Archive for the 'Miscellany' Category

2012 in Automated Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for me, so take a look at it if you want. I’ll have a more specific end of the year report up soon.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 18,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

A Convention, a Chaos Rhino and a Computer Meltdown

Wow, that month went by quick. Sorry about the long stretch between posts. Things have been very busy.

Busy with what, you ask? Well, I was busy getting ready for the Fire & Ice convention in Manitowoc at the end of February. It’s a great local convention that hits at nearly 400 attendees. It’s filled with boardgames, RPGs, miniatures, card games, vendors, a costume contest, a Warhammer 40k tourney, and a lot more. It’s a great time, and I always look forward to going each year.

Running a miniatures demo for weirdos

This year I ran Song of Blades and Heroes demos, two on Saturday and one on Sunday. It’s always fun to run that game, and it was enjoyed by those who played. I had some problems getting prepared, as I seem to have lost (since the move) my big shoebox full of plastic D&D Minis that I use for demos like this. Luckily, as my wife and I were looking, she found a box of old Mage Knight minis, and I stayed up late building four small warbands the night before the convention. Everything worked out, even if the MK minis are of really lousy quality and I ended up not getting much sleep.

I also shot a lot of video while I was there, and did some interviews with the coordinators of the convention and of the 40k tourney. It was my first two camera shoot, and hopefully you’ll be able to see the results of the shooting soon. Keep looking here for more on that.

Since we last talked, I started building a Chaos Space Marines Rhino kit from Games Workshop. It’s a neat little kit, but it’s the first one I’ve ever built, and it hasn’t gone together as well as I’d like. I glued the inner bulkhead in a bit crooked, so now the whole vehicle is a bit crooked. I’ve been justifying it to myself by saying: hey, they’re Chaos Space Marines. If it was built perfectly, it wouldn’t be chaotic, would it? I should have the build finished this week, and I’ll probably put some photos of it up here.

Lastly, I was greeted on Saturday morning with a desktop PC that wouldn’t boot. I asked it why, and it told me it was because I didn’t have a hard drive. I assured it that indeed, I did have a hard drive and it clarified its position by saying that I didn’t seem to have a working hard drive. After hours of dinking around and driving back and forth to the computer center, I did have to agree that I did not have a working hard drive. Now I have to buy a new computer (and I have a strong suspicion that it won’t be another Dell) and go through all of that. I’m not sure if I want to build my own or buy a pre-built machine. I kinda need to figure it out quickly, though. If you have any suggestions, please let me know below or on my Contact page. And then, I get to go through the long process of re-installing all of my software and trying to get my digital life back in order. It could certainly be worse; I could be dead in a ditch somewhere.

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.

Start of a Saga: The Nerd Bunker

As you may have noticed from some previous mentions on my site, my wife and I have purchased a house, and we moved in at the beginning of October, just before OshCon, the local tabletop gaming convention I run. Having both of those things happen within a week of each other was a bit of a nightmare, but the nightmare is now over, and it’s time to get settled. We’re both busy, active people so this has gone a bit more slowly than we hoped, but that’s the way life works.

Of course, the big bonus to buying a house is that it comes with a basement, and it looks like the basement is going to be mine all mine (except for the two side storage rooms, which will be used for keeping weird things we don’t seem to be able to throw away) so from now on the basement will be referred to as The Nerd Bunker. It will be where my computer workstation will be, my miniatures and drawing table will be, and where the shelves for all my gaming stuff will end up. However, it won’t just end there; I’ll be adding new things down there as well, like more shelving, a workbench (which won’t just be for gaming stuff, technically), a spray room, a conversation lounge, and of course, the gaming table – a sturdy four foot by six foot monster which will probably get built in the early spring. However, before any of that can happen, I will have a lot of work to do.

The current view from the bottom of the stairs

Before moving in, I was looking at the basement and thinking about all the different ways I was going to change it: a drop-ceiling, drywall, some sort of floor covering, etc. But then I thought about it and realized that would be a stupendous amount of work, and to what end? Just to make it not seem like such a basement? Is playing games in the basement not our heritage? So the idea of The Nerd Bunker was born. I will revel in, if not accentuate its basementness.

Progress: The first wall painted

So work has begun. During the move, all the boxes of my stuff that were marked BASEMENT or NERD STUFF all ended up down there, stacked in a generally random manner. Therefore, step one was to clear out an area (through shifting things around and putting certain things into the side storage rooms) so that it was empty enough to be properly cleaned and vacuumed and then attack the walls with a thick, white block filler paint made for cinder block. As you can see above, Mission Accomplished. This area will be the conversation lounge area, eventually. You’ll also notice a door in that photo, and that door leads to a small little area that will eventually be the spray room, a room I’ll be able to airbrush in to start, and hopefully be able to use “rattle-can” spray paint in (once I install some kind of ventilation system) down the road.

The next mission

Next, I need to clear more stuff into the side rooms and start work on the back corner, which will eventually become the workbench area. There’s also currently a non-working refrigerator and a possibly-working chest freezer in that corner that I’m going to have to deal with. Once I’ve moved and /or disposed of those, I’ll be able to properly clean and vacuum that corner, get rid of all the spiderwebs and dust, and then paint.

If I’m lucky and good, I’ll be nearly ready by spring. And by spring, I might mean as late as May, I guess. The biggest question mark at this point is the floor. What am I going to do with it? It’s not particularly level or anything, so maybe I’ll just wash it really well and call it a day. Perhaps I’ll seal it in some way. I kicked around the idea of using the fancy epoxy coating (with sprinkles!) and doing the whole basement that way, but that stuff is pretty expensive, so we’ll see how that goes.

I’ll be making periodic posts here about the progress of The Nerd Bunker so you can keep up on how it’s going. Also, if it seems I’m not doing as many hobby-related posts here over the winter, it may be because I’m mainly working on The Nerd Bunker or gaming to relax. Hopefully I’ll still be able to keep up with my modeling and painting.


your humble host

I’d like to welcome you to my gaming blog. I’ve been kicking around the idea of setting up a blog to talk about my hobby for quite some time now, but I was a little too lazy to build something from scratch just for the purpose. I knew about WordPress, but didn’t want to set up a hosting account and go through all of that just for a simple blog. I used to use Blogger, but I was finding the features of that service limiting. Then I found out you could get a WordPress site hosted for free through and that finally gave me the push I needed.

There are a few more tweaks I plan on making to the site, but at this point, I felt it was close enough to launch, so now you can consider it launched. If you want to find out more about who I am and what I’m doing here, please check out my FAQ/about, and if you have any questions, drop them in the comments.

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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