Sunday, 8 June 2014

A Long Week, With Some Fun Toys... And The Beating Of Staples into Swords


It's been a long week, work-wise. Alas, the week began with a hospital visit, which plays hell with my schedule for the week, every time. But, if I am going to keep the hands (and other soft tissues and organs) in good condition, I have to put up with this...

But, despite some long and hard days, I have also had a few nice deliveries this week.

First up was a set of Chaos Dwarf Mortar and Bazooka models from eBay, which at £16 for the lot wee pretty fair. I did win another bazooka, but after 3 weeks or more there was still no sign of it as of this morning. I really hate it when an eBayer with no feedback as such tries to stall me for a few pounds. Really; it's not worth it as I am always going to follow it up.

Thanks to getting back in touch with Andy Needham, an acquaintance of yore, and playing some rather fun games of Command & Colours at my original wargames club in the last few months, I decided that I really want to get into the period in the same way that the renaissance era affected me for 30 years or more. With this in mind, I purchased 700 Minifigs and Heritage French from Mike Oliver of Warmodelling UK, via eBay and whilst they are plain paint jobs which need some repairs and a proper basing job, at £220 they were a bargain. The touching up of pompoms and the tops of shakos, together with a wash of 'Army Painter' soft tone ink and distilled water has proved a good move in this morning's field tests, and with the bases and a high gloss (yes you read that correctly) it will give me a pretty instant army of 18 units of foot, 12 of horse and around 30 guns & limbers.

I'll then slowly work on the Imperial Guard painted to my 'usual standard'.

I find that as a full time painter of no mean ability, I tend to lose the drive when faced with a personal lead mountain; so this is a great way to maintain my momentum and interest as I paint the 'real' army.

Now, a lot of the cavalry were missing sword blades, and so I came up with a great repair method. Take a pack of 2500 staples of size 26/6 and priced at 50P at ASDA. Cut a nick in the sword hand, clip a length from the 'long' side of the staple and fix with superglue. Touch the hand up with a little paint and you have a very realistic looking sword. 12 models took me 30 mins. 132 more to go!

But this method WORKS! Forget drilling as it's too fiddly.

Next up, came my long awaited box of miniatures for the OGRE game by Steve Jackson Games. For those who don't know, the basic premise is that in the future, the battlefields will be ruled by truly enormous A.I controlled cybernetic tanks called OGREs and that grav vehicles and traditional style tanks will be pitted against them in a David & Goliath type manner. Anyway, although the original was a traditional boardgame there was a set of miniatures rules written and some rather nice (and hefty) 1/285 scale miniatures produced.

Well, I managed to find someone who was looking to sell their collection and I paid what we both agreed was a fair price.

The toys arrived on Saturday and so this A.M with the first cup of coffee of the day I sat and priced this up against the recently re-released models, and the result looked something like this:


Combine

5 Bigfoot mobile howitzer $49.75
12 Gremlin Lgev  $47.60
3 Minotaur Howitzer  $44.85
4 Roadrunner gev-pc  £27.80
16 banshee missile tanks  $111.20
18 Raptor gev $125.10
12 Yankee light tanks  $47.70

Paneuropean 

4 Eisenfaust mobile howitzer  $51.80
24 Galahad gev $166.80
20 Jaeger heavy tanks  $139.00
5 Seguro gev-pc  $34.75
18 Cossack lgev  $71.10
18 hammer light tanks  $89.10
3 arquebus howitzer  $44.85
9 Ajax missile tanks  $62.55
6 Thor super heavy tanks  $95.70


32 strips of 3 infantry or infantry support guns  $95.20
Mk 1 ogre  $15.95
Mk 2 ogre  $19.95
Fencer $29.95
2 x Mk 3 ogre  $59.90Mk 4 ogre  $39.95
Mk 5 ogre  $39.95
Swimming OGRE $4.95
2 command posts 1 of each  $31.90

Now that totals up to $1547.35

Convert that using XE.com and we have a total value of £920.75

Add to this that I would be hit for £40 shipping from the U.S and customs fees of about 20% on the total
including the postage cos postage; and add the fact that there's also a pile of rulebooks and stuff in the 
post that would not fit in the box, and you'll appreciate why I am a very happy bunny.

And last up; I've been caught late in the day by the forthcoming 'All Quiet On The Martian Front' 15mm
miniatures game, which pits the forces of humanity circa the beginning of the 20th century versus the 
enormous mechanical tripod forces of the planet Mars. It's stirring stuff, and although at first I was a bit
'MEH!' about the game, I confess that as I have seen the recent previews, I gave myself a talking to for not
getting in on the 'Kickstarter' campaign - my loss.

Well, I have decided to order a fair amount from Wayland Games as this week, I can get a total of 15% off
RRP and post free, so I feel a few starter sets, and a one or two boxed sets of toys should give me all I need.
I did manage to find a chap selling a few of the pre-release models from his own Kickstarter pledge and I 
snapped them up including shipping from the U.S for less than half of the basic U.K prices currently being 
quoted. I look forward to this game with some enthusiasm.

So on the face of it, although the work and health side of things have been a chore, the toys that have arrived
have been rather splendid.

One thing which did irk me somewhat was Warlord Games sending out an advertisement vie email on 6th June
pushing their D-Day range of stuff. Frankly, I find it was somewhat akin to Home Depot offering a deal on 
timber and nails at Easter. I appreciate that they are a business, but maybe for one day every so often; you could
forget their old Games Workshop styles of hard selling. I am relieved that they didn't take a trade stand to 
Normandy. 

Or did they?

We did not go to either club, this week. We were both pretty washed out. Instead, I spent Wednesday 
evening building a LEGO model of ECTO-1 from the Ghostbusters film. It was very therapeutic, quite frankly
and filled 3 hours or so. Of course, today is the 30th anniversary of the first California (ie: official) screening 
of Ghostbusters , and so I'll be watching it tonight with some home made sugar/salt popcorn.






Yesterday, Dave (my usual non-club gaming opponent) and I played Command & Colours Napoleonics, 
refighting the two days of Rolica. I was Wellington, and despite the lax performance of the right wing, on 
day one was able to win both battles, although admittedly it was a damn close run thing!