Thursday 27 March 2014

Discover New Blogs...

Earlier in the week JB over at the fantastic Leadplague nominated me for a Liebster award; a blogging version of shared love if you like!

As a nominee, the award encourages bloggers to share information about themselves, and to nominate other blogs they feel their readers should check out. If you haven't already checked out Leadplague, make sure you do!

The Liebster Challenge
The challenge is to do the following:
- Share 11 truths about myself
- Answer the 11 questions posed by JB
- Tag 11 new bloggers

Lets get cracking shall we?!

11 Truths

1) My family is the most important thing for me - hobbying fits in around it.

2) I am notorious for inaction...not through laziness, but because I struggle to motivate myself until the pressure is on.

3) Most Wednesday evenings I attend a life-drawing class. I'm not that good, but I enjoy it!

4) I struggle to complete projects (real life and hobbying). The broken-up concrete at the bottom of the garden still needs moving. The Bratt gang still needs painting...

5) I have a small collection of woodcut artwork. I'd like more.

6) My last job was a thousand times more stressful and demanding than my current job. I think I enjoyed it more too.

7) Smartphones have revolutionised my interaction with the hobby. They've also degraded the quality of time I spend with my family.

8) My first ever live music event was a Wet Wet Wet concert (shame!). My most recent was King Charles.

9) My first ever album purchase was an 'A-ha' album on cassette. I still like it (shame!).

10) Although I've sold some models I should have kept, I'm happy with the overall size and shape of my collection.

11) I would love to own an original Jes Goodwin sketch.

11 Questions

1) How did you end up spending a lot of time/energy/money on such a hobby?

For me it all started in 1988. A friend brought a copy of White Dwarf into school and we spent several lunch breaks putting together a mail order of random creatures; giant rats, giant scorpions and the like. This evolved into regular gaming in my friend’s garage (WHFB, 40k, Space Hulk, Blood Bowl and others) until the mid-1990s. When I went to university I had a big reaction against wargaming; it wasn’t cool, I didn’t have time or inclination to play. I sold most of my original models and games for a pittance (a large metal RT era Space Marine army went for £20), and instead focussed on girls and beer!

However things all changed in around 1998. I discovered the internet and forums. I became part of the team who ran the Maelstrom Crew forums  - at one time one of the biggest 40k forums on the net (now dead). I started painting, modelling and gaming again, albeit 40k 3rd & 4th editions. I built new armies (Eldar, Space Marines, Imperial Guard) and was heavily into the UK tournament scene.

Move on another decade and my interests changed. I stopped playing in tournaments, so the drive to buy and build big armies disappeared. I started looking at some of the models I had when I started gaming, and my interest in old lead was revitalised. I started playing Blood Bowl again with some old figures. I built a Zoat army. I gradually stopped buying boring new GW models and focussed on the old stuff I’d almost forgotten about.

My Piscean Warrior...could probably benefit from a repaint
And here I am today – my interests have come full circle, in part driven by nostalgia, in part driven by the appeal of characterful old-school figures. I’ve turned into more of a collector than a modeller, more of a modeller than a painter, and more of a painter than a gamer. I’ve become interested in GW curiosities such as unreleased figures, prototypes and signed items. I’ve inadvertently built up a collection of GW original artwork. Most importantly, I’ve discovered that plenty of other people share those interests, and are interested enough in what I do to read this blog!

2) What or Who had been your major influence(s) over the years?

No real major influences, but I stand by the principle of being nice and courteous to people in whatever you might be doing, whether it's work, personal life or hobbying.

3) What part of your hobby would you want to explore further on?
I’m unsure – I feel I’m in a good place hobby-wise, with interesting collections, plus a small miniatures line of my own. In an ideal world I’d like to see GW recognise and value it’s own history more, but that’s out of my control!

4) What does this hobby bring you, what makes you keep it?

A sense of community. Even though I live my hobby primarily online, I have made some tremendous friends with very generous, talented & interesting people, some of whom I have spoken to regularly over 15 or more years, in spite of them being on the other side of the world. A shared love of something makes it easy to maintain those relationships and I’d hate to lose them!

5) What part of your personality would you change if you were forced to?

To have a bit more patience I think – I’m not the best at stressful situations and tend to snap when keeping calm would be a much better option.

6) What animal would you be?

Let’s go for some sort of bird of prey. The seem to have a pretty easy life sitting around or cruising in the air waiting for food to come along!

7) Is your glass half empty, half full or twice too big?

Always half full!

8) What would the 10 years old you would say of the present you?

We’d probably have a lot in common - I like a lot of the same things he liked. I guess we'd have a long and happy afternoon looking at cool stuff together.

9) What makes you really laugh?

My kids. Everything from the unintentional stuff they do (those evil blood-sucking creatures of the night are called ‘Vypowers’), to the physical comedy and things they do deliberately to make you laugh.

10) What are your top 5 songs or musics?

I created a long-list, followed by a short-list, and eventually pared it down to these 5:

Boy with the Arab Strap – Belle & Sebastian

Real – William Shatner

Little Talks – Of Monsters & Men

Nearer than Heaven – The Delays

Do What You Do – Noah and the Whale

11) What are your top 5 reads?

The Eternal Champion - Michael Moorcock
This book started my love of Moorcock novels; I'd never read one before and I was blown away.

The Incredible Adventures of Professor Brainstawm - Norman Hunter
Written in 1933, a children's book about a crazy inventor. It's odd and delightfully whacky.

Inquisitor Trilogy - Ian Watson
Back in the day, GW put out high quality novels written by recognised authors. To my young teenage mind these books were perfect for the setting, as well as being edgy and supremely well-written. To my adult mind, they still are!

The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England - Ian Mortimer
Excellent and accessible history. Lots of who, why and how.

Sharpe - Bernard Cornwell
I couldn't decide on one particular Sharpe novel, although I've read them all. Finding the Sharpe series in about 1996 was a revelation - quality action books, written for adults. Oh, and you get to learn some history too.

11 Blogs Worth Checking Out
Many of the blogs I enjoy have already been snapped up in earlier nominations, but there's still a great selection worth checking out:

The Doodles, Designs and Art of Christopher Burdett - regular updates from a fantastic freelance illustrator who's worked on a range of fantasy and sci-fi output. I particularly enjoy the stage by stage presentations of his new work.

Spiky Rat Pack - I'm sure this blog will have been nominated before, but when you combine modelling in the styles of John Blanche and Ian Miller, it's worth taking a look.

Life in Miniature - Pete Brown was here in Nottingham when the scene emerged. He worked for Asgard and later Citadel; his very personal blog is running through the how, why and what in the lead belt!

Gardens of Hecate - in my view, some of the most interesting, characterful and innovate modelling around.

Kings Miniatures - old lead, great painting plus a bit of sculpting, Dave King really hits the right buttons in his blog for me.

Cianty's Tabletop - if you like sublimely modelled terrain and ships, with some wargaming thrown in, this is the blog for you.

Clean Palellete, Dirty Water - gorgeously painted models in this relatively new blog.

Mini Makeovers - top-notch painting of (mainly) Blood Bowl figures in an eye-catching style.

Officio Convertorum - excellent modelling (even if it is primarily new plastic!), mixed with fantasy illustration.

When Craftworlds Drop By - OK, so Dave is having his Eldar army commission painted...but look at the scale of the project - he's building an army worth 75,292 points!

Patrick Keith: Sculpting In Miniature - hints, tips, tutorials and insights into the work of a freelance sculptor. I wish more sculptors did the same as I love reading this stuff!

So that's it, a considerably longer post than usual; thanks to JB over at Leadplague for the nomination - check out his blog as well. Hope you find something new to read!

1 comment:

  1. Very nice answers and I have found some blogs I had yet to discover !
    Now leave the concrete at the bottom of the garden for another year and get those brats painted!