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Xiwo Xerase

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About Xiwo Xerase

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    Apprentice Paint Magician

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  1. I paint how I paint. I'm sure it's not historically accurate but... who cares? I'm having fun, and that's the important part. Since @Glitterwolf wants us to show some of our work, these were the last three minis I completed:
  2. Xiwo Xerase

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    D5? As good a square as anywhere else...
  3. Xiwo Xerase

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    No offense taken. You should always do work you can be proud of. But does it have to be? Can't we make things better? I have a knee-jerk reaction to "heroic" work because there are two prevalent cultures in IT operations: The IT workers' hero culture, which prizes heroism and the capabilities of the workers. The managers' culture, which is allowed to make poor decisions resulting in the necessity of that heroism (or worse, deliberately makes the decisions expecting the staff to act heroically). Also, to be noted: Managers will praise your heroism but will not give you compensation. Even if I work 80+ hours in a week, I won't be given comp time to make up for the non-work time I've lost. Plus, since I'm salaried and exempt, I don't get overtime either. The hero culture is a problem. Fixing it is probably beyond my ability, or the scope of the forums. I'll be quiet now.
  4. Xiwo Xerase

    Do Reaper paints come with an agitator?

    Yes. (Or, at least, they're supposed to.) As of late August 2018, they were using glass beads as agitators.
  5. Xiwo Xerase

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    Oh dear. Having seen the picture, please don't do that again. Please? (Since intonation is lost in text: This is intended as friendly concern.) You and I will probably disagree about this. I believe: "Heroic" effort in the workplace is not to be lauded. In the best case scenario, it gives management the false impression of the necessary number of work-hours needed and they therefore do not realize that they need to hire more people or make other changes to bring the workload in line with the work-hours they have. In more likely scenarios, it permits management to continue making the same poor decisions that led to the required heroism to begin with. Worse, there are scenarios where management comes to expect heroic action and plans accordingly. This is a standard problem in IT, especially in operations. I don't see a way to break this pattern either.
  6. Glen Cook, The Dragon Never Sleeps: In a science fiction universe, immense GuardShips keep the peace in civilized space but there are conspiracies from within and without that will jeopardize the peace. I enjoyed this book a lot, which I didn't really expect to. It's not "high brow" science fiction by any means but it's still fun. There's a lot going on, most of which is related, but I didn't find it confusing. I plan to reread it in the future to mine it for ideas. Harry Harrison, The Best of Harry Harrison: A collection of short stories written by... Harry Harrison. I am most familiar with Mr. Harrison's work from the Stainless Steel Rat books and Bill the Galactic Hero. He also wrote a book called Make Room! Make Room! which was turned into the movie Soylent Green. Most of the stories are thoughtful science fiction stories. Highlights include "The Streets of Ashkelon" (an atheist tries to prevent a missionary from preaching to aliens without religion with regrettable results), "I Always Do What Teddy Says" (in a bleak future, teddy bears are used to educate, and brainwash, children and well-meaning people modify a bear), "An Honest Day's Work" (in which a sewer cleaner is recruited to help save the world), and "Space Rats of the C.C.C." (in which two people graduate from the C.C.C. Academy and hijinks ensue). "Brave Newer World" is an interesting story (in a future, people are dysfunctional and there are issues at a genetic guidance clinic) but it may be a little outdated for modern sensibilities. (I've read "I Always Do What Teddy Says" before but I don't remember where. I could swear I heard a radio show or audiobook adaptation at some point but I can't remember.) Tomorrow's Cthulhu: An anthology of Cthulhu-ish works billed as being set at "the dawn of posthumanity" but really ranging from modern day to the edge of the technological singularity. Available via Drive Overall, this was hit-or-miss for me. A lot of the stories are weird, horror-ish tales, which should be expected. Highlights include "The Stricken" by Molly Tanzer (a zombie apocalypse tale with an old friend from Cthulhu mythos stories), "Beige Walls" by Joshua L. Hood (scientists are studying an alternate dimension unofficially called the Elder Reach, what could go wrong?), "Tekeli-li, They Cry" by AC Wise (a haunted woman goes to Antarctica to help prevent a universe-shattering disaster from occurring), "The Sky Isn't Blue" by Clinton J. Boomer (a detective visits a psychologist who specializes in alternative healing methods), "Friday Night Dance Party" by Thomas M. Reid (an artificial intelligence develops unexpected by leaps and bounds and solves a puzzle), and "The World Ends in Neon Yellow" by LA Knight (the world will end soon, a theater is performing "The King in Yellow", and one woman tries to make a difference; probably my favorite story from the collection).
  7. None. I'd like to use them for gaming but... it looks like I'm going to need to get a new job (or retire) before I can game again in person. (And in-person BattleTech games are hard to find these days...) So, right now, I paint them and then put them away. Thrilling, I know.
  8. Xiwo Xerase

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    The odd part is that she was back for a little while. The 54mm version of Monique DeNoir was originally released as a Master Series Miniature, 30004. She was relisted as a special edition figure, 01444, sometime in December 2017 or early 2018. (I purchased the figure in May 2018.) Two of the other 54 mm figures had also been relisted under new numbers but are not available on the new site: 01445: Ellen Stone, Cowgirl (54 mm) (originally 30005) 01446: Dragon Summoner (54 mm) (originally 30009) Note that the 54 mm version of Dark Maiden is still available as 03903.
  9. Xiwo Xerase

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    This does appear to me unavailable now. I believe the figure was last released as 01444. Do you mean Arnise (14018, a Warlord mini)?
  10. I think everyone's hit my favorite miniature brands. In terms of number of unique sculpts, most of my collection is either Reaper Miniatures or Ral Partha/Iron Wind Metals. Reaper has a wide variety of well-sculpted miniatures. Most of my Ral Partha/Iron Wind Metals collection is BattleTech minis, although I have some fantasy and Shadowrun minis as well. (I should probably get more Shadowrun minis.) Third place either goes to Dark Sword Miniatures or Bad Squiddo Games (I still haven't inventoried the last Bad Squiddo KS that fulfilled), both of which have a variety of miniatures. (Dark Sword probably has better sculpts overall, and definitely more variety, but Bad Squiddo's minis are still very good.)
  11. Xiwo Xerase

    Randomness XV: 'tis a silly place.

    Monique DeNoir? Try these: 02234: Monique DeNoir (sculpted by Sandra Garrity) 02551: Monique DeNoir (sculpted by Werner Klocke) She doesn't have a Bones release (yet?).
  12. No, but I did get tired of painting BattleTech minis. I was trying to push myself to finish a set of minis so I had eight going at one time. That turned out to be entirely too many and none of them turned out particularly well. This was at least two winters ago. I still haven't fully recovered.
  13. To give credit where it’s due: This is an idea I adapted from @Pingo. She primes in white and uses a translucent umber paint to bring out details. This is also inspired by a comment somewhere on the Dark Sword Minis site where the owner mentions having been taught to “antique” minis (I think this is the phrase) using a combination of Grey Liner and Brush-On Sealer.
  14. Today’s reading: Robert Sheckley, Dimension of Miracles: A man on Earth is selected to win the Galactic Sweepstakes, goes to Galactic Center, and wins a Prize. Now how does he get home? This book was recommended to me by a friend a year or two ago. It’s a fun read and absurd. The best comparison I have is Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Waiting for Godot. Like I said, absurd. Orson Scott Card, Eye for Eye: This is part of a Tor double book release with the next story. It is a story about a young man is born with the ability to kill with his mind. The story is better than it sounds... but not a whole lot. I picked up this book really for the other story but... it’s here, so why not read it? The story thankfully misses most of the tropes associated with the premise and handles the human aspect of this better than the movie Scanners (although that’s not hard). Mr. Card is a little fixated on locations, which has always struck me as weird. This story primarily calls out Roanoke, VA and Eden, NC, but there are other references to North Carolina geography. (If you’ve ever read Ender’s Game, do you remember that bit where Ender takes a vacation (with Valentine, I think? — I haven’t read the book for years) to a place called Lake Jeanette? That’s a real place. It’s just northeast of Greensboro, NC.) Lloyd Biggle, Jr, The Tunesmith: In a future, the only music in general consumption is advertising jingles, and the last real musician/composer on Earth wants to reintroduce music for music’s sake. I’ve been looking forward to reading this for years... I’m not convinced it’s as great a story as I remember being told but it’s a good story. It’s a good example of a non-violent revolution. It might be a little hopepunk. The only previous work I had read of the author’s is Monument, which is a very interesting sci-fi novel. I recommend that one to most people who ask. (It is also one of the few books I deliberately keep a loaner copy of.)
  15. Women with pluck Figures that are interesting to paint (for example, large, billowing cloaks) BattleMechs I should really paint more BattleMechs. They represent just over a third of my stash. (I should really paint more minis in general.)