Sunday, 24 January 2016

2016 - The Year of Mediocrity


Happy New Year, I guess. 

Better late than never. I mean, if you wait long enough, it will be a new year somewhere, right? Now that I think about it, maybe you should check your ego at the door - its entirely possible I wasn't talking about your calendar...

Like many, I got around to a little contemplation, in the fashion that only new years get one to do.

I though about world peace. I thought about cancer. I thought about losing weight. I thought about where I might get some new weight to replace the lost weight. I thought about family. I thought about my spiritual existence.

And I thought about this blog.

Now the thing that has been plaguing me about this blog, which I didn't realise until 2016's round of contemplation, is perfectionism. The desire to do the best possible thing, for the most impact, with the highest quality. 

"Perfectionism?" I hear you bark at me. "PERFECTIONISM?"

"Maybe if you suffered from a bit more perfectionism, Skullzinschitte would be finished. New figures would be painted and we wouldn't have to look at the same bloody figures repurposed purely through the awesome power of narrative. What we're thinking, Gaj, if we're honest, is perhaps a little bit MORE perfectionism!"

Well, I didn't mean it quite like that. What I mean, is that I tend not to get around to posting updates here, because I don't think I've done enough work to deliver a quality post. 

To deliver something you'd actually like to read



That son of a bitch. 

I intend to combat it. I could hardly leave you here with this explosive revelation and then just wander off, my mind at ease. And whilst I can't promise to slouch over to Blogger once a week to deliver a casually sub-standard post, I'll do my level best to try. 

2016 is the year of mediocrity. 


So what I have is pictures of unpainted lead. Very low bar today. One has some greenstuff on it.

This paunchy fellow is called Mancrates. Mancrates* popped into existing when discussing an unusual contact from Man Crates (an organization that sells crates for men, a situation devised entirely to relieve the millions of crateless men out there, or alternatively, to supply a unique gift that men have to break in to) over on the Oldhammer Facebook group.

It was, in fact, Captain Crooks, from the Antipodes and Funky Wenis Rodeo, that created our fat philosopher. I'm fairly sure that his honorific of UN Ambassador of Awesomeness will be coming through any day now. Captain Crooks', that is, not Mancrates, who is a tiny static pewter figure and whilst singularly amazing in my eyes, probably falls far short of the requirements to become a UN Ambassador, which are vast and diverse. Captain Crooks will certainly have his work cut out for him.

Look, the back of Mancrates. I am thinking of putting a small cat on his base too.

As part of my commitment to low quality, imperfect posts, however, I will not include a picture of the cat, but rather, just let you imagine the thing.

Next up, is a Mummy on a Manticore. It is my opinion that every fashion conscious mummy should get one - it is absolutely the must have accessory of 2016.

Look - it's not even finished being sculpted yet! Hows that for low quality, eh? I'll be putting something under those feet soon. For now, just wire. Pure, imperfect wire.

You might recognize the candidate Manticore as the visually defective creature that Dieter von Helsnicht uses to get around. This one:

And another angle. Because you really need to appreciate this...


Anyway, I've repositioned limbs, I've cleared out all the lead between the teeth and the claws, I've removed most of the mane and started to re-sculpt it so that it doesn't look like a cat that's just discovered a cucumber sneaking up on it.

The main element for me is the considerable learnings I'm making around green stuff. This is the first time where I've used green stuff in stages, to build something up and then have to come back to it once that base is dry.

I always thought sculptors were special people, but I have  a whole new respect for them: sculpting is hard!

Now if one was to present their 3rd edition oldhammer credentials to me and propose that, outside of narrative being king, that Mummies are not characters and therefore don't have access to monsters to ride and the fact that they're stupid when uncontrolled and can't actually choose manticores in Warhammer Armies anyway, so stop being a dick, Gaj, I guess I'd have to agree.

Mummies cannot 'officially' (hah!) ride Manticores in 3rd edition.

But they can in 4th edition...

Anyway. I'll just leave that there. Because I'm now an imperfect blogger who just leaves things lying around for no explanation. Why - yes, thank you - I appreciate your encouragement.

In other 4th edition news, I have also recently taken ownership of a shit-tonne (it was spelled wrong, which is probably why it was archived) of Skaven. I guess the box doesn't really tell the story, but the blister packs are 4 deep and there are loose skaven above and below them too.

I am also nursing interests in 4th edition High Elves and 4th edition Orcs and Goblins. Over and above my 3rd edition High Elves and 3rd edition Orcs & Goblins. And the Chaos. And the Dark Elves. And The Empire. And, uh, Lichemaster.

I will get there.

No, really. I will.

So there we have it. Unpainted lead, half arsed plans, and not a single word more on Skulzinschitte. Coupled with that a dangerous fascination with Middle Hammer and The Red Era of the Cheerleader Pose declared publicly - a decidedly imperfect post indeed.

Welcome to Warhammer for Adults 2016 - The Year of Mediocrity**.

*Y'know? Like Socrates?

**It might perchance be that you already thought the blog was quite substandard and that mediocrity was the order of the day. In that case, prepare to have those experienced mined out and collapsed as we explore a whole new level of underwhelmingness. Look, I just made up a word!


  1. A noble ambition, sir, and one to which I can relate. Why, only yesterday I posted some photos of my sons' lego as a wargaming post. The crowd loved it...

    1. Lego, hmmm?

      Now that HAS got me thinking. No painting, all in scale, fun to build...hmmm...

      Maybe other toys? Duplo vs. My Little Pony?

      Food for thought, Mr Rab. Food for thought.

  2. Hurrah for mediocrity! I've enjoyed every post on this blog since the beginning, and I think it is your style that draws me in more than any "perfectionism." I'd love to hear more about this turn towards 4th Edition in the future, as there really aren't a lot of people doing 4e at the moment. What drew you to this edition? Cheers, looking forward to more!

    1. Why, thank you very much, Mr Evan - what a nice cozy warm feeling I have for this cold January morning :)

      Actually, I'll be exploring the 4th ed fascination hopefully next week on the blog. This was one of those things that received some time in my period of contemplation.

    2. Gaj, your ill-advised article has inspired me to launch a maniacal anarcho-primitivist revolution over on the Oldhammer forums:

      What have you done?!?!?

    3. Wait, so that's kinda like a revolution within a revolution? A counter-revolution? Or something?

      I've just nipped over to Loving the under construction animated gif - that's exactly what most warhammer websites looked like in the 90s...

      I'm guessing you'll be leading the charge with your unpainted war machine army battle report that Morg craves - I still have to catch up with Skullzinschitte.

    4. Hell yes, I'm imaging it as 1) a slightly tongue-in-cheek homage to the first online Warhammer fan community (i.e. Geocities, early forums), 2) a critique about how pretty and clean Oldhammer has gotten (I mean, they didn't even spell things correctly back then, let alone have highly professional blog posts, photography and painting) and 3) an archive of long dead 90's Hammer articles for the Herohammer revolution (snatched from the brink of oblivion via the Wayback Machine and Oocities Archive).

  3. Gaj....Welcome to 2016...I seriously can't wait for your sub-standard, mediocre posts! Your the man and we all love you for it! ;)

    1. Aw gosh! You guys!

      No, no - I'm not crying , that's - uh - just some gun powder in my eye. Y'know, from doing manly gun stuff. Or maybe some metal shavings from reboring my v8.

      Definitely not crying. No sir.

  4. Yahoo! A race to the bottom :D:D:D

    Keep "up" the sub-par work Gaj. I look forward to wallowing in the dregs :p

    1. Race is such a competitive word - I'd like us to think of it as haphazard meandering with many stops along the way :)

      But yes - bottom, here we come!

  5. Sorry mate, but I think you're still not used to this whole mediocre thing, I still feel slightly aroused by the prospects of what you unveiled in this post. I should be midly arousednow, with a soft chubby.
    I'm exepcting to be aboutaveragewhelmed soon (see who's making new words now).

    1. I would also add it's not very nice to name and quote James as many times as you did here in a post about mediocrity and underwhelmingness...

    2. Slightly aroused? Did you write this post with one hand?

  6. Personally I think any blog post with as much content dedicated to me should automatically be lifted from the slum of mediocrity to the 'burbs of Averageville. But that's just the opinion of this blogger. Just in case, you should all go read my blog and see if I'm right or not (spoiler alert: I am).

  7. I agree with you wholeheartedly Gaj, and I shall also endeavor to become much more mediocre this year than I have previously!

    1. Hurrah, Mr Casey - here's to a whole year of reducing the standard!

  8. Mediocre post, at best...well done!!

    But more seriously, leave those 4th edition Goblins alone. It's hard enough to find, this bandwagon is full already! ;-)

    1. Alas, I'd leave them alone if I could, but I still need so many! I think I'm still about 50 short of my target. But I promise to stop after that?

  9. Mediocrity or simply more complete? With smaller staged updates you are actually creating a more detailed picture. Before I would have wondered how you would have turned a terrible manticore model in to a respectable one but now we know at least one of the steps.

    Ot also creates an aura of suspense and drama for us to go "oooh" and "ahhh" in.

    I think shitposting generally could only be regarded as a post without appreciable or informative content, or the dreaded explination as to why the blogger had not been blogging. Work in progress shots have great benefit for the viewer. Well they do for me anyway, so keep it up!

    1. Thanks for this - you're exactly right - I want to avoid shitposting, but yet remain engaged. Its a pity its taken two years to realize it! Anyway, I'm especially glad you like WIP - I reckon there will be a whole ton of that happening soon,,,

  10. Ah, Gaj, what a perfect post! Always great to shoot for the moon! And it is always a happy treat to read a new post post from you! Although, we sure miss your visits to the land of the privates!

  11. Private Weird! So glad to your curious, knitted face again! You are right - it has been far too long!

    Part of the problem i've been experiencing is that by not updating my own blog, I don't visit it, meaning I don't get to see the other blog updates out there - I kinda ended up in this strange behavior where I only ended up consuming Facebook for a time...

    Anyway, I reckon half the commitment to the mediocrity is really just to visit my online friends more often and talk to them - I've been silent for far too long. I look forward to the ongoing madness of the land of the privates - I'd imagine you're getting some great weather right now for outdoor star wars in the snow!

  12. Congratulations - Your post was so mediocre I nearly missed it! Actually I've been away from Blogland for some time myself and have just got back in the habit of checking my reading list again.

    I see, that along with perfectionism and 3rd ed, you've also ditched the pathetic aesthetic with your cheerleading Mummy waving an out-sized sword, riding a Manticore. Bravo, although Mancrates and his cat kind of makes up for it!

    To aid you on your 4th ed bottom quest I have High Elf and Orc and Goblin Army Books going spare - they're from that edition aren't they? I may also have some White Dwarf magazines of that era too if they would be of interest?

    Anyway, always a pleasure to read your pithy words and from one lapsed blogger to another - long live bare lead, terrible 90's models with putty on them and plastic monopose Goblins! ;)

  13. While I do look forward to reading your work more often I must admit albeit with a laden heart that it is your attention to every minute detail that sets your blog apart from so many others.
    Im glad to see you're giving 4th edition a go as an adult, it was my first iteration of warhammer and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Purestrain "oldhammer" players may shite all over it; they probably would be the same to point out what you can and cannot do in 3rd edition, I cannot abide these players, they seem to have forgotten Mr Priestley's vision.
    Anyway enough of those fools, I can't wait to see this game take flight... on the wings of a manticore no less!


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