Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happy Birthday!


One year ago today, I sent the following email to a few friends I'd met over the years:

From:Scott Burnley [oldschoolfantasy@gmail.com]
Sent:Friday, September 16, 2011 3:58 PM
To:'W. Scott Burnley'
Subject:Fantasy Miniatures

Friends,

I have a passion for old fantasy miniatures. I've collected them for over 30 years, and I'm still just as excited about them as I was when I was 14 years old. They are a longtime obsession of mine, and I consider myself to be somewhat of a historian in regards to the subject…

Either I've had dealings with you in the past, you're a prominent miniatures collector, or a professional in the field. You've impressed upon me somewhere along the line that you are just as serious about old fantasy minis as I am.

I am starting up an APA that will focus on old fantasy miniatures, and I would love for you to join me. An "APA" is an "Amateur Press Association", and they are groups of like-minded fans that produce an "APAzine" (magazine) composed of articles written by the APA members about their particular field of interest. If you've never heard of APAs before, please take a moment and Google it. There's an excellent article about APAs on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_press_association) that explains what they are, how they work, and their history…

Basically, I'm getting a bunch of fans together to write articles about fantasy miniatures, and we will distribute the combined works to all of the members.

I also collect original comic and fantasy artwork, and joined the CFAAPA (Comic and Fantasy Art APA) about 7 years ago, and it's been an extremely rewarding and useful outlet for me to advance in the hobby. I've met dozens of new friends, shared stories with them, learned about artwork I'd not appreciated before, and made many connections that led to new acquisitions of terrific artwork. Joining the CFAAPA was the single best move I've ever made in my many years of collecting original art! If you have any interest at all in my art collection, I have a gallery up at: http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryDetail.asp?GCat=1379.

Anyway, I want to have the same experience with my other collecting passion, vintage fantasy miniatures! This is a very young hobby, and there is a great deal of study and documentation to be done. We've all had similar experiences when we've found a previously unknown mini, and gone through the process of trying to ID the piece. It's very exciting when you find that rare figure that you've never even seen before! Many of the pieces I collect were never pictured in catalogs or ads, and finding conclusive evidence that my newly found figure is one of those "missing links" is collecting Nirvana…Id'ing figures and the "hunt" is not the only thing it's all about. It's also about the painting, the sculptors, the history, the games, the nostalgia, and all the other things we think about when we think about old fantasy minis.

I want to share my experiences with you. I want to read about your collecting experiences, too. We need to take our hobby to the next level. We need a forum where we can celebrate this wonderful obsession and we need a place where fans can get serious info. I'm very committed to this endeavor, and I believe we will collect some of the most interesting and valuable information ever put together for miniatures collectors. Our APAzines will be absolutely indispensible for serious fans of the art.

I've created a private Yahoo! Group for prospective members of the OSFMapa (the "Old School Fantasy Miniatures Amateur Press Alliance") where we will hammer out the details of exactly how all of this will move forward. If you have any interest in joining the OSFMapa, or just want to know more about it, please let me know, and I'll send you an invite from Yahoo! That will be the best place to discuss what we are doing since everyone will get all of the emails and be able to contribute their thoughts to all the decisions that need to be made...

Sorry about the form letter! I know many of you very well, and a more personal email would probably have been expected from me. I've been very busy with this project for some time all by myself, and now I want to start to get others involved. I've not mentioned this project to any prospective members prior to this email. You are in the first group. The very most serious collectors of minis I know of. I need to have the best and brightest in the OSFMapa first, before I open membership up to all collectors.

Please consider joining me in this project.

Thanks for your time,
Scott Burnley
CM OSFMapa


Fortunately, the prospect inspired a handful of the guys enough to join me in founding the OSFMapa! I'm so grateful to those first few brave souls who decided to give this unproven project a chance. Thanks to you, the OSFMapa has become a reality!

A year later, I look back on the 2 fantastic Journals we've produced in that time and I just couldn't be happier. Our members have begun to assemble what will certainly become a long lasting body of works devoted to the celebration, documentation, and study of vintage fantasy miniatures. It's a wonderful thing!

Along the way we've picked up a few more dedicated members and the future of the OSFMapa has never been brighter. Right now, all of our members are working on their contributions to Journal #3. It should be another great issue, this time featuring the mysterious theme of "Weird Miniatures". It's mailing mid October!

Happy Birthday OSFMapa!

Monday, June 18, 2012

OSFMapa Journal #2 - "Legendary Characters"

Journal #2 Contents Page
Member copies of Journal #2 shipped out 6/16 and should be in the hands of members soon.

This is another fantastic issue! I'm very happy to say that all members stepped it up a bit and produce even better articles than they did last time. You should all feel very proud of the work you've done to put out something of great value that fantasy miniatures fans will enjoy for many years!

We added 4 new members to our ranks for this issue, and their contributions are all outstanding. I'm very glad that they joined us and we can all look forward to learning even more from their substantial experience in our hobby. Here's a peek of what they bring to the OSFMapa in Journal #2:

John Ford offers up an examination of the very early, and quickly discontinued, Grenadier John Carter figures that found new life in the classic Gamma World line.

Rick Meints provides an exhaustive review and commentary on the gorgeous line of Runequest figures produced by Archive Miniatures.

Our web-meister Scott Szczypiorski takes us on a tour of the various Frankenstein minis produced over the years and gives interesting insights into the cultural impacts of the novel (and the monster himself).

Steve Casey reveals an intriguing peek at some of those elusive Citadel variants that are so widely sought after.

And if that's not enough... We have a very special guest contributor this time... None other than the Fantasysmith hiself, Phil Neuscheler! Phil's graciously allowed us to represent one of his classic Fantasysmith's Notebook columns from way back in The Dragon Magazine #31. In this installment, ye olde Fantasysmith offers up his observations and lessons on matters of miniatures' scale. It's a classic topic that's as timely today as it was back in 1979. Thanks Phil!

Here's a look at our first ever wraparound cover:


I'm sure the scene will ring a bell with fantasy fans! Our cover features perhaps the most legendary characters of all: The Fellowship of the Ring. These wonderful figures from Archive Miniatures were sculpted by one of the true great pioneers of fantasy gaming, Nevile Stocken. They have been beautifully painted by the amazing and talented Pam Albin, who was an absolute pleasure to work with.

We produced 30 copies of Journal #2 this time, increasing the print run by 5. We should have a few extra copies available for sale as soon as all the member and guest contributor copies are received. I'll post here, as well as on the OSFMapa Yahoo! Group site once we get a count of how many extras we have. stay tuned....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Getting Ready for Journal #2

The deadline for issue #2 of the OSFMapa Journal is rapidly approaching. Articles must be in my hands by May 31st! Our theme this time is "Legendary Characters". Members do not need to write "on topic", but please feel free to use this theme as a starting point if you are having a bit of writer's block!

Legendary Characters can mean quite a few different things, I believe. You could write about miniatures lines that were created to represent famous characters from literature, such as the works of Tolkien, Burroughs, or Howard. Legendary characters from the worlds created specifically for the games themselves such as Greyhawk, Tekumel, or Gloratha would also be suitable topics. Characters from history and myth have often been represented with figure lines as well. You could even write about some of the legendary real-life figures in the gaming industry such as Uncle Duke Seifried!

Really, the only limit to what you write about is that it must be of interest to fans of old fantasy miniatures. Basically: If you (minis-fan) would like to read about it, it's fair game to write about it! We're a small community of fans, and most of us have similar interests. Let your imagination run wild!


I know that's way too small to read, so.... I've just posted a (bigger) jpeg of the contents page of OSFMapa Journal #1 in my Flickr photostream. Please take a look if you want to see what our members wrote about last issue!

Monday, February 27, 2012

What is the OSFMapa?


The Old School Fantasy Miniatures Amateur Press Alliance (OSFMapa) is an APA.


An "APA" is an "Amateur Press Association", and they are groups of enthusiastic, like-minded fans that produce an "APAzine" (magazine) composed of articles written by the APA members about their particular field of interest. If you've never heard of APAs before, please take a moment and Google it. There's an excellent article about APAs on Wikipedia that explains what they are, how they work, and their long and illustrious history…


Basically, we're a bunch of serious old school miniatures fans that write articles about our miniatures obsessions, which we distribute to all of our members through our Journal compiled 3 times a year.


I've been a member of the CFAAPA (The Comics and Fantasy Art APA) for the past 7 years, and the ERBapa (The Edgar Rice Burroughs APA) for the past 3 years. The experience of participating in these 2 APAs has been very rewarding to me, and I started the OSFMapa to try and create a similar forum for fans of old fantasy miniatures. We started last September, and have just produced our first Journal.

This is a very young hobby, and there is a great deal of study and documentation to be done. We've all had similar experiences when we've found a previously unknown mini, and gone through the process of trying to ID the piece. It's very exciting when you find that rare figure that you've never even seen before! Many of the pieces I collect were never pictured in catalogs or ads, and finding conclusive evidence that my newly found figure is one of those "missing links" is collecting Nirvana…Id'ing figures and the "hunt" is not the only thing it's all about. It's also about the painting, the sculptors, the history, the games, the nostalgia, and all the other things we think about when we think about old fantasy minis. I'm a big fan of the Lost Minis Wiki, and I'm sure you are as well. It's creation was a blessing in our hobby, and it's indespensible as a resource for us all. The OSFMapa will prove to be an excellent companion to the LMW as it focuses a lot more on the who's, when's, and why's of fantasy miniatures as we delve into the history of the hobby.


If you would like to know more about the OSFMapa, please follow the link to our private Yahoo! group site where you can find an introductory FAQ, our rules, and our submission guidelines. You can also access the message base where many questions have already been answered.


Additionally, basic info about the OSFMapa can be accessed through our website.

Of course, I'll be glad to answer any questions about the OSFMapa you post here as well, and I can send you any of our documents (the FAQ, Rules, guidelines) via email if you prefer.


Thanks for your interest in the OSFMapa. I hope you will join us!

Best,
Scott Burnley
CM OSFMapa