Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Some more British for the North West Frontier, workbench plans, ECW, retro dinosaurs, medieavals and some Philip Glass

Well, I finished another four British infantry for the Second Afghan War today.  They are going to look good en masse I think (given my idea of en masse is about twenty figures!).  I have eleven more to do before I get on with some of the Indian figures.  Although I enjoyed painting them, I have some issues with these Artizan figures, which I expand upon in my Sub-Continent blog.

Elsewhere on the workbench, I have some Lucid Eye Neanderthals I want to finish, which I may have a go at over the weekend.  Work also continues on the Carolingians for Lion Rampant, with the first eight archers being based and ready for undercoating.  I am going to see if I can get some more of these at Salute, which is not far off now.  For the first time ever, given the tedious wait I experienced last year, I have pre-ordered a ticket, although I usually get there at about eleven, when there is no queue. I really don't want to significantly add to the lead pile this year so will confine myself to Carolingians and North West Frontier (if they have them).  The only thing I might get, if available, will be some of the new Footsore Franco-Prussian War figures.

Empress Oxford Army pikemen

A couple of pieces on the Wargames News and Terrain site caught my eye this week.  Firstly, Empress Miniatures have released some new figures for their early English Civil War range.  I bought some of the initial release, even though I have a lot of the excellent Renegade figures, because I am more interested in the early years of the war than the New Model Army period. I though the range had died and hadn't realised that Empress had been steadily releasing a lot more packs in this range.  I must dig out the ones I started. The new ones are for the King's Oxford Army of 1643 which were quite effectively uniformed in red or blue with montero caps.  

Antediluvian Megalosaurus

The other interesting post featured a new company to me, Antediluvian Miniatures, who have produced a couple of large (15cm) dinosaur models based on the reconstructions put up under the supervision of Richard Owen at Crystal Palace in 1851.  Of course, these reconstructions are nothing like what we now know Iguanodon and Megalosaurus looked like but as Lost World or centre of the earth type creatures they are very effective and, indeed, rather charming.

I read an enjoyable novel by Greg Bear, a few years ago, called Dinosaur Summer, which is about a world where Professor Challenger and his successors bring dinosaurs back from the Lost World plateau for dinosaur circuses.  Set in the thirties the book features an expedition to take one of the last surviving circus dinosaurs back to the plateau.  What was interesting about it, from this point of view, is that it contemplates the fact that the dinosaurs on the plateau have continued to evolve so do not necessarily all resemble those in the fossil record.  I like the idea of these Antediluvian creatures having evolved from their original therapod ancestors into these lumbering quadrupeds.

It says something for the buzz around Lion Rampant that Crusader Miniatures have come out with some more packs for their 7th Crusade, mid thirteenth century, range in order to provide all the troop types for the rules.  These days I find Crusader's figures a bit too chunky for my tastes but they are certainly easy to paint and I have got quite a few of their Dark Ages figures.

Today's music is from my quite large collection of minimalist music; which consists largely of Glass, Adams (or is he a post-minimalist?), Reich and Nyman. The Legatus is something of a completist and for many years one of my favourite minimalist CDs was Philip Glass' Dancepieces, which featured five pieces from his ballet music In the Upper Room.  This week I was browsing through iTunes, looking for something else, and I found the complete suite so I was able to download the four tracks I was missing from the piece.  It is always rather satisfying to discover extra pieces of a well loved work and this particular piece is powerfully nostalgic.

I discovered this piece when I was living in my first flat, in Wimbledon, so it is forever aurally reminiscent of my girlfriends at the time.  I had moved in to the flat in May and, rather disgracefully, I was running five ladies at the same time during that memorable summer in 1988.  Although one of these, A, the girl in the flat downstairs, who was a nurse, soon cottoned on to the other young ladies coming to stay over, so she soon went off in a huff.  "I don't want to be part of a harem!" she said acidly, after I had cooked her a rather good paella, complete with a lobster on top, and she had drunk most of a bottle of CVNE Imperial Rioja Gran Reserva 1976.  If she had told me this before lunch I could have invited K around instead and she would have been a lot more appreciative.  Two of the other girls knew about the existence of each other and while not happy about it they didn't go off in a huff (reader, I married one of them).  Two of them had known each other at university (they were in the nature of lingering ex-girlfriends) and we had rather 'elastic' relationships, which meant, essentially that we 'went out' with each other if we didn't have anyone else serious on the go.  I think the modern term is 'f*** buddy'.

Anyway, one of these girls (I have written about her before in relation to running in Richmond Park) really liked the Philip Glass piece so it reminds me of her and my decadent summer of juggling (and what lovely juggles she had too).  

Incidentally, what is it with people called Philip (in this case)?  Why on earth can't they all agree on how to spell their name? If I am emailing someone called Philip I always have to double check the spelling and if I haven't got my glasses on all the 'l's and 'i's merge into one, zebra-striped blur anyway.  Are they Phillip, Philipp or even Phillipp.? Sort yourselves out, Phils!  


  1. Great looking British; I almost that they had pikemen in the Frontier - just did a quick glance at the second image. :)

  2. Spotted those Empress figures myself as well... man, my ECW project is so close....

  3. Phillips have it easy compared with us Alastairs! !

    Love Philip/Phillip Glass by the way.