Friday, 27 April 2012

Missing Pic and Progress

Another update - 3 in one week must be a record!! This time with a picture of the Commando mini's weapons that I missed from my new-toys-from-salute-2012-pt-1 post and an update on my progress with the Saxons I got for my SAGA warband.

So the missing picture - unfortunately not a good one, but it shows what you get. If anyone wants a better pic, let me know and I'll put one up
2 SLRs, Revolver + M203 GL

Now the progress with my Saxons, specifically my mounted 'warlord'.  Here is the original figure (on the right) with the foot figure I use for my Warlord. As I said before, I wanted to replace the metal figure's head with a spare plastic one identical to the warlord's.

Well I did that the other night and was surprised at how easy it was; here is a pic of the post head-swapping figure

Also, the sword and right arm were not in a very good pose I thought, so I decided to subject that to some of my amateur surgery as well, again replacing it with a spare from the unused components left from the assembly of my Gripping Beast plastics. Here are a couple of post surgery pics with the figure on the horse I'm going to use. Again I feel the change went well and I think the figure is much more warlord-like now
(Just as a note, the pic on the left was with flash and the right without; I prefer the right hand one tbh)

Also, just reporting with no pics for now, I've assembled all my Wargames Factory plastic Saxons. Comparing them to the Gripping Beast plastic Saxons, it is quite amazing how 2 companies can do what is apparently the same thing in such different ways ...

In a future post I'll give more details on both along with pictures.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

New Toys from Salute 2012 - pt 2

Part 2 of my Salute acquisitions covers the rules that I bought at the con, but before I carry on with that, I thought I'd put a link to a blogger who has much more comprehensive posts on the event. So over at Big Lee's Miniature Adventures, you can find:

The more I look at posts, etc, on Salute, the more I realise I didn't see! I completely missed the 28mm Corunna game, Scarlet Thunder and lots of others :( must do better next year ...

Anyway, more about me and what I bought! (None of the following piccies were taken by me, I've poached them from the worldwide-interweb)

 I didn't get tooo much rules-wise this year. 2 of the 3 rule-sets I got were based on fellow bloggers' posts. The first is 'Strange Aeons' which Shelldrake reviewed for me way back at the end of August last year. Well, I've finally got the rules based on his review, although I hope to use my 28mm VSF stuff and not the 1920's default setting. Have to read them first and then check out the available web resources to see if someone's already done this. Haven't checked for the presence of zombies in the rules yet, but I'm sure I'll manage to shoe-horn them in somehow!

Next up is '7TV' by Crooked Dice. I purchased this on the basis of Brummie's raving post when he got it, and the several other posts he's made about it over the past several months - so it's all his fault, and if I don't like it, I'll be invoicing him!  Actually, that's not entirely true... not even partially, tbh! A guy played a game at my local club and he raved about it as well, so it's on both of them! At the show Crooked Dice were doing an offer of rulebook, dice, cards and tokens for £40, so I got that, hence the multiple images to the left. Not read the book yet, but flicked through and first impression is good!

Finally, a set of zombie gaming rules that I saw while browsing Alternative Armies' sister site Started looking through this small (A6 I think) book and not very impressed so far :(  My over-riding impression of the first dozen-or-so pages is that a lot of text keeps telling you what you can do with the rules and not much tells you how to do it!
Once I've read them, I'll post a review. 

Next post will be about the Victorian Spaceships I got

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

New Toys from Salute 2012 - pt 1

So, as requested - nay, demanded! - here is the first part of my report on the new toys I got whilst at Salute.

To begin with, something that I found and had had no intention of getting - the first pack from Commando Miniatures 'End of Empire' range. These figures are designed for the various post-WW2 conflicts that the British Army was involved in - e.g. Aden, Indonesia, Malaya, etc. I succumbed to the temptation of them as this is another rarely gamed period/theatre (much like the 14th Army) and they had a launch offer of the 6 figure pack for £5 instead of £7. Now I've got the figures home and looked at them, I'm not ... overwhelmed with joy that I've got them ... the quality of the sculpts is not that brilliant - in particular, there is just something odd about the face of the guy in the middle of the first pic, and the left hand of the bren gunner is detached and just floating in the air beneath his gun ... but overall the figures are acceptable. When you buy the pack you get a choice of SLRs or Armalites as weapons - I went for SLRs, but forgot to include them in the photo - d'oh!  The final pic shows a couple of accessory packs I got - machetes and radios (£1/pack)
3 figs from pack - middle guy has Sterling SMG & odd face
other 3 figs in pack
accessory packs

Next up - Essex Miniatures Saxons (listed as 25mm, but matching my Gripping Beast 28mm plastics). I got these to add some variety to my Anglo-Saxon warband for SAGA. They are quite nice figures - nothing fancy, but nothing negative about them either. That said, they do have the smallest bases of any 28mm figure I've ever bought!
l - clubman, m+r - spearmen (spears are separate)
l-r - bowman, clubman, spearman, bowman (bows + spear separate)
Each faction is different in SAGA and has its own 'Heroes of the Viking Age' that it can select to give them a warlord with extra abilities, albeit at extra cost. The Anglo-Saxons can select "Aelfred the Great" for theirs who has several great abilities, but is weaker in combat than a 'normal' warlord. I'd like to try him out, so decided to get a mounted saxon to use for him (so he can runaway faster!). Surfing the net I found 'SK1 Mounted General' in Essex mini's list and the pic from their site (top left on page) looked perfect. However, when I collected him at Salute, I was more than disappointed with the 'variant' I'd got, and found that he didn't come with a horse! Anyway, the figure is in the pic below, along with the Gripping Beast plastic warlord I'm using. I intend to remove the metal figure's head and replace with a spare plastic head (from the GB box) identical to that on the plastic warlord below. I also have a horse I can use for him luckily. I'll put more pics up as the conversion progresses.
l - GB plastic Warlord; r - disappointing 'mounted general'

To round off the additions to my SAGA warband I also got the Wargames Factory Saxon Fyrd box. Long-term followers of my blogging efforts will recall that I have had previous experience with Wargames Factory figures, specifically their Zombies which I was quite disappointed with, to the point where I used quite a few as corpses rather than Zeds.
So, it was with some trepidation that I opened the Saxon Fyrd box, but I'm happy to report that these seem much better than the zeds, and I've already started putting them together and will put pictures of them in a later post.

Finally for this post, are some scenic items I got from S&A Scenics. I got 8 of these trees:
3 of the pools on the left (to indicate patches of marsh) and 6 of the rocks on the right (to indicate rough/broken ground).
Very nice pieces that I'm well pleased with!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Another Salute done ...

Another Salute is done and dusted. As with every year, I spent far too much money, but managed not to use a card at all! I got to the back of the advance ticket holders' q at about 9.50am - doors open at 10am - after having walked around 500m to find the end of it ... as you can see in the photos below, I couldn't even see the entrance until having walked forward in the q for 5-6 minutes!

The delay, though, is always due to the number of punters - Salute is the best organised show I've attended and the Warlords always do a fantastic job with it.  Anyway, here are the poor quality, blurry, piccies I've got. Mainly due to taking the pics one-handed as I had a large bag full of toys in one hand!

The advance ticket q when I joined it
can't even see the venue
same q after 3 mins walking - still can't see the venue! 
At last! - after 5-6 mins walking in the q, the entrance is in sight!
Building on the Gripping Beast stand;
was tempted, but intend 2 build one myself
The scrum around Hasslefree's stand
Behind that long line of gamers is
(allegedly!) the bring-and-buy
Allsorts go to Salute ... I think this guy was demo'ing
an Anime game ... he could just like Pandas though ....
Commando Mini's not seem them before. Got a pack of their
post ww2 brits for SE Asia insurgencies
VSF is one of my likes; great stuff on this table
Steam Tank from the same game
and a flyer from it as well - lovely model
Another strange flyer game; took this photo because of the
mat they used - quite intriguing
Fantastic victorian-era terrain - no idea bout the game though!
The radio controlled tank game - £1.50
for 5 mins driving or until you got blown-up!
My haul - details will follow
in another post

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Salute 2012

This saturday is the Salute convention and, as usual, I've been busy lining up lots of new toys as pre-orders. This year I am getting from:
That's "all" that I've pre-ordered (that I can remember or find emails about anyway!) and has only 1 new project - the Iron Stars stuff. My intent for Strange Aeons is to sue them with my 28mm VSF stuff, sot that doesn't count!

Other stuff I intend to pick up is a box of Wargames Factory saxon fyrd to use as levy in SAGA (Wayland Games seems the cheapest for that) and a couple of paints.

It would be a strange convention though, if I don't have an attack of Ooh-shiny!-itis and come home without something that I had no intention of getting ...

I've seen TAL's Salute post, so I'll endeavour to either say hello or hurl debris from a suitable concealed location! Unfortunately I have no snazzy T-Shirt as TAL does so will remain incognito this time.  I do like TAL's shirt though so will probably rip the idea shamelessly for conventions later in the year.

If you are going to Salute - enjoy!

PS - As I suggested in a comment on this post by Vampifan-the-Great, next time I post it'll be with better images of the Dave's Games buildings that are on my Card Buildings page)

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

AWOP again, ME3, Dr Who Locations, the TARDIS and SAGA

Done it again, been AWOP (Absent Without Posting) once more. No intention to do so, but just seem not to have had the time ... mainly due to buying Mass Effect 3 and playing that; another great game, but so totally let down by its ending :(

Anyway, one of the things I have done, was go on a Dr Who location tour in Cardiff. I was a bit sceptical of it, but it turned out to be quite fun in the end. An added bonus was the guide learning where filming was to happen the next day so I got a photo of the real TARDIS in-situ
While in Cardiff, I went round Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch, both great places to visit.

On a wargaming note, I played my first game of SAGA last friday, mucho fun. A simple, but not simplistic system that needs a hell of a lot more thought than I realises! As a consequence, my Anglo-Saxons (in the first expansion book) got shot to bits by my opponent's Normans :(

Anyway, as previously promised, here are some photos of my warband. All the armoured figures are made from Gripping Beast's plastic saxons box, while the metal levy figures are from Black Tree Designs. All of the figures have been "magic-dipped" and I'm very pleased with them
Group shot of the entire Warband
Warlord (centre) and unit of Hearthguard
2nd unit of Hearthguard
3rd unit of Hearthguard
Example Warriors 1
Example Warriors 2
Levy 1 (metal from BTD)
Levy 2 (metal from BTD)

I'll certainly be at Salute this coming weekend and will post tomorrow about what I'm going to spend money I can't afford on!!