The great sprue clean-up of 2010/2011!

Every year for the past few years I have entered the conversion contest at GW Parramatta. The prize is usually a bag of bitz; a bigger bag depending on how well you did. In 2008 I won the "You" category with a night goblin converted up to look like me, and got a large bag of bitz. Last year I didn't place, but still got a small bag of odds and ends which topped up my bitz box. In 2008 there was a trading session in the back room almost as soon as the winners were announced, and I ended up trading away a few pieces I either did not want, need, or couldn't identify, and came away with some cool things because of the trade. Last year I couldn't get in until a few days after the announcement, so I had no such luck. This year I was in Sydney for the holidays, and thought I would get to trade away again if I won anything. In 2008, I managed to get my hands on all but one arm of an old metal giant, and that's going to be converted someday into a useable state...

I had my Orc Warboss entered in the general category and won, and because of this I got a huge bag (Literally, a bag I think they usually put a boxed game in) of bitz. I went out the back to see what was in the bag, and there was no one around to trade! Looking back, I think there was only one other entrant in the store on the day, and I think he left pretty much straight away. For the first time in years, I was a bit bored by pulling sprues of greenskins for free out of a bag (I guess because I don't WANT any more goblins at this point in time), and then a few people came over to start to chat. At this point someone came over and picked up a sprue from the top of the pile I had made next to me:

Random person: Oh wow! These look pretty cool! Can I have these?
Me: You mean you want to trade?
Random person: No, I just want the pieces.
Me: ...No.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind giving odds and ends away to friends without trading if I have no immediate plans for them, and I have nothing against giving some bitz to younger kids if they are polite, but considering the guy looked like he already had a fully assembled army on the table behind him, and sounded like he knew what he was talking about, I figured I'd prefer to trade rather than just hand random bitz over...

Then I went off to GW North Sydney to have a look at their conversion contest and see if I won anything (I didn't, and I wasn't surprised). When the winners were announced, one of the guys said he was looking for Orc and Goblin bitz. I offered to get mine out of the car, knowing there were a few sprues of models in there, and the trading I missed at Parramatta happened there instead! I managed to trade a few bitz and gain a few bitz in the process, even completing a few things that were in my original bitz bag.

Inthe end, when I spent the next few nights sitting on the floor of my flat at snipping out bitz to get them into my bitz box, I realised I had the following bitz mixed in among everything else which I found fun:

* An entire Steam Tank (Two sprues were in my original bag, and the third was traded for some greenskin sprues)
* Some arcane ruin pieces - These will be turned into scenery towards the end of next year I think.
* A Ogre Tyrant - This was a trade, and I'm not sure if I missed the sword when I got the pieces out of the box, or if it wasn't on there at all. Either way, it will be fun to convert up.
* Moria Pillars - I love these pillars. I'm not 100% sure why, but I was pretty excited to get two pieces of undercoated plastic in the shape of blocks in the bag. Go figure. Stamp "Lord of the Rings" on the side of something, and I'll probably get some kind of primal reaction in my brain for it.
* A castle wall - I have to ask, where is the rest of the castle?
* Doom Diver Bitz - All of the pieces of the current kit bar one of the goblin attendants, the diver's legs, and the base piece the model sits on. It should be pretty easy to covert up!
* Portions of an Orc army - A few random arrer boyz and warriors were thrown in randomly. I'd say they are old store table models.
* GD2010 model minus an arm - Again, something else fun to convert, and not many people will be willing to convert theirs, but I already have a full one!
* 2 40K brass etch sheets - I paint very little 40K stuff, but I'm sure I'll find a use for these.
* A paperclip - This was the booby prize in the bag I think. It's not even one that can be used for pinning...
* So many gaunt scythe arms - Somewhere there is a Tyranid army with only legs.
* And Baneblade bitz - Just a sprue thrown in with a tank commander on it minus the torso, as well as a lot of other tanky and Imperial Guard looking bitz.

But the fun didn't stop there! I had to clip the dreaded things off to fit in my bitz box! After looking at what I had, I realised I was probably going to need to zip lock a lot of the bitz away to stop them from getting separated, and also fit all the loose detritus bitz from the bottom of the bag into my box. So over the course of two nights I sat down with clippers in hand and attacked the pile:

This was the bag when I first sat down. The plan was to get the larger sprues out of the way first, then sort the loose pieces floating at the bottom of the bag...

After that, I realised I had created two things: A bursting at the seams bitz box (I Think I need an upgrade again), and a pile of plastic bags that held sprue contents (IE: Steam Tank, Dryads piece, Greatsword pieces etc). I realised just how much room I had saved, and let my mind wander to the fact I have a LOT of plastic sprues here, and clipping them down could save a lot of room. I thought that at least for the few I have to hand, I could start with those...

That was new years eve... New Years Day consisted of me mainly watching movies and clipping parts, and working my way through some of the boxes I have on storage. For instance, this is the contents of an old Tyranid battle force. Clipped down, zip locked, and sat back in the box:

I thought that was pretty impressive! Clearly, a lot of room can be made this way! So I went on and one, emptying boxes and bagging models. By dinner time, I was left with this:

A shopping bag of scrap sprues! Great! Look how much waste I am making! I was actually pretty please to get this out of my flat, as it meant I had a lot more room. After all, there were all these empty boxes:

It looks impressive here, until I move further to the right and see all the mess I still have left to clean up:

I went a bit too far I think. Sure it saved me room, and I got a lot of stuff sorted out, but at the same time, I emptied out five boxed games worth of sprues as well! Those boxes were thrown into the hallway for safekeeping at the time, and a large pile emerged there as well. I managed to clear it all away the next morning, but the sprues managed to fill an kitchen garbage bag on top of what I have here!

Oh well, I guess I won't be doing that for another few months or so, no matter how much space it saved!


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