Tuesday, December 30, 2014

An ammunition box prop / magnetised figure case for my 6mm ACW

This has been long in the making. When I started doing my 6mm ACW collection I did magnetic bases for them with the plan of having a carrying case with metal trays you could stick the figures on. Last summer, after finishing most of the figures I plan to do, I started work on the carrying case. I wanted it to look like an ammunition box from the American Civil War, so it could double as a prop item at games instead of the usual pile of empty cardboard boxes. Reference material was easy to find, as well as instructions by re-enactor groups on how to build one.

I chose not to paint or stain the box. I suppose a lot of them were produced cheaply with whatever wood was on hand. I guess the colour will change over time depending on where I keep it. The stenciling was a pain in the ass to do, as cutting the stencil was quite time consuming. The letters are painted on, not burned ;)

I had to make a couple of anachronistic concessions. A real box wouldn't have latches like that, but the lid would be nailed shut. Obviously that wouldn't do so I used a couple of modern latches.

The screws holding the box together are Philips screws. These didn't exist during the American civil war. I looked and looked from hardware stores but couldn't find any slotted screws! Weird. Well, I suppose I can always replace the screws once I find some.

Now then, let's crack her open!

The box fits five trays that stack neatly inside. The trays have wooden sides, a metal plate bottom and leather straps to lift the trays by. I'm determined to learn how to do my own woodworking and a project such as this is good practice as the result doesn't need to be perfect. After all, it's an ammunition box, not a dining room table!

There you have it. The trays hold my collection firmly in place and there's still room for some additions if I want to do some. The only thing I'd add if I would start over is have enough room for a side compartment holding rulebooks, dice and markers. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The darkest of days

It's winter solstice and Finland is basking in light at 9AM like you can see:

My home is some 500 kilometers south of the polar circle so the sun does peek above the horizon today but only for about five hours. The dark period, called "kaamos" by the finns is known to cause melancholy and depression because of the extended lack of sun. I'm just happy we got plenty of snow in the last couple of days. Having a white Christmas was not a sure thing a couple of weeks ago.

Anyways, I have some wargames related stuff in the works even though I've been quite busy at work these last months (my own course to lecture, a conference in Kuwait and a brief teaching exchange to Mozambique, no less!). I'll try and finish some of that before the year ends so my score for painted minis for the year won't be quite as embarrassing! ;)