Saturday, August 30, 2014

Happy Labor Day

  Just a quick note today.  I have had a couple people ask about the Trencher tanks, and I have made some more and they are available again. These are a little different. I was changing colors so some are yellow, some are red, and some are a mash-up of the 2.  All are the same plastic so they will paint up the same.  Some day an unopened pack of mixed colors will fetch a fortune on the collector market.  Providing I somehow become more than an anonymous nobody.

  These tanks require nitrogen to avoid having a sinkhole in the turret, and I had some red and yellow already mixed with the additive from a widget contract. So-I made some colorful tanks with it.

  I made a change also, they are now $7 per pack, but each pack now has 2 tanks.  The net result is a little nicer packaging over the old way of using small bags and stapling them together in batches.  I am using larger bags now so can fit more in each bag. 

    Please return to your regularly scheduled celebration of labor, which is usually commemorated by taking time off.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

More history of gaming..........for those of you too young to remember.

  Hi folks,

  Just got some odds and ends on my mind and thought I would share some more highly unpopular opinions.

  But first, some store news. I am going to try and make some more tanks. They might be red, since I got that with nitro already. Seems like no one bought any for a long time, and now people seem to want them.

  Also, here are some pics of some bases I painted with the bits on them.

  They are 30 and 50mm in size.  I actually did not really paint the top one. It is grey plastic with some watered down black paint over it. I am waiting on some new paints. I purchased them last November in a kick starter and they are scheduled to ship this December.  To put that in perspective, if I had gotten my wife pregnant at the same time I paid for those paints the baby would be crawling before the paints arrived.

   I also made some slotta bases.

  So that is the latest. I made some new figures, but they are too small again. I am going to try to increase the size by  10% and run them again.  If I can keep the gremlins in check.

  And now I want to tell a story, which might not be safe for work.

  I want to talk about my friend "Dan". He passed away some years ago but I need to tell people a little about him.  This is not done to disrespect him, but it is some funny moments I remember him by. I could use a good laugh sometimes and miss his antics.
  Dan was the first person to begin complaining about what he called "miniature specific" games. Years ago you could pretty much throw a couple of Chips Ahoy cookies on the table and use them as mud golems in a battle if you wanted to. As time went by rules writers learned to create specific rules for specific minis. A unit of archers were no longer just archers, they were some sort of Fern Guardians. And now your regular wood elf minis were useless, because you had to buy Fern Guardians to enjoy the perks that came along with owning these specific minis.

    Dan quickly rejected this. He was a master story teller and wanted to name his own bloody troops. His Empire troops for WFB were Gubenheimers. Had his own color schemes and all.  When I say that Dan was a master story teller, I mean that. He spun tall tales with a vengeance. And no matter how absurd, he always had an out so he could avoid ever admitting he was fabricating the entire thing. This out was usually proceeded by the word "luckily".  For example, he was in an elevator when the cable broke. "Luckily" he was on the ground floor. 

   Dan's greatest tale occurred one night while I was changing the water pump in his Pinto.  I lived near a large sports field complex at that time and cars were driving in and out as I struggled with the cramped Pinto engine compartment in the heat. Dan told me that this was a popular make out spot for teens. In fact, he had frequented it an many occasions. I kept my mouth shut and worked on the Pinto. Then Dan tells me that he had such an active sex life that he had developed gangrene of the testicles, which he claims is common among guys with his level of activity. The condition was so bad he had to have one removed.

  In an instant I knew he had screwed up and told a story I could disprove beyond any doubt, although it was going to be more than  a bit awkward. 

   It took only a second for Dan to extricate himself from the situation. "Luckily, I was born with three." He then went to great lengths to bemoan all the bad things he had to endure as someone with such an affliction. Having a full beard at age 12, being so muscle bound he could walk across the bottom of the deep end of the pool, and having a body fat percentage so low he lacked the fat needed to lubricate his joints and developed arthritis.

  The story lasted for hours. By the time I had topped off the radiator in the Pinto I was feeling sorry for the guy. I was just happy he had managed to handily overcome his buoyancy and arthritic conditions.

  The point to all of this, is  Dan and I got started back in the old days. You got a piece of graph paper and you decided what was what. Nothing was standardized.  Then some one started writing modules, and the modules started telling you what to say when the players enter the room. It as just to save time, or whatever. And things got more and more standardized. There was no longer a need for someone like Dan to use that unique and endearing imagination to bring life to a square on a piece of graph paper. Or to name the units in his army, or his champion, or general or whatever. He glued foam to the heads of his ogres and made them look like they had a perm or an afro. Now that took imagination.  I loved finding out what he had concocted next.

  I went to a tournament one time and used an entirely proxied army of chaos warriors. It was simply awesome and a sure thing to win the theme award. I had chaos chariots pulled by saber tooths and crewed by topless female savages. And that was just for starters.  But I was wrong and it was just glanced over, as everyone only had eyes for GW models.  Kind of strange to me. I was expecting people to see imagination and uniqueness, but all they saw was "unofficial".

  As I look at the flood of miniatures specific games, I wish Dan was still around to find out what he thinks of all of this. Do people no longer WANT to create their own description of the room contents, and prefer reading from a box?  Maybe, but do they know what they are missing when someone like Dan decides to really go all out to spin a story?  Corporate imagination is not always better than individual imagination. Try it sometime, it kind of feels good. 

  Have a great weekend everyone, and enjoy your gaming buddies while you can. They may drive you crazy at times but you will miss them when they are not around.


Thursday, August 7, 2014


    Hi folks. Been a while since I had posted much so I thought I would throw out some random non-related tid-bits.  Back in the shop things are slowly building to bigger and better things, and it seems we got a plan. I keep grinning like a donkey eating briars as my uncle would say.

  First off, a couple of new things in the store. Some new base sizes that were requested by customers.

75mm round, 90mm round, and 25 X 50 pill bases. Pretty much got you covered with bases. And now you got something to cover your bases-
 I call it bits for bases 1.  I hope more to follow.  The first try at this included some smaller parts of ammo and such. There was a most untimely power outage that made them not so good. Instead of making it a complete loss I kept the good parts and will try again on the other side.
Here is the way it was supposed to be.
  The tanks I used to make are off the store for now, probably forever. I hate using nitro, unless in conjunction with glycerin. My personal quest to recreate Barbarossa 1941 using 40K style models in 15mm has been modified a bit. I am now enamored with 1/72 scale.  Mostly because I think it is the smallest scale I can make decent infantry with someday. I have an agreement with a company who makes model WW2 tanks in 1/72 scale. They will allow me to make conversion sprues for their tanks to give them a little "grimdark".  This is going to save me a ton of effort. Someday at a convention near you look out for Stalingrad, 1/72 scale, with powered armor SS.
  There has been a lengthy delay due to a gremlin counter-attack. It may sound like a poor excuse, but they are many and fierce. Frustrating can not begin to describe having random glitches that broke bits, destroyed metal and wasted weeks. Turns out one was a speck of dirt in an optical sensor. I guess being a slob with cleaning has its drawbacks. For now they are at bay, although they never really seem to be completely defeated. It may seem I am making this up, but the minor problems are too many to be a coincidence. This is a concerted effort by some nefarious group to derail my already fragile sanity. I would be a gazillionaire by now if it were not for these little problems.
   I have also decided to curtail any criticism of government regulations. They are a foe beyond reckoning. Let me give you a brief example- I set down with a drink to play a game of chess on the PC. Naturally I set it to a pretty easy setting because I hate to have my pawns beaten up. Well, "someone" was remotely adjusting the difficulty setting. Talk about payback, the computer mopped the floor with me. By the time I had emptied a second glass of brandy, my men were pulverized. I was so dismayed that I had to take a nap. At once. That was just plain wrong and I think a waste of tax payer resources. How much did they have to pay to hire Kasparov to humiliate me?  I got a rematch coming with that dude...............
  There is another project in the works which I can only say is going to be kind of cool. I am having some custom software written that is going to make my life a whole lot easier. It will complete tedious, time consuming tasks automatically.  I have been searching for a program that can do this for some time, and it either does not exist or not even the 1% could afford it. But if I can make my own, it is going to be extremely useful. I will be installing it later today.  Crossing my fingers on this one.
  And finally, speaking of the 1%, I noticed that the largest minis company in the world is searching for a new CEO. They claim they hire based on attitude and not talent. Well let me tell you, they hit the jackpot. You would be hard pressed to find anyone with less talent and more attitude than me. I thought about applying but the commute would be a chore.
  In any event, have a great weekend folks, and keep grinning.