20th Jun, 2012

Some of you may know that I've been helping out Ed over on Troll Forged Miniatures. Ed has been busy these last couple of years developing a new spin-castable plastic, that is hard (75D), heat resistant, and easy to work with. This new material is called Trollcast, and the first box set of miniatures has been released: Andrew May's Armoured Halberdier Goblins.

Andrew May's Armoured Halberdier Goblins

Andrew May's Armoured Halberdier Goblins

These Goblins remind me of the the 80's classic film Labyrinth (staring David Bowie), with the wonderful custom and puppet designs by Brian Froud (and Ellis Flyte). They have quite a nostalgic feel to them, and at $10 for 10 the price take me back as well!

18th Jan, 2012

Seems quite a few internet sites are going 'black' for the day in protest of the SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act (or the internet 'blacklist' bills, hence the 'black'). I thought I would put up a post to encourage my American cousins across the pond to protest against these acts. Once again the internet makes this nice and easy; simply find one of the many protest forms on the net, many with the blurb filled in. Here is the one that popped up with firefox this morning (but anyone can use it). An here is wikipedia's one.

Server change
5th Oct, 2011

My sites are transferring over to a new server, so they will be down for a moment, but it should be back up in no time. This is being done as there were a lot of 503 errors, and when it did load it took an ages. The new server is more powerful; so it should deal with the load better...

Update: Now that's over, I can get back to writing up those game rules!

We've hit 1,000
18th Sep, 2010

The 1,000 chapter project has hit 1,001! This means there are some changes coming in the way it is organised. There are 474 MIA chapters in the gallery, and these all need to be claimed (converted to a DIY) or replaced. Dazzo and myself take the view that we should sort out a new 'prime' list (or whatever it will be called) that will display only canon and DIY chapters. At the moment this would yield a mere 525 chapters - so quite a way to go before this prime list gets up to 1,000!

The MIAs are not going to be discarded, instead they will be included in a massive 'all' list. I want to keep them about as a fan may yet spot their chapter among the MIAs, it may also inspire some, and some may want to claim and take over MIAs.

There are plans to deal with double ups. At a later date I'll add some code that will add clickable asterisks next to the chapter name that will denote alternative versions. These alternate versions could be fan made IA for official chapters that have not be developed by GW, or later versions of fan made DIY chapters with the same name (generally the oldest version gets the picture in the gallery and later version get the asterisk).

Both Dazzo and I hope you will enjoy our efforts, and you are always welcome to add your chapter to the list 😉

For more information please visit the main gallery of the project.

New Gallery for 1,000 Chapters Project
27th Apr, 2010

The old gallery proved to be too much trouble to keep updated on a regular basis. With new fan made chapters turning up all the time (like Bolter and Chainsword's Iron Gauntlet Challenge) I needed an easier way to keep it maintained. I wanted to separate the marines in the old pages into their individual pics, so I could reorder them, but will 1,000 marines this was going to be a bit of a headache. The only answer was to get a proper gallery system to handle this (and on that could automate alphabetical order would be nice). After having a look about, I plumbed for the excellent nextGEN Gallery plugin for WordPress. It seems pretty robust, but only time will tell if it (or my host) can handle 1,000 images in a single gallery!

After playing about with the gallery a bit, I started converting the old gallery into the new one. This may take a while as I have to cut up all the old '20 marines per picture' pages into the individual marines and then upload 'em to the new gallery. I've managed 10 pages so far (I've no idea how Dazzo kept his sanity as this is incredibly tedious!) but I think it will be worth it in the end.

Update: The conversion of old gallery is complete (757 chapters in total)
Update: Added 70 'blanks' for canon chapters that are known but lack a colour scheme (832 chapters in total)
Update: We are passed the 1,000 mark!

The gallery has some interesting features, and one of these is image 'tags'. Using tags you can create galleries that only show the images with a specific tag. I thought this would be very useful in dividing up the 1,000 chapters so that fans could quickly isolate the chapters they are looking for. Below is a gallery based on the tag "first".

This only shows the 1st founding (loyalist) chapters. These images are within the main gallery, but are plucked out based on this tag. This will save me from making multiple galleries and duplicating images. As a future possibility I may be able to use one page for the gallery and reload the gallery images based on tags! The only problem is that the tag based galleries can not take specific custom templates and seem to be a little isolated form the main gallery system. It's all new to me, but I sure there is a way...

The full (prototype) gallery can be found here: 1,000 Chapters
Which will eventually replace the old gallery [edit: link removed]

Main site update
25th Feb, 2010

Now that the Inquisitor theme I created for the blog is sorted out and applied, and synced with the prototype theme of the main site, I'll be updating main site to match. This will mean that over the next week or two, as I update it in between running around, the main site will be a mix of old and new. This is a bit of a mess, as the menus do not match, but hopefully it will not be like this for too long.

Edit (6 March 2010): All done. The main site is up to date! It was a serious mess under the hood, but is now the code is nice and clean (I may yet move all the pages to WordPress pages for easy management and added comments).

New Theme: Inquisitor
15th Feb, 2010

This is the new theme for this blog and my main website. My aim is to merge the two. This theme is a complete re-write from scratch; I first created the template for the main site and then adapted it to a WordPress theme. I named this theme 'Inquisitor' after the fact looks like a giant 'I' (I was going to call it simply 'I', but thought better of it). Its style draws heavily from the main site, with a few touches from the old 'Philverse' theme, all pulled together and streamlined for a more utilitarian look. The familiar 'drop cap titles' are carried over, mixing old manuscript and modern typography which seems appropriate for 40K, combined with clearer layout. Browsers have come a long way, it was much easier to create the drop caps, so a lot of Div tags and what-nots have be ripped out. A lot lighter and quicker.

The layout is not quite the same as the old blog as I removed the side bar, and all tracking information will be moved to a separate pages. I will add an archives page, and recent comments page later. My goal is to use this blog purely as a 'news page'. I will update the main site later, once all the quirks have been ironed out here, with the updated theme.

As with all new developments on my site, they are designed to make it easier to get around and view, so I am very interested to hear what you think.

My Adsense is disabled
9th Nov, 2009

This post is a massive whinge, and unless you have an interest in Adsense this is not really going to be of any interest to you. Aside from me being vexed with my account being disabled (have dare they ban me!), the other reason is that I think it is a case of really bad design on the part of Google, not only in their Adsense system but their support response. Bad support and harsh treatment is bad enough most of the time, and you can pass that off as 'business', but Google is a company who's mantra is 'don't be evil', and while this may not count as 'evil', Google has always tired to place itself as a new style company doing things in new ways, and trying to be 'good' or 'better' than the heartless old school corporations. Perhaps a mantra of 'be good' was too much to live up to? (because what follows may not be evil, but it sure isn't good!)

I got this email 15th of October;

Read the rest of this entry »

Red Suns
8th Oct, 2009

The Red Suns are a new addition to my DIY Chapters. They are based on Japanese culture and mythology. In essence they are 'Samurai in Space' in the same way Eldar are 'Elves in Space', so there will be a fair bit of twisting of preconceived ideas.

I've tried to get a bit of flavour into the chapter, and reimaged the Japanese culture - I want it to be fun for a Japanese fan too! I suppose I hope it will have a similar effect to how European culture was reimaged in the old PS2 game 'Vagrant Story'. Well there is only one way to find out...

The Red Suns info page

15th Sep, 2009

I've added a new Projects Page to the main website. It covers my own projects I am working on, project of others that I participate in, and projects I have influenced. Some are just project I really like!

Projects Page

The most recent additions is the 'Actual Scale' projects list; these are projects by other fans (Doghouse, Synapse and Lamenter) who have converted Space Marines into something more appropriate in regard to the 40K background. I have had a hand in these, as Doghouse  (the first to go 'true scale'  - a term he no longer uses) and I chatted about my designs when he first started out. It seems Synapse was also influenced by my diagrams of Space Marine Morphology and Doghouse's pioneering efforts. Though I have never spoken to Lamenter and only recently became aware of his phenomenal 'Artscale' (a re-branding of 'Actual Scale') marines - he too was inspired in turn by Doghouse and Synapse.

Quite a legacy Doghouse has created, and it seems this movement towards proper marines is gaining momentum. All we need now is for TFM to cast up some SM dollies and things could really take off (not sure how you would create them without infringing GW IP but their must be a way.