OK, I am back from Scotland (more about that in a future post) and I have had the great honor to be nominated for the 2014 edition of the Liebster award. Just like the last time around I am very proud to be nominated by a fellow blogger who produces high quality work all around. Who is it? Samuli from Engineered Gaming. If you do not already know his blog, go and check it out since it really is marvelous. Samuli created some of my favorite entries for this years Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge and if I remember correctly won prices in at least two of the theme rounds.
So in this years edition it is about showing the rest of the world some of your favorite blogs and more specifically those that can easily be overlooked since they only have a limited amount of followers (less than 100 or less than 200 depending on who you listen to). As a matter of courtesy you should also inform your nominees about their nominations and refer to your own benefactor.
As a small plus, one is supposed to answer a few (11) “personal” questions to give people and idea about yourself. While I will do the later I shall take a little liberty here (as I have seen other bloggers do as well, where I have actually borrowed some questions) and add a few questions, which I think are a little more hobby relevant. And I would leave it to the people I nominate to choose which ones they will answer. So here we go, sit back and enjoy the ride:
1. Why did you start blogging?
I have had a homepage for a long time. The problem with that was it was pretty time-consuming, especially since I had the grand idea to make it bilingual (German and English) and I am never a man of few words. So the basic idea was to still show my hobby to the world, but to use a medium that was more user-friendly. A very positive side effect for me has been that now I am not only showing my hobby to the world, but I am also interacting with it, for blogging gives people far more options to get into contact with you and give you some feedback (which I really appreciate, so never hold back people).
2. If you could change one thing about the wargaming hobby, what would it be?
Perception. I would like to change other people’s perception of the hobby. For many outsiders us war gamers are just people playing with toy soldiers. Even worse here in Germany you still find the perception that if you are wargaming historical conflicts (and especially WWII) you must be some kind of Nazi. I do think this is really sad, because for me this hobby is about lots of other things. It is about an interest in history (researching your uniforms, battles campaigns and political situations that actually led to it all), it is about art (painting and assembling all those miniatures, vehicles and terrain) and it is about imagination (re-creating those battles).
But I would also like to change the perception of people inside the hobby. It always saddens me when I hear people moaning about the next edition of a given SciFi ruleset (you know which one I mean, it just happened last weekend) or how they do not like something about the historical rules they play. I would love people to see that just because they buy one companies miniatures they do not have to play their rules and just because they play one companies rules they do not have to use (exclusively) their miniatures to play. This hobby is about the people you play with, not the companies that sell you their rules / miniatures. There are so many options… use them!
3. What is best in life?
Honestly… taking the dog for a walk through the fields on a warm summers day just after a short rainfall.
4. Do you want to live forever?
No! Maybe two hundred years in good health, but forever… never.
4. (Alternative) Do you read Battle Reports and what makes them inviting to read?
Yes, I do. For me they are inviting, if they give a narrative and read like more like a personal account (I hate it if a report just tells everything in the terminology of the ruleset used, I find that annoying even if I know the rules!). Most important are a bunch of nice photos of the game. A good report without photos can still be boring, lots of good photos without a story just fail to retell the action.
5. Fame or fortune?
Fortune. I would quit work (if i had a job right now 😦 ), move to Scotland and spend the rest of my days painting minis, hiking and diving.
6. What miniatures are you most proud of having painted?
Wow, that is not the easiest of questions. I have to admit, I like almost every mini I have painted a lot. But my favorite… I think that has to be the Napoleon base.
7. How do you deal with burnout?
I try to alternate between topics as much as I can. If I have painted something for WWII, I try to paint something for Napoleonics before I tackle the next WWII minis. If that is impossible (for example since I want to finish a certain project in due time) I try to at least alternate within a period. So if I painted a Prussian unit, the next one will be French, or if I painted infantry, the next unit will be cavalry. Also while I paint in batches I always try to keep them “small”, no more than a dozen or two of minis in one batch, preferably smaller though.
8. Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Honestly, I think this is a terrible riddle. From what I know Lewis Carroll himself did not know the answer when he wrote it (not surprising given his style of writing), so I will just leave it at the answer he invented years later when he got bleeped with all the people writing him asking for an answer:
Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is nevar put with the wrong end in front!
[He actually spelled “never” like that to make it “raven” read backwards, but some proofreader changed it back.]
8. (Alternative) Is figure painting a chore or pleasure?
For me it is a real pleasure. It allows me to unwind, get my mind off things and relax. Yes, it can feel daunting to look up the lead mountain and yes, it can feel like a chore if you see time to finish a project running out before a show, but still it is a pleasure to me!
9. Star Wars or Star Trek?
Well I watched the tape recorded Star Wars movies every weekend morning before my parents got up when I was a small lad, so one would expect me to favor Star Wars, but my love actually lies with Star Trek (anything but the original series), my favorites being Deep Space Nine and Enterprise. Even though they had to pull out the alternate timeline idea for Enterprise and the last two movies, I simply find it is much more of a complete universe than Star Wars, which had a feel of “making it up as we go” the more George Lucas got involved. In that sense I have high hopes for Episodes VII through IX now that Lucas is only an advisor.
10. If you could only buy from one miniature company from now on, which one would it be?
Uh, tough one! My first instinct was to think about a miniatures company that caters for all my prime interests (WWII and Napoleonics) so I would have answered Warlord Games, but… their Prussian Landwehr are horrible and the cartoonish faces (especially on their WWII Germans) drive me crazy. So I would live with just one period and say Calpe Miniatures.
11. What is your favourite takeaway?
Gyros au gratin with creamy Metaxa sauce. But if it says anything about my frequency of getting food at the takeaways. I only got this from a takeaway once in the past two years, but cooked it myself about every other month.
11. (Alternative) Could you limit your gaming and collecting to one period and one size? If so, what?
Scale is easy. I never do anything other than 28mm (except for a few showcase miniatures in larger scale from time to time). Period, now that is a tough one, since I really love both WWII and Napoleonics. But if someone was to put a gun against my head and make me choose… Napoleonics, since there is enough in it to keep me painting till eternity.
And here are my nominees (in alphabetical order):
Bunker Hill: Christopher (aka Axebreaker) has a very diverse blog. Lots of different periods but all of them superbly painted.
Fantasy Gelände: Samys blog (in German) has lots of extremely nice 20mm WWII minis and model that can inspire anyone!
Kampfgruppe Engel: Engels blog is really diverse. I often wonder how diverse ones interests can be and still cater for them all properly.
Kriegs Corner: Troys blog is about 15mm minis. Something that normally does not interest me, but the eye candy factor is just hilarious!
Over open sights: Marks blog deals mainly with WWI, Napoleonics and Pulp (my perception), but his painting is just marvelous and extremely consistent.
Twin Cities Gamer: Monty has been an internet friend for a long time now, and I simply love his work. In the past it was mainly 15mm ancients, but over the past two years or so he has found a love for SAGA and if there will ever be a man who owns a war band for every faction, it will be him.