Friday, December 28, 2012

Another year almost gone but refocusing for 2013 :)

Well the start of a new year is upon us, which means it's time to refocus on priorities. This year was more invested on my family, and with whatever extra time I had, I spent it trying to learn calculus and level up on Skyrim (which ended up taking 8 months of my spare hours at night). While the Christmas break is a great time to get some projects done for many, it usually means giving up my hobby space for our Christmas tree.

Here is my hobby space currently. I would complain but I do enjoy Christmas so it is a minor sacrifice. Although I am sure my family rather see the tree year round then my desk with all my junk on it ;).
One of the biggest realizations this year is that I will never find the time to build and paint my 3rd edition Space Hulk game. I bought it when it got released and to this day all I ever did was remove the shrink wrap. So I went ahead and placed it on ebay. Well if you are inclined to get a copy mine is listed here: Space Hulk and ends in a few days. 
So while it was a dry year for hobbies, 2013 will hopefully be more devotion to getting a couple hobby related things done in my spare time. That will also be a challenge since I am realizing that my spare time is becoming more scarce since my son is getting older and we are enjoying more outdoor activities together.  
But at the same time he is also starting to take interest in some of my hobbies so eventually that spare time will become quality time with him....well one can dream right ;).

Right now X-wing seems to be a game I can play and do easy projects for. One of those being building a Death Star board. My wife purchased a 6"x 6" mold from Combat Wombat miniatures so I can make it possible. I've already cast 4 tiles using Smooth-on 300 and they came out pretty well. 

Combat Wombat also sells a completed 3'x3' board with turrets for 99 dollars. While it was tempting to just purchase the whole thing, I want to have the versatility to build a Death Star trench if I wanted to. Of course as of this writing it seems like a lot of folks want their own Death Star so he has ceased production on the 99 dollar board till he can catch up with orders. Depending on how much you want to spend money or time to put work into, the cost of both the mold and the board will pretty much even out.  

After doing some math I figured I spend 45 dollars for the mold, I can usually get Smooth-on 300 for a 30%-40% discount and would need about 2 pounds worth of casting material so that would be about $30-$35, add the 6 turrets he offers for $15 and you pretty much hit his price point give or take. The benefit to the mold will be if you can make the mold survive the 36 casts required for a 3'x3' board you can then use it to make a trench run board.

Here is the mold I received from Combat Wombat. Now from what I read on his website, he is a Army veteran which I have the up most respect for. I gladly support someone who defended our country and is trying to make a living by selling products they made. But as a fair warning if you go the mold route, don't expect to get a mold at the level of quality of Hirst-Arts. My mold had a few defects, and while it may require some sanding to even out the tile casts, the tiny defects on the surface are hardly noticeable. Some of my casting defects can easily be fixed with putty or light sanding. My only worry now is that I got some tearing on my last cast even after spraying it down heavily with mold release. So just a precaution if you are planning to purchase the mold.

Now I don't want to be overly negative or leave on a sour note. The tile cast themselves are very detailed and with Smooth-on 300 they are durable and will last a very long time. I recommend picking up a set or a mold if you want your own Death Star. With the Falcon and Slave I release on the horizon, I am looking forward to recreating the trench run from Episode IV.

So hopefully you all got some great hobby gifts this year. Here's to a hobby filled 2013!! Happy New Year and as always keep on gaming!