Wargamers don't tend to need to practice spending but it's become a bit of a tradition to do go through the battle plan at the Golden Archers and this year was no exception. Fortified and ready for a contest of wallets we then travelled the 60 yards to the venue (is it only me that has noticed that every large sports hall has a McD very close to it?
Anyway I digress, £3.50 to park being that bit lower than the year before and the ticket covering both days we were in like a ferret up the trouser leg, that smell that can only be Triples (or Grandma's knickers draw). I am proud to say that within five minutes flat we were standing all eager like at the Baccus stand and listening to Peters age old song about 6mm being sooooo easy to paint on two unsuspecting 28mm fans. Actually to this point I had never seen Peter at work from this angle. More importantly I had never seen the
victims er customers eyes before. The blank stir and the words "must....buy.....little....men" slipping almost human like from their dry raspy throats.
Being a nice guy I tried to save them by telling them how I had painted up lots of Union Regiments in just one week, whilst forgetting to mention that I was not working at the time and so had more than the average Joes time on my hands (well he has an extra mouth to feed and looking at the size of him, they certainly are feeding him, he could be a five year old he's so tall).
The reason for our haste was to take a butchers at the new Napoleonic French just released and according to Peter he has worked all the hours God sends to get it done whilst that troublesome Igor did nothing at all. Anyway the verdict?
£36 later and I would say I really do like the new figures. Pose wise they are much the same quality wise they are a big step up. I had already decided I would buy a pack of everything Peter releases in the French codes and paint them up just to follow the whole process through. This will basicly mean throwing between £3 and £6 per line at Peter and then coming home and painting them up. This is the only way to do a complete review of a new product. So Peter must have released seven to ten new lines so far? er no. That would be five new lines. But five times say £4.50...........
Just stop right there. I am only human right? OK I am possibly human and as such I am frail and for those who do not know Peter he is a bear of a man and not only does he have hypnotic powers but a hell of a head lock.
You see the Waterloo French are not yet released and whilst Lee was disappointed that Peter has yet to release new lines to me it ...made.....perfect...sense.....MASTER. He HAS to cover the core items that already made up his range before moving forward and we need to start painting up troops for Waterloo.
This is why I walked away with the 1806-12 Infantry Booster Pack which provides me with 12 battalions of French infantry. A major upgrade is that this pack now comes with an Elite base per regiment in the blister (twelve in all). Something else, the command stand now has just the one drummer. To me the figures also look that little bit chunkier, and maybe a gnats todger taller. What they are more so though is crisper. It's obvious they have been remade from the Eagles down. How will they paint? I have no idea.....yet, but looking at the painted figures on display, they will be just fine, so very fine.
To go with these I have bought the NFR3 French Voltigeurs pack which will allow me to make up twelve battalions with four skirmishers per base for a total of £19.50 (£16.50 for the infantry booster and £3.00 for the skirmishers). To say it would be hard not to improve the old Voltigeurs would be a huge understatement. But these are so much better, oh so very much better. The poses have been altered even though one remains firing. Simply put, these are just great.
I also bought NFR4 French Grenadiers pack for £6 and compared them to my yet to be painted old pack and again we have an upgrade. These are slightly more noticeably taller, the bear skin is better cast and these will be the start of my Guard, though I will use the three old bases as well.
The really early French are represented by NFR10 and NFR20, Infantry line in bicorne and bicorne skirmishers respectfully. Originally I really did not think I would have much use for these and planned on painting just the one Battalion as I have no interest in painting up early French but then Aidy pointed out they would be good for the Paris Guard for the Iberian battles. Great, so these will get a chance to be used after all. Again really clean crisp figures with minimal prep, these should see a brush soon.
So I have to admit I am very taken with the new French and really looking forward to what is to follow. I plan to try and get the twelve regular battalions done as soon as I can, I aim to reinforce them at Partizan next month.
I also picked up three cans of Vallejo Matt Varnish but Lee managed to wrestle two cans off me, possibly because my neck was still saw from Peters earlier sale.
Not to worry though, I found this rather interesting purple can (HMG Paints, got to love a name like that). The man behind the table said that Mr. Adler used and ask his view. Instead I just bought a can before Lee dragged me to the floor. The Vallejo was £10 and the HMG £8.50 Now anyone who has followed this blog for some time will know how highly I rate Vallejo sprays so it's got some stiff competition. I have tested it on two Prussian Dragoon regiments and I am happy to say that I will pick up another can in the morning. More details on this in a later post.
I also popped over to Warbases to pick up my order (Hoplite movement trays) and big bases for groups of buildings, where I met up with a fellow blogger working the stand.
I also met up with Dr Mike of the painting clinic and Ian his very able assistant who lives not far away and plays at Mansfield. I see more games in the future :-)
I have more to tell but will add it to the next post. I will be back at Triples tomorrow but the focus will be on games and other such fun.