Category: Blog Page 1 of 21

Planning a New PC

The loss of Misty has hit me hard, she was such a big personality that our home feels, empty without her, which is unfair on Bonnie, Gandalf or Jenny, as they all have fairy big personalities themselves.

The house just feels less full, Megan was upset when she got back from her nanny’s as normal Misty would make a big fuss over her.

She was a real bright spark in our lives and we are going to be coming to terms with her loss for a while.

So the main thing I have done this week is plan my new PC! My current one cost a grand total of £150 about 4 years ago for a motherboard, processor, SSD, memory and case, with some parts scavenged from my previous PC

Those components were brand new, and so you will understand, they were massively underpowered, and now they are really struggling to do anything, and editing the podcast is getting more and more difficult with each show.

So it’s time to upgrade, but I am going to spend a bit of time and money to get one which will be capable of more and not spend my time with it getting very frustrated.

I want a PC that can handle audio editing I’m for podcasts, streaming, gaming with some video editing.

But I have to keep it affordable too, as my money situation is always precarious.

I am starting with a motherboard, I am absolutely going down the AMD Ryzen route, and if I were to buy a processor tomorrow, it would be a Ryzen 5 3400G. Simply because it means I can get it up and running quickly with graphics, and get a good graphics card later on.

So I need an AM4 board, and I want to be future proofed, so it’s gonna be an X570, so it can handle the next generation of Ryzen processors, offering me an upgrade path.

I had initially considered the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4ATX AM4, but this month my money situation may allow me to get the much better Asrock X570 Socket AM4 ATX.

Both offer an M.2 WiFi socket, which leaves a PCIe slot free for a good soundcard, something all good podcasters need, and two M.2 slots for SSDs.

The Steel Legends is more attractive because it has better sound capabilities from the get go, allowing me to forgo a soundcard until a bit later on, plus it has some RGB components built in which is cool.

Either way, end of the month I am buying a motherboard, it will be one of these two.

So then it’s a case of getting memory, I am gonna be a child and get RGB memory, an M.2 SSD, power supply and a case. As well as some case fans, this new computer is gonna run hot, may as well make them RGB too

With the last two the plan is to make sure I am future proofed as much as possible, so the power supply will have to be planned to be good enough to handle a decent graphic card. The case needs to have two 5.25” drive bays to house my Blu-Ray Writer and a USB front plate, because you can never have enough USB sockets. And of course it needs a transparent panel to make sure I can see all those fancy RGB lights!

The general plan is to get the motherboard first at the end of this month as I said, then the power supply.

The very last component to purchase will be the processor, as a new generation of Ryzen processors will be coming out, so it may push down the price of the processor I want, or indeed offer better options in that generation.

Once it’s all done, hopefully it will make life a little bit easier when it comes to my PC.

What I Am Modelling

I finally got Ragnar Blackmane finished. I ended up having a long painting session until 2am on Monday and got him finished, and the base was completed the next morning.

I am not the biggest Ragnar fan in the fluff, but I have always loved his model, and my Wolves belong to his Great Company, because I loved his old model.

It may have been very dated and lacking in dynamism, but there was just something about it, probably because it was the first 40K model I was ever given as a wee 12 year old boy.

I never painted him back then as Fantasy was my game as a child, but this was the single model that was left when my parents moved house about 10 or so years ago (maybe more) and thus was the only thing I had left from my boyhood collection.

I painted that model up a few years ago, and as soon as I saw the release of a new Ragnar model, I had to have it, he is so bloody awesome.

I have seen better painters than me do wonders with him, but I enjoyed painting him an awful lot, so much detail and at times I felt a little overwhelmed.

I still love the old model, and that will still be selected to play with now and then, but this one is really nice.

So anyway, that means all the SpaceWolves from Prophecy of the Wolf are now painted, not that there were many!

I then moved on to a squad of Death Korps of Krieg Infantry for Niki, and doing these I am thinking about how I am eventually going to do the ones I have sitting up stairs unbuilt.

I kinda fancy the same scheme, but I am not going to, so if I ever played Niki with mine I can distinguish whose are whose.

I have a scheme in mind, and am considering doing some test models soon.

Anyway Niki’s models got finished in Friday, I did actually do some of the painting on a Twitch stream which you can see here.

Next was a secret Heresy project, that I can’t tell you about because I am waiting until it’s done.

But it’s a squad of 10 men and was very quick to paint! I really want to share them, but I am not going to because I said I would share when they got to a certain point.

Much of Sunday was spent getting models built and primed so that I can actually paint them. I normally like to have my next ten project ready but I have let this slip as of late.

So I built Mortarion twice, once for 30k and once for 40k, I also built the Death Guard Space Marine Heroes, a T’au Strike Team, and some Death Korps of Krieg lads.

I actually built the T’au on stream, well actually two streams, because my PC died in between sessions!

On Monday morning I built the Nighthaunt characters, and the Palanite Enforcers, which brings me up to my next ten projects built, followed by an afternoon of priming.

It was good weather, but there was a possibility we were going to pop out to Costco, and so I decided to not prime the Zone Mortalis terrain, but I will try tomorrow.

So as we head into the next week, lets see whats on my painting queue, I am still missing my chance to get the Zone Mortalis Terrain primed but I hope to rectify that this week.

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. T’au Strike Team x 10, Cadre Fireblade & Devilfish
  3. Mortarion x 2
  4. Nighthaunt Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, Spirit Torment, Guardian of Souls & lord Executioner
  5. Adeptus Titanicus Titans – Warhounds x 2, Reavers x 2 & Nemesis Warbringer
  6. Dropfleet Commander UCM Ships – Cruisers x 4, Frigates x 4, Corvettes x 6, Destroyers x 2
  7. Death Korps of Krieg Command Squad x 5
  8. Millitarium Tempestus Drop Force Imperator x 5
  9. Palanite Enforcers x 10
  10. Stormcast Eternals Vanguard-Hunters x 10

What I Am Reading

I started on the Saturnine audiobook, and it’s an amazing book, I already read it, but I like to listen to them soon after to pick up the bits I missed.

I have started in earnest on Curse of Honor by David Annaldale. I have a review copy from Aconyte and need to crack on so I can review it.

It’s difficult because I really don’t get in with David’s sentence structures, I find them too short, but so far the story is interesting.

What I Am Playing

I am pretty much all set for streaming now and plan to start doing it on a regular basis.

I did a number of test streams last week, not scheduled or anything, I just jumped on and did stuff.

The first of those was to test the HDMI Capture card, which I did by playing Street Fighter II Turbo Hyper Fighting very badly on the SNES Mini. You can watch my over view of the device and no an unboxing below.

My first stream went quite well, I played Super Mario Kart and it worked really quite well, now it’s just a case of refinement and figuring out what I am doing before putting in place a schedule.

The second stream was Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, which went very badly!

I then streamed a bit of painting to test that out, but more on that later, and I also streamed an attempt to play Super Mario World!

Sunday myself and Megan tested out the capture cards ability to do the Nintendo Switch, which it did amazingly well at, we just recorded that.

And on Monday I actually streamed from the Switch to Twitch, playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the video for that will be on YouTube tomorrow.

What I Am Backing

Again nowt this week, money isn’t there and there isn’t a massive amount that is catching my eye right now, but there is one forthcoming project I can’t wait to share with you when it goes live!!!

In the meantime Calico which Lindsay backed has shipped and is due to be delivered on Tuesday from the EU distribution centre in Greece, it should be delivered tomorrow.

And Steve Jackson Games delivered some more of the GURPS 2020 PDF Challenge this week as well.

What I Am Cooking

On Tuesday I made good old reliable dirty rice, Paul was round for tea and he is not very tolerant of spice, so I made a smaller pans worth for him, which didn’t include spice or mushrooms.

I love this dish, it’s packed full of vegetables and flavour, a real favourite of mine, I sadly forgot to take a photo of it.

I experiment on Friday with the air frier and made some Cajun Fried Chicken, it was ok, but not all the flour cooked, so next time I think I am gonna spray a little oil on it.

I would rather it had been southern fried, but I used my own Cajun seasoning to make it quickly.

In all honesty it was more a proof of concept that I could actually do it.

On Sunday, myself and Megan made some Coca-Cola Chicken Wings for our tea, along with some Sesame and Peanut Noodles.

Couple of things, I forget to plan a vegetable side, which isn’t good, and we ran of paprika so I substituted cayenne pepper, so they were a bit spicer than planned.

Every Sunday morning we try as a household to have breakfast together. In the week this doesn’t often happen as Megan is an early riser, Lindsay eats at her work desk and I am a late riser.

But for the past year we have been trying to make Sunday breakfast together an event. This week it didn’t happen as Lindsay was unwell, so we did it on Monday instead.

Inspired by a random Buzzfeed video on Facebook, we made fried chicken and waffles!!!

A bit weird, but it actually works, and it works really well! We served it with maple syrup and a glass of apple juice and it was bloody delicious.

What I Am Spending

My HDMI Capture Card arrived, along with the HDMI Switch and I also at the same time bought some thumb grips for the XBox One and the Nintendo Switch JoyCons.

The thumb grips are needed because our bunny is a pain in the bum and if he ever gets near a controller, he nibbles the thumb pads, and he has now taken to eating, yes thats right, you heard me, eating thumb grips.

So I need to be more careful about where I leave the controllers.

My order from Battle Bunker arrived, Jus did me good and sorted me out with Morgwaeth’s Blade-Coven for Warhammer Underworlds, a set of Escher Gang Tactics Card and Zone Mortalis Gang Tactics Cards and a pot of Leadbelcher (to get me over the free shipping limit).

My dry brush from Element Games turned up as well, which was a pleseant surprise!

The House of Blades dice set I ordered last week turned up, along with a fee paints I needed.

We did spend a little money on the car, we got a Groupon to have the air conditioning recharged at ATS Euromaster for £38.99 rather than the £60 they normally charge.

Unfortunately during the work they found a leak in the system, so we got the money refunded, which is a shame, but looking at the options for repair, it might be uneconomical.

Didn’t actually buy this next item, but we got a new dining table from our friend Kris and Kim.

Our old one was a hand-me-down from several generations of Megan’s family, it’s really good, but annoyingly it’s very narrow. Which means most board games and miniatures games are not able to be played on it.

The new table is 3ft wide, so we will at long last be able to minis games on a minimum 3ft x 3ft table!

I was going to build a table topper, but this eliminates the need for that!

Last week I ordered some new Horus Heresy dice, four sets of them, and they arrived today.

Got a set for my Death Guard, Ultramarines and Word Bearers, plus a fourth set for my secret Heresy project!

For streaming from the Switch, I didn’t know that you needed a specific type of USB-C power adaptor, so late on Sunday I ordered this one from Amazon Prime, and got it this afternoon.

Cause hell no am I going behind the TV unit each time I want to bring the Switch Dock downstairs to stream from. Long term I probably want a second Dock for downstairs.

Misty, Goodnight My Sweet Kitten

This is a really hard blog post to write, my beloved cat Misty has crossed the Rainbow Bridge after 17 wonderful years.

She has been with us since she was a kitten and her and I have always had a special bond, we always made time for each other and our cuddles were amazing.

She has always been a troublesome little minx, she got this reputation by being very bold about stealing food from you, especially Tuna.

When she was six months old she managed to steal my entire fish off my plate without me seeing her do it, and I couldn’t have a tuna Mayo sand which witch out sharing it with her. Megan had the joy of having Misty stick her paw in her mouth to take out chicken she had just put in there!

We all love her very deeply, she always was a sprightly active cat, to the point where when she was younger she would never keep weight on as she was far too active, meaning the vets were reluctant to spay her until she had her third litter due to her weight.

She was an awesome mother to her daughter Jenny, they often would curl up together in Lindsay’s bed, I am sure Jenny will be lost without her.

She used to love to jump on the table and interrupt our board games, and when we were in bed she would love to crawl under the covers with us to get hugs from both of us and purr her head off.

Sadly a few months ago, she developed an eye infection, we later discovered that this was because her immune system was fighting a cancerous growth under her tongue.

This made her drool a lot which was getting all matted up in her fur, so Megan and her mum made her some wonderful neckerchiefs of absorbent material for her.

She had made improvements when prescribed a painkiller and was eating properly again, although she could only manage pates.

The past couple of days she hasn’t been able to manage even that, we have fed her tuna mayo, which she struggled on to eat, but last night she couldn’t even manage that.

She wants to eat, she is hungry and wants to eat, but she was no longer capable of doing so.

My options were to feed her baby food. by syringe, which she hates, just keep trying to make her eat and she gradually starves to death, or put her to sleep.

I hate myself for having to make that decision, but it’s the right one for her, I don’t want to see her suffer to the point where she gives up.

So I called the PDSA as she is registered with them and we took her along. She had an appointment at 2:50 and they were very caring and wonderful with her.

They examined her and agreed that now was the right time, she was so wonderful and gentle with the vets, and they shed a little tear as well, it makes me realise all too well why suicide rates amongst vets are so high.

She went very peacefully being comforted by the nurse, I wasn’t allowed to be in the room with her, but I could see her through the window.

I hate myself for this, she still felt so alive, but I know if I had selfishly tried to keep her around it would have been awful for her.

The worst part of this, is that Megan, who utterly adores and loves Misty, is away so she doesn’t get to say goodbye, I know when we lost Sweep last year and I was away for the weekend, that Megan must really be hurting over this.

I am going to miss her cuddles, the sharing of tuna mayo stotties, her getting up to mischief.

She was always very special to us, and had dozens of songs sung about her antics by Lindsay and Megan.

I know we did the right thing, it hurts like crazy and I have a hole in my heart that will be impossible to fill.

Tonight I intend to eat Chinese omelette and ice cream, diabetes be damned, eat something nice for tea and watch Star Trek IV, because she always wanted to go time travelling.

Cheap HDMI Video Capture with Loop

I got a cheap £13.99 Video Capture with Loop from Amazon, it cost me £13.99, but will it work and is it any good??? I unboxing and give it a try playing Street Fighter II Turbo on the SNES Mini. Available here from Amazon.

Streaming Again

Weirdly I have been asked a few times, when I will be streaming some painting again, and I guess the answer is soon.

I have no idea why, but people seemed to like the 24 hour painting stream, so I am setting up to do a bit of streaming in a personal capacity.

Takes a little setting up, but I have Streamlabs OBS running about how I want it to, picked a theme and if it works I guess I will be getting a custom one made using Fiverr.

I am not aiming to be a full time professional to make money out of streaming, but it is nice to do it and I guess it will help motivate me.

And I suppose I will even stream games sometimes too!

So I spent a bit of time on Saturday sorting out the basics, set up the new webcam mount and got it more or less in the right position.

My PC seems capable of streaming painting which is good, I am only streaming in 720p at 30 fps as I don’t think it could do 1080p however.

The biggest thing I need to work out is a schedule, because there are things I do that happen on certain days, although not every week.

Currently, Tuesdays is Durham Raiders, Wednesday we have a mini quiz with Megan’s parents, Thursday is a reciting night for Edge or Empire and RPG night.

So this leaves, Sunday, Monday, Friday and Saturday. I had considered streaming for two hours on Sundays, Mondays and Fridays, but Megan is concerned that this leaves little time for me to spend with her and Lindsay in the evenings.

Although I would point out that not every one of those nights I will actually do the things set aside for.

So right now I am thinking Monday and Friday to start off with, and see how that works, probably from 8pm to 10pm.

I have decided that I am going to go in with the aim of eventually becoming a Twitch Affiliate, might as well aim high, so I am going to live stream only on Twitch and upload the videos to YouTube 24 hours later.

My PC long term is in need to an upgrade, when I bought it, I got the cheapest components possible and sadly it can barely run Football Manager, so if I want to stream PC game’s, that’s gonna need an upgrade.

But a new PC has been in the horizon for a while now and I think I am gonna start assembling the parts for that in the next few months.

I will have to do it on a budget, but I will be aiming to make it ok on a mid level budget. Get it up and running first before later adding better components.

In the meantime I think I will do some console streaming and I have purchased a cheap HDMI capture card to help with this.

You can find my Twitch channel right here, and I have installed a plugin to this website so it will show when I am active.

As part of getting things set up I did some reorganisation in the office to match what the girls did whilst I was in London, they basically relocated the stuff on top of my unit to place Lindsay’s printer there.

So I moved the new office Echo next to there, simply because it’s a much more central location and it’s going to have a much better reach around the room.

I also installed the BT Premium Whole Home Disc as well, the plan is to get that fully set up in the next couple of days, but for now I have it installed and ready to be hooked up and set up.

We have had these discs quite a while now as I was testing some firmware updating ability for BT and how it worked with Sky Broadand.

The bloody bunny however decided to munch through the cable for the second disc, luckily I had a universal power adaptor sitting in my wires drawer (every man has one) and I was able to use this to power the second disc.

I was gonna wait until Monday to get it all set up, but in the end decided to just crack on, took a couple of hours but pretty much every device in the house is now online with it.

The exceptions being the Ring doorbell, the AppKettle and the Switch Lite, as none of these devices actually wanted to connect to the Whole Home system.

What I Am Modelling

I started the week by building my remaining Titans, two Warhounds, and got them fully magnetised.

I also built my UCM starter fleet, which was built as two Madrid’s, a New Cairo, two Toulon’s and two Taipei’s, plus I built the Saratoga, the six Santiago’s, and two Kiev’s.

Because I have been busy sorting out the office and tinkering round the house, I haven’t got much painted this week, but today I did manage to finish the Primaris Rune Priest I have for Kill Team.

Origianly when I was builfing the Fangs of Ulfrich as my main Kill Team, I decided I would keep them seperate from my full size 40k and base them differently, and this carried through to the Rune Priest that came in the Astartes Commander Pack.

I do kinda regret this now, because I have since started adding a few Primaris units to the Space Wolves.

I am going to focus and tomorrow I am going to put some real effort into painting Ragnar Blackmane and getting him finished.

So heading into next week what’s my painting queue look like?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Ragnar Blackmane
  3. Death Korps of Krieg Infantry Squad x 10
  4. Secret Heresy Project Unit
  5. T’au Strike Team x 10, Cadre Fireblade & Devilfish
  6. Mortarion x 2
  7. Nighthaunt Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, Spirit Torment, Guardian of Souls, & Lord Executioner
  8. Adeptus Titanicus Titans (Warhounds x 2, Reavers x 2 & Nemesis Warbringer)
  9. UCM Ships (4 Cruisers, 4 Frigates, 6 Corvettes, 2 Destroyers)
  10. Death Korps of Krieg Command Squad x 5

What I Am Reading

I finished Domino Strays by Tristan Palgren, and I really enjoyed it. A fantastic look at the leader of the Hotshots, and you can read my full review here.

What I Am Playing

Myself, and the three Mills brothers played a session of Star Trek Adventures by Modipus over Roll20.

Because Megan’s signal was awful she wasn’t able to join us as planned, so I took on her role, and Lindsay sadly was not feeling up to joining us either.

Was a great session in which we took part in the last battle of the Dominion War, abs now we are on our way to assist a distant Cardassian colony which is being massacred by the Jen’Hadar.

I played the intro mission for Warhammer 40,000 Mechanicus earlier in the week, but since then Lindsay has been monopolising the Switch Lite, and Megan is away down south with the full Switch, so I haven’t had a chance to pay any of it since.

As an aside, I have set changed my bullet points at the bottom of my articles, and now have split Last Game Played into Last Tabletop Game Played and Last Video Game Played, just because I am trying to play more video games and I think this will help motivate me.

What I Am Backing

Not backing anything at the moment, but my BackerKit for Car Wars Sixth Edition was completed and I ended up adding Miniatures Set 2 and 4 to compete the collection plus the wreaks.

I have serious thought to getting the 2nd neoprene mat, but I am already getting the 1st and 2nd mat in my pledge and those link together quite well already.

Still have the Chai: High Tea survey to complete soon.

What I Am Cooking

I did make some slow cooked beans on Thursday, they weren’t much, just a couple of tins of baked beans, some sliced mushrooms, smoked sausage, half an onion, a bit of pancetta and a splash of Kansas City BBQ sauce.

They were nice, and would have been great with toast, but my bread was mouldy 🙁

Didn’t get a photo as I was in a hurry to get to our game of Star Trek Adventures!

On Saturday I made some Indian Spiced Chicken Wings, served with pilau rice, naan bread, and garlic and salt purple sprouting broccoli and fine beans made by Lindsay.

These were really simple to make, they were just tossed in oil, then tossed in a spice mix and then baked in the oven for 40 minutes.

Utterly delicious and will be getting made again, but I may make a tamarind dipping sauce to go with them next time.

I ended up cooking again tonight, but that was less involved and was just some quarter-pounders from Sainburys baked in the oven, with some Emmental melted on top and a side of french fries made in the air firer.

I think I have operation of the air-firer down, and soon will start branching out beyond chips, I have a desire to make southern fried chicken in it!

What I Am Spending

Because I have two beds, but only one Apple Watch charger I bought a new Apple Watch Charger, but it’s also got an integrated Lightning Cable so I can charge both my iPhone and Apple Watch from one charger.

I also got a new webcam mount, I have been asked to do do some more live streaming so figured that I needed a better and less obtrusive way of mounting the camera above my desk, so trying this out.

For my other bedside I have bought a proper combined dock to charge my iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods together, along with a QC 3.0 adaptor to power it and provide a charging output for my iPad.

I was so impressed with it, I ordered a second one with a slightly different QC 3.0 plug for my other bedside. This plug is white and has a PD port on it, its the same listing as the first one, just different configuration. So I got a USB-C to USB-C cable to power it from the PD port, and now I can use the other two QC 3.0 ports to charge my power bank, and my iPad Mini

The order I made with TT Combat last week arrived, so now I have some Command Cards for the Scourge fleet, a Saratoga Light Cruiser and a Pungari Thresher.

I won a £250 voucher for Canary Wharf earlier in the year and finally was able to use it, but calling up Canary Wharf and asking them to extend it, they suggested contacting Curry’s PC World to see if they would let me order over the phone.

And well they did, they swapped out the generic Canary Wharf voucher for a Curry’s PC World one, which allowed me to make a big purchase online.

I bought myself some Apple EarPods, some games for the Nintendo Switch, Warhammer 40,000 Mechanicus, Borderlands Legendary Collection, The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening and Bioshock The Collection.

I also got a new Dolce Guato coffee maker for Lindsay and Professor Layton’s Mystery Journal on Switch for Megan.

I also got round to picking up my Snotling Dice from Battle Bunker, and ended up ordering a few more bits, specifically the Escher Gang Tactics Cards, Zone Mortalis Gang Tactics Cards, some Leadbelcher and Morgwaeth’s Blade-Coven, so I expect I will get those next week at some point.

And having decided to make my gang focus for Necromunda the Escher, I ordered a set of Escher Dice from Games Workshop.

Was tempted to grab Goliath Dice at the same time, but I really don’t think I fancy painting Goliath again, I just didn’t enjoy them.

My order from Element Games arrived and as I said last week, it was Ascension, the last Blackstone Fortress expansion, Cultists of the Abyss and Morgok’s Krushas.

The 1st Gen Echo Dot in the office is kinda rubbish and listening to music and podcasts on it isn’t a fun experience as the speaker is so small and tinny. So we ordered an Echo speaker, seeing as it was on offer, and this arrived on Sunday and now lives next to Lindsay’s printer.

We also noticed at the same time you could get a 3rd Gen Echo Dot for 99p if you took out a month of Amazon Music Unlimited for £7.99.

This 99p Echo Dot is going to go to Megan’s parents house, as Geoff really wants one, and will be joined by the 1st Gen Echo Dot which will be set up next to Geoff’s PC.

This way Jane can easily get in touch with Geoff and he has no longer got an excuse to say he didn’t hear her calling him down for tea!

And being a sucker for a bargain, I noticed that Half Moon Bay were offering a Warhammer Mystery Box with £50 worth of stuff for £25, plus I had a 20% off voucher and thus got it for £20.

In this I got a Space Wolves Tankard Mug, a glass tankard, a tin plate, a Stormcast Eternals fridge magnet bottle opener, a metallic bowl, a Stormcast Eternals coaster, and a Stormcast Eternals pin badge.

Value worked out to be roughly £65!

I also did an unboxing video for it, which you can see here below.

I have also purchased a super cheap HDMI video capture card, I went for the slight more expensive one that has a loop, this way I can hook up whatever console I am using and output it to a screen and thus avoid any latency issues.

I also figure if I try to go back to a three monitor setup on the desk I share with Megan, she may have serious objections, and so I have gone and bought a dirt cheap HDMI switch so I can hook up my monitor to console and still capture the footage without any latency.

I just hope my PC can support it all, otherwise I will have to borrow one of the girls laptops if I want to do that.

Half Moon Bay Warhammer Mystery Box Unboxing

BigGeordie Geek unboxes the £25 Warhammer Mystery Box from the good folks at Half Moon Bay!

You can find them here, they are currently out of stock, but hit the Email Me button for an update on when they return to stock!

Domino Strays

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Marvel Heroines book Domino Strays by Tristan Palmgren 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.

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.

So lets get in to it, the book as the title suggests concentrates on Domino, the mutant whose power is luck, if you are familiar with the comics, this is set in the current timeline with her being the leader of the Hotshots and contains the rest of the team in supporting roles. If you are less familiar, she was played wonderfully by Zazie Beetz in Deadpool 2.

The story revolves around the Hotshots infiltrating the compound of a cult leader in Chicago to save her clients two children. It skips between three different time periods, giving us the reasons why Domino hates the idea of people being held in cages, and why she has a particular thing for crazy zealots.

Its told from a second person point of view with Domino telling the reader the story, given how closely Domino is associated with Deadpool, I think it would have been very easy for this to go down the route of breaking the fourth wall, but I think this works way better, because they didn’t do that. Honestly it feels like we are holed up in some seedy bar as Domino relates the story to us over drinks.

You get a fantastic inside look at the Hotshots, how they work and the relationship dynamic between them, especially between the closest three of them, those being Domino, Diamondback and Outlaw.

My favourite parts of the story were those that covered Dominos infiltration of the Project Armageddon compound in the Everglades and those about her childhood in a church orphanage. The present days story for me was more of a device to tie it all together, and it was really good at that.

Another positive was that they didn’t overly play on her superpower, she rarely relied on it, and as she points out, its not something that makes her invulnerable and isn’t very cinematic, she has to rely on honed skills and experience, only relying on her superpower when she absolutely needs to.

The only real issue I have with the story is the footnotes, which are in themselves great, but they are all at the end of the chapters, which are in themselves, not that long, but its a pain to have to keep flipping through to make sure you read them when you are supposed to. I would much rather they be at the end of the page they belong with, but I wonder if this is a limitation of the ePub format.

I was a big fan of the Domino: Hotshots series by Gail Simone and this was a fantastic deep dive into that team. You don’t need to have any background in the characters as the book does a great job of giving you all the background you need, but in a natural very easy flowing way. The dynamic between the team was just perfect, with the characters balancing each other out just like they do in the comics. The relationship between the core of Domino, Diamondback and Outlaw, with the other members was just perfect, especially with Atlas Bear, who is only reluctantly a member of the team.

Footnotes aside, this is a very good read and given that the characters are very much Marvel B-List characters (Other than Black Widow), means that its accessible to those who only really know Marvel from the MCU.

In short you have a great book looking at one of Marvels more interesting characters and its really enjoyable.

Domino Strays is going to be released on October 6th.

A Much Needed Break

I think most of my friends know that I haven’t been doing well. The after effects of Covid-19, the new limitations it has placed on me and the various issues that have cropped up the past few months have really taken a toll on me.

So my friend David offered to give me a break away at his in London, and I readily took him up on the offer, despite my natural reluctance to be away from my own home.

So Lindsay and Megan dropped me off on Friday at Ferrybridge services, where David picked me up and drove me down to North London, via Warhammer World, where we popped into to grab a couple of things.

Then we made out way to Reds True Barbeque in Nottingham city centre where we enjoyed some awesome BBQ food.

We then travelled down to London where we spent a few hours chatting and stuff in David’s man cave.

As David was throwing a socially distanced BBQ shindig on Sunday, Saturday was spent gathering the required meats and stuff, and also included a trip to Leisure Games.

The evening was spent with David playing Blood Bowl 2 and me building a Nemesis Warbringer Titan as we chatted and put the worlds to right.

Sunday the BBQ happened and David’s plans popped round, a mixture of friends from politics, gaming and work. And it was a really good little party, I even got a game of Heresy in.

Lots of fun was had and perhaps the odd airsoft gun was fired!

The next day David did sleep in a bit because we were up until very late, so I was mostly on my own, but I managed to build and magnetise two Reaver Titans for Adeptus Titanicus.

After a tea of pit beans and sour bread toast, we then played a game of Adeptus Titanicus, before doing some tidying up of his hobby room, and heading to bed.

Tuesday saw Lindsay come collect me as she had to run a personal errand in the south, and we headed back up north!

I really appreciate David putting me up for the weekend, I feel super relaxed and had so much fun playing games and just sitting and chatting about stuff.

What I Am Painting

This week I really think I am getting out of my hobby slump, and feel like I can finally get a move on with my painting.

Perhaps it’s the hot weather starting to ease or just the fact that a few things in life have started to go right again, I am not sure.

Anyway I started by finishing off the Blood Ravens Intercessors, which means I am one unit off having painted all of Dark Imperium.

This brings me up to three 10 man units of Intercessors for the Blood Ravens, I still have two units left to paint, but these are armed with Stalker Bolt Rifles and Auto Bolt Rifles.

I then picked up and started work on a squad if Space Wolves Infiltrators and Ragnar Blackmane from Prophecy of the Wolf., along with a Primaris Rune Priest I am painting for Kill Team.

I managed to get the Infiltrators finished, but time crept up on me and I had to leave Ragnar and the Rune Priest for my return from London.

Whilst at David’s I built and magnetised a pair of Reaver Titans, a Vulcan Mega Bolter for Reavers and a Nemesis Warbringer Titan, all for Adeptus Titanicus.

Coming up in the painting queue we have:-

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Ragnar Blackmane and Primaris Rune Priest
  3. Death Korps of Krieg Infantru Squad x 10
  4. Secret Heresy Project Unit
  5. T’au Empire Strike Team x 10 & Devilfish
  6. Mortarion x 2
  7. Nighthaunt Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, Spirit Torment, Guardian of Souls & Lord Executioner
  8. Adeptus Titanicus Titans (Warhounds x 2, Reavers x 2 & Nemesis Warbringer)
  9. UCM Ships (3 Cruisers, 2 Frigates, 6 Corvettes, 2 Destroyers)
  10. Death Korps of Krieg Command Squad x 5
  11. Millitarium Tempestus Drop Force Imperator x 5

What I Am Reading

I finished listening to Avenging Son, and I did find it extremely enjoyable, quite a few story strands, all of which seemed to pay off and was a really interesting look at the beginning of the Era Indomitus.

The narrater however wasn’t the best, his voice for Roboute Guilliman was particular bad, a lot of his stuff was alright, but he just wasn’t as good as most other Black Library audio book narrators.

I then started on Sons of the Selenar, and I must admit I really missed the voice of Jonathan Keeble. It’s a great story and it’s wonderful how it links.

Still reading and enjoying Domino Strays but I got very little of that read this week.

What I Am Playing

On Sunday I played a game of Heresy against a chap whose name escapes me, but he played with Salamanders and I had my Death Guard.

Of course I lost, but it was a casual game and lots of fun was had. At the end of the game I had a single Heavy Support Squad member left on the board!

On Monday night me and David played a basic game of Adeptus Titanicus, which I also lost!

We just had very basic set ups, using my Titans because at David’s rate of painting, he may have his ready for some time in 2045!!!

My mistake was splitting my forces and sending the Warlord to try and flank the enemy, but of course it’s so slow that David was able to concentrate his entire battle group on my Reaver and Warhound.

In a particularly epic moment, my Reaver was destroyed when David’s Warhound missed my Warhound with a Plasma Blastgun and hit my Reaver instead which was already basically dead.

It then fired wildly at my Warhound doing enough damage that made it super easy for David to finish it off with his next activation.

What I Am Backing

Not backing anything right now, although I have chased up the transfer sheets from Forgotten Chapters as that should have arrived by now.

What I Am Cooking

I haven’t cooked anything all week!

What I Am Spending

I spent quite a bit this week!!!

We bought a couple bits for the car, first was a long lightning cable. There is a power socket right in the back, so we plugged in a USB adaptor there and grabbed a 3m cable so we can reach everyone in the back if they need it.

We also bought a Bluetooth FM transmitter for the car, because annoyingly it doesn’t have an aux port. This one is good because it has two USB ports and a USB-C port, so we don’t lose the ability to charge phones and power the Sat Nav.

We also bought a phone holder that attaches to the window, this is so that Lindsay can have access to Google Maps if she wishes to use that instead of the TomTom we own.

I also took advantage of TT Combats online exclusives period and ordered a Saratoga Light Cruiser to add to the one I bought when it first came out, a Pungari Thresher to add to my Shaltari and a pack of Scourge Command Cards. But I don’t expect to get them until next week.

I am getting sick and tired of anaemic oven chips and as a group we decided to get ourselves an air fryer, we had over £50 of Nectar points so, we just used them to grab it from Argos.

My order of Lexicanium Varus and Sister Tariana Palos was also dispatched, a Made to Order limited stuff order that I made at the back end of April.

I ordered one Varus for my Blood Ravens and one for mine and Megan’s Blood Angels.

On the trip to Warhammer World, I bought, a few bits, I grabbed the dice for the latest Warhammer Underworlds Expansions, Morgok’s Crushers and Morgwaeth’s Blade-Coven, a Vulcan Mega Bolter for an Adeptus Titanicus Reaver Titan and a set of transfers for my secret Heresy project.

I made an order with Element Games for the last expansion for Blackstone Fortress, Ascension, Morgok’s Krushas, Cultists of the Abyss and an Army Painter Drybrush.

I popped into Leisure Games, David’s FLGS and I bought mine and Megan’s present to Paul for his birthday, and a couple of brushes from Army Painter for myself.

So hopefully I will have that order next week.

August Resolutions Update

The end of the month is here so let’s see where I am with my hobby resolutions.

It has been a slow month, the heat has really impacted on my painting.

This month brings me up to 993 completed models.

Finish The Blood Ravens I Own on 1st January – 90% Complete

I painted a 10 man Intercessor Squad this month, these were mostly multipart models but also included an Easy to Build model and a Sgt from Dark Imperium.

So left to paint for the Blood Ravens are:-

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

So I am not too far off competing this resolution at all!

Finish The Death Guard – 84.62% Complete

Noting was touched for the Death Guard this month, but Mortarion should get done next month.

Paint 2000 Points of Stormcast Eternals – 85% Complete

I painted two units of Vanguard-Hunters and a Knight-Zephyros, although only one unit of the Vanguard-Hunters counted towards the target.

Left to paint I have:-

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

Paint 2000 Points of T’au – 31.25% Complete

I painted a Breacher Team and their Devilfish, using an airbrush to get down the main colour of the armour, which made that task a lot simpler and smoother.

Left to paint for this list I have:-

  • Commander in XV86 Coldstar Battlesuit
  • Strike Team x 10
  • Strike Team x 10
  • XV25 Stealth Suits x 3
  • Sniper Drones x 4
  • Barracuda AX-5-2
  • TY7 Devilfish
  • KV128 Stormsurge

Other Resolutions

  • Complete 2000 Points of Orks
  • Rebase the Orks
  • Paint Mortarion for Everchosen

Completed Resolutions

  • Paint 867 Models
  • Rebase the Blood Ravens

So going into September what does my painting queue look like?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Ragnar Blackmane & Primaris Rune Priest
  3. Death Korps of Krieg Infantry Squad x 10
  4. Secret Heresy Project Unit
  5. T’au Strike Team x 10, Cadre Fireblade & Devilfish
  6. Mortarion x 2
  7. Nighthaunt Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, Spirit Torment, Guardian of Souls and Lord Executioner
  8. Adeptus Titanicus Titans (Warhounds x 2, Reavers x 2 & Nemesis Warbringer)
  9. UCM Ships (3 Cruisers, 4 Frigates, 6 Corvettes, 2 Destroyers)
  10. Death Korps of Krieg Command Squad x 5

A Bit Overdue

I have had a weird couple of week, and this missed a blog post last week, so here is two weeks worth.

In those two weeks I have gotten a new job demoing for TT Combat, mostly focused on a favourite game of mine, Dropfleet Commander.

I am a huge fan of Dropfleet, and normally play UCM, but I have a little of everything.

My current plan with that game is to concentrate on the UCM and get them a bit bigger before focusing on the Scourge for a bit.

I am considering stripping my Scourge and redoing them in a colour shift scheme, but I am not sure.

Anyway, I have added the new ships that TT Combat have sent me to the painting queue along with some I have still got to do from when I bought them previously.

What I Am Modelling

I started the week by building my Zone Mortalis terrain, which was a big job. I even gave myself a blister on my finger using the hobby knife to scrape away mouldlines

I think I may have enough to cover a 3×3 in here.

I then place on my desk the Death Korps of Krieg Mortar Teams and the Stormcast Eternals Vanguard-Hunters and Knight Zephyros.

I got the Vanguard-Hunters done first, I dunno but I just wasn’t feeling the Death Korps at that moment.

They took me 10 days to paint, but it’s well worth it I think.

I then took out the Blood Ravens Intercessors so I could work on them piecemeal and I started to work on the Death Korps of Krieg Mortar Team, and managed to get them finished on Saturday.

I now have the Blood Ravens Intercessors armour done and hopefully I should get them finished quickly.

So here is my painting queue as it stands right now.

The Zone Mortalis Terrain is top of the list right now but I am waiting for a good chance to get them primed, every time the weather is good, I can’t get it done because I don’t have time, and when I have time the weather is bad.

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Blood Ravens Intercessors x 10
  3. Space Wolves Infiltrators x 10 & Ragnar Blackmane
  4. Death Korps of Krieg Infantry Squad x 10
  5. Secret Heresy Project Unit
  6. T’au Strike Team x 10, Cadre Fireblade & Devilfish
  7. Mortarion x 2
  8. Nighthaunt Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, Spirit Torment, Lord Executioner & Guardian of Souls
  9. Adeptus Titanicus Warhound Scout Titans x 2
  10. UCM Ships (3 Cruisers, 4 Frigates, 6 Corvettes, 2 Destroyers)

What I Am Reading

I listened to the audio drama Dredge Runners by Alec Worley and I was really impressed by it, fantastic characters and it really felt like the city came alive in it.

Brilliant character and a wonderfully atmospheric story, want more like this please!

It got me so excited about Warhammer Crime that I jumped right into Bloodlines by Chris Wraight as an audiobook, which i finished and frankly it’s absolutely amazing, really good and very entertaining book.

I then started listening to Avenging Son by Guy Haley, the first Dawn of Fire novel

Prose wise I finished up Saturnine and wow, possibly the best Heresy book so far, maybe even the best 40k book ever written!

I have lots of thoughts about it and we’ll I may have to write a review.

I then started on Domino Strays by Tristan Palmgren as the good folk at Aconyte have asked me to review an advance copy.

What I Am Playing

A week ago Friday I went to the ever amazing Battle Bunker in Sunderland where myself and Graham, played a game of Horus Heresy.

It was a 3500 point game, where my Death Guard faced off against his Salamanders. He brought along a cool list with some stuff I have never played against before, and I brought for the first time my Sabres and my Autocannon Squad.

The game was initially quite close, but losing a squad who were on an objective meant i soon started to fall back in points.

The Sabres died early on, and did make an impression taking out a Rhino and a few Marines.

The Autocannon Squad were the MVPs for me, and they just decimated whatever they fired against, taking out a Leviathan, finishing off a Storm Eagle and destroying two Rhinos. There wasn’t a turn in which they didn’t destroy something.

The game ended up being a 6-9 victory for Graham.

I also was demoing Marvel Crisis Protocol at the Virtual U.K. Games Expo over Discord, which was a lot of fun.

I had to reteach myself the rules as it’s been a while, and I don’t own any of it myself.

What I Am Backing

Not a sausage right now!

But I have got the survey for Chai: High Tea, and am considering a couple of add ons.

What I Am Cooking

Not much, I did make a big omelette for lunch one day and then fish fingers and chips for tea, but other than that not much.

What I Am Spending

Hachette finally sent me the missing copy of Conquest Issue 13 I ordered, with its Munitorum Armoured Container, which is going in my Zone Mortalis terrain collection.

We did make one very large purchase, a car!

My PIP has ended and the Covid-19 stuff means it ain’t getting reviewed anytime soon so in the meantime we have to hand back our lovely Mini.

But to tide us over we bought a SEAT Alhambra, it’s cheap and needs a little bit of cosmetic work, but we are quite happy about it.

Insurance wasn’t terrible either considering Lindsay’s only been driving for four years, anyway the big advantage of this car is that we can fit many four nibbling in it. So when we visit Suffolk or take out Jane’s boys, no need to decide if someone should be left home or get the bus.

However annoyingly not long after getting it, as in within 24 hours the starter motor died, which forced us to arrange for a new one to be fitted, which happened today and now it’s up and running properly.

The dealer we bought the car off split the costs of getting the new starter motor with us, so that was fairly decent of him.

I did but Sons of the Selenar on Audible, it’s taken a little while to reach there but I am glad it has.

Starting Sylvaneth with Mortal Realms

A lot of you will now be getting into your hands the second Premium Pack for Hachettes Mortal Realms, and this time it contains Sylvaneth so just like last time with the Flesh Eaters Courts, let’s look at how you can expand this set into a 1000ts and 2000pts army.

So let’s start by looking at what you get in the pack.

  • Spite Revenants x 5
  • Dryca Hamadreth
  • Branchwych

Plugging that into Battlescribe that gives us a total of 440 points, so a lot less than the Flesh Eaters.

So where would I go first, well looking at the warscolls in the Battletome, I would be tempted to start with The Outcasts Warscroll Battalion, which needs 3 units of Spite Revenants, so you need to go and buy two more boxes of them.

After this I would probably grab a Start Collecting Sylvaneth box and use the Treelord and Dryads from that to add to the army. And also grab the Endless Spells and use the Spiteswarm Hive from that.

So now your list should look like this:-

+ Leader [380pts] +

Branchwych [80pts]

Drycha Hamadreth [300pts]

+ Behemoth [180pts] +

Treelord [180pts]

+ Battleline [100pts] +

Dryads [100pts]: 10 Dryads [100pts]

+ Battalion [280pts] +

Battalion: Outcasts [280pts]
. Spite-Revenants [60pts]: 5 Spite-Revenants [60pts]
. Spite-Revenants [60pts]: 5 Spite-Revenants [60pts]
. Spite-Revenants [60pts]: 5 Spite-Revenants [60pts]

+ Malign Sorcery [50pts] +

Endless Spell: Spiteswarm Hive [50pts]

Going to 2000 points I would start by adding some Tree Revenants, so that you could form those, your Treelord and Branchwych into a Household Warscroll Battalion.

Then I would grab a second Start Collecting Box and use this to add two more units of Dryads and a second Branchwych so that I could add the Forest Folk Warscroll Battalion and a Treelord Ancient.

And lastly I would drop the Spiteswarm Hive and instead add a unit of Kurnoth Bunters with Kurnoth Greatbows for some ranged firepower’s.

So this is the list I would build for 2000 points.

+ Leader [560pts] +

Drycha Hamadreth [300pts]

Treelord Ancient [260pts]

+ Other [190pts] +

Kurnoth Hunters [190pts]: 3 Kurnoth Hunters [190pts], Kurnoth Greatbow

+ Battalion [1,240pts] +

Battalion: Forest Folk [520pts]
. Branchwraith [80pts]: 1. Throne of Vines
. Dryads [100pts]: 10 Dryads [100pts]
. Dryads [100pts]: 10 Dryads [100pts]
. Dryads [100pts]: 10 Dryads [100pts]

Battalion: Household [440pts]
. Branchwych [80pts]
. Tree-Revenants [80pts]: 5 Tree-Revenants [80pts], Glade Banner, Protector Glaive, Waypipes
. Treelord [180pts]

Battalion: Outcasts [280pts]
. Spite-Revenants [60pts]: 5 Spite-Revenants [60pts]
. Spite-Revenants [60pts]: 5 Spite-Revenants [60pts]
. Spite-Revenants [60pts]: 5 Spite-Revenants [60pts]

I am not gonna pretend I am a tactical genius here, this list is probably very sub-optimal, but it’s what I would do personally because I think this is a nice route to 2000 points.

I would also very much look at grabbing an Awakened Wyldwood, because it’s fantastic in game and will really add something to your army.

In terms of painting, I would point you towards the tutorial on YouTube by Duncan Rhodes when he was at Warhammer TV for Ylthari’s Guardians.

So let me know what you think of my ideas, and if you are gonna give them a try out, let me know how it goes!

Just a quick note, if you do follow the links to Element Games and buy something from them, a little bit of a commission is made for Edge of Empire which helps keep the podcast running.

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