Thursday, 4 March 2010

191 Time for Change?

Evening, All.

I've been busy with work* recently, and - as such - have had less time for painting. I'm also keen to get as much as I can finished in time for post 200, so they're likely to be a little thin on the ground for the next while.

Which brings me to this:
Is it time for a change, I ask myself? I think, for example, that it's time I culled my 'Glossary' from the right-hand sidebar, as I haven't updated it from the last codex and people seem so much more versed in the jargon these days - understandably so.

But what about the layout?

I'm very grateful to those of you who follow or who read my stuff regularly, and especially those of you who comment - thanks - but I'm not ignorant of the fact that mine is one of the most visually lacklustre gaming blogs I frequent!

I always try to post pictures, I keep it free of clutter, and I strive to keep my posts accurately phrased and appropriately referenced, but I've never really bought into the whole green-and-blue background thing, and the image at the top is a little boring.


Is there anything anyone would like to see? I know my posts don't have a 'theme' or a weekly special slot - this is pretty much a run-o'-the-mill progress blog - but if you've ever thought 'Why doesn't Drax do this...?' or 'Why does he always do that...?' then I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

Also, if I do change the template, do you know if I can keep my second sidebar?

I'm making slow painting progress now half term is over (see glossary), but I hope to post a unit next weekend, maybe. Oh, and:

Congrats to Col Corbane on getting through an awesome and [literally] inspiring first year!

- Drax.


  1. while it may not be a fantastic template, it is great in that it has two sidebars. why not just play aroud with the colours rather than change the template altogether??
    I find myself in the same situation tho, there are ppl out there with fantastic looking setups and great banners, but I just wouldnt know where to start in order to achieve a look that compares! so best of luck with yours.
    ps. the glossary probably could go, im sure you'd fill the space with something even more useful!

  2. I like your blog, but since you're asking for some constructive criticism, here goes:

    I don't use your sidebars--in fact, I rarely use them on other people's sites. I do check out things on the top section of sidebars (the parts you can see without scrolling), but very rarely go further than that. Your sidebars are filled to the brim with information. I've thought about poking around on them before, but it's just so much text that I give up before I begin.

    That said, I think the glossary can go (though when you use jargon in your posts, it's still probably a good idea to clarify what you mean). Likewise, some other information on your bars could probably be retired (old codex army lists), combined (online purchasing & other places to visit), or generally reduced (perhaps you can have your blogroll only display the latest 5-10 entries, rather than quite so many).

    I would say that your sidebar content shouldn't extend beyond the content of the page. As it stands, I have to scroll down far beyond that. While I'm unlikely to click any sidebar content beyond the first page, I'll never click something that's beyond the content I came to the page for.

    I would suspect these are fairly common sentiments, unless someone is really engrossed in your blog. But I could be wrong about that.

    Either way, I don't think you need to change the content at all, but sure, a bit of a facelift could be in order.

    Use Come to the dark side... :)

  3. Frankly, I like the colors and layout, but your banner pic is pretty lackluster. Something a bit more flashy or even one that incorporated better pics of your work would be better than what you currently have.

  4. You can back up individual widgets, I would recommend taking your glossary tab and make it a post.

    I really like full width templates, but for blogger I don't think it matters as they won't let the pics in posts be much bigger anyways.

  5. Tristan's comment about making it a blog is a fantastic idea, if you decide to remove it from your sidebar.

  6. I'll second (or is it now third?) the comment about making the glossary a post. That way you can link it anytime you say some jargon and you get the space for something else. I've also seen that Big Lee's Miniature Adventures sometimes provides a link for certain words to an external site.

    As for the layout of the site itself, I really like the set-up you have. Perhaps you could change the colours or the head banner but that would be it for me. But saying that, I do like the command squad being the banner, so if you have access to photoshop or someone with some skills you could have one of them fancy dynamic photos?

    I like all the old lists and whatnot, it's a bit of nostalgia - so I wouldn't say to get rid of them, but perhaps find some way of condensing the information on the main page for other users that aren't a fan of that?

  7. Trust me to go the other way, but I quite like it. It's clean and simple, not hard to read and not hard on the eye. But then, I'm still using the default blogger template albeit with three columns.

    Thanks for the congrats and kind words mate, it's ironic as you were inspirational in me getting into blogging in the first place.

  8. Ok I don't get your gaming stuff but here's what i think anyway..

    I like the blue and green colours. It's simple and easy on the eye.

    I ike the 2 columns. It's quite unusual for blogs and if the info in them is relevant I think it's worth keeping, in some form or other.

    Having said that, I don't think that long lists of info is the best way for people to access it. I second the idea of putting your glossary into one post and providing just one link on the sidebar to the post.
    You could do the same with the posted units/gaming blogs/other blogs/things you've blown up/old codex/armies/online purchasing.

    I think tags/labels are useful on any blog so I think you should keep that on the sidebar. But I don't think any other information should be listed and longer than the actual post you are reading.

  9. Drax, let's discuss some artwork for your banner if you like? An oil painting ... something comedy? Whatever you fancy... in addition, I can make it 'editable', allowing you to change the 'comedy comment' on a frequent basis...

    Otherwise, I quite like the format. It's comfortable ... and we can build in a banner that pulls it all together...

    That said, kudos to 39999 for the comments about the sidebars ... mine are equally stuffed with redundant information ... looks like cleaning in order... oh look Spring?

  10. First off, your blog is overall really excellently done, Drax. But if constructive criticism is what you seek...

    Like some of the other comments here, I also rarely use your sidebars not because the information there isn't interesting (it is!). Rather it's because there's just so much there that it seems too overwhelming. The most common way visit your blog (and most everyone else's blogs) is by clicking on the link to their most recent post. Once I'm done w/ that post, I'll pretty much move on to another blog.

    I do like the colors though. It makes your blog easy on the eyes.

    I also think the banner image could use some spicing up. I like the concept of using your own painted miniature as the banner image; there must be a newer, fresher image you can replace it with, no?

  11. WOW - thanks indeed, everyone, and I'll go back through them to glean some specific ideas!

    Always nice to hear from you, Saranga!

    - D.

  12. I agree with those who say the glossary should be a post. Also I think the sidebars could be a bit more narrow. The reason is to make the central region, that is, where you actually post, more important.

    I think the banner up top is good, but I think it could stand to be a bit shorter--while the picture itself is cool I think it takes up too much space. Right now it's 941x352, and I think it should be more like 941x200. That way the title picture itself wouldn't dominate the page so much.

    Either way, keep up the good work!

  13. Well now. I've made some swingeing cuts already. And the stuff's gone. I like it more already, but I had two problems changing the colours:

    1) I have no real sense of complementary colour - it's really not a strength of mine, and

    2) Although I could change the colours of constituent parts, I could do nothing to change the bland blue background colour. Any suggestions?

    Also, can any of you good people suggest a model of mine which might be a candidate for my new heading image (with a new photo, obviously!)?

    - Drax.

  14. For color schemes, check out this link: It basically does everything for you.

    As for your new banner. I'm pretty partial to your snarling sentinels, but your green tanks also look good. You could also go for your command squad, which look nice but don't seem to scream Drax to me. Whatever you go with though, I think it's a moral imperative that you include your mascot in the pic.

  15. Good point; well presented.



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