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Rob Dean

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Everything posted by Rob Dean

  1. @Corsair Sometimes the internet works like it should. I had no trouble turning up a manual for my ~1939 typewriter when I acquired it in 2019.
  2. It was a nice clear day at the top of Pike’s Peak yesterday. I took the cog railway up, since I’m out here for business and had the day off. But it was about 30F up there, with a windchill of about 0. I came prepared with a hat, a hat liner, warm layers, etc., but I had to take a glove off to take pictures, so I kept that to a minimum.
  3. Bicycle, with the caveat that we’re talking about running errands rather than touring. The farthest I’ve biked is ~65 miles, and I’m not in shape this year to do that multiple days running. But for the local coffee roaster, the FLGS, or the library, it’s the bicycle.
  4. I posted a link to some painting back on the 10th, but was on the road to help move my son last week, and today I’m packing for another trip. I want to fit in some paint on this one, so we’ll see. Miniatures will probably be more 1/72 fatnasy, since they are light and don’t look odd on the x-ray machine. 🤨
  5. We moved my son back to Washington DC from Michigan, so he’s now within gaming range. (And his brother already is …)
  6. It’s roadtrip day again. We’ve loaded half of my son’s remaining belongings into our vehicle and are heading to the east coast again, bidding a fond farewell to the land of the mitten. It’lll be good to have him back in gaming range.
  7. Yes. My father has always been a train fan and model railroader, so I grew up with vacations built around railroad museums (though not actual distance-covering train trips). If I need to get down to DC from where I’m at, commuter rail is my first choice, and I enjoy the subway trains too. The nearest operating preserved steam train is in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, about an hour from here, although I haven’t been up to ride recently. Younger son, about to be back in the area raised the question of whether we might go soon, as he hasn’t been lately either. The train bug has apparently been passed on. I got a text message with a picture one day when my younger one had been to the Capitol with a science policy event visit and had a ride on the Capitol subway about getting a super-rare rail achievement. 😆 My most unusual railroad experience has been two chances (at different museums) to pump the handcar.
  8. Not really…which means *I* am probably the one driving everyone else nuts. 😀
  9. @Grand Slam I still hope that Caesar will reissue the Adventurers some day, though not because I personally need more trolls. It had been the best source of archetypal PCs, so it’s now harder to recommend that someone consider taking up 1/72 to support their D&D (or whatever) game.
  10. I have always like the gnome scholar as a sculpt, and particularly like your basing on the stack of books!
  11. I got some painting done this weekend; some of it is for the Portable Fantasy project, but then I got sidetracked while waiting for a wash to dry on some warg riders, and when I was done there were ancient Nubians instead.
  12. I planned a quiet weekend and have been pleased to have the chance and energy to slap some paint on some miniatures. Last month I painted almost two dozen 1/72 fantasy figures for my portable wargaming set up, and I wanted to do a few more. However, I set the warg riders aside at one point and ended up finishing a couple of large monsters. The cyclops on the far right is from a recent Dark Alliance set. As can be seen by Sir Forescale, he’d be a tolerable ogre even in 28s, but the old Airfix Robin Hood figure gives the scale comparison in 1/72. I’m hoping to get to some sort of Homeric Bronze Age project one of these days, as the Dark Alliance Cyclopes are also accompanied by sets of Egyptian mummies, Anubis warriors, minotaurs, centaurs, and Amazons, so there’s some scope. Caesar Miniatures has produced an extensive Bronze Age selection in 1/72, although much of it is sadly out of production at the moment. The big thing is a …. Something … from the Caesar Miniatures Adventurers set, also sadly out of production at the moment. Most people I’ve seen online or in magazines have styled it a “troll”, but my elder son, drawing on a childhood memory of an Eric Carle-illustrated book of poems about mythical creatures, dubbed it a “bunyip”, so that’s what we usually call it. I believe this is the last one we have to be painted; we’ve got four between us. Like the cyclops, it’s big enough to intimidate Sir Forescale and it truly monstrous compared to the Airfix Merry Man. My younger son is relocating back to this part of the world next weekend, and is currently staying with his brother briefly while he looks at apartments. They have been playing some De Bellis Antiquitatis with the elder’s Bronze Age collection (e.g. this recent game) while visiting, so I decided to see if I could make some progress on adding another DBA army to the Bronze Age pool. (As an aside, DBA and its fantasy counterpart Hordes of the Things have been more-or-less the family default tabletop wargames for a couple of decades, although the current DBA binge only started a few years ago.) I sorted out an army of ancient Nubians some time ago, from my stash of Caesar boxes. It isn’t some of my best work; they have some poorly defined leopard spots on their kilts, and I am not entirely certain what the belt wraps and shoulder throws are supposed to be, which also have some shallow incised detail. I’m thinking that it’s probably intended as embroidered cloth, so I’ll have to see if I can’t do better with the next batch. Here’s an Egyptian painting of Nubians delivering donuts and a sleeping cat in tribute: (Which reminds me that I should vary the skin tones more in the next batch…)
  13. I have taken next week off from work; Wednesday we drive up to Michigan to collect my younger son and get him back down here (generally) for his job (for at least the next year). So, I have a few quiet days, and my desk is pretty clean. Time to pur libations for the Muses and see if some inspiration is forthcoming. My older son (32) has been going over the army lists and considering what sort of game days we might have, with everyone living within two hours’ drive…
  14. Since I’ve usually been in, I’ll note for the record that I’m out this time.
  15. I’m not sure what I want to do this month, and it’s going to be a disrupted one; my younger son has finished his PhD and has a job back in this area, so we are headed up to visit my parents and help him move. Last month was all about the 1/72 Portable Fantasy Campaign, and, for various reasons, I think that it would be best to lean into that. On the other hand, my brother and I have agreed that this year’s Christmas meet-up will feature Dragon Rampant with vintage 25mm fantasy figures, so I have a few units I’m considering painting for that. So, wishy-washy, but those are my stated goals. 😀
  16. I was commenting, while on my trip, to my wife that I wasn’t sure how I wanted to paint the cows. She suggested the belted cow idea. She rarely takes an interest in what I’m painting, so I looked this up. I thought that looked pretty straightforward, and I wanted to incorporate her input. Thanks! The barbarian is from the Dark Alliance Cimmerians Set 1, and is one of the less over-the-top figures there. He was fun to do, and there may eventually be a small warband of them somewhere in my campaign, from beyond the edges of the map. I see that Citrine painted the same dragon this week.
  17. It took me until the evening of the 1st to get them based and the final spray varnish coat applied, but I did finish the 20-odd figures from my trip. On to hoping that soomething gets done in October.
  18. Just the once, as far as I recall…my wife and I got married in July 2020, at the height of the plague, so it was a small event on the front porch, followed by dinner on folding tables on the lawn. I probably enjoyed it more than something more elaborate, being somewhat minimalist in non-hobby areas of life.
  19. So, @Chris Palmer and I got together once in June or July to play, and I discovered that I had not packed my character sheets. We ended up checking out the local dollar store and the local game store, and we have had a hard time getting the next scenarios on the calendar. But, we finally met up a Chris’s house this past Friday, the 30th of September, to play the next two scenarios: The Tower of Torden Var, lower level and upper level. Between us, we have a pretty extensive collection of hobby gear, but it didn’t quite extend to assorted 1/72 scale furniture, so we improvised. Ost of the scenario is being painted in the mind’s eye anyway. Because we were indoors, Chris pulled out a commercial cobblestone felt print. As usual, I have no idea how he manages to scavenge such things, but it was just what we needed. We had collected the key to the tower in the Bridge Guards scenario, so we were able to burst into the lower level by surprise. The “lower level” scenarios are all based around whether you enter a room with the advantage of surprise, or whether the enemy is able to prepare. There are are four possible rooms one may enter in random order, of which only three will be used. We ended up hitting the Storeroom, the Armory, and the Shaman’s workshop. In the first room, we were faced by four “gnolls”. I have orcs, so that’s what we used instead of gnolls, which I don’t have. Our advantage was that none of the orcs were archers. Therefore, as we ran across the room toward the door on the opposite wall, the orcs charged us, resulting in a sharp melee in the center of the room. The orcs had some hot dice, and rapidly dropped Duke (the dog, upgraded since last game with a mastiff from the old Revell Conquistadors set) and Matilda, a soldier escaping Torden Var whome we had collected at the bridge. A couple of other figures were severely wounded before we finished with the orcs, but at least we were fast enough to open the door into the next room, the Armory, and retain the element of surprise. Churchill, Chris’s ranger, was in better shape than my ranger, Marcus, so he led the way intending to shoot anything threatening us. We found a few orcs, including an archer, and dealt with them quickly, allowing us to throw open the third door, still with surprise. This turned out to be the Shaman’s Workshop, and Chris produced some mad scientist lab furntiure from his collection. Unfortunately, I was so wrapped up in play that I didn’t get a shot. The surprised shaman was unable to activate the horrifying flesh golem he’d been building before we dispatched him and his guards. (So, why did I buy and paint a figure for it? 😆) Our characters were then able to take a quick breather before running up the stairs onto the roof. There we found a dark ritual in progress, where a Shadow Knight was about to sacrifice a prisoner to produce some baleful magical effect. Churchill finally remembered that he was a trained magician as well as an archer, and ripped into him with a mystic bolt. Despite being resistant to normal weapons, we were able to send this undead terror to join the ranks of the dead who stay dead. That left us dealing with three guard archers on the walkway surrounding the tower. Our archery was superior, and we soon dealt with them. During the fight, we observed that fell rituals on neighboring towers were concluded, the effects of which we were mostly able to avoid. After the battle, we were able to rescue the prisoner, and revive all of our fallen companions. We returned to the king, and found that the reward for a job well done was another job. At least we had time to recruit a new companion or two. Next time we play, we’ll start the three scenarios of the Descent into Darkness mission and see how far we get. All of the opponent order of battle, at least, has been painted and is ready to go. After that, we have The Burning Light mission to go before we would need to start buying supplements. It’s been fun so far, but I’m not sure yet whether we’ll be spending more money. The other option will be to do something with Five Leagues from the Borderlands; my print copy may have arrived by then, and it will procedurally generate an indefinite number of scenarios which can be run in a similar small skirmish game co-op mode.
  20. This past month was so-so for painting. My multipurpose desk was generally cluttered with stuff other than painting, but I did have the opportunity to take a 10 day business trip which included a (mostly) non-work weekend. I packed up my travel paint kit and some 1/72 plastics destined for the “portable fantasy campaign”. I took a couple of things that had been bugging me, and got two of three of those grouping painted: a Dark Alliance orc warband of 8 and a baggage train group of cows. The trio of mounted knights remains “to do”. While in Tooele, Utah (pronounced 2-Ella, in case you’re curious), I stopped in at Game Haven, the FLGS there. I ended up with a Nolzur’s “Black Dragon Wyrmling” which looked to my eye to be about right for the 1/72 figures. It came with a giant’s skull objective marker, so I painted that too. In addition to the figures on group bases, I have a collection of individuals. These are as small as I am willing to play with so mounted. I finished up a few of them as well, a mixed bag of Caesar, Strelets, and Dark Alliance figures. For this forum, here’s the obligatory size comparison shot:
  21. The other thing I got this week was a package from Mike Thomas of Classic Miniatures, with a war band of Heritage Rohirrim cast in modern lead-free pewter, 18 horse and 40 foot.
  22. Yes, mine came too last week, and today is finally the day when I will open it and take a look. 😜
  23. You say that as a joke, but, practically, I find miniature gaming a very satisfying hobby because of how many aspects it has to it… Happily, no shaky hands so far, but my vision is nothing to write home about. I use an optivisor over my already-short-focal-length reading glasses for serious work.
  24. We use them for hit counters; while they occasionally get disoriented, the side up against the unit reads the result; so the forward cavalry unit has four hits, and the rear has (slighly disoriented) one. I got them from Litko, where they were briefly offered as an experiment.
  25. It depends on what you want to call a hobby. I have an overarching “gaming” hobby at the moment, with board games, RPGs, and miniatures games all getting played most months, if not most weeks. I generally think of the miniatures and RPGs as a hobby, because they both take prep/creative work outside of the actual playing. I take lessons in two kinds of dancing (ice and ballroom), so that feels like a hobby. I have some very idle collections on coins and stamps, not being in a phase of life where collecting is very satisfying as an activity. It would probably have to be miniatures if I had to keep only one, because I’ve had SO MUCH history with it since 1971, but my wife would be disappopinted if I gave up ballroom. But it depends on why; any vision issues could cause me to revive music as a hobby; mobility issues could make dancing difficult. Living nomadically in an RV or a boat would reduce miniatures to small games with small figures, but that would be possible…
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