Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Comic Gong 2018

This is an entire post free of specific games stuff so if that's your only reason to read this blog, then it's probably best to move on.

Still here? Good.

Today was Comic Gong, which is Wollongong's free festival of pop-culture and nerdery, organised by the council through the public library service. As ever there was plenty of stalls, displays and events for all the family. There were even two miniatures companies selling their wares (although I didn't buy any). And, of course, there was cosplay. And, as you know, Catherine and I are partial to a little cosplay. 

In fact our costumes were the only ones I took pictures of. The photographic muse has deserted me recently for anything but blatant self-promotion, so that's all this post is; pictures of our cosplay.

But what a cosplay it was. Unlike previous years, when we have attempted specific characters, this year we decided to go for a theme. And the theme we went for was Star Trek. With a steampunk vibe. Yes, not original at all, but, surprisingly, something we could put together with very little effort using stuff we either owned or could borrow from our daughter. 

We put together our look, developing names for our character in the car on the way there.

Here's Catherine, as the logical Vulcan Sub-Commander Spanik.


She seems very stern and forbidding ...


... but is capable of a very unVulcan smile when prompted.

And do you like her Starfleet badge? I made us one each from layered card and small cogwheels from the steampunk accessories section of our local sewing and craft shop.


I took on the role of adorable red-shirt, Ensign Persano, whose name is derived from a very convoluted reference to something in the Sherlock Holmes canon. My cameo choker is also made from bits from the same craft and sewing shop.


The ray-gun was part of Catherine's Doctor Venus costume from a couple of years ago.


The belt was the only major item I bought specifically for the costume. It's the first cosplay I've done where I can actually carry my personal effects as part of the costume.



Even officers of the Steamship Enterprise need sustenance.



 More tea, Ensign?


The biggest thing to come out of it was that we met one of the senior photographers for our local paper, since she was obviously covering the event. She took our photos for the paper, of course, but whilst she took them we chatted and she wants to try and put together a story or photo-essay on Catherine and myself with regard to my crossdressing and how it's part of our life. We're quite excited by this; it's something about which people make a lot of assumptions and which is very misunderstood, and it's nice to be given an opportunity to maybe change the way people think, and do some good.

Update: Bonus picture of the two of us together.



Monday, 2 April 2018

Lovecraft Letter

We bought Maya a copy of 'Lovecraft Letter' for Christmas, but up until this weekend she'd not had a chance to play it. Yesterday we rectified that.


'Lovecraft Letter' is a variant of the classic 'Love Letter' game with an insane twist. 


At its core it is the basic 'Love Letter' game. Indeed you can strip out the special cards and play it as such. However as well as the basic cards and rules you'd expect from 'Love Letter' it has a second set of cards which run an insanity mechanism. These have the same numerical values and rules as the basic cards (so 'The Hounds of Tindalos' insane card acts like 'The Great Race of Yith' normal one - both are equivalent to the 'Baron' in regular 'Love Letter'), but also have a special 'Insane' effect as well. Once you've played one Insane card, you can access the special effect on all subsequent ones you get. And some of them are quite powerful. However on each of your turns you must check to see if you go totally insane; if you do, you're out of the round.


Victory is slightly different. If you win a round then you get a token. You get one type if you were sane when you won, and another if you were insane. You only need two sane tokens to win, or three insane tokens. There's also an instant win condition on one of the insane cards, but it's very hard to achieve. That said, it is possible for someone to win in two rounds in this game, although it's quite hard to do.


It take a few rounds to get used to the unusual insane effects, but after that the game rattles along nicely. We enjoyed it and, whilst it seems more random than the basic game, the Lovecraft skin gives it an entertaining element which makes up for this.

Here's a combination you don't want to have; discarding either of these cards loses you the round. Not good.


(I did manage a victory in one game by a wonderfully obscure mechanism. The round ended with three of us still in contention. In this case the person with the highest card in their hand wins. I had a '1'. I was doomed. But the other two players both had a '5'. The rules say that in the case of a tie, all players involved are knocked out, and the next highest surviving player wins. So that was me. This gave me a second sane token, and victory. An underdog win if ever there was one.)

Anyway, if you like 'Love Letter' and enjoy Lovecraft, this is a great little game. The components, right down to the box, are gorgeous and, as seems to be becoming the norm for such games, you even get card-holders with a proper back and everything. Recommended.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Frocktober 2017

Warning! This post is going to contain a lots of frock pictures. But on the plus side, many of them won't have me in them.

Yes, once again it's that Frocktober time of year, and I'm using this blog to promote the annual fundraiser by the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation here in Australia.

Here's what they say:

Ovarian cancer is an insidious disease, often known as a “silent-killer” as symptoms are vague and often strike without warning. Unlike many other cancers there is no early detection test. Consequently ovarian cancer is often diagnosed in its late stages and only 20%-30% of women will survive beyond five years of diagnosis. In comparison, survival rates increase to 80-100% when ovarian cancer is detected and treated early.

The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation is Australia’s pre-eminent ovarian cancer research body. Our goal is to raise ovarian cancer awareness and vital funds for the development of an early detection test that will save women’s lives.

We receive no government funding and rely on the support of our community and business supporters to assist in driving our research forward.


The classic way to raise funds is to wear a dress every day in October. As I've said before, this isn't very practical for me, or for many other (regardless of gender). But this year my daughter decided to wear formal or cosplay outfits to her university classes on as many days as she could. So this year she gets top-billing in my annual Frocktober post. She has a page set up for donations, and I'd love for you to go there now and make a small (or not so small) contribution. Thank you. Here it is:

Maya's Frocktober Page


Now enjoy the pictures.










I think she still has a couple of outfits left in her for this coming week as well.

Maya gets top billing, but Mrs Kobold and I haven't been idle as well. A couple of weeks ago we headed out to the Southern Highlands (with Maya) looking awesome together:






Then today we went back to Goulburn because Catherine wanted to visit a second-hand book emporium there, and I wanted to go to the war memorial.


This is Goulburn's War Memorial. I blogged about it a few years ago.


And this is me browsing the Argyle Book Emporium.


I picked up a few goodies.


And this is just me.


As I say, Maya is probably good for a few more outfits, and I may have one more outing left in me this month as well, but I think this post has quite enough Frocktobering in it to convince you to donate. So here's that link again:

Maya - Frocktober 2017

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Love, Murder and Knights

Catherine has been designing another of her murder mysteries over the past couple of weeks, and tried it out on us yesterday. I don't have any pictures, and obviously won't reveal too many details, since she plans to market it at some stage, but basically we all played pet cats living in a suburban street investigating the death of one of their number. It was as bonkers as it sounds, but great fun and kept everyone engaged and entertained for a few hours. As well as grossed out by the special cat-themed nibbles she'd provided for us.

Anyway, we played a game of Love Letter: Premium Edition afterwards; this is the version which has extra cards to expand it to between five and eight players. The dynamics are different to the basic two- to four-player game (more rounds end in a comparison of cards rather than last man standing), but it's still very entertaining.



Despite all this entertainment I still found time at home to do the basing on my Arthurian HOTT army, which is now completed and ready for its first game. Here's a quick picture. I'm sure there will be more to follow.


Sunday, 27 August 2017

Fascinating

As part of this blog's remit of being about my wargaming activities I do, of course, include some of my modelling and painting, even if, generally, I prefer to post game- and rules-related stuff. And it's always fun to be able to transfer skills picked up from my activities to other areas of my life.

Case in point this weekend. Every year, around this time, we go to a local charity ball, which always has a retro/vintage theme of some kind. It's an opportunity to dress up posh and fancy and strut our stuff, and you know I'll never turn down a chance to do that.

My wife and daughter made their outfits again this year, whilst mine was off-the-peg, albeit exactly what I wanted. But both my wife an I wanted headpieces to accessorise our looks.

My wife had made herself a 70s style jumpsuit in a rather unusual Hallowe'en spider-design fabric, and wanted something to match. we searched the files on Thingiverse, and found a set of pieces for making jewellery with. I printed off the necessary bits, painted them to match her outfit and assembled them into this. The assembly was a simple superglue and pinning with wire effort:


The fact that it matched her hair was just an extraordinary coincidence.

My beautification took longer (obviously). I wanted a fascinator to match the frock I'd selected; something fancy but not too over-the-top. I bought a few bits from Spotlight, watched a number of videos on You Tube, trawled through fashion blogs and Pinterest, and then set to. I assembled, and disassembled, but eventually with the aid of a little bit of sewing and a session with my daughter's hot-glue gun, I produced this:


All I can say is that it wasn't as easy to make as I thought it would be; I can see why people fork out wads of cash to buy one. However aside from time it cost me less than $25, so it was worth it.

Here's the bigger picture.

My whole outfit:


Mrs Kobold and I:

And the rest of our party - my daughter (seated), her boyfriend and her best friend. My daughter made her vintage-style dress and turban:


As you can see, we lead a glamourous life chez Kobold.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Comic Gong 2017

I noticed that I haven't blogged about Comic Gong much since the first event was held, back in 2013. Comic Gong is Wollongong's one-day festival of comics, popular culture and nerdery in general. It started off as a small event held in an outlying library, but proved so popular that in 2014 it was moved to the town hall, and covers that building, the main city library and the art galley, as well as the plaza which connects the three venues.

The best thing about it? Its free! It's run by the local council and mostly organised by the library service.

And it attracts an excellent crowd of people, all of who seem to enjoy themselves. There are various events and displays during the day, you can meet local artists and buy your basic nerdy stuff.


Ex Manus Studios attend every year, selling their small, but lovely, range of figures. I have a few (unpainted) in my collection.



And there is, of course, cosplay.



Ariel is Tess, one of my daughter's friends. You'll see them together later. Apparently she and Ursula spent the rest of the day avoiding each other, because if they met up they were accosted by crowds of children wanting to have their picture taken with the pair.



My favourite outfit, purely because I love that handmade skirt.



And my favourite cosplay - George R R Martin with the Death Note book.


Did I cosplay, you ask? Certainly I did. Catherine and I paired up this year. She channelled her inner David Tennant and went as as the mind-controlling Kilgrave ...


... whilst I portrayed his nemesis, Alias Investigations private eye, Jessica Jones.


Sadly we didn't get any really good pictures of ourselves, but we'll be repeating these cosplays at Supanova in June, so hopefully we'll do better then.


However the featured cosplay for this blog is our daughter Maya's - Tinkerbell.



She made the dress and props herself, as well as modifying the wig and shoes. Her friends went as Aerial and Belle (seen here with one of the Comic Gong organisers as Jane Jetson).


Needless to say she was popular with little girls wanting to have their picture taken with her. And she lapped up the attention. (That's not a little girl; it's her friend Makayla)


Anyway, she looked fantastic.



As I said, we'll be off to Supanova, we hope, so there may be more of these costumes in another post.
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