Friday, January 28, 2011

Britannia Miniatures' Dave Howitt's Passing

I am very saddened to hear about the recent passing of Dave Howitt, driving force behind Britannia Miniatures.  I've only ordered a few things from Britannia, but when I did the service was cracking and the response to my emails was extremely timely.  I extend my condolences to his friends, family, and the gaming community, we have indeed lost a wonderful person.  God bless him.

UPDATE:  It appears that the Britannia Miniatures website is now defunct.  I had heard that Mr. Howitt's daughter was carrying on with the business, but that might have only to fulfill outstanding orders.  'Tis a shame, I was hoping that Britannia would carry on, but certainly can understand the family's decision to cease operations. My thoughts and prayers go out to them!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pulling the Trigger

Hey kid, c'mer and pull my finger...

Well, in anticipation of expanding the Ambush Alley project into the reverse future (um, meaning the past), I've ordered some post war Germans from QRF and started working on a new page, called The Asian Project, to give some background and direction to my hypothetical world of the late 70s.  Why Germans?  Why not, it's my hypothetical world (with a real world setting I guess).  Post Viet Nam, with Vietnamese, Khmer Rouge, Aussies, Kiwis, Yanks, and whomever else I throw in.  Finding figures would be very easy, between the various 15mm manufacturers who make Viet Nam ranges.  There are plenty of options for Asian/Viet Nam buildings in 15mm (TimeCast Models, Miniature World Maker, Flashpoint Miniatures).  Alas, not all these buildings have lift off roofs, a MUST for me when gaming Ambush Alley, but the MWA buildings do have lift off roofs.  I have some palm trees from The Terrain Guy, those could be added to to increase the amount of vegetation.  Does anyone make 15mm H-34 helicopters?  Just thinking aloud there.

Of course, I COULD go into an African project since Peter Pig make some wonderful figs.  Imagine African rebels, government types, Cubans, South Africans, and any other faction I want to add in (special forces from West Germany perhaps?)  My Deimos Design North African buildings could serve dual purpose.  Hmmm, now I am rethinking this all again.  Wait, wait, wait...a lot of gamers are already doing African games, my Khmer Rouge/Asian Project idea could be a bit more unique, it's like Viet Nam 3.0!  Must be that lack of focus thing kicking in again!

Stayed tuned over the next several years while I sort all this out.  From time to time the Asian Project page will be updated with random tidbits.

More GameCraft Releases/QRF Sale

GameCraft Miniatures have added two more products to their 15mm Middle Eastern building range, this time a hotel/apartment building facade and downtown shops.  I like the GameCraft buildings, they are cleanly cast, well designed, and look great.  I just wish they would make more buildings with lift off roofs and have openings for windows and doors.  Don't know why I am hung up on open windows and doors, just like them!

Quick Reaction Force is running a 10% sale until January 23rd.  Yes, I know I am a bit behind on getting this posted.  I am still very tempted in buying G3 armed Germans and move my Ambush Alley project into a new arena, some fictitious African or Asian setting taking place in the 70s or 80s.  More on this later...hmmm, I think I'll go ahead and order some Germans right now! I have five packs of G3-armed post war Germans on the way! 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Focus, Focus, FOCUS!

Are you like me?  Do you have a difficult time staying within one, two, or twenty historical periods you want to game?  Ever read a book or see a movie and think "I could game that!"?  Then, my fellow focusless gamer, read on.

I love military history.  My interests are as widely varied as the various wars that this planet has seen.  I have dabbled in ancients (DBA), been addicted to Napoleonics (can anyone say Empire?), played Seven Years War and the American equivalent, the French and Indian War.  The American Revolution fascinates me.  The War of 1812 is one of those wars I want to game more, both land and sea (or lake).  The Federal period (Harmar, St. Clair, and Wayne) holds a special place as I grew up less than fifteen minutes from the site of Fort Hamilton.  The American Civil War is probably my number one interest, although I haven't pushed lead blue and gray soldiers for far too long.  I've looked at colonials (even painted a few), think World War I is cool, was hot and heavy in World War Two micro-armor (and a little in 15mm).  Vietnam has always driven my salivating mind processes into overtime (I had 30-50 paperbacks on the Nam back in the 80s).  Moderns were also a micro-armor project for me, and now in 15mm (curse you, Ambush Alley!).  Then of course there are the books and rules to go along with any project.  Mix in other periods and one can see that I am doomed!

With the recent (and very sad) passing of Major Richard Winters, 101st Airborne, I pulled out my DVD set of Band of Brothers and watched the last disk, the one in which the veterans of Easy Company were the "stars."  That got me thinking (again) about doing some paratroop actions, maybe in 15 or 20mm.  Why do I do this to myself?  I have plenty of books about Easy Company, having collected most of the memoirs available.  Rules could be a simple skirmish type, but I do not have European terrain.  Would that stop me?  A bit, the condo only has so much room, and the better half might have something to say about more toys!

And, to make things worse, I have been toying with expanding my Ambush Alley project again!  I have yet to purchase any figures for Lebanon (1982 style), but Quick Reaction Force has a sale going on right now, and buying some Cold War 15mm Germans would be neat.  Create some sort of fictional country (Africa, Asia), having different factions (government troops, rebels, commies, Cubans or some other Eastern Bloc influence...see, the possibilities go on and on), and using Ambush Alley to game it!  But then I remembered, I have some of those hard to get 20mm Germans from Liberation Miniatures already, the cool ones with feldmutze headgear and G3 rifles.  Sweet!  Could buy some hooches from Monolith Designs or Britannia Miniatures, add in some other Liberation Miniature types (Cubans, African troops, South Africans, 1980s U.S.), and BAM, another crazy project.

And there lies the dilemma.  I have gaming things to work on now.  I also have hikes and backpacking trips to plan and go on.  I have some things around the condo to do.  I rarely actually game anymore, all my gaming buddies have lives and we do not see each other like we did even ten years ago.  Should I keep buying more toys, ones that I will rarely use?  Those 20mm Germans are still there, in their bags, waiting to be painted, waiting for terrain to be put in, waiting for bad guys to kill.  I have purchased and sold more figures and rules than I can remember.  And, I still have THIS project to work on, the project that drives this blog's bus!

I should sell everything and stick to reading and hiking and working on the condo...but then reading more books simply pulls me right back into the gaming windmills I must charge towards.  If only I could win the lottery, then I would have all my figures painted and a huge game room to use them in!  If only I could FOCUS!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Updates and GameCraft Miniatures New Release

It has been FAR too long since I have posted to this blog.  My real life committments do prohibit my ability to do much in my gaming life in the weeks leading up to the holidays.  Hoping now that the New Year is upon us I can start being a little more active with the blog and gaming in general.

I have been having a bit of trouble trying to get the folks at Deimos Design Studio to reply to my inquiry in having a special building made.  After an intial burst of contact months ago, they seem to have fallen a bit off the map.  I was hoping to have a block of buildings made, maybe three of four buildings all linked together.  Perhaps, like me, their real lives got in the way a bit and they have just been a bit busy.  Time for another dispatch to see what the status might be.  I've had great service from them for the two orders I have placed, so I still have high hopes!  UPDATE - Okay, I just went to their URL, only to find it has gone POOF.  Looks like another homegrown company has bit the dust.  So glad I was able to buy their buildings when I did, so saddened to see them disappear without as much as a goodbye.  Guess that explains their lack of response!

On another note, I am happy to see that one of my favorite manufacturers has released a 15mm minaret!  GameCraft Miniatures announced that they now have added a 13.25" tall minaret to their line of 15mm Middle Eastern buildings.  Consisting of four parts (three resin and one acrylic tube) this piece will make an impressive addition to my small village.  Here is the picture from the GameCraft site:

I am hoping that I can get my figures painted within the next few months, and actually do some gaming!  Then I will expand my Ambush Alley project into Lebanon, 1982.  Americans, Israelis, PLO, Christian militia, maybe even Syrians.  Should give me plenty of gaming options for 2011!

Happy New Year!
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