Sunday, 22 March 2015

Sometimes, the attraction to lead, has to be sated with a 'silly' purchase.

I think that we all have weak moments in our pursuit of the hobby, and today I have had one of those moments.

In the 80s I literally bought every new model as it arrived in Games Workshop, Sheffield. I almost lived in there; in fact if a particularly desirable item was due in stock, I'd (and I don't even blush to recall this) be there an hour before opening and half an hour after closing lest I miss it, or it be placed on the shelf after I had been thrown out at closing time, just to thwart my need for lead.

I have a vague memory of being found, one chilly November morning with my nose and tongue frozen to the glass of the shop window, and that the staff had to help remove me. But that can't be right because Pete, Chris and Lisa would have stood there in the store and waved, laughed and phoned around all my mates to come and do the same. *sigh*

Anyway, one of the models which I tackled was the Great Spined Dragon, sculpted by Nick Bibby (who also painted arguable the best White Dwarf cover ever). It was not as large as the Imperial Dragon, but it was still an impressive model which was a complex build and required you to make your own membranes for the wings using some rather crude templates on top of doing some really serious pinning.

Well, I got mine built and I started painting it. As, like most of my mates at the time, I took great pride in using complex materials and an over-serious approach in painting lead dollies, I decided to paint the dragon, one scale at a time, fully shading and highlighting to the nth degree. You couldn't hold the model, so I decided to begin on the underside and balanced the dragon on my bedroom drawers, overhanging the edge. I laid on my back, with spotlight aimed upwards, and a complex array of paints at my side, all of which were oil based and rather noxious.

The upshot was that I completed 14 scales before I gave up and traded it of for something or other with a friend. But my, were they wonderful looking scales.

And so, that model was forgotten, although I did almost buy one in the late 90s on the Sheffield Triples bring & buy, but the price was frankly stupid.

This week, completely on whim I got the idea to own a reasonably large dragon again, and of course it had to be an 80s casting. I had a bit of my pocket money left and so I made that 'silly' purchase:

It was certainly not cheap, but in the big picture, and compared to some prices I've seen it listed at, it was a a bargain, particularly (and I am sure you will agree) because it is nicely painted and the wings wonderfully well done.

Now I just have to hope that it reaches me in this condition...