I like the car, but...

So, we have a 2005 Nissan Murano. I like it! It's comfortable, lots of legroom for our tall family, lots of storage area, AWD so it does well in the wet, snow, and ice, enough ground clearance to make bumpy rutted backroads not problem but not so much that we need a ladder to enter, gets decent gas mileage, and it wasn't too expensive. There's just one thing that drives me crazy: the speedometer goes to 160. Not 160 kilometers per hour. Miles per hour. This is not a performance machine. If I bothered to put Super Unleaded into it, we can get a respectable 240 hp out of the V6. It's not as square as some dedicated SUV's, but the aerodynamics aren't the greatest - I've never tried it, but I'd be very surprised if it topped 130. I've had it in the 80's in normal driving occaisionally, but I'm a 5-over-the-limit at most driver. If I'm going over, say, 90, I don't need to know my speed. All I need to know is that I need to slow the f$%^ down. Even freeway driving is in the 60-75 mph range - using less than half the dial, making it harder to tell your exact speed and your general speed at a glance. Why, Nissan? Why? Does the 160 top speed make buyers feel like the crossover is a sports car? Are you reusing parts from the Z (which probably could hit 160)? Would it kill you to use a 0-100 range instead? Are there some Japanophile Germans on the Autobahn that just need to get 5 mpg by flooring it in a quite large (by Euro standards) 'tall car'? It's dumb, but it annoys me anyways.

Too Much Spray On Tanner

Well, I learned something about painting miniatures. Because they are 3D, certain colors don't work well when applied 'normally'. So, my poor little saurus warriors look like they had too much spray on tanner. I'm going for an orange saurus with purple spots. Then the hubby thought up a couple other ideas that I thought would look better...too many changes made mud. The little fashion disasters are going to be taking a bath in Simple Green and are going to be starting over from scratch. One of our friends has a paint that works well for painting orange so I am going to give that a try.... More later.
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Between Session Roleplay

By the folks at Penny Arcade's "Pursuit of Destiny" campaign, here. "Benedrix lay on the ground, dead." Supreme roleplaying there :) Also a neat idea.

Rethinking Warband and the Future of the Kyrg Horde

With CJ's Lizard army on the way, we've been thinking about moving to higher points (199 till she's really comfortable with it and then moving up to to the 250-300 range, which adds magic items, special and rare units, and more allowance for characters). With my Skaven, I'm going to have to add a lot of guys to even make 199, not to mention beyond that. Then, I want to replace my monkey-rats with the new ones...
I'm thinking more and more that we need to limit ourselves to two armies in a household - Lizardmen and Warriors of Chaos. I already have a good WoC army going, though all cavalry/monsters, it would do me good to add some infantry. I already have the elite covered (Knights, Dragon Ogres), so it would be fun to play with some cheap ranked cannon fodder - which means just one thing: Marauders of Chaos.
The reason I haven't picked up any so far is cosmetic. These are the Marauder models:
Yea. They look like mini He-Mans wearing bondage gear. Also that drummer there might be a very butch chick...not that there's anything wrong with that.
However, there is hope! In February the new Beastmen are coming out. Here are the Gors:
Much better. Also muscle-y but for some reason it doesn't bother me as much. They are very goat/sheep-like which is pretty cool. The base size is the same for both the Marauders and the Gors (25mm). The Marauders come 16 to a box; the Gors 10 to a box but cheaper. It works out that each Marauders costs $2.20 ($1.75 on a 20% off like WarStore or Guardian league pricing). Each Gor costs $2.50 ($2.00). Could be worse I suppose.
I'll try my Warriors of Chaos in a warband as soon as CJ has her Lizards up and going to 199 pts. Unfortunately I only have Marauder Horsemen as core (the Warhounds don't count towards core units) so my army is going to be small but really really annoying.

Tricorn Hats

(Didn't post yesterday so two today!) To fit my Skaven pirate theme, I'd like to have some tricorn hats for the skurvy ratters. Here's the plan - eventually to be made of greenstuff but likely do some practice in polymer clay to get size and technique right first.

  1. Start with a thin disc (brim) and a half-sphere (crown). Stick the half-sphere in the middle of the disc.
  2. Take three points on the brim 120 degrees apart and fold into the crown.
  3. Completed view. Scoop out a bit of the brim/crown underneath so that it fits on a head.

Works similarly for bicorns. Can carve ragged slices on the brims of the lower ranking rats, and fancy tassled edges on the higher ranking ones.

Reverse Calvin and Hobbes

Series starting here. Hi-larious.

CJP's Lizardmen Warband

So after a quick lesson with my spare Skaven, the wife was looking through the armies trying to decide which one she'd like best. Initially she was thinking Vampires, but then had to choose between High Elves and Lizardmen. Deciding that High Elves were too dull compared to dinosaurs, she went with Lizardmen. The army book, a box of Saurus Warriors, and a box of Skinks are on their way. Her current warband consists of two small units of Skink Skirmishers, three Saurus Warriors, and a Skink Chief (currently modeled as bases with names markered on them). She whipped out her polymer clay and has been making base decorations for them - the rank and file lizards have a paved-stone base that we made a mold for so they can be quickly pressed out. The bricks are square, not interleaved, and some of them have decoration/designs in them. For the chief, she made a big stone block for him to stand on (we'll probably make him from the Skink box) with glyphs in the side. For a color scheme, she is going for a teal for the skinks with brown and red stripes or camo-accents. For the Saurus, she is thinking either red or orange with purple stripes.

Skaven Warband

So after asking for a Warhammer lesson, my wife wants to start her own army - it's an attractive combination of crafts and dice-rolling. As a good way to learn, we are starting with 150-pt warbands and working up from there. I threw together a warband with the rats I had on hand - 10 Clanrats w/ shield, 6 slaves with slings (just clanrats with the shield ripped off), 9 giant rats and a packmaster (scrounging rats from the sprues I've got and bases from a base pack), and a Cheiftain (Clanrat with skulls, chains, and a tail-weapon added). It works, and I didn't have to get anything else, but one of the other draws of a warband is that the small number of models really lets you get a good theme going and spend more time on individual details. I don't much care for the monkey-rats I have now either, and the new ones are awesome, so hopefully I can replace them over time. As for the theme, one paragraph in the Skaven book details the Nest-Ports - that's right, rat-pirates! My warband will be the crew of a pirate ship of Clan Skurvy. No Pestilens, some Moulder beasts possible, maybe a few Eshin teams, quite a few theme appropriate Skyre weapons, and a heaping helping of ye olde basic Rats. Here's my thoughts (just on theme, no idea which of these or how many I'd use): The Crew (Clanrats) Clanrats with shields, most likely. Use the armored bodies from the new Clanrats box. Mod on some pirate-appropriate bits - greenstuff tricorn hats for the leaders shouldn't be very hard (need to practice on some polymer clay discs). It'd be cool to have boaters for the general crew, but don't know how I'd do the straw texture. Blue/white stripe cloth? Jolly Roger banner! Not sure how I'd do a fiddler or squeezebox musician but that would be hilarious! The Gundeck (Weapon Teams, Jezzails, Warp-Lightning Cannon)

Warpfire throwers, Poisoned Wind Mortar, Jezzails, all with the appropriate pirate stuff - hats, maybe parrot on the barrel? A scratchbuild/kitbash Cannon would be great, especially with a scenic base that includes a ship-side and gun-port for the cannon. The Galleyrowers (Skavenslaves) Naked slaves. Use the unarmored bodies from the new Clanrats box. Clip the end off the spear-arms and mod on a paddle - greenstuff snake the same width as the spearhaft flattened at the end should work well if I taper the top of the spears and V the bottom of the greenstuff onto it so it has more area to adhere. Yay expendable!

The Bilge Rats (Giant Rat Packs)

The usual rats pilfered from the sprues - they are fast, cheap, and deadly. One packmaster could use the Packmaster Skweel Gnawtooth model with added hat, as he has a good cat-o-nine-tails thing going. Have to get some additional packmasters from a bits-seller I think.

Clan Skurvy Marines (Stormvermin)

Perhaps red armor with white straps - very British Marines. If I use these it won't be many. A bicorn admiral's hat on the champion would be cool.

The Amphibious Assault Squad (Gutter Runners)

Gutter Runners with skaven-esque scuba gear (bronze/warpstone)! I wonder what an underwater Warpgrinder would be - a mini-sub?

The Grenadiers (Poisoned Wind Globadiers)

Pretty much useable as-is.

The Water-roller (Doomwheel)

Mod skiis or floats instead of the little guide wheels and make a water-effect base...done!

The Chief Engineer (Warlock Engineer)

The model is not bad - again, maybe a parrot? Level 2 if I can afford it and hope for Death Frenzy!

The Captain (Cheiftain)

This model is perfect - even an eyepatch! Just needs the captain's hat.


Plastruct has a selection of wood-grained sheets that would make good bases - and can tie together convenient ranks of 5 too. Water-base for the Doomwheel would be very cool. A scenic base for the Warplightning Cannon with ship side and gun-port as noted above would be cool.


Baby + holidays = no time to blog. I'm back though!