Saturday, December 28, 2013

The greatest gift at Christmas is...


At least that's how I view it. Time away from work to do the things you want to...

Christmas of course, is time with family at home, sharing some quality time, enjoying the kids tear through their prezzies like a hot knife through butter... and of course the Christmas lunch which for most of us Antipodeans means a BBQ in the sun... which I have to say this year was a bit touch and go weather wise, but we struck lucky with the sun breaking through right on cue and lasting long enough, for full tummies to roll inside before the rain started... feet up, DVD on (The Hobbit), and snore the afternoon away... lets face it, up till 12.30am the night before, wrapping and arranging prezzies, then up at the crack of dawn to excited children who can't wait any longer... full tummy, and several glasses of wine later... is it any wonder the adults crash out Christmas arvo? ;-)

As for the Christmas prezzy haul... actually we don't bother for adults... for us its about the kids... but I did lash out in a moments silliness, buying myself a $4 bag of glue sticks and a $4 egg slice for the missus ;-)

Actually, with thoughts leaning towards LOTR / Hobbit I ordered up on a couple of gaps in my collection - I ordered a hobbit set; Paladin Took, Lobellia, Fatty Bolger and Horn blower via folks in UK, and Bullroarer Took from GW NZ online as it wasn't listed on the UK site... sometimes you just have to bite the bullet on price... so they were my Christmas gifts to myself....

Ah, a wonderful time, but what I really enjoy at Christmas is the statutory holidays off, for us poor retail schleps; means Christmas and Boxing day ( if you're lucky - my wife had to work Boxing day arvo), Friday for me was back to work, then luckily enough the weekend free, and rinse and repeat for this week with New Year nearly upon us...

So with this extra time off, whilst kids are busy playing with their new toys together, Dad can potter on ...

I managed two more 2kg bags of Polyfilla (making 3 in total) to add more layers to the Victorian base board to even it up, and allowed it to dry...

I based the Victorian corner tavern to help square it up, and chopped and glued matchsticks to frame out all the windows....

An undercoated 'Baskerville' from EotD Requiem for scale...

Also with the Hobbit/LOTR juices flowing once more I decided to make some repairs / improvements to my Helms Deep board, repairing chipped surface and after a visit to my local hobby store for supplies, poured in more Realistic Water to build up the stream layer. This is to stop models falling over if standing in the stream area... one of my bugbears with skirmish gaming and single based figures... you can make excellent looking terrain, but if its not a flat surface they'll fall over... annoying! Especially banner bearers who you need right up with the action, and if they fall over everyone else gets knocked over too!

'Realistic water' poured... awaiting drying (approx 24hrs)

Great stuff, but not cheap!
Whilst getting my hobby supplies, I included some lemon trees and tomato plants I happened across... perfect to add some life to my proposed Hobbiton build...

 ... and big bag of lichen to make woods look like woods. Had some time with eldest to start the LOTR/ Hobbit, Fall of the Necromancer campaign... the starting scenario pits 4 giant spiders and 2 giant bat swarms against Thranduil and a bunch of wood-elves, on a wooded 24" x 24" board... simple fun...

Mirkwood - Fall of the Necromancer campaign

The odd thing with the SBG LOTR rules are that they define difficult terrain areas, eg. woods, by for example, an area of felt, which affects move rate (if you're not a wood elf, spider or bat swarm) but this wooded area does not impede LOS nor provide cover unless there is an actual tree or bush modeled on it... So a big bag of lichen clumps made for some instant bushes and cover saves (3+ in the way), compared to the trees (4+ in the way)... worked rather well... I did also re-base the trees on 60mm round MDF discs (I bought a new bigger hole cutter) as the smaller bases used previously were not enough to stop them toppling over when knocked...

After gaming was satisfied, and plaster skim coats had dried on board it was time to equip up, and break out the Dremel... its noisy, dusty work, so safety gear is a must... and Ipod music inside ear defenders helps the time pass pleasantly...

 Bzzzzzzzzz, Whirrrrrrr  ...

After about 45 mins I have done a roughly 6" x 6" area... yep this is going to take a while, but I think the end result will be worth it...

I'll keep plodding on with this bit by bit, with breaks... don't want to get 'white finger'...

I am still plodding on with more figure painting too for Curts Challenge, and am focusing the time on the fortnightly themes so I get to score some points!

Just a quick thought on your local hobby store... I must admit I am the first to try and source stuff cheap online where possible... especially model figures, but I do find the local hobby stores great for terrain and craft supplies, and try and support these guys where possible. They are not always the cheapest but you sometimes want something now to crack on with that terrain project, so anywhere selling hobby railway supplies etc., locally can be a goldmine for a wargamer. And compared to GW prices you are bound to save $$$'s...

Hope you are all enjoying your festive time, with family and hobbies...

Regards to all


  1. Looks like you h be been busy with your free time. The terrain is looking good. Like to see your review of the new DoS book as I am thinking about it.

    1. Thanks, indeed! Yep, I have ordered DOS from my UK source, so we'll see what its like once it arrives...

  2. Sounds like a fine time was had. A labour of there Scott, look forward the seeing it develop

  3. Looking good Scott, or at least it will be when you have finished with the dremel ;)

  4. You have certainly got your work cutout for you there Scott! Looking good though!

  5. Sounds a bit like my Christmas, minus the BBQ though!!! That's a real labour of love etching the stones out like that, but boy does it look cool, can't wait to see it painted up!!!

  6. Wow!! some really nice terrain! I`m lucky in that my local hobby store has a craft store connected to it. Yes something about buying and getting right away without waiting for the mail.

  7. Great looking boards, and good that you enjoyed Christmas, I too took the snooze route


  8. Sounds like you had a good time with the family! We're pretty much focused the same in our household its all about the kids!

    Nice to see some more progress on the board. It will look amazing once paint starts to be applied.

  9. You're a very busy man, Scott !!
    I've time too (holidays) but I can't do so much !

    ... for me, it's very difficult to find material, figures, and so useful stuff in the shops around my town, so I must buy all on the net !

  10. I admire your perseverance Scott and it will indeed pay off in the end.


  11. Sounds fun! Must do more terrain next year!

  12. I love the scale of your buildings and imagination Scott. I'll follow this one eagerly. I agree about the real gift of Christmas, presents are nice but being able to enjoy family time and catch up on projects is really what it's about!
    Glad it was fun.


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