Monday, October 20, 2008

My Gaming

My D&D group is doing well in Keep on the Shadowfell. Although D&D 4 tries to make even 1st level adventuring fun, there's only so much excitement derived from knocking down goblins and skeletons. The party is now starting to move into more interesting encounters and you can tell there's more excitement. We just added two new excellent players to the group last night, James and Allen, who play a couple of pious dwarves from the mountains.

I haven't played 40K since before my trip to Wisconsin. I snagged a Baneblade from our ding & dent auction pile and started putting that together Saturday. The instructions for this model are not up to the usual GW standards and I found myself doing a lot of modifications to get things to fit. I've spent about 7 hours so far and I'm about three quarters finished. I'm not happy with what I've got so far, so I might finish it up and sell it at the store at cost so I can build another one. I really like the idea of the Baneblade, but the model is frustrating me. This model is for experienced modellers and apparently two chimeras, three hellhounds (including a Forge World and heavily modified version), and three basilisks wasn't enough experience.

The truth of my modeling career, now that I've gotten this far with my 40K army and I don't mind sharing, is that I was a frustrated modeler starting at 8 years old. Some people have a natural affinity with spatial dimensions. They're good with directions, physical movement and putting things together. I've got no such affinity and lack the most basic spatial skills. Sometimes I think I'm brain damaged with highly developed spatial coping skills. As a kid I muddled through organized sports, my love for martial arts (despite lacking much skill) and model building and I'm probably better for it, but a wiser person might have focused on other activities.

At 8 years old I recall buying a bomber plane model and attempting unsuccessfully to put it together in the dining room. There were tears, followed by my throwing that plane across the room, smashing it into the wall. It was a moment of modeling shame reinforced by a couple years of hiding the fact that I was buying Snap-Tite models instead of real models. You could get these at the local drug store back then, and I recall the shame of the purchase, as if I were buying condoms and Hustlers.

Nowadays most kids are so attached to video games that even a Snap-Tite kit would confuse them, but back then modeling was a common hobby. I recall a fairly large collection of mostly cars and trucks, but no planes after the dining room incident. So you can imagine I've got a little emotional baggage when I have trouble with a model like the Baneblade as an adult. There was a moment when I wanted to throw it against the dining room wall (or blow it up with M80's).

Finally, my three year old Rocco invited me to play Bendomino Jr. We don't normally play games, just play with toys, so I jumped at the opportunity to support his gaming interest. We played the game like a jigsaw puzzle, rather than using domino rules, but it was fun anyway. I look forward to playing many interesting games with him in the future.


  1. If you get to the "throw it at the wall" stage with that Baneblade, hold off and let me have a look at it. I seem to have a supernatural ability to figure these things out - I once put together a Tamiya model car which had completely lost its instruction sheet. If the Baneblade is up to usual GW standards, it'll be no challenge to me, because for all the GW hate there is out there, they do very well with easy-yet-detailed plastic kits.

  2. The only trouble I had was with the heavy bolter mounts. even with the three dimensional instructions they managed to pick an agle that made the part 2 dimensional. You cant tell the front from the back or top from the bottom. With a little attention to the details and test fitting, you can get it. Besides, the part is incased in armor so it doesnt matter too much.

    I think there is a more in depth tutorial on the GW website. Try that.


  3. If there was a tutorial, it looks like it got lost in the latest site redesign. All I could find were tutorials for the Leman Russ and the Chimera.

    As a side note, that's one of the problems I have with GW. They often do very good tutorials, but instead of putting them in the box, they put them online or in White Dwarf.

    Given that back issues of White Dwarf are rarely available, and that they do a site redesign about once every other year and drop a bunch of articles whenever they do, that means that usually within a few months of a models release the tutorials are no longer available.

    They need to either just stick them in the box to begin with, keep an online archive that is maintained separately from the web store, or at the very least collect them together and sell them in some sort of modeling guidebook. The latter is the least acceptable from a consumer's standpoint, but better than the articles not being available at all, and it would seem to fit the GW marketing plan fairly well given that they still want people to pay for their catalogs even after dropping bitz (what's the point now?).

  4. I spent about 30 minutes trying to figure out what part was the bolter mount.

    My whole model started out wrong when the instructions had me assembling a right hand side with left hand parts (if you read them verbatim).