Monday 11 June 2012

Prepainted civilian minis

All has not been holidaying bliss, however- I have been dragged by the significant other around Stoke-on-Trent's factory outlets.

Stoke-on-Trent, for those not in the know, is the centre of England's fine china and dining industry. I actually could get interested in the history and science and art of it all, but instead I found myself screaming on the inside at various factory outlets where you can get china stuff at greatly reduced prices. Not my, ahem, cup of tea.

I made the most of a bad situation, however, by reviewing Royal Doulton's wargaming figures. This is an old gaming company, since about 1815 or so, but not one I have often seen used. I could only find unarmed civilian female figures in formal upper-class garb.
The figures are about 200mm scale foot to eye. They are unbased and stand up on their own skirts. The poses are somewhat wooden, but the clothing has a good sense of movement and folds. The figures are well-proportioned, on the slender side, and lack the generous chest that typifies many other manufacturers' female offerings.
The casts are not very crisp and the china fails to hold any sharp angles, but there were no casting defects or mold lines whatsoever. There were no airbubbles. These figures still appear fairly brittle and liable to damage if knocked over in a moment of gaming excitement.
All the figures come prepainted. This appears to be a wash or glaze over a white undercoat, without significant outlining or detail. The absence of other highlighting or shading, particularly on the skin, doesn't really make the figure 'pop' on the tabletop. The larger size allows transfers to be used for the eyes, which actually works well. The finished product is then glosscoated, but a quick spray of matt would fix that.
At 100GBP each, though, I restrained myself from starting a new scale...

See you, Jimmie

This blog isn't dead; it's in suspended animation while I'm in the northern hemisphere and away from my little men.

All is not lost, however: I'm based in Edinburgh, the first time I have been to Scotland. I've just finished Magnus Magnusson's history, which gives a great feel for the past 1500 years in this country.

I've been around Edinburgh Castle (highly recommend the regimental museums) and will be off to Holy Island, Bamburgh Castle and Hadrian's Wall next weekend. I made it to Bannockburn, but don't think I'll make it to Culloden.

I've found the local wargamers (great club location and, heaven, weekly meetings) and got justly thrashed at Saga (4-player Feast for Crows- memo to self, lurking in the table corner keeps you alive but won't win the game!). I trained my way over to Glasgow for Wappinshaw (Scots for 'weapon show') where I picked up a few second hand minis, including 80 figures labelled as '15mm FIW' for 8GBP. I then had to get 'Muskets and Tomahawks', even though I need a new period like I need a hole in the head...

Help from TMP led me to discover they are Irregular minis, and they appear to be more AWI than FIW, but I think a quick paint job will be satisfying. Maybe time to crack out the dip again?