Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Vikings, Space Pods and Steam Tanks

Over the weekend I visited the historic city of York to attend the wargames show, Vapnartak. There was plenty to see and do, I went with no real agenda, just to wander round and see if I could unearth anything unusual. I did think beforehand that, in this day of information overload on the internet, there would be no surprises, but I was wrong.

Let's start with the vikings. York was a big viking settlement in the 9th and 10th century, known as Jorvik. There is an excellent tourist attraction in the town, with a recreated section of the settlement, complete with sights, sounds and smells, well worth a visit if you like your viking history. I was chatting to a viking whilst there, trying to gain some snippets of information to help me with colours should I ever get round to building a viking warband for Saga. His advice for historical accuracy was a little surprising. He suggested that much of the cloth worn would have been pink; red dye was made from the shells of insects, but it faded easily to a pale red or pink. Looking at pictures on their website you can see much of the clothing was indeed like this. Another little snippet was that they were very clean, washing daily and even setting aside one day per week as washing day (Saturday, as it happens). Many of the artifacts found are related to hygiene or grooming, such as hair combs, tweezers and even ear spoons. The soap they used stripped the colour from their hair, possibly accounting for their idealisation as blonde-haired warriors. So, that's my Saga viking warband planned - pink tunics and blonde hair, very intimidating.

At the show I had a good look at the Sarissa Precision range of mdf buildings. I have seen them on the website and reviewed on blogs, but there's nothing like seeing them in real life to really appreciate how good they are. I wanted a small selection to give me some options when it comes to gaming with my Sedition Wars figures, so they put together a small bundle of a trio of buildings at a discounted price. I want to get them painted up as soon as possible, hopefully within the next few months. More on Sedition Wars in the very near future, as I started painting my first batch of figures just today.

One of the big pleasures of the day was coming across some completely new (to my eyes) figures. The pick of the bunch for me was a company called Ironclad Miniatures. They make a range of figures, different scales and genres, but I was drawn to their Victoriana/steampunk items. There were some nice oddball figures in the mix, a cook armed with a rolling pin, a shotgun wielding butler, that sort of thing. The thing that really caught my eye was the range of steam tanks. There were about a dozen or so of these which I have absolutely no use whatsoever for in gaming terms, so I bought two of them, just to paint up. They would probably fit right into a game of Dystopian Legions if ever I go down that route, or any other steampunk type game. Another little project to plan for, maybe later in the year.

There were dozens of traders at the the show, from big names to little fish, each selling a huge range of figures, from the bland to the brilliant. From the sheer variety I would hazard a guess that gamers have never had so much choice. It's hard to choose which genre to play, let alone which rules set. But these are very pleasant problems to ponder.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...