Thursday, August 29, 2013

New Link and More

Just posted a link to the UK company Black Hat Miniatures, they have both 15 and 18 mm figures that can be useful.  As soon as I stumble across, remember, or take the time to go look it up, there is another UK company I want to post a link to.  But my main focus is to support those here in the U.S.  In that vane, I've also posted a link to a company with some really great options - wish they'd do more.  That is Highlander Studios.

Much more exciting for me is that I've met one of my goals.  My recent amendments under the Steeplechase tab have led to the hoped for clarity of purpose and will result in some significant rearrangement of the figures, though a fairly easy rearrangement.  I will have the figures organized so that I can readily accommodate up to 24 players in a game.  Though I will also end up with a collection that can easily be used in much smaller games, even 2 players or maybe even a solo event.  Looks like, including the appropriate animals for Africa and more, I will end up right around 3,000 figures in this collection.

And something I just typed there is important for guiding the future:  "easily be used in much smaller games."  I need to make that my mantra.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pachydermically Speaking

While sorting out some other bits for the Pages here, I spent some time today calculating just how many elephants I have.  Most of them are in the Indian Mutiny collection with a couple more in the Scramble/Steeplechase set up.

I find I have 80 of the ponderous beasts, 25 attendant to the various mutinous and allied commands, 5 attached to the British for the Mutiny, the two for the Scramble, 9 more for the India civilians, and the 39 wild elephants for my Savannah herd (though it may double for an Indian herd stampeding a stockaded village like in the Sabu version of the Jungle Book movie).  Along with the critters there are the mahouts, riders, and drivers afoot - they tally up to 109.

I'm pretty sure that whatever else I decide about downsizing portions of the collection, I'll almost certainly keep all of these, especially since most of them are already painted.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Dilemmas please step to the front!

Okay, first, some progress.  I've now got all the bases I need primed for the vast majority of my French and Indian War figures, the rebasing really.  Only thing still not 'ready' are the bases for the wagons and carts and such where standard sizing isn't so easy.  So, those will get bases at a slower rate, probably as the pieces get assembled and painted.  Otherwise, I'm ready to go.  That means the twenty European battalions and the now eight native 'tribal' groupings can be rebased (based when painted for those not yet done).  That is north of 1200 figures when you add in the artillerymen and the pioneers and engineers.

Now that I've let the above move out front, back to the dilemma.

As I've alluded to before, I really need to make some decisions about my collection of figures.  The giant pirate game I organized that got presented last year was, besides the game itself and the fun and camaraderie it provided, was also a test.  The goal from that perspective was to see just what it takes to get such a large mass of figures painted and ready for a game.  In both time and money, the effort was really excessive.  Doesn't mean it wasn't fun and I certainly greatly appreciate all the people who kicked in and helped out.  But it also rang the "reality check bell" really, really loudly.

For a quarter of a century I've suffered from the CEASE virus.  That is Collect 'Em And Store 'Em.  Sure, there has been lots of playing with them over the years.  But way too much collecting.  That activity, the deciding what to get into, do the research, find out who makes the figures, decide what to buy, and then buy and organize the metal, is a hobby in and of itself.  Not, however, the goal.

What I really want is to have a nice collection of painted figures I can game with when I have the time, and whether I have an opponent, or several, or not.  My collection can accommodate that easily - for maybe a dozen people.

But I'm only one People! (oh, shush, I am so - though I wonder if that is really something to be proud of sometimes.)

So, what I have to decide is whether I reduce the collection by eliminating periods or keep all of the periods I have (and, aghast!, maybe add one or two more) but drastically reduce the number of figures in each collection.  Enacting either option will result in a collection much more likely to get painted and thus used.  It also opens up the possibility of needing a lot less storage space which would be appreciated on the domestic avenue of advance.

While I really need to "cease and desist" the excessive acquisition, I will still allow those special purchases that do enhance gaming possibilities and sometimes just because I want it.  Absolutely no more massive periods.

In the process of typing all of this I've started to formulate the idea, not new, even to me, that I can have as much fun downsizing the collection as I did in upsizing it.

Most likely action will be to decide on a couple of collections to keep large and then reduce the rest of the oversized ones.  And then, in time, I will release some collections/periods entirely.  The reason might be as simple as after playing a few games deciding the period wasn't what I was hoping for or might be that I catch a valuable case of common sense!

And I'll probably revisit this theme here again, perhaps several times.  It helps to convince me.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Doings in Zebra-ville

Been busy away from the hobby much of this year but not abandoning it.  Have 72 28 mm animals on the bench to paint for the local club's event for 2014.  Long way to go.

A major portion of my hobby focus, and budget, has been away from miniatures and focused on model railroading this year.  This is good for me because that is my primary hobby and miniatures have always been a side interest (truly, despite the evidence here at this blog).

While I don't anticipate losing my long term interest in miniatures, I continue to try to talk myself into reducing the numbers of periods I have.  Or, failing that, to at least dramatically reduce the number of figures I have in most of the periods I have figures for.  I recently started priming up bases for my AWI collection, just the bases.  With less than a third of the needed bases primed, that number by itself is intimidating - and that is without prepping a single figure.

Don't really know where these musings will lead but figured I should take a moment in this busy summer, more away from hobbies entirely than not, and add an update.

The real challenge in reducing the collection is deciding where to do so.  Hard.  Very hard.  But just might start getting more serious on this front.  Might.