Friday, 30 September 2016

Bye, Bye Boutiques

This is a piece that I wrote early on but didn't get round to posting. As I think about what I'm going to do for the last three months of the year I came across it and decided to post it. 

As part of my overall strategy of balancing the three demands of Time, Money and Space I decided to look at whether to clear out any of the "boutique" games that I'd purchased in the last couple of years. As it was I hadn't been too indulgent and I only had the Batman Miniatures Game and Carnevale to look at. 

Having collected a few Batman comics when that was one of my things back in the 80s, I always had a soft spot for the Caped Crusader. When the game came out it coincided with Gotham starting on the TV so I was enthused to order a copy of the rules with the Alfred figure. Both the book and figure were top quality. I then starting to properly think about what was needed to play a game ie. a number of very expensive figures which would need very careful (read time consuming)  painting . Would it keep my interest long enough to warrant the outlay in money and time?

My other impulse boutique purchase was Carnevale, which came on the back of reading the excellent "The Bellini Card" by Jason Goodwin, one of his Yashim the Ottoman Detective novels . This book is set in Venice and reignited an interest I've had with the city since visiting it. I'd been aware of the Carnevale game for awhile and decided to take the plunge. An order for the rulebook and a starter set of figures was placed and duly came. Once again lovely book and figures. But after the initial excitement reality struck. Long term was the outlay worth the return? 

After much thought and being ruthlessly honest with myself I decided that the time needed to paint up opposing factions and make appropriate terrain for what may be only a couple of sessions of gaming, coupled with some significant monetary outlay on assembling the forces meant that neither game was viable. 

A quick post on The Lead Adventure forum and within days both Batman and Carnevale had found new homes and I'd recouped a fair amount. And I think that's me done with the boutiques. As a postscript to this I've since found out that the makers of Carnevale have gone belly up so I'm very pleased that I didn't invest any more in this. I have boxes of Celtos figures and the AE:WW2 rules gathering dust to show what happens when the boutique bubble bursts. 

What's on the table - September 2016 UPDATE

Updates to the original list:
  • Oathsworn Miniatures Burrows and Badgers Mouse Knight - COMPLETED
  • Cromwell 1/76th Pz IV H – no progress
  • Revell 1/144th Hawker Hurricane – COMPLETED
  • Revell 1/144th Bf-109E – COMPLETED
  • Newline Designs 10mm Greek Hoplites - no progress
Bf-109 bouncing a Hurricane - Revell 1/144th Microwings
Additional items I worked on:
  • Oathsworn Miniatures Burrows and Badgers Adder Mage - cleaned and primed
  • Oathsworn Miniatures Burrows and Badgers Otter Rogue - cleaned and primed
  • Oathsworn Miniatures Burrows and Badgers Weasel - cleaned and primed
  • Revell 1/76th Comet - main assembly complete, base coat applied
I more or less stuck to the plan for September completing my third Burrows and Badgers figure and the two 1/144th planes. I'm not going to say too much about these as I want to post separately on each. 

Monday, 26 September 2016

Essex Warriors Open Day

Sunday saw the Essex Warriors open day held at Writtle Village Hall -

I've been to this show a lot over the years. The guys at the club are a good bunch, there's always a few traders you can pick some bits up off and there's a good old fashioned bring and buy. I've usually managed to get rid of items that would never make the painting table   - we've all got items like that. This year though I didn't have anything that I wanted to take along and I think that's a sign of success. I've been more discerning in my buying recently and I've also been more disciplined in actually completing stuff. 

Apologies for lack of any details and image quality but here's some shots of games held by club members:

ACW game

Colonial Game A

Colonial Game B

I managed to pick up 3 books all in good condition for under a tenner from the bring and buy, and got a bottle of Anti-Shine matt varnish from Andy's Models, a trader that regularly attends. Not exactly last of the big spenders but I was happy and I'm not looking to add to the lead/plastic/resin pile until I decide what to do re. Vietnam and the other projects that have been bubbling about in my head. 

This show is the opposite of Salute, the other show that I regularly attend. It's good to know that the hobby supports both extremes of scale and they are both as important to the hobby if we look at more than just the financial aspect. I look forward to next year. 

Thursday, 1 September 2016

What's on the table - September 2016

Here's the list of what's on the table as we start September:
  • Cromwell 1/76th Pz IV H (bought 2014)
  • Oathsworn Miniatures Burrows and Badgers Mouse Knight (bought 2016)
  • Revell 1/144th Bf-109E (bought 2015) 
  • Revell 1/144th Hawker Hurricane  (bought 2015) 
  • Newline Designs 10mm Greek Armoured Hoplites (bought 2015)
The Cromwell Pz IV is proving to be a pain in the rear which is why it's been an ever present on the What's on the table since I started in May. It's a resin kit with incredibly fragile turret schurtzen. All of the supports were either broken when I got it or have broken just by looking at them.  As is well documented on various forums, whilst producing lovely models Cromwell Models are a nightmare to deal with, so there's no chance of approaching them to get a replacement. In fact to get this kit I had to go through a third party. Additionally the model didn't come with the side schurtzen or with the supports on the model which is pretty poor as all Pz IVHs had them. So I'm going to have to do a fair bit of scratch building to get the model to look half way as it should. It's a real shame because the rest of the kit is lovely.

This is the smallest list of items in progress since I started the blog in May.  I'm on holiday for the first two weeks of September and this made me focus on getting things finished rather than starting anything new. When I return from holiday the goal is to complete the Mouse Knight and the two 1/144th planes but I don't envisage there to be much else that's happened when I publish the update at the end of the month. I really want to crack on now with my Punic Wars project. 

So until mid September...

What's on the table - August 2016 UPDATE

Updates to the original list:
  • Privateer Press Hordes Satyr Shadowhorn – COMPLETED
  • Oathsworn Miniatures Burrows and Badgers - Mouse Knight - some progress, base textured
  • Oathsworn Miniatures Burrows and Badgers Ferret Rogue COMPLETED 
  • Oathsworn Miniatures Burrows and Badgers Fox Brigand – COMPLETED 
  • Cromwell 1/76th Pz IV H – no progress
  • Airfix 1/76th Cromwell Mk IV – COMPLETED
  • Airfix 1/76th Opel Blitz – COMPLETED
  • Revell 1/144th Hawker Hurricane – good progress, just detailing and decals to complete
  • Revell 1/144th Bf-109E – good progress, just detailing and decals to complete
  • Revell 1/76th Sherman Firefly – COMPLETED
  • Newline Designs 10mm Greek Hoplites - no progress
 Additional items I worked on:
  • Newline Designs 10mm Greek Hoplites - additional 23 figures cleaned and primed
August was quite productive considering I spent a lot of time watching the Olympic cycling and gymnastics and Team GB generally being very impressive. How refreshing it was to watch what appear to be intelligent, normal, well-rounded people represent their country with pride, dignity and integrity.  The contrast couldn't be greater to the Euros debacle. Rant over and back to the important stuff.    

All of the 2014 purchased figures are now complete which is a milestone I'm pleased to have achieved. And for the first time since I started this blog I don't have any Privateer Press figures on the table. I love these but I take a lot of time trying to do them justice. For the time it took me to do the five figures that I've completed this year I could do platoons of 15 or 20mm figures. I've still got a Gatormen posse unit and the Carnivean/Ravagore/Scythean kit to do but they were 2016 purchases and are well down the schedule. Once I've completed the 10mm Hoplites that'll be 2015's purchases completed as well. I think that the blog is serving it's purpose of keeping me focused.