Monday, 13 June 2016

Better Know a Blogger- Part 11: Creative Twilight

This week's Better Know a Blogger features Tony Stanley (AKA Thor) from Creative Twilight.

Straight from the horse's mouth, Creative Twilight is "a multi-author wargaming/gaming blog with a big hobby focus on painting, modeling, and even tutorials. We play Warhammer 40K, Age of Sigmar, Battlefleet Gothic, Blood Bowl, and more. We also have lots of battle reports, army lists, and editorials of all kinds. We're just gaming geeks".
Creative Twilight has recently undergone a revamp to the layout of the blog and it looks amazing! The layout and style of the webpage looks like a really professional wargaming magazine with the articles laid out in a nice online magazine style, with lots of different sections to suit your gaming tastes (gaming, tutorials, community news, etc). The site is easy to use and navigate and is a step up from your average 40k blog (this one included!). Creative Twilight doesn't just look pretty though, fortunately its aesthetics are backed up by some top notch content to go with it.

Tony (Thor) in all his painting glory!
I think it was Thor initially, and not Creative Twilight, that came to my attention after reading his article on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) on the House of Paincakes blog network. The article explained how to optimise your blog for getting good results on search engines for those of us that were novices at that sort of thing, without too much technical jargon and some detailed explanations. I try to incorporate some of the lessons from the post into my own blog, though must admit I don't follow every lesson (renaming all the photos from my battle reports is too much effort even for me, they take long enough as it is!).
Not long after that, I was a regular reader of Thor's blog and loved the interesting and varied content I found there; battle reports, tutorials, painting progress, editorials, etc.
One of my favourite set of articles was the Community Pimp'n series, which has now become the Wargaming Bloggers Showcase. This is a series of articles where Thor highlights some of the interesting wargaming blog posts that he has read to bring them to a wider community. We all know how much great wargaming blog content there is out there on the web and it can be all too easy to miss something on your timeline or there may be some fantastic blogs out there you are completely unaware of. This series of articles is brilliant for highlighting some things that you may have missed or not been aware of and builds a great sense of community in the 40k blogging world and it is well worth checking out his picks to see some fantastic new content.
Perhaps this very article may end up on the Bloggers Showcase, where Thor can highlight a blog post that highlights Thor and his blog because it highlights his Bloggers Showcase and we can end up in some weird blogging Mobius strip for infinity.
You can also check out Thor's many great battle reports on the blog as he struggles to build and play with a competitive and fluffy Chaos Space Marine army.
There has never been a better time to check out Creative Twilight as it has just got a bunch of brand new writers who will no doubt bring a lot of varied and interesting content and we will get to know them as time proceeds (if only there was some sort of series where we could get to know them better, you know, as bloggers...........give me a shout guys if you want to feature!).
Anyway, be sure to check out Creative Twilight if you have not already and check out Thor's answers to my questions below.
1. What age did you get into gaming and what started it off?
I got into gaming with the original Atari. I was around 4 years old when my dad came home with the first Atari. He got it for himself, but little did he know he’d hardly get to use it. From there it was Nintendo, and eventually PC gaming.

As far as tabletop wargaming goes though, I was 18 when I picked up Gorkamorka. I never got to play a proper game with it, but the seed was placed.

2. What was the first model you ever bought/painted?
It was a model car. I don’t recall the exact model, but it was an old Ford car. It was assembled with all the mediocrity I could manage, and then painted with a red spray enamel, including overspray on to the windshield.
3. What is your favourite aspect of gaming?
It’s a toss up between hobbying and playing at this point. For hobby stuff, I love doing conversions and sculpting. I don’t do nearly as much of it as I would like though. I don’t get as much time as I used to for hobbying, so most of the time I’m working with stock kits, trying to get everything painted. When time permits though, I just love sitting down with a model, and a vague idea of a goal, and seeing what I can create.
Thor's brilliant Warpsmith conversion.

For gaming though, campaigns or anything story driven. My first real gaming addiction was MUDs (multi-user dungeon). For the younger crowd, those are purely text based online role playing games. I loved getting into character and setting off on adventures. To use a cliche, it was all about the journey, not the destination. That fondness for a great story line, having a reason to wage war, has stuck with me all these years later. A great story enhances a gaming experience and breathes life into it.
(Check out Thor's post on the Fratris Salutem narrative event that he has been running for 3 years to get an idea of great narrative and fun play- Mike)

4. Fondest memory in gaming?
It would have to be when I was playing MUDs. In one of the games I played, I was a ranger, and still pretty new to the whole MUD thing. There would often be world events that kept the game interesting, and in this one instance a major town was being invaded by monsters. My character was seriously outclassed by the attackers, but I stayed inside the inn being used as a triage center, and guarded the healers as best I could. I would grab people and drag them to the healers, then go back to fight off the endless waves of enemies. Eventually I was taken down by the monsters. I just remember during the whole fight being so nervous and my hands were shaking, which of course meant typing was difficult; and in a game that’s purely text based, that’s a big detriment!
5. What are you working on right now?
Currently I’m working on my Chaos Knight Titan. It’s a model I never thought I’d own because of the expense, but thanks to the generosity of a friend, I got one at a very affordable price. It’s something I’ll be working on for months to come. It’s such a fun model to work on, and I want to make sure I do it justice.

6. When you are not conquering the tabletop, what do you do?
I’ve been married for 13 years, and I work for a local web hosting company as a PHP programmer. I’ve worked where I do for 14 years, and it’s a great small local business.

My only hobby outside of wargaming would be reading. I hated reading as a kid, and didn’t start reading seriously until my early 20’s. Since then I’ve acquired quite the collection. I pretty much only read fantasy and sci-fi.
7. What would you say about your blog to someone who has never read it to draw them in?
I’d say it’s a blog for casual wargamers where we offer a wide range of articles from hobby tutorials and painting showcases, to battle reports and editorials. We’re a group of gamers writing about what we find fun and interesting from the view of your every day gamer. Being a multi-author blog, we have various views on various things.

Above all though, Creative Twilight is a community of like-minded gamers. We aren’t shoving articles out there, and then just watching the visitor counter climb. Every author engages with the readers, and we have some pretty great discussions as a result. Getting people to comment and interact with us is the reason we do it.
8. What is your favourite article that you have written?
God. I’ve written so many articles over the years. My favorite ones are definitely where I feel like I’m contributing to the community in some way. Last year I wrote a series of articles on How to Play 40K that I’m especially proud of: I put a lot of time and effort into creating a series of articles to help newer players get into the game. It’s not an easy subject to tackle, but I feel as though a new player could read that series and walk away with a better understanding of the game.
9. Which rule would you like to see changed or removed entirely?
Stomp. Specifically, the 6 result on Stomp that just removes models. I don’t like rules in a game where you have no counter, no save, no chance to avoid a result. Destroyer weapons are the same, but it doesn’t bother me as much compared to Stomp that can target so many models.
10. Which of your armies is your favourite?
I started 40K with Orks, and I still love them, but I feel as though the current codex isn’t doing them any favors (hear, hear- Mike). I also own Necrons, having started them in 4th edition, but the current space Egyptian theme isn’t my cup of tea. I then picked up Space Marines. Everyone has to own Space Marines at some point, right? Then I got into Chaos Space Marines, and I have not looked back since.

The only thing I don’t enjoy about Chaos is the codex, but some day we’ll get that squared away, right? Right…? (I didn't realise that eternal optimism was one of the Chaos gifts- Mike) Anyway, I enjoy the fluff with Chaos, and the ability to create your own. There are no rigid standards for anything, be it fluff, army composition, or modeling. Anything is viable, and nothing is off limits. I love that free-form ability to create anything I want and know that it just works. I don’t feel there’s another army with as much freedom as Chaos.

11. Secret wargamer or loud and proud?
Always loud and proud. If you’re having fun doing whatever it is you enjoy, then there’s no reason to be ashamed of it.

12. Any hobby tips or cheats to share?
I’m with NafNaf when he said a wet palette. Until I discovered a wet palette, my painting was limited to simple layers and washes. As I began to use a wet palette, I learned the virtues of thin paint and blending. It’s really transformed how I paint models. I even did a tutorial on how to make your own: (I need to use this, my paint is forever drying on my palette- Mike)

My other tip is a simple one. When it comes to painting, take your time. I’m a very patient person with everything, however, when it comes to painting I can sometimes become impatient. I often feel like I should be further along than I am with a model, or just want to see a particular part completed, or simply to be done painting the mode/unit/whatever. Maybe anxious is a better word. When I reach this point, I then tend to get sloppy, and rush things along, just to appease this self-inflicted timeline I’ve given myself. I always regret it later.

So, I learned to just step back and take breaks. I’m not the type of person who can sit and paint for hours and hours non-stop. I wish I could. Instead, I treat it like a project, and break it down into manageable parts. It might be get the sword painted, or get the sand glued to the base; something I know I can accomplish, and feel I’ve made progress, no matter how small. Whenever I feel that anxious feeling welling up, I put down what I’m doing and take a break. It might be that I check my email, jump on Twitter, go grab a beer, anything that gives me some time to refocus.

13. Tournament or Casual?
I enjoy both for different reasons. Of the two, casual is more my style of play, and campaigns are my favorite way to play casual. I enjoy creating fluffy lists, and using models I enjoy. That approach isn’t so rewarded in a competitive setting like a tournament. Still, it’s fun to put your skill to the test and see how you stack up.

14. Nintendo or Sega?
Nintendo for sure.

15. Xbox or Playstation?
I’m indifferent here. These days I’m a PC gamer, and I was never a console gamer beyond early Nintendos. I was too busy being a teenager when Playstation and Xbox came onto the scene.
16. McDonalds or Burger King?
If I had to choose, Burger King, but I make a habit of avoiding any fast food.

 17. Coke or Pepsi?
Pepsi of course, though I'll take a microbrew over either any day.
Thanks to Thor for taking the time to answer my questions. You can catch him on twitter @c_twilight and at Creative Twilight.
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 discovered Creative Twilight through Thor commenting on other blogs. This guy is plugged into the matrix and is everywhere. He speaks as a positive voice into the hobby and it is a pleasure to visit Creative Twilight. Hang in there buddy. Chaos will get a boost (and hopefully Nids and Sisters too...)

    1. Chaos will get an awesome new codex, followed by Nids and then Sisters of Battle with their brand new plastic range. Then all debts will be forgiven and everyone will get a puppy and unicorn.......

    2. I definitely aim to be positive. We aren't all happy about everything, but it's how you approach it that matters.

      I do read a lot of blogs. Greggles has me beat though on being everywhere though ;)

  2. Thanks for the kind words, and I'm glad you asked me to be a part of this.

    I think that SEO series was a bit much for many, so I'm glad you found some value in it. Yeah, doing everything perfect is very time consuming. Even I don't do it all in every article, just the ones worth it really.

    1. No problem Thor, hope you enjoyed it! You just need to convince your fellow writers to join in now!

    2. We'll see who sticks around. Sadly, many write an article or two then just disappear. Frank would be a good one though. He's stuck around, and has his own blog as well.

  3. It's now time for my weekly comment, and I'm glad to see that parity is being restored when it comes too the soft drink debate.

    Another good blog to read, thanks Mike! It's useful to expand my reading, I'm thinking I need to sort the follower mechanic out so that I don't have to keep skimming bookmarks!

    1. Hope you enjoy it, and I'm always open to suggestions on ways to improve the blog, articles, etc.

  4. Creative Twilight is a great blog and Thor was a personal help when starting my own attempts to get into blogging.

  5. Thor's blog was one of the first I followed when I started being interested in reading blogs and such. A great resource and constantly full of good articles. Always a pleasure to read!

    I love finding out about the people behind the blogs, and Thor you sound like a dude! One day I hope we can face off against each other across the tabletop, although distance certainly makes that slightly difficult :D

    1. Thank you.

      It would be awesome to get all the smaller bloggers together like us, and have a big weekend throw-down. The ocean of separation does make things more complicated though...

    2. That would be brilliant. I guess Alex's Blog Wars was something similar, but has expanded since then. I would run a bloggers event myself, but not sure how many people would travel up to sunny Scotland.

    3. It may have to be a virtual meetup of some type (as much as I would love to visit Scotland or Australia!)

  6. I lost it at "eternal optimism" being a chaos gift. :)

    Thor's blog is awesome. The SEO articles really shifted the analytics and showed a considerable change over the course of a few months! He is also a gold star commenter!

    1. You have to roll double 7's on 2D6 to get the gift though ;)

      Thank you.

    2. What no double 8's? Khorney!

    3. Thanks Greg, I try my best with the "Khorney" jokes.

  7. This series are great. I think Thor's blog is awesome and he is among the the commentators I can count on seeing on many blogs. Thanks Mike for these peeks into the lives of all these bloggers

    1. Cheers Joe. I'm glad that people are enjoying the series. I hope it will go on for a long time as there are so many great blogs out there.