Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"Why Haven't You Started That Period?"

This evening was a wash hobby-wise. I had planned to work on some Gambusian campaign stuff. Instead, I took my daughter to swim practice, followed by dinner, followed by planting strawberry seedlings at 7:00 in the evening....in the rain. Long story, but I had to get that done and over with or I'd never hear the end of it.

So, by the time I checked over my daughter's homework, played a little with son (as much as one can play with a two-month-old), and answered a number of annoying work-related emails, it was too late for anything. Additionally, my mother-in-law is using the "Soldier Room," as my daughter calls it, as her bedroom, and she likes to retire early. Its 10:10 PM and I should be making up a lab exam for tomorrow. Instead I've been reading the various postings over TMP. There is an interesting post on the message board: "Why haven't you started that period?"  It got me thinking about projects past, present, and potential, and why I continued with some and not others.  Here is my list in roughly chronological order of various projects over the years with very brief status for each. I will try to make it as painless as possible:

1. Fanatasy/medieval 25mm. Began in the 70s and collected a lot until the mid 80s, or whenever Ral Partha went out of business. As much as I loved painting them, they were getting too expensive to build large armies, and I really didn't have the space to game with them. Had a few battles over the years. Now sit in storage in my parents' home.

2. Napoleonics 15mm/20mm. Started with 15s in the 70s; ended up with 1/72 Arfix. Never collected enough for a decent game. Interest died out by the time I graduated high school.

3. WWII Microarmor. Started in the 70s and I am still actively collecting and painting, however, I have not had a game in several years. I have a pretty good collection of American, British, and Germans. More recently, I started on the Soviets, but have not worked on them much.

4. WWII Naval 1/2400. Started in the 70s and was very active until the early 90s. Built most of my own ships! Had many epic sea battles in school parking lots on weekend with friends. Never really lost interest, but no one to game with. A number of new rules out there occasionally tempt me.

5. Fantasy/medieval/ancient 15mm. As I was burning out on 25mm, I turned to 15mm and never looked back. I am not as actively working on them lately as I used to, but I have probably about five different armies, maybe 10 if I use DBA or HOTT rules. Over the years, I've played a number of games. I don't expect to ever tire of them.

6. Modern microarmor. Twenty years ago, I swore I'd never be interested in modern (post-WWII) warfare. I take back my words. I started about five (?) years ago, and have grown more and more interested. I have no clue what got me interested, but here I am.

7. Modern air combat 1/300 & 1/600. Grew out of my interest in modern microarmor.

8. Modern naval 1/600 & 1/6000. Again, grew out of my interest in modern microarmor.

9. WWII 15mm.  I started collecting and painting them about eight years ago. I thought they'd be more visually appealing than microarmor. Yes, they are, but then I remembered why I gave up 25mm fantasy and medieval figures. The same reasoning seemed to hold with these.

10. Sci-fi ground combat 15mm. Very recent; maybe the last year or two. OK, why these when I gave up WWII 15mm? I blame all these 15mm companies and their great figures that they continue to put out. Besides, I don't feel like have to put large numbers of troops on the field to have a sci-fi game.

11. Sci-fi/post-apocalyptic skirmish 28mm. I keep planning to have this multi-player game during my holiday visits back to the Motherland (Chicago). I keep forgetting to bring the figures with me, but I keep painting up new figures for the occasion when I remember to bring them.

Projects I have yet to start or never started:

1. Starship combat. In college, when not playing D&D, we would play various boardgames. There were a number of starship combat games that we liked to play. I am also a sucker for epic space battles, both on the silver screen and in science fiction novels. I think about it a lot lately, especially in conjunction with my 15mm sci-fi.

2. American Civil War/American War of Independence.  I've always enjoyed reading up on the history of these two comflicts. When I was into boardgames, two of my favorites were Avalon Hill's Gettysburg, and 1776. I think what's holding me back is just the idea of starting another project, both in terms of time and money. I would definitely want to play these at the regimental or brigade level. Recently, I bought some Civil War ironclad naval rules. I'm tempted to build my own ships, like I did for WWII. I reason that they'll be a lot more simple and faster to build than WWII ships.

H-m-m. I can't think of anything else.  I am sure that many of you out there are like me: moving from one period to another. I'd be interested in hearing how far your interests meander and where you've taken your meanderings.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vintage Fellowship of the Ring

When I started miniature gaming in 1975, I was a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings. Between middle school and high school, I probably read that and The Hobbit at least 10 times.  So, the first figures that I bought were fantasy, focusing on the Lord of the Rings.  These are one of the very first figure sets that I bought:

Its been a LONG time since I bought these, so my recollection as to who made them is rather poor. I want to say these are Hinchliffe figures. They may be Heritage, but I tend to doubt it, and I am pretty sure they are not Minifigs. 

Its pretty obvious who is who when it comes to the various characters, except for the Hobbits. Sam is pretty obvious because he is carrying a lot of baggage. The question is which is Frodo and which is either Merry or Pippin. I decided the Hobbit carrying the staff is Frodo and the one carrying the sword is Merry. You can argue that the Hobbit with the brandished sword is Frodo holding the short sword Sting. However, Merry had a big dagger that he found during their encounter with the Barrow-wights and used it later to stab the Lord of the Nazgul at the Battle of Pelennor Fields. I think the Hobbit with the walking staff is Frodo. For much of the trilogy, Frodo and Sam are trudging along, trying to make it to Mordor, so it would make sense for him to have a walking staff. His left hand rests on the pommel of a short sword anyway, which can be considered Sting.

The figures are pretty crude in terms of sculpting, but that's not unusual for miniatures from the 70s. My paint job didn't do anything for them either. Back in the day, I did almost no shading or highlighting. Outlining the fingers in black was the extent of things. Note my fancy base, too! Back in those days, my bases consisted of rectangles cut from masonite board painted green.

Often, I have thought about repainting them, but they are a reminder of my very early work.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Soldier Takes a Wife

My daughter's second sculpt.  She said she didn't want the soldier she made for me for my birthday to be lonely.

As you can see, she's a big lady:

But love knows no differences:

"Garsh, if you ain't the purdiest thang I've never seen!"