Monday, 28 April 2014

Nominated for a Liebster Award.............


Well, pyramid selling is one thing but this surely takes the biscuit, as the expression now goes in our household after my wife made it up. We are still grinning about it years later.... I was nominated by the 'no longer wonderful' Carsten (Clam) of Clamshells and Sea Horses


I now have to answer 11 truths about myself, answer 11 questions posed by Clam and then nominate a further 11 blogs to keep the pyramid going....I then get to pose 11 questions of my own....mwhahahhaha....


The 11 truths unfold............

1. I am also known as The Dozing Dragon (and have been for many years) across forums. Google it, it's quite amusing to see how many people now use my name...grrrrrrr.

2. I am married with 4 children who are growing up far too fast.

On a rating of 1 - 10 those are pretty poor huh? Must try harder.............

3. I played guitar and then bass in bands from around 1982 through to first child arriving on the scene in 1995. In all truth my time had come anyway.......varying degrees of success although unfortunately none of them financial. If anyone is head of A&R anywhere please contact me for the next best selling summer song ever.....honestly....would I lie?

4. I rarely lie.

5. I thoroughly enjoy watching 'chick flicks' with my family (A Good Year, It's a Wonderful Life, 17 Again etc)

This is getting difficult.....

6. When I was much younger I collected sugar sachets...the sort you get in restaurants etc. Surprisingly wide variety out there back in the 70s. My dad, God bless him, was a salesman and travelled the UK and Europe and brought them back. Ended up using them for their actual purpose after I got bored with them. Shame really as there were probably some interesting oop pieces there........

7. My wife is German.

8. I have a strong belief in the Realm of Faerie.

9. I currently work night shifts as a manager in a call centre......1 team to manage, 1 security guard for 2 buildings and myself in charge.....a recipe for disaster....

10. I have a recurring dream once or twice a year about a small room hidden in the attic of the house that I grew in. 

11. I am pretty certain I suffer from autism from the way I am so addicted to this hobby.....tests say not but I think I know best.....

There, that wasn't so difficult was it??


Now for the 11 questions from Clam.............

1. Sci-fi or fantasy? Ancient or Modern warfare? And why?

As I only collect minis and don't game I can't give a complete preference...besides a plethora of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, I have recently acquired Empress moderns, TAG SWAT teams, Foundry Street Violence, Foundry Vikings, Old Glory Pirates...the list is endless. At the end of the day it is all fantasy anyway.....

2. How did you first get into the miniature/war-gaming hobby?

Airfix soldiers in the late 60s. I remember seeing a large amount of painted toy soldiers in a shop in France in the 60s whilst on holiday with my folks. It was a Sunday so the shop was closed and we never went back. I'd love to revisit that memory. Started getting Airfix magazine in the 70s and noticed an advertisement for Skytrex 1/300 tanks...I sent a postal order off and received a blob I think was meant to be a Brummbar..put me off for a while before discovering Heroics & Ros, C in C and GHQ. From then I found Military Modelling magazine with a far wider range of adverts.....I was lost to the dark side from that point on....

3. What's the latest hobby-related book you've read?

Osprey Publishing 'The Berlin Wall' and 'A Fistful of Kung Fu'. Yes, I know that's 2 but who's counting?

4. What's your latest game you've played (tabletop/boardgame)?

Pirates boardgame with the children...posh version of Waddington's Buccaneer. Picked it up at a show recently so it fits the bill.

5. Would you say you are more a collector, painter or gamer and why?

Collector, definitely. My gaming group went to university back in 1979 and I was left holding the miniatures, so to speak. Played with a few groups over the years but miniatures have always held my interest. 

6. Who is your favourite miniature sculptor? 

Very difficult to answer really as I love so many different styles. For proper old school it would one of Nevile Stocken (Archive Miniatures), Tom Loback (Dragontooth Miniatures) or Tony Yates (Heroes Miniatures amongst others including some very nice recent pieces....). Other than that it is too difficult to choose as there are so many. Kev Adams, Tom Meier, Nick Bibby (moved to bronze nowadays, totally wow stuff out of my pocket range though unfortunately), Bob Murch, Perry twins....the list could go on. New kids on the block such as Will Hannah (where are you Will?), John Pickford, Andrew May, George Fairlamb, Paul Gargon at Mad Clown Miniatures....the list will go on. The new wave of digital sculptors are improving the computer medium beyond belief.....

So no, I haven't answered the question...............

7. Who is your favourite rule-book/source-book - illustrator/artist and/or writer?

Illustrator would go to the 2 Tonys - Tony Yates and Tony Ackland. Both old school and new school alike.

8. Who is your all time favourite miniatures producing company? 

Too difficult to answer. Citadel would probably be the closest to a favorite due to the vast richness of their sculpting talent over the years.

9. What's you favourite miniatures game/rule producer?

I don't game so can't answer that with any degree of accuracy. I see the posts Tony (Yates) makes on his Shadowkings blog about In Her Majesty's Name and I think that is where I would go if I were to start gaming....

10. What's your dearest item in you collection - and why?

Hmmm...dearest as in 'most expensive' or 'most precious'. Possibly the most expensive one I bought off ebay when rather drunk was a mint sealed copy of a Dragontooth City of Magic set 'The Magic Shop'. I think I paid about $200 for that. The most valuable would probably be either a M16 Female Ranger by Mithril (although missing her sword and a slight dent to her nose) or a Heinrich Kemmler by Citadel. Value always depends on what people are willing to pay so you never know....The most precious to me? A handful of figures painted by my children.

11. What recent hobby purchase do you most regret (if any)?

Most regret? Not too sure. There are times when I wish someone would offer to buy my collection and I could start afresh. Looking around the hobby room (read bedroom, a fact not unnoticed by my long suffering wife) I cannot honestly say there are many regrets. Occasionally I have paid over the odds on ebay or received what is obviously a mis cast or recast. I bought some WW2 Brits the other day 2nd hand thinking they were Crusader Miniatures which I am after.....didn't look properly in the bags and looking carefully they are most definitely not Crusader. Look somewhat like recasts (only due to the casting quality though) but not sure whose they are. Except for being mine now.

Is that it? Is that all you have to ask?

Good.

I now need to nominate 11 blogs to continue the tradition. I like this. It is good to push miniature bloggers to the world. We are a largely unappreciated minority.......

http://insosworld.blogspot.co.uk/

http://bleaseworld.blogspot.co.uk/

http://belchedfromthedepths.blogspot.co.uk/

http://roebeast.blogspot.co.uk/

and the 11 questions they have to answer...................

1. You are marooned on a desert island with a large set of paints and brushes but only 1 miniature.....which miniature would you choose?

2. On that desert island you later discover a shop...they happen to sell one hobby accessory..which one?

3. Said shop is run by a hobby related individual, past or present. Who are they?

4. You have been rescued by Superman and brought back home. Your entire collection has been sold by family / friends / the taxman etc. You still have your paints.....what is the first figure you will buy?

5. If you could have any past miniature range in its entirety, which would it be?

6. A miniatures manufacturer you don't think should have ever existed.....

7. Your likeness in miniature - sculpted by whom and in what clothing?

8. A complete range sculpted by your favorite sculptor? Choose the range and sculptor....

9. You get the chance to interview anyone for your blog. Who do you choose....living or dead but hobby related and must be different to number 3 above....you may wish to change that answer...

10. You are elected head of Games Workshop by shareholders tired of the current board.....what is your next move?

11. The Grim Reaper finally comes to you in your dotage and says you are to be resurrected. Choose a year and country / region in which to be reborn. Sorry, but you don't get to choose who you will be though, that's in the lap of the Gods......



anything I've missed..... deartonyblair@virginmedia.com

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Salute and stuff from the 70s...I was just becoming aware of the hobby...


Salute 1973...the 2nd one held I believe as 2012 was the 40th Anniversary. 


Later in the year the South London Warlords at a show in Aldershot....Dave Rotor umpiring....


and the Duke of Wellington talking to the legend that was/is Peter Gilder...


1974 Salute held at the Regent Centre Hotel...


Back to 1973 and Phoenix were rising.....nowadays their molds have scattered to various casters and, although they seem to be going strong, they only manufacture doll's house pieces. Very nice dolls house pieces mind. Link here.


Beautiful 1974 colour advertisement for Hinchliffe models....


Minifigs liked to keep at the forefront of the hoby, introducing new products and scales...



The first 'proper' ad for (possibly...Jack Scruby vies for attention here.....) the first fantasy range.....1974 although it was introduced earlier....


Various Peter Laing advertisements. I was put off 15mm when I first recieved a sample...mainly by the fact I couldn't work out what it was meant to be....that would have been about 1975. How we change.....the molds and sculpts have long gone although they are being chased by various very keen hobbyists.





Just discovered a great Peter Laing blog; http://wargamehermit.blogspot.co.uk/

Not forgetting the fantasy of course, I have 2 copies of this old Asgard Miniatures Dragon, both missing the forked tongue. Possibly easy enough to replicate out of putty but that is not the type of game I play.....if anyone has a spare???


Also found my old copy of the 1979 graphic novel 'Jewel in the Skull'. Eureka Miniatures have started releasing licenced minis for this at long last. Previously the only ones available were some of the characters in the Jes Goodwin classic boxed set by Citadel.



Sunday, 20 April 2014

Asgard Miniatures' Gunfighters by Bryan Ansell


Way back in the dawn of time (mid 70's) Bryan Ansell ran Asgard Miniatures and sculpted a set of cowboy types. Lovely old school stuff that needs to be seen. I was in contact with him some years back when he was looking for a set but, by the time I found them, he had already got them.......helps to be connected! Anyway, I was fortunate to pick up another set recently so thought I should post them. They went under the obvious title of 'Gunfighters'.


W1 Doc Holliday


W2 Wyatt Earp


W3 Buffalo Bill


W4 Butch Cassidy


W5 Sundance Kid


W6 'The Hired Gun'


W7 Fat Manuel Mexican Bandit


Bryan's son, Marcus, now runs Wargames Foundry and, as discussed previously, they are in the middle of a big move to better climes, so to speak. Looking forward to popping over at some point to say hi.

The pics are already up on the Lost Minis WIKI for another shot at Asgard posterity. Always worth looking at the listings there for a look at gaming miniature history.


Saturday, 19 April 2014

Post Salute... 4A Miniatures newbie...


Andy Coleman over at 4A Miniatures has an incredible line of Chaos Dwarf types and this one has to be my favorite...picked it up at Salute off his wife but didn't get chance to chat to him as he was knee deep in customers as usual. I have shamelessly nabbed the pic off his site to accompany my unpainted ones.  Sculpted by the boy genius John Pickford and lovingly painted by the maestro Chris Sabick. Tell him Tony sent you....

Hiargh and Lowargh




Separate shield that I may use elsewhere....


Web link above or here

As usual email me on deartonyblair@virginmedia.com

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Salute 2014 - the annual exodus.....


Pics first and this week I shall finish filling it full of the usual waffling...suffice to say a great weekend away, met up with friends, both old and new, and can't wait for next year...............

Me...getting excited as usual near the Tower of London....


The building site that is London....


Below is the Dickens Inn where we were meeting for a drink or two....after buying my first beer since the beginning of Lent (shortened due to Salute...) I received a text to say there had been a change of game plan and we were now meeting at the Fox near Excel......grrrrr. Very beautiful area to drink in but hideously expensive....


A couple of hours (and a few drinks) later at the Fox....





We were assembled in an empty warehouse before being let in...I had thoughts of the St Valentine's Massacre..........



First stop was Heresy Miniatures....this marvellous mini, a remake of one of his early pieces and now cast in resin.......


The fabled dragon..I am about 240 on the list I think?




Black Scorpion Miniatures...now only cast in resin......grrrrrrr...bring back the lead....


although resin is fine for this beast.....












Oshiro Model Terrain had some stunning one off pieces on display.....



Ammon Miniatures had some truly weird and lovely pieces up for grabs....






Jimbibbly (off Oshiro Model Terrain) & Co from the most excellent Lead Adventure Forum hosted a wonderful VSF Martian game...I do highly recommend the forum. One of my main hobby forums.



Demented Games have an upcoming Kickstarter for their good-looking Steampunk Adventure game 'Twisted'








Those boys at 4Ground did themselves proud once again...see the pre release fantasy buildings below.....







These fantasy are incredible............









The Royal Artillery Museum put on a nice re-enactment display. I didn't get chance to chat to them but they were busy throughout the day.



Troublemaker Games had their new Timeline 300 10mm Steampunk pieces on show...they have another game soon to be released via the Indeigogo platform....






Renedra were showing how they cast plastic orcs.....


and adobe buildings....


and the Perry twins were showing...well....ambrosia from Heaven....





Clockwork Goblin miniatures...alternate World War 2 range....




Warlord Games showing the future of 3D sculpting.....


and the wonderful Wojtek, a simply great guy that I had a nice chat to. Check my earlier post for pics of the Pirate greens he did for Black Tree Design some years back....yet to see the light of day but helped him land a place in the Warlord family! He is now the proud possessor of a pair of blog minis....


Lovely paint job and set piece on an old Metal Magic figure....I think anyway. 



Nice chat with John Treadaway about the South London Warlords' Pelennor Fields game...





Spectre Miniatures are launching onto an unsuspecting world in the form of a Kickstarter soon...keep a lookout as it looks to be huge. Their website is being launched soon http://spectreminiatures.com/ although currently just active on Facebook here. Click and 'like' them if you do Facebook. 

To quote them;

SPECTRE miniatures unveils a world of modern warfare and covert 
operations set initially within deepest Africa.

Combining traditional sculpting and digital modelling we've created a 
unique and characterful range of 80 miniatures with an arsenal of
highly detailed weapons and equipment. Our range contains miniatures 
representing SAS, Delta Force, intelligence agents, military 
contractors, warlords and African militia.

Become part of an immersive, world-spanning story through a 
comprehensive range of tabletop miniatures, wargames terrain and 
unique rules set.

Reinforce the fight on Kickstarter - May 1st.











Mantic plastics..........





Frother's own Akula generally cuts corners on his display games every year......the year he didn't do Dune.





Eureka Miniatures over from Australia......showing their new licenced Michael Moorock's Runestaff range.... my old buddy Tony Yates sculpted a ton of Runestaff figures for a French company some decades ago...they all disappeared and he never saw them released...grrrrrrrrr....



Prodos Games Mutant Chronicles 'Warzone Resurrection'





Prodos Games prototypes for their Alien games...all officially licenced and probably costing them a veritable bomb. Wonderful looking sculpts.....























A collection of British manufacturers going under the collective title of 'British Indie'. 


Warploque Miniatures c/o of Alex. Website not active yet so just on Facebook here.

















I've got to know Paul at Mad Clown ever since he stated showing his sculpts on Frothers Unite forum. I love his work and picked up my pre-order at the show. First time I've met him and he is a top bloke. Very active on Facebook here.



Annoyingly out of focus shot of this little set piece...he is planning more.....












Zinge Industries showcasing some of their upcoming releases....also on Facebook here.






Frothers game of bees and honey....very busy throughout the day...



Gripping Beast SAGA game...





Gripping Beast gladiatorial combat...JUGULA...to quote them;

Fantastic new game from the designer of SAGA, Alex Buchel is two games in one. It has full rules for Gladiator Combat plus a fantastic Careers mode where players take the role of a Lanista, establish their own Ludus and battle their way from illegal fight pits on the fringes of the Roman Empire to the Arenas of Italy and eventually, with luck and skill, the Coliseum itself!



The Dice Bag Lady...everyone should own one of these!


Thundercloud Miniatures showing the start of their Avendora line. Check the website out for more details including a free download of the rules....


Sarissa Precision advance viaducts.....we need these...out soon apparently. Loads of plans afoot as well....










Certainly helped my this talent model maker....


Victrix advance pics....



Darkstar Miniatures...sculpting and casting services...also on Facebook here.



Those despicable Perry twins....sculptors of reknown and emptiers of my wallet for too many years to count....


Winner of the game of the show Honnington Wargames Group. D Day landings on a 121 scale.....





Visitors from a passing Imperial cruiser.....


My good pal Levied Troop's game....


Ah....le Pissoir.....


and what a Fenris Games' Griffin House should look like if completed...unlike mine of course...



I had a great long chat with Kev Adams who was on the Wargames Foundry stand encouraging Orc and Goblin sales. Another top bloke. I also spoke to Marcus and Diane Ansell and got to finally pass them some of my blog mini. Makes a change from them sending me stuff over the years. Foundry are making a big move over to Newark shortly and I will be shooting down there at the first opportunity. I think they will all miss Curzon street as it has been their 'home' for some time but when you see the pics of the new place......there really is no comparison!


To quote Marcus from the Foundry site & newsletter (hope that's ok!)....

We’ve dug out all sorts of barely released and never released items to take this year's Salute. This includes a Victorian Egyptian Adventure range, unseen Trojans (including 11 chariots (!) apparently there are actually 15: but I couldn’t find the others) , Napoleonic Mamelukes, unseen Hittites, Carthaginians, Ancient Spaniards and barely released Persians We have also discovered stocks of loads of Kevin Adams Orcs and suchlike many of which have barely been seen by the public. In fact Kevin himself will be coming along to keep them company.

I didn't get to read the Foundry email in full before I left on Friday so knew nothing of the Victorian Egyptian Adventure range....grrrrrr. I should have checked over the racks but I was too busy chatting to them all...... The cards below speak for themselves.....shoot them an email and tell them Tony Blair sent you...they may appreciate the humor!



More Warlord sci-fi.....


Warlord Games vehicle WIPs....


First of the new Warlord-Italeri brotherhood.....I spoke to Airfix a year and half ago about this sort of thing.... did they listen? No.


advance sneak peaks of Warlord Games' work in progress vehicles


World War !......oh my, dreamy time stuff!


I picked up a new charity piece by Empress Miniatures.....I'll let them give the details;

Many of you would have read of our good friend Ignatiff's appeal. If not I will let Steve explain it in his own words.

 "As some of you will know, my younger sister died in May this year of a misdiagnosed melanoma. It started under her big toe and ended up in her brain, and killed her very quickly indeed.  She left behind a wonderful husband and three lovely young teenage girls.

The cancer spread so fast that I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to her properly, and so in her memory, and to raise awareness of the dangers of melanomas, I - and two equally unhinged friends, Rodger Williams and Peter Martin - have decided to raise £100,000 for MASScot by taking part in the 2014 Mongol Rally.

The Mongol Rally takes place annually between the UK and Ulan Bataar, the capital of Mongolia.  It’s a three week, eight thousand mile drive, across inhospitable terrain, along some of the worst roads in the world….and all in a car which has an engine no bigger than 1L. And they don't like you to take a 4WD car either (not that that would make much of a difference in a 1L car…).

Our route will take us through Europe, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, across the Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and then - finally - Mongolia.  We expect to complete it in three weeks.  And while it will be ‘epic’ in the true sense of the word, it will also be bloody hard work.

The charity we are raising money for is a small Scottish cancer charity, based in Glasgow, called ‘Melanoma Action and Support Scotland’ a.k.a. ‘MASScot’ (Charity Registration No. SC040286).      They were, and continue to be, hugely supportive of my sisters family through these very difficult times.

All money raised through donations and sponsorship will go directly to the charity. All costs will be covered by the three of us.

Can I ask you therefore to dig deep and support something that is very close to my heart and in a very good cause.

You can read more about The Mongol Rally here: http://www.theadventurists.com/the-adventures/mongol-rally

Thank you all for reading this.

best regards

Steve"

As both Keith and I are members of this drinking, sorry wargaming, club and I have known Steve for a few years in our other life   Empress wondered how we could help. In the end we thought that we would do what we do best. We designed and created  a figure especially for this appeal. We also persuaded, although it was far from hard to convince them. In fact we could not stop the little loves, both Paul Hicks and Stewart of Griffin Moulds to donate their services free of charge, as we did ours.

We wanted something funny, in period and that lots of gamers could use for the interwar and WW2 period. The solution came in the creation of the Grandson of Flashman VC.

Boy Flashman, as he is known to the other officers in the mess. Slightly effete and with the good looks and charm of a young David Niven. 


The Lead Adventure Forum thread is here. Well worth putting a few pounds towards.

A quick pic of the ticket that did not win the raffle.....


The freebie figure this year was an Alan Perry sculpt of Commander Maud, based on the Kenneth Moore character in the film The Longest Day.


These are already being sold on ebay for silly prices as usual...may be worth waiting a while for the furore to go down.......I've posted pics of the previous years minis on the Lost Minis WIKI here.

Salute of course would not be Salute without an after show drinkie or two......various Frothers and Lead Adventure Forum folks after the event.....we are not a shy bunch it must be said...










A quick curry and I said goodbye to the boys who kept up the annual drinking tradition....I really am getting too old.....




Sunday morning and the London Marathon was in full swing.....




This quite amused me on the British Rail loo seat....


and I always realise how much I miss the munchkins especially when I come home to this....




Any comments as always to deartonyblair@virginmedia.com