Sunday, 3 January 2016

The 'Nostalgia' Theme Round is Live & Curt's 'Zarg the Terrible'

Zarg the Terrible
Well, that took a bit longer than I expected, my apologies. Nonetheless, better late than never and with that our first Theme Round 'Nostalgia' is now up on the Bonus Theme page. I invite you all to get yourself a drink, something to nibble on and head over to enjoy the gallery. As with all our Theme Rounds the entries are very fun to read and more than of a few will make you pause for a bit. Yes, they are that good.

After you've looked at all the entries please take the time to vote for your favourites. You can vote for as many as you like so don't feel like you have to be stingy.

I know this year's themes have thrown a few of you for a loop, but I wanted to challenge you to step back, think and imagine different approaches to the themes. This week's theme of Nostalgia' was put forward as I knew it would provide a series of personal vignettes and reminiscences that we often don't get to see in each others' various blogs. As such, you will find several stories that are quite touching in this round.

As to myself, I ran into an old girlfriend this past summer. Her name is Lois-Anna. Actually Lois-Anna is not just an 'old girlfriend', she was my first girlfriend, my first girlfriend at the very tender age of 16. 

We made arrangements to meet for coffee, and a few weeks later had a nice time together, reminiscing about old friends and good times gone by. Just as we were about to part she gave me an envelope that contained a few Polaroids from when we were together.  In amongst the photos was one of me wearing a cheesy pair of Foster Grants, posing behind a mushroom-topped stump with a trio of little lead miniatures atop it. They were in fact the first miniatures I had ever painted. I was speechless. I had completely forgotten that this photo had ever been taken and it made me laugh aloud.

'Zarg' in the red circle. I'll pass on the sunglasses but gosh, I wish I still had that hair... ;)

I'll give you a little context to this photo. I was raised in  a very, very small town in northern Saskatchewan, where the nearest hobby store was around 120 miles away. My best friend Gary and I mail ordered our 1st edition Players Handbooks, DM's Guide, Monster Manual and several lead miniatures direct from TSR in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  When they arrived it was like Christmas in summer. I was so excited to paint the figures that I used enamel car paint from my dad's shop and my mom's toothpicks and push-pins to apply it to the figures. Yup. Pretty primitive I know, but sometimes you just can't beat raw enthusiasm.  


After I got the photo from Louise I spent an afternoon searching through my lead shed and managed to find my character figure - the very same as in the photo. Yes, 'Zarg the Terrible' emerged in all his glory. (It's funny, even back then I was a complete cynic as I came up with his name as a tongue-in-cheek reference to my ability as a player.)  Anyway, poor Zarg had not weathered the intervening 33 years very well, so I didn't even bother to photograph him as I found him.  Rather I just brushed away the paint (yes, the 'benefits' of high lead content and absolutely no primer) and began afresh. So, here he is, 'Zarg the Terrible' in all his splendor, painted by a middle-aged version of that boy from 1982. 


Sarah wanted a picture as a 'before and after'

34 comments:

  1. Great story, cool fig and I approve of the recent haircut. Thanks Curt

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    1. Thanks Martin, on all accounts! :0)

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  2. You were rocking those sunglasses Curt!

    I can't believe you still have that figure, but not the luxurious head of hair. Do we lose a strand for every mini we paint?

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    1. Chr*st, I should stop now while I still have some thatching. :)

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  3. Brilliant story and just been taking a browse of the entries, excellent choice of round!

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    1. Thanks Mark, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  4. Fantastic Curt! Great story and figure. I wish I had the first ones I ever painted, but they belonged to somebody else.

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  5. Great backstory to this submission, but shouldn't it be over on the theme rounds blog? Or are you not participating in that this year?

    There are definitely some great entries in there and the master architect of vignettes has struck again :)

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    1. No, I'm going to keep myself out of the voting (but I'll still take the bonus points) :)

      Yes, there are lots of treats in the bonus round - yours included!

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  6. Curt

    Not all of us lose hairs every time we paint. Cool backstory and loving the entries. But now I feel REALLY old with all the GW Bieber, as everyone else's golden days are my time when I thought the hobby went to hell in a hand basket over some new trend. It's like I showed up at a Bieber concert expecting Leonard Cohen!
    Cheers, PD

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  7. Hoq time flies!

    A wonderful story that lead to this bonus round and an excellent entry you prepared.

    I'm looking forward to browsing the whole gallery this afternoon. I've seen a couple of interesting pieces on first sight.

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  8. Just hilarious dude. Well done.

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  9. > I ran into an old girlfriend this past summer
    Crikey, I hope she wasn't hurt badly!

    Great story Curt and one I've kind of experienced myself. I also found my very first D&D character not long ago (coincidentally a wizard) and repainted him. I used the same colours and scheme, just applied my current skills and techniques. I can't remember his name though unfortunately.

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  10. Great story, made me laugh regards the paint and brushes LOL

    Ian

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  11. Bonus points for the period photo! We deserve to know about the Lois-Anna-Curt story!

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  12. An absolutely first-class entry Curt and a genuinely heart-warming tale behind it too. Great idea for a themed round imho and you've really set the standard with both your mini and backstory. Many thanks for sharing.

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  14. Man, while the miniatures in this theme round are very good indeed; it's definitely the stories that grip me each and every time! Great stuff and thanks heaps for sharing!

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  15. When I first read the theme for this round it really made me wonder, but then I thought that it had to be something that brought us participant back to the good old days.
    I love the fact that the others thought the same and it gave us something to go back to. For me it was an absolute joy to paint a Battletech mini again after more than 15 years (although I could never imagine getting joy from painting 500 of them again).

    And I love the story behind your minis. It actually gave me a bit of nostalgia too, as I had to remember a friend of mini you used to paint his minis using syringes and actually got marvelous results from it.

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  16. Wow.. nice story to go with this theme.. now I am curious what stories you have sitting around for the others :)


    Also glad to see that I was not the only one to go back down memory lane for a model though.. now to go and check out the rest of them!

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  17. Nostalgia is such a personal thing. Cool figure though.

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  18. Good story, and I like Zarg the no longer Terrrible.

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  19. As always a stunningly painted figure and something truly nostalgic. I wish I still had my first ever painted figure. If I remember correctly it was a plastic Space Marine and got seriously damaged while I tried to figure out how to strip paint from plastic. Well... Aceton definitely isn't the way to go. Will have a look through all the entries once I'm safe on my couch.

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  20. A great entry Curt in both the figure and the background behind it. My first figures were Ral Partha for D&D right about the same time as you 81/82 in Minneapolis MN. Sadly, I don't have the figures any longer. My first wargaming figures were the plastic space marines with the beaked nose when they first came out and those are also gone. Ah well still have the memories.

    Christopher

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  21. Cracking paint job. Wish I had photos of my first figures - I have to rely on memory which is never the safest!

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  22. Now that IS a back story... Question is how good are Zargs powers after all those pent up years of neglect

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  23. Ah what an amazing story. With that photo and the mini still present to rise gloriously - you must have quite a hoarding habit. Nostalgia indeed.

    As for the hair, perhaps I should grow mine out in honour, just to show that some of us challengers still can ;-)

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  24. Great memories Curt. It must have been a lot of fun to paint a figure with such a lot of personal history attached to it.

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  25. Nostalgia...don't know if I appreciate the mini or the before and after photos more! ;)
    Very fine work, and a very sumptuous blue.
    I used Testors enamel paints...gloss, my old lead looks more like technicolor blobs! ;)

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  26. This was a great read and introduction to the nostalgia round. I have spent a large part of the evening reading all the entries and admiring the painting and excellent ideas for the nostalgia theme. I missed the deadline with my figures and am now further behind schedule!

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