Sunday, January 29, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
The British flags are from Vaubanner Graphics and the US flags are from Iain over at Flags of War. Both sets of flags are very nice and were easy to put on.
Next up on the Painting table - US commanders, A US Militia unit and some US artillery and then the Glengarry Lights.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Late last November I placed a relatively large order for 28mm Napoleonic figures from Mabuhay Miniature Painting Service (MMPS). MMPS is located in the Philipenes and is run by a gentlemen by the name of Fons. Stop right there, I don't think he looks like Henry Winkler and goes around saying "Heyyyyy...". Anyway, this was a fairly large order: 200 British Infantry, 3 British Guns crews, and 24 French Dragoons - all 28mm plastics (Perry for the infantry and Calvary and Victrix for the Artillery). The entire ordering process was very easy and Fons was very reasonable in pricing in some special requests I had. He was also very clear on delivery timeframes and set the expectation of a late February delivery which was acceptable to me. I placed the order and then received several update emails showing the progress of my commission which allowed me to both confirm the details and get some comfort that I would receive the figures. I was very pleased to be informed that the order was ready and posted on January 6th. It arrived in Maryland intact on January 20th. Hmmm, lets see MMPS sets realistic timeframes for delivery (and in this case exceeded them) and provided updates along the way - two big positive marks there!
As for pricing, it's the standard rate advertised on the MMPS site plus a very nominal charge for my basing style which wasn't the normal MMPS method.
So what's the bottom line on MMPS. To put it directly, they exceeded every expectation I had:
- honest / realistic delivery expectations CHECK
- flexibility / reasonable pricing for special requests CHECK
- periodic project updates CHECK
- careful and effective packaging CHECK
- superb painting quality CHECK
- great pricing CHECK
All-in-all, I am a very happy customer and will be ordering more figures from MMPS in the near future. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a quality painting service. Well done Fons!!!!
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
The under table storage will be hidden by sliding panels so that we "class-up the joint".
The additional framing will also make the table a lot stronger as I've had high school aged kids sitting on it while working on the 'bot.
In a nod to the Mrs, who tolerates my hobbies, I will also likely sand and stain the wood so the whole thing looks a lot better
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Other big positives from 2011 include:
(1) Watching and helping (in a small way) Ernie's Architects of War business continue to grow. Each month his business has increased and he's expanded his range of products. Right now I think AofW if the goto place for 28mm historical gaming.
(2) Meeting a new group of local gamers led by Dick C and Les M - they are great guys and have a very fun / welcoming sense of gaming. It's always a pleasure to be invited to game with them and I look forward to more events in 2012. Dick and Les have a fabulous collection of 1/600 Houston dreadnaught's!
(3) Participating in the Analogue Hobbies Second Annual Painting Challenge. This has been a very fun web-event to participate in and it has spurred me to a very high level of painting efficiency 75 28mm figures in less than 2 weeks! For me that's a breakneck pace. The best thing about the competition is that it goes through March 2012, so there's a chance I may actually finish my War of 1812 project
In terms of painting production, 2011 was an efficient year with the final tallies being:
28mm: 273 Infantry, 41 Calvary, and 3 Artillery
1/600 ACW Naval: 3 ships
1/1200 Napoleonic Naval: 12 ships
6mm ACW: 684 Infantry, 60 Calvary and 20 Artillery
In terms of era's games I added two to the "ever-expanding" list of periods gamed with the addition of the great SAGA Medieval skirmish rules and a "jump with both feet in" foray into 28mm War of 1812. Of course my wife has more "choice" terms that describe my hobby range than "ever-expanding", but I want to keep my blog's PG rating. I do try to point out to her that, as mid life crises go, I choose a rather mild path with toy soldiers and sail boats rather than sports cars and 20ish women. I think her response with "fat chance" on that last path not taken troubles me a little bit. Anyway, Mary Beth is actually rather supportive of the hobby.
I am getting to the point that it may be time shed one of the eras that I game, both for storage purposes and the fact that it's unlikely some of these periods will ever be re-visted.
My best modeling output from 2011 were my Sarmatian Cataphracts (Warlord Miniatures) and the 1/600 Alabama and Kearsarge (Thoroughbred Miniatures)
Lets see how I did with my initial set of 2011 goals:
- continue to stress gaming over collecting and host at least 6 games at the house, including running a 6mm ACW campaign game - FAIL: I played in 14 games last year and hosted only 4 (2 at my house and 2 at HCON) - still to low a number
- revamp my game room to allow for more storage and complete the "man-cave" conversion - FAIL: The game room revamp didn't pass beyond the plan stage due to my son's robotics team's successful year
- build some modular terrain boards - FAIL: No boards built
- finish up the 28mm Imperial Romans and get them on the table - PASS: Finished a Roman and Dacian army
- attend Historicon in July (pending executive spouse approval) - PASS: Went to HCON and hosted two games of Hail Caesar
- participate in a tournament style gaming event (likely FOW) to see how I like it - FAIL: Didn't even play FOW in 2011
- try focusing on finishing armies rather than adding new ones - FAIL: While I did finish the Romans and Dacians, I added two more era's to game
So lets see the tally: 5 Fails and 2 Passes, that's not so good. Hey wait a minute, I do remember saying that those targets weren't really resolutions - they were more like guidelines....
Despite the poor showing for 2011 goals, oops I mean guidelines, I'm still setting out the following targets for 2012:
(1) Attend and host a game at Historicon (probably one of three options: Hail Caesar, War of 1812 with Black Powder, or Saga) - your thoughts are appreciated here.
(2) Finish my war of 1812 project (both British and US armies) = ok with the Brit's I'm cheating as I have most of them being done on a commission basis.
(3) Host 4 Games at my house - why 4?, because is twice as many as I did in 2011
(4) Implement the planned redesign of my game room (after robotics). I have a nice space for gaming / modeling, but it can be better organized and made to feel a bit more "clubby"
(5) Remain gaming era neutral - If I add a new era / game system then I need to get rid of an existing one
(6) Finally decide if I want to get back into model railroading and is there a way to link the two hobbies? How cool would it be to be able to play a war game while having a train running around the table. I'm thinking either 10mm miniatures with N-Scale trains or something in HO/20mm maybe WWI or WWII..... This might be a very dangerous course!
I think that's enough for this retrospective.
All-in-all, 2011 was a great year for my family and me and given the times we are very fortunate to be able to say so. Here's to an even better 2012 for all of us!