Thursday, 20 May 2010

Sci-Fi, Fantasy and the Curse of the Conscience

After the dramatic announcement in my previous post concerning my own ‘brave new world’ I decided to have a closer look at the fun side of the collection – namely the sci-fi, fantasy and VSF kit I own. Readers of my earlier posts will no doubt recall my mentioning the various ideas I have in mind for these genres – 2mm OGRE, Aeronef, Space Hulk and Land Ironclads. I also have some 28mm fantasy figures from the old board game Heroquest that need something doing with them – not to mention the Lord of the Rings Risk figures that really ought to be used in some fashion!

I tend to pick up odd plastic figures from the old M.B. Games/Games Workshop Space Crusade and Heroquest at car boot sales and such like and they are perfectly suitable for sci-fi or fantasy skirmishes and such like. I had this idea at one time to make up some sci-fi and fantasy forces exclusively sourced from plastic figures acquired in this way as it would be a cheap option given the usually enormous prices charged for these figures. In terms of numbers I would think probably forces no larger than a HOTTs style army – perhaps three or four dozen figures maximum. Given the small numbers required painting these is not too onerous and I must confess that I really enjoyed refurbishing the Space Hulk figures a while back. I have a number of other plastic space marine types as well as some figures from EM4’s game Combat Zone which is a near future set of skirmish rules, typically between troops and gangs. Mention of this reminds me that EM4 produce a nice range of plastic 28mm figures available separately for both sci-fi and fantasy and are pretty cheap into the bargain – typically £2.50 for 5 figures. They also produce metal conversion kits for things like heavy weapons or command figures, again very reasonably priced. I like the robots they produce and have a number of these which are not scale specific so would be equally at home with anything from 1/300th up to 28mm. I intend to use them on a 1/300th basis for a fast play robot/mech type game. There is a good selection of weapons for use with these models and so the number of permutations of hardware fit is quite large and again, at £2.50 for 5 models they are a bargain. EM4 also (and this really is not a plug!) produce in plastic the star fighter models that used to be available in the Silent Death game of space fighter combat – you get one of each type (12 in all) and the flying bases for £2.50.

I must admit that I tend to use sci-fi or fantasy very much as a ‘gap-fill’ between historical periods and so for me having a selection of kit that is small in terms of numbers and ready to go at a moments notice is very appealing. Space Hulk fulfils that criteria admirably and once I have the planned extra pieces ready then that will be even more appropriate. I have about another dozen or so models to add to this collection – including a couple of scratch built remote sentry guns. The OGRE and Land Ironclads set up will need more work and to be honest I am not sure when these will get tackled. The 28mm robots and star fighters will probably feature first although as yet I am undecided. I also have my ongoing Aeronef activities to consider – the metal Turkish Dirigible fleet is still in need of attention having been assembled (mostly) awaiting the brush and I also have a few ideas around scratch building some additional items for this set up.

This lot probably seems like a whole pile of projects and to be honest if I were to apply myself to the whole topic there would be a reasonable amount of work to tackle. Having said that, these sit firmly in the realm of having to fit around my historical interests and so the impact on my available painting time etc should hopefully be minimal.

Of course, now that the latest edition Ragnarok – the journal of the SFSFW – the Society of Fantasy and Science Fiction Wargamers has arrived these may have to get a little more urgency applied to them – curse my fickle conscience!

6 comments:

SteelonSand said...

I feel your pain brother! When will we ever learn? One thing with these soul-searching sessions over the Lead Mountain, though - keep them firmly in the realm of 'on paper' - following through and actually restructuring can lead to a serious reduction in minis.... and who wants to see that - Vive la difference :-)

Ogrefencer said...

Hi Sos, I must admit that one of the very problems I have is that the 'lead mountain' is way too much of a distraction in terms of variety although I think my new focus will still give me plenty of variety up and down the ages. I think it is the realisation that I have spent so much time concentrating on the Med that I may as well make this my main area of operations.

Many thanks for sharing the pain though - much appreciated!

All the best,

Ogre

CWT said...

I also know what you mean! You know things are getting out of hand when you have several projects up and running, but still plan more, and tell yourself it's within budget by planning all kinds of things like using counters etc. to cut the outlay!

All good fun, though!
Cheers,
Craig

Ogrefencer said...

Hi Craig,

That it is, fun I mean, I suppose that I wont be the first gamer to do this; nor the last!

In a way I suppose you could call it a mental workout!

All the best,

Ogre

Tas said...

I choose not to learn and just having fun leaping around from genre to genre!

Ogrefencer said...

In truth so do I but I must show some degree of restraint!

I have told myself that I now have more than enough periods/genres etc to last several lifetimes so will content myslf with that knowledge!

Cheers,

Ogre