Monday, 6 June 2016

Better Know a Blogger- Part 10: Cascadian Grimdark

This week's Better Know a Blogger features Peter (AKA WestRider) from Cascadian Grimdark.
WestRider is a relative newbie to the 40k blogging world, but no doubt you will have seen him pop up in your comments section, usually with informative rules corrections or tournament advice.

Cascadian Grimdark (awesome blog name, by the way) features tournament reports, after action tournament reviews, as well as painting and modelling posts. The blog is still in its infancy (as WestRider himself has said), but I hope to see it grow as time goes on and it would be great to see some support for another blogger that has recently started up.
So here are WestRider's answers to my questions:
1. What age did you get into gaming and what started it off?
I think I was 8 when my brother and I first got some D&D stuff. But we'd had HeroQuest before that, and I had also got a book from the library about the history of Wargaming and designed a couple of really crappy generic Wargames with terrible hand-drawn maps and handmade paper counters. In Middle School, I found a D&D group who would end up being the core of my friends for quite a while, and they also got me into BattleTech. Then in High School, I started burning out on keeping up with MtG, and getting more interested in miniature Gaming beyond BattleTech, and as soon as I saw the 40K Chaos stuff, I was hooked.

2. What was the first model you ever bought/painted?
The very first were a set of Ral Partha Kobolds that I completely wrecked. So much cheap craft store paint slopped on there that you couldn't even tell they were supposed to be humanoid. My first GW Model was a CSM Champion who I've done some touchup on, but haven't actually stripped and repainted, like I did the godawful Noise Marines I did right after.

3. What is your favourite aspect of gaming?
 These days, it's a toss up between Modeling and Converting, or (semi-)Competitive play. 

4. Fondest memory in gaming?
Probably the first time I won Best General at a Tournament. It wasn't really a big deal, dinky little Store Tournament that only 4 people showed up for, but I managed to table a GK Player with 5th Ed Nids, and that was also the first time I ever beat a Space Wolf Army.

5. What are you working on right now?
As I type this, my modeling table has the Kytan that got melted, and I'm trying to decide how I want to go about salvaging, a Scout Squad with a Landspeeder Storm for my Crimson Thunder Space Marines, a Skull Cannon, and some Long Fangs. Who knows what I'll be on by the time this posts. Total hobby butterfly.
6. When you are not conquering the tabletop, what do you do?
Right now, I'm basically disabled, the result of a long slow downward slide over the last decade or so. Over the years, I've done all sorts of things, day labour, janitorial, I was a baker for years, did shipping for a quilt pattern designer, stocked shelves in a grocery store, a few other joe jobs here and there.
 Hobby-wise, 40K is really the big one. I also read a lot, I'm very into the Marvel movie adaptations, and into a pretty wide range of music. Also just sort of kicking around online. tumblr is great when you've got no real energy, but can't get to sleep.

7. What would you say about your blog to someone who has never read it to draw them in?
"Ooh, shiny!" I dunno. Never been much of one for self promotion. I do think I have some pics of pretty cool conversions I've done up there, tho.
8. What is your favourite article that you have written?
Not a whole lot to choose from here. Of the things I've actually published, probably the couple I did on building my Chaos "Void Shield Generator". Not a whole lot to it, but that project was a lot of fun, and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

9. Which rule would you like to see changed or removed entirely?
Oh, dear lord. I don't even know. Frankly, at this point the Game really needs a 2nd-3rd Ed-style hard reset. Probably And They Shall Know No Fear if I had to pick just one. The number of otherwise cool things that are rendered pointless by ATSKNF is just depressing. Replace it with Legiones Astartes from 30K, and a lot of things would start getting more interesting.
10. Which of your armies is your favourite?
Chaos Space Marines were what got me into 40K, and is still my fave, even tho they've been rather poorly served by the Rules for some time now. I've never seen another setting with anything that compares to them as a Big Bad, and they're one of the things that really makes 40K distinctive. My Nids are close behind, but even worse off Rules-wise, so they've been in storage for a while now.

11. Secret wargamer or loud and proud?
Sorta in-between. I don't really bring it up, but if I'm going somewhere and I've got my case and someone asks about it, I'll talk about it for a while.
12. Any hobby tips or cheats to share?
If painting is a chore, get some bigass brushes. I've got a couple of 1/4" (6mm) flats and then a 1" (25mm) house-painting brush. Those make laying down base coats and drybrushing on overall zenithal highlights a snap, especially for larger Models. I painted up 5 Drop Pods in a couple of hours that way. They don't look great up close, and if you're wanting to really focus on your painting, there are better options, but if you mostly just want to get stuff ready for the table, they'll give you a base coat that looks just fine at arm's length, and then you can pick out a few details and be ready to go.
More generally, something you did a half-assed job on is still better than something you never did at all. When in doubt, give it a shot. Some of my best stuff, like my MaulerFiends and my VSG, I had no idea what I was doing when I started in on them. The Fiends actually took me almost two years to get built, because I kept stalling out and putting them aside for a while until I got an idea to fix what was stymieing me. The VSG was my first time ever working with foam like that, and it was on a really tight deadline to get it done for TSHFT.

13. Tournament or Casual?
Honestly, Tournament these days. Since 5th Ed or so, most of my attempts at lower-powered, casual Games have ended up being far more lopsided and boring than when we both just take off the gloves and throw down.
14. Nintendo or Sega?
I really don't play video games at all any more. I'm not good at them, so I get frustrated and don't get practice, which means I stay not good at them, and it all repeats. I did have an NES back in the day for a couple of years, and had a friend with a Sega Genesis, and I'd say I had more fun with Sonic and Golden Axe II than Mario and Zelda.
15. Xbox or Playstation?
By the time these came out, I had completely given up on video games, so I really have no opinion.
16. McDonalds or Burger King?
McDonald's. Not a huge preference, I find most of those places are really about the same, but if there are a bunch there, and one of them is McD's, that's where I'm going.
17. Coke or Pepsi?
Cherry Coke. Especially from an actual soda fountain.

Thanks to WestRider for taking the time to answer my questions.
If you have your own blog (doesn't matter how young or old) and would like to take part in the Better Know a Blogger series, email me at


  1. I'll be honest, that Kytan was the saddest thing I've seen on a blog since a) my own issues with spray matt varnish and b) Rob's lost Dark Eldar.

    Only fairly recently picked up WestRider's blog myself, but I do enjoy reading it (excluding the aforementioned Kytan post of course).

    Onwards and upwards!

    1. Yeah, I clicked on the picture thinking "wow, that's a really weird conversion" then realised the full horror as I read the post.

    2. Thanks! Check out the latest post. I've got the Kytan back on its feet! :)

  2. I do love those Maulerfiends, but that Kytan...yeah.

    1. I really liked the new base he was working on with the Guardsman cowering behind the wall and the Fiend climbing over the wall. Will look great when all painted up.

    2. Thanks! And like I said above, the Kytan has risen again!

      Very happy with that MaulerFiend Base, too.

  3. Wow that grey on the dreadnought with the poweraxe is really great, any tips on how you did it Westrider?

    1. Thanks! That's a classic example of my Bigass Brush™ Technique ;) I used a 1" house-painting brush from a hardware store, and just laid down a heavy coat of Mechanicus Standard Grey, an overbrushing of Dawnstone, and then a very light drybrushing of Administratum Grey.

      The first coat is laid on pretty much from every direction for maximum coverage, but the other two are done entirely with downward strokes to get some simple vertex highlighting. The huge brush maintains contact with big chunks of the Model, so it tends to spread the highlights a bit differently than if you do it with a more normally-sized brush.

      Fun Fact: I was also considering One Inch Brush as a title for the blog before I settled on Cascadian Grimdark ;)

  4. Not a blog I'm aware of, so will be checking it out.

    But cherry coke! Yeah! Nothing like cherry coke!

    1. Yeah, there is nothing like cherry coke. It is a unique abomination that never should have been birthed! ;)

    2. Thanks! I hope you like what you see. Cherry coke 5ever!

    3. So, here's the obligatory response to this article:

      No! Cherry coke is Horrible! Even Worse than normal coke! Pepsi all the way.

      And then on a more human, less flamey front: nice work, I haven't read your blog but I'll check it out :)

    4. Another reader for WestRider. Yes, it's almost as if the point of this series is working! ;)

    5. Thanks, Luke! I hope you like what you see!

  5. Thanks Corrm and WestRider, I just added your blog to my reading list :-) I love the honesty in posting your original CSM, I'm pretty sure I've stripped and repainted any of mine that are left from that time.

    1. oh, and I just saw on your profile that you're in Seattle too!

    2. Thanks! Nice to run into another local on the interwebs. Do you have a usual store you play at?

    3. Since moving I haven't got back into any stores enough to play. The closest is Games and Gizmos in Redmond. Where are you gaming?

    4. Honestly, I mostly play over at friends' places. The easiest store for me to get to is Game Wizard over in Bremerton. Games and Gizmos was a good store back when I went there, tho, hopefully still a good one now.

  6. I really enjoy those know a blogger articles. It also makes it insanely easy to find your website. Comes right up in google :)

  7. Westrider made me suck less at Tyranids. For that he should be commended.