Sunday, March 17, 2019

6mm African and Middle Eastern Buildings on My Site

Well, it has taken a lot longer than intended, but I finally have listed my 6mm (1/285) African and Middle eastern buildings on my site at Irishserb's Miniatures.  I still haven't painted a full set of them for myself, but here are pics of the first couple of buildings:

The WWII European buildings will be added as soon as possible.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Ugh, What a Weekend!

So this was to be my weekend to free time to catch up on my 6mm building work, and get my selling page live.

But, earlier this week, my wife's cell phone stopped taking a charge.  After tinkering with it, a bunch of different chargers and two visits to the nearest store, it was declared defective! But, no problem, it is covered under warranty, and a new phone will be send to us next day.

New phone arrives as planned, but another interruption delays the data transfer from the old phone to the new phone until Saturday.  Over the last two days, it took over 9 hours, four different Apple associates, one severe storm, and one power failure (not part of the 9 hours), before successful transfer the data. Oh Lord, I'm glad that is (almost) done.  

So, I tried to relax a little by painting some of my 6mm West German Cold War armor.  It was going pretty good until I got to the point of clear-coating the second batch of 22 tanks and tank destroyers.

I grabbed my can of clear coat, shook it up, sprayed a test spray on a piece of cardboard, and all was good.  I set the can down for a second, adjusted the position of one of the tanks, grabbed the can and sprayed.  I was quite surprised when the weathered green German tanks started to turn gray.  

 I had picked up the new can of primer, which was setting next to the can of clear-coat.  It has new artwork and a new nozzle that looks just like my cans of clear-coat (and different from the last batch of primer cans that I used up yesterday).

So that kind of stole what little joy might have been left in the weekend.

At least the cell phone is working.  

Back to work on 6mm buildings tomorrow.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Burden of Abandoned Projects

Over the last few months, I made some effort to reduce the clutter in my gaming spaces (I'm really jammed for storage space), with some success.  I threw out a bunch of stuff (clearing out maybe 10-12 cubic feet of stuff), condensed some more, but still ponder what to do with the endless goodies associated with abandoned and on-hold projects.

As I filtered through boxes of stuff, I experienced a bit of a nostalgia trip.  Seeing Dwarves, Teddy's Rough Riders, old D&D figures, rocky ruins, and endless unfinished or unused items that brought back memories of hopes, dreams, and projects unrealized.  Unfortunately, they mostly seem to be things that I can't possibly live without.

So now that I've completed a sort of first run at reducing my heap, I must try to figure out which items will never reach or return to the table, and talk myself into discarding them, such that my gaming space will better serve those that will.

28mm Fantasy
Fantasy gaming is the only "core" period (period or genre that I wanted to game in, at the time that I discovered gaming),  that I have not continuously pursued.  It saw life during my D&D years, re-manifested during a flirtation with Warhammer, which left me with a Dwarf army that never saw the battlefield (nobody else painted their figs).  And surfaced again, when my daughter took an interest in orcs, which faded after a few of games.

One of the trays of mostly GW dwarves, 
70 percent of them have never seen the table top.

I've sort of inherited my daughter's orcs, maybe 80 of them painted, which are also of the GW version.  I actually preferred the old 25mm Ral Partha orcs and goblins, and still imagine what an army of them might look like, but not sure that I could make them work on the same table top as my big GW dwarves, which I quite like.

There is a space-taking dwarf ruin and a couple of craggy outcroppings for the orcs taking up a good part of a shelf, and then a dozen pages of plans for the a grand dwarf stronghold, largely based on my original impressions from reading The Hobbit.

An unfinished ruin, roughly a cubic foot of shelf 
space occupied for 20 years.

Elsewhere in the basement, lurk more than a hundred Tom Meyer Elves; one is painted, a few others have some paint.  They are beautiful figs, that sadly, I could not find on his site the last time I looked. In my heap gaming plans and notes, I also have design sketches for a viney, lusciously green, fairy-tale forest and village in which they would live, if I ever got around to finishing them.

A small batch of elves, these still on a painting tray 
from ... good lord, 15 years ago?

There are other bits as well; trolls, ogres, unicorns, and hippogriffs, a couple of dragons, including my old Grenadier beast hovering above his hoard of gold from those long lost D&D days.  I don't know that any of them will ever see the table again, but I can't yet part with them, as I still feel the adventure of the fantasy world in which they might battle.  In my mind, or maybe more in my heart, the dwarven forges glow, a slight breeze ruffles the leaves in the elven forest, and orcs and goblins cast a ominous shadow from the nearby hills.

28mm Celts
Maybe 150 of them sit peacefully in boxes, as their Roman enemies moved far out of state several years ago with one of my old gaming buddies.  I probably should sell them, but they were a lot of work (even if not that well done), and it feels like selling a piece of my soul, not to mention that they would be a real pain to wrap and package for shipment.  I guess that I could use some in my fantasy world, if that ever comes to anything (though I always kind of imagined more of a Romano-British thing for my fantasy humans.  Oh, I really need to buy some figs, they would be so cool when done...).

28mm Colonial Adventure
Some years ago, I created what I referred to as "Ponape" a game of Victorian piracy and adventure set in the Pacific and East Asia.  It featured light role playing of factions of colonial troops or figures set in the late Victorian era, chasing various tasks such as gun running, slave trading, piracy,  politicking and militarizing in various settings.  Most of the military figs are Boxer Rebellionish, with much of the civilian portion having an old west flavor.

We played a number of great games at conventions and at home, when my old gaming group was still together.  There were even gamers creating factions to bring to the convention games that I ran.  It was all very positive, until I got some negative feedback about the games being too show-boaty and/or not historical enough for the mostly historical oriented conventions in which I ran them.  Foolishly, I allowed myself to be put-off by a few protesters, and with the melting away of my game group, I stopped running the games.  It is probably the most dynamic thing that I ever did with respect to gaming, and now sets in boxes in the basement, and on shelves in the garage, taking up at least 150 cubic feet of space. 

I simply can't get rid of it.  I tried to a few years ago, but couldn't do it.  Another piece of my soul is invested in that game.  Besides, many of the figs have another use (see below).

28mm Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion is my favorite colonial era historical subject; I once had over 1600 painted figs in 15mm, all originally inspired by a game run at Fal-Con at Bowling Green State university back around 1983 by Black Forest hobbies from Dayton, Ohio.

The game was my introduction to the conflict, and I was completely taken with it, slowly building up forces over the next 8 years before I could run a game of my own.  Once I could field the game, I struggled to get anyone from my gaming group to play.   One memorable game was eventually played, but my frustration about the games diminished my enthusiasm to run them, and most of the figs ended up being sold off.

With the advent of Ponape, I realized that much of my interest in the Boxer uprising really centered around the potential historical adventure, rather than the more traditional wargames wargames.   For the last 15 years, I've envisioned eventually playing a series of historical adventure scenarios set in China, during the boxer uprising, elaborately modeled in 28mm.

So now, along with the Ponape figures (painted and otherwise), there set many Boxer figures, untouched, waiting to rise up in adventure on the tabletop.  But I don't have the gaming group that these games scream for, and won't any time soon.  So they all conspire to take up more shelf space.

28mm Near Future/ Alien Invasion/Sci-Fi/Cops-n-Robbers/Post-Apoc

While these may look like separate things on the table (the post-apocalypse part has already manifested), they are all inter-related, with significant overlaps in terrain, buildings, figures, and rules.  Think Hollywood "B" movie.  Aliens land/crash near a route 66 town, maybe other aliens land to combat them, local law enforcement and the National Guard try to maintain order, locals get involved, time travelers happen upon the scene, the local scientist tries to work a deal with them, then MiB, KGB sleeper cells, drug cartels, a scout troop, some good old boys out for a hunt, hip-hop bands, and you name it get involved and chaos insues.  Or, it can take place on an alien planet with human colonists facing the local fauna, alien army, or whatever my madness can throw at them.  Or maybe it simply is the alien invasion of an advanced planet with two sci-fi armies battling it out.  Or, get the idea.

The problem is that "the game" is tremendously broad in scope, and despite having some terrain and over 400 figs painted and at least 400 more waiting, I am nowhere near fielding most of the game.  It is actually one of my primary interests, but I know that I  need to shrink the scope considerably, if I am ever going to get it on the table.

A couple buildings for the alien invasion nearly semi-done (for 12 years or more), 
and the blown up police station for an eastern US post-apoc town,
 setting since 2012?   There are a dozen more matching 
buildings for each game, sitting in boxes in various states of completion. 

Other Stuff
Scratch-building supplies take up a tremendous footprint.  Foam, plastic sheet and stock, boxes of parts and doo-dads, paint (I think I'm under 400 bottle and tubes now), putties, flock, boxes (like 12 cubic feet) of 8-14 inch tall Virginia pines that I happened into, boxes of artificial plants, 200 model kits, etc. all taking up space.

There are others periods and genres of figs as well; pre-dreadnoughts, WWII and Cold War naval, 1/300 air etc. but they don't take up so much space, so aren't so much of a concern right now.  Some of the unfinished projects, such as Swedish micro-armor, 15mm WWII Poles, and prehistoric peoples, got started as interest flowed, and then ebbed, within my old gaming group.  Others projects were purely me jumping in, then jumping elsewhere.  Each of the projects mentioned up above will tie up a tremendous storage footprint, and in some cases years of work.  My house isn't growing in size, and I may not live forever.  So something has to go (before I do).

Previously, I let go of periods and projects that I wasn't as passionately invested in, but now, I need to give up some things that are much closer to my gaming soul. 

I'm so conflicted.