Sorry for the delayed post… we were out of town for the holiday and that impacted my schedule. We did not manage to get much finished but we did do a number of things. Above you can see what we finished, my wife doing the bulk of the work on the dungeon pieces from our mate Tom. Thanks Tom!
We also bought a sizable lot of Dwarven Forge at a very fair price from a fellow on the Dwarven Forge forums. Thank you Georgradite!
Lots for us to paint! The real joy here is getting someone the more challenging pieces, like the “stairway to violence” and Dreadhollow Forest banks. But we will make use of all of these… once we get everything painted!
Speaking of painted, here is an example of a factory prepainted stone wall from Pegasus Hobbies next to one I finished personalizing.
I will let you be the judge of which you prefer. Only 24 more walls to go.
Also, inspired by one of the folks on the Dwarven Forge forum, I went back and repainted some of the vines on one of our Dreadhollow Forest embankments.
The brown vines are my new paint work, the dark green is the factory prepainted vines. Which do you prefer?
We have been going back and forth on terrain mats. Without the current international health crisis we would have counted on comparison shopping at one of the big gaming conventions but as it is we had to rely on internet photos and videos.
I was keen to move away from the Citadel GW “golf course” green grass mat we have been using. It is practical, and goes well with a lot of static grass terrain but with us increasingly using Dwarven Forge terrain we started looking at neoprene (mousepad) game mats.
Deep-Cut Studio has an excellent reputation and after long deliberations we decided to try their mats and they arrived today.
Everything is darker than we expected.
We ordered a “random selection” of five dice trays. We told Deep-Cut that we were looking at them as samples for future mat purchases and requested 5 mats relevant to ur needs. The dice trays we received were not quite the selection we were hoping for with our request but we learned a bit from them nonetheless.
We were glad we did not go with the forest mat, seeing just how big the ferns are on the forest dice tray. The colors are nice, especially the fallen leaves but the ferns are so big, and so brightly contrast with the darker colors of the rest of the tray that we feel it would not be the best mix with DF factory painted terrain.
Muddy Fields looks good, my wife really favors the colors of the plants but does not like the mud. Whilst we do not have any tire tracks in our dice tray the tire tracks I have seen in photos always put me off.
The other three trays are not relevant to our needs. A pure black one, a sci-fi starship interior, and a post-apoc wasteland. However, each is excellent quality.
The 6×4 Grass mat is pretty good. It is darker and more uniform than we expected but not too dark or too uniform for our needs.
The 6×4 Savanna mat is darker than we expected. My wife thinks it is great for her idea of negative space roads but not too dark for a rocky desert. I think it may be a bit too dark for a sunny day in the desert but I do not think I would spend the money for another similar mat in a slightly lighter color. I think they call that one Arid… which probably has the color I was originally after. However, now if I were to get another desert mat I think I would go for a proper bright, sandy desert mat. Something Sahara-esque.
Here is the Savanna next to the Beach.
The 4×4 Beach mat is again a bit darker than we expected but otherwise seems to fit the bill nicely. The water does not match the water on our Dwarven Forge terrain tray but that may not matter so much once we get the transparent textured water overlay with our Wildlands pledge.
Here you can see various mats and terrain trays, with how well they match up.
The cobblestone road is more popular with my wife than me. It looks ok on its own but better as negative space… however it is so narrow that it becomes at best a cobblestone footpath.
The quality of each piece is excellent. They certainly look different to us in person, better in general. That said I do wonder how they will photograph. (Edit: The more time I spend messing around with the mats, the more I like them. I can see them becoming a bit addictive and wonder if we can afford a “library” of these as throwing one down instantly creates a whole new table. I had not realized just how powerful that transformation is having relied so long on just a single mat for so many locations.)
The other big delivery today was the Blacklist Games Fantasy 1 Kickstarter pledge that we got for a good price on eBay.
My wife has been hesitant about supporting the Blacklist Games Fantasy 2 Kickstarter going on right now. We passed on Blacklist’s Fantasy 1 and Horror kickstarters in the past, largely due to poor timing and our limited financial capacity but we got a set of the Fantasy 1 Kickstarter on EBay at a good price, which just arrived.
We are overwhelmed at the quality of the figures. I would say closer to Bones Black than I was expecting. Much finer and crisper details. Much better proportions than I expected. Still some oversized weapons but those are a quick fix. (Edit: The longer I look at these, I would say on par with CMON with the more simplistic design aesthetic being more generous with the abilities of the production materials.)
Several of the single pose five figure sets should be easy enough to individualize with hot water arm bending as well as head and weapon swops.
Speaking of bending, very little weapon bending on display in the box. No base warping notice so far. (Edit: Some minor base warping found as I have started going through each piece. Nothing serious though.)
I can not express how pleased I am. My wife is not as enthusiastic but she is keen enough now to back Fantasy 2 with the Horror add on and the Altar Quest terrain add on (we lost the auction where we were bidding on some AQ terrain).
This set of Fantasy 1 is brilliant quality and the cost is far below the competition. If you are a figure painter these will be fun but more than that, this set makes a brilliant novice DM generic hero & monster set for most Medieval Fantasy games… be it D&D, Frostgrave, Oathmark, Heroquest, Mordheim etc.
I think the fellow in the middle needs to be painted up as a friend of ours in Copper Camp at Drachenfest.
We will definitely be backing Fantasy 2 and recommend folks pick up Fantasy 1, either as part of the Fantasy 2 Kickstarter or on eBay.
In other news, we have watched a few movies. Deadpool 2… which my wife convinced me to watch. Normally Deadpool is a bit too crass for me, and this movie was no exception to that but some of the jokes did make me laugh. Largely where it breaks the 4th wall. Being such a big fan of the Cinema I enjoy satirical remarks about the medium and superhero tropes in general. Still, I felt the film was distasteful and unlikeable at times. Seeing this franchise do so well, especially when it takes a cheap shot at Green Lantern (which I liked), makes me a bit sad because it looks like the trailer for the latest Suicide Squad is Deadpool cranked up to 10. I am glad some folks enjoy it but hope that this flavor of film does not kill off movies like Green Lantern.
Seeing all the talk about how the darker, Snyder version of Justice League is better than the earlier, more “feel good” Whedon version is what I am talking about. Man of Steel was already a bit too dark for my taste in a Superman film. I felt myself identifying a bit too much with Zod! Batman versus Superman was depressing for me. And therefore we have not yet seen either version of Justice League. So much in cinema these days is just to dark, cynical and nihilistic for my taste.
A bit odd, but somehow uplifting feeling was watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
I have only the season 2 finale episode of Snowpiercer left… the end of episode eight had me feeling pretty grim but episode nine picked up my spirits a bit. The show does have a habit of making me feel like my legs have just been swept out from under me. The social commentary made by the film is excellent and I find myself identifying with a surprising number of the characters.
Are you watching the Snowpiercer TV series? What’d you think of it? How do you think it compares to the movie and graphic novel? I am not familiar with the graphic novel but I find it much darker… and yet still oddly more compelling in how it addresses social issues and personal change… than the movie.