Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kazad ai-menu! (The Dwarves are upon you!)

As promised a month or so ago, I decided to make a few comparison shots of some of my GW figures over the years.  I am going to start with my first love, the Dwarves.  I started these guys back in the heady days of the mid 90's.(specifically 1994)  In my collection I really have three distinct lines that I have out there.  Given the merging of Marauder Miniatures, I will just characterize them based on the edition that they came out or the closest editions.  What I want to do with these pictures is to help me figure out whether I want to continue with my idea of using the 7th edition (well usually called 6.5 as well given that they came out earlier than the 7th) models in my collection.  If I really have lost interest in that line of models, I dont see a reason why to keep them anymore.  Without further ado here are the models that I brought out based on the edition used.  At the end I did take the caliper to them and have the results of my measurements below as well. 

Dwarves Over the Years

These are some of my 4th edition models.  I have sold off about 1/3 of my collection from that time, mainly from the look of some of the models that I am not interested with much any more and also because of the fact that I have just too damn much of one model.  I did not have much in the form of depth on the bench with this edition.  I really do love these models, but mainly as character models in my armies. For example, that fully painted handsome devil on the near left, is my thane of pain.

These are the models of my main line army from the 6th edition.  I really do like these models mainly due to their functionality and versatility.  I will talk about this later but I have no problem with the "monkey hands" that everyone incessantly complains about with this edition.  When I got a good hold of them, I really liked working with these guys.  From my experience, they fit really well with my 4th edition Dwarves. 

While technically from the 6th edition, they came out just prior to the 7th, and part of the joke in Dwarven circles as Dwarves 6.5.  I have put these guys together, and I am still rather undecided as to whether they will serve as a functioning wing of my Dwarves.  Unlike in the two previous editions, this army is significantly different in looks so much that they really dont fit side-by-side with previous editions.  This means that they would have to be a separate army. 

Now for the Comparison

The following pics are my comparison shots, rather self explanatory so I will leave the repotage out of the pics.  The commentary will come later on. 

Now this following pic is one with one of my Romans from Warlord Games, just for laughs.  I know that there are some discrepancies between historical miniatures and fantasy miniatures, and that Romans tended to be on the shorter side and thus modeled by some to be shorter, but this is rather rediculius.  From my Calculation of the models without the base, a Dwarf is about 4'7" or so.  Just by looks that would make that Roman no taller than 5' or so.  That would make Napoleon a LARGE guy for during the Roman Times.  I really do find that hard to believe that the Romans were that short given that the Greeks were as short if not shorter and they ranged around 5'4" or so last time that I looked.  It really does make me wonder if Warlord made their Romans more for 25mm playing initially. 

Comparison Stats

I also decided to do some comparison statistics with my models.  I dont really know how to import a table just yet onto one of these posts so please bear with me on this one.  Height is self explanatory for the model itself, but I am just measuring top of head gear to bottom of base.  Width was from Arm to arm, and if different the widest part on that axis in parentheses.  Girth is how I measure from front to back  at the widest part of the beard.  I also did the hands with or without a weapon in hand in both width of hand and length of hand.  All of these numbers are in mm. 

Body Dimensions
Edition:                                  7th          6th          4th
Model Height:                        25           25            24
Model Width:                         17(20)    20            16
Model Depth:                         12           11            10
With Hand weapon
Hand Lenght:                           3             4              4
Hand Width:                            3             4              4
Without Hand Weapon
Hand Length:                           4             4              4
Hand Width:                            2.5          4              4

A note on the 4th Edition measurements, they were the most wildly varied of the three whereas the 7th and 6th are very consistent concerning the body measurements.  It is proabably due to me not using any poses that have the arms tucked down in a ready position rather than in a heroic upright position.  Honestly I dont think that I can find one of those models if I wanted to.  I will have no problem standing by the measurements on the hands, which were eaiser to do than expected. 

What did suprise me was the hands being that much different in size, and yet that consistent between the previous two editions.  Likewise how different the variability in bodysize in the 4th edition also suprised me as well.  What also suprised me what the consistency in the height of the models.  I think that the comparison shots show that any variances in height is based solely on the headgear of the models and not on the projected height of the models.  This is odd since everyone bemoans the fact that GW has been making bigger models, which includes me on this.  Perhaps that this is a Dwarf Thing in that the size comes from a thicker and bulkier plastic model rather than a taller model. 

What to Do with the new Models?

Honestly, doing this comparison and subsequent measurements have raised more questions and uncertainty in general than answered any of my questions.  When I was putting them together, I really didn't like the general bulkiness of the model, yet when I did the measurements there was not that much difference.  Admittingly I only measured a few points on the miniature which does not take into consideration other points that could show how bulky the model is.  Unfortunatelly even a milimeter difference can cause a big change in the look of the model, which should make sense on a 28mm miniature.  I know that I hate the look of the warmachines that are in this edition in question, and what looks like a monopose of the rank and file with the models does not help out either. 

 I think that I can kit bash the old 6th edition models for some variety for a Great Weapon that would give me the almost the same thing with a 7th model, but I can actually move the left arm around.  The problem is that it is a dis-continued item so what I have is what I have unless I get lucky on E-Bay.  Also I saw and I believe still have some awesome looking pictures of dwarfs that were greenstuffed to look like Ironbreakers from these guys.  One ray of hope is that I have what looks like four peanut butter jars full of Dwarf parts.  One is admittingly my bit jar, but the rest is all new dwarfs.  It will take me a while to run out of Dwarves when I start getting them up and running. 

The other good news is that may be able to find some 4th ed. miniatures out there that are not as flamboyant and can fit into the unit without looking like a character.  Not exactly the easiest but better than nothing.  Also I have not taken a look at Wargames Foundry, or Mirliton's lines and see if they match the same dimensions as GW.  Bugman's said that Foundry are supposed to be larger, however they are comparing a Slayer to a fat dwarf in the pic.  Unfortunatelly I want to see this for myself with what is supposed to be a regular with a regular.  Nevertheless, hope springs eternal on that front, and I saw online that Militron does have crewmembers for cannons and Stonethrowers.  That is something that I really do want to find since I do lack viable variety in models for my artillery crew.  I cant remember right now if Foundry has any warmachines.  Even if they dont quite match up, it would be better than nothing for a new crew.  I have not been impressed with any other manufacturers out there. 

All in all, it is looking worse and worse for the 7th edition that I do have.  Perhaps one or two of the thinner characters may pass muster for me, but I expect to be selling my inventory when I get  a chance to move them, unless I have a wild mood swing which I doubt will happen.  If anyone is interested, please let me know and I will provide you an inventory of what I have. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Back to Middle Earth once again.

Well I have to point out that a fellow blogger by the name of Der Feldmarschall gave me this tid bit earlier this week in the following post.

Thanks a bunch for posting this DF.  Now as a Dwarf guy, you would assume that The Hobbit is right in my wheel house.  Unfortunally stereotypes tend to be right right and this is no exception. The Hobbit, and for that matter LOTR as well, is in my opinion an example of classic fantasy literature ranking up there with Grimm's Fairytales, and even though both of these books may be considered to be geared toward the younger crowd I tend to think that they are still great reads for us adults.  I get a lot more out of these works now than when I was younger, and I can understand the richness of these works. 

Now let me comment about the movie.  While I do like the LOTR movies so much that I have the full DVD set, there are several glaring omissions that I wish that they would have kept in the movie, like the clensing of the shire for one.  I understand that they had a time issue, but some of the issues that I have with the movie do change the storyline that provides a larger message rather than just fantasy entertainment.  The Hobbit had much fewer messages in the book, however the movies are supposed to take a broader view of what was happening in Middle Earth at the time.  I am really looking forward to seeing this movie, and from what I see it will tie into the LOTR movies quite neatly.  All in all it looks like a great movie so far and I look forward to seeing it, which will hopefully introduce a lot of the Dwarven culture to us that we see from the books.  For those who want a link take a look here:

As a side note the singing of the Dwarves in the movie is much better than the cartoon from back in 1977.  I thought that those damn songs were too childish when I was 6, let alone now.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"A date which will live in Infamy"

According to the story as told to me.  In the span of 24 hours 70 years ago, my Grandfather went from mooring his ship to picking up bodies from the harbor.  From never shooting in anger, to knocking down 7 planes in the span of four hours as the shooter in the battery. From being just a damn kid from the fields, to a veteran in two hours.  From waiting for the launch to go to church at 0800hrs to being thrown off of his boat from the concussion of the Arizona in the span of 20 minutes.  From being at peace to being at war in a blink of an eye.  Reflecting on this day, it should amaze us how quick things change when they do. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A bit of yellow journalism

Well, I was contemplating the next post as I am currently running out of a few regular posts to do, and the intersection of my wargaming hobby and the real world found a dark corner today.  I was online for my daily read through Warseer and I found this post.

It is also linked to this post from this blog.

The synopsis of these posts is that a reporter went to a 40K tournament and did a story on it for a greek publication.  Sad to say, this story was clearly a hit piece on our hobby, and from the second post it was even more sarcastic that protrayed in the english translation.  This woman did interview several of the participants that came to this event as well and they did not help the situation if they were accurately quoted and translated.

Honestly I have no idea whether this is an accurate translation or just someone trying to cause a fuss just because they were boored on a Wednesday night.  Since the second link is one of the guys in the picture, and he took the time to do a translation, I have a hard time believing that someone would take the time to translate and cause this uproar if it is not an accurate translation.  Now, some hippy reporter in Greece really should not bother me and usually it does not, but I do have some problems with this article.  This article is laced with insults ranging from the usual to the more obscure and more potent about gamers, expressed below.   

Wargamers are Shut-in Geeks

A common sterertype that all wargamers get from time to time.  Anyone who spends a lot of their lives gaming especially in their adolescence have experienced this bias.  Some of it may be founded and some of it can be unfounded.  I would have to say that I really did not have a problem with this since it just indicated to us her bias.  It told me her type real quickly as one of those judgemental, pushy, people that will denegrate someone just to make them feel better.  Anyone that has gone to high school has experienced these people.  If it was just this I would have dismissed her and not even write this post. 

Wargamers don't think

She really disapproved of the fluff of the 40K universe, and though that anyone who thought it through would also approve of her disapproval.  Therefore anyone who liked the 40K fluff did is not a thinking person, even though there were plenty of highly educated people at the tournament she stated.  In addition she also made sure to insult the british with her disdain for the 40K world.  I don't remember if I have ever stated this, but I cant stand the fluff that GW produces.  So painting a brush on all of us based of the fact that some of the people like the drivel that GW puts in their books certainly annoys me.  It makes me wonder if she saw a couple of guys playing a game of Armies of Arcania, which apparently has almost no fluff, and would still have the same attitude.  Somehow I think that she would disapprove based on the concept that wargaming fosters warmongering in her mind.  This closed mindedness that if you are not enlightened enough to be a left-winged community organizer, you are dumb as a fence post really gets under my skin.  World view is not an indication of intellect!

Wargaming Promotes Nazism?

That is a salient point of the article that either you are a Nazi sympathizer or a sympathizer in training.  Now this was very insulting to me on several levels becaue of the context. Apparently, this problem is rampant here in America.  Now, it has been a long time since I have been to the hazing rituals to join the wargaming community, but I don't seem to recall them including getting nazi tats.  All of it was hersay from what I gathered from the article, or her perception based on the loosely on the iconography that is in the GW fluff that she despised.  Throwing the Nazi word around was usually a cardinal sin for the media to use without evidence.  So not only insulting the gamers but Americans, and of course anyone conservative.  To be honest I have seen all walks of life play this game from the very hippy liberal, to the most libertarian.  I really don't check their political card at the start of the game to see if they are someone that I care to associate with, since I never thought that it mattered.  Apparently it does to this woman.

This entire article was decrying the zenophobic attitude of the gamers, but I wonder if they were trying to single out these gamers for their own political dialogue that is happening in Greece.  Remember that this was a published article in a newspaper so I am assuming that an editor actually read the story like you see in All the Presidents Men.  Clearly I get from this article that 40K gamers are a bunch of rich nazi's that have too much time on their hands.  With the strife that they are having in Greece, denegrating people will not end well for Greece, or for anyone else that starts this kind of attack.

My apologies for taking this post into a political realm, and perhaps making this more than just a reporter being short sighted and meanspirited.  It is my hope that no one takes this article seriously, but it does poses the question what is this world coming to when a fictional game can be taken in this light.  I have a hard time seeing this woman denegrating recreational sex or drug use, so why should she or anyone else give a damn what someone does in their spare time.  Add this to my musical hobby, where it is apparently illegal to make quality instruments here in the US regardless of the paperwork(Google Gibson Guitar Raids if you have no idea what I am talking about).  It makes me wonder if I will be running out of hobbies in the future, and when that happens wait and see how expensive the damn models will be then.  I guess that I should go out to the shooting range before that is not allowed either.