Tag Archives: ideas

All Hail the Skulltaliser!

6 May

Ok, if you have been reading this blog of late, you’ll be aware that I have a plan to pull in $99 to monetise this here blog, and before I reveal the Skulltaliser in it’s glory, I want to clarify a few things.

So, I’m probably not the best at putting what I mean across in the right way, and I think that some out there might have assumed that since this scheme is down to me not having a pot to piss in, and that I can’t afford $99, I’d like to put things straight. The reason I haven’t had the inclination to get this blog monetised before isn’t due to not affording it, nor is it due to my business model and plan being wrong, more to my own organisational skills and the way I prioritise things. I had and have every intention to pay up, I’m just tight (I’m from Yorkshire, it’s tradition!)

I have neglected this blog, and took the decision to not only stump up the cash to get the job done, but to spend some time blogging for once. As you might know, blogging takes time and effort, it can tax you mentally with things to blog about, and sometimes I don’t feel as though I have anything constructive to say or post that would be worth reading. Which is why I started the entire conversation.

The Grinning Skull, and by extension, myself also, must be seen as the tongue in cheek way I meant it, which maybe I should make clearer at times. This attitude can be taken as not intended, or I may seem as though I’m saying something else, but combine this with I brainfart and just blab out whatever is in my tiny mind. I do confuse, of which I am sorry for, but I can’t say that I entirely understand the ways of the internet.

My intent with these posts was to start a conversation about what if’s, you know, what if I did this, what if I did that etc etc… The experiment was to expand my knowledge of stuff I’m not familiar with, seeing if there are indeed some good ways of raising extra cash through means other than what I’m used to. I probably didn’t explain well enough, but, you know what the web is like, one statement can be interperated in many ways.

Since the whole subject was Monetisation, why not fund the monetisation with alternative methods? So if I confused you, sorry bout that! Can’t promise I won’t do it again, but my tendency is to babble shite, I am the Grinning Skull after all, you should expect it!!

Anyway,  I think that while the plan is a bit random, it could provide interesting an excercise into quick money making (and how effective it is) , and entertain along the way, which is my goal.

Without further ado, may I present to you, ladies and gents, boys and girls, the magnificent SKULLTALISER!!!

As you can see, the task I set out is to raise $100 (Well $99, but $100 seemed fitting) Starting at the base of this mountain of skulls, I’ll mark each significant time any money goes in the pot toward the total, and detail what (if any) methods were used to raise it. it’s an excercise in thinking outside the box, and while I can easily raise $99 from all sorts of tried and tested means if I really wanted, I want to try and use other methods that so called “Web experts” set out in blog posts and info sites, and see if these things are actually true.

This way, we can discover (if any) how much effort is needed from things such as Fiverr, or other methods along the way, and I’ll share the results. I’ll accept donations for the total (although I truly don’t expect them! But any such donors will be given a shout out and thanks) and other ideas you have if you want to share and explore. Maybe we’ll unlock some webby secrets,or hatch a cunning plan that’ll change the world! (well, not really)

I’ll keep you updated with the latest, and continue to explore more around this subject.




The Future, Dear reader, the future….!

30 Sep


So, as I sit here and ponder, just where the fuck have my tutorial pictures gone for my next Grim’s Dungeons of Doom article, lost in my 10,000 file folders it seems, it got me drifting off, thinking about what to do for future posts.

Sure, I’ll be doing more dungeons posts, as well as more crowdfunding spotlights, and more news of future releases from me, but just what do you, my readers want to see featured here?

So, rather than post up a poll, I wanted to engage you lot, to see what you think? More dedicated industry interviews (I had planned it, but do you want them?) Terrain tutorials? Reviews? 15 or 28mm?

I’ve finally managed to get hold of Frostgrave, so would you want to see something relating to that, be it 15mm terrain for the game, or a focus on the 28mm? More craft/making stuff, whatever it be?

So many things, so many decisions.

So I throw it over to you. Let me know in the comments section, or contact me directly if you have suggestions, ideas or what ever you’d like.

You know, this site isn’t just here to keep promoting my variety of tat, it is to entertain and enlighten (well, maybe thats going too far!) and of course, I do it for you all, my lovely readers!!

Let me know!


Weird 15mm Games I should run: Zombies On The Buses…

7 Jul


I have some weird ideas for wargames, and while most can be somewhat surreal at times, there are some that really stick in my head. A lot of these would be ideal games for conventions as they aren’t really ideas you’d use in a campaign over the course of a few sessions. These would prove to be a great laugh and fun games, and just maybe it might inspire someone to have a go…

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Brainstorming: Grinning Skull digest anyone?

9 Mar

Just taking a brief respite in my sculpting and model making to say something…So, this has been rattling around in my head for a while, ignore the title of the post, that just implies the basis of the idea rather than the outcome, so to speak.
Whilst I like the computer world and it’s weirdness of the web, the myriad of different thoughts, opinions and voices that aren’t stifled by censorship and big corporations and such like, what I dislike a lot is Ebook type publications. My problem with them is that I have a hard time getting into them and having a good read, maybe an ebook reader or tablet is in order for me, but for the time being, it’s a no go.
I like real books and mags, that tactile feel of turning the page, the smell of the print, and the ability to read wherever
you want. for me and others, books will never go out of fashion.
So, what am I harping on about? Well, even so there are lots of great small press wargaming publications available for free and low priced, the electronic nature of them puts me of. I want to read stuff in places there isn’t going to be a recharge point, or plug socket, even sat on the bog! I want stuff in print!
What I am partial to, is reading other peoples blogs, there are tons of really great articles on them, from all parts of the wargaming world, the blog writers put some great material out there, most of them are far from professional writers, but they still produce great stuff regardless.
Now even so I enjoy the occasional foray into the historical bits, I’m a scifi/fantasy nut when it comes to my wargaming, which is why I enjoy blogs from likeminded people, it seems to be the only real place that one can get access to this kind of reading matter nowadays. But, I’d much prefer it in print form. I still hanker for the days of independent games magazines of old, and while I realise that these times are gone due to the dwindling numbers of the buying public, I still think that there are plenty of us old guard left that would support some kind of small press publication I’m imagining, something dedicated to the scifi and fantasy end of the wargaming hobby, but I’m not thinking about it being in the form of a magazine, rather a softback book.
OK, I’m thinking a compendium of sorts, articles, How to’s, Tutorials, fiction, interviews, reviews, a bit of art and cartoons and so forth, all contained in a publication dedicated to scifi and fantasy wargames. Hell, you could even stick some quick rulesets in there too, there doesn’t need to be rhyme or reason to tie it together with themes, the only coherent theme would be around scifi and fantasy wargaming.
It wouldn’t have to be a regular magazine type of periodical, even if it were successful it doesn’t need to be more often than one year at a time. Just a stand alone book, or a digest dedicated to the independent scifi & fantasy miniature wargaming scene.
So how to produce this “digest”? Ignore my post title, I wouldn’t ever think of naming it the grinning skull digest, that was merely to get my message across, it wouldn’t matter too much what it was called, only the concept is important.
I think everyone has at least one or two great articles in them, even myself. That’s how I would envision starting to get the volume of material needed for something like this. All it would need is a group of likeminded people behind the idea, everyone involved would get full credit for their involvement, I would imagine that while new original material would be preferred, a bulk of what you’d need could be reproduced (with permission and consent) from the web from their original writers.
I’d like to think that the many independent miniature firms could be involved a great deal, and by allowing them to showcase their own rulesets, miniatures and such, a lot of additional material could be collated for the book, after all it’s free advertising allowing them to showcase their stuff and may reach new audiences and customers. Same goes for blog owners and writers, artists and photographers, and many other folks eager to show off what they are capable of.

Alright, you know that money is going to come into play at some point, but with the event of print on demand and things like kickstarter, now making stuff like this is even more easy to do than it ever was, so while cash is great, it doesn’t have to be a big issue. Besides, if there was any money raised from the book, it could be donated to charity to save any hassle, or put into the next one if it were deemed to go that in direction. No real money ever need to change hands, nobody needs to get paid, self promotion far exceeds the price or cost.
All I’m saying is that an idea like this could be good, it’s not set in stone, nor am I saying it’ll work out as cut and dried as I’ve set out. I’m simply just trying to start a dialog and discuss if it could be done.
I’d be up for involvement, and I’d happily donate my skills to it, but whether anyone else feels the same way is another matter. It was just an idea that’s been floating about for a while in my noggin.

So, hopefully I have put my point across, and now I’d like to throw the ball over to you lot, please lets start a conversation to the how’s and why’s, yeses and no’s and so on. Go on, feel free to stick your oar in and have a say, you
don’t even need to have a vested interest to jump in with an opinion. Have your say, please. If you think it wouldn’t work, just say, if you would change something, say it. All opinions are valid (apart from anyone acting like a dick, keep it constructive please!)

I never said it was ever going to be easy….

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15mm Miniature Creature Design basics

19 Jan
English: Thinking, bright idea.

English: Thinking, bright idea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ok, lately I’ve been toying with some new concepts for creature design for a new alien race or two, for use in 15mm Sci-fi wargaming. Everytime I start this creative process, regardless of what the creature is going to be used for, a large sculpture or mask, an ornament or miniature, the brainstorm begins.
This post isn’t so much a show and tell, rather it’s fundamental questions you have to ask yourself in the embryonic stage, where the idea is still just an idea. It’s something that will blend and mutate with each answer, the seed if its evolution. I just want to share some thoughts with you and let you into how my creative process works.
I’ll get to showing you what I came up with another time, for now I just want to talk about just what can, would and should be to the creator, and ultimately its audience and final consumer.
What you have to think at the start, is what it is you want to achieve at the end of the process, be it a mini or an ornamental object, in this example since we are talking about 15mm miniature aliens and monsters, so we first might look at inspiration for a new and interesting creation.
I prefer to keep as original as possible, but with so much that has gone before us, originality is truly hard to achieve without the end result looking like a formless mess. That’s fine if your making some kind of chaos spawn beast, but its far too random and mutable to pin down to a specific look and style that one might want for a race of creatures.
It is a help if you take a look at what’s already been done, there’s nothing worse than taking time to make something up, taken time to get a fixed form, only to find that it’s been done before, and your design is percieved as a mimic or a bad copy of anothers work. Best to do your homework on that one!
Another question you should consider is realism verses the fantastic. Sure it can be both, but depending on different amounts of both these attributes when applied to your information you are gathering, will produce totally different beasts! It’s a matter of personal taste of how you will execute the idea on this level, as is how it will be recieved by your peers, so it’s worth thinking carefully about it.
Where you will get your initial inspiration from could come from anywhere and anything, so take a walk, look at books, films, comics, talk to people or listen to music, fill your surroundings with inspiring things and something good will pop in your mind and create a seed.
So, as it is, we are creating an alien race for a set miniatures. We are now with purpose, we know that it is an alien, so it comes from another world, but how different is it from what we are used to? It’s a case of the realistic Vs the fantastic again, so if it was more realistic and believable, we might follow our own planets rules of nature as a start, which might be almost human, semi human hybrids, animal, or plant, man made or machine, while on the other end of the fantastical spectrum might be elemental beings, ghostly or energy, unusual objects or even number based ideas, or the bizarre, we then just slot in any inspirational thoughts and cool bits we like to one of these brackets and follow with the next questions. Many times the next stages will be a style, or influence that will change the design, such as tech levels and intelligence of said race. A primitive race won’t have tech if it doesn’t have intelligence to make or use stuff, but if it does will how its insectoid or birdlike apendages affect what it uses or prefers to use? Or has it adopted found or stolen tech? Like wise a higher intelligence and developed race might have adapted another race’s idea or concentrated upon an idea and took it to extremes, like grav or electro-magnetic technology, try to look at how you alien race had evolved from and why the tech has developed in this way, trying where ever to apply the realism vs fantastic, as you go. A race evolved from a starfish for example would have a central mouth and face, with five or more limbs, how pronounced these features are would be dependent on the realism v fantastic levels, with a realistic version appearing to follow a more scientific shape and movement, and an emphasis on the dexterity or tool use with the limbs, to the fantastic being an upright walking starfish with a gun in each hand! Both concepts identical, but the sliders at opposite ends of the scale of believability.
My best advice is to keep your influences simple, just add extra themes and ideas only when really needed, remember you can redo and chop and change as you need. Try to use the realism sliders to change the info you amass in the brainstorming sessions, always remember to keep a jotter or notepad with you to make notes so you don’t forget any great ideas you get as well, you might get inspired further down the line and be able to use a defunct design again, but with additional principles from another.
A you add more questions to the design like what its diet’s like?, how does it see? What influences its society, how it procreates, are there significances to male/female forms for breeding? Whats the homeworld’s gravity, ecology, atmosphere and terrain like? Things like this will influence how the creature acts, looks and does in your design, so even so you might think just having five limbs would just look cool, maybe the race would have a mathematics system based around the number five (rather than human binary and us having two limbs) over time the maths languages of the aliens would eventually become very complex. This complexity might lead to them being excellent strategists or technicians. Just by applying these simple details will lead to more diverse visual ideas.
With these outlines in mind, I will talk you through some of my latest concepts and reasons for and why, but not today!
I’d like to know your thoughts and ideas on creature creation, so as usual, all comments and discussion are welcome.
What’s your opinions on the realism verses fantastic theory?
Let’s stir the ideas pot people!

Peace out….

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