Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shopping, shopping, shopping!

Oh dear, the lead (and plastic pile) has had some substantial additions over the last couple of weeks.  I've been very good about not buying much lately but the fact that I have actually completed a few figures has engendered a mad rush of purchases.

First off is Gripping Beast's "limited edition" Skraelings for Saga.  I saw these at Salute but they had run out of them so when I saw some on eBay I had to get them on the basis that they may disappear before I got them (which I am sure was Gripping Beast's cunning plan anyway).  I've always wanted to do Vikings v American Indians but could never find any suitable figures.  I'm not sure how historically accurate these are as they appear to be standard woodland Indians but with stone axes and spears.  I'm not sure they would have had buckskin leggings a thousand years ago but they are very nice figures at the bigger end of 28mm.  The only slightly disappointing thing about them is the comparatively limited number of poses which means quite a lot of duplication: not very good for skirmish figures. Still, I've based some and will try to get one painted in the next week or so.

Next up I went into Orc's Nest and they had a set of the new Victrix plastic Hoplites in there so I had to buy a box of those.  I haven't made any yet but they seem to be somewhere in size between the old Immortal (now Warlord) ones and the large Artizan (now Gorgon) Spartans.  I suspect that once painted they might all actually go with each other quite well.

Unfortunately I seem to be having meetings in and around Pall Mall quite a lot lately so Orc's Nest is never far away.  My latest trip into its gloomy depths saw me emerge with a box of Warlord's British Crimean infantry.  I had bought a set of eight of these some time ago and started to paint them but stopped when, annoyingly, I broke off one of the figures bayonets.  They are very delicate and I will have to watch this in future.  I had held off buying any more of these as it looked like they had abandoned the period but latterly we have had some wonderful cavalry figures appearing and the promise of plastic Russians.

Other than these boxes I took advantage of the newly reduced Foundry postage rates to get some African askaris for my Zambezi project, some AWI minutemen and a pack of naked Amazon hoplites for my Argonauts project.  In addition I bought the latest Hail Caesar supplement which covers the Dark Ages.

Jill St John demonstrates that the best figures are not necessarily made of metal or plastic

I was making my way back from Orc's Nest towards the National Gallery (I often arrange meetings in the excellent cafe there) when I took a short cut around the back and found a cinema book and DVD shop I hadn't seen before called, with great originality, The Cinema Store.  It had an excellent collection of film books and I picked up a series on Bond girls which had a lot of stills in it which were new to me.  It also sells Playboy (I have 546 issues in my collection), which is getting increasingly difficult to buy in the UK since W H Smiths stopped stocking it.

Orc's Nest is close to Foyles which has the best military history section of any bookshop I have been to.  Last week I picked up this book on uniforms of the America War of Independence.  I don't know how accurate it is but it is quite inspirational and has some excellent illustrations both modern and historical

Foyles used to stock pretty much all of the Osprey's but their selection, especially of the Men-at-Arms series, is much depleted these days so it's off to eBay mostly.  I picked up the Campaign Boston 1775 book, which is going to be the subject of my initial AWI units, for a good price.  I bought it for the battle of Bunker Hill (or Breed's Hill as it rightly entitles it) but notice that it also has a good account of the North Bridge action, featured as a Black Powder game in Miniature Wargames some months ago, which is what got me thinking about AWI skirmishing

I have been going to Oxford quite a bit lately and had another day there last week.  I picked up the new Osprey on the Roman Republican legionary as I am contemplating painting some more of these to go with the two small legions I have already.  Even better I had amassed enough Waterstones points that I didn't have to pay for it!

Go Bradley!

So now all I have to do is find somewhere to put all this stuff!  I did get a bit more done on my Back of Beyond Russians and they may be finished by this weekend, with a bit of luck, although I am spending quite a lot of time watching the Tour de France at present.  I can now paint and watch the Tour, however, as I have discovered I had a big problem with my internet connection.  Guy kept shouting at me as every time I went on the net it would crash his Xbox game.  He did a connection speed check and found we were getting a connection speed of 498K instead of 4-6MB.  It turns out that my useless ISP hadn't changed my line when I switched from dial-up to broadband so all this time I have had terrible connection speed without really knowing it.  It was only when Guy started playing online games that the problem became apparent.  A stiff letter is now being drafted.  But now I can watch live TV online and paint at the same time! 

Friday, July 06, 2012

Foundry cut their last

So, Foundry have announced that they are cutting their flat rate postage from £8 to £4.  Although this is still higher than most manufacturers 10-15% it still makes a big difference to me when ordering.  I rarely want enough figures in one go to warrant free postage but for 3 or 4 packs I'm happy to pay £4.  Now I can get those new Tribes of Legend Amazons, along with the odd pack of Darkest Africa I need for my Arab slaver force.  A sensible move.

These new Amazon Hoplites remind me of my Greek ex-girlfriend F in all her blue-black bushiness...