Thanks for your interest in the OSFMAPA! I hope you will join our group and help us as we share our experiences and knowledge of the history and artistry of fantasy miniatures.
This FAQ is designed to explain what the OSFMAPA is all about, and hopefully answer some of the most common questions you may have about the group. Please feel free to contact me (Scott Burnley oldschoolfantasy [AT] gmail [DOT] com) if you have any questions that I failed to answer here.
What is an “APA”?
The term “APA” stands for “Amateur Press Association”. It is simply a group of enthusiastic fans of any particular subject that band together to produce a publication for their mutual enjoyment. Each member writes an article, prints a copy for every member of the group, and mails the whole package to the Central Mailer (CM) for binding and mailing of the completed publication (“APAzine”) to each of the members.
There are dozens of active APAs around the world, focusing on many varied subjects. Science fiction fans united in the 1930’s to produce some of the earliest APAs, and the subject remains one of the most popular to this day. APAs about comic books, horror stories, role-playing games, and popular TV shows are published all the time. You may wish to read this very informative article about APAs on Wikipedia. The article also includes a list of many current APAs.
Why should I join the OSFMAPA?
To share your enthusiasm and stay connected with like-minded fans of old school fantasy miniatures. The regular schedule of producing articles for the membership allows you to expand and deepen your knowledge of the subject, and make a lasting contribution to our hobby. You get your own copy of our APAzine, the Journal of the OSFMAPA, delivered to you every mailing. Contained within each issue of the Journal are informative articles by the most serious fans and collectors of fantasy miniatures. It’s also a great deal of fun!
Who can join the OSFMAPA?
Any serious fan, collector, student, or artist of fantasy miniatures 18 years or older may join. You must use your own name within OSFMAPA communications, remain current with your annual dues, and meet the minimum activity requirements (minac) specified in the rules to remain a member.
What does it cost?
Annual dues for the OSFMAPA are US$25. Your dues pay for printing the Journal covers, table of contents, and various reports included by the CM in each issue, as well as the shipping expenses to mail the copies out to the membership. The OSFMAPA is a non-profit endeavor, and dues will be adjusted up or down as prices for postage and materials change.
You will also bear the cost of producing, printing (presently up to 30 copies per issue), and mailing your articles to the CM for inclusion regularly in the Journal.
What is minac?
“Minac” stands for “minimum activity requirement”. This is the minimum amount of work you need to do to remain a member of the OSFMAPA.
Every member must contribute 2 pages of original text for each mailing of the Journal. A page of original text is defined as 1 side of an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper containing atleast 250 words of original, self-generated text prepared by the member exclusively publication in the OSFMAPA Journal. In the event a member misses submitting a contribution for a Journal mailing, he must contribute a “double minac” (or, 4 pages of original text) for inclusion in the next Journal or lose his membership for at least 1 mailing.
Journal contributions may contain much more than the 500 words of original text required. Photos, artwork, catalog or magazine clippings, or anything else of interest to the membership may also be included in your Journal submission, as long as the 2 page (500 word) minimum is met.
For what it’s worth – this little FAQ would qualify as a double minac (over 1000 words).
What do I write about?
You may write about anything related to fantasy miniatures that may be of interest to the membership. We will have a theme, or topic, for each issue of the Journal to help members decide on subjects they may want to write about. You are not required to write “on topic” as long as your submission is related to the field of fantasy miniatures.
Journal themes could be based on a particular manufacturer, say “Ral Partha”, “Heritage Models”, “Archive Miniatures”, “Citadel”, “Dragontooth Miniatures”, etc… Or a notable sculptor like “Tom Meier”, “Tom Loback”, “Neville Stocken”, “Dennis “Max Carr”, etc… Or perhaps an idea like “Favorite sculpt”, “Recasts”, “Dragons”, “Fantasy Armies”, “Convention Stories”, “Dwarves”, “Painting Minis”, “Science Fiction”, “Monsters’, etc… The list is endless, and the membership will have regular votes to pick the topics for future issues.
Your submissions do not have to be scholarly texts. Enthusiasm can go a long way. You could write about the new batch of minis you just won off of eBay, and present some pictures of how well they painted up… Maybe you want to do a convention report and talk about that awesome Battle of the Pelennor Fields you participated in with “Uncle” Duke Seifried (Pictures please!)… Or just reminisce about the thrill of pulling pacDragontooth minis off the racks in your local hobby shop back in 1981… What you write about is purely up to you. For your first article you could simply introduce yourself to the group, tell us a little about your collection, and maybe even showcase a few pictures of your favorite minis.
You have a unique perspective on our hobby, and you can contribute something of value to our group!
What do you mean by “Old School Fantasy Miniatures”?
“Fantasy miniatures” are the gaming figures used to play games such as Dungeons & Dragons, Chainmail and Runequest. I include the figures used for science fiction games like Traveller, Galacta, and Starguard in my definition of fantasy miniatures. The term “Old School” refers to my own preference for “pre-slotta”, or, to put a sharp point on it, figures that are not Warhammer related. Games Workshop revolutionized the industry in the 1980’s when they brought out their very popular lines of figures, and they maintain a very devoted fan base. The fan presence for GW miniatures on the web and in magazines is enormous, and matters concerning them are more than adequately covered by these other sources. I would like the OSFMAPA to focus primarily on the earlier lines of figures, but the membership ultimately will determine the direction that the group travels.
How can I join?
Write the current CM, Scott Burnley (me!) oldschoolfantasy[AT]gmail[DOT]com and I will send you a copy of the rules of the OSFMAPA to review, as well as let you know if there are any vacancies in our membership or if you will be placed on the waitlist. As soon as membership (or standing on waitlist) is approved, you will receive an invitation to our Yahoo! Group site where you can join our online forum discussing any matters before the OSFMAPA. I will also be glad to answer any additional questions you may have regarding any aspect of the OSFMAPA.
Please join us…
Founder and Central Mailer of the OSFMAPA