Getting back to business!

Note: this is not an apology, it is a combination public service announcement and self-motivational tool.

 Since our daughter started 1st Grade in the beginning of September, she has been sick several times and has shared that "wealth" with the rest of the family - I've no doubt we've had our own stuff and passed some on to her, but c'est la vie. Her 7-month-old brother has caught more or less everything that she has had. At one point in the past several months, the both of them had dual ear infections at the same time. My wife (in addition to being sick w/ colds and respiratory infections several times) found out that she had an abdominal hernia, likely dating back to when we had our son in February and due to a respiratory infection for several months around the time she delivered him by C-section, had complications due to her racking cough including tearing her incision - is it any wonder her abdominal muscles didn't quite heal properly (hence the hernia)? She had surgery about 2 1/2 weeks back now, is recovering nicely, and has all her innards stuffed back in their appropriate locations - morbid bastard that I am, I was having visions of Father Nurgle's Plaguebearers with intestines dangling out (thankfully didn't come true in her case) when describing her abdominal hernia to people.

 Myself, I've had several colds and respiratory infections along with everyone else - hey, why not - and am in the process of slowly getting over what feels like an ear infection on one side and has had most of the symptoms of an ear infection, but technically "isn't" at least according to two different ENT doctors. On the neat-o side of things, I got to have a CAT scan of my head to see what's going on internally - I've never had anything like that done before, barring an X-ray of a dislocated and broken "pinkie" toe a year or so ago, but that's not quite the same thing (and besides, I kinda figgered my toe was dislocated and broken, having straightened it back in place from being bent sideways). I'm still waiting on the scan results from earlier this week, and aside from a treatable cause of my "unusual ear pain," I'm hoping they also show the hamster inside my skull still hard at work busily spinning his wheel.

 All this is not really why I'm making an entry here - no, the reason I'm making an entry is to publicly advertise my intention (now that things have hopefully started settling down a bit life-wise) to get back on track with more regular updates and such here to make this painting/modeling site worth reading. To that end, here's a few works-in-progress that ideally will be showing here in future updates:
  • The Thousand Sons Chaos Lord of Tzeentch I made an entry about several months ago is nearing completion of the conversion work, but the commissioning client seems to have vanished! Not naming names, he was working at the Games Workshop Hobby Center I generally go to, but is no longer there - I never received my usual down-payment of the final fee (never asked, in truth) because I was able to get ahold of him fairly easily to go over ideas and make sure we were on the same page so far as the conversion and painting work to be done. Well, I put work on the figure on hold and sent the client an email to find out his intentions - my only other means of contacting him. At this point there's been no response by the requested "deadline" per my email to the client and I have no other reasonable way of getting ahold of him (I think hiring a private investigator would be a bit much ). All he's out financially is the base figure and a few conversion pieces, whereas I've sunk enough time and effort into this figure at this point that I'm going to finish this Thousand Sons Chaos Lord how I envisioned him - and then ideally he will be going up for sale or possible eBay auction.
  • The Forge World Renegade Psyker I have prepped, re-based and primed will finally be getting painted - ideally in a "test" color scheme for a Renegades and Heretics force allied with my Chaos Warband (The Disciples of the Four). I don't believe I've actually mentioned this yet, but the sole reason for my "going over to the side of Chaos" was Dan Abnett's descriptions of The Shriven - an army composed of workers and military support personnel of a Forge World "gone bad" - in his Gaunt's Ghosts series novel, "First and Only."

     I picked up the first Gaunt's Ghosts Omnibus in 2007 at the Black Library section at my first-ever Games Workshop Games Day while I stood in line to talk to Mr. Abnett, who was the guest author in Chicago that year. I'll repeat here more or less what I told him when I finally got up to the front of the line where he was chatting and signing: "I'm not going to say I'm your biggest fan, because it would be a bold-faced lie. I grabbed this book more for something to read through while I waited in line to talk to you and I've never read anything else you've written before. l will say this, though: in just going through the first few chapters here, I have to say you've got a hell of a great writing style and I've found myself completely drawn in and wanting to read more. Your descriptions are excellent and I can picture everything in my head, and the characterization and dialogue are very well-written. I'm really looking forwards to reading more by you." Well, ten or so of Dan's books on my bookshelf in and a metric crap-ton of unassembled GW Chaos miniatures in the basement later, and the sentiment still stands. I started working on a force of The Shriven shortly after getting back from Games Day, had a slight change of direction following the release of the Chaos Space Marines Codex and the "fading out" of support for The Lost and the Damned, and then got completely sidetracked with other "new and shiny" stuff since then.

     Things have come full circle - the three Siege of Vraks books from Forge World have re-ignited my motivation to have a combined Renegade and Chaos Marine force, and all the ideas kicking around since July of '07 are gnawing their way out of my head in new and more simplified ways. Oh, and if anyone happens to talk to Mr. Abnett - myself and a few unwholesome-looking individuals in body armor with green rubberized industrial protective equipment sewn into their flesh would like to have a word with him and bandy some ideas about.
  • Progress on a 500+ point force of Bad Moons Orks in a "speed painted" scheme, ideally with a step-by-step painting piece or two. I blame the Assault on Black Reach set and some generous bitz-donating souls for these guys.
  • Progress on a 500+ point force of converted Necrons tainted by millenia of slumber on a Tomb World in the general vicinity near where the Eye of Terror eventually opened up. They've spent their thousands upon thousands of years of dormancy basking in ambient output from one of the largest breaches by The Warp into real space. As a result, while they aren't servants of Chaos since they essentially have no mortal souls to be corrupted, their physical forms for the most part just "aren't quite right" due to the transmuting effects of Warp energy on material objects.

     After a "failed first attempt" at painting a Tau army to tabletop standards (I only ever finished a squad's worth - but they did get published on the Games Workshop US website as Honorable Mentions from the 2007 Chicago Golden Demons, so that's consolation) and abandonment of a plain ol' Ultramarines starter force from the Battle for Macragge set (blame Dan Abnett, as mentioned above), I set my sights on painting up some Necrons just for the sake of playing the game (hey, Necrons are easy to paint, right?) I even took shortcuts to speed things along (using spray paint as a base coat color, washes for shading, and simple edge highlights), but then my imagination kicked in after the first 3-4 Warriors and they started not to look so... regimented any more.
  • A number of single-figure display-quality figures that right now are sitting lonely in boxes and blister packs near my painting desk in our basement.
  • Heck, maybe even some of the several hundred old school Grenadier and Ral Partha figures that have been stowed away in drawers and boxes since I took a break from (or got sidetracked from) miniature painting when I first went away to college almost 17 years ago now.
So far as tentative planning goes, I'd say that's a fairly healthy list thus far. What do you guys think?

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