Books I have read and recommend.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Developments

Hi All
Well I've been busy of late. What seems to be consuming most of my free time is my new "Imagi-nation" (See link in the "IMAGI-NATIONS" Section).
It's become rather time consuming; what with writing up a whole nations "history", designing uniforms (see an example of the "3rd Regt of Foot at left), and also sourcing some rules to cover the period I want to set this all in (approximately 1730-1790).
As a consequence I'm awaiting the arrival of a ton of 28mm lead from Perry Miniatures in the UK, and OLD GLORY in the US. Mostly Seven Years War (7YW) and American War of Independence (AWI) types. These I'll add to the magnificent EUREKA MINIATURES "Age Of Reason" range of figures I recently obtained.
I hope to have Tricorn and Pigtail wearing troops marching resplendent across my wargame table.
On the "Napoleonic" front, I've recently sent a swag of Napoleonic British AB MINIATURES off to MCM to be painted, (hopefully I'll see some of them back before the new year). That just leaves about 200 or so 18mm Russians, Westphalians and Poles, (and still a few French) left for me to finish off.
I've also recently received my copy of "SHARP PRACTICE" from "Too Fat Lardies".
What cracking set of Skirmish Rules for the Black Powder era these are. Hand in hand with them, I've also taken delivery of some plastic 28mm figures from PERRY Miniatures and VICTRIX Miniatures. I wasn't too sure that you'd get the same quality of figure in plastic as you do in metal, but I was wrong. Both are cracking good mini's, (with the Perry's a little nicer IMHO).
I hope to get some pictures of them up on this blog soon. Anyway, 'nuf for now. Do check out my "Imagi-nation" and drop a comment if you think either of my blogs are worth the effort.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Results are in!

Hi All
I've already made comment on the service provided by Reinforcements By Post's (RBP), (see my comments dated 15 Sept), but since the actual figures have now arrived, I thought I'd finalize my review of their work.
I sent of several units to be painted, (mainly OLD GLORY miniatues). One unit I was keen to have was A Young Guard Battalion. (seen here on the left). The Young Guard miniatures were actually AB Miniatures with a Old Glory Miniatures mounted officer.
You can see more pictures of the work done by RBP by looking up my 15 Sept comments.
I was very pleased with the results. Very subtle highlighting and washes were applied, and and the units had a level of character about them that the other service providers didn't seem to provide in my humble opinion. I also had the figures based, and am pleased to say that aspect was also done to a very high standard. The OG miniatures, (that really require a good artist to get the most out of them), were very pleasing.
GOOD. I'd have to give them a 7.5/10.
The figures were packed by units in small boxes with foam "peanuts", and then sealed within by tape. Given the figures were based, it would not have been possible to wrap them as MCM or FE had, but I did think that DPS packaging system was superior. All the same, I think only two bayonets were "lost" in shipment.
Accessing the figures from the packaging was hassel free,
As for the figures themselves; they were painted to a very high standard; 8.5 out of 10. Sad
These guys were the "mid-range priced" figures to get painted, (MCM the most expensive, and DPS probaby fractionally cheaper given the miniature was included). I won't include FE here, as they painted my figures to "COLLECTOR" standard, (a level below that of the other painting service providers).
Score? I'd say
8.5 out of 10 Smile.
Finally, a customer service score is now required.
Communication was great! Neil kept me informed every step of the way, asked for clarification where needed, and provided exaclty what was asked for. Banter was polite and friendly, and he offered suggestions that ultimately resulted in a happier customer.
Like FE, the figures also took quite a while to get to me
, but there were some issues at the "customs" end of the line that was beyond RBP's influence.
Lets give RBP a 8 out of 10. Cool
That gives RBP a total of 32.5 / 40.

In summary; fantastic customer service, and beautifully painted minatures at a reasonable price.
Now lets look at all the service providers SIDE BY SIDE!
The Infantry First:

Here we have (L-R) MCM,RBP,FE and DPS

MCM French Light Infantry, (based by me), and RBP French YOUNG GUARD, (based by RBP).
Next we have FE French Line Infantry (based by me), and DPS OLD GUARD, (based by DPS).
Now for the Cavalry:
Here we have them in the following order, again L-R)
MCM Saxons, RBP French Chasseurs, FE Italian Chasseurs and DPS Bavarians. As with the infantry, I'll let the figures speak for themselves. The final results are as follows:
FE- 31
MCM- 32.5
RBP - 32.5
DPS - 33

If you discount FE, (as they were requested to paint to a standard below the other three), you'll see that only half a point separates them.
Personally I like MCM's work the most, but RBP is a very very close second. So much for the scoring system.
I'd recommend buying DPS via EBAY. You can get some real bargains going that way. For me subsequent communication issues with orders I've since placed with them, (DPS) has turned me off. I'd also recommend FE, but make sure you're very descriptive in EXACTLY what you want.

Bye for now!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fernando's Troops Are Ready For Inspection; SIR!

BELOW: two views of Napoleon and his Household at Boridino 1812.
Painted by Model Citizen Miniatures, based by Trailape
. Napoleon broods as Berthier dictates orders! In the background the Old Guard waits, (and grumbles).

Hi All
I've finally got all my figures back from the various Painting Service providers.
You might remember I sent a swag of miniatures off to the following Painting Service providers:
1. Fernando Enterprise (FE),
2. Reinforcements By Post (RBP),

3. Model Citizen Miniatures, (MCM); and
4. Dr
agon Painting Service
I've already commented on DPS, and MCM. That leaves RBP and FE.

Let's now review the offerings from Fernando Enterprise:
They were the last to arrive. They took about 5 months or so to return to me from time of dispatch at my end to their eventual return.
I asked for about 10 different units to be painted to "COLLECTOR" standard. This is one level down from what I've asked the other painting services to do. The only reason for this was that to
have them painted to "SHOWCASE" standard was going to take a rather long time. As it turned out they still took a month or so longer than expected.
I did send about 300 figures!

VERY GOOD. I'd have to give them a 8.5/10.
Most of the figures were packed and wrapped in foam, (but some were simply placed in individual zip-lock bags and the placed in larger plastic bags. The lot was then packed buy Order Lots (regiments) in boxes lined with tissue and bubble wrap. I dropped the boxes a couple of time and no harm was done. These could easily take the normal Postal Service poundings. All the same, a couple of Bayonets did snap off.

Accessing the figures from the packaging was easy, with little chance of the customer damaging the figs in the process of un-packing! Mad
(Trust me, it happens)!

As for the figures themselves; they were painted to a rather high standard.
They were painted with some shading and highlights. We did have some issues with the occasional unit; (I thought for a while there we'd never get my Provisional Croation Regiment
painted Sad ); but other than that the uniforms were on the whole historically correct as far as I could tell.
The only other issue is that one regiment has the Fusiliers (center Company's) with red cord on their Shakos, (should be white). A minor pain, (and all the other units have the correct white cords on the Fusiliers.
As I did ask for a "Collector standard" I'll give FE a 7 out of 10. Sad

These guys were the cheapest figures to get painted, (obviously as they were painted to a "lower" standard in comparison to the other painting services).
Having said that, they were not that much off the mark in comparison with the other painters.
So on the Value For Money scale let's hand
FE a 9 out of 10 Smile
Finally, a customer service score is now required. Communication was a slight issue. The saga of getting the Croats painted is a good example of what I'm talking about. The figures also took quite a while to get to me
Lets give FE a 6.5 out of 10. Cool
That gives FE a total of 31 / 40.

In summary; I'll be sending more figures FE's way.
I must stress though it's VERY IMPORTANT that you provide as much detail in your painting instructions as humanly possible. Don't assume the artists can tell the difference between a greatcoat and a jacket. The best option is to send a painted sample of what you want done, and/or as many detailed pictures as possible.
I recommend using pictures available from the Histofig site:
Anyway, here are a few pictures of the work done by FE:
Italian Royal Guard (top) and Velites of The Guard (below)

Above is the Guard Conscripts of the Italian Royal Guard behind a battery of French Foot Artillery and below is a French Line Regiment. All painted by FE. Based by me.
I'll soon provide a review of our last Service Provider,
Reinforcements By Post (RBP); and a final SIDE BY SIDE look at the work done.
Cheers Cool

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

When will I find the time?

Hi All
Well, moving into a brand new house, and doing it with a brand new baby daughter will certainly impinge on your ability to get any wargaming or associated activities sorted.
The good news, (other than the arrival of my new daughter and my flash new house), is ALL the figures I've sent off to various painters are now back!
I think I'll without doubt find a couple of hours this weekend to post my final comments / reviews of the work done to my miniatures, and upload some pictures.
The sad news is that with the Aussie dollar getting hammered on the exchange rate, I'll be back to doing most of my own painting for a while.
I guess I'll get to try my new glasses out,..

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Reinforcements arrived, and Fernando's not far off

Hi Team
Good news! My order from Reinforcements By Post arrived on the 30th of last month. The box was slightly battered, but no damage was done.
I'm in the middle of moving house, so I'll post a complete review of the work done in about two weeks.
Fernando Enterprise has told me the order I tasked them with is now completed also, so I'll include comments and pictures of their work also.
That's all for now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fernando! Please Fix My Croat!

Hi Trend Setters
Well Fernando Enterprise has sent me a picture of a Provisional Croatian Regiment Voltigeur that needed correcting. The 1st effort(you may recall from a earlier post) had my Voltigeurs in GREY Jackets, (the artist had issues telling the differnce between Jackets and Greatcoats). Anyway, it appears we're getting there. The left hand figure was the 2nd attempt, (no cuffs painted, epaulets missing their yellow trim), and his waistcoat is GREEN.
It's should be white as per the picture I sent. The second from left fellow is the3rd effort. Almost there! Turnbacks, and cuffs painted and epaulets have their yellow trim. Still no white waistcoat however. "SIGH"
Finally on the the right we have the most recent effort. As you can see the waistcoat is now been painted white. Great, and they also sent a picture of the figure from behind. He does look great from behind ,... Ummmm, I don't believe I just said that (gulp).
All In all, I'm pleased with the results,.... Cheers

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ancients From Fernando and "some other stuff"

Hi All
As promised, I've posted some pictures of ancients
I asked Fernando Enterprise (FE) to paint.
These figures were actually sent prior to the dispatch of my 15/18mm Napoleonic figures, but I thought I'd upload these pictures just to show you what you can expect from FE if you ask for "SHOWCASE" quality.
The first image is of a FOUNDRY 28mm Hypasapist Foot Companion, (middle figure).
He's painted to "SHOWCASE" quality. The shield is hand-painted, (no, it's not a decal). It's a profile of Alexander the Great as the Son of Zues. The photo doesn't do the figure justice. It's a real work of art. I have a unit of 24, (and yes they all have the same magnificent shield)!

Very Happy
The mounted figure on the right is an OLD GLORY 28mm ALEXANDER, (from the OG Macedonian Command pack if I recall correctly).
Again, painted to "SHOWCASE" quality. Again, the figure is brilliant! The horse is really nice. I should have told FE to paint the Horse Black, ala Buchephalis (excuse the spelling Confused), but I forgot to. Just goes to show that you really need to take your time in preparing your order.

Finally the fig on the left is a FOUNDRY Macedonian Pikeman, (less Shield). Painted to "COLLECTOR" quality.
These guys, (about 64 of them) were quite nice.
The next photo is of MIRILTON 15mm medieval Russians
Sorry about to dodgy quality of the photo All are painted to "SHOWCASE" quality.
Again the photo doesn't do the artist justice. I've shown these guys to a few mates, and they all agree the are some of the best painted 15mm figures they have ever seen. I'll upload a better picture with the next few weeks.
I also got some Marian Romans and Carthaginians in 28mm from them. I'll try and post some more pictures soon.
By the way, I'm listening to a podcast as I type; and it's rather good. Called:

There is a bit of content that's not really to my liking (especially when he talks of Lord of The Rings stuff), but it's kinda like listening to Radio for wargamers. You can check it out at:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Reinforcements To Arrive Soon, (By Post apparently)

(Left: French Dragoons painted by RBP)
Hi Team
I've received confirmation from Neil at Reinforcements By Post (RBP), that he's finished my order and is almost ready to post. Just some packing and wrapping to do now.
Throughout the whole process, (pre-order questions, dispatch to his team in Bangladesh, and actual painting), Neil has been very helpful and maintained excellent lines of communication.
I'll post a more detailed review of the work done by RBP once the figures arrive, but in the meantime checkout the pictures to see what the team at RBP have done.
All figures are painted to RBP "Museum" standard, (equivalent to Fernando Enterprise's "SHOWCASE" standard):
Here at left we have some French 9th Chasseurs A Cheval. Part of IV Corps of the Grand Armee of 1812.
The basing looks pretty good. Initially I didn't want any basing done, as I normally prefer to do that myself, but it's so cheap to have RBP do it, (cheaper than if I purchased the bases and did the basing myself); I would have been a mug to do it myself. Neil's guys did a better job than what I could have pulled off myself anyway.
The miniatures are AB Miniatures purchased from EUREKA MINIATURES here in Victoria. Have I mentioned what a great bunch they are at Eureka?

Next (at right and below) we have some French Line Infantry. Mostly OLD GLORY (OG) figures, with a few AB's thrown in for some additional variety. OG are the type of figure that will look either really good or rather CRAP depending on the skill of the artist. As you can see here, they look FANTASTIC (I think). As the figures were to be based for AGE OF EAGLES, they should be 4 per base. Neil's team did a great job of fitting on the casualty figures and still making the bases look suitably "Regimental". Furthermore, as my original intention was to do my own basing, I sent a number of figures that weren't divisible by four. Consequently Neil had to make best with what he had, as explained in the email he sent:
"You had odd combinations of marching and 'advancing/attacking' figures
in units. You also had strange numbers (not divisible by 4) of

figures. I have tried to put your bases together so that you can
easily play with them on the table. That meant shoving the advancing
figures to the back and having them 'bayonet' through the front rank.
If you have them at the front you will never be able to go to column.

Your casualties and dead figures desperately tried to control whole
bases because they are elongated. I tamed them as much as possible.

Next time you will have to lay all the figures out for units to make

sure they work. Otherwise you will be asking for a disaster. I also
suggest that you go for marching figures as they work best. I have a
few firing lines and advancing units but they create headaches on the
table. Never try to mix up the figures in units.
I'll be working on basing templates for the future so people can work
it all out at home before sending figures to me. If I have a backlog
now it is going to be worse in futur
e and I won't have the chance to
fix mix ups.
Please let me know if the figures are OK for you".

All good suggestions, and exactly how I would normally do business. But like I said, I did intend to do the basing once I had the figures back home. I'm pretty happy with the results

Here at left we have some of the 13 Highlanders I sent. These guys were to be painted to match a sample I sent. I can say it appears that this has been done. I'll confirm that the job has been done to perfection once I have the miniatures here. I must say though they look pretty darn good! Again, the figures are the magnificent AB Miniatures.
Finally we have some OG 10mm Prussians. Now i must say I'm very impressed with the work done here. I think I'll base these guy to use with my the MIGHT & REASON rules by Sam Mustafa, (a pretty good set of rules I think). Check them out at:

Just look at the detail on these little guys!
Cheers for now!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Swamped by FERNANDO!

FE's efforts at my Italian Guard Conscripts, (Officer and Drummer)

Hi Team
Fernando Enterprise, (FE) has sent me a bucket load of pictures of figures I've sent to them for painting, (see my ealier posts).
Check them out! First we have a Mounted Officer of the Velites of the Italian Guard and a French Drummer of a Line Regt in "Imperial" Livery:
I think the Italian chap looks rather grand, (both AB miniatures 18mm scale figures).
Next we have a Grenadier and an Eagle Escort (or a "Deuxieme Portaigles" as we say in french) of the French 84th Line, and two Grenadiers of the 108th Line:

All are AB's except for the chap bitting the cartridge who is a "Eureka Miniatures" figure in "1812" Bardin Regulation uniform. They look rather good I think.
Next is the French "Light" Infantry. From left to right, Carabinier, "hornist", Voltigeur and finally a Deuxieme Portaigle with Halberd.
Next we have Some "Middle Guard" Fusilier Chasseurs : Eagle Bearer, (I guess I'll need to straighten out the pole once I have them back home), Officer and Fusilier.

This is a classic example of figures being painted by non-wargamers. Any wargamer would "straighten" any "bent bits" prior to painting. I just know once I straighten out this guys flag pole (Staff), paint will be shed, "sigh".

Another "puzzling development" was this chap:
I asked FE to paint up some figures as the Provisional Croation Regt. Not a big asked you'd think, considering I provided plenty of pictures of the units uniform. When this picture turned up I had no idea who he was ment to be. The tag said "Fusilier 84th French Line". But with GREEN pants and a grey / white jacket?? "Nah, that can't be right"! Then I though, "he looks a bit familier though".
"But of course, he's a Provisional Croat", (that explains the green trousers). But what's with the greyish jacket? Well one of the pictures I sent have a voltigeur in a grey Greatcoat. Now any devotee of Napoleonic wargaming could tell the difference between a Greatcoat and a jacket, but not the dude that was painting this guy. "Sigh" (again). I hope FE understands the corrective advice I've sent. Below are the other Provisional Croations.

Another example of incorrect "tags" was this "Prussian Gun":
Problem is I only sent FRENCH guns to be painted. At least it's the correct colour. Yipppeee!
Finally some Joseph Napoleon Spanish (Drummer, Sapper and Eagle Escort), and French Line Voltigeurs.

I do like the look of the "Eureka Miniatures" Line Voltigeurs.
That's all for now!