Anime Review: Your Lie in April

Your Lie in April
Courtesy of Pinterest.com

When you find websites that purport to list the greatest anime of all time, you will often find titles like One Piece, Samurai Champloo, Inuyasha, Trigun, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Cowboy Bebop. I agree that anime like Trigun, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Samurai Champloo are among the greats. When you think of the ingredients that make for an awesome anime, you typically think of the following: interesting and complex characters, a riveting storyline, drama, action or adventure, a dash of hyperbole, and unique, exciting art style. Personally, I think Cowboy Bebop is probably the greatest anime of all time because it perfectly blends these things together, but I digress. This post isn’t about Cowboy Bebop—it is about an anime that I ended up watching this past spring that, in my humble opinion, should join the ranks as one of the greatest anime of all time (if it hasn’t yet already). That anime is Your Lie in April.

Your Lie in April began as a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Naoshi Arakawa before being adapted as a television series by A-1 Pictures. When this anime showed up in my Netflix queue, I was intrigued by the vibrancy and color of the art style, but what really piqued my interest was the music. The sweet melody of a piano is what ultimately made me decide to press play! I am going to do my best not to spoil anything about the series because I firmly believe that, if you haven’t seen this anime, you need to!

Your Lie in April centers around the main character, Kousei Arima, a piano prodigy who has dominated the competition circuit since he was a young boy. After winning various music competitions, Kousei develops a reputation as the youngest and most successful child musician in the region. The first episode of the anime begins with an 11-year-old Kousei playing at a recital. As he plays, he hears echoes of his ill mother’s voice. Suddenly, the notes Kousei is playing on the piano sound muffled, almost as if they are underwater. Panicked, Kousei stops playing and proceeds to rock back and forth on the piano bench, sobbing uncontrollably. His mother, who was also his piano instructor, has died. Her death is the reason for Kousei’s mental breakdown and this impacts his ability and desire to play for years to come, as he can no longer hear the notes he plays.

Playing piano
Courtesy of anime.stackexchange.com

Fast-forward a few years later, Kousei is in high school and has not played the piano since his breakdown at age eleven. Instead, he has resigned himself to doing his schoolwork and hanging around with his best friends, Tsubaki and Watari. Watari is a bit of a playboy, reveling in the attention he receives from various girls, while Tsubaki is a star athlete. She has a history with Kosei, as they were neighbors as small children and she had a front row seat to the rigorous training Kousei’s mother put him through. One thing that I take to be a positive about this anime is that it isn’t difficult to keep up with the characters. In other words, the central characters are established early on and as the series progresses, the development of the characters is both focused and rich.

 

For example, Tsubaki grew up with Kousei. In various flashbacks, it is made clear that Tsubaki is a supportive, responsive, and thoughtful friend, having attended nearly all of Kousei’s recitals as a kid. When Kousei would be locked in his room, forced to practice piano, Tsubaki would try to lure him out to play or give him gifts. As the series goes on, Tsubaki develops romantic feelings for Kousei, and the support she once offered Kosei as a child with respect to his music diminishes as she attempts to navigate between seeing Kousei as her “kid brother” or as someone she loves and is afraid to lose. What is interesting to watch is how Tsubaki attempts to deal with her emotions—she made it a priority to watch Kousei perform when she was younger, but it then becomes difficult for her to support Kousei’s return to music as it threatens to “take him away”.

Kids YLIA
Courtesy of Pinterest.com

Something fascinating is that, when the series begins, the art style is a bit muted. This isn’t to say the art style is bad—it certainly isn’t! It is to say that, while the lines of the characters, objects, and surroundings are sharp and crisp, the colors are a bit washed out. It is obvious that this purposely done, as the world for Kousei is listless and dull since he can no longer hear himself play the piano. This changes when we meet Kaori Miyazono. Both Tsubaki and Watari introduce Kousei to Kaori and, at first, Kaori is introduced as Watari’s date. The hope seems to be that, when Kousei meets Kaori, he will return to playing music as Kaori is a musician herself (a violinist, specifically).

Kaori
Courtesy of i.ntere.st

 

In this moment, when Kousei sees Kaori, his entire world becomes vibrant, striking, bold. The art style instantaneously becomes brighter and much more vivid. It’s genuinely gorgeous! At first, you might have the worry (at least I did) that the relationship between these two characters would fall into a stereotypical, cliché romance. “How adorable! He becomes smitten with this girl and upon meeting her, he sees color and vibrancy in the world again!”. “How cute! He’s reserved and unassuming and she’s zany and creative!”. Both to my surprise and relief, this isn’t what happened at all! What I thought would be cheesy and overdone ended up becoming a relationship central to the development of Kousei as the main character of the anime, but it also teaches an invaluable lesson about how one faces and deals with loss.

Kousei and Kaori
Courtesy of

Kaori is a highly skilled violinist. A part of what makes her so skilled is that she doesn’t play by the rules. Rather than follow the score of the piece she plays, she improvises, playing with spirit, vigor, and passion, making each piece uniquely her own. This is in direct contrast to Kousei, who was dubbed “the human metronome” as a child for the way in which he strictly followed the scores of what he was playing. You learn that Kosei plays in this way because his mother was physically and verbally abusive. If Kousei strayed from the score or attempted to make it his own, she would beat him and berate him. As a young child, Kousei takes this abuse because he believes that if he is capable of playing the piano (and playing it well), his mother will be cured of her terminal illness. When Kousei finally stands up to his mother after a recital, his final words to her end up being about how much he hates her. This is really the impetus for Kousei’s mental breakdown and subsequent (irrational) guilt that he feels about her death.

Without giving too much away, it is discovered that Kaori suffers from an illness as well. When this is discovered, it is already apparent that Kousei has fallen in love with her. After all, Kaori has managed to convince Kosei to return to the piano as her accompanist and in virtue of that has shown him what it means to play with everything you have. Kaori, for Kousei, is a chance at redemption, musically and at life.

Kaori and Kousei

Which brings me to my next point. One of the awesome things about this anime is the music! If you are looking for a way to get a nice introduction to popular classics, please watch this series! Pieces such as Chopin’s Etude Op. 25, No. 11, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No.14 3rd Mov., and Debussy’s Clair De Lune are all played professionally and with great emotion. My personal favorite piece that is played in the series is when Kousei joins forces with a rival’s younger sister at a recital to play the Waltz from Sleeping Beauty by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

I don’t fancy myself a binge-watcher of television shows in general, so the fact that I finished this series in two days says something. I found myself made so vulnerable by this anime, so moved by it, that I was quite shocked. I cannot remember the last time an anime had me so emotionally invested. Perhaps that sounds strange to say, but I think it speaks against the misconception that anime is only meant to be cute and overdone or action-packed and wild. Anime can certainly be far more than just “kawaii” or blood and guts; I would wager to say that the reason most of those anime that are considered the greatest anime of all time are considered such because they move beyond the stereotypes one associates with Japanese anime.With Your Lie in April, perhaps its greatest strength is in the balance it strikes between comedy and tragedy, loss and laughter, humor and heart. Is this anime action-packed? No. Is it suspenseful? No.

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However, the relationships between the main characters are incredibly meaningful without the show dragging and sinking from emotional weightiness. The dialogue between characters and the moments shared between them range from beautiful and sincere to downright goofy. I fear that if this balance wasn’t maintained, then this would be a very different anime, perhaps too heavy for most. Armed with a great score, robust and complex characters, and an important lesson about how to deal with loss, Your Lie in April is probably one of the best anime I have ever watched.

K and K we heart it
Courtesy of weheartit.com

I won’t spoil the ending of the series for you because I promised I wouldn’t—all I can do is encourage you to watch this incredible anime! Your Lie in April will be getting five out of five bear paws from me!

Let’s Paint!: Brimstone Horrors (Tzeentch)

Brimstone Horrors

Brimstone Horrors
Image courtesy of warhammer40K.wikia.com

“Should a Blue Horror be killed, the creature will emit a long, drawn-out and fatalistic groan before vanishing in a cloud of smoke. From out of those unnatural fumes prance living flames—two tiny Brimstone Horrors. These diminutive Daemons are blazing yellow manifestations of pure spite and bitterness. They sizzle and pop while they seek to burn their enemies, or, at the very least, claw and nip at them with tiny flame talons and fangs.”

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Hello everyone! These bouncing baby Brimstones have been complete for a while, so I figured I would show them off. As I noted in my previous blog post, I recently acquired some Slaanesh units, so I am working on those currently. This is to say that the next few “Let’s Paint!” posts will be dedicated to the units I finished modeling and painting in preparation for ATC, so get ready to see Pink Horrors, Tzaangors, and Daemon Princes shortly! At any rate, here are my Brimstone Horrors!

There is nothing fancy here, honestly. These models are small in stature, simple in design, and easy to paint. After basing the Brimstones in white spray paint, I applied about two coats of Flash Gitz Yellow generously to each pair of Horrors. I wanted the base color to be a really bright and exuberant yellow. From there, I painted the arms, legs, and faces of each pair of Brimstones with Fuegan Orange. Once that dried, I went in with Wild Rider Red (making sure it was watered down quite a bit), being careful to only paint the tips of the flames or edges of the Brimstones. I wanted the faces of the Horrors to have a bit more depth and dimension, so I washed their eyes and mouths with Reikland Fleshshade. The last step (aside from basing the models) was to carefully color their eyes in with Moot Green; I really wanted their eyes to pop! And that’s all she wrote!

What I love about Brimstone Horrors is how mischievous and oddly charming they appear to be. With two attacks a piece, though, they are a bit more formidable once you get in combat with them! Generally, I send my Brimstones out to hold objectives. For the most part, they do a decent job at that. I know this blog post is short, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless! As always, thanks so much for stopping by!

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Here are the materials I used to paint my Brimstone Horrors:

Flash Gitz Yellow

https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Layer-Flash-Gitz-Yellow

Fuegan Orange

https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Shade-Fuegan-Orange

Wild Rider Red

https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Layer-Wild-Rider-Red

Reikland Fleshshade

https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Shade-Reikland-Fleshshade

Moot Green

https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Layer-Moot-Green

Tallarn Sand

https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Layer-Tallarn-Sand

XV-88

https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Base-XV88

Citadel Grass

https://www.games-workshop.com/en-PL/Citadel-Grass

My ATC 2018 Experience!

ATC 2018

“Dietzy, where have you been?!”. Yes, I know. It has been over a month. All I can say is… I’m sorry! After ATC, life decided to get really hectic! By hectic I mean that after ATC, I ended up with an upper respiratory infection on top of having to return to teaching my six-week Introduction to Philosophy course! Things are finally winding down and now (especially after being able to reflect on my experience for a couple of weeks) is as good a time as ever to talk about my time at ATC! One thing before I get started: I do not want to talk about what happened with Team Happy. One reason is because plenty of other blogs and podcasts have dedicated their time, effort, and energy to talking about it. Another reason is that, given that ATC was my first grand tournament, I don’t feel like I have the knowledge, experience, or authority to talk about what does or does not constitute cheating in a tournament setting. Given all the gossip and rumors that swirled around at ATC anyway, I just don’t think I should present an opinion if it isn’t fully informed. That being said, if you are interested in the official statement made by ATC regarding Team Happy, here is the link to ATC’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ATC40k/posts/1726053044108648.

Here is the list I ended up taking to ATC 2018:

Battalion Detachment [1038pts] [5 Command Points] [59 Power Level]

Chaos Daemons (Chaos Allegiance: Tzeentch)

Headquarters:

Daemon Prince of Chaos: Tzeentch (Malefic Talons, Wings)

The Changeling

Changecaster

Troops:

Horrors (28x Pink Horror)

Horrors (28x Pink Horror)

Horrors (10x pair of Brimstone Horrors)
Elites:

Exalted Flamer

Flamers (2x Pyrocaster)

Flamers (2x, Pyrocaster)

Battalion Detachment [956pts] [5CP] [51 Power Level]

Chaos Space Marines: Thousand Sons

Headquarters:

Ahriman (on Disc)

Daemon Prince of Chaos: Thousand Sons (Malefic Talons, Wings)

Daemon Prince of Chaos: Thousand Sons (Malefic Talons, Wings)

Troops:

Chaos Cultists (9x Cultists, Cultist Champion)

Chaos Cultists (9x Cultists, Cultist Champion)

Chaos Cultists (9x Cultists, Cultist Champion)

Tzaangors (29x Tzaangor with Tzaangor Blades, Twistbray, Brayhorn)

Elites:

Tzaangor Shaman (on Disc)

Obviously, this is different from the preliminary list I detailed in a previous blog post. Ultimately, I am glad that I went with this list after taking into consideration some suggestions and advice from both friends and acquaintances. Adding Ahriman was invaluable; his ability to cast three psychic powers and deny three psychic powers was a huge help in most of the matches I played. The Tzaangors definitely pose more of a threat when in a much larger unit, and the giant blobs of Pink Horrors are certainly more annoying in units of 20 or more with three shots per Horror!

I traveled to Chattanooga (East Ridge, really) with Team Crazy Frog, which consisted of myself, Mitch, Randy (our team captain), and Big Nate. Our fifth and final member, Sebastian, we actually didn’t meet until we arrived at the hotel the night before the tournament began. Originally, our friend Jeremy was going to join us at ATC, but unfortunately, he couldn’t make it. Thankfully, some of the bros from Brohammer pulled through and offered up Sebastian’s name. Without a whole lot of time to spare, Sebastian joined our team with his army of Orks! I am really glad it ended up working out with Sebastian—even though he is on the shy side, he plays like a well-oiled machine. It was pretty awesome to watch him play!

I’m not going to lie about how nervous I was, especially heading into the very first match. I was trying to remember and keep in mind all of the things I had learned the last six months. Our first match was against Gateway Gamers Alpha Squad. Gabe was my opponent and I am really glad he was given how relaxed and sweet he was! Funny enough, before the tournament even got underway, I walked by his army and complimented the paint job on it. Who knew he would end up being my first opponent? Gabe was running a Tyranid list, all Hive Fleet Kronos. This wasn’t great for me given that Hive Fleet Kronos makes it such that, if you fail a psychic power, you take a mortal wound if you are within 18” of the Warlord. Given that my army is psyker heavy, this resulted in me taking quite a few mortal wounds. What did work to my advantage was the Tzaangors coming in with the help of the Dark Matter Crystal on turn one and causing some chaos. I was also able to deepstrike one unit of Pink Horrors in Gabe’s backfield. What ended up giving me the hardest time were Gabe’s Flyrants. They wiped out a lot of my troops, for sure! I managed to whittle the wounds down on Gabe’s Flyrants and actually take one out with the Changeling at the very end of the match! I ended up losing, but only by a few points! I was happy that for my first match I was able to keep up with Gabe, who really seemed to know his army well and played his list with ease. For the first match of the tournament, it was a lot of fun!

 

Our second match was against Critical Strike. I am going to be honest, I didn’t find my opponent to be the friendliest or most approachable opponent. I say this because, upon telling him ATC was my first grand tournament, he responded almost with indignation, saying, “You picked a hell of a first tournament to come to.” Even then, at multiple times during the match, he went about correcting me and telling me what I ought to be doing in a way that wasn’t particularly tactful. For example, at a time when I should have been shooting overwatch and hitting on sixes, I forgot I was shooting overwatch. I had the GW Assault Dice app flat on the table for him to see the hits, and when I reported the amount of hits, his response was, “I have a really hard time believing you landed that many sixes.” Of course, I apologized profusely, realizing that I had forgotten I should have been firing overwatch, but it probably would have been better had he said something like, “Was that firing on overwatch?” or “Remember that you are firing overwatch!”. He made me feel like I was trying to be shifty, which I wasn’t. This match was probably the least fun I had at ATC. All I will say is that he ran a “Chaos Soup” list. What ended up being the death of me was that his Bloodletters were able to deepstrike and eliminate my backfield (comprised of Brimstone Horrors and Chaos Cultists). He was nice enough to tell me that my “allowing him” to deepstrike “was my biggest mistake,” but I genuinely didn’t anticipate he would be able to fit all of his Bloodletters in my backfield. He was able to do this by essentially putting them in a single file line. I ended up losing by a substantial point margin, but if there was one thing I was able to pick up from this match, it was to spread my units out a bit more to cover more ground and prevent deepstrike opportunities.

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That concluded the first (very long) day of ATC 2018. Actually, nearly every day of ATC was unnecessarily long and drawn out. Why? Because of Best Coast Pairings. Best Coast Pairings is an app for iOS and Android that allows a player to connect to competitive events (tabletop events, in this case). Using the app, you can search for, browse through, and register for various competitive events. What is relevant for ATC’s purposes is the ability for teams to see table assignments and pairings and view placings for the tournament. For some reason or another, the pairings and assignments were, at times, taking too long to load, loading improperly, or not loading at all. Other times, the points were added incorrectly for the teams. This made things a bit of a mess. Last year when I attended ATC, the organizers of the tournament were not using Best Coast Pairings, so I am not sure what needs to be fixed or changed for things to run smoothly like they did at ATC 2017, but please try to rectify this issue, ATC! Hear the cries and complaints of the people!

I woke up the second morning of the tournament determined to at least win one game! Unfortunately, the first match was really rough for me and completely shattered my spirit. In some sense, it was unfortunate that the match left me dismayed, because my opponent was absolutely great! He went by the name C.K. and played for Team Borderland Battle Brothers. He was incredibly funny, really entertaining, and didn’t make me feel bad for getting my ass kicked. Ultimately, I don’t think I should have been matched up against his list, despite being told I could “probably handle it.” His KV128 Stormsurges put out way too many shots that not even my 4+ Invulnerable Saves plus the Locus of Transmogrification granted by the Changeling could defend against. C.K.’s list had an immense amount of firepower between the Stormsurges and XV104 Riptide Battlesuit—the Tactical Drones only made the firepower that much more deadly. I should also note that playing C.K. was the first time I ever played against Tau, so I didn’t quite know what I was doing or what I needed to look out for. I just played to the best of my ability!

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When I thought things couldn’t get any worse after the first match, I ended up getting paired up against another Tau list! Fortunately for me, this Tau list was quite different from C.K.’s. For one, there were no Stormsurges (thank God). Really, the only major firepower on this list were a few Battlesuits (both Riptide and Y’vahra). My opponent’s name was Jason (from Team Barnyard Brawlers) and he was incredibly nice. He was kind, conversational, and laid back. To my surprise, this match was pretty much point for point. At the end of each round (and during our turns), we both were scoring a considerable amount of points. The biggest mistake I made was actually not listening to Jason. He warned me about the flamers on his XV109 Y’vahra Riptide and I didn’t listen…Because I am a tool bag. I figured it was worth the risk charging the Riptide with my Daemon Prince given that he would fire at one of them anyway, but I did end up getting toasted. That was probably my only major tactical mistake, but by the end of the match, I only lost by a couple of points. It was probably the best match I played as it was incredibly close the entire time!

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The third and final match on Saturday was, by far, the most entertaining. We were playing against Team PMT (Playing Mediocre at Tournaments). I should note that, at ATC this year, alcohol was permitted. The reason I bring this up is because Team PMT was completely smashed by the time we were matched up with them. It could have been possible that they were drunk before they played us, but all of them being hammered was pretty hilarious. I will admit, at first I didn’t know what to do about having a drunk opponent. Aside from being tired and feeling a little discouraged, I figured the round would be more taxing than anything. I was wrong! My opponent, Mike, was great! He was animated, funny, and seemed like all he wanted to do was genuinely have fun. That helped me ease out of the funk I was in. He was running a Sisters of Battle list complete with Celestine and Geminae. He was also running quite a bit of Heavy Support, which made me nervous as I didn’t have many units with high Armor Penetration. He had Basilisks, Leman Russ Battle Tanks, Rhinos. What really made Mike’s list tough for me were the Sisters of Silence, as they gave me a minus to my casting. Not only that, the minus would stack. If two units of Sisters were within 18” of me, then I was at a -2 for my casting. Again, as a psyker heavy army, that sucked. Eventually I was able to wipe them out, though, but they definitely gave me some trouble during turn two. Again, to my surprise, this match was incredibly close—I only lost by a few points. Mike was really encouraging as well and was pretty adamant that if we played another turn I would have won, but maybe he was just being generous! (Thanks for telling me about the poop knife, Mike).

The very last match of the tournament took place on Sunday and saw us matched up against Team Least Coast. I was paired up against Patrick, who was a super nice guy running a Drukhari (Eldar) list. I am going to keep this short and sweet: I got my ass handed to me. Let me tell you, I have absolutely no desire to ever play against Haemonculus, Grotesques, or Talos again! Each unit is so incredibly tough! Even with my Daemon Princes engaged in close combat, I didn’t stand much of a chance. Overall, this match was pretty much an Invulnerable Save fight. Patrick had Invulnerable Saves and I had Invulnerable Saves, and that is pretty much what our game consisted of. I think I probably should have focused more of my psychic powers on his Grotesques and whittled them down rather than getting stuck in close combat with them.

I didn’t go to ATC 2018 disillusioned; I didn’t think that my team would be coming in as underdogs and making it to the top. I figured that, at best, we would place somewhere in the low to middle of the road. We ended up placing 66th or something around there out of 74 or 75 teams. What was important to me was the experience as well as having fun. All in all, I think I have identified the weaknesses of my army and I have already started making some changes. I need range and I need firepower, for sure. After viewing some of the lists from ATC and talking with competitors, I have seen the value of running a “Chaos Soup” list, but I have also realized and uncovered strategies regarding Tzeentch that I didn’t know about prior to the tournament. As far as improving is concerned, I think I just need to keep playing, practicing, and learning!

Going to ATC would not have been possible without the support, help, and patience of a number of people. First, I need to thank Mitch. I don’t think I would’ve made the jump to 40K without his encouragement, love, and support. It is amazing to find that person who makes you feel so comfortable in your own nerdy skin; he is my dweeby partner in crime. To Team Crazy Frog, who supported me and accepted me as the new and inexperienced player on the team and made each moment of the tournament one to remember. I would be remiss to not thank the guys of Team Huckleberry. I have had the privilege of knowing each member of Team Huckleberry for a couple of years now, but since I picked up 40K, each one of them has dedicated their time and energy to helping me learn the game, tailor my list, and quite frankly, they each have tolerated my shenanigans. Thank you to Ted, Dan, John, and Aaron. Also, a huge thanks to Charles, who unfortunately was not able to participate at ATC, but helped me immensely in figuring out the strengths of Tzeentch and Thousand Sons and how to run them effectively. And lastly, to the bros of Brohammer who I have interacted with and elicited advice and help from: Daniel S., William T., John L., Cass, Aurelio, Shane. You guys are seriously awesome bros. It really took a village to help me prepare for ATC, and I still have so much to learn. Despite not winning a match at ATC, I definitely want to continue playing 40K. I really have come to love the hobby, so much so that I have already purchased some Slaanesh stuff!

Next up is Crucible…

As always, thank you for reading and thank you for hanging tight! I appreciate it! Until next time!

Let’s Paint!: Chaos Cultists (Thousand Sons)

Chaos Cultists

Image result for chaos cultists 40K artwork

“Cults begin to grow deep within the fabric of Imperial worlds, driven by the profane preachings of Chaos-touched demagogues. Though many of these cults are found and eradicated by the Ordo Hereticus, the watchers within the Imperium are not able to have eyes everywhere, and many more of these cults flourish. The Cultists hide in plain sight, their drab clothes covering tattoos and symbols they have carved into their own flesh, dedicated to the ruinous powers…Whatever hope a Cultist may have derived from their profane worship is inevitably false. They are but pawns in the plans of the Thousand Sons, meat to clog the wheels of the Imperial war machine…”

Hi everyone! About a week ago, I finished painting a unit of Chaos Cultists! I still have two more units to paint, but I figured I would show you how the first batch turned out. I should note first that, given the size of these models, it didn’t seem worth it to me to spend a lot of time on them. In other words, I tried keeping things simple as far as colors and painting techniques were concerned.

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On each Cultist, I began by painting the flesh. I didn’t want them to appear pale and sickly; I wanted them to appear dirty, as if they had just emerged from an intense battle on a distant, muddy planet. For the flesh, then, I used Bugman’s Glow. For the hoods on the Cultists, I used Caledor Sky. Since these particular Chaos Cultists have devoted themselves to Tzeentch, I wanted the hoods on each Cultist to be bright blue.

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Any remaining fabric on the Cultists, like shirts, capes, sleeves, etc., I used Ironhull Grey, a dark and rusty gray color. For the pants, I used Tallarn Sand. Any accessories on the Cultists, like belts and pouches, were painted with Dryad Bark, a dark brown. While not all of the Cultists have hair, on those that do, I painted the hair with Rhinox Hide. Rhinox Hide is an even darker brown than Dryad Bark! If I could go back and do anything differently with these Cultists, I probably would have made the hair lighter on those who have hair! Maybe a blonde color would have made for a nicer contrast…

 

 

Anyway, the boots, wristbands, and masks on the Cultists I painted black while any weapons held by the Cultists were painted with Leadbelcher, a bright, shiny silver. Pendants or ornaments on the Cultists were painted with Retributor Armour, one of my favorite golds to paint with! It is so vibrant and rich!

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Any rope or cloth was painted with Screaming Skull. To wrap things up, I washed each Cultist liberally with Agrax Earthshade to achieve some darkness and depth and, as usual, I based the Cultists with Tallarn Sand and XV-88.

For the next unit of Chaos Cultists, I might make their hoods purple instead of blue, just to spice things up a bit! What do you think? Should I keep the Cultists uniform? Or should I make them stand apart from one another? I would love to hear what you think! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Here are the materials I used to paint my Chaos Cultists:

Bugman’s Glow https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Base-Bugmans-Glow?_requestid=675779

Caledor Sky https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Base-Caledor-Sky

Ironhull Grey https://store.privateerpress.com/ironhull-grey

Abaddon Black https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Base-Abaddon-Black

Dryad Bark https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Base-Dryad-Bark

Rhinox Hide https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Base-Rhinox-Hide

Leadbelcher https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Base-Leadbelcher

Retributor Armour https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Base-Retributor-Armour

Screaming Skull https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Layer-Screaming-Skull

Agrax Earthshade https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Shade-Agrax-Earthshade

Tallarn Sand https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Layer-Tallarn-Sand

XV-88 https://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Base-XV88

Citadel Grass https://www.games-workshop.com/en-PL/Citadel-Grass

Meet Murphy!

Hi everyone! I hope you all are doing well! I want to apologize for my absence, as I know it has been awhile since I have posted. Aside from feeling under the weather the last few days, I have been painting figurines like a fiend! With ATC 2018 only a month away, I am working hard to ensure that my army is painted in time. You should be seeing blog posts dedicated to the units I have finished painting relatively soon, but something occurred to me: I have yet to post something personal on my site. In other words, you all probably don’t know much about me or what I have been up to.

Although summer has just begun, it has been pretty busy. My fiancé Mitch and I have been traveling quite a bit, although not anywhere too far or fancy. In May, we went to Birmingham, Alabama to my cousin’s Court of Honor, ventured down to Venice, Florida to celebrate Mitch’s father’s birthday, and spent a weekend gaming in Gainesville, Florida. Amidst all of the traveling, Mitch and I have attended two graduation ceremonies: one for his oldest daughter, Nylah, who just graduated from the University of Florida and one for his youngest daughter, Jenna, who just graduated high school. Only recently have we finally been able to relax and unwind. Perhaps the biggest change in our lives has been the recent addition to our family: Murphy! The first thing you should know about me is that I am a huge animal lover!

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When Mitch and I first got together, I brought two cats into the relationship while he, at the time, had two dogs. One of those dogs, sadly, passed away. This left us with my two cats, Percy and Hemingway, and Mitch’s miniature pinscher, Maggie. Getting another dog wasn’t something that really crossed my mind. After all, I fancied myself more of a cat person. Cats are independent and contemplative creatures, but they can also be incredibly entertaining and endearing. As a child, I was actually the victim of multiple dog bites to the face courtesy of a cocker spaniel, so for a period of time in my life I was actually terrified of dogs! Only as a young adult have I really grown to enjoy dogs and the companionship they offer. Anyway, I received a text from my mother asking if I knew anyone who might be interested in having a dog. While I tried to think of any friends or family members who might be interested, I turned to Mitch and asked, “Would you want another dog?”. His response was something along the lines of, “I am open to it.”

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I ended up telling my mom that Mitch and I were interested in possibly getting another dog, so she gave me the contact information of the man who owned Murphy. We wanted to meet Murphy first before making a decision on whether we wanted to keep him, and it didn’t take long for us to decide he would be a perfect fit for our family! He is the sweetest dog I have ever met in my life!

Murphy is a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, a terrier breed originating from Ireland. What sets Wheaten Terriers apart from other terriers is actually their coat. For one, the coat is incredibly soft and plush! The coat also runs from a pale beige to a bright gold, resembling ripening wheat (hence the name of the breed). The softness and length of the coat does require upkeep, but the soft coat makes for a companion that is easy to snuggle! Aside from this, the breed doesn’t shed! Having Murphy has not resulted in me needing to clean any more than I already do, which has been great! The things I was concerned about initially were the following: Wheaten Terriers are known to have a severe allergy to fleas and they can also suffer from protein-losing nephropathy and protein-losing enteropathy. Concerning the latter, I imagine Murphy will need immediate veterinary care if he develops a protein-wasting disease. Regarding the former, we have been diligent about applying a topical flea medicine to Murphy even though we have only had him for three and a half weeks.

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Murphy struggled to adjust at first; he didn’t eat for the first two days he was here. Prior to him being with us, he hadn’t been walked regularly on a leash, so Murphy is still trying to get the hang of going on walks. Aside from this, he has adjusted fine! He loves kisses and cuddles and chewing on rawhide bones. We recently got him a ball that dispenses treats when moved around and he has become so proficient at maneuvering the ball that I started putting his dog food in the ball instead of treats! The cats have adjusted well to Murphy despite being a little freaked out by him at first and Maggie is starting to take a liking to him! The only thing that Murphy still seems to struggle with is new people. I understand that this will take time and patience, as Murphy needs to learn to trust, but I feel so bad when he cowers at the sight of guests coming into our home. As sweet as he is, he is very skittish! Any tips on how to help with his fear would certainly be welcome and appreciated! In the short time we have had Murphy, I have seriously grown to love him. I really adore this dog and I am so happy he is a new member of our family!

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Oddly enough, I learned after we got Murphy that my grandmother owned a Wheaten Terrier named Duffy! Weird, right?

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Anyway, I hope this post, despite being short, gave you some insight into what my life is like of late. For anyone reading, are you a cat person or a dog person? Post a picture of your pet! I would love to see and hear about your pets and experiences with animals! Thanks so much for stopping by!