Some of this… some of that…

First up a mix of metal and plastic GW Isengard Uruk-Hai Berserkers. Won in various different auctions, some unpainted the others painted to different standards. It took longer than expected for me to get them all to a point I was satisfied with. A couple of them were broken and needed replacement swords. I am unsure how many, if any, will head for eBay.

Next, some more scatter terrain.

Basically using up spare terrain bits and bases. Most likely destined for eBay but we may keep a few. We are trying to move away from flock and static grass.

Dwarven Forge terrain

I finished my little touches on a few of our Dwarven Forge pieces.

In addition to minor corrections to overspill I have tried to pick out little details that the factory did not paint. Mostly small things like little animals and small stones. On one piece I previously painted I did the small round items buried underground as insect eggs, on the identical piece in this lot I painted them as golden treasure… unlikely though it may be that they are ever seen in a game. I also changed the colors on a few plants to break up the block of consistent greens. And of course I painted a number of fallen leaves. I tried not to make them too colorful so the terrain would not look like perpetual autumn.

We love our Dwarven Forge Dwarvenite!

If you want to know more about Dwarven Forge, in particular the Wildlands Kickstarter items, this is a good blog to check out….

I do wonder how the material of Hagglethorn Hollow will match up to Dwarvenite.

There is some good news regarding Hagglethorn Hollow from Tabletop Troubador!

Well we finally got an unboxing video… sort of.

Yes the overall image of them together on that hill looks epic but I would have appreciated more close ups, done slowly and showing more of the interiors.

I suppose the magnet issue they talk about in the video might be that thing I mentioned above that they seemed to be wanting to avoid talking about. There still seems a bit of “at arms length” reluctance in their engagement with the backers in my opinion. They talk being grateful for all the support from the backers and how they have learned so much from the campaign… but I do not feel they have learned much about communicating with the backers. It is all very polished but it loses some of the more honest feeling passion of less professional work.

The good news is that from what little we can see it all looks good from a distance. It looks big and chunky, but not too chunky. The color palette looks as it was expected, perhaps not to everyone’s taste but we like it.

With their talk of future kickstarters, I do wonder how the product will affect customer trust for the future. Other companies have had long delayed fulfillment and managed to recover. I think that recovery relied a lot on good communication but maybe it was the product that saved them. Maybe we will be so impressed with the final product that we will back them in the future. I hope we are.

However, my love of the art does not remove my concern in that the update does not address the cryptic FB comments QML made about suspended US fulfillment. That said, JK has posted in the comments section that the issue will be addressed soon.

I notice Ship Quest, the Company handling the UK/EU fulfillment has not posted a blog update on their regularly scheduled days. So no idea where they are with their progress. We have not received an address confirmation email from them yet. But of course their delay in blogging covers all their work not just HH.

Overall this video update helps but again to us it feels like a disconnect between TT and the backers.

But enough about how we feel, how do you feel about it? What do you think?

And speaking of Dwarvenite versus whatever HH is made of…what about card stock for tabletop gaming?

My wife is not a huge fan of card stock terrain. She thinks our Battle Systems card stock terrain is ok for Core Space since it is a sci-if setting and seems to suit it but for medieval Fantasy she just is not a fan of it. I think the more naturally irregular shapes of Medieval Fantasy clashes with the angular card stock for her more than in an alien or technological sci-if setting.

Despite my love for Battle Systems sci-fi Terrain I think it likely that the Battle Systems Medieval Fantasy buildings would photograph better than play when it comes to immersion…

… but what about card stock ships?

I thought maybe we could get some card stock sailing ships to increase our fleet with less expense and less construction time… they seem to look good in photos but my wife is not convinced.

What do you think? Do you have experience with these Umbum/Clever Paper card stock ships?

What about Papier Schnitzel? Looks cool but I would prefer to just buy a physical kit rather than get someone to make a quality print from a PDF.

Card stock ships seem to look good in Bogdanwaz’s epic games, here is his newest…

But perhaps they photograph better than they play. Which brings up a thought I had about my tabletop gaming hobby interest. My wife and I both love building immersive gaming settings, both physical and mental.

And we both enjoy movies… but where my wife likes movies, I love them. In fact I sort of experience the world through a series of movie clips. My wife remarked on that. Sort of like the protagonist in the old HBO TV series “Dream On”.

I love movies so much that I took a cinematography course in High School and later created a movie club for co-workers in a public service job I once held.

So for me, gaming is a bit like making my own films. I see our battle reports like movie production storyboards. The tables are movie sets, the figures are actors in elaborate costumes. The scripts write themselves.

That world building is quite therapeutic… rather like the unusual story of Marwencol…

However, my photography skills need to greatly improve. I appreciate your patience with my amateur efforts.

That is one of the challenges of our gaming, I want us to have fun while we play but I also want to share the stories that unfold through the gameplay. I want others to be transported to the miniature fantasy worlds we create.

Is this something that interests you? Is it something you do?

The blog of Bogdanwaz that I mentioned above is also the kind of thing I am talking about. It is great to get transported to the worlds that Bogdanwaz creates.

And since we enjoy spending time in other fantasy worlds we backed the Kickstarter for the second edition of the Middle Earth RPG… “The One Ring”.

Did any of you back it?

In other movie news…

I finished the first season of “Tribes of Europa”. It was pretty good although the season finale, whilst not necessarily being a cliff hanger, left me feeling slightly disappointed. It is good to leave the audience wanting more but I prefer a season to be able to stand alone in case there are no follow up seasons. “La Revolution” not being continued comes to mind. And too many questions were left unanswered, in particular about the Cube/Atlantians/Ark. Nowhere near as bad as the cliffhanger ending on the first, and perhaps only, season of the Russian post-apoc tv show “To the Lake” but still disappointing.

My wife and I also finished the first season of “The New Legends of Monkey King”. It was better than we expected. It is very diverse, which we enjoyed but may put off some purists. The set dressing varies from ok to great, just like the costuming. Some of the costume designs really, really appeal to me in fabric choice, cut and color palette. Pigsty, Divari and Raxion in particular… although to be fair Raxion looks post-apoc.

There is enough humor to be funny, without becoming slapstick. The dialogue is witty but not exactly deep stuff. Easy, relaxing entertainment in this age of overdone edgy cynicism. Suffice to say we are looking forward to watching season 2.

We also watched the Shape of Water, which did not live up to my expectations… but I suppose that is what I get for going in with high expectations. I knew the general plot, and it delivered that as expected, but there were some annoying plot holes and it was much more graphic than I expected… or in my opinion needed to be. Of course with Guillermo del Toro as the director I should have expected that.

It is not a bad movie but I find myself reluctant to recommend it. My wife liked the movie more than I did.

Season 2 of Snowpiercer continues to deliver! I found the solo survival plot interesting if not exactly trope breaking and I do not normally like flashbacks but they worked for me in this episode to better illustrate Willford’s personality.


  1. The Hagglethorn stuff does look really nice – what we see of it. They showed a minute of quick-changing glimpses, no close-ups, and then 10 minutes of them talking. It would have been better to give backers some focus on the details of the painting. I do regret not backing this, I would love to have just one or two of these buildings.

    Never even heard of Marwencol before – I’ll have to check that out!

    I like and can relate to your focus on the cinematic aspects of gaming. Absolutely, I love to be transported to the fantasy worlds we play out on the tabletop. I have the means and ability to do my comics, but something like a movie would be epic. I’ll be very interested to see what you develop along those lines.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I keep wondering if there is some sort of marketing strategy behind keeping folks from seeing detailed close ups. I just do not understand. But then some folks think my enthusiasm for showing my work in such detail makes me a “show off”.

    Your Greywater Chronicles already create the kind of thing I want to do. When I read your comics I am transported into the world you have built just like watching a movie. I have great respect for your artistic creation mate.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts here, time is a precious gift.


  3. The eBay projects all look great and I appreciated seeing the before and after photos on the Dwarven Forge stuff. I can certainly see a difference so I’d say the work you’re putting in is definitely helping. I can’t speak much at all to any of the Kickstarter things you’re experiencing as I steer clear of them. I think I need more instant gratification than they offer. In terms of cardboard terrain, I can’t get on board with it. Fallout has a Red Rocket set (made by BattleSystems, I believe) that looks pretty decent but it sounds like it is a pain to put together and not overly sturdy. I prefer something that feels more tangible and I found myself nodding my head when you were talking about the cinematic part of gaming being important. It is vital for me which is why I put so much time into painting and terrain. I want everything to look nice and for it to be as much of an escape as it can be for me and the audience of my battle reports. For me, cardboard stuff takes me out of things because it doesn’t trick the eye like a real miniature or piece of terrain can. Many people are not so picky as me though and they probably play a lot more games than I do. With that said, I like to think that my terrain and miniatures look better and that gives me some satisfaction 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad others can see the effort I have put in the DF pieces paying off. Consider my ego fed.

      Kickstarter feels a lot like pre-ordering when it comes to some of them. We have backed a number of projects now. It will be wild when they start delivering. Dwarven Forge, Dungeons&Lasers, Aztlan (graphic novel), Blood and Plunder, Core Space First Born… and probably some more that I have forgotten!

      The Red Rocket building was indeed done by Battle Systems for Modiphius. I have not handled it in person but I think it looks the part in photos online. However, I think there is the risk it may play as you have suggested. As usual it is a trade off, not as immersive in gameplay but considerably less work to prepare. We will see how things go when I finally get some Core Space Games in.

      We all have to decide for ourselves what balance works best for our hobby experiences. I completely understand how you feel. And I look forward to seeing your future Fallout table designs! (Does that sound like an echo?)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha, sometimes we all need a little ego stroke, now and then! Kickstarter really is like a pre-order system and I was someone who never pre-ordered anything so the connection between those two seems strong to me!

        I will be curious to see what you think of the Core Space terrain! I am much more likely to get a Red Rocket printed in resin as Modiphius sells the STL for it than the cardboard version (which comes with a mat that I don’t need) but I’m still looking forward to hearing how you get on with that terrain all the same 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I quite like the Battle Systems terrain for sci-fi and I think it could work for post apoc. However, if you can get the Red Rocket as a decent 3d print I think you will be more happy with that.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Your DF terrain is coming along nicely, really enjoying the small touches you are doing. Looking forward to seeing it in a game with figures on them.
    Like Kuribo, I don’t have any experience with kickstarters so can’t comment on that.
    Cardstock terrain – agree with your wife, thinks it works better with scifi, especially with interiors of ships. I had at one time some buildings but phased them out when I started doing Hirst arts, enjoyed the building of terrain more. I do think that cardstock buildings would work as background though, give the game table more of a cinematic feeling.
    Totally agree on immersion into a game as movie scenes, but my internal dialog needs help.
    Regarding your camera work, maybe some more shots at table level vs looking down? Harder to do but the results are nice.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thanks for the kind words!

    I will try your suggestion with camera angles. Perhaps if I can develop a decent backdrop I will feel more comfortable taking better “eye of the mini” shots at table level.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bret’s advice on camera angles is really good. I get a lot of my best battle report and cinematic images that way. You don’t necessarily have to have a great background to get a good picture. I think sometimes your terrain images might be a little zoomed out too which makes seeing the details harder. Though having said that, many of your pictures have a lot of minis or terrain pieces in the frame and it is impossible to have everything sharp and in focus when that happens. You might also try taking close up pictures of one piece of terrain and zooming in to really show the detail. Hopefully these ideas get you going and I’ll be excited to see what you come up with!

    Liked by 1 person

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