Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fabius Bile Conversion: Paint Fail?

So I finally carve out some painting time on my day off and I'm real excited 'cuz I decided I want to paint one of my chaos characters and...  I'm not too happy with the results.

My concept is that Doctor Faustus (my homemade Fabius Bile) is one of the Angels of Purity, a succession chapter of Dark Angels that has fractured and gone chaotic.  My envisioned color scheme for the AoP was bone armor with green cloaks.  Actually, I'm pretty happy with the bone color I managed for the most part.  But the model overall...  It just doesn't *POP*.  There's nothing that stands out.  It's very basic and way too subtle.

These pictures don't show what your eye could see but it doesn't really matter -- the one nice detail I like is so weak that the camera isn't picking it up, which indicates a problem.  What you can't really see is a faint green glow in the face slit of the helmet and the third eye on the forehead, which looks kinda nice but again... Too subtle. No pop.  BORING.

Maybe if I did the extra limbs in a shade of green instead of fleshy pink, with bone scythe blades (my original idea, though it ended up too much blah bone white) to keep a more consistent color scheme?

Someday I'll get back to him, but no time soon.  Should have done the chaos centaurs instead...

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bloody Fist: Ex- Crimson Fist Chaos Raptor

I got about an hour of private time before the three year old came home today and finally sat down to paint something.  I find that convincing myself to paint is hard to do.  I have this barrier in my mind that keeps telling me it's too much work and requires too much of an investment and I should be doing something else, yada-yada-yada.  So deciding to finish changing this Crimson Fist assault marine into a chaotic cousin was somewhat of a cop-out (it was basically painted already except for the new head), but at least it's some form of progress!

I like the way the horns turned out, but the real progress for me was in the highlighting/dry brushing.  I tend to be very conservative when it comes to this step and by the end it generally looks like I didn't do much at all.  So this time I "went crazy" and did a pretty high contrast color.  I think it ultimately was a bit too much of a contrast, but in the case of a Chaos Marine it makes him look old and decayed and somewhat spectral, which works for this model.  I'll have to experiment some more with others and see what I can do.

So there it is, one lousy model, but since I probably average only about 3-5 painted a year, that's like months of work in only an hour!  Peace-out.  Oh, I mean: Death to the false emperor!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Viva La Revolucion: FF Rev and free book giveaway

Why don't I ever get any models painted?  Well, this is a big reason right here...

My "Fugitive Fiction Revolution" is nearly complete!  For those who haven't been following, this isn't some mad scheme to overthrow the establishment, it's mostly just me and FF making some adjustments and getting everything the way I want it.

I was drawn to the above image to be the face of this post.  It's a classic of the French Revolution, certainly, but what else is there about it...?  Maybe it's the bare-chested Amazon warrior who's leading the charge over the bodies of their oppressors?  Kinda cool.

Anyway, some more revelations to go with my Revolution:

1. Part of the reason for this FF Rev is coming back and getting things right the second time.  (And in some cases, maybe there will be a third time, but I hope that won't be necessary.)  I don't blame myself entirely for this, it goes with the territory.  Just over a year ago I decided to take Fugitive Fiction forward on my own as a self-publishing publisher.  It was (and still is, and will continue to be) a learning experience.  But some of what I have learned is that I really should to "do things right the first time."  Put out the best possible product NOW, not come back and fix it up later.  So my intention from 2014 and moving forward is to do just that: invest the time, sweat, blood, and dollars necessary to make a superior product the first time.  (I like the think they were relatively superior before too, just not as good as I could make them.)

2. I have to make a deal with myself, as the Revolution closes up, that I will move forward.  Most artists would probably agree that you can keep coming back to the same story, painting, sculpture, drawing, song, whatever, over and over again and each time make tiny changes to suit your mood at that time.  No work of art is ever quite finished -- or at least, all works of art can go on being incomplete and updated and improved upon by the artist forever.  I have this problem.  So I need to declare (and hereby do so) that with the resolution of the Revolution I intent to MOVE FORWARD.  No more tweaking these same projects over and over.  Time to make NEW art, tell NEW stories.

3.  That said, I also have to be realistic.  I literally have over 20 books in mind right now.  But I am also an active duty Naval officer (and the military, as any service member can tell you, is not just a job and is more than a career -- there is no starting and quitting time, there is only what must be done, no matter the hours and requirements).  I am also a full-time husband and father, and have several other aspects of my life I'd like to spend some time in.  So for me to think (as I kinda did not long ago) that I can churn out two or three books a year is pretty damn ridiculous.  Until such a time as my gracious readers can support me full-time, my writing time must be carved out of the rock face that is my life.  So I have to be patient and dedicated and I have to be satisfied with a realistic goal: one book per year.  That may even be more ambitious than my free time allows, but that's my goal.

4.  That also includes time spent trying to market and be out in Cyberspace hobnobbing with virtual people and the like.  I feel at this point that I'm enjoying only a marginal gain from the hours spent trying to to be a social butterfly online.  If I had more time it would certainly be an important aspect to getting out there and joining the indie author community and hopefully attracting readers and fellow writers to check out my wares.  But given my time limitations, spending two hours screwing around online is two hours I'm not writing new material, and that's not helping a damn thing.  I vow to improve my computer time discipline and focus on what's important.  That also means pruning down the sites that I put cyber-hobnobbery into.  Basically, for me, my blog(s), Goodreads, and maybe Facebook seem to be the 20% effort that I might get 80% back out of (Goodreads most of all, though I have yet to truly explore all of its great potential).  So there we go: cut the crap, spend time writing, not surfing the web, checking email, or looking for comments/reviews.  Yes, marketing is important, but I need more material to market, not more marketing for my current meager lack of material.  As successful writers have been saying everywhere, the best way to market your current books is to write more books.  So let's get to it.

5.  I have struggled to figure out a fair and logical "pricing theory" for my works, and I continue to do so.  (See the "Blue Falcon" and "Space Ghost" pricing models.) So after even deeper soul-searching, even greater research, I have come up with a new, "final" pricing theory to go with the FF Rev.  As far as catchy labels, I could go with either the "Revolutionary Pricing Model" or the appropriate "Minute Man Pricing Model":

word count
up to ~ 20,000
20K – 80K
collectionsmaybe more...
Some may feel I'm selling myself short here, others that I'm charging too much.  And I may feel both ways at times and for different stories, but I also feel this is a fair middle ground that will serve me well.

6. I'm also seriously considering The Great Consolidation, in which case my two blogs would become one (and I've always liked the sound of "Brink's Chaos Theory" more than "jdbrinkfugitive.com" -- though the eggheads say you should have your name in it if you want people to find it.  Well, Brink is, right?) and my two Facebook pages would become one, which is a grand idea because I never liked the idea of getting on Facebook in the first place.  In fact, becoming a writer people can find is the ONLY reason I did so, so...  Really liking this merger idea, this simplification of my life.

7.  ...Okay, there is no seven.  I just thought this image was cool (found it while surfing for pretty pictures to use for this post).  Kudos to it's creator.

7 1/2.  Seven-and-a-half is that I've just received the paperback proofs of the new Tarnish with super-cool, matte-finish cover and they are AWESOME.  (This picture, however, is not awesome.)

Did you get this far?  GOOD FOR YOU!  You should be rewarded, eh?  Well then, I'll tip you off to the paperback giveaway happening on Goodreads right now for the new edition of Tarnish with super-groovy new cover art. Check it out and get registered to win.

Finally, if you're still reading this: THANKS!  And leave me a comment, share your own thoughts!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Broken Promises? The New Deal and the FF Revolution!

The Fugitive Fiction Revolution continues with the biggest death and rebirth cycle of the whole event! Behold the new and improved Tarnish! Along with this fantastic new cover art by virtual painter Trevor Smith, the interior has undergone another minor revision to correct a few missing words and glitches, as well as add a new Thunderstrike Saga page at the beginning to lay it all out.

Where does the broken promise come in? Well, not long ago I said that I'd be posting the ebook version of this heroic quest fantasy novel at a temporary $2.99 through X-mas Day. In honor of the new cover and revisions, I'm altering that deal. Now through New Years Day, you can buy the ebook at just $0.99. (It may take a day or two for all the retailers to catch up on the price change, check back frequently.) After that it'll go back to its original price of $3.99, where it will remain for the foreseeable future. So grab it now!

I'm also changing the rules of the game on the audiobook giveaway of the Tarnish prequel story The Prince of Luster and Decay. I am now giving them away on a first-come, first-served basis. So those who have already submitted to the drawing are now instant winners, as is anyone else who does so! And if you follow the special double-entry instructions, you get two free download codes, one for you and one to share with a friend! (After all, you're friend is more likely to follow up if you send it to them than if I do.) This will go on until they are all gone, act fast!

So there you go. I hope you can forgive my "broken promises." And please, once you've read/listened to them, let us all know what you thought! Leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or anywhere you talk about or buy your books.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


I bought myself an early Christmas present and just wanted to spread the good news for all my fellow comic book nerds out there.  I highly recommend this hefty tome be put on your wish list for Santa.  Below is the review I've posted on Amazon about the book:

"This is a fantastic book.  Every page is both a wealth of historical interest and full-color bravado.  It fully explores the evolution of modern superheroes, beginning with the classic pulps of the 1930s and coming all the way to titles on the shelves and movies on the screen today.  And even as I read it from the beginning, I was flipping through here and there to read small segments on my favorite heroes or just enjoy the full-color scraps and page samples cast throughout.  Really a wonderful non-fiction tome for those of us who grew up wanting to wear colorful spandex."

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chaotic Imperial Guard Allies

I'm always looking for fun ways to augment my forces, and I've always liked the "WWII, hordes of cannon fodder" feel of the Guard.  So today I was thinking of how I might use models I have (plus maybe pick up and/or convert a few more) to make a fun ally contingent.  Here's what I was thinking:

HQ:  About the only HQ character worth a damn (in my opinion) in the whole codex is Colonel Iron Hand Straken, who has S6 and 3+ armor, so finding a "counts as" should be easy for him.  Like maybe this mace-wielding chaos model from the Dark Vengeance set (not my paint job -- stolen off the net).

I could also see fielding a primaris psyker or a commissar.  (Oh, okay, I guess Commissar Yarrick is pretty okay too...).  I'd also like to run Nork Deddog, the mutant ogre bodyguard, and would probably run ministorum priests with my troops, since they don't take up HQ slots (and I'm a sucker for free HQ models).  

TROOPS:  For my troops, since I don't have a horde of impie-looking infantry to make a big platoon (which would be sweet), I'd run two squads of Penal Legion suicide troops, which is more fitting anyway.  For them I could easily use the DV cultists, which I have 20 of, so...  Perfect!  (Although I've always thought it'd be fun to paint up Catachans in prison orange with their wife-beater T-shirts and headbands...  THAT would be awesome.)

ELITE:  Definite top choice is my ugly mutant ogres to run as Ogryns.  I figure their ripper guns can be manifested by some kind of nasty giant boils that pop or acidic vomit or the like.  I also wouldn't mind running a psychic choir just for the fun of it, using Fantasy Flagellants for the squad.

FAST ATTACK:  I'm going to go against the grain here and say my one FA choice would be rough riders.  I know there are lots of better super-gunship-flame-tank options, but I like the cavalry, especially for a chaos guard warband.  I'd use my (yet to be assembled) marauder horsemen, and possibly then add a beastman centaur to be Mongul Kamir, the upgrade character.  (Is he worth the points?  Hard to say, but why bother with rough riders if you don't take him?)  They would be a somewhat squishy unit with one good charge (via the hunting lances), so I'd have to save them for a precision strike against a vital or vulnerable target.  

HEAVY SUPPORT:  Even though this is where all the Guard's real power lies, it's the least interesting for me.  I'm just not a big vehicle guy.  But I suppose I could convert up some pieces to use as a turret on my Crimson Fist/Chaos Predator tank, to run either as a Hydra battery (my first choice) or some other artillery piece.  (Sure a whole squadron of Leman Russes are super-duper, but this is just an ally group and I don't have the models for that.)  Or I suppose I could just use this tank as-is for a counts-as Leman Russ too.  It even has the upgrade character already mounted up and shouting orders.

Sounds fun!  Now I just have to get that crap done!

* * * * *

By the way, don't forget about my fantasy warfare story giveaway -- it's two hours of downloadable audio action, completely free if you're one of the winners drawn Christmas Day.  Why not give it a shot???

Monday, November 25, 2013

Black Friday Sale and Audiobook Giveaway

The Christmas shopping frenzy is almost upon us!  Imagine a bunch of old ladies foaming at the mouth and tearing into each other over the last bin of one-dollar bedroom slippers.  It is in that spirit that I proudly present these deals:

I.  As I have recently blogged about, my sword and soldiery novella The Prince of Luster and Decay is now available as a 2 hour audiobook and, to my own surprise, Audible.com has sent me a list of free download codes to give away to fine folks such as yourselves.  But I have a limited supply of these, so here's my plan:

   1.  If you're interested, send an email to jdbrink888 (at) gmail (dot) com.  The subject line should say something about "The Prince Giveaway" or "Audiobook Drawing" or something to that effect, but...
   ***  If your subject line reads "The Prince Rules All!" I'll put your name into the fishbowl twice (so your chance of being drawn is doubled!).
   2.  I'll collect entry emails now through Christmas Day.  Within a few days of that conclusion, I'll randomly select the winners.
   3.  How many winners?  Well, depends on how many entries I get.  I'm starting at 10 free downloads, though if I get enough entries to make it worth while, I may just increase that to 15.  It all depends on all of you, Dear Readers.
   4.  So please spread the word!  I'd love to give away five more of these free download codes!

2.  I will also be reducing the ebook price on my heroic fantasy novel Tarnish from $4.99 to $2.99 from now through Christmas Day.  It may take some ebook retail sites a little longer to catch up with the price change, but I'm initiating it now.

Already read it?  Not into fantasy but know someone who is?  Ebooks make good gifts too!  

Okay, my two week vacation is over as of today, so it's back to work on my next book, Dreams of Flying! (And, of course, back to work at the day job too...  Less exciting.)

The Santa photo at the top, by the way, comes from Miracle on 34th Street.  Classic.  Watch it this year.  In black and white.  (They don't make many good movies any more.)
P.S. -- PRIVACY NOTICE:  Fear not, friends.  Your email address will be used solely for the purposes of this giveaway.  I will then promptly lose it. --JDB

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Sleeps with Wolves" -- 2100 pt Chaos 40K List

I recently got together with J's Space Wolves and played a 2100 point game -- well, the first half of a game.  We got started pretty late and it was almost 1:00 am by the time we got into turn three, so the game was cut tragically short.  I say tragically because the awesome tidal wave of Chaos was just cresting and poised to crash when we had to stop!  Damn!  But I had fun building a diverse list and wanted to share it.

I called this list "Sleeps with Wolves" (you know, like Dances with Wolves) because it featured my chaotic Space Wolves warband with Slaaneshi allies.

Chaos Space Marine List
HQ  Thorbolg Wolfsbane (Huron Blackheart)
T The Feral Pack (CSM)(10) - Mark of K, Champ w claw, mbomb, Gift; melta, plas
HQ Selene (Lucius)
(T) Selen's Choir (noise marines)(6) Champ CCW; Vets; 5 blasters, 1 BMaster
T The Dirty Dozen (cultists)(12) Mark of S, flamer; all others with CCW + pistol
E The Half-Dozen Sons (Thousand sons)(5 + sorcerer) 
FA Slobber Dawg's Hunger League (spawn)(5) 
FA Red Skull Biker Gang (5) Champ w. p-axe, mbombs, Gift; plasmagunner
HVY Pipe Fitters' Union (obliteratorz)(2) Mark of S (to t-port onto daemonette icon)
HVY Santa's Battlewagon (predator) autocannon, HBs, warpfire gargoyles
HVY Bloody Fist (havoks)(6) ML (flakk), HvyBolter, plasmagun

Chaos Daemons Allies
HQ Baphemut & Cassandra (keeper of secrets) psyker 2, portal glyph, g-reward
T Cassy's Handmaidens (daemonettes)(10) alluress w. lesser R, icon
FA Morkai's Pups (flesh hounds)(7) 
* * * * *

This list worked pretty well for those first three turns.  You may notice there's a wide variety of units -- no spamming here.  I build fun lists and still manage to win as many games as I lose, maybe more.  Just sayin'...

By the way, fielded my big mutant ogres as my spawn.  They were cool (meaning big and ugly) while they lasted.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Chaos "Chapter Tactics"

HAPPY VETERANS DAY.  Thank you to all who have, do, or will serve our country.

In honor of honoring our vets, I thought I'd spend some time talking about our other veterans -- those of the Long War.   Thus, this poster is probably more appropriate, but just not quite as cool:

I have seen a lot of chatter online about how disappointing the 6th edition Chaos Space Marines codex is compared to others.  I'm generally not one to make a lot of comparisons.  (Partly because I only have three of the new codexes and since they cost so damn much, am not likely to get any more -- in the last paperback edition, btw, I owned just about all of them.  Of course, I was single and childless then too.)  And even though I don't get much into the comparative discussions, I can appreciate those discussions.  One point that really stands out is the new Space Marines having such cool alternate Chapter Tactics rules, while the old traitorous legions got bupkis.  So I thought I would play with that idea a bit.  I'm sure the forthcoming codex supplements will go into greater detail to cover these things, but I wanted to give it a shot myself.

*Disclaimer* I am not as versed as most big Black Library fans on the ins and outs of all the legions, nor am I up on all the new Space Marines chapter abilities.  I'm also not claiming these are all fantastic, balanced rules you should put to use in your games.  In other words: I'm just having fun here, people.  Please don't leave angry comments about you being offended that I would do something so stupid or unfair with this legion or that one, cuz brother, I'm just making $#@^ up.  So please read with fun in mind...  Though I do welcome feedback, comments, and other ideas, as always.

*Chosen* Also, I feel the Chosen got screwed in this edition.  In the 6.1 Brink's Edition, each unit of Chosen, being hardened veterans, may select one of the following special abilities: Infiltrators, Preferred Enemy, Tank Hunters, or Scouts.

The Legions most in need of these kinds of rules, I feel, are the Chaos Undivided forces.  While those dedicated to one power or another do get some special rules based on HQ characters and Marks of Chaos, the rest are all the same neutral grey.  I also figure that most of your chaos armies are made up of various warbands and rogue units, so these rules wouldn't necessarily apply to the whole force.  They would probably be more keyed on HQ and Troop choices who are the foundation of the force.  The warband likely has units collected from all over the sector who are tagging along to get their share of action, loot, and mischief.  Therefore, these Chaos Chapter Tactic ideas are acquired by dedicating at least one HQ (probably your Warlord) and some Troops to that Legion.  

ALPHA LEGION:  They are described as being "disciplined almost to a fault" and as insurrectionists who sow deceit and chaos by infiltrating societies.
   Disciplined to a Fault: The HQ and Alpha Troops are Stubborn.
   Insurrectionists: The Warlord/HQ has the Master of Deception trait, thus may nominate D3 units as Infiltrators.

BLACK LEGION: These are the once proud warriors of the Warmaster Horus himself.  Of course,the character Abbadon mostly has this covered if you field him.
   Black Crusader: Your HQ/Warlord has the Black Crusader trait, giving them a Preferred Enemy (Space marines) aura of 12".
   The Warmaster's Chosen: For every HQ model dedicated to this legion you may field one unit of Chosen as a Troop choice.

IRON WARRIORS:  Masters of the siege and builders of war machines.
   War Smiths:  For each Iron Warrior HQ model you field (such as a Lord, Sorcerer, or Daemon Prince), you may also field (at normal cost) a Warpsmith that takes up no Force Org slot.
   Let the Seige Begin: For each dedicated HQ choice (not including the free Warpsmiths) you may also select one unit from the Heavy Support section and include them as a Troops Choice instead.

NIGHT LORDS:  Masters of terror and terrorist actions, they stalk the darkness as predators in search of prey.
   Lord of Terror: Your HQ/Warlord has the Lord of Terror Trait, thus causes Fear.
   The Hunt:  Raptor units count as Troops if your Warlord is a Night Lords character. (Raptors also have Fear as a standard special rule, btw.)

WORD BEARERS:  The most fanatical of all Legions in their dedication to the worship of the Chaos Powers.
   Shepherds of the Faithful:  For each Word Bearer HQ model you field (such as a Lord, Sorcerer, or Daemon Prince), you may also field (at normal cost) a Dark Apostle that takes up no Force Org slot.
   Zealots: All Word Bearer Troops units have the Zealot special rule.

*Dedicated HQs* refers to models that can be said to be of this legion and no other.  Therefore, in your games you and your fellow players may decide that for the above Undivided Legions, a model with a chaos mark of a particular god cannot also be a Night Lord or Word Bearer character model.  On the other hand, one might also argue that an Undivided Chaos champion can still earn a certain god's favor.  Again, the words I type here aren't meant as actual rules, I'm just fielding some fun ideas.

As for the other original traitor Legions, those dedicated to a specific Patron Power...  The codex kind of already addresses them to a degree.  By having an HQ, Warlord, or specific Chaos Character, like Typhus for example, in your army, you are already gaining certain Warlord traits and/or unlocking certain units as Troops, in addition to havnig the ability to give marks to your other units to show solidarity.  So for the Death Guard, Emperor's Children, Thousand Sons, and World Eaters, maybe I don't need to add anything.

So there we go.  Hope you enjoyed this and it gave you some ideas for your own games/armies.  And I'd love to hear your own ideas for this kind of thing!

(BTW, images stolen shamelessly from various sources around the internet.)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fugitive Fiction Revolution

The Revolution has begun!

Well, Renaissance may be a more appropriate term, but it just doesn't have the same urgency or energy as revolution.

What is the FF Rev?  This is a reworking, revision, and repackaging of my existing titles as I move into the Fugitive Fiction of 2014, and it's happening in two stages.  Coolest part about Stage One: the new cover art on The Thorne Legacy, as seen above.  I have recruited artist Julius Camenzind's unique talents to do this cover and have asked him to be available when the next two installments of the Endless Dark Trilogy are ready for publication (2014 and 2015, most likely).  Which reminds me, I'm announcing that Legacy is officially part of a trilogy...  That's also part of the Revolution, as well as putting out a new edition of the interior of the book and setting things in motion to produce an audio edition.

Also in Rev Stage One is the 3rd edition of A Long Walk Down a Dark Alley, coming out just in time for the Goodreads giveaway of this book.  (And it's not too late to get on the list for the giveaway -- just click on the icon on the left sidebar.)  This 3rd edition features a bonus story added to the "trio of dark tales" as well as a new excerpt from The Prince of Luster and Decay to entice you into reading that one as well.

Stage Two of the Revolution, due to hit around the first of the new year, will be revisions and repackaging of the fantasy works Tarnish and The Prince of Luster and Decay, both of which are now the first two books of the Thunderstrike Saga.  I have hired on artist Trevor Smith to paint new fantastic covers for those books as well.  (More on Stage Two when we get there...)

Following the completion of the Fugtive Fiction Revolution on my existing titles will be the release of my next book, the superheroic collection Dreams of Flying.  So stay tuned for that book too, flying to a bookshelf (both physical and virtual) near you spring of 2014.

So check out the new editions of The Thorne Legacy and A Long Walk, and join the giveaways on Goodreads!  And until next time, REVOLT!  (No, wait, don't do that.  Sorry I got caught up in the revolution thing...)

(And in case you didn't notice, clicking on the artists' names will take you to their blogs.  Check 'em out.)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Space Marines on Ebay

My hobby time this weekend went into getting some stuff posted on Ebay.  Not a great way to spend my Warhammer time slot but...  Necessary. I kind of hate to part with any of my toys but the reality is, I'm not going to play with all this stuff.  Like books, I tend to buy miniatures way faster than I use them and it's time to thin out my inventory.  The pics here show some of the items for sale.  The hardest one of these to part with will be the Crimson Fist tac squad above; in fact, I wont complain if they don't sell...  If you're interested in anything you see here, search Ebay for appropriate key words. You should have no trouble finding my stuff there.


Check 'em out!