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???