Catching up

My last couple posts were more general hobby musings. I didn’t have much to say about what exactly what I have been up to besides 3d printing. And that post was mostly full of unpainted prints. Which is fair, because 90% of all the prints ARE unpainted… Yup. I found a new way to increase the Boxes of Shame at a much cheaper price point. Genius? Or madness? The jury is out.

I’ve touched on my lack of general progress on the painting front. I get into a hobby funk and and don’t care to paint, often for months at a time. I’ll read, and putter with conversions, and sometimes build terrain, but the downs tend to be pretty unproductive. My hobby desks (I have two, one for painting and corralling of supplies, the other for terrain) are both in total disarray. Maybe that is part of the problem. I have to move and shuffle things to have space to work. Too many half finished projects right now. My painting area is covered with finished models lacking proper storage, Black Series figures (come on Ikea, will you restock that stupid display cabinet already??), several swarms bases for my Vampire counts WFB army, some random Reaper models, High Elf and Bretonnian heroes (shamefully in primer after five plus years) and a smattering of other pieces.

Despite my hobby failings, I have managed to finish a couple slow burn terrain projects. I teased them a couple posts ago, all pink foam and wood strips. Then just this week due to being in quarantine for C19 exposure, I managed to paint 10 archers/huntsmen for my Middenheim WFB army. Mostly I watched 10 James Bond movies, but I did put paint to model as well.

Sometime in late 2019 I watched a video on Eric’s Hobby Workshop about building medieval rowhouses. Its seemed like a cool build, and I had been wanting to build some Mordheim terrain for a while. Plus, I had a box full of foam bricks and stones I had cut on my Proxxon Thermocut hotwire tool. I watched the video a couple times, then had it playing while I started the build. I varied from Eric’s base material and used a floor tile from Lowes.

The tile cuts easily, and is fairly rigid, though it will sag over time. Not an issue if used for terrain or stored flat, and the tiles are cheap. I think I paid .89 USD per tile. The tiles have an adhesive backing, which is a pain to deal with. Or just leave the paper on it like I have started doing. The first couple times I used these tiles I peeled the paper off and tried to wash off the adhesive, unsuccessfully. I tried coating it with PVA to take away the stickiness, Which sorta worked after 3 coats or so. Leaving the paper on is easiest.

With a rough sketch, I cut a piece of time and then started hot gluing “stones” on. I went for a corner set of houses, and laid out stone first floors. Once that was done, I started in with basswood and foam core board. I didn’t plan well, and ended up with some tricky sports to paint and add in the floor remnants. There were difficulties and unpleasant moments, but I finally got this one done.

Except for the windows. Windows. Not my favorite part of a terrain build. If I go easy, they don’t look very good. If I make them detailed, they suck to build. Windows were one of the reasons I started looking at resin printers. If I could print them versus building them, I could save a fair amount of time. This build had, I think, 29 windows. Each window was constructed from nine parts. Eight pieces of craft strip, plus the “glazing” from sculptor’s aluminum mesh. I used a strip wood chopper from Micro-Mark. You can find it here. Like a true genius, the windows were of various sizes, so I had to adjust the Chop It over and over. With all the wood cut, I started gluing the parts together. Then painted the subassemblies. Then more glue and clamps. And of course, I don’t have enough clamps, and could only glue a couple frames at a time. Eventually they were all finished and installed.

All in all, I am happy with the build. Less so with my pictures of it, but I still haven’t taken the plunge to buy a decent camera. If you look closely at the last pic, you will see the ruins of 5 buildings, and a tunnel between the left house and the middle house. It has a fair amount of play potential for skirmish gaming. There are a couple places that getting figures in and out of will be fun, but I traded realism for playability. I need to add some rubble and litter to the model, but I am holding off, and will do the whole planned table at once to tie them all together in color and tone.

With that building done, I attacked another. I found a picture on Facebook of a build someone had done. I can’t find the saved page though, to credit it properly. It was another medieval building, this time a solo, five story building. Here is a pic of it, and if someone recognizes the original builder, please let me know so I can credit his work.

A beautiful, fabulous build. Mine isn’t quite as nice, and got away from me size-wize, but this build inspired my next terrain piece.

I started with another piece of floor time, and the pile of foam “stones”. Much nonsense ensured as I did some nifty carpentry to make the second floor beams interlock, a fact no one ever will see. Such silliness, But I have to admit it was kind of calming to slowly make all those cuts and fit the wood together.

I built this terrain piece intact, so no shortcuts of missing walls. I decided early on It needed to be completely playable, and each level is separate, plus there are interior walls and floor details. Since I was eyeballing the dimensions off a couple pics from FB, mine grew and grew. The second and third levels are fairly big. Even the fourth floor is decent sized. The fifth floor is more of an attic, but it has a removable roof.

I laid countless floor boards. Made some mistakes. Built what felt like 1000 windows, and slowly made progress. This was really a slow burn. I would work for an hour here and there. Then skip a whole week. It never seemed like I was going to finish, and that was before cutting hundreds of roof tiles. Finally, It was done and ready for paint. Which I won’t lie, was a daunting task. I am still not happy with the stone on the first floor, despite watching too many YouTube videos. But for now, it is done. Oh yeah, it needed fireplaces, right? So I built some of those too. I thought I had measured and cut right so everything fit, but alas, I failed. Since this is a terrain piece for me, I let it be. I added a flickering LED to one fireplace just for fun. Here is a link to it on my YouTube channel. Looks cool. I magnetized the fireplace to the wall so I turn it on and off or replace the battery.

I don’t feel like I have gotten much done over the last six months or so, but looking back on these two builds, I see that I wasn’t completely lazy. And that pic with the fire effect just made my month. So cool.

Now to build like 20 more of these and the Mordheim table will be done!

I did spend some time with other projects. I found this video on Azarek’s Miniatures and Gaming Terrain. Its of an old skull he made to use in his DnD campaign. Well, I needed one of those! I saw it after Halloween, of course, so my Amazon skull arrived via raft from the PRC. I have mine with the ‘skin’ on it now, and need to finish this soon.

A little gross, a lot cool.

I also need to give IRO over at Imperial Rebel Ork a quick shout. He challenged his blog followers to show off some of their favorite t-shirts. So here are a couple of mine. I am a shirt hoarder. I have 100+ in my closet, and two plastic bins in the basement of shirts i refuse to part with. I keep saying I am going to have them made into a quilt. I keep not doing it. These are couple of my favs.

The last bit. I actually painted some models this week. Last week I remembered some used models I had tossed in a Simple Green bath to take the old, crappy paint off. I frequently buy old, OOP GW models for my various WFB armies. Some are decently built models and need a quick scrub and repaint. Some have been painted in industrial paints of unknow origins and take a bit of work to clean them up before repainting. Some are a total disaster and make me question my sanity for buying used models. This batch of 12 was one of the later.

I couldn’t find any presoak pics, but trust me, they were terrible. The paint was globbed on, and of various types. Some were definitely acrylic, and the paint came off ok. The flesh color is still an unknown. After two months in Simple Green and another week in LA’s Totally awesome, it still didn’t come off clean, sticking in between fingers and in eye sockets and ears. One model never did come clean, and stayed black. Although I am not sure it isn’t a resin print/copy of original GW design. I cant decide, and since the black “paint” would not budge, I am leaning to a copy. One model STILL hasn’t shed its colors. Still in LA’s Totally Awesome. I might try a bath in 99% iso next. Good thing it was a standard bearer I didn’t need for this unit. The last model was a one piece archer cast in red plastic on a slotta base. I imagine it is from Hero Quest, though I haven’t bothered to check.

Once the paint was off, I debated binning the lot. Bows and arrows broke, there were mold lines everywhere. One right hand is actually a left hand. They were a mess. Good thing they cost less than a dollar a model… I took them to my work bench to clean up and reassemble and fix. Except for the left hand. The model is holding a big wooden stake in attack position, so despite the anatomical issues, I kept it in place. Once they were all repaired and cleaned up, they got another bath before priming. And then I put paint to brush,. Slowly. And with al the great ability I lack. Here is the newest unit of Middenheimers. Or Middenlanders. I can never keep the color schemes straight. Doesn’t matter, they are Empire troops and Ulric-worshippers, so that’s the important part.

I’m happy with them. Just a quick blast of dullcoat and off to hang out with the rest of thei comrades.

I did print some new models this week. And these might have me happier than any model I have printed yet.

These are multipart models I got from Reptilian Overlords, a small company that makes printable files to fit in with GW products. I bought a set called Mercenaries and Militia STL Set 1. Awesome parts, and plenty of them. I only printed out a couple pieces to test, and I am thrilled. I can build up a unit of lightly armored troops, all with similar breastplates and helmets for a unit I have been trying to build. Now the try part is done, I can make this happen! Stoked. Thrilled. Excited. 3d printing has made this unit a reality. To me, these prints are just as good a quality as any plastics out there, and allow me to print exactly the pieces I want to build these troops. The printer is gonna be busy!

And one last pic before I go. Remember how I told you my Black Series figures are out of the package? This is why. Can’t have this happen if they are trapped in card and plastic.

Until the next.

BG out

Fandoms 2.0

When I wrote my article last week, I had intended to write a bit on one other aspect that people use to enjoy and share their fandoms. In a moment of forgetfulness, or maybe eagerness to get a post out, I failed to mention podcasts. As a quick primer for anyone living in a cave or pulling a Luddite response to the interwebs, here is the dictionary definition.

podcast[ˈpädˌkast]

NOUN a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.

synonyms: program · show · production · presentation · performance · transmission · telecast · videocast · live stream · screening · prog

VERB make (a digital audio file) available as a podcast.

synonyms: transmit · relay · air · beam · send/put out · put on the air/airwaves · show · screen · televise · telecast · videocast · live-stream

I am not sure when I discovered podcasts. Maybe it was back when I was still listening to Coast to Coast AM and George Nory or Art Bell talked about listening to older episodes on a podcast. I was still barely texting at the time, my phone was pretty old by the standards of the day, so I didn’t have instant internet access to look and see what a podcast was. When I finally did check, I decided to give them a try. At first I would download them and load them on my Sansa Fuse mp3 player to listen to at work. Most of the first ones I can recall listening to were gaming related. One of the first was the WWPD News From the Front cast. I was still playing a lot of Flames of War at the time, so it was perfect. Met the hosts once at Fall In! in Lancaster, PA, USA a few years back, and kinda wished we all lived closer. They were really cool guys.

That first dive led to a couple of Dungeons and Dragons casts. One was the very popular Drunks and Dragons. Great games and fun episodes. Some of their episodes are not kid-friendly. You have been warned. There is, of course, the incredible Critical Role. I haven’t listened to this all the way through, but what I have listened to is unbelievably good. I listened to Tabletop Champions for several seasons. There was another set in a very dark world suffering from a blood plague. Not for the faint-hearted, it was pretty good, but I cannot remember the name of that one, or find a bookmark. Maybe one of my readers remembers listening to that one. I haven’t started on the MCDM The Chain, but I am a big fan of Matt Colville’s videos on running DnD games, and will listen to this cast in the future. One last one, that’s short enough to finish quickly, is one a friend does with her DnD group, Bunch O’ Nerds.

Then I discovered that one of my good friends, Justin, was a podcaster. He had a show he hosted with his brother-in-law Marc, and they chatted about all things nerdy. These two have some pretty intense nerd cred. They have been to a bunch of Comic Cons, including the big ones like San Diego and New York, as well as several Star Wars Celebrations. Into books, movies, comic books and more, they discuss may aspects of fandom. A couple years ago they asked me to be a guest on their podcast to discuss table top gaming. Both were interested in it, but didn’t know much about it. so I joined them to discuss the games I played, and especially the games related to Star Wars. Here is a link to that first time I ever appeared on a podcast. And you can check out the Credible Nerds here.

Podcasts allow fans to share their thoughts on nearly any aspect of a fandom. Book and movie reviews, criticisms, re-watch thoughts and more. I find them a great way to hear the thoughts and ideas about my fandoms from other fans. we don’t all have someone to sit down and talk about our favorite movies, books, or games. Some of us live nearly in a gaming vacuum at times, and a podcast is the only link beyond painting miniatures, reading or watching our favorite movies. With my son not living at home anymore, and my daughter too busy to stop and enjoy a game very often, I’m one of those folk. I build and paint and plan and shop, but mostly alone. I do take a few minutes to chat gaming and models and RPGs when I am in my FLGS, but that is the extent of my human contact.

Forums are great, but the delay in response and not hearing the voice of the others there leaves a little to be desired. On a podcast you can hear the excitement and enthusiasm for something whatever they are talking about. Or, hear the bitter tears of disappointment if something doesn’t match expectations. For my fandom, podcasts are an important part. There are a nearly limitless amount of podcasts addressing all angles of fandom, allowing everyone to find something to enjoy.

If you read my last post, you are probably asking, so podcasts yeah, but what about Star Wars podcasts? To be honest, I only listen to two currently. While I know there are tons of offerings out there, I only recently started listening to these two. The first is Rebel Force Radio. One of the longest running Star Wars casts, it might also be the best. come on, they’ve had Dave Filoni as a guest! The other is Aggressive Negotiations, part of the Nerd Party collection of podcasts.

I can be honest, I am behind on all the rest of the podcasts I usually listen to. That’s because last year I discovered Owl Post, a Harry Potter podcast where the hosts go through the books chapter by chapter. Once I found it, it was the only podcast I listened to. Now that I am caught up, I have to wait a for new episodes to post. And I have time to listen to my other favorites.

Along with podcasts, I spend an awful lot of time on YouTube with some video playing. Most of my subscriptions are to gaming and hobby channels. I wonder what the first channel I subscribed to was? I have 93 subscriptions now, and still, most of them are hobby-related.

Crafting channels get a fair bit of watching time. From Black Magic Craft, to Real Terrain Hobbies, Geek Gaming Scenics, Eric’s Hobby Workshop, Luke Towan, The Terrain Tutor, Bard’s Craft and Wyloch’s Armory I watch a bunch. I’ve learned so many techniques and tips from these crafting masters. I wouldn’t have even attempted a terrain piece without their help.

DnD channels occupy more of my watching time. Dungeon Dudes might be my favorite. Kelly and Monty rank, rate, explain and give tips on all aspects of Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition. Being a first time Dungeon Master, I find their explanations extremely helpful. I also enjoy Dael’s interesting take on rules and game play at Monarch’s Factory She has some cool ideas about how to play that don’t actually change the rules. I think the only other one I watch regularly is WASD20. There are several others that I’ll watch when I have a particular question, but I find those with YouTube searches versus subscribing.

There you have it, two more parts of the vast world of fandom. What podcasts and YouTube channels do you find interesting or helpful? Let me know in the comments, because obviously i need more to listen to and watch!

PS: While searching for a link in the deep pit of unorganized bookmarks i have, I found this link. I had forgotten about this little bit of fan fiction and Calvin and Hobbes, and figured someone might enjoy it. Tissues ready. It’s that good.

Calvin and Hobbes: at the end

BG out

Fandoms

Fandoms.

It’s a word I hadn’t heard before I started listening to a Harry Potter podcast (Owl Post for those interested.) I instantly knew what the speaker was trying to convey. Fandom. The entirety of things around a series of books, movies or tv shows. The series is the main focus, but also includes all the fan fiction, fan art, official books, unofficial books, conventions, forums, and more. All of it falls under the term fandom.

For some series, that is a lot of stuff! One of my primary fandoms is Star Wars. The sheer quantity of things produced in the Star Wars universe and fandom is unimaginably vast. There are more books than one person could own. Even though there are only 11 official movies (Stop it. The Christmas Special and the Droids movie are NOT official…), there are tons of other media and products in this vast universe. From a bunch of behind the scenes and documentaries on Star Wars, to an episode of The Toys That Made Us (a Netflix series on the toys and their development) there is a load of visual media. In addition to the movies there are three fantastic animated series and at least one animated movie. Books have been printed, comic book series published, toys made in quantity. Board games, table top games, computer and console games from a dozen publishers. So many things I can barely keep up.

I can’t really discuss the books much, as I have only read two trilogies and a handful of other books. I got soured on a terrible trilogy while I was in the Army. It was horrible. So very bad. But there was a distinct lack of options at the time, and there were three books which helped pass the time. But they were so bad It was roughly 15 years before I picked up another Star Wars novel. I have several waiting to be read, but for the last year or so I have not read much. I will read them eventually.

Alongside the movies and books, the next biggest part of this fandom, for me at least, is the music. In fact, while I am typing this my daughter is playing Burying the Dead from the Season 7 Clone Wars soundtrack on the piano. My car doesn’t have a cd player, but does have a USB port that has a thumb drive plugged in with around 2,000 songs on it. And of those are six disks of the extended soundtracks from the original trilogy, plus Rogue One, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi soundtracks. So not many days go by without a Stars Wars tune playing. No opening theme can beat John Williams’ Main Title. It will never get old, and will always trigger fantastic memories. There are so many iconic themes in the music of Star Wars. Every fan recognizes Luke’s Theme. Leia’s Them and the Imperial March. My Dad heart swells with pride when my daughter catches Boba Fett’s Theme in a brief sequence of notes. Or when she plays a variety of themes from across the saga. The music is so iconic, and so powerful.

The other media, of course, is the huge range of computer and console games. I’ve never been much of an electronic gamer. I do remember playing X-Wing on the computer back in the 1990s. For all the limitations of computers at the time, it was a fun game. Later I played Rogue Squadron (for Game Cube) on my kids’ Wii. It was just as much fun, but the controller that replaced the joystick was harder to master. My kids are pretty big console gamers, with Battlefront 2, Jedi: Fallen Order and Squadrons getting their fair share of X-Box time. I have played a bit of Battlefront 2 and enjoyed it. I just don’t have the mind to remember all the buttons. There are so many buttons!

Beyond all the media there are the toys and collectibles. If you get lost in the books, good luck with the toys. From the original Kenner line form the last 1970s, to the super detailed Vintage Series today, they are 44 years of very cool toys. Like a fool, I sold all my original toys right after I graduated high school. My brother’s friend was a collector and he wanted what I had. I was growing up and didn’t see the value in keeping the toys around. My dad asked me pointedly “What if Star Wars comes back? What if your kids like Star Wars?” My reply was simple and short-sighted ‘There isn’t going to be more Star Wars”.  Wow, was I ever wrong? Star Wars came roaring back, and both my kids LOVE Star Wars.

When I was at Star Wars Celebration IX in 2019, I was blown away by the number of toys and collectibles there were. Stuff I had no idea existed. Model kits. Helmets. Light sabers. Action figures. Model kits of action figures. Legos. Comics. Art. So many things! You could spend thousands just to get started. I kept saying I wasn’t going to buy anything save the one board game I bought, but I faltered in my will power and ended up with a Boba Fett figure from the Black Series of 6” figures. Just one figure couldn’t hurt, right?

Ha! Boba needed friends. And I started a new side hobby. More than 350 figures have been released, so I quickly realized this not a place to get crazy and try for them all. With each fig costing at least $20, the simple math is too much for me. Then I had to factor in that I was jumping in six years after the first release, so many were unavailable except on the secondary market. And some of those prices were insane. I still have a few figures I really want but refuse to pay the price people are asking on eBay. $150 for one figure? I will take a hard pass. I did go over my budget for a couple. I won’t lie. My daughter has a couple favorite characters and I paid good money for those particular figs. One even traveled from Japan because I couldn’t find a better deal on this side of the Pacific.

I looked over all the available figs and came up with a list of the ones I wanted. I started with my favorite characters, then a few of the Bad Guys. Classics like storm troopers and TiE pilots. I had settled on just the Original Trilogy figures, but looking at a few outside those movies, it expanded to a set from all 11 movies. Then the Mandalorian, too. I am down to the end. I only need about 20 figures, and then I will call it complete. Unfortunately, a couple I want are very hard to get. At least at a price I am willing to pay. I want a display cabinet (or two) for them, but Ikea has been out of the one I want for months. Big disclaimer. I open my figs. And maybe I play with them. My daughter enjoys posing them for me. A couple weeks back I found Anakin and Padme locked in a tender embrace. Geez. So embarrassing for all the rest of the figs not in a relationship!

Beyond the Black series figures, another interest in Star Wars is gaming. Table top gaming to be exact. I’ve mentioned before my love for two of Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars games, X-Wing and Armada. Besides the awesomely cool painted minis, the games play so well and let me experience fighter and capital ship combat with all the ships, large and small, from the Star Wars universe. Even those collections are nearing their ends. I have all the ships I need to play huge games. And I have most of the ships I know or recognize. I need a few to fill out the Sequel Trilogy fleets, and more droid ships for the Prequels/Clone Wars, then I’ll be done with X-Wing. I got into Armada later than X-Wing, so I don’t have very many ships. Couple that with the higher price point for Armada ships and it’s a harder collection to complete. I would play X-Wing every day if I had time and opponents. There is something super cool about pushing X-Wings and TiEs around asteroid belts and having Han and the Falcon come zooming in. Or playing the sound of a seismic charge REALLY loud when Jango or Boba drops one in game. All those times you wished you were in the cockpit of a Star Wars ship? This is your chance.

Two of my favorite board games are Star Wars games. Both are published by Fantasy Flight Games. Rebellion and Outer Rim are two incredibly fun games. My only problem with Rebellion is it is only a two-player game. But what a game it is! Playing as either the Empire or the Rebellion, both sides are vying for power across the galaxy while building up forces to move against the enemy. Control planets, build a Death Star (or 3) and send key characters to bolster attacks or defenses. It is a ton of fun and I highly recommend it. Outer Rim is a four-player game where each player is a scoundrel in the Outer Rim. Avoiding patrols from the Empire, Rebellion, Black Sun Cartel and the Hutts is only part of the strategy. Each player is attempting to gain fame points to become the most feared bounty hunter in the Outer Rim. Run jobs, deliver cargo, and hunt bounties in an attempt to gain that fame. You can gather crew, upgrade or replace your ship, and pick up tools to help in your tasks. You can avoid interactions with the other players for the most part. Until someone has a crew member you have a bounty on. Great fun. Better than Rebellion. If you like Stars Wars and board games, run out and pick this game up.

Conventions, or Cons, are a huge aspect of being a fan for some people. Comic-Cons always have Star Wars collectibles for sale. They nearly always have some cast member taking pictures or signing autographs. And there are always the cosplayers representing their favorite characters. I have only been to two cons that weren’t strictly for tabletop gaming. Both were very enjoyable, and I hope to go again. A comic-con in Indianapolis Illinois, USA was my first non-gaming con and I was blown away. The cosplayers were incredible. Such attention to detail and well-made costumes. The artists producing art for sale were so talented. We have a couple very cool Star Wars art pieces now. There were no forums with Star Wars celebrities, but based off the two we attended (James and Oliver Phelps and Sean Astin) any forum with a Star Wars actor would be worth it. We even stood in line to meet the Phelps brothers and get a picture taken with them. They are simply cooler than words. They were so gracious in the time we had with them. I’d love to hang out with them and play some games or cards, or just joke around. Two of the coolest people I have ever met. Then I had one of the defining moments of my nerd life. One of my best friends invited me to Star Wars Celebration IX in Chicago Illinois, USA. The anticipation was more than I imagined. And the opening day was unlike anything I had ever experienced. Tens of thousands of fans of a single fandom were gathered to celebrate everything Star Wars. I’ve never seen so many cosplayers in Rebel flight suits or storm trooper armor. In fact, I didn’t know that many existed! The vendor stalls, the forums, the actors, the life-size X-Wing and TiE fighter. Everything. We attended a forum with all the main actors from Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. It was amazing. My fav? Billy Dee Williams. When he strolled onstage the feeling was electric. Just being in the same room with all of them was a nerd’s dream come true. Hearing them discuss their experiences making the films was beyond cool. Then we were privileged to be the first to see the trailer for episode IX. The cast left the stage and the lights dropped. The trailer ran and when, spoiler alert, the Emperor was heard laughing at the end of the trailer the room sat in stunned silence. Dim red lights came up on the stage and a lone, robed figure, walked onstage. It was impossible to see who it was until he raised his microphone and spoke one line in the deep, guttural voice of the Darth Sidious: “Play it again.” The place erupted. Ian McDiarmid, the Emperor himself, was onstage. Incredible. Such a treat to be there for. I can never thank my friend enough for allowing me to experience that.

The television series are also deep in my fandom. The Mandalorian is one of my all-time favorite tv shows, and the time between seasons is a real challenge! I am slowly working through the animated series The Clone Wars. The main reason is I am trying to drag out my experience is since there are years before any more feature films are released, I need to ration what I haven’t seen to make it last. After Clone Wars I will definitely watch Rebels. And most likely watch Rebellion, even though the other main fan in the house isn’t big on Rebellion.

All that leads back to the reason there is a fandom for Star Wars in the first place. The movies. Mr. Lucas gave us a glimpse into a galaxy far, far away way back in 1977. I am pretty sure he had no idea his space opera would lead to this incredible fandom. Although I could never pick a favorite movie, A New Hope will always be in my personal Top Five Favs. I don’t recall exactly when I first saw it, but I cannot recall a time before I saw it either. I believe I have seen all the rest of the 11 movies in the theater. I have no distinct memories of Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi on the big screen, so I made sure I saw all three Original Trilogy movies when the special editions were re-released. I saw all eight of the other movies the first week of release, if not the first day. I saw Solo three times on the big screen, breaking a long-standing personal rule of never buying a movie ticket more than once. I usually watch the entire saga once a year. At least. The movies are the most important part of the fandom for me. The sets. The ships. The costumes. The characters. The planets and cultures. There is so much eye candy in every shot. The original special effects are legendary and still hold up today. All of my favorite space ships come from Star Wars. Most of my favorite villains do as well. And my all-time favorite fictional weapon is from Star Wars. Do I even need to say it? The lightsaber. Seriously, is there anyone who wouldn’t love a real lightsaber? How else I am I going to cut my way into the villain’s blast door-protected lair? Strangely, I do not have a good replica in my collection. Probably because part of my brain knows that one would not be enough. Two would not either. Probably not even three. So, none it is.

I hope you are still with me through this dive into one fandom. One I hold dear. Yet, there are more. I am a fan of the Lord of the Rings. In book, movie and music, this fandom comes closest to my love of Star Wars. The themes of loyalty and honor resonate deeply with me. I really like the Firefly series and all the attendant parts. Malcom Reynolds could fly right into a Star Wars scene and no one would bat an eye. I even have a great board game to go with it. I really like the Marvel and DC Cinematic Universes. For me it’s mostly the movies. I enjoy a good graphic novel now and again, and occasionally read a comic compilation from the library. There is simply too much to keep track of, so I limit myself to the movies. And tv. WandaVision was great, and I am looking forward to the other series planned. My last fandom would have to be as a fan of Games Workshop models and games. No surprise there. Multiple previous posts have been about my, um, obsession? I am looking forward to some official tv and animated offerings from the GW universe. In particular the Eisenhorn series. If it is half as good as the books, I will have a new entry in my tv favorites list.

There you have it. My look at fandoms. Another post will delve into why these fandoms are so popular with so many. I’d love to hear what fandoms you hold dear. What specific universes, or general genres do you feel drawn to? What parts of those fandoms do you explore? And why are you drawn to those fandoms? What is it in those particular book, movie, tv or comic series that you find interesting? Please, fill the comment sections, I truly want to know what you love in all the great fandoms out there.

BG out