July 22, 2012

Historicon 2012

Bill Moreno's impressive Battle of Fredericksburg in 10mm
On Saturday my mom and I took a trip to Historicon 2012, the annual Historical Miniatures Gaming Society summer convention. I presented my talk on "Introduction to the Railroads of the Civil War." The day was relatively cool so I wore my Union Brigadier general's costume. I did not bring any of the trains to display. The talk was well attended, and I suppose well received, though few folks laughed at my jokes.

Nice small scale ACW era ships
After the talk John Drye, the Convention Director, took me on a tour of the event. I used to be a regular attendee to this convention when I was an active gamer. I had not been to it in nearly twenty years. I must say I was floored by how big the show has grown. Over three thousand folks had signed up by Saturday morning and the registration line was 50 deep by lunch time.

There were many games going on in the huge convention space, with WWII seeming to be the most popular, especially the World in Flames series. I wandered around and saw some neat games and I include some photos here.

I also meet a lot of old friends and gaming buddies  including Dana Lombardy, Larry Bond, Chris Carlson, Bill Lewis, and Bill Rutherford. I also had a brief chance to meet some new folks including manufacturers of the figures I use including Chris from Sash and Sabre,  and Jeff from Old Glory. Greg Scott of GHQ and I discussed ACW modeling in N Scale and how it may improve once some decent engines are available.

I also got to meet James Albrigtht of the Orphan Brigade Painting Service, the guy who has been painting figures for me. He had a batch of ninety 28mm Reneda and Perry figures ready for me to pick up. I had previously sent them to him to paint earlier in the year through John.
Bill Moreno from Miami, Fl hosted a 10mm game of Fredericksburg with dedicated terrain boards.
They were very nicely done.  He apparently has many of these boards for
different scenarios filling his garage.
A close up of Moreno's terrain
Miller's Cornfield, Antietam

28mm Battle of Alma. It looked cool, but the scenario looked somewhat bleak- a frontal attack
up a fortified rocky hill.


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On Sunday, my younger brother, Marco,visited. We did a small op session running a train from Brooke  to Falmouth. We then switched out some cars at Falmouth and Stoneman's and headed back to Brooke. The layout ran well. 

Ninety more soldiers for the layout. These will  depict a unit marching and one skirmish drilling.


One of my flat cars has been troublesome. We noticed that the brake linkage was interfering with the frame. A washer on each truck screw to raise the body solved the problem. 

I am gradually modifying all my couplers to remove the internal backing plate. With the long links I am using, by removing the backing plate, the cars are able to push coupler face to couple face. We noticed that on tight curves with the backing plate in, the links can bind. The backing plates help when inserting the link as it prevents the link from sliding into the coupler.

Marco suggested setting up a temporary staging track at Aquia to start more formal operation sessions. I have been considering this as I think begining operating might be a good objective for the winter.

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