Friday, 19 May 2017

Collection of Twozies

Thank you for joining me for another post.

One of the new things I started in 2017 was collecting these cute little figures called Twozies. I love the way they look, but also the challenge and mystery of collecting them, considering the majority of times they are within mystery bags, and a purchaser has no idea what they will get.

So just to say what you can get (I won't give prices as they can vary as usual):
  • Surprise Pack - gives 1 mystery Twozies Baby + 1 mystery Twozies Pet
  • Friends Pack - gives 2 viewable Twozies Babies + 1 Pet - 1 mystery Twozies Baby + 2 mystery Twozies Pets
  • Two-gether Pack - gives 5 viewable Twozies Babies + 1 Pet - 1 mystery Twozies Babies + 5 mystery Twozies Pets
  • Mega Friendship Pack - gives 1 viewable Twozie Baby + Pet pair - 19 mystery Twozies Babies + 19 mystery Twozies Pets
  • Fun Twogether Pack - these are unique where you get Twozies only available for that pack, usually with some sort of interactive accessory such as a CafĂ©, Boat, Ice Cream Cart.

At this current time I have over 70 of the 140+ individuals you can get from the Season 1. If including duplicates then it would exceed 100. Just for those who are wondering, I do have plans for the duplicates as to not have them be a waste.

Now many of you may wonder why these have appeared on my Table top blog. Simple! I will be creating games to use these figures in! Games of racing, tug-of-war, battles, and so forth. I'm thinking of calling the collection of games simply - Baby Olympics - owing to the type of challenges and formats of the games that I will be looking to make with them. Some will be basic, whilst others will be more complex.

This post is just bringing these great figurines to your attention if you have yet to take note of them, especially for you males who may not take note of the items within female sections of supermarkets and toy stores. These would make good collections and toys for children, though the age range does recommend 5+ potentially due to the size of them.

I think there is so much potential for these models, let alone how great they look. You can see why some toy collections, such as the Shopkins range that these ones belong to, do so well, and I'm still disappointed at my lack of even one of the three pairs of Limited Edition Twozies available. But I think I've said enough for this post, as it was only to highlight the models.

So much that you'll see that I have now based for display all the original twozies I have, to make sure I have one of each. Below you'll see some of my favourite, each with a scene I've created for them.

Once again, thank you for joining me for this post. I hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to comment.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Rise of a Feline Race

Thanks for joining me for another post.

I wanted to share with you some models I've worked on during 2016 - as though I have been silent, I haven't been idle. Background history and force construction will be provided in a later post. Preferably once a few of these models have been properly finished and painted.

With the model basis of Space Marines, editing their armour, I have created a sentient race of feline miniatures for battle in the dark times of the 41st millennium, known as Aerulus, heralding from the planet Almus. At the moment, my space is limited, so I am still unable to grow the numbers I want. Due to this, I will only be doing a remnant force, the remains from a desperate battle.

Both male and female will be equally prevalent within this force, though there will be a limited type of weaponry for this race. Single handed guns being the main focus, with swords reserved for officers only.

Front View - The Basic Troop Type
By modifying some space marine armour, I began to craft my own unique looking force. Some parts of the space marine kit were filed down to new shapes, or green stuff added to change the design. Here, these models should also have cat ears on their helmets, but at this time, I failed to realise and had yet to incorporate it. Whilst I have made the adjustment to later sculpts and moulds, I still use these as its easy enough to simply add the ears onto the helmets later as well.

Rear view - The Basic Troop Type
I've designed different breathing equipment for them, so they do not simply follow space marine design, as can be seen in the rear view image. Of course, a feline race would also have tails, which is shown nicely here, though definitely some more work needed. At this stage, only these three models have the tails, as I'm in need of some more green stuff.

More Aerial View - Heavy Infantry Troop
You can see here that I've reproduced my altered designs, but also made use of spare space marine It's important to note this pose was entirely sculpted by myself after various attempts, involving repositioning the altered pieces, and just pushing green stuff onto the base, which is shown nicely on the right hand side, where the legs look bloated. Ultimately I did design the legs, after using skewers to line up the positioning then adding the greenstuff after.

Front View - Heavy Infantry Unit
The cannons, as is befitting its simplistic design to make sure the casting would work well, is entirely done by me, likewise is the unhelmet head, and once again breathing instruments on the back. The rear cannon is from an old key ring I picked up in Scotland years in my past as a 12 year old if memory serves me right.

Rear View - Heavy infantry unit
You can clearly see a space marine chainsword altered here for the captain of the unit, but all other swords will be done from scratch.

So, what do you think? These won't be all the troops, and once again, upcoming posts in the future will slowly reveal more of these new denizens of the far flung galaxy.

I believe I may redo a sculpt for the Aerulus, but at the moment, these will be simply a remnant force, so there will be room for improvement in the future with a complete force hopefully being made once I have enough room. It's all these different projects and purchases that is making it so hard to grow any one force.

Because the composition of this army, including weaponry, will be entirely made up by me, the army is more to use in personal games than tournaments or at local centres. I'm looking forward to getting round to the painting of these models as well, and hope to have the small amount painted up by the end of 2017.

Once again, thank you for joining me for this post. I hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to comment.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Why I love Table Top Gaming

It has certainly been a while since I have revisited this site, and thank you for joining me back here for this post. A lot of things have happened, including gaming wise. But before we come to those kind of posts, today I wanted to enquire why YOU love that which we call 'Table Top Gaming'!

Why do you love table top gaming?

And don't limit yourself to specific games like 40k or Dungeons & Dragons. If you play with simple coins on a desk, simulating engagements, I want to know! But more importantly, I want to know what draws you to do this?


Here are five main points of discussion I want to focus on regarding my love of the broad spectrum.

What do I define as Table Top Gaming?
Firstly, I define table top gaming as a game that can be confined to a table top, but also expanded to several if wished. A game that involves pieces, whether these are coins, figures or other items. The valuable addition of a die or dice is a key aspect to this as well, usually a medium to help direct the flow of a game in some way. Further thought would also have me attach the need for a goal; as I have yet to come across a table top game where there is no goal, even if it is simply destroy all enemy pieces. Most importantly, and may be key, is a system of rules. Whilst the rules can be as simple as, four pieces per side, and sometimes are made up as the game progresses, they are what help to contain or expand any table top game, and give it its depth.

What is its best aspects?
For me, table top gaming brings a world of unexplored land and time. Even when recreating scenes from historical battles, for example, you are exploring a time capsule that has not been visited. Though you follow a set of guidelines, this will not necessarily set the outcome of the game! It's something that draws upon a players imagination, and sometimes tactical genius. 'Where should I put this piece', 'How can I move around that obstacle'.

I liken it to a humans development. Baby's see the world as big, unexplored, unexplained, alien. As they grow, they learn, they become accustomed, they change, but they also add their own influences. This is comparable to a table top gaming and the journey one takes when playing it. At the beginning you can be unsure, stumbling over rules, over tactics, over what kind of scenarios can be used. But with each game, each thought in this gaming world, if you'd have it, you begin to develop. Not only do you develop however, you also start to help influence.

The chance to grow your own purchased, customised or self created collection, which in some instances can be painted with the challenge of trying to get those blends exactly right, and try out new techniques on highlights, undertones, eyes and weapons.

Table top gaming is extremely personal compared to other games. You're physically moving the pieces with your own body. No virtual reality to enhance it. Simply physical items, then your own imagination. It's you, the player, who design and develop this world. Its you who adapt rules within certain parameters. Players are in control here, not set within the bounds of the maker of a system or designer. You want to play Warhammer 40,000? Chess pieces, toilet roll and some small boxes could be your army and scenery for your battleground. Better yet, if you've got spare money, the desire to create, and any spare time, you could buy one of the forms of putty/clay to simply sculpt your own figures. Again, another air of personal touch.

Despite its name, it does not have to be relegated to a table. It can be played how you like, where you like. If you have the mind to do it, the space, then you can do it.

What does it bring to my life?
Table top gaming is just that, gaming. It in no way takes over reality for me, however it is something that can make life that little bit more enjoyable. At times it has served as a lovely connection between those I love, both friends and family.

With a desire to create and design, it also gives me an outlet at times to get thoughts or ideas out, which can flow into other paths of my life. Most of all, table top gaming is simply a fun way to break up the time between activities/responsibilities that can sometimes be stressful, dull or simply exhausting, and I find myself looking back at all my creations, no matter how simple or imperfect they are, and feeling pride at what I have achieved, and put forward from my own time to move toward.

Why would I encourage others to take it up?
Why not? These days there is a heavy emphasis on technology of the computer kind. Apart from getting out and playing normally, I would also encourage both children and adults alike to take part in table top gaming. It is socially rewarding, brain stimulating, but also can get you out of those normal habits of simply watching tv, texting on your phone or being on facebook, as so many of us are starting or have already gotten to the point of doing.

I think it's important that these types of things are kept alive.

What are its bad points?
If I had to say table top gaming had a bad point, it would be its addictiveness, which ties in with the need to collect at times. Best examples being things like Warhammer 40k, War Machine, so on. It can also take up a lot of space depending on what type you are doing. Collections of figures, storing gaming tables, which can in some cases be vast and intricate pieces, not just the simple flat boards that the more traditional of these are known for.

So, there are some of my thoughts, but I would really love to know yours. Please comment and I will be happy to get back to you. Once again, thank you for joining me for this post. I hope you enjoyed it.