So, after one week of being jobless, I have figured some things out. I am going to school. I would say back to school, but I dropped out of college a decade ago, so that hardly counts. There is an IT school with 4 month classes starting on Sept. 14. I'll be going to class until mid-January, slowly eating away at my savings, but the upside is that I will be certified to be a programmer, something I've done on my own since I was like 5. As a bonus, the fellow I talked to said that my background in video game reviewing for www.diehardgamefan.com gives me a leg up, especially if I want to take further steps towards being an instructor or technical writer. I know it is hard to tell from this blog, but I can actually write, when necessary. One more, slightly self-aggrandizing note, I scored in the 95th percentile on the numeric part of the test, a test that is designed for people who are already proficient in the field. That was a good feeling.
Got my Learner's Permit and did some driving. Fun. I am becoming really frustrated. Do I go crawling back to the casino business and get steady employment? Do I tough it out and learn a trade? Do I go to IT school for 4 months and hope that works out? I'm really stuck.
When Heather gets up, we are going to the DMV to get my Learner's Permit. Since it will eventually snow, I will need transportation besides my Triumph, eventually. If things go well, I could start one of the training programs I have been looking at sooner than later and we could use our savings to buy me a small pickup truck or the like. I would hate to sell the bike, since I still owe on it and I enjoy riding it, but I will if I have to. No list for today, besides going to bed early to try and get off of my night shift sleep schedule. I'm going to do more research on cabinetmaking and maybe look into community college courses to take alongside the Carpentry training. I want this to work.
As I'm getting ready for bed, I feel pretty good. I have found two apprenticeship programs that I can apply for, one for plumbing, the other for carpentry. I am leaning towards the carpentry school, since it is 3 miles from my house and I like the idea of learning to build. Maybe I'll be a cabinetmaker! After all those years at the casino, producing nothing but cheap thrills and false hopes, it would be nice to actually make something tangible. I might be overly romantic about it, but I love the idea of MAKING something with my hands and tools. Being a skilled tradesman would be a step up from being a skilled cardsharp. Besides, I do play Dwarfs, so it would be appropriate.
I put both feet on the floor and got up. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Wake up Apply for unemployment Mow the Lawn Sort through Grandma Jean stuff Update resume Finish King of Fighters XII Review
As I have stated before, I have a Whirlwind sprue and spare Immolator parts to convert an Exorcist from. This week, I have given some thoughts to a different conversion. I was eying the Empire Helstorm Rocket Launcher. It is a cannon mounting with nine rockets on it. After a quick sanding of all the Fantasy icons on the rockets, I could mount the rack inside an open backed Rhino, like a Basilisk. This would be pretty cool looking, I suspect, and better reflect the theme of the Exorcist than a tech looking rocket launcher. As a bonus, I would have the Helblaster bitz left over to do as I please with. Maybe a Hydra conversion, if I ever do some Imperial Guard?
So, this weekend I will have no painting time, which is a bummer. The upshot is that I get to spend some time with my little sister and visit 31st Century, to pick up my order (2 Sisters with Meltaguns and 1 Seraphim with Hand Flamers) as well as a White Dwarf and some paint.
So, I got my Shatter review done early, got the lawn mowed, and got some of Heather's Wood Elves assembled. Tuesday morning, I will prime up the Woodies and paint some of my Sisters. I ordered a few more of the Sisters of Battle minis I need from 31st Century. I ordered a pair of Meltagun Sisters and a Twin Hand Flamer Seraphim. The Seraphim was on a whim, but I'll need her second set of Hand Flamers if I am going to use the Seraphim. That leaves my current shopping list looking something like this, in descending order of importance.
1x Rhino, since I have the spare Immolator and Whirlwind bitz to make an Exorcist
1x Exorcist. I do not know if I am going to get a Forgeworld or a Games Workshop one. The Forgeworld one will blend in with my Whirlwind/Immolator kitbashes one better, but the Organ one from GW looks pretty keen. I might just kit bash a second Whirlwind/Immolator, but that could be more expensive than a proper one.
2x Heavy Bolter Sisters. For my eventual Retributors squad.
3x Storm Bolters. I have the disturbing idea of a 4 Storm Bolter Dominion squad with a Storm Bolter equipped Sister Superior. Not the strongest unit in the world, but pretty killy, on paper. Might go with 3 Storm Bolters, 1 Meltagun, and a Sister Superior with a Storm Bolter.
These three are all of about equal importance and are more ideas for the future than planned units.
6-10x Adeptus Arbites with Shotguns. Not the strongest unit. Not the cheapest unit. There is just something about a squad of shiny black Adeptus Arbites hopping out of a shiny black Rhino and laying down some serious shotgun fire. I might even have to spring for a Uriah Jacobus to ride with them, if I ever get them to begin with.
30x Sisters of Battle. I would like to be able to, on occasion, field an all foot based horde of Sisters. 100+ nuns with machine guns would be sight to see.
1-2x Mordian Iron Guard Squads. I love the classic Perry Brothers Imperial Guardsmen, but the Mordians are my favorite. A foot platoon would be okay, but two Armoured Fist Squads with Sentinels and a Leman Russ to back them up would let me expand my army without painting too many more Sisters, open up the way to Apocalypse scale games and Super-Heavy tanks, and would give me a foothold on a second army, if I so desired to start one.
Today is Monday, which means I am compelled to paint. I have two Sisters begging to be finished. I will be priming some Wood Elves for my wife and assembling a couple more. I might have time to clean and prime some stuff for my army, as well.
As an aside, does anyone have any suggestions about resin bases? A dozen or so of my Sisters have broken or clipped tabs and I figure they might as well get resin bases. My other minis are getting Tamiya Black Lava painted on to their bases, unless I thing of something more novel.
Did I mention I have 1000-1500 words on Shatter for the PS3 due tonight, too? And I have to mow, so I better get down on it.
So, back to the subject of game stores. What makes a good one? What makes a game shop the kind of place you want to go? I'm curious what other people think about this. In my case, I have a few ideas. I like stores that are clean and well lit. This sounds like common sense, but anyone who has gone into a strange game store and found it to be moldered and wet smelling worse will tell you that a clean store is more inviting. This is something that Pulp Fiction gets right. That store is immaculate and open, inviting. Friendly staff is nice, too. If there is only one person working, they probably should not be playing a game or making non-business calls. A gaming area is important, but it should be inviting, not full of half-painted minis that were randomly placed by some crazed store monkey. The most important thing, to me, is stock. I do not get many opportunities to go to a game store. In the last year, I have entered two stores, once each. This is not a function of me buying things from the Internet as much as it is one of location. Both times, the things on my shopping list were unavailable and would have to be ordered for a future visit that may never come. Simple things, too. I have a long standing Rhino Challenge. If a store has an Imperial Rhino in stock, I will buy it. I made that pledge 4 years ago, including a period in which I went to Pulp Fiction weekly. I have yet to buy a Rhino at a store. Four years and no store has had one in stock. That is the most basic piece of 40k kit, a model used by Space Marines of all ilk, Daemonhunters, Witch Hunters, and Sisters of Battle. I think a store should always have a half dozen or so Rhinos in stock. To me, they are the second biggest Games Workshop impulse buy. Number one being... White Dwarf. It blows my mind how many times I have gone to shops that under-sell White Dwarf. Even at my least active periods in the hobby, I bought White Dwarf. I have over 100 in my gaming area. If I am behind a few months, I will gladly buy back issues. I find it shocking how rarely a store will have the current or a few months of back issues. Now that $9 cover price is an issue for later.
As I stated in the first post of this here blog type thing, I have not played game of Warhammer 40K since 3rd Edition. It was a game of Armageddon Steel Legion (mine) vs. Black Templars (some random dude). We went to the old Hometown Computers in Lawrence, now a few blocks away and called Hometown Hobbies, a nice shop run by nice people. Anyway, I do not remember much about the game except that it was obvious that neither of us were veteran players. It was clumsy, slow, and no one knew exactly what to do. It was fun, though. After we arived back at my apartment, a neighbor gave me a shelving unit she did not want to move. We carried it up the stairs and put it in my apartment. I still have it in my living room, two moves, one state, and 7 years later. I moved to Missouri a few months hence and ended up in Liberty. Liberty, MO is a nice town. It has virtuallly no crime, the old downtown is pretty cool, and there is a lot of growth on the other end of town. There are no game stores. There were, when we moved in, only two nearby game sellers: Hammond Hobby and Hobby Town. Hammond was an old model shop in the mall that carried Warhammer and 40k, but it did not have a wide selection and was not, generally, a destination. The lack of tables and painted models to ogle gave the place no reason to linger. It always felt, to me, like they just wanted the customer to walk in, buy some stuff, and leave. That might work in most retail corners, but for a hobby shop, this is bad business. Hobby Town was similar, in that 40k was simply a product on the shelf and not an intrinsic part of the store. Hammond has been gone for a year and a half now and Hobby Town no longer sells Warhammer. Thus, Kansas City, MO and KS have no place to buy Games Workshop. Do not misunderstand, there are stores in the suburbs. Lee's Summit has the excellent Pulp Fiction Comics, a store I would love even more if it were not 45 minutes from my house. Independence has the slightly closer, but less well stocked, Game Cafe. I might have gotten the wrong impression, but Game Cafe seems to be more for the collectable card game and board game set. I have only been in once, primarily since there is nothing around it my wife would have any interest in, thus reducing my chances of getting her to drive half an hour. On the Kansas side, there are two shops. Olathe has the very cool 31st Century Games, a pure game store with lots of tables and displays and that certain something that a store in which people have fun playing games develops. You feel like you are having fun, just by walking in. I have heard good things about the store in Overland Park, Tabletop Games, but I have not darkened their doorstep, yet. So, would it kill someone to build a store in the Northland? More on this tomorrow.
Tuesday night was quite productive, with Heather, my wife, and I getting some painting done. I did final touch up on the six Battle Sisters I had started already, leaving only the bases to be done now. Heather has only one Glade Riders horse to finish before she can move on to riders or Dryads.
Funny aside about Dryads and Tree Spirits. I initially suggested she make an all-Tree Spirit army, with Drycha as the general. I love the Dryad models and think they are the bee's knees. They are elegant and elongated and pointy in a way that only plastic allows. I wish there were more models that were so lanky. That might just be me being jealous of anything taller than a Dwarf, though. Anyway, I even went so far as to suggest she sculpt her own Treekin and Tree Man, since the GW metals are not so elegant. She wants to make them based on the work of Pumpkinrot http://www.pumpkinrot.com/. She still won't go all Tree Spirit, though.
Here is a list of what I have, since I should be working on an army list, I guess. I am willing to spend a little more, but no crazy 8 Immolator lists for me, sir. Any suggestions?
Four Immolators/rhinos One Whirlwind sprue Two Penitent Engines 10 Seraphim (7 pistols, 2 flamer pistols, 1 VSS w/ Eviscerator) mounted on resin bases 2 Sisters w/ Melta 2 Imagifiers 1 Sister Superior w/ Combi-Melta 3 Sisters Superior w/ Bolter and Icon (I forgot what they are really called, but if you play Sisters, you know the model I mean) 1 Sister Superior w/ Chainsword and Plasma Pistol 1 Canoness w/ Book and Chainsword 1 old Canoness w/ Icon and Combi-Flamer 3 Sisters w/ Hvy flamer 2 Sisters w/ Hvy Bolter 1 Sister w/ Multi Melta 1 Sister w/ broken Multi Melta 3 Sisters w/ Storm Bolter 3 Sisters w/ Flamer 45 Sisters w/ Bolters
I'm planning, in the very least, to pick up a Priest, so I can field the Penitent Engines some day, even if they do not make the every day list. Same goes for at least 1 more Rhino, since I can use the bitz I have to make it an Exorcist. One purchase not on the itinerary is a Repressor. The model is nice and all, but I am looking for a fairly standard list with no wobbliness, rules wise. Also, I am not exactly an ace convertor, so I likely won't be giving all my Sister Superiors the book of St. Lucius, unless it is really ace and I am told of a super easy fix. So, give me your suggested lists, be it horde, mech, or some combination. Winning list gets, um, a Canoness named after them.
I realized that my tone in this blog might seem excessively negative and/or self-deprecating. I do apologize. I am not a negative person, just a sarcastic one. When I say that something I paint is mediocre, what I am actually saying is that it is good enough for now, but could be better. I am someone who is driven by a desire to improve, counter-balanced with a healthy dose of laziness. Please do not think I am being a Gloomy Gus, I am simply trying to push myself harder.
Well, with half a squad painted, I figure I might as well post some pics of my early attempts at painting Sisters of Battle. I will have time Monday, so let's make it a date. Monday will see the first blurry pics of my mediocre miniatures.
Well, I got some painting time in, like planned. I painted an unprecedented four sisters in one sitting. Mostly. The two bare headed ladies are awaiting me figuring out how to paint flesh and all of them need some touch up work. So far, so good.
After a busy work week, I have some primed Sisters waiting for me to paint them, so tonight will be a painting night. Now that I have the old Canoness model, the one with a Combi-Flamer, and some older Sister Superiors, all I need is the old Standard Bearer, 2 Melta guns, a Seraphim with Hand Flamers, Sister Celestine, and I'll be pretty close to complete. After that, I am at a crossroads. Do I add more squads of Sisters? Do I add some Retributers or Immolators? Do I add Witch Hunters or Imperial Guard? I will, hopefully, get some gaming time in before I make that decision.
I have started painting some of my Cadians, just for kicks. I did it primarily to test the Deneb Stone and Devlan Mud paints we picked up at 31st Century Games, in Olathe, KS. I also picked up a three pack of Sisters, since they did not have the minis I am really looking for: Sister Superiors, Heavy Flamers, Heavy Bolters, Flamers, Meltaguns, or Seraphim with Hand Flamers. I would have even picked up some Imagifers. I am very happy that I have most of what I need for an army, because the capital to start a Sisters army is quite high. Speaking of high... I bought the last two White Dwarf issues I will purchase until there is an issue with Dwarf or Sisters or Wood Elf content. The magazine is nice, and I have over 100 of them, but without any content I can really use, $9 is way too high for me. Even the subscription price is too high. No lie, I get 50+ issues of Entertainment Weekly and 26 issues of Rolling Stone for $10 a year or less. My Rolling Stone sub was a year for me and a year for Ryan for $15. $90 is two more squads of Sisters or some tanks or a renovation of my paint collection or some more Cadians to use as Allies. I will miss you White Dwarf, but the lack of tangible game rules or applicable hobby tips makes you a luxury I cannot abide.
Today is Sunday. This is the day of the week I both dread and enjoy the most. On one hand, I must go to work a full 2 hours earlier than my other early day, three hours earlier than my standard shift. The upside is that I get to ride my Triumph to work. So, no free time on one hand, motorcycle time on the other. At least there is a chance that I will get out around midnight, so bully for me.
Today is also the last day that I will let pass without lifting a paint brush. I have dedicated myself to painting every day, even if I only have 20 minutes to spare. I guess I can live without Mafia Wars for a day, right? My plan is to paint my Sisters of Battle at a steady pace. I have a philosophy about painting that basically states this: Miniatures are too expensive to paint sloppily, hastily, and badly.
I feel it is my responsibility to paint my minis with care, precision, and effort. I am not a 'Eavy Metal level painter, but I can do good work if I am patient and focus. My plan of attack is to paint in batches of 3-10 Sisters, increasing the number per batch as I go. I am starting with the standard Sisters, then the Serephim, then the Celestians, then the characters, then the tanks. I have two Penitent Engines that will be painted last, so that I can paint them to a high standard. After all of that has been painted, and I do mean all, I will reward myself with a unit or two of Mordian Iron Guard. Mordians are my second favorite models, behind the Sisters, and are something I have always wanted to do. They are a little pricey, but I think I can justify a platoon to use as an adjunct ally, if I paint all of my Sisters first.
My Sisters of Battle paint scheme is adapted from an old issue of White Dwarf. I will be painting the armour bone and the cloth red. The bone colour will be achieved by working from a Codex Gray undercoat to 2:1 Codex and Bleached Bone, 1:1 Codex and Bone, 1:2 Codex and Bone, and a final highlight of Bleached Bone. The red will be a much simpler transition from Scorched Brown to 1:2 Scorched Brown and Blood Red, to a pure Blood Red highlight. I am going to use a variety of hair and skin tones because I want to try painting as many skin and hair tones as possible and I hate the clone look that many people use. Personal preference, but a strong one at that.
So, until tomorrow, keep your head up and your brushes down.
Yesterday, my primer and Vallejo paints came to the house. I needed Codex Gray and Bleached Bone for the bone coloured armour and Scorched Brown to use as a base for the Blood Red fabric. I'm going to use Bubonic Brown and Codex Gray for gold and steel, with silver being the only true metallic paint I use. I have quite a bit to do, so I better get cracking, eh?
Theme One of the strongest reasons I can think of for wanting a Sisters of Battle army is the theme. These are unaltered humans defending mankind from threats, inside and out. They are resolute, sure, and faithful. Plus, they carry flamethrowers. Space nuns with flamethrowers!
The Sisters of Battle are one of Games Workshop's worst selling army, a force of human women fighting genetically altered humans, Orks, Tau, Necrons, Chaos, and Tyranids. For such an unforgiving, and frankly butch, universe, it might seem strange for a straight, married 30-something dude to want to have an all-female army. Because of this seeming disconnect, I am going to explore the appeal of the Sisters, as I see it.
The Models It might seem obvious, but the models are simply some of the best that GW has ever made. They are simple, elegant, and, best of all, metal. Metal minis are an increasingly rare treat. The weight, the heft in my hand, makes me savor each metal mini I own. The feel of unfinished metal minis is unattainable with plastics. I wish there was a better way to express this, but I cannot find it. The best way to see what I mean is to hold a metal mini in your hand and then a plastic. Plastic has it's place, in the making of tanks and Space Marines and the such, but a metal mini feels special and has a magic to it that no amount of bitz on a sprue can equal for me. Aside from being metal, it's the design of the thing. From the nun-cum-armour suits they wear, to the tasteful use of fleur-de-lis, the Sisters are well designed. The tanks are also cool, using gothic imagery to be less wargame-lite than the Imperial Guard.
This blog's name, My Hatred Heaps Upon This Fire, comes from the KMFDM song Ultra, from the album Nihil. This is my favorite KMFDM album and the lyric comes to mind when I think of the Sisters of Battle. I am not entirely sure why, but it might be the flamers...
My name is Chuck. I have played Warhammer 40K since 1998 or so. Maybe 'played' is too strong a term. I have been around Warhammer 40K since 1998. My friend Brian painted minis and played a bit and introduced me to the hobby. I was vaguely aware of Warhammer from the ads in Dragon Magazine, but it was an article in InQuest that set me on my path. I was a long time roleplayer and Magic: the Gathering player, at the time, but I was attracted to the artistic elements of Warhammer and 40k, so I kept it in the back of my mind. In the summer of 2000, my then girlfriend Heather and I moved from the tiny town of Chanute, KS to the college town of Lawrence, KS. We got a little apartment and lived happily, if not lavishly. Lawrence, being a college town, had a vibrant gaming scene. I ended up getting hooked on Warhammer 40K to the point of trading my Magic: the Gathering collection for an Imperial Guard army. That army was traded for a Tau army, which was traded for a Space Wolves army. That Space Wolves army got swapped for a Dwarf army I still own. Simultaneously, I had picked up some bargains on Eldar, via eBay. Without a new codex on the horizon, Eldar values plummeted. I was able to gather almost an entire army for under $100. That army got traded for a mass force of Orks, which I most probably should have kept. The Orks were traded for some Space Marine stuff. That Space Marine stuff sat unused for a couple years. Uninspired by the upcoming Space Wolves Codex, I decided to trade my army for one that always seems to be available, the Necrons. I like the Necrons visually and the lack of viable army list options is more of a boon to someone like me than a minus. I put my ad up on Bartertown and got a reply hours later. A dude named Rob offered me some Sisters of Battle. I was almost faint. The article in InQuest, now departed, featured a picture of the then new Sisters of Battle alongside the text. I was enamored by the Sisters for reasons a later post will explain. Each time I traded armies, I looked for someone trading a Sisters of Battle force, but the fates never put one in my path. I took this golden opportunity and traded with Rob. Now I have a Sisters of Battle army of my own and a mission. I will play a game of 40k, with my own, fully painted army, by next summer. This blog is designed to goad me into continuing to build, paint, and, hopefully, play this army. I mean, does it count as 'playing' 40k when you have not played a game since 3rd Edition? I doubt it.
This is my painting blog, in which I will write about my efforts to stop being so lazy and paint my Sisters of Battle army, and maybe my long suffering Dwarfs. I have been a Warhammer and 40k geek for over a decade, but my general lack of sticktoitiveness has lead me to be a less than full member of the fraternity. I am trying to rectify that.