[Surprise Attack!] The Cure For Frosted Minis

What is up, players!

Wow…what a week. I had plans…so many plans. Some were devious, some were constructive, and some didn’t make any sense but were a distraction from my actual schemes. Gotta keep the Good Guys [sic] on their toes! Even I’m not sure what is what sometimes, it’s all a jumble.

Let’s recap: First, Ro-Ro had some last minute insanity kick off at work over our long M.L.K Day weekend so our Dead Zone play through hasn’t come to fruition yet. That’s fine, we’ll get to that when we do. I’m a patient villain. There was an Infinity tournament the following weekend that I was using as motivation to get some hobby stuffs done so I just shifted focus to that.

And focus I did, boys and girls. Shit got done. My long weekend stretched into the work week evenings, and the hobby frenzy continued. It became known, to no one but myself, as The Great Terrain Binge of 2014.

(Everyone else calls it The Week He Stopped Bathing and Eating, but fuck them, they just don’t understand)

See, I’m something of a hoarder. Shocker, right? I relentlessly prowl the shadows of eBay, bottom feeding on some sweet deals from time to time, and scurry home to squirrel them away for a rainy day. I had stacks of those Pegasus Hobbies Hexagon and Platformer sets I picked up for a pittance years back. They got built and painted. I found out that Michaels sells a set of three boxes that stack inside each other for about $3! A little work and I’d have some very portable buildings for a dollar apiece. Nice, and don’t worry they don’t come painted like the example in the link. My mountain of Dead Zone terrain was painted and weathered (more on that another day). All the loose scatter terrain I’d built or purchased over months went into a pile. Warsenal has some damn good prices on some damn fine swag, and I had a fair bit of their MDF stuff lying around to put together. Out came the wood glue. I had a few of the Plasticville Airport Hangars  and they make great looking warehouses if you take off the stupid windsock on top. Don’t pay that ridiculous $50 each for them, no sir! A little patience and you can pick them up gently used for about $10. I blew the dust off and brought them to the harsh light of my hobby desk. Three pages of posters, billboards, and decals were fed into my printer.

I was on a one-man rampage, and all would kneel before the sweet sting of my airbrush.

All of this meshed together with my plans to start running demo games of Infinity in my town. Can’t very well play a game with no terrain, right? And anyone who’s tried using 40K stuff for Infinity, well…we just won’t talk about that, will we?

In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future There is Only Endless Fields of Fire

After all of that I was ready for the tournament, and had finished all my goals. In one week. I was spent, but happy. I would have a tourney write-up to blast across the interwebs. Maybe even some batreps if I got my shit together and took pictures of the games in progress. Some how-to’s. Man, it would be awesome. I might even get a raise around here. For once in my life I had my army lists printed off the night before, my miniatures packed into their carry case.

Ruler? Check.
Templates? Check.
Dice? Check.

Off to a good night’s rest before a day of battle, and an un-rushed exit in the morning. My family was going to come with me to the store, do a little sightseeing while I was winning glory for House Craft, then we would spend the night in the city and drive home on Sunday. That was the plan, and a fine plan it was.

Tra-la-la! Hooray!

Then disaster struck. On the morning of the tournament I woke up at 5:00 AM running for the restroom…and I wasn’t the first one there. Yes, yet another goddamn stomach bug had hit my household and it was a doozy this time. Tis the season. I thought it was bad when my little kids were a bit barfy on a road trip, but this was far, far worse. I emailed the TO to let him know I’d be a no-show and everyone in my house curled up in one big bed and felt like cold dog shit for two days straight. I’ll spare you the details, since it was basically 48 hours of the scene in ‘The Painted Veil’ where Edward Norton dies of cholera…if you had it open in four browsers at once. To top it all off, Ro-Ro hit me up on Saturday wanting to get his game on. Sigh. My dessicated, diseased fingers barely tapped out a negative reply before I collapsed back in bed.

The sole difference between us and Mr. Norton’s character being that we actually survived, and now I’ve crawled out of bed to get a little solid food and desperately tell the world that, yes, the impossible can be done. I’ve found the Holy Grail of Hobbying, something that unites us all regardless of game system, something that transcends gaming itself. “What’s that?” you ask, vaguely interested.

I’ll tell you: Frosted Minis. If you’ve been in this hobby more than a minute you know I don’t mean cereal. We’ve all been there, powerless and seething. Gazing into the Abyss.

The first time it happened to me I’d just finished painting two units of Saurus Cold One Riders, and they were painted to a swell standard. Believe it. Attention was lavished on these elite shock troops. I took them outside and, like a fool, hit them all at once with a blast of matte sealer. No test figure, just rolled the dice and went for it.

The dice came up snake eyes, ladies and gentlemen. And I was not a happy camper.

I scoured the webs for solutions, and I tried them all. Acetone, denatured mineral spirits, sandpaper, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, shamans, blood magic…

But the knowledge eluded me. No one could help. I realized this answer would not come cheap, there must be sacrifice. I went on a vision quest and Otter, my spirit animal, told me a secret while I laid out on the baking desert:

“It doesn’t matter what temperature a room is, it’s alway room temperature.  

Also, the frosting effect on your minis comes from tiny little bubbles that form due to some crazy shit, probably negative vibes from The Man. If you can get rid of the bubbles, your soul will be pure.”

I thought about this while peyote dripped from my lips. Days passed. Clouds moved forwards, then backwards, then stopped. Frozen in time.  My voice was a feeble croak, my tongue swollen, so I spoke with my mind.

Friend Otter! The bubbles sound like trouble. Bubble. Trouble. Trouble bubbles. How can I make them leave my home? 

Otter gathered dried grasses and sprinkled them on my forehead for shade. I was near death in this world, but he would welcome me into the next.

“Everything in this world has its opposite. Chocolate has vanilla. Moms have dads. Your matte spray needs its counterpart. Find a gloss, then you will be whole. Now is not your time to join me, go back to your world and share these words with your people.”

Friend Otter is so wise. I took a can of Testor’s Gloss Lacquer and sprayed my forces with it. Instantly, they were back to normal. Yin and Yang were united. The universe was at peace.

It happened to me again not too long ago. Here, see for yourself.

“Stand back, Citizen! I will save you!”
“Thanks, Testor’s One Coat Gloss Lacquer! You’re the greatest!”

Well, that’s all well and good but what about after? Just hit it with a matte coat again, like you were planning to in the first place, and all will be fine. Promise.

“We’re still doing fine, but I can’t believe you painted those stupid stars before you gave me a flesh tone. Ass.”

I think the smooth gloss seeps into the bubbles and fills them in so they don’t refract light anymore. Maybe the solvents help smooth it all out, too. I think so, because these repeated sprayings don’t build up into ridiculously thick layers, but I don’t know. Every time it’s happened since then it has fixed the problem. I don’t know what conditions cause it. I’ve sprayed indoors, outdoors, hot, cold, night, day, humid, and dry. From the Arctic Circle to the Mexican border. It just happens sometimes. But, I know how to fix it. Every time.

And now so do you. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the only no fail cure for Frosted Minis. If I don’t survive this plague let it be my legacy to the world.

I just got called up on short notice to head out of town to Arizona for a couple weeks for work, so it looks like I’m due for another desert vision quest. In the mean time here’s a little something for your own walkabout, courtesy of KHOP Pirate Radio. Turn the bass up, you funky bunch.

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