View From the Crow’s Nest: Year Two

Can it really have been two years since the very first post on this blog? Whilst, strictly speaking, tomorrow is the official two-year anniversary of this blog, what’s a couple of hours between friends, eh?

Over the last year there have been Ghostbusters, Masters of the Universe, Super-Clowns and Oriental Fantasy. I’ve scratch-built buildings, hamburger carts, starships, road tiles and a rather nice pumpkin patch. I’ve published several short stories and introduced people to my own rules – Final Frontier for Star Trek-inspired space combat and Way of the Crow, an all-genre skirmish rules.

We also had the very first Forgotten Heroes event, in which fellow bloggers on three continents produced a 28mm costumed character, of which a figure has either not yet been made or the official figure was a bit pants, which was a great deal of fun.

I also attended my very first Salute, in which I had the pleasure of meeting some of my fellow bloggers face-to-face and the displeasure of trying to eat a Cornish pasty hotter than the sun with just my fingers…

I want to thank all of those who’ve visited my blog and a bigger thank you to all those who took the time to post a comment – I know from personal experience that you don’t always get the time to comment on every post on every blog you follow, so those who’ve chosen to comment on mine, many thanks.

Right, that’s the retrospective bit, so what have you got to look forward to in the next twelve months? Will you see me pandering to the needs of a wider audience, featuring the next ‘big thing’ and tailoring my content to increase the number of visitors? Will you see me ‘bigging up’ a company’s products because I’m in their pocket? Will you see me covering genres or games systems that I have no interest in just because I feel I should?

Of course you bloody won’t.

What you WILL see is; more Way of the Crow, as I finish writing up the rules so that it can be used for every genre. More AARs, as I’ve decided that I really should play with all these figures and terrain I’ve collected, otherwise what’s the point? Plus it’ll give me the chance to play-test the rules in a variety of settings. More inventive scratch-building, from the long-promised fire hydrants to inexpensive and simple trees. More Oriental Fantasy, more starships and more superheroes, as Forgotten Heroes WILL return in June 2017, so get planning!

But wait, there’s more! Final Frontier will get a 2nd Edition, as I incorporate the various suggestions and ideas I’ve had regarding it (for those of you that missed it the first time around, you can find it on this post). There will also be another set of rules published which will allow you to fight riverine engagements between armed and armoured narrowboats and barges, along with articles on how to scratch-build the craft needed for this, as the long-planned Pirates of the River Thames finally sees the light of day! There will be strange, unusual and possibly bonkers diversions (one such ‘secret project’ is currently under way as we speak…). And I’m hoping to have the pleasure of hosting some guest articles from some very good friends – so you might actually end up with something worth reading…

And there will be, of course, more Doctor Who…

In fact, here it comes now – cue the theme tune…

As I was surprised to get a little more hobby-time this week, I decided to base up some of my Games Worskshop Cybermen, along with my Black Tree Cyber Controller, reasoning that if they were based, the actual painting of them shouldn’t take that long, as they’re essentially one colour. I was right and this is the result:

So, they were initially undercoated in GW Chainmail, a pot of which is still going strong, then painted with GW Black Ink. I then drybrushed them with GW Mithril Silver, then painted in their chest panels and the ends of their Cyberguns with Docrafts Black, and the rings on their guns with GW Imperial Purple. The bases were painted Docrafts Chocolate Brown, with a wash of Burnt Ochre.

And now I have a five ‘man’ squad of Earthshock Cybermen, with a Telos Cyber Controller. I did consider altering the pose of the GW Cybermen, but felt their uniformity actually suited them better.

Now, for those of you who prefer the newer version of the Cybermen, I give you a Cybus Industries Cyberman:

This Mirco Universe figure was painted in exactly the same way as the Cybermen above, but as the standard base for these figures looks more like starship decking, I undercoated it in GW Chainmail, then washed it in Brown Ink. I think it looks like slightly oily decking, which was the look I was going for.

Finally, as I’d based the Master and he’d threatened to use his Tissue Compression Eliminator on me unless I built him a TARDIS, that’s what I did:

The Master’s TARDIS is simply a 30mm lipped base, with the plastic casing from a fluorescent light actuator glued onto it, which was then undercoated in Light Grey, painted in GW Chainmail, with a further coat of Chainmail mixed with a tiny amount of black.

As both my sons took one look at it and identified it as an uncloaked TARDIS without any prompting, this means two things; it looks like what it’s supposed to and, more importantly, I’ve brought my kids up right.

That’s all for this week – join me next time for more Who-related goodness.

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12 thoughts on “View From the Crow’s Nest: Year Two

  1. Terrific stuff Jez, and may I be the first to congratulate you on your two year anniversary. Very well done, sir, and I’m very grateful to you for all your support/comments on my own blog. Great “Doctor Who” posting btw, and I love the TARDIS… must get a few of those myself 😉

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    • Thank you very much, Simon. Your support from the very beginning has been much appreciated. And you will always have my support on your blog, even if we’re still waiting on “The Seeds if Doom”. 😉
      And there will be plenty more Doctor Who over the coming months, including some more scratch-built aliens.

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  2. Congrats on the milestone Master Crow. I’m eagerly anticipating the release of your skirmish rules as I have a few games in mind! I also love the idea of the river Pirates game 😉

    The cybermen look fab mate and I’m glad your kids can spot a Who. My daughter is a Who fan, something I’m wholly proud of!

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    • Thanks alot, Andy. Much appreciated. Your own blog has provided a lot of inspiration regarding terrain ideas and the joy of Bushido.
      Way of the Crow should allow you to play whatever genre you decide to use it for. From extensive playtesting in Ireland we know it doesn’t really work for large scale skirmishes, but for smaller games (i.e. a handful of figures on either side) it works well. Expect to see quite a few AARs using it as I thrash out the rules.
      As for PoRT (an unexpected and suitable abbreviation), this started off as a joke when Pirates of the Spanish Main first came out, but the idea just wouldn’t go away, so it’s time to weld armour plates to canal boats, install cannons and blow the crap out of other river users.
      The cybermen came out really well – let’s hope the Daleks look just as good. 😉

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  3. Congrats Jez, doesn’t the time just fly by! Really looking forward to all you’re madness but especially this canal boat system you’ve mentioned a couple of times now, now that has peeked my interest (I do live down the road from Ellesmere Port after all home of the famous (well marginally famous) boat museum).

    It’s always a joy to read your posts, and to have you comment on mine, your cybermen look excellent by the way funnily enough I saw Colin Baker yesterday at a local comic con and Virginia Haye of Mad Max fame seems I just cant get away from you and Simon’s influence.

    Cheers Roger.

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    • Thank you, Roger. As my longest supporter, you have watched this blog grow from its humble beginnings to the wide-ranging craziness it now entails and your support and friendship is very much appreciated.
      The idea for the canal boat game seems surprisingly popular, given that I thought it would just be another one of my bonkers ideas. Guess i’ll be building tiny little barges with big-ass cannons reasonably soon…
      Of course, there will be more ‘Who’ first, including some suitable aliens from a certain Wargames Supply Dump…

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      • Wargames Supply Dump figures! I hope you aren’t becoming a sock puppet! 😉

        What scale are we talking for the canal boats by the way? or haven’t you got that far yet.

        Cheers Roger.

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        • Nope – just highlighting those manufacturers whose products may have escaped the casual browser. Plus your ‘Cyclopean Aliens’ and ‘Retrovians’ ideal for Doctor Who.
          As for the canal boats, they’ll probably end up being about an Inch long, so whatever scale that is…1:360-ish? Basically, small enough so that you can have handful on a the tabletop without needing a massive amount of room, similar to the old Pirates of the Spanish Main game, but without the fiddly sails.

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  4. Gratz Jez. A cool mile stone marker and retrospective tour of the last couple of years. Way of the Crow intrigues us here and we certainly have not given up our input and our trials into this Crow`s Nest set of rules. While we would dearly love for them to allow for larger scale games, hey, that wont stop us having fun with them. For years we felt the same way about Heroclix, but in the end we simply re-wrote these to allow us to paly the game on a grander scale with 20/30+ minis per side… easily. I`m sure the same thing will happen with WotC: one day one of us will simply cry Eureka!!! and the way forward will be cast (run up the flagpole) for large scale games to work with the system…. which, I point out, is a rather neat and cool one at that. I`ve already turned my mind to playing-about-with-it to adapt Black Plague: Tar`s affectionately taken to calling it “Zombicide Black Crow.”

    She`s already converted your Final Frontier to her B7 game, but that’s still a work in progress I think.

    Keep up the Doctor Who mate. I know its your personal baby (like Bushido is for Andy over at his cool Gobbo site). Doesn’t matter who else likes it (girls huh, pffah!!! what do they know *coughs and looks at Hillers and Tar *) YOU love it, and that’s enough emphasis for doing more and more and more.

    I have taken a back seat to blogging or/and websites (that’s why I don’t even keep up to date with visiting other places at the moment either). Even though our new place is pretty much ready to go. Hundreds of pages done, and at last an additional hundred and more + pages finished and just waiting to be put up. But I just lost the drive, and need, and the desire to do it all right now. Having far too much fun enjoying the club, and our home games of D&D at the moment (not to mention my solo historical wargames).

    Anyway, I just wanted to leave a quick comment to say well done Jez. Keep it up, and keep plugging away. Your site is always a delight to visit. Maybe because its not only always well written, but because its never samey, and covers a diverse range of topics…. and you just never can tell what`s coming next *chuckles*

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    • Thank you very much, Steve. To be honest, i did take on board your comments regarding larger-scale combat and whilst ‘Way of the Crow’ doesn’t really allow for this type of game, there MAY very well be something in the pipeline that WILL, so watch this space.
      I do miss your blog, but fully understand the reasons for not continuing with it – if you’re not enjoying doing something, then why continue? However, as I’ve stated before, you are more than welcome to post any articles you want on here. It would be an honour to host anything you, Hils or Tarot want to post – even that Teletubbies idea.
      As for your women, if they visit here on a regular basis, they WILL have no choice than to become enamoured by Doctor Who – my relentless love of it will win them over…eventually.
      As for content, it will continue in the same vein – a core of superhero, retro Sci-fi and Oriental Fantasy, with regular side-treks into stranger territory, because that’s who I am and this is what I do. It’s called the Buffet for a reason, after all. 😉

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  5. Two years of unadulterated hobby fun in and no signs of slowing up or compromising – this is what we love to hear! Your blog remains a constant source of inspiration Jez – not to mention distraction.

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    • Thank you very much, Michael. My blog is my personal expression of what I love about our wonderful hobby. It may not be to everyone’s tastes and it’s certainly not as popular as yours, but this doesn’t bother me, because I know that the people who do comment here genuinely enjoy what I’m doing.
      If I provide inspiration or help people think a little more sensibly about how they spend their gaming budget, then I feel that’s a good thing. I know that I may have shown you things you didn’t know you needed until you saw them, but as someone with a limited gaming budget, you can rest assured that I’ll always be looking for reasonably priced figures. £10 for a single 28mm miniature? I think not…

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