Sunday, December 9, 2018

LOTR Ruins; Construction Complete

Link to the first post in this project is  HERE

link to the second part of this project is  HERE

So There I Was

About to bemoan my circumstances of having a lack of hobbytime lately when the hobby Gods smiled down upon me and said "Lo, let there be a weekend where the wife takes thy kids to San Jose and doesn't come back until Monday night to take pictures with Santa.   So shall it BBBEEEEEE!"  

And so it was, leaving me with only my father to look after for a weekend which basically meant there was an increase in free time, because it's not like he needs constant supervision, and especially in the evenings after he went to bed; There I was, just a man and his hobbydesk...

I took advantage to complete the construction phase on the LOTR ruins.

My Life is Ruined

Completing the ruins was a simple process of just gluing bricks in place all according to the previously mentioned weak plans.  In trutth, this was mostly done in fits and starts with this last weekend the time to seal the deal...

I borrowed some of Daughter #1's Legos in order to build a form
to ensure the walls were straight.  

I also wanted to start making the ruins look...ruined; meaning having broken blocks and little rubble piles in the right places.  I'm trying for a balance of having enough broken stones to make it look cool but not so many that it will hamper game play.  

There's two ways to make rubble: 1 way that I employed often was to take a pair of pliers and mangle the ends of the blocks before you glue them , especially where part of a wall has fallen down.  The second way to get a bunch of rubble / small broken bricks is much more therapeutic..

While you care casting all those blocks you get a lot that are messed up and not usable for building; miss-casts.
Save all these to one side.  When you need rubble, put them in a thick Ziploc bag (or double bag it)
and smash it with a mallet or hammer.  This creates lots of little pieces suitable for rubble.
And seems like good payback for the little buggers wasting you time in the first place.

After the structures were complete I wanted to add some ground texture to the MDF wood base that all the buildings were sitting on.  Usually I use concrete patch on the bases of my miniatures because I like the texture and it's heavy; which gives the minis some heft.  But this ruin is large and is going to be heavy enough without adding concrete to it so I needed another substance.  Besides, even though there were recently pictures of me on the internet with power tools to prove my manly strength, I got weak skinny arms.  

I was also armed with a gift card to Micheal's, so while I was looking for Vallejo Pumice there was none to be found, so what I walked away with was:

Which seems to be close enough, but it didn't have much texture to it as it was pretty smooth.  My solution was to added texture the same way I add texture to acrylic caulk when I make stuff with that:

I scooped the paste into a cup and added coffee grounds and talos to taste and stirred it all up.
It made the white paste into a mocha color.

I then took a plastic knife and smeared it all around the bases of the structures.  Like so..

While laying down the ground texture I would place in little rocks and boulders and such...

While I was doing that I also coated areas with watered down glue and added rubble and small rocks where I thought appropriate.

TA-DAAA; Construction Complete.

Letting everything dry overnight, the next opportunity I placed a bunch of 28mm Warriors of Minas Tirith (Lord of the Rings Miniatures) in the ruin so you have a sense of scale in the pictures...

Overview of the whole model.

Warriors by the broken wall.

You get an idea of he height of the tower

I foresee a lot of archers hanging out in the top of the tower.

This statute is probably some famous ancestor or some such thing..

Broken arched windows...

To (hopefully) aid in the painting, the statue and the top half of the tower are not glued down yet.

The roof of the tower is supported by balsa wood and cereal box.

Now all I need is a weekend where it's not raining or freezing outside so I can prime it black,
and then I can get to painting the damn thing.  

I hope I don't ruin it with painting it (see what I did there).  But seriously, this is a frightening and exciting stage of hobbying.  The project is really starting to come together but there's still so much to do...

Thanks for reading,  I hope everyone's Christmas month isn't madness.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Kickstarter Virgin No More

Time to Jump in the Pool?

I've never participated in a Kickstarter (KS) campaign.  I just don't get the concept; you give money to get something...probably.  I've heard all about the warnings and pitfalls, and successes as well.  I know that it usually works out.  I also am not a fan of the wait time for arrival:  paying to get  something in 6 months to a year...if it's on time.  But KS are certainly now 'a thing' and part of our hobby.  To be clear, I don't have anything against KS, it's just something that's never clicked with me.  Seems to me like a great way to perpetually spend money only to forget what you bought.  Until it arrives on your doorstep and you go "oh yeah, this thing!  Yay!"  Then you put the thing on the shelf where it stays for infinity.    

There's also the horror stories of people having backed a successful KS and then a huge box arrives with a hundred or so unpainted miniatures!  You can hear the lead pile laughing at our futile efforts to reduce it's size and girth...

This matches my experiences with purchases of large numbers of miniatures at once, because it was 'a good deal.'  I've done this about 3 times in the past:  The first was a success;  I purchased about 200 miniatures of the Gripping Beast plastic dark ages miniatures (6 boxes at once!) and actually proceeded to paint most of them. Yes, I still have some sprues lying around but overall a success.  Of course, this set me up for complete failure the next two times.  For example; some years ago I purchased someone's Norman army project that he was abandoning; it was maybe about a quarter painted but a WHOLE LOT of bare metal and plastic.  The whole collection was probably over 150 miniatures and a mix of cavalry,  infantry, and archers (I forget the actual numbers now).  It was a good deal, expensive but good.  When it arrived I was thinking "now I have everything for my Norman army and time to do Battle of Hastings.  Right after some serious painting."  

And I've barely touched them.  Sometimes I hear them calling at night.  Over a hundred tiny voices...

I don't browse the KS site, so when I do hear of a KS it's usually through a wargaming podcast or something posted on TMP or Lead Adventure.  I've also never been super tempted by anything that I have come across.   

Until now.

The Tempting Temptations

The first thing to catch my eye was a boardgame that does shield-wall combat. I love the dark ages and ranks of spears and shields bashing into each other.  It's called Battle Ravens by Dan Mersey.

You can find the KS page HERE.

I won't go into all the game play stuff that you can see on the KS page, if you're interested enough to read it.  I ultimately decided not to back this project, as the game play seemed a little too simplistic for me, the more I looked at the I started to dislike the little paper soldiers, and the real deal killer was the English Pound to American Dollar exchange rate.  It made it too expensive for what it was.

I mention that KS just to tell you about the next one.  It's funny how these things happen in groups;  that being tempted by 1 KS makes it more likely that I'd be even MORE tempted into another.  
That's probably a theory of psychology that I should know better. Sounds like 'Foot in the Door Technique' except that I did it to myself.

In a short period of time after Battle Ravens I stumbled onto this boardgame based on Antietam..

You can see the KS page HERE

This project I backed, and it seems like the perfect project to commit to for my first time.  Everyone knows I'm in love with the ACW, and of the ACW my favorite battle is Antietam.    So when it finally arrives sometime mid next year my excite will not have diminished.  The rules seem good and somewhat familiar to Fire and Fury, which means I'll probably like them.  It'll also serve as a good resource for my Brigade Fire and Fury scenario that I've been working on slowly.  And strangely I don't have any ACW boardgames besides Battlecry.

I think it's wise to use KS to invest in a boardgame, because it comes ready to play.  Too many times have I bought into a miniature project and not really taken into account the time it would take to assemble and paint the miniatures and terrain; therefore the project stalls.  Doomed to forever in storage or I sell it off.  Big piles of unpainted miniatures are intimidating and depressing to me.  just stuff that can't be used that takes up space and creates the expectation that I am not painting enough.

Experimentation is Normal

I'm seeing the whole thing as an experiment.  Will I be excited when the game arrives? Will I actually play it or will it just sit on the shelf? Will it even arrive? Will I go off the deep end and start to pledging to every KS that looks like a good time?  Will I have to start selling off possessions to fund my KS habit? 

Only time will tell.

Thanks for reading along.  : )

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

More on the ruined project

Hello again.  Here today we have mostly an update on the LOTR ruins that I've been assembling.
Just in time for some Thanksgiving Holiday reading.
You can see the first part of this project on previous blog post  HERE.

Life Among the Ruins

That sounds like a good album title doesn't it.

There have been two things recently that have severely impacted hobby time. One is that my wife after 6 years and 3 children has decided that she wanted to return to work again.  So in October she picked up her career somewhat where she left off and now works the weekends for the next 3 months; leaving me to be at home with the kids and a lot less free time.  It's been working out so far and the extra money is nice, and I'm not one of those fathers that is scared to be alone with his kids (for now anyway, because I am much bigger than them).

Number Two is that around Mid-October I traveled to southern CA to visit my father for his birthday and discovered how much he has been struggling all alone down there (because he never said a word).  Ultimately I/we decided that he would be moving in with me for the time being semi permanently until something can be worked out and I've become his care taker.  He's only in his med seventies but seems much older; guess a life of drinking, smoking, and cussing will go hard on a body.  (note to myself, I really ought to cut back on my cussing...)

but casting little bricks only takes 15 mins at a time, and then waiting for 30 min or so while the plaster sets I'm able to do other chores so the project fits nicely into my current schedule.

After getting enough bricks made I began to dry assemble (that means place the bricks without gluing them) the structures...

Things are starting to take shape here.  I placed an Orc in there for a sense of scale.
At the bottom of he pic are the sides-to-be for the tower.

While I had a vague idea of what I wanted; a ruined building near a ruined tower, I didn't have specific plan.  Planning is for the weak.  Dry assembling is a good time to begin thinking seriously about how it's all going to come together.  I also downloaded the building plans from the HA website to use as guides, especially for the bell tower, because it also helps to know what bricks you will need and in what quantities.  Maybe it's not so much that planning is for the weak but I'm doing some weak planning. 

A pic of he whole desk and the messy process of building with HA blocks. 
You see the piles of bricks scattered all around the desk.

Power Tools are Loud and Sexy

One thing I've always wanted to try on this kind of project to increase the presentation and sturdiness of the terrain is to put the buildings on an MDF base.  I've never done this before, and my previous ruins are based simply on cereal box cardboard. 

Previously made ruin based on a cereal box

Since this terrain piece is going to have some very tall structures, I decided to give basing a try.  If successful, I have plans to rebase all the previous ruins in the same manner, as well as all my 4ground dark age buildings.  I'm planning to put some texture around the structures as well to make it all integrated.

plus, this will give me a chance to play with my power tools, which I rarely get to do because I'm honestly not all that handy.  But here's an opportunity to be manly!

A trip to Home Depot and I got a 2 x 2 board of MDF for around $5.  I then used my jigsaw for the first time ever to cut out a base for the project

A sexy pic of me holding something dangerous...
It's well known that power tools increase your cool factor..
I then used my palm sander to bevel the edges, also for the first time ever having the sander out of the box, and I got this palm sander like 2 years ago.  Not much call for sanding in my life I guess...

Sexy pic holding something slightly less dangerous...

None of this was really hard and just stuff you can see on any terrain making video.
This step turned out to be a big hurdle; simply due to time available.  I imagine that I am like many wargamers with young children; your primary hours of hobbytime are in the evening after the kids go to bed and right before I go to bed, so around 8:30-10:30 ish.  This time of night seems like the wrong time to be running power tools in the garage (especially since Daughter #1's bedroom is right above the garage) So these steps had to wait until a rare stretch of free time during the weekend.

Now I'm holding something cute... AND DANGEROUS!
especially when he spits up.
Son #2 is 7 months old now.
Yes, I showed the first two pics just to set up showing you the third with the baby.  Because writing a good blog article is a lesson in craftsmanship....

Can We Build It?  Yes We Can! (Stew the Builder)

With the base prepared and armed with vague ideas and weak plans, I began the most fun part of this project by gluing the little bricks together to start making awesome wargaming terrain. 

The build so far...

All in all, I think the ruins are coming along nicely, if not a little slowly. Of course, there's no rush and no agenda. 

Walls and towers being planned and pre-assembled 

And a small note about games played in closing.  Mr. G invited me over to his house to play some boardgames which is something I haven't done in months I think...yep, just checked the blog and there's been no gaming since September....

We started with Tide of Iron, because Mr. G has had it on his shelf forever and had not really given it a go....

Tides of Iron is a lame game

we played about halfway through the scenario before we both decided we were 'meh' on the rules.  To me, "meh" on the rules means: while I wouldn't refuse to play this game, I'd play almost anything else first.  Not a fan.

Then played a game called Samurai, a simple game of counter placement but complex in it's strategy.  Very good.

Happy Thanksgiving Holiday

If you're in America, I hope you have a good Thanksgiving holiday.  I'll be at work but I don't mind because it means I won't have to cook, clean, watch the kids, or watch football.  If you're not in America I hope you have a normal weekend doing whatever you like. 

I've been thinking about black Friday and if I'll make any purchases.  I'm pretty sure Black Friday is international.

Hey look, 'Life Among the Ruins' is an album after all.  who knew? 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Battle of Cape Ortegal; a Post Captain Scenario

While I'm busy casting little bricks out of plaster and handling some family business; here is a scenario I've been working on with the assistance of invaluable BW..

Battle of Cape Ortegal

The battle of Cape Ortegal was the last act of the Trafalgar campaign in 1805; in which 4 French ships of the line that managed to escape that battle are pounced on 4 British ships of the line and 4 frigates while they were trying to sail back to a French port.  the French stopped trying to run away and decided to fight and it went very poorly for them: it was a complete British victory with all four French ships damaged and taken and the British only took light damages.  You can go and read more about the actual battle yourself if you like...

However, this is a great historical scenario for Post Captain for the low number of ships involved and the potential for a great convention game.  While discussing it with BW he loaned me some info from his book "The Trafalgar companion" which is now on my Christmas list, and together we came up with the scenario.  There are minor differences between his and mine (down to personal style and tastes) but overall they are basically the same.  I'm posting it because 1) just to share and 2) so the blog acts as my on-line storage.  I'm hoping to run this sometime next year and get some play tests in before then.  

Overall Picture of the scenario

Most of the scenarios information can be gleaned from the set up pic.  It shows 4 French SOLs in line ahead being attacked by 4 British SOLs in a staggered line abreast.  I removed the British frigates that were there historically in order to simplify the scenario.  Also historically, some of the French ships were damaged by a storm and I've restored them to full health.

This might seem like a straight up fight and it kinda is; but actually the French are at a distinct disadvantage; as they were historically.  At this time the British navy is just better than the French Navy and this is reflected well in the PC rules.  SO, in order to give the French a chance of 'winning' the scenario the victory conditions have to cunningly crafted:

British Victory: All 4 French ships strike with no British ships struck.
French Victory: 2 British ships strike. It also doesn't matter how many French ships strike; if 2 British ships strike then the French win as they have achieved considerably more than their historical counter parts.
Any other result can be considered a draw.
NOTE: for the above, it's not withdraw (a possible result of failing a moral check), but strike.  If a French ship withdraws it's basically making a run for home which is what they wanted to do anyway.  If a British ship withdraws it's utterly shameful but not enough to lose the scenario, but will make it harder for the British to win due to dwindling resources.  Also note that a British ship would have to be very damaged or extremely unlucky to strike in the first place. 

For anyone familiar with PC, here are some notes about the set up for the ships (again mainly for me to refer to at some later time).

All French ships have Crack captains and Regular crew
The HMS Caesar and the HMS Hero have Crack Captains and Crack crew
the HMS Courageoux and the HMS Namur have Elite captains and Elite crew.

  • HMS Namur uses the Thunderer ship card
  • HMS Courageoux uses the Defense Ship card
  • Duguay Trouin uses the Ulm ship card
  • To represent the British closing in on the French: for the first turn all British ships have a Gust and all French have an Eddy.
These cards were selected more for 'balance' than for rigid historical accuracy.  For example, British elite crews shoot so extremely well that giving them really well armed ships is stacking the deck too much in their favor, so the British elite crews are placed in ships with average amounts of cannons. 

Scenario Play Through

Lot's of people are familiar with Norm's blog and he always has the great kindness that when he presents a scenario he also does a play through, which I think is an excellent way to do things.

However, I find myself really short on time and ships and did I mention that BW helped me with the scenario?  So I'm going to cheat and direct you to BW's blog where he has not one, but TWO write ups of the Battle of Cape Ortegal.  Please find NUMBER ONE and NUMBER TWO.  

and if for some reason you didn't know about those blogs, you were missing out...

Hopefully I'll be able to do my own play through soon enough...

Till next time! 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

Wish everyone a fun and safe Halloween.

Daughter #1's Painted Pumpkin on the left.
My wife's idea: a stack of pumpkins on the right,
one fr everyone in the family. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

An unexpected Ruin

A general post of catch up, because I haven't been posting as I would like to, as I've been distracted by this and that...
Correction: Wargaming and Blogging (including writing this blog and reading others) is a pleasant distraction from all my pressing concerns.

Why Hello There

I noticed the other day that there have been some new followers to the blog.  Thank you, I hope the blog will be entertaining / interesting enough to warrant a comment from time to time. Also, if you leave a comment I'll be able to click on your profile and see any blog you are doing and maybe we can become the bestest of internet friends. 

Operation Clean Slate

As I've been saying, I've had a lot of pressing concerns lately with almost zero hobby time over the last couple of weeks, so when I finally was able to sit down at the hobby desk I was struck by how messy and disorganized it was.  I also lost all hobby momentum during the long break and this increased a general sense of aimlessness... What project to work on?  what do I feel like doing?  I don't have any games scheduled and might not for the near future; and usually it's having a game or two on the schedule that provides me with a direction.  Winter is upon me with no conventions that I want to attend till next year, so now would be a good time to embark on some serious productivity to prepare something if I only knew what... there are these ACW CSA bases primed and ready to go but I've no enthusiasm for that right now.  A strange situation where I want to do hobby stuff but not really wanting to paint miniatures.   A hobby funk.  

Now I've talked before about the Rule of Two that ensures hobby productivity, and now I'll introduce the Clean Slate Act.  The Clean Slate Act is to be invoked in just this situation and is simply as it sounds: put everything away including pending projects (this breaks the rule of two which dictates that up to 2 projects must stay on the hobby desk until complete); clean off the desk, start over. 


just kidding, you don't get rid of anything, it's just a soft reset that allows me to find what I am excited about, and reshape upcoming hobby time to fit the ever changing demands of real life versus the other way around.  It's to be used sparingly though, for if you do it too often you just flutter from one project to the next and nothing gets done.   

Isn't it silly when grown up middle aged men like myself talk super seriously about playing with toy soldiers? 

My hobby desk after Operation Clean Slate

So my recently repaired ships were put away in their temporary storage place (the ships weren't so much a pending project as their storage case was), the ACW CSA bases stored away, all the miscellaneous hobby supplies were organized and cleaned up; leaving me with a clean work space for any project that might take my fancy....

Small Side discussion: Don't you hate it when blogs suddenly pivot? 

Let's say you're following a blog because it has really cool WW2 and AWI content.  You know; serious historical gaming stuff, and then suddenly the blog writer goes "you know what's really cool? SPACE SHIPS!"  "Space ships with lazers (pew pew pew) from this sci-fi universe that's totally made up!"  And in your heart you make an 'uhhng' sound.  That's happened to you right? 

So as bloggers we all know that a blogger has to write about what the blogger is excited about, or it just becomes a huge chore.  But since I'm not into space ships I get a little less interested in the blog now (the exceptions are starwars and star trek and anything Lasgunpacker does).   I guess there could be people who are into AWI and spaceships so that's just more good content, but shifting from historical to sci-fi is big pivot to another genre.  

I mean;  let's say that you're following a blog that's been putting out some real good content on, oh I don't know, maybe Napoleonic Age of Sail and the American Civil War for around a year when all of the sudden the guy pivots into fantasy with


(hehehe.. ahh.  that was a long set up for a small joke.
Alternate subtitle: Wargamer's Wandering Minds - to Middle Earth.  
So maybe I just lost everyone, or maybe it'll be like Matt's dungeon blog, who goes from ACW to LoTR and we all just follow along because it's all awesome. )

My NEW Lord of the Rings books have finally arrived.  I bought these on the 18th of September and they didn't make into my grubby hands till this week.  kinda a long time to be waiting in antici........pation.  

The two New books are on the bottom and say Middle Earth on them.
The books on the top represent my older LoTR library.  

I've always liked the GW LoTR game and probably only stopped playing it oh so long ago because I got more into something else.. but here it is, back again.  And as discussed in previous posts I've kept all my stuff.  The new rule book is making for some good bedtime reading.  But now LoTR has been big in my mind, and while waiting for the books to arrive I've been watching a lot of youtube videos about it.  I mainly watch youtube videos on those rare occasions where 1) I go to gym and 2) the gym's wifi is working.  Or I watch them in the early morning on my phone with headphones in, as I'm getting ready for work and everyone else is still asleep.  

And I came across this channel with this man building some amazing LOTR terrain using Hirst Arts molds (and a bunch of other techniques). 

Showing you this picture is going to create unrealistic expectations of what I'm going to do. 

Link to youtube page is HERE. The Arnor build video will show him using the ruined tower mold.

Now this guy is crazy talented and dedicated, and fun to watch.  And I started thinking, "hey, I have HA molds and I like LoTR ruins.  I have this clean work space here, and I don't feel like painting miniatures, so how about some terrain?"

An Unexpected Ruin 

I wasn't really planning on making a new LoTR ruin this year, but you go where the excitement is, and I'm all afire for this unexpected project.  If you are unfamiliar with HA molds I will point you toward the website HERE.  The basic idea:  you pour plaster into silicon molds which makes little plaster bricks that you then use to build terrain like masonry.  It looks awesome, trust me.
Now, I'm unlike Anton who produces such really great terrain and often so quickly that I'm half convinced that he sits in front of blue board pieces, raises his eye brows, and cracks his knuckles and the terrain just forms itself according to his will.  

No, this will take some doing. And I haven't done it in a long time so it's kinda like remembering how to do it.  

My collection of Hirst Arts molds

Step 1) Dig out the molds from their storage.  These are between 5 and 8 years old by now, and honestly they have stayed in very good shape.  A very good product / investment.  It also probably helped that I am a serious nerd and stored them according to the instructions (flat, in the dark, and covered in baby powder).  

The lucky 4 winners

I selected 4 molds to work with; the bell tower mold, the church mold, the generic brick mold (because you always need more bricks) and the floor tile mold. 

Step 2) through 87): Mix and pour plaster into the molds, let sit and harden, and pop out the bricks.
Do this over and over and over, over and over again until you get enough blocks to build whatever you are going to build.  

The plaster I am using

A super exciting action shot of mixing the plaster.
You don't want it super thick.  The consistency you want is best described as 'drip castle.
Like the kind you make on the beach. 

I don't really have plan at this point.  One can just follow the build instructions that come with the molds and are available on the website.  However, It's also great fun to just go with your own design.  

The desk is getting messy again, but I'm having fun and relaxing as well,
which is the whole point of course.
A few casts a night and the piles of ready to build bricks start to..pile up.
(piled up piles?  what a wordsmith I am)

A close up of bricks for the curious.

This project also fits into my current situation, where I can spend 10 minutes getting the plaster into the mold correctly, and then walk away for around 20-30 minutes while it sets / cures enough to be solid and do other more important chores.  Come back, pop all the bricks out, reset, and off again.

So now we're all caught up with each other.  Hopefully I'll get back to you soon and hopefully the process will be interesting.  One of the things I love about blogs is that you get to see a project develop in something like real time.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Dry dock repairs complete! Adventures in ship repairs.

slight delay in posting fun hobby stuff as I've had absolutely nill time for hobbies due to family crisises...crisisi?  whatever the plural form of crisis is.... but onward and upward!

That took awhile.

As discussed earlier; during my journeys over Labor day weekend to Pacificon and back my sailing fleet was damaged by a near car accident and an attack from a ferocious house cat.  At the end of the weekend they looked like this:


On a closer inspection; 1 of the ships got off pretty light but the rest had some moderate to significant damage.  I also learned, for the second time, that when you start pulling off damaged rigging this often leads to needing to pull out another thread of rigging..
and another
and another
and another.

This is because a lot of the threads are glued in the same places.

So in addition to repairing masts and sails, I had to do much more re-rigging than I initially thought.
For some of these ships it's the third time I had to do this, and to be quite honest it's not as much fun the third time around.

But never mind all that, because I persevered and began to enjoy the process of rigging once more as each ship started to look ship shape again.  These ships continue to be some of my favorite models even if they are delicate little flowers.

Ze French fleet iz readz for battle onze more

We look good again!

Da British are also ready for a-battle

This is one of my favorite ships, just came out looking good.

Though I should break my ships more often...

Because it seems like whenever I do someone nice sends me a package in the mail.  In this case, Mr. PC who is my friend and the owner of the ship chewing cat; told me that he sent me a little something in the mail and to let me know if it arrived.  Because he was (I'm assuming) wracked with guilt.  Even though I told him it wasn't a big deal and the ships were already damaged anyway.

Anyway, his little something turned out to be a small lead lead pile of it's own from Waterloo Minis; consisting of no less than:
The famous HMS Victory (at quarters)
a 74 gun ship (at quarters)
The also famous USS Constitution
The not as famous USS Congress
and some sea bases and assorted ratlines. 

Quite, the gift.  Once again Mr. PC, you are too generous. 

(Wasn't I just bragging about how small my AoS leadpile was?  LOL)

The search for Better Storage Solutions

Each ship is based on a magnet.  I think the magnet is sufficiently strong to hold the ships in place.

see here; Ships on the fridge..

I was tempted to open the fridge door and test just how strong the magnet was...
but I resisted.

So I think my problem is that in their little storage box, I don't have enough metal for the magnet to really grip.  So it's off to either find an all metal storage box, some sort of metal sheet, or maybe some metal paper or some such.  I've searched before for a metal sheet that I could cut but could not find one at all the craft and DIY stores, so I don't think that's a good option right now.  I'll probably end up going the easy route and ordering a sheet of metal paper from Litko because it'll ship to me and I won't have to spend time wandering around stores because I seem to be very low on free time these days.

Hopefully I'll get back to more regular posting again soon.  I start to feel a little ashamed when other blogs that I enjoy following post 2 or 3 times in-between my posts.  I know we all must go at our own pace and sometimes life interferes with hobby time, and time one can spend sitting in front of the computer writing pithy captions under photos of toy ships sticking to the fridge. 

I did however have time for a marathon session of boardgaming madness...

That's right: Disney Princess Candy Land with Daughter #1. 
Played 10 games in a row.

 Thanks for reading!