Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Holiday Year End Wrap-Up

There's little chance I am going to get anything hobby-related done this week, with family visiting and general holiday merriment, so I thought I would combine Christmas and New Year's greetings into one post.
First of all, if you are not aware of The St. Nicholas Center, you should give it a look. It's a great site for kids who may be a little curious about the historical figure and the legends surrounding him.
Second, there's a lot of great charities out there this holiday season.  One that Mrs. WQ really likes is SmileTrain, which does surgery to correct cleft palates in third world countries.  It's financials are very transparent, which is a nice quality in some of these "adopt a kid" outfits out there.

Okay, the hobby stuff.  At the end of 2009 I made a resolution to paint 100 miniatures.  I buried that number halfway through the year, racking up 165 miniatures for 2010.  Most of it was at the beginning of the year when my family's schedule afforded me a lot of time in the evening to myself.  Over the summer I stopped painting miniatures all together because I took a long vacation and also began packing up my house in anticipation of a job move to Kansas.  Once I got here and got the house semi-situated, I was able to pick it back up.

My other 2010 resolution regarded my weight, and the habits that affected it.  Once I moved, this resolution kind of lost its impetus.  My new office doesn't quite have the "foodie" culture that my old one did.  It doesn't even have a kitchen.  So there are no boxes of donuts or pies sitting in refrigerators to constantly tempt me throughout the day.  I also realized how much I ate when I am bored or stressed, and am now less bored and less stressed in life.  I went from a 36-38 pant size to a 34, which is in the right direction.  I also joined a churchmen's exercise group, although I have let that drop over the last few weeks because they meet very early in the morning, and my wife has been having trouble sleeping.  I joined an aquatic center in town in hopes of swimming through the winter months.

I played a lot of wargames, and played even more RPG's. I've got a bi-weekly RPG game that I have just started here at the FLGS which hopefully will hit its stride soon.  I've connected by email with a historical wargaming group that meets pretty sporadically, but maybe something will develop there.

So what are the 2011 resolutions?  I'm going a little light on them this year, but here goes:

Paint an American War of Independence mini-army Four units, 48 miniatures.  Organized per Age of Reason.  That will give me something to play when the historical group gets together.

Paint another 102 miniatures  Whether it is just from the Lead Pile, or another AWI mini army, it doesn't matter.  One hundred miniatures was a good goal for the year.  150 will feel like I have really got the rhythm down, and I manage to do it this year despite moving and taking almost three months off.

Continue an exercise program  I wouldn't mind having my 34 pants go from being my "snug" pants to my "relaxed fit" pants.

Get a regular game going  I've been teaching my son Warhammer.  I've got this historical group that seems to gather roughly quarterly.  There's a Necromunda campaign maybe going on the next big town over. Somewhere, somehow, I am going to get to a gaming table.

Well, that's it.  2011 should be redcoats and rayguns, and who knows what else.  Thanks for stopping by and being my blog of hobby accountability.  I hope you continue to find it inspiring.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

AWI British ordered

I decided to purchase my starter American War of Independence British army for Age of Reason from Dayton Painting Consortium, who manufacture the RSM line of miniatures.  I had a couple of reasons for picking RSM miniatures.  First, they are inexpensive, and given that I don't know how the local historical group will pan out, I didn't want to sink a bundle.  Second, they have an "old school" look to them that I find appealing.  Third, DPC is based out of Ohio, and I like the idea of giving the business to a hobbyist who is running it as a side business, especially here in the Midwest.  The owner of the company was friendly and we chatted a bit about rules, etc.  All told, just what I like to experience in the business end of my hobby.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Figuring out the cost of the American War of Independence

I've been thinking about what the big project of 2011 might be, and one bit of advice I have received often is to pick an era/game/both that other people in your area play.  Well, that appears to be the American War of Independence, in 28mm, using Warfare in the Age of Reason which by pure coincidence I happen to own because of a brief flirtation with the Seven Years War.

I'm good with this.  It's an era I like, rules I own, and a scale I enjoy painting.  So, what is this going to cost me to buy into this hobby?  Let's find out.

The game suggests that a novice player start with four units on each side.  Each unit is 12 "castings" (read "miniatures"), with a unit consisting of four bases with three miniatures on each base.  One of these bases is a command base (officer, standard bearer, musician).  So, not getting into cavalry (not a big issue in the AWI) and artillery, I'm looking at 48 miniatures for a starter army.

Now let's look at the major manufacturers of AWI miniatures in the right scale:
Wargames Foundry: 8 miniatures at $18.48 = $2.31 each
Battle Honors: 24 @ $29.60 = $1.23
Front Rank: 12 @ $24.60 = $2.05
Perry Miniatures: 6 @ $12.00 = $2.00
Old Glory Miniatures: 30 @ $32 = $1.06
RSM95: 36 @ $29 = $.81

So, the range runs from $38.88 (RSM95) to $110.88 (Foundry).  Allow me a brief moment, as a Games Workshop customer, to savor the moment.  I can not believe that in the back of my head there is a voice going "it's too bad there are no cheap plastic AWI manufacturers."

Now a problem is that most of these manufacturers don't package their miniatures in units per AOR, so I'll have to juggle things which could mean have "extra" figures running around, meaning I'm actually paying for more metal than I need.  Front Rank, for example, has a high per figure cost but sells the miniatures individually at $2.20 each.  Others are hard to come by, like Perry Miniatures, because of a lack of American distributors (the are currently out of stock at the War Store).  One possibility will be to mix figures in a range (Perry and Foundry are commonly cited possibilities, because they share the same sculptor).

Anyways....thoughts, comments, advice--all welcome.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

5000 Visitors and a Sacred Warrior

It snuck up on my by surprise, but today The Army Collector got its 5,000th visitor since beginning February 9th of this year.  I began The Army Collector as a way of helping me keep to my discipline of painting miniatures and showing off some of my work as an inspiration to other less-than-perfect painters out there.  In addition to getting five thousand visitors, I also got another miniature painted.
Brotherhood Sacred Warrior
He's a Sacred Warrior from the game Warzone, now being published by Prince August.  He's from the Brotherhood, the half-Eldar, half-Roman Catholic faction from that sci-fi game.  I didn't really have much of an idea how he was supposed to look, but for a guy who came out of a $.25 each bin months ago doesn't look too shabby.

I've come to the end of my "weekend."  I work Sundays, but get Fridays off, and this weekend spent a lot of time on miniatures.  Tomorrow is back to work, so it'll be a few more days before my next update.

Hitting milestones like this makes me wonder what I should do in the future, a topic I have explored here before recently.  What do people enjoy seeing here?  Fantasy?  Sci-fi?  Historical?  Anything?  Do you want to see battle reports, or tutorials?  Comments welcome.

Dwarf shock trooper and scorcher

So these two Mordengard dwarfs come in a two pack.  One of them has a gun with an axe built into it, making it in my mind the optimal anti-zombie weapon.  The other one looks like he is throwing what suspiciously looks like a table decoration from Buca de Beppo like it is a soccer ball from out of bounds.
Guess which one farted in the dwarf mine?
One thing I like about Chainmail was the artistic design of the miniatures.  They look gritty rather than cartoon-ish.  GW dwarfs have the "head as big as my torso" thing going on with them sometimes, and these look just a little bit more realistic.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bugbear Warrior

First, welcome to Joao Mota, the latest follower.  I am always humbled when people feel inclined to follow this blog, and appreciate the support.
Still working my way through WotC's Chainmail miniatures.  This one is a Bugbear Warrior.
Bugbear Warrior, Wizards of the Coast
There's one odd thing about this mini (which was a delight to paint up, by the way).  Look at the right arm.  There is only one way it attaches to the torso--both the arm and the torso have a flat surface that glues together.  But when it is glued on, the fully extended mace stretches lower than the miniature's base!  There's really no way to fix it except for replacing the hand.  
When I wondered about how a company could do it, I looked at the photo on the packaging.  It too has the miniature up on a little ledge, with the mace hanging over!  Oh well, it isn't too bad, and like a said is a fine looking miniature.
Next up, some Chainmail dwarfs.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Three Thunderers

I have been playing some 1000 point games of Warhammer (7th Edition, I'm still hanging on) with my son, teaching him the joys of wargaming.  When I saw these three dwarf thunderers hanging out, having been primed by their previous owner, I decided to do a quick paint job on them.  Here's the result.
Dwarf Thunderers, Games Workshop
I appreciate the character some of these old "Citadel-era" minis have.  These guys are less bulky than their contemporary counterparts.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The 700 (AD) Club

First, welcome to Leutenant Brittan, the author of the Leviathan blog which I myself follow.  I hope you enjoy mine as much as I do yours.

I have been thinking a lot lately about what I would really like out of my hobby experience.  Lately I have been just treading water, painting whatever odds and ends are in the "Lead (and Plastic) Pile" until I come up with something better.
I have starting a roleplaying game at my FLGS, but so far the attendance has been kind of weak, and I don't know if I relish the responsibility of having to come up with gaming scenarios that will suite the appetites of a gaming group.
What I really miss is my wargaming club from my old home.  Just a few guys who get together once a month or so for a long afternoon and evening of wargaming.  No playing in character, just thinking about strategy, moving soldiers around, and generally enjoying the company of fellow hobbyists.
In my old club we played Warhammer, Fifth through Seventh Editions.  Eight came out this past summer, and the group held off moving onto the latest edition mostly because if we are going to pay $100 for a book, the title better begin with the word "Gutenberg."  I have considered hooking up with the wargamers at the FLGS, but gaming store Warhammer is different from club Warhammer, in my experience.  There is less acceptance of proxies, less "oh, your charge is 1/4" short?  Go ahead and take it."  Perhaps I am spoiled, but sitting around the fire department break room gaming, eating, and generally having a bull session is what I like out of a gaming club.
        Here is what I would love to start: something I called the "700 (AD) Club."  Using a game system like Warhammer Ancient Battles, or Impetus or Ancient and Medieval Wargaming by Neil Thomas, each player builds an army that existed in 700 AD.  That would cover Romano-British, Picts, Anglo-Saxons, Byzantines, Danube barbarians, Arabs, or even early Franks.  Then once a month we'd get together in my basement and pair off and battle, retiring briefly to whatever I threw into the slow cooker that morning.
      Would you be interested in something like that?  Alternatively it could be a 300 AD or 1100 AD or 2020 AD Club.  Just some period where there might be a host of armies available that could be matched up in vaguely historical encounters.
      Well, a man can dream, can't he?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Hammerer and a Glaiver

Last post I showed off my Thalos sorcerer, which comes from a box set from the game Chainmail.  I have finished the other two figures, a Hammerer and a human Glaiver (which I guess is what you call someone who wields a glaive).
Hammerer and Glaiver, Wizards of the Coast
I would have finished these guys yesterday, but Topheavy McClankalot on the left there kept falling over and his arms would become unglued.  This a problem with "ball and socket" joints: if the ball is smaller than the socket, then the surface area between the ball and socket is very, very small.  Ultimately I had to pin both arms.  The nice thing about the Hammerer is that he could easily double as a mad scientist's robot in some pulp game or something.

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