This blog is about the world of gaming miniatures, as seen from my perspective. I've been collecting and painting for over 30 years now, and while my primary focus is miniatures for D&D, I also enjoy many other games that use minis, so we'll be covering those as well. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pleased to meet you, won't you guess my name?

Greetings and salutations! I have finally decided to join the ranks of bloggers who write and rant about miniatures. A little background about me seems like a good way to get things started.

I'm 43, married to a wonderful woman, and have three children under 10. My days are filled with all the various tasks, chores, and errands that occupy the time of a full-time stay-at-home dad.

Growing up, I had a keen interest in LEGOs and plastic models, the latter mostly of the 1/72nd scale variety. Many wars and battles were re-created and fought with my beloved models, which typically met fiery and/or explosive ends when their useful lives as a model had run out. My parents still find the random charred hulk of a Sherman or ME-109 in their garden after all these years.

I've been gaming since the late 70s, when my older brother introduced me to chess, Panzer Leader, Star Fleet Battles, and finally pen & paper RPGs. I started off with the Holmes Edition box set, and then AD&D when it rolled out. I've been playing ever since! I'm happy to report I still play with my friends of 25+ years. Of course, we're all in our 40s, have families, jobs, and activities that don't allow us much time at the gaming table - but when we play, it's always a good time.

My obsession with miniatures started early. As if poring over tomes such as the PH wasn't enough to keep my imagination fired up, I remember looking at all the blisters and box sets of old Ral Partha, Heritage, and Grenadier miniatures on display at USS Enterprise, my first FLGS. I was captivated by the fact that you could play games like D&D with these little 3D avatars! Once I bought a few, there was no turning back. Then I discovered I was able to paint them with at least a small degree of skill - at least by choosing pleasing color schemes, painting within the lines, so to speak, and even managing to paint smaller details, including eyes.

I still miss the small collection of lead that ended up with one of my first DMs: the Grenadier dragon from The Dragon's Lair (5009), the Heritage bugbears, and the Ral Partha Dwarf Lord (01-031) to name a few. I suppose that is at least part of the reason I turned to eBay two years ago - to recapture some of my earliest miniature memories. Well, that, and also to finally part with some minis that I'll never use and never paint.

Since we're a one-income family, I cannot justify buying minis hand over fist for a hobby. But I managed to convince my wife I can buy AND sell, with the overall goal of at least breaking even. And two years later, I'm surrounded by both lead for my personal consumption and minis that need a good home. So all is well on that end.

I have a couple of collecting interests. My long-term goal is to complete my two collections by Superior Models: the 25mm Wizards & Lizards line and the 90mm Fantasy line. Next comes adding the many and varied critters for use in our D&D campaigns. Giants, in particular, are favorites of mine. But I'll grab anything that catches my eye. For PC minis, I currently use Reaper minis almost exclusively. When we rolled up the characters in our current campaign (set in the 3.5 FR world), I hand-picked and hand-painted each mini to fit each player:

FR adventuring party

In the coming weeks and months, I plan to share musings on a wide variety of subjects: old lead, painting, past and present manufacturers, wargaming lead, WH40K, and whatever else comes to mind. I hope those of you who find this blog enjoy the ride!


mikemonaco said...

Well, welcome to the blogosphere!
If there are any blogs you regularly read you should add some to a blogroll...I generally discover blogs that way.

Very nicely painted figures, too. Please do post some pics of your older lead. I always love seeing that.

TopKat said...

Hi Mike,

"Nothing too snazzy yet"? Damn, my lack of HTML-fu laid bare, and this blog isn't even a week old yet! Tough crowd ;) I'll be the first to admit my tech skills are weak, so I do hope to tweak things as I move along. Some readers may have even seen the non-thumbnail size pic of my FR party in my first entry before I figured that one out. Yikes!

Thanks for the blogroll suggestion, I've added yours and will add others shortly.

And thank you for the compliment on the shot of my painted adventurers. I will be posting pics of my collection, both old and new. My fondness for Electric Blue paint will be quickly evident on some of my older minis, no doubt. Ah, the folly of youth!

mikemonaco said...

I just realized I put in the url but not as a link. Doh. Anyway I fixed that. By "snazzy" I just meant "flashy" -- of course I like what I see so far.

@folly...I had a period where all my adventurers were apparently wearing blue jeans. Likewise all wood was the same dark brown. Took me a long time to realize I could vary color schemes and all that. And concurrent with that, but lasting even longer, I had a period where my entire painting repertoire was "paint basic colors and then black wash." o highlights, no shading other than muddy black, just hundreds of indistinguishable gray blobs. If you looked closely, in good light, they were OK but on the table, you couldn't tell an orc from a elf.