Category: Blog Page 1 of 36

One of Those Weeks

Well it’s been one of those weeks!

Not only have I spent most of it unwell with a nasty tummy bug, but the flat has turned up a few issues.

We were in the process of having a water damaged cabinet replaced, when it was discovered that due to some missing airbricks, there were some geet big holes in the wall letting in moisture!

So we are having to have the plaster removed, get airbricks put and, so a damp treatment and then replaster.

Anyway, due to a shortage of available tradesman, it’s gonna be after Christmas before it can actually get done so that’s annoying, as it was the cabinet with the kitchen sink in it!

Ah well, life does love to throw some curveballs at you!

What I Modelling

I started by finishing off a pair of Necron Tomb Blades.

After that I painted up the Nickar Class Hunter-Killers for my Scourge, which meant I got the airbrush out for the first time since we moved.

And then moved onto a Space Wolves Praetor, not sure I will ever do them in 30K, but I had to model so, why not paint it.

After that I painted up some Blood Angels Assault Intercessors.

And a mob of Ork Nobz

I am now currently working on an Imperial Fists Tactical Squad.


So what’s up next?

  1. Imperial Fists Tactical Squad x 10 & Officers x 6
  2. Kataphron Breachers x 5
  3. Oruck Gutrippas x 12
  4. T’au Crisis Suit Team x 3
  5. Imperial Fiats Contemptor Dreadnought
  6. Ultramarines Intercessors x 10
  7. Silver Tower Heroes
  8. Blood Angels Repulsor
  9. Templar Brethren x 10
  10. Hobgrot Slittaz x 20

What I Am Reading

Finished up listening to Kasrkin which has been an enjoyable listen.

And a little progress has been made on Zachareth, but not as much as I would have liked.

What Tabletop Games I Am Playing

Sadly none at all.

What Video Games I Am Playing

Sadly not a thing, which I am quite upset about, the ill meant I really struggled to sit down to play anything.

What I Am Creating

Nowt I actually did myself, but I did go on Bez’s daily show.

What I Am Backing

I am in on the Steve Jackson Games Campaign for some Car Wars STLs.

What I Am Winning

I am not entirely sure who this was from, it just came with a plain white piece of paper saying “congratulations on your win”, but I won a black Playstation 5 DualSense controller, which is brilliant.

So this is gonna get used for PC games that work best with DualSense, and the white one I was using will go to Megan.

What I Am Buying

Keeping an eye of eBay I came across a very cheap copy of Guardian of the Galaxy for PS5, so I bought that!

I also got a few more holders for my controllers, and now the PC Engine, CD32, Xbox 360 and 8 Bit Do SN30 are all up on the wall now.

I bought Witcher 3 GOTY Edition, cause the next gen updates for PC look incredible!

I already own it on Xbox, but this looks well worth it!

Speaking of the Xbox I grabbed a dust cover attachment for the Series X to allow me to hang the controllers off it.


Mini Consoles Galore

It might have escaped your attention, but I really love the plethora of mini consoles released in recent years.

Well the consoles themselves are cool, and offer a great way to transport some awesome games to play very easily.

I much prefer emulation via RetroArch, but the mini consoles usually bring something with them, as close to original controllers as possible.

I mean you try and get a PC Engine controller outside of the box containing the CoreGrafx Mini!

There is just something so much nicer about playing with controllers that are basically like what we had as kids, and often the knock offs just aren’t as good.

But that leads into another obsession, controllers and that’s a subject for another time!

But the consoles themselves are pretty cool so let’s take a look at what’s in my collection!

The C64 Mini

The C64 Mini (note not the Commodore 64 Mini) comes with 64 classic games for the Commodore 64 and VIC 20.

The design of this one is just so adorable, yeah the keyboard doesn’t work, but it doesn’t need to, and they even got the discolouration right.

The joystick however, is to be honest, rubbish, I hear that the standalone one is better, and I think I may invest in one.

I never had a Commodore 64 as a kid, but plenty of friends did, and I remember wasting plenty of time playing Speedball and Impossible Mission.

The most irritating thing about it was to have it load up, only for it to fail at the last second meaning you had to rewind the tape and load it up again!

This particular console is great, but I wish I had grabbed the Maxi or the VIC20 for the working keyboard, but that would have taken up so much more space.

NES Classic

Now living in the UK, the NES wasn’t that popular or common. We mostly had the ZX Spectrum and the Amstrad CPC, and when a console did get big, it was the Master System.

I never saw a NES in person until I went to university, but the GameBoy was very common.

I got this when it first came out on release day, and it’s kinda cool, but I guess, the games in it, don’t have the same nostalgia kick for me as they would for others.

I mean I have played a fair few of these games, either in the arcade or in later rereleases down the years.

The big issue with this controller is the puddly length of the controller cables, you can’t use it in the average living room without extension cables.

And the connector itself is a Wii Nunchuck port, so the controllers themselves whilst being very very well built and almost perfect replicas of the originals, they require an adaptor to use them with PC.

Mega Drive Mini

This is my main nostalgia kick, my first console that wasn’t borrowed from a friend, the 16 Bit masterpiece that was the Mega Drive.

My parents got me and my brother one with Sonic the Hedgehog, Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, and a three pack with World Cup Italia 90, Columns and Super Hang-On.

It also came with the Master System Convertor so we could swap games with our friends who owned the earlier system, as well as buy our own games for that system.

It was far and away the best system of the era, the software was great and there were so many fun games on it, I even saved up the money from my paper round for 6 months to buy Virtua Racing for it, cause it cost an eye watering £100 back in 1994!

The mini version is grand, comes with a lot of the big hitters, but sadly missing Sonic 3, the controllers are just *chefs kiss* but a part of me kind of wishes that they bundled the six button controllers simply because games like Eternal Champions and Street Fighter II work better with them.

PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini

The PC Engine was a weird console, it was technically an 8 Bit console, but it’s 16 Bit GPU, and the lateness of its release meant most people considered it part of the 16 Bit era.

The PC Engine was super rare in Europe, but I did know one kid who owned one, that he imported from Japan, and we did have a lot of fun playing bullet hell shooters!

The mini version is a bit of an oddity, carrying both Japanese and English language games, and there are times in here that I am rather upset didn’t get an English version, Snatcher being the biggest disappointment.

Always wanted to play that game, but the lack of a modern release, and the only English version is for the Mega CD, and that was massively censored.

But there are plenty of other games on there, and even Japanese ones which require little, if any reading.

This is a great little console and the only way to get CD Engine controllers in USB, I know 8 Bit Do have released some similar controllers, but they lack the turbo switches and instead only have a turbo button.

A500 Classic

I had an Amiga A500, our best friends had one as well or in some lucky cases, an A1200, I even had a friend with a CD32!

The Amiga was the dominant platform that wasn’t a console for a very long time, and the versatility of what it offered was wonderful.

We used to have just as much fun with Deluxe Paint, as we did with Lemmings, Sensible World of Soccer, Alien Breed and Zool!

This platform was fantastic and the death of Commodore after the failure of the CD32 was devastating to me, but it did essentially allow to IBM PC platform to become the dominant force it is today.

The A500 Mini is the most recent addition to my collection and thanks to the developers awesome system, I have a 32GB USB stick, with every game ever published for the platform on it, including all of the CD32 games.

My only criticism is that the game pad, whilst clearly taking inspiration from the CD32 controller, is quite a bit different, but I guess I can live with that.

SNES Classic

Being British, the SNES, well it wasn’t as big a deal as it’s Sega rival was to us.

I did have a friend with one and there were some absolutely killer games released in the platform. The Mario games are up there as classics, for a long time it was the only way to play Street Fighter II at home, and Mario Cart made its debut here.

The SNES Classic is one of the best mini console offerings, the controller cables are a bit longer than those offered by the NES Classic, but are still rather short.

Playstation Classic

This is the dud of the collection, Sony looked to jump on the bandwagon and put together this offering which in all honesty, just missed the mark, by a long shot.

Ok you have some classics, like Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII, but so many games that should have been on here aren’t.

No Gran Turismo, Wipeout, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Crash Bandicoot or Tomb Raider to name a few.

The controllers are great, but it really feels like Sony just couldn’t be arsed with this one.

The modding scene around it is great, and it’s something I should probably consider, but this is technically Lindsay’s as I bought it as a birthday present for her, so she would need to approve any modding!

What Next

Well there are other options out there, the main one I really want is the SNK Neo Geo Arcade Stick Pro, which will combine my desire for an arcade fighting stick, and a Neo Geo games machine.

An Atari Flashback 9 or better is also wanted, as well as the Mega Drive Mini 2, but that looks to be out of production after only being released in October.

But beyond that, that would be it, unless a Master System Mini or a Dreamcast Mini hits the market. I really cannot see a PlayStation 2 Classic, due to the poor response to the PlayStation Classic and the technical issues would probably prevent development of a Saturn or N64 Mini.

I already have a PlayStation 3 and a Wii, which can play GameCube games, so realistically the only think I want that’s not a mini console, is a PlayStation 2.

What I Am Modelling

I painted up a unit of Sicaran Infiltrators to add to my Adeptus Mechanicum army.

And begun the painting of a T’au Fire Warriors Strike Team, which I finished up last Saturday night.

I am then finished a Necron Chronomancer.

And I am currently working on a pair of Necron Tomb Blades.


So what’s coming up next on the horizon?

  1. Necron Tomb Blades x 2
  2. Imperial Fists Tactical Squad x 10 & Praetor
  3. Ork Nobz x 5
  4. Kataphron Breachers x 5
  5. Oruck Gutrippas x 12
  6. Blood Angels Assault Intercessors x 5
  7. T’au Crisis Team x 3
  8. Imperial Fists Contemptor Dreadnought
  9. Ultramarines Intercessors x 10
  10. Silver Tower Hero’s

What I Am Reading

I listened to The Great Clans of Rokugan Volume One, which was pretty good, but I had read a couple of the stories before I think.

Still working through my re-listen of the Dr Who Monthly Advenntures, and I listened to Red Dawn this fortnite.

I am also listening to Kasrkin, and I am very happy to hear that the Cadians remain, Space Geordies!

Also slowly making my way through Zachareth.

What Tabletop Games I Am Playing

On Saturday, myself, Lindsay and Megan played a game of Ticket to Ride London, and I lost, really badly, Megan blocked a route which ruined my whole strategy, but that’s the game!

On the Tuesday I enjoyed a couple of game of Just Oney with Lindsay, Megan and Jane, we only scored 5 on one game and a perfect 13 on another.

What I Am Spending

I grabbed the new rulebook for Dropfleet Commander so I can sort out running some battle reports and demos of this amazing game!

I also bought the Leagues of Votann dice, I am not sure if I want an army of these guys, but I grabbed the dice in case I do.

I got a four pack of USB Sticks, I only wanted a single 16GB stick, but turned out the 4 pack was the cheapest option for that, weirdly.

I needed a 32GB stick as well for the Amiga games, so picked up the same type, just bigger.

And I replaced the little drawer I keep my USB sticks etc with a new one.

My beloved fridge, that I have had since I started university in 2001, has died, it was a fair few years old when I got it, and it’s lasted for 21 years with me, at times having to serve as the houses main fridge.

The last 10 years it’s been exclusively for the storage of pop, snacks and medicine, and since we moved was kept in my studio.

But last week it ceased functioning all together, and we had a look on eBay and Facebook Marketplace and found this London themed Husky fridge for £50, and we picked it up on Wednesday night.

I managed to score a cheap copy of Marvel’s Avengers for PS5, I know it’s had mixed reviews, but you can’t go wrong for £8.

I wanted the PS5 version because it has Spider-Man in it!

We also grabbed a 4TB Hard Drive to add to the PLEX server, adding Paul’s library has taken up a considerable amount of space on the existing drives.

Adding this drive we found sealed and unopened on Facebook marketplace, for a killer price, had allowed us to expand the server space to 13TB in total.

For Dropfleet Commander, I grabbed some Nickar Class Hunter-Killers for my Scourge fleet.

Also some fleet condition tokens, but they have all been put away now!

What I Am Winning

A little prize came, a cast photo from Star Trek: Picard Season 1, and that made me very very happy!


Hivanni Prime!

This past weekend, I, Chris and Graham made a pilgrimage to Essex to play in the excellent Adeptus Terra Podcast event, Hivanni Prime.

Myself and Graham travelled down from the north east on Friday, sadly not via Warhammer World, and we got to the venue in Benfleet about

My List

I took Death Guard, and this was my list

+ HQ +

Praetor in Tartaros Terminator Armour, Power Scythe, Combi-Alchem Flamer

Deathshroud Terminator Squad x 5, Land Raider Proteus Carrier

Moritat, Plasma Pistol x 2

+ Elites +

Contemptor Dreadnought, Kheres Assault Cannon x 2, Havoc Launcher

Mortus Poisoner Squad x 10, Heavy Alchem Flamer x 2, Phosphex Bomb, Melta Bombs, Rhino

+ Troops +

Tactical Squad x 10, Vexilla, Artificer Armour, Rad Grenades, Melta Bombs, Power Scythe, Rhino

Tactical Squad x 10, Vexilla, Artificer Armour, Rad Grenades, Melta Bombs, Lightning Claw, Rhino

Heavy Support Squad x 10, Alchem Heavy Flamers, Rhino

Heavy Support Squad x 10, Autocannons, Augury Scanner

+ Fast Attack +

Sabre Strike Squadron x 2

+ Heavy Support +

Fire Raptor Gunship, Autocannon Batteries

Predator Squadron x 2

Sicaran Battle Tank, Lascannon Sponsons

My first game saw me take on Nail and his Imperial Fists, which hammered me hard, the list had a ton of rerolls plus two Spartans and a Typhon, just stuff my list couldn’t handle in the slightest, great game though.

In game two I too on Fausty and his Iron Hands, and the theme of the weekend from the EoE gang is…

Fuck the Iron Hands!!!

The Mills Brothers

Very tough game but a nice list and we had a good chat about mats!

But yes, a second loss.

My third game saw me take on Paul and his Dark Angels, in a very close game, that I did lose, but another turn and I may have turned it round, but we ran out of time, but super close.

My last game against James’s Dark Angels, saw me lose again, this time in turn 4, the Lion is a hard git!

And my morale checks just kept failing with three units fleeing the board!

Overall the event was very very enjoyable and I am super happy to have gone.

The Death Guard need a bit of reworking to transition properly

What I Am Modelling

Mostly working on some Ruin Factorum buildings and a Shrine of the Aquila for my Imperium table.

The Shrine was finished first.

And the rest shortly afterwards

What I Am Reading

I finished Echoes of Eternity, and you know what, it was pretty good, and fairly emotional!

I published reviews of Black Cat: Discord by Cath Laura and Recruited by Thomas Parrott.

I have now started on Zachareth by Robbie MacNivan, which so far is alright, and rather enjoyable.

What Video Games I Am Playing

I reorganised the wall of controllers slightly following some advice from the guys on r/battlestations, so now the cables are tied with Velcro cable ties and you can actually see the controllers themselves!

I still want to add a Nvidia Shield and a Steam Controller, but they might be pipe dreams, but I shall see next year.

This kind of follows on from sharing a picture of the battlestation as it is now!

I did get a bit of time in with Shootas, Blood & Teef, which is really, really good!

I even bought the soundtrack!

What I Am Creating

We published an episode of Edge of Empire.

And I have published another battle report!

What I Am Backing

Still backing the CoraQuest expansion and the TT Combat paints and washes.

What I Am Spending

I finally bought my PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini which is a replacement for the original purchase a few weeks ago.

I sold a bunch of stuff on eBay and bought this and an A500 Mini, but alas the PC Engine, came without a controller, so I had to pack it up and send it back, whilst the A500 just took an age to get dispatched!

I took a fair few weeks to get the refund to order the PC Engine again, but at last I have them now!

And for now this completes my controller collection for stuff that’s going on the wall anyway.

In a couple of weeks I shall be ordering four new mounts for the A500s CD32 controller, the PC Engine controller, Xbox 360 and my SN30.

I also bought a new fake plant, just need some more now to make that little bit look really nice.

What I Am Winning

I started entering competitions again, it’s a hobby that those of us into it, call comping.

It’s a little sad I guess, but I enjoy the quizzes and challenges, and sometimes the weirdness that it brings.

So when I win something, I will add it here!

The first prize already came through, a pair of tickets to the Living North Christmas Fair, which Lindsay and Megan took advantage of last weekend.

No doubt the question will come up about how I win stuff, and honestly, it’s just playing the odds, entering pretty much as many as you can and you are bound to win something!

That’s literally the secret, and let’s see if we can win some decent stuff, still yet to top my original iPad win from back in 2010!


Is The Series S A Potato

There has been a lot of talk about the Xbox Series S being an underpowered potato that is holding back game development, and I guess I fancy weighing in on it.

When the Series S was unveiled, I admit, I was unimpressed, it’s seemed lacking in comparison to the Series X.

But it has one compelling feature, it’s price, it’s in reach of a lot of people, because the £450 the Series X costs is a lot of money.

But my heart was set on a Series X, but well 2020 happened and the chip shortage hit.

The Series X and both PS5 models were only available in limited quantities, but the Series S, well here is the genius in that little thing, it’s APU, is smaller.

It uses fewer chiplets than the Series X and PS5s and therefore has higher yields per wafer, meaning it can be produced in significantly higher numbers.

As a result the Series S has remained almost constantly in stock and not suffered any significant shortages, whereas even today, you will struggle to get a PS5, and Series X stock levels now seem to have finally stabilised.

So couple in availability, and cost, especially when you factor in GamePass, and I honestly think, the Series S might emerge as the winner of this generation.

Now the excuses used by some developers, well I think that’s all they are, excuses. The 30fps cap in Gotham Knights is frankly more likely down to poor optimisation and an old game engine.

Other games have managed fine, and cone on, these games are also built for PCs with wildly varied specs, and the modern consoles aren’t architecturally that different to PCs, heck the Steam Deck, which a lot of these games run fine on, uses a very very similar chip to both consoles.

But then looking at Gotham Knights PC specs, yeah I suspect very very poor optimisation.

To summarise, the Series S, might not be the powerhouse, but it’s actually making gaming something most people can do, it’s cost means no parent has to buy last Gen hardware, that those on lower incomes can still game, and that this hobby is not restricted to the better off.

Gaming at the best graphics available is great, but just gaming is great as well, even with modest graphics.

I love my Series S, yeah I also have a Series X and a PS5, but most of my gaming, is still on a Series S.

What Am I Modelling

I finished up a squad of Catapractii Terminators for the Imperial Fists, this time armed with Power Fists and Storm Shields.

I also got a Praetor in Tartaros Terminator Armour, with a Paragon Blade and Storm Shield.

I am now working on some Factorum Ruins and a Shrine of the Aquilla for my Imperium table.

What I Am Reading

I finished The Deadly Grimoire by Rosemary Jones, and you can read a review here.

And I have now started on Echoes of Eternity by Aaron Dembski-Bowden.

What I Am Creating

I got three Battle Reports published since the last blog post!

What I Am Backing

I am currently backing the CoraQuest expansion – Keep On Questing.

And I am backing the TT Combat Paints and Washes project, only for a couple of paints to see how they are.

What I Am Spending

I bought some slippers, as my old ones fell apart.

A friend bought another Leagues of Votann box and sold me the spare Codex and models.

I also finally picked up the Sicaran that I bought for my birthday.

And I got another GameCube controller holder for my wall of Controllers!

And I also picked up a Steam code for Spider-Man Remastered!


Crikey I am 40!

Well, I turned 40 last week, and it was not what I expected!

After Marys passing, I had stated that I wanted a quiet birthday, the only thing I wanted to do, was get a Big Mac, that’s it, nothing else.

But the polycule convinced me to make a bigger deal, we planned awesome meals that I love, a trip to Warhammer World, and watching Hamilton.

However, none of it happened, Lindsay got Covid on the Sunday night and all of the plans were cancelled.

To be honest, after having people making me build it up into something great, it turned out to be a huge disappointment.

I don’t know, it’s just really got me down, that the week was such a bust, and Lindsay has no more time off until Christmas, so we can’t even reschedule it to later on in the year, because Paul works weekends, and Megan can’t handle the crowds at Warhammer World on the weekend.

I did get some nice gifts; we did watch Lord of the Rings in 4k (Extended Editions of course), but it still felt like a big disappointing week.

Sorry for the moan, but I couldn’t even get a prearranged game at the club as I had planned, and Lindsay was mostly asleep, no not even any board games got played.

I guess my decision to make a bigger deal of 42 is more sensible.

What I Am Modelling

I finished a squad of Terminators for my Imperial Fists first.

And then another of the same!

I then started work on a trio of Dreadnoughts, two Contemptors and a Leviathan.

I finished a Contemptor first.

Followed by the Leviathan.

I then finished up a second Contemptor, this time the resin legion specific one.

What I Am Reading

Making my way through Cthonia’s Reckoning which is not as good as I had hoped so far, but its ok.

I listened to both Mortarion – The Pale King and Rogal Dorn – The Emperor’s Crusader as audiobooks.

I have also started listening to the Doctor Who Monthly Adventures and just finished The Marian Conspiracy.

I am currently listening to The Great Clans of Rokugan Volume 1.

What I Am Creating

I have gotten back on the wagon of making Battle Reports!

More will follow!!!

What I Am Spending

Got myself a couple of treats for my birthday.

First was SuperHot VR for my Meta Quest 2, looking forward to playing that.

And secondly I got Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection for the PS5.

I also scored a very cheap copy of Shadow of the Colossus for PS4 from eBay.

And a few more controller holders for the wall, so that’s pretty much what I want on the wall up for now.

So up there at the moment are:-

  • Xbox Duke
  • Xbox Series X/S
  • Mega Drive
  • Mega Drive 6 Button
  • Saturn
  • NES
  • SNES
  • N64 Tribute
  • GameCube
  • Wavebird
  • Switch Pro
  • Neo Geo CD
  • Stadia
  • Playstation 1
  • Playstation 3 Dual Shock 3
  • Playstation 5 Dual Sense

In the future I hope to add a PC Engine and CD32 controller as well as putting my SN30.

A Handfasting & Moving House

These last few weeks have been a hell of a busy ones, with mine and Megan’s handfasting and house move, plus Company of Legends to boot.

My mental health is still in recovery mode, but I am getting there.

The Handfasting

Me and Megan have intended to have a commitment ceremony for some time, because as a polyamorous couple and me already being married to Lindsay, we didn’t need to stick to the traditions of a normal marriage.

We were going to do it next year, but accelerated plans when Mary was diagnosed with cancer, in the hope’s she would still be with us. But the speed at which the cancer took her meant we are a few weeks too late, which in itself is devastating.

We hired a hall near Sedgefield, as it was close enough to Hartlepool for Mary that getting her there in the condition we thought she would be in, was not going to be too arduous.

Due to the speed in which it was organised, we couldn’t get a lot of guests there, especially with it being midweek, but we were happy with those that could make it.

Megan wore a beautiful green dress for the ceremony with a black shawl.

It was small and pleasant, not a lot of friends could come, but those that did, we greatly appreciated it.

Moving House

It’s been nearly two months now, but we are pretty settled in Hartlepool now, and it’s quite nice here, the house is lovely if a bit smaller than the Pelton one, but in general is pretty good.

There are a lot more things in the town which is nice and that really does help you make a lot better when you can pretty much get stuff without having to make a big plan on how to get it.

Only thing I am lacking is a place to buy paint in Hartlepool, but so far Lindsay and Paul have been getting me to Asgard when I need it.

Slowly but surely getting my studio in order, but next step is to actually put some armies into storage.

What I Am Modelling

The first models I was able to get painting the new house were two units of Necron Warriors and some Canoptek Scarabs for my Necrons.

After that it took me ages, but I did manage to get a start on my Imperial Fists, starting with the Praetors from the boxset.

And a Tactical Squad.

I am now working on a Terminator Squad for the Imperial Fists.

What Tabletop Games I Am Playing

I have had a couple of games of 40K at Durham Raiders using my Necrons, but that’s pretty much it.

What Video Games I Am Playing

Again, not a lot, but I did play and finish A Memoir Blue, which was rather more emotional than I expected!

What I Am Backing

GURPS Pyramid Scheme is back for 2022 from Steve Jackson Games, so I backed that, at the level that got you all three issues.

What I Am Buying

Most I have just been grabbing bits and bobs for the house and my studio, but there have been a few notable purchases.

I got a C64 Mini to add to my collection of retro mini consoles.

The Snottling stuff for Blood Bowl came out, so I grabbed the cards and dice for them!

Now this might sound daft, but when I renewed my phone contact, I was offered, and I snapped up a PS5 with Horizon Forbidden West!

But I also wanted some other games too, so I bought myself for the PS4, Grand Theft Auto Trilogy, The Last of Us Remastered and The Last of Us Part II.

The Uncharted Trilogy (and the Doctor Who Beginnings boxset)

And God of War plus Days Gone.

I also picked up a Contemptor Dreadnought for my Imperial Fist too and a Sicaran (not pictured)

And at Tabletop Gaming Live, I picked up some spray paints, bases and dice from TT Combat, plus a paint from Turbo Dork.

And finally, I picked up the Age of Darkness Reference Cards

NQ64

Last night myself and Lindsay were invited along to the opening evening for NQ64, a new venue in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The venue provided us with a bunch of game tokens, and two drinks vouchers, but this review hasn’t been seen by them in advance or approved by them.

Now the place was initially pitched to me as a new adult arcade, but to be frank, it’s more of an arcade themed bar than an arcade, and that’s cool, just different to what I expected.

Entering the bar, which is located at 82 Pilgrim Street, opposite the old Bank of England site, which is currently under redevelopment, you come into a large room, this is where the main bar is located, along with a small selection of games, specifically Galiga, Donkey Kong and X-Men.

The bar serves a selection of draught and bottled beers, and video game themed cocktails, but currently no mocktails which is a bit annoying as I am generally a teetotaller.

However I did cave and try a cocktail, I had a Dr Ro Bev Nik, which is a Jack Daniel’s, cherry and Dr Pepper concoction, which was very nice. (I know, I am a terrible example of a Baha’i, but I am still a work in progress).

Further in you come to a room in which there is a central column in which there is located a Mega Drive, Xbox (complete with Duke controllers), PS1 and Game Cube.

There are loaded up with a selection of games to play, but, the Mega Drive was using a widescreen monitor and was forced into 16:9 which made many of the games borderline unplayable, because they were originally designed to be played at 4:3.

The other games in this room include Outrun 2 SP, the only AM2 game in the bar, the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Game, Pac-Man, Space Invaders and some Pinball machines.

In the back are a couple of shooting games, including House of the Dead, a dancing game, a snowboarding game and a couple of others.

Downstairs are the toilets, a further bar, but this was closed on this occasions. There is a room containing Mario Kart, Tetris, Mortal Kombat 2, Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition, and a couple of others.

On the opposite side of the basement is a larger room, in which you can find Ms Pac-Man, Tim Crisis and Time Crisis 2, a Neo Geo 4 slot MVS, Killer Instinct 2 and Crazy Taxi.


So what did we get up to, we’ll we played games and had a couple of drinks.

I am gonna start with the negatives, the first one, being a biggie for me, was when we got our second drink, a soft drink for both of us, the barman asked if we wanted a pint or half pint, we both said pint, but he pulled out a half pint, when we pointed this out, he swore blind that this was a pint glass, it clearly wasn’t and he wouldn’t believe me that a pint was twice and much, despite me handing over Lindsay used pint glass.

I wasn’t in the mood to make a scene, but that was not great and if we had been paying punters paying for a pint and getting only a half I would be quite angry, I could imagine a pissed up bloke could get very aggressive.

Lindsay loved the blue lemonade which reminded her of the Barr Bubblegum drink she and Megan are huge fans of .

The other criticism and this is very personal, but for me, the golden age of the arcade, at least from my youth was the first half of the 1990s and in particular the games made by Sega AM2, and other than Outrun 2 SP, these games were absent. I would have loved to have seen Virtua Fighter, Daytona USA, Virtua Racing or Virtua Striker. But that’s just me and my love of the Model 2 games!

The place has an emphasis it seems on original hardware, and I couldn’t find any emulated stuff at all, which was wonderful.

The Neo Geo MVS cabinet was in my opinion the best one there, oh my god the joystick microswitches were sublime and heavenly to feel. Best game of Metal Slug I have had in years, especially with the CRT monitor.

Time Cop 2 was fantastic, and me and Lindsay had a great time playing it.

The one slight disappointment was Street Fighter 2, I would have rather have seen The New Challengers or Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo. The cabinet felt well worn, and some of the buttons felt like less good quality replacements and were a bit mushy, but most people won’t notice, and it’s good enough, especially with a few drinks in you.

There is also a cool Photo Booth, which not only gives you a print, but also a download code to allow you to get a digital version, which is really cool.


Conclusion

So would I go back, yeah I think I will, just annoyed I am moving to Hartlepool, putting me further away.

If I were to visit again, it would have to be on a school night, I get the feeling it will be a bit too crowded on a Friday or Saturday and you would struggle to get access to the games.

The prices seem reasonable, a bit more expensive than normal Newcastle bars, but those machines are gonna need a lot of maintenance, and being a chain you expect to pay a premium., and even then it’s not too daft.

The overall aesthetic is really cool, a bit too cool for a nearby 40 year old me, but I didn’t feel too out of place.

So I can absolutely see this being a regular haunt when I am in the Toon, it was a really fun night and other than the one barman who didn’t know what a pint was, it was a great night.


I Strayed Out of Thought and Time

It’s been a a long time since my last post, a few months now.

Truth is, one of my best friends, and most trusted companions, Mary, passed away.

She was diagnosed with cervical cancer earlier this year, and in around three months it took her from us.

It was a particularly aggressive form of cancer, by the time they discovered it, it was already stage 4 and it ravaged her body despite several types of chemotherapy being tried on it.

She leaves behind the rest of the polycule, devastated, particularly her husband Paul. They were only married in October and we are all heartbroken.

So as a result my mental health pretty much hit rock bottom and I let everything just go to hell.

Too many things were ignored, not properly written down and neglected.

It took some friends telling me that I looked and sounded like shit to try and pull myself together, and so yeah, I have kinda been working towards that.


As a result of her passing, we are relocating to Hartlepool, Paul needs looking after as he is a bit of a disaster of a human being, and with him working away from home a lot, someone needs to feed his cats, Lexi and Lilo.

We found a place, just 10 minutes walk away from his, and we pick up the keys on Tuesday.

We start moving in from Thursday when me and Megan Will be taking a bunch of stuff we transferred to storage at her parents, to the new house.

It’s a bit smaller, but to be honest not by much, other than the kitchen which is teeny tiny!

It has a dining room, in which we can pop our dining table and a lot of our kitchen stuff too, plus perhaps some board games, but it’s largely going to be a food eating/prep area.

The living room is huge compared to ours now and we will comfortably fit in there with a place for the telly and some board games with the sofa!

The first floor has two bedrooms, and because unlike most of the houses round there, it hasn’t tried to squeeze in a box room, these are both much bigger.

The loft is going to be my new studio, we are picking up some new desktops and a few bits and bob’s to make me and Megan a much bigger and better desk with more room.

Hopefully I can fit a gaming table in there too, well Paul has been commissioned to build us one.

Most of my stuff is out of the house now and in storage and the majority will be moved over in the first big day of moving.

The broadband gets switched on a week Wednesday and I need to be there for then do I am going to set up my desk then.

Still onwards and upwards

UK Games Expo

I worked the UK Games Expo, well as much as I could within the limits of my disability.

I worked the Catan stand with my good friend Donna from the Catan Studio in the US and mostly demoed 3D Catan, which I now want, despite the ruinous price tag!

I picked up the Port Royale big box, I bought direct from the publisher, so paid over the odds, but I am fairly happy with the choice as they got a bigger cut of the money.

I also purchased some bits for my Imperial Fists and some Primaris Company Champions!

The rest of the stuff took a bit longer to arrive.

Horus Heresy 2.0

As a Heresy nut I was so excited by the unveiling of the new edition of Heresy!

I managed to get hold of the new boxset, plus both books from Asgard Games, soon to be my FLGS.

I also got a set of the special weapons from Games Workshop.

As I am doing Imperial Fists I got myself the transfer sheet.

I later on grabbed them a Kratos!

I also managed to pick up a cheap sprue of the characters from Calth, so another Praetor and a Chaplain.

So far, all I have done with them, is to build three HQs, two Tactical Squads and three Terminator Squads, and I have airbrushed on the first coat of yellow for a single squad of each.

Media Servers

As we move, one thing I am doing is to reduce down my physical media, so all of my DVDs and BRDs have been ripped and I am only keeping the ones I really want to have physically.

So we have set up the Raspberry Pi which has been doing very little as a media server.

First up we installed Audio Book Shelf, a fantastic piece of software that runs in a docket container and is a wonderful little audio book server.

I love audio books and have an awful bloody lot of them, mostly Sci-Fi, a lot of Doctor Who, like pretty much most of Big Finishes catalogue, plus I think every Black Library audio published, and everything from Aconyte thus far.

The dude behind the software is constantly providing updates and so far it’s utterly fantastic.The two bugs I found were fixed in a matter of hours

The second side of the project is PLEX, for serving most other types of media.

So far we have transferred almost every single one of the over 1500 DVDs and BRDs we own.

Most of the way there and some are proving tricky to rip, but hopefully by the time Friday rolls along the project will be finished.

What I Am Modelling

It’s been very very slow, grief has destroyed my motivation.

But I painted the Kill Team barricades.

I then got painted up the a set of Thermic Plasma Conduits for my Inperium table.

And then painted up the barricades and rubble heaps from Speed Freeks.

Followed by the Ork scenery from Octarius.

And after that I painted a Tomb Blade for my Necrons!

I then painted some Ork Burna Boyz.

After that was a Mortis Poisoner Squad for my Death Guard.

I then worked with Megan to make these bases for some Totoro minis for our handfasting.

After that I finished off a T’au Breacher Team.

I then painted this Primaris Company Champion for the Blood Ravens.

Followed by a Cannoness for the Sisters of Battle.

But photos of those need to wait until next week I am afraid!


So what’s coming up next?

  1. Imperial Fists Tactical Squad x 10
  2. Sicarian Infiltrators x 5
  3. T’au Strike Team x 10
  4. Ork Nobz x 5
  5. Orruk Gutrippas x 12
  6. Blood Angels Assault Intercessors x 5
  7. Ultramarines Intercessors x 7
  8. T’au Crisis Suit Team x 3
  9. Silver Tower Heroes
  10. Hobgrot Slittas x 20

What I Am Reading

Since last time I have read a couple of books, I finished Splinter Cell Firewall by James Swallow, you can read my review here.

I also finished Sigismund The Eternal Crusader by John French, which was excellent.

Watch Dogs Legion: Day Zero by Josh Reynolds and James Swallow was also very good, and a review is here.

Three Swords by CL Werner was great, review coming very soon.

And finally Black Cat Discord by Cath Lauria was amazing.

I am now reading The Division – Recruited by Thomas Parott.

What Video Games I am Playing

Mostly been playing Horizon Zero Dawn, with the odd session of Halo Infinite.

So lots of streams happened and here they are!

I have now started on Assassins Creed 2 and yeah I had some audio issues, but here are the videos!

What I Am Creating

I published the next battle report for Imperium the other Saturday.

A couple of new Edge of Empire episodes have dropped.

What I Am Backing

I backed Ravage by the Cybertronic Spree, which I am looking forward to a lot.

And my Redgrass Wet Palette V2 arrived, and it’s really nice.

Of course I already have it covered with stickers!

My copy of Car Wars 6th Editon finally arrived, and it’s gone straight into storage for the house move.

What I Am Spending

I picked up a few movies whilst they were on sale, Godzilla, Godzilla: King of Monsters, Godzilla vs King Kong and Minority Report.

I grabbed the new Battletome for the Nighthaunt, along with their Warscroll cards and dice.

Plus a Big’Ed Bossbunka to add to my Ork Scrap Town.

As my chair was dying we took a trip to IKEA and picked up a new one for me, a Matchspiel which is one of the ROG collaborations and it’s really nice.

We also picked up a set of Alex drawers to replace the cupboard which is moving to another part of the studio, this gives me more space to store stuff and actually get to what I need when I need it.

I did some market research for KFC and got a £20 Amazon voucher, which I used to buy Star Wars Episode IV on 4K Blu-Ray.

I got a couple more of these, starting with The Empire Strikes Back.

And The Last Jedi, cause it was on cheap.

My 9 month anniversary of Warhammer + was here, so I got the two exclusive models, plus some Kruleboyz for Warcry!

And I got a case to put my Switch in for when I travel!

I grabbed a 6TB external HDD for my PLEX/Audio Book Shelf server.

I grabbed the new Imperial Fist Legion Dice cause they looked nice!

And my studio needs a new Amazon Echo device.

The current Echo that’s in the studio is to be paired up with the current living room one to form a stereo pair for better music playback in that room.

So I got the kids Tiger version, cause look at it, it’s a mother fucking tiger, and I fucking love tigers!!!


I Wish My Sleep Would Return To Normal

The second bout of Covid has really messed up my sleep, when I want/need to be awake, I am sleepy, when I want to be asleep, I am wide awake, and no matter what I do I am really struggling to return my day/night cycle to normal.

Tonight I am gonna stay awake until bed time on Wednesday again, to try and shock my system back into a normal pattern.

I have tried it already but it didn’t work, but lets give it another go.

What I Am Modelling

I finished off my Blood Warriors for the Blades of Khorne army, which I think finished off all the mortal units I have for the army.

I also painted up a Kataphron Breacher that I got from my Forbidden Planet Imperium order.

I then had a weekend cat sitting for my sister in law so I took a few models to build, specifically the heroes from Shadows Under Hammerhall, which I built on Saturday night.

On Sunday I built the next two models, a Black Ark Fleetmaster and a Loremaster.

When I got home, I finished up the work on the Auto-Choral Transmitter for my Imperium table.

And on Monday I built the Chaos Sorcerer for Shadows Over Hammerhal.

What I Am Reading

I actually picked up a book!

I have started to read Splinter Cell: Firewall by James Swallow.

What Video Games I Am Playing

I have been making great progress through the campaign for Halo Infinite, mostly working on the side missions like killing the High Value Targets, FOBs etc.

I played a couple of hours of Horizon Zero Dawn on Thursday which you can see below.

I had an ad hoc session on Sunday night Ti test some improvements I have made to the setup to improve quality of the recording and I hope this looks better!

And my Monday painting stream became another Horizon Zero Dawn session cause my hands were shaking a lot!

What Tabletop Games I Am Playing

On Sunday me and Megan played a game of Assassins Creed Valhalla Orlog, which of course Megan won.

Its a lovely game and the mat makes it very immersive.

What I Am Creating

I published the 27th Imperium Battle Report.

What I Am Backing

My First Kickstarter project in some time is Ravage by the Cybertronic Spree!

What I Am Spending

My Stadia Controller arrived. It was awful it stank to high heaven of cigarettes, I mean the guy I bought it off must be a very heavy smoker, and honestly, that’s something that I cannot stand the smell off.

When I opened a return he became abusive to the point where eBay stepped in, suspended his account and refunded me right away.

But a different one I bought did turn up, along with a Chromecast Ultra for mine and Megan’s bedroom TV.

I did buy an Adeptus Soriatias Codex and Datacards to allow me to run that army again, it’s an army I have a great love for and need to expand to 2000pts from the current 500 or so points.

I did pick up a hair drier, I need one for working with resin and Lindsay complains when I pinch hers from our bedroom, so this means I have one in the studio, which I am sure Lindsay will use when she needs it.


Resolutions Update – April 2022

I had a bit of a weird month, some periods of little getting done whilst making a big stride at other times.

So this month I brought my yearly tally of models to 341.

This includes the Warhound which only counts as 1!

Paint my Sisters of Battle to 2000 Points – 0%

No progress I am afraid.

Paint Both Silver Tower and Shadows over Hammerhall – 0%

No painting progress, but the heroes are now built for Silver Tower and primed.

Paint 2000 points worth of Orruk Warclans for Age of Sigmar – 19.5%

I got a Weirdnob Shaman painted this month

Paint the Primaris Ultramarines to 2000 Points – 25% Complete

No further progress this month I am afraid 🙁

Paint The Warhound Titan – Complete

I got the Warhound painted at long last so that’s off the list, it was supposed to be fine last year, but it’s finally done now!

Other Resolutions

  • Paint Two Gangs For Carnivale

Completed Resolutions

  • Paint The Warhound Titan

Current Projects

  1. T’au Breacher Squad x 10
  2. Ork Terrain
  3. Ork Burna Boyz
  4. Sicarian Infiltrators x 5
  5. T’au Strike Team x 10
  6. Ork Nobz x 5
  7. Orruk Gutrippas x 12
  8. Blood Angels Assault Intercessors x 5
  9. Ultramarines Intercessors x 7
  10. T’au Crisis Suit Team x 3

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