Last Friday, my wife and our daughter who was burned out after the loss of her grandmother and the day to day pressure of having three young boys who don't understand all the tears and upset, decided that they would go and see the latest Jurassic Park offering. Thus I spent a hard 4 hours after a long day at my desk writing the painting instructions for the Perry Miniatures stuff which I blogged about last week.
I dutifully sent it off to the painter and went to bed at 1AM, awaking at 6AM with a start because I realised that I'd forgotten amongst all the minute of my brief, to note the colour of hat bands for the two sides - B****r!
Anyway, we had a reasonably relaxed weekend, driving up to the East coast for tea on Saturday and just mooching around the house on Sunday doing things such as clearing closets and sorting through the Perry stuff to make up the units and label them accordingly which was wonderful, let me tell you.
Anyway, I had done all this when I was contacted by a chap who wanted to sell his plastic ECW collection for a 4 figure sum. They looked OK in the pics and I decided to buy these instead of have the painting done. Alas, doing due diligence I asked for close ups yesterday and they were not as nice, being blocked and dipped. Many of you will know that I loathe dipped miniatures, so I reluctantly had to decline the offered models and thus today I sent the first 13KG package off to the painter and paid out just shy of £3000.00 which will be followed by another £900+ on Monday when I have placed the order for more models that I require and arranged payment and delivery of the same at Britcon in August. I figure that if I have it all paid off, all I have to do is sit back and await delivery.
To be honest I am happy with this because Lancashire Games are a painters painter... They know what they are about. I don't have the time or inclination after a week painting, and all I ask is nice figures painted by someone who knows their way around the materials.
A lot of people look at me agog, but look, it's akin to a chef visiting the restaurant of one of his peers. It's a mark of trust and respect, and a joy, because you are able to put some of the money you make back into the industry that feeds and clothes you.
I have had a couple of approaches from other painters who sell themselves on being 5p cheaper than X or Y and frankly, they can screw themselves... 5p? Really?
Jesus, if you are playing penny games with me then you are not even remotely on my wavelength, and that's before we even discuss your ability, knowledge and professionalism, which frankly are about where my own was (and indeed those of my contemporaries) 35 years ago.
So, no, I'll back Allan at Lancashire every time. He has a really good 28mm painter in his stable who I am very, very happy with.
Next we are planning the building of a bloody big log cabin here at Fackham Hall. We have had the quotes from our builders who say that £30,000 will probably be enough, and they will do great and wondrous things as always. If all things go to plan, we'll have that sorted in the next 12 months and then we intend to run an open house policy for passing gamers in a similar manner to the late, great Mr Gilder.
Roger of course has a standing invitation which, I hope he will abuse mercilessly when visiting family here in his home city. Mind you he muttered something about 'Napoleonics' and '100 battalions' and '28mm' which is causing me night terrors.
The terrain cards will be modified Adrians Walls boards and Gran Manner have graciously agreed to do a bit of casting for me so that we'll have their stunning church as the centre of the fictional village of Fackham In The Marsh.
Finally, last week my wife, being the absolute gem she is, took me to pick up and get fitted for my 50th birthday gift. OK, my birthday is not until the week after Britcon, but she has bought me one f the things I have craved since I was 17 - A Longines divers watch.
This is a beautiful timepiece with some serious specs. My biggest love after wargaming are watches and I am not one for ostentatious Rolex and Tudor watches - they leave me cold - which I used to sell to the undiscerning 33 years ago when I worked at prestige jewellers in Sheffield. I am looking for precision, Swiss workings and ridiculous 'ticks'. This watch has a ticks per second count of 6! The down side is that an annual service starts at £200!
It's a doozy and I have insisted that Kayte locks it away until I cross the date line between the 17th and 18th of August. It will be on my wrist at 'The Other Partizan' of course...
Here are a few pics of it. Just look at the size of the manual:
I am a lucky man and there's not a day that I forget that!
To come from a starting point where we fed two people on £7 per week, to where we are now, is something for which we are very, very grateful. And to share that journey with a woman like my wife is priceless.
The only thing which has rattled me this lat week was a 'dream'
I had met the late Peter 'Greblord' Armstrong and Paul Green on a corner of a street 'somewhere' and after a light chat with Pete about his being deceased and noting that his right eye was solid black, he suggested I accompany him down a staircase with P.G and towards a train. I obliged with a sense of discomfort.
It was very dark down there, not totally, but a grey colourless light which literally sucked colour from things. Pete was trying to encourage me to board a tube train (or similar) which was packed with grey people of every type. P.G got on board and Pete held me by the upper arm quite firmly, but I would not get on. He told me that ... I can't recall but it was a good reason in his view, for boarding... and I broke free and made my way back to the stairs, where colour could be seen about half way up, sort of fighting for want of a better term, with the greyness below.
Then I simply woke up.
Now, I must bid you a very, very goodnight as I need to watch an episode of 'Fame' and maybe a 1983 Top Of The Pops with my good lady and 4 dogs.