I did a very little bit more painting on the Orcs tonight, and I should be done with the skin basecoat by early October at the earliest. Then I can move on to highlighting the skin and painting everything else.
My wife is getting a sewing machine for her birthday, and tonight she asked me what I want for my birthday. There is a world of possibility opening up to me as I think about all of the possibilities. Assuming that my birthday budget is roughly equal to her sewing machine budget, there are a number of things I could ask for. I could finish my Skaven army off and have some money left over for a few more Orcs. I could buy a fair number of Space Marines. I could buy a Foundry Horde (Pirates, Old West, or maybe Gladiators). Or I could purchase most, if not all, of the miniatures I need for my WWII Eastern Front 6mm Skirmish project. At the moment the WWII project seems most exciting, as I can pick up Games Workshop stuff pretty much any time I have a little cash. The Foundry Hordes are neat, but I should really wait for a big sale where I can hopefully get two Hordes for the price of one or some such.
The WWII minis excite me on several levels. Part of it is nostalgia. My first exposure to the world of miniature wargaming was in third grade when I checked a book out of the school library entitled "Miniature Wargaming." It was part of one of those series for kids that feature a variety of short books detailing different hobbies. I have tried with no success to locate this book, and I suspect it is long out of print and forgotten. In the back of the book was the address for GHQ Miniatures, and I sent them a letter requesting a catalog. The catalog was a booklet containing several pages of product codes and short descriptions divided up by time period and country. At the top of each page there were pictures of some of the models. I went through the catalog and highlighted all of the miniatures I wanted to buy. As I read history books or came across photos of vehicles that looked neat, I would go back to my catalog to see if GHQ produced them. Soon there were very few models in the catalog that weren't highlighted. I ordered another catalog, and this new catalog was the same format as the last, but featured new pictures at the top of the pages and several new vehicle listings, which I promptly highlighted. Over the next several years I repeated the process of ordering and highlighting the GHQ catalogs.
At some point in my teens I went to the local Hobbytown and saw some Micro Armour packs hanging on the pegs. I ran over with great excitement to find a bunch of M113s and engineer vehicles. What a letdown. Those packs are still hanging on the pegs at Hobbytown, in a forgotten corner by the model rockets.
What all this leads up to is that I have a long personal history with GHQ, even though I have never actually made a miniatures purchase from them. I would like to change that by purchasing the forces for my WWII project. My only problem with that is that I will have the minis, but lack the reference materials for painting the figures and the terrain materials for playing the scenarios. I suspect that I can find decent enough painting references online and make due with makeshift terrain until I build up my collection, but as I am playing the WWII games solo with no real time constraints I want to make it all look very nice and polished, perhaps going to the extreme of building an individual terrain board for each scenario.
Unofficially I am quite attached to the WWII skirmish idea as my birthday gift, but officially I am still thinking about it.