Thursday, 31 December 2009

Minor irritations and potential disasters

Dammit! I've got mice.

I was poking around in the chest of drawers I keep my scenery bits in (well some of them) this afternoon, and discovered a pile of white polystyrene crumbs. They'd been chewed off the "Tomb of the Phruti", the most sacred site in the whole of Zambola. It could start another Civil War when President Jog-Jog finds out.

I thought at first that the tomb had just started to crumble through age and poor construction, but the little black mouse droppings amongst the polystyrene gave the little critters away. I'm not sure whether to paint over the damage or try to polyfilla it. If Eastern Zambola wasn't so arid I'd put glue over it and sprinkle flock over it to make it look overgrown. May be I can move it into my jungle temple box.

I suppose this is a consequence of storing so much of my stuff in the garage, but I don't really have a lot of choice. I got caught a few years ago when a load of old carpet underlay I used for WW1 shelled landscape got turned into a nest.

Anyhow, I've done a quick run through the rest of my stuff and seem to have got away with it otherwise. Most things are in sealed boxes & ice cream tubs which act as deterrent. I really don't want to get into setting traps. Not because I have a problem with killing the pests, it's just so messy if they don't get killed outright, or get decapitated.

Annoying news also arrived today on the basing front. I mount most of my figures on the Peter Pig pre-cut plastic bases. I like these as they are robust, inexpensive and don't warp out of shape. For larger models I use modellers' plywood, which I get from the local model shop. They have a thickness that is identical to the Peter Pig base, so I don't get height mismatches between figures.

Over the last few days I've managed to get round to finishing off my Sudan campaign wagon train. We've played "Science v Pluck" over the past few years, and I think the players are ready to deal with a proper sized baggage train, - one that doesn't fit into a square comfortably. I've also got plans for a balloon section, so they can do some aerial reconnaissance. Hopefully over the summer, when I get the big table set up in the garage, we can play a series of linked games based round the Suakin expedition. The picture shows where I'm up to, - a couple of mule carts, some small horse wagons & a couple of limbers. I've got two more horse wagons, two more limbers and two large four horse wagons to go. Add to that half a dozen camels and a few pack mules and you have quite a collection.

So the remaining wagons and horses are painted and varnished, but when I come to base them up I'm out of plywood. No worries, I had to go into town this morning anyway, so I take a sample of wood with me and call into the model shop. Conversation goes like this:

Me "Can I have a sheet of this thickness ply, please?"

Shopkeeper: "Let me have look. Hmm. I've got slightly thicker or slightly thinner"

Me " Well, I really want this size. Can you check again?"

Shopkeeper: "Don't ever recall seeing anything like this before. Where did you get from?"

Me "I bought it from you earlier in the year."

Shopkeeper: "Ah........"

I'll give him a couple of weeks to see what he can find. In the mean time I'm left with sanding down hardboard, which I fear may warp once glue, polyfilla'd and covered in sand.

If he can't get any, this could be serious.

(The thickness is 1.3mm, just in case any of you out there can point me at a source.)


  1. Why not use 80 thou plasticard?

  2. Now why didn't the man in the model shop suggest that? Maybe he hasn't got any.

    I settled on the plywood as I could source it easily locally, and not have to head off to specialist websites or suppliers.

    Any way, thanks for the suggestion. I'll nip down the model shop tomorrow morning and have a look.

  3. Actually 60 thou seems to do the trick, so I have bought a couple of sheets of that!

  4. You seem to be fixed now, but my model shop sell 1/16th inch 3 ply which I suspect is almost exactly the same. It si the best for accurate cutting strength and warp resistance.


  5. Yes, 1/16th would be about right. It is good stuff.

    If your shop does it, could youy e-mail me a sheet?

    (That's a joke, BTW)

  6. I can hear it now. A deep, friendly voice from somewhere in the depths of your garage.

    'You've got mice!'

    Think AOL's 'You've got mail' for the humor part of this. I set a lot of traps, caught me some dead meeces, and that was that. The carnage was eminently worth it. They are cute until they start chewing your clothes and your furniture and your insulation and your gaming books for nesting material.

    Then they get little floating reticles on their backs and away goes all the cute.


  7. Graham, with all the action seen at the Phruti's Tomb paint over it and treat as collateral damage from Jonathan's failed arguements.


  8. Tone,

    Where were you with that suggestion before I went for the polyfilla and flock solution. Photo to be posted soon.

    Of course, I could always put it back in the garage and let the mice have another go.