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Everything posted by scowling

  1. Favourite sculptor of human-types: Werner Klocke Favourite sculptor of monster-types: Jason Wiebe Favourite dragon sculptor: Sandra Garrity Overall, my fave would have to be Klocke, edging out Wiebe by a nose. I don't like Garrity's human-types very much at all; the faces are too small and too proportional to the rest of the model. I like disproportionate heads that beg for painting attention. The Perry Twins (Games Workshop, Foundry, etc.) are my second-favourite sculptors of human-types, and Chris Tubb (Mithril) is a close third. There are many other sculptors whose work I seek out. Mark Copplestone was mentioned earlier; I really like his stuff. I frighten the folks at the FLGS when I can point at a figure and say "X sculpted that; I like his work." :) And, as I've said before, Dennis Mize is my least favourite sculptor. I'd rather that Reaper (and any other company he sculpts for) not cast a figure at all than dilute their reputation for quality by contracting Mize. I will agree that Mize's skills have improved since his absolutely terrible work for Partha, but that's damning with faint praise, like saying a pres-schooler's finger-painting is getting better.
  2. HeroClix isn't drawing away Confrontation fans away? Really? I must not exist, then.
  3. Yup, mass market big sellers only is what Hasbro demands. As such, WotC will be unlikely to produce any D&D products other than hardcovers, novels and plastic miniatures for the foreseeable future. Heck, we're going to be seeing as many as three new d20 hardcover game supplements a month. It's gonna backfire, though: as a 'casual' D&D-er, all I was buying from WotC were the hardcovers. Not a big investment, with only one hardcover release every few months. Now, unfortunately, they've lost my dollar completely. I gave Fiend Folio a pass. All that said, I've written before that the random pack system is an extremely good idea for everyone; few SKUs for retailers to deal with, it attracts both the gamer and collector markets, it encourages a secondary market, single figures will be *cheaper* than metal figures, pre-painted makes for good-looking games straight out of the box, increasing the visual appeal of the game and attracting new players... Basically, there's no downside. As long as it sells in Mage Knight numbers (and there's every indication that it wil sell better than the last several Mage Knight releases based on the reaction from the trade press) it's here to stay. And it will be the traditional metal miniature manufacturers, like Reaper, who will have to adapt to the new marketplace.
  4. The new Displacer Beast was released in the Kilsek boxed set. I bought eight boxes, just for the Beasts. And the sculpt was, again, more or less split down the middle. I'm looking forward to the Reaper version. The Green looks nice.
  5. I'm having more fun playing Heroclix a couple of times a week than I've ever had playing any game on a regular basis ever. But anyway... I think the game will do very well for WotC/Hasbro. They didn't just pull this idea out of thin air -- people have been clamoring for cheap prepainted D&D-compatible figures for years. They're giving the people what they want, and producing it in a format that is a proven seller (random packs). I'd be very surprised if it bombs. Chainmail II will fill a niche. Reaper fills another, smaller niche. But I doubt I'll buy much Chainmail II, while I continue to buy more Reapers than I can paint.
  6. Of course it's an opinion. And I never said that metallic paints can't or don't simulate metal in microscale; I said that they don't simulate it very well. Check this out: http://www.coolminiornot.com/index.php?id=2340 In my opinion, this looks better than any metallic paintjob ever could, and I've seen some good examples of metallic paintjobs -- but never a "spectacular" example. You make the bold claim that "NMM is not realistic"; the above paintjob is completely realistic -- and spectacular. That the "gleam" doesn't shift when you turn the model doesn't matter; the "gleam-shift" using metallic paints doesn't accurately reflect full-scale, either. No matter how one works, one has to compromise. To each their own. I wish I had the skill to do that kind of work. I don't, so I usually use metallic paints. Given that quality NMM work sells for two or three times as much as comparable metallic work and NMM is winning pretty much every award at every major competition, NMM is artistically defensible.
  7. Metallic paint does not simulate metal very well. Skilled NMM does simulate it very well. There are very few people who can do NMM effectively, though, and most of the Rackham painters are *not* in that group. Rememebr that you're painting an object that's about 1/50th the size of a comparable original object; the reason we need to spend so much effort on shading and washing is because they need to be fifty times as stark as they would in 1:1 scale. If you were to paint a 6-foot statue of a barbarian, you wouldn't need to shade or highlight his loincloth; natural light would take care of that. Similarly, metallic paints don't simulate metals very well in microscale. I've seen some NMM that is indistinguishable from what you'd see "full size", using the same kind of techniques that would be used to paint (say) chrome on a 2-d canvas.
  8. The Giant Bat is Jason Wiebe; he said so on the Yahoo group. I think he said the same thing about the Elephant, Rhino and Gator guys (the Elephant guy was shown on another site).
  9. Wet highlighting: highlighting by using wet paint. Use multiple layers of slightly thined paint and paint on the highlights instead of drybrushing them on haphazardly.
  10. Don't drybrush anything except hair and fur. Use blending and wet highlighting instead.
  11. Then why even participate in this thread? Didja see the subject? I say again: life is too short and money too limited to pick books (or movies or wines or records) by trial-and-error. (And the best critics *can* do what they criticize; the concept that critics can't is both a fallacy and disingenuous.)
  12. Someone by definition must be superior, so it might as well be me. :)
  13. I have to disagree. There are so many books in the SF/Fantasy genre alone that nobody could possibly read them all in their lifetime. Hence, looking to a cogent criticism of a book is the best way to minimize the amount of time spent reading crap. It is disingenuous to imply that many people denounce writing due to personal preferences or lack of personal success. Didja know that there are only about thirty North American SF and Fantasy writers who are able to earn a living at it? I sure as heck don't want the kind of 'success' that results in starvation. :) Me, I'm denouncing some authors because they are untalented and I would rather see people buy and read quality fiction. When bad fiction sells, it encourages publishers to publish more bad fiction. Then again, I sold books for a living for ten years, have a degree in Writing and have written book reviews professionally, so what do I know?
  14. Of course I don't mind. However, I intend to criticise any recommendations that I disagree with. I'm not concerned if anyone minds me doing so.
  15. 1. I listed recommended books earlier in the thread. 2. I don't work in retail anymore; I have a real job. 3. Nothing I wrote implied that I gave lip to my customers. 4. That you were unable to glean the previous three bits of information from my earlier posts speaks to your reading comprehension and certainly colours any book recommendations you might make, doesn't it?. Food for thought.
  16. There is a tenet that the quality of a series of books decreases with the size of the series, and that the position of the book within a long series is no guarantee of quality. The first will be just as bad as the last. (Vis: the "Destroyer" novels, th Xanth novels, etc.). Weber's Honor Harrington series is lame space opera/military sci-fi trash, and it epitomizes this tenet. A few years back I worked in a major chain bookstore, and On Basilisk Station was reprinted in a cheap paperback format with a sale price of $1.99. I sold hundreds of them. And didn't sell a single copy of the next book in the series. Not one. The books are that bad.
  17. There are very few fantasy series that are any good. If, as Sturgeon's Law suggests, 90% of anything is crud, it is truer of fantasy novels than of anything else. Good Stuff: George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series was highly recommended to me, so I tried the first book -- and was enthralled. Perhaps the best characterization ever in a fantasy novel, much less a fantasy series. I devoured all three available books in a week. The current books are "A Game of Thrones", "A Clash of Kings" and "A Storm of Swords". Get 'em. The next book, "A Feast for Crows", may be released next March. Joel Rosenberg's "Guardians of the Flame" series starts with a silly premise: a group of fantasy role-players are transported to their fantasy world by their gamemaster and find themselves in their characters' bodies. Sounds dumb, right? Nuh-uh. The first five books in the series are incredible: surprising, challenging, with well-drawn characters. Rosenberg is also not afraid to kill his characters, a trait that Martin also shares. Roger Zelazny's "Chronicles of Amber". There are two series of five books each. While many think that the second series should be ignored, I disagree. The books are very short, and the entirety of the ten novels is not much longer than a single one of Martin's novels above. Intricate plots, with the stories told from the point of view of an unreliable narrator, set in a world where our Earth is only a shadow -- one shadow of an infinite number of shadows -- of the true realm of Amber. Elizabeth Moon's "The Deed of Paksenarrion". Just good stuff. One of the few genre novels written by a woman that I've enjoyed (Connie Willis' SF novels are also great, as are Nancy Kress' and Octavia Butler's -- read work by these four authors if you want genre fiction with a woman's touch; it will alleviate any bad karma you may have accumulated by reading Cherryh, Lackey, McCaffrey, Ore, Rusch, Anne Rice, Tepper, or Hamilton). It wouldn't be a Scowling Post if I didn't post some criticisms: 1. All game-related fiction is crap. All of it, without exception. All the D&D novels, all the Clan War novels, all the Vampire novels, and every short story in every RPG sourcebook ever written: all crap. Not a single game-related story would survive two minutes in a workshop of real writers. Not a single game-related story would survive the "two page" test if the game-related content was stripped from the work and it was submitted to a mainstream publisher. Not one. 2. Robert Jordan is a hack. His characters are wooden and his plots derivative. Further, he commits the unforgivable crime of giving his characters names with apo'strophe's rand'om'ly thrown thr'oug'hout -- the surest sign of hackdom. Plus, he is in failing health and will die before he finishes the Wheel of Time series. Don't hold your breath for a conclusion. 3. Piers Anthony is the uber-hack. There are Amiga Computer programs that write better fiction than he.
  18. I don't especially like Wong's work either -- too cartoony. That said, he's still considered one of the best.
  19. Jen Haley is from Chicago and Bobby Wong from New York City. Haley won the Golden Demon Axe this year in Chicago (and was first place in this year's GenCon competition) and Bobby Wong won the Goldem Demon Sword in Baltimore last year. Jen's site is at: http://www.wegotgame.net/jen/main.html Bobby's is at: http://miniature-art.tripod.com/ An example of one of Jen's blacklined models: http://www.wegotgame.net/jen/fianna3.html As I said, they are consider by many to be the best in the hobby.
  20. I disagree. Jennifer Haley and Bobby Wong, considered by many to be the two finest gaming miniature painters in the world, both make extensive use of blacklining.
  21. There have been pictures of them at: http://www.discounthobby.com/Merchan....de=REAK since August 8th.
  22. Vallejo paints are $2.00 per bottle through www.albinorhino.com/hobby. At that price, they're cheaper by volume than any other specialty miniature paint on the market.
  23. I use a pair of snippers like the bottom tool in the picture shown. I can (if I choose) completely remove the base from a Reaper miniature in two minutes or less. If I want to remove an arm or a head, I just cut off most of it and use an X-acto knife to slowly whittle away the remaining section. Then I'll use my Dremel with a wide bit to drill a shallow depression where the limb or head was; this gives me a place to set the replacement part.
  24. You don't need a metallic purple. Trust me. Buy yourself a bottle of Vallejo Metallic Medium (or any metallic medium from an art supply store). Mix it half-and-half with whatever colour you like and you'll get a beautiful metallic paint. Plus, it's cheaper than having a dozen metallic colours (as opposed to 'true' metallics like silver and gold and copper) that you're going to use sparingly.
  25. I buy my Epicast bases directly from Epicast. I know that every penny goes to them, instead of a middleman getting 40% or more of the cut, and it means I don't have to deal with New Wave, who suck. In general, I don't use those bases for Reaper, though. What I do is mount them directly on a Games Workshop plastic base of the appropriate size and use wood filler to fill in the gap between the edge of the Reaper broccoli base and the plastic base. As someone earlier posted, it makes the figure a little taller, but not by much.
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