Thursday, December 3, 2015

"Training" Day

The last of the 'raw' cars arrived today and now I can start working on building my motive power and rolling stock.  Eight more flat cars arrived and most of them will be transformed into other types of cars than flat cars.  Now it is just a matter of having the time.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Season

Okay, now that we are full into the holiday season there is the distraction of my wife's quite large Lemax (and more) village that needs to be set up and operated until after the new year.  This is something of a distraction from my own hobby work but it keeps her happy and it is also fun since it is miniatures of a sort.  And I've hatched a plot to get some military figures into the mix by buying some 1/35th scale figures to 'sneak' in somewhere.  Now, I have to decide if I want to go Victorian and fit in better with what she has going or get some 18th century figures to 'push back time'.

I await the last back order rolling stock items prior to launching the steam train project.  And I've still two orders to place for the wagons to further that project which I've gotten started on.

I will try and take progress photos along the way to publish.


If all went well, I've added back in the ability to gain followers for this blog.  Had closed it off because of some untoward and unwanted joiners a while back.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Wagons, Carts, Stagecoaches, Limbers, and Carriages - How many?

I first decided to 'standardize' my wagon trains with Peter Pig wagons and to also add another Peter Pig army supply wagon.  This freed up five wagons from the trains, four of which will become freight line wagons and one will become another army supply wagon.  And since I want some casual figures to lounge about the fort, I will order the camp back from Stone Mountain which means one more wagon that will also be an army supply wagon.  All well and good and not too excessive.

And then?

And then I discovered Blue Moon's generic wagons under the Napoleonic range!  Okay, a whole bunch I just to have there, the grain wagon, the engineer wagon, the 'supply' wagon with its cool load, and the barrel wagon.  And under the French equipment there is that rather mundane cart but it comes with a whole bunch of figures that will be a nice little addition (as if my insanely large collection needs more!) to my Old West set up.  And then I decided I need to add an element that just needs to exist - some manure wagons for the larger town of Anachronism and those carts, I'll order two, for the smaller towns of Alkali Wells and Cedar Creek.  And that means I need a couple of water wagons - will mean a bit of kitbashing.

And along with the 'standardizing', I've decided to use all Peter Pig oxen for the ox drawn wagon train. That means I can put the now extra oxen from other sources in front of a variety of other wagons.  And I will then end up with some extra draft horses in harness to populate various corrals.  Oh, and I also bought the Blue Moon pack of dead horses and it includes at least eight dead draft horses so I've added that element.

What does this add up to?  A whopping total of 78 vehicles and quite a variety at that.  Crazy as this seems it just tickles me because the ultimate goal is to have my three old west towns at least moderately crowded with wagons.  It's just how it was.  Plus there is all that space between towns in need of wheels rolling and the army needs to be well supplied.  I think this will do it.

So, my winter project is a combination of getting my old west steam trains and rolling stock together and painted and all of my wagons assembled and painted along with their teams and some of the people - like drivers and such but a bit more than that, too.  And just for fun, I'm going to try and get the remount herd for the army and the pony herd for the indians painted as well - and finish the six more buffalo I bought to make that herd a nice round 120 animals.  And maybe even the herd of pronghorn antelope.  I am cogitating on adding more long horns but I'm trying to resist.

Seems a worthy goal.  Just hope I can get close to achieving it.  I do still need to keep working on my French and Indian War figures and that might add a bit of a challenge.  But maybe doing a different period for a bit will rekindle some enthusiasm for that collection - though the real challenge is time more than enthusiasm.

Hope you are kind enough to wish me luck.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Return, Or Getting on Track

While many important distractions remain, I am slowly returning to working on hobby projects.

My next project, if all goes well, is going to be my old west trains.  Once some items on back order get shipped I will have the following to work on: 3 Peter Pig locomotives, 6 varied Glencoe Models plastic locomotives (three of which I'll need to build tenders for), 8 passenger coaches (two of which will be converted to combines), six box cars, 4 cabeese (plural of caboose, you know), and 10 flat cars (8 of which will be converted into 4 cattle cars, 2 tank cars, and 2 gondolas with 2 staying as flat cars).  As the norm, that means cleaning and prepping and painting.  And all of that will make for a very nice and varied collection of items to include in games - and probably overkill in many ways but still a fun project and does lead to some rather specific scenarios I have in mind, the most well known being the ambush of the Earp family by the cowboy faction at the rail yard that didn't quite go as planned.

These being trains, the other part of the project is assembling track for the trains to run on and not just a section of track but switches to allow that aforesaid rail yard, some passing sidings, and at least a couple of spurs branching off to industries - the stock yards near town and a spur down to the rail ferry in use until a bridge can be built across the river, not too far from where the floating gambling paddle wheeler ties up.

And, hopefully, mixed in with getting that above project done, I'll also be getting some figures painted. Even, when it gets to the point I can do so, photographs of the project along the way can be hoped for.

Oh, the mountain building project still awaits but may be undergoing some significant revision.  Stay tuned for more on that.  I like getting distracted with terrain projects.

Enough for now.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Film Making Interlude

Been away in the film making world the past few months, just making a couple of short movies.  First of two previews tonight on a local IMAX screen with the more ambitious project making its premier on October 4th.  Made a visit to southern California last weekend to include a trip to Disneyland and a brief visit to Brookhurst Hobbies to make a few small purchases.  Besides the film making activities, been very busy on the house front, getting a variety of exterior items attended to and once that is done moving to some interior work.  So, miniatures - while not abandoned - have been on a very small and barely lukewarm back burner for the past many months.  And will continue that way for a while as I also focus on a feature screenplay project and getting a model rail road project to its next step.  About the only thing miniatures wise to get much of my attention - maybe - will be a local approaching convention that I hope to attend.  But I will be back with more at some point.  This is but a checking in post.

And, nice to report, the unwanted visits seem to have dwindled away and now seems to be just the genuinely interested stopping by.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Russia and China

Seems someone (or more than one) from each of these countries is 'spidering' my blog, just over 300 hits from both places in the last month.  Irritating gnats.

Otherwise, nothing new to report.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

"Major" Mountain Building Begins!

First, 'homage'.  The 'major' referred to is Major General Tremorden Redderings's site, link to your left as you read - somewhere.  Go to the terrain page and then to the mountain building page.  That is my point of inspiration.  I'd been wanting to build some mountains and when I saw that page I 'knew' the result I wanted.  Only taken about ten or more years to get around to actually getting started.  No, not exactly what you see in the photos on that site.  But something very similar - except made out of wood.

This morning I continued cleaning in the garage and the yard - a spring rite and all - and I just decided it was time to build.  I've been hanging on to bits and pieces of various plywood left overs and other wood just for this project.  I figured to kill two birds with one stone, as it were.  Build the mountains and get rid of the excess wood no longer needed.

The plan?  What plan?  I laid out the sundry bits of plywood and started thinking.  And then I moved things around and did some more thinking.  And a wee bit of deciding.  From one decision came another.  And a few more.  And somewhere in the thinking stage I started making measurements and cuts - and making one fortunately easily recoverable oops.  And, lo and behold, by the time I wrapped up the project for today, I had my core pieces.

So, it works like this:  The central core is about 4"1/2" wide not counting the yet to be cut and glued on contour pieces - and 24" long, 6" tall (well, all the main contour pieces are cut to length but not yet jig sawed to shape).  And then there are two 3" wide 'outriders' at 5" tall, also 24" long.  The core pieces get one profile to either side, the outriders only get a contour on one side (but more below) - all the main pieces get end caps and the longer pieces a central support.  Then there are the longer pieces, 30" (well, one set is 29 1/4" and the other set is 30 3/4" but it still adds up to the desired 60" length - of which more in a moment).  And these have the central pieces at 5" tall, same 41/2" width and the outriders at 4" tall, 3" width.  This gives me a 7' long mountain range - so far.  But need to make that 8' because I will be building end profiles that will step up from table height to the appropriate level so that figures can cross the mountains lengthwise (all of my figures are 15 mm, remember).  And so they can cross the width, I will also be building two special side profiles.  And there will be at least one special side profile - and that will be a waterfall piece - think the scene from Last of the Mohicans.  Oh, and for all the outrider pieces, each will have one or more thicknesses of profile boards lower than the crest to give a more mountainous look to it all.  I might - might - build a total of six end profiles to allow each of the lengths to be used as stand alone mountains.

What does all that give me?  Well, I can put a mountain across a 5' wide table (see above) to divide it in two or place it at one end, scenario dependent; that is why the need for the side profiles.  Or, I can have an eight foot long and a bit over one foot wide mountain range to run down the center of a table (my table is 12') and either have action on either side of the range or run a game that travels the length of the table and then curves around the mountains and down the other side to give a more than 24' run - think chase scenarios, like a wagon train trying to outrun indians or a train trying to outrun robbers.  Or, I can have two ridges that create a pass to be traveled through with maybe another mountain on the other side to hide what's in store once through the pass. Or can I have the mountain range on one side of the table as a back drop for a game - or an objective.  Also, think in terms of climbing up and through the pass - and maybe finding your way blocked my some less than cooperative opponent.  Lots of ways to make these pieces work.  And those are just the thoughts I've come up with so far.

Still lots to do: cut and glue the main piece profiles and glue onto the cores, add the outrider 'mountainous' profiles, build the end profiles and the side profiles - and, of course, the waterfall profile, and then I need the small "step" pieces to make it possible to rise from one contour to another at 1/2" thickness - leaving the 1" height differences as difficult or impenetrable obstacles for varying scenario needs.  Plus a lot of work with a belt sander to create rounded 'noses' out of the profiles.  And, once all is assembled, it will need to be painted.  But that is probably down the road a bit.

At least I've made remarkable forward progress - and got some 'junk' gone and permanently out of the way.  Ought to make the wife happy.

Photos?  Well, of course there will be photos.  After I take them and then load them into the computer and then post them up here.  For now, just relax and enjoy the thought of seeing the finished work.  But don't hold your breath, who knows how long that will be.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Or, simply, progress.  Cleaned, prepped, and based for painting and priming 264 figures this weekend.  So, while miniatures are in the background for me this year, they are not being entirely ignored.   The figures are for my slightly cracked colonial endeavors and, for the most part, come from Blue Moon Manufacturing's Africa and Horror ranges - though I have no plans to do 'horror' gaming, just found some figures suitable for expanding gaming options.  While there is a small amount of duplication, most of the figures are unique.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A New Year, A New Focus

As I mentioned at the end of my last post here, I am devoting my focus this year to my model railroad hobby - and it is going along very nicely, thank you very much - rather than miniatures.  This may seem odd to some, especially considering the size and scope of my collection.  But model railroading is my larger point of joy.  This in no way means I'm abandoning the other hobby I enjoy - though I may seek some adjustments in who I spend my time with just for a change of pace, amongst other reasons.  I do hope for one substantial benefit from this year I've termed the year of benign neglect of miniatures (though not entire abandonment since I hope to do at least some painting and basing/texturing).  And that is that by the end of the year it will be easier to let go of the excess both of periods and of numbers of figures.  So, again, expect fewer posts this year than in prior ones.  Though, a light of hope for some of you, my wild west town scratch building project is now more accessible than it was before and I just might be posting progress if I make any.

Enough for now.  Keep enjoying what gives you joy, whatever it is, as long as it doesn't involve harming others.  My simple life guiding rule; works for me.