Sunday, July 10, 2016

Hobby Tool Review: Citadel Fine Detail Cutters

Citadel Hobby Clippers
If you're a hobby addict like I am, or if you have army ADHD like I do, you tend to spend a lot of time chopping, clipping, or gnawing bits of toy soldiers off of grey plastic sprues. When I first started playing miniature games, most models came in blister packs and you needed needle-nose pliers to bend foot tabs so they would stay in slotta bases. Sure, plastic models were available but if you bought them, you probably cut them off the sprues with an X-Acto knife. About the mid-90s I picked up my first pair of Citadel clippers and they have been faithfully freeing models from their plastic prisons for many years but they have become so dull that I was no longer getting clean cuts. So, I decided to splurge and buy a new pair of Citadel Fine Detail Clippers - which retail for $33 USD.

Holly surgical chainsaw, Batman!

Do you remember that first time you held an X-Acto knife in your hands? Do you remember feeling like you could cut through a car door because this was the sharpest object you've ever held? Using these clippers reminded me of that feeling.

The first thing I clipped was a Space Marine backpack and these things sliced and diced their way through the plastic with ease. These aren't just wire snippers, these clippers are two razor-sharp X-Acto blades with a pincer grip. I could probably shave with these things, they are that sharp.

Since I was used to muscling through with my old clippers, the Citadel clippers seemed rocket powered. I chewed through a box of marines in no-time and I was able to get close to the contact point and I saved a lot of time by not having to shave off burrs with my knife. I still filed down the seams and cut points with my files, but I estimate that these "cut" my working time by at least 10 to 20-percent.

My only real complaint is that the handles are really slick and could have used some extra tooling to form a texture grip or perhaps some rubber on the handles. My first few clipper jobs were a little precarious because my hands slid up and down the handles as I tried to get the blades into position and keep my digits out of the blades path.

There is a saying that floats around Games Workshop hobby products - "They are twice as good as anyone else, but cost twice as much as they should." While this may be true, I love these clippers and I recommend them to any gamer, even with the high price tag.

Also, I had a revelation recently. Space Marine "digital weapons" aren't just electronic, they go on your fingers... your digits. Digital-digital weapons.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

2016 Bugeater GT

A couple of weekends back, the wife and I made the trek to Omaha, Nebraska for the Bugeater Great Tournament. I've been to a few tournaments in Omaha before (Bellevue, actually) but this was my first Bugeater.

After my last GT, I wanted to change things up and bring a more competitive list, at least what I thought was be more competitive. I brought 3 knights, a batch of Eldar scatter bikes, and a Culexus assassin. The knight's Baronial Court is a nice formation, the Eldar jetbikes put out a ton of firepower and move well, and the Culexus was there for the librarian/daemon shenanigans. Good on paper.

My first round was against a fluffy Tzeentch Chaos Daemon army without Fateweaver. My dice were cold, ice cold but I managed to squeak out a victory. I probably would have lost in turn 5 and 6, but turn 7 left me with the win.

My next game was almost a mirror match- 3 Imperial Knights and some IG backup. I started off hot and blew up his home-made shield generator. For some reason, I totally forgot my rules and let my opponent tell me that my Gatling cannon only shoots 6 shots... and I let him bounce around in his shooting phase and firing his guns out of sequence. Those errors earned me a loss. I also played a little to conservatively with my knights and should have pressed in sooner. I think we only made it through turn 4...

In my third game, I faced an Eldar player with a bootleg Vampire (the giant 30 man transport.) It was a close game but I lost. He had a couple of straggler units that I couldn't finish off and he was able to claim more objectives than I could. It was a pretty demoralizing defeat but I ended up winning a Scarbrand in a door prize drawing afterward.

In my fourth game of the day, I played Curt and his Necrons, one of the local guys who also happened to make the trip. It ended being another loss for me, although the game was a lot closer than the final score bore out.

The next morning I was back for round 5 and faced my favorite game of tourney against an AdMech War Convocation. It was a fun game against a great opponent and it was a close one but I managed to take away a win because the game went into extra turns.

Since I'm working on my own Mechcanicus list, I had a lot of first hand knowledge of his force. That's been one of my detriments in playing these big tournaments - not knowing my opponent's force well enough. I have a lot of experience against the local guys but cut-hroat tourney lists are another matter.

In my last game, I played a kid that had a very fun Salamander army; he even converted a Knight out of a dragon/helldrake/action figure kitbash. My dice were super hot and his were ice cold. I can't say that I was a good general this match, but it did give me a 3-3 record, finishing in the bottom third of the bracket.

Also on a positive note, I also made the cut on painting. There were some amazing armies at this tourney and I knew I wouldn't win, but it was flattering to make into the judging table.