Thursday, July 7, 2011

Need Buildings for 18mm Blue Moon Westerns, Gangsters, and More? Check These Out.

Wild West gamers always need a lot buildings to flesh out their boomtowns. Unfortunately, resin buildings can cost quite a bit of money or take quite a bit of time and talent to scratch-build. This evening while reading one of my model railroading magazines, I decided to pop over an advertiser's website--Alpine Division Scale Models.

What is Alpine Division Scale Models?
ADSM makes HO scale buildings that will fit perfectly with 18mm figures from Blue Moon. From their website: "Our product line is made from durable top quality laser-cut matboard and basswood; the same matboard that is used in the framing of your pictures and pieces of art. The ease of construction and overall fun that these kits provide make them an ideal project for new and old modelers alike. Wood glue is used in the assembly, and plastic doors and windows are provided with most kits. Using quality model paints will produce very fine looking models. Most of the kits have roof detail, some have signs and lighting, and some have interior detail."

I haven't built any of kits yet, but I did build some way back in the 1970s and 1980s when they were originally sold by E. Suydam. I built the Modern Yard Control Tower, Purina Feed Mill, Packing House, and others I vaguely remember. These were easy to build, lightweight, looked good, and were very sturdy--all good qualities for gaming buildings. I assume these kits are even better now. I hope they eventually release the entire, large Suydam catalog.

Western "Old Town" Buildings
If you are interested in gaming Westerns using 18mm figures from Blue Moon, Alpine Division Scale Models makes over a dozen inexpensive ($12 or so for most of them) HO scale Western buildings under their "Old Town" section. Poke around their website for more buildings if you plan on gaming Blue Moon's upcoming 18mm gangsters or anything else set in 20th century America. I thought I'd pass along the suggestion.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Games Workshop Metal: Crazy or Collectors Items?

I think the entire world, except for a few ancient tribes hidden deep in the Andes Mountains, have heard that Games Workshop has switched from metal to resin for their figures. The big debate on the many GW-based forums has been the poor quality of the new resin figures, which GW designates as Finecast, though gamers designate them something else unfit to mention in mixed company.

So this begs the question: Will the old metal Games Workshop  figures--and by 'old' I mean those that were in production as metal until only several weeks ago--will those figures now become prized collector's items? Will gamers and fanboys in the not so distant future pay even more money than sensible to get their hands on metal instead of resin? Currently, I am leaning toward "yes they will." And therein lies the rub.

If GW metal figures begin demanding high collector prices, what do we do? Do we sell off our mint-in-box/blister metal figures to rake in the big bucks, using the funds to purchase more "inexpensive" figures from the likes of Foundry? Do we keep the sealed metal figures on a shelf or in a display case, examples of the "good old days of metal" as their collector value increases in price? Or do we throw all caution and sensibility to the wind, rip open the perfectly sealed boxes, paint the sacred metal figures contained therein, and then play with said figures, all the while laughing madly as the world crumbles around us?

Ohhhh, I want the say the latter. I really, really do. But as I stare at my sealed mint-in-box Ambush at Amon Hen set of 10 metal figures, three of which are fairly useless in a game unless one wants to start the game with Boromir dying and Merry and Pippin being carted away by vile Uruk-hai. So as I stare at that boxed set of out-of-production-in-metal (OOPIM) goodness I paid an entire $5 at a Cold Wars flea market because the fellow thought they were plastic, I can't help but say to myself, "Boy, you got a collector's item there! Don't you dare open it because it will pay for your retirement!"

Sigh . . .  What in the world has happened to me!?! When did I go from being a miniature gamer to being a miniature "collector"? (Note that I said collector and not hoarder--there is a difference! As miniature gamers, we're all hoarders regardless what we like to tell the wife about our "collection" of unpainted figures.) Please tell me I am alone in my crazed thinking? Do we have collector's items now? Will you save your GW metal as your retirement fund or open them up right now, even going as far as playing with them (gasp!) unpainted just to "stick it to The Man"? This, my friends, is a weighty decision, is it not?

Then again, in a year or so Games Workshop could switch back to metal, thus rendering my above thesis totally invalid. On this matter, the tea leaves are unclear.