Monday, 30 July 2007


30 days without a smoke!

I went back up to GBHQ in Evesham on Wednesday to bring my poor little car home, which turned out to be exactly the right time to do it. As I walked through the door I was met by the sight of Darren sorting out the masters of the new Saxons that Soapy has done. I immediately went into froth overdrive and lost all composure as I lovingly inspected each one in turn and marvelled at the magic that Soaps can conjure from a lump of putty. Inspirational stuff, pure toy soldier gold. Even better, Darren 'The Philanthropist' Harding then really made my day by telling me to help myself to some, so I loaded up with Saxons before leaving. I always feel a little uncomfortable about accepting freebies, I don't know why, and Darren's continuing charity toward me is starting to make me feel guilty. I really must tell him that I'm not as poor as I make out. But not before I get my hands on the new Romano-Brits when they're done.

Which reminds me, I need to do some serious puppy-eyes at Bill next time I see him in yet another of my pathetic attempts to get my hands on some of his Saxons for free. I've tried flattery, pretending I'm terminally skint, turning up at his house dressed in rags. I've even swamped my car to try and wring some sympathy and free lead out of him, but nothing works. The man has a heart of stone.

After returning from Hot Lead I dived into my lead mountain to see if I could put together a Romano-British army, now that my interest in gaming had been reignited. After my weekend at GB I couldn't wait to get painting and gaming again. I bought most of my Romano-Brits about 9 years ago after reading Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles, started painting them, then became a dad, so wargaming had to take a prolonged back seat. Fate is inexorable. Then a couple of years back I bought a Late Roman force, painted up a unit, and went to my local club for the first time since before I joined the army. There was a WAB game in progress when I arrived and some of the guys playing it got into a really heated debate as to wether or not a war elephant would do in real life what the rules said it would. There was lots of rules referencing and teddies were getting thrown everywhere. And I thought the whole point of a game was to have some fun. I politely made my excuses and left, never to return, although I never lost my passion for toy soldiers.

And now I have a problem. Do I crack on with my Late Romans cos I've already got a unit painted, therefore it's less painting to get an army together? Or do I return to my love for Dark Ages British warfare and do my Romano-Brits? It's time for a command decision, unfortunately though I'm being too wishy-washy to make a choice. The other problem is the condition of my R-Brits. After doing what I thought was a lovely paint-job on them, including hand-painting a bulls-head motif on each shield, my then partner, whilst in a phone conversation with a friend, decided that my figure case had no place on the kitchen table, so she grabbed the handle and quickly swung it through the air to wherever she thought it should be. Without checking if the catches were locked. I walked into the kitchen just as she was in mid-swing, and the rest happened in horrific slow motion. I yelled "noooooooo!" as the lid flew open and my prized comitatus briefly joined the Airborne, flying out across the kitchen in all directions before crashing onto the tiled floor and bouncing off under the fridge and other inaccessible places. As I fought back the tears I realised that no amount of varnishing would have ever been enough to save them, and I was right. I rescued what I thought was salvageable, the rest got a dip in Nitromors. It was the most humane thing I could do for em.

The Survivors, chipped paint 'n' all

Actually, while I'm writing this I've come to the decision that I'm gonna make it my mission to restore them to their former glory, reinforce their ranks and ultimately lead them to defeat on the tabletop. That's sorted that little conundrum then. I'm also going to replace the leader model. Nice figure, but I was never happy with the way he ranked-up anyway. Viewed from the front it looks as if his mind is definately not on the forthcoming battle, but completely elsewhere, as is his hand. Not conduct becoming a leader of men methinks. Furthermore, I'm also going to paint up a couple of Romano-Brits I sculpted to help blag my way into working for GB. They can take their place in the front rank now that they have successfully completed their primary objective. I'll stick with the shield design as well, the idea behind it being that these guys are all Mithraists and are happy to proclaim their beliefs on their shields, just so that any Saxon dogs who get in their way know exactly who is coming to kill them. No namby-pamby Christians in this man's army.

Anyway, here's some more pictures of my toys, Late Romans this time. Not quite Andy Hawes, but they look nice on the table. Well they would if they ever get there.

And here's one of some of my 20mm Waffen SS, led by the fearless Sturmbannfuhrer Von Karelgis und Schpitt der Hund. Cos I like the camo and they have actually won a few battles. And the halftracks look cool too.

Uh oh, that came out a bit on the small side. Nevermind, I can't be bothered mucking about with it anymore.

That's all, folks. Time to go and watch Transformers.

Take it easy



Bill T said...

Heart of Stone! More like Heart of Lead! :o)

Soapy said...

Why bother choosing an army!?

Paint up as many dark age bits as you can get your hands on and then dive, with gay abandon, into Age of Arthur. Most armies can have allies from a fair selection of other lists so your Romano Britons, Late Romans and blagged Saxons can all be used together.

My big bag 'o' Saxons arrives tomorrow. I think I may have a few hours off and paint a couple up before finishing the Gedricht. I'll let you know when they are done so you can make another strategic visit to the Beast. ;>)

I'm sure Bill will buckle eventually, dont give up...

Stay lucky,

Mike said...


you've no chance of getting free lead from Bill.

but, if you buy Hazel some chocolate she'll give you free rain in his workshop. but make sure Bill is out when try this or he'll set the dogs on you :-)


Bill T said...

Cheeky bastards! ;o)

Dave said...

Saxon dogs????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Oh dear if Darren sees that, oh boy, someone's gonna be in twubble

Bill T said...

No they are real ones. Killers each and every one of 'em! :o)

GuitarheroAndy said...

I dunno about 'not quite Andy Hawes' mate... I really like that unit of Late Romans you've got there..reminds me of one of my own!!
Like your bulls head shields, by the way!!!

David said...

Will anybody be casting up the two Roman-Brits?

Chris said...

David - don't think so, i haven't had any offers yet!

Andy - Thanks for your comments, praise indeed!If I hadn't been feeling so fragile at Hot lead I would have sought you out just to drool over your superbly painted Arthurians - quality stuff, I love em.

Dave - "someone's gonna be in twubble." Nah, don't think so. He's a big softy at heart. He knits as well, you know.

Bill - The whole world wants you to give me those Saxons gratis. You know you want to. Go on, do it for Satan.

Arabela said...

Interesting to know.