Archive for January, 2011

Mobile Painting Studio

So yesterday, my good friend whom I eat lunch with most weekdays told me he wouldn’t be available for lunch tomorrow, as he had an appointment. Therefore, I’d be eating lunch alone on Thursday. I thought about bringing something to read or something to do, and then had a revelation: lunchtime would be the perfect time to try out my Mobile Painting Studio.

On the left: my Mobile Painting Studio. On the right: my lunch.

My friend Sam uses the same type of setup, and after seeing him carry his paints and supplies around, I remembered that I had a tacklebox just like that in the basement somewhere, filled with old WizKids MechWarrior: Dark Age figures and dead spiders. Last week I dug it out, dumped all the figures and random ick out of it (it spent several years outside on our back porch, so it was very dusty and had been inhabited) and threw it in the tub. I cleaned it out mostly and set it out to dry.

It’s now filled with all of my miniatures paints (Citadel, Reaper and Vallejo paints, not the bigger, cheaper paints you get from Hobby Lobby and use for terrain) and brushes and hobby knives and wet palette and I even use one drawer just for carrying the miniatures I’m currently painting. It’s seriously handy, especially when you don’t currently have a proper place to paint (my painting table is all folded up and stored away for now in the Nerd Bunker) and if you carry your paints and such to places to paint, like when I go to the Tabletop Minions meetings on Tuesday nights or if I go to paint at a friend’s house.

In a future blog post, I might even go in-depth into what went into the creation of the Mobile Painting Studio, so you can get some ideas and build your own. Keep an eye here for more details.

And how did my lunchtime painting go? I nearly have some Kroot ready to go and ready to show you. A little more work on the bases and a little drybrushing on their weapons and they’re all done.

Big Plans for 2011

2010 was a good year for me overall, and I feel grateful for it. As it related to hobby gaming, however, 2010 could have been better. Without spending too much time looking back, I’d like to look forward to 2011 and touch upon the things I’m planning to accomplish this year.

I got an ‘okay’ amount of gaming in last year, but I wasn’t able to do as much as I would have liked, due to the move to a new home in the later part of the year and all the packing and unpacking and whanot that that entails. Therefore, I plan to do more gaming this year and hopefully I’ll be able to do that in my Nerd Bunker, once it’s completed. I want to play plenty of skirmish games (Song of Blades and Heroes, Flying Lead, AE-Bounty and a few other small indie games) and more Warhammer 40,000 this year, the latter which has already occurred in 2011 (albeit not in the Nerd Bunker) which is a good start. Plus I plan on going to several conventions this year, including Fire & Ice, Adepticon, Chaoticon, GenCon, OshCon (natch) and maybe even RockCon.

A Random Grouping

I didn’t paint quite as much as I would have liked in 2010, again, due to the move later in the year. However, I did get a good number of Tau Firewarriors done and I have some Pathfinders and a dozen Kroot that are very nearly done. Also, I got a bunch of my mercenary unit for use in skirmish games finished, and even some Reaper fantasy minis at the beginning of the year. But again, it wasn’t quite enough, and I can do better.

One way I can hope to do better is to make it easier for me to paint, and to that end, I’ve purchased an airbrush and a compressor. I’m really hamstrung at this time of year because it’s too cold to spray figures outside, and I won’t use rattlecans in the house because of the propellants. However, once I get the little room under the stairs in the Nerd Bunker turned into a proper spray booth, I’ll be able to prime minis down there and do basecoating and highlighting with the airbrush, which will allow me to paint larger armies (like one plays with in Warhammer 40k) quickly, and absolutely breeze through smaller squads for skirmish gaming. The only difficult part about getting this room set up (besides moving all of the books and other debris out of there) is getting the ventilation system installed, so that the propellants can be blown outside. I’m thinking a bathroom fan should do the job. Hopefully this won’t be too big of a deal, and I’ll be able to start working in there soon.

Lastly, I didn’t complete any terrain projects last year, and I really have to be better about that this year. If I’m going to be gaming in my basement I’m going to need to make more terrain. The upside to gaming in the Nerd Bunker will be that I won’t need to lug all of my stuff around as much to play in other venues, so larger terrain pieces won’t be such a problem.

I want to blog more this year and do a few more feature articles and tutorials instead of just the run-of-the-mill ‘this is what I’m doing now’ check-ins that I’ve usually done in the past. I’d also like to start some sort of outlet (a webzine PDF, a podcast, a collaborative website, etc.) to talk about skirmish miniatures games. Even though I’m getting into Warhammer 40k, my first love is still skirmish games, and there are so many indie games in that market that I’d have plenty of topics to talk about. So I plan to do more of those things in the coming year.

Also, I’ll be working with the lads at Beasts of War some more, including videos and interviews at Adepticon 2011 and GenCon 2011, if not more. I might even be able to make a recurring video segment about the creation of the Nerd Bunker that’ll show up on Beasts of War. That would be cool.

So yeah, I’ve been mentioning the Nerd Bunker a lot on my blog, but that’s because it’s going to be a pretty big project. I’m only really working on the cleaning and the painting at this point, but after that’s all done, there’s a lot more work to do, and plenty of it that I’ve never done before: adding lighting, adding wall switches and electrical outlets, and then building the 4×6-foot gaming table. So my main goals this year in the basement are to get things done as quickly as possible so that I can build the gaming table as soon as it starts getting nice outside, which around here usually means April at the earliest. It gives me some time. Then will come the organization and setting everything up, and then will come the sweet, sweet gaming.

I have a lot to look forward to this year, including many new opportunities, including building my Nerd Bunker and paint spray room (things I’d never be able to do while still renting), learning more about airbrushing and Warhammer 40k, and hopefully doing more work with Beasts of War. All in all, I’m really looking forward to 2011.

First Warhammer 40k Game in a Long, Long Time

Actually, it was basically my first Warhammer 40,000 ever, as far as the 5th edition rules were concerned. The last time I played, the rules were in their 2nd or 3rd edition, so it was a pretty new experience for me. However, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Last weekend, I got together with my good friend Sam, miniatures painter extraordinaire, at his brother’s house. We got together so he could teach me the rules and get my feet wet (or re-wetted) in Warhammer 40,000. We were going to play a Combat Patrol battle, with only 500 points for our forces. I brought my Tau, and he brought his Orks.

My Firewarriors have this hill protected, believe me

I had 10 Tau Firewarriors in a Devilfish transport, which was missing some pieces and unpainted. I had 10 Kroot who were only mostly painted. I had a Crisis Battlesuit Commander and two ‘Fireknife’ Crisis Battlesuits as well, who were not only unpainted, but didn’t even have arms, weapons or heads! I felt like a shlub fielding unpainted and unfinished models, especially against Sam’s exquisitely-painted Orks, Nobz and Killa Kans. However, if I waited until I had fully finished forces to actually start practicing and playing, it would be a damn long while before I got some games in.

We started slow, so I could get the cadence of the play sequence. By the time I started to get the hang of it, my forces were mainly little blue stringy bits found at the bottom of a few smoking craters (the Tau are generally blue under their armor). However, I had learned some of the rules and the sequence, so that helped a lot.

After that initial game, Sam’s friend Alan stepped in and brought 500 points of Imperial Guard against my plucky little band of half-painted Tau. This game went much better for me, both in my understanding of the rules and in my strategy. The result of this was that I wasn’t immediately destroyed, and actually fought back and did some decent damage. Alan pointed out a few tactics that would have worked a bit better for me, and I was much obliged.

Generally I learned a lot and it made reading the rulesbooks so much more informative. Reading the rules is great and necessary, but for me, it helps so much more if I can get someone with a grasp of the rules to help me put those rules into practice. After the first game, things were starting to make much more sense to me, and rules that seemed to be arbitrary before started to take on marked importance.

So, I’m looking forward to playing again soon, and I know Sam wants to try out his new Dark Eldar against my sad little Tau forces, so I hope we can get back together soon. These games really helped to spur me forward and they’re also giving me even more of a push to keep painting!

2010 in review

Hey everybody:

Sorry for the radio silence. The holidays and a bunch of basement work have slowed me down on the blogging front, but I’m working on a post of about what I’ve been doing and accomplishing during the holidays. I’ll post that soon, but the great people at sent me this cool automated ‘2010 in Review’ thingy, so I’m posting it here. It’s short, but sweet. I’ll post more soon with more Nerd Bunker progress and nearly finished Kroots!

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,000 times in 2010. That’s about 12 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 30 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 46 posts. There were 44 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 5mb. That’s about 4 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was March 3rd with 238 views. The most popular post that day was Fire & Ice 2010.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for blood bowl, golem, bloodbowl, steam golem, and khador.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Fire & Ice 2010 March 2010
1 comment


Painting Test – Oxidized Metal May 2009


Wargames Factory Shock Troops FINISHED October 2010
1 comment


Sci-fi Greatcoat Infantry February 2010
1 comment


Gen Con Booty Report August 2010

atom smashing

A gaming blog talking about miniatures games, miniatures painting and collecting, game design and other nerdly delights.

The Statistics – 2013

Minis games played:
• WH40k (1850 pts):
   BT/GK vs Kevin (Eldar/DE) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Jason (D.E.) LOST
• WH40k (1500 pts):
   BT vs Kevin (S.W.) LOST
Minis finished:
 none yet
Terrain finished:
 none yet
Cons attended:
 Fire & Ice
updated 28FEB2013

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