22 December 2011

Merry Christmas to Myself

Saw a used copy of the Malcolm McGregor Uniforms & Weapons of the American Revolution Posterbook at the local bookstore. Bought it for myself.

18 December 2011


Again, not exactly wargaming, but a tangent... small toy sculpting & painting. I previously posted a pic of the sculpt in progress, but here's the finished critter, OEGR.

Again, he's about 3" to the top of his head. When I brought him home last week, right after this photo was taken, I dropped him outside my door while fumbling for my keys. My poor judgement, as he was balanced on a tall tower of wrapped Christmas presents I was sneaking in the house, and when it leaned a little too far to the right, he tumbled down onto the pavement. The worst of the damage was a broken neck. I'm trying to repair it (but haven't had time in the past week or so) but if I can't, he may end up with a painted on scar and stitches along the crack/joint.

I've got another one in the works, OEGB.

17 December 2011

2011 Resolutions Evaluated

With the holidays looming, very little free time on the horizon, and painting & gaming on my mind, I'm just going to evaluate my 2011 resolutions  few weeks early. There's no possibility for any of these changing for the remainder of the year.

1. Get back into pointless gaming. This is a carry-over from last year. I'm going to throw the "Legendary Battle" into this one as well. I just want to play some interesting non-competitive games again. Although I've going to one in a little over a week, I'm really getting sick of tournaments and the tournament mindset.

Fail. I ran a couple of non-points based games, they weren't well received. Most people seem to only want to play competitive, points based games anymore.

2. Paint lots of Romans (and the friends & foes.) Again, a carry over from last year. This year I'd really like to be able to pit two Roman armies against each other for some dramatic civil war action in the late Republic.

Fail. I painted one unit of legion, one unit of Spanish cavalry, and got about 90% done with a unit of Spanish scutarii. I have committed to running a couple WAB games at Cold Wars, so I need to step things up ASAP, but I'm not sure how I will find the time!

3. Cleveland East-side gaming. I'd like to get some gaming in my general part of town. I know there are a few other people around here, so it's just a matter of organization. Ideally I'd like to do something a bit casual. Some friends and I used to get together every other weekend, drink some beers, have some laughs and play some 40k in the basement. Something like that.

Fail. Nothing happened with this. What little gaming I've done in 2011 has been far from home.

4. Make my hobby more profitable. That sounds a bit "unfun" but I assure you it isn't. I've said before that I believe that if one is going to devote 1/4 to 1/3 of their time to their work, it should be something they enjoy, and about which they are passionate. I've learned that lesson the hard way -- I'm now left with nothing to show other than a lot of stress & baggage from almost a decade of suffering at a job that made me miserable and made me feel shitty about myself. I don't want to go back to that. As long as I'm in this position, I want to try to do something positive with it. I'm trying to work on a few different possibilities. This is something I've really got to work hard for, and is probably the most important thing on the list. In terms of survival, that is. OK... everything else on the list is back to less serious business...

Mixed. While I was unemployed, I did do some commission painting that helped get me by. But it never became practical and the market has completely changed since I previously did this quite successfully about 10 years ago. So compared to the past it would be a "fail" but I feel like I did what I could within the current environment.

5. Paint more landsknechts. I've had some of them forever. I love the figures, and if nothing else I can work them into my Empire army. I'm not even sure I care if I use them. But they take time and I keep postponing working on them based on the idea that it's not efficient use of my time. I need to throw that idea out the window on occasion, and just enjoy painting them once in a while. (I did paint a few in 2010.)

Fail. Painted one unit of pike, never even found appropriate command figures for them.

6. Sculpt/Convert more. I've got some ideas. I know I can do it, I just need some more practice. It's a matter of motivation to get over that first obstacle -- starting.

Mixed. But not with wargaming miniatures. A bit of terrain, and a bunch of toys and whimsical artsy things. While this has been a "success" in terms of me being happy with doing stuff, it has little to do with gaming. So I'll be generous and call it "mixed."

7. Paint Macedonians/Successors. I've got a pile of pikemen. I want to paint them. I always seem to have other things that seem more pressing. Like adding to existing projects rather than starting new ones.

Fail. I've got one unit of pike primed, and one poorly painted test figure.

8. Paint Carthaginians. This has got to be one of the easiest to do. I've got a small batch of Carthaginian spearmen. If I paint them, I can mix in a bunch of mercenaries... some Spanish, Numidians, Gauls, etc. Most of those I've already got painted. Tah-dah: Instant Carthaginian army. Added bonus: they're cleaned, assembled, primed and based. They just need paint.

Success! Painted the Carthaginian spearmen, a couple of mounted command figures, and a Numidian elephant. Add the above mentioned Spanish to the mix and I've got a small but solid Carthaginian army. The one last thing I'd like to add is a unit of cavalry.

9. Gaming Table - refurbish or replace. I'd like to either repair and refurbish my existing gaming table (table tops that go on the dining room table) or replace them with an entirely new one.

Fail. I made some drawings for some ideas.

Six "failed" resolutions, two "mixed" resolutions, and one "success" for a painitng project that I've put to use in a single game. Even the silver linings seem to have some pretty big clouds.

There are a couple things not on the list above, both positive and negative. Non-resolution hobby events, I suppose:

0. This year I played in an RPG campaign, the first in 15-20 years. Although I am sad it ended, it was a lot of fun while it lasted. Success!

0. 2011 was the last WFB tournament for me. For many years they were more fun than competitive. But the balance has slowly crossed the threshold to a point where I am no longer interested in participating. Fail.

0. Speaking of WFB, I gave 8th edition more than year of "trial" before finally losing interest. It's not just that I don't care for 8th edition. I could probably deal with it and keep going in the hope that the gameplay improves. But the dead horse I've probably beat on too much is that the tournament/competitive aspect of the game has crept into almost any WFB gaming opportunity. So barring any changes there, I probably won't be playing any longer. Fail.

0. Lastly there's the recent WWI project I've started. It may seem like it came from nowhere (and certainly wasn't on my list above) but its something I've wanted to do for many years. The fire was finally ignited in 2011! Success!

So in the "unforeseeable" categories, I think I had a 50/50 split of success & failure. Even better if you just lump the  two WFB things together into a catch-all "WFB is dead to me" item. ;)

I'm starting to think about resolutions for 2012, but there are a couple of hurdles I'm going to have to clear. In spite of the big turnaround and bright things that have been happening in most other aspects of my life, the wargaming & painting hobby thing seems to have one foot in the grave as the new year approaches. More on that in a few weeks, along with the new resolutions.

09 December 2011

Aerial Progress & Cold Wars Ancients

WWI Aerial

Per previous request, here's a shot of everything I've got done so far. Since the last entry, I assembled the Revell S.E.5a, which looks great and went together very quickly and painlessly - a big difference from the Sopwith Tripe.

Note, the DR.1 on the "ground" is the Eduard model I'm working on for a friend, not mine. Earlier this week I picked up some "music wire" from the local hobby store. It's a little finer than the wire I used on the Pup. I'm going to try it out on the minimal rigging on the DR.1.

I'm going to get a list of all the planes awaiting assembly soon.

Cold Wars

Apparently the GM registration for the Cold Wars PEL snuck up on everyone. It seems a bit early to me (and apparently to others.) I hadn't planned on making any final decisions until after the holidays, but I wanted to get in the PEL, so I made a last minute decision last night. I'll be running a pair of WAB games on Friday morning/afternoon, called "Hispania Ulterior" featuring Lucius Hirtuleius vs. Marcus Domitius Calvinus in some Rome on Rome action with plenty of special guests.

Guess I'll find out if WAB has any life left in it. ;)

So if I can tear myself away from the planes for a bit, they may take a bit of a back seat to finishing up some more Romans & Spanish by March.

08 December 2011

A Day To Live In...

Today I turned 40 years old.

I usually do a Pearl Harbor themed graphic for my birthday. But since I've been recently obsessed with WWI aviation, and I love this photo, I went with it. It's a Handley Page O/400. I found it at Breguet's Crash Files.

I'm actually expecting one in 1/72 kit form sometime this week, along with what should be the end of my WWI plane purchases -- at least for the moment. I still need to buy the remaining flight stands and a mat.

I finished the Sopwith Triplane... barely. I almost gave it up for a bit of terrain as a wrecked plane. It was that much of a pain in the ass to assemble, and really does look pretty bad. Photos forthcoming.

I was wondering if this was standard Revell quality, since the two Airfix planes were of pretty different quality. So I opened a S.E.5a and was pleased to see that it looks much better.

I've got a lot of thoughts running through my head about wargaming at 40. I'm going to let them roll around in there a little longer before writing anything (if I write anything at all.)

04 December 2011

Another Fokker DR.1, Sopwith Triplane, OEGR

I've finished assembling the Eduard Fokker DR.1 for a friend. From a distance it doesn't look so different from the Airfix DR.1. But the quality of the kit is far better, both in terms of detail and assembly. The only snag was that one of the struts was broken on the sprue. I believe I managed to repair it, though.

I have also started assembling a Revell Sopwith Triplane for myself. It's wretched.Worse than the Airfix models (so far) to a similar degree that the Eduard model is better. I have a couple more Revell waiting to be built -- I hope they're not all like this.

I'm also working on a little something different again. I call him OEGR, he's just over 3" to the top of the head. That's a single eyeball, by the way. Not a nose. Primed tonight, painting soon.