Friday, April 19, 2013

G&Getting Prepared

Our annual cavalcade of friendship, gaming and beer, Gaming & Guinness VIII, is but two weeks hence, and as always, much has been left later than it should. Still, progress is being made, and everything should click into place in time for our conclave of nerdery. Given the group, I shouldn't be surprised if we could pull off a satisfying event with no notice at all, but a little structure is good. Otherwise, it's impossible to go off schedule, and what fun would that be?
We are taking a respite from Wahammer 40,000 this year, and opting for the retro starship combat of A Call To Arms: Starfleet Battles for our miniatures fix. Since the initial outlay is a single ship, much less daunting than an entire army or even a squad, the nine of us should have a grand old time pitting a group of Klingon D7s against a squadron of Constitution class heavy cruisers.

Half of the ships being used were completed in the past 7 days and are in the picture above. Mike T. and Pete painted theirs last Saturday before D&D (top left and middle right respectively), and I finished the other four tonight: two for the out of towners and two for me. My dishless Constitution class won't be in the fight, but I wanted one for display and instructional purposes anyway. I plan to take advantage of Earl's generous offer to use his technical pens for the names and registry numbers; my days of being able to free hand stuff that tiny are clearly behind me, if ever had such days to begin with!

Next up is a set of cars for Formula De. I found two sets of miniatures for the famed racing game at a shop in Vancouver (Checkpoint Charlie's maybe?) probably 7-8 years ago, but every time I went to paint them, I would balk at their tiny size and lack of places to hold them while painting. Then I would rationalize my way out of painting them with thoughts like "I have so much other stuff to paint..." and "the plastic cars that come with the game are just fine" as well as "how often do we even play Formula De?"
They are a neat set of figures, albeit tiny, based on classic F1 cars of the '70s. Not being a motorsports fan, I can't say I recognize any of them, but they have the look of the period for certain. I have a second set of cars from the '60s, but they lack the variety of bodystyles I was looking for, so they will wait for another day. (Or possibly eBay; they are reputed to fetch a pretty price!)

The first thing I needed to overcome was the lack of places to hold the cars while painting, since these did not have any sort of base that would normally assist in this. Thinking back to my earliest days of D&D figure painting, I remembered gluing baseless Grenadier models to a popsicle stick to facilitate their manipulation while painting. While I longed for an excuse to eat ten Fudgsicles, I thought those sticks might be a bit big, and went with toothpicks instead.

Snipping off the tapered end to provide a flatter area for the glue to make purchase, I put a dab of superglue on the underside of each car, pushed the toothpick into place and voila, a convenient painting handle.
Now they are all primed up, and once they're dry, I just need some time to apply the appropriate bright acrylics and some varnish to be ready to play. Although a jeweler's loupe or magnifying glass mightn't go astray either.

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