2014 slow grow league

There’s a Warmachine journeyman league happening at the local club, and I decided to play the alt Menoth battlegroup – the idea is that it’ll get me down to the club to play more often, and I’ll get a bunch of stuff for my existing army painted up instead of starting something new. The alternate box is Feora, Dervish, Repenter, Guardian – I have a Repenter from the two-player battlebox painted already, and I acquired the rest. Discount Games is pretty fast shipping – it took roughly 10 days to reach Christchurch from Idaho.

The current state of the battlegroup:

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Week one painting was the Dervish:

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Week two was Feora herself:

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Week three will be the Guardian:

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Painting for 2012

So here’s what got painted last year.

First up, my Menoth for Warmachine – I was aiming for a 25 pt newbie tournament in December, which was probably one of the first times I’ve ever painted models before playing with them. None of these are glued into a base yet, as I’d like to base them all consistently and I ran out of time for basing for the tournament. What I’d like to do is carve flagstones out of putty – it’ll be something different to the standard PVA + stand + flock my 40k models are using.

High Exemplar Kreoss


Choir of Menoth


Repenter light warjack


Revenger light warjack


Vigilant light warjack


Crusader heavy warjack


Vanquisher heavy warjack


I’m planning to have a 35pt army ready for Warclouds over Woolston in February.

The other stuff I painted this year was for 40k at Conquest – this was the first local tournament using 6th edition, so it was a nice chance to paint up some allies. My Tau have been sitting around for almost 11 years now, so they deserved it!

Dakkajet – this is a really wonderful kit. After cursing the the Privateer Press plastics, it was a dream to put this together. The base was another putty experiment.




Tau Crisis Suit commander and Fire Warriors


Hammerhead gunship


Dealing with ‘Uncaught exception ‘Mage_Core_Exception’ with message ‘Mage registry key “_singleton/core/session” already exists”

PHP Fatal error:  Uncaught exception 'Mage_Core_Exception' with message 'Mage registry key "_singleton/core/session" already exists'

You’ll see this if you try and do


from a command-line magento script which hasn’t had the session initialised already. A simple workaround is to load the session model yourself early in your script:

$session = Mage::getModel('core/session');

Tidying up your Magento configuration

Magento has lots of great thirdparty extensions available, but one annoyance is that they tend to make your configuration page look pretty messy. Each vendor tends to set up a new section in the configuration, which leads to a huge set of tabs.

To tidy this up, we can just make a small modification to the system.xml file for each extension, to force them all to keep their configuration together.

Here’s the system.xml from an extension as distributed:

<?xml version=”1.0″?>
<mageworld translate=”label”>
<label>Mage World</label>
<easybanner translate=”label” module=”easybanner”>
<label>Easy Banner</label>

And here’s the change:

<?xml version=”1.0″?>
<thirdparty translate=”label”>
<label>Third Party</label>
<easybanner translate=”label” module=”easybanner”>
<label>Mage World – Easy Banner</label>

The result:

So if you insert data into a mysql field that’s too long for the field size, the database will silently truncate the data being inserted. This is problematic!

To force mysql to fail these inserts,

set sql_mode = 'STRICT_ALL_TABLES';

Magento 1.5 extension layouts

In Magento, most extensions that actually do something visible need a .xml layout file. In 1.3 those files were usually distributed in app/design/default/default/layout – but in 1.5, if you have a custom design, those files won’t be used. According to this post the best place to put layout files for an extension is in app/design/base/default/layout – this means that even if you have your site’s custom theme at app/design/sitename/default, the extensions will still work.

However, most of the ‘1.5-compatible’ extensions we’ve looked at still put layout files in default/default. This means that you have to copy the extension’s layout, templates, and skin files into your custom theme, even if you don’t want to change any of them.

Here’s an example from a purchased extension:


What we’re doing to make this work is

mv skin/frontend/default skin/frontend/base
mv app/design/frontend/default app/design/frontend/base

The result of this will be that even when we have a custom theme, this extension’s layout files will be applied without having to copy them to the theme-specific package.

Tip of the day

Don’t access the magento session object while you’re hooking the controller_front_init_before event, as it’ll be set up incorrectly and give you a cookie error. You probably wanted to hook a pre or post dispatch event instead.