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Bahá’í Blogging Challenge Day One and More Microphone Stuff

This month I am participating in a Bahá’í blogging challenge where I will try and post something everyday on my blog of a more spiritual nature.

I know that might not appeal to everyone, so it’s cool if you don’t read the spiritual aspect of this months blog.

So I thought I would start the challenge by sharing a prayer that I use each morning to help start my day.

“I have wakened in Thy shelter, O my God, and it becometh him that seeketh that shelter to abide within the Sanctuary of Thy protection and the Stronghold of Thy defense.  Illumine my inner being, O my Lord, with the splendors of the Dayspring of Thy Revelation, even as thou didst illumine my outer being with the morning light of Thy favor.”

A Cat Amongst The Microphones

My second hand Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 arrived, and I have to say it’s a brilliant microphone, very sturdy, well built and a lovely tone to it, I ordered a XLR to 3.5mm jack cable at the same time and I am hoping that arrives tomorrow so I can use it at Blood and Glory to record stuff for the Podcast.

But I have seen something else which puts into question the plans, I have discovered the Behringer Ultravoice 1800S, which is a microphone that is less solidly built than the XM8500, it’s got a less warm tone to it, but it’s £35 and comes in a three pack, which would cut the costs by £25.

After speaking to a few people and comparing some voice samples, I think this is what I am going to do, the microphones are only going to be used on rare occasions, so they don’t need to be as solid as the XM8500 or as sensitive as my MXL 990s and this pack of three will fit the bill quite nicely I think.

Upgrading the Studio

A few years ago I made the investment in getting proper audio recording equipment for podcasting, and I am putting it to decent use with the Edge of Empire podcast, and perhaps will be doing something else with it in the near future too.

Anyway at the moment it’s set up in the studio and is capable of hosting two people in there and I have a mix-minus set up using an old PC just for Skype to bring other people into the studio.

It was always the plan to be able to set up the equipment elsewhere to allow for recording with four people in the same location and now I am planning on adding the extra equipment to do that, in fact I have already added some of it, and it’s lead to a few discussions about what I do add to it.

What I have done to enable this, is I have bought a gig bag to transport the mixer and headphone amplifier, along with power cables for them so I don’t have to pull them from behind my studio desk. In the bag is also four XLR cables to run the microphones and two pop filters, to which I will add the two from my studio.

And I picked up four scissor arm microphone stands, I already have two set up on my studio desk, but pulling them out would be a real pain in the bum, and I want to minimise the disruption when recording elsewhere, so I have four available to just take with me where I need them.

This leaves me missing three items, two extra microphones and a pair of headphones, eventually it will be two pairs of headphones, but Lindsay has a pair of monitor headphones that I got her for her birthday this year, which are identical to my ones and she has said I may use them when I need more than three sets of headphones.

The discussion I have been having, both with myself and with the girls is around buying identical equipment to what I have or upgrading the ones in permanent use, or at least upgrading one of them, because most of the time it’s just me in the studio.

At the moment I use MXL 990 microphones and if I were to upgrade I am thinking of an Audio-Technica AT-2035, but that’s considerably more than the MXL 990s which do a pretty good job and sound excellent to my ear.

Headphone wise I currently use some Audio-Technica ATH-M30x and these are really good, they deliver excellent sound quality and are very comfortable to wear. If I were to upgrade the next model up the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x is very tempting, and has the advantage of a detachable cable.

So I am currently thinking that initially when I buy the third microphone just after Christmas, it will be another MXL 990, and then I shall see what the money is like before pulling the trigger on buying the fourth. If there is enough money then I will buy a better one, if not another MXL 990 will suffice. The money situation will also decide on what pair of headphones I get as well.

Something else to consider would be if there is a noticeable difference between an upgraded microphone and the original, when we do have more than one person using the setup, would we be risking a notice or difference between myself using the more expensive microphone and everyone else using the MXL 990s, and would that as a result make things sound a bit off.

Another thing to consider is that the MXL 990s are very very sensitive, so literally pick up every mouse click I make whilst recording the show, and I do need to use the mouse to change between stuff on the screen so I can keep myself clear with the show notes, which makes me think they might not be so great on the road, and perhaps something a little less sensitive might be better for that, so it’s something I need to look at, but this would be expensive because instead of buying two additional microphones, I would be buying four additional microphones.

But then it’s been pointed out that four people in the same place would lead to quite a bit of microphone bleed using the MXL 990s, so perhaps I would be better off with four dynamic microphones, like the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB. However the problem with that is, that they would be a lot of money to buy four of them, and they are very hard to get hold of in the UK. And looking at the oft suggested alternative the Samson Q2U presents the same issues.

So in terms of that possibility I am looking at the Behringer Ultravoice XM8500, which is cheap as chips, about £20 a microphone which would make four of them much less than the cost of a single MXL 990. And its not like they would be in constant use, they would only be for the situations where we have more than two people to record with. 

But there is an added cost to getting these that I will need to consider, I will need shock mounts for all four of them, but these will only be a few pounds each. Then again, it’s a dynamic microphone so a shock mount isn’t that big of a deal for it.

Another upgrade I am in the process of making are a pair of lavalier microphones for recording videos, they are only cheap ones as video isn’t intended to be a big thing, and they are more to experiment with before making a bigger investment in that area. Plus I already have a shotgun microphone for that as well, which can do quite a bit of that very well.

Video is something I want to explore more of, just got to figure what kind of content we want to do and how to go about doing it and get good results.

The other upgrade will eventually be a small setup for Graham, at the moment he records using a not so great microphone, and his channel often needs a bit of work. I was considering grabbing him a cheap mixer and another MXL 990 so we have prettty similar sound quality, but if I go down the route of the four Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 then he could be given one of those and a XLR to USB adaptor to plug it into his computer, throw in a scissor microphone stand and a pop filter and he would be giving me much better audio.

So considering all this, I have decided that I will be going down the Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 route, my MXL 990s are expensive and if they were damaged when out of the studio, it’s a lot of money to replace one, whereas the XM8500 is already extremely durable and if damaged would be easy and cheap to replace.

Anyway I am hoping to have the ability to do four microphones for the Heresy Weekender in March, which I should be able to manage, would be nice to set up a mini studio and record with some of the attendees which will be cool.

What I am Modelling

I finished off Grand Master Voldus, and I am very happy with him. A lovely model to paint and full of so much detail. I have been considering a small force of Grey Knights to accompany my Militarium Tempestus and I think I am now sold on the idea, so that will be something at look at probably late next year.

On Friday I started some work on the last few models for my Breacher heavy list, specifically the pair of Land Raider Proteus for the two MKIII Breacher Squads and the 2011 MKIII Boarding Marine who is going to be the lists Praetor.

I have the Boarding Marine about 60% done and the Land Raiders about 50% done right now.

What I am Reading

I have gone this week without picking up my Kobo, but I have almost finished listening to Path of Heaven

What I am Playing

I haven’t played any games this week, but me and Lindsay are going to play Carcassonne tomorrow at Raiders.

What I am Backing

Still backing Munchkin Starfinder right now, it’s only got a few days to go, but I strongly suggest you go and back it because it’s going to be brilliant, really hoping we get to $60k and get those credsticks.

Today our package from The Creativity Hub arrived which contained our reward for backing Untold, which included the game, Batman Story Cubes (which are going to my nephew Freddie for Christmas) Adventure Time Story Cubes and the Story Cubes Collectors Box into which has gone all our non licensed sets of Story Cubes.

What I am Cooking

Illness and fatigue has kept me out of the kitchen this week, so I haven’t cooked anything.

What I am Spending

As previously said I have purchased a few little things for the podcast, specifically a pair of pop filters, a lead for the mixer a couple of cheap lavalier microphones, and four scissor arm microphone stands. And from the same place I got an adaptor that will allow Lindsay to use the headphones I got for her birthday with her record player.

I was able to pick up a second hand Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 for a few pounds on eBay, so I snapped that up to assess it before I make the plunge I buy a bunch more.

I also made a small purchase from Forgeworld, I got myself a Legion MKIV Destroyer Squad with Jump Packs to expand my current squad to 10 men and a Malanthrope for my Tyranids.

And I bought a Cadre Fireblade for my Tau, I was a little unsure about the model, it’s never really appealed to me that much, but I was feeling down and wanted to cheer myself up.

I was also offered a sweet deal on a Skull Cannon and some Blood Crusher from a friend, he bought a Start Collecting box but just wanted the Bloodletters, so I kinda snapped up that deal.

Slightly boring purchase, I bought a new doorbell for the house as some little toe rag nicked ours, but I did something we have been thinking of doing for a while and got one with two ringers, one for upstairs and one for downstairs. When me and Megan are bad we can’t always get to the door and the current ringer is hard for Lindsay to hear in her office during the day, so by having two we can make sure that the door gets heard by everyone and if we aren’t able to go, Lindsay can.

Ugh, My Tummy Hurts

This past week has been dominated by a couple of things, the bigger being my having a tummy bug.

Lindsay and Megan babysat my nephew Willem so his mum Jane could go out for her birthday, however that household have been suffering with a tummy bug and Willem is a very kissey baby and gave lots of wet kisses to Lindsay and Megan.

They subsequently picked up the tummy bug and brought it home. The weekend in which we had planned to use to go to Dirty Bottles in Alnwick, followed by me playing Dropfleet Commander ended up being sat on the sofa with Netflix.

I thought I was better last night, but no I woke up this morning and it was the worst it has been, and thus Lindsay who has only just finished work, had to clean up my projectile vomit from the bathroom.

The Sunday before last we finished up our mini holiday in Hull with games, and then we traveled back, I went to Club on Tuesday and it was a rather ordinary week, although I did get through an appointment for my Work Capability Assessment which threw me for six, I know it was coming but it was still a shock that it was coming so soon.

What I am Modelling

This week I have mostly just built models for my Blades of Khorne army.

I had planned to play a friend a game of Age of Sigmar at Battle Bunker on Thursday, but unfortunately that has now closed down, and we couldn’t go to GW in Sunderland as it wasn’t open yet, so we just had a drink and a double cheeseburger in McDonalds before I made my way home.

Anyway I arranged to play a 2000 point game yesterday at Durham Raiders with Aidan, again Age of Sigmar. But I only had 1000 points of the army built, so I ended up spending a day building up the units I needed.

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Let’s turn this into 1000pts for my Age of Sigmar Khorne army for my game on Tuesday against Aidan! This will give me 30 Bloodletters, 3 Bloodcrushers, a Skull Cannon and a Herald of Khorne (not pictured), and will form a Murderhost. But what to do with the Daemon Prince, do I put him together for the AoS Khorne army, or for my 40k Word Bearers??? #Warhammer #WarhammerAgeofSigmar #AgeofSigmar #AoS #WarhammerAoS #BladesofKhorne #Khorne #KhorneDaemon #KhorneDaemons #Daemons #DaemonsofChaos #ChaosDaemons #Bloodletters #KhorneBloodletters #BloodlettersofKhorne #SkullCannon #SkullCannonofKhorne #Bloodcrushers #BloodcrushersofKhorne #HeraldofKhorne #Bloodmaster #BloodmasterHeraldofKhorne #DaemonPrince #BloodTideofKhorne #Murderhost

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I built a unit of 30 Bloodletters, 3 Blood Crushers, a Daemon Prince, a Herald of Khorne and a Skull Cannon which mostly made up a small Murderhost.

I then spent a few hours on Monday priming them, and a bunch of other stuff I recently built, but annoyingly whilst cleaning my airbrush, I managed to break it a little, but I have put the thing through its paces and pushed it to its limits of being used by an amateur.

I have struggled with painting of late, but I have a plan, I am going to finish Grand Master Voldus and then try and start the breaking of the back of the Khorne army by painting all of the Bloodletters. So today I have cracked on with Grand Master Voldus and now have him about 80% done.

What I am Reading

I have not read very much of late, I have picked up Ruinstorm by Grand Master Voldus, but haven’t made much progress.

But I have been listening to Path of Heaven which is a good book, I love Chris Wraights work and this book is no different.

What I am Playing

Most of my games were on the last day in Hull, but we are now going to start up a regular board games Sunday in which we do nowt but play games, and the first one is scheduled for the 12th November.

We started out with a game of Luchador Mexican Wrestling Dice, it was a tag team game with girls vs boys. Me and Paul were doing alright, but then everytime I got a chance to pin I kept rolling to showboat and ended up getting pinned myself!

Then we played a game of Ticket to Ride Europe, which is my favourite map, but Megan sat that one out as she didn’t feel her brain could handle it, anyway I had a rough game, Paul and Lindsay kept taking the routes I needed and it being a three player game made it very difficult, I was forced to use two stations which cost me the game in the end. But I love Ticket to Ride, it’s the perfect game for a Sunday.

Then we played Pandemic Legacy, our third game in the campaign and Megan’s anxiety was running really high, because it was a very tense game, but we had a great team picked and we managed quite well and kicked February’s arse!

But our next game will be harder as our funding has dropped to 2!

We then finished off the day with a game of Joking Hazard, which will probably condemn us all to hell for some of the cards we played, and followed that with a few games of Firefly Fluxx.

On the Tuesday at Durham Raiders I played Stuart in Warhammer 40,000 with my Word Bearers, we played with Open War Cards and drew the kill the courier mission. His force was all Chaos Terminators, Abaddon the Despoiler and a Knight, he made his Knight the courier and I made my Spartan mine.

It was a tough game, but I sacrificed a few things to take out Abaddon before being able to position everything to hit the Knight, and my Spartan, Xiphon and Deredeo made short work of it and won me the game.

Yesterday I played Aidan at Age of Sigmar, although he forgot we were playing and I was lucky that he had 2000pts worth of Stormcast Eternals in his boot so we could still play.

I haven’t played many games of Sigmar and I am learning more and more about my army, but still learning the rule.

Was my first time with Khorne Daemons, and I forgot the Murderhost special rule, but I did manage to chain quite a few things together to really put my Bloodletters to good use.

Need to concentrate on getting army painted because I don’t like playing with an unpainted army.

What I am Backing

I have pledged for Munchkin Starfinder, I love Munchkin, the Starfinder books are excellent, so this was a bit of a done deal for me. It’s only a short campaign but it’s kicking down stretch goals nicely and should be a decent set.

This week three Kickstaters arrived, first off I got my Wound Wangs, which are excellent and I have already used, very helpful and I hope the dudes behind it make them more widely available cause a few people have asked where they can get them.

Secondly and thirdly, and they both arrived at the same time, I got the two projects from Steve Jackson Games I backed, GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, which I backed to get the box, Companion book, GM Screen and the How to be a GURPS GM book. Very happy with this set, the writing is top notch and I really need to do some RPGs again soon.

And alongside that came Munchkin Shakespeare which is a very funny set, the jokes are good and they have put a lot of work into it. I know Munchkin isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I find it a fun game to play and I really like the art work and jokes. Anyway this will be getting distilled into my Monster Box this week.

What I am Cooking

I made Cowboy Beans, but if I am honest they were not all that great, mostly because I accidentally put the slow cooker on high instead of low, and I used a variation of the original recipe.

It also didn’t help that I made them on the night that we all got sick.

I did earlier in the week however, make some pulled chicken sandwiches, I boiled the chicken thighs in water witch cumin, and onion and two cloves of garlic along with a stock cube and it was really nice, I mixed with my Kansas City BBQ Sauce and it was beautiful.

I had meant to use the stock to make a soup, but, I didn’t feel up to it, so we ended up throwing it out, which was a shame as it was a good stock.

What I am Spending
Trying to spend as little as possible still, I bought a pot of Nuln Oil Gloss and a few Christmas presents.

I did somehow manage to acquire a squad of Hellblasters, but I can’t remember doing so, thus I think I had a memory lapse again.

I did buy some t-shirts from me and Graham for our visit to Blood and Glory in a couple of weeks, specifically t-shirts for our podcast, and I am really happy with how they turned out, and ma very grateful to Lindsay for helping us out with them.

OctoCon and Back Again and then Down to Hull

I had a lot of fun at OctoCon it was a brilliant event. I started Friday by waking up late and having to get breakfast elsewhere, I ended up having a Burger King. I then wandered around a bit and sound Games Workshop, where I bought a Lord of Plagues for my AoS Chaos army and an Intercessor Squad.

I then went down to the hotel where I waited for the con to start, I had enquirer about helping to set up, but my crippling social anxiety kicked in and I found myself stuck to the spot and too scared to go and speak to anyone to offer my services.

So I just hid in the toilet, but I was eventually able to come out where I had a cup of tea before I attended the opening ceremony.

That evening I attended a few panels, A Good War Story, which was about the pull of the war story and was really interesting, then there was one on psykers and psychics, which was fascinating as the Irish have a lot of supernatural stuff in their culture, such as the description of “the cure” by Dave Rudden.

And finally I attended a panel on the legalities and ethics of colonising Mars, which was quite deep, and considered a lot of points I would never have ever thought of.

Then I made my way back to the hostel and slept, and I managed to wake up on time for breakfast on Saturday, but it wasn’t worth it, as breakfast consisted of cornflakes, wheatabix or toast, not exactly what I would call a continental breakfast!

I ended up getting a breakfast roll from a shop near the hotel, but the lady serving had a really thick accent that was part Thai and part Irish, which I struggled to understand, and when I thought she was saying butter or margarine, was actually butter or mayo, so I had mayo in my bacon sandwich, which was different.

I then attended Civilisations in Decline which looked at why we are so fascinated by dystopian societies in fiction, and then there was a panel called Hero for our Times which looked at hero’s in fiction which reflect the times we live in and was a lot of fun.

Then I attended Who Guards the Galaxy which a panel in which Dan Abnett discussed his work on Guardians of the Galaxy and that was brilliant, a lot of insight into how he put the team together and made it work, and thus how we ended up with the movies on our screen.

After lunch was the Guest of Honour interview and it was really cool, Dan and Nik Vincent-Abnett are really nice people and they were able to get across what they do and how they work really well.

Afterwards they did a signing session and I was able to get both of their scribbles in my autograph book, I wish I had been brave enough to approach other people to add their scribbles, there were loads of cool people there like Diane Duane, Michael Carroll and Peter Morwood, but my shyness prevented me from just approaching them. I really need to get a handle on that, it’s really spoiling my life sometimes.

Then I attended a panel on space exploration called How Far We’ll Go, followed by a Kaffeklatsch on Rick and Morty which was a lot of fun, difficult because it was a small group and I couldn’t disappear into a crowd but it was cool. And then finally I attended a panel on horror in gaming called Plug into Fear, which was one of my favourites as it explored how game developers and scriptwriters get people scared in video games and that was really very informative.

I decided to then go home, I couldn’t handle the Monsters Ball, my anxiety was just too high and I was really struggling at that point, so I went home via a Persian kebab restaurant called Zaytoons which was really really good. I love Persian food and the saffron flavoured chicken shish kebab was to die for.

I then took a slow walk back to the hostel and the area was quite cool, I quickly realised with all the fancy bars and restaurants, it was Dublin’s answer to Shoreditch, and it was actually a ice atmosphere and there was some amazing street art.

Sunday morning I had a little lie in and then got my breakfast from the same place as Saturday, only this time making sure I got butter!

I then attended a panel called Deadlines will keep us together which was about how couples work together and was quite nice, the two couples, Dan Abnett and Nik Vincent-Abnett and Diane Duane and Peter Morwood had a lot of good stories about how couples collaborate on their work and how two voices can sometimes produce a much better piece of work.

After that it was another space exploration panel, followed by lunch and then a panel with Dan Abnett and Michael Carroll on writing for 2000AD which was brilliant, I mean two of the best comic writers together in one room was just mind blowing and I was brave enough to ask a question, which was about how the culture differs between British comic publishers and US comic publishers.

Then I did a panel on armour which was cool as they had some examples of armour which was made in the same way as it would have been made in the past, and a timeline of helmets which was really cool, and my final panel was Horror in Contrast which was all about the different psychological tricks that different media’s have to use to convey horror, and that was very enlightening.

After this there was a brief run though of future conventions, and then the closing ceremony.

There was after that a meeting of volunteers for Dublin 2019, but I kind of ducked out very quickly after Simone asked my name, my anxiety just took over, so I quickly escaped to the Persian restaurant and had another meal there before going to the hostel where I had an early night.

The next morning I was up early as I had an early bus, but I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare, despite all the Ireland fans travelling for the World Cup Qualifier in Cardiff.

I made sure I had a nice Irish snack for my flight back, which consisted of a pack of Taytos, a Cadbury’s Mint Crisp and a bottle of Club Rock Shandy.

When I got to Newcastle I was briefly questioned by the police, turns out saying your 95 on the plane whilst tapping the counting app worried the chap next to me!!!

Anyway I got the Metro to Heworth where Paul and Megan picked me up and Tom me home, and in the evening to celebrate my birthday we went out for a Smashburger.

Trip to Hull

This weekend we are off on our annual October getaway, we have rented a cottage just outside Hull with a hot tub and it’s been lovely.

On Friday we came down early so that we could visit The Deep, a place I have always fancied visiting, and it was amazing, I have never been to an aquarium before but it was amazing.

The tickets work like Beamish so we can use them again anytime in the next 12 months and I really think we will be, it was brilliant, and of course Lindsay loved the penguins.

When we go to the cottage we chilled out had Pizza and watch some Big Bang Theory, before relaxing in the hot tub.

On Saturday we took a quick run out to grab some dishwasher tablets and cream cakes, and then spent the day playing games and generally chilling.

Paul joined us in the evening for the rest of the weekend, we had som burgers and then went in the hot tub before relaxing in front of the TV and some classic Red Dwarf.

What I am Modelling

I haven’t lifted a paintbrush this week, but I did build a few things. I built 6 guys to add to an Intercessor Squad with Bolt Rifles to bulk them out to 10 men and I built another 4 Intercessor with Stalker Bolt Rifles to add to the Anniversary Sgt.

And I also built my Y’Vahra, which is a beautiful model, I know most people have one because it’s really powerful on the table, but I just really like the model.

I also put together a Firestorm Redoubt I picked up recently for the Heresy Weekender.

On Tuesday I plan to prime all the models I have built recently.

What I am Reading

I finished up The Emperor Expects which was a very good book and I am going to start reading Ruinstorm when I get home and can load it on my Kobo.

I also finished up the audiobook of Lorgar – Bearer of the Word, which was a very enjoyable book, very different to the other Primarch stories and was a really good listen, Gav Thorpe did a brilliant job building up the world of Colchis and really brought it to life.

What I am Playing

Being away on our annual relaxing trip, we have played quite a few games.

We have today played Unspeakable Words, which I surprisingly won, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past, in which I was the villain and I lost.

We then played three games of Math Fluxx using Plan C and I won two games and lost one, and finally a game of Love Letter: Batman which Megan won.

What I am Backing

Absolutely nowt this week!

What I am Cooking

I did get cook dirty rice this week, although I managed to add a lot more Cajun spice mix than I intended.

I am loving dirty rice, I have made it with lots of veg and it’s lovely, I do want to try it with mushrooms at some point.

What I am Spending

As I said earlier I bought the Lord of Plagues and Intercessor Squad in Dublin’s Games Workshop.

I want the ability to take my recording equipment places so I have invested in a bag to carry my mixer in and some spare XLR cables. I also bought a power cable for my headphone amplifier, I can’t justify buying another for the mobile setup, and pulling all the cables out when taking it on the road will be a huge pain in the arse.

But a second power adapter will allow me to simply unplug it and take it with me. That said the revised model of the amplifier I have is very nice looking, and I won’t lie, I was tempted by it!

  • Mood: Relaxed
  • Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: 7
  • In My Ears: A Little Respect by Erasure
  • Game Last Played: Love Letter: Batman
  • Book Last Read: The Emperor Expects by Gav Thorpe
  • Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Red Dwarf
  • Current State of Projects: Grand Master Voldus stalled!

Dublin, I am In You!!!

Today, which is also my birthday, we travelled to Dublin for OctoCon, the Irish National Sci-Fi Convention, and it’s been a fun trip so far.

I got to the airport nice and early and was though security quite quickly which left me with a long wait for my flight, and Newcastle Airport has changed a lot since I was last there, and it was so busy even for October.

Strangely Ryanair don’t give the gate number until 10 minutes before the gate closed, which meant getting to the gate once I knew which one it was, was a slight rush, but I got there and I am pleased I payed for priority boarding.

I then made my way to Dublin city centre where I headed straight for Bewleys on George Street for a cake and a cup of tea, once that was done I hit Dunnes and stocked up on some pop for the next couple of days, and grabbed some Bewleys Gold teabags to take back home.

I then got to the hostel, where there were a few issues finding my booking, which got us upgraded to a four person dorm instead of a twelve person dorm.

So I then spent the next few hours laying on the bed recovering from the pain of travelling and read my book for a bit before heading up to Pitt Bros, a BBQ smokehouse.

I will be honest I wasn’t all that impressed with it. It’s no Dirty Bottles, which is a rather excellent smokehouse in Alnwick, and probably the best independent restaurant I have ever visited.

The problem with the food here was that the meat was very bland, and to make up for the blandness you had sauce, but the sauce was just so sickly sweet it made my teeth tingle, it lacked any spice or fire, even the so called hot sauce barely registered any heat.

I guess part of my problem is that I am actually good at making that type of food, when I am capable of cooking, which is less often than I would like, I can Cooke a really good batch of pulled pork, and I don’t mind blowing my own trumpet, but mine is succulent and juicy, whilst this was bland and dry.

I don’t like leaving a restaurant and feeling like I could have made a better version of the meal at home.

Anyway, then it was back to the hostel, where I spent the night reading and just relaxing on the bed.

What I am Modelling

On Monday I had a big session of model building, starting with a few limited edition models I had acquired over the past few years.

I built the 2011 Forgeworld MKIII Boarding Marine, who is going to be a Praetor for my Breacher list.

Then I built three models for my Blood Ravens, the First was Captain Centos, which an American friend got for me, and it’s a very nice model, really shows how far Games Workshop resin has come on since the bad old days of the Finecast launch.

And a Terminator Librarian I got from a stores rebranding, and this is a beautiful model, much nicer than the standard resin version.

I also built a Primaris Librarian for the Blood Ravens and a Tau Sniper Drone Team.

And finally for the Blood Ravens the boring 30th Anniversary is Warhammer 40k Intercessor Sgt model, not sure how often I will use this, but I am a sucker for limited edition stuff. I might end up getting a Combat Squad box of Intercessors and use four of them to build a Stalker Bolter squad and the spare to build a Bolt Rifle guy with an Auxillary Grenade Launcher.

I then put together my MKII Ultramarines Volkite Charger Support Squad. It was during an episode of Edge of Empire that Graham convinced me that a squad equipped with Volkite Chargers would be just as viable as a squad with Calivers, and so I resolved to build one. I bought the Chargers on the way to EasterCon when we called into Warhammer World for breakfast and had intended to build the squad with MKIII armour, buying the shoulder pads as well, because I had plastic MKIII armour spare.

But since then, I decided I wanted a squad that would look really old school, as if they were from the earliest days of the great crusade when Tactical Squads were armed with Volkite Chargers as standard, and for that I wanted them to be in MKII armour. So that’s what I have built them wearing, and I have given them moulder shoulder pads and a MKII Command Upgrade Set Sgts head.

The squad looks really cool and I can’t wait to get them onto the painting table.

Before I headed off to Dublin, I finished up a couple of models for my Blood Ravens.

First up here is an Imperial Space Marine, originally released to celebrate 30 years of Space Marine models in 2016, this is an amazing model and I absolutely love it.

And here is the Primaris Space Marine Captain for store birthdays, armed with a Plasma Pistol and Power Fist. Painted up here for my Blood Ravens

Much better model than the standard Primaris Captain and full of so much character, loved painting this model and he will happily be hitting the table soon.

I have started putting my model photos through Photoshop Express on my phone to try and make them look better, I think it’s working, what do you guys think?

I did a dry brush on Grand Master Voldus but that’s as far as I got with him.

What I am Reading

Apart from today I have read very little this week, but I am still plodding my way through The Rmperor Expects by Gav Thorpe.

What I am Playing

I haven’t played anything this week at all, not even a game of Ticket to Ride on my phone.

What I am Backing

No projects this week, but Conspiracy Theory is tempting me, it looks good but $25 shipping is expensive.

What I am Cooking

Sadly I have not been capable of cooking this week, I couldn’t even reheat hot dogs, I hate my body sometimes.

What I am Spending

Well I bought myself the 30th Anniversary Space Marine model, I said I wouldn’t because it was so dull and boring, but the completionist in me won out.

I also bought a Red Lantern t-shirt, because they are my favourite Lantern Corps.

  • Mood: Excited
  • Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: 3
  • In My Ears: Something Kinda Ooooh by Girls Aloud
  • Game Last Played: Unspeakable Words Deluxe
  • Book Last Read: The Emperor Expects by Gav Thorpe
  • Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Bones
  • Current State of Projects: Grand Master Voldus, deybrushed

A Feast, Little Bit Sick and Looking Forward to OctoCon.

I have been a little sick this weekend, everything I have eaten, I have thrown up, which is never a good thing, but I am feeling on the mend now.

On Friday me and Megan attended our first Nineteen Day Feast in a few years, and it was nice to be around fellow Bahá’ís again after so long. We said some wonderful prayers and then chatted together and it was lovely. I won’t leave it so long next time.

On Thursday I fly out to Dublin for OctoCon and I am really looking forward to it, I have downloaded the event program and have picked out what I want to attend and it’s should be really cool.

Trying to give myself a wide range of panels ranging from hard science to horror to comics, with a couple of kaffeeklatschs as well.
And as usual when I am at a con I will do my best to keep people updated as to how it’s going.

I worry about my pain levels whilst there, and I obviously hope my brain doesn’t melt and I have a forgetful day, but all I can do is hope, because there are no guarantees with my health.

What I am Modelling

I took my time with these but I finished up my third Breacher Squad, and they are equipped with two Graviton Guns, a Vexilla and Nuncio-Vox.

This means I have all of the troops for my breacher list done, now I just need to dig out the 2011 Event Only Boarding Marine I have somewhere in the studio that I intend to use as my Praetor for the list and that’s all the infantry done. I also have to finish up the transports, I have two Land Raider Proteus for them, one which is built and primed, the other was in its packet until Sunday and is now built and waiting to be primed.

I also painted up the Legion Moritat, which is armed with a Volkite Serpenta and a Plasma Pistol. Sadly in a couple of places the primer went on a little thick which lost a little detail, so that’s bad, but it’s a great model and I loved painting him, now I just want another five destroyers to add to the five I already have, who can then accompany him.

I have now started work on three individual models, the first two being the Store Anniversary Primaris Captain with Plasma Pistol and Power Fist, and the Imperial Space Marine from last year, both of whom are joining my Blood Ravens.

And the third is Grand Master Voldus from the Triumvirate of the Primarch set. Now I don’t have a Grey Knights army, but, I am considering getting a small force of them to accompany my Millitarium Tempestus force, and that depends on how I find painting this model.

Anyway those three models have had their first colour put on and have had a wash, which is now drying.

What I am Reading

I finished listening to The Crimson King by Graham McNeil, which has helped solidify the story in my mind, I struggled to read it because my head was in a lot of pain when I was trying to do so.

I have been reading through The Emperor Expects by Gav Thrope and so far I am really enjoying it, best book in The Beast Arises series so far. I am really enjoying the politics and infighting amongst the Imperium, there had been relatively little action in the book, but that’s not exactly a bad thing.

What I am Playing

We managed to play a game of Unspeakable Words Deluxe, I came last, but it was fun. I tried to stick to low scoring words to try and slowly build up points, but somehow I kept rolling too low, and very quickly was down to a single sanity pawn.
I am not usually a big fan of word games, but I really enjoyed this one and can’t wait to play it again.

What I am Backing

I am not currently backing anything, but I did back The Networks: Executives where I backed for the base game, On The Air and the Executives expansion.

I have been after the game for a while, ever since I missed out on it at the UK Games Expo in 2016, but every time it’s available I have no money, and when I have money, it’s out of print.

What I am Cooking

I haven’t been up to cooking this week, so it’s been quite a while now since I last cooked and next time I am due to cook I am away in Dublin, so will figure out what to cook when I get back.

What I am Spending

This week I managed to acquire the Triumvirate of the Imperium, most for Cawl to add to my Adeptus Mechanicum army, especially as I do run a Mars army. Greyfax will serve my Inquisition nicely, but I am not sure about Saint Celestine. Guess I will wait and see if we ever get new Sisters of Battle.

I also picked up the Open War Cards for Age of Sigmar, I meant to pick them up when I got the Generals Handbook but my budget was too tight at the time.

I bought Lorgar: Bearer of the Word by Gav Thorpe as an audiobook and as an ePub. Normally I don’t mention my book purchases here, but I have been looking forward to this book so much it seemed only right to mention it.

Sorry For The Long Absence  

It’s been a few weeks since my last post, I have been having a lot of issues with my sleep and sorting out a few real life problems that I have been having.
To help with the sleep issues, the hospital carried out a sleep study and now I have a CPAP machine to sleep with, which is actually helping me sleep a lot better, still doesn’t solve the fatigue or brain fog but sleep is a lot more refreshing.

And I am just trying to enjoy stuff as much as I can, I have a task ahead of me for the next week and I really need to crack in with it.

A lot of time has been taken up with Company of a Legends, and I am now organising a second one for later in the year as the March on sold out in four hours!

What I am Modelling

Since my last update I have painted a few things.

I started off by finishing my Tau XV8 Crisis Suit Squad, all of whom are armed with Burst Cannons and they have 6 Marker Drones to accompany them.

I started these last year and have only just got round to finishing them, I also discover that the waists are the wrong way round, doh!

The paint job isn’t the best but it’s my first Tau models.

I then painted up a TX4 Piranha for the Tau and I am a lot more happy with this, although the some of the transfers stick out quite a bit, which is rather annoying, but over all I am quite happy with how this turned out.

The I turned my attention to the first complete Forgeworld model I ever bought, prior to this I have bought a few bits here and there and a couple of transfer sheets, but this was the first model, the Titan Tech-Priest.

And he was a great model to paint, loved ever moment of painting him, and I am really happy at how he turned out.

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This is the very first model I bought from Forgeworld many years ago, when I was first thinking of doing an Imperial Guard army, the Titan Tech Priest. I have done a quick and dirty paint job on him at long last, I only built him this year, and he is ready to rock and roll both as a Tech-Priest Enginseer for my Adeptus Mechanicum in 40k and as Magos Reductor Calleb Decima for my Ordo Reductor army for 30k, that I will one day finish. #PaintingForgeworld #PaintingGamesWorkshop #PaintingWarhammer #AdeptusMechanicum #AdMech #Warhammer40k #Warhammer40000 #TheHorusHeresy #HorusHeresy #Warhammer30k #Warhammer30000 #Mechanicum #OrdoReductor #Mars #PriestsofMars #TitanTechPriest #TechPriest #Enginseer #TechPriestEnginseer #CallebDecima #Magos #MagosReductorCallebDecima #FullyPaintedIsForClosers

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He will serve a couple of purposes, in 30K he will be Magos Reductor Calleb Decima when I eventually get round to finishing my Ordo Reductor army and in 40k he will be a Tech-Priest Enginseer, which is a much more important unit now that it’s a HQ.

I then went back to my Space Wolves and built and painted a Leviathan Siege Dreadnought, armed with a Cyclonic Melta Lane and a Leviathan Siege Drill.

I love painting Leviathans, they are full of so much character, I think I am gonna have to get another one for my Word Bearers, because I love them that much.

This one was very cool to paint, and it really does fit the look and feel of the Space Wolves.

I also finally got round to printing a large number of models, because I had a lot to do, including the rest of my Primaris Marines for the Blood Ravens and the Breachers for my Ultramarines. And speaking of the Breachers, they are on my table in the middle of being painted right now.

What I am Reading

I finally finished the Crimson King, and it was really good, but because I took so long reading it, a few things got lost for me, ruddy brain damage, so I am now listening to it as an audiobook.

I also managed to get through Predator, Prey the second book in the Beast Arises series, and a couple of short stories as well.

On the audiobook front, I got through Angels of Caliban, which was very enjoyable, and I also listened to a few short stories set around that book, and as I said before I have now moved onto The Crimson King as an audiobook.

What I am Playing

I still haven’t played all that much, which is depressing me quite a bit, but I did get in a nice long game of Firefly which I always enjoy.

I came second in the end, which is unusual for me because I normally finish well behind.

I did play a game of Age of Sigmar tonight, a three way game with my Khorne Bloodbound and I lost predicable. Once the herd started to thin the list fell apart.

But it was fun, and made me realise I need more Blood Warriors!

What I am Backing

I have only backed one project in the past few weeks and that was Unstable Unicorns, I know it’s a simplistic game and there isn’t a huge amount of strategy going on there, but it looked a lot of fun, and I am a sucker for anything like that.

We did get one Kickstarter project in the post, Unspeakable Words Deluxe, which is 2 years and 1 month late, and it’s a full year after they fulfilled pledges to the US.

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It’s two years late but it eventually got here. Unspeakable Words, Unspeakable Words Deluxe, Pairs and the promo stuff. Glad to say that my involvement with Playroom Entertainment and Ultra Pro is over with, this was the worst Kickstarter I have ever been involved with, continual lies and delays on their part. The designers made a great game and I will not let my experience of dealing with the publisher stain my opinion of them. But the stuff itself is ok, the Deluxe Edition box is way way too big for the game, stupidly big in fact. And annoyingly they have changed the size of cards, so the Unspeakable Letter promo card I got a few years ago no longer works with the game. Also must say that I don’t like that for the promo cards included in the original version of the game should have been done in the original style, they got him to illustrate the Exploding Kitithulu card, so not sure why he didn’t do the others. I do love the artwork by @muskrat_john, I love his Cthulhu stuff. #Kickstarter #UnspeakableWords #UnspeakableWordsDeluxe #Pairs #PairsShallowOnes #ShallowOnesDeck #Playroom #PlayroomEntertainment #UltraPro #PairsShallowOnesDeck

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Anyway the game itself is good, the designers did a great job, but the campaign was awful, full of lies and misleading updates, and it simply took way too long to print a deck of cards and make up some pawns which had been made before so the moulds already existed.

But it’s here now, and I am not going to buy anymore games from Playroom Entertainment or UltraPro again as I felt they really let backers down with the way they handled the campaign and it’s fulfilment.

What I am Cooking

I have managed to cook twice in the past few weeks.

The first meal I cooked was Dirty Rice which is a Cajun dish, and it was delicious. I used a couple of recipes to put it together, but I put in extra vegetables to make it healthier, and I think it worked.

I would have liked to have put a touch more spice in, but Megan thinks it was just right.

I also made a Nigerian Jollof which was quite adventurous for me as it involved a cooking method I had never used before which was the right steaming of the dish, and an ingredient I had never used before, Okra. It also led me to surprising Megan as she didn’t realise the Kenwood Chef had a blender, which I used to prepare the ginger, chilli (birds eye not scotch bonnet, for some reason Tesco didn’t sell them) and tomatoe base.

Just like the Dirty Rice, I feel like this could have been a touch spicer, but the girls liked it as it was.

What I am Spending

I have spent a lot more than I planned to, me and some pals went in together on a Forgeworld order and I got a little bit of a list.

I have never had MK2 Armour before and I am looking forward to painting them up, so as soon as the order arrives I will be building the Volkite Charger Support Squad.

From Games Workshop over the past few weeks I have also bought a few things, I picked up a set of Tau Sniper Drones, Datacards for the Death Guard and their dice too, Datacards for the Adeptus Mechanicus, and I caved and bought Blightwar which I will use to add to the small Stormcast Eternals force I have and to the Death Guard army from Dark Imperium, I also got a Herald of Nurgle as well.

To strip some old models I also picked up a pot of Biostrip 20, which I am told is the best stripper for models.

And I grabbed a new t-shirt as well, a Red Lantern one, because that’s my favourite group of Lanterns.

Oh and finally a few Christmas presents may have been bought!

Armies on Parade – What Army

Last year I entered Armies on Parade with my Heresy Ultramarines, the first time I had entered since I frequented the Ipswich Games Workshop as a teenager.

This year I am torn on what to do, so I enter in an existing army, which would be my Word Bearers and use the Mastodon as a centre piece model, or do I enter an army I am currently working on, be that my Khorne army for Age of Sigmar, or my Tau for 40k?

It’s been a while since I have myself a deadline for a project so this could help motivate me, and I have been kind of suffering from a touch of ADHD when it comes to projects of late, so a new army could help focus me.

I just don’t know, i think what I am going to do is paint up a Tau and a Khorne troop choice and see how painting them goes and if it is at all feasible to paint a list up in the timeframe.

What I am Modelling

I finished off the Space Wolves characters, it was nice to return to the Space Wolves after so long.

Ragnar Blackmane is quite a nice model, very old school and had lots of interesting features on him.

I had considered putting him on a 40mm base originally, just like Krom Dragongaze, my friend Scott has done that same thing, and I was tempted, but I think in the end he suited a 32mm base just like other Power Armoured characters.

Njal Stormcaller was also a fun little model to do, again very old school and full of character, ok the pose is a bit pants, but it’s a model of its time. The backpack provided was a standard MKVII one, so I ended up getting the Space Wolf Upgrade Frame, specifically for the backpack so I could put it on him, but I ended up swapping that backpack with the one from Ragnar.

Like Ragnar, Njal was also mounted on a 32mm base, and they both look much better for it, I hate it when models overhang the base in the way Ragnar and Njal do on 25mm bases.

You can see from both of these models, features that appear on more modern day Space Wolves models, and a bit of the crazy heavy metal influences from 30 years ago.

Both of these models were metal, a material I am never overly fond of working with, but they do feel very substantial when you hold them.

Geigor Fell-Hand was a more recent model, the most recent character for the Space Wolves, although one confined to the Heresy, in 40k I will be using him as either a Wolf Lord, or Wolf Guard Battle Leader.

He is my first dedicated 30k model for my Space Wolves and I am rather happy with him. I decided to keep the 40k colour scheme because it means I can pinch equipment from my 40k army to use in 30k, specifically my Drop Pods.

Also when I spoke to Neil Roberts a few years ago at Warhammer Fest, he said that he draws the Space Wolves wearing a dirty version of the blue armour and assumed that 40k Wolves were simply better at keeping their armour clean, I know it’s not true now, but I like that and that is the excuse I am using. Plus I really like baby blue in Wolves!

I also decided to solve the issue of my photos, I replaced the lightbulbs I have been using for lighting, which were just bulbs I got from the Co-Op, with daylight bulbs from Wilkinsons, and this is the difference between the photos now, so going forward, the pictures of my models should look much better.

I then returned to a project I abandoned a while ago, my Tau. I built a 1000 point list for 7th Edition using the formations from the Start Collecting Box and Burning Dawn, adding in a Devilfish. I then built the models, and began painting the Crisis Suits, but put them aside for something else after I got the main colour of the armour done.

The list still works and is roughly 1000 points in 8th Edition, and I decided to give myself a change from Power Armour and finish off the Crisis Suits. I quickly figured that I should have done them slightly differently, doing the black bits of the armour first than the ochre parts, but I followed the Games Workshop painting guide, which I now regret doing.

I have the Crisis Suits now finished and I am currently working on their drones, which in this case happens to be six Marker Drones, the Shas’vre is equipped with a Drone Controller so figured giving that the unit would benefit best from Marker Drones to try and get those Markerlights hit for other units to use.

I did a little bit of building, I put together a Terminator Captain I got a while back, five more Breachers for my Ultramarines, a Primaris Birthday Captain, Darkstrider and a Barracuda. My box of stuff that needs undercoating is growing, think that’s something I will do once I pick up the Inceptors I bought this week.

What I am Reading

Not much, again the pain has been very very distracting, but I am going to make an active effort to finish The Crimson King.

What I am Playing

Another week in which apart from games on my phone, I haven’t played anything which has made me really sad.

What I am Backing

Not backing anything this week, there are a few projects that interest me, but I am not actively backing them at the moment, but I have asked Kickstarter to remind me about them.

What I am Cooking

This week I started off by making some Kansas City BBQ sauce, it’s a beautiful recipe with a spice tang that hits you a little after you eat it. It’s a sweet treacle and tomato based sauce and I love it an awful lot.

I got the recipe from a chap who was manning the bid table for the Kansas City WorldCon bid at LonCon3, in exchange for my vote. Was well worth it as the sauce is delicious and works really well with so much stuff.

I made a big batch of it, and left it a little less thick than usual, I wanted it to be good for pouring. I have tended to make it quite thick, but this has proved problematic when trying to get it out of the jar, so keeping it a bit more runny will be easier all round.

The reason I made it was specifically so that I could make some Pulled Pork and Pit Beans, and for the Pulled Pork I decided to do it a bit differently to try and improve it. In the past I have just slow cooked it in stock, but this time I decided to slow cook it with onions and garlic in Newcastle Brown Ale, and I left that for 8 hours to cook away.

I then took it out and poured away the brown ale and onions, and pulled the pork apart using some forks. I then put the pork back in the slow cooker and covered it with the BBQ sauce and added a tablespoon of Liquid Smoke.

At this point Megan was very pessimistic about it, she hates things that taste too smokey and I hoped that only a small amount of liquid smoke wouldn’t put her off.

Meanwhile I prepared the side dish, some BBQ Pit Beans, for which I had roasted a bit of brisket earlier on the week. In the beans there was a red pepper, onion garlic, Kansas City BBQ Rub, smoked paprika, treacle, brown sugar, four tins of beans, some of my BBQ sauce and some of the crispiest bacon I have ever cooked.

So that ended up in the over for 90 minutes at a low temperature after having simmered for 20 minutes. Megan was very worried that they would be too spicy, but she actually liked them, but she thinks that next time they are made as an accompaniment to Pulled Pork which is already a bit spicy, I should tone down the spice a bit.

After two hours the pork was done and Megan tried it, and hated it, the smokey flavour was just too much for her, so she had the emergency pizza we keep in for when I make food she won’t eat.

But me and Lindsay loved it, the smokey flavour really added something to it in my opinion. We served it up with Scotch Rolls and Coleslaw, and it was divine.

Lindsay gave it overall a 8.5 out of 10, she wanted the spice in the Pit Beans reduced, Megan gave the Pit Beans an 8 and expressed the same sentiment as Lindsay regarding the spice.

Next week I am going to try making Dirty Rice, a Cajun dish, which is one reason for me making the Cajun Spice Mix last week.

What I am Spending

The first thing I bought was a pair of special bear claw forks for pulling meat. Pulled Pork is kind of a signature dish for me, and being in so much pain I struggle to pull the meat, so I got the forks specifically to make it easier on me.

Not having physical books has been a bit of an issue for me lately, I have meet authors that I love and missed out on them signing stuff for me, so I decided to pick up an autograph book to try and solve that problem.

I made a Forgeworld purchase, bought myself some Breachers to fill out the second squad, as well as a Command Upgrade Set and some Ultramarine MKIII Shoulder Pads for them, and I also bought a Barracuda for my Tau as well.

And to help out with the Tau, I bought Darkstrider for them as well, got that delivered to the Metrocentre store, where fantastically, I was able to pick up the 9 Birthday Primaris Captains that I bought for the guys last week, just gotta get those in the post now.

And to round out a week of buying stuff I finally got my Inceptors from Battle Bunker for my Blood Ravens to round out the 2000pt list of Primaris Marines.

  • Mood: Downbeat (Lindsay has been ill)
  • Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: 1
  • In My Ears: All My Life – The Foo Fighters
  • Game Last Played: Carcassonne on iOS
  • Book Last Read: The Crimson King by Graham McNeil
  • Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Live at the Apollo
  • Current State of Projects: Armour on the Marker Drones at highlighting stage

Starting a Recipe Book and a Trip to Hartside

​I started a recipe book this week, well a notebook in which I am going to keep the recipes I like cooking.

My nana had one, and she swore by it, and I guess it’s time for me to follow suit, plus it will help with the drive to cook more.

So far it has in it, the recipe I got for Kansas City BBQ sauce from LonCon 3, my Sloppy Joes recipe, my Kansas City, Rub recipe, that I also got from LonCon 3, my nanas cornflake flapjacks, Cajun Spice Mix and my Italian Winter Soup.

As I try things out, I am going to experiment to find the way I like to cook meals, and then add those recipes to the book.

Trip to Hartside

On Bank Holiday Monday, myself, Megan, Lindsay and Paul took a drive up to the Hartside Top Cafe, a place I used to ride to while I had a motorbike. I love it up there, the roads are brilliant, which Lindsay loved and the views are spectacular, and the cafe isn’t bad either.

I had a corned beef and potato pie with chips and beans followed by a broken biscuit cake and its just as good as remember, they have even improved the tea!

On the way back we stopped at the South Tynedale Railway so Paul could buy a book and then we drove back home via Weardale. We then finished the day off by having our tea at Pizza Express in the Metrocentre.

What I am Modelling

I finished up the Inceptors, I am not 100% happy with them, not sure what it is but I just had a bad time painting them, but none the less they are finished and added to my Blood Ravens.

I then started on the Caestus Assault Ram which has been sitting half finished for a long time. I bought it two years ago second hand and a year later I blocked out the main blue, and six months ago I finished off the hull colour.

My Ultramarines need some attention so I figured I would get this done, and it will form part of a Breachers list.

But it didn’t take me long to finish the Assault Ram and I had it done in a day, although it does once again show that I am awful at painting whites!

With that out of the way I decided to paint up some characters for my Space Wolves, specifically a metal Ragnar Blackmane, metal Njal Stormcaller in Power Armour and Geigor Fell-Hand from the Burning of Prospero set, who will also be the first dedicated model for my Heresy Wolves.

What I am Reading

I have been slowly listening to Pharos and am about halfway through it.

Still struggling with written books, the pain makes it hard to concentrate, but I did make myself read a chapter of the Crimson King this week.

What I am Playing

I haven’t been able to play any games this week apart from Ticket to Ride on my iPhone, must try harder this week.

What I am Backing

The Warehouse 13 Board Game has got me interested, but Megan is the big fan in this house so I want her opinion on it before backing it.

Unspeakable Words Deluxe was delivered to GamesQuest, so here is hoping that they fulfil it sooner rather than later.

What I am Cooking

On Wednesday I mixed up a couple of spice mixtures, the first was a jar of Kansas City BBQ Rub, which uses brown sugar as a base, so when cooking with it, you need a low temperature. And I also made a Cajun Spice mix, which uses paprika and salt as a base, little worried about the amount of salt I used but we shall see how it tastes.

This week I cooked a teriyaki beef meatloaf, it was a super simple recipe and I wasn’t all that excited about making it.

Because my hands were feeling quite weak Megan mixed and shaped the meatloaf. I used Mr Yoshidas Wing and Rib Sauce for the teriyaki flavour, I thought we had the Original Gourmet Sauce, but we didn’t so I hope this was okay to use instead.
It was served up with mashed potatoes, carrots and broccoli, and it was ok, not a dish that will set the world on fire, but it was nice.

Lindsay and Megan really liked it, it was Megan’s first ever meatloaf and she then asked her mum why she had never been fed meatloaf growing up, turns out her mum isn’t a fan of meatloaf.

Although I wasn’t sure about it, the girls have convinced me to add the recipe to my book.

Next week will be a big week and very challenging, I am going to make Pulled Pork and BBQ Pit Beans, which means I need to make up my Kansas City BBQ sauce as well.

What I am Spending

It was the Metrocentre Games Workshops birthday on Saturday so I popped along and bought myself the Birthday Primaris Captain with a Power Fist and Plasma Pistol. I also picked up the captains for a few other folk as well who couldn’t make it to the store.

But I don’t get to pick it up until the 9th September, they are making them to order.

Whilst I was there I also bought a Bloodmaster, Herald of Khorne for my AoS Khorne army. This means I can now run the Murderhost alongside my Gore Pilgrims. I also got the Generals Handbook 2017 for the new points. And top make the purchase up to £200, which bagged me two bags of goodies, I got the Ironjawz Warscroll Cards for Megan and the Eavy Metal dice.

Mood: Tired
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: 4
In My Ears: Paint It, Black by The Rolling Stones
Game Last Played: Warhammer 40,000
Book Last Read: The Crimson King by Graham McNeil
Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: Big Bang Theory
Current State of Projects: Space Wolves Characters 50% Done

Heresy Weekender Planning

I started putting the first touches to the Heresy Weekender this week, the first thing I addressed was the biggest complaints, which were poor coffee and unpainted armies.

For the coffee we will be taking along a Tassimo machine and be offering people Costa coffee from that, it does mean we will have to charge for those, 50p for an Americano and £1 for a Latte. I don’t drink coffee so I hope this will suffice, and of course we will still be offering instant coffee for free as well, because I want to give people the option. And the instant coffee and tea will still come from Ringtons, so it has a North East favour to it.

And for painting we have introduced a 3 colour and based minimum painting standard, I understand that some people felt their immersion was spoiled by unpainted armies being on the table and I totally get that.

We didn’t want to put off players, because people do have different demands on their time, whilst for me, I have all the time in the world to paint, I know people who are teachers working 80 hours weeks, and have kids, so finding time to paint for them is a struggle.

But the people who came spoke, and the majority wanted painted armies, and they are after all, the people we put the event on for.

We also looked at the points levels, for the past two years we have done 3500 points, but this year we have decided to drop it down to 3000 points. Gregg of The Imperial Truth runs his events at 3000 points and they work really well, it still allows people to bring the nice big toys, but will help us with timekeeping. Oh and we have abandoned the sideboards in favour of a much simpler thing, just allowing people to bring two different lists.

Not sure if we are doing doubles again, this is fun, but it did take a long time and some people didn’t have as much fun for various reasons, we still need to discuss this however, because doubles can be a lot of fun. It’s something up for discussion anyway.

At Raid on Angstrom XI Graham trailed a possible way to run the campaign, based on the Shadow Wars system. The biggest issue we had this year was that sorting out the results and the narrative outcome took a long time, and having set missions let people slip into tournament mode a little, so hopefully this will work and resolve the issue. If that doesn’t work we do have a plan, but it will take a lot more work, as we will be basing it on a tree campaign system.

We also want to introduce some more environmental effects to give the tables a bit of personality, still figuring out ways of doing this, but I think we can manage something, I have seen a few good ideas in the Warhammer 40k Open War Cards.

I am also sending off Megan’s mum to a local butcher, Bolams in Sedgefield to see what price we can get for the meat we need, they sell meat sources from local County Durham farms and we are after all trying to give the event as much of a local flavour as possible. We are charging a bit more this year, so we may as well see what we can to put some of that into the food and improve its quality.

Some of the extra money is going to be used to hire tables, so we can have a uniform flatness to the table without a ridge interfering with the mats, and also allowing us somewhere to eat. The venue has less tables than they did last year so it’s now at the point where we need to hire them, plus it looks a lot better and a bit more professional.

It’s still six months to go, but the sooner I get the organisation dealt with the easier it will be in the long run, this includes a few under the hood changes to the Edge of Empire website which will allow us to sell the tickets and take your money.

This week I need to get sorted with working out the final budget and seeing what we can do to make it an amazing weekend for people.

Oh and tickets go on sale on the 11th September.

What I am Modelling

I have built some Ad-Mech stuff this week, I spent my Saturday night building a pair of Kastelan Robots and their Cybernetica Datasmith, all of which were rather decent models to build, so far I have enjoyed building each of the Ad-Mech kits, and I have built one of them all now.

I also built a Tech-Priest Domius which I bought this week as well.

I have done some painting on the Inceptors and they are now about 80% done, my painting mojo has been quite suppressed this past week.

What I am Reading

I finished listening to Sons of the Forge and yeah, the second half was just as muddled and bad as I remember when I read it.

The biggest issue it had is that it’s simply got too many characters for such a short story, too many threads that don’t get fully explored properly, and there are too many cliched tropes in play.

Really a quite poor book, and it solidified my opinion that Nick Kyme is not one of Black Library’s better authors.

I then listened to the Eagles Talon, a book I really enjoy, the whole Imperial Fists undercover and sneaking round a ship I find quite cool, when I first listened to it, I was still deciding on what Legion to build, and this almost made me go with a Recin Squad based Fists army, but I hate painting yellow!

I also finally got round to listening to The Heary of the Pharos, which was originally published as The Dark Between the Stars, but was hastily retitled because they forgot to check the title wasn’t already in use.

I am not a big fan of Laurie Goldings writings to be honest, but this was pretty good, it being set in catacombs underneath the Pharos meant that they were able to do great things with the sound effects in order to create an atmospheric audio drama.

The story fills in a lot of holes about the run up to Pharos and really should have been released prior to that, but I suspect it may have been a victim of the poor organisation that was going on at Black Library during the period in which Pharos was published. Plus it kinda links in with the Scythes of the Emperor stories that were written by Golding as well, which are set 10,000 years later.

My only complaint is that Dantioch didn’t sound right, if anything he sounded, healthy and we know that he is not a healthy man.

I have now started listening to Pharos itself, and I do enjoy that story.

What I am Playing

This week I played in the Raid on Angstrom event that Graham organised, and it was a lot of fun, very well organised and really cool. I took my Word Bearers and played with Lorgar for the first time, using a Primarchs Chosen army.

My first game was against Steve’s Primarchs Chosen army of Raven Guard with Corax. It did not go well for me, I was wiped out pretty quickly, my Gal Vorbak deep struck only to be shot to death very quickly. Lorgar did smash some face and took out an entire Terminator Squad himself, only to be shot to death by two Plasma Predators, and in general in went very badly for me. But the game was an awful lot of fun, despite it being very one sided.

My second game was much the same, but against the Iron Hands, the mission requires I deploy everything on the board and could only hold in reserve units like fliers and Drop Pods, so my Gal Vorbak has to footslog across the board.

Was a very tough game and my Xiphon just refused to come into the game, my Spartan was killed very early by a mixture of a Drop Pod Leviathan and Laser Destroyer Rapiers.

The rest of my army suffered at the hands of a squad of 10 Volkite Culverin Heavy Support Marines and three Quad Mortar Rapiers.

In my last game it was a complete reversal, we played Suicide Mission and I had to stop Johns Raven Guard getting into my deployment zone.

My army did really really well, my Volkite Contemtor wiped out a squad in the first turn and I did a lot of damage to a Mor Deythan Squad.

John just kept rolling 1s and 2s, I felt really bad for the guy, whilst I couldn’t do any wrong, my Gal Vorbak came on and smashed face, Lorgar wiped out a unit of Attack Bikes by himself and then he and his squad of Terminators ate through two Contemptors.

In the whole game I lost a single Terminator, a Single Gal Vorbak, my Chaplain, a Rhino and two Tactical Veterans! I like winning, but I don’t like winning like that.

In the end the Traitors managed to edge a win in the campaign and I think both me and Graham were very happy with how it played out. Given us lots of ideas for the Weekender.

What I am Backing

A project that has had me keep looking at it again and again is Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, a special double issue of Uncanny Magazine featuring stories, poems, essays and art by creators who are disabled. Disability and sci-fi is something that interests me a lot so this is right up my street.

They have some great creators on board and I am looking forward to the production of this awesome issue.

Ogrezine still has a day left to run and has smashed right through all of its stretch goals.

What I am Cooking

This week I cooked a Tex-Mex inspired chilli, I made this mostly to the specifications of the Chili Appreciation Society International which means it was a chilli without beans or tomatoes, I did break the rules slightly and put in a couple of onions but I think it needed it.

The chilli was made with chunks of beef as opposed to mince, and the spice was cumin, oregano, paprika and dried red chillies in a Mexican larger sauce with some dark chocolate.

Megan was very unsure about it as I prepared it and put it in the slow cooker, and she said it was a larger chocolate spice abomination.

To accompany the chilli I made some cornbread, last time I made this I made it in a frying pan which then went straight into the oven, but I no longer own a frying pan that can go into the oven, so I made them as smaller muffin style cakes.

To make cornbread meant getting some corn meal, which is not a normal ingredient in British supermarkets, you can use polenta as a supbsitute, but most supermarkets only sell polenta as a ready made solid block. Thankfully the Tesco Extra in Gateshead has a good selection of Asian ingredients and I was able to get a nice big bag from there.

The cornbread was made with some onion, green chillies and cheese in it, and went down fairly well, both Lindsay and Megan enjoyed it.

The chilli on the other hand was a different story, it was far too spicy, so next time I will use less dried red chillies, and Megan found that it had too much larger in it, so when I make it again, it will be made with half as much larger and the rest will be made up of beef stock.

Next week my meal has to be a bit cheaper so I am thinking of making a teriyaki meatloaf.

What I am Spending

Trying not to spend again this week, but I did but a cheap Adeptus Mechanicus Tech-Priest Dominus, I have up until now been using the Forge World Magos Dominus, but I really like the look of the Games Workshop model and was able to pick it up off eBay quite cheaply from a seller who was breaking up some Start Collecting boxes.

Must get round to finishing off my Ad Mech at some point.

I also finally bought the new Paranoia adventure, Troubles by the Boxload, I have been reading through the books of the new edition, I plan to run some games of this at some point in the near future with Lindsay and Megan.

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