My Wargames room – Part 6

After several weeks of work my wargames room makeover is finally finished and it’s time to show it off.

This is my new gaming table a rather modest 5×4 foot but I’ve added under table storage in the form of a book case for rule books and I modified some racking shelves to store scenery on. I added an edge to help keep my terrain tiles firmly in place. I have made two of the sides adjustable with bolts and sliding brackets because on my last table the measurements where slightly off and the tiles wouldn’t fit perfectly. Now I can place the tiles on the table and clamp them in place.

I’ve also re-designed my painting modelling area to give my more space and to make it easier to find things my wife also added a new feature the sweetie box.

Overall I’m very pleased with how it turned out the lighting is much better, the floor is flat again, the new lay out gives my more space around the gaming table and I don’t think I’ve ever had my hobby so well organised. Now its time to start using my room again the first thing I want to do is finish off the other projects from the painting shelf of shame (who now live in a box of shame as the original painting shelf no long exists).

My Wargames room – Part 5

It’s been almost a month since my last post mostly because I’ve been in full DIY mode and the only painting I’ve been doing is walls and ceiling. Still with the help of number one son over a couple of weekends and with time off work this week my wargames room renovations are taking shape nicely.

The 13 year old chipboard floor has been pulled up and replaced as has the water damaged ceiling. I have new LED lights and I’ve upgrade the electrics and moved some sockets. The walls are and ceiling are now freshly painted. Next weekend should see the new flooring go down and then I can start and building a new gaming table and work bench (for painting and modelling).

Anyway a couple photos of the building site that will be shiny new wargames room soon

My Wargames room – part 4 – Bits boxes

I’m slowly working my through wargames room re-organizing everything in preparation for moving it all out. I’ve run out of magnets, until I order some more online, so I’ve switched to sorting out bases, bits and dice in to storage boxes.

I’m sure I’m not the only one with a mountain of bits (especially if you have collected Games Workshop miniatures for a long time like I have) all those extra heads, arms and weapons that come of plastic kits are great for conversions and I always find them worth keeping. My old system was a large plastic box where I just chucked all my spare bits and sprues which was fine until I wanted to find specific bits which would then become a “needle in a haystack” experience. So I’ve sourced some workshop tray units the sort people use to nails and screws. These ones have quite large trays (and even then I had so many bits for some armies I had to use two trays) and I’ve labelled them up so that, for example all my Dwarf bits are in one tray and all my Beastman bits are in another. I’ve sorted out the first one which contains all my fantasy bits (picture below).

I have two more tray unit one for my sci-fi bits and another for historical bits (one of the nice side effects of historical manufacturers moving into hard plastic kits). These tray units can be joined together so I should end up with one unit of thirty trays when I’m finished.

I’ve also taken the opportunity to box up my bases and movement trays so they are all in place rather than spread out in different boxes all over my painting area. I have one box for round/oval bases and one box for square/rectangle bases.

Lastly I had a draw under my games table full of dice, templates and counters that draw unit is going during the renovations so I’ve used a really useful box with a tray insert to give them all a new home.

My Wargames room – part 3 – The painting shelf of shame

I’m sure I’m not alone in this but I am a bit of butterfly when in comes to my hobby it doesn’t take much for me to get distracted or side-tracked when I see something new or interesting. Films, books, new miniatures, a rule set or seeing what someone else has done on the internet can frequently spark a wave of enthusiasm for a new project. Soon I’m researching, planning, buying new miniatures and looking at building new scenery and the painting table is unceremoniously cleared of whatever I was previously working on to make way for my newest obsession. “What happens to those half started previous projects Jon?” I hear you ask. Well in my wargames room they go to the painting shelf next to my painting desk where often as not, despite the lie I tell myself that I’ll finish them off soon, they sit there for a long time gathering a layer of dust.

As I was sorting out my lead pile into boxes I knew I’d have to confront the painting shelf, now officially dubbed the painting shelf of shame, so I pulled everything out and put it on my painting desk. This collection contained a whole load of stuff ranging from just converted plastic/lead all the way up to just needing the bases done. The list includes

12 random individual fantasy miniatures for a solo dungeon crawl project that never really got off the ground.

18 Ngoni conversion from Warlord games Zulus to add to my Ngoni army

8 converted Portuguese Cacadores for 19th century Africa

4 converted Lomwe tribesmen for darkest Africa

5 primus marines for 40K

30 odd Deathguard for 40K

4 snow trolls for my ice queen fantasy army

17 renegade imperial guardsmen for 40K

and since that photo below was taken I’ve now found

A half finished Pict army for age of Arthur game 50 odd miniatures

30 odd early imperial Romans

18 random sci-fi miniatures with a half painted APC

That’s quite a lot of abortive projects cluttering up my gaming room so I’ve decided to launch operation ” Finish up” I don’t plan to box up my painting stuff until the last possible moment, before the renovations on my wargames room begin in early August, between now and then I’m going to attempt to finish off as many of these half finished projects as possible (in between packing and sticking magnets on everything). I don’t know how good they’ll look, when they are finished, as I do my best painting when I’m really inspired by the miniatures I’m painting, but they will be finished so I can go into my new wargames room with a clean slate and painting shelf. I’ve already made a start and finished the four snow trolls pictures coming soon.

My Wargames room – part 2 – Magnets thousands of ’em

Well maybe not thousands but a lot of magnets. As I mentioned, in part 1, I need to move everything out of my wargames room to do my planned renovations. Most of my miniatures have been stored in cabinets which has worked well enough but has two disadvantages one the cabinets waste a lot of space as the shelfs have large gaps between them which aren’t required on little soldiers 30mm high. Secondly if I want to move any miniatures around they aren’t prepped for transportation.

Looking at what other gamers where doing, on line, I settled on plastic boxes and magnets as my future storage and transportation solution. I purchase a load of boxes and a bunch of self adhesive ferrous-rubber sheet and self adhesive magnetic sheets, both pre cut circular magnets in various sizes, and sheets you cut yourself. I slightly under estimated just how mind numbingly boring magnetizing several armies worth of miniatures would be. I think as something you do, on a few miniatures at a time, during an army build it would be fine and just become a process like basing or varnishing.

I hit a few issues during this process. Firstly every army seems to have a few miniatures that are to tall for my chosen A4 boxes whether it’s because of a flag, pike or horse, which is frustrating when you’d like a whole army boxed together. You can of course used bigger boxes, and I did buy some large ones for some armies, but then you are back to the feeling your are wasting space and I’d like my renovated wargames room to be as storage space efficient as possible.

Another issue I hit were Games workshop style bases. Some of my armies are based on thin plastic or MDF bases which gave the magnets a nice flat surface to stick to but GW bases are hollow underneath and the thin edge didn’t make for a good connection with my magnet sheets. In the end I purchased some small 3mm earth magnets that fit in the hollows under the bases and could be glued in place.

I still have several armies to go but I’ve made a good start so here are a few pictures of what I have managed so far.

1st the A4 plastic stack boxes. Each one of these stacks is about the same size as one shelf in my Ikea display cabinet so this stack took about five shelves worth of miniatures from my display cabinet and fitted them into the space of one shelf that is a considerable space saving. The self adhesive ferrous rubber sheets I purchased are also A4 so this meant one sheet stuck in the bottom no measuring or cutting needed.

As you can see on the last photo the magnets work really well that box is on its side and not a single miniature has moved. I even (after a deep breath) turned the box upside down and again the miniatures didn’t move.

I really like the A4 stacking boxes but they didn’t cut it for some of my armies. I found my 20mm ancient Phalanx’s pikes where to tall while my 28mm fantasy human army had to many mounted men with big lances. So I bought some other large boxes for these armies. The other (not) fun thing about these armies was having to cut magnetic sheets to fit the square and rectangle bases which just added more time to a rather monotonous job but hey at least it only need doing once.

Still plenty more miniatures to magnetise before August including some 40K armies and a lot of random miniatures that don’t really have an army to join. I’ve decided the easiest way to store some of my bigger 40K models and awkward to store miniatures is to put them back in my Ikea glass display cabinet once the renovations are over rather than buying lots of odd sized boxes. Right back to wargames room are more magnets…

My Wargames room – Renovations – part 1

My grandly entitled wargames room is actually a garage. When my wife and I arrived at our current house, with a new-born and toddler in tow it was decided I could have the garage, at the bottom of the garden, to store my stuff as there just wasn’t room in a house dominated by small adorable children. The garage had some advantages it was a double length garage, brick construction and being away from the house it was a good place for a bit of one on one time with my favourite Metal bands without disturbing anyone else. On the downside it floods, as we discovered in the first couple of weeks of moving in, during extremely heavy rain, It doesn’t have much natural light ,just one small window and some glass panels on the back door, and it could get very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter.

So I enlisted the add of my dad and we set about making the garage a wargames room, we dug a soak away in front of the back door to help deal with the water run off that caused the flooding. Inside we built a new floor with batons and chipboard and added a drain by the door so if the soakaway didn’t work the flood water would run underneath my wargames room and out through the dig door on the other side. The brick walls were board it out for insulation purposes and a false ceiling, with insulation, was put up. Two thirds of the way down we put up a stud wall so the end, with the large garage door, could store my motorbike and be a workshop. Once we added some new electrics and a lick of paint I ended up with a pretty respectable man cave.

That was fifteen years ago in that time I’ve given the room one cosmetic make over with some new carpet tiles and a lick of paint. The furniture was upgraded with some display cabinets, from the old front room, that where replaced during a make over. After all that time the wargames room is now starting to feel its age. The chipboard false floor is starting to sag in places and has become rather uneven, the garage flat felt roof sprang a couple of small leaks which I only twigged when the ceiling stated getting brown water marks. I’ve fixed the flat roof leaks but its time to replace the floor and ceiling with new wood, and while I’m at, it re-jig the electric sockets, add new LED lighting, new flooring, re-organise my storage and build a new gaming table . This a major renovation project which I hope to do the bulk of in my week long August holiday break.

Talking it through with my wife it occurred to me that everything was going to need to come out of the wargames room to give me space to do the renovations. It was at the point I realised I had accumulate rather a lot of hobby stuff in fifteen years none of which was packed or stored in any way for transportation…

I’ve made a start on the easy stuff books are being packed away in temporary cardboard boxes (thanks to Amazon we have plenty). I’ve purchased more lidded plastic boxes to start packing scenery and the lead pile of shame into. I’ve also taken the decision to magnetize as much of my miniature collection as possible to aid with safe storage and transportation in the future (more of that in another post). I was pleasantly surprised to find I could get the lead pile of shame into three plastic storage boxes one each for fantasy, sci-fi and historical projects still plenty of packing to go though.