I have taken a rest from uploading all the IABSM After Action Reports in order to load up the galleries of my figure collections for both Charlie Don't Surf and Quadrant 13. You can navigate to them using the Navigation Bar, above, or by clicking here for the CDS galleries or here for the Q13 galleries.
Doing this has thrown up a couple of things to action:
1. I need to go back and properly 'fill in' my Q13 sci-fi armies. I have too many that have a few core units completed but lack either command figures, especially overall Company commanders; Specialists; and support units, especially aircraft and AA assets.
This is, I think, mostly due to figure availability - how many 15mm sci-fi ranges include more than one command figure and any AA assets - but is also down to my tendency to get distracted by the opportunity to start new, shiny sci-fi armies rather than complete the ones I have. Not something that happens with my WW2 armies...so maybe it's a sci-fi thing!
2. I need to take better pictures. This new, Squarespace website is really good at displaying pictures, it's one of the reasons I chose it: the only problem being that the pictures therefore need to be of a better quality in order to do the site justice.
What this also means is that I need to find a way of taking pictures that are consistent with each other (i.e. all have the same background etc.) even if they are consistent only at army level rather than for my collection as a whole. This leads on to (3)...
3. I need to set up a permanent photography station somewhere in the man-cave. The galleries where I have photographed a whole army in one go, and added nothing to it since then, look good...but what most consist of is a core of units photographed in one go, then a whole series of individually photographed units against a variety of backgrounds added as they are painted.
This means a place with good, natural lighting; a permanent background screen; markings for where the figures need to go for the right focus etc. As always, I know the theory, and can get the detail from several useful bogs and web articles about photographing figures, but don't have the time to actually do what I need to do!
So that's a few things thrown up by re-loading just the CDS and Q13 galleries, but some of you might be asking why I have with the galleries anyway: lots of war gamers don't bother.
Well, there are several reasons for the galleries.
One is that I like looking at pictures of my figures: and I make no apologies for that. Obviously if the house was on fire I'd save my children before my figures...but don't ask me where the wife fits in to the list!
That was a joke, my dear, just in case you're reading this.
The second is that the galleries are a good way of seeing what I've got. I have about 15,000 15mm figures, all catalogued, but the galleries are a quick short cut to see what units I have and what's missing. If I can't remember if I have SdKfz 221s or 222s; or whether the ones I have are painted for early war, late war or for the desert, then the galleries are a quick way of looking.
Finally, it's good to look at my figures and compare them to those painted by the experts (Piers Brand, War Painter etc). Mine aren't up to that standard, but seeing what they produce (both photography and the painting itself) inspires me to improve what I do...and if you aren't improving, you're dying!