Sunday 18 November 2012

Stalled Projects


I've not done very much model-making recently.  Partly this is the colder, darker season approaching rapidly; it does tend to sap my energy a bit.  Mostly it's just that many of my projects are either near their beginning or are stuck on some hard part.

If near the start of an item then it can be hard to motivate oneself; it seems like such a long way to completion after the initial flush of enthusiasm.  Alternatively, some projects bog down because I cannot figure out how to overcome some technical challenge, or I cannot decide on what end result I really want.

Here are a few of my projects which are currently stalled and awaiting difficult decisions...

Scenery and Cars

I have a bunch of card models to make up, for use with ATZ or other modern urban games.  Firstly, I have the Stoelzel's Big Box Store and Auto Park Playset (and I've just noticed the Trailer Town Playset is available as well, curse it :-) ).  I'd intended to make the buildings from both of these, but just haven't got round to it yet.  I'm also part-way through building some Ebbles/Genet "Folding Unit Structures", for use in a military camp.

I intend also to make a number of the vehicles from the Auto Park.  So far, I've completed one red convertible, so only 124 more pages of models to go :-) !  This is an interesting kit and will be a useful addition to my fleet of vehicles.

Obviously there's more work in building an open-topped car than a covered one, if only because the interior detail has to be done too.  However, it was the windscreen and (surprisingly) the underside that gave me the most difficulties.  Some of the Stoelzel's kits have fairly broad dark lines where the card needs to be folded and because of these it can be difficult to tell exactly where to score and crease the model.  Sometimes, as I found here, any minor inaccuracies didn't show up until many steps later in the construction, when it was too late to rescore and refold the card easily.  I'm particularly aware of the issue this week because I've also been making an Ebbles/Genet shuttle; that kit has very precise score lines and fits together perfectly.

Space Mines

I have an ambition to run a scenario involving an assault on a Starbase.  Part of the setup for such a game would be defensive minefields, but how are these to be represented?

I suppose that the minefields could be represented by counters.  However I'd really prefer a proper, 3-D model.  They'd have to be cheap, of course, if deployed in the numbers that I envision.  But what does a mine in space look like?

Here's the starting point on which I decided.  These are plastic beads, about 6mm across.  They're certainly cheap; you can buy many 100s for just a pound or two.  But can they be made to look like mines?

Here are my 3 attempts so far.  The group on the left uses the faceted beads.  Personally, I think they look quite effective - but outlining the facets is horribly time-consuming and not really suitable for mass production.  Bother.

In the middle and right are 2 trials using the round beads, but with different colour schemes.  They're certainly quicker and easier to paint, but I'm still not sure.  I might yet use base them in rectangular strips rather than on round bases.  Or change the colours.  Or give the beads to my daughter and find some other way of representing mines.  Aargh, I just don't know how to proceed!

Saga Scots

I've mentioned these guys before, in the context of not making much progress.  Indeed, they seem to be something of an albatross around my neck!  I bought my Viking warband last year and painted it up long ago, but I cannot play Saga until I have some opposition for them.

Finally I can report that I have finished 3 of the Scot's Hearthguard.  I've named them "Eochaid", "Ciniod" and "Domnall".  That only leaves the warlord himself, another 5 hearthguard and 16 warriors to go before I have a minimum-sized warband.  I keep telling myself that it should get easier; the less prosperous warriors will have much plainer clothing that will be quicker to paint.  Still, at this rate it'll be a long time before the party is complete :-( .


  1. Amen to struggling. It occurred to me that, for the mines, could you drybrush them to pick out the facet edges? Paint them blackish or boltgun metal, drybrush a light gray or mithril silver. Bang, done! The Scots look good, I'm slogging through my Saxons and Vikings right now and am just trying to get paint on them.

    1. You know, I did consider drybrushing the faceted beads, but I though the edges weren't sharp enough for that technique to be particularly effective. Maybe I should actually try it, though? You never know!

  2. Oh, you didn't just opened the pandora box! I got so many half-finished projects I had to start some more, to keep my mind of the shame half made terrain represents! :D

    I can't help you with your car, but as far as the space game goes, I think thats an easy one. Space ships are kinda naval game, imo, so using beads for mines is a perfectly nice solution. I could imagine they'd be half invisible or either very dark, but that is just boring for the tabletop gaming. I really like your first example...but as I can imagine how time consuming can that be...what about drybrushing the edges? Otherwise others look just fine, maybe paint some red lights alla "sensors", but then again those are as good as they need to get.

    Lastly, if you got noone to play with, why is it a bad thing if band will take some more time? :)

    1. Thanks - I might just try the round beads in a "dark grey with red spots" scheme - that might work quite well.

      As for the Scots warband: I do have people to play games, but I almost always need to supply both sides (and the terrain, rules, dice &c). Indeed, at the local club I mainly umpire for a group of kids without actually playing myself! This would probably be some people's idea of hell, but it's really good for me!

  3. Great idea. We all have half finished projects. As well as new one's always threatening to be started.

    1. Ah, it would be only too easy to launch off into a number of new projects. But I really must make some progress on the ones in which I've already invested!

  4. Takeheart, everyone has unfinished projects, but I prefer to call them "Projects on hold". I'm with Mattyoo, just start a new project whilst considering how to progress on any others.

    1. Yes, but sometimes "on hold" can last for a while. I have a part-made metal model of a Daimler SP250 (car) that I obtained when my uncle died in 1984. I still haven't finished it, but I intend to return to it real soon. Any day now...