Saturday, January 29, 2011


I guess it was inevitable, there was no use in trying to resist any longer.  With so many bad influences around the web, and the incessant propagation of all things Viking from Ruarigh, I have finally given in to the dark side and gone hog wild and purchased a bunch of Vikings from various companies.  Now I have yet another project to add to my insane gaming life. To be honest, I am really surprised it has taken me this long to take the plunge because I have always been a big fan of anything Viking.
I have started out by procuring a box of Gripping Beast Hirdmen, Wargames Factory Huscarls, and a smattering of Black Tree Design minis.  I also scored a Revell Germany 1:50 scale long boat and shield transfers from both Little Big Men Studios and Veni Vedi Vici.  I guess I don't do things in halves.  I am quite sure I will be reviewing all this stuff in the near future as well because there is a lot of information that would have been helpful to me when deciding how to jump in to this lake.
So far I have fully completed 10 Hirdmen and have 14 more figures and the long boat well under way.
So here's the first of the laddies!  These are all Gripping Beast Hirdmen.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Alban and Reinforcements by Post Review

In a recent vendor rant post, I already alluded to my thoughts on the following two companies, but here is a short but more detailed description of my thoughts and experiences.  Next review will be on Angel Barracks who I recently aquired a lot of goodies from.

ALBAN MINIATURES:  When I decided to get into 28mm Napoleonic skirmishing I did some serious homework on available minis.  I found lots of great stuff but I kept going back to the Alban page to drool over their sculpts.  I guess what got me was the proportions.  They simply look like real people.  So I started pestering Paul at Alban and found him to be very good about answering emails and very helpful with all my dumb questions.  In short, you can expect some great customer support from Paul.  The next step was to get the order off to Reinforcements by Post who I decided was going to paint these fine miniatures.  Paul shipped my order very rapidly and without mishap.  Since I did not receive them in their unpainted form I cannot recount that experience but I can tell you the castings are of a very high quality and the parts are robust enough to withstand damage.  Neil at Reinforcements by Post had also told me that Alban casting were of great quality.  Finally, one day my package came in the mail after painting and I was able to view these little buggers first hand.  I am completely pleased with my Alban miniatures and recommend them to anybody.  Alban is a relatively new company and so they do not have as large a product line as some companies, but they are actively adding to it and in my opinion well worth waiting for.  Simply a fantastic vendor to do business with!

REINFORCEMENTS BY POST:  I have never used a painting service up until now so RBP was my first go at it.  Before picking them out I did exhaustive research and combed through the forums to see what previous customers had to say about various painting services.  RBP had virtually flawless posts about their service and quality.  While they were not the only ones with a good track record, they were my best choice in my price bracket.  So with my first choice made up, I contacted Neil at RBP and queried him with my routine dumb questions.  There were plenty as I have never done this before.  Even with the time zone issues Neil was superb with his customer service.  At this point my mind was made up, I was going to try him out.  A potential vendors initial response (or lack of) is very important to me when deciding who I will be buying from.
So I emailed Paul at Alban and asked him to send off my minis to RBP.  Once Neil received my minis it was well under two weeks before he finished them.  He sent me pictures for approval and I was pleased with the quality of the minis as well as the photos.  At this point I noticed a very minor hiccup on pants colors but it was really not that important to me.  I mentioned it to him just so he would know about it and told him not to worry about it but he insisted on fixing them.  A day or two later they were on the way.  Soon enough the package arrived and I was very pleased with my miniatures as well as the experience of doing business with Neil and RBP.  This is another superb vendor and I will definitely be using them again.

Now for some piccies!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Perry French Dragoon Review

I've been real busy lately so my internet time has been down but I have managed to get some time to work on various projects I've been wanting to do.  The universal wargamer disease; too many projects, too little time.
I love the SDS skirmish game and had my eyes on these Perry French Dragoons for some time now.  I finally bit the bullet and had a go.  These are my first Perry miniatures ever.
My first impression out of the box is that these hard plastics are very detailed and clean.  There were no issues of having to clean up a bunch of sprue mess.  So right away I pulled all the dismounted lads out and started assembling.  The set comes with 8 dismounted troopers, something like 14 mounted, and then there are a few casualty figures.  The parts make for a very versatile set.
I used Testors glue especially made for plastics and assembling was really not as bad as I was expecting.  Just hold the part in place for a couple of seconds and it sticks, then set it off to dry and set.  So far so good. 
My spray flat black primer had no problem reaching all the little crevices, so that went well.  Then I just sat down and painted them all in one evening.  I know how to dry brush, but I hate doing it, so I decided to go with my simple wash method on these the way I do most of my minis.  I have made up several different wash colors using inks and pigments.  For a quick one evening paint job, I think these lads came out pretty darned good.  I;m happy, so that is what counts.
Once I finished however, I noticed something.  I got to thinking that these guys looked very large so I fished out some other figures I had handy and lined them up.  It does look like the Perry minis are slightly taller, and quite a bit more robust than many of the other "28mm" minis out there.  For me, this is not an issue, but for someone who is pickier, it would pay to plan ahead when procuring miniatures.  I have several other projects nearing completion which I will be posting soon.  Here are some pics!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Vendor Updates

Being a sick wargaming maniac, I buy lots of toys from lots of different vendors.  Every so often a store or manufacturer stands out for some reason or another and I like to share my experiences so that others can benefit from them.  Here are some of the places I have done business with recently and the experiences I have had.

Alban Miniatures - 28mm Napoleonics - Paul answers his emails, has an outstanding product, and ships promptly.  No damage. Can't ask for more than this.  I will do an in depth review soon.  A+

Angel Barracks - 6mm Miniatures and Accessories - Mike gives tip top support and answers his emails, has plenty of great products, packages very well and ships promptly.  I will be doing a very overdue in depth review on his stuff as as soon as I can.  Another A+

Architects of War - I have not had any interaction with the owners yet, but I can tell you this:  I placed my order via the web and it was well packaged and on my porch on the second day!  Up till now an A+

Internet Hobbies - Placed an order and was told it would ship in 2-3 days.  Six days later I finally received a notice that they canceled part of the order and shipped the rest.  It would have been nice if they would have let me know before shipping because I wound up spending way too much on freight for a single item.  I will be watching for the paypal credit closely and will probably not use them again.  While they didn't perpetrate any ultimate crimes, this bugged me quite a bit and I feel like I've been had on the shipping.  D

Reinforcements by Post - Neil communicates very well and is patient with all my dumb questions.  He performed his service timely and shipped my figures safely.  I only had one minor hiccup in instructions but I kind of expect this with a painting service as that is a really tough job via email.  This is another one that I will review in more detail. A

Saturday, January 8, 2011

ATZ - LTL Mom Christmas Special 2010

I know it is waaaaaay after Christmas, but I've been busy.  Better late than never, so here is the Christmas ATZ special for 2010.  This is kind of a unique rep for us because clan LTL decided to bring along the henchmen/followers they have picked up along the way.  This mission promised to be very dangerous and we thought it was time to use some of our saved up resource.
This was also my first chance to try out my new winter trees and snow and I like it!  I'm ready to try some winter settings in other stuff like napoleonics or WW2 now.  Anyway, this is a long rep, so make sure you have absolutely nothing better to do.  Happy New Year everyone!