Now for Nunc!

Well, son of Nunc, anyway.

Here’s Nunc-bïdi Hyûm, a sophotaster who resembles David Hume in his philosophical views.

Hyûm is less eggheaded than most of his intellectual peers. Unlike many of them, Hyûm bases his understanding of the world on the evidence of his senses. For Hyûm, the accumulation of sense impressions gradually coalesces into a fixed idea which we then ascribe to reality. The idea doesn’t exist for us until our perceptions have provided the data for the abstraction of some concept. Other ideas are formed by the conjunction or other relation of one idea and another, but all ideas can ultimately be resolved into the primitive subjective experiences which support them.

For instance, we have the idea that the Sun rises in the East every day. We believe this is intrinsically and invariably true. Hyûm argues that our expectation of the Sun’s rising in the East represents merely a conditioned attitude formed through an abundance of similar first-hand experiences.

In certain obnoxiously obvious ways, Hyûm is simply correct. If the Sun failed to rise, or rose in the West or South, we would have to change our idea of sunrise: the universe itself unfolds quite independent of our judgements, descriptions, and expectations.

What’s more, terrestrial sunrise is an ephemeral phenomenon, when considered within the proper time frame. According to the best scientific estimates, our Sun is middle aged, which means it has existed for less than half of the life of the universe. The sun simply hasn’t always risen in the East. Further, when the Sun explodes, it ain’t gonna rise at all, it’s going to engulf us in great gouts of nuclear flame.

The consequences of Hyûm’s views are radical. According to Hyûm, basic categories such as causality are imposed upon reality by our minds’ need to conceptualize, to idealize it. We cannot observe causation, he argues, so our claims of causal connection are empirically illicit.

I’m short, Hyûm likes to deflate the inherited, unconscious, or unwary ideas we often carry around with us. He attempts to explain our conception of the world by an appeal to empiricist epistemology. For Hyûm, ideas which deviate from our impressions or attempt to synthesize impressions into larger and more abstract categories are doomed to failure.

Good day, sir!

Boost Your Bases!

When I decided to start a team of Dark Angels about half a year ago I was hoping for cool, realistic poses with my conversions and a very gritty, kick-ass look. I started with a plasma gunner and…

…well, I couldn’t resist the joke. I wanted the figures to look very grimdark at first glance, but I’m not really that grimdark of a guy. So I gave a zombie head some plasma-glowing eyes and glued it on there.

This gave me the idea of doing bases on the figures representing the various foes the team had defeated. I have a somewhat developed backstory for the Eremoi (Hermits), which I may share at some point when I need a break from fantasy town.

These are gaming figures, so the tiny dioramas had to be both tight enough to fit on a normal tactical marine base and sturdy enough to withstand (minimal!) abuse.

Some are very simple. A cool hand holding a bloodthirster head led to the inclusion of the bronze Khorne symbol lying in the dirt. A skull, a bit of wire, and a little plastic cutting adds some more 40k atmosphere.

Sometimes I like to break off the base a touch, using the black rim as a cheeky little zone for scenery. The plague zombie’s arm does protrude a bit, but the stout metal I-beam gives it a pretty safe nook to hide in.

Sometimes it’s as easy as painting something funny onto an unaltered base. It’s hard to read in a static shot (it’s easier if you can turn it in your hand), but the barrel says ‘KRILL.’ I thought it would be appropriate if the suffering millions of the 41st Millenium ate… tiny little gross shrimp and stuff.

This guy’s a real go-getter, so he’s bounding over a half-buried jug of Guilliman’s X-Treme Ultra-Ade. I think Ultramarines are pretty stupid, and I think the ridiculous names of sports/energy drinks are pretty stupid, too. Seemed like a good fit.

Sometimes the base & the figure are one! This was a really fun challenge. I had to fit a whole prone tactical marine onto his base. The key was to use plenty of nubbins to cover up the parts that would shatter the illusion.

This is definitely one of my favorites. Again, the challenge was getting the right arrangement of goblin parts beneath the foot that’s squashing him as he crawls out from some hole in the ground.

My brother-in-law Will, whom you’ve met in numerous battle reports, started his Kill Team collection with T’au. Well, he had to be trolled, didn’t he?!

This one uses the rim, features a nice bit of chopchop to create the casualty pose, and sneaks quite a bit of scenic ‘information’ onto the base.

But why stop there? A little Greenstuff easily gives a lolling tongue on a dead T’au. It doesn’t really matter if the head looks almost like a hood ornament for the model, it looks cool and the goal is storytelling, not verisimilitude.

~

Thanks for taking a look at these fun little mini-scenes that live on the bases of my Eremoi. I have a lot of fun solving the puzzle of building a complex, ‘readable’ scene on such a tiny surface, and I’ll bet you will too!

Garden of Contemplation

I whipped up a quick scene for shots of my philosopher bums and others in the Garden of Contemplation.

Dip your brush into your coffee. This step is entirely optional. Try it and see if you like the results.

Basic colors applied. I used my cheap hobby paints and mixed them for a bit of variety on different stuff. Don’t be fussy about it. You actually want some crappiness, since the plaster is old, moldy, dilapidated, etc. Slap it on there, don’t aim for even coverage, and know that you can fix anything later if you hate it.

I wanted the fragment of the statue & the tree to be the key features, obviously, so I went for a pretty crazy marble texture. Lots of lines of greys & cool greens, followed by thin washes of grey to create depth. I’m mixing in gloss medium on some passes, but not all around.

Preliminary painting of the tree. On top of brown I’ve used a swampy yellow-green, highlighted with a light yellow-brown.

Washes on the wall. This is pretty over-the-top, I’ll admit! I used Secret Weapon Baby Poop, one of my favorites. It’s much more green than the website would have you believe.

Paint again after washes. The tree was highlighted up to cream colors, the ferns were picked out, and some definition added back onto the marble.

I forgot to take the picture before I began the moss, but you get the idea.

TOP TIP: Coolest part of the piece is the iridescent medium I’ve used, along with gloss medium, to create sparkle & shimmer within the layers of the marble. I love the stuff. You can get it cheap at an art store.

Ready for action!

~

If you need help with the basics, I’ve got a tutorial on dirt & grass here. Feel free to comment with any questions, etc.

How to Feed Orphans

Well, at least how to make a decent lunch that will impress yourself and your friends.

These sandwiches just take a minute, they’re cheap, and they’re unusual & delicious.

1) Get good bread. This is the most important part. You need bread with a nice crust on it, a non-crumbly texture, and great flavor.

Awesome bread is getting easier to find in the US all the time, as more and more young people embrace traditional arts like farming and baking. Many other parts of the world have always demanded good bread.

Sourdough rolls work perfectly, though I got mini baguettes from our neighborhood baker (a Frenchman) today.

2) Put cheese on each half of your rolls. These are open-faced sandwiches.

My favorite cheese for this is probably fresh chèvre (goat cheese), and that’s what Mills & Gramm ate the first day they came to ToadChapel. Since I didn’t have any, I just used some Brie with peppercorns in it.

3) Toast it under a broiler or in your toaster oven (faster & less hassle) and drizzle with honey. My honey is quite pale, so it’s hard to see, but it tasted delicious, I assure you.

~

And that’s it! Almost no work, made with stuff you can get easily or keep on hand, and – most importantly – delmarvelous!

As you can see, ingredients are easily substituted to fit what you have on hand.

I first encountered these sandwiches in Amsterdam after my mother & I had our minds blown by the Rijksmuseum, which had on display the largest exhibit in history of Dutch masterpieces from all over the world.

There’s no reason to claim complete incompetence in the kitchen. Get yourself a handful of reliable, easy recipes that you can make yourself and your friends and get cooking!

Chapter III: A Quest… of Sorts

No sooner had this Tù-bïdi Herling hustled away from Ga-Ga’s (he didn’t want to be seen in this part of town) but two frightened human heads appeared at the top of the stairs.

“Who’s that?” said Amelia.

“I didn’t steal those chickens, I just had fun chasin em,” said Graham.

“Come down here, both of you.” Ga-Ga said. Her tone was serious. The children crept down the stairs as if a creaking step might still somehow alert the swaggering dwarf so recently and rudely met. The kids nervously followed Ga-Ga as she walked outside to join Duae. “Sister*, would you go and see what this fuss about a party is all about?”

Dûae quickly agreed, knowingly winking at Ga-Ga as she turned.

“I didn’t steal those chickens. Me and Mills were about to begin our chores, when we sort of got off track,” said Graham sheepishly. “We didn’t do em.”

“Yes I can see that,” replied Ga-Ga with something like a smirk flashing across her face. “But I also know you didn’t steal anybody’s animals. You’re wicked, but you’re not bad. There’s something I need you to do.”

Mills enjoyed a smirk of her own as she told Ga-Ga, “I know what kind of party that dwarf’s throwing. It’s a search party!”

Ga-Ga looked around suspiciously as she continued, “Go and find those chickens yourself. Somebody’s been up to no good, and the sooner we find them the better we can keep this town from blaming you for everything. No doubt Herling’s told the search party to look for little boys, not lost poultry!”

“He’s probably got every man in town out after us. They already hate us,” said Mills, her voice leaden with concern.

“Sadly, that may be true,” sighed Ga-Ga. “They’re angry because they’re disappointed in something, and they’re mean because you haven’t got any friends yet. But it’s more than that. They’re also jealous, because there’s a bit of a mystery surrounding you, and no one’s really lost interest. Most of our neighbors have a story of how you got here, and they’ve made up their minds about you on account of that story.

“But you need to go find those chickens before those fools stumble onto them. You’re both twice as smart as any of those morons, but that only makes four. I don’t have to tell you to avoid the townsfolk for now, right?”

“Mom, we’re not idiots! You always treat us like babies!” cried both kids.

Ga-Ga smiled as she countered, “Ah, so it’s ‘Mom’ now, huh?”

* They were not sisters, officially.

~

You might notice (if you can overcome the bad photography!) that in the picture where Ga-Ga counsels and cautions Mills & Gramm she is holding a crossbow. That’s mostly because it’s really hard to find high quality minis that aren’t holding weapons. RBG & Hasslefree, which I’ve used exclusively to this point, are also a small 28mm scale, which further limits options. And while dynamism can be great, it doesn’t make the lack of static poses any less problematic for me. Printed resin has become so good that this issue is hopefully, and most likely, on the way out.

The other reason she’s got a bow is, of course, because she could become part of an adventure at any time!

~

Now, after those chickens!

On Dwarven Names

– From Notes Regarding the of the Foundation of ToadChapel by the Dwarves of the Big Mountain 2.19 (Ysidor, dwarven chronicler)

~

Naming conventions in ToadChapel and similar dwarven satellite communities display a consistent patronymic format.

When a dwarf is born, he receives a name of his own by which he will be almost universally known. When using his full name, however, as on important ceremonial occasions, his personal name is written and spoken second, while the patronymic comes first. Thus, the name of the infamous Tù-bïdi Herling can be understood as ‘Herling, son of Tù.’ His brother, or perhaps half-brother, the hero Tù-bïdi Tùrmundd, shares a father with Herling, and thus shares his patronymic first name.

It is possible by recitation of a string of patronymic names for a dwarf to trace his lineage back as far as memory will allow, and many dwarven families place great importance on the oral memorialization of the generations of their ancestors.