Tuesday, 12 January 2021

First Few Posts of New Year Posted On Wix Website

The first few postings of 2021 are now up on the new Wix website. These include a Top Ten of my most popular painted figures over the past twelve months by Roger 'Dick Garrison' Webb of "Rantings From Under The Wargames Table" fame, and the first couple of "Atomic Mass Games" 40mm super-hero models I've finished to use for Marvel Crisis Protocol.

In addition, I've posted up the first of a series of "Blake's Seven" Battle Reports featuring my "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" miniatures. This ongoing campaign will depict both Roj Blake and the Federation's battle against a mutating alien virus.

Lastly, I've started porting across the January 2019 postings from this blog over to the new Wix website. Please click the link below to pay me a visit and see all the changes for yourself.


Sunday, 4 October 2020

Few More Posts And Projects Section On New Wix Website

Both an Updates and Projects section have been added to the new Wix website
I've put a few more new postings up on the new Wix website, predominantly covering this month's planned Zomtober entries and some "Black Tree Design" Doctor Who finished miniatures.

I've also created a Projects section which can be accessed via the website's title menu. This will lead to a page dedicated to the past six month's painting projects, and record my progress. You can click on a finished miniature and will be taken to the posting covering its completion. I hope to have more projects added as time progresses...

In addition, I've put together a short Updates summary section at the top of the Wix website to also provide updates as to how the new Fantorical is going. My intention is to regularly update that area and then copy over the text to this old blog weekly.


Monday, 28 September 2020

Few More Posts And Updates On New Wix Website

More "Alternative Armies" Elementals Have Been Added To The New Wix Website 

With a couple more new postings of finished miniatures having been posted up recently on the new Wix website, I've started the lengthy task of transferring some of my earliest articles across as well - starting with a retitled Monthly Musing from 2010, which focuses upon a 15mm Napoleonic "Black Powder" project I started (and disappointingly never finished).

I have though been somewhat hampered in my efforts by Blogger suddenly reverting to pure HTML whilst I'm looking at my pages' content, randomly realigning my paragraphs and haphazardly changing the fonts of previous postings...

In addition, the top of the website now contains links to this (old) Blogger site and a brief summary of "Fantorical" since its start as a printed 'fanzine' way back 2003. Going forward the plan is to create some more of these additional pages covering subjects such as purchases, "Kickstarters", shows and painting projects.


Wednesday, 23 September 2020

First Post Up On New Wix Website

"Alternative Armies" Lesser Air Elementals Join My Earth and Water Elemental Units 
The first post for the all-new Fantorical website housed on Wix is up, so please do come pay it a visit here:


All of 2020s postings are now available, and over the next few months I'll be porting across the vast majority of my other postings during the past decade on Blogger. The good news is that Wix allows me to post-date my articles, so instead of overrunning my main feed with old posts, they'll simply slip onto the site in the background and be there to view should a trip down memory lane take your fancy.

Not all my posts will be coming across, and some will be combined so that they better fit the six paragraph style I currently use. For those interested I'll continue to provide some updates here on Blogger regarding what is coming across, as well as some of the other updates Wix seems to offer as an actual website (e.g. An About page, and Projects page).

Monday, 21 September 2020

"The Future's Bright..."

"...The future's Wix."

After a weekend tinkering with Wix I'm pleased to say that Fantorical has definitely found itself a new home and over the coming weeks I'll be busy shifting across the majority of this blog's thousand plus postings over to that platform instead.

Why Wix?

Wix has a series of easy-to-use templates with which to create a website from scratch. In addition it also has a Blog page, which acts like a normal blogging platform with posts and tags etc. This makes posting really simple with the platform automatically positioning my pictures, text and captions. The platform also offers a lot more options once you start using the Wix editor to make your own templates. I haven't spent too much time on that yet, but it contains gadgets such as Popular Posts and Labels just like Blogger has.

Wix also seems to allow me to post bigger and better quality pics, so I'm hoping that'll encourage me to produce more Battle Reports. On Blogger these were always a very time-consuming type of post. But having now successfully transferred a few of this year's BatReps over to Wix it seems clear that the platform makes them extremely easy to configure and upload.

How Different Will Fantorical Look On Wix?

As I'm currently using a quite generic template on Wix, Fantorical will look a little less colourful to begin with. I rather like the snapshots personally but the background is too white and somewhat sterile-looking. However, the posts can now be broken down into Categories, so at the top of the page I plan to offer the option of subjects such as Finished Figures, Battle Reports, Wargaming Shows, and Monthly Musings.

What Is Being Transferred Over To Wix?

The vast majority of my postings on Blogger will be moving across to Wix over the coming months. This week's goal is to get all of 2020's articles across and then start posting new content regularly once again. I also aim to bring across my posts from 2010 onwards, as well as some articles from my earlier blogs/painting diaries. Obviously, these will come up on my main feed too, but will clearly be labelled under the category 'From The Vaults' or some such. Personally, I'm always fascinated by my ambitious projects from the past and seeing just how much I accomplished once a new 'shiny' arrived to distract me.

Disappointingly, the comments won't be coming across. I'm a bit gutted by this as I think this is the most important part of Fantorical - where we can discuss thoughts, opinions, suggestions, help, recommendations and advice. I did consider maybe taking a snap shot of the comments and adding them to the relevant post. But that seems a lot of work when the discussions will remain for all to see here on Blogger if anyone is that interested in a five-year old conversation.

What Will Happen To Fantorical On Blogger?

I've no intention of taking Fantorical down on Blogger, and indeed, for the foreseeable still intend to post updates (such as this) on the site. I'll also be signposting visitors to my new posts on Wix when they start.

I do plan on maintaining my comic review site "The Brown Bag" on Blogger until the end of 2020, before shifting that across to Wix. The postings on that are reasonably straightforward, so I'm hoping I'll be able to struggle through until Fantorical is fully ensconced on Wix. The thought of moving two sites over to Wix simultaneously was too much for me to contemplate...


Friday, 18 September 2020

"We Interrupt This Transmission..."

"...For an important announcement."
Sadly, Blogger has decided to withdraw the Legacy Button on its platform and as a result I don't plan on using it to produce many more posts for the foreseeable future. I simply cannot stand the new version as it takes me at least four times as long to do anything, and then it still seemingly corrupts fonts and re-formats my postings for no obvious reason.

Indeed, having looked at a few of my older posts, the new Blogger seems to have altered them too, and the thought of going through my backlog of over a thousand posts to see what its altered isn't something I'm willing to do.

I will try and persevere with the new format but certainly won't be posting three times a week anymore - unless the Legacy Button makes a most welcome return. I'll also be exploring other platforms like Wordpress and Facebook as an alternative.

Thanks for visiting and I hope to still comment on people's blogs. But frankly this has really sucked the enthusiasm out of the hobby for me... 

UPDATE: I'm uploading/re-editing my 2020 posts on "Wix" to see how well it works. Please drop by to see how its going at: https://blaxkleric.wixsite.com/website

Monday, 14 September 2020

"Mudmen Are Formed In Pools Of Mud..."

"...Where enchanted rivers collect and evaporate and concentrate the dweomer."
These ten 15mm scale metal miniatures of some Lesser Earth Elementals are produced by “Alternative Armies” and can be bought either separately as blister HOT88 Lesser Elementals or as part of the company's pre-made twenty-four point strong HOTT1017 Elemental Army pack. The diminutive sculpts count as a Horde for "Hordes Of The Things", with five figures sitting quite snuggly upon a 40mm x 30mm base.

To begin with, each model was super-glued upon a wooden baton to help my brush-tip better reach all their details, and were primed in two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna. The Mudmen were then washed in "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade, before being dry-brushed with (more) "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna.
"Because they are creatures of magic, mudmen are sometimes called dweomerlings."
I did consider subsequently applying a lighter tone to the diminutive figures so as to highlight each sculpt's smooth details a little bit more, perhaps by giving them all a fleeting touch of "Vallejo" Heavy Brown. But I soon realised that I had a bigger problem to solve first because the Strong Tone Quickshade seemed to have acted like paint stripper on all the Lesser Elementals and disconcertingly disintegrated their base layers down to the bare metal.

As a result I had to reapply two more coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna to all of the miniatures and reapply the "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade once again. This time whatever chemical reaction had occurred before failed to materialise, so I swiftly gave them a (second) dry-brush of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and thought it best to leave the brutes well enough alone...
"The Power Of Kroll" WIPs - A Swampie Warrior, Rohm-Dutt and Ranquin
I therefore simply 'snapped' all of the Mudmen off of their painting sticks, and super-glued them onto some pre-cut plastic bases I bought off "eBay". Admittedly, "Alternative Armies" do supply the necessary bases for the figures as part of their HOTT Army packs. However, the resin stands are a bit chunky for my liking, and I was keen to maintain the aesthetic established by my previously painted "De Bellis Antiquitatis" forces.

Finally, having recently watched several viewings of the 1978 "Doctor Who" adventure "The Power Of Kroll", I have assembled and based my collection of Swampie Warriors by "Black Tree Design". This is by far my favourite of the "Key To Time" stories, so I was rather pleased to discover I also own figures of the Swampie Leader, Ranquin, and the traitorous gun-runner Rohm-Dutt too.