Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year (Hobby) Resolutions 2013.

End of year time! Last day of vacation time! Time to sit down and look at this year in review and throw out some (random) resolutions for the next year. So first let's see how I did this year on the resolutions I made in January 2011.
  • Update the Bellower blog with "real" content at least once a week all year - FAIL
    I think I updated the blog maybe 10 times all year. So sad! So much potential but I am busy maintaining this blog as well as my metal blog for the Grind. I guess two blogs at a time is my limit. I want to contribute but not be the person who runs the whole thing. Hope someone in the Ogre Kingdoms community wants to step up and take a crack at it! *hint hint*
  • Finish painting all of the Blood Bowl teams I have started - WIN/FAIL?
    Well I took a stab at it and probably would have gotten them all done if I had started a bit earlier in earnest. I "finished" my Chaos, new Necro/Undead/Human (wasn't on the list at the start of the year), Khemir (also not on list), and most of the Lizardmen but not the Orcs. Both the LM and Orcs are teams I want to look really nice and I stopped painting both earlier in the year when I realized my skill level wasn't high enough yet to get the results I wanted. I feel better about tackling them now so that is a success! Plus now I have a bunch of teams to choose from for both league and tournament play. So it's a mixed bag but mostly good.
  • Play some WHFB somewhere, somehow - WIN?
    I managed to get exactly two games in this year. The FLGS I was playing at really fell apart and wasn't fun to play at. I have a friend who wants to play, and there was a local escalation league going, but I just couldn't get my arse up to play. 8th has let me down a bit but I am feeling the urge growing again. I expect I will play a couple games this year and maybe even paint some unpainted models from my huge (and growing) collection!
  • Attend as many Blood Bowl tournaments as possible - WIN
    Was able to attend 7 NAF tournaments this year, two of which were large two day events. Felt like I was playing almost every month! Certainly more in with the BB scene now and it feels good to go to tournaments/events and see your friends even while you lose game after game after game.
  • Paint more models then you buy - WIN?
    I bought more models but I painted almost all of them. Not counting that insane Reaper Bones KS I got into (like you probably) I think I did alright. I did buy new VC stuff that sits unopened under my painting table...
Well done Randroid... you've pleased the giant skull cloud this year.
Here is a list for this year:
  • Update this blog at least twice a week all year: Been getting into the habit of posting almost daily while on vacation and I have found it helps inspire me to do more, paint more, and want to play more. Of course it's easy to say that when you don't have the time and energy suck of a 50+ hour work week waiting for you every day. Still... a goal worth pursuing!
  • Finish painting all of the Blood Bowl teams I have started: Lizardmen and Orc teams gotta get done. Also have a Dwarf team in route from a KS campaign. That's all I have on my table at the moment but I have been thinking I "need" some sort of "elf" team to represent Wood Elves and Dark Elves (the only ones I would ever consider playing ever... don't look at me that way I HATE ELVES)
  • Play some WHFB somewhere, somehow: Just for fun. Want to keep it going since I have thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of my time and money put into the damn game! Plus it is fun?? And new WoC book might help get me motivated too. 
  • Attend as many Blood Bowl tournaments as possible: 7 this year so I need to attend at least 7 again this year. First one coming up is my very own local tournament the Dog Bowl in Feb! Then Headbangers, then ....
  • Win an award in Blood Bowl league or tournament play: Going to try not to play terrible teams all the time so hopefully I can place or win some kind of award. This year I won a couple wooden spoons and also MOST BRUTAL but I would love to get a painting award or place somewhere in the top three at an event. We'll see... 
  • Complete 12 monthly painting pledges at the Ogre Stronghold: This "new" forum tradition seems to be coming along nicely. I finished about 75% of my pledges this year but I want to get 100% this next year!
All in all that seems pretty doable. Notice I removed the "paint more models" resolution. That's because of the Reaper Bones KS miniature BOMB that is going to drop on me. No way I can or want to get those all painted. Well I can't do much worse than I did last year, but that is still a pretty intense list. The focus is really on painting and playing games so it shouldn't be too hard to get done. We'll see how I fare when we review this again next year! What do you hope to achieve in your new year of hobby?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Day 2 - Running out of time again...

12/30/12 - Day 2 of the 16 days of XMAS vacation.

Woke up yesterday and decided to finish building the Horusburg Hackers Khemri team for no apparent reason. So I did. Slapped them together with the idea that I would paint them this week hopefully before I got back to work. Here is how far I have gotten as of right this moment:

Trashing our rights? Trashing!! Trashing!!
Looks like we will have at least 7 coaches, or possibly 8, or possibly 6 for this next season of KUBBL which starts next Monday. That means I have about a week to decide which team to play. Will it be the newly painted Necromantic? Newly painted Chaos? Newly almost painted Khemri? Or perhaps we'll bring back the Dunger Mifflin Chaos Dwarf team for their second season? What to do?!

Puttering around wishing I didn't have to go back to work this week. Oh well, it was a nice break from "reality" but we can't sit around playing games and painting models all day every day now can we?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Beer Review - Minhas Boxer Lager.

New brew Thursday!! Another beer from the archive. This one is from the summer and is what some might call a "lawnmower beer". I could go for a couple of these right now!!

Minhas Craft Brewery - Boxer Lager

Beer Type: American Adjunct Lager

Appearance: Big ole can for a low price of $1.15, Beer poured a light golden color with a huge foamy head that dissipated quickly. A darker color than I expected to see which is a good sign.

Smell: Sweet malt and corn come through right away. Have read other reviews which compared this smell to the circus peanuts candy and I can see that. 

First Drink: A nice bold flavor when compared to other cheap beers of this ilk. Sweet like the aroma with a bit of fruit mixed with the corn. Not as bad as that sounds. 

Mouthfeel: Very full for this style and price. A bit sticky but the even carbonation helps balance this out. 

Last Drink: More of the sweet flavors but I am not getting the "cheap beer fatigue" I would normally get from drinking something like this.  

Drinkability: Cheap, regional, not from a massive horror-brewery, and it tastes good too? I don't really see how you can go wrong. I'll be drinking it again for sure.  

Notes: Got this from a new local beer store when it was on sale. Glad I gave it a shot.  

Verdict: 3 out of 5. Great for what it is.. an affordable 5% beer that will have you feeling good on a warm day. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12/26/12 - Day 6 of the 16 days of XMAS vacation.

Back home and recooperating from holidaze times. Cooked and ate a lot of food. Played a few boardgames including Shadows Over Camelot and Epic Spell Wars. Didn't get any gifts that are specifically hobby related though I did get a couple kitchen gadgets. Pretty low key which I prefer.

Spent the day running around town doing errands, cleaning up after sick dog times, replying to work emails (sadness), cooking, and shoveling our first real snow of the year. Just sat down for a couple minutes at the painting desk but didn't manage to get much of anything done yet (finished details on the Mummies and got some basecoat/washes on the Beastmen/Bloodletters). Running out of time on this vacation to get all my painting done! Want to do a quick and tidy job on this Chaos team so I can get cracking on my Orc team. I have some things I want to try for the color scheme...

The 'letters pre-wash with their big brothers behind them.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Basically... what is Christmas?

We interrupt this lack of posting for a holiday message from Ricky (of the Trailer Park Boys).

We'll return to our semi-regular updates after the next couple days... hope you and yours have a happy holiday.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Day 10 - See Day 11.

12/22/12 - Day 10 of the 16 days of XMAS vacation.

Slept  all day. Put up the XMAS tree. Wrapped some gifts. Read a bunch. Painted little to nothing. No regrets!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 11 - We've still got our heads.

12/21/12 - Day 11 of the 16 days of XMAS vacation.

The world didn't end and I didn't paint (much) today. Just wasn't feeling motivated to paint more. Tried to paint a bit and it was just pulling teeth. Figured I would give my self some time off today and try to take it on again tomorrow. In other news...  Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is a ton of fun!!

This could be you... if you run into my sword in Chivalry!!

Beer Review - Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic.

New Brew Thursday on Friday! Because I forgot to do this yesterday!! Another beer from the "archives"...

Stone Brewing Company - 11.11.11 Vertical Epic

Beer Type: Belgian Strong Ale

Appearance: 22 oz. brown bottle a sunburst of 11.11.11 and some text printed on. Beer poured a crimson/copper color a thin off-white head like many Stone brews. A decent longevity to the head which is always nice (and some lace too).

Smell: I smell malty banana way up front and something a bit spiced lingers in the nose. Not quite sure how this will taste judging from the smell alone. 

First Drink: Woah chili flavor? I guess I should have read the bottle description before I tasted this. The "banana" in the nose is probably from the sweetness of the green chilies used in this brew.

Mouthfeel: Bold and smooth all at the same time. A bit sticky like most Stone brews I have had but the sensation is welcomed and quite nice with this flavor profile.

Last Drink: Now we're getting a lot more complex. Fruity Belgian yeast is coming through along with a bit of the cinnamon (almost like a nice buttery slice of cinnamon toast). The chilies are there but aren't as present with continued drinks. Complex and quite damn good! 

Drinkability: Too rare and complex to chug, but I would certainly drink this again if I am given the chance. This is the first time I have tried any of these "Vertical Epic" beers and I wish I had been able to try more. 

Notes: Good times! Not quite what I was expecting and the "heat" kept creeping through the high ABV in a nice way... leaving me feeling warm all over. 

Verdict: 4.75 out of 5. One of the best limited edition Stone brews I have had, this one has me looking forward to future iterations in the series.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 12 - It's the end of the Necro as we know it (I feel fine).

12/20/12 - Day 12 of the 16 days of XMAS vacation.

Today I spent some time finishing up the bases of my Necro team, including some touch up of the Zombies and their bases, and also worked on the Mummies (who are still not done). Then I slopped on a bit of skin basecoat for the Bloodletters aka Beastmen. Now it is time for pizza and beer. Also... damn you Steam Holiday sale!!!

Took a lot of photos with my phone and this is the only one I liked.
Yup. Slopped on the white.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 13 - Time flies (or drags) when you're bandaged up.

12/19/12 - Day 13 of the 16 days of XMAS vacation.

Didn't manage to get as much done today as I would have liked, still feeling not so hot but got up and left the house to watch the Hobbit. Still processing all of that film but I think my initial response is "mneh, didn't like it". Damn that is one long film though! On to today's progress...

Painting these bandages took forever! Still a WIP.
Started basecoating my Khorne Chaos team. These are warriors.
Decided I didn't like my test model for the "Beastmen" so I did up a new one (left).
Detail of the back.
What do you think of the light color?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day 14 - Glowing green with schemes.

12/18/12 - Day 14 of the 16 days of XMAS vacation.

Spent today feeling ill again, a bad omen for extended time off, but managed to paint for about 2 hours in between running errands and making food. More painting is required! Also managed to not buy new models for a Dark Elf team which I consider to be a victory. Here's what we got so far today...

Wizard/Coach/Igor just about done. Gotta finish the metals and base.
Werewolves just about done as well. Same with the metal and the base.
Wights! Looking good, you guessed it, the metal and the base.
Mummy hugs! Finished up the basecoat and this is their wash time (shiny).

That may be all I get done today! Also did some final highlights on the Flesh Golems and Ghouls. I hope to have this team pretty much wrapped up tomorrow with the exception of sealing and last shiny details. That will mean the completion of my Necromantic and Undead teams with the addition of the Zombies from my all Zombie Human team! Three teams in one! Bam!! After that it will be on to either my all Khorne Chaos team, my Orc team, or perhaps finishing up my Lizardmen team. Lots to do and already 2 days down!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day 15 - Working on the Necromantic folk.

12/17/12 - Day 15 of the 16 days of XMAS vacation.

Today I spent most of the day ill and/or shopping at thrift stores for gifts. Got myself a new winter coat and some flannels. Came home and made some fried (baked) wontons and a mess of noodles. Feeling full and good now. Thought I should take a moment to outline my work area as I found it moments ago...

My work table as I left it yesterday.
While I haven't painted anything today (yet) I do have a few WIP photos of the models on the table at the moment. There are 2 Wights, 2 Werewolves, and 2 Mummies (which I didn't bother getting a photo of as it is just basecoat stuff and pretty boring). Here is where I begin today!

Wights #1 and #2, going for a Black and White scheme.
Wolf #1 and #2, going for a multicultural skin hue between them.

Necromancer for the team coach, wizard, Igor, what have you.

Not the most exciting start but hey... it's a start! Hoping to complete all of the unpainted Blood Bowl teams I have sitting around and maybe take a crack at some Necromunda and/or Warhammer models as well! Woah. Ambitious....

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Days of sloth - 16 days of no work and all play!

Starting today I have no time commitments, no work scheduled, for the next 16 days. I intend on painting and building models, playing games, reading, and just generally relaxing to recharge my run down batteries. Perhaps finishing all the items on my to-do list for this year? I figured it would be a good time to catalog my work progress here, to keep me honest and motivated so I don't spend all my time off sleeping.... wish me luck!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Beer Review - Great Lakes Nosferatu.

New Brew Thursday! Two in a row! Still working through the back log, this time around we've got the Fall seasonal from Great Lakes Brewing... Nosferatu!

Didn't get a photo of this beer.... here's onw from!

Great Lakes Brewing Company - Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale

Beer Type: American Strong Ale

Appearance: 12 oz. brown bottle with the trade mark Great Lakes Brewing label - black border with art and stylized fonts. Beer pours almost blood red into the glass with a medium ivory head. Appropriate given the theme.

Smell: Initial smell is sweet caramel and malt with a sour citrus note. A bit of hops bitterness comes through as well.

First Drink: Strong grapefruit citrus flavors quickly followed by sweet caramel. I'm getting a bit of hops but not as much as I had expected. 

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, and easy drinking, although the finish seems a bit dry. I wanted a glass of water after the first bottle.

Last Drink: Getting more hops in the finish, and an interesting aged wood flavor? Not sure where that is coming from but it's a neat trick.  

Drinkability: This is 8% ABV but you wouldn't know it without reading the label. The overall brew hides the alcohol flavor well and holds up to repeat drinks. Enjoying this one.

Notes: Great Lakes Brewing Company may be one of the only things I like about Ohio. All of the beers I have had from this brewery have been good, and their seasonal ones are just as fine. This one reminds me of some of the Stone brews in a way.  

Verdict: 4.5 out of 5. Good flavor, unique finish, and a decent buzz. What more can you ask from a beer?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Beer Review - Stone Belgo Anise Russian Imperial Stout.

It's New Brew Thursday! Starting today, and every week for as long as I can manage again, I will be posting a beer review for a beer I haven't had before. Still working through a back log of beers, here is one from last year that Stone produced.


Stone Brewing Company - Belgo Anise Russian Imperial Stout

Beer Type: Russian Imperial Stout

Appearance: 22 oz. brown bottle with a text-heavy printed stone design. Beer poured a dark (dark!) black-brown with a nice creamy beige head.

Smell: Plenty of dark coffee malt followed by some sweetness and then... anise?! I guess that shouldn't be a surprise due to the name of this brew.

First Drink:
What you smell is what you get on taste up front. The anise cuts through quickly with a nice licorice flavor.

Mouthfeel: Big body with a bit of sticky alcohol and plenty of carbonation. Not what I was expecting.

Last Drink: More herbal flavors and sweet malt coming through now.

I don't know if this is a success or not? I really don't like black licorice, but the anise has a unique flavor here. It adds something that is different and not altogether unpleasant. Perhaps I will buy one to age for a while and see if the flavor becomes more complex. Or perhaps not...

Notes: I like to see Stone branching out but I hope they don't go too far out with flavored beers. This one is pretty memorable overall, and at 12% ABV you can be sure it will leave its mark.

Verdict: 3.75 out of 5. Interesting if nothing else.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Progress Report 11/22/12 - Give'n tanks

No tanks here... unless you count these bestial brutes for my Necro team! Still working on some details and highlights (and the bases) but I am pretty happy with where they are at right now.

And a couple of Ghouls in progress for good measure! 

Hope you are having a fine holiday (or regular day if you aren't here in the US celebrating Thanksgiving). Back soon with more WIP photos but for now I have to cook and paint!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Progress Report 11/18/12 - Crickets... chirp chirp

November!! Here we are two weeks in and I haven't posted a thing on the old blog! Time to change that...

Well the Gnoblar Groincrusher didn't win the Deathroller Build Contest but it did come in a respectable (for a Gnoblar) 4th place. Thanks to everyone who participated, Merry Mayhem News for holding the contest, and a special thanks to anyone who voted for my entry. Cheers!

In non-roller related news, I have been working on some additional pieces to go with my Zlurp-zombie pieces to build a proper Necromantic or Undead team. Here are some quick shots of the built, slightly modified, and primed models:

Working on the Flesh Golems first. Have some paint on them now and I will get some WIP shots up later this week! Until then...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Time to vote!!

It's time to vote! Not for that silly US election, it's time to vote for the far more important Deathroller contest! Vote for me! Number 3! Or vote for whichever one you like I suppose...

Vote here! -

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Progress Report 10/21/12 - Gnoblar Groincrusher complete.

Behold! Groincrusher! A Gnoblar crewed Deathroller!

Groincrusher - crewed by many, lived by few.

Whattya doin' down there?!

Just a slight turn to the left...

We got beer and extra gnoblars... just in case!

The view of our next victim...

Yellow lightning makes us faster!
Still working on the details but I wanted to get photos done in time for the Merry Mayhem competition! Really had a lot of fun building and painting this monster. Hope to see it on the Deathroller track some time next year! A bit of the old "fluff" on Groincrusher:
"Crewed by Honcho Sleckbick the Groincrusher is the ultimate in Gnoblar reveng-eineering. Crafted from the bronze remains of a Dwarf Deathroller crew, this steam and rune imbued device has gifted Sleckbick with incredible luck, allowing only half of his crew mates to die each time it takes to the field. Sleckbick and his crew return to salvage wreckage from each race in an attempt to build and even bigger (and thus tougher and stronger) shiny metal crushing device. Some say Sleckbick's uncanny luck is the result of a magical talisman he took from a dead Dwarf Engineer, though it has been rumored that he actually recovered the talisman from a latrine. Reeking of blood, skunk ale, and filth both Honcho Sleckbick and his Groincrusher are truly a savage sight to behold!"
Update:  Bits used - two bourbon bottle stoppers, one small plastic bag roll, two random yellow plastic thingies from a construction site, jewelry chain, plasticard, a bunch of Ogre Kingdoms bits, some Ork bits, some Vampire Counts bits, and a few Gnoblars!

Also stole some of the fluff info/ideas from the Gnoblar Armies fan made army book! So thanks to those who worked on that Gnoblar masterpiece!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Progress Report 10/12/12 - Gnoblar Deathroller under way...

Still chugging away on the Gnoblar Deathroller for the Merry Mayhem Deathroller build contest! Here are some photos of the WIP build and the primed pieces ready for paint. 

I wanted the machine to look like a hot rod Gnoblar modification of a Dwarf machine. Not sure I accomplished that but I am okay with the results! Now to screw up the paint job!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Beer Review - Stone Old Guardian Belgo.

Stone Brewing Company - Old Guardian BELGO Barleywine

Beer Type: American Barleywine

Appearance: 22 oz. brown bottle with the classic printed Stone design. Poured a crimson/copper color with a thin off-white head that laced nicely.

Smell: First up you can smell the booze. This is followed by a yeasty sweet bread, caramel, and a trace of dried fruit or apple. 

First Drink: Tons of yeast flavor up front.. almost like a strong Belgian ale. More of the dried fruit and sweet caramel comes through in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Big body with a bit of sticky alcohol mouthfeel and plenty of carbonation. Not what I was expecting.

Last Drink: A lot more hop bitterness and something slightly... spicy? 

Drinkability: This is not an easy drinking beer. Punches you in the face with complex flavors if you can make it though the booze up front.

Notes: I honestly can't say if I like or dislike this brew. It's really intense. I liked the original Stone Barleywine a bit more I think. This one is a 2011 special brew - or "odd year release" as Stone calls it. Odd indeed.

Verdict: 3.75 out of 5. There is more going on here but I am having a hard time finding it. Could be a great beer for aging?

Links: Beer Advocate and Stone Brewing Company.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Chaos Cup 2012 "recap"

Warning: after reading this post I can't help but notice how negative it seems. It is my intention to post my personal experience at one of the largest Blood Bowl events in North America for those who may be interested, and for my own historical information. I have nothing bad to say about how Chaos Cup is/was run, nor the fine folks I played against, but as you will see by reading below it wasn't a great time for me. Carry on...

Chaos Cup 2012 Nurgle Legacy Team - photo courtesy of Nuffle Hate Me
Well it's been a month or so since I attended Chaos Cup 2012. I had a bunch of notes taken from my matches and I promptly lost them on my return home. Here is my rough run down of the (mostly personal) events as I recall them now (which isn't well).


- Took the day off to leave early and beat Chicago traffic. Failed to do either. Stuck in traffic for an hour plus near the city but did finally make it to the hotel where the event was taking place. 
- Stopped by a Whole Foods, bought and ate some foods, and bought some beer. Highlight of the weekend? Drinking New Belgium 1554 is certainly up there.
- Played a round of Zombicide in the lobby where many nerds were gaming. Realized I am not really a fan of the Zombicide gameplay and I am glad I didn't contribute to their massive Kickstarter. Really slick board and pieces though!
- Drank a lot, tied my ZWF match during the "Uncivil War" and ran away from hotel security crashed the N64 event and proceeded to get a few hours of sleep. 

- Woke up feeling like death (as I typically do when traveling). Ate a bit of food I brought with me and made my way to the site of Chaos Cup 2012!
- Played 4 games against fun opponents. You can see my results in the "Real Time Bore" feed to the left on the sidebar if you like. Day didn't go well for me. 
- Went to the after tournament drinking spot, got there late and didn't have anywhere to sit. Felt like the "not cool kid" and got bummed out. Bought an $8 glass of beer and got more bummed out. Got a tiny expensive pizza and got downright suicidal. Left to find other amusement.
- Spent the last portion of the evening running around WalMart and the local area trying to get all the photos we needed to win the Skavenger Hunt and looking like a nutter.
- Slept like the dead. 

- Woke up feeling ready to take on the last 2 games of the tournament and dedicated to getting a win. 
- Lost both of my games and got nothing. 
- Lost the Skavenger Hunt in a way that pissed me off. 
- Left feeling bummed out and angry and broke and wondering why I went to the event. 
- Got stuck in traffic on the way home for almost two hours. 
- Figured out a way to restart our local league in the car on the way home.

The end. I took a team I thought might hack it, had miserable dice luck (as is typical - one example is only 6 instances of my opponent's rolling Foul Appearance in 6 full games), and a string of fun opponents, and took almost last place (77th out of 80).

One thing that occurred to me... I should bring better teams. If I am going to lose badly anyway I should stop giving myself a reason to lose before I start. Having said that there were plenty of Nurgle teams higher in the rankings and my matchups didn't even include any Dwarfs! Working on my Necromantic team now...

Our local league is starting up again, here's hoping it lasts so I have a reason to still enjoy Blood Bowl!! I'm playing Vampires (the Strigoi Slash) against Skaven, Humans, and Lizardmen. Should be a fairly even playing field? Our new season starts today.... wish us luck!