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strawhat

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  1. And now, the moment you've been waiting for (and by "you've" I mean "I've"): The completion of strawhat's Imperial Assault journey! Unfortunately, almost all of my games are still boxed up from the move, so there won't be any story time tonight. But, truthfully, after nearly a year and a half I am just happy to be at this point. Although it's a bit bittersweet. I've been painting Star Wars minis for so long, and they're what got me back into painting! I've been thinking of starting Legion just so I'll have more Star Wars to paint. So, what does Tyrants of Lothal bring to us? Two heroes: a "retired" clone trooper, and a Devaronian. The Devaronian is a cyborg and a close combat monster. The clone trooper is a bit trigger-happy. And with the name "Lothal" in the title, who else comes along but the rest of Spectre Cell! The minis are really a bit all over the place. Kanan and his padawan/apprentice Ezra are clearly from the later seasons of Rebels, while Sabine mixes elements of her appearance from Seasons 1-3. I'm not certain where Zeb fits in. Kanan and Ezra are pretty straight forward. Ezra should be wearing green gloves, but I missed the molding on his hands, and I didn't really like that look anyway. Kanan's visor should be olive as well, but I liked the raw metal look. Sabine was, frankly, a nightmare. Anyone who has watched Rebels knows why...she's definitely the free-spirited artist and her armor and hair show it. The breastplate has two diagonal stripes on her right side, and a small Rebellion phoenix in the right corner. One pauldron has a 5 (as she is Spectre 5), the other has a Mandalorian "owl" of some sort. These actually vary in the show. In the latter seasons, her pants and shirt are matched grey/black, and her breastplate and pauldrons are different colors with different symbols. The mini has hair from Season Three, boots from Season One, gun belts from Season One, gauntlets that more closely match Season Two or Three (but not really either of them). AAA-aaa-rrgh! So, since the mini is all over the place, I just kind of picked and chose what I was doing. I didn't even attempt all the paint-spatter she has over her gauntlets and greaves. I also skipped the checker pattern on her right pauldron and just kept the stylized 5. The left pauldron has the Mandalorian owl design (really just a light blue blob) from later seasons. The purple guy is Garazeb "Zeb" Orrelios, one of the last surviving Lasat (design based on some of the original concept work for Chewbacca). He shouldn't be quite that dark a shade of purple, though. I used the Dark Elf Skin triad, and should have modified it by starting with the Dark Elf Skin instead of Dark Elf Shadow. There should be some darker tiger striping on his arms and legs. I've got no excuses on that one. I just forgot. There also should be a stylized animal face on his left shoulder armor, but I just didn't feel up to it. Which brings us to the Scum & Villainy...which are just Loth-cats. Who aren't really scummy or villainous. The Loth-cats in the show generally resemble bobcats or lynxes. But I decided to have a little fun with it. I painted a cheetah, a tiger, a black panther, and a generic lion (without a mane, though). The "Elite" cats are based off our old tortie and calico cat, our current medium-hair, and a Russian Blue (for the fun of it). We'll get to the last Scum and Villainy character in a bit. He lives up to the title as he is both scummy and villainous (typically in an entertaining way, though). On to the Empire: Not much to say here. Death Troopers wear shiny black armor, carry shiny black guns, etc. A nice, thorough drybrush of Adamantium Black helps with the shine and keeps definition. Which brings us to the last two characters. Both villainous, one slightly scummy. Admiral Thrawn and Hondo Ohnaka. Hondo is the scummy one. A thorn in the side of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi during the Clone Wars, Ohnaka manages to make a nuisance out of himself on Lothal as well. I kind of wish it was his Clone Wars costume (the one seen in the Disney Parks, too), though. I tried to lighten Thrawn's shade of blue a bit, but didn't quite get it right. Like Zeb, I should have started a shade lighter. But that's it. That's the last of them. All 176 (175+1 Additional Dewback) painted to what I hope is an acceptable tabletop (or maybe even a little better) standard. It's been a journey, thank you for accompanying me!
  2. I turned 8 that year. So there wasn't much to my life. School, play, sleep, repeat. Cartoons on Saturday morning, and reruns (Gilligan's Island, Brady Bunch, Lone Ranger, etc.) most of the rest of the time. When I can get my older brother to play, it's usually with Legos or our Star Wars action figures. My fondness for sci-fi is starting to develop and I am slowly becoming a bit of a bookworm. I am still two years away from a friend showing me Dungeons and Dragons and comic books, but only a year from The Hobbit and The Book of Three.
  3. A bit of the plague-drama with the nephews. Elder Nephew had a close friend that caught the crud. Luckily, Elder Nephew tested negative and hasn't had any symptoms. Younger Nephew had started feeling a little under the weather (scratchy throat, etc.) after one of his friends tested positive, but was generally fine. He tested positive. My brother and sister-in-law have (so far) tested negative. Pa Strawhat, who was having YN show teach him new things about his phone prior to YN showing symptoms, is still feeling fine. All vaxed and boostered (thank goodness).
  4. It sneaks up on you, doesn't it? I've finished 3 of the 4 remaining members of Spectre Cell! That leaves only Sabine Wren (and some touch ups on the Loth-cats) to finish Tyrants of Lothal (and closing the book on Imperial Assault). No more work on HeroQuest, though.
  5. That expresses my first impression better than I could have. I first assumed that it was dealing with an indelicate itch... As some constructive criticism, I would do two things: first, trim the axe a bit and second, maybe move the left hand a bit further left closer to its knee (maybe possible, maybe not--depending on stage of development and particular demands of the individual sculpt/mold). I hope we get the missing Earth and Water Elemental Scions.
  6. Everyone's eyes are a little different, too. But the web page is a good place to start. You can also search the webstore for "triad" and that should pull up every triad that Reaper currently offer. Spattered Crimson and Dragon Red are from different lines and will have slightly different qualities (I assume). I stick mostly to the MSPs and only have a couple HD or Bones paints and can't speak to any performance issues. Unless you are a competition level painter, I doubt that you'll see much difference between the product lines. It is important to note that all the lines are compatible. Mix to your heart's content. I find that "Fire Red" 09005 is probably my brightest, but it doesn't cover well (a problem with many reds and yellows). But maybe "Fresh Blood" 09279, would work as well. Liners have a couple purposes. They are first as their name implies, thin paints designed to allow you to create shadows in deep recesses or between surfaces (between armor plates, a tabard and chain mail, etc.). Others can explain that usage better than I, because the liners have a secondary use (which is the one I usually need). The liners (especially the Brown) function as an effective primer on Bones and other plastic miniatures. Dark Highlights is part of the "Dark Skin" triad (Dark Shadow, and Dark Skin being the other two). There's no reason it can't be used elsewhere. It's a nice brown, and nice browns are good to have. The triads are not law, but they are useful guides. And some triads aren't related in terms of color. Most of the triads are collected to provide us with a shadow, mid-tone, and highlight color. A few even seem seem to continue from one to the next (giving a nice range of colors when you want to bump things up or down a shade). Unfortunately some of my favorites are discontinued, with the shadow shade having been discontinued in most cases. But everyone's list here will vary by what they paint and their personal color preferences. I really loved the Redstone and Soil Colors triads, but I seem to have been one of the few. And as a friend to necromancers everywhere, I picked up each of Reaper's then three "bone" triads (just for some variety). Oddly enough, I used the Soil Colors for standard issue Rebellion (Star Wars) pants, and Redstone for Jedi robes.
  7. Like everywhere else, numbers are through the roof. Hospitals have been 85%+ capacity for months. So our new county health director has re-instituted a mask mandate for the city. Naturally, the state attorney general is convinced he needs to sue the county health department because the county is trying to alleviate pressure on the hospitals as well as save lives.
  8. Well, I guess it's time I took things a bit more seriously. The last round of illness (non-COVID) starting prior to Thanksgiving led to an ear infection which led to a ruptured eardrum which led to a trip to the doctor. Well among the topics discussed were the numbers from my prior visit. A1C was a bit high (which I knew) and considered pre-diabetic (which I didn't know). And, well, that was new and unwelcome. Maybe I can reset that, maybe I can't. But I've got the proverbial line in the sand, and a plan. Back on the low-carb lifestyle. No excuses, no BS, no more time. I'll be able to keep the A1C in line, even if I can't stop the progress of the diagnosis I can deal with the symptoms through diet (and maybe exercise). And if I can get my weight down enough, maybe I can get off my blood pressure medicine as well--although with my stress levels, that seems unlikely. I've been at it for about a week now. The cravings have been mild so far, which makes me wonder if I'm still getting too many carbs (snacking on mixed nuts) or too much (diet) soda. I was at three sodas a day, but I've been able to cut back to two since starting the diet. Weekends can sometimes even be soda-free--but not this weekend. Pa Strawhat's been working at it, too. He kept putting his diet issues off on Ma Strawhat, which he can't do anymore. With a bit of luck on our side, we'll both still be on the diet when he gets back--and hopefully able to stay on it. Let's save those German pancakes for special occasions, not just random Saturdays!
  9. Take care, Jim. Work has reinstated the mask policy. We've been returning a few in our department to our normal seating (technically against policy), because we keep being bumped from area to area in the building. This doesn't bother me because most of us are fairly risk-averse and fully vaccinated and boostered. Someone brought the crud to the office (non-COVID crud), and managed to pass it around a bit. I caught that just before Thanksgiving. I've fought most of it off by now, but I did manage an ear infection which led to a ruptured eardrum. That was fun. Lay down for a nap a few days before Christmas and wake up leaking out the side of my head. I don't know if my current hearing issues are related to the infection not completely going away, or simply waiting for the eardrum to heal.
  10. More fishies! Well done. You should probably host the second picture (topless mermaid) off-site and post a link to it, though, due to her toplessness. Do you have a picture of the other (male) ranger? MY VERSION is in the link. I was keen to get to them.
  11. An actual line from the movie, but not at that point.
  12. Something has changed in one of the updates, and I can't update the table properly. It looks like I'll have to switch to Courier or use the Code option. Once I figure that out, I'll update with the 2021 Holiday Paint Set.
  13. I've got a feeling that most of my goals this year will consist of HeroQuest. After I finish the scenery, there are still 95 monsters and heroes to go. After I finish the core set scenery (Rack, Weapon Rack, Throne, Wizard's Table, and Alchemist's Table), I plan on starting the Goblins. But that's if I have hobby time after tomorrow...which I may not.
  14. Tyrants of Lothal...Still not finished. It's like a sad joke at this point. HeroQuest...A fair amount of progress on that: Almost all of the core set scenery has been finished (3 chests, 16 open doors, 5 closed doors, 2 tables, 2 book cases, 1 cupboard, 1 fireplace, and 1 sarcophagus). Only five pieces left. Strawbonnet got Mrs. Strawhat to pick up a set of "Nutcracker" plaster figs, and we painted on those. She was so tired, and fighting so hard to stay awake that she wasn't really trying to do anything beyond what would keep her attention for the next couple minutes. We also did some suncatchers for Christmas gifts, which was kind of like painting. So some progress has been made there!
  15. There's been a lot of personal stuff going on lately, and that's slowed down the painting quite a bit. But it hasn't quite stopped me. So, ladies and gentlemen, the doors! No changes of note. The chests were done in the same basic way that the closed doors were. The change I did make was on the iron bands. I didn't mess around with the mix of colors, and simply did a base of Black, then hit it with Deep Silver, and touched up with Silver. I briefly thought about going absolutely nuts and putting multiple colors on the locks, etc. Thankfully, that mood passed. It kind of puzzled me to note that the bottoms of the chests were detailed. I did not paint the bottom. Tables. Rather unimaginatively, I have continued with the same generic "wood" recipes. The iron bands on the table ends were done the same as on the treasure chests. I did paint the undersides of the tables, but not the bottom of the legs. Ugh. The sarcophagus. I am less than pleased with the end result. I had originally intended to have it look like marble, but nothing I did worked. So it's really just an ultra-heavy White drybrush over Rain Grey. If I had it to do over, I would probably use one of the lighter browns (Bambi Brown, Trail Tan, etc.) and then go with the white for a more alabaster look. I did a couple bits of 14K Gold embellishment: the guard on the sword, the knight's necklace, and the tip of the sword scabbard as well as the middle ridge on the bottom of the sarcophagus. Nothing really new on the fireplace. I tried to pick out a few bricks to liven up the look a bit. The mantle was done the same way the sarcophagus was, with slightly better results. Last batch of scenery coming up: Rack Weapon Rack Wizard's Table Alchemist's Table Throne/Chair
  16. Merry Christmas, everyone! Mrs. Strawhat and I have exchanged our gifts and opened some from out of town. We'll exchange with the kids and grandkids in a few hours. I picked up some pans for Pa Strawhat earlier this month, and counted those as his gift since he wouldn't give me any other ideas for gifts. That's pretty much standard. I hope you all have a great day (whether or not it's a holiday for you).
  17. Also, sometimes you can get into Ancestry's logs and get a couple leads as part of a free trial or just poorly pay-walled section. Try some searches while your browser is in incognito mode. Sometimes that helps. I did a bit of digging for our family, although I only got a couple generations back. Others had gotten considerably more accomplished. The curiosity is my maternal grandfather's family. A common-enough name could be our link to notoriety or just another dead end--which is why I treat it with caution. I asked Ma Strawhat about any information of the family coming out of that area of the country, and she said that we did. But Grandpa Strawhat's family could be...volatile...(which actually fits well with my potentially famous/scandalous great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandma) and the family grudges are neither few, nor far between.
  18. Angry Makes successor chapter? Mildly Annoyed Marines? Curmudgeonly Marines?
  19. Tyrants is producing some sort of weird mental block. No further progress. I think it's the established color-schemes and I wasn't a huge Rebels fan (it was "ok", but not exactly my proverbial "cuppa"). HeroQuest is receiving the bulk of my efforts. I've finished the book cases, cupboard, and fourteen of the doors. I've started the treasure chests (x3), doors (x7), tables (x2), fireplace, and sarcophagus. I'm saving the monsters and heroes til later, after I finish the rest of the furniture (rack, throne, alchemist's table, weapon rack, and the sorcerer's table). Maybe I'll work with 'Bonnet after the holidays. She's only six, and so scattered with the input-overload that is the holiday season. We did get some crafting done (making Christmas themed suncatchers the other week, though--and that's close to painting).
  20. I'm sure you could quit any time you wanted. I know I can... (says the guy with a nearly complete set, six left to go, of Imperial Assault.)
  21. You could try a heavier agitator, too.
  22. Thanks, guys! @Darcstaar, it is going retail and should start hitting the shops soon (if it's not already out). And they've got plans for more (Frozen Horror, for example), too! I pretty much broke into every craft paint I had to get the books done. Then mixed up a 1:1 of White and Khaki to paint the pages and scrolls. After those were done, I added another drop of White for the skulls. Then everything got a wash of Burnt Sienna to give some aging/shadows. I decided against gilding the scroll work on the cases. After doing all the books, it just felt like it would be overkill. The hardware on the cupboard (and closed doors) was a 1:1:1 of Black, 14K Gold, and Silver. It reminds me of an old Ral Partha color I had once upon a time. The book in the top-left corner has that saber-toothed skull sculpted onto the book spine. The book in the lower-right corner has what looks like a standard skull. My hands weren't really steady enough to do that justice. I've got to admit that I'm rather impressed by the fine texture of the metallics for simple craft paint. A black spell book with a silver hourglass...I wonder how Zargon got that! And that method of library maintenance would drive me bonkers. Even as an adventurer, I'd have to organize those shelves properly. I would like to take this time to not thank the sculptor for turning all those books on edge. And who stores their tankards on the bookshelf?! Aargh...the spilling during melee! I made up a lot of that Burnt Sienna wash, so I used it to dull the keystones a bit and provide some shading to the vines. That's 14 doors down and seven to go. Next up: Doors (x7) Treasure Chests (x3) Tables (x2) Sarcophagus (x1) Fireplace (x1)
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