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Around the World in 80 Days

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Farstar writes:

June 6 was yesterday. How is this going?

Revision Log
20 March 2006page first published

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PeteMurray writes:

Everyone has a pile of shame - miniatures that you were all hot to get, had big plans for, and then never did anything with. Maybe you're planning to put them on eBay at some point in the future, maybe you're in denial that they exist. But you know, deep down inside, they're going to sit in a closet or attic for years before you get rid of them.

During a recent housecleaning, I had to move my pile of shame, and I thought: "I'll bet I could do something fun with them." Gradually, the idea of sending them around the world started to form. I would take a dozen or so minis, get a dozen or so people around the world, and send one package in turn to each of them.

Around the World in 80 Days!

So the rules of the 80 Days project are pretty simple. The Box starts out in Baltimore, where I live, and goes to the first recipient. That person either paints one of the miniatures, or takes a miniature out of the box and replaces it with another painted miniature. Since I didn't think people would paint my miniatures for nothing, when The Box came back to Baltimore, I'd send it to Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian, with complements from the painters.

I put up the idea in The Tavern - which is a discussion board visible only to TMP Supporting Members - just to feel out if there was any interest in the idea. There was quite a bit! It didn't seem like there would be any problem with participants. I created a Yahoo! group to manage the project so as not to clutter up the Discussion Boards. Editor in Chief Bill put it up as a news item, and people started signing up!

The Worldwide League of Painters Yahoo! group is still there, and you are welcome to join any time.

It was first-come, first-served for the 80 Days project, so people who replied early would be participants. Eventually the original dozen was expanded to sixteen people - it let more people participate, while still leaving everyone an allowance of time for mailing and painting. With sixteen people, in order to get the package around the world in 80 days, that works out to five days per person.

This left the matter of which miniatures to pick. Rich - of Rattrap Productions - volunteered two miniatures. Fourteen miniatures were pulled out of the pile of shame. They were:

The Fourteen
  1. Skaven Gutter Runner (Citadel)
  2. Space Marine Apothecary (Citadel)
  3. Lord of the Rings Dwarf King (Citadel)
  4. Mogadishu D-Boy (Brittania)
  5. Castle Guard (Discount Hobby)
  6. Zulu War British Officer (Old Glory)
  7. Marlburian Period Grenadier (Foundry)
  8. Talisman Monk (Citadel)
  9. T34/76 (N scale Minifigs)
  10. Samurai (Foundry)
  11. Reptus Breaker (Reaper)
  12. Zulu War British Musician (Old Glory)
  13. Lord of the Rings Dwarf King (Citadel)
  14. Eldar Striking Scorpion (Citadel)

There was no theme to these miniatures. They were just ones that I was unlikely to ever get around to painting.

Then there was the matter of the mailing order. Since all the participants had provided addresses, I started plugging cities into Google Earth and tried to determine how to get The Box to always be traveling westward. I learned two things: First, the Mississippi River doesn't travel from north to south in a perfect straight line. Secondly, mailing addresses in the U.K. are a many-splendored thing, and it's not always immediately obvious what's a city and what's a county or a street or what have you.

But an order was finalized. Here are the participants and their hometowns in the order that they'll be getting The Box:

Andy T:
Waldorf, MD
Mike W:
Rogersville, TN
Mark S:
River Forest, IL
Ed G:
Memphis, TN
Brad H:
St. Louis, MO
Joe S:
Waco, TX
Mike B:
Sheridan, WY
Brian B:
Hayden, ID
Randy B:
Huntington Beach, CA
Will T:
Vancouver, WA
Dave A:
Phuket, Thailand
Joseph M:
Heidesheim, Germany
Scott M:
Hemel Hempstead, U.K.
Paul W:
Old Woking, U.K.
Robert A:
Leeds, U.K.
Alexandre C:
Lisboa, Portugal
Stephen C:
New York, NY

I talked with Andy, and it turned out we were both going to Cold Wars, so we agreed to make the initial handoff there. The Around the World in 80 Days project will, if all goes well (I'm writing this in advance), be kicked off on Saturday, March 18, and the deadline is June 6, 2006.

Please stay tuned as our intrepid participants receive The Box in turn, paint a figure, and mail it on ahead of our deadline of 80 days!

The Box sits patiently waiting to begin its trip around the world