The Basement is Back

The Basement is back! By that I mean both the actual basement in my house and this blog. This blog got the name “Brent’s Basement” because most of what I post about is either Roleplaying Games, Miniatures Games, Board games or model building.

Almost all of those activities either take place in the basement of my house, or the materials required for them are stored in my basement.

As I’ve mentioned in a couple of places, my basement flooded back in July 2016.
Fortunately most of our stuff is either stored on bookshelves, cabinets or in plastic bins. So, other than the carpeting and the drywall, we didn’t lose much.
The physical bookshelves did soak up water, so they were also lost, but the items on the shelves were fine.

Unfortunately, it did mean the floors and walls needed to be redone, so everything that was in the basement got boxed up and put into storage.
That happened fairly quickly. And then things stalled. It took several months for the insurance company to approve all the estimates for getting the flooring, carpeting and walls redone. Once they finally did do the approvals, the actual repairs went reasonably quickly and our contents were finally returned.

Except, everything had been packed into boxes, but because a lot of the boxes contained books and games, they only filled them a third to half full. So when they came back they literally filled the basement from wall to wall, with just barely enough room to walk from room to room.

This was the bottom of the stairs

Then moved into the Media Room

Then into Michelle’s studio, which had the most available space:

Into the Library and my main hobby room:

And the hallway and pantry area leading from the stairs past the laundry area and into the Library.  Had barely enough room to get the freezer and refrigerator opened:

This was a fairly typical box and how it was packed:

And, another example:

I ended up stacking as many boxes as high as I could on one side of the room to free up some wall space on the other side, then unpacking and stacking the contents on the floor as high as I could again without the whole thing falling over:

Eventually the new Billy Bookcases arrived, I had some family members come over for a building bee and with some shuffling of boxes and some fancy maneuvering, the bookcases got built and things started getting put back into place


It took a long time to get things unpacked, then reorganized, new bookcases built and filled, but that process is now 95% finished and I’m at the point that I can start working on projects again.
Now I just need to decide if I want to paint some Character miniatures, some Starship miniatures, or build a few Starship models. And do some posting about it in this blog along the way.

Battlestar Galactica Character Miniatures (part 6) – Crooked Dice Game Design Studio

The last miniature company that I ordered from was Crooked Dice Game Design Studio.
More Cylons!  This time called “Argonauts” and mostly found under the “Villains and Monsters” section.
They don’t have anything that really looks like Viper Pilots, but they have a ton of other very nice minis for all sorts of shows including “Planet of the Apes”, “Space 1999”, and even a “Mork” mini. I had to order some of the Simians along with my Argonauts and I’m sure I’ll be ordering more from them in the future.

These came in a padded envelope and in zip lock bags inside. I’ll have to snap a few better pictures of the actual minis when I get mine out of temporary storage.









Battlestar Galactica Character Miniatures (part 5) – Nexus Miniatures

The fifth stop on my tour of miniature companies was Nexus Miniatures.
I finally found some great miniatures for Cylons, and as a bonus, some really good Viper Pilots as well. At the time there was an “Ancient Enemies” Deal on, which isn’t available at the time of this posting but the individual figures are, at least for the Viper Pilots, called “Dino-Rangers” on the site. Right now there only seems to be one Cylon, referred to as “Caprican Legion” on the site. I wasn’t able to locate the Caprican Legion/Cylon figures that came with “Ancient Enemies” deal.
I emailed the owner to see if that is just an oversight in the store or if they have been discontinued. He let me know that the molds are being retooled so they are temporarily out of stock, but will be returning. Once they are back, I’ll update this post with the additional information on them.


This one was actually a fight to get, the package was shipped three times and lost three times.  The customer service from Nexus Miniatures was great, he eventually went down in person to talk to the new Postmaster at his local depot and the Main Sorting office.  Apparently there were a lot of mistakes that had affected a lot of people.  The Royal Mail covered all the losses including the shipping costs, and Nexus gave me a nice discount voucher and free shipping for a future order.  The package was sent for the fourth time and arrived safe and sound and in a reasonable amount of time.

I have placed a new order for several pre-order products that look really nice, but I’ll cover them in a future post.

The minis arrived in a regular sort of mailing box, there wasn’t any extra padding inside the box itself, but the minis and stands were packed in nice and tight and were quite secure.  I had ordered two sets for the deal, so they were sufficient to fill the box.



The Viper pilots,err, Dino-Rangers are available as a set or individually. It would be nice to see some female Dino-Rangers, but there aren’t any available yet.



Major Caprican, Supreme Commander of the Legion I don’t have this one yet, but he’s on pre-order

Battlestar Galactica Character Miniatures (part 4) –

The fourth company I ordered miniatures from was  At this point I was looking more for something I could use as Cylons rather than humans.  I had ordered some Star Wars Super Battle Droids which I thought would work okay for the Re-imagined Cylons in a pinch, but wasn’t really happy with them.  I did find and ordered some interesting miniatures from Tin-Soldier, but still not a great match for Cylons.

The mini’s came packed reasonably well, not as much protection as some of the other companies, but they arrived intact so that’s all that really mattered.  Also, everything came labeled as “Reviresco” rather than “Tin-Soldier”.  A little bit of Googling came up with: “Reviresco Products is owned by head designer John McEwan. It was formerly known as McEwan Miniatures until a name change around 1990 to Reviresco (the latin motto for Clan MacEwan). Reviresco’s current in-production figures can be found at Tin Soldier.”

Everything I ordered is found under the “Starguard” section of the website.




The pictures of the miniatures on the website aren’t great but I’ll include them anyway.  I took some photos of them when I opened them up and included those as well.  The Valkyrie Fembots might make an interesting variation on Cylons that could freak out the players in my game :).  They might also be a good test for some “Plate Mail Metal” color primer I’ve been eyeing.  The other figures might make decent BSG characters in a pinch, but I think some of the other miniatures are better, especially some of the later finds that I’ve ordered but haven’t arrived yet.





Fabian Viper Squad img_1749_sm I think I’ll use these guys as painting practice for viper pilots to see if I get the colors the way I like



Rep- Com Combat Detachment img_1747_sm More dudes for painting practice, maybe I’ll do them as Marines or something



Imperial Terran Scythe img_1751_sm I don’t actually remember why I ordered this one, just liked the look I guess



Ralnai Fleet Tug img_1753_sm I figured this might make a good Millennium Falcon

Battlestar Galactica Character Miniatures (part 3) – Reaper Miniatures

The third stop on my quest for Battlestar Galactica characters was Reaper Miniatures which has a huge selection of miniatures for all genres.

I accidentally ordered one miniature on it’s own instead of adding them all to my cart and then placing the order.  I found out their site is a little odd when it comes to trying to cancel or change an order.  To quote a section from their FAQ:  “In short, if you don’t catch us before 5PM CST, M-F, it’s unlikely you’ll catch us in time. On the weekends, we’ll be unable to catch these requests at all.”

The good news is this is because they are very quick on the shipping.  Anything you order one day is usually on the truck being sent for delivery the next morning.

The packaging was decent as well, no snacks but some sample paint and dice.  No bubble wrap in the packages, but it wasn’t needed as each miniature is on it’s own card.





Here’s the list of miniatures that I ordered, with links to the page on the Reaper Website:

50149 – Natalia, Female Secret Agent. This is the one I ended up with two of, one will make a good test for my rusty painting skills.




80025 – Bonnie.  This one is plastic and mine has a very sharp lean where her foot attaches to the base. I think heating it with a hair dryer then bending it will fix the problem but I haven’t tried it yet. It looks very similiar to the Veronica Blaze mini so it will be interesting to see how they compare once they are painted.


50032 – Jake Ryan, Hero Explorer. Something about this one just screamed “Starbuck!” to me.


50178 – Andre Durand, Time Chaser. Okay, this guy’s not really going to fit in to Battlestar Galactica, but I just really liked the mini.


50197 – Alien Overlord Boss. You might be able to get away with using this one as the Imperious Leader, but he really does scream “Mars Attacks!”

Battlestar Galactica Character Miniatures (part 2) – Heresy Miniatures

The second stop on my quest for Battlestar Galactica character miniatures was Heresy Miniatures

The miniatures came in a nice little box with additional bubble wrap inside and more snacks!

005 006

These are multi-part miniatures which will require a little assembly, gluing on weapons for the most part.


I ordered the Ship Crew Deal, which has five crew members and a set of guns to arm them with.


This fellow could pass as a Viper Pilot with no problem, they even got the paint job on the website fairly close to what you would want.


This fellow has a rather odd looking helmet, but should be able to pass as a crewman of some sort. Engineers are always a little odd anyway.


Funky shades on this one, but the jacket and such are reasonably close.


Another security officer with huge boots.


I’m not really sure why this one landed in the Crew Deal.  He might not fit as well as an Original Series character, but might be good as a marine or something in the newer version of Galactica.


I also ordered the Inspectors Deal Pack, they could be used as Bridge Officers or the Internal Security guys from the Original Series that the Viper Pilots loved to hate.



Last up was Captain Nathan, okay, he’s not going to make a great BSG character, but if need a captain for a small independent trading/smuggling ship…

Battlestar Galactica Character Miniatures (part 1) – Hasslefree Miniatures

I’ve been looking for some character miniatures for Battlestar Galactica for quite some time now.  Nobody is specifically licensed to  sell them, but I’ve ordered some from several different companies which I think will work quite well. Some are obviously designed to resemble BSG characters, others just happen to look close enough to use.

I’m going to do an initial list of what I ordered from each company, just as much so I can keep track of which miniatures came from where as anything else.  I’ll do another set of posts when I start to get them painted.

The first company I ordered from is Hasslefree Miniatures , the miniatures came in a well padded envelope, with additional bubble wrap around the miniatures and a couple of bonus items thrown in. The company is in the UK, but the miniatures arrived in a reasonable amount of time, comparable to ones I ordered from companies in the US.  These miniatures would be best used to represent characters from the new version of Battlestar Galactica.  They also have some miniatures that would be great for Star Wars and even some for Star Trek.


Here is a shot of the actual items I received, I included a couple of non-BSG type characters as well, just because they were too good to pass up.


Here are some shots of the miniatures from the companies website, with links to the pages below.


HFSF114 Rae


HFSF117 Colonel Michaels


HFSF119 Maxine
I didn’t actually order this particular miniature, but it was in the box as an extra. The one I got isn’t this green color, not really sure I’ll have any use for it but might be interesting to try and fit a character like this into a BSG story somehow.


HFSFMP04 Retro Sci-Fi Girls (3)   These ones may or may not be good for Battlestar Galactica, but they would definitely work for Original series Star Trek



Five Elements Anthology

This was a fun read, several authors that all have to incorporate the same five elements into a story, and at a price of $1.25, it’s a pretty good deal.

I thought all the stories were quite well done, some interesting little twists in a couple of them.
Buy at Amazon
Buy at Amazon

Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year! 2015 is now done with, and it was a pretty decent year.  Summer was a little rough, my wife had surgery on her ankle and was basically immobile and stuck in the house for one of the hottest summers we have had in a long time.  But the surgery went well and has healed up nicely.  She was off the crutches and mobile by September when she started school at SAIT.  She’s been doing very well, the first semester is done, second semester is coming up and then a six week practicum.  Then another two semesters next year and an eight week practicum at the end.

As for me, I’m still gainfully employed and enjoying my job as a Data Analyst at Calgary Lab Services.  It doesn’t look like I’m in danger of getting laid off, which is more than I can say for many of my friends and relatives.  The downturn in oil prices has had a huge negative effect on the Alberta economy.  Alberta also kicked out the long reigning Progressive Conservative party and elected a NDP government in as the provincial party.  At the Federal level, the PC’s got replaced by the Liberal party, which could make politics kind of interesting for the next few years. I think I’ve paid more attention to politics this year than most of my life put together.

As for my projects, I’ve done next to nothing related to ICE or my ICE Webring site other than updating a few products that I was missing.  I’m still kicking around the idea of doing a revamp of that site to get rid of the custom code that I use for the database, but it’s not high on my project list. ICE had a couple of small releases but still only beta versions of a new Rolemaster.  Frankly, I’ve pretty much lost interest in them, and it’s more the technical challenge of changing the website that interests me than the products themselves.

My main focus for RPG projects has been working on a D6 version of Battlestar Galactica based on the Star Wars rules.  I’ve done some work on the Space Combat portion of the rules, the skills section and character generation.  I’ve also picked up a bunch of ship miniatures and, just recently, some character miniatures.  The plan is to document some of the work that I’m doing with the miniatures, which I have already done for a few of them.  I did enter a bunch of the information into the Realm Works software, but haven’t done much else with it.  I gave up on creating Star Wars D6 in Hero Lab, it just wasn’t worth the effort that would be required.

Related to Battlestar Galactica roleplaying, I did start a BSG Roleplaying Community on Google+ late in September, which, after three months, has 40 members, around 10 of which are reasonably active.  I’m still the one that posts most of the content, which usually gets some responses from the other members, but they seldom start anything new.  I’m hoping that someone will get an online game going, but that isn’t something I’m willing to take on right now.

Looking back at last years New Years posting, I still haven’t photographed my concert tee shirts or my old cabaret posters from University.  I’m guessing that won’t get done this year either.

I have been working on cleaning up my library of ebooks which are in Calibre, fixing up titles and authors and the other information for all the books I’ve accumulated.  This will let me downsize my library of physical books substantially.  My shelves are overflowing and I’d like to get rid of a lot of the books I have.  I’m thinking the CBC book drive is going to get a large donation from me this year since two of the used book stores that used to be near me have closed in the last year.  There are of course some sets that I just won’t be able to part with, such as my Discworld novels and my Star Trek, V, and Battlestar Galactica novels.

The harder part will be when I get to my Roleplaying games.  I have a lot of books that I’m sure I’ll never use, such as my GURPS sourcebooks, but they would be hard to part with even though I have most of them as PDF files as well.

I’m doing a similar cleanup on my music.  I got started on moving my CDs out of the plastic cases and into sleeves, only made it to the “C’s” and then haven’t touched it in months, but now I know someone that can make use of the empty cases, so we may spend some time on that and get more of them done.  iTunes match also finally raised the limit of songs that can be matched from 25,000 to 100,000 which means I can start moving my collection of “extra music” into iTunes instead of storing it separately.  I don’t want to just mass import it though as there are a lot of duplicate items and some albums that I accumulated along with other stuff that I’ve never listened to and don’t even know if I will like.  So it will be a slow process of weeding through things and listening to them, but I’m not in a rush.

The biggest challenge for this year will be my ongoing struggle with trying to lose weight.  I have all the tools and knowledge I need to make it work, I just need to find the right balance and lifestyle adjustments to make it work.  I also know that I can’t have vague goals such as “lose 25 lbs”.  It’s got to be things that are attainable.  I know that logging meals in “My Fitness Pal” helps, so I’ll try and stick to that regularly.  My biggest challenges are portion size and getting in enough vegetables, so I think focusing on making the vegetables the main item in my dinners rather than the protein will help.  I have a few vegetable dishes I know I like, so I need to find a few more, and also find some that can be made in larger quantities ahead of time and be brought for lunches.  Things like bean salads would work well.  If I can do that and keep the sugar and carbs to a minimum, then I should be able to see some success.  I have been stuck at about 263 lbs (give or take a couple pounds) for about 6 months now, which is actually a gain from where I was a year ago when I was slightly under 260.  The lowest I hit last year was 255, but I think that was after a bout of the flu and didn’t stick.  I’ll be starting this year around 268, after the holidays, Hopefully the vacation gain will come off quickly and I can get focused on making some real progress.

Along with diet, I need to focus on getting at least 23 minutes of cardio in each day, at least five out of seven days a week.  I was being pretty successful with that before Christmas by treating it as a prescription from my Doctor, which is basically what it is.  I rarely miss taking any medications that I’m ever prescribed, and I need to treat the exercise the same way.  Fortunately 23 minutes is conveniently the length of an episode of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and we have a treadmill and a recumbent bike in the basement with a view of the TV for the days that I don’t want to be outside.  I do want to do more hiking and walking outside this year as well and have been kicking around the idea of starting an informal group on Facebook for it.  I’m also considering posting my progress and setbacks with diet and exercise on Facebook more regularly to see if peer support helps keep me on track.  Despite claims by the gyms and other fitness folks, most recent studies show that exercise, while offering many benefits, doesn’t really help with weight loss.  It should help with other things such as cholesterol level, blood pressure and overall well being.

The other items on the agenda for this year are getting the sink in the kitchen replaced, which should happen fairly soon, and get the sinks in the bathroom fixed so they stop dripping.  That should be easy, probably just changing the washers, but nothing in our house ever ends up being as easy as it should be. There’s a few other minor projects around the house that I’d like to get done too, but it’s not worth listing them all here.

That’s it for my annual brain dump, have a Happy New Year, wishing everyone the best for 2016.

Corsec Bases and Rods with tweaks

Over the years I’ve tried out several different types of stands and bases for my miniatures, but I think I’ve finally settled on the using the Omni-Stand system from Corsec Engineering.  What I like about it is that it is very versatile, especially when combined with a few accessories from a fine tool store like Lee Valley.

There are three main parts to the Omni-Stand system, the base, the supporting rod, and the mount, all of which are interchangable, which means you can use the same miniature for multiple games and just swap out the base, going from a round base with 30 degree firing arcs for something like Full Thrust, to square bases customized for use with the X-Wing Miniatures Game. Continue reading ‘Corsec Bases and Rods with tweaks’ »