dispatches from terra incognita

Month: May 2020

Another Set Complete: Cars

About 1,000,000 years ago, in a beloved but now defunct chain hobby store called Hungates, I purchased two small boxes with plastic scale models in them. Unlike the semi trucks, 1950’s hot rods in 1:25, or WWII ship models I had ham-fistedly assembled as a child, these were early 20th century automobiles, roughly in scale with 28mm miniatures.

Glencoe Models still exists and these kits are listed. (I can’t find a direct explanation of how one might order them — there is a physical address to write to, and more of this modern age, an email address. So I imagine if one worked at it, he, too, could acquire these kits).

I completed the Pierce-Arrow and Stanley Steamer several years ago, photographing them with the intention to blog, but not following through, apparently. These models embody the term “fiddly” and I was intimidated by the other two for years.

It would seem I have become more adept and confident, and thus these two have finally rolled of the production line.

And so, I can move my Glencoe Models automobiles to the “complete” column. All due to the fact that I no longer have to use my own automobile for a daily commute.

Reinforcements Arrive in Ascaria

Though I have yet to complete painting the soldiers I have on hand, I availed myself of the Spring Sale at Armies in Plastic ($8.95 sets and free shipping for a $50+ order [I see now it’s $60, so my impulsivity has been rewarded!]). This time I ordered whole boxes rather than random sets.

Zafrarian Infantry

First up, above are Zafrarian infantry. I already had a couple chaps on the left with that little roundy hat, who I’ll use eventually use as some other type of troop, I imagine.

Ascodali Command

A picked lot of these blue fellows will become Ascodali command. You see the drummer and the “donor” figure for my standard bearer. I’m intrigued by the headgear of the fellow to the left. A mitre sort of thing?

Serving a look …
The first gun.

What ho? Another branch of service makes its arrival! I think this will be Ascodali artillery.

Despite having created my “Armies in Plastic Concordance,” these fellows in blue were a mistake. When one dives into the cornucopia of codes at Armies in Plastic, he discovers that many represent the same figures, differing only by color of plastic. My eventual goal is to create my own illustrated AIP Catalog, occasionally substituting photos from re-sellers, as those on the AIP site are often blurry. For the present, I printed off the catalog and scrawled which codes included the same fellows. As I prime and paint them anyway, color of plastic matters not. “I call it my AIP Concordance.”

Now, AIP Napoleonic artillery provides an extra challenge, as AIP now also has codes with two sets of crew and no guns, and other sets with two guns and no crew, and then regular-old codes with a gun and 5 crew.

When placing my order, I neglected to note that these fellows were manning a howitzer and mortar. “Size matters not,” ’tis said, but that stubby little thing perched atop a full-sized carriage seems embarrassing. Oh, well … I still haven’t decided on which side these fellows will serve. And, I suppose I ought to vow to paint them before I invest in cavalry?

Ascodali Infantry

The final box will beef up the Ascodali infantry. I’ll have to find another purpose for that telescope-wielding commander. While likely realistic that command would be “scoping” out the sitch, I consider the pose to be inexcusably unheroic. These chaps, for example, could be birding.

The Brit is an artilleryman, so I suppose long-distance viewing is appropriate.

This, my friends, is what proper leadership looks like.

Great tit fancier? Perhaps. Stalwart commander? YES!

Zafrarians Completed, Mostly

The 1st Bunch

At long last, I’ve finished painting the first lot of Zafrarians.

The 2nd Bunch

Well, mostly, I should say, as I haven’t yet settled on a uniform for these fellows. And, as their command and that mysterious bag in the background indicates, reinforcements have arrived …

A Complete Set

An undisciplined approach to painting finds me swirling like an indiscriminate cyclone through the lead pile, whisking up whatever figure catches my eye. One hour of painting might involve a 54mm Napoleonic imagination figure, then to 28mm Darkest Africa, and finally landing in 6mm post-apocalyptic. As such, none of my myriad projects ever creep that much closer to completion. Well, owing no doubt to it being petite, I can finally say I have finished something!

Back in the days of 2017, I backed a little Kickstarter for a new miniatures game called Street Wars NYC by Funky Skull Games. I was lured in, I think, mostly by the terrain set-ups they created for advertising (using commercially available buildings, I believe).

Picture copyright belongs to Funky Skull Games.

For £60, I got the rules in paperback and two eight-member gangs in 28mm, and one free figure. I seem to recall they delivered more or less on time in 2018. And the newly-cast fellows promptly joined the long line of figures awaiting paint.

One sticking point was that they had that “tang” on the bottom for slot-bases, which I don’t do. I excruciatingly-excised those last year and epoxied the gents to washers. Towards the front of the line, but still in line.

The Devil’s Outcasts

Motivated by the fact that I really could finish something, they left to the painting desk. I did the motley bunch called the Devil’s Outcasts first, more or less following the colors feature in the rulebook. The trickiest bit for me was the biker fellow with pickelhaube, on whose vest I applied a decal of a Hell’s Angels logo. I won’t show you as it didn’t turn out that well…

The Black Cobras

Looking more closely at the Kickstarter page, I see the colors for these chaps were intended to be blue and yellow; I read it as purple in the literature and was initially put off. I was going to change it, but then realized it had a Minnesota Vikings vibe (my favorite American football team, owing to the circumstances of my birth), and I was all-in. I envisioned a Street Wars Twin Cities-type deal.

The Complete Set, facing off.

Funky Skull Games seems to have paused trading due to sheltering in place, but have a continued presence on Facebook. They have done a subsequent Kickstarter for a third gang — The Mollies — which appear to be on sale on their website, and which I shall endeavor to acquire.

I have the beginnings of an urban set-up, mostly Matakishi-inspired cork buildings reinforced with some more recent mdf acquisitions. I suppose I should reward these fellows by letting them have at it…

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