Monday, 1 February 2016

Problems with blogger

Hi everyone, hope you're all well. This is a bit of a departure from my normal hobby posts, I just wanted to highlight and discuss some problems I've been having recently with the blogger platform.

I recently decided to update the look of my blog and start some general clean-up of my blogger account. I was going to be deleting some old content, cleaning up some older posts and adding some static page content. Just a bit of spring cleaning, a fresh start for the year and to build some impetus to get back to regular blogging. But I've had some things hold me up:

My blog reading list:
There are a handful of blogs in my reading list that I wanted to remove, dead blogs, blogs I don't follow that closely anymore and some that have had their URL taken over and filled with spam/advertising etc. But I have been unable to access the "Manage my Reading List" cog for several months to be able to edit my list.

There is a work-around I found online, whereby I can access my Google Friend Connect list and edit from there and in some instances that was useful. But not all of the blogs I follow are through GFC so they don't show up on that list. Which still leaves me with several blogs stuck in my reading list that I cannot gain access to. And since you have something in the region of a 300 blog limit, it's kind of a problem having unwanted blogs taking up space in the list.

Also another problem with using the GFC follows next:

Google it seems is trying to enforce use of their products more again, there was a recent(-ish) update for blogger about there coming discontinuation of the Google Friend Connect gadget (yeah that little thing on the side over there that you can click to follow most peoples blogs).

Read about it here: - An update on Google Friend Connect

It also reveals on that update that they've removed all non-google accounts from your followers. So if you've seen a sudden drop in your blog readership, now you know why. They are recommending you ask your readership to sign up to a google account and follow you all over again.

I was already in the process of making a switch to Google+ integration on my blog, I'd just been putting it off because I actually liked having a username rather than using my own details.

And with GFC getting discontinued it means that I may very well lose the work-around I mentioned in the first problem...

To be fair this hasn't had a huge impact right now, I just thought it was an interesting thing to point out to you guys.

Post publishing issue:
A problem that I seem to keep having is posts not actually publishing to the public feed. I sometimes publish a post and it doesn't go up in the feed. Sometimes I have to make a couple of edits and re-publish and it goes straight up. Other times I actually have to create a whole new post, copy/paste the content to it and then publish that instead.

I'm not quite sure why this is happening, but it is really annoying.

(Ironically this will be the 3rd time I've attempted to publish this very post)

I've been wanting to get back to posting regularly, cleaning up my blog and getting everything in order was supposed to be the first step, but I've been getting quite infuriated with these problems.

I know they're not really that big of a problem in the grand scheme of things, just bloody annoying. But in time they could make it difficult for me to edit anything on my account and if it's going to be such a pain to manage/create/post content on here, I'm going to be less likely to want to do it.

I'm kind of wondering whether I do want to keep using blogger, or maybe switch to something like wordpress instead. It's not something I'm going to jump straight into, but I am definitely thinking about it.

Has anybody else been having any problems, or is it just me?

Anyway, rant over... For now...

Take care everyone, hopefully I can get some of these problems sorted out.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

As the year draws to an end. . .

My best wishes to all my followers whatever holiday you celebrate.

See you when the year turns.

Take care.


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Solitaire... The Path of Damnation.

(This is a post that has been sat in limbo for a couple of months)

A little while ago I took part in a challenge on Facebook. The challenge was to take the Mordheim special character Aenur, The Sword of Twilight (which many people had knocking around due to him being a freebie on a white dwarf cover) and just get creative with the base miniature.

For my conversion I decided to make an Eldar Harlequin Solitaire. I love the tragic destiny of the Solitaire, their curse for playing the role of the Chaos God Slaanesh, that their own soul is forfeit to that same god upon their death unless The Laughing God can trick them out of that prize. A lonely wandering figure ostracized from their own people due to the path they tread.

I did have a bit of a problem after agreeing to take part in the challenge, during the course of the time I was supposed to work on the figure Nurgle blessed my household. We had a major head-cold circulate several times around the family and I ended up in a zombie like state unable to focus on anything for longer than a few minutes at a time. I ended up doing the conversion and sculpting in the week leading up to the deadline and through sheer force of will painted the miniature that very evening (actually I was 10 mins late for the deadline due to having to take pictures, but I was let off).

My main inspiration for the conversion was this piece of John Blanche artwork:

I wanted to stay away from the oft used purples and pinks that usually signify Slaanesh, but I still wanted something that looked opulent. So I thought referring back to the main inspiration of Blanche's art would be best and go for the tried and true red, black, white with some gold detailing that much of his work uses.

With that in mind I looked for a bit more inspiration and found this Jokers Card to my liking:

So, with some inspirational images, a general idea of what I wanted to makea a dip into my bitsbox and the Asslessbits box (guess the bits JB) and my limited mental faculties at the time here is what I was able to come up with:

The Harlequin's Kiss was from my bitsbox (actually a badly damaged classic solitaire), I carved away the original right arm and hair and sculpted the hood and some shoulder pads from greenstuff

I textured the inside of the cloak with liquid greenstuff to look something like velvet (great for texture on models, naff at gap filling), I sculpted a smock over the elven clothing retaining the original belt, the studs on the thigh boot were carefully placed little beads from a water filter; and you can make out the bangle I fit around the left ankle which was the finding from some fine chain.

The Eldar-like backpack was sculpted and built from bits. I really enjoyed building up this detailed base, cork tile, baking soda and a small amount of sand to build up the earthen parts, then clump foliage for the mossy areas I used some dried roots here and there for scrubby plants with a couple of leaves to finish off. 

The painting turned out better than I thought it would at the time. I tried to keep the colours clean and rich as befits the Eldar. I'm not completely happy with the gold flame pattern, that's something I could really improve on in future.
The diamonds... What can I say... Major pain in the backside... I find patterns difficult at the best of times, never mind when I can barely see straight. I would like to practice more with patterns though, they look really nice once done.
The photographs don't really show it but I gloss varnished all the bone/white armour parts, the mask and the Kiss to give them an organic/warithbone look.

Overall I'm happy with the finished model. Not 100%.. But happy under the circumstances it was made and painted.

Let me know what you think, I may go back to it and clean it up a little more at a later date.

Take care.