Lots of games and Star Wars
The show lived up to expectations this year with lots of games to enjoy. The standard of both demonstration games and participation games was high. The MDF houses in Graham Cookson’s Dad’s Army game even had wallpaper in.
There was a Star Wars X-Wing tournament with all tables filled plus a big armada game. I was really impressed by the quality of the ready painted models. Not so sure about how very close the models get in combat. As Hawkwind said space is big and deep and empty.
My game of the day
I really liked the sci-fi game that used Dropzone Commander card buildings with lots of flock to create a post apocalypse city. The way the colours changed across the board and the central building was the only clear spot added to the atmosphere. It had a look of JG Ballard’s novels to me. Apparently it took an awful lot of hairspray to get the flock in place!My second favourite game was an American Civil War one. This has lots going on from a signal balloon to a band but didn’t look crowded. A nice variety of eye catching regiments too with zouaves and US Coloured Troops present. All figures were well painted and the terrain had enough presence to add atmosphere without looking cluttered.
Hello Peter Pig
Any show is good for catching up with old friends. Seeing lots of people I’d not seen for a while was one of the best bits of the day.
Knowing Martin from Peter Pig from my days in the games business it was a good chance to catch up with him. Very tempted by his Sudan range still!
A great day out and shopping too!
A good venue complete with cafeteria and bus service added to the day. Some people thought it was a bit cold but I prefer that to a warm and whiffy show!Purchases were a couple of Warlord Black Powder books and more Perry Miniatures American Civil War figures. And some Hoplites for good measure all from PE2 Collectables. Also got a MDF A frame building from Original Laser Designs who knows his Viking ships and Anglo-Saxon architecture.
I’m a Good Old Rebel
After some time I have finished my first batch of Perry Miniatures plastic American Civil War figures. I enjoyed making and painting these. I feel they got the balance between kit form and ready to go correct for when you want a lot of figures quickly.
I finished the figures with my own version of the Army Painter’s dip. I have used Ronseal wood stain for years and brush it on for greater control. I only use it on figures where I have used mainly warm colours as the brown effect doesn’t work well on cooler colours like blues and greens. So Confederates in browns and warm greys are an ideal subject!
Flying the flag
I used the flags supplied with the figures. They are quite rigid even after applying pva glue but that made them hold their shape well when put on the figures and bent to shape. A quick brush around the edges tidied up any white paper showing and job done.
On to Richmond
It’s now a choice between some more Union figures or continuing with the plastic confederates. A pleasant choice to have! I expect I will return to this later in the Autumn.
Giants amongst lesser men
For some time I have painted 28mm American Civil War figures for pleasure and after the recent bout of painting 10mm something bigger seemed a treat. Then a friend showed interest in small actions involving the Brother Against Brother rules. However, I realised I would need to paint all of the figures. At that point The Perry Brothers came to the rescue with their new plastic figures.
Back to the past
In the 1960s I had Airfix American Civil War figures but was too young to paint them. Happily they were in blue or grey plastic so small boys could tell one side from the other. In the 1970s I moved up a size to Britain’s Swoppet multi-part American Civil War figures which were a delight and much coveted on trips to Selfridges’s toy department. After many battles in the garden with my Swoppets I sold them at the end of the 1970s. I returned to this period in 2005 after admiring a friend’s Renegade Miniatures figures and buying and painting some of my own.
Up to date
I purchased a box of the Perry figures and found you get lots of figures for your dosh which is always good! Some assembly is needed but not too much. Mainly it is the command figures and some figures that are loading or firing. Most of the other ranks are in sensible marching poses. You have a choice of assorted slouch hats and caps. The hats include types that can be painted as straw hats to ones that look like thy may have started life as a Hardee hat. The caps are mainly Union style “bummers” caps although there are a few kepi style caps included. I have used the latter on a few figures.
Removing the figures from the sprue needs attention when cutting off the hats and caps otherwise it is easy to inflict some battle damage! All other pieces were straightforward to remove. Mould lines were minimal and quickly dealt with. There are a small number of areas where there are blocks of plastic because the moulds do not allow undercuts the way rubber moulds allow on metal figures. A bit of paint and a splosh of varnish will deal with them though!
To date I have cleaned and prepared one batch of figures that will represent Confederate troops. A couple of officers are demoted to sergeants. Note how out of practice my sculpting is on those belts! My plan is to use simple warm block colours and then use a combined wood stain and varnish to add depth to the flat colours. That way I will get them finished quickly and they will have a robust varnish ready for my chum to use.
Since the advent of the Army Painter dip products using a combination of stain and varnish has become deservedly popular. Old hands and cheapskates like me have used Ronseal and similar products for years. So far I have only used this technique on 15mm Biblical figures and 28mm goblins. That is I try to use it on figures where the palette I use is enhanced by a covering of dark brown wash. Hence I have used mostly warm tones on these figures, and I do not think this technique would suit the blue uniforms worn by union troops.