homeowning = anabolic?

Multiple people reported I am looking juicier. Probably down to the pullups and dips. Up to 12 pullups on the bar now. Once I get to 15 I can start weighting them. 3×12 on the straight bar dips at the park too. The Falcon has barred me from doing anything gymnastic on the rings until I get a crashmat. She doesn’t want me dying.

Since stopping cycling so much, I dropped 2KG to 78KG. Legs lost a bit of size in the 6 weeks. Down to 20%bf based on scales. Can’t help but think weightloss has helped the body weight stuff. Looking forward to getting into the gym in the new job – will certainly help being able to row with barbells and maybe start squatting and deadlifting again, Ripptoe-willing. Back not too bad these days, trying to keep the hamstrings stretched and some glute isolation.

Garden is coming alive – pulled out a 1.8m weed there last weekend. Garden gets a great amount of sun as it’s south-facing – but I am cutting the back lawn too infrequently and having to hammer it. Left a large section wild for the bees and birds until last week. Front gets less sun, so it’s easier to manage. May have to go weekly on the back lawn. We now recognize the magpies and crows that come by. Still much to do. Supplementing with fish oil again, haven’t been getting that much sun as weather mixed. Good for grass, less good for IT workers.

Played a big Warhammer game recently and painted some pieces I had in the to-do pile for a long time. Happy with the results, think you’re always better off trying than not trying.

Nevertheless have been struggling trying to keep all the plates spinning between home, life and changing job. Should start getting easier soon.


Dark Heresy – Sinner’s Plague

In the first decades of the 41st millennium, the Sinners’ Plagues flared like pox-marks upon worlds of the Drusus Marches. It was a time of weeping, uprising, and apostasy, a riot of fear that brought death and corruption far beyond that of the Plagues themselves. The stricken suffered a rapid and dire mutation of twisted bone and misshapen growth within hours or days of contagion… warping of the mind soon followed that of the flesh.

The Calixian Ecclesiarchy called it the God-Emperor’s Scourge, preaching that the Plagues were a punishment for hidden corruption, the sins of the soul made manifest and apparent upon the flesh. False seers and cults arose, predicting the next victim world of the Plague of Sins Revealed.

A new Plague has plunged the hive world Teruxyne into hell. Teruxyne is a poisoned, cratered ruin now returning to the wild following the outbreak. There are scattered signs of civilisation: strange writings, broken tech–devices hung as waymarkers, and abandoned hovels amidst the trenches meant to contain the outbreak.

Lord Inquisitor Vail demands samples of mutant flesh corrupted by the original Plague so that Biologis Adepts may thereby confirm a new hypothesis on the nature of the Plague – that it is not divine vengeance, but the work of a heretic Adeptus Mechanicus scientist seeking to meddle with the sacred human genome to foolishly “evolve” humanity.

Armoured against contagion both spiritual and physical, your group will descend to the devastated colony hive of Teruxyne. They must return with mutant brains, intact within their skulls, for therein are secrets of the Plague for the Inquisition to understand and then purge.

-This was a game I ran last year in the Dark Heresy V2 ruleset. The seed for the scenario comes from the ‘Creatures Anathema’ sourcebook. Below are some rough points of progression for the adventure, arranged in the 5 Room Dungeon format which I favour for my games.

The theme is of twisted family. The setting is a ruined word.

Room 0 (note that this can be skipped and simple exposition from the stormtrooper commander will cover it): Briefed by Interrogator Null on the Inquisition ship “Pillar of Scorn” . As Null is a puritan, he despises mutants, and forces any mutated characters to kneel in his presence. The Ecclesiarchy preaches that the mutant should beg forgiveness for their sins of mutation, but many mutants rebel against this line of reasoning. Some mutants take pride in their deformities, dubbing themselves the next step in human evolution.

He briefs the party on their mission. Vail seeks to understand the plague rather than outright destroying it as would be best. But we must obey, for the Lord Inquisitor Vail knows what is best. Null should lead them in prayer, and asks them to meditate on the psalm “Twisted in flesh is twisted in soul“.

Plan is to get in and out fast – no idea how infectious it is, or what the planet is like. We have lost contact with the surface, but we can assume total collapse and roving hordes of dangerous mutants. As a mass die-off has happened, any living mutants are likely to be scattered, but our intel has noticed lights in one section of the former space port. This will be your target.

Each player will be issued an envirosuit which gives an additional 2 AP, but once the total armour is breached, it becomes useless unless repaired. Each player has one patch kit, which will repair the suit once. Any mutant or low class characters have a rubber suit and filtration plugs.

There is also the Brain Bucket, an armoured and chilled container that will preserve any brains. Contains about 2 litres.  AP 6. Any damage that exceeds the AP will destroy the device and contents. Beware blasts!

The plague is infectious with bodily fluids, or skin contact. Starts with local swelling and heat. Mutations begin within 3 scenes unless increasingly difficult Toughness tests are passed. Prayer and treatment will delay it, especially prayers of a “only in death does duty end” type.

Room 1 Threshold – The party are dropped from orbit in Valkyrie lander with 6 heavily armed and armoured Stormtoopers. Any party member should test toughness or vomit in their suit if they’ve never been orbitally dropped before. They should see a world returning to the green as the world regrows trees and grass. Piles of dead, and hideously beastial/insect roving mutants. Between the almost peaceful scenes of nature should be scenes of absolute horror that should inflict a few fear tests or insanity gain.  Snow is also falling, freezing some pools of the mutating liquid. The Stormtrooper commander can give the details from Room 0.

Spaceport is ahead – take some small arms fire coming in plinking off the armor, nothing serious. Easily suppress it with the Valkyrie’s rocket pods and cannons.

Until there’s a weapons lock from the spaceport… and the Corvus lighter goes down when hit with a krak missile. They wake some time later. The Stormtroopers are dead, only their commander clings to life but cannot be moved.

The mutant horde is coming, and the party must make decisions. These enemies should be animalistic, aggressive and have major mutations such as crab claws, fly heads, etc. And be coming in minutes to investigate the crash. Recommend an action scene here to grab interest.

  1. Fuel leaking, risk of fire.
  2. May not have suits on.
  3. Suits may be damaged.
  4. Unable to hold off their numbers.
  5. Ship may be salvageable – but it would mean letting the mutants defile it, a serious no for AdMech characters.

Around the crash site are small mechanical devices which twist in the wind making pleasant chime noises, or fill with water and then let it flow out. Seem roughly made, but not chaotic or demonic.

Many ways to solve it. A rearguard action is best. Let them party make the way from the crash site and to the trenches around the spaceport. Can possibly rig the Valkyrie to blow, or let the commander die heroically covering their retreat.

Room 2 Roleplay challenge– the trenches and the remaining Imperial Guard squad of 12 people. Ranking officer is a female corporal. This was a logistics element meant to entrench around the Hive and starve out the mutants. Running out of food, clean water and clear air.  They are waiting on evacuation, and have been for months. Their heavy weapons are jammed and almost out of ammo. Commissar recently became infected and is mutating,losing his mind in the bunker’s med bay. Wants to meet the transfigured they have seen. A face of such mercy and love. Rants and raves about the Golden One, tall and perfect. Says it surely is the Emperor made manifest, here to deliver them. You should raise the players curiosity about the Golden One. The bunker has lost its comms to Imperial forces in space.

Roleplay and puzzle is this: how to make it safely across the no-mans land? Dangerous inside this section of no man’s land, full of potentially thousands of mutants still in the hive.

Many options

  1. Rally the squad and storm across, risking casualties from the unexploded bombs, mines, wire and gun turrets. Hit the spaceport and try get off planet with a ship there, or raise comms with the Inquisition in space to request evacuation.
  2. Sneak and follow the Commissar that night as he goes completely insane to find the Golden One.
  3. Mention the patrols of children who seem sane, just hideously mutated, who come laying the devices. The Imperial Guard destroy them whenever they seem them.
  4. Or whatever the party decides.

Room 3 more of what the party liked:

Either way, it should lead the party to No Man’s land, but with a very different feeling based on the choices.

A no-man’s land that’s full of traps and danger. Possible they capture mutants here and decapitate them. But then the challenge is to get off planet. There should be a thread running through it that  the space port is the key.

But there are lots of spooky machines and explosive, and primitive traps. Good time to run down their resources and spook them? A few mutant abominations will definitely do that.

Have 3 kids with a wheelbarrow in a crater – choice about fighting or following them. Raise tension by forcing them to be quiet. Enemies in the area will converge on gunshots or the children’s screams.

Should be ruined church, things written in the trenches like  “Safe Passage this way to the Golden One” pointing to the Spaceport.

Room 4 Climax

The enemy is now seemingly aware of the brain bucket and will attempt to capture or destroy it. Any mutations picked up in the first scene probably begin to show, delaying and crippling the party. Some more traps or unexploded bombs can increase the tension. There is a final obstacle of the spaceport wall, which cracked open and had lots of cover, but the insides are manned by gun servitors which move slowly but can kill/seriously wound the players if they are exposed. Have mutants pursue if you need to put pressure on players.

Room 5 Twist:

Confronting the Transfigured and the mutant children in the “playground” the Golden One created. At this point mutations should have appeared.

Takes the form of a crude yet ingenious lab. And a playground for the mutant children to practice their skills on.

If the brain case was destroyed, they’ll have to improvise.

They will be able to call reinforcements from the lab, and the automated turrets are now at their control. The Transfigured is patient zero, and he/she is a techpriest who intentionally infected themselves with the virus. They will try reason with the party, and they are keen to get off planet. The

The Transfigured should give 21st century love and peace arguments. Knows it’s the clearly evolved form of humanity. Wise. beautiful, unnaturally smart. Creates the small windchime devices to control the Winds of Chaos from corrupting the planet. This appears to be working…

He should also try recruit any mutated players. Potential responses for players.

  • 41st century violence.
  • Keep quarantine and evac.
  • Surrender to the “future of mankind”
  • Start calling in orbital strikes if everyone corrupted.
  • Convince the Golden One to surrender it’s brain for the good of humanity.

touch a little PERL

I got a new job after a few weeks of looking. It’s a 20% pay increase, but a 15 minute drive compared to 80-90 minutes on the tram and walking. Also avoids the weekly near misses on the bike. I’m going to miss the place, it’s been easily one of my favourite jobs on a world-class team of engineers. Going to miss our Warhammer club and talking about Gundam, but many of the people that made the place great had already left. So it’s best to leave at the height of the party.

I had interviews in large global companies, but didn’t feel like I’d fit in there. I found them very happy clappy and I know I struggled being in Big 4 where you were asked to be excited and on brand all the time. This one’s a smaller Irish company, needing both cloud and on premises support. Should be good and will give me another 4-6 hours in the week that’s not spent jammed into someone’s armpit on the tram.

I suppose I’m hitting the 4 year mark on being in IT and my career is taking off. But as my first boss predicted, you have to re-learn everything every 5 years to stay current. That’s starting to happen now for me. So things are looking good, but also less certain.

In the house, we have a a friend living with us, got a job in the Falcon’s company. The Falcon has lost 5KG walking to and from work and using the Noom app. I laid some concrete to try patch the cracks in the pavement. I can do a full revolution on the rings, not quite getting the german hang, still a way off the full skin-the-cat. Back up to 10 pullups on the bar and 10 dips on the bars.

Painting a lot.

Some base colours on Warhound Titan 1

I primed these gray with automotive spray primer, then airbrushed black, then GW leadbelcher air, then washed with Vallejo Black Wash. I picked out details with GW Balthazhar Gold, then washed with Agrax Earthshade. Once that was dry, I applied 3 thin coats of GW Mephiston Red and GW Rakarth Flesh with a brush on the panels. I am not looking for a perfect finish on these, I want to keep some brush strokes on there to give texture.

I’ll probably wash the panels down with red and sepia, then stipple on some highlights. Then I’ll paint the base and eyes. Will probably go jade green for the eyes or teal. These are Legio Atarus colours, if you are into Warhammer at all. Chosen more as I like red and flesh colours.

After a few weeks of training and stretching, I was able to get the first progression for the “skin the cat” gymnastic move with bent arms and bent legs, getting about 50% of the rotation in. I am going to keep progressing this by trying just the rotation from an inverted hang much closer to the ground before touching down with my feet to achieve a German hang.

Terrible to hear about Notre Dame, visited two years ago, but glad the incredible relics there survived. Many cathedrals burn down every few centuries, but survive and get rebuilt. Just hope they don’t put in a McDonalds or something.

Airbrushing 1 month experience

Group shot

I had always wanted to try the Warhammer 40k 6mm/1:285 scale game Epic 40k. The re-release last year of Adeptus Titanicus definitely fired me up for starting it. Building the big Titans took a while, and I wanted to paint them as best I could. So to help upskill, I bought an airbrush while I was in the US and started painting some MDF terrain, which had a bit of a learning curve to dilute paint appropriately and not get tonnes of overspray. Nevertheless, I was happy with the results and improved my spraybooth with an extractor fan, which vented out a window. Much less overspray and dust knocking around now.

My next step was to try paint up some 6mm minis, which I got from Vanguard Miniatures: https://vanguardminiatures.co.uk/product-category/defeat-in-detail-6mm/cybershadows/ . They are remaking much of this line, and the new stuff is really detailed.

I primed them gray with automotive primer, then sprayed them black, then sprayed 5 thin coats of Vallejo’s Bloody Red, a light red colour. I then painted metal and gear black with a brush, then painted the metal GW’s Leadbelcher. Once that was done, I washed the mini bottom up with a slightly thinned black wash from Vallejo. I then hit the lenses, plasma coils and pipes with turquoise up to white: Sotek Green, then Temple Guard Blue, then 80:20 white and Temple Guard Blue mix.

I am fairly pleased with how they turned out. Not sure if I would have started a deeper red, then highlighted up, but that could have looked very drab when the minis are so small. So I decided to go bright and unified for a disciplined look. I have another 70 to go of the small figures.

The biggest issue so far has been trying to spray metallics from the airbrush, which has dried on the tip and sputtered the paint over the surfaces. Some flow improver will help this, rather than just thinner. Next post will have some pics of the Titans themselves. At the moment, they are just a dark steel colour.

Life-wise, I am not lifting but the outdoor pullup bar and rings has helped me stay mostly pain free up until the last week of bad weather when I couldn’t get out. I am cycling between 60 to 100KM a week to work and starting to get pretty stiff and saddle sore after all the sitting at work and then sitting painting tiny men the height of a rice grain. So I’m picking up some dumbells and seeing a physio. House is good. Job situation is bad as many people have left/been fired after a financial disaster. That’s stressful. Wedding planning going well.