Thursday, October 6, 2016

Missing In Action: Difficult Miniatures to Find.

If Chuck Norris was involved, he would roundhouse kick our miniature desires into existence!*

      I had seen three postings in different groups in the past week or so with a certain themed gripe. The complaint that was brought up about hard to find certain uncommon items for our wargaming wants of needs. For all of those who have been wargaming for a long time, there are many of us who come across this problem. In my case, it is usually WW2 related, by not limited to other interests. Maybe, I am writing this to bring up hope or to just say that what you are looking for is out there. Hopefully, both would be true.
    When I bring up that I have not found any for X figures for a group I would like to model and play, I get three different responses. One, a source is thrown before me! Two, you can modify this said figure in this way to make it so. Three, you can commission someone to do this for you. Of course, it would be nicer to get the first response. With the internet these days, it is amazing what miniatures companies that are popping up that I never heard of. Just when you thought you have exhausted the subject, the next month, someone shares the lead I was looking for. Eureka!
    A great example of this came from my search of 28 mm Romanian infantry. I looked high and low for these. And I know I was not the only one! Of course, the push towards this search had a lot to do with a fellow Flames of War gamer who played mainly Hungarians. Hungarians almost seemed outlawed in the gaming group of ours without there being an official statement after he moved away. I know it was more related to the player annoying people more than the Hungarian aspect. I guess I was unaffected, because I will eventually get around to Hungarians, myself. However, I have been interested in the minor Axis powers, and thought to make a Romanian force. I just needed to find the miniatures. So two years of searching go by with no luck until now. Now, Gothic Line Miniatures makes them. The only thing that stops me at the moment is the need to buy Soviets as well. That can be a money issue for the time being. But now I know, and knowing is half the battle!
Romanian WW2 Infantry from Gothic Line Miniatures. *

    Now when it comes to modifications as a solution to the problem, I am amazed on how the suggestion is simply thrown around. No problem, just modify so-and-so miniatures, and it will work. I am aware that this can be simple for someone like myself, but in a way, this can be highly annoying. This is just something to think about when you may feel the urge to say such a statement. One, are they new to wargaming? They may not have the skill to pull off these apparently simple modifications. Two, are they long term veterans to wargaming? There just might be a reason that they have not tackle such a project. I have a further problem with such solutions. For my case, if I am going to do that much work, why not just sculpt the miniatures, myself? I would find myself doing that, because I know how I am.

I could not tell you what this is, but it was cool and modified with Green Stuff.*
       Commission jobs seems to have a special place for me, since I have done quite a few recently. As a friend said to me before, never underestimate the power of laziness of a wargamer. In some cases, I can agree. Even though, I have been mastering some stuff, there are somethings out there for our hobby that are just made too awesome to resist. Most of these works come in the form of commission jobs. Many wargamers use these lovely fellows to do work for them. A lot has to do with time. Others are more related to ability. But one thing is for certain, commission work always brings something special to the game table. This could be because it is one of a kind or something hard to find. One of the greatest things about recent technology is the ability to do more creative things and commission works. Two evolutions have recently made a dramatic impact in our hobby. MDF designs had taken off. There have been several companies that have either started with this direction or main companies who have switched over. Crescent Root Studio comes to mine. Most of these are simple to put together and are light in weight for easy travel. Most of the companies for buildings are into the MDF craze. However, there are a few commission companies that also make MDF designs for your needs. You just have to look them up and give a design.
     The other realm of commission I have come across are 3-D printing with resin. This seemed to be one of those James Bond technologies to me. I might have been watching a James Bond movie when I first heard of the 3-D Printer. Within the last year, I have seen a ton of 3-D Printing. I won't lie, I want one. It is just the price that is over the top. Let us face it, new tech always cost a lot at first. Now, I will admit that I have crossed over to the dark side with commissions. I usually make and build my own stuff. But in this case, I want to see how good 3-D Printing can be. I had been hoping that in the last four years that some manufacturer would make a 1/56th scale A30 Challenger tank for my wife's Market Garden forces. Battlefront makes them for their scale at the 15 mm level, but no one has touched the 28 mm realm. I, even, asked several companies to do so. I know I have mentioned a lot to Warlord Games. Finally, I broke down and paid someone to 3-D print two at 1/56th scale. We will see how it comes out. In either case, let us hope for the best with our wargaming needs.
A30 Challenger Tank at the Overloon Museum.*
* These are not my photos. If the owners have any issues, please let me know.

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