Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Its Been Awhile

 My last post was all the way back in August. I have been working on things, but I have not had time to post. Work has really taken up a lot of time as I had a new-ish class that I had to teach. Due to my illness over the summer, I had little time to prep for it. So, it was fly by the seat of my pants. 

Second, I have been involved in my son's school work. This is nothing new, but due to recent changes in the school system, he is now technically in middle school even though he is in sixth grade. A lot more work has been dumped on him and his ADHD does not help. 

Third, after I don't know how many years of no independent research students, I now have two. I have been working closely with them, including taking them back in October to New York to one of my old stomping grounds, the American Museum of Natural History and then two weeks later, to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology meeting in Cincinnati, OH. I continue to be impressed by their serious attitude toward their work. It really shows in what they have accomplished so far. 

My students and I on the Brooklyn Bridge. 

In front of our poster at the SVP meeting. Very
proud of my students and the hard work they did!

Fourth, pretty much all I have been doing is painting figures for Lion/Dragon Rampant games. I have not felt like blogging about it. 

Besides getting in some painting fantasy figures, I have been dipping my toe in some various other projects:

1. Dungeon adventure. Several of my colleagues have expressed in trying out D&D. Not completely sure that they will fall in love with roll playing so, I put together a one-off adventure. Pretty happy with it. Fingers crossed that its more than one session. 

2. Very generic modern ships. To supplement my various modern campaigns, I have started to put together VERY generic looking modern warships. Being the packrat that I am, I have accumulated a bunch of wooden coffee stirring sticks. These would make nice hulls. There is no plans to be accurate in scale. They will be something like the ships you find in the game Battleship. There are several rules that I might use including Bulldogs Away! among others.

3. 6mm Napoleonics (!). Again, I am buying some to play Black Powder rules. I'm going cheap and painting will be as quick and dirty as possible. Its a long story of why Napoleonic gaming, but that is for a future post. 

That's it. Hopefully, there will be things to post about in the future.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Trying Out ChatGPT


Being in higher education, the big issue is emerging is students using AI to write papers, and other nefarious activities that amount to plagiarism and cheating. In our annual pre-fall semester faculty meeting, we had a guest speaker who talked about these things. 

So, I went online and signed up for the free version of ChatGPT, which is the online AI that is source of all these issues. I goofed around with it. For example, I asked the AI to generate a teaching philosophy for a small liberal arts biology professor. You have make sure you word things the right way, which is sort of trial and error. The first time around, it thought I was teaching philosophy of science. The second time around, it produced a short teaching statement that wasn't bad. It was very flowery and somewhat full of it. Any of my colleagues who know me, would know that was not me. BUT, it did hit all the points that one would expect. It would not take too much tweaking for an applicant to use to for a college job posting.

Then I used it for gaming purposes. First, I ask it to generate a small scenario for a modern game. This is what I got:

Sure, here's an example of a small battle scenario for modern wargames using miniatures:


A small Special Forces team has been tasked with destroying an enemy communications outpost deep in enemy territory. The team must navigate through a dense jungle to reach the outpost and destroy it while fending off any enemy forces they encounter.


The battlefield is a 4' x 4' table with a dense jungle terrain in the center. The communications outpost is located in a clearing on the opposite side of the table from the Special Forces team's starting position. The enemy forces consist of a squad of infantry and a light armored vehicle guarding the outpost.

Special Forces team:

1 team leader with a rifle

2 soldiers with assault rifles

1 soldier with a light machine gun

1 soldier with a grenade launcher

Enemy forces:

1 squad leader with a rifle

4 soldiers with assault rifles

1 soldier with a rocket launcher

1 light armored vehicle armed with a machine gun


Special Forces team: Reach the communications outpost and destroy it.

Enemy forces: Defend the communications outpost and eliminate the Special Forces team.


The game begins with the Special Forces team entering the table from their starting position on one edge. The enemy forces are deployed around the communications outpost on the opposite edge. The Special Forces team must navigate through the jungle while avoiding detection by the enemy forces. If they come into contact with the enemy forces, they must fight their way through to reach the outpost.

The Special Forces team has a limited number of actions each turn, which can be used for movement, shooting, or other actions like setting up an ambush or throwing a grenade. The enemy forces will react to the Special Forces team's movements and try to eliminate them. If the Special Forces team reaches the outpost, they must set explosives and defend the location until they detonate.

The game ends when either the Special Forces team successfully destroys the communications outpost or the enemy forces eliminate the Special Forces team.

I then asked it to generate some rules for this game:

Certainly! Here's a simplified set of rules for the miniature wargame scenario I described:


Each miniature can move up to a certain distance (e.g., 6 inches) per turn.

Difficult terrain, like the dense jungle, may require players to roll dice to determine if a miniature successfully moves through it.


Each miniature has a specific range for their weapons (e.g., rifles have a range of 12 inches).

Roll a dice to hit: On a roll of 4, 5, or 6, the shot hits.

Roll for damage: If the shot hits, roll another dice to determine damage (e.g., on a roll of 4, 5, or 6, the target is eliminated).

Special Actions:

Ambush: A miniature can set up an ambush during its turn. If an enemy miniature enters the line of sight within a specific range (e.g., 8 inches), the ambushing miniature can immediately take a shot.


To destroy the communications outpost, a Special Forces miniature must reach it and spend a turn to plant explosives.

After planting explosives, the Special Forces team must defend the outpost for a certain number of turns before the explosives can be detonated.

Roll a dice to determine if the explosives are successfully detonated on the designated turn.


Enemy forces react to the movement and actions of the Special Forces team during the enemy turn.

Roll a dice to determine the effectiveness of enemy reactions.

Victory Conditions:

Special Forces team wins if they successfully destroy the communications outpost.

Enemy forces win if they eliminate all members of the Special Forces team.

Optional Rules:

Cover: Miniatures in cover receive a bonus to their defense rolls.

Morale: Roll a dice when a miniature is attacked or witnesses a comrade being eliminated. On a specific roll, the miniature may become shaken, affecting its actions.

Line of Sight: Miniatures cannot shoot through solid obstacles, and line of sight is blocked by terrain and obstacles.

Remember, these rules are just a starting point, and you can customize and expand upon them to suit your preferences and create a more detailed and complex gaming experience.

Very simple and not particularly original. This makes sense because its taking information out there in the web and coming up with a very basic set of rules based on collating highlights of whatever it found based on the parameters given..

Finally, I asked ChatGPT to generate a set of rules for fantasy wargames. I did not specify if this was at skirmish level or mass armies level:

Absolutely! Here's a basic set of rules for a fantasy-themed miniature wargame:


Each miniature has a movement value (e.g., 6 inches) representing how far it can move during its turn.

Different terrain types may affect movement (e.g., difficult terrain requiring a dice roll to successfully move through).


Roll a dice to hit: On a roll of 4, 5, or 6, the attack hits.

Roll for damage: If the attack hits, roll another dice to determine damage (e.g., on a roll of 4, 5, or 6, the target takes damage).

Melee combat: Miniatures engaged in close combat both roll to hit simultaneously.


Spellcasting miniatures have access to a list of spells with different effects.

Each spell has a casting value that must be rolled equal to or higher on a dice to successfully cast.

Spells can deal damage, buff friendly miniatures, debuff enemies, or have other special effects.

Ranged Attacks:

Miniatures with ranged weapons have a specific range (e.g., bows have a range of 12 inches).

Different ranged weapons may have varying strengths and effects.

Special Abilities:

Different miniatures may have special abilities that affect gameplay (e.g., flying, stealth, regeneration).

These abilities add strategic depth and unique tactics to the game.


Miniatures may have a morale value that affects their ability to withstand certain conditions.

Failing a morale check may cause a miniature to flee or be temporarily incapacitated.


Terrain pieces like forests, hills, and buildings provide cover and may grant bonuses to defense rolls.

Victory Conditions:

Set specific objectives for victory (e.g., control a certain area, defeat the enemy leader).

The game ends when a victory condition is met.

Optional Rules:

Heroes and Leaders: Special miniatures with unique abilities that can influence the battlefield and rally troops.

Summoning: Casters can summon additional creatures to the battlefield.

Area-of-Effect Spells: Spells that affect an area, damaging or hindering all miniatures within it.

Campaign Play: Extend the game into a campaign where armies can gain experience, level up, and acquire new abilities.

Feel free to modify and expand these rules to suit the fantasy theme of your wargame. The goal is to create an engaging and balanced gameplay experience that captures the excitement of fantasy battles.

This one seems even more basic and very vague in details. It is more of an outline or template for what could make a set of rules. It also seems like it starts out with a little more detailed rule mechanics, but then seems to quickly "punt" as we say in the US (American football reference) and give superficial criteria for the various aspects of the rules. It is more of a "here are some suggestions for what a set of rules should have for this genre, now you fill in the blanks." As I said above, I didn't give it that much instructions. It only works with what you ask it to do.

It was an interesting exercise in using AI to produce things related to wargames. I think it does work a little better for scenarios. However, I don't think that at least in the near future, it will replace the creativity and problem solving skills of the human mind.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

15mm Stone Walls

If you have followed past posts, I was spending a lot of time and effort to scratch build stone walls for 1/300 scale. Most of these attempts were less than satisfactory in my view. Having spend a lot of time recently painting up 15mm medieval and fantasy figures, and having made some 15mm structures in the past, I decided I wanted to make a few stone wall pieces at this figure size. 

If you watch any of the tutorials out there on making your own terrain, the number one building material is pink insulation foam. It the modeler's dream material. It can be cut, carved, and embossed. Buy a foam cutter and there is no limit on what you can do.  Unfortunately, pink foam is getting to be rather expensive. If I go to my local home improvement store (called DIY stores in other countries), I would have to buy it in large sheets that cost around $40 and that I don't think will fit in my minivan. In the USA, many of these stores will no longer cut a lot of building material because of potential toxic dusts and work safety concerns. Frankly, I don't really need 4'x8' sheets of the stuff.

What I used for my walls are the foam trays that are used as a sturdy base for packaging food items such as cuts of meat. One of the complaint that I heard about using this material is that it cannot be embossed.  I found that if you use a craft knife or single-edge razor blade, you can shave off a thin layer of the outer surface leaving a squishier surface that can be embossed. There is also different grades of this packing material and some seem to be closer in consistency to the pink insulation foam. The foam I used for my first wall section was more resistant to embossing even when I shaved it. Another foam tray (shown below) was more pliable.  Of course, its the luck of the draw what you end up getting. 

I cut strips of the foam of a more-or-less uniform width. I then embossed the stones with a ballpoint pen. Once embossed on both sides, I then glued them onto thin craft sticks that I bought for another project I'm working on. I rounded off the tops a best as I could using my craft knife and some light sanding. 

In addition to the long, straight sections, I also did some corner sections. I tried to make the ends of the wall sections as flush as I could, but they are not seamless continuations. 

For one of the long sections, I decided to have a gate. I built it out of pieces of styrene plastic. 

Once the glue dried, I sealed the walls with a mixture of Mod Podge, black, and burnt umber craft paint. When that was dried, I went over the stones with repeated dry brushes of gray. The base I painted brown and then flocked.

I was surprised that once I figured out the technique, I could quickly put out a number of walls. I think the whole project took about two nights to complete three long sections and two corner sections, and that was because I wanted to sealant to dry thoroughly. The gate was probably the most time consuming part of the project. Is it a high quality job? No. But it looks fine for the table top. 

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Fantasy Painting Challenge V: Callie, Female Rogue with Bow, Part 3

 My challenger has sent me his submission. As usual, my photos do not do his work justice. 

I think the two snake men (Yuan-Ti, in 5e D&D) are from Wizards of the Coast. I always seem to paint any snake skin green, but he did his in a brown. I bow to his color choice as he is a herpetologist.

His interpretation of Callie is slightly different from mine. What is notable is the bow. He decided to make the last fourth of each end metallic. 

The scenic base as usual is excellent in my opinion. Nothing complicated to detract from the figures, but gives a nice impression of the situation that Callie finds herself in. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Fantasy Painting Challenge V: Callie, Female Rogue with Bow, Part 2

 I usually have at least three parts to these painting challenges, but I finished the whole thing up. I am not too crazy about Callie. I think I did a better job on her wolf. She is supposed to be a rogue, but she screamed ranger. That is what I made her into. 

But first, a Pathfinder Brain Collector from WizKids Deep Cuts plastic figures. This was a gift from my my daughter from Father's Day of last year. It took me about four months (if we exclude June), but I finally finished it.

The model came with these clear plastic domes that cover the brains, but when I dry fitted one or two, they seem to blur the brains. The model was a pain in you know where to paint. The "deep cuts" made a lot of parts inaccessible to painting. I am sure there are some spots underneath that I couldn't get to. Nonetheless, I am reasonably happy with it. I texted the picture to my daughter and she really liked it. That is what really counts!

Onto Callie:

I'm glad she has her hood covering much of her face because frankly, it is a rather poor sculpt. I painted her Botox-sized lips with a blend of flesh and a little red,  slathered on a layer or two of Citadel's flesh wash, and called her face done. Other than that, she isn't too bad. I guess she looked better on the Reaper site than in reality. Her pet wolf took a lot more time to paint. Animal fur is definitely a "challenge" as we say in the academic biz. Its one thing to paint a wolf in 15mm, its another in 28mm. Despite the name Gray Wolf, at least in North America, they seem to be more brown and tan than gray. I spent a lot of time staring at wolf pictures on the internet.

Since she became a ranger, I though it be cool to make their bases look like she and Wolfie are in a forest. So, I ordered these fake leaves from Amazon. They are made out of birch seeds that have been dyed various colors. The set came with four colors: brown, green, red and orange. I was not to happy with them when I first tried to put them on. The main problem is that they probably work well for larger model dioramas like 1/35 or even 1/48, but at 1/64 scale, each leaf is about this size of Callie's face! Second, they do not lay down nicely the way leaves are supposed to. I had these giant leaves sticking up vertically or at 45 degree angles. It was sort of like breakfast cereal before you pour the milk on it. Unlike most breakfast cereal, these don't get soggy and flatten out. When I pushed one offending leaf down, it popped up other leaves around it. It was a mess. So, for further applications, I mashed them up as well as I could between two fingers. It helped some, but by then, I was too frustrated to continue with them. Finally, I was not happy with the colors of the leaves. I think it shows in the pictures that the colors are too strong even though I mixed the colors together. They detract from the figures. I suppose I could have toned them down with a brown wash, but again, too frustrated to deal with it.

Happily, I am done with this challenge. I hope my friend likes them. Of the four challenges we've had, this was my least favorite as far as how it turned out. It is time to turn to other things. I am done for awhile with painting challenges and the medieval/fantasy miniatures on single bases. There might be some future postings of pictures, but the painting of them has ended. I have other projects that are starting to come together now that I am feeling somewhat better. It is a good sign. For the month of June and the first several days of July, I had little interest in anything other than trying to recover. 

Friday, July 7, 2023

Health Update

 I got the results back from the CT scan. There was still some infections in my lungs but my doctor saw another thing that probably was why the standard x-rays were sort of hard to read. I have blood clots in my lungs. I should have asked but he didn't say how extensive they were. I am supposed to go to have an ultrasound of my legs, but unless there is an earlier cancellation, it won't be until two weeks. I'm not on any treatment other than to make sure my Coumadin (blood thinner) levels are in the proper range. I am now more paranoid than before about any food that has high levels of vitamin K. 

The weird thing is when and really how it happened. I consulted a old friend of mine who had them about three years ago. First, he said congrats! That I had survived it. Usually, it is severe enough to get you to the hospital. Second, he wondered why I didn't feel anything in my legs. Severe and acute pain in the lower legs is that the tell-tale sign that you are developing clots. My left lower leg has been somewhat swollen for several years but I have never had any pain in that leg, certainly not anything severe. So, it is hard to say where these clots originated from or when it happened, unless they developed in the heart. 

I have been recovering. The weather has been horrendously hot and humid, but I continue to go for walks. I did finish my antibiotics (my digestive system thanked me for that), and I have cut way back on the use of the nebulizer. I am not coughing up junk from my lungs anymore. I actually went in to work yesterday. I am a teacher, so I am off this summer. It was nice to get out of the house for a few hours. I did link up with a friend who is also my department chair and had lunch. It was nice to hear about his recent sabbatical as it took my mind off of my health issues.

I have managed to do a few things at the work bench. My current painting challenge is almost done. I would not say it will be my best, but it is not horrible either.  I have a scattering of a few 15mm left to do. I am going to focus on a newish project of making crude but effective scratch built modern ships. They are not going to really have any specific scale, but they will be more-or-less scaled to each other in size. 

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Sick of Being Sick Part 2

 Once again I have been hit hard with a respiratory illness. This time, it is pneumonia. My son had a really bad bout of influenza that knocked him out at the end of May and took him a week to recover. A week later, I got it bad and it morphed into pneumonia. Last week, I was feeling a little better but this past Tuesday, I reversed course. My oxygen levels were actually higher last week than they are now! So, after three chest x-rays, using a steroid inhaler, and lots of antibiotics, I am still feeling like crap. Wednesday, I go in for a CT scan. I have no physical energy and little desire to do anything. The depressing thing is that we were going to take this big family vacation to Texas over the 4th of July weekend to see my daughter who is doing an engineering internship and then we would all go visit Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. Well, we decided to cancel the whole thing. Fortunately, we could cancel the hotels with no penalties. I was really looking forward to this trip. We have not had a family vacation in at least a year, maybe more due to COVID. 

Anyway, as I said, I have had no physical or mental energy to do anything, including hobby stuff and academic (I have two manuscripts I had hope to be done by now). So, here are some figures I painted up over a month ago...I think (brain fog). 

I have been looking up friends and colleagues last names to see if they have a coat of arms. If the search hits show the same or very similar coats of arms repeatedly, I use them. Not that I go into too much depth in my research, but I found that the name of one friend, who is of southern Italian descent, was originally Norman. Another friend's last name, which is Greek, goes back to about the early 11th century. Both miniatures below are Essex15mm from their eastern European medieval range. They are mounted singly for more skirmishy games like Lion/Dragon Rampant.

The white things are supposed to be birds


Monday, May 22, 2023

New Life for an Old Mini

 When I first jumped into 15mm medievals and fantasy, there was not a lot out there. One of the companies I discovered was Thistle & Rose Miniatures. I ordered some Norman knights to see what they looked like. This was before the days of online ordering. I painted them up but I don't know what happened to most of them. As I was cleaning my workbench, I found this guy. His horse was a mess. The legs had broken off. The rider was still intact. On a whim, I decided to see if he was compatible with any horses of other manufacturers. Lo and behold he was! He now rides an Essex unarmored horse.

I rarely, if ever, repaint any of my figures; only to touch them up if their paint is chipped. Keeping them the way they were originally painted is my way of keeping a record of my painting styles and progress over the years. So, while he has a more "advanced" painted horse, he is at the level of painting going back to the mid 90s. 

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Fantasy Painting Challenge V: Callie, Female Rogue with Bow, Part 1

I seem to be on a roll with the posts lately! Is it the free time? I didn't know I had any. Best not to question it. 

Anyway, a few months back, my buddy who I have these painting challenges with wanted to do another. I was sort of hesitant, but I agreed so long we didn't have to build any elaborate terrain to go with it.  I got to pick the figure. I settled on Callie, the female rogue with bow.

Unfortunately, she did not come with a stand. Reaper Miniatures are like that. Some do, some don't. They should really mention that on their web site for each product. It has been a slow start, mainly because I couldn't decide what to paint her. I settled on a red outfit with a gray cloak. She's a rogue, not a ranger.

I have not gotten too far with her. the cloak is gray due to the primer. Like a lot of either fantasy or scifi miniatures, there are costume pieces on the figure that I am not sure what they should be painted. In this case her knee and shin guards. Perusing the internet, some folks painted them leather, others metal. I went for metal. I found this base in one of my junk boxes. I wasn't crazy about it, but it did the job. I covered the base with green stuff putty. 

I felt she needed a companion, so I got her a wolf.

Last Father's Day, my son got me a Reaper dire wolf made out of plastic. It is better sculpted than this one, but it is way too big when next to Callie, plus he'd kill me if I painted it and gave it away (bad daddy!).  I didn't have a base that seemed to fit the length and width of the wolf so, I cut one out of this thick polystyrene plastic used for mounting posters. It's thickness matched Callie's base height. This plastic is tough but I can cut it with a utility knife and rounded off the edges with sand paper. The wolf also got green stuff smeared onto the base.

Next up is to paint them and then decide on what to put on the bases. I am thinking of getting some of those fake leaves. H-m-m-m, between the wolf and the leaves, maybe I am making her into a ranger after all.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Size Comparisons

 Its been a crazy ten days. First, I drove up from here in eastern Tennessee to Indiana to pick up my daughter from university. Then, this past week, she and I drove about 15 hours from home to Texas for her engineering internship. I flew back and got in very late Saturday night. Yesterday was Mothers Day, but my wife did most of the cooking. I decided to take it easy today and have been preparing for a D&D that will hopefully happen sometime this summer. My co-workers are interested in having a game. 

I painted up these two right before my daughter and I left on our Texas road trip. I took some pictures now to show the difference in sizer between Essex 15mm and Khurasan Miniatures 18mm. I should have added an old Table Top, now Alternative Armies mounted knight for even more comparisons.

Khurasan from their late 14th Century range

Essex from their Feudal & Early Medieval range

Granted, the Essex knight is riding
a small horse, but what a difference!

As I've probably said in previous posts, the Khurasan infantry are not too out of place when side by side with other makes. I even took one of their mounted knights and stuck him on an Essex horse, and he didn't look too bad. It is their horses that seem gigantic. 

I am winding down this painting spree. My next task is the clean up the work bench. It needs it. I'm just going to close my eyes, hold my breath and throw out a lot of junk that is on there. I suffer from collecting do-dads and brick n' brac thinking I'm going to use this stuff for something. 

Thursday, April 27, 2023

A Better Photograph?

 Just after posting the last one, I thought that at least lighting issues are due to the white table fooling the light meter. These camera phone have nowhere near the sophistication that even an old, film SLR camera did...at least that is my opinion. The only thing handy was the back of a paper pad. It seems like the Battlesystem Dwarf is still pretty dark. Its hard to say if its really any better, but at least it is a comparison of the three manufacturers.

L to R: Battle Valor, Ral Partha Battlesystem, and Demonworld

Fruits of My Labors: Dwarves

 After taking those awful pictures in my last post, I decided to give my office a try. It seems that for some reason, even though I have neon lighting, I seem to get better pictures here in my office. This time around are Dwarves. They are a combination of Ral Partha Europe (formerly Demonworld),  Battle Valor Games, and even an old, original Ral Partha Battlesystem figure. 

Dwarf guards (Demonworld)

Dwarf heavy infantry (Battle Valor and RP Battlesystem)

Battle Valor on left, Ral Partha Battlesystem on right

Ruger Ironblade

The photos still aren't that great, but they are better than the ones I took of the Orcs. I guess I am not much of a miniatures photographer but I don't have the time or money to buy fancy equipment to take better pictures. 

Comparing the three manufacturers, they really are not different in size. For some reason, my mind keeps thinking that the Battle Valor are taller. They just seem a little more portly than the other two. They just have to lay off the beer and sausages. Again, this is the results of continuing to  paint down the lead pile, and all of these are mounted singly so that I can theoretically game with my son.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Fruits of my Labors: the Bad Guys

I have not been posting much at all. This is the third post of 2023! That does not mean I've been doing nothing. In fact, I've been continuing my painting frenzy that I mentioned in my first post in January. All of these "leftover" figures have been mounted on single bases. I have been wanting to do some actual gaming, but I feel somehow compelled to get as many of these extra minis done. However, I am definitely beginning to burn out on painting. I think I will finish up a few units and then take a break for awhile.

Here is the first part of many figures I have completed.


Rank and file warriors

Line breakers


These represent about a third of the total number of Orcs that I've painted. They are all Splintered Light with the exception of a Chariot Miniature Orc that I snuck in the top picture. 


Again, Splintered Light. a combination of their original Hyena Men and their newer sculpts where they call them Gnolls.

D&D Bad Guys
Steve the Mindflayer and his pals

I got these from Khurasan Miniatures. The only one that I'm disappointed with is the Naga. I think the sculptor could have put in some more details like scales. Of the three, the Umber Hulk is my favorite.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

I'm Sick of Being Sick

Like many people out there, I have had a running battle with respiratory illnesses since back in December. Currently, its been on and off sinus infections. I had planned on taking and posting pictures of all the medieval and fantasy figures I have been frantically painting, but instead I am laid up in bed, or too miserable to function.
I have to say, the one advantage to waking up at 4 am and feeling like you are going to choke to death on all this junk you've built up is that I just go into my work home and paint until the sun comes up. I'm being sarcastic here. Yesterday, I probably got about 2 hours of sleep. As a result I barely made it through the day.

Here are three pictures of stuff.
It might be a stretch, but what is that on his shield? Hint:
it was used to kill the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog.

Cool LEGO minifigs series this year. My kids are big fans. You can't get any Orc-ier than this guy.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

What I Have Been Doing During My Holiday Break


Painting Frenzy

My last post was on December 10th and it was to show off the latest fantasy painting challenge. Despite my lack of postings, I have been very busy. In a pathetic attempt to clean and organize the hobby space, I noticed that I have a lot of left over figures. These are figures that remained after I had based them in units. For example, I use 24 figures (six stands with four figures per stand) for a unit of close infantry. Depending of the manufacturer, I might have 4 to 6 extra figures left over.  In some cases, I found packages of figures that I have no idea why I bought them. I found two packs of Essex Greek peltasts. So, I have been painting these extra figures and then mounting them on single stands. I have capitulated and decided that in addition to being used for games with my son, I would use the single stand figures for playing Lion/Dragon Rampant or any other rule system that insists on single-stand figures. 

The mess is real

Trip to Chicago

My family and I made our annual trip to Chicago to visit my family for Christmas. The subzero weather really forced us to hunker down. My daughter and I did go into downtown Chicago. Normally, we visit some museum or other cultural venue, but she just wanted to visit all the upscale stores that line north Michigan Avenue. Other than that excursion, we all sat at my mother's house doing not much of anything besides some baking. 

Chicago-style hotdog and fries

The "Bean" at Millennial Park along Michigan Avenue

When you stare into the Bean, the Bean stares back at you

Looking north on Michigan Avenue. Not the best
picture, but way at the end is the famous Water
Tower that was one of two buildings that escaped
the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Daughter enjoying her pizza

Chicago deep dish pizza. I wept with joy!

I had planned to run a D&D game, but no one was all that interested. Even though no game was played, I did get this from my daughter for Christmas:

The recipes are pretty basic but the stories that accompany them are pretty entertaining.