Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Review - Gamecraft Miniatures - 28mm Western Building 28MWEST006

The mailman was kind to me yesterday and finally dropped off a package from Gamecraft Miniatures. I made this order on 10/29 and it arrived yesterday, 11/29. I know that seems like a long time for a manufacturer in the US to get an order out, but Allen is mostly a one man show and cuts the kits to order. How long it takes depends on how busy he is so don't worry if it takes some time to receive your order you will get it. If you need it for something special (like a convention) drop him a line and he will do his best to get it to you when you need it. What I'm still waiting for are the kits from Sarissa Precision. After emailing with Steve we have decided that these are probably a casualty of Hurricane Sandy and they are dispatching replacement kits to me. If anyone knows of any other kits that I should be taking a look at let me know. I am aware that Perry Miniatures has a couple of nice buildings in plastic and I hope to acquire those after Christmas.

I have a bunch of Gamecraft Middle Eastern buildings in 20mm for Ambush Alley that I haven't really taken the time to assemble. I ordered them cut from foam core and, for me, that was a mistake. The foam core takes more effort to finish because the foam melts so far back that you have to fill all of the cut edges or figure out another way to cover them out. I highly recommend only going the MDF route when ordering from him for those kits that have the foamcore option. Fortunately none of his western buildings have that option and he has quite a variety. One of the whole concepts of building Calamity is taking the opportunity to compare the different manufacturers' buildings and see which ones I like as well as make sure that there is a lot of variety in the buildings. I intend to make Calamity a good sized town so I'm figuring twenty buildings or so by the end of the project.

I ordered two buildings; 28MWEST001, a two story building and 28MWEST006 a single story building. Both are different in style from anything else I have ordered so far. I started off with the single story building.

First off there are no instructions. As everyone knows by now this is a huge pet peeve of mine. I know these buildings are pretty dead simple and I can practically put them together blind folded at this point, however, there are always people new to the hobby that might get something like this and throw up their hands. There is a definitely a build sequence that should be followed. I went over to his blog and couldn't find anything detailing construction on the buildings to help out either. So that's a big 0 out of 5 on the instructions.

Now we have a laser cut kit done with done with cad drawings. Everything fit the way it was suppose to and in the end that's usually what matters the most. The engraved detail is quite nice. I enjoy the modeling aspect quite a bit so sometimes I'm disappointed that something doesn't have more detail than it does. But these kits fit together without any problems so that rates a 5 out of 5.

Like some of the other manufacturers I feel that Gamecraft missed a couple of opportunities and did a couple of things that bug me, none of which are going to affect the quality of your game play or truly be something that people are going to notice and point out as a flaw. They just bother me because they are details that could be done better. The floors for the Gamecraft kits are extras, so if you don't intend to ever have combat or some kind of interaction going on the inside of the building then you don't need them. Since my buildings are intended for skirmish gaming and role-playing I need to be able to get miniatures inside so floors were required. This building uses optional floor C which is just a hunk of MDF (well laser cut hunk of MDF). However, there is no floor engraving. If you are going to use the laser to cut it anyway why wouldn't you go ahead and engrave the floorboards on it? The other thing that bothers me is the side door which is set at exactly ground level. That means there is a mismatch in height between the front door, which is elevated because of the porch, and the side door which is right down at the ground. I definitely feel that the side door should be raised up and maybe a little step added to the kit for it. Otherwise someone is going to take a nasty spill inside some where.

With all that being said the Gamecraft kits are really very good. I enjoyed building them and I think that they fit in really well with the other buildings I have. I really like the window and door treatments, I think these are very well done and really help the buildings stand out. They are very similar in look to the Battle Flag buildings to the point that I don't think you will be able to easily tell the difference between them once they are painted up and on the table. They are a bit smaller than the other manufacturers' kits but I think that will make Calamity look like a "real" town when I'm finished.

As with the other kits I took the time to take some construction photos and here they are:
How it comes right from the USPS box
Good Luck getting it back in the bag after you have done this!

Window Frames, Rear Wall

Group Clamping Shot

Adding the front door
Adding the back frame. Supports the roof
and makes the tabs for the side walls to slot
Side wall with door. Note door is at ground level!
Clamping up the porch
More porch action.
Gluing up the roof.
And the back side. Note large glue seam.
Gluing up the walls.
Still gluing up the walls. The magnets act
as clamps to keep it square.
Front view of the wall assembly.

Finished, no front awning yet.
Finished, from the rear. The other side wall
is blank. I really like the vertical planking.
Finished, with the awning in place. Not
glued in though as it will make it harder
to paint.
Scale shot with Black Scorpion mini. I'm
going to find some smaller profile bases I
Scale shot with Black Scorpion and
Battle Flag minis.
Scale shot, off the porch just so you can
see the size difference between Black
Scorpion and Battle Flag
Gamecraft Miniatures  and Aetherworks Buildings
Gamecraft Miniatures and Battle Flag
Gamecraft Miniatures and Battle Flag
Gamecraft Miniatures and Knuckleduster

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Almost as good as Boobs - Kingdom Death

Its Ray's fault! On the Wargaming Site he took a look at how including the word boobs could increase your post count, because Ray ( Don't Throw a 1) insists that it does (and he was right). However, in the last few days my own hits tripled (don't get to excited I only average a 100 or so a day). Since I hadn't used the magic word I had no idea what was going on. Then I realized that I was showing up in searches because of the Kingdom Death Kickstarter project. I guess that's still kind of like using the word boobs considering how well stacked the miniatures are.

Pinup White Speaker Kisya
Pinup Great Game Hunter Julia

Pinup Preacher - Wendy
White Speaker
Pinup Savior - Morgan

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Unused Dice

I'm feeling very remorseful at the moment. I was cleaning out a shelf in the basement and I ran across this box of Chessex dice. I suspect its not really something I'm suppose to have. Its a retailer reference pack that has one six sided die in each color that was available at that time. I'm guessing this has to be at least 10 years old. I'll be breaking this bad boy out for the next game requiring D6s.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Genghis Con and Tacticon Miniature Painting Competition Galleries

Recently the CMPA (Colorado Miniature Painting Alliance) website was hacked. Lili Troy spent three or four days of work restoring the site. She is unhappy to say the least! Fortunately she was able to recover almost everything for which I'm eternally thankful. If you haven't had a chance to check out the talented painters in Denver then I would encourage you to pop on over and check out the painting competition galleries; CMPA Painting Competition Galleries

Friday, November 23, 2012

Calamity Buildings - Finishing Details

I have polished off  the little bit of extra detail work that I wanted to do on the buildings from Battle Flag and Aetherworks. The Knuckleduster buildings didn't really need any extra work to cover anything. Although after I editing the photographs tonight I decided that the roofs on the Knuckleduster buildings is going to stick out to much so those will be getting shingled roofs as well. For the most part all I added were some trim pieces to cover the jigsaw puzzle look on the Battle Flag buildings and the ends of the roofs after I shingled them. I let the pictures speak for themselves. At the end is a line up of the buildings I have finished building along with a top shot to show the differences in length.

First up the Photographer's Studio from Battle Flag. Although You can't see it in the pictures very well, all of the boards have been distressed.

And the brick building from Aetherworks. I realized as I worked on this one that I'm unhappy with the treatment on the corners. All the corners are in wood, which would be an odd construction technique. I think this building is going to get some new corner detail before I start painting.

And now a lineup of the buildings I have received and built. I'm still waiting for a shipment from Sarissa-Precision and Gamecraft Miniatures.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012