Sunday, 21 April 2013

Post-Salute Post 2013

So, as most of you will know, it was Salute yesterday.

After a fairly problem-free journey up, it was time to hit the queues at the excel centre. As we were a day late to be able to pre-order tickets, we had to join the cash queue. As is becoming traditional, this was not the first queue that we joined. One 'being in the wrong place and then having to trek the length of the centre to join the correct queue' comedy of errors later, and a short wait of about an hour, and it was go time!

This year (barring nipping straight to the Hasslefree stand as soon as I got in as I'd left it too late to pre-oder the bits that I wanted) I did the initial walkaround at breakneck speed, darting from table to stand trying to drink in as much as I could before I got down to the serious business of throwing money at people. Unfortunately, due to my haste, I (as usual, it seems) ended up taking only a limited number of pictures:

Planet of the Apes table, built by Akula

I mean, look at that! I thought I'd grabbed a pic of the subway tunnel under the board, complete with rusting train, but apparently not...

A cool looking In Her Majesty's Name table - I really need to get round to reading the rules and posting about them...

Skiffs! On Mars! Terrain by Oshiro iirc;

and figures by Red Planet Miniatures. I've had my eyes on these for a while, as although if I ever go back to my VSF project I'll probably go Barsoom-style for my red martians, I quite like these alien looking chaps...

And last but not least, Gale Force 9's limited edition Dungeons & Dragons miniatures. Beautiful, but I had to walk away as I just can't justify spending that much per miniature, even though I really like the dual-wielding Itthilid (although I'm sure I can convert something similar if that itch still needs scratching in a while...)

So, here's why I didn't take more pictures:

By the end o the show I was lugging around even more bags...

As you may remember, this year I had a list (which was updated from the list in the previous post on the way there):

Hf agarix, sana, boudi,
Perry Wotr
Perry mercenaries
Perry Yorkist command on foot
Fire forge foot & mounted sergeants
Warlord dog handler (Brit?)
Ral partha mushroom men
Reaper mushroom men
Medievals! Archers, foot knights...
A jester... From foundrys king ronnie set?
Lotr orcs
Lotr corsairs
Fat corsair dude?
Lotr rohan mounted chaps?
Space Wolf wolf?
Dice for Nicole - pink / green...
4e deluxe screen?
Blu Stuff

What I came home with was this:

  • The Salute Freebies, a plastic Jason and a D6 - if I ever get round to Crooked Dice's 7th Voyage he may get pressed into service, otherwise he may sit in a box with the other Salute figures I have until I need something a little different to cleanse my painting pallette...
  • Hasslefree Sana (because there's always room for another miniature of a barbarian lady in an impractical chainmail bikini) and both sets of Agarix mushroom men, because I recently found my copy of this:

The adventure that originally kindled my love for Myconids, which was only increased when I found the '...Slave Lords' adventures in a charity shop a few years ago.

  • A random zombie swat guy, because he was only a pound.
  • a whole bundle of miniatures from the em4 stand - mostly still sealed in their blisters, everything from zombies to halflings to gladiators to wizards and so on and so forth... 10 in total, a mix of RAFM, grenadier and Ral Partha. These are all nice generic fantasy miniatures, which can either be used for D&D or the conan project, if need be. No mushroom men though...
  • I also picked up some pink RPG dice for my young lady, as well as a variety of dice to supplement my exisiting collection. I also picked up a pair of D6 with various smiley and not so smiley faces on them, to add a little randomness to RPG encounters - 'you see a goblin. He is [rolls] raising an eyebrow at you querulously'
  • 3 Ptolus miniatures - a female paladin looking type, an assassin and a nun with a crossbow. Just because.
  • A box of Perry Wars of the Roses Infantry, Perry Mercenaries, and Fireforge Foot and Mounted Sergeants - the basis of my Song of Ice and Fire project, there's enough bits in these boxes to let me convert pretty much anything I could want to...
  • Perry Yorkist command on foot (as they're a particularly nice set of chaps in armour, and will form the basis of a couple of conversions, although on closer inspection there are a couple of casting issues with this pack, but nothing that can't be fixed) and a pack of 'Archers preparing for battle', as I quite like the little vignette, and can picture it making a nice centrepiece unit filler if I get as far as expanding forces up to army level...
  • a pack of foot Knights from Foundry, to convert into Hedge Knights and minor characters. Unfortunately, the other packs that I was after were apparently sculpted in the last 8 years, and so seem to not be currently available. I'll have to send an email enquiring about whether they can wing me some...
  • A box of Vikings from Gripping Beast, as I saw some conversions online that used the heads from this set on Perry bodies to make some tough northern looking House Stark troops, and the bodies will later go on to form the basis of some House Greyjoy troop conversions (as I picture them as Viking-esque, but not necessarily as literally Vikings). I also got to ask if there was any news on the broom riders sculpted by Soapy would actually be available. Turns out that in the two years I've been pestering people, they've been sat in a queue not getting cast, but if I send an email they might get made. Eh, worth another shot I guess.
  • Some reading material - White Dwarf 91 (because it had a Knight on the front, and is nearly as old as I am), 100 (because it's an anniversary issue) and 106 (because it has a Great Unclean One on the cover), as well as a copy of Battle Games in Middle Earth 24... complete with the freebie Modor Orcs Sprue! They've suffered a little damage, but I don't mind that as they're destined for conversion anyway, into Brave Companions - I thought Mordor orcs would make a good base for conversions representing this ragtag band of "criminals and outcasts from many nations". (if anyone has any random lotr orcs in their bits box, broken or whole, that they want to get rid of let me know!)
  • And last but not least, from Heresy, I picked up Sebastien - Apprentice Mage/Lich warlock, which I've coveted for a while as he can be built as a floppy-haired apprentice mage, bighat wearing Black Mage or a 'Richard from Looking For Group' style Lich, as well as a witch and cat familiar, just in case I need one for D&D. And mostly because I wanted to support Heresy.
Which takes the tally to:

8 vs 251 = -243

It's been better, but at the same time I choose to see this as a whole landscape of potential modelling opportunities. Whilst we're trashing any chance of me being back in the green this year is as good a time as any I suppose to add these to the tally:

34 men of Minas Tirith, for Lannister House Guard conversions. Annoyingly, there was a bit of a saga with these - they originally arrived a good month or so ago, but arrived in a bag, in some bubble wrap, in a mailer bag - not a sensible way to send fragile miniatures. I messaged the seller, was ignored, messaged the seller, was ignored some more, opened a case to see whether a partial refund for the damage was possible, which the seller continued to ignore... Sadness abounds, especially when the seller eventually messaged me after the case had closed with an unsatisfactory conclusion to tell me that they'd assumed that my message informing them that the miniatures had arrived damaged wasn't cause for any action to be taken or any response, but merely a handy tip that they could use to be more informed, and do better in future transactions. Bah to people sometimes. 

Angermode over, that leaves the tally actually standing at:

8 vs 285 = -277

Which is even worse when you think about the stuff that was left on my list at the end of the day:

  • boudi - will order from Hasslefree as soon as this post is finished! She'll either be for generic fantasy, or a wildling spearwife if (when) I get round to doing Night's Watch vs Wildlings...
  • Warlord dog handler (Brit?) - ordered from the Warlord Stand at Salute as they had sold out by the time I got there...
  • Ral partha mushroom men - will have to order, although postage makes them a little steep...
  • Reaper mushroom men - not desperate for these, it was more a case of 'if I see them I'll get them...'
  • Medievals! Archers... (the command pack, specifically)
  • A jester... From foundrys king ronnie set? - will email Foundry to see about getting the archer command pack and the jester, which I wanted for a Shagwell conversion for the Brave Companions
  • Lotr corsairs - not desperate for, but they're mostly for donating heads for conversions and seeing if I can convert them into mountain clan types to accompany Tyrion
  • Fat corsair dude? - some googling revealed that what I was thinking about was a LOTR 'Abrakhan Guard', to be the basis of a Fat Zollo conversion - if anyone has one lurking in their bits box...
  • Lotr rohan mounted chaps? - I wanted to have a look at the plastic ones to see if they were of any use as the basis for Stark 'knights', as the Starks have less 'traditional' knights,but I still imagine them to have a number of mounted fighters of higher quality than those that I'll convert from the Fireforge Games Mounted Sergeants. Some of the mounted characters would be nice too, to see if they can be used to convert Robb etc...
  • Space Wolf wolf? - I'm after a single Fenrisian Wolf, to use for Grey Wind to accompany Robb
  • 4e deluxe screen? - seemingly Out of Print, looks like this will have to be a second-hand job...
  • Blu Stuff - freely available online, I'm planning on converting some Lannister House Guad helmets and shields, and making moulds to replicate them rather than having to convert every single one...
I kind of wish I'd picked up a pack of the Perry mounted Yorkist command, to use as the basis for some character conversions (Jaime especially), as well as some more random medievals, but all in I think it was quite a haul...

Saturday, 20 April 2013

On the way to Salute

And so it begins, as we wend our weary way to fabled Londinium for Salute. Oddly, it's the first year that I've not been out drinking the night before (as we celebrated the friend who's birthday it is this week last week rather than last night) but getting out of bed seems harder this year...

Unusually, I have a list this year rather than just picking up shinies:

Salute things

Hf agarix, sana, boudi,
Perry Wotr
Perry mercenaries
Perry Yorkist command on foot
Fire forge foot & mounted sergeants
Roman auxiliary oval shields
Warlord dog handler (Celt?)
Ral partha mushroom men
Reaper mushroom men
Medievals! Archers, foot knights...
A jester... From foundrys king ronnie set?
Lotr orcs
Lore rohan mounted chaps?
Dice for Nicole - pink / green...
4e deluxe screen?

So if anyone happens to stumble across any of those, leave them be! 😉

(and yes, I'm buying my young lady her own dice for the upcoming dungeons and dragons fest - I'm hopelessly devoted to her, I'd give her a kidney, but she needs her own dice. I was raised to believe sharing dice is worse than sharing needles)

So, off to sit on a coach for a while with the next song of ice and fire novel...

(also, as I'm posting from my phone, I have no idea where in the post the picture is going to appear, but the picture is me today - I was going to shave, but instead I made coffee and got back into bed...)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

25,000 pageviews, what I'm working on and plans for Salute...

So, this old blog hit the 25k mark:

Which is very exciting, despite my oldest and dearest friend who's a web analyst having previously told me that in the trade 'hits' is an acronym for 'How Idiots Track Success'. Screw him though, I'm happy!

In other news, work continues apace (well, apace might be a little generous) on painting miniatures for the Dungeons and Dragons game I'm going to run, as the 8 half-painted miniatures sat next to me attest too. I've had terrible trouble with these, and had to use a lot of glazes to tie layers together, but that's a gripe for a later post...

Semi-related, I've had a miniature arrive that doesn't go on the tally... because it's my young lady's. Having finally rolled up her character, she set about choosing a miniature, and decided on this Reaper sculpt for her gnome swordmage:

She's also decided that she wants to paint it, which was something of a surprise, but exciting nevertheless. I've dug out my copy of Kevin Dallimore's Painting & Modelling Guide, and we'll see how it goes from there... (although there's every chance it'll end in her throwing a paintbrush at me as I offer words of encouragement, but I remain cautiously optimistic...)

Last but not least, it's four days until Salute! Unusually for me, this year I have things I'm actually looking to buy rather than just mooching around picking up random shinies that take my fancy (although that will still happen, don't you worry!) - historical miniatures for Game of Thrones! Perry, Fireforge, exciting times abound! I may even make a shopping list, but that might take the fun out of it... (plus, I really need to decide if I'm going to pre-order some Hasslefree minis, as I'm rapidly running out of time!)

Right, off to start Borderlands for 7 hours of Xbox, and in all possibility start a new project. I sometimes wonder if there's a technical term for the condition whereby I think of any form of media in terms of how I could turn it into a modelling project...