In my quest to get signatures from all of the special guests at GaryCon VIII, I tracked down Jeff Perren, in the miniatures warfare room.
He graciously signed his blurb in my program.
During the Growing Up Gygax session I had attended just a short while before, Luke mentioned that Jeff Perren had disavowed the fantasy portion of Chainmail, and that it was all Gary. So I asked him if he was getting ready to play Chainmail, at the sandtable where he was sitting, and he said, “No, Cavaliers and Roundheads.” Then he said something I didn’t expect. “I have never played Chainmailby the rules as published.”
He was gracious enough to let me get out my cellphone and let me record his re-statement of what he told me.
I stopped recording too soon. Jeff went on to talk about the last time he played against Gary in 2006. I believe the picture of them together in the program guide is of that day.
NOTE: If I am not the first to ask this question and publicize his answer, please let me know with a formal citation of the source.
I began with washing them with warm soapy water and gently scrubbed the non-painted ones with an old toothbrush.
After letting them air dry a few hours, I painted them with a coat of white Testors acrylic as a primer. I know there is a special primer, but my hand is not the steadiest for this detail work, and my eyes don’t see those small details so well. I finally have the patience to do a good job, but my hands aren’t as steady and my eyes aren’t as goo up close. Well, I have been nearsighted since junior high, and now have bifocals, but I have to take of my glasses to see anything closer than about 6-8 inches, like the back of my hand or when I am shaving. So I am curious to see how well this turns out. So we’ll call it an experiment. I don’t think I’ll have people seeking me out to do their miniatures, unless their eyes are in worse shape than mine.
There aren’t enough hours in the day to paint and let dry and repeat to get each part painted. I focused on the big parts, the cloaks. I let them dry overnight after each step. So instead of one article showing all the progress and the final result. I will break this up into multiple postings.
It takes up my work space to spread out my game materials. I have to use that space because I can close the door to keep my son’s cats out. The last thing I need is cats breaking or hiding these.
So here are the before and after priming pictures. Yes, those are blue shop towels under them. Much thicker than regular paper towels and I can wipe off excess paint from the rush without it soaking through.
Here are the after painting the cloaks & boots pictures. Yes, I know, that black is really dark, but it is a work in progress. It is only paint after all, and I can just start over if I goof it up or don’t like the end result. I had to take off my glasses so I could see the details when I had to hold them close. Do I get extra XP because I didn’t get paint on my glasses?
We could not afford a lot of miniatures. We often used the redcoats and continentals you could order from the back of comic books, since they were small. We we lucky if every player had a miniature of their character.
We used Ral Partha mostly. I know there were a lot of companies doing them back then. You would pick up a package of goblin archers, some orcs. Slowly those who DM’d the most built up a collection.
Miniatures were not needed most of the time. Usually we only used them for the party to show marching/riding order or where we were relative to each other. A big piece of paper or wet erase mat would then have marks for the enemies, or a unique die, Lego, small Lincoln Log, etc.
We have played with nothing more than X’s and O’s or initials on the mat or paper to distinguish players from monsters.
Not all miniatures were painted, and not all that were painted were painted well.
[EDIT] – Here are pictures of my entire miniature collection. All but one is from Ral Partha, 1979. The skeleton, I am not sure of, and I can’t read what is on the bottom of the three-pack minis. They all have lead, and the warning on the back of the box mentions it. the cool thing about the three stage minis is that you could change your character’s pose mid-game, or you had three minis for whatever you needed.
I have also participated in the Hero Forge Kickstarter at the level to get my own mini. This will be fun! It has four days to go as of February 13, 2014.