Nine tips for leveling-up your miniature painting skills

The RPG Athenaeum

While many may consider the practice of painting miniature figures to be a hobby separate from role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, the origin of these games traces directly back to tabletop wargaming, and the painted miniatures associated with them. And although the recent availability of pre-painted miniatures has served to separate the activities of painting from game play, a significant subset of Dungeons & Dragons players and dungeon masters still paint their own miniatures, just as they have for more than 30 years.

Clearly, the idea of buying pre-painted miniatures “to save time,” – as if miniature painting was some sort of chore – is a foreign concept to these game masters, who recognize that painting one’s own figures can bring great satisfaction and can inspire creativity.

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Words of Wisdom: Sleep on it

A friend of mine shared some wisdom with me when we were driving to Malbun, Liechtenstein this year. I joined him one morning to run some errands down at the capital. He is currently working as a managing director at Hilti for MENA region and I have always known him as a spectacular individual.

I had an urge to ask him to what made him so calm working in an important role in Hilti, I made it as casual as possible….it helps especially when your driving uphill through narrow roads. “So Bruno…. how did you learn to be so calm all these years, I have never seen you lose your cool in any situation?!” Although his son and I used to wreck the house most of the time when we were younger, like I mentioned, I knew him for more than 20 years now. He said “Wajd, I never make a big decision in my life before I sleep on it”.

I found that interesting where we do make decisions every day, some are big and some are small, but most of the time we need to make decisions that will affect our lives. The idea of letting things settle first and see the big picture before jumping into a conclusion is crucial. Now it doesn’t mean that every decision requires you to sleep on it obviously, but decisions like setting goals, buying a house, changing your career…etc, anything that requires an investment in time or money, needs to be studied before you can decide yes or no.

Nothing should be rushed even when you have that gut feeling telling you to go for it. I remember getting that a lot when I want to buy furniture or something for the house, then again I need to run it by my boss (my wife).

Studies proved that when you sleep on it, you tend to remember the positive outcomes of your decision more than negative outcomes, therefore depending on the decision, you might require more time to think about it.

I found that to be extremely useful and I try to use this method more often. It helped me in different scenarios in the past two months. I noticed that I can make better and accurate decisions rather than quick fixes, which never really lasts for long before the problem comes back again.

Give it a try, does it work for you?

Sa7 Travel: Liechtenstein: The Beginning

Eid was around the corner and I haven’t felt that I’m done with traveling this summer. I have a week off from work due to the Eid Al Adha so I decided to visit my dear neighbor at his homeland….Liechtenstein. For those who don’t know this glorious country….here is a map and the flag

whats funny is that the my neighbor’s passport is that they put a similar picture of a map to Liechtenstein…you know….just incase they get asked at the airport on where in world is this place.

Due to the size of the country, they don’t have an airport, so I decided to go to Zurich, Switzerland for my flight down. I just need to drive an hour and half to the country. You can always use Munich, Germany depending on the price of the airplane ticket, it will take you about 2 hours driving.

The drive was great, alot of nature on the way….just like most of Europe, Sun is up and the weather was cool. Found it facinating that the border between Switzerland and Liechtenstein was the Rhine River, the trust is real.

What was great that my neighbors though I was bluffing coz no one was serious enough to make the trip, so my friend and I went downtown to the Expo that was happening in Vaduz. The Expo was great, companies from Liechtenstein showcase their products as well as meeting potential clients from Switzerland who come for a visit. There are alot of International companies that I didn’t know where from this country, the more you know the more you learn.

So I stayed in Tresenburg with one of the neighbors son, this place had a great view of three mountains, now I know why doesn’t wanna come back to Dubai. Imagine your view is this every morning. Makes you motivated to go to work…..or call in sick and go hiking.





So day one is pretty chilled. More adventures coming up..stay tuned

Sa7 Travels: Grasse, France


Another day another city, my wife and I decided to visit Grasse, which is about 1h30mins away from Nice. So I had my daily dose of Croissant and Quiche and off we go.

It’s a charming little city, wasn’t too hard to get a cab from the train station. You can always use Uber to get around, saved me so many times in my other travels. All I needed to say was “Perfume” and bam the cab driver knew where to take me.

The Musée International de la Parfumerie was located in the middle of the city.

I loved how they take pride in their perfume culture, the museum is definitely worth spending time there to really understand how it all started. The different flowers used initially like Roses, Lilies, Jasmines…etc to make the fragrances either pastes or sprays. The machines, pictures of workers that worked on picking and separating the petals for production.

My two favorite exhibits of the museum were the smelling booth where you smell the raw materials used, I was surprised to see that they used illicit drugs to mix with the raw materials for the perfumes! you will know what I mean when you visit.

I can comfortablly say that I can identify roughly the ingrediants of today’s perfumes.


The other favorite thing was the showcase of the perfume bottles starting from the late 19th  century till today. I saw the Channel no5 bottle and the old perfumes I was using growing up.

The museum also highlights some of the fashion and history in Grasse through the years.

I don’t want to spoil all the fun about the museum, so you can explore it yourself. I do recommend it if you are in Nice, France the next time.

After lunch, we walked down the old city for some shopping, I got my wife a perfume that she couldn’t get any more from Dubai. The trend is changing and most of the old perfumes are not sold anymore, you would need to go to Europe to find them.


Just outside the museum, you can visit the factory’s outlet shop, all the perfumes they have a great, pretty hard not to buy all of them there. Make sure you visit them you will not be disappointed.

One experience I will treasure when visiting Grasse is that the people are so friendly and helpful. I wanted to get a ride back to the train station and Uber was no place to be found on my app. You can stand at a location where you can call a cab, so we asked a local about that, she offered to call one for us. I haven’t experienced that before, I thought that was generous of the local to help us.


Grasse would be a destination for a half day tour, must visit though…




Sa7 Travel: Monaco

Woke up early morning to catch the train going to Monaco from Nice. My wife’s friend works at Monaco and uses the train to go to work. Convenient coz you don’t have to drive there. The best part about the train in France is that there are no checking points. You can literally go to the city and back without an attendant asking you for a ticket. I can see how this can end up badly, but then again what works in Nice doesn’t necessary work anywhere else. I still paid for the ticket though, guilt drove me crazy.

I always take the opportunity to notice the tiny details of any trip I take, I noticed that you are not allowed to talk on the phone when you sitting down, you need to walk out to the doors to have your conversation. I loved it, the courtesy is great. I noticed a passenger getting off his seat and walk at the doors to take a call, no one dared to take his seat. In Dubai, you snooze you lose!


The train trip was awesome, it runs right next to the coast, it was beautiful.

So we reached and smell of the tracks reminded me of Moscow metro back in 2009, nostalgic. We walked to the office to drop off my wife’s friend and then continued exploring the city. It reminded me of Dubai, everything is new and expensive. Saw a Ferrari, coming from Dubai…it was a familiar sight. The yachts were remarkable, never seen so many black yachts.


I checked out prices of real estate, crazy expensive. Did some research on how does Monaco make its money, found out that they are great with logistics and trading. It was funny to see that most shops have the Prince’s picture, he must be loved.

It is a relatively small place, mostly new buildings and facilities. Went to the Zoo which was always great, I love animals. Visited the Naval Ships Museum, pretty impressive. Had lunch and in general, just chilled by the port. Took some great pics as well of the city.

5pm hit and we were off back to Nice to retire for the day


Sa7 Travels: Nice, France #2

One thing you need to know about the French, is that they don’t mess around when it comes to food. I have been waking up 8am every morning, walk straight to the Bakery or Boulangerie and grab the first Croissant and Baggette, so worth it.

Did some sightseeing around Nice, their churches are beautiful, tried to go to everyone I could find. Here is one of them that I loved, Catholic Church

The beach was fun, no waves this month which made it great for swimming. Nice is easy to navigate through and it doesn’t take long to reach the Old Town. You can cruise around the city in two days, the weather was not bad, it reached the 30s (celcuis) in most days, as long as you have fans to cool you off….you are good.


Overall, a two week stay is enough if you want to just relax and enjoy the laid back town life. Nice as a city is convenient if you want to jump from one city to another.

The next post will talk about Monaco, which is a half an hours train ride from Nice…took some great shots of the city.

A quick tip, if you are down in Nice, you must try the Socca…it’s a nice thing and a must try.

The Fishing Competition that put me off

Reading through the achievements in World of Warcraft, the MMO that I have been playing for 10 years now and still am, I stumbled on one of the impossible achievements of the game, “Salty” for Master Angler of Azeroth.

This one requires you to have the patience of a monk to fish through conditions, locations and a fishing contest….in the game. Now this contest only happens once a week at 4pm my time and have about 2 hours to catch 40 x  Speckled Tastyfish. It is nerve wrecking because their are at least 40 other players who are competing at the same time.

This is my story on how I got the achievement….

I did some research on how other people managed to be either 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the competition, you need to be one of any to get it. Thanks to the guides at wowhead, I managed to prep myself before the competition began by a day. I had to do it with my Night Elf Hunter, my main’s standing is kinda crappy with Booty Bay at the moment, I made sure that my hearthstone is set to Booty Bay as well to save time, you need to quickly hand it in before anyone else.

So I logged in on Sunday 3:30pm and stood infront of a pool in Stranglethorn Plains, I noticed that there were loads of players standing infront of each pool possible. I read on that you need to be calm throughout the process, it helps really. so I started at Nesingwary’s Expedition.

explore_ns_guide (1)

Once your done with the pool you are in, mount and fly to the Lake Nazferiti under, there are loads of pools there, follow the triangle I drew on the map for the fastest way to fish the pools, this can guarentee that by the time you are done with a pool of fish, another one will spawn. Keep doing that as fast as you can, don’t bother with other players fishing in the same pool, just focus in getting your 40 Speckled Tastyfish.


The moment you get the 40th  Speckled Tastyfish, hearthstone to Booty Bay. Don’t mount and rush at the goblin with the quest….and BOOOM you got the achievement, as long as you are 1st 2nd or 3rd it doesn’t matter. If not, better luck next time. I have tried to do the achievement 3 times and I managed to get it.

Now that the achievement is out of the way, I can focus on  One That Didn’t Get Away and hope for the RNG gods are kind to me




Sa7 Travel: Nice, France – The beginning

I wanted to book a vacation this summer with my wife, take her somewhere in Europe, somewhere away from 50 degrees celcius! This time she suggested we visit Nice in France, one of her best friends lives there and wouldn’t mind showing us around the city. Lucky enough, she invited us to stay with her at her apartment.

I have heard tons of great reviews about Nice, France and decided this summer to take my wife on an adventure to france, knowing that she is a french teacher herself…it shouldn’tbe too hard going around this awesome city.

My wife’s friend was nice enough to invite us to stay at her place instead of getting a hotel room. So we stayed at her apartment which was great because it was a 15 minute walk to the beach, the bakery is a block away, fruits & vegetables are right around the corner. The parking in the city is a serious problem, one of the ways that residence manage was to double park overnight. I think everyone knows that and allows it coz everybody has the same problem, kind of weird for me to see in Europe, but thats the beauty of this side of the continent.


Nice probably has the best beach shore I have ever seen, reminds of the shoreline in California but french. My first impression was great, the city has a positive vibe although they had a incident recently at their shoreline recently. That afternoon, my wife’s friend took us to see the memorial of the people who died on Bastille Day. It was a sad day in France, I gave a little prayer for the ones who fallen.


I gonna be staying here for 2 weeks, just relaxing and enjoying the weather. No air conditioning, but there is a fan that keeps me cool throughout the day. Can’t wait to go to Old town and visit the churches in the city, I will be visiting my friend’s parents who live in a village in the mountain side of the province.

Gaming Reviews: The Division Blog#2 – Loadouts

This game is definitely more fun playing with your friends than playing alone, the only reason that I would go solo would be if I am finishing off my dailies.

The funniest part about leveling up is to go hardcore from the beginning. We leveled up by completing each level in hard mode, we died miserably like a million times but we managed to get through by the end of the night.


One advantage in playing in hard mode for missions was that you really feel that you have earned it. Every move you make counts and you can’t afford to rush in especially when there is a named elite that you gonna fight. I remember that we needed to set roles for each of us, this was our load out for a 3 man squad as an example

  1. Explosive Focus – he is in charge of starting the encounter with blowing up as many enemies as possible and continue doing that for crowd control.
    1. Sticky Bomb
    2. Turret
    3. Tactical Link (Signature)
  2. Healer – focuses in reviving and healing everybody.
    1. Support Station
    2. First Aid
    3. Recovery Link (Signature)
  3. Support and Long Range – in charge of activating the skills below and sniping
    1. Pulse
    2. Mobile Cover
    3. Survivor Link (Signature)

Now that the load out is set, the gear needed will be as well re calibrated accordingly to maximize the effectiveness of each skill. It is kinda tough to make sure you get the right gear especially when you want to switch roles from time to time. I would suggest having different sets of gear to switch out when you change roles.

What is great about the game is that you can change your skills at any point with no cost, so go nuts. It gives the opportunity for you to mix and match depending on your gaming style.

These roles can be effective in DZ (Dark Zone) as well providing that you move together as one unit, it is really easy to lose yourself and spread out too thin, so you need to keep in mind to do your job, it helps when extracting stuff without getting run down by both NPCs or real players.

Try it out, let me know what you think

Gaming Reviews: The Division Blog#1

After I decided to leave World of Warcraft since my friends, who talked me into coming back the game, I ventured alone in pursuit in playing other games such as GTA V, when they just introduced heists into the game. I must say that I did enjoy it until it become the only thing my friends and I play….all day, once you do all the heists and get all the cars, you pretty much killing other players on your server. It killed the social part, everyone decided to stay in and play the game rather than enjoy the outdoors, especially when it is winter in Dubai.

I was waiting for this game for more than a year and I finally got it. I didn’t go for the beta though….never after I pre-ordered diablo 3 when it took me a week until I was able to play it offline. Then again when a big hype for a game is overwhelming, I like to give a month until it dies out and then go for it. Luckily two of my friends got the beta and the game was awesome, what helped the idea of getting the game was the fact that two of friends are already playing it.

They were right, this game is great! Even from the beginning….the story was great, didn’t experience any bugs and the story was very well illustrated in my opinion. Played throughout the game solo for some time until I was high enough level to join my other friends to play as a group, leveled up as group until level 30 which honestly better than leveling up solo.

The game involves the same stuff I enjoy like missions, side missions, encounters, a pvp platform (Dark Zone) which is pretty interesting and last but not least Incursions. I love the fact there are loads of stuff that you need to pick up along the game.

The roles in the game are pretty sweet, you can mix and match skills and talents to match your game style. It gives you the opportunity to change all your skills at any point with no cost, and try a different role in a party.

I would hold on to the season pass before the first patch and see how it goes. Not a fan of getting the season pass before experiencing at least one expansion before I get the season pass.

I haven’t played destiny yet and I don’t think I will go for the $80 bundle, plus my friends who played it stopped playing it by now, but the division did take a lot of the traits from destiny where people told me that the leveling, gear and missions are very similar to destiny except you are in New York and you’re saving it.

I am going to share some tips on playing the game plus post some of the cool stuff the game has to offer.

For now, good night and get this game