Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Terrain - Thus Far

I decided to set up my Ambush Alley terrain for a few quick pictures, and to display the latest additions, two additional Deimos Design Studio North Africa buildings.  I am hoping to have DDS custom create a row of shops to give this village a small town feel (more options are always a good thing).

Deimos Design Studio (buildings), The Terrain Guy (trees and terrain tiles), Battlefield Architect (desert pieces), Peter Pig (Arabs, special forces, and civilians), QRF (LAV)

I am adding two more terrain tiles to take the playing area from two feet by two feet to three feet by two feet.  With the custom made DDS building and a few more palm trees, my terrain is fairly set.  Now I just have to get all my figures painted!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Good News About GameCraft Miniatures

From the GameCraft Miniatures newsletter:

I've been trying to keep all of my valued customers updated as to what's going on at GameCraft. This newsletter is a continuation of that effort.

As I announced a few newsletters ago I was considering selling GameCraft ... since then I have had MANY inquiries from potential buyers, as it has turned out I think most of them were expecting to pick up the company at a fire-sale price and were surprised to find that I know the value of the company and I'm expecting to get somewhere near that price for it. To make a long story short, I do not think I'll be selling the company any time soon and I am rededicating myself to the running and growth of the company.

Step one in that process will be to get caught up with the current orders that I have waiting to be filled and shipped. Those of you that are new to the newsletter may not be aware of some of the things that have been going on in my life that caused me to fall behind in the orders ... but that's all history now and I'm back to work getting caught up and preserving the reputation of GameCraft's amazing customer service. I've already shipped a few orders today and I will get several more shipped this evening and tomorrow. Beyond that I hope to get at least a few orders out every day till I'm caught up.

Those of you that have been waiting for your order to ship, I ask for just a tiny bit more patience as I am processing orders in the order that they were received. That being said, if you feel that you have waited long enough and do not want to wait any longer please feel free to contact me directly and request a refund on your order ... I will process your refund immediately and cancel your order. I had one customer request a refund this morning on an order that was boxed up and ready to ship but I honored his request and refunded his money within minutes of receiving the request. See, I even try to keep my dissatisfied customer happy :)

So, where do we go from here? I am re-energized and ready to devote myself to GameCraft again. I have lots of ideas for new products and I welcome your suggestions for new products as always. Once I'm caught up on orders I'll start releasing new items again. I have a few new items from the BMC series that are ready to go online right now, I should be able to get them on the site in the next few days.

Thanks again for you past and continued support of GameCraft.


GameCraft offers some nice middle eastern buildings in 15mm (and other scales as well).  It is very good to hear that Allen will be keeping the company and moving forward.

The Bazaar

I have added a new page to the blog, called The Bazaar.  Here I will be listing items for sale on an occasional basis, as well as items I am looking for.  These items will be miniatures, terrain, buildings, books, etc., basically anything related to miniatures gaming as well as military history.  I used to post on Bartertown (as predhead), but I would rather give my modern gaming brethren first crack at anything they might find useful (one man's trash being another man's treasure and all).

My terms are simple, I prefer PayPal (but will accept money orders) and I sell to folks in the U.S. because I hate filling out international paperwork (call me lazy).

So, check out The Bazaar from time to time to see what wares are available and what my wants are.  Maybe we can make a deal!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Expanding the Ambush Alley Project

Since I have committed myself to gaming the modern period in 15mm and have been collecting the excellent Deimos Design Studio buildings along with other terrain pieces (mostly from The Terrain Guy), I have been thinking of ways to get "double duty" from this project.  Keeping the setting to the Middle East or North Africa, I can use the same terrain and buildings and switch out what forces are being represented on the gaming table.  As I do like the Peter Pig AK-47 Republic range it didn't seem much of a stretch to game "The Lebanon" with some of their Arab/PLO and Israeli figures.  At this time I have not ordered any of these little gems yet as I have posted on Bartertown, The Miniatures Page, and the Ambush Alley forum in hopes I'll find some other gamers extras for a reduced price, but even if that does not happen, I can see my next step will be "The Lebanon".  And in keeping with my "keep it simple" philosophy, I will concentrate mostly on infantry forces and a small amount of vehicles.  And, the Arab/PLO types can be used as Iraqi regulars to face the Marines of First Recon.

Hmmm, using the Peter Pig figures I could also foresee moving some scenarios into the Horn of Africa.  Some hypothetical Marine interventions in Somalia due to that dread pirate, I mean those pesky Somali pirates.

One other aspect I would like to add to the standard U.S. vs. insurgent theme is adding in additional factions, creating more than just "us vs. them" scenarios by three or more sides vying for certain victory conditions.  Therefore I will also expand to add in potential other nationalities as time (and finances) allow.  I can see a game with Marines, insurgents, Iraqi regulars, PMC types, and perhaps even another major nationality.  That could really crowd a two foot by two foot board, but I have an order in with The Terrain Guy for a couple of more of the Easy Terrain tiles to give me a three foot by two foot gaming space.

So, there it is, I am not complete with my initial Ambush Alley project, and here I am thinking about adding on already.  Does that sound familiar? 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Just a small update today...

First, I have decided to sell my Miniature Building Authority 15mm Middle Eastern buildings.  If you are interested HERE are the details.  The Deimos Design Studio buildings are perfect for my needs, and therefore I placed an order for the open air market and the market building today.  That just leaves the mosque and the sheep farm left to purchase in the near future (maybe even sooner if I can sell the MBA buildings).  Update - these buildings have already been spoken, that was fast!

I am also selling three QRF Strykers that I picked up, two painted and one still in the package.  Since I have settled on a Generation Kill theme I do not need the Strykers as the recon Marines certainly did not have them.

Recently I was able to buy some painted Rebel Minis insurgents from Fantasy Fixtures (Garren) from the Ambush Alley forum.  They are nicely painted and based and they save me some time in getting my project completed, and they blend in rather nicely with my Deimos buildings (see previous post).  I am hoping he will have more available to sell, then I can part ways with my unpainted figures.

I also started putting together my Irishserb Humvees.  Can't wait to get these little gems completed!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Deimos Design Studio - 15mm North Africa Building Review

Recently I had found a mention about a company who makes pre-painted 15mm buildings for World War II on another blog.  I am always on the lookout for buildings suitable for the Middle East, especially those that are pre-painted as I simply do not have the time to paint as I once did in my younger days.  Deimos Design Studio (hereafter DDS) has a small range of North African buildings in their WWII line that I thought would be perfect for a small village setting in present day Iraq.  Having purchased most of the Miniature Building Authority (hereafter MBA) buildings for the Middle East (small range but large price) I was hoping to find additional buildings for my Ambush Alley Generation Kill project.  With the apparent demise of Crescent Root Studios* my options for pre-painted buildings were becoming limited.  Luckily DDS fills a void and meets some requirements for my Ambush Alley gaming, those requirements being a) cheaper than MBA, b) pre-painted, and c) lift-off roofs on all buildings.

I placed my order for four buildings with DDS on July 26th using PayPal to handle the payment portion.  I had my buildings waiting for me after a short trip on July 31st, a very commendable turnaround time.  The four buildings I ordered were ABR103 (2 Arab buildings), ABR102 (Arabic 2-story building), and ABR106 (Arabic 2-story building B).  They all arrived nicely packaged via the U.S. Post Office.  The four buildings totaled $60.00.

The buildings are constructed from plastic (probably sheet styrene) and given a coating to simulate mud/stucco.  All have the required lift-off roof.  ABR102 has a floor piece that comes out allowing access to the ground floor (and a cloth overhang), while ABR106 has two separate stories.  All come finished on a terrained base that has some flocking to add a bit of color.

These buildings will prove to be very functional within my Ambush Alley project.  Floor access via lift-off roofs will allow figures to be placed within, giving the "bad guys" cover and concealment, and will make building clearing a bit more realistic.

Rebel Mini painted by Garren
DDG also produces an open air market, a market building, a mosque, and a sheep farm.  Nine different buildings within this range without having to use any duplicates will be plenty for the time being, and if I want to add more buildings to the project, a few more of the AR103 packs will fill in nicely.  They will also do custom work (perhaps I will have them create a block or two of buildings suitable for small towns).

Overall I am quite pleased with the quality, service, and price of the DDS buildings, so much so that I have sold my MBA ones!

* - Several months ago I had emailed CRS to check the availability of their buildings.  I received a reply that they were on a "hiatus" of sorts and that they would email me once they were taking orders again.  After a few months, they did indeed email me.  I replied within a few hours that I wanted to place an order, to which I received a reply that they had already taken enough orders and would not be taking more for awhile.  I thought that to be a strange practice.
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