Wednesday, August 16, 2017

GenCon or GenCan't?

I was at GenCon in 1992 for the GenCon/Origins and the 25th anniversary. Back then, it was in Milwaukee, at MECCA. I was there the next year in 1993 when Magic was released. We were there when Wizards of the Coast bought TSR in 1997 and after Hasbro bought WOTC. We were there in 1998 when they left MECCA (we saved a brick from the demolition site) and when the new WOTC castle replaced the old TSR castle (we saved a piece of the old castle too). We were there when Cardhalla first debuted in 1999 as a sometime people did with the discarded Magic cards left lying around before it became a big thing.
I went almost every year in that period, except the year my sister scheduled her wedding on GenCon Saturday.

When GenCon made the move to Indianapolis in 2003, we did not go and we have not been since. A logistical combination of a second child, a poor exchange on the dollar, the extra distance, and not having the knowledge of the downtown in the new city all factored in against us.

This year is the 50th anniversary of GenCon. It has been sold out for a while. One of the friends that we had gone with is making the trip this year with his son. We are still not going.

Shan and I talked about it, but the logistics still work against us. While our kids are old enough to leave behind and our dollar is doing better, the travel, new city, and having to book time off for it in advance work against us. Plus, the uncertainty of hotels, and even how quickly the memberships sold out would have made this one tricky.

It might be sour grapes, but I’m not even sure how much I would enjoy it anymore. I would still try to get in a Diplomacy game, and check in with the Highlander CCG crowd. I would spend a lot of time in the Dealers Room, looking at the new products, trying to find a few old items (like Jean Grey), and looking for some familiar faces – like GW/AoG Dave Frank, and TSR Brian Mitchel. I believe I would find the crowds overwhelming. Plus, not knowing the area, not likely to get a hotel near the convention, and the travel would all be challenging.
Most of the designers can now be reached online. A lot of the new games I can wait and buy locally or online. A lot of the older items I ‘could’ buy online, if I was willing to pay those rates. Even the promos aren’t as big a draw anymore. I’ve done without so many of the Heroclix promos now that I have passed beyond filling them. A lot of the other promos, I would still have the ability to buy online albeit at an inflated price.

That said, I do have my friend looking for a Bat-Mite promo for me this year, if he gets a chance.
I’m sure I would enjoy it if I was there. I really can’t see us making it down though, unless finances change significantly, like lottery-scale.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

DC Universe - new collections for old BMG figs

Knight Models has started repackaging some of their older BMG figures with the Universe cards as well. Luckily, I hadn’t bought them yet so I will be able to take advantage of this. They had created a bunch of cards for the figures that you were able to print off yourself in the PDF of the rules.

The first two they released were the Justice League and the Secret Society of Supervillains. The Justice League contains Flash, Green Arrow, and Hawkman. The Secret Society contains Black Manta, Killer Frost, and Professor Zoom. In putting together the new sets they updated a few of the cards.

They just released the remaining three sets that they had preorders for - Birds of Prey, Suicide Squad, and Teen Titans. We had speculated which figures that they would contain. We were right about the Teen Titans in guessing that it would contain Cyborg, Kid Flash, and Starfire.

We thought that the Birds of Prey would contain Batgirl, Black Canary, and Hawkgirl but they substituted Huntress for Batgirl even though Huntress did not yet have a card.

The Suicide Squad was a bit of a mix. We thought it could have Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and the Joker. Alternatively, it could have contained Deadshot, Deathstroke, and Joker, leaving Harley to add to Ivy and a Catwoman for a Gotham Sirens. These were based on the figures that already had cards listed. I had hoped that it could possibly include the comic sculpt of Boomerang (which did not have a card yet, but I really prefer this figure to the one from the movie).
In the end, they only used the Deadshot figure which had previously had a card, and added the comic figures of Katanna and Captain Boomerang, both of which did not have cards.

This is great as I don’t have any of those figures yet. I had only started filling in these figures with Ravager, and Lobo. It would also save me the trouble of printing the cards.

From the cards, that would leave Batgirl, Ravager, Deathstroke, Harley Quinn, Joker, Lobo, Poison Ivy, and Ra’s Al Ghul as the last regular-sized figures and Bane, Clayface, Solomon Grundy, and Swamp Thing as larger figures. A League of Assassins set could still be made from Ravager, Deathstroke, and Ra’s Al Ghul. Gothem Sirens could also be made with Batgirl, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Figure Painting Total - July 2017

I picked up the Kill Team and DCU Trinity on our trip to Thunder Bay. The other few I picked up online.

BM – The Dynamic Duo – 2
BM/DCU – Lobo – 1
BM/DCU – Ravager – 1
DCU – Trinity – 3
GW – Kill Team – Space Marines – 10
GW – Kill Team – Tau Fire – 10
GW – Kill Team – Tau drones – 2
GW – Kill Team – Tau gun emplacement – 1
MU – Emma Frost – 1

July figures bought - 31, figures painted – 0

Running total 2017 – figures bought 106, figures painted 0

Friday, July 28, 2017

Disney Trip 2016 - Day 10 - Polynesian/Travel

On Tuesday, August 30, we got up, showered, and packed the last of our items away. We had accumulated a lot of snacks that would not make the trip back.

We stored our bags at the front desk and took the bus to the Magic Kingdom. We were early, so we took the train around the park and checked that off our list. Knowing that Stitch made an appearance at the front, we saw him as we were starting our train ride and he was still there when we got off - but the line was too long.

We took the monorail to the Polynesian Resort and had our Aloha Character Breakfast. It was a beautiful breakfast - we started with fresh fruit and pastries, then had an all-you-can-eat, family-style breakfast - scrambled eggs, biscuits, waffles, hash browns, sausage, and bacon. There was also this mango/guava/orange juice that was wonderful.
They had the following characters there - Pluto, holiday Mickey, Lilo, and of course Stitch. It cost about $35 a person - which I consider a bargain for what you received. We were there early but they sat us early. We did have a long wait for Stitch but, when he finally came around, my daughter had tears again.

We took a cab back to our resort. Gaby when to the arcade again. We got our bags from holding, and waited for the bus back to the airport.
As we got to the airport it rained very heavily. We unloaded under the canopy and made our way over to our terminal for our flights back. We waited. The desk did not open until 3:45.
We were in the front third of the line but we got held up. Our tickets back for David3 and I did not have our middle names and the computer did not want to board two people with the same name. So we had to wait while the agent was on hold and could fix it for us.
Our bags were a bit over - 54, 51, and 53 pounds but he let them go through without overcharges. My bag, even with all the heavy liquids and extra stuff, was still only 47 pounds.

We got split up at customs by an agent that looked like an older Daniel Cook. Gaby and Shan went though as pre-checked, and David3 and I had to go through the regular line. They brought the dog out to run up an down the line but no incidence.

We picked up some burgers from Burger King and waited for our flight.

We got to Toronto with no problems. We didn't have to transfer our bags, which was a big help as our connection was tight.
Or it would have been if the connecting plane was on time. There was an issue with the plane so they had to bring a replacement in from New York.

We did a lot of walking through the Toronto terminal, and Shan and Gaby had picked up some Timbits for the wait. The kids were happy to be back in Canada and were looking forward to getting home.

My folks picked us up in Winnipeg. We were supposed to be in at 12:30 am but with the delay we were a bit late.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Why do Cosplayers wait until the last moment?

Because there is always more that can be done to the costume if there is more time.

Because I’ve been able to finish costumes for my daughter with little notice, she feels that I always can. Lucky for her, I’ve mostly had the week off during costume crunch time and can working into the night by stealing sleep during the day.

This didn’t work out for her last time when she wanted to do Princess Mononoke. We got a good start, and still pulled off enough for a costume but, because she was too busy to put effort in to it, did not finish the mask.

This time she came back from Thunder Bay wanting to do three costumes for Aikon, a local anime convention. But she didn’t work on them over the weekend, Monday we went shopping at Michaels for supplies but did no work, and she was away camping with a friend Tuesday to Wednesday. That left yesterday night to work on them.

She wanted a Sudoh-Bucks apron, a Wolf Children dress, and Rin Okumora from Blue Exorcist. She traced an apron on her fabric and we used hem tape to seal the edges. She used ribbon for the straps and glued it on. If we would have had more time, or were making more, I would have done the design with fabric paint but instead we did it out of felt. I was making one with glued felt and one with adhesive-backed felt but only completed the adhesive-backed one due to time. She also printed off the logo and glued it to a coffee cup that she had painted white.

While we were working on that, Shan was cutting out appliques from felt that Gee glued down on a blue dress for Wolf Children. She would also have to tack the sleeves in as it doesn't have doesn’t have sleeves. We didn’t have time for Rin Okumora so she didn’t get to do that one. We worked late into the night. I was the last one up working away on the logo, finishing at 2 am. It still needed to have the backing peeled off and then stuck to the apron but was basically finished.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

BMG - more figures.

I was going to stop buying miniatures for the Batman Miniature Game and save up for some of the Games Workshop boxed sets. But then Fun Again Games had a summer sale so I ordered a few more.

I ordered the Modern Batman as it comes with a Robin. I already have the Ben Affleck Batman, and now the Armored Batman from the DC Universe Trinity set. This one goes with the World’s Finest card in the DC Universe and is supposed to be the best Batman for the points in the Batman Miniature game.

I also got a Ravager, who is a Free Agent, so she can work with any team. She also used to be one of the best figures in the DC Universe game. In addition, as a Justice League Grey, she will work with either team.

I also picked up a Lobo, another Free Agent who can also be used in DC Universe. I don’t know if he is good, and I wasn’t a huge fan of him in the day, but I’m looking forward to painting him.

I am pretty sure this will be the game that gets me to start painting again.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Marvel Universe status update.

With a bit more searching, I was able to get more figures for the Marvel Universe Miniature game. I think I’m good now. I have all 5 starters, 13 of the 20 single figures, the 3 sets of markers, and the spray template. Of the Spider-Man game figures, that work with the Batman Miniature game but also have cards to use with the Marvel Universe game, I don’t have any of the 3 starters, but do have 4 of the 5 individual figures.

I was even able to pick up a figure that I can use for the Incredible Hulk. It seems a bit big to me – closer to 1/32 scale, but that matches pretty close to how big the Knight Models figure is. I had been looking for one from the Dollar Store or Dollar Tree but hadn’t been able to find one. This one was about $10- more than I had wanted to spend, but still much less than the actual figure. At that price I have to think about if I really want to rebase or repaint him.

I have all the key figures I had wanted except Jean Grey. There are still two other figures that I am interested in, Loki and Elektra, but those both seem to be rare and expensive, so I will substitute Heroclix figures. I would also substitute for the rest of the figures I need unless the price drops on them significantly. These are Thanos, Doctor Octopus, Incredible Hulk, Venom, Hulkbuster MK44, and the other sculpt of Black Widow. If I run across the Spider-Man starters at a good price, I would get them as well – Superior Spider-Man, Spider Robots, and Goblin Cult.

Now I just have to paint them.