Wednesday July 30 2008

Picture: a Death Korps of Krieg model. Part of this balanced breakfast. This is a complete line of models from Forge World.

It's a slow news day in Game Land today. Pretty much just catch up. The bitz wall is all sorted out, which is unusual. Think about it. With an army a day coming through that's a lot of extra pieces. So we make a lot of money on that, right? Nope. It's actually a monthly expense to get it all sorted. But we keep it because it allows us to do really cool conversions on your projects.

Also, we are now taking terrain projects. Cost is $200-400 for a densely packed table (that can also regularly pack two tables). You set the budget and set broad parameters.

August is close to being filled:

  • August 18-25: Three Slots
  • August 25-30: Seven Slots

Budget Puzzle

Materials Needed

I'm on the hunt for the following:

60mm round beveled bases (1/8" thick) by GW

40mm rounds

40mm squares

Eldar canopies

I will be glad to trade bitz or kits for them and also to credit for a project you might have cooking.

Tuesday July 29 2008 Thermo

Picture: a Steam Dwarf from Rackham. I loved these models and painted up a whole bunch many years ago. I wish I could get more.
Game Land
We are proceeding apace on all projects. There are three projects in digital photography, those should be through tomorrow (Tyrion, Fantasy Figures, and Black Templars).
I have a bunch of figures coming through for D&D. I'm being smart and looking forward to resale. Today it was ghouls, hounds of khorne (used as hellhounds!), two nephilim from Hordes, and a dark elf hydra. The studio Dark Elf army is almost half collected. They will be doubling as Drow down the line.
In fourth edition D&D a single Drow could wipe out a party of low-level adventurers (well, maybe a few Drow.

The Hounds of Khorne are going to play a dual role in the Wyches of Thoth army.
The following slots are open for Painting (assembly is wide open-- things can get immediate attention):

August 11-18: One Slot

August 18-25: Four Slots

August 25-30: Eight Slots

These are steadily getting filled. I am laser beam focussed on getting them filled up before July 31. Maybe I'll get a day off!
By all means contact me if you'd like something done.

Family Land
We went to play miniature golf for FHE last night. Griffin grabbed a low lamp and burned his fingers really badly. It was tough to see him suffering last night, but after tending and comforting him for some time he finally nodded off and had a good night's sleep. He was feeling much better this morning and running around like a baboon all day today. He has four large blisters, one on the tip of each finger. That light was hot as an iron (we have resolved the matter with the proprietors of the establishment, by the by).
My wife is making apricot jam, a yearly ritual. During the year we use it to break the ice with new people who move into the neighborhood. She brought home like two laundry baskets full of apricots to make it from, and yet the boughs are still laden.
I had a bit of a revelation today: I think my progress in life is just about right for my age. I need to stop my hand-wringing. Life is good.
I am going fishing with Jonah later this week. I'm looking forward to that.
Oh, a PS about Griffin's burnt fingers. He keeps that hand tucked away in his pants leg (not on his crotch mind you), but he looks like a little Al Bundy running around the house.
We had a family from the ward over for dinner. This was the same family who watched our kids while we were at Adepticon. I don't know if I told you this back story, but when I went to pick them up the mother of the family told me that Jonah and "Kimball" were kissing. My first question, "Is Kimball a boy?" Thankfully, no, sparing me that particular conversation. Just this absolute cute button of a girl. Well, we put an end to that (as adorable as it might be), and evidently Kymble was crestfallen when told the rule would still be in effect for today's visit!
We had hamburgers, hot dogs, and salad. You know, typical american fare. Boy, I could go for another grilled hamburger right now.
After dinner we went for a walk around the neighborhood, a temperate and overcast summer day. We ran into a variety of characters from the ward.

Kind Words of Thanks


I just wanted to say thanks for taking such great care of me with my 4 projects. Everything you guys have done for me up to this point has met or exceeded my expectations. It’s rare to find a business that always does better than expected. You run a first class operation, and even with the issues of owning your own business the product never suffers. I commend you and your staff for a great job. Please let me know if you ever need anything from MyHighSchoolLocker.Com or Diablo Bats. I would be honored to help you out.

Have a great week, and I’m sure we will talk soon.

Romeo C. Filip

Sunday July 27 2008 Rank Hypocrisy

Skies near Provo from here.

Here is my humble offering for this Sunday. For those just joining the program, Sunday is for non-game-related topics. Sort of an open mic.

Rank Hypocrisy

My first year teaching, I travelled between classes doing ESL and Spanish. In one fourth grade class there was a girl named Angel who was renowned for world-class tirades. However, whenever I would show up, she would move to the front of the class and pay close attention.

One day, a girl to one side of her hissed, “Don’t pretend you’re an angel...” And another girl on the other side leaned in and completed, “Because you’re not!”

I leaned down and said, “Yes, pretend you’re an angel, because that’s how you become one.”

I like going to church. It’s a habit now. I can’t imagine not going. Mormons still dress up; white shirt and tie. Everyone puts on a smile. Everyone is on their best behavior. I have sometimes thought that this is a bit of hypocrisy (on my part). I will speak for myself here. I burn in the face sometimes that Shawn outside of church is a bawling and bawdy jester, and so “what am I even doing here?”
I joke with the Bishop that he should keep a fire extinguisher handy up at the pulpit in case I burst into flames. I'm always tempted to do a routine when I walk in like "it burns. It BURNS!"

I’ve come to think of church more as a dress rehearsal. It’s practice. Sort of like practicing a pose hoping that it will “stick”. Each time my life gets a little better. I leave inspired to improve myself, with ideas to be more Christ-like.

C.S. Lewis wrote that Christianity is like whitening toothpaste. Sure that brother’s teeth may still be yellow, but how yellow would they be if he didn’t use the toothpaste?

And that’s true of my life. Sure, my character may be full of holes. But you haven’t seen in vision the Shawn that I could have become had I not been using the whitening toothpaste. He lives in a urine-smelling apartment with a single bare light bulb, a rank alcoholic, dodging the police and back child support. So, I thank my grandma Laurie for sending me to "bible camp", and Pastor Anderson who first led me to read the New Testament, and to the two LDS Sisters who knocked my door back in 1985.

I have hope. Hope that by plugging along, I will eventually wriggle out of my old snakeskin and become something better. I have no illusions. I am like a leper on a long journey to be healed by the Savior. What can I say when I kneel at His feet? My case is bleak. "I’m not getting any better, but I’ve come all this way knowing that You can help me."

The Savior didn’t heal people of the common cold. He only took on hopeless cases; lepers, blind, lame, deaf, and (in once case) even dead. That was to make a point. There are those (like me) who have spiritual leprosy. “But that thou see that the Son of Man hath power also to forgive sins, I say Rise, take they bed and walk.” [paraphrase, read the whole thing in Mark 2].

Abraham Lincoln said, “It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him."

I leave you, noble reader, this day with a word of encouragement: keep your chin up! And lastly with these quotes from On Being Worthy, one of my favorite talks.

Perhaps we all live under some misconceptions when we look at each other on Sundays as we attend our meetings. Everyone is neatly dressed and greets each other with a smile. It is natural to assume that everyone else has his life under control and doesn’t have to deal with dark little weaknesses and imperfections.

There is a natural, probably a mortal, tendency to compare ourselves with others. Unfortunately, when we make these comparisons, we tend to compare our weakest attributes with someone else’s strongest. For example, a woman who feels unschooled in the gospel may take particular note of a woman in her ward who teaches the Gospel Doctrine class and seems to have every scripture at her fingertips. Obviously these kinds of comparisons are destructive and only reinforce the fear that somehow we don’t measure up and therefore we must not be as worthy as the next person.

We need to come to terms with our desire to reach perfection and our frustration when our accomplishments or behaviors are less than perfect. I feel that one of the great myths we would do well to dispel is that we’ve come to earth to perfect ourselves, and nothing short of that will do. If I understand the teachings of the prophets of this dispensation correctly, we will not become perfect in this life, though we can make significant strides toward that goal.

“Now, this is the truth. We humble people, we who feel ourselves sometimes so worthless, so good-for-nothing, we are not so worthless as we think. There is not one of us but what God’s love has been expended upon. There is not one of us that He has not cared for and caressed. There is not one of us that He has not desired to save and that He has not devised means to save. There is not one of us that He has not given His angels charge concerning. We may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes and in the eyes of others, but the truth remains that we are children of God and that He has actually given His angels … charge concerning us, and they watch over us and have us in their keeping.” (Gospel Truths, comp. Jerreld L. Newquist, 2 vols., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974, 1:2.)

Saturday July 26 2008 Soaked

Picture: a Wargods of Aegyptus Khemru by I'm a huge fan of these models. They are very, very nice.

Game Land

So, what's new at the studio? We are caught up. Well, I don't mean all the projects are done. Everything is proceeding apace and the studio is clean, organized (eg all the bitz sorted, pics taken etc.). It's a good feeling.

We're still some projects short for August:

August 4-11: One Slot
August 11-18: Five Slots
August 18-25: Eight Slots
August 25-30: Eight Slots

I have a single painter with no work to do and it is really bothering me.

I have ordered some Legion of Everblight models to use in the D&D game. I'd like to say a few things about fourth edition D&D. It's a great miniatures battles game. It easily converts to non-grid without really any thinking at all. And it is a ton of fun.

One of the things I like best are minions: they go down in one hit, just like in the movies. It is very satisfying to run them and also to beat the crap out of hordes of them.

Another thing is that Hit Points are now more like cinematic stun damage. You can get your "second wind" once per battle and heal up 1/4 HP without any healing spells. The bottom line is that it keeps PCs in the game and makes other things more important like "conditions" (eg stunned, dazed, immobilized). Basically, the creators of the game just made is more abstract and more fun. It worked spectacularly.

Our group is painting like 20-40 new figures a week for the game. I am doing this with an eye for sale-ability down the line. I want to be able to use then in a game of Warhammer Fantasy, too.

Speaking of which, I threw down the gauntlet for Mike's Orcs. I'm working steadily on the studio Dark Elf army. Models for the Witches of Thoth (40k Daemons army) are coming in on Monday.

I am still looking to sell the Dragons of Moloch. I have also sold almost every model in the studio. Out with the old and in with the new. You'll notice that the For Sale section of the website has been all but completely cleared.

Family Land

With things in hand at the studio (other than lining up projects as much as I would like), I am able to actually spend some time with the family.

I went to swim lessons with the kids this morning. Griffin is having trouble standing in line as usual.

This evening we went to a swim park at a neighboring city, but lightning in the distance forced the pool to clear out no less than two minutes after we got there. The kids were ever so disappointed, so we crashed a friend's house to use their pool. That was quite a special time; giving the children "turtle rides" and throwing daddy into the deep end. The kids are happy, healthy and confident.

Thursday July 24 2008 Into the Blue Again

See more of these Tyranids.

Letting the days go by, water flowing underground.

Today (OK, I'm writing this on Friday, just indulge me with a little time travel) was Pioneer Day in Utah. This is pretty much as big as July 4 in Utah. We went to the parade in the morning. We usually just sit out in front of my business. I went with Kenna to a burger joint for a smoothie and some greasy breakfast.

My sister-in-law's family stayed with us overnight and the kids really enjoyed their cousins, who are mostly their own age. We had to put them to bed like ten times. Finally, I split them into different rooms.

I am 90% done with Obama's book. It was a good read.

I also got a hold of a hardback of John McCain's "Faith of My Fathers". Reviews on both items forthcoming.

Your army is welcome here. We are pretty light right now, so projects can get immediate attention.

Wintery Fresh- kind words are so nice to hear

Dear BTP,

It has been a week now since receiving my finished Winter Eldar army. It sits idle in my display case with lights a glow the green canopies and light fades with the blue to white on the wings of my beautiful flyers. I’ve had a few people ask me about it already, “Wow, what are those?” my typical response are “just my minis”…. Now my response is “My army with which I will take over the world”. Anyways, people are already praising the paintjob and the unique color choices and style. The Army really flows well, the colors through out just Superb. That Green Glow of the Prisms and Canopies reminds me of Absynthe. So yes, the army is intoxicating.

I can not believe how quickly the process was, shipped and less than a month later it was done. I applaud Shawn’s Selling skills and ability to brainstorm to death over the telephone leaving the client … wanting more and more. Great Job! And to whoever packed my army (the shipping crew?) packed it really well. HolyMoly- it took me 2 hours to unpack the army and there was only 1 item that separated in transit (nothing a 1/8th brass rod couldn’t fix).

Lastly I would like to thank the Artist on this job, I asked for a congruent army, seeing as I haven’t been able to paint one myself for 10 years, and you did a fantastic Job. Leaving the artist up to choosing the palette and going with that flow I thought I was putting my life in some else’s hands, luckily his reputation speaks for itself and he did a great Job. Your creativity and originality really makes the Winter Eldar Skyhost 01PP a perfect example of what can be done by BTP. Congrats on a Job well done. I hope you have continued success for many years to come. If you could imagine I am already putting models aside for the next installment.


Stonemarch Session 05- Battle at Berrack's Field

This week I decided to put the fourth edition rules to the test and have a battle royale.

The party returns to the fray to the south of Winterhaven, in the farms and fields. Tarvis dumps Delphina with an old farmer coot in his "kobold bunker". "They said I was crazy to build it, but who's crazy now, heeheehee!".

There were no less than fifty models on the board. I decided to put to good use the forty or so skink models (which I'm using as kobolds). They were looking really good:
24 Kobold Minions
12 Kobold Dragonshields
3 Kobold Skirmishers
1 Spitting Drake
1 Macetail Behemoth
Overpowered? The heroes also had on their side:
8 Human Minions
3 Human Guards
And of course the four Heroes!
It was a close one, but the heroes prevailed. If you're under 0 HP you roll every turn to see if you are getting deader or staying the same. On a 20 you actually get back up! After a brutal beating, Renn's Dragonborn Fighter finally went down, but stood up the very next turn! It was astounding.
There's more to come...

Stonemarch Session 04- The Rescue

In the pre-dawn hours a massive tribe of kobolds comes out of the east forests under the cover of a heavy fog.

The party hurriedly assembles with the warriors of the village and plans the defense. They are respond to the call to rescue four villagers that are impaled (but alive) on trees with sharpened branches some 400 yards southwest of Winterhaven in a thicket called Taylor's Wood. They leave through a series of aqueducts under the village (in my version, Winterhaven is on a grey-stone mesa), a hidden exit and entrance from the city with a branch that comes up in a side-cellar in Wrafton's Inn.

The party arrives and a mutual ambush ensues. They drive off the kobolds, and capture a sub-chieftan. A wyrmpriest runs off into the underbrush and Tarvis the Insane (an elven ranger) charges in after him with Uletsabe in tow (as well as, oddly, one of the victims a half-elf named Delphina armed with a nightgown and a shortsword). We play this scenario later, where he is barely successful but manages to come back alive with the loot.

They head back to the city, passing a battle in Berrack's Field between several cavalry and a Macetail Behemoth. They pass this by, taking a breather in the secret entrance to the aqueducts. Then they return to the main battle.

PS- I started this session with "Big Girls" by Mika and a scene where Tarvis the Insane wakes up with a walrus-like barmaid.

Couldn't Stop Myself

All right folks, it's on. A new army is coming for the studio: Dark Elves.

The new models are just too cool. They are already on order or being assembled variously. The list is very balanced, with lots of different types of models weighing in at 2,000 points or thereabouts.

Dreadlord on Cold One 1
Dreadlord on Chariot 1
Sorceress on Dark Steed 2
Assassin 1
Warriors 10
Dark Riders (box of 5 models) 1
Black Ark Corsairs (box of 10 models) 2
Harpies (Chasme- flying spiders) 10
Cold One Knight 9
Shades (box of 5 models) 1
Black Guard 20
War Hydra 1
Reaper Bolt Thrower and crew 2

Eldar Phantom Titan

Tickling the Ivories

Here is a very interesting article about Obama's appeal.

I'm not making any comment here, only that I found it to be a real eye-squincher.

Booking Projects for August (updated)

My name is Shawn Gately. I stand behind every product that comes out of this studio.

My goal right now is to get projects set up for the month of August (by the end of July). Ten artists are depending on me for their jobs!

The following slots are open for painting cycles:

  • August 4-11: Three Slots
  • August 11-18: Six Slots
  • August 18-25: Eight Slots
  • August 25-30: Eight Slots

Any project in need of Assembly can get immediate attention.

I have the following specials running:

  • Tank factory*
  • Vampire Counts core-tastic special ($2.75 for L2 painting on basic troops/infantry)
As I mentioned before I am especially eager to get going with Vampire Counts, Daemon, and Tyranid armies.

I have these Vampire Counts on hand:
2x boxes Blood Knights
4x boxes Crypt Ghouls
1x box Grave Guard
1x box Dire Wolves
1x Winged Vampire Lord
1x Vampire Noble/Aristocrat female
1x Wight Standard Bearer
1x Vlad
1x Varghulf1x Corpse Cart

Retail of about $464.
The Deal: if you commission this at L3/5 you get the models at no charge. OR you can do the L2/4 core-tastic special in combination with this. Also, we can start immediately.

I have the following armies for sale:
Questing Knights (2000 pts) $950 SOLD!
Dragons of Moloch (2000 pts) $950

My phone number is 801 372 8545. I will be more than happy to set up anything on the phone with you, if you want. Otherwise, just drop me an email saying what you would like done.

The inside story is that the crew is powering through projects way faster than they are coming in. The product is good. The artists are dedicated.

I have one painter right now who has nothing to do.

*Tank Factory Special
· $400 for painting ten tanks
· $750 for painting twenty tanks
· $200 for assembly of ten tanks

For this special we need some leeway with color scheme. A complicated pattern or type might cost more.

How fast can we get it done?
Generally, a 3-4 week turnaround. Unless you send the models, then that takes less time.

 Large tanks, like a Land Raider or Necron Monolith, count as two tanks.
 A Baneblade counts as three tanks. Assembly is $90—the Baneblade has something like 250 parts.
 Small tanks, like an Ork warbuggy, count as half a tank.
 Exposed crew, dozer blade, unusual upgrades, or set of chaos spikes count as a regular trooper, at $4 for painting, $2 for assembly.
 Tau Piranhas and Land Speeders count as regular tanks. They are smaller but are not less time-consuming to paint.

Book Review: Les Schwab Pride in Performance

Les Schwab is a tire store chain in the Northwest. My parents bought their tires from Les Schwab and we still use them in Utah.

The book was published in 1985. I first read it in 2005 when a clerk at Les Schwab gave me a copy. I have read the book no less than three times. It has helped me formulate my own business philosophy.

Overall the book is dis-jointed, flipping from one scene to the next like a quilt of various ideas mixed with memoirs. I find that format very engaging and easy to pay attention to. This has the advantage of keeping each scene compartmentalized. If I wrote a book, I would definitely do it this way.

Les Schwab is a cantankerous and dedicated cowboy type who grew up poor and busted his hump all his life to get where he is. A self-made man.

During my third reading I kept seeing elements from Leave Us Alone, a book I have reviewed on a previous occasion.

Here are a few quotes with perhaps an occasional comment of my own:

I've often said that sometimes, guts pays off more than brains...

[About permits] In that way it doesn't cost the city anything; the builders are paying it. The bureaucracy builds larger and larger. It makes a person feel he is committing a crime to build a new building to to remodel an old building. It was up to me personally I would never build another building. I just can't put up with this, and it upsets me terribly; but that's not fair to the young people. Our company thrives on opportunity... The bureaucrats live on this... the entrepreneur, the many who is ambitious. In my mind they are a bunch of bloodsuckers living off those who are doers.

The flaw here is they [the competition] didn’t get, with the low pay, near the quality of employees we had… After thinking about this [the low overhead of the competition] for a year or so, wondering if I shouldn’t cut wages and benefits, I finally made this decision… If I couldn’t be proud of my company, if I couldn’t pay good wages, if I couldn’t have good benefits, if I couldn’t have the best employees, then why would I even want to stay in business, as I had all the money I wanted personally. So we did nothing, and we won. The customer likes us best. Life is hard… for the man who thinks he can take a short cut. –p103

BTP is still in the formative stages. I very much want to offer benefits. That will come in time. I found if you hire a person on for basement wages, you are likely to get someone who will take twice as long to get the job done. This is certainly true of teenagers. Nowadays, I only hire them for altruistic reasons, if I can spare the money. I have had much, much better success offering a better wage (I figured this out in early 2008) for someone who will get the job done in a reasonable amount of time.

Here’s the math: Hire an inexperienced person for $8 an hour who will take twice as long to get the job done (i.e. a real cost of $16 per hour), or hire an experienced professional to get the job done for $12 an hour. At least that’s the general idea. Scale accordingly for the cost of living in your area (in the SF Bay, you can’t get someone to spit on your shoes for less than $15 an hour, but your apartment is $1500 a month; in Utah Valley a single guy can live comfortably on $1500 a month for everything).

I wish I could do more for my artists. Things are steadily improving at my little tugboat of a company. I think things will be vastly improved (even more!) in 3-6 more years.

I could come out with an astronomical bundle of money if I sold the company, but what would I do with it? What good is money beyond a certain point? I think the biggest misconception the public has about a successful businessman is he is working for more money. You won’t find many truly successful ones that are greedy. Success in my mind comes from having a successful business, one that is a good place to work, one that offers opportunity for people and one that you can be proud to own or be associated with.

Success in life is being a good husband, a good father and you end up being a second father to hundreds of other men and women. –p108

I have attended the weddings of at least two former workers. I am excited to hear about weddings or pregnancies on the staff. I hope to create an opening to win the bread for these new families.

This is an idea I call “limited voraciousness”. I have finite goals involving money in my life. Everything else is plowed under into the business for security and opportunity of those that work there.

[What makes a man bust his hump?] It’s not a big thick policy book, it’s not a lot of supervisors, as we don’t have them; it’s something that our programs created in him right in his heart. That is opportunity, the right to be successful, to be a good family man and hold his head high. –p109

You can have a contract 100 pages long and it doesn’t mean a thing. The men making the deal is what counts, and a handshake deal with Pleas Brown [a tire dealer in eastern Oregon] is better than a long contract with most any man. –p114

Within one year we tripled the business that they [the competition] were doing, even though we sold the same tires at a slightly higher price. Which proved that people don’t buy tires on price, they buy from someone they trust and from someone who will smile, and from someone who will give service and stand behind what they sell. –p122

This explains how BTP is still in business, something that I marvel at. I have put honest mental and physical effort into keeping my clients happy. I’m in it for the long haul. You get to see my face and know my name and be part of my family. This extends to the dedicated artists here. They really do put their heart into their work.

We were building a strong a solid company. We were free of debt; everything was paid for, including the ground under our stores, and all buildings. We were on top of the world. –p123

This is my ultimate dream: to own a studio. Above ground with windows!

I haven’t been able to understand for a long time why the juries award the tremendously large settlements that they make. A few years back, Sears was sued by a man who had a blow out, wrecked his car, a killed his wife. The tire had 52,000 miles on it. The jury awarded him 27 million. If the tire had 52,000 miles on it, think of the millions of revolutions this tire had made, the many, many times it had hit rocks, chuckholes, etc. How in the world could this possibly be the fault of the tire? But when juries make these kinds of awards, liability insurance goes crazy. –p136

[This next portion would require me to type a whole chapter, it talks about the use of personal property and how the bureaucracy is making it impossible for the common man to build his own home and forcing people to “live in a box what a shame”.] I’ve also seen on TV big housing developments built by the government… where many of these being torn down. Why? Because they became filthy, crime infected. People would pee out the windows, throw garbage out the windows, and crap in the hallways. People who own and build their own homes don’t pee out the window or crap on the floor. What a shame it is that we are putting so many restrictions on owning private land and not allowing use of the land as we see fit! It is not good for America; it’s such a shame to see this trend getting even stronger every year. I hope and pray that someday soon and I mean really soon, people will rebel and get down to common sense. If they don’t we will soon have socialism, and communism follows. –p138

I guess with businesses didn’t fail; we would be ass deep in businessmen. There isn’t any better regulator of business than the law of supply and demand. That’s why it is so foolish for the government to be interfering so much in the building of cars, all types of manufacturing, and in the tire business. Today, on the sidewall of the tire, there is molded so man government requirement that cost a lot of money, both to the factory and to the customer. And it doesn’t mean a damn; nobody reads it and no one pays any attention to it. It goes back to the business who sells the tires, he is the one who puts out a quality product, stands behind it, has good employees, and gives good service. –p156

Listen carefully: every time you hear of a huge settlement or some new asinine regulation on business, remember that it is YOU that is paying for it. Businesses don’t “eat it”. Ever. They get their profit or they wouldn’t be in business. It is YOU the consumer that pays. I suspect that for every $100 you spend at the store, about $15 goes indirectly to bureaucrats (regulation/taxes) and lawyers. The cost is ultimately spread around. We’d all be better off if most of them (perhaps not all) were to drop off the face of the earth.

I hope my daughter doesn’t marry an accountant or a lawyer or a government-type. I hope she marries a man who actually produces something or provides a service, like a painter, a mechanic, or construction worker. I pray she doesn’t marry a parasite because I won’t be able to stand him at the family reunion. Yeah, you heard me.

Of course, I’ll play nice if it’s a matter of family. But I’ll sure be thinking it!

There’s something wrong about a laborer having to work two full working days to pay for an hour’s wage of a lawyer.

I realize I may offend some readers (or clients!) here. I guess that’s what I get for speaking my mind.

Socialism isn’t forced upon people. People vote themselves into socialism. People vote for the man who offers the benefits, not realizing that they and their children will some day have to pay the bill… Well, true democracy is sometime cruel, people get hurt, they go bankrupt, and they lose their jobs. People in our company can sometimes get hurt. It breaks my heart to see a manager drop off the tree. I know it hurts. But, like a true democracy, we offer opportunity. I’ve said over the years that there is an association between opportunity and risk. The point being that we must earn our way every day. And those not earning their way must have the limb sawed off the tree, as cruel as that may sound. –p171

How can you make people feel important? The best way to start is to believe that they are important. Really believe it! Really want to make each man under you successful, and you’ve got to believe it in your heart. –p173

Business is the backbone of America. The gross profits of business start everything going. All taxes, all wages, all new factories, all charity… everything starts with the gross profits of business. Corporations have their faults but what is the alternative? In spite of their faults, I’ll take the American large corporation over the other any day. –p205

There’s no such thing as getting something for nothing. No such thing as a free lunch.

… If one man is dragging his rear, the other men will let him know. And this man has to be dropped; he eliminated himself. You don’t have to get mad at him, you don’t have to abuse him, just part ways and be friends. A lot of people don’t want to work that hard; that’s okay that’s their right. But we don’t want them on our payroll. It’s not fair to the other employees. And as hard as it is sometimes, we must remember that ten years of employment does not guarantee a lifetime job. That only works at places that don’t have to meet the competition. –p217

Like in a government office.

I suppose the reason for the heavy estate taxes is to keep a few families from owning the country. However, many businesses have to be sold, many large family ranches have to be sold, just to settle the estate tax problem. –p219

America is such a great country. We owe so much to so many for the inheritance we receive. The entrepreneur, the independent businessman, must fight hard to earn his success. I truly believe there is a strong relationship between the success of our country and the success of the small businessman. In this day of the left wing movement I hope we aren’t destroyed by the “do gooder” movement. If we are, God help America, as it will never be the same thereafter. –p229

I definitely see where I can improve my own business. I have to remember that the author of this book had run his company for about 35 years when the book was written. My company is still a baby at 4.5 years. I think I could do a lot better.

Sunday July 20 2008 Near Death Experience

Tonight, while out on a walk with my wife and Griffin, the young lad of three was pretending to transform into the various alien heroes from Ben 10. Transforming into Heat Blast he proceeded to run out into the road in front of a car, and striking a heroic pose (as if shooting a flame blast at it), ordered the car to stop.

Which it did.

After the car cautiously passed by him he struck a variety of ninja poses, calling out to the car and saying that it could never escape Heat Blast.

Rewind to this morning. Still picking away at the salmon and Caprese salad we had a lazy Sunday morning. The EQ presidency came by and we updated the home teaching list.
Also, Tamie made some strawberry ice cream from fresh ingredients. It was the best ice cream I've ever had.
At church we sat in the foyer, on the couch, which we do when we are late and no one is using it. Best pew in town! Better than the metal chairs in the nose-bleed-can't-get-to-church-on-time section.
Sunday School lesson was about Korihor. Enlightening as always. It's a time for me to get out of the routine and clear my head. I like to bring a blank sheet of paper and write down my ideas.
While preparing for my mission, I came across this article on Countering Korihor, one of my favorite articles.
Once home, I had a rejuvenating nap, and then spent some time with each child. I find family life very agreeable. The kids often irritate me, but are mostly an absolute delight. It's a wonder to see them getting older. Tamie is a rotund hippie mama, now starting to waddle a bit. The baby is kicking now. She is 18 weeks along and in the groove of pending motherhood.

July 19 2008 Necrons v Khorne

Today, I gave my Dragons of Moloch a spin this afternoon against a 2000 pt Necron army, painted and fielded by Thomas, a BTP artist.

The Dragons of Moloch are for sale: $950 for 2200 pts. That's a super deal by the by.
PS- I sold the Questing Knights. They are gone. Sad. But I'm happy for the new owner because that's a real nice set.

Here's a list:

All that plus ten more Berserkers.

I am using the funds to seed other projects. After this I will be down to one 40K army: Lions Rampant Imperial Guard. What do I have planned: the Wyches of Thoth 9as I have nagged all of you copiously about) and Lizardmen. I painted up a whole gaggle of skinks for my D&D game (I'm using them as kobolds) during Paint Fest yesterday (which was a striking success).

And as many D&D figures as I can stand.

So, pretty much a few long days this week bought me a Saturday of luxury with pretty much everything caught up at the studio. I'm putting off a few things until Monday, though. Slacker!

I am very much enjoying life. I'm reading a book of inspirational stories. Sort of a "chaser" for Barack Obama's book (review forthcoming). I went to the Pioneer Day Parade with my kids this morning. We were in it!

And this evening I pushed the boys on the swing while my wife grilled up some succulent salmon on the grill. It was amazing. She also made a side of fresh tomato, basil and some kind of white cheese.
Right now, I'm staying up late with all three kids watching Pokemon. My heart is full.

Blast from the past. I grew up in a tiny two bedroom home in southern Oregon. We had a pot belly stove. Every morning around 4am the house would be ice cold and I'd get up and bunch in crumpled newspaper and some split kindling. As the black beast heated up I would curl up on the carpet nearby, lulled to sleep again by the huffing flames and clink clank of expanding metal. The cats would come in one by one and curl up with me.

I didn't realize that we were dirt poor. I was so happy. And that's the key.
When I moved to Medford and lived in the Plum Street House with my room-mates ($250 a month rent split three ways) it had central air using natural gas. I thought I was in heaven. They called me "Bahamas Gately" because I liked to set the thermostat at 104.

Thursday July 17 2008 Staff Meeting

Other than a few emails, everything is caught up at the studio. That's a really good feeling.

Today, I got to the studio early and got everything caught up. Then to my daughters birthday party. She is nine years old now. I can't believe it. My wife is really good at setting up games and decorating the old-fashioned way. My kids are having a really good childhood thanks to her.

The we did D&D, fourth session and a lot of fun. They are all 2nd level now.

Tomorrow is Paint Fest. I'm super excited about that.
At this moment I am watching Star Trek: Enterprise with Tamie. She is glorious in her opulent pregnaciousness.
Aaaand here's a quick update.
The following projects are due out of Painting in the next 4-10 days:
Inquisition 02 RT death korps
Empire 01 EC
Fantasy Figures 04 PM
Ulthwe 01 AH
Steel Legion 01 ES basilisks
Sisters of Battle 01 CS
Dark Eldar Blood Bowl 01 FC
City of Nurgle
Vampire Counts KS board ext.
Winter Eldar 01 PP display board
Greenskin Spirits extension
Dark Elves 01 JC dark pegasi
Daemons 02 PH
Black Templars 01 JY
Aliens and Ducks AK
War Machine 10 BF trollbloods

The following projects are due to be out of Assembly by July 22.

Aliens and Ducks AK (going under the brush right away)
Chaos Daemons 01 RY
Daemons 02 PH
Greenskin Spirits extension
Tau Verdaan 02 MM
Tyrion 01 AC
Flyer Bases AS
Emperors Champion BS
Biel Tan 01 CH
Imperial Guard 01 SM fw tanks (already assembled and looking great)
Dark Elves 01 JC dark
Orks 01 RR
Vampire Counts 02 LG
Dark Eldar Blood Bowl 01 FC
Empire 03 KO
Inquisition 03 RT
Ultramarines 01 MN
Bretonnians 01 JJ
As usual I am completely willing to communicate promptly with you. If you don't see your project, please check in.

The Dollar

Here are some interesting articles, providing various viewpoints:

I'll leave it to you to decide if any of this is useful.

Now Booking Projects for August

Blue Table Painting is a well-oiled machine. We have produced no less than 600 armies in the last four and a half years. We love our customers, give top service, and the best possible price the first time.

I put my face and name and reputation on what comes out of this studio. I want to win and keep you as a client long-term. I wring my hands at night about projects being on time and up to par.

The following slots are open for painting:

July 28 to August 4: Two Slots
August 4-11: Four Slots

Any project in need of Assembly can get immediate attention.

I have the following specials running:

  • Tank factory

  • Vampire Counts core-tastic special ($2.75 for L2 painting on basic troops/infantry)
I have the following armies for sale:
  • Questing Knights (2000 pts) $950

  • Dragons of Moloch (2000 pts) $950
My phone number is 801 372 8545. I will be more than happy to set up anything on the phone with you, if you want. Otherwise, just drop me an email saying what you would like done.

The inside story is that the crew is powering through projects way faster than they are coming in. The product is good. The artists are dedicated.

Sunday July 13 2008 Spilled Milk

Another beautiful Sabbath day! It's another chance to recharge and recover.

What's going on in Gately's mind? My main concern is that I'm not progressing. I worry that I'm not teaching my children the gospel. What do those little eyes see? They see an impatient man, who gets all worked up over nothing. I am lax in my observance of scripture study and family home evening. I can only hope that they also see me repenting and improving.

The first time Griffin pulled the egg-breaking stunt there was quite a bit of hair pulling and jumping about. The second time we were stern, but got about the business of teaching him how to clean it up.

[For those of you wondering: as a rule we have no corporal punishment in our home.]

Well, enough griping about it. It's pre-dawn on Monday morning and I have a whole week before me like an untouched valley that no man has ever travelled. Or a blank page. What will I write on it?

As you regular readers know, Sunday is open mic day and I get to say what I please, usually politics or religion (which I don't think are nearly discussed enough in our society). My topic today is Forgiveness for which I will take as a text a talk by Gordon B. Hinckley the late mormon prophet. I bring this up by way of encourage-ment and not as a preach-ment.

"It becomes us as a grateful people to reach out with a spirit of forgiveness and an attitude of love and compassion toward those whom we have felt may have wronged us.

"We have need of this. The whole world has need of it. It is of the very essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He taught it. He exemplified it as none other has exemplified it. In the time of his agony on the cross of Calvary, with vile and hateful accusers before him, they who had brought him to this terrible crucifixion, he cried out “Father, forgive the; for they know now what they do” (Luke 23:34).

"No of us is called on to forgive so generously, but each of us is under a divinely spoken obligation to reach out with pardon and mercy…

"…We see the need for it in the homes of the people. Where tiny molehills of misunderstanding are fanned into mountains of argument. We see it among neighbors, where insignificant differences lead to undying bitterness. We see it in business associates who quarrel and refuse to compromise and forgive when, in most instances, if there were a willingness to sit down together to speak quietly one to another, the matter could be resolved to the blessing of all.

"How difficult it is for any of us to forgive those who have injured us. We are all prone to brood on the evil done us. That brooding becomes as a gnawing and destructive canker. Is there a virtue more in need of application in our time than the virtue of forgiving and forgetting? There are those who would look upon this as a sign of weakness. Is it? I submit that it takes neither strength nor intelligence to brood in anger over wrongs suffered, to go through life with a spirit of vindictiveness, to dissipate one’s abilities in planning retribution. There is no peace in the nursing of a grudge. There is no happiness in living for the day when you can “get even.”

(”’Of You It Is Required to Forgive,’” Ensign, November 1980, p. 61.)

For those of you with children you know the great frustration of it. I love my kids beyond what I ever imagined I would, but when they are bickering and teasing it makes my eyes pop out. My inclination is to rush into the room and put on the general "beatdown". I have become a lot better with this.

In a family there is great opportunity. This is the place where my true self comes out. And sometimes it's not so pretty. But on the other side of this is to see the true beauty of another soul. I know my wife ever so well. At first she was a goddess, and then a ball of neurosis, and now fourteen years later I see her as a complete soul. The combination of all of this makes her (in my eyes) something even greater; a human being who I can respect. It flows unrestrained.

Only through long dedication do you "punch through" to the other side.

Every day is a chance for little forgivenesses. Shall I calmly teach my young six-year-old son, or just nag him? To put my hand gently on his cheek and tell him earnestly and with all the feeling of a loving father that he should not tease or bicker? And to what extent should I mingle this with tangible consequences to make the point? To give his sister a hug; to clean up the floor; to apologize to a neighbor.

I suggest that it is to understand God himself to have children. To love someone so much that you would dive headlong into a wood chipper if it would save them.

Like looking at a valley from the other side, after having travelled through it. The same place, but now part of my being.

To all those reading I give you a word of encouragement. Set the past behind. Set your face toward the coming week. Go now and give a family member a hug.

PS- I make my usual disclaimer here: I am not a very good man. Only one who is trying to do better.

Stonemarch Session 03- Shrine of Sune

The intrepid heroes enter a subterranean complex below the dragon graveyard. They are ambushed by various undead and defeat them. They solve a puzzle involving to large quartz obelisks and a leaden door with a spiral on it.

They find an ancient Ulari stone monolith in a deep cavern, but are unable to decipher it. Loose end.

The end up in a chamber of pale green stone, like a cathedral where they meet the demi-goddess Sune Firehair, a consort of Bahamut. She marks them in their right hands as champions of mankind; there are seven total. A darker power has marked nine ab-human champions. After Sune departs they find a portal that leads to the forest ten miles northwest of Winterhaven.

Items of note:

  • Arck and Brack form an adventuring company.

  • In the chamber of green there are seven sets of robes and slippers. Loose end.

  • The party picks up an enruned plate that activates the portal.

  • Arck and Brack are marked in their right shoulders.

PS- for those that haven't noticed, I weave in elements as I see fit, from lots of different sources. The official story in the published books represents mis-information that the heroes might have heard!

Saturday July 12 2008 Simmering Pot

Hey all. As usual, my mind is brewing with ideas. But more on that later.

This blog is the story of a man's journey. I hope you get something out of it. It's mostly business, just like my life. I hope to put up more about the other people involved in the near future.

The idea for the Wyches of Thoth army is fully formed in my mind now. The army concept is bases around the wyches themselves; powerful sorceresses who summon various daemons. These are Heralds of Tzeentch on disc. I plan on using 60mm flying bases as an extra large disc with a cluster of tentacles underneath and curved and modified large tyranid scything talons to give the general appearance of what is now known as a disc of tzeentch.

The Wyches will be based on dark elf witch elves.

The rest of the army will be mostly tzeentch daemon types, with daemon princes (no soulgrinders), and some other daemon types sprinkled in for tactical reasons. I'm very fond of the Fiend of Slaanesh models.

A problem with most themed armies is that they collapse under their own weight. They are too complicated and expensive. I've found it's best to start with cool models then make the army fit around that.

The best thing is that they can do double duty in my D&D game!

I picked up my 5th edition 40K rulebook today. It's too early to make any comments, and I'm sure this is covered extensively in other forums. Besides, who wants to hear my opinion?

D&D 4E question

When rolling damage from a weapon you "Add the ability modifier specified in teh power description."

Does this mean that you add your Dexterity Modifier to damage from a bow?

I am also generally confused about "Ability Modifier". Is it just the base you get from the stat OR base plus half level?

If you answer this, can you give a page number, please?

The Emperor's Hawgs

I have in my possession a 2300+ point army consisting entirely of bikes. They are partially assembled.

Here are some still pics. Note that these are all in varying stages.

Now the painted figure is the ONLY figure painted and is just a sample of what could be done.

They could be painted as White Scars or Ravenwing or better yet a variant of Ravenwing. There is a LOT that could be done with this army thematically. A whole lot.

If you take Sammael as an HQ then your bikes count as TROOPS. Under fifth edition this makes for a very fast moving army that can zip around and claim objectives with the best of them.

And watch how fast any object vaporizes when six attack bikes with multi-meltas home in.

The special here is the materials are 90% off if you set up the order before Friday July 18th.

  • Materials $80
  • Painting $988
  • Assembly $568

Download the spreadsheet breakdown here.

Friday Night Hustle

Hey all. This is a general notice: I'll be in the studio until at least 9pm on Friday (central time), wrapping up business.

Packages are going out on Saturday morning.

Please excuse any delay. I bit the bullet and took a day off with the family on Thursday. A whole day. I got to spend some good quality time with all of my children. It was a big deal, so I thank you for your indulgence.

The artists are currently short about three armies on the schedule. By all means contact me if you have something on your mind.

We went to a local water park called Seven Peaks. I got en-pinkened.

Stonemarch Session 02- Dragon Graveyard

Duvan Stahl

It is Springtime...

In search of their mentor, the party leaves Winterhaven following the Old King's Road ten miles southeast where they turn on to a hunting trail going northeast. This turn is marked by a local landmark called the "green foot" a huge stone covered with moss. Uletsabe tells the tale of a colossal struggle between a local hero and a mountain giant. Or maybe it's just an oddly shaped rock.

In a deep ravine they indeed find a mass of draconian-type bones, hidden beneath the canopy. But digging there are a few dozen savage mountain men; the Ulari. They are digging. There is a steel cage in the middle of it all. Without investigation or diplomacy, the party attacks, slaying them to a man.
They find that Duvan has been captured. Once freed, he reveals to them that there is a four foot stone block, directly below the cage itself. Below are spiral stone steps, leading down...

Duvan’s Tale
There are two tales that have led me here. As you recall, Jathor son of Padraig is my fast friend. He and I survived being stranded in a flood a few years back. While on that miserable rock, the storm raging overhead he told me something passed from father to son. He said that a wiser man than himself should know it, and would wisely keep it to himself until the right time.

Seventy years ago there was a keep, north of Winterhaven. It was kept by Sir Keegan, the lord of the vale. He had a wife named Joria. For many years he faithfully kept his charge, but time and his own flaws of character clouded his judgment and he took a mistress. When the mistress became pregnant, Joria lured her into the woods and cut the child out while she was still alive. As Eleya lay dying she blessed the child, that it would bring back the keep to its honorable state.

I believe that this tale goes even deeper, that with the passing of the dragons (some say the Netherese) they placed various keeps and entrusted noble humans. Some say they are blessed of Bahamut himself. This is in keeping with the Lord of the Vale title now held by Padraig.

It is this, and various other findings, that led me here. I think this is the resting place of one of the guardian dragons. And it might hold the key to the agitation among the various enemies of Man in the region.

Tuesday July 8 2008 Clearing a Logjam

Picture: a High Elf raiding party, dark and brooding. This was a color scheme idea I had and I think it turned out nicely. I think that with some modification it would make a fabulous color scheme for some up and coming Dark Elves.

There's an unusual phenomenon at the studio. We had a logjam there for a few weeks, but the staff is cracking at such a tremendous pace that it's going to be cleared out really soon. As of July 15 (one week from now) I have an Assembler idle... and that's not a good thing. Basically, at this time, a project can get immediate attention.

As I mentioned before I am especially eager to get going with Vampire Counts, Daemon, and Tyranid armies.

I have these Vampire Counts on hand:

2x boxes Blood Knights

4x boxes Crypt Ghouls

1x box Grave Guard

1x box Dire Wolves

1x Winged Vampire Lord

1x Vampire Noble/Aristocrat female

1x Wight Standard Bearer

1x Vlad

1x Varghulf
1x Corpse Cart

Retail of about $464.

New deal: if you commission this at L3/5 you get the models at no charge. This offer is good for the next 48 hours (expires midnight on July 10, Thursday).

I am in this business to form long-term bonds with clients. Many have become friends of the studio, and of myself personally. That's what it's all about. This business has changed my life for the better; through toil, hardship, and success.

As for me, I had a smooth and normal day. I got up around 6:30am and started answering client emails for a few hours while downing a few episodes of Scrubs. Then I got up the good woman, now waddling with her ever-rounding belly, and we went for a walk.

I bid you all a good night. I am humbled to be associated with this great company. It is not a solo effort. I have a good crew, who with eager hands move the wheel forward. Most of us depend on your good will to pay our rent and bills. I thank each of you ever so much for your good support.

Making Breakfast

Around 10pm tonight, Griffin got out of bed and snuck into the kitchen to "make breakfast".

This is accomplished by taking a dozen eggs to his room and breaking them all on the carpet. Then pouring out a whole bottle of syrup. It was all over his feet and hands and shirt.

Sunday June 6 2008 Reasons I Shouldnt be Alive

Hey all, it's open mic Sunday.

When I was a senior in high school, my buds and I went to Port Orford for spring break. We played a lot of D&D and rode around on ATVs. We stayed with the grandfather of a friend (Chris A.) who had an impressive sea-side house.

Chris had this idea that we should get to this small, private beach. But we would have to navigate a cliff face. He explained to us that as long as we kept three limbs in contact with the cliff face that it was impossible to fall off. Well, duh, that made complete sense.
So it was that at age 17, seventy feet above the angry surf and jagged rocks, toes gripping on to a six inch ledge that I looked down and realized, "Blaaaargh! I'm mortal!"
I now challenge all blog readers to one-up me with your tale of why you shouldn't be alive!

Saturday June 5 2008 Pure Indulgence

Hello all. I took a day off today. No calls, and just a few emails.

First order of business: I took off to the mall with my eight-year-old daughter to pick up a few books. I found "The Audacity of Hope" by Barak Obama. I love hardcover books, way worth the extra money. My first thought as I picked it up was, "This is way bigger than I thought it would be." After an eye-roll and a chuckle I took all the copies of "Revolution" by Ron Paul and put them face out on the display; my little act of guerilla warfare in the cause of liberty.

I also picked up a second copy of "Revolution" since my first copy is almost always out on loan. I loudly recommended it at the front counter. Loud enough for the whole store to hear.

At the grocery store on the way back I picked up two watermelons and some burger fixins.

By the time I arrived back home Tamie's sister was there with her kids and we had a fabulous fourth of July celebration with plenty of meat and fireworks.

I also brought home about seventy figures (mostly night goblins) for the D&D game. I just plowed through them without mercy, trying new techniques and colors without regard to rhyme or reason. For example: a green glaze on top of a deep flesh then highlighted with a mix of green and deep flesh. Crazy.

I painted up a Rhinodon from the Hordes game. It's a good model, very original, but I can't get away from the idea that it's a Pokemon: Rhinodon evolves from Rhinoplex evolves from Herpesimplex.
I ended a fabulous and un-productive day watching Balls of Fury with my wife.

Independence Day

First things first: I would like to give a shout out to the men and women in military service, who have answered the call of duty; who are willing to sacrifice everything. Thank you. We've got numerous clients in the military and they are a delight to work with.
I am grateful to live in the U.S.
I spent two years in Chile (mission). I lived and served in some of the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods in the country, both rural and urban. I remember seeing the profoundest miseries imaginable. Things that had not entered my imagination before then, though I am sure that even worse conditions exist in human existence.
I remember the day I got back to the US. When I got off the plane in Miami I knelt down and kissed the floor (and you have to be pretty worked up to put your lips on the floor of the Miami airport). I bought two king-sized Snickers and sat there in my worn-out shoes and trench coat eating them gratefully.
I remember flying into the Medford, Oregon on a little puddle-jumper and seeing all the mills and lumberyards encrusted with snow. From that day everything was sweeter. I was amazed just to go into a produce section of the grocery store. It seemed over the top. A swimming pool was a luxury beyond belief. My clothes smelled and felt softer. And we had these two great machines that did our laundry for us! Oh, and no fleas.
I remember describing a washer and dryer to my first pension mother. She didn't believe me. She said I was lying and that such machines did not exist. Besides, why would you need them when a clothesline and fresh air were free!
Now that I'm in Utah I feel like I've moved right into the heartland. I live with a fiercely independent people, who fled persecution in the mid-1800s. There is a tremendous sense of community and self-reliance. We take care of our own (and visitors/others, too!).

Friday July 4 2008 Apples of my Eye

Picture: Solomon Lok. This is an Inquisitor that meets an unpleasant end in the Anphelion Project (a rule- and source-book from Forge World). See more pics.

Imagine a sandy-haired boy, page-cut, about three in flourescent orange trunks (no vest, floaties or other gear). He goes to the deep side of the pool, gets on the diving board. He walks confidently to the end, raises up both hands and begins to count.

"Fourteen, Eighteen, Seventeen, FOURTEEN!"

He jumps!

His little body sinks about three feet. Little bubbles trail downwards. Then he struggles to the surface.

"Go way daddy."
"I can do it!"
"Daddy help!"

I reach out for him and guide him to the edge of the pool.

This is how my son Griffin is. He really grabs life by the nose-ring. Other than the near-drowning, repeat this twenty-six times. That was our experience at the Ward Fourth of July party. And a lot of good food! Tamie and the older kids went to Stadium of Fire to see Blue Man Group. They had a blast. I, for one, was glad to avoid traffic and crowds and spend the afternoon with my young son. We had a great time.

We ended the night watching about ten episodes of chowder, eating cheese and apples, and finally I layed in bed with him, watching locals light fireworks through the window.

I spent hardly any time at the studio. Materials came in: a bunch of Tau mostly, but also a set of Daemons. Things are caught up in shipping and digital photography. Packages are going out on Monday.

I also took the kids to the local game shop. I picked up a bunch of figures for the D&D game. I am ever so excited! I will be painting them over the weekend. Among others I got a Rhinodon (from Hordes) and a few Reaper figures. I even found a perfect one for Uletsabe, a warrior type female with a long single braid down the back. Good fig. You'll get to see them all

I highly recommend their inks. If you're not happy with the new GW stuff (not saying they're bad, just not really the traditional colors) that's a good place to go. You get more ink for the money, too. Plus they are in droppers. Very helpful.

Thursday July 3 2008 Cool It

Picture: One of my favorite Reaper models.

First off, you won't hear any more Politics for a while. I started a few great threads this last week and that's plenty. Those interested I'm sure are following somewhat attently.

Second off, some of you may remember my beloved Lions Rampant army. I had about a hundred infantry painted up for it, but they were not cohesive and I was generally not satisified with how they turned out. Soooo, I got rid of all of them (and at a steal of a deal I might add). This week I've ordered a new set of Kasrkin, which I love dearly (both the models and in the game).

When I play IG I go with the Grenadiers doctrine and take about 40 storm troopers. They've hardly every let me down! With the advent of the new edition it's really time to pump up my Imperial Guard with a lot of troops.

Aaaaand, I'm still percolating the Wyches of Thoth army. It all makes sense. The only thing I have to figure out is how to represent the Discs of Tzeentch. I want to do something super special. Oh, wait, I think I got it. OK, problem solved. Ooooh, just you wait and see.

In other news, we had a "staff meeting" this morning. ie we played D&D 4E. As I've said, I think it's the best miniatures battles game ever. It's smooth, easy to learn and full of little tricks and finesse. Very smooth. It has the most ultimately fast resolution of any game. There's a class of monsters called "minions" that have ONE hit point. So basically one roll determines the whole outcome. But since there are so many of them, they play a tactical role. Of course, most creatures are more complicated and have other options. Yeah, it's a smooth operation.

After that, Angela came by and turned in a Dwarf army. One of the heroes was deformed so we had to build one from scratch and paint it. I found this really cool OOP model and we tricked it out with some good conversion work. There were a few other items to address as well. We set up a time for Paint Fest this month, too, which is held at her house.

What else? I have an assembler in to pick up slack this week. Just a week or two. His work is good, but he's slow. Not slower than to be expected. That's really helping us get caught up.

Everyone is gearing up for the Fourth of July. My Inbox is really slow. I will be in the studio from 11am to 3pm to tie up some loose ends.

PS- I hope no one gets me wrong about government and taxes. I really am grateful to live in the US. I lived in South America for two years, and not in a hotel, but in a regular house and moving and working among regular folk so I've seen the other side... the downside of no regulation is that people live in crap-shackle houses, for example.

PPS- I advise any reader of this blog to be polite and thoughtful in your comments. Don't use profanity or impugn me for evil motives. If so, you won't be welcome here. I work too hard to endure any grief.

If you can stand it

"Heavy job losses in construction, manufacturing and financial services, along with cuttbacks in retailing, eclipsed job gains in education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and government."

Jobs getting sucked out from the "producing" sector to the "takings coalition".

"But Shawn, what does this have to do with Blue Table Painting?". It has everything to do with it. There is an invisible person at BTP. This person gets a paycheck, but does nothing to help. This person eats our money and craps out paperwork.

This represents the sucking out of resources from the private sector (which creates services and goods from scratch) to government (which cannot inherently produce anything without first taking it from somewhere else).

I started Blue Table Painting in my garage with $90 worth of paints. I had no outside help. I invented it and worked like a madman to get it off the ground. I risked everything. So, answer me this: who has a right to show up at my farm and haul off my crops? The sugar industry (who get taxpayer subsidies)? Or perhaps foreign aid to warring factions in the Middle East?

Get to the caucuses people! Get to the voting booth! What will be said of our generation? That we spent 300 hours a year playing video games and zero hours a year guarding our Freedom?

Step one: find out three names-- the congressman for your district and the two senators for your state. Track what they do online. If they vote for the printing of money they have effectively stolen from you, yes you individually. Or maybe they are good defenders of your constitutional freedoms. Then act appropriately in November.

A good article by Utah Senator Bill Hickman

Stonemarch Campaign Session 01- Pyre of Jathor


[This is the first session log for my miniatures battles D&D game. My goal is to run six sessions then take it from there. I have already painted about forty figures for it! Most of these are Warhammer Fantasy figures which will be for sale later.]

The party of three travels north to Winterhaven to meet up with their old mentor, Duven Stahl. One member of the group, the warlock, is missing. On the way north, a farmer named Tappy and a merchant named Horkus joins up with the group for security. During a Kobold ambush, Tappy is nearly killed and his son dragged off.

The Kobolds jump on Tappy and seem to be threatening him, and demanding something in their croaking alien language. After slaying all their attackers the party recovers two small orange gourds of what turns out to be flame retardant.

Upon arrival in Winterhaven the group is in time for an all night vigil and a the morning cremation of Jathor, a local hero. They then find out that Duven headed out a week ago to poke around for an old Dragon gravesite. Two locals provide a map to the site. He is four days overdue.

Pyre of Jathor

  • A local hero named Jathor Brightfeld is being cremated in the public square just before dawn.
  • His kinsfolk are clad in deep blue and have stayed up all night in vigil to mourn him.
  • Local cleric does a spell to make the pyre burn with a pearlescent flame.
  • Women, including his wife and her two sisters, and his young son, look on.
  • The women of the town throw on paper birds of white and blue that are caught up in the heat pillar and fly up into the night sky.
  • A captured Salakha is tied X-ways between two stakes. It croaks in it’s creaking language. But no one understands. The warriors have driven nails into its joints and cut off its tail. At the conclusion they ride off with the creature in tow and drag it to death.

    Stonemarch Dramatis personae

    Duven Stahl
    The former town wizard of Winterhaven and the mentor of the six heroes of the tale (four have come back to town). He is a portly guy, but not fat, and has a square face, white hair (shorn short) and thin blue eyes.

    Half-elf that helps out at Wrafton’s Inn. Drew you a better map to the dragon gravesite. She keeps wildflowers in her hair.

    Eilan the Old
    Crazy old whittling coot, neighbor of Duven Stahl. Drew you a wiry map to the dragon gravesite.

    Sir Jathor
    A slain Warder of the town. He has a single child, Dathon, who is ten years old.

    Jathor’s older half-brother is Lord Padraig the Second. They share a mother; Ninarin.

    Sir Jathor’s wife and mother of Dathon, her only child. She is an accomplished huntress. She has chiseled features, paper white skin, hardened ice blue eyes and white hair in a single long braid down her back.

    Wife of Lord Padraig I, the lord of the vale. She is stoic, but quick to smile, moving from cold to warm in an instant.

    Sir Jathor’s son. He has blonde hair and a bowl cut. His right leg is missing from an accident on a woodcutting expedition when he was four. He is an outdoorsy child and loves to play with animals and is often seen about the keep riding a goat or a sheep with a wooden sword.

    a white-haired portly man with small black eyes. He is armed with a crossbow and a shortsword. He keeps a pet ferret with a weak bladder

    Picture Credits:

Wednesday July 2 2008 Slow News Day

This is a great example of a themed army. It's called the Hounds of Khorne. The client called me and we talked for perhaps an hour. I am a storehouse of information on various model ranges and we finally figured out what would work. It helps a lot if we can go outside the range (eg in this project we used figures from both Privateer Press and Rackham).

I am making some preliminary sketches of my Wyches of Thoth Chaos Daemons 40K army. Basically it's three or more heralds of Tzeentch on disc (based on dark elf wych elves) and a ton of Tzeentch Daemons as well as some other types sprinkled in there, notably Fiends of Slaanesh. I just love those models, they are out of sight. I've always been a secret devotee of Tzeentch.

Specials: I am still running the Vampire Counts Core-tastic special-- $2.75 each for painting basic troops at L2 (dire wolves, too!). If you dig down a few posts I still have that rockin' deal on VC materials. I still have all that.

The Phantom Titan is shaping up. It is quite a wonder to behold.

I would also LOVE to paint some Daemon armies. Not many of those have come through. If you were interested in a Khorne army I would do a deal on that.

I was up until midnight typing last night, but managed to clear almost every last item from my Inbox. That was a relief. My wife and I watched some Great Debaters movie (or somesuch) with Denzel Washington. That was all right. At that moment, somewhere else in the country there was a government worker sleeping soundly, having got off work at 5pm sharp; snug in his little jammies with health and dental coverage. YOU'RE WELCOME!

This morning (yes, I'm jumping around) the family headed off to a local pond, but I headed to the studio. Now, I know I should have taken off with them. My dirty little secret: I really didn't want to go to the pond.

As most of you know, I've had a sort of political awakening recently. Here are some random thoughts:

  • I don't know if I'm a Libertarian. But it sounds like it. Right now, I just think that 40% taxation is too much.
  • On principle, I can't get on board with the "tax the rich" thing. Everyone in the US is rich by international standards. It's wrong to take from them by force and redistribute what they have created.
  • When you buy, say, a gallon of milk, a certain percentage of the cost goes to the Income Tax paid by the company that produces it.
  • I soundly reject the notion that the government can "do" anything without taking something from someone else. There's no such thing as a free lunch.
  • Income tax is similar in effect to a labor camp. I work three months a year at the government labor camp. How can I call myself a free man?
  • It is my will as a citizen that the government ONLY do the things that they are supposed to do and NOTHING else.
  • I do not think that corporations are virtuous and good by nature. Corporatism is not desirable either.
  • Dispersion of power is generally good. Concentration of power... usually bad.
  • Here's the best one: when you create something, you have invested part of your life into that something. When you are taxed, you are having part of your life taken away. The life part Life and Liberty doesn't refer to the firing line, it refers to what you create with your time and work. Taxation pre-supposes that the State owns part of you.
  • BTP paints about twenty armies a month. The government carts away four of them.
  • I do not encourage anyone to fail to pay their taxes. I pay mine. Everything above board. I encourage you to chafe at your bonds.
The following projects are under the brush and due to be finished around July 10 (there may be some delays due to the July 4 holiday):
Dark Elves 01 JC dark pegasi
Chaos Daemons 01 PR
Winter Eldar 01 PP er
Emperor's Children 08 EB (expedited)
Tau 02 SL
Phantom Moon 01 JB
Hell Talon 01 NG
Emperors Gauntlets 01 SM
Grey Knights 01 ED
Ghost Warriors 05 AS
Vampire Boyar JB
Chapter Masters 02 JS
Vampire Counts KS board ext.
Tyranids 02 FL display board
High Elves 01 GO +prep
Aliens and Ducks AK
Ulthwe Skyhost 01 JB locked
Greenskin Spirits 01 JF
Dwarf Slayer Pirates 01 KO
War Machine 10 JL +assembly

The following projects are in Assembly and due to go under the brush in mid-July:
Zombie Dragon CP
Black Templars 04 GM
Ultramarines 07 TO
Greenskin Spirits 01 JF
Ghost Warriors 06 AS phantom
Slayer Nids 01 JP
Bretonnians 01 JJ er
Biel Tan 01 CH (yes, sooo late)
Fantasy Figures 04 PM
Inquisition 02 RT death korps
Legion of the Damned 02 MN
Menoth 13 GQ
Warhammer 01 WS bitz

Favorite Vallejo Paints

Hey all!

Here is my list of preferred Vallejo paints. Most of these have GW equivalents. They come in dropper form which gives a lot more control and prevents drying in the pot.
This is a solid list that will provide almost every basic contingence plus some fun colors like foul green and hot orange.

Here's a good place online that sells them:

For a Utah Valley local I recommend a local shop: Blakfyre Games in Pleasant Grove.


Dark Prussian blue

Pale Blue

Royal blue

Sky blue


Foul green

Scurvy green

Deep green

Black green

Russian uniform green

Camo olive green

Lime green




Glorious gold

Polished gold




Oily steel

Gunmetal grey

Tinny tin

Royal purple

Warlord purple

Scarlet red

Carmine red

Cavalry brown

Hull red

Hot orange

Parasite brown

Brown Sand

Mahogany brown

Saddle brown

Chocolate brown

German black brown


Foundation white

Flat black

Black grey

Somber grey

Light grey

Stone grey

Lemon yellow

Sun yellow

Tan yellow

Ochre brown

Flat flesh

Light flesh

Pale sand

Dark sand


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