Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Beer Review - Green Man IPA.

Green Man Brewery - Green Man IPA

Beer Type: English India Pale Ale - 6.00% ABV

Appearance: 12 oz brown bottle with a green man on it. Beer poured a copper/amber color with just a nice thick off-white head.      

Smell: Caramel malt and just a bit of hops. Not a lot of aroma here that I can detect.   

First Drink: Bunch of bitter in the front, some tart citrus or grassy flavors, then a bit of hops spice and some malt sweetness to round it all out.   

Mouthfeel: Pretty light but there seems to be a good amount of carbonation.     

Last Drink: A lot more hops and grassy flavors coming through now. The lasting bitterness is nice.           

Drinkability: Wasn't expecting this to be as bitter as it was based on the smell. It's good and goes down easy.            

Notes: Grabbed this in Asheville NC on a visit last year. Tried to get some from the brewery but got kicked out by an angry woman 30 minutes before they closed because she didn't feel like serving me.        

Verdict: 3.75 out of 5. Not so bad and not so great. Easy drinkin'

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Progress Report 1/22/14 - Painting Away The Blues?

Been a bummer week. Not sure why. Feel really down and not motivated to do much. Spent some time playing Kemet with folks. That was fun. Missing my regular Bloodbowl action. Need the gaming as a regular fix in my life!! The sporadic RPG gaming is not cutting it. Hopefully I can find a way to make it happen.

Just 18 days until Dog Bowl II, the local Kalamazoo BB tournament I run with Furry, in theory sponsored by our nearly non-existent league. Looking forward to that! This year we went with a different format for the rules which really amps up the chance for a Tier 2 or Tier 3 team to win the whole thing. It also screws over Dwarf coaches which I am FINE with.

Haven't painted much. Slowly working on Necro models. Slow like "I painted a basecoat on this one model's pants today and it was sloppy and I have to do touch ups" slow. I have had two oil painting classes now at the local art institute. I like my teacher but the class so far has not met my expectations. First session was spent in aimless conversation about painting techniques I didn't have experience with. I then spent about 35 minutes of the 2 and a half hour class getting a bit of black on the canvas. It looked like this when I was done.

I am working in the under painting oil style. The idea is to paint a basically finished piece in just one color range then paint over that with more paint. It is a way to bring a lot of color to the canvas without having to fix lots of mistakes. Obviously it takes longer but I don't mind the practice... I just wish I knew what I was doing! You might not be able to tell from the image but that is a big canvas. So far that is my biggest (har har) challenge, using my painting techniques and brush control on a larger surface, and not dragging my hand around in the paint.

My second class was pretty much an exercise in frustration as my instructor left after about 30 minutes as he wasn't feeling well. That left me alone with my own incompetance and inexperience for the next 2 hours. I managed to get this much done...

Finished getting the outline in first. I kinda like it this way of course it is nowhere near finished.

Next up I started adding more tones to the jacket. Having a bit of a hard time working with my palette and getting all of the different values to stay mixed the way I want. 

Before I left I made myself tackle a bit of tone on the hand. Still scared to start on the face but I will give it a go next week I suppose! 

So far the experience of oil painting has been one that still interests me but much like the early days of painting miniatures I feel like I have so much to learn before I will be "okay" with my results.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Beer Review - Greenbush Anger Black Ale.

Lost my photo of this beer!

Greenbush Brewing Company - Anger

Beer Type: American Black Ale - 7.60% ABV

Appearance: 12 oz brown bottle with a Greenbush style label. Beer poured a dark and deep black/brown color with just a little bit of off-white head.       

Smell: Not a big nose here. A bit of dark malt and a hint of chocolate and coffee.  

First Drink: Roasted malt and caramel flavors give way to some chocolate and a hint of sour citrus.  

Mouthfeel: Nice crisp finish with a creamy medium body.   

Last Drink: A bit more citrus and pine from the hops coming through on the finish and more dark chocolate flavors coming from the malt up front.          

Drinkability: Pretty darn good for a black IPA styled beer.            

Notes: Had this on tap aged in an oak cask and it was miles beyond this bottled version. Still this is pretty damn good!         

Verdict: 4 out of 5. Good balance and a nice blend of dark beer and IPA styles.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Progress Report 1/12/14 - Sloppy Pants.

Sunday. A new week. Last week was a bit of a mixed bag. Had fun being trapped indoors during the massive polar vortex storms that hit my area of Michigan with the woman. But on the negative side I missed my first oil painting class due to a weather cancellation and the sun room I paint it was so cold I couldn't stand to be in there! Then my back started acting up and it hurt to do anything...

Still! I managed to get just a bit of paint on the Goliath Necro gang on the table and I also sketched out my first oil painting as well.

They look slightly handless but menacing.
My sketch
My reference
Not that I am a huge X-Files fan, but I do like the Smoking Man, and I like this image for my first painting. It has some interesting lighting, colors, and I think painting the skin tones and wrinkles will provide my some great experience and hopefully new techniques.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Beer Review - Anchor Christmas Ale 2013.

Time for a beer review! But before we get into the Anchor Christmas Ale I wanted to show a photo of my own "christmas brew" which is a batch of hard cider I started a day or two before the holiday. It's been moved over for a secondary ferment now and I really hope it turns out excellent!

Yum! I used English Cider yeast this time around.

Anchor Brewing Company - Our Special Ale 2013 (Anchor Christmas Ale)

Beer Type: Winter Warmer - 5.50% ABV

Appearance: A jaunty (and slightly stunted) 12 brown bottle with a very seasonal/merry snowy tree on the label. Beer pours a dark red/brown/black color with a nice big tan head.

Smell: Cinnamon, candied fruits, ginger, clove, and something odd like cardamon or coriander.           

First Drink: Not as nice as the aroma sadly. Something acrid and a bit bitter up front followed by hints of the flavor in the sniff I just had.  

Mouthfeel: Pretty mild, a little oily maybe, not getting much here.       

Last Drink: Something more "dark fruit" coming through now along with a bit of caramel. Pretty muddled.             

Drinkability: Not in love with this beer.             

Notes: Rarely drink Anchor beers so I can't really compare this to too much of their regular line. Not impressed with this one though.                

Verdict: 3 out of 5. Seems a little muddled or not focused enough. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A New Year - 2014 Hobby Resolutions.

You know it, you love it, you ignore it... it is a list of my 2014 Hobby Resolutions!!! A few days late I guess but I never resolved to be on time with this list!! 

  • Update this blog at least twice a week all year: One or two of those updates might be beer reviews. I don't know! Also starting to do some oil painting so maybe that will make it on here too. Also lots of RPG pen and paper and boardgame action and design action and whatever. Basically I expect to put things here.
  • Finish painting all of the Blood Bowl teams I have started: As that currently stands that would be Lizardmen, Skaven, ELVES, Crablings, and that is all (not counting the unassembled teams I have sitting around). 
  • Play some WHFB somewhere, somehow: Failed at this so bad last year. I want a reason to paint and model my WoC army sitting in boxes.  
  • Attend as many Blood Bowl tournaments as possible: I know of at least 2 this year I plan on going to and hopefully I can manage to attend the big uns too.
  • Paint something just for the heck of it: It is a dangerous world to get into... a world of painting minis just because you want to. That leads to a world where ANY MINIATURE could be PURCHASED because you might want to paint it!? Ah well... I like them.
  • Start cataloging the various game design/theory/ideas I have as they come up: Toying with the idea of boardgame design and game theory. Something I have messed with before. I'd like to make this blog part of that outlet. If you steal my ideas... that is okay! Just let me know what you do with them.
So that is it. That is all I want to achieve. Actually any combination of any of those goals would be fine. Life is short. Have fun, don't take things too seriously, and be good to people. That is plenty.