Prince Azalea's Hobby Pages: Show and Tell part 2, In The Depths of The Garage (Oct 2009)
OK, so I made a rash promise on Twitter (@KeeperOfTheHDB, if you really want to know) that I would take some photos of the lead mountain, as some people have said they've been surprised/shocked/horrified/in awe of/disappointed by the size and contents of my lead mountain.
So, since I can't document it all in one go, this is part 2, which covers the bits that are forced to stay in the garage. If you've missed it, part 1 is here.
You should pick up pretty quickly that I am not a hugely tidy person (I tell myself it inhibits my creativity), but that doesn't mean I'm not organised, as I hope you'll see!
The Deep Mine: Or, what is kept out of the light!
My garage is one of the reasons that my wife and I purchased this house. To quote my lovely wife from after we first viewed the house "It has plenty of space in the garage for all of your little men and rubbish!" Yeah, thanks dear. It is a double-length garage, broken into three areas - a front garage which is pretty traditional; a middle section which connects the kitchen with the other two parts of the garage; and a back garage which was already fitted out with units, a sink and two lovely great planning desks which turn out to be fantastic storage devices for miniatures! :)
So this first photo shows the view from the middle garage into the area I'll look at first, the back garage - where most of the lead hoard is stored! You can see I have to share the garage with the washing machine and the tumble drier is in the next cupboard alone (which is great in the winter when it is very cold!). But the rest of these cupboards are also used to keep some of my favourite tools in, such as my hot glue gun, generic dremelesque tool and soldering irons, for example. A lot of my miniatures are stored on top of this unit, and on the other side of this room which can't yet be seen, but we'll get to those in due course!
I can only apologise for the rubbish on the floor, the kids had been playing with the craft stuff in the garage and I didn't notice when taking the photos, as I was concentrating on the minis. Still, I can hardly tell them off for being untidy out here!
Stepping inside the back garage and turning to the right, one is immediately finds a small pine bookshelf that holds some history books, odd wargaming rules, a number of very fine bottles of malt whiskey (OK, not part of the lead mountain, but a very important collection in its own right!) and on top of all this loveliness is the bulk of my BattleTech collection. BattleTech holds a soft spot for me, as I would play it a lot as a teenager, mostly solo if I'm totally honest, and I was as gripped by the background as much as I was by 40k at the time.
Just in front of the bookshelf, I have the first stack of what I call "the boxes". A rubbish name, I know, but a descriptive one ;) I've recently been through a process of sorting out a lot of my unboxed miniatures by type/category/army/whatever is appropriate. A lot of these are in cleaned and recycled fast food containers, as you'll see later, but where I've got more than the equivalent of a portion of Beef Madras worth of miniatures, then I needed a bigger box.
Almost out of shot at the bottom of this stack is a drawer system that contains about half of my collection of Epic minis, which I'll come onto later, but going to up the stack from there I've got 40k Orks (brown box), Eldar Specialists (aspect warriors, heavy support, dreadnaughts, etc. in the white box), Blood Bowl minis (green box), various fantasy monsters (white box), TSR fantasy heroes, a FOW US rifle company (but I plan to base them for Crossfire), early learning centre monsters and all topped off with 1/72 vehicles for 1938BCW.
You may (or may not) be interested to note the British Leg Company based for Crossfire in the bottom-left corner of this photo, that I really need to find a way to store properly! And the white blobs next to those are some giant insects and creatures I cast out of plaster for myself from a silicon mould.
Apologies for the quality of the next photo. This is my To-Do tray. OK, its not a tray, its a tablemat, but it houses another bunch of miniatures that either need to be put away properly. You might recognise some of these minis from other parts of this site.
This next shot is of the box at the bottom the stack described earlier. It stores about half of my unpainted Epic40k minis.
The first tray holds Eldar, including some nice older vehicles. I came up with a nice colour scheme for my own Eldar craftworld in my old rogue Trader days, and whilst I've got a few samples painted up, it is to my shame that I've not painted more of these wonderful tiny modes - especially the old plastic grav tanks. I love that design! :)
The second tray contains most of my epic Space Marines. I have actually painted a re-enforced Battle Company of epic marines, in the Storm Lords chapter colours, which is 2000pts for Epic:Armageddon. Must paint more of these little lovelies!
Ah, Squats :D And really, really tiny squats at that! Do I really need to say I want to paint these, too? :)
The final tray in this box contains my epic orks. Like the eldar, I've painted up a few orks but I should paint more so that my Storm Lord marines have something to kill! :)
Moving along the worktop, I have a second set of shelves hiding within a recess. I can't say there is a particular theme to these shelves, except that they mostly store miniatures, and some constructible card games (Pirates and Star Wars, mostly) but I also keep most of my RTB01 marines that are still on sprues here (about three boxes worth), old plastic squats and imperial guard. You might also be able to see a couple of epic titans (well, alien ones!) and two copies of Combat Zone (great game that - can't recommend it enough!). Hiding in there, amongst other things, although not easily visible are a set of the new harlequins and a Shadowrun Corporate Dragon.
I also keep a Painter80 on this worksurface, with about 1/3 of my spare paint. Although 1/3 of my spare paint is nearer 150 bottles of paint and ink crammed on there!
In front of these shelves is my box of scenery bits. Contains any bits of scenery that need attention, or assembly, and dominated by lots of lovely resin bits - especially, but not exclusively, from Fenris games. Something else that needs attention, though, as they're now having to be stacked on top of the box too, and you might be able to see in there a Fenris fairy house, a Stargate, a Shifting Lands Buccaneer ship, topped by an old 1/72 English church, from my father-in-law's railway collection and destined for my 1938BCW tabletop.
Skipping past the sink, which seems to be full of tools at the moment (why have you started putting tools in the sink, dear? Oh, lack of space anywhere else. Fair enough), we get to my second stack of "The Boxes". Several of these contain different sets of wargaming materials, meaning I can pull stuff quickly out of piles on a Wednesday morning before work, so that I can go straight out to SWS on a Wednesday evening! I've also got most of my Star Wars Miniatures collection here at the moment, along with more orks (I don't know how I've managed to end up with two large boxes full of orks!), some 1/72 medieval knights and some Heroclix. Right at the bottom of this pile, just peeking out, is the box that contains my 15mm GZG sci-fi mechanised platoons - and these (for a change) are actually painted!
Behind this pile, on the windowsill, is another stack of boxes that I really need to sort out. I know that some of them contain assembled and primed miniatures - although I'm not sure exactly what is in there, apart from I remember an Amazon force mad some centaurs. I'm pretty certain there are some pirates and cowboys too. There are also quite a quantity of 54mm(ish) plastic army men, with which I've already started playing games with the kids! Yay! And I think the box on the top-left is a Tiranti RTV casting starter kit.
OK, now we cross over to the other half of the back garage! There is a shelf that runs along the top of the wall here that I put stuff I don't access very often. I think what you can see is pretty self-evident, but there are also some sprues of gorkamorka vehicles up there, as well as some 2nd Edition DnD stuff.
More self-evident stuff. The whisky bottle tubes are empty (yes, they were nice thanks!) but I only keep the metal ones for storing minis in. These are currently empty. A particular highlight in this photo is DungeonBowl for 2nd Ed Blood Bowl. Played that a lot as a teenager, too - only with this game, I had friends to play with! :)
Ah, unfinished hills :) And railways. Every man needs a model railway, right? :) Underneath these are also a load more 1/72 minis and kits, some resin 1/32 Klingons (I had an idea once they'd be good for Inquisitor) and a few more "Boxes", this time dwarves, fantasy humans and just in shot, Space Marines - but just the regular ones in power armour!
Finally the end of this shelf! Rather tidier than a lot of the rest of the lead hoard, but you can see the fast food containers that contain a variety of different types of miniatures, from Chaos Demons, through Victorian Sci-Fi, to fantasy Gnomes! A few of the larger boxes right in the corner also contain most of my BattleTech minis, Elves, LotR minis and regular eldar warriors.
Just to the right of the last photo, I keep a few boxed sets of miniatures, most of which you can read for yourself. The old Dogs of War box on the top-right contains Disciples of the Red Redemption. I also keep here a few half-painting minis that I've lost my mojo on, some vehicles for near-future gaming and the square little box contains a limited edition plague marine from Steel Dragon Miniatures in Chile. I'm really looking forward to painting him, soon!
Below all of those neatly organised fast food containers, is one of the least tidy areas of the garage, which are the top surface of my planning desks. This space used to be clear! The boxes at the back contain a lot of my bits and bases, and the four boxes at the bottom-left at the back contain most of the rest of my unpainted epic miniatures. In the foreground is just loads of stuff that really just needs sorting out properly.
Panning to the right, there are more boxes of GW minis, a very nice ATAT I traded with Schuyler in Pennsylvania for, more fast-food boxes of miniatures and three Xyston 15mm ancient Greek and Persian armies.
A little further to the right I've got more fast food containers and most of these contains different kinds of 1/72 scale minis; my slightly lower quality whisky (and whiskey) stash, a bag of random HorrorClix and in the foreground is the unit of Paras waiting to be painted that I mentioned in Part 1.
Finally for the top of my planning desks is the last of the piles of "The Boxes". As well as sci-fi humans, orcs and Space Marines in other types of armour (terminators, scouts, etc.) there are also goblins, skaven and more Blood Bowl minis. The tins on the left of the picture are empty, and I will be using them to store miniatures in, since I have been converted to using magnetic bases since picking up base magnets from Hasslefree miniatures. The tins on the right, though, I refer to as my Tins of Shame, as they are literally full of minis I've bought and not even assembled yet, let along painted. There is a Hasslefree Tin of Shame, a Heresy Tin of Shame, a Heresy/Impact Blood Bowl Tin of Shame and an Other Tin of Shame, which has manufacturers like Eolith, Spyglass, Newbold and a few others in it.
This next one is a shot of one of the planning desks (the right-most one in this case). Apologies for the mess again - no idea why the kids had one of my wife's slippers, but the bag of sand is my fault entirely!
This is the top drawer of the right planning desk. Most of my Squats are in here along with some 1/72 ACW, some random blisters and some DIY bits and pieces.
The other half of the top draw also contains a load of random blisters, and some Mongoose minis. the blisters in this half of the drawer are mostly West Wind and Harlequin, with a few other bits as well.
Next drawer down is also mostly blister packs and boxes of miniatures.
The thin layer of blisters shown above hides rather more Foundry blisters underneath.
The other half of this drawer is slightly more eclectic, with more random blisters and miniatures as well as some old 1/72 railway cardstock buildings.
Even more blisters here, this time hiding a whole bunch of 40k blisters. But you've seen 40k blisters before, so no photo of those!
And again on the other half of this drawer, but this time it is warhammer blisters underneath. I think you've seen those kind of blisters before too! ;)
As well as the planning desks, I also have a small table and a chair in the back-garage so I can work out here as well, if I want to. I also use the space under this table for storage, including another copy of CombatZone(!), 2nd Ed Space Hulk (actually two copies are squished into this box!) and a train destined for wild west games, as well as a couple of miniature carry cases.
The top drawer in my leftmost planning desk is where I keep most of my random historical miniatures - as well as even more epic minis! Also of note is quite a large 15mm Russian Napoleonic army!
The next drawer down doesn't have many miniatures in it, but I do keep some spare dice and more tools in here!
Well, that is it for the back-garage at last!! Moving into the middle-garage, I have just one set of shelves where I keep gaming stuff, which I don't think needs much explanation!
The front-garage contains rather less stuff than the back-garage, but I do keep a few games here. I also have a home-made miniature photo-box mounted on the wall just in shot on the right.
Magazines, MechWarrior minis, painted epic minis and random 1/72 plastic boxes all hide on these shelves, along with magazines and a lot of old wargaming and RPG notes!
I also have some cupboards mounted on the wall in the front-garage, which is useful for stashing away card scenery and half-finished projects (in the blue baskets). I had to concede some space to excess glasses from the kitchen, though! :(
Although this box says pampers on the outside, it is jammed full of miniatures of many scales other than 28mm. 6mm Baccus, 15mm sci-fi, fantasy and historical and at least one 72mm sci-fi mini, amongst many other things!
Right, last pic! :) The second pampers box shown here is 2/3rds full of Reaper blisters and is capped with boxes containing painted orks and Imperial Guardsmen and its all capped off with a goodly amount of Necromunda scenery.
Right, that's it. I hope you've enjoyed this tour of the lead hoard in my garage! If you want to feedback or ask me any questions about any of this, feel free to ask me either by email or on Twitter!