Saturday, 3 March 2018

Plastic fantastic

"I love plastic. I want to be plastic." - Andy Warhol

If asked to define what sort of wargamer I am I would always answer "20mm plastic"; the slight irony being that by far the majority of the gaming that I actually do is 28mm metal in the legendary wargames room of James 'Olicanalad' Roach. However the collecting, painting and so on is essentially 20mm plastic with a bit of 20mm metal to make up the numbers. One thing that really differentiates us from other types of wargamer is the acquisition process. The boxes contain what they contain; some of the figures are of limited use and the proportions of different type of figures (e.g. officers, flagbearers etc) are never what one would wish for. When I started out all those years ago we would simply have unit sizes that reflected box contents and everything got used; nowadays I have a pile of stuff that will only ever be used for conversions. In addition, boxes are only in production for limited runs - the moulds are expensive relative to those for metal figures - and when they're gone they are (probably) gone. It took me a lot of time and a certain amount of expense to track down the last remaining sets of Hat WWI German Heavy Weapons in Europe when I belatedly decided that I needed ( OK, wanted) some. What we tend to do therefore is buy anything new that comes out and looks as if it might be vaguely useful. In my case the latest such purchase is some very nice figures of Medieval Gunpowder Castle Artillery. My 15th century forces already have so many bombards and the like that they can never all fit on the table at the same time anyway, but...

Some of the bombards

Their arrival inevitably led to some thought about upgrading my existing walls. The two issues that bug me are that I don't have enough and that I didn't make them modular, in the sense that all pieces are the same length. I might just have to treat myself to some laser cut MDF, probably the 28mm scaled ones; well it is my birthday soon. I mentioned this to James on our jaunt to Vapnartak and he tried to pass on some spare MDF sheet he had so that I could scratchbuild some. I think we all know that isn't going to happen. More usefully he has lent me a set of WRG 6th rules so that I can have a look at the siege rules. So, a relatively small amount of money spent on a set of figures that I don't really need will probably escalate into a much larger sum for something else that I don't really need. Such is life, as we used to say in the 1970s, such is life.

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