Inspired by the many fine blogs that I have drawn hobby inspiration from over the years, I feel like I ought to contribute my own noise and imagery to the internet. I hope to somewhat regularly update those who care on what I’m playing, what is on the painting table and what I’ve got lurking in the dreaded backlog.
A little background on me, for those I just met, or those that don’t know me that well.
I was born in SE England, and have lived there for nearly all of my life. I was a very active participant in the UK tournament warhammer scene for 3/4 years until marriage and fatherhood made that somewhat unaffordable financially and personally, but maintained those great friendships that I picked up doing that. Parallel to that I helped start a local gaming club in my home town with a bunch of the other guys that were attending tournaments to give us a place to practice. I’m delighted to have seen it grow under the leadership of Greg, Rob and now Richard far beyond its roots as a warhammer practice group into a thriving group of people that plays numerous systems and runs its own events. If you’re ever in Tunbridge Wells, go check out the Hydra Gaming Club and tell them I said “Hi!”.
However in 2013 I took a new job, with an American company on the condition that I would move to Beaverton, OR. That finally happened in October 2014 (visas take time…!), and I now live in the colonies. ‘Tis a strange land where they drive funny, talk funny and have odd ideas about what constitutes a biscuit. On the plus side, especially in the Pacific North West they have done some excellent work on the art of brewing Beer since the Empire ceded ownership, and I have never been in any part of the world where the welcomes are more warm and the people so open to strangers.
I’ve been playing toy soldiers since I was a school kid, and sadly I can no longer remember the first miniature I went out and bought. It was either a box of plastic space marines or a metal dwarf organ gun. Given my more recent tastes I really hope it was the organ gun, but I suspect it might have been the marines.
Over the years I’ve collected Dark Angels and Blood Angel space marines, Dwarfs, Dark Elves, Wood Elves and Warriors of Chaos armies for Warhammer Fantasy, various Necromunda gangs, Firestrorm Armada, Bolt Action US Airborne, and a ton of Blood Bowl teams.
40k fell by the wayside fairly soon after I left school, but my lingering love of all things fantastical stuck with me throughout University and beyond and so the Warhammer Fantasy universe was always my gaming home. It also spawned my favourite game of all time – Blood Bowl.
Whatever ever else I’m playing at the time, I can always be relied upon to drop it for a Blood Bowl league! I’ve played it on the tabletop, Nintendo DS, iPads, Consoles and PCs. I’ve played online leagues using the Cyanide games and I’ve attended table top events run by people I met in online Cyanide leagues. I’ve never gotten bored. Games Workshop’s final admission that it won’t support it any further may be the best thing to happen to it in year’s since it has resulted in a huge proliferation of crowd funded miniatures from independent vendors that would never have happened 5 years ago.
More recently I’ve been playing a lot of Star Wars X-Wing since that is what I could find to play here in Oregon. It was also the gateway drug that I used to introduce one of my colleagues into miniature games! He now has a fully fledged addiction to X-Wing and is a blood bowl convert, which is good for obvious reasons.
Hobby-wise I like to consider myself an “above average” painter. Since I stopped playing Warhammer seriously, I’ve been able to focus more on painting one miniature at a time instead of 20 and that’s meant I can take more care over them. I own and use a couple of Iwata airbrushes which have seem a lot of use on X-Wing repaints, but I’m still a brush guy at heart.
That’s quite enough rambling, but I’ll end this with my favourite quote from the late, great Sir Terry Pratchet:
I loved the figures. Had they come out when I was 13 I would have spent all my days meticulously painting tiny little dots. I seriously would have disappeared and been president of the Warhammer fan club instead of a novelist.’ – Terry Pratchett