Tom’s Camel Has Wifi

datetime April 16, 2014 8:22 PM


People really need to think harder about when they decide to be born.

Gdaybloke, for example, was born right after New Year’s. This was a terrible decision, because it means that when his birthday rolls around, I’m just winding down from my holiday gift model production and in the last desperate weeks of Templecon model production. This leaves little to no time for any additional projects to be added to my docket, and as a result, Gday’s best-case scenario is an IOU; worst case, it’s a “Sorry, maybe next time you should try to hold out a little longer in the womb.”

He wouldn’t even need to wait that long in there– four months would do it. See, Templecon is in early February, and then I usually collapse in exhaustion for a month or so afterward. March is largely spent planning the next year’s project list and attending to various small projects I’ve had to put off for the sake of the November-Through-February meat grinder.

But April? April just works. I’m relaxed from my post-TCon break and not yet buried in brand-new projects, which I generally save for warmer months. If I have a random whim to knock a model together in April, I can generally pull it off with little to no collateral damage to my schedule.

And that is why I must dole out rare praise to my perpetual cab passenger, Tom. By nearly any rational accounting, Tom has proven to be an utter waste of the biological, financial, and nutritional resources his parents deigned to invest in him. To call his long-term and day-to-day decision-making “questionable” would be an act of abject charity. Yet in spite of all that, when it came time to make the one decision that mattered, Tom chose wisely.

Displaying a level of clarity that he would utterly abandon in all the years that would follow, Tom burst forth into the world on a day that would, decades later, place him in the ideal position for collecting Spudgiftery year after year after year. When April rolls around, Spud is feeling renewed and ready to commit unrepentant acts of creation. And Tom, most generously, is always standing there, palm upturned, waiting to receive them.


datetime March 27, 2014 8:53 PM


There has been a further development.

“Mr. Spud,” he pleaded, “you have to sell me one of those Journeymen.”

Scott was, of course, incorrect. But I was feeling generous, so I made him a counter-offer.

“These ones make up a set,” I explained, in the tone I reserve for small children and mischievous puppies. “But if you’re a very good boy, you can go to the wall, pick a mini, and I’ll make you your OWN Journeyman model. How does that sound?”

“Gosh! You really mean it, Mr. Spud?”

I did. I was enjoying making them, and they weren’t exactly difficult to construct. Some armor plates, a tacked-on backpack, and you’re pretty much done. Scott skipped off excitedly toward the Privateer wall, clapping excitedly the way he does, while I turned back to my work. Some time later, he returned; his face flushed with innocent joy, and his arms loaded with possibilities.

“Alright, now you can’t have ALL of them,” I reminded him, peering over the top of the glasses I don’t wear but that I have on for the purposes of this story. “You’ll have to pick.”

He deflated slightly, but after a few minutes of rummaging through his precious cargo, he made a selection. And while his choice was unusual, I think that ultimately, he made the right one.


And so, once my own work was complete, I set about the task of bringing joy to yet another young heart.

Bloody Allison and the Hot Tub of Deception

datetime February 23, 2014 9:00 PM


Every year, I go to Templecon. It’s the only event to which I travel any significant distance– I won’t even drive the 90 minutes to events held by 3rd-Best-Toronto-PG Northblade, no matter how lucrative the proffered bribes.

Because Templecon is my “one big event”, I like to bring something new there every year– whether new models for an existing army, or a wholly new one that I rush to complete in time for the event. The past two years I’ve taken the latter road; last year yielded my orange Legion army full of conversions, scratch sculpts and retina-searing paint. When I built my Legion army, my goal was to build a collection of display models; I sculpted and painted every model to the best of my ability, resulting in an army that took 14 months (on and off) to build.

This year, however, I didn’t want to work very hard.