morsla: (Default)
Kinda busy this week - there will undoubtedly be a bit of lag on replying to emails, checking messages, etc.

Settlement for our house is happening today, and I spent yesterday chasing up last-minute problems with paperwork and finance. The vendor is charging penalty interest for the delay, so we'll try to get some money out of St George as the mistake was theirs. Right now, my bank account is empty.

The Business Plan entry is being assembled today, and is due by 9am tomorrow. We've spent the last three days on it, and have overhauled a lot of content. I have one more bit of industry research to write up, and then I'll spend the rest of the day working in InDesign.

Marketing brief and press release are also due tomorrow.

~320 pages of interview transcripts need to be read before the Small Business project meeting on Thursday. I'm putting my long train trips to use, looking for themes and quotes from the data.

Project summary for Small Business project also due on Thursday, for our progress report.

Briefing day for the Business Plan presentations is held at Ernst & Young on Monday 7th. I'm becoming the official "team leader" as I'm a full-time student. That also makes me the lead presenter, so I'll be fielding the majority of our questions.

30th Birthday is on Saturday 12th! Never have I felt older than in the past two months. Haven't organised anything yet - will try to wrangle something next week.

Business Plan presentation materials due by Friday 18th. These will need to be in earlier than that, as I won't be in town then...

In Brisbane for GenCon from Thursday 17th - Monday 21st. I'm running Warmachine demonstration games on Friday and Sunday, and playing in a timed tournament format on Saturday. Louise is running a freeform on Saturday afternoon. I forsee much Arkham Horror, cocktails and good beer during the evenings.

Business Plan presentation is from 3:15pm - 3:45pm, Monday 21st, followed by a media interview. We present to a panel of eight judges, all of whom are professional investors. Apparently I'm supposed to wear "corporate attire," though I don't actually own any such clothing.

I also need to re-book my flight back from Brisbane, as I'm currently due back in Melbourne after our presentation starts...
morsla: (lookin)
Bad: The bank (St George) claim to have never received the original copies of our FHOG application form. They also didn't mention this until yesterday; too late to get a replacement to them in time for settlement. This means they didn't approve the loan in time, and we will not be making settlement on the house today.

Good: Our conveyancer has rescheduled settlement for next Tuesday, and the mortgage broker has express-posted a new copy to the bank.

Bad: Currently waiting to hear back from the vendor about whether they'll charge penalty interest for the overdue payment. Two days doesn't sound like much, but interest charged on the cost of a house is painful - especially when we've tapped out our finances getting this far.

Good: My team made it through to the finals of the RMIT Business Plan Competition. We now have four days to revise and update the document. The finalists then give presentations on September 21st, which are used to determine the winners.

Bad: I'm not due to arrive back from Brisbane until 15min after our presentation starts. I need to find out whether I can re-schedule my Virgin Blue flight, or if I have to buy a new ticket... unfortunately I bought the cheapest ticket option, so all options are going to be expensive.

Good? I'd like to do some kind of birthday-ish thing next month, as my 30th conveniently falls on a Saturday. Organising something amongst the raw elemental chaos of the next few weeks will be a bit tricky, but I'll figure something out.

I'm beginning to realise why I've had so much trouble sleeping over the last two months.

Here's hoping we win the Business Plan competition :) I think my share of the prizemoney will go on medical bills and a bottle of Bushmills. Some time in 2010 I'd like to schedule in a quiet moment to lie down for a bit.
morsla: (Default)
I always seem to lose a week after travelling anywhere. GenCon Oz finished a week ago, and the last week has been full of catching up on work. I've mostly managed to dodge the post-convention cold, but [livejournal.com profile] aeliel wasn't so lucky.

I really enjoyed the trip to Brisbane. We booked a two-bedroom apartment between four people, so we had our own kitchen and a living room for after-con games. I've now become addicted to Arkham Horror after several late-night games... however I managed to resist the urge to buy my own copy at the convention, as my luggage was bulky enough without adding boardgames for the return trip.

Most of my time in the convention centre was spent running demo games at the Privateer Press booth. The con had attracted media coverage on TV, radio and in local papers, and we had a huge number of non-gamers come through to take a look. I ran roughly half my demo games for people who had played other miniatures games (Warhammer etc), and the other half for people with no miniature gaming experience at all. The stall sold ~60 copies of the Warmachine rules, all of them to new players who bought a pile of models. Not bad for a first-run convention, where the retailers were hoping to just break even.

For the last three weeks I've been frantically painting up models for the Warmachine 'Hardcore' tournament - the first official one to run outside the USA. The tournament games were very challenging - strict 7min turns, with five 56min games run back to back. I placed in the top half of the field (three wins, two losses), but I was mainly competing for the Master Craftsman (best painted) medal. After five games my brain was leaking from my ears, but I was very happy when Kel announced that I'd won the prize :)

Overall, a good trip. The convention still has plenty of areas to improve for next year, particularly relating to registration and event tickets, but the organisers seem to be doing a good job of addressing comments and feedback from the people who went. I'll certainly be going back.

Glurrgghh

Nov. 13th, 2007 10:04 pm
morsla: (alchemist)
I've dodged the last four or five bugs that [livejournal.com profile] aeliel has come down with, but I've managed to end up with a sinus infection all on my own. Either that or I'm experiencing the same run of illnesses, a month out of synch - in which case, I may be in for a few weeks of pain.

I can't hear or speak very well, so I spent the day shaking my fist at the monitor in silent rage. This week's work involves wrestling eleven Quark files into InDesign... tricky at the best of times, and not made easier by the hundred-odd "tables" dotted through the book. They've been built with boxes and lines, superimposed over text that was pushed into position with the spacebar and tab keys. The mind boggles...

In other news, there's apparently a photo of me wearing a skull-and-crossbones bandana in this month's No Quarter magazine. The Gencon painting contest winners are all in there, and apparently there are a couple of photos of my entry. Apparently, after four days of convention I was tired enough to let someone point a camera at me.

Also, if you own, maintain or live with a nerd (programmer or otherwise), take a look at the Nerd Handbook. You might learn something about what makes them tick...
(link courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] psuedonym777 and [livejournal.com profile] halloranelder)
morsla: (alchemist)
These are the models I took over to Gencon. I painted them over two evenings, trying to keep to the colours used in the Infernal Contraption artwork. They turned out well, although my picture-taking leaves a bit to be desired :) I seem to have focussed on the bases, leaving the models a bit out of focus...

Lots of fun painting the rusty metals. I took some plastic gears (from an old printer, I think) and sprayed them black, brushed on a solid coat of silver, and gave them a few layers of matte medium + paint. I've mainly used Battlefield Brown and Bloodstone, from the P3 range. Bloodstone is a very handy colour - it's the orange-brown that appears in the midtones. On larger areas, I used a bright orange to highlight the rust.

http://www.purple-mantis.com.au/gallery/warmachine/ic-mechanic2a_thumb.jpg http://www.purple-mantis.com.au/gallery/warmachine/ic-alchemist2a_thumb.jpg http://www.purple-mantis.com.au/gallery/warmachine/ic-gears2a_thumb.jpg http://www.purple-mantis.com.au/gallery/warmachine/ic-steam2b_thumb.jpg http://www.purple-mantis.com.au/gallery/warmachine/ic-voltaic2a_thumb.jpg


Bigger pictures under the cut... )
morsla: (Default)
Sorry about the lack of updates - Indianapolis was full of eight million things to do, and I didn't find an internet cafe anywhere on my travels. I'm back in Chicago now, where the internet isn't just something for the iPhone users...

GenCon was just as huge as the stories say... 33,000 people at the convention, more trade stands than you can shake a truckload of gaming books at, and some surprisingly good food and drink at the brewpubs. I broke the "don't eat food larger than your head" rule with my first entree plate, and discovered that a pint of Bodger's Brew black lager goes well with any and all foodstuffs. I also discovered that it was crawling with Australian gamers... small world, innit?

I only entered one gaming tournament (WM Nationals), and was out in round three (8am Melbourne time, which my fatigue levels were still running on). Only part of it was tiredness, though - those Americans play a cutthroat game, and I'll have to sharpen up a lot more if I ever come back for another one. Still, Ed and I learned a few things about how to run the Australian Nationals next year, which was the main point in entering the tourney.

I didn't win the speed painting contest either, but apparently "that guy" up the far end of my table was actually Jeremie Bonamant - French superpainter, and a special guest at the convention. No shame in losing to a master :) Apparently the speed painting contest appeared on the GenCon video blog, as I've had a couple of people email me about seeing a blurry figure in a red Parkour shirt sitting at the table.

I'd like to tell you that the video is blurred from the speed I was painting at, but in truth I'd missed breakfast and was running on an hour's sleep - so my hands were a little shaky :)

Jeremie's painting class has given me a lot to think about - I took his Colour Theory workshop on Friday evening, and found out a few ways to borrow tricks from the classical oil painters. Best event at the convention, as my event lineup went.

I also won the Bronze trophy in Privateer Press' painting competition (unit category). I've never entered something with such a high level of competition, and I was hoping to just make the first shortlist... now I have a skull-and-crossbones trophy to find space for on my desk, and some models showing up in the next issue of No Quarter. Good stuff!

Finally found Hugh and Andre on the last day of the convention, talked briefly and then had to run off to run some demonstration games at the Privateer booth. Hugh offered to take my spare bag back to Melbourne, earning my eternal gratitude as it saved me from posting it back to Australia. With the addition of the resin Privateer trophy, I wasn't sure how on earth I'd pack it all safely enough to survive a USPS delivery run...

Scott, Lon and Alex headed off to New York this evening, and Ed hit the road after we left Indianapolis. I've slowly started to learn my way around downtown Chicago, courtesy of a map with an in-built compass (Best Invention Ever). Scott and I spent many hours in the Adler Planetarium today, and all sorts of game concepts have started to grow in the back of my mind. I just wish I'd picked up the "When The Stars Are Right" shirt at the convention.

Now all I need to do is fight the urge to slip Mythos-related misinformation into the Field Museum and Deep One breeding facility Aquarium exhibits (hey, the roofline is even carved with waves, tentacles and eyes) and I should be fine :)

Landfall

Aug. 15th, 2007 10:00 am
morsla: (Default)
It's a strange thing, flying East across the Pacific. Flying out, the sun is high. As hours pass, the day ages prematurely - afternoon becomes evening, evening becomes night. The plane plunges into darkness, crossing the Date Line and emerging into the light of yesterday's dawn.

From Melbourne to Sydney, to LAX, checked out through customs, checked back in for my connecting flight, on to O'Hare in Chicago, and then via the CTA Blue Line to downtown, took almost thirty hours. After reaching the hostel, I headed out for a walk to clear my head and find something to eat. I got to bed around midnight, local time - probably midafternoon Melbourne time, after a night's missed sleep.

Now I have to find Union Station, catch a bus to Indianapolis, and hope that Alex, Lon, Ed and [livejournal.com profile] mousebane manage to get there as well. I think I'll be arriving about three hours ahead of the others, which gives me a bit of time to lug my bags around and get lost a couple of times.

I'd like to think that Indy will be cooler than Chicago (it's 86F here), but I doubt it. Four days and thirty thousand gamers (that's sixty thousand armpits, give or take a margin of error for the mutants) means I'll be praying for cold, or at least for good airconditioning :)

I'll probably write again when I get back to Chicago. Hope all is well, back at home. I'm missing [livejournal.com profile] aeliel already, but otherwise I've survived the trip over here intact.
morsla: (Default)
Well, I managed to get a handful of GenCon events after two hours waiting to reach the checkout... most of Jeremie's painting classes filled in the first two minutes (I tried at 12:02 PDT) but I think I have a pretty decent schedule.

Thursday:
Warmachine National Open - Qualifiers
Seminar: Professional miniature painting

Friday:
Privateer Press speed painting contest
Sculpting workshop with Tom Meier
Colour theory workshop with Jeremie

Saturday:
Sculpting faces with Matt Gubser
Information session - 40k RPG
Sculpting dragons with Matt Gubser

Sunday:
Privateer booth + possible finals for the painting or National Open events

The sun has now risen, so it's time I ran off to training...
morsla: (Default)
I just had a look through the GenCon event schedule, and I have a slight problem. Completely ignoring the many thousands of games at the convention, I've been looking through the 150-odd painting and sculpting seminars. I think I want to go to all of them... colours with Jen Haley, glazes and colour theory with Jeremie, sculpting with Tom Meier...

Unfortunately, I would need an army of clones to cover all the classes and seminars. Due to air-travel logistics, I'll have to procure said army after reaching Indianapolis. Failing that, I'll just drink so much coffee that time slows down to the point where I can run to every class at once.

I've been painting pretty solidly since Tuesday night, making up for lost time. Over the last couple of weeks, endless repetitions of near-identical figures ground all the fun out of painting - leaving me wondering why on earth I accepted the commission work that's currently on my desk. To break the tedium, I started on something completely different: four Trolls from Privateer Press. A change is far better than a holiday, in my case - it reminds me of the reasons why I like this job.


The life of a painter is divided into two parts: those in which he wastes time, and those in which he catches up
- Jeremie Bonamant

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