Armies on Parade


I entered my 28mm Inquisitor/Mordheim/Necromunda gang, the Desert Fathers, into Armies on Parade this year. It was a good project that pushed me to complete 18 models to a high standard, and improve my sculpting.  The loose theme was ‘desert pilgrims seek forbidden technology’. We had a 2’x’2 area to work with, but I always wanted to made a display board from a motherboard, so decided to keep it small.  We are also moving house, so small is easier to work with.

The motherboard is off an 18-year old Gateway PC (made in Ireland, pre-dotcom crash) and I recently decommissioned it. It was a fitting tribute to a venerable machine. Here’s the start of the project, with the models having base colours but no highlights. The board has had everything stripped off it.IMG-20180928-WA0002.jpg

I textured the board with plaster, PVA and  fine sand. Small amounts of cork were mixed with the sand to represent rocks. I tried to work this into the mobo as if sand and rust was working its way through the desert. I sealed this with watered down PVA. I then primed the board with grey car primer.

I then hand brushed cheap brown paint over the board. About 5 parts brown to 1 part black. trying to match Vajello charred brown. This fucking sucked, took 3 coats and a solid hour. Paint kept flaking off the primer. I would love an airbrush for this kind of work.

Then I brushed a mix of brown, red, yellow and earth over the brown. Still lots of bare patches, these were touched up by squirting thinned black and brown paint with a syringe into the cracks and ports of the motherboard. This gave the board some depth also.

I then drybrushed bugman’s glow, a ruddy flesh colour over the board. Then I worked up to off-white. When that was complete, I added red pigments.

I was not completely satisfied, and asked the kind people on 4chan /tg/ what could I do to improve it. They told me to add some colour variance, pools of oil, and a central focus to the board. The edge of the base should also be painted black to give the eye a ‘border’ for the piece. I added pools of oil with black paint and gloss varnish, little patches of lichen stained with black and brown, and white pigments.

Almost complete here, but still missing a central focus.


I added a chained hatch I had from another kit, then painted it to match the board, but with a purple glow. Then I shaded the area with washes and black lines to give depth. This board was now completed. The Falcon posed some stuff on the board while I was in the shower, which was an improvement. Here is a closeup of the hatch, with the smallest character posed to go down it:


The completed board.

Sadly I did not win anything, as someone turned up with an entourage to vote for them, and took second despite having an unpainted board. But I got to see some amazing stuff on display and talk with great sculptors.


Time management was good. Planned to finish this a week ahead of time, virtually complete on the Monday. Added the hatch on the morning of the event, but no rush to complete.  Good colours throughout. Strong highlights and some effective contrasts made this look less muddy. I learned to blend colours better, used a flow improve for hard highlights.

Less satisfied with the painting on some of the figures, my highlights are chunky and need refinement. Especially some figure painters are very ‘neat’ and ‘clean’ in competition. This helps the pieces pop more, and is something I would like to learn.



perfidious Samhain costume ideas

For perfidy, it’s hard to beat Daddy Dandalo:

Would go as this with my pal but he lacks the cobra-like traps of Enoch Powell:rivers_of_aryan_blood__enoch_powell__oswald_mosley_by_22st-db6lshu.png.jpg


Where ever you end up, please have a safe, Celtic Halloween, free from perfidy in all its forms.

12 rules of networking – RFC 1925

aka things that are not on the CCNA but only come after enough suffering. They apply to any profession that is not bullshit.

Network Working Group                                  R. Callon, Editor
Request for Comments: 1925                                          IOOF
Category: Informational                                     1 April 1996

                      The Twelve Networking Truths

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
   does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.


   This memo documents the fundamental truths of networking for the
   Internet community. This memo does not specify a standard, except in
   the sense that all standards must implicitly follow the fundamental


   The truths described in this memo result from extensive study over an
   extended period of time by many people, some of whom did not intend
   to contribute to this work. The editor merely has collected these
   truths, and would like to thank the networking community for
   originally illuminating these truths.

1. Introduction

   This Request for Comments (RFC) provides information about the
   fundamental truths underlying all networking. These truths apply to
   networking in general, and are not limited to TCP/IP, the Internet,
   or any other subset of the networking community.

2. The Fundamental Truths

   (1)  It Has To Work.

   (2)  No matter how hard you push and no matter what the priority,
        you can't increase the speed of light.

        (2a) (corollary). No matter how hard you try, you can't make a
             baby in much less than 9 months. Trying to speed this up
             *might* make it slower, but it won't make it happen any

Callon                       Informational                      [Page 1]

RFC 1925            Fundamental Truths of Networking        1 April 1996

   (3)  With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is
        not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they
        are going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them
        as they fly overhead.

   (4)  Some things in life can never be fully appreciated nor
        understood unless experienced firsthand. Some things in
        networking can never be fully understood by someone who neither
        builds commercial networking equipment nor runs an operational

   (5)  It is always possible to aglutenate multiple separate problems
        into a single complex interdependent solution. In most cases
        this is a bad idea.

   (6)  It is easier to move a problem around (for example, by moving
        the problem to a different part of the overall network
        architecture) than it is to solve it.

        (6a) (corollary). It is always possible to add another level of

   (7)  It is always something

        (7a) (corollary). Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick any two (you can't
            have all three).

   (8)  It is more complicated than you think.

   (9)  For all resources, whatever it is, you need more.

       (9a) (corollary) Every networking problem always takes longer to
            solve than it seems like it should.

   (10) One size never fits all.

   (11) Every old idea will be proposed again with a different name and
        a different presentation, regardless of whether it works.

        (11a) (corollary). See rule 6a.

   (12) In protocol design, perfection has been reached not when there
        is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take

Callon                       Informational                      [Page 2]

RFC 1925            Fundamental Truths of Networking        1 April 1996

Security Considerations

   This RFC raises no security issues. However, security protocols are
   subject to the fundamental networking truths.


   The references have been deleted in order to protect the guilty and
   avoid enriching the lawyers.

Author's Address

   Ross Callon
   Internet Order of Old Farts
   c/o Bay Networks
   3 Federal Street
   Billerica, MA  01821

   Phone: 508-436-3936

Callon                       Informational                      [Page 3]

The spiral of gainz

We have a choice in life, but we always adapt to the choices. Some descend, some ascend. I am trying to get into the light to graze the algae of the rocks of 21st century, as there are a lot of good things happening right now.

Coughing up the deposit on a house this weekend. 4 years of hard saving between the Falcon and I. It will be everything she owns and most of what I own.  Could be another few months before we actually move in, too. Still, it will be nice to have our own place and have the space for the Falcon’s sideline in baking. Plus room for kids down the line.

Recently read John Bunyan’s the Pilgrim’s Progress from 1670,  While it is definitely a Protestant text, I enjoyed the journey the character takes towards salvation and the different characters and challenges he faces. This made me think about my faith in dynamic terms, and as something one must have courage in and constantly fight entropy. Also recognizing that one is improved by change and hardship if you are configured for it. You can recognize many of the spiritual and moral perils today. We also based a miniatures RPG off the text, which was my reason for picking it up. As often in times of change in my life, I am reading the psalms and proverbs in the Bible.  They are going to be the basis of a new short story I am working on.

At the same time, I am reading the Devops Handbook, which attempts to apply some of the lessons of Japanese Lean manufacturing to software and IT operations. Lots of wisdom in this. We are deep in the downward spiral they identity. I can definitely recognize the characters and challenges outline in the book. A bit like Pilgrim’s Progress in that staying still to keep stability means you end up further behind as entropy fucks everything up.  Also espouses some antifragile concepts like keeping 20% in the tank, and changing things up to reveal weaknesses.

We also had the tail end of a tropical storm here that took power out to our block for 2 days. No one predicted it would be that bad, lots of trees down. Had food and candles here, and had relations nearby that we gave our frozen food to until power came back. Nice to get away from the screen and instead walk around talking with neighbors.

I started on antibiotics and a cream for demodex mites to take down the rosacea I’ve had for 2 years. Effects in a week were dramatic, it’s almost completely cleared. Only downside has I started getting a bit dizzy. First 3 days I felt a bit sick. Also cherbing with curcumin to control inflammation elsewhere. Made some difference, also less DOMS.

So things are starting to get better.



Mists of Mosney 06


“Aódhán Ó Ríórdháín, dead in one hit?” – bandit graffiti seen in Clontarf.

The Monk’s bandits are making a big push on all other factions in North Dublin: Duty, Freedom and Red O’ Neill’s clan. No one has ever seen them this well organised or armed before. Aódhán Ó Ríórdháín’s ‘Department of Zone Exploration and Research’ or DoZER for short is no exception. He’s pinned down in St. Paul’s College in Raheny, along with his stash. The bandits have linked him to the raid on the St Anne’s slave labour ring, and are out for blood and gold.

Can the party contain the bandits and rescue their comrade? And can they find out what’s triggered this onslaught?



There is war in the air as the party wait in Marino for the new DoZER recruit. There are distant gunshots as the Bandits manoeuvre through North Dublin, pushing hard for territory. The party will need to reach the DoZER base in the north in St Paul’s school, where they discovered the poltergeist, as the base is already under siege. The players get a ping on their PDA – 1 friendly and 3 hostiles. When they make it to the roundabout in the estate, it seems their newest addition has already been held up by bandits. Kenji, the new stalker, is trying to talk his way out of the fight. But Brownbag, the bandit lieutenant holding him up, isn’t having any of it. Brownbag is armed with a modern AK74 and has body armour, while his two pals have leather jackets and sawn-off shotguns.



The party decide to spread out and make themselves seem like the scouts of a bigger party: Trapper hides in the house and overwatches the roundabout with his new FN FAL (1d10 +2. Pen 2. Min 2 damage. 20 shots. Full auto for 10 shots. Reload 1 full action.) MC Geist hides in the woods and revs his chainsaw to intimidate the bandits. The Webber calls out the bandits, and asks them to let their friend go. Otherwise there will be blood when the rest of their group comes. Trapper attempts to snipe the leader but his rifle fails to fire (no round in chamber).

Brownbag is not intimidated as they have a platoon of 40-50 Bandits coming from the East, and the advance party take Kenji hostage. The Bandits hunker down behind the cars at the roundabout, and gunfire from Brownbag erupts as the tension spills into violence. The Webber takes a bad wound straight off despite hiding behind a brick wall and patches himself up for much of the fight, contributing some suppressive fire. In the confusion, Kenji is able to knife his captor and escape the grapple. However, Brownbag catches him and kicks him to the ground once more. Just before Brownbag shoots Kenji, Trapper puts an aimed shot into his back, taking him out of action with a serious injury. Kenji decides to turn the tables on the bandits, and patches up Brownbag to take a prisoner.

Meanwhile, Trapper initially has a good position for the fight, but he comes under machinegun fire from about 400m out from the advancing platoon, ripping up his cover. He is able to snipe the gunner to delay the assault thanks to his excellent scope, but the assistant gunner recovers quickly and continues suppressing Trapper whose position is now known, and the other stalkers. Meanwhile, the first two bandit fireteams of 3 men each begin to leapfrog from cover to cover, one shooting, the other rushing forward each turn, putting heavy pressure on the stalkers. MC Geist has been running from the concealment in the woods and prepares to throw grenades at the bandits who are now close by. Disaster strikes however, and his second grenade bounces off the bus in front of him, landing at his feet. He is able to dodge away, but Brownbag is killed in the blast. His other grenades extract a heavy toll on the advancing bandits.

The party decide now is the time to go and dump their magazines in the directions of the bandit advance before breaking contact and escaping the map. They may have killed or injured the entire first squad of the attacking platoon, but have used a lot of their ammunition and taken some bad wounds. As they break away, an emergency call for help comes from other Free Stalkers, lead by the O’Donnell, in the Clontarf rail yard – the bandits are making a final push to capture the hill and O’Donnell cannot hold without help. Briefly after, the party gets another emergency call from the Spinner – the Bandits have surrounded the school and he is cut off. The players must make the difficult choice to help fellow free stalkers or their own faction leader.


The party get to the rail station, and O’Donnell, the Tánaiste or second-in-command from O’ Neill’s group say the attacks are intensifying all week. No one has ever seen bandits this organised before, or in this many numbers. They report similar tactics to the earlier fight the party was in, which indicates someone is training the bandits. O’Donnell tells the party the only reason they have held this long are the deep bonds of loyalty O’Neill commands with the North Dublin stalkers and the pooled resources of the clans. O’Neill is moving to unite all the stalker clans for the push to Mosney, so he can save Ireland with the Wish Granter rumoured to be there, and O’Donnell asks the party to bend the knee and swear fealty. Once this attack is beaten off, O’Donnell promises to aid DoZER. O’Neill’s unified stalkers have 15 of their initial 50 dead or seriously injured, and many of the remaining stalkers are in a makeshift hospital. They have reinforced their position with trenches and revetments. They also have 2 prototype “GALLOWGLASS” exoskeletons (8 Armour, +20 to strength checks, double your carrying and lifting capacity, user cannot run, must be calibrated and fitted to the user) named for the ancient Gaelic heavy infantry, able to wield a machinegun like a rifle, and proof against most small arms. Against them, the bandits have light mortars firing on the railyard and two machine guns supporting the assaults.  There are perhaps two platoons out there. They are holding this section at the railyard to stop Bandits from surrounding Marino. If they hold this bridge, they can keep control of the turf and can persuade the Monk to stop expanding.  O’ Neill is away negotiating. The party resist the temptation to bend the knee to O’Neill, preferring to keep their freedom and help the Spinner. As they are moving away, a hulking figure in the GALLOWGLASS exoskeleton calls them back. It’s Avalanche, the stalker who showed them the ropes when they were rookies. He appeals to the party, says the Zone is changing, and O’Neill is the only one with the vision to save Ireland with the Wish Granter. Trapper and Kenji are stirred, and take up a safe position to help in the fight. MC Geist and Webber try to scout a way through the siege, and discover a secret pumping station tunnel from Furry Park to the back of the school.

The Bandits attack, and are thrown back once more. The players account for some high priority targets, but the toll on O’Neill’s stalkers is high. losing another 10 men to injury or death. The O’Donnell respects that the party stayed and fought beside their brothers, and sends Avalanche to accompany them to save DoZER.


Sunken tunnel

The party sneaks through the old pumping station. They find a decayed, partially eaten bandit, who seems to have been thrown around before being killed. They find his pistol, similarly battered, with only one round having been fired. Further down the tunnels, they uncover a rats’ nest in an old office. Past the office is a flooded cistern full of chemical anomalies. The way ahead is blocked until they discover a way to turn the power on, and open the floodgates. As a former electrician, the Webber is able to find a schematic for the pumping station, and figures the door will open if they can pump out the flooded sewage. They make a lot of noise by using grenades on the rat nest, and attract a mutant from deeper in the tunnels. The party wrestle with the surviving rats, throwing one into the chemical anomalies, generating an artefact.  The mutant is dwarf-sized and looks formerly human, possibly a failed experiment. They nickname it “Leprechaun”. It attacks with psi-blasts, attempting to wrench the weapons from peoples hands, and is protected by tough skin and a psychic forcefield able to deflect bullets. The party guess it is afraid of their lights, and rush to the backup power station. Meanwhile MC Geist goes temporarily insane from stress and attempts to attack Trapper and Avalanche. Avalanche and Trapper ready themselves, and tackle Geist to the ground. When he snaps out of it, he unlocks his latent personality: a former US president at the time of the Middle Eastern wars 2008 to 2016 when Geist was just a child.

The rest of the party get the power back, and the mutant retreats to the darkness. Webber recovers an artifact from the now-drained chemical anomaly. It spawned from the rat Trapper hurled into the pool. There, inside the rat, is a clear jelly about the size of a hand. The rat appears to be intact, but it is a surface-level copy. Further investigation shows the jelly has the ability to duplicate objects that are put into it, but these are “fakes” filled only with more jelly and have none of the properties of the original, apart from their appearance.


The party exit the tunnel for the final confrontation in St. Pauls.


Emerging from the tunnel, Trapper spots several bandits with his night vision. They get several pings on the PDA – looks like Áódhain Ó Ríórdáín is with friendlies. The party sneaks into the building, while a French SAFE officer by the name of Fabien Martel harangues the building through a loudspeaker, calling for their surrender, saying that the Zone is a deathtrap and there is nothing in Mosney worth dying for. When the party makes it to the offices above, Áódhain is negotiating Hugh O’Neill himself, and two of his GALLOWGLASS bodyguards. The Spinner will not surrender to either and bend the knee. Martel calls out O’Neill, calling him a traitor to the EU and a backstabber of their agreement. Seeing their time is short, Hugh makes a stirring speech on unifying Ireland and driving out SAFE and the Zone that any Gael must test willpower to resist. Any hardcore gaelic characters take a -20 to this. He plans to reach Mosney to wish for a unified Ireland free of foreign influence, restore the ancient Gaelic system tainistry and return to an agrarian, butter-based economy.

Downstairs, the Trapper and Kenji rig some traps to foul entry, and tie a string to the head of the statue that keeps the poltergeist contained. One of the players gets silhouetted against a window, and a jumpy bandit shoots. The SAFE special forces team leading the bandits is now outside and begins their assault, supported by bandits. The Webber tells them there’s a safe way out if they leave now, through the tunnels, and they agree to finish this later. The party grabs as much research as they can and they hightail it out of St. Paul’s college. As they escape, they unleash the poltergeist, delaying their attackers. Bar some stray shots, they make it back to the tunnels.


Deep below the earth, DoZER makes the case to O’Neill that they should be bannermen, not bondsmen. So they cannot swear fealty to him, as they need to be free to explore and research on their own terms. O’Neill is satisfied by this, and Trapper, who also seeks a return to the glorious, butter-based past, bends the knee to O’Neill. O’Neill uncases an artifact: a piece of bog butter, and with it anoints Trapper. Trapper swears a geas to never betray O’Neill, and and one of the conditions is he must always accept the hospitality of a Gael.


Incremental gains

I’ve been doing this for about 6 weeks now with some minor changes like chinups rather than pullups. Increasing the weights weekly rather than per workout. Was feeling pretty good with it. Two workouts a week, A and B. Supersetting the pressing and squatting movements to save time. Usually at 9 or 10PM. Notable increase in mood, popping boners frequently in morning.

My back has been tolerating it well, up until 2 weeks ago where a long bus ride fucked it up again. That inflammation is going down and I am starting back on weighted exercises.

Main goal is to keep strong, avoiding spine compression and shearing.


A Rep KG B Rep KG
DB reverse lunge 3×10-12 12.5kg pistol squat/goblet squat 5×3 BW/20kg
Glute bridge 3×10-12 Glute bridge 3×10-12
pushups/DB incline Bench 3×10-12 12.5kg DB Standing press 3×10-12 12.5kg
DB incline chest supported Row 3×10-12 22.5kg Dips 3×7
Pullups 3×7



Lifewise, going pretty good. Haven’t signed contract on the house yet, hopefully in coming weeks. Went for a promotion to a linux admin team internally, got it. Key to the job was showering less, shaving less, being less socially able and wearing more colorful tshirts. Talking about anime and tabletop wargames were key parts of the interview.

Seeing the Pope on Sunday. Woman is not coming – I have popezoned her.

Mists of Mosney 05

Party comes across Duty sentries lead by Sgt. Voodoo hiding from a sniper in the Clontarf railyard. They have taken a Freedom stalker by the name of Hunter prisoner, who was laying traps near the Duty base. There’s a Freedom sniper overwatching the position and they are waiting for dusk to move off. Hunter claims he was merely trapping mutants for food as the Freedom base is starving. He was also searching for a giant boar that is ripping the Freedom base apart at night. Duty accuse him of scoping out the Duty base. They have already burned his catch and are preparing to interrogate him back at base. The party decide to defuse the situation by offering to escort the wounded Hunter back to Freedom and let the Duty party move off. They succeed in convincing Sgt. Voodoo of their plan, and the sniper does not shoot when they emerge from cover with Hunter.
On the journey out to Marino Casino, Hunter is noted as a stalker who hunts and eats fleshes and boar mutants. and who could help the party learn survival skills. Thankfully no bandits or monsters are in the area as a heavy fog sets in. Hunter was sent out to catch an enormous boar that is ripping up the Freedom outposts, but he hasn’t found any leads.
The party meet the Freedom stalker Domino, who they met on the Dollymount strand before in the Skadovsk, telling tall tales about Freedom. The party reaches the Freedom base and it’s in bad repair. Domino vouches for the party and they are allowed to enter. People are low energy from hunger. Rumours are of a giant boar from the Botanic Gardens ripping up fences, knocking over outposts, scaring away all the deer. Civil war against Duty is going badly. There’s a smell of weed around the buildings, people looking red-eyed. In one of the corners of the base, there are gardens and plants and a terraced crater. A faction in Freedom are attempting to harness anomalies to grow new crops. MC Geist becomes suspicious of the Freedom fighters and wants to make sure they are not cannibals. He connives to try digging up a recent grave, but the Freedom stalkers are outraged. They surround MC Geist, preparing to lynch him. Only Hunter emerging from the hospital to intervene saves him.
Hunter walks them around the perimeter, says the walls are getting knocked down by something and their fences being torn up. The deer have all been scared away. This all happened about 3 months ago, when 2 of their best hunters, Kaz and Grigory when missing, The party follow the footprints a while to pick up the trail. But they notice the footprints aren’t fourlegged: wrong gait and spacing. This is a two-legged beast. And it’s radioactive, so much so that the party can follow the trail.
Hunter also has a personal request: find Kaz. He was a Freedom stalker who rejected technology more and more. Said he could walk through anomalies unscathed and artifacts fell into his pockets. But he came back to base less and less. He has been missing for 3 months when he ventured out to slay the giant boar.
They follow the trail to the overgrown Botanic Gardens, now known as the Dark Forest, but come across traps and brutally killed and eaten stalkers and animals. All with puncture wounds from large tusks. They waste bullets and bandages in the giant deadfall traps, tree trunks swinging down, pitfalls and sharpened spines whipping from the side and above. Clearly the giant boar in the area is intelligent enough to avoid these traps as they follow its footsteps. They get the feeling they are being shadowed as they get closer to the Dark Forest.
They approach a clearing in what was once a school basketball court but is now a lush jungle. They see a figure flitting through the trees, and the party are assaulted by wooden javelins. A powerful voice calls out a challenge to the intruders and calls them polluters of the garden who must die. They see a daubed mural to the theme of “the industrial revolution and the Zone as a consequence has been a disaster for the human race”. The human figure appears on a rooftop, massive: wielding a giant boar tusk. He is wearing a giant boar’s skull and has clad his feet in its hooves.
He has studded himself with “gravi” and “pin” family artifacts, giving him 2 armour. He is a hard target, with a -10 to hit with guns, -20 when he runs. He has set lots of primitive traps in the area, which between 1d6 and 3d6 damage. His giant tusk does 2d10 damage. His battle with the party is swift and brutal – MC Geist is taken out action twice and suffers a permanent brain injury. He seems very hard to damage, but the more perceptive in the party notice the artifacts are making him bleed heavily when he takes any damage. They are able to circle him and spread his aggression out between them.
When the monster appeared exhausted, Darragh Treacy spiked his helmet with a lucky concussion grenade and jumped away. The explosion decapitated the fighter and ended the encounter.
Deeper in the clearing, they find a truly enormous ribcage being used as a shelter. Its tusks and bones used for weapons. There is a burial mound there, and the party find the stalker suit and PDA of the legendary Freedom stalker Theo Kaczynski, known by the name KAZ in the zone. There is a book of fevered philosophical writings, and a journal of his descent into madness as he hunted the giant boar, eventually taking its life. But Kaz felt a duty to protect the forest from encroaching humanity, even his fellow Freedom stalkers. Mystery solved, the party returned home with some freshly caught boars for the Freedom stalker, and the artifacts recovered from Kaz’s body.
Jellyfish: Adds a +10 to your dodge when somone shoots at you. Will push you up a radiation bracket in 5 minutes of unprotected wear. A single pin is enough to counteract the radiation.
Formed in gravi anomalies, it’s known to redirect the path of moving objects, including bullets.