Will is another relative newcomer to the world of 40k blogging, as Tabletop Apocalypse only started in March of this year. I first spotted Will's blog when a picture of his Emperor's Children Palatine Blades appeared on the blog roll on Faeit 212. I still had Rob's review of the 30K Emperor's Children on my mind (the temptation to start this army is still strong with me!), so was impressed by what I saw in the tiny thumbnail beside the blog title. I clicked on the link and I have not been disappointed since.
Tabletop Apocalypse is very much a hobby blog, showcasing Blazmo's amazing painting and modelling skills. His work includes a wide range of different armies including his Chaos army, his Grots army, Space Marines and unusual orange Necrons. I did not think that Orange would work well as an army's primary colour, but somehow it just looks great.
He also does some great conversion work, a stand out being his MASSIVE Deff Dread conversion that towers over mere regular Walkers.
Not only interested in 40k, Will also dabbles in other systems such as Fantasy and Infinity.
One of my favourite articles recently has been his How to be a Better Painter- Basics. This provided me with some very useful tips that I have begun to incorporate into my own painting. I look forward to seeing if this series develops and hope to glean some more tips from him in the future.
Based on the quality of his work on the blog, it's a travesty that more people have not found this blog yet. I urge you to go now and add yourself to his "Followers" tab located on the blog. Tabletop Apocalypse does not deserve to be "The Hobby blog that nobody reads". Go on, I'll wait.......(plus, if I get him a ton of new readers, maybe he'll do a tutorial on his Emperor's Children paint scheme for me!).
So here are Will's answers to my questions:
Sorry this picture is a bit out of date, but I’m writing this in my lunch breaks at work, so it’s all I’ve got. Just try to imagine that its 4 years later and I have short hair (damn you socially acceptable work-standards!)
1. What age did you get into gaming and what started it off?
I think I was about 8. It was my brother who first got me interested after he went to secondary school and everyone there was playing Warhammer (your brother and I went to very different schools- Mike). It was right in the prime of second edition too, in the heady days when White Dwarf was a magazine worth reading and you had to save up your pocket money a pound at a time to get a Saurus Champion. Oh, the memories!
Later as I got older I lost touch with all hobbying. It wasn’t until I picked up a copy of Dawn of War on the PC that I realised I missed it so much. It was a slow slide back into full-blown obsession.
2. What was the first model you ever bought/painted?
I remember getting the Fantasy box set (5th Edition? The one with Lizard Men and Bretonnia) for Christmas between me and my brother as well as a few other things. I think the first model I painted was a space marine from the paint set, although I don’t have the model anymore (like a lot of things when you’re a kid I think he was converted into an Epic Titan later on or something … no, that isn’t even a joke).
I have vivid memories of painting a Stegadon (pictured below) on Boxing Day at my Nan’s house and spilling blue paint on her fancy tablecloth! (the yellow carpet at my mum's house still had the Chaos Black stain- Mike)
3. What is your favourite aspect of gaming?
I’m primarily in the hobby for the painting/modelling these days. I do play games when I get the chance, but I like taking something from the background and breathing life into my own vision of it. I rarely build anything entirely “stock” from the box; even if I’m just doing simple head swaps. The only thing I draw the line at is outright sculpting from pure greenstuff as I don’t have the skill to make whole parts myself.
I also try to push the boundaries of my painting ability. Next year I’d like to make the finals at either Salute or Golden Demon. We’ll see how that goes.
4. Fondest memory in gaming?
That really is a difficult question as there are a lot of facets to the hobby and I have some good memories of pretty much all of them.
At this point I should make a confession. I’ve been holding something back from my blog because it’s probably my best work, but I may never finish it at this rate. It started out as a Chaos Defiler and well, the picture says the rest. Definitely my proudest moment as far as modelling is concerned.
I also think fondly of the first painting competition that I won. It was a local thing, but at the time I didn’t think I had a chance as it was the first one I had ever entered. I was also sure that I was only ever really going to be able to do decent “table top standard” models and that I didn’t have the skill to take it further. It was only through trying to push myself to the limit that I realised how far I could go. I won in the end, managing to beat an ex GW employee in the process.
5. What are you working on right now?
Well, Bungo the Barbarian of course!
For those who don’t know my blog, I’ve started doing a joke piece of fiction every Friday (mostly for my own amusement). At the moment the stories are all about Bungo; a leather-pants clad Conan-esque barbarian of indeterminate origin.
After a few amusing chapters I hatched a plan to make a miniature. It was also an excuse to buy one of those nice Darkoath Chieftain models from the new Warhammer Quest set. He’s still in progress, but I’ve added a picture of the erstwhile adventurer.
6. When you are not conquering the tabletop, what do you do?
I have this incredibly boring office job, I’m not kidding when I say that it is mind-numbingly dull. Did I mention that the pay could be better too? (I’m, actually in the process of changing jobs right now, so with any luck things will improve).
Perhaps because my job is so dull I’ve become a bit of a hobby monster in my spare time. It’s nice to do something creative and artistic for a change.
My other major hobby is listening to Japanese music. It started when I was at university and has now become a full blown obsession. The chances are that if there is a Japanese band coming to the UK, I probably have tickets already. I also take evening classes and spend a lot of time learning Japanese (I will understand all those lyrics one day!) as well as playing guitar.
7. What would you say about your blog to someone who has never read it to draw them in?
I would tell them that they definitely shouldn’t read it. Hopefully that’ll make them so curious that they won’t be able to resist!
Realistically though, my blog is basically my own journey through the hobby. It’s mostly a showcase of my work and is more than a little bit self-indulgent on my part; as I basically post about whatever I find interesting without too much thought for whether other people want to read it or not!
I do try to give sound advice too, from a painting and modelling perspective. I think we’ve all had to learn a lot to get where we are and if I can make that journey any easier for people then I’d call it a success.
8. What is your favourite article that you have written?
I hate to admit it, but my favourite articles are always the joke ones. For the most part they’re far less popular than anything else and barely get read, but I always laugh a lot writing them. I did a series of articles on “Warhammer Pickup Lines” which in the second part featured a bunch of lines strung together to make a sort of battle report gone erotic novel. That one definitely made me laugh a lot.
If I had to pick an article that I thought was actually “good” though, I’d probably have to go with my article on being a better painter. It really is the culmination of a lot of basic knowledge that was hard-earned. I’ve also planned more painting tutorial articles that cover a wide range of techniques in detail. They’re taking a long time to write, but I hope the end result will be worth it.
9. Which rule would you like to see changed or removed entirely?
Death from the Skies and the entire “Dogfight Phase”. Also Eldar’s D Weapons (particularly the flamers) on infantry. They really should be only for Super-Heavies as intended when the rules were written. There is also some stuff with Psykers that needs to be sorted.
What really grids my gears though? The points cost for Chaos Cultists. Paying 1 point to “upgrade” to an autogun? Who wrote that rubbish!
10. Which of your armies is your favourite?
Chaos Space Marines, I love the background and the look (well, the newer units at least – the CSM box could do with an update). If you’re not as obsessed with them as I am, you should read the Night Lords books - the best of Black Library.
On the table top though, I like to play as Imperial Guard (Astra Militarum) the most. Nothing beats wave after wave of expendable men backed up with plenty of artillery.
11. Secret wargamer or loud and proud?
A bit of both really. I think I had an epiphany one day at work when a bunch of people were chatting around the water-cooler about how they never wanted to retire as they would have nothing to live for and would just “need one good holiday” and then they’d be ready to die. I almost pimp-slapped them silly for being the saddest bunch on losers I’ve ever heard.
I think you have to spend your life doing what you enjoy and not give a damn about what anyone else thinks. I don’t care if you like collecting sex dolls, or embroidered place mats, or both (he's on to me......- Mike), as long as there’s something that you find makes life worth living. I really couldn’t imagine having nothing to get up for in the morning except work. So, these days I’m not too secretive about it.
12. Any hobby tips or cheats to share?
Enter painting competitions. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a hope in hell; the point is to try and push yourself to learn new techniques and get better. I enter any I can and I honestly have become a better painter every time by pushing the boundaries of my ability and learning/attempting new techniques.
13. Tournament or Casual?
Definitely casual. I don’t really enjoy competitive matches; things seem to get too tense. That and people who play competitively tend to leave sportsmanship at the door and try to bend the rules to an annoying degree, argue over cover saves, and generally make things a bit too unpleasant for me as a leisure activity.
14. Nintendo or Sega?
Sega. I grew up with a Master-System. I remember envying everyone with a mega drive. I wanted to play Golden Axe so bad!
15. Xbox or Playstation?
Playstation all the way. I’m playing Blazblue Chronophantasma at the moment. It’s good Japanese practice for me too.
16. McDonalds or Burger King?
It has to be Burger King. I went to McDonald’s once as a child and hated it and I’ve never been back since. I think it’s the fear that Ronald McDonald might turn up in a clown costume that does it. When I was a kid he was in all the adverts like that and I remember really not wanting to go there.
17. Coke or Pepsi?
Sorry, I’m from the land of tea. Keep your heathen beverages! (although probably Coke).
Thanks to Blazmo for answering my questions, be sure to go and check out Tabletop Apocalypse.
If you have your own blog and would like to take part in Better Know a Blogger, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org