Thursday, 31 December 2015

Goodbye 2015 and a happy new year !

Just a short post to close 2016. The time between the years is on the one hand wonderful because it holds a lot of precious family time but on the other hand there's not much time for painting or blogging. Anyway I wasn't lazy and made my start into the painting challenge with a couple Star Wars figures we needed for our yesterday game of Imperial Assault. Rather quick and simple figures but nice playing pieces and a good start into the challenge anyway. Pictures are taken and soon they'll find there way onto the challenge blog first: Three probe droids, four Imperial Guardsmen and the dark lord of the Sith himself.
By the way lately our older daughter discovered a certain interest in Star Wars. Unfortunately she's still too young to see the films but with a pictures book about the whole saga and a couple of smart questions she developed nearly the whole story. Currently she's sorting my old Lego bricks to create some spaceships fitting to the few kits she already has. Yours truly is really proud to say that she's able to build the smaller kits on her own being five years and some months old. The age recommendation on the boxes says at keast 6+. Good girl!
However this combined with having watched episode VII recently dragged me into the Star Wars and Lego theme again and lead to a rather uncommon modelling project last week:
It's awesome what kits they're producing nowadays and no comparison to the bulky Lego things from my youth! Somehow I'm afraid that this X-Wing will not stay alone for too long. At least e won't in case that Viktoria's enthusiasm lasts. Maybe after Easter we'll have a look at the cartoon series Rebels. It's rated 6+ and that might be an appropriate start. Probably better than the real movies or Clone Wars which are recommended for twelve years and older...
But enough about that now. Let my wish you and your families a happy new year! Enjoy this very last evening of 2015 and have a wonderful, healthy and blessed year 2016!

Monday, 28 December 2015

'Secret Santa' and 'Santa Clause'

Three days of Christmas and one day of recreation have passe and finally I get around to reviewing the wonderful time. It started with Christmas Eve which we spent with my parents. A wonderful evening with a rather early church service because of our young girls, a nice dinner with roulades and shining eyes because of some nice presents. More on that later...
The following two days belonged to our families. We spent Christmas Day at my in-laws and Boxing Day with my family. Although I really love to have my sister, aunt and parents around it was a relief to return home on Saturday evening. Yesterday was a very welcome chance to relax a bit. In addition to the Christmas stress one of our girls passed her cold to me and thus I wasn't too much in a good mood.

Anyway back to Christmas Eve. In Germany it's traditionally this very evening when the presents are handed over. Thus I was lucky enough to unwrap no less than three hobby related presents. First from matchlessly generous Mrs Monty. My dear wife made me a present of a new airbrush gun. It's the wonderful Harder & Steenbeck Pro Evolution Silverline. It has a solvent-resistant body and gaskets and bears a fine 0.15mm nozzle and comes with an additional 0.40mm nozzle. A very short first test with it was excellent. Only that I have to practise my humble airbrushing skills now...

Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

To all my friends out there a peaceful, blessed and joyful Christmas to you and your families! 
Enjoy those most festive days of the year.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Back from Münster

Actually we're at day 3 of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge but this year an event to remember delayed my personal start. My most beloved wife an me spent three days in the wonderful town of Münster and enjoyed the festive ado there.
Münster's city centre on Friday evening
Münster (not to be confused with Munster) itself is a 300,000 residents' city in northern North Rhine-Westphalia and the cultural centre of Westphalia. Nowadays Münster is well known for it's university, its cycle-friendly traffic policy and the wonderful old city centre. Meanwhile I learned that Münster's centre was nearly completely destroyed by British and American bombers during WW2 but afterwards it was re-build in a manner that kept it's traditional shape and 'feeling'.

Seal of the Wilhelm-University (source: Wikipedia)

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Christmas mail - Old-fashined ?

Meanwhile I'm in my very late thirties and for some time I've been realising how much our society is changing due to the incredible technological changes of the last decades. During my youth we felt satisfied with our own telephone connection and a single family colour TV. We had three television programmes and watching films, sports or game shows with the family was a real event on Saturday evening. It was usual to cultivate written correspondence and recurring school projects liaised pen friendships. Now times have changed and our technical capabilities to gather and share reached a nearly uncontrollable extend. Although I use the merits of modern EDP day by day privately as well as profesionally sometimes I get an uneasy feeling with that. Despite all its advantages this stunning progress changes our manners and our ways to deal with each other. Conversation via internet, short messages and such means is geared to speed rather than to empathy.

Maybe it's this special season of the year that makes me ponder about such things. Therefore I cannot praise the efforts of Chris and Ian along with his Cath enough to set up the 'Secret Santa' and 'Santa Clause' campaigns. For me it's a wonderful occasion where our virtual community and our real world come together. Maybe that's what makes the wargaming community so special for me.
Christmas mail from Monty's Manor
Besides the gifts for my counterparts I decided to spread some Christmas cards. During the last twelve months I became acquainted to a couple of hobby fellows beyond the usual wargaming chitchat. Thus I decided to use the old-fashioned way of pen and paper to send them a short 'hello' and some sort of 'thank you' or 'carry on'.

Sounds old-fashioned and outdated, doesn't it?
But from time to time yours truly feels really well with being an old fogey.

Enjoy Christmas season!  *** formal 'Merry Christmas' will follow of course. ***
It doesn't harm to slow down a bit or maybe turn the tune louder for 'God rest ye merry gentlemen' or 'Good King Wenceslas'.



Monday, 14 December 2015

'Secret Santa' is early this year.

It has been silent on my blog for the last week. Not because yours truly was lazy but because my work had to be kept top secret. *** Please whistle James Bond theme now or listen here *** As some of you fine fellows as well yors truly was reckless or generous enough to enter the 'Santa Clause' venture again. Thus the four tin soldiers I stipulated took my whole attention lately. Meanwhile they are finished and I'm hoping that my 'Santa Clause' counterpart will appreciate them. I'll follow his blog with greatest curiosity now.

On Saturday I received a parcel which rose my spirits: 'Secret Santa' is early this year. His gift arrived unscathed and gives a mildly rattling sound like small metal parts hitting thin plastic blister caverage. Hopefully he or she didn't enclose any bone china. In that case the sound should be very worrying.
The gift itself.
Anyway let me send you a big Thank you very much ! in advance. Of course I handed the unopened parcel to unbribable Mrs Monty who will take care for it until Christmas Eve. Luckily in Germany handing out the presents at Christmas is slightly earlier than in most anglo-american countries...

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Imperial Assault: Card Boxes

Last week I put some work into my project for 'Santa Clause'. I found a really nice pack of four figures hopefully according to my counterpart's taste. During the last days I started painting them because they should be finished during the following week end be sent to the United Kingdom the week after. No problem for them to arrive before Christmas.

Besides that I worked on Imperial Assault. The games contains oodles of cards, tokens, board tiles and such stuff and it was time to get them sorted. Thus I made some cardboard boxes for the game:
But those boxes weren't the work of myself alone. Luckily some other geeks seem to have kept struggling with disarray in the Imperial Assault box and one of them prepared a set of templates for the prone tinkerer. He's calling himself 'Sir Willi' and is providing a great number of boxes for Imperial Assault, X-Wing, Armada and other games, most of them at least in German, English and French. Have a look at his blog to get an idea of his work. The templates are free and ready to print at home.

To make the boxes I used 240g cardboard. It proved to be thin enough to work properly with our inkjet printer but thick enough to ensure the needed stiffness for the boxes. Then I cut the templates with a sharp knife and a steel rules and glued them together with usual all-purpose adhesive. Really no big deal but afterwards I had some clean and tidy boxes to sort the different cards in.
Only the active cards of our current campaign are in a zip bag to have them ready for our next session. Altogether a simple and convincing solution in my opinion. Agreeing to this was our little one Anna who helped me to sort all the board tiles and the tokens. But especially the AT-ST caught her attention. Good girl!

That's it for now, Please don't forget to have a look at the Google+ community dedicated to 'Paint Table Saturday'.

Enjoy your weekend !