First item of WR business for Year 2020. As many have noted WR has been amiss from writing his wargaming activities for the last two quarters. Since June, WR’s world has been a bit upended since June 2019 with the passing of Valerie Verity, my mom. Her Parkinson’s disease finally caught up with her, her passing went quietly, and with all our family members gathered at the family residence.
Since then the family business and estate needed settlement under the guidance of WR’s sister Alicia. With the assistance of the trust attorney, a group of financial managers and accountants, and the smooth assistance of all family members, the estate has been settled out. WR has found himself with a new residence, and more importantly, a permanent room for his tabletop gaming, open wall space for accessible bookcases for WR’s book library and display cabinets for vintage uniforms, adjacent room storage space for the miniature / terrain collections, and within easy reach. No more extra apartment bedroom requirement, evening storage center visits, or digging deep (in piles) for the book title needed for the latest wargame construction or miniature painting project, or scenario design. But, the inherited house is vintage 1970 update….. yes, that year fifty years ago, when Nixon was president. So the first order of business, for a gamer with a large table space need, is the game room, then the storage capacity improvements, then the rest of the house starting with the bedrooms I guess. Otherwise the kitchen is functional but dated, the bathrooms work, and the garden yard has been maintained over the years but in need of serious heavy pruning, so in total the initial construction projects are manageable. This WR post will deal mainly with the game room improvement project, with brief mention of the garage project dealing with miniature and terrain storage.
Sizing up the two initial projects with little serious thought, the garage storage segment starts the ball rolling. The complete upgrading for the two car garage for cars and major storage of miniatures, bulk terrain, and old wargame magazines, some dating back to the 1960’s. Striping the walls down to the wood studs then new drywall, mud and taping drywall joints, change out lighting to LED, new exterior steel door installed, insulation (roof and walls), roof venting, and reinforcement of walls to support the lead pile on sturdy shelves. Finish off with two coats of paint. That’s the garage zone plan compartmented down in WR’s brain.
Concurrent project #2 or the artist / bar room requires near total gutting for the new gaming area. First all the wall cabinets and 1960 era eight foot bar removed and saved for possible storage in the rear garden shed (WR likes to recycle cabinets if possible). They weighed a ton. Heavy iron crowbar (railroad flat bar used to lay actual steel rail) needed to pry loose the bar and cabinets. The picture of WR jumping up and down on the positioned long rail / crowbar wasn’t too photogenic, nor the descriptive language either. Then peel off the classic 1960’s era cork sheeting found after removing the fake stone work and bar mirror. A younger WR remembered gluing the same bar mirror and stonework with his dad back in the 1970’s. After crowbar cleanup, the former garage stucco wall will need some patching. Stucco? Yes the wall was stucco covered since the artist / bar room was formerly a breezeway between the main house and the garage, linked by pitched roof only.
First headache found in the artist / bar room. Seems the cabinets were built then the flooring installed with leveling concrete and tile topping. This discovered problem will be handled by more money.
Artist / bar room cleared now and the two “pits” (former bar cabinet locations) surveyed. As the flooring contractor bids are reviewed, the stucco wall is textured smooth to patch the dozens of holes and dings caused by the cabinet and cork tile removal.
As the subflooring work dries, the garage walls now have their lighting LED electrical work completed, the pink R-19 insulation installed, and heavy drywall sheets screwed in place. Apply mud and taping then sand the walls several times. Apply more joint compound mud, topping mud, sandpaper, elbow grease, and sweep up the growing dust mounds. Clean the garage of the drywall dust and paint…. primer, then two wall coats of light tan color. Looks like this after two long sentences….. but actually a full week plus of work.
Subflooring concrete dry, the tile team arrive and finish the laying of the new flooring. Need next to finish painting the textured walls or wood paneling and stucco walls then attach molding. Chosen paint colors for the game room… A pale blue sort of like WWI color found on aircraft and muddy brown for the wooden walls.* New LED (dimmer capable) lighting attached to the overhead beams in game room. WR can even hang his camouflage pattern “curtain of doom” or mid game table setup concealment curtain from the central overhead beam. Overhead, the old faux wood panelling needs attention. WR plans to post up some of his full size reproduction ECW to WWII era recruiting posters behind plexiglass sheeting.
- Pale blue and muddy brown. Sounds weird? Not really, once all WR’s family military artifacts get proper display. WR’s grandfather served in both wars, in RFC and RAF, and even in the service of the White army in Russia. His correspondence, with photos, are tales of the era and region, from the western front to near east, over Turkey, into southern Russia, back into the Sudan, Aden (Yemen), and Egypt. Other family members saw service in the famous regiments of England.
Almost done. Transfer of bookcases to the new residence, the book collection slowly shifted over one carload at a time, and some furniture found in the house. Should note many of the photos show dark windows…. most of the work was performed during after workday evening hours.
Just need some flooring treatment. The 10×13 foot Persian rug (vintage 1950 era) carted over, without a Cleopatra stand in, to cover the tile floor. To be honest, you couldn’t pick up the heavy rug with any lady rolled within. Still have to move the heavy (old school heavy gauge steel) five drawer filing cabinets to line the brown wall after painting. They will hold the gaming table terrain and wargaming miscellaneous materials needed to lay out the proper period wargame tabletop.
Time to wrap up the story. Final project stages has the old solid steel file cabinets disassembled, spray painted, cabinet frame positioned in the game room, then completely reassembled being careful of the fresh paint. On following weekend finished the two day process of figuring out the storage placement of the terrain and game material. WR found many terrain pieces he hasn’t seen in years or even used in tabletop play. Sort of archaeological dig in cardboard box soil. Temple ruins, “wolf pits” for the unplayed 1812 Borodino scenario, western fort components (or maybe Tartar wall scenario), and Greek goat sacrifice COE pieces top the discovery finds.*
- COE or Clash of Empires ancient rules uses a Greek era army combat resolution adjustment of “goat sacrifice” since they have restrictions vs. other period armies. So WR purchased a “temple”, bought some scale wild goats, and the required priest miniatures, to regulate the “goat factor.”
So, pending the window treatments for the narrow windows above the cabinets, the game room basically complete and ready for the inaugural game hopefully soon. The room measures 15 feet by almost 20 feet so WR figures a 12×6 foot folding table assembly easily fits (five tables of 2.5’x6′), with sufficient room to play and walk around the table. When WR posts his future game reports for YR2020, the table layout can be seen. The big thing in WR’s mind…. games can now be left up for following weekend or scheduled date to complete, plus the miniatures, trrain, game material, rulebooks, research materials (lots of books), old maps, nearby bathroom, and ready available food source is at WR’s and his gaming buddies fingertips. Otherwise, the room can be used for family events held in the house or backyard as the WR tables are all standard size commercial HD folding tables, so fold up and place away is minutes away after the tabletop terrain is cleared. But in secret, WR can just close the sliding door to the rest of the house, turn on music, recline in the sofe with a good book, and have food and drink nearby.
Cheers from the new warren.
P.S. The garage project is still ongoing at time of this writing. Some roof insulation installation needed, final miniature and terrain box storage organization thought needed, garage ceiling storage for other family stuff, and finally seal the garage concrete flooring. Boring non-gaming stuff so WR will just post any pictures here soon to complete the article.
Fist, my condolences on the loss of your mother, Michael. My mom, curiously also Valerie, will be 96 in less than 2 weeks… and she’s not very happy about it! As she says whenever we talk, “I’m existing.”
Anyway, no wonder we have heard little from you for a while; you have been one *very* busy rabbit! That all looks like a huge amount of time, work, and money! It looks like the end result will be extremely enviable, however.
I think this makes the 5th ? move for your collection; it was just 2015 when you were remodeling another new place. A glutton for punishment, my freind!
Once again, my sympathies, and best wishes for the successful culmination of this grand project!
Thank you for your thoughts on my mom’s passing and readership of my gaming blog. Give my best for your “Valerie” when you see her.
Yes, the new game room was a labor of pleasure…. sounds better than work. Looking forward to start the tabletop gaming traditions next month…. roll the first dice toss, silently giving complaint on the result no doubt. Thinking some ancients gaming, a Flames of War WWII game or two, and back to the hose and musket era with napoleonics. The YR 2015 was my previous remodel move, before that YR 2013 was moving the collection. Further back in time to YR 1988 unless I date myself to the YR 1982 household transfer. So your guess was good…. five complete “collection” movements, each one growing in size, sheer volume, and lead weight.
Quite the book collection. Glad to see your room is lookinv sweet. I just added my last 3 panzer IV ( late war). Had them in my build box so decided to build them and get them ready for action.Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
Good New Year Tim. Yes…. been collecting books since early 1970’s, so the books in many case long out of print. Finally have the space to gathering the book collections in one place. The miniature storage area box volume and number is eye popping. Just text’d my December FOW painting of SAS and LRDG platoons for a FOW friend and group gamer.
More to post in next articles…. just need to finish my move.