Sunday, November 8, 2009

Industrial Terrain Project - Day 11

I am constantly on the prowl for scenery 'on the cheap'.  As much as I believe I have every right to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on the highest quality resin-cast structures, my children constantly bombard me with irrational and self-serving arguments such as "it's cold" and "I'm hungry".

Whatever.  Call when you get work.

Anyhow... O-Scale model train buildings are generally pretty darn close to 28mm in most cases. Problem is, anything a retailer can add the words "for model train sets" to the description gets a 700% markup (your mileage may vary).  So stumbling across a decent deal on a decent O-Scale building is, well...  decent luck.

I found me one of them "good deals".  Bachmann Plasticville O Kit, Apartment House, 45980. Approximately fifteen bucks each + shipping.  They have the right retro feel, and when I am done appropriately "dark futuring" them up they will be a perfect addition to my industrial city as Hab Block One and Hab Block Two.  Pix below are original nasty plastic color after assembly, with the second unit one step further (primed). FrankenOrk & Sparkz the 'Bot for scale reference.

Don't expect much from the kits themselves.  There is no internal detail.  No windows either, but I'll be fixing that by using some of the hundreds of discarded clear plastic packaging pieces I have been hording since last Christmas. You know...  the ones your IPod, Car Charger, or other electronic must-have thingee came sealed in? The packaging that is impossible to open without the Jaws-of-Life and an acetylene torch?  It has a use.

The base plastic as-formed colors (maroon/gold) are hideous. But there's a considerable number of raised textures which I am positive will respond well to drybrushing.  Each kit is a ten minute assembly.  Use super glue. The plastic is some manner of mutant polymer that standard Testors model cement couldn't dig into.

I like these so much, that I am positive there will be a Hab Block Three and Hab Block Four.

Plasticville.  There's a pop culture reference in there somewhere.  Just don't feel like digging it out.

Epic Possibilities

While collecting and tossing out all of the GW plastic kit instruction sheets which I have meticulously kept throughout the years for some inexplicable reason (not really inexplicable... even as I throw them away I am half-convinced I'll need them at some point), I happened across the dust encrusted case which holds a motley assortment of CAV white metal 'mechs'. The CAV models had crossed my mind once or twice in the context of possible Ebay fodder, but I'd not had the burning desire to actually dig them out and take a gander in a very long time.

For those unfamiliar, CAV (short for Combat Assault Vehicle) is/was a game produced by Reaper Miniatures in the vein of "oversize metal robots blasting the everliving crap out of one another".  Somewhat standard fare, though the CAV in-game scale is a little more personal than Battletech.  More akin to walking main battle tanks than walking battleships. To Reaper's credit, most of the models (such as the Dictators pictured above) are just downright incredible and are formed decently enough with minimal flash.  Unfortunately, Reaper screwed the pooch in terms of... well, everything related to the second edition release of the game.  The release delays of CAV second edition rules (based on Reaper's multi-genre R.A.G.E.system which CAV shared with Warlord) were multiple and lengthy, and when ultimately blessed for public consumtion the CAV second edition rules were only available in the $40.00 boxed starter set.  To add insult to injury, those 'included' rules were on a CD in PDF format.  Reaper did at one point say they would make the individual (PDF) rules available for download purchase from their online store, though by that time I had long since lost interest as I was having to try way too hard to remain a Reaper customer.  It didn't help that in this time frame Reaper had a data breach and my credit card information was compromised.  Failure cascade.

Rambling diatribe about Reaper aside, I'm left with a few dozen N-Scale models which have no purpose in life. With the resurgence of Epic 40K as of late I wonder if any all of these would be suitable for that system. The man-sized figures have as much detail as any tiny little chunks of white metal could, and the Heavy Troopers bear a striking resemblance to Astartes.

This whole thought train is a first-blush, "I wonder" thread.  So there remain a few points yet to determinine:

1) Scale of Epic as compared to CAV.  I vaguely recall reading that Epic was N-Scale as well, but I am rapidly approaching 'venerated' (sans the deserving of honor part) and my memory fails me more often than not.

2) Are any of these CAV models viable counts-as?

3) Do I even want to delve into yet another systems of miniatures?!  This is probably the most important question of the three.

Likely going to drop a post in the BoLS Lounge... see if the general geekdom has some input.  I'll be pleasantly surprised if any of them has even heard of CAV.  And if none of this works out, I'll make a few bucks on Ebay.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Rotten Luck & Customer Service

The really, real world took it upon itself to repeatedly curb-stomp me this week...  and then kick me in the jimmies for good measure.  

For all three of you who read this blog, posts to occur today-ish.

Something I feel important to mention:  Purchased a Battlewagon recently which had an unformed part.  Contacted GW and inquired about the best way to go about acquiring that single part, as it is relatively important to the model. Support was extremely amicable and indicated they'd send out a replacement part right away.  What they sent me was an entirely new Battlewagon kit.

Games Workshop models are a bit salty (expensive). Everyone knows this. Doesn't stop me, or any number of others, from buying them in droves... as we bitch incessantly about the cost. I guarantee the above-and-beyond customer service I received will factor heavily next time I'm waffling about a model's cost.

Well played GW.