Sam's Warhammer craze has faded away for the time being, and he has gone back to his first love, which was tractors. When he was little he played with anything tractor-like that he could get his hands on, and we grew used to being woken at 6am each day by the brrrrm brrrrrm brrrm as they were propelled around his bedroom floor. Then he decided that they were babyish, and they were replaced by Space Marines and their unlikely tanks. But come hay-making time, when the fields across the valley were busy with tractors and swath-turners, balers and trailers, all the old farm toys came out of the loft, and an entire fictional farm has grown up around them, with grass clippings brought in from the garden to be turned and baled, and gravel from the drive appropriated to build little dry-stone walls.
In his younger days Sam was happy to mix up different scales of tractor, but now everything has to be 1/32nd scale, and even time is scaled down: one hour on his farm equals one day on a real one. Every now and then he gets depressed because he's 'finished everything', like Alexander the Great weeping because there are no more worlds to conquer. But then we move a bit of a furniture and expose a whole new stretch of carpet which needs to be walled, cultivated, seeded and grazed, and all is well again. If he's still keen next year we might move the whole operation into the garden and plant some actual crops.
I must confess to slightly to missing the Warhammer stuff: I enjoyed painting all those tiny figures, and I think that's what set me drawing again. But all the scenery we made has been absorbed into the farm, and no doubt the little armies will have their day again when Sam's older. Meanwhile, we still occasionally look at the website of Forgeworld, a branch of Games Workshop which sells models so exquisite and expensive that it's impossible to even imagine buying one; we can but gaze at the computer screen like urchins pressing their noses to a toyshop window. I mention it only because the Forgeworld designers sometimes seem to be drawing ideas from the same well where I dredged up the WoME. A few people have asked me what the landships that roll around Fever Crumb's world look like. Well, they look a bit like this:
|The Forgeworld 'Grot Mega Tank'.|