Thursday, April 9, 2015

Back on the Diving Board

  Hello again everyone.  Well it has been some time since I wrote anything about goings on, so I figured I should at least quell the rumors of my death.

  First off, I am keeping up with orders and also working a regular job.  It might be a surprise to some that this is still a one person part time operation.  It is not supposed to be, but my talent for alienating folks is damn near miraculous. This will become evident as I proceed to piss in the pool from the diving board once again. Read on.................

   The real issue is mostly I am in a wait and see mode regarding what to do next. I have a type of ADD which causes me to hyper focus on something. I get interested and really immerse myself in a project. This flies in the face of current market trends.  It is no secret to anyone that reads this blog that kick starter is less than my favorite thing. Kick starter is geared toward the other type of ADD person. The stereotypical " Ooh, look a new shiny thing....." type of person. When I was gaming much more than I do now we went through scales and periods with reckless abandon. My ADD requires me to build huge armies, all fully painted and then to prepare extensive campaigns. I build my own Army Builder files if I like a game for crying out loud.  This is not the current state of affairs, where I actually have read about people losing interest in a game before it has even been delivered.
    I remember dropping a couple of hundred bucks on a Flames of War army, painting the entire thing, and playing ONE time before my friends lost interest and raced on to something else. This frustrated me immensely and ever since then I have steadfastly refused to be drawn in to the new and shiny unless I was certain it had long term potential. Eventually I just lost all interest in the constant cycle of consumption without really taking the time to enjoy the purchases.  I want generic stuff that can be used over and over again. ( this is what I try to make also)  My goblins have seen combat in at least a dozen different rules sets, having fled in each end every one of them!
   Which brings me to kick starter. New products are coming out faster than anything I ever could have imagined. Some of them seem really cool. But my brain has simply gone in to shock and shut down. There is too much stuff. Way too much. My brain is defective and is unable to grasp and understand this much stimuli.  I am going to cover my head until this blows over. And it makes no damn sense at all to me.
   I think being a wise old person allows me to explain the facts to young people once again.
  Years ago we had things called credit cards. The slogan was play now-pay later. You could buy all sorts of things and start enjoying them right away. You could figure out how to pay for it later. I was riding in my old black Mustang and the wheels, tires and Hurst shifter were not even paid for. Who cares? I was enjoying it NOW. I got started at Montgomery Wards with a VHS player. And I was watching movies before I ever even thought about paying for it.

  Kick starter lets you pay now and play later. Maybe. Back in the good old days, if you actually got a little carried away with your spending you could hire a lawyer to fill out a couple of forms and file bankruptcy.  Then all the payments went a away and you got to keep all your stuff. Some people actually PLANNED this. A couple would have one person run up a fortune and filling the house with all sorts of televisions and other goodies. That person would file bankruptcy and they would get it all for FREE. Then for the next seven years if they needed credit the other person could borrow. After the 7 year period was up the second person would run up huge debts and file bankruptcy, and the first person now had good credit again and they would switch places.
  The credit card companies accepted all the risk. The consumer was in the driver's seat and calling the shots.
  Compare that to kick starter and you will see a mirror image. Now the consumer is paying up front and taking all the risk. If the project goes bad, the creator walks with a bundle and has no real penalties.  Was this the idea all along? Who knows? 
  Young people have no idea how upside down this is. Seriously, back in my day no one would have agreed to this. Now people do not only agree to it, they PREFER it.  Consumers love kick starter and are voting with their dollars.Millions and millions of them.
   Companies love it too. It offers better than a reward, it offers a PRE-WARD.  It is like dropping a $100 tip before you even get seated at a restaurant.
  My brain has been scrambled beyond the capacity for rational conversation.  I simply have no idea what the hell is going on.
  So, I have been trying to keep my mouth shut, knowing that my opinions are toxic and sure to anger the folks who simply love kick starter.  This post represents my failure to stay shut up. Sorry.  :(

  What would Moe do?

  ( watch that again and check out the follow through. Moe was at his best in that one!)

   As usual there are a couple of personal projects I still mean to get to. Mostly some plastic bits for my old WFB troops. Some contract work is always trickling in as well.
   The big project is to build a new die assembly. The old one is 6" X 6". The new one will be 8" X 8" and feature a side cam action mechanism that will allow for the eventual production of molds with 4 or more parts. This will allow for details on the sides. And hopefully some car models, as well as larger tanks and bits.
  Here is how the cam action works- it uses spring loaded wedges.
  The blue parts are hardened steel and attach to the base plate. Matching wedges on the top side are spring loaded and push in and out when closed against these wedges.
  The other side is pictured here. Again the blue is hardened steel and the green is the base plate. The pink rods are the guides that the blue plates slide upon. As the 2 sides come together it closes.  There is still a lot of work to do on this, and the metal is going to cost $1000. If it works I will be able to make some decent stuff. If it fails I can sell the metal for a couple of bucks and figure it looked good on paper. Learning to accept frequent and epic failures takes some practice but becomes second nature over time.
  I can press 1.9 cubic inches of plastic at a time. If you spread that thin enough it can cover a decent area. Some day I want to really test the limits of what it can do.
  In the meantime we are still racing as often as possible, and I have built a couple of new cars.

  The only thing that really stinks about building custom slot cars is knowing they are going to get the crap beat out of them. You want to talk about melee combat, you should check out a digital slot car race with the maniacs I race against. Imagine if my old Copplestone barbarians actually got scars after each game.  That would be sort of neat but frustrating. I got red paint on the roof of my white Corvette and I got a good idea where it came from.

  Was also at my local game store recently and had a nice chat with the owner. Seems that board games are really big lately. 40K is making a comeback, but other minis are sort of so-so.  I have sold my 40K armies.  The guys I know who used to play sort of rage quit. It would take an act of congress to get them back to playing it.  The odds of getting back in to it are slim to none. I did really enjoy running my Gaunt's Ghost themed IG troops. It did not matter how the game went I just loved seeing them on the tabletop. Someone else now owns them so let's hope they roll well for them.  I have a huge collection of AT-43 troops  rebased for 40K to use for sci-fi games. They are generic enough for many systems.
  I am in the market for a horde Skaven army and a Lizardman army for WFB. If the rumors are true and they are dropping those I got to get them while I can. Then I will have every army from the Ravening Hordes list. A long term goal of mine. (now you can see what I mean by ADD)
  And that is what is going on.  In the morning I am going to be back at cutting molds for the first time in many weeks. Hopefully everything will still work and I can get something new finally in the store. I know it seems like things are moving at a glacial pace, which frankly is a pretty accurate assessment. But the old tortoise and hare story might wind up being true after all.

  It looks like spring is here this week, so I am going to start coming alive like the earth.

  Enjoy folks.