And Now for Something Completely Different…

THIS POST (and all future posts) CAN BE SEEN IN THE BLOG SECTION OF WWW.IMAGINARYWARS.COM

Ethos-Moving

Head on over to http://www.imaginarywars.com to read this post (all this blog’s contents have been archived there as well).

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Leaving Summer Behind

So I really haven’t been very awesome keeping the blog up to date this year. There’s been a good deal of the standard reasons behind this happening (requires effort, haven’t set out a scheduled time slot just for bogging …too lazy, too tired, too much to do –you’ve heard them all before); however, there’s also been some pretty legitimate reasons as well—well, okay, one legitimate reason: we’ve updated the Imaginary Wars website–not only that, we’ve incorporated a blog page into the store’s website!

!blog moving day

This, of course, means I’ll soon be directing this blog’s traffic over towards the www.imaginarywars.com blog page–or at least I’ll be directing what little traffic still drops by (undoubtedly to see if I’ve yet kicked the habit of being lazy) over to the store’s website. And by soon, I mean this week (shock, gasp).

So that’s a bit of a big change; this blog has been a pretty big part of my life since starting it April of 2009. Sure, times like the last couple of months, it’s been not much of a factor, but for the most part it’s been a dominant part of my life. Now, in a way it feels like I’m shutting the thing down—which is silly, because I’m not. Mind you, I’m the guy who’s never been good at thinking any biggish change was anything but huge, scary, epochal change; so I guess wistful emotions cropping up when I decide to transfer my blog to a different address should come as no surprise. (What makes my wistfulness even more silly is that all the blog posts here have been moved over to the store’s website blog page.)

So, to wrap up: starting ASAP, this blog will be posting a link to the new blog address (still a WordPress site but one linked directly to the store’s website), and we’ll be moving forward from that point.

A Lazy Summer?  

Flooded areas: (to quote Donald Rumsfeld) "all parts north, south, east and west of the city.

Flooded areas: (to quote Donald Rumsfeld) “all parts north, south, east and west.”

So what else have I been doing with myself since my last post, back in the middle of June? Work mostly. Work and some holidaying. Holidaying and recovering from holidaying. Recovering and planning for the fall season.

Holidaying this year took the form of a camping road trip. With all of June’s flooding that had crippled Calgary (and indeed much of southern Alberta and all parts mountainous) , we decided to head away from the mountains visible from any higher vantage in the city and explore the eastern edge of the province.

The sheer size of the province made an impression on us: we traveled from Calgary, mid-way up the province to a lake that practically straddled the Alberta-Saskatchewan border (a six-hour drive), camped for a few days then drove down to Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park (which ended up being roughly a nine-hour drive) and camped for a few more days.

flatland & hills panorama

Milk River. Southern Alberta’s Sweetgrass Hills and prairies visible in the distance.

hoodoo campground panorama

Writing-on-Stone campground area, nestled in a small valley between hoodoos and Milk River.

hoodoo & family panorama

A brief rest while exploring all the myriad pathways laced amongst the hoodoos.

FSSF road pic

Other highlights included driving on the Veteran’s Memorial Highway (Hwy36) to the small town of Warner. There’s not much in Warner beyond the gas station, the main street (most its buildings vacant) and the town’s civic building. The civic building is Warner’s main attraction: a dinosaur museum and a settlers museum. The pride and joy of the museums: the fossilized dinosaur egg (with a nearly complete baby skeleton inside) and the section of the Settler’s museum dedicated to the First Special Services Force–The Devil’s Brigade (Warner sits on the junction of the Highway 36 and Highway 4; Hwy 4 was renamed in 1999 to commemorate it having been the route the Canadians joining 1st FSS used to get to Fort Harrison).

Hobby Laziness? Only Partly.

Speaking of World War II:  my summer activities that didn’t involve traipsing across the province included putting some more work into my mid-war Canadians. I finished painting up my first platoon and managed to get them on the Battlefront urban rubble bases (they are, after all, in Ortona!) and now I just need to paint those bases. And add snow.

No good shots yet exist of the whole platoon in one frame; and even though all the squads are now on rubble bases, no pictures yet exist, so these will have to suffice. Updated photos (hopefully) soon to come!

With the first platoon mostly finished, I also started on the second and third infantry platoons (platoon #2 is the photo below). But I’ve ground to a halt and have been derailed by a different Flames of War project.

Earliest photo

The local Flames of War club decided to do something a little different that got me inspired and motivated: themed gaming. The theme they chose was recon armies using modified Tank/Infantry Aces rules as the backdrop. Armies would be small: no more than 600 points. List structure is intentionally more loose: the 600-point armies must be made up almost entirely of reconnaissance platoons (with up to 150 points of non-recon platoons being allowed). Even better: all games will be played with different missions (which helps overcome the malaise that sets in after a lot of games have been played: when they all start to feel sort of the same).

No pictures yet, but I’ve started building a Late-War German Panzerspahkompanie (armoured cars & mechanized scout vehicles). I’ve opted to go the horde route and rather than take a few hard-hitting scout vehicles such as the Panzer II Luchs or the Puma armoured car, I decided to take a lot of lighter reconnaissance vehicles. We’ll see how things go.

Maybe I Haven’t Been so Lazy…

I’ve also managed to progress more with my Heavy Gear collection. My first cadre is pretty much finished, needing only decals; and I’ve also got my Sagittarius strider to the same spot (though it still needs to be transplanted to its permanent base). I’ve even managed to hit the half-way mark on the second cadre for my Southern army!

Somewhere along the way I managed to stop posting progress shots of my ‘gears, so here’s some progression shots of my first cadre’s Black Mamba and a couple of shots of my Sagittarius strider.

Black Mamba

Base coat of Vallejo's Middlestone and Secret Weapon wash (can't remember the exact concoction of colurs in the wash though).

Stage 1: Base coat of Vallejo’s Middlestone and Secret Weapon wash (can’t remember the exact concoction of colours in the wash though).

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Stage 2: base coat cleaned up so only deeper shades and black lining is visible.

Stage 2: base coat cleaned up so only deeper shades and black lining is visible.

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Stage 3: Camoflage pattern started on lower leg (after which, I decided to use a sand colour with less green in it).

Stage 3: Camouflage pattern stippled on lower leg (after which, I decided to use a sand colour with less green in it).

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Stage 4: Camouflage complete and gun painted. Base is pretty much done.

Stage 4: Camouflage complete and gun painted. Base is pretty much done.

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Stage 5: Model essentially complete. Only unit markings and decals remain. (Base changed as well.)

Stage 5: the Black Mamba, essentially complete. Only unit markings and decals remain. (Somewhere along the way, his base was changed as well.)

Sagittarius

Sagittarius strider. (Striders are 'Gears with a crew compliment larger than one.)

Sagittarius strider at the same point of completion as the Black Mamba.

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The Sagittarius is spilling over the base it comes with. It will soon be on a 50mm sculpted resin base.

The Sagittarius is spilling over the base it comes with. It will soon be on a 50mm sculpted resin base.

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Revelation

I guess it’s not so much that the store has taken over my ability to still have a hobby life. And really, I did, find time to play some Warhammer last week, some Star Trek Attack Wing the week before and the Star Wars: X-Wing game the week before–all while staying caught up with of my “to read” pile of comic books!

This is my Empire army at 1000 points ...about to get thoroughly pantsed.

This is my Empire army at 1000 points …just before it got thoroughly pantsed.

It’s that I lack the discipline (energy?) to blog regularly about it that’s problematic. Or, hopefully, at least that was the case for the summer. With the store’s website a lot closer to what we want it to be (for now), I’m planning on blogging about the other store-related things that interest me, namely board games and comic books on top of miniatures, leagues and tournaments. I may even be able to get our new guy to write a sporadic blog post about Magic the Gathering.

But this is where I sign off, reminding anyone who still comes here that this will be the final blog post at this address. All future blog posts will occur at:

http://www.imaginarywars.com/blog/

2012 in review

Well, running the Imaginary Wars Gaming and Hobbies store has successfully kept me COMPLETELY busy throughout the Christmas season–so much so that I’ve managed to totally stop blogging (I even managed to miss doing my regular–and late as always–White Dwarf review for the December issue of Games Workshop’s magazine).  I’m not yet at the part where I start making New Year’s blogging / gaming / whatever resolutions (though, seeing as how it’s New Year’s Eve, now would be an entirely appropriate time for blogging resolutions for the new year!), but already I know I need to work on regular blog updates…I used to be pretty good at getting a post or two done each week.

Anyways,  the number monkeys at WordPress crunched my page stats for 2012 and formatted the report to be easily posted; so in an attempt to turn a new leaf, I’m posting that report in hopes it will jump-start me in 2013 to blogging regularly once more; without further ado, here’s the 2012 WordPress highlights report for the Imaginary Wars blog:

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 66,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

White Dwarf #389 Reviewed!

Well, White Dwarf #389 is out…and this is the first chance I’ve had since opening the store to do one of my White Dwarf reviews. The last two issues were forgettable blurs for me; apart from some wave two Necron release pictures and information, I can’t remember much about the last two issues of the magazine. I guess that must mean that they were forgettable in their mundanity (far better that that than being noteworthy due to exceptional awfulness).

Issue 389 is almost noteworthy for awfulness…almost. I lay full blame on the Space Marine Stormtalon for this—not that the Stormtalon is truly terrible….I just think it will be one of Games Workshop’s more …polarizing model kits. That, and why anyone would choose to release this kit—and show it off—right beside the AWESOME Ork Bommer and Necron Night/Doom Scythe models is beyond me. The Stormtalon just doesn’t compare to those two kits. As a Space Marine player, opening up this issue and seeing the Stormtalon alongside the other two kits, I’d be feeling like GW was giving me—and all Marine players—the short end of the stick.

I mean, what, with something like EIGHTY percent of all the armies being played right now being Space marine armies, hasn’t GW firmly established that only red-headed step children play armies that aren’t Space Marines? But I digress…

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White Dwarf #384 Late Review

Okay, so first off, I’m only doing a White Dwarf review this late in the schedule because I wrote most of it up within the first couple days following its release–and then store set-up tasks went into overdrive, forcing me to abandon most things in my life except the items I’m eBaying to help keep food on the table (as it were) until the new store is set up…and running…and giving me a pay cheque.

Plus there’s all the stuff that comes with being a parent…suffice it to say that when “something’s gotta’ give”  hobby time and blog duties will likely always be the first to suffer when being a parent and opening a business are on the table.

That said, I have a friend who’s giving me some help with the formative part of the store  and it just so happens that I’ve gotten him into Flames of War. Anyway, he and I have had several late-evening bull-pit sessions where we’ve talked about elements of the new store,  setting up the  new business…and the rules in playing Flames of War. Needless to say, a lot of good ideas have been developed–and we’ve also begun to learn how Flames of War works! At the moment, my mid-war Loyal Eddies (Canadian Infantry) are undefeated in their struggles against the Hun….not that we’ve been playing proper missions or anything like that. (At first I was terrified of his Tiger…up until the thing got into the sites of my 17-pounder anti-tank guns!)

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