So after the Freeblades game on Saturday, I had about a 3 hour break then it was off to Lord of the Rings "March to Mount Doom Madness". While I have no complaints about the tournament (nor pictures, as the tournie ran late), I couldn't help but notice that the participation for anything LOTR has basically come to a stand still. Most of the regulars who attend the LOTR tournies at Adepticon were mysteriously absent and the vendors were shocked anytime anyone bought anything LOTR related which was both good and bad. Good because I got things at a crazy discount, bad because the game is hitting an all time new low. Even when the game became stagnant right before the warband rules came out people were atleast still playing and enjoying it. Now, I'm not even seeing that. In all honesty, it's such a great system yet I think the root cause for it's failing is GW's lack of support and high price-tag.
When I first got into GW's LOTR:SBG, I could pick up 24 guys for $33, now anything new you get 10 guys for $40. Mathematically, we originally payed 0.72 cents a model, now were paying $4 a model. If my math is correct, that's a 555.56% increase in price on basic troops. Hero characters we're around $15 depending on who you bought. Now they run the gambit of $20 to $75. LOTR/The Hobbit SBG introduced so many people to the hobby because it was something they knew due to the Peter Jackson movies and even though it was a little expensive, you could buy a box or two and a hero for under $100 and have a decent force to play with. With the jacking up of the prices, even those who are both interested in the movie and the hobby are now hesitant to shell $300-$400 down on something they're not sure they'll even like.
I understand that there is no support for the game because nobody buys anything LOTR/The Hobbit, but at the same time, nobody buys anything LOTR/The Hobbit because there is no support for the game. It's a catch 22, the chicken or the egg kind of conundrum.
Needless to say, I had a revelation after Adepticon about my future with LOTR/The Hobbit SBG. While I'm not going to jump ship and abandon my beloved game, I am going to take a step back from it. I think it may be time to concentrate my hobby time into other realms for awhile and add a few more games to my collection. I have a large Warhammer army that's ready for paint. I have a decent amount of Space Wolves for a 40k army, Saga looks highly appealing to me, and the LOTR/The Hobbit SBG crowd in my area has moved over to Bolt Action. So there are plenty of things to paint. Like I said earlier, I have no intentions on abandoning the SBG game, but this whole revelation has got me thinking about the future of SBG.
In any case, here is my latest and greatest mini all painted up.
So I got this guy for $2 from the Reaper booth at Adepticon. He's part of the "Bones" series of miniatures that takes they're normal metal miniature and casts them in a soft plastic material, retaining most (if not all) of the detail. While I didn't see any miscasts or air bubbles, the mold lines on this material is quite difficult to fix via conventional methods that most of us are used to. I normally take the back of my hobby knife and scrape away the mold lines. Since this is a soft plastic, doing that doesn't work too well and if you try and use the blade part of your hobby knife you risk damaging the miniature. I found using a conventional hobby file works good for those irregular mold lines in odd places on the model, but you have to be extremely careful with it. You'll notice the cut on his face on the left side. That was a mold line I tried to fix but didn't quite get it, so I improvised and gave him a battle gash on the side of his head to cover up the apparent line.
All in all, I think he turned out quite well. Like I said before, the Bones soft plastic material holds detail very well for a very cheap price. The downside is prepping the mini for paint. I guess you get what you pay for.
So that's it for Adepticon for this year for me. I look forward to next year.