This Weeks Gaming Stream

So with me doing regular Twitch streams, I figure that it might be good to put together my gaming streams into a weekly blog post.

So here is his weeks

Tuesday – The Witcher III – Wild Hunt (XB1)

Thursday – BioShock (NSW)


Streaming Schedule Finalised

So this week I finally sat down with Lindsay and Megan and worked out my schedule.

I need a schedule to try and get myself back on track personally and give me some structure.

I am using streaming as something to do, to keep me motivated and on track.

So here is my schedule for Monday to Friday

Monday

  • 2000 – 0000 – Minis Painting

Tuesday

  • 1100 – 1300 – The Witcher III on Xbox
  • 1400 – 1600 – The Witcher III on Xbox

Wednesday

  • 1400 – 1600 – Minis Painting

Thursday

  • 2000 – 0000 – Minis Painting

Friday

  • 1100 – 1300 – BioShock: The Collection on Switch
  • 1400 – 1600 – BioShock: The Collection on Switch

Weekends are being left free to do stuff, I may do ad hoc stuff but nowt scheduled in.

I started tonight with my first stream, which you can see below.

New CPAP Machine

This week the NHS sleep clinic gave me an upgraded CPAP machine, following Covid they figured they need to keep a closer eye on my sleep apnoea.

The new machine is a ResMed Airsense 10 Elite, which is a lot smaller than my old machine and a lot fancier.

For one, it’s got a built in 4G modem so it uploads my sleep data each night direct to the sleep clinic, so if I don’t use it, I get a telling off.

It’s also got a built in humidifier which really contributes to the smaller footprint and allows you to actually control it. So I have been able to set the level to humidity to one I am very comfortable with.

Overall it’s a very compact machine and is far less complicated to set up and use than my old one.

And obviously very glad that we have the NHS because if I had to buy this privately, well, it costs more than my PC!!!

PC Cleanup & Graphics Card Dilema

I took a bit of time to tidy up the PC interior and fit the Wi-Fi antennas.

I rerouted the cables for the CPU cooler to go behind the motherboard and just about was able to get them into the headers, but the fan cable required an extension cable.

I also removed a 2TB HDD which wasn’t working, and did a general tidy up of the wires.

The target for saving for a graphics card is currently £200, but I may end up bumping that up to £250.

I am currently thinking a GTX 1660 Super is about what I want, but with the unveiling of Big Navi later this month, it may result in price drops to the RTX 2060 and the 5600 XT to be in my budget.

The headline is, I do not really need to go to anything beyond 1080p. It would be nice to eventually get a 1440p monitor, but that’s a long way off.

So the question is, do I stick to my guns and hope the GTX 1660 Super also benefits from some price drops, or do I perhaps go bigger and try and grab a better card to future proof and make 1440p gaming a possibility.

Either way I am not going to be making a decision until I have hit the £200 in savings and the Big Navi reveal.

All things being equal, I hope to have about £175 by early November so it’s likely I could be able to make a purchase in the Black Friday sales.

New Addition to the Studio

Megan has cross stitched for me this wonderful piece featuring all the lead characters from the main Star Trek series and their ships.

Looks fantastic on the wall of the studio and really helps complete the place.

What I Am Modelling

I started the week by building the Ambots for Necromunda, and then I built the Palanite Enforcers and Subjugators from Dark Uprising.

Whilst playing Star Trek Adventures on Wednesday night, I finished off painting the Palanite Enforcers Patrol, and then got transfers on them Thursday morning.

I then placed a T’au Stealth Team and Commander in XV86 Coldstar armour on my painting table, along with the Marketlight Drone and Homing Beacon from the Stealth Team.

These were finished surprisingly quickly, I think the wet palette had really helped when painting T’au.

Next up were the Hellblasters for the Blood Ravens, two squads of them. One squad of ten, containing the five from Dark Imperium and five multipart ones, and then a squad of five with Heavy Plasma Incinerators.

Going forward when it comes to Hellbalsters, I want two more boxes of them, one to make into a squad armed with Assault Plasma Incinerators. And the other to split between the Blood Ravens, with five bulking out the squad with Heavy Plasma Incinerators.

I tonight started on Grashrak’s Despoilers from Beastgrave which is on the Twitch stream above.


So what’s coming up in my painting plan then?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Grashrak’s Despoilers x 6 & Skaeth’s Wild Hunt x 5
  3. T’au Strike Team x 10 & Sniper Drone Team
  4. Death Korps of Krieg Engineers x 10 & Hades Breaching Drill
  5. Secret Heresy Project Unit
  6. Nighthaunt Dradscythe Harridans x 20
  7. Space Wolves Swiftclaws x 3
  8. Palanite Subjugators x 6 & Enforcers x 5
  9. Stormcast Eternals Lord-Aquior, Lord-Exorcist & Gryph-Hounds x 6
  10. Blood Ravens Intercessors with Stalker Bolt Rifles x 10

What I Am Reading

I finished Doom of Fallowhearth, and you can read my review here.

I started on The Last Ritual by S A Sidor, which is an Arkham Horror book.

What I Am Playing

A bit of Star Wars: Squadrons which I am really enjoying, even been streaming a bit of it too.

I joined the Mills brothers for the conclusion to our Star Trek Adventures game on Roll20. We saved the planet and didn’t destroy the Cardassian Space Station in the process.

It got really tense and came down to the last rolls of the game, we needed four successes with four dice, and we just pulled it off!

What I Am Backing

No projects in the pipeline at the minute, but I completed the survey for

I also finally got my transfers for Forgotten Chapters, these are really lovely and I can’t wait to get them onto my Sisters of Battle models.

What Am I Cooking

On Thursday I made burgers, but in a nod to depression era recipes, 25% of the meat was replaced by onion.

This makes them very flavourful, although Megan hates the idea of them and had a vegan burger instead.

What I Am Spending

I didn’t go mad on Prime Day, mostly because I am saving towards a new graphics card.

I did pick up an Echo Dot 3rd Generation for Lindsay’s Office, but she took over that and paid for it, so I didn’t spend the money.

And for myself I got a third party dock for the Switch, so when streaming from that I don’t need to take down the main dock from upstairs.

In the Sega 60th Anniversary sale on Steam, in indulged and bought the Sega Mega Drive Classics collection of 57 games and Sonic CD, which cost me a bit over £6.

At some point I plan to play though the 3 Mega Drive Sonic games and Sonic CD, my only disappointment is that Knuckles Chaotix has yet to be ported to anything at all.

I also managed to grab a Servants of the Abyss sprue to complete my Blackstone Fortress collection.


  • Mood:- Satisfied
  • Caffeinated Beverages Consumed:- 5
  • In My Ears:-
  • Tabletop Game Last Played:- Star Trek Adventures
  • Video Game Lat Played:- Star Wars Squadron
  • Book Last Read:- The Last Ritual- S A Sidor
  • Movie/TV Show Last Viewed:- Glee
  • Current State of Projects:- Grashrak’s Despoilers 50 % done, Mekboy Workshop 10% done, Ork Nobz and Warboss primed
  • Graphics Card Fund:- £40– 20%

Project Big Picture

I don’t often talk football, beacuse whilst I love the sport, I am not the most knowlegable about it, and when I talk about it, I tend to make a fool of myself.

But Project Big Picture makes me want to break that habbit, beacvuse I have feelings about it.

Simply put, I think that many of the proposals are good, the 25% of money going to the EFL is a great start, but the power aspect I utterly disagree with. Placing power into the hands of the nine longest serving members of the league is not a good thing, and allowing them the power of veto over takeovers and other issues is a bad road to go down.

If we take the aborted Saudi takeover of Newcastle United, we know how that would have played out, the big six would have all said no to the possibility of a club with the ability to disrupt their dominance of the league. How is that fair, it would essentially create a closed shop at the top of the league.

These proposals would lead to stagnation in the league and a loss of competition and excitement. And the abolition of the League Cup and reduction of the league to 18 teams robs other teams of much needed match day revenue.

As I said before there are good aspects, the 25% of TV deals and abolition of parachute payments will make the EFL much healthier and better positioned to survive, but the special voting rights are bad for the Premier League, and bad for football in general.

In this instance, if the big six want to form a breakaway league, I say let them, the pyramid is bigger than six clubs mostly owned by billionaire’s, and I think the other clubs need to be prepared to jetision the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United if they want to use the Covid-19 crisis to make such an audacious power grab.

So that’s my biannual football post done, but in all seriousness, I think that the state of the game in this country would be infinitely worse off if these proposals were accepted in their current form.


Doom of Fallowhearth

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Descent: Journeys in the Dark book The Doom of Fallowhearth, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

Secondly I am a friend of Robbie’s on Facebook, and whilst we aren’t best buds, we do interact with each other on occasion and I consider him a class person.

I am going to try my best to not let these things cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

What’s is Descent: Journeys in the Dark

Simply put Descent: Journeys in the Dark is good old fashioned dungeon crawler whose linage goes all the way back to Heroquest.

Based very much on the Doom board game published by Fantasy Flight Games, you can see influences from across the gaming hobby, with bits from Space Hulk and Lord of the Rings being identifiable.

It’s set in the world of Terrinoth, a setting shared with Runewars, Runeage and a few other games and RPGs published by Fantasty Flight Games.

It’s a high fantasy universe and you will recognise many of the tropes and races seen in other similar fantasy style settings. It’s not particularly unique, but it is fairly well developed and interesting.

Descent is the dungeon crawler game in that universe, with one player being the evil overlord of the dungeon and the others taking in the tiles of the hero’s.

For a dungeon crawler, let’s be honest it’s one of the best out there, and the only reason it’s not in my collection is that Lindsay and Megan aren’t as enthusiastic about high fantasy as I am!

The Story

I am gonna be upfront about this, the book is at the same time, familiar and comfortable whilst still being new and innovative. It’s contradictory but it works.

The basic plot is that a band of adventurers are reunited to try and find Lady Katheryn the daughter of the rulers of one of Terrinoths baronies. She had been sent to the northern frontier town of Fallowhearth to learn how to rule, and prepare her to take up her mother’s position.

The adventurers are three of the Borderlands Four, characters who fit common tropes, yet subvert them in very interesting ways. There is the human rogue, who just wants to go back home and sit down, the dwarven alchemist who is mainly interested in blowing stuff up and the orc pathfinder who is the levelheaded leader of the pack and probably the most sensible of them.

The tone of the story is gritty and dark, it’s a very modern take on the old sword and sorcery story from my youth. There is certainly a shared history between the characters, and some bitterness, weariness and regrets too, and whilst we don’t exactly get a full and complete backstory, we don’t need it because it feels so natural.

This story is a tale of revenge and love, and asks the question, how far would you go for someone you love, how deep would you go?

Conclusion

This is a surprisingly emotional story and parts of it literally had my heart crushed, and I was moved to tears as well.

This is generally a very by the numbers story and you pick it up and start it thinking it’s gonna be just a pulpy fantasy adventure. But it’s not, it’s deeply emotional and shows that a good writer and make a familiar and well trod genre, fresh and invigorating.

I’d also loved that we had some really good normalised LGBT representation in there, which felt very natural, very right and fitted so well with the story.

Solid 5 out of 5 stars.

The book is released out now in North America and available in the U.K. on the 26th November.


An Early Post

Having an early post this week as I am headed off for a short weekend holiday for my birthday.

I will put out a post about the trip away once I am back and recovered, rather than trying to squeeze everything into one long post.

For my birthday I did get a few nice little things from loved ones.

Megan and Lindsay paid for the trip away, and Megan made me this amazing Carcassonne cross-stitch which is now hanging up in the studio.

Paul and Mary bought me this awesome little modelling tool kit, which is very timely as my hobby knife is on its last legs!

And Jane and Geoff gave me some cash, so I have added that to my graphics card fund.

What I Am Modelling

I started off the week by continuing with the Stormcast Eternals Vanguard-Hunters, this completes the four units of Vanguard-Hunters I own, and gives me two each units armed with either a Shock Handaxe or Storm Sabre.

Whilst doing those I also painted some Spirit Hosts I got from Mortal Realms on the side, these were super easy to do so I just kind got one with them.

I then built and primed a T’au Stealth Suit Team and Strike Team, along with the rest of the models for the next 10 projects.

I then painted a base coat of XV-88 by airbrushing the T’au Strike Team, Stealth Team and the XV86 Commander. I also airbrushed on the main red armour colour of the Blood Ravens Hellblasters.

After that, whilst waiting for the dishwasher to finish, I knocked out the last of my UCM ships for Dropfleet Commander.

For the weekend away, I took with me the Palanite Enforcers for Necromunda. The paint scheme I have come up with for them is heavy in use of Contrast, but I think it works quite well.


So what does my painting queue look like now?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Palanite Enforcers x 10
  3. T’au Stealth Suit Team x 3
  4. Blood Ravens Hellblasters x 15
  5. Grashrak’s Ravagers & Skaeth’s Wild Hunt x 6
  6. T’au Strike Team x 10 & Sniper Drone Team
  7. Death Korps of Krieg Engineers & Hades Breaching Drill
  8. Secret Heresy Project Unit
  9. T’au Commander in XV86 Coldstar Battlesuit
  10. Nighthaunt Dreadscythe Harridans x 10

What I Am Reading

Not much chance to get more than a few little bits read here and there, must do better.

What I Am Playing

Mostly been playing Star Wars Squadron, high has been a lot of fun, although I kinda wish I got more options to play as the Empire in Story Mode, although to be fair I have just finished the second mission.

Nowt played Tabletop wise but this weekend should see plenty played.

What I Am Backing

Not backing anything right now and no updates on existing projects.

What I Am Cooking

On Wednesday night I made my attempt at Posh Dogs.

I took some normal bockwust, in a part baked roll, in which I spread Dijon mustard, and packed in some caramelised onions.

On top of the bockwurst I then melted some Gruyère and we served them with some red potato wedges made by Megan.

What I Am Spending

For my birthday I treated myself to Star Wars Squadrons. I was torn about getting it for Xbox or PC, but it was in Argos on a great deal, so I spent my Nectar points on it.

With Lindsay moving upstairs we decided to grab another Dolce Gusto machine, the new one is a Lumio and was half price at Curry’s PC World and has an auto shut-off function and a slightly bigger tank.

It means the one I grabbed her last month is moving upstairs to her office, so she doesn’t have to go up and down the stairs every time she wants a coffee.

Because I got a refund from a few things I had to send back to Amazon as a gift card, I decided to spend it on a new power brick for my Xbox One.

I want to do some streaming from it and realistically that means I need it downstairs So rather than pulling a power brick out from behind the TV each time I want to use it, I bought an extra one to keep downstairs in the studio.


The Studio Reborn

Early last year I relocated my desk downstairs to share the office with Lindsay.

She has worked from home for over about 13 years now and it’s not always plain sailing for her, she can get very lonely. And the depression was really eating away at her during work hours on her own.

So I packed up my upstairs studio and moved down to keep her company.

Unbeknownst to me, that arrangement has not been working for Lindsay, she finds me an annoyance and a distraction, stopping her from working.

She says she can’t get any office banter with me because I am doing one thing and she something very different.

We tried everything we could to make it work for her, offering to give her complete control of what we listened to, so she could silence it when she had a phone call or needed to concentrate etc.

But alas, its just not worked for her at all, so today, as she prepares mentally for a return to work after a few weeks off, she decided to move her desk upstairs to my former studio and turn it into her office.

Which leaves me with the bigger room as a new studio, I do share it with Megan of course.

I was literally just getting comfortable in the downstairs room, I had put up shelves, and all sorts to organise my space and make it manageable, so I guess it was easier at this point for Lindsay to move.

We have decided to take a short bookcase from upstairs and put it where her desk was and we visited IKEA to pick up an armchair to go next to it. This creates a little reading/relaxation area for Lindsay to chill out in, or for myself and Megan to just sit and read in.

I have moved a bunch of books around, including most of my war games books and RPGs and placed them in the book case and will be relocating my “small” electric guitar there.

This has allowed me to relocate my Warhammer Underworlds core games and a few boxed games from Games Workshop to my top shelf and thus freed up some room in the board games shelves.

But the final step has been taken and the upstairs studio had now been renamed in Alexa, The Office, and the downstairs office, The Studio.


Today was my birthday, it was very nice, Megan made me scrambled eggs on dinosaur toast and we had southern fried chicken for tea. Megan also made me an amazing birthday cake.

The girls let me spend our Nectar points on Star Wars: Squadrons for Xbox One and they are picking that up for me tomorrow.

This coming weekend, we are off to the lakes for a weekend in a hot tub and playing board games.

What I Am Modelling

I started off by painting a bunch of UCM ships for Dropfleet Commander. Four Cruisers, a New Cairo, Santiago, and two Madrid’s, two Destroyers, both Kievs’s, four Frigates, two Toulon’s and two Taipei’s and six Santiago Corvettes.

I then got round to putting the transfers on my Titans, and I am currently debating doing some weathering on them.

I then finished off a Command Squad for Nikkis Death Korps of Krieg, along with a 3D printed Primaris Psyker and Sniper.

Drop Force Imperator was up next, along with two flamer armed Scions that I had sitting around spare.

I am now working on some Vanguard-Hunters for my Stormcast Eternals.

I also built some bits for a special thing I am hoping to have finished in the latter half of October, but more about that when they are done.


So what’s on my list to do right now?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Palanite Enforcers x 10
  3. Stormcast Eternals Vanguard-Hunters x 5
  4. T’au Stealth Tram x 3
  5. Blood Ravens Hellblasters x 15
  6. Grashrak‘s Ravagers x 6 & Skaeth’s Wild Hunt x 5
  7. T’au Strike Team x 10 & Sniper Drone Team
  8. Death Korps of Krieg Engineers x 10 & Hades Breaching Drill
  9. Secret Heresy Project Unit
  10. T’au Commander in XV86 Coldstar Battlesuit

What Am I Reading

I haven’t really picked up any books since last time I posted.

What Am I Playing

A game of Carcassonne on the PC but that’s it.

What Am I Backing

Nowt at the minute.

What I Am Cooking

On Saturday Megan was supposed to make a stirfry but she wasn’t feeling very well, and so I ended up making a Cajun Chicken Gumbo, which was really nice.

We served it with rice and onion rings, and I think I will make it again one day soon.

Sunday morning it was my turn to make breakfast, so I made burgers, with emmental cheese, mushrooms, turkey bacon and a fried egg.

What I Am Spending

I spent a few pounds and bought myself the One Special Day Humble Bundle, which got me 8 new games and one new expansion. I have given Ogre to Graham and Talisman to Misha.

I also had a voucher for some money off a Fanatical Bundle of my choice, so I picked up the Reaper Bundle 6 as well as a bargain basement copy of Warhammer Quest and Space Wolf plus a few other little bundles too.

I need something to better organise the charging cables on my desk and so I grabbed this set from Amazon, and they have worked out quite well.

I also grabbed myself the current hotness of Among Us too as a birthday treat!

And to make the office work better for Lindsay, we grabbed an IKEA Trådfri colour bulb which has been added to the Hue system and works quite well with that.


September Resolutions Update

So this month I got to 989 models painted, but I didn’t get as much painted as I wanted to do, which is annoying.

I really much redouble my efforts in October.

I did find the joy of painting with a wet palette this month, and its a bit of a revelation.

Finish The Blood Ravens I Own on 1st January –

I haven’t gotten any of these painted this month 🙁

I still have to paint:-

  • Intercessors with Stalker Bolt Rifles x 10
  • Hellblasters x 10
  • Hellblasters with Heavy Plasma Incinerators x 5
  • Inceptors x 3

Finish The Death Guard/Paint Mortarion for Everchosen – Complete

I finally got round to painting Mortarion, and I couldn’t be happier with how he turned out.

I also got the Space Marines Heroes painted as well, so that is the Death Guard complete, and both resolutions competed.

Paint 2000 Points of Stormcast Eternals –

No Stormcast were painted this month ;-(

Still left to paint are:-

  • Lord Arquilor
  • Vanguard-Hunters with Storm Sabres x 5
  • Gryph-Hounds x 6

Paint 2000 Points of T’au –

I first started by pointing the next Strike Team, a Cadre Fireblade and Devilfish, which means I now can field a battalion detachment for the T’au if I so wish.

Left to paint I have:-

  • Commander in XV86 Coldstar Battlesuit
  • Strike Team x 10
  • XV25 Stealth Suits x 3
  • Sniper Drones x 4
  • Barracuda AX-5-2
  • KV128 Stormsurge

Other Resolutions

  • Complete 2000 Points of Orks
  • Rebase the Orks

Completed Resolutions

  • Paint 867 Models
  • Rebase the Blood Ravens
  • Finish the Death Guard
  • Paint Mortarion for Everchosen

So heading into October, what does my painting queue look like?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Death Korps of Krieg Command Squad x 5
  3. Millitarium Tempestus Drop Force Imperator x 5
  4. Palantite Enforcers x 10
  5. Stormcast Eternals Vanguard Hunters x 5
  6. T’au Stealth Team x 3
  7. Blood Ravens Hellblasters x 15
  8. Grashrak’s Ravagers & Skaeth’s Wild Hunt
  9. T’au Strike Team x 10 & Sniper Drone Team
  10. Death Korps of Krieg Engineers x 10 & Hades Breaching Drill

The New PC

So I bought a new PC, well rather Megan lent me the money to do so, well half the money!

On Sunday I built the new machine, you can check out how I built it later in this post with a video we made of the build.

So let’s take a look at what went into the machine.

  • CPU:- AMD Ryzen 5 3400G
  • CPU Cooler:- GameMax Gamma 500 ARGB
  • Motherboard:- Asrock X570 Steel Legend
  • PSU:- GameMax RGB 550w Modular 80 Plus Gold
  • Memory:- Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 2 x 8GB DDR4 3600
  • SSD:- Crucial P1 1TB x 2
  • Wi-Fi & Bluetooth:- Intel 7265 M.2
  • Case:- Kolink Aviator Gunmetal
  • Case Fans:- upHere PWM 120mm Rainbow x 5

A few compromises were made, the PSU was a little less powerful than I wanted 750w was my target to give me room to get a powerful graphics card eventually, but the budget restricted me to 550w. But given the kind of graphics card I am initially thinking of getting, this should be plenty powerful enough.

The case fans are set to a simple rainbow pattern, but that’s cool, they cost me £34 for six, so I am happy with that. Eventually the plan is to fit a proper controllable Corsair system in to the machine, but these will be perfect for now.

Because I do a lot of media heavy stuff with the podcast, I had wanted to go with 32GB of RAM, however the budget didn’t allow for that, so I have gone for 16GB now, with a plan to upgrade within the next year.

But these are all things are either purely cosmetic and are easily upgraded or added to in time when budget allows, in the meantime it’s gonna do me awesomely.

They memory was originally going to be Adata XPG Spectrix D60 RBG 2 x 8GB DDR4 but delivery turned out to be an issue and despite it being next day delivery when I ordered it, it would actually be mid October before I got it, so that was cancelled and a replacement ordered.

The case was picked specifically created because it had a 5 1/2 inch external bay, which is use for my Blu-Ray writer, and I actually still need that.

A salvaged windows key was purchased which was nice and cheap. And due to an ordering mixup, I have two NVMe SSDs instead of a single one, so plan is to use one for my O/S and most used programs and the other for games.

A couple of bits were taken from my old computer a 1TB HDD which contains my documents and stuff I am working on, a separate 2TB HDD which currently is used as a game drive, and the BRD drive of course. I also took the 2TB external HDD which is used to store my music on and plugged it into this.

The first lot arrived on Saturday, over five separate deliveries all from Amazon, three came with Amazon delivery folk, the case came with DPD and the CPU cooler came with the dreaded Hermes. Because our Hermes man doesn’t like ringing the doorbell, I ended up putting a sign in the door asking him to make sure he rang. As it was I was lucky as was loading the dishwasher when he pulled up so was able to grab it off him quickly.

The motherboard arrived on Sunday after taking a trip from Spain, along with the memory. I must admit to getting very worried as the memory took until 5am to ship, but luckily it just shipped from the Darlington fulfilment centre.

I did forget to order a set of antennas for the Wi-Fi adaptor and ordered them early Sunday morning.

The Build

The build took place on Sunday evening, the original plan was to prepare the case with the PSU and case fans the night before, but alas, my hands were not cooperating with me to do that!

I started off on Sunday morning by preparing the case, so I fitted the case fans, installed the PSU and moved over the drives from my old PC to this one.

The first thing we discovered, is that the interior has been significantly redesigned, it now has a PSU basement and the wiring for the USB sockets and case functionings is a lot better and no longer looks like it might get in the way of any ports on the top right corner of the motherboard.

It did mean that I was losing out in the RGB aspect of the fan, but it does mean that I was going to make sure it was pulling cool air from outside the case into it, thus making sure that it lasts longer. The original spec had no filter at the bottom so it would have had to drawn air from inside the PC.

Once the motherboard and memory arrived, I was able to crack on with that, and it was very fun.

First things first I fitted the CPU, being very careful with it, then I installed the memory, M.2 SSD and M.2 Wi-Fi module.

Lastly on the motherboard I fitted the cooler, the reason I did that last was because it’s fairly big and bulky and I didn’t want to have to work around it when fitting the other stuff.

Then I slipped the board into the case, and screwed it in, followed by attaching the necessary power and data cables.

Initially it didn’t POST, turns out the PSU isn’t capable of supplying the extra 4 pin CPU power supply. I know this is only really needed if I plan to seriously overclock the CPU, which I don’t but it was annoying.

So after removing that power connector, we were able to get the PC to POST successfully, and it runs very nicely. I did take the opportunity to turn the CPU cooler round so that we could see the lovely RGB lights.

Windows was installed via USB media, which I smartly prepared the night before. And when that was set up, I then connected up the extra HDDs one of which I smartly downloaded all of the drivers and other software I wanted as well.

But you can take a look at the build process hopefully later this week as I did video it all.

I did my best to make this the most attractive PC I have ever built, and with actual cable management to minimise dust issues.

The second M.2 drive arrived Monday along with the Wi-Fi antennas, so they were fitted then and as such are not on the video. I also had a spare 300GB HDD which I normally use as a scratch drive, I struggled to figure out how it went in the case on Sunday, but figured it out on Monday.

I also had a 2TB HDD, which I tried to fit, but it seems the drive is knackered and the PC refused to POST with it plugged in.

Future Plans

Short term, I need to make a couple changes to the desk, first, I need a under desk keyboard tray, because I use so much of my desk space for painting.

Medium term the plan is to add a discrete graphics card, I only need something that can handle 1080p gaming with a little streaming, so current thinking is something like an XFX Radeon RX570 8GB, MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Super or perhaps a MSI Radeon RX5500 XT 8GB or similar, that would do me just right, but if budget allows, I will spend a bit more.

This will then allow me to upgrade the processor to something a lot more powerful, which will be nice. The current processor was picked to allow me to initially go without a discrete graphics card.

The memory is gonna go up to 32GB , might seem overkill, but I want to do a lot more video work for the podcast. And I also want to add a proper video capture card as well to make streaming from consoles a lot easier, as well as making it so I can grab a DSLR for making video content.

And a big possibility for me is the addition of a soundcard. I know that soundcards are kinda redundant these days but I am a podcaster, and I need good sound quality. If the sound on the motherboard is good, I will stick with that, but in the back pocket the possibility of upgrading to a decent Creative soundcard is there.

But What About The Old PC

The old PC is well, a bit sore and sorry looking, but I have replaced the BRD drive with a plain Blu-Ray drive, cleaned it out, cleared it off and reinstalled Windows and a few other bits of software and it’s going to go be used by Megan’s mum for her paperwork. And being an early learning practitioner she has a lot of complex paper work to do, and my old machine will be perfect doing that for her.

So on Sunday morning before touching the new build, I took that apart, cleaned it out, put it back together in a much tidier set up. I then formatted the OS drive and gave it a clean install of Windows 10, along with giving it a Charlie Bears wallpaper for her.

As I had a spare RGB fan from my build, I decided to give her that, so I fitted that to the front and now she gets a lovely little light show when it’s in use.

What I Am Modelling

I started by having a little rest after the long hard job of painting Mortarion, and built the two starter warbands for Beastgrave, Grashrak’s Ravagers and Skaeth’s Wild Hunt.

And I also built the Azyrite Ruins from Warhammer Mortal Realms plus a set of Spirit Hosts I got with them as well.

The first models I painted were the Nighthaunt character models that come with Soul Wars, although these were actually from Mortal Realms.

I painted up a Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, a Spirit Torment, Guardian of Souls and Lord Executioner. My Nighthaunt scheme isn’t particularly sophisticated, but I am happy with it.

I then began work on the Adeptus Titanicus Titans, doing a total of five of them. A Warbringer Nemesis, two Reavers and two Warhounds, along with a Vulcan Megabolter for a Reaver.

Was very slow going but I managed to complete two Reavers Titans early Wednesday morning.

I was also finally able to finish off the priming of the Zone Mortalis terrain!

Be Wednesday night I finished the Warbringer Nemesis Titan and the two Warhounds.


So what does this leave my painting plan looking like for this week?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. 2. UCM Ships (4 Cruisers, 4 Frigates, 6 Corvettes, 2 Destroyers)
  3. Death Korps of Krieg Command Squad x 5
  4. Millitarium Tempestus Drop Force Imperartor x 5
  5. Palanite Enforcers x 10
  6. Stormcast Eternals Vanguard-Hunters x 5
  7. T’au Stealth Team x 3
  8. Blood Ravens Hellblasters x 15
  9. Grashrak’s Ravagers & Skaeth’s Wild Hunt
  10. T’au Strike Team x 10 & Sniper Drone Team

What I Am Reading

Been giving The Doom of Fallowhearth by Robbie MacNivan a read, and I am rather enjoying it.

What I Am Playing

Tonight I got 6 games of Coup in with Lindsay and Megan when we went to Meeple Perk for our tea, we each won two games each.

Video games wise, I had a little play on a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and a quick game of Carcassonne but that’s about it.

What I Am Backing

Just the Remebrancers of the Australius Ultima Sector which features me as a card!

What I Am Cooking

For Friday wing night, I made Whiskey BBQ wings in the slow cooker. I had intended to make them bourbon wings, but we were mysteriously out of bourbon.

The accompaniments were not great however, Lindsay experiment with the mash, making it in the microwave, it was not very nice if I am honest.

And the other side was courgette fries, which I really disliked due to the big differences in texture, my autism reared it ugly head big time!

Megan did thicken the sauce the wings were cooked in as a sort of gravy, which was really nice, but it’s not pictured here.

On Saturday I made Smoky Pork and Boston Beans, was very nice, but next time I am going to make the beans an actual mix of beans rather than just cannelloni beans

And I cooked it in the Dutch oven covered, but the sauce was quite thin, so if I leave it uncovered next time hopefully the sauce will thicken a little.

We served it with corn bread for the real American taste!

What I Am Spending

Obviously all the gear for the PC build!!!

My foam for Beastgrave arrived, and well ahead of schedule, so that allowed me to build the models from the core set at long last and add them to my painting plan.

I also picked up a cheap set of bookends, just to secure the books on my top shelf in the office and stop them falling down all the time.

I won something, a copy of Legends of Zelda: Links Awakening for the Switch, but I already have a copy of this!!!

But that’s alright as I traded it in and bought Super Mario 3D All-Stars instead, which is brilliant as I have been wanting to get that. That was delivered on Monday.

I also did a swap with my pal Kev, we wanted each other’s tin plates from our Warhammer Mystery Box that we got from Half Moon Bay, so I sent him mine, he sent me his!

I also saw a killer deal for a pack of four smart plugs on Amazon, normally I go for TP-Link Kasa, but these had a £25 off voucher allowing me to pick them up for just under £15.

This allows me to smart up the bedside lamps and fan in mine and Lindsay’s room, leaving one spare for the Christmas tree, because that season is close approaching.


Be Prepared

Not much to say this week, things have been quiet, just worried about what’s going to happen in regards to the virus, but then again I think every body is.

Living in the North East I am now under tighter restrictions due to the high R number. Tuesday night I was supposed to return to Durham Raiders for the first time since February for a game, but that has now obviously been cancelled.

We just gotta do as they say, wash out hands, wear a face mask, where we can and keep to social distancing.

I think I am better prepared for a lockdown than I was last time, and tomorrow I will be doing a paint inventory to identify any that need a spare purchased.

We have, and sensibly I think, purchased a few extra things for the cupboard, basically some extra tins of beans and chopped tomatoes and are buying a few extra little cupboard things in our weekly shops, just in case.

We aren’t panic buying, don’t want to do that, just instead of a packet of custard, we might grab two, and a slightly bigger bag of pasta than normal.

But this is something we have kinda been doing since the first lockdown, sounds daft, but it’s reassuring to know that we have enough to get by for a least a couple of weeks if the shops experience huge shortages again.

I wasn’t a Boy Scout, but right now I think the mantra is , Be Prepared.

So guys I guess let’s just be ready to bunker down if we have to, trust me, you don’t want to catch this virus, it’s horrid, and we most certainly don’t want vulnerable people to get it.

So stay safe guys!

What I Am Painting

Might sound like total common sense, but whilst I have been experimenting with airbrushing, I haven’t been using gloves.

Well Lindsay and Megan kept having a go at me about it, so I relented and when putting the first paints on my T’au Strike Team, Cadre Fireblade and Devilfish, I used gloves.

Of course they were right, it was far easier and far cleaner. I guess I like the look of hands covered in paint, but it will be better if I keep them clean.

So I tried a slightly different method with the T’au this time to see if it works better.

On Tuesday the fates aligned and I was able to get about 50% of the Zone Mortalis stuff primed, at long last, but I lost the daylight before I could get the last of it primed, plus I didn’t have enough gunmetal spray so had to go to Wilkinson’s to get some more.

I was quite unwell for a couple of days so no painting got done for a couple of days 🙁

First model I got finished was a Devilfish for the T’au Empire Strike Team, so much better now I have figured out getting the base colour on with an airbrush.

The T’au infantry give me a lot of bother, I really struggle to get smooth coats on them, so I kinda did some research and ended up putting together a wet palette, and oh my god, it literally transformed my painting!

Was so much quicker to paint and a lot easier too, I will never go back to not using one!!!

I then kinda worked through late on Friday and into Saturday morning to finish the rest of the Strike Team and the Cadre Fireblade.

I also started and finished Mortarion for the Horus Heresy, very proud of him and can’t wait to get him on the tabletop, so he can reap some men!

I then moved on the Mortarions Daemon Prince form, along with the seven Space Marine Hero Death Guard Models.

The Space Marine Hero’s were finished first, these all felt like unique character models in themselves, I mean I guess they are actually!

But so much detail in them that required a lot of attention to detail on every model.

I then finished Mortarion for 40k, and what a job that was!

A solid 23 hours of painting over three days, finally finishing him at 0030 Tuesday morning!

I am so so very proud of this model, utterly amazing but now I am knackered from all the concentration!!!


So how does my painting queue look going into next week?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Nighthaunt Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, Spirit Torment, Guardian of Souls & Lord Executioner
  3. Adeptus Titanicus Titans (Warlord x 2, Reaver x 2, Nemsis Warbringer)
  4. Dropfleet Commander UCM Ships (4 Cruisers, 4 Frigates, 6 Corvettes, 2 Destroyers)
  5. Death Korps of Krieg Command Squad x 5
  6. Millitarium Tempestus Drop Force Imperator
  7. Palanite Enforcers x 10
  8. Stormcast Eternals Vanguard-Hunters x 5
  9. T’au Stealth Suit Team x 3
  10. Blood Ravens Hellblasters x 15

What I Am Reading

I read Curse of Honor by David Annandale, it’s at times difficult because I don’t get in the best with David’s sentence structure.

But once I got into it, it was difficult to put down, I got it finished in the wee hours of Thursday morning, and you can read a full review here.

I then moved on to The Doom of Fallowhearth by Robbie MacNivan, a novel set in the Descent board games universe.

I finished listening to Saturnine by Dan Abnett, blown away by it again and picked up so many more things that I missed first time round when reading it.

What I Am Playing

We had a session of Star Trek Adventures on Thursday, we boarded a damaged Cardassian space station to try and prevent it falling to the surface of a planet and causing an extinction level event.

Some mild torture of a Vorta was involved, and we will be picking up the game again in a fortnight.

What I Am Backing

Calico arrived, although it did so whilst we wet out shopping and thus we had to take in trip into town to grab it from the access point.

It looks really good and hopefully we can get it played soon.

What I Am Cooking

On Friday I made Indian Spiced Chicken Wings, which were lovely but a little bit spicer than last time.

But I think that’s because I didn’t toss them in the spice and sprinkled it on instead.

What I Am Spending

I got a £10 Amazon gift card from a competition, so put that towards a foam insert for Beastgrave, which is coming from Feldherr so will probably arrive early October going on past orders from them.

I did also buy a 24 pack of Carabao Sugar Free Green Apple, as I said a few weeks ago, I am struggling to make it through the day with an energy drink mid afternoon.

I know I need to get something like Sneak or Razorwire, but they are a big outlay initially.


Curse of Honor

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Legend of the Five Rings book Curse of Honor by David Annandale, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

Secondly I am a friend of David’s on Facebook, and whilst we aren’t best buds, we do interact with each other on occasion and I consider him a class person.

I am going to try my best to not let these things cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

I am gonna get the big bit out the way first, if you listen to Edge of Empire, you will know I am not a big fan of David’s writing style. Frankly I find it difficult to process and it’s very short sentences which doesn’t give the best flow for me to read.

But he is good at weird stuff, which in Warhammer translates to stuff to do with the warp. I also think he is best when writing shorter works, such as novellas and short stories.

So let’s crack on with a review then!

What is Legend of the Five Rings

L5R as it’s often known is a fantasy setting for a series of card games and RPGs originally published by AEG, but now taken care of by Fantasy Flight.

It’s set in the empire of Rokugan which is heavily feudal Japan influenced, with a bit of other East Asian influences, like China and Korea thrown in as well.

It’s a fantasy setting with the usual fantasy trips of goblins and rat men, but also oni and kitsune too.

In the Empire there are several great clans, made up of various families, and in this novel we focus on the Crab Clan, who are considered the least cultured of all clans.

Their task in life is to guard the rest of the empire from the taint of the Shadowlands on the Carpenter Wall.

The Story

The story has two main protagonists, initially we have Haru, the heir to the castle of Striking Dawn, and frankly he is a bit of an incompetent warrior.

He discovers when leading a caravan to the castle, a hidden city outpost of the Shadowlands, and in a desperate attempt to prove himself a worthy heir, leads a disaster out expedition to purge the city.

Our second protagonist, Barako, the object of Harus desire, is a more level headed warrior, a woman who wishes only to serve the castle and protect the greater empire. She is a great character with a strong sense of duty, I really love that about her.

When Haru is returned to the castle, well then we get some bad things happening, which leads us into a horror whodunit, with a twist, which to be honest, I kinda saw a mile off.

The story has a heavy horror element, and this is something David is really good at, and yea the sentence shortness was a bit irritating, but I have to say, he is getting better as a writer, he really is.

Not that I could ever write of course, but unlike with some of his earlier work, I couldn’t put this down once I picked it up and read it over a couple of days.

The descriptions of the hidden city were really good and very much put you there in its weirdness and I got a real good feel for Striking Dawn.

He also had the characters kept very much on edge, with absolutely no time to rest, and I found myself feeling their grief, anger, despair, rage and exhaustion.

Conclusion

I won’t lie, I went in with low expectations, L5R was never really my bag, and as I said, David writing doesn’t usually click with me.

But I have to say, it’s an enjoyable read, very well written, very engaging and very well edited, with a nice flow to it.

I kinda want to know what happens next at Striking Dawn.

Solid 4 out of 5 stars.

The book is released on 6th October.

I will be reading The Death of Fallowhearth next by Robbie MacNivan, I had intended it to be The Head of Mimir, but that has expired in my NetGallery account.


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