to see at Crisis so that it gives me sensory overload unless I work at one spot for most of the day.

Now off to bed, tomorrow a full day of nothing but BFG battles at Modhails place. He made me a nice list, but I'm very rusty so we'll see how my 1000 pts Imperial fleet will handle itself. Almost nothing but Range 30 weapons batteries so real Gunboats supported by a light Carrier and escorts. Yup, will be fun.

dinsdag 13 september 2016

In with the old, out with the new.....

Wait, what?

Currently it's:
1. TNT
2. 3mm Ruins
3. Rhino wreck
4. 3mm armies

Nothing wrong with TNT. Loving it. With the help of my buddy Alex I even added a new scenic piece to my collection. He was kind enough to make a detour from his trip home to pick it up from a seller who refused to ship. And he just dropped it off. Didn't want anything for the help. Love that guy :)

Flo's Diner from Cars. 12,50 euros. That's my filling station sorted in go, though I will do some dissasembling on it and rework it a bit to make it more fitting. Not now though, trailerpark first, this is for later.

3mm Ruins - going at it. Too much fun making them. But it does not have any priority so I just do a Block when I feel like it.

3mm Armies - what I need to do now is photograph all of the infantry models so I know what is in each bag, so future orders can be made accordingly. I'll be mixing the infantry you see. Also not a priority.

Rhino Wreck - intended to do just for fun, but can go back in the cabinet, as it is being replaced by something else.

Replaced by what? Well, this Blog is called 20mmandthensome for a reason. 20mm used to be my main focus, but it kinda dropped in priority as all the locals game in 28mm or in 15mm. In my relax time I've been reading up on the Battlegroup FB page, the Blitzkrieg book (as the rest is still packed up) and having small discussions with Piers. And in league with my new found enthusiasm, I realised I'm better off going back to my roots and paint what gave me so much joy, and that is 20mm. Don't worry, I'll alternate with the rest, but the time has come to dig up my 20mm stuff, do some small repairs, and start to finish units to a gameable standard.

How am I going to do that?

Back to basics. The core of each army is Infantry. The core of Battlegroup is 1 unit of Infantry, so that is what I will start painting. 1 German army for Early, Mid and Late War, tuned to the books that have been released sofar. I'll start off with Normandy (the Overlord book) as that Infantry Unit is 80% done, it is missing a 80mm mortar and a 3 man LMG team, plus some options from the Support Options.


It feels like meeting an old friend I have not seen in years, and picking up where I left off. It feels good.

zondag 11 september 2016

3 weeks in.....

Hi there again.

There have been a few changes in the past 3 weeks since I was told to stop my medication. First 2 weeks weren't fun. This week was.....different? It's like my entire outlook on life has changed, shifted in a way, from the misty lands with dark clouds to more that of a cloudless mountaintop.

This week we had a 2 monthly meeting with all of the organisations supporting my little familiy. For the first time ever I spoke more then 2 sentences, sat upright, enjoyed elaborating how I had taken the girls to the village to return our library books, and when we had done that, just sat down in the corner, both girls on my lap, and they kept giving me books to read to them. It was the most pleasurable moment I've had with my girls in what feels like ages. 2 councellors sat there with open mouths of amazement, my mom sat there almost crying that her son was back after 6 long years and I seem to have baffled everyone else (including myself).

I've taken these pills for 6 long years and never, ever again. I don't want to be like that anymore. If I feel a bit down, I'll get over it on my own terms. My depression? I'll fight that with my bare hands if I need to. I flat out refuse to go on the pills route again. I can fight this.

I've been sticking to the draw a line, clean that area rules every day now. I'm feeling now that I really can't stand clutter, and am much more active to clean up the little things around the house. I'm combining this with quality time with my girls, so I asked them if they wanted to do chores with me (which was greeted with enthusiastic cries of "Yes! Yes!") so I cleaned the gutters in the yard, and the girls both swept up the dirt into the bin. We then took a walk to the recycling centre to get rid of the glass....I carried, they put them in (mostly) the right holes. And then off for some groceries, it's a bit like herding cats with them at the shop, but they behaved really well, and when we got home Kim told me she was going to see a movie with her sister and her mom, if I would mind looking after the kids? :) After a tickle party untill they both had red cheeks, we all sat down to do some colouring. And the first time ever I gave them some potato chips (that they had picked themselves) and after that 30 minutes of telly and snoozing on the couch till Kim came back home.

I can safely say this has been my most enjoyable sunday in the 3 years that they have been born with nothing but daddy time. I'm really savouring the moments I have with them. And they apparently too, as Nikki cuddled up to me and almost fell asleep and Emma just hugged and kissed me out of nowhere.

I feel I'm getting better at not pissing off Kim too. She's in the loop about my finances, I tell her about every trade, sale and purchase, I hug her a lot, I'm doing my best to be understanding of her problems.

On top of all this, I actually did some hobby stuff tonight. Grabbed box 2 (3mm city) and built another Block.

I'll add a shelter/subway entrance or a statue  in the open area. Keeping it as generic as possible, don't worry.

Set my alarm clock to 22:00, and when that rang, cleared everything, cleaned it and now you can't see I did any hobby work. And I like it. I'll try again tomorrow and see how it goes. Might even be able to add 2 Blocks?

Feeling good. Hope you feel the same :)

dinsdag 6 september 2016

Well, that's sorted then!

Bad night (Emma has a cold so she wakes up and cries a lot at night, and I sleep light atm) so decided to go back to bed after I dropped them off at daycare. Got home, decided to check the emails for a minute and after that I just started cleaning the last bit and completely forgot about going back to bed.....

15 minutes in and it was all empty, and after some baby wipe cleaning it's dust free as well. It's not perfect, there is still some clutter, so I will keep chasing second hand Moppe drawer cabinets to sort that out.

Since I had energy left I took out the trash and cleaned the kitchen properly. Then a run to town to mail what has been sold, went for a bit of browsing and found the 40x60cm magnetic whiteboards to be on sale that would be perfect to stick to the door of my paint cabinet. Sadly, when I asked for a measuring tape (cause they might label it as a certain size, it might not actually be that size!) the shopkeeper found none so I'll be returning tomorrow with my own.

Then got home and decided it would be in my best interest to take a bit better care of myself, as I...well, seem to care all of a sudden? So a quick wash and shave :)

No 2 week beard and a smile for a change :)

Now everything is cleaned and I don't feel like painting :) Maybe I'll just start to tackle the half cabinet next to my desk and sort that out.

maandag 5 september 2016

Slow and steady wins the race

Not always true but for once it works in my favour.

Cleared out a cabinet completely, and then used the space properly while cleaning my painting desk. Instead of layering from right to left I went for slices off the top....works the same :)


Almost there now.....2/3rd of the pile is gone!

While clearning, I found a survivor from the great Dwarf cull of 2015, and he will make an excellent Knight for my Frostgrave band (when I can afford him, and paint him)

Plenty of stuff in the For Sale box now, so when I'm not cleaning of worrying my ass off I can list stuff to sell. Not that I need the money right now, it is always good to top off the Paypal account and get rid of unwanted stuff, but I have no things I want to buy right now (and I should not want that anyway).

Chris was kind enough to send me another care package from the UK with things I picked up in the past 2 months. I've gotten a lot more selective and curbed the ooh, shiney! bit for a part. Using cold hard logic on it really kills the joy of those purchases, everything I picked up in the last few months goes straight into projects (instead of starting a new one)

To be honest, I don't know who they are....but they looked to me like perfect Feral Ghouls for Fallout

Freebooter stuff normally has no interest for me, nor do limited edition models, but I felt she would make a nice wizard? Or Priestess?

This figure is huge, twice the size of a 28mm figure. But for some reaon it screamed Pulp and Big Trouble in Little China to me. Nice Japanese logo on shirt....things like that.

Father Christmas with a gasmask. Why not? I have a Brahmin without a trader so this should do it.

Destined to become statues, I think.

Will make a nice Witch or Possessed.

A old Cybork for the Inquisitorial Ork warband. He was just too cool to pass up.

I never liked the wardogs from the Withchunter warband from Mordheim so sold them ages ago. Managed to snag these at half price, and one will do duty as a Warhound for Frostgrave so I can retire the old wolf.

At half price, GW makes barely affordable decent-ish miniatures. I'll give some of them more modern weapons so they can double up as a TNT Mutants.

And that was it for this care package. Well, some stuff for Modhail was inlcuded, some Man'O War ships he had been looking for for ages. The one for Piers has been loaded with old GW paint now so I should send that out in a few weeks time.

Marktplaats has been quite hit and miss for the last few weeks. Plenty of winning bids, only to see the seller put them on Reserved because I got (I assume) outbid by people making a bid via email instead of public. Also quite a few people these days insisting on either pick up at their place or doubling up on shipping "for the time needed to pack and walk to the post office" which I think is a bit ridiculous as you should factor that in your sales price. But that's just me.

I did find these 2:
Leonardo (Warhammer) just cause I like the model and Nicodemus (Mordheim), to replace my old one that I cut off his hat ages ago.....young and stupid, I know.....

Also my Possessed warband is almost complete thx to finding these original Beastmen for 5 euros no less....the lot!

But I'm not focussing on buying more models, but on more storage.
Picked up these 2 Ikea Moppe storage drawers last week.


17,95-19,95 euros new at Ikea, the right one I picked up at Marktplaats for 5 euros (plus 7 euros shipping cause it was literally at the opposite end of the country), and I ran into the one on the left 1 day later at the goodwill shop for.....1,50 euro!. The front of that one was covered in glue and painted overhead projector sheeting.....In that pic I had managed to remove all the clear acetate, but the paint stuck on good.

.....nothing a good 10 minutes with the belt sander could not fix!

I'll continue my search for these, as I'd like another one of the above with 6 drawers as they fit nicely into the Billy cabinets. I'm also looking for a bigger sized 6 drawer one to go with the one I have.....and that should be it. I've been eyeing the Hemnes steel cabinet on wheels to fit underneath my desk but sofar anything in my direct area sells for more then I'm willing to spend (30 euros new, so my limit is 10) or the more usual not replying.

And then I should have enough storage containers (for now). I am going to put up a shelf above the doorframe though.  Enough space there for another 6 Pappis boxes for the light weight scenery like woods, foamboard houses etc. I already have some second hand rails and shelf holders so no expense there. The shelving on the left side of my desk can wait.

Last purchase is something I've been aiming at for the last 6 months, i've even been looking on for it on Ebay.co.uk and Ebay.com, just cause I really, really want it for TNT.

Flo's V8 Diner!

Problem is, they were never all that common here, and the ones on sale here tend to be the ones with a box, complete with cars etc, so sell for 40-50-60 euros or more. You hardly ever see a beat up one, and if you do you tend to get outbid anyway. But I finally scored thx to the....interesting.... listing of one seller. It was listed as just "cars" with no shipping listed and Pick Up only. It took him 5 days to reply to my bid matching his asking price of 10 euros, And 6 more emails back and forth before he agreed to give me his adress. I've arranged with a friend who passes by the sellers location on occasion to pick it up. I wasn't even allowed to transfer the money to the sellers account as he refused to give his details, as it wasn't "safe". Not sure having someone you've never seen before knock on your door at 8 in the evening would be described as "safe" either but to each his own. But finally! I'll be using it as just a deserted gas station btw.

Now, I'm still pretty nervous/skittish, but a bit less then last week so I'm getting more used to this, and when I do have it, it does not last as long as last week. I'm trying to stick to the same mantra this week: "If it does not get done today, there is always tomorrow" . Plenty of small jobs to do too around the house.


Yup. Slow and steady.

Next week: Painting?


vrijdag 2 september 2016

Replies from the producers to the MDF review

I've had quite a few replies to the review I did, so it is good to know I didn't just do it for myself. Both TT Combat and Sarissa Precision Ltd took time to send me emails.

TT Combat
Hi Johan

Thanks for taking the time to review our products. It is always helpful to get constructive feedback to help us improve our range and service.

Regards

Patrick

Sarissa Precision Ltd

Hi Johan,
Keep the  benches, put them together based on the comments I make below but I will refund the cost of them regardless (modify, un-base do what you want with them)

I Read your review, I’ll comment on your main points - your review style is very unique with a focus on things that many don’t even mention which was interesting from a manufacturers point of view so thanks for sharing

Packaging - We always use new packaging and take care when packing kits. We also put this into the way we sheet our kits wherever possible - this stands up by the fact that out of thousands of kits we send out to trade and retail I could count on one hand the number of damaged in post problems we have had to resolve. Thats not to say that our friendly couriers and postal workers all over the globe don’t do their best to destroy them during handling so some battered boxes do happen.

Spaces on the sheets - We make most of our kits to standard sheet sizes which helps with packaging, instructions, storage and also sturdiness of the packs - another point to note is that filling every inch of the sheet costs more money - most of the cost of kits is TIME to produce. Filling sheets for the sake of it would add to the time and thus the cost - also as above making the MDF sheet the same size as the Greyboard sheet makes the kits pack more sturdy and stops odd corners sticking out to get damaged - we put a great deal of thought and effort into kit layout. That being said sometimes there is simply a price point issue and we feel small cheaper packs are better than larger more expensive packs when it comes to accessories - Our new picket fences agains the Park Benches are an examples - people will tend to need a fair amount of fencing so a bulk pack is better for everyone whereas expecting someone to buy 24 park benches or that they would even want that many doesn’t make sense so its a small pack.

Greyboard - you made similar comments on the greyboard elements on all kits from us and TT combat - we use greyboard in a number of out kits as it gives us an thinner material excellent for detailing but we can also use it to make some interesting shapes and constructions that MDF would be unable to do (our Armoured Train Kits would be the perfect example) - so about the material, well it’s NOT cheaper than MDF which is what most people assume you use it for. As for the strength suitability of it for certain parts of kits. Once glued and painted it goes like concrete, glue/paint are absorbed into it rather than just sitting on the surface so it actually gets a lot stronger ones glued etc. If you also have angles involved and folders you end up with a rigid and strong component.

The basing - you make a fair point about a base for the Swing Set - We will look to add one to that, there is room on the sheet. The bases on the other kits you didn’t like, again they are there you don’t need to use them - as you said you didn't. If we didn't base them people would say why no base, if we do they say why on a base.

Anyway thanks for taking the time to read my reply, your thoughts and feedback matter and since you have taken the time to write a review and give us the link I thought I would give the reasoning behind a couple of the things you mentioned. If you have any further questions or comments please feel free to give us a shout.

Thanks,
Steve
 I like that both companies have taken time to read and reply to my review. I've heard plenty of good about both companies communication skills and it's all ok. I have yet to write a reply to either but will try and do that tomorrow as I've been having trouble focussing today and I didn't get get a clear head till about an hour ago. Did sort and clean almost all of one cupboard though, which has sofar resulted in 3 shoeboxes of stuff that I can sell for future purchases.