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Tiny Tin Men :: Archives

Oh my god, I stepped on the Tiny Tin Man!

January 18, 2005 9:07 PM - Posted by Robartes - Category: Painting

Yup, that’s right - I stepped on this blog’s mascot. The little guy’s head that features in our title graphic is a picture of an actual miniature I painted. The Tiny Tin Man is a Foundry Saxon civilian, and looks like this in full:

Tiny Tin Man

Those of you who know me personally know that we’ll be moving house soon. Moving implies packing stuff into boxes, so I’ve slowly been starting to put some of my non-essential modelling and painting stuff into boxes in the cellar. One of the reasons we’re moving is that our current house is quite literally bursting at the seams with all of the stuff we’ve packed into it, and in the cellar that means that moving around in it is a business that requires careful deliberation and coordination, lest one knocks things off of shelves or the modelling desk.

Needless to say, I did knock something off the modelling desk, and only noticed it when I felt something crunch under my foot when I passed by it. It turned out to be the TTM figure. Sniff. Luckily, closer inspection has shown that there are only two areas where the paint job has been damaged — one on the edge of his cloak and one on his hat. Both should be fairly easy to touch up.

This brings me to an interesting point. I am fairly relaxed about all of this, and I’ve seen this extend to things like packing miniatures for transport as well. Back when I started in this hobby, I would have freaked out at this incident, but now I accept it as a fact of life with miniatures. Perhaps I’m getting mellow with age? Or is this a natural evolution?

Comments on this entry

Natural evolution, and mellowing with age, of course!

Let’s say 10 or 15 years ago I probably also would have freaked out when one of miniatures got damaged. Now I just accept it. They are playing pieces. We play with them, we move them around, we handle them, we get our not-always too-clean-fingers on them. Accidents do happen now and then.

Although I do make a difference between different players. Most people I invite to play with my stuff I trust enough to know that they won’t on purpose damage the figures or handle them carelessly, so when something happens, it really is an accident, and there are no hard feelings. At conventions, it’s a bit trickier, because there are also kids (or adults), who do not always realize how much work has gone into building scenery or painting figures. So I still get the occasional heart attack, but this is very quickly shrugged off. There are only toys after all, and some people are clumsier than others. And if you’re totally paranoid about having your stuff at a convention or handled by others, you shouldn’t be there in the first place ;-)

January 19, 2005 1:20 PM - Posted by Phil Dutre

I’m a little more mellow about figures these days but I still freak when it’s something large and heavy - like an elephant or a seige tower. It is surprising how risilient they are though.

On moving I have found that a cubic metre of flowpack is a godsend. Simply scatter the expanded polystyrene pieces into the boxes of figures until it is full, tap the box a couple of times to ensure that the packing has flowed between the figures, and then tape down the lid. I have moved five times now, using this method and the only damage received has been a lance coming away from a mounted knight. Had I known the move was so soon you could have had the bag I just skipped. Cheers Graham

January 19, 2005 4:38 PM - Posted by Graham K

I feel that I must remind everyone of the great Gotha bomber incident. Back in the Epic Days of S&V, Bart organised a WW1 air game, with his beautiful models, all mounted on cleverly extendable radio aerials. One week, he brought his new treasure, a huge, newly painted, sparkling, wonderful Gotha Bomber.

And, in a generous but foolish gesture, allowed Bart Mad dog Dils to play with it. Innocent, thinking about how to manoeuvre my Sopwith Camel into position to shoot down the Beast, I watched BD’s gargantuan hands do the job for me, as he waved his arms in enthusiastic motion. I cringed, seeing the bomber unexpectedly crashing to the floor before I had even rolled a die in anger. I covered my ears as BV went berserk. I can hear his cries of anguish now, “Why do I bother…????”

Premature end to the evening.

And we have never played with the aircraft again. Pity, because it was the best of all the S&V games, in my opinion.

January 19, 2005 9:26 PM - Posted by Alan

Alan, As terrible and tragic as that story is, it is still hysterically funny. Sorry Bart, I feel your pain, really I do. David

January 20, 2005 7:55 AM - Posted by David Black

Ah yes, the great Gotha Incident of ‘98 (or thereabouts). I was indeed less mellow back then :) That aircraft is still in pieces in my ‘to repair box’, BTW. Perhaps I should dig up my planes again and organize another game of crazy men in flimsy flying machines soon :)

January 20, 2005 9:05 AM - Posted by Robartes

Mmmm, I don’t seem to recollect the Gotha Bomber incident. As the presumed guilty party I probably have suppressed it from my conscious mind… or I didn’t give a damn in the first place ;)

January 20, 2005 10:47 AM - Posted by Bart Mad Dog Dils

I once crushed one of my own scratch-built buildings in anger.

Some years ago (1997?) I actually had made, out of styrofoam, some Mos Eisly looking structures for our Star Wars games (pictures here, the sand-colored yellow buildings). After the game, I left them in the gameshop.

The next week, I discovered that one of them was severely damaged. Apparantly someone else had been manhandling them a bit too harshly. I was so angry at that, that I just crushed the whole building and threw it in the garbage ;-).

BTW, I traded the buildings for a bottle of wine some time later, since the person who was providing the SW miniatures really liked them and wanted them for his collection ;-).

January 20, 2005 3:46 PM - Posted by Phil Dutre

I have just about recovered from the incident in the GASLIGHT VSF game I ran at Valhalla 2 years ago.

In the second game there was a parent and his two young, and fairly annoying children. One of them leaned on the terrain tiles which flipped and proppelled my Zeppelin over his head and on to the floor where it broke into it’s constituent pieces.

I have always felt that I was very restrained in that I merely muttered something about “accidents happen…” and superglued bits of it together so that it could still be used in the game.

The thing that irked me most was that the child didn’t apologise and neither did the father…

January 30, 2005 10:50 PM - Posted by Mike Lewis


as witnessed higher up in this comments thread, I know the pain of seeing a prized (well, toiled over at least) model explode into little bits before ones eyes. As you (and Phil higher up) say, conventions can be particularly hairy in this regard. This might some day become the topic of a TTM post: are conventions worth it, given their somewhat dangerous nature, at least from the standpoint of our figures :)

January 31, 2005 9:08 AM - Posted by Robartes