Saturday, August 6, 2011

Meanwhile, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away...

I'm taking a little break from posting ICONS stuff. I'll get back to it, but I'm finding other things to blather about, so why not?

Today was all about this:

There are many pictures, but my phone isn't cooperating
The Houston Health Museum is hosting a traveling Star Wars exhibit.  Yeah, I know, what's Star Wars got to do with health?  But on the other hand, who cares, because we got to see tons of props and costumes and models from all six films up close and personal.

Actually, there were some cool things tying in the medical technology of Star Wars to modern medicine and discussion of current robotics technology and materials and some cool hands-on robotics and mag-lev demonstrations for the kids.

But it was really about going and seeing lots of Star Wars stuff up close.

A few years ago, I went to a similar exhibit for The Lord of the Rings trilogy and I was struck by the sheer levels of craftsmanship: you couldn't see it on screen, but every square inch of Sauron's armour was etched and inscribed.  Swords had mottos and names engraved on them in Sindarin or Dwarven runes.  Even the extras' costumes had elaborate bits of decoration.

For Star Wars, not so much.  Which isn't to say the costume bits are bad.  Just that up close, you can see that they were largely designed to be seen from the distance of...say a movie screen to your seat in the theater.  Still, standing right next to Han Solo's outfit from RotJ is pretty awesome.

For me, the real joy was looking at the models and seeing a simultaneous intricacy and economy of effort.  On the model of the Star Destroyer "Devastator," much of the detailing on the nose had been added with a pencil and straight-edge.  I'm guessing those areas weren't going to show up in the angles they were shooting the model, so the lines only sort of needed to show up.  I saw similar empty spaces on a model R2-D2 on the back of a toy-scale landspeeder.  Where the eye can't see, detail wasn't added.

A lot of my games are like that.  Unless there's a need for depth, I don't create it.  I focus on the bits the players can and will interact with and only worry about the stuff behind the horizon if it looks like they're actually heading that way.

(When I bought a t-shirt from the gift shop, I noticed that the guy running the register was reading the WFB Skaven book.  A brief moment of Gamers-Not-At-Gen-Con solidarity ensued.)

Anyway, after the museum (and tacos), we had to stop at Target.  Finding myself in a Star Wars mood*, I drifted down the toy aisles and found a few more lonely boxes of WoTC's Star Wars Minis boxes, now marked down to $3.99 a pop.  Yeah, I grabbed them all to add to our horde. Opening and organizing them led me to wonder about the extend of our current accumulation, so I broke out Excel and went through all of the cards for all of the sets.

Three hundred and twenty eight thirty seven (I found some that weren't in our storage boxes. I suspect there are a few more in similar straits).  That's the current total of all figures.  By my count, we have 209 or 210 individual figure types at the moment (two of the General Grievous figures have identical cards and minis, but came from different sets).  Of course, that's a drop in the bucket compared to all the figures Wizards put out, but it's still pretty respectable, and certainly enough figures for RPG purposes.  Though I really need to get at least one more 501st Clone Trooper.  Unless we have four, their cool teamwork power won't work.

I suspect we may have to play out a battle or two before the weekend's over.

*OK, in all honesty, I've been in a Star Wars mood for at least the past week.  No, longer than that.  Pretty much, since the middle of last month, at least in a low-key sort of way.  I bought myself the first two seasons of "Clone Wars" for my birthday a few weeks ago. On Sunday, I happened by my local Half-Price Books and found a pile of WEG Star Wars stuff at ridiculously low prices.  And just this morning, I completed an internet transaction with Chris of A Rust Monster Ate My Sword to purchase a hefty lot of SW Minis and Micro-Machines from him.  And I'm completely pumped about the X-Wing game that Fantasy Flight Games announced at Gen Con.  The museum excursion was just icing on the cake.

1 comment:

  1. $3.99?! Wow! I would have scooped those up, too. Nice score!