Big Plans in 2022?

As this year comes to a close, I find myself in a familiar spot, at my mother’s kitchen table editing old blog posts. My paints and minis are back at my place in Calgary and I’m not sure how much I’ll accomplish but I’ve definitely made miniature painting plans for 2022.

I’m not sure how much gaming I’ll get in. We are in the middle of a big project at work and we were basically forced to take time off for the holidays as few vacation requests will be approved in Q1. But the biggest detriment to Bill and I’s gaming plans is the resurgence of Covid-19. Several Canadian cities and provinces have been setting new records for most new cases in a day as we are in the midst of the fourth wave of the pandemic.

Yoast will assure me that content maintenance is not a waste of time, but I fear too many years have passed, whatever readership and popularity I had online is long gone. There are of course reasons why I went something like five years without posting to this particular blog, but it wasn’t because I completely gave up blogging, though I probably should have.

My original blog, the one known as “Muskblog” may be the most popular thing I maintain online now, but it wasn’t always so. The original home of my gaming and miniature painting efforts used to be much more popular, then there was the years I spent studying, the blog of study materials I gave away used to be hugely popular, but in 2021 I’ve ran most of my web properties into the ground through neglect and focusing on other things than my follower count.

Now everyone uses social media and actually sitting down and typing let alone organizing your thoughts first is so passé, why not just speak into your phone whatever rambling diatribe comes to mind and stream it live while you storm the US Capitol building? I doubt I’ll start a vlog or a podcast, but in 2022 I’m going to get back to painting regularly and will post quick work-in-progress photos to Instagram.

I also plan to use the light box I bought and my camera to photograph old models better. I’ll probably take part in #ThrowbackThursday but I’ll also upload higher resolution photos to Flickr maybe even build something new and cool, it all depends on how much of a drain work is. I don’t want to spend my entire life in one little room, I plan to resume going to the gym when Covid allows.

While doing my content maintenance I wrote out a list of ten hobby priorities for 2022 which I can repeat below:

  1. Paint more Plague Marines
  2. Paint a Necromunda Gang
  3. Rebase Old Models for New Rules
  4. Paint Chaos Cultists
  5. Paint Night Goblins aka Gloomspite Gitz
  6. Employ simple but effective miniature painting techniques
  7. Paint Chaos Spawn
  8. Paint More Nurglings
  9. Paint Non-Nurgle Chaos Space Marines
  10. Paint some Orks or Orcs or however GW spells it

Loyal readers of this website will note I’ve already done most of this. I’ve never painted an official Chaos Spawn model, but I have painted several Beasts of Nurgle and sometimes the rules for those are interchangeable. Number ten will be a real stretch, but I might try and paint some orks for Kill Team since I own an Ork Kill Team.

Now I should probably carefully choose ten links where you can see my previous work:

Yoast’s article also prompted me to look at Google’s search console for the first time in a long time. I can’t use that tool on this blog, but my main blog ranks well for obscure iTunes error messages. The website devoted to the Diseased Sons actually ranks worse than Muskblog, but it ranks for better terms such as:

  • nurgle
  • old plague marines
  • plague marines paint scheme
  • nurgle marines
  • plague marine conversion
  • nurgle chaos space marines
  • painting plague marines
  • nurgle space marine
  • nurgle chaos marines
  • plague marine conversions

As you can see some people use the plural in their search and some people don’t. So as an early Christmas present to all fans of Nurgle, I’ll dig up five more links to old content, because I’ve definitely painted all the old plague marines.

  1. Gallery of old OOP Plague Marine Miniatures
  2. Before and After pictures of old OOP Chaos Renegades I stripped and repainted
  3. Step by Step journey to paint a Forgeworld Death Guard Dreadnought
  4. Gallery of a Nurgle Plague Marine Army I took to a Grand Tournament
  5. Step by Step journey to paint an OOP Nurgle Renegade with Heavy Weapon

Those links have a lot of old out-of-print Nurgle Chaos Space Marine miniatures along with a lot of old paint colour choices but hopefully some techniques or inspiration people can use today or at least a little escapism from Christmas and Covid. Stay safe and if you have big hobby plans for the new year you can leave them below the army shot. Embedding from Flickr is easier on my other blog…

Diseased Sons Army
Diseased Sons Army Circa April 14th 2003

New Models, New Desk

I’ve been buying models again and I’ve gotten a new desk.

I know this blog has few readers and subscribers, but perhaps that soon will change. I’ve been buying models again and I’ve gotten a new desk. I myself have not been gaming or painting, well we briefly did a little gaming before the covid restrictions were again increased.

As you may be able to guess by the image, I managed to track down a set of Deathguard Space Marine Heroes. I had my eye on them when they were only in Japan but was told they would come out in Canada again. I even was planning to go to Japan again, but then covid.

I’ve also lucked into another copy of my all time favourite plague marine. Considering all the new models that have been released over the years including the aforementioned Space Marine Heroes Series 3 maybe I need to reassess that. But when I saw a painted and complete version of the model in the used model shelf of the Sentry Box I didn’t hesitate to buy.

My new desk
My New Desk

I’ve also been buying Necromunda models. I must have several gangs worth of models already, including several NIB OOP models, but the new models are also nice, the Forgeworld conversion kits and the regular GW conversion kits are also nice and I plan on using many of the them as chaos cultists. I plan to use them first in Kill Team but eventually I may use them in Warhammer 40,000 or even Necromunda.

Bill managed to get in a game of Necromunda without me. Bill even managed to remember to tell me his Instagram handle for his latest miniature painting exploits. I too plan to use Instagram more to share WIP model pictures. I still prefer Flickr to make galleries and I still intend to make greater use of this blog.

My personal blog I’ve made a few posts on, including more about my flat-pack furniture building exploits. Not very exciting but necessary to get a proper painting station, quite possibly the best painting station I’ve ever had. I used to paint at kitchen tables, on tiny desks, sitting on hard wooden chairs but I’ve gotten old and soft. I lost my will to paint for a while, but with the release of Kill Team and having bought about a dozen new models I plan to resume painting after Thanksgiving.

Miniature painting isn’t my top priority. I’ve been focussed on work for so long, I need to put more focus into balancing my life. I want to get back to exercising regularly as I’ve gotten fat. I want to read more real books and less tweets and crap online. I want to eventually take my guitar playing more seriously and I want to paint some of the great new and old models I’ve collected over the years.

I don’t have any grand ambitions. I will once again start with goblins. I have plenty of mostly painted goblins from Warhammer 4th Edition. I also have plenty of Orks and Gretchin from previous boxsets of 40K. I still want to paint more Nurlings even though as I pointed out to Bill they are apparently too elite for Kill Team. And of course I want to paint a variety of models to use in Kill Team and Necromunda both vintage ones and new exciting ones.

Bill and I were disappointed to have our gaming suddenly cut short right after we’d basically agreed we’d play Kill Team campaigns. Hopefully we get back to Warcry and even Necromunda as I do think the skirmish games are a much better fit for an apartment dweller during a pandemic. If you have games you’re looking forward to playing and models you’re looking forward to painting in the coming months you can leave a comment below.

Is Kill Team the future?

I bought the Kill Team book when I moved to Calgary…

I bought the Kill Team book when I moved to Calgary. I got it at the GW store in Chinook Centre. I was eager to play it but Bill wanted to play Warcry. So I’ve played Warcry but not Kill Team nor the most recent edition of Necromunda or either of the two most recent editions of Warhammer 40,000.

That is a lot of money spent on books for games I never actually played. Bill like’s Warcry and we had planned on finishing our campaign, I even got the rules for a second gang. But I do not think Nurgle is an effective faction in Warcry or Kill Team 2.0 or Kill Team 2021 as some people are calling it.

Bill and I were going to play 40K and Necromunda, I have lots of painted models for 40K but not necessarily an effective army by today’s standards. I bought and even started painting models for Necromunda but then the pandemic hit. As a result no in-person gaming and I eventually stopped painting and blogging too.

Kill Team Octarius

Today I’m updating my blog as yesterday I got the Kill Team Octarius boxset and compendium. This is the first GW box I’ve bought since Malcolm talked me into buying Black Reach. I was getting close to finishing my Chaos army and thinking I would revise my Orks. I’ve painted one Nob for a B&C contest so that is why I have lots of rules for lots of GW games but few of the boxsets. Supposedly they are good deals, but they seem expensive compared to the first boxed sets of my youth.

I bought Kill Team 2.0 pretty much sight unseen. I don’t really follow the rumours even though I do follow some of GW’s social media. I knew it was Orks and Deth Korps but I mainly bought it because Bill wasn’t. I figured it would increase our likelihood of playing it, if we owned the whole thing.

The new models are supposedly nice, they have some tiny little bits. I found one that broke off and took a picture. I’m not sure when we’ll play, we’re actually doing a Zombicide campaign now. We still have our Warcry campaign and we were going to do Necromunda and of course the big game. Some people in Bill’s little group don’t seem as addicted to GW as Bill, but they buy a lot of board games. I however think Kill Team may become my go to.

Why Kill Team?

  1. Low model count to buy and paint.
  2. Smaller table needed.
  3. No need to build more terrain.
  4. Actually would consider a new faction in a skirmish game.

After I bought the game or at least pre-ordered it from the Sentry Box, I watched a YouTube video or read a blog post. Gangs seem to be between 3 and 20 models. They aren’t called gangs like Necromunda, they are called teams like Bloodbowl. This low model count and the fact I have painted hundreds of Orks and CSMs implies those are my two factions. I’ve already said I don’t think Deathguard will be great, I too think Harlequins may be where it is at, until the next greatest thing comes along, but I also think six 18 wound Tyranids may be intimidating on the tabletop.

During all this Covid-19 stuff I actually moved into a larger apartment. I still don’t own a car, so games with lower model counts requiring less table space and weighing less to carry around have a lot of appeal. Smaller tables require less terrain which GW is happy to sell you. I still hope to finish my trench table eventually, but in the meanwhile the Octarius terrain looks nice and as you can see there are so many factions some requiring as few as three models to buy and plaint. That said I’m unlikely to do an Imperial team unless Bill makes me. I bought the boxset so I’m making Bill play the Imperium.

Not Dead, Not Back Painting Either

I’m still living in China, but I did buy the new Nurgle err Deathguard Codex, I have not bought the new 40k rules and all my miniatures and paints are rotting in storage back in Canada…

I’m still living in China, but I did buy the new Nurgle err Death Guard Codex, I have not bought the new 40k rules and all my miniatures and paints are rotting in storage back in Canada. I’ll be back in Canada soon but my career does not go well, that is kinda why I’m updating this blog. Many websites are blocked in China including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest. This blog had gotten old and out of date, so while updating the code behind my homepage I had to change the theme on this blog to one with proper featured image support.

The documentation recommends 1200 pixels, but I was using 236 pixels to match Pinterest on my main website. I think sticking with 236 pixels across both sites will be best the plan, but I may experiment so if there are several test posts, it is so I can test the theme and RSS feed.

redesignFTW

I’ve been brushing up on my IT skills as I need a job as despite passing the Level 3 CFA exams I could not get a new job, not in China, not in Hong Kong, not in Singapore nowhere. I appear to be too old like my army and my blog, so I will keep looking, if you have any leads please let me know. Also if you have any suggestions for a WordPress theme let me know, but for now it will be this one, as this blog is not a priority, but getting my homepage to load quicker inside China became a priority today.

It should go without saying that if you’ve read this far you should view my resume or at least leave a comment below.

The Finest Miniature Painting News

The miniature painting news aggregator I created is running pretty well, hopefully others find it useful and that it runs with few issues for many, many, years. I’m waiting for one key software fix and will keep looking for more high quality feeds.

I’ve spent yet more time fine tuning my miniature painting news aggregator. Time I probably could have used more productively. I tend to put a lot of time and effort into ‘side projects’. Side projects that don’t earn income or help solve any of my problems.

The first week or so was spent wrestling with PHP, particularly with SimplePie and other related code. I still have an outstanding issue with that codebase that no one seems to want to acknowledge or suggest a solution for. I definitely did not want to become an expert in PHP, RSS, and Atom feeds.

I also spent way too much time gathering more RSS and Atom feeds. I originally just used the blogs I subscribed to, but FtW Ron had visions of 100s if not a thousand blog feeds being aggregated and merged together. It was while building that, that I discovered the issue with merging multiple blogspot feeds. I don’t know why people particularly in the miniature painting hobby have stuck with blogspot and continue to create more Blogger blogs when so many other free options exist.

The hobby is much more commercial than it was 15 years ago, back then everyone was a hobbyist except a few people who worked for one of a few miniature companies. Now there are many, many mini manufactures, many online stores, professional miniature painters, professional miniature sculptures, and numerous semi-pro hobbyists who supplement their income through their website and the hobby. I’ve always avoided going down that route, but I don’t really feel qualified to give career advice, given the mess I’ve made of mine. I’ve tried to keep the miniature painting news aggregator non-commercial, but maybe I’ll finally breakdown and put an ad on one of my ‘side projects’. I’ve also chosen to focus on miniature painting rather than a specific manufacture or game system, just like I tried to do with this blog. Focus can be difficult to maintain.

The miniature painting news aggregator looks and operates a lot like AllTop. That isn’t a coincidence. AllTop is one of the more successful news aggregation sites. My aggregator is much more specialized, even personalized. It is random, deterministic, algorithmic, chronological, and social. It sources information from Internet darlings like Twitter and Pinterest. You can pin, tweet, or like the featured story/photo. Information is pulled from major hobby sites like Tabletop Gaming News, Beasts of War, and Cool Mini Or Not. News is also pulled from an eclectic collection of smaller hobby blogs and websites. Information is also found by search agents, such as the YouTube painting tutorials, but other less mainstream search engines are used like Topsy. I even added Reddit’s miniature painting section.

I’ll try to continue to ensure it runs OK, I don’t think it’ll ever be fast unless I reduce the amount of content or do something else drastic. I’ll try out new feeds and I hope sites like Chest of Colors fixes one of their feeds, but mainly it should just be there for bored hobbyists who want to see cool stuff. Checking more than hourly will be futile, but hopefully it can become a useful tool for finding cool miniature painting news online.