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Tuesday, 2 January 2018

CHANGING OF THE GUARD


I recall a Star Trek Next Generation episode which (if I recall correctly) was called "All Good Things" and this two part-er saw the very end of that long standing show. The double episode was simply incredible and it was with a mix of deep sadness and joy that they got the ending so right, that I was able to smile and go "Oh WOW!, that was simply awesome."

It`s like that for me a bit now. We are all of us a little bit like Joss Whedon (Buffy) or Gene Roddenberry (Star Trek) in that our `babies` take on a life of their own, and we love them and live with them so long, the very notion of not having them as part of our lives, leaves us with a profound feeling of... well, emotional sorrow a bit.

The Game Cupboard (Or the Gamers Cupboard as it was originally named by Bryan Scott, the original co-owner, along with myself) has been a part of my life for so long: there is not  day... a week goes by without me thinking about it, tending to it, writing for it, or checking it for comments and... oh you know, generally making sure it`s all running smoothly.

But life brings many changes. It`s just a part of what life is really. My health is something I struggle with on a weekly basis: a bit like rolling a coin, heads I feel good that week, tails I feel lousy with bad chest and aching bones due to lack of oxygen getting through my body (it`s like having a permanent flu - but without the flu symptoms... just aching bones and lack of air: but it never fully goes away for me: emphysema is a disease I would not wish on anyone). On top of this the medication I have to take for it has given me diabetes would you believe haha, so I have been double struck with problems.

Now on top of this, Hilary (my darling partner) suffers from a degenerative form of arthritis, and no matter the number of operations she has, is always waiting for the next one.. and the next.. in a long line of operations still lying ahead of her (her left knee is next).

We live in a large six bedroom house sitting on acres of cool ground including an orchard of fruit trees, a stone circle, a medieval well, and the whole house sits right next to an Iron Age Hill Fort. But all our kids have flown the nest and lead lives of their own now throughout the various corners of the globe: leaving us with a big home that is impossible to heat, and is thus damp, cold and impossible to maintain properly, and not conducive to good health. So it`s now or never, and when we were advised by our local estate agent to sell up while the market is good, we took the big decision to do just that. Smaller home, warmth and central heating, and easy to maintain for the two of us.

With Hils out of action for many months and being somewhat isolated in location (Idyllic though it is) it has fallen mainly to me to do all the arrangements, the house painting, general repair to make it optimally sellable: then all the packing and.... well, everything that goes with moving house. The move will see us in our perfect chosen location, but with no internet at all and most likely none for a long long time to come - and even then, may be slow speed wi-fi only.

I may not even return to blogging at all in fact, and instead immerse in my new found passion for combining 00 scale model train sets with wargaming, and see my layout grow from strength to strength all around my super-duper new hobby room. I might even be able to build that perfect (portable) wargame table I`ve wanted all my life - a complete set up of the battle of Edgehill.. maybe another one of Nasby; mmmmm  lovely thoughts, and a cool focus to look forward to in my hobby. I am working on my last EVER commission: the new rules for Dave Stone`s Wargames Terrain Workshop`s DM Skirmish world. And these will be finished and handed over to him very soon indeed. Hils and I were all set to attend Salute 2018, but good friend Jez has stepped up to the peg and has agreed to stand in for us and help Dave and Sarah run the big event. It`s all arranged and should promise to be quite a show, as Dave will be announcing the new rules on that day and a cool range of miniatures to go with the new game as well.

I will try very hard to write a few teaser battle reports before I vanish off the face of the earth entirely. A couple of teaser games to show case the new game: but at the very least Dave WILL soon have his rules in their completed form, replete with cool interior art throughout.

So even though I will try and write a few more articles between now and then, if I do not manage it.... then guys this is it, and thanks for all the support, all the kindness you have shown us over the years, and for your much valued friendship.

I leave TGC in very capable hands.... Dave`s hands no less. Should be quite a roller coaster ride, wooohoooo!!!

Have an amazing hobby, enjoy every moment to the full, and never stop painting and playing.

"Axe High, Friend Go I"

Steve.

Hils here.

Thank you guys for being the best. We will miss you all, and wish you (every last one of you) the best wishes for a happy happy life, happy gaming, happy modelling, and happy hobbying.


Bye guys


Now over to your new site owner. Over to you Dave..........


Firstly I need to thank Steve and Hils for asking me to take over the cupboard, it is a great honour that they felt i would be a suitable successor, and they will always be welcome here when they have internet, or send an article by pen and paper. The same goes for Tarot, when she has time as she's busy with her new career.

So what's to come is a matter I've been pondering over the festivities, as Steve Hils and I have discussed their departure from the cupboard at great lengths for a while now.
Firstly I want to keep the integrity of the cupboard so this will mean regular AAR's at least one a month, sometimes they will be Death Match, sometimes the new skirmish game, sometimes Imperial assault, and sometimes something completely out of the blue, just depends on what I've played at the time.
Each month I want to do an article that's a step by step guide, if you have requests on this part happy to hear your suggestions.
Each month I will update on hobby progress however big or small, hoping to have at least half a day a week for hobby at least that's the plan.
Also each month will give an insight as what's new on the workbench as we continue to develop models and scenery for our ranges.
Now I know I've only listed four articles, this is due to time constraints of the business, the two or three articles a week have been fun but has meant less time making new bits and I am planning on releasing a new game in April, so I feel 4 articles a month is doable without impacting massively on business needs.
Hope you all continue to visit and comment at the cupboard and here's to a great 2018, until next time have fun !
Cheers Dave

56 comments:

  1. ahhh the bittersweet blog post. Soooooo very sad to see the departure of the very wonderful Steve and Hils, having followed the blog since its inception I feel like it has hugely benefitted my own gaming and inspired me to write up my AARs in that very difficult to do, but ultimately more satisfying narrative style. I will miss your unique take on the hobby my friends. I'm equally saddened that I will not get to meet you at Salute (something I was really looking forward to this year!) but I completely understand why this cannot be. All the very best my friends, I wish you all the very best.

    Dave, I look forward to seeing this year's posts. I'm just glad that the new owner of the cupboard is as awesome as the previous.

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    1. Thanks Andy, I have some really big shoes to fill but will do my best to keep the cupboard a place of interest

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    2. Thanks Andy mate, I`m glad we managed to inspire. In truth you did the same with your cool zombie and bushido AAR`s, and your tutorials are second to none, and we have them all saved to file. All the best for 2018 mate and I hope your own site goes from strength to strength.

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    3. Dave mate..your shoes are plenty big enough. Time to make a mark :-)))

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    4. Are you saying I've got clown feet ! ROFL

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    5. HAHAHHAHAHAHhahahaaaaa!!! wouldn`t dare mate, I seen your muscles.

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    6. You said you'd never tell ! LMFAO

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    7. Oooops, drat! **quickly takes off the red nose**

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  2. Sad news, my best wishes to Hilary and Steve, hope everything will get better and better...

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    1. Bless you Phil. Will miss your cool blog immensely. It was one of the highlights of the week for me, whenever you posted a new batrep.

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  3. "There are no endings, just new beginnings." I'm not sure if that's an actual quote, but it certainly sounds like one...lol

    When I first started visiting the cupboard, I had no idea who Stevie, Hils and Tarot were - they were just names on the screen - but slowly I grew to appreciate what each member of this Trinity brought to the site and became very good friends with each of them. So, it is with sadness that I read these words, although it has been on the cards for a while. I completely understand your reasons behind this decision and I'm sure that "Craggy Island" will benefit from your presence.

    We will miss your particular brand of gaming and outlook on the hobby, but mostly we will misd YOU.

    Dave - I think that you are an excellent choice for continuing the site and I'm honoured to be able to assist you at Salute this year. It should be an amazing experience, even if we sadly won't be blesed with the presence of Stevie and Hils.

    I raise my glass to you all and wish everyone the very best for the future.

    Jez

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    1. Awwww Jez, hey I can become a character like a Craggy Island yokel. Saying things like "I killed a man Father" haahahaha. Your own unique brand of excellence over on your own site will be deeply missed my dear friend. But as you say, no goodbyes or endings, just new beginnings *big hug*

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    2. Thank you Jez, and the honour is mine having you join the team, as you say Steve and Hils will be missed, but they have to do what's best for them.

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  4. such sadness as i write these words. you have inspired me and kept me going when sometimes it has been hard. often your words to stick to your subject have given me renewed strength when it would have been so easy to falter and make stupid purchases instead of loving what i already have. words like these are essential, like a parent teaching a child the meaning of value and restraint. certainly i never took insult at any of this, and was grateful for the words and advice of respected elders who KNOW what they are taking about. my hobby in its current state is healthy B E C A U S E of these two amazing icons and no words of gratitude can ever truly express what i owe them. where ever you go and what ever your future holds i hope it is bright and wonderful, and i hope your hobby continues to be as amazing for you as (what i am sure is only) the tip of the ice burg you have shared with us all this time.

    dave is T H E only man who could take over and run this place properly, and i am sure he will bring a fabulous new age to things throughout 2018 and beyond.

    hail to you all, respect, honour, and friendship.

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    1. I have watched you grow Luke. Watched you focus, and witnessed a fine man turn into an even cooler one. Don`t change Luke my friend. You are on the path to becoming a very wise man and I only wish I`d actually been fortunate enough to meet you in person. All the very best with you, your brother, your Mum, and your passion for Bolt Action, and any other project you decide to pursue in the future. You`re one of the good guys Luke. keep saying it as it is.

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    2. Thank you Luke, I always look forward to reading your comments as they bring a unique perspective, so don't change and keep visiting please

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  5. Hey Luke, nicely said. I see we both share the same sentiment In a throwaway age of quick fix and an ever tempting and addictive commercial world of shiny things, these guys have tried (calmly but with steadfast conviction as they stand by their guns) to show us by informed observation that `the golden path` is so easy to slip from: endless temptation, a new kickstarter every few weeks, a new game every month, and endless new miniatures and expansions which keep us buying - buying more than we can ever hope to use, turning us into collectors and certainly not gamers anymore; an insidious time of addiction, like a sickness that has crept into our hobby with commercial impunity. THESE guys see it for what it is and try and show us "enjoy the hobby however you like, as is your right, but be aware there is another way." Like a non smoker telling a smoker, "Its your life and I wont tell you what to do, but here`s a glimpse into the cancer ward." Never nice to have to confront, but never the less absolutely the truth.

    But I think it is for their Battle Reports that they will most be missed. Sometimes epic classics which most people are unaware I am sure, just how much work goes into creating such high calibre material, over and over again. His story telling, woven into After Action Game Reports are the work of a craft master, full of wit and charm, often just darn right creepy and full of the macabre: and Hils (Hilary) his sweet wife - well, she tells it like it is, and for that she has my uttermost respect. The article on why you see a disproportionately low number of coloured skins in wargame armies was stunningly clear, and precisely accurate: and shocked me to the core by its stark and yet honest face on approach. I was shocked so few even bothered to comment on it at the time, but then again, am I that surprised? What embarrasses us often makes us ignore entirely. But that`s just our own bad and our own inability to deal. Never the less that article stands out in my mind as possibly the best thing ever to be bravely spoken within the hobby.

    Tarot, well she`s just a sweetie. Who can`t love that bubbly cheeky little minx: and like our intrepid duo, she is sorely missed here as well.

    Best of luck all you guys, with honour I raise my morning mug of tea in salute of you.

    Dave, you are an amazingly RIGHT choice to take over, and I comment that decision whole heartedly. Will you do it alone or will we perhaps see your wife join you from time to time?


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    1. You never cease to make me smile Dave. Good man yerself, and.... thanks mate.

      Will miss ya old timer *winks* and your own particular brand of military humour, you old Hereford veteran you (Oooops, you`ll have to kill me now).

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    2. I dare say you could still put me on my ass, you old 22nd you (oops maybe you have to kill me now too, see, 2 can play at that old game). >>grins<<

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    3. 22nd, meh never heard of `em.

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    4. Thank you Dave, your old army humour always makes me smile, hope you will continue to visit the cupboard

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    5. Dave I have asked Sarah, she seems unsure what she would write of interest, so any suggestions ? I thought she could do tales of a wargaming widow ! LOL

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  6. **strangled squark of anguish**

    I guess I have been privy to this from the start: first the initial thoughts, and the conversations about moving to a smaller, easier abode.. in a location of your absolute ideal setting. Then a silence and the idea was put on indefinite but infinite hold: only to surface again when you were approached about selling, and THE ideal house just seemed to present itself to you, like it was somehow just meant to be. I know you have struggled with not wanting to let Dave down, but guys.. you haven`t! You need to do this for yourselves, for the rest of your lives: go knowing we love you and wish only the absolute best for you. If you find along the way you have time to write the odd post or two, great, we will all benefit, and if it pleases you to write a bit now and again as time, inkling and the internet allows, then yeeeey for us!!

    Even as a small site (I recall someone once saying `a defunct little blog` hmmm!) you managed to turned this into a cool lounge to hang and enjoy the hobby to the full. I too am pretty much gone from here as my work draws me into ever more intense spirals of demand, and my own location makes it hard to impossible to write much of the time. Yet I appreciate how you guys always make me feel welcome anyway (and thank you too Dave, for that).

    Dave, all the very best. You have the reins now I think, and I just know you will do an amazing job here. Hmmmmm, no not a job: you will have amazing FUN here, there.. that`s better hehe. I wish you all the success in the world Dave and Sarah. I enjoy your things on Death Match, and love how you diversify from that to include Star Wars (your promise to include more Imperial Assault is very much appreciated), and perhaps we can see some of your Warhammer 40K both on display and in action on the table? Stevie was so very impressed by this when he visited you. He told me once "if I had his Warhammer collection, I would most likely give up all other gaming entirely and devote my hobby life to playing this and this alone." I think he actually meant it too.

    The we have the promise of DM skirmish ahead of us, and that tantalising promise of, what is it you say: {{ and sometimes something completely out of the blue, just depends on what I've played at the time.}} This is deliciously teasing, and promises to be most interesting. Whatever those treats might be hehe.

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    1. Thank you T girl, you always know just the right thing to say, bless. Love ya always and see ya again one day sweet one xx

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    2. Thank you T, your always welcome back when you have time or something to say.
      Will see what I can do with the 40K armies and BatReps as I used to enjoy gaming with them, will probably play it with an older set of rules as not a fan of the last couple.
      A good tease isn't a bad thing is it ? Plus I like to keep the odd secret or two in reserve ; )

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  7. Dave, one of the things that has sat in my mind and simply wont let go is a notion most unusual for me, as I rarely buy into anything new nowadays (and merely flesh out existing subjects and projects if I need to any time), but its this Age of Sigmar starter box set. Everything about it sounds awesome... except the ruddy price. What can you tell me about it mate? Is it compatible with 40K for example?

    As for you playing Warhammer 40K WOW what a cool thing that will be. I agree with you entirely though, I`d personally go for Rogue Trader and add in Realms of Chaos - both volumes (lots of room for conversions then).

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    1. Can't tell you much on Age of Sigmar I'm afraid, as I haven't gone any where near it since it's release. Had already been cutting down my Fantasy armies, and once this was released meant I had less interest so only have a few lizard man pieces left. The rules wouldn't take a lot to combine with 40k as they normally work along a similar mechanic

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    2. cheers mate. Most interesting. The 40k aspect interests me as I will have a neighbour (my age) who thinks, breathes, and lives for this game and has done since the early days in the 80`s. Hes a solo gamer and looking forward to having another fanatic close by. As for Age of Sigmar, I`m more interested in using it in my Game of Thrones rpg (which is a game I`ve never mentioned in TGC or to anyone outside the gang here). Have been playing the men of the Black and beyond "The Wall" and the `White Walkers` for years now, but never really got round to mentioning it, as our campaign is too far along the road to know where I`d even start to describe it to anyone not actually playing in it. Where do you start a game that`s five years into itself lol. But yeah, anyway... Age of Sigmar looks like it would include some mighty pieces to add in to some of the huge battles (wargames) coming up. I all already use all my Zombicide Black Plague for this. But I find I now need (never thought Id EVER say this) some armoured spiky bits hahahaha.

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    3. GW certainly do spikey and skull covered, great to hear you will have a new gaming buddy, any idea what army you will do ? As for the Game of Thrones RPG sound's like it's been a blast and a shame you've never showed it in the cupboard, but as you say hard to show when that far through

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    4. it was always time mate, time. We play a lot more than we blog you see, and you cant do both well. We actually (currently) play Thrones, Blakes 7, Batman Gotham, Horror Clix, Hero Clix, Lord of the Rings (40mm TMG), WWII and a bit of VBCW, Doctor Who, Imperial Assault and Edge of the Empire, D&D (Princes of the Apocalypse campaign) and Terminator Geniseys. All others are on hold atm for 2018 hehe. Apart from train sets of course *winks*

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    5. Time and desire are not great bed fellows are they ! It seems like every waking hour these days is business focused, I had almost forgotten the hobby side altogether, but posting on here has helped me rekindle a lot of my passion for my personal hobby, and should help me keep a better balance is time goes on

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  8. ((should add, the campaign is coming to its climatic close and the big end battles will be a spectacle to behold, that`s for sure)).

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    1. DRAGONS ! ! ! There be Dragons !

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    2. I want an undead Ice Dragon so BAAAAAD!!!

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    3. You have one dear. Remember? The Ice Dragon from the Super Dungeon Explore base game? That`s suitably fiendish and impressively large I`d say, right?

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    4. Oh golly gosh yessssss! Why of course. Not quite as impressive as Dave`s huge WTW dragon but would do nicely as a young 18 foot`er. And Daenery`s ARE all still only young `uns.

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    5. Joys of having a vast collection forgetting what we already have ! LOL

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    6. LOL so true mate. I`ve culled mine back about 80% this last few years but I STILL got a silly amount, must still be over 5000 figures haha.

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    7. Don`t you mean o u r s dear?


      *smiles sweetly*

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    8. oh, um *coughs* that`s what I said.... ours.

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    9. Dave, I DO hope I did. I`m sure I did didn`t I? Just in case I would like to say ThankYou for the cars you sent along to himself, they are simply unreal: I`d be hard pushed to get that rust effect if I tried all day. They are so perfect for my Terminator games; and that Digestion Pool is just wowee!! Your whole last package was sort of WOW actually, those new DM races are sooooo good. As for the two head hehe, most delightful :)

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    10. Always makes me laugh when the two of you discuss who's model is who's ! LOL
      Hils you did thank me, and you are most welcome, and you'll always have a small representation of the two headed monster no matter how far apart we are and unable to communicate as much as we have in the past.

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    11. hehe

      Actually, its quite simple. whats mine is mine and whats his is mine also.

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    12. oh yeah, you and who`s army.

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    13. Yours by the sound of it mate ! LOL

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    14. Okay I walked into that one.

      Burned again :-(

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  9. It`s interesting you mention GoT, I`ve recently taken this up as well. I looked and found so many bits and pieces of fantasy in my collection that I thought they`d make a great Thrones game, and the far North is simply crying out for Frostgrave, so that`s what I did. But I got to thinking many of Dave`s minis would fit in beautifully and seamlessly. Even the humans because paint their armour red and they make wonderful Lannisters and the weapons pack means you can equip them with an assortment of pretty nasty looking medieval type weapons.

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    1. GOT is a great back drop to start from with so much colourful diversity, plus backstabbing and cunning sub plans.
      I always try to make models that are versatile, some manufacturers cover their pieces in so many details it makes it a daunting task to reperpose them for other roles, I prefer to give a base model where it's easy to add the extra detail for the role people want to use it for

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  10. Sorry, relevant to nothing but I just gotta say it, cos I`m ill *cough, wheeze* and excited and.. `cos I wanna. Deep breath - I just ordered myself my first 00 scale railway platform for Victorian/Edwardian/WWII era train layout. Well, it was dead cheap and an absolute steal on Amazon.

    I`m sooooo excited, wooohoooO!!!

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    1. hmmm boys and their train sets. Hmmmmmmm hey, this isnt good: you`re actually getting me interested now, its all those extras, the horses and carts, and old fashioned Dad`s Army tractors, and fire engine, and the civilians and all the lighting effects and trimmings. Its not just a train set any more is it, it actually slowly transforming into a portable 3D working table top wargame board - with working train as well.

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    2. I shall remain strong and not go down this route no matter how cool it would be to have a working monorail on my sci-fi boards, I will resist and not think it's basic physics and all I really need is some magnets and electro magnets. And I've never contemplated this HONEST GUV ! LOL

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  11. no of course not Dave, you`re not considering it at all are you.

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    1. |Nope not at all ( Puts the plans back into the draw ! )! LOL

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