Monday, 21 April 2014

Free White Dwarf

I have piles! It's a serious problem, but you can help. This is my pile of old White Dwarfs, stuck in a couple of boxes in the loft for years. I am downsizing my collection so am giving them away to anybody who wants one.  There's a list over on the right, just let me know which you want, I can let you have a maximum of three copies to keep it fair  - first come, first served. Please don't ask me to list what each issue includes, you can google that. I can't afford to pay postage on them, you will have to do that, but it's your chance to fill any gaps in your collection, or have a look at how it used to be. Just leave me a message with your email in and we can take it from there - I will switch over to moderated messages so your details are not displayed in the comments.

Postage for a 2nd class small parcel will be about £3.50. That covers 3 copies of the magazine, in the UK only. The cost for overseas is probably too prohibitive, but if you are really insistent I will give you a no-obligation quote.

It's a limited time offer, the next recycle collection date is middle of May, so grab them before then or they will be turned into cardboard boxes. I am pretty sure I have another pile somewhere, earlier copies than these, but they will have to wait until my next trip up into the loft.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Drabant Vikings WIP 1

I have split the Drabant vikings into two batches, the first being these combat troops, the archers can wait. Cleaning metals is never easy for me, I much prefer plastics or resin, but these are a little bit different to the typical metals. They are a bit softer, so much so that any attached weapons were bent in an alarming fashion. Luckily, I was able to straighten them out without any breakages. The up side to the softer metal is that they are easier to clean of mould lines. There was no flash at all, I suspect any that is present straight from the mould is cleaned before they are packaged, which is a nice touch.

Some of the weapons, mostly the swords, are separate to the main figure. This means you have to drill a hole into the hand, clip off the pommel and part of the handle, and insert the remains of the handle into the hole. It's not too bad if you have the right size drill bit - mine of course was slightly too small, so much faffing about ensued. It was relatively easy to file down the sword handles to fit into the holes, but the spear was impossible. In the end I had to use a paper clip, which was too small in length, so I had to use two and pin the spear head onto one piece. After all that work, it looked wonky so I started again and used an axe instead. Historical hands and weapons are the bane of my hobby life! I cannot understand why the weapons and hands are not cast as one piece, to be simply glued on at the wrist.

Now that the prep is complete, I can look forward to painting them up. Normally I rush through historical figures and get them done to a tabletop level as quickly as possible. As these are such fine sculpts, I am going to take my time and give them a better paint job.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Easter Eggs

Here's my haul from Salute. I didn't actually go, but a mate did and picked these up for me. Six packs of Drabant Miniatures from the Old Glory stall, and a single fantasy miniature from Hasselfree. The vikings were 6 for the price of 5 so a good deal, I was convinced by what I had seen on the web that they were for me, thought I might as well take advantage of the show offer. There's 12 archers and 12 combat troops here - enough for 3 Saga points or a good addition to my viking collection for other games. When I have cleaned and prepared them I will put up some decent photos, but I can say already that they are the best dark age figures in my collection.

The Hasselfree mini I have bought as a companion to my upcoming Statuesque fantasy adventurers. I have no idea if the scale will match, but stylistically they seem as though they will be. I will know for sure when the Statuesque pre-order arrives. I don't know what to use them for yet, but have a few ideas in mind.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Dark Ages Levy

My Dark Ages collection continues to grow, the newest addition is these plastic levy troops from Gripping Beast. As a long time collector of fantasy figures, most of them the finely detailed examples available from GW, I have to say that I was a little underwhelmed when the promo pictures for the levy were first released. I had waited for them for so long, then eventually gave up and bought metal figures. However, when xmas came around I received a frame of these new plastics from gaming buddy Matt as a gift - my one and only wargaming gift of the season!

Looking at the frames the quality of the casting and mould lines is very good, as you would expect from Renedra. The sculpts are okay, the bodies are stooped a little and the heads are dominated by the older inhabitants of the village, but decent enough for levy. Assembled with spears I think they are passable, certainly better than the Wargames Factory plastics, though I remain unconvinced by the slinger poses.

They are easy to paint up, a few washes and they are done. With shields attached and assembled en-masse they look pretty decent, certainly as good as many of the metals on offer. Their biggest advantage is the cost. Forty figures to a box, that's five points of warrior quality troops in Saga terms, for about twenty pounds. Add in a blister of metals and a warlord and you have a six point warband. They are pretty generic so could be used as Vikings, Saxons, Danes, etc. If you are not too fussed about historical accuracy you could probably count them as just about any of the Saga factions warrior or levy troops. A good way to add numbers to your collection.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Tanatus Saxon Archers

It's been a few weeks since I previewed the Saxon archers by Tanatus Miniatures (original post here). Now that they are painted and based, I will reiterate what I said then, that these are finely detailed historical miniatures. They paint up really nicely with a few washes and glazes. I was sufficiently impressed to go a little further with them and add bow strings, using human hair double twisted for strength. They don't score any more hits on the battlefield, but they look like they mean to!

As usual with my dark age figures I have based them on pennies, which are magnetic. This means I can use them on their round bases in skirmish games like Saga, or I can build a movement tray for more conventional unit based games, most likely Hail Caesar at some point.

I have more dark ages metals on the way, coming to me all the way from Salute. When I have those ready I will take some pictures to compare the different manufacturers in my collection.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Do Not Attempt This At Home!

Following on from yesterday's quizzical post, I was indeed cutting out tiles for the roof of my new building. It seemed like a good idea at the time, it's made from strips of card, with slits cut for tiles. I stupidly decided to cut off the corners of each tile, it took me well over an hour to do the whole roof, which even for a rainy Sunday afternoon seemed like a very silly thing to do. It was only after I had finished that I searched online and found that Warbases made tiling sheets. At least I know for future projects! This is the state of play at the part painted stage. I texture painted the walls, then brown stained the timbers, before I assembled the building to save time. This was before the very silly roof episode.

I quickly painted the roof and weathered the walls earlier today. Now that it's finished, it does look rather nice and will be particularly suitable to games of warhammer and medieval historical. At this stage, those of you that actually pay attention to this blog will be thinking to themselves, hang on a minute, I thought this building came with teddy fur for the roof and that it was going to be used in a dark age setting. And you would be right. Both of you. But fear not, I have a cunning plan that will enable me to use the thatched roof as well as this one. Which partly makes up for the excess of snip, snip, snip that has got me to this stage, but I have to say that it's not the best way to tile a roof. So please remember, this stunt has been performed by an expert, do not attempt this at home.