A tough week…

It has been a challenging week, so not as much finished as I would have liked. From spending entirely too much time online to various real world issues… there have been entirely too many distractions that have disrupted my painting mojo. So, my apologies for this blog entry being a few days later than planned.

I have finished tweaking the factory paint work on some of our new Dwarven Forge pieces as well as made a couple of small objective markers/scatter terrain.

Oh, and a giant snail. No idea how we are going to use the snail yet but I was in the mood to paint it.

I have tried to make the DF terrain look a little bit different to add some individuality to repeat sculpts. Again I was surprised by the little details that had been hidden by the factory paint work.. like the little lizard I painted brown. One thing we love about the DF sculpts is that they have little animals just like what I tried to add to our scratch built terrain.

My wife decided to experiment with our new Dwarven Forge pieces to put together a build… just to see what she could come up with and how the pieces can all work together. As you can see the pieces can create quite the sprawling environment, even when laid out spontaneously rather than to a plan.

I think the photos show how well the cavern, cavern deep and Erinthor mountain pieces all work together color wise. The only jarring piece to my eye is the one dungeon piece… that particular shade of grey just stands out too much amongst the other pieces.

We have been experimenting with road ideas but have not found a solution we love yet.

This one is in the lead so far but using mountain terrain trays to create cobblestone roads is expensive when you add in the cost of the negative space transition banks.

It is also frustrating that I am increasingly in love with Dwarven Forge pieces and really want to completely phase out our golf course green Games Workshop grass mat. Considering how long it is yet before we have our Wildlands pledge, more Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game skirmishes in our continuing Battle Companies campaign look to be quite some time off.

However I do feel now that we are going to have an epic table for our Cave Drake campaign finale.

In other frustrating news, following some reviews I saw online I decided to experiment with an inexpensive paint shaker to help with some issues I have been having my the paints.

The results were mediocre for a few weeks until this week the machine broke. I was unable to repair it myself so that was an annoying waste of time, money and effort.

I have spent a lot of time, too much probably, on the Dwarven Forge forums… learning a lot about Dwarven Forge pieces and the DF Community. There are a number of amazing builds on display, lots of advice and help with questions. Plenty of friendly, experienced people on there. But it has not gone completely smooth and at times has reminded me why I left Facebook. Still, the good has outweighed the bad. And much of my difficulties online are down to my own outspoken personality. As it has been repeatedly said to me over the years, I think too much, I care too much and I wear my heart on my sleeve.

For much of my adult life I have been required to keep my opinions to myself due to my career choices in the military and law enforcement. So these days, now that I am a much more free person I feel the urge to speak my mind. Needless to say this does not always go well… especially as I am a somewhat vain person with a strange mix of confidence (that some consider arrogance) and insecurity.

It was interesting to see that despite the two different 7th Sea kickstarters (which we did not participate in) continue to have fulfillment problems there appears to be a 7th Sea boardgame in development.

The premise sounds good and I like the artwork so far.

Games Workshop really surprised me with some new Easterling troops on the horizon…

Dragon Cult Acolytes… I am thinking these are pure GW but does anyone know of Tolkien mentioning such a thing?

I see Archon Studios is getting ready for their Dungeons & Lasers 3 Kickstarter…. and that our D&L2 pledge should be getting shipped out in 2 to 3 weeks. They are looking to unlock some things for the next KS through folks subscribing for the KS start notification.


If you are curious about D&L 3, it is focused on the village of Woodhaven… so buildings, townsfolk and villagers that are compatible with the previous D&L pieces.

CMON just closed their Wild West Zombicide Kickstarter, having raised over 3 million Dollars.


Lots of great sculpts, and it was tempting but we just can not do another game/genre. I particularly liked Sheriff Mittens.

The Hagglethorn Hollow Kickstarter from Tabletop Troubadour continues to have issues. We have been dismayed by the continuing poor communication. Yes, we had the brief unboxing video… and now the first post on the TT Facebook page since April last year. That post is good news, the first backer getting their pledge by picking it up in person in New Zealand. The four photos show the sheer size of what the full pledge shipping boxes looks like and photos of the family enjoying the buildings in a game. The buildings look good from what we can see. However this is marred by unclear delays in the US delivery and no new word on EU delivery. So when, if ever, we get our full pledge remains unknown.


The Dwarven Forge Wildlands Kickstarter is having some issues apparently and whilst some of the things are on schedule others are not… so we potentially seen a split shipment which I suspect will further add to the costs. If they send out the first part, that should be June. Since we have been phasing some of our terrain out we are relying on the VERY large factory painted pledge we made on Wildlands for our main gaming projects.


Reaper Bones 5 Kickstarter pledge delivery is on schedule for April, my birth month. We pledged big on this one, so ALOT of minis in Bones Black and the big frigate. My painting backlog will grow quite a bit from this.

Monster Fight Club’s Icy Wilds Kickstarter pledge delivery is on schedule for July. More factory painted trees and small scatter accessories for us. We did decide for budget reasons not to dip into the winter biome and instead focused on summer/autumn temperate biome pieces.


Our Firelock Games Blood and Plunder: Raise the Black Kickstarter pledge is on schedule to arrive in October. A decent sized pledge so a good bit more unpainted figures and two sloops to add to my workload.

For sci-fi our Core Space: First Born pledge is scheduled to arrive in October.


Then in November we should be getting our One Ring (Second Edition) RPG Kickstarter pledge.


This next Kickstarter is one we do not plan on backing but we do find it very interesting and it is clearly popular..


There are several videos on YouTube about the dice. Expensive and does a lot of things we do not need but we wish the creator success.

Are you backing any of these kickstarters? Are you particularly excited or disappointed by any of them? Are you backing any kickstarters that we are not that you want to talk about? Leave a comment and let us know!


  1. DF terrain is expensive, even when you get a good deal from a friend (thanks Tom!) but if the aesthetic appeals…. it looks even better in person. The modularity and durability added to the aesthetic really helps justify the expense.

    As for the Dragon Cultists… nice to see GW showing MESBG some love but my wife and I find the newer sculpts a bit “beefy” and “blocky” for our aesthetic taste. Add to that the cost of the figures… I suspect I will end up using some plastic Persians converted to be Dragon Cultists in the future.

    Thanks for commenting! Time is one of the most precious commodities we all have so thanks for sharing some of yours with us.


  2. Hey, Rick,

    I am always amazed at how you keep up the schedule of blog posting, considering the depth of every single post. You cover a lot of ground, and it clearly takes some time to work up the posts. No need to feel bad if they slip a few days off schedule! I definitely appreciate the opportunity to read them.

    Nice DF build. One of the cool things is how easily the different environments can feed into one another. I like your touch-ups of the factory paints.

    I initially missed the attack on you guys on the DF boards. Saw the first post on that thread, came back when it was five pages long and…wow. Good for that guy to man up and apologize a few days later, as he was clearly in the wrong, but no idea where that came from. You said nothing to generate that kind of drivel, and to go after your wife…wow.

    That place is generally welcoming and supportive, but I’ve gotten a strange attitude there occasionally. Not like what you got, but enough to temper my enthusiasm for going there a bit. Most of those guys and gals are great, though, and many threads are truly inspirational.

    Looking forward to the D&L 3 Woodhaven stuff. Won’t have the same quality as DF, but I think it will be more modular and allow me to build a fantasy city closer to how I envision it.

    Hope you guys are doing well!

    Bret (A different Bret from your other commenter named Bret)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks mate! That is quite the compliment coming from you considering your amazing creative work. I am always impressed with the work you put in.

    As for the unpleasantness, I suspect it was down largely to miscommunication. It was resolved in the end and hopefully it was a one off.

    D&L 3 Woodhaven appeals with its potential to supplement rather than replace in our building plans. We want to take some of the stuff we are going to get from D&L 2 and add roofs from D&L 3 to create buildings… since we were tempted by our mate Tom to delve into DF dungeons now as well! D&L always has great accessories as well.

    I look forward to seeing how your world continues to develop!

    It is likely going to be another difficult week as my son’s school is closed yet again. But otherwise we are doing ok and thank you for you well wishes. I wish you and yours the very best as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really like the snail you painted up! 🙂 The terrain looks nice on your table as well. It sounds like it has been a very eventful week for you and while you may not have had as much hobby progress as you hoped, I wouldn’t sweat it too much. Variety is the spice of life and all of that!

    While I wouldn’t back the Kickstarter, that Zombicide game did catch my eye as I love the Wild West and Weird West. I’ve been unsure about Zombicide as I’d be playing it solo and it seems like it is a beer and pretzels game best played among friends. I’ll keep an eye on reviews for it when comes out and make a decision then. Its funny you mention a zombie game because I’ve been on a Walking Dead kick and kind of want to play some kind of zombie wargame (as if I have the time to get into another game!). Maybe I’ll talk more about that in my next post or maybe the feeling will be gone by then. We shall see 🙂

    As for the new Easterlings, I’m pretty sure those are a GW invention because the Easterlings are barely in the movies and not well fleshed out in the books as best as I can remember. I want to like those sculpts but every time I see them, the eyes are so far set apart on the head that the sculpts don’t even look human-like. A bit of a miss by the sculptor on that, unfortunately.

    In terms of online interactions, I am on social media but I have never had any luck interacting with people on forums or social media in terms of hobbying. My attempts are generally met with crickets or I’ve been made to feel unwelcome a few times too. As a result, I don’t interact a ton with others besides sharing things I’ve painted and that seems to work for me. If you ever get to the point where you tire of the drama, you can always try just lurking and see if that works for you. People online are often harsh and unfair, much more so than they would be in real life and I don’t have the time or patience for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for your kind and supportive words yet again mate.

    I am surprised you have had such responses on forums as you express wit, kindness and empathy in your writing. But then it is the internet. I loathe much of what is considered typical internet behavior. As you said, folks behave in a way online that they would not in person.

    However, I have a theory that the internet exposes us to what people are really like rather than the filters they put on in face to face interactions. We see behind their mask, Ben if they think they are hiding behind a pseudonym. It reminds me of, “You think reading minds is a gift? A superpower? No. It is a curse.”

    But that makes those folks that are kind, generous and empathetic online all the more special.

    So thanks for being you, mate.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That is very kind of you to say and I try to be smart and kind person in all my dealings (though work does occasionally test that!) so I’m glad to hear you perceive me that way. Generally, the miniature community is a welcoming bunch and in the right environments people can be very supportive. Forums and Facebook are the worst places that I’ve seen. FB has a small number of people who troll and I rarely see meaningful interactions there too. It is the worst place to go to get feedback on anything you’ve painted or terrain you’ve made in particular. All you’re going to get is a thumbs up or “Great job” nothing about what can be improved or even what the strengths of something might be.

    Most of the negative interactions I’ve had have been with the video game community which can be too hardcore and not welcoming for its own good, especially depending on the “slice” or genre of video games you’re interested in. I do know that nasty interactions online upset me because I feel like I can’t defend myself verbally or explain the context in which I said something in the same way that I can in real life and so I think that is why those few bad situations I’ve had have scared me away.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sorry to hear about your week, hope it was/is an isolated incident. I have to keep reminding myself not to read comments on news articles, etc, etc. The art of constructive commenting is a lost one it seems. The last (lost) year has been very tiring/stressful on many levels. Enough said.
    How to deal with your road issue? The simplest one I can think of is printed cardboard or paper to slide under your DF – not the most elegant but might solve the issue while other ones become more cost effective. Maybe get a simple cobblestone/rock pattern mat you could also cut up into strips that you could use? Would hate to have it distract from your excellent DF terrain though.
    I saw a paint shaker on another blog that I thought about until I saw the price on Amazon, it was actually a medical device used for specimen tubes! Think I will continue to shake bottles while watching the TV.
    Regarding the latest GW figures, my first thought was LOTR ninjas- think I’ll pass.
    (I thought I was a different Bret 🙂 )

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I need to learn more about Stoicism and try that.

    It looks like we are going to try Deep Cut roads and replace our GW golf course green grass mat with a Deep Cut mat. Just not sure which one. Maybe Forest. Maybe Plains.

    I think we will replace our Battle Systems wasteland mats with a Deep Cut “brown” mat… most likely Savannah.

    And I think we will be selling off our TT Combat Stellaris pledge rewards as well as our entire (large) TT Combat Dropfleet Commander collection in order to make more space, time and money available for more Dwarven Forge and Tabletop World terrain.

    If you change your mind on the paint shaker please let me know how it turns out.


    • I asked my wife if she remembered what I had looked at and she said I had aimed too high, do a search on nail polish or tattoo ink shaker and there is a lot of reasonable priced products out there. She told me to pick one for my bday present! Not until July so can’t give you a current recommendation…

      Liked by 1 person

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