Blimey! It seems like I've spent so much time and effort working on the Big Birthday Bash these last three weeks, I've neglected to post anything about it. Unfortunately I'm not going to correct that in this post, not until I can find the time to do a proper photoshoot of the figures, terrain and vehicles in progress. so for now the game will have to remain Top Sekrit.
Work on the game has been going well. Mi Hermano Pintor Jonesy has been coming round on a Sunday afternoon and over the last three weeks we've managed to get 90% of the figures painted and ready for the Army Painter Quickshade. Almost all the terrain I think we'll need is either already made, on the workbench or on order from eBay. But it has led to some interesting behaviour I think a lot of wargamers might relate to. Even as I'm working on elements of the BBB, my mind keeps drifting onto other gaming possibilities, and I find myself spending valuable time researching these "future games" on the net.
For example, the BBB game is.... generally and vaguely set in 20th century America. Ish. So for a couple of iconic terrain buildings, I went to eBay in search of some of the legendary Plasticville O' gauge building sets. Now these are hard to get hold of here in the UK, where OO gauge is by far the dominant model railway scale, and postage rates from the US can be quite harsh, but with a bit of careful shopping, you can get buildings for anything in the £10-20 range, which compares favourably with similar sized MDF wargame buildings.
(I've since found a couple of UK dealers who sell Plasticville kits. On Tracks and Dark House Games, both are roughly comparable in price, but you can sometimes get a better deal from one than the other depending on what you're buying and how many you want.)
Anyway, after securing the two buildings I needed for the BBB scenario (the Gas Station and the Diner....is that another clue?) it occurred to me that these would make a great start in the process of modernising the Victorian city terrain. That got me looking at some of the other buildings that were available, especially the rival K-Line buildings - similar in style, but out-of-production and even harder to get hold of. While these buildings are generally styled after 1950s small town Americana (in fact many of the kits have been unchanged since they were first designed in the 50s), I thought many of them would work incredibly well for a Caribbean island city, especially one that's a tourist destination.
Cast your mind back to the second-ever post on this blog, outlining the island Imagi-Nation of Paradiso. Back then I'd been planning on doing this in 15mm, But the concept of Paradiso way predates that post, going back to an idea I'd had back around 2003 for a 28mm demo game using Copplestone/Grenadier Future Wars figures in a tropical holiday resort setting. Ever since then the idea had been fermenting slowly in the back of my mind, and I'd picked up the odd poundstore bit here and there for the concept. The suitability of the Plasticville buildings for the concept may just be the straw that's broken the camel's back, as I currently have nearly 20 buildings purchased, open auctions for about 30 more and a further 10 on my watch list waiting to see how the auctions do. There's also an order for about a hundred 28mm scale palm trees that seems to have just happened.
Although Jonesy and I have agreed that the next project for our Sunday painting school is going to be 15mm sci fi (he has some starship crew and some not-Klingons) for some coffee-table sized skirmishing, it looks like 28mm Paradiso is going to happen sometime in the not too distant future. Again I now have most of the terrain I'll need either ready or on order, and all the figures for various factions awaiting paint jobs, Perhaps most significantly, there'll be some nice synergy between the Paradiso figures and terrain and those for the BBB, opening up some more fun scenario possibilities.
Then again... no sooner had I resigned myself to that idea, I then noticed how with a little conversion work some of the more rural Plasticville buildings would work well in a rural English Village setting, more suitable for VSF or that VBCW malarkey. And off I go again....