Bits and bobs

Mik recently started following my blog so I reciprocated and spent some time yesterday catching up on his past blogs and it got me thinking...

Firstly my blog layout is horrendous so I am going to work on putting the images in a better layout and hopefully getting some nicer photos at the same time. I have already started on the more general side I am currently working on the layout of the blog with my miniature painting list already updated and I will be changing things up a bit.

Mik also prompted me to take a look at my hobby area and have a bit of a clear out. This is a bit pointless as I am going to be moving at the end of June to a new property so instead I have focused on how my miniatures are stored with painted & unpainted stored in my upright filing drawer and unassembled & bits box in a seperate box.

Something Mik wrote in an older blog regarding Games Workshop and their pricing policies made me want to chip in my two cents on the topic. Games Workshop miniatures and books (both fiction and reference) have always been of the highest quality since I started gaming some 15 years ago... their spray paints, flocks and tools are average and better & cheaper alternatives exist (especially in railway modelling stores). The price is high given what competitors offer if you want official GW stuff you are either willing to pay the money or you aren't. If you want to make your money go further, I'd suggest getting some Kneadatite green stuff and using this to make additional torsoes and legs seeing as these are the components that the GW multipart plastics limit, and then use your extra limbs from the kit. It takes a little time but it makes for some truly unique models. The other, easier option is to go down the independant's route to find what other miniatures exist. This is tricky as I have yet to find a site that really nicely lays out the alternatives, I made an attempt here, but it is not very complete and I am not able to maintain it. It is hard to compare as most indy mini companies have to stick to resin and metal owing to much smaller print runs but £1.00-1.50/fig is not uncommon for metal figs and this is very similar to the price of GW plastics (at their cheaper end). The style and scale can vary somewhat but there is plenty out there to discover and some of it will really fit nicely. I would thoroughly recommend going to Wargame shows if you can, it is really the only way to see the minis in the flesh, really gauge the scales. I have spent about a year really exploring the other manufacturers out there and most days I will discover a company I never knew existed.

What Mik says is very true, this is a hobby, there is no point in scrimping if it is going to lessen your enjoyment, equally if you can find a cheaper alternative... go for it. I would at one exemption to that: the local gaming store, it is a dying breed and if you are lucky enough to have one do inject some cash into it. I tend to think 25% of your hobby spending, at least, should go toward them (more if you also game there regularly). Of course not everyone has the luxury of a FLGS and some who do may well disagree. To me, the benefit of having flesh and blood people that know their stock and can offer advice is worth a little extra money.

The final point I noted in Mik's blog that I wanted to respond to was the question of going back to an old unplayed system and getting a new army for it... I am a little odd as I am mostly a painter rather than a gamer and have very few friends who share my specific theme interests. 40k and historical are a lot more popular than the zombie/fantasy/fantasy football/necromunda ranges I tend to go for. As a result I usually end up getting my own things, often at least two different armies and painting them up for my own sense of completion... if I happen to game with them, it is a bonus, if I win then there is probably something wrong with my opponent... I am rubbish at wargames, I build armies with personal taste and fluff in mind over a winning strategy, the exception is Blood Bowl which I have played so often over the years and sacrificed so many small furry things to Nuffle that it seems I am usually quite successful.

An example of my terrible army building is my Nuln army... I like powder tech, so I went with a Nuln theme. I also dislike prostelyzation so I have no priests and no flagellents. Finally I don't have buckets full of money... no Steam Tank, no Great Swords. As a result my army is mostly spearmen and handgunners from the old intro set (6th ed?) that I have got on the cheap. Supplemented with some swordsmen, knights, pistolliers/outriders, militia, huntsmen and of course as many cannon, mortars & hellfires as I can legally take. If we are playing ally rules I have the odd dwarf from the Skull Pass box that I painted up (the fluff being they are from Karak Norn originally but now live in Nuln most of the time). Oh and it is usually lead by a Master Engineer... so how does this army play? Well most of the artillery will break or blow-up, the troops will charge, die and flee, the opposition will usually loose one or two units and I will be wiped of the table... but I can live with that because I have an army I am really attached to, rather than one to take into competitions.
- Raggy signing out

PS: Next blog (tomorrow maybe) will have less of this talking bollocks and hopefully more photos of my painting area and recent projects!