Regular visitors to this site will know that a month or so ago I took advantage of the 50%-off Miniature Building Authority sale to order some 15mm terrain from the US. See the post by clicking here (will open in new window).
I was so pleased with the buildings, and the fact that the 50%-off made them affordable to buy from the US, that I decided I'd better get some more in order to make my middle eastern town a bit bigger. A few clicks later, and I had another of the compounds and four more little houses on the way.
Whilst I was on the site, a couple more of the buildings caught my eye, and I duly ordered some of them too: manufacturers take note: all you have to do is get me there!
First up is the sawmill. Great little building this, and ideal for one of the scenarios in Bashnya or Bust! Unfortunately, the site said it was out of stock, but an e-mail to Kirk (good man that he is) led to him uncovering one deep in the recesses of the warehouse.
A nice little building, quite distinctive, that comes with a couple of piles of wood (okay, so they are a bit pants!) and some fencing to make an outside area. Loving this: will make any wooden Russian town or village a bit more interesting.
The next thing to catch my eye was the MBA Russian church. I'd coveted one of these for some time, but the problem is I already have at least three (it might be four, I deliberately forget!) Russian churches. If I bought this one, I was well on the way to having enough to portray a different church in each of the various towns and villages in all 32 of the Bashnya and, indeed,all the Vyazma, scenarios as well. I definitely did not need another Russian church.
So here is my new MBA Russian church proudly sitting on the tabletop:
Another lovely model that comes with two gold crosses for the steeple: a really nice touch as I am bound to break or lose one over the next few years.
Here are the two buildings together rather than in isolation, and you can see the new middle eastern kit behind them as well:
So how did the financing work out this time?
Using an exchange rate of $1.30:£1.00, here's the calculation, rounded to single units for ease of consumption:
List price: $290 (£223)
50% off: $145 (£112)
P&P: $85 (£65)
Tax: $36 (£28)
Total Paid: $266 (£205)
So a saving of around £20...and I have some very nice buildings that are usually only available (due to cost) in the States.
The MBA sale is still on, click on the banner below to visit their site. Please mention VL if you do end up buying: I've already received one angry e-mail from a spouse about the money spent by her other half the last time I posted about MBA!
I was going to update the painting challenge this morning, but given the news about the bombing in Manchester, and as the parent of two daughters who could easily have been at that concert, I'm just not feeling it.
My sympathies to all those affected by the incident.
One of my impulse purchases at Salute this year was a couple of battlemats from Tiny Wargames. As my tables are 6'x5', I custom ordered one of the South Pacific coastal mats and one of the planet Mars mats, both cloth only, paying £150 for the two, including p&p.
Arriving home yesterday, well within the 21-day custom order time given by Tiny Wargames, I was greeted by a good sized package containing the two mats...and they are cracking!
First up, the coastal mat. Okay, so I could have got a slightly bigger one made (that's my fault!) but the mat looks fantastic and I cannot wait to try it out.
Here's a few pictures without any other terrain on board, just a couple of Japanese landing craft:
And here's the Mars mat: again looks great...and it makes me almost sorry that I've homogenised all my sci-fi troopers onto grass bases.
So a couple of recommended purchases there, and I shall be treating myself to a winter mat once the finances have recovered.
Fellow Lardy Chris Stoesen has written several scenario books for Lardy products, including the excellent In the Name of Roma covering the Italians on the Eastern Front:
"In July of 1941, the 80° Roma Regiment of the Pasubio Division boarded a train bound for Romania. Along with the rest of the Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia (Corpo di Spedizione Italiano), they would advance through the Ukraine alongside their German allies. In the coming months, the 80° would be engaged in brutal fighting across 1400 miles of the Eastern Front – covering most of that on foot.
"IN THE NAME OF ROMA is a wargame supplement that contains 30 company and platoon level scenarios covering the actions of the 80a Roma Regiment from August to December of 1941. You’ll follow the 80th from the open steppe to the Donetz industrial basin, including the amphibious attacks across the Dnieper, and the fateful decision of Column Chiarimonti to attempt to seize Nikitovka."
This normally sells at $11, but is currently available at just $5.50 from Chris' website at Wargamer's Odds & Ends.
Incidentally, my scenario books are, from today, now available from this website using PayPal to buy them (previously you had to use a credit card). They are available from the BUY IABSM SCENARIO PACKS page of this website, available by clicking on the link or in the NavBar above.
As a reminder they are:
The September War, Part One (the invasion of Poland, September 1939)
The Defence of Calais (the defence of Calais, May 1940)
Operation Compas (action in the western desert, June 1940 to February 1941)
Fall of the Lion Gate (the fall of Singapore, December 1941 to February 1942)
Bloody Burma (the fall of Burma, December 1941 to May 1942)
Sicilian Weekend (the invasion of Sicily, July 1943)
Anzio: Wildcat to Whale (the Anzio campaign, January & February 1944)
Vyazma or Bust! (Eastern Front, 1941)
Bashnya or Bust! (Eastern Front, 1944)
Blenneville or Bust! (Normandy, 1944)
All my scenario books are fully IABSM V3 compatible.
Some of you may have read the news that terrain manufacturer Miniature Building Authority is moving out of the 15mm space and, as a result, selling of their stock of 15mm terrain pieces at 50% off list price.
The MBA buildings are the ones that come painted and in two halves: put the halves together, you have a pristine building, but take the top half off and you have a ruined building. Ideal for IABSM when you're trying to show a building rendered unstable by artillery fire!
I've often lusted after their stuff, but as they are in the US it hasn't been economical to buy any. With the sale, however, it seemed to be worth having a punt, despite the shipping and tax I would have to pay. I duly contacted Kirk at MBA, we sorted how much the postage would be, and I ordered a complete middle eastern town for my desert war and 6DW collection.
After I'd paid the VAT, Parcelforce duly delivered a big box, which unpacked as follows:
Very nice looking and I'm very happy with them. So happy, in fact, that I've gone back and asked for more!
Anyway, what I'm sure you're all interested in is the financials: how did it work out.
Using an exchange rate of $1.30:£1.00, here's the calculation, rounded to single units for ease of consumption:
List price: $316 (£243)
50% off: $158 (£122)
P&P: $88 (£68)
Tax: $59 (£45)
Total Paid: $305 (£235)
As you can see, although I didn't really save any money (£8 or $11!), the sale made the buildings cheap enough to import. Given the quality of the products, well worth investing if you ask me.
MBA are also discounting some of their 28mm buildings. For those interested in either scale, you can click on the link below to visit their site. If you do end up ordering anything, please mention Vis Lardica when you do so.
In addition to his many other talents (househusband, father, wargamer, ballet dancer) fellow Lardy Kev "Fat Wally" Lowth is a professional figure painter. You can see many examples of his work in his Painting Challenge galleries.
All his new stuff means that he is having to clear space in his collection, and his chosen sacrificial lambs are his 15mm WW2 desert war collection: both Afrika Korps and 8th Army, plus a whole load of scenics.
You can download the whole list of what's for sale by clicking here.
And can see examples from the collection by clicking on the links below:
Less than a week since the last update, and I think it's time for another one: I've got to keep on top of all the submissions pouring in!
So, in no particular order, we have:
Jason Ralls, back from the dead, with some 28mm ACW figures
Andrew Helliwell continues his medieval collection, but makes the fatal mistake of trying a new scale. That road lies only to ruin!
Following Andrew down the two-scale path is Mr Kay: some lovely Pulp figures in 28mm followed by the start of a Team Yankee collection. The end is nigh!
Already a Cold War king, Egg adds to his force with some teeny-tiny modern West German infantry platoons. As he says: lots of firepower, but not a lot of points for the Challenge.
The Great Gatzemeyer pops in some more Dropzone Commander miniatures. Lovely sculpts: if only they did them in 15mm...
Is it a bird? Is it a 'plane? No...but it is another entry from Thomas Nissvik. Thomas' entries are like buses: nothing for ages, then three all at once! Here he has three Walking Dead figures from Mantic.
Carole Flintsends in a couple of female magic users and some CoC jump off points.
The increasingly prolific Mr Davenportsubmits another Napoleonic division in 18mm (and this one has tartan!) and a mighty horde of 28mm Baja warriors for some North Africa colonial action
And last, but by no means least, Steve Burt has, according to him, the last of the Carthaginians...but we don't believe him, do we!
As usual, clicking on the name of the person above will open their full gallery in a new window and, as I'm updating this before work, the Scoreboard won't be updated until I can get to my home PC.
Here are today's pictures. Little beauties, the lot of 'em!
Another division from Mr Davenport
Gorgeous Pulp figures from Hasslefree from Chris Kay
I thought it was a rather good Salute this year: certainly better than the last few.
Why was it so good? Well, here's a few fairly random thoughts:
No queue at all
By the time I arrived, 10.45 am, the queue had completely died down, and after a coffee and a sandwich I was able to walk straight in.
I understand from some people that the pre-opening-queue hall was just about full as the doors actually opened, meaning their current way of doing things is now strained to the limit, but for this year, as last, it worked. Well done the organisers: makes a big difference!
Sharp Practice demo game in full swing
I thought that this year's show was the busiest I had been at for years. This gave the show, even in the afternoon, a real buzz...and because the show is in such a large venue, even with the busy-ness, there was plenty of room to move around.
Usually I come away from Salute thinking that I've been trapped in a dungeon for a few hours. I don't know what they've done differently, or whether it's just me, but this year I thought that it was considerably lighter than last year.
Traders & Bargains
Now there are always lots of traders at Salute, which is good, but nothing particularly exciting. I keep myself fairly well abreast of what's available, so rarely do I get the pleasant surprise of a new discovery.
Not so this year: not only did GZG have some fantastic hover disks for the Xar (see previous post on the need for vehicles for the little Critters!) but an outfit called Troll Trader had loads of the more obscure Battlefront box sets (i.e. the sort of thing that is usually priced highly because people only ever buy one) for dirt cheap prices. I picked up the Amtrack box set at seven vehicles for £40; more US landing craft at £5 each; and ten Japanese tanks at £2.40 each.
Lead mountain now fully replenished!
Again it may just be me, but I thought here were a ton more demo games than usual. Combined with the traders, this meant that it took me until well into the afternoon to think that I had actually at least glanced at everything there was to see.
I left at about 3pm, but felt that I could have stayed longer. It was the wallet that made me leave: it's piteous cries of "no more, no more"...
And finally, what made the show really buzz for me was the huge number of Lardies that it was good to chat with. I won't name check everybody, but nice to see Ralph and Matt, Kev, Sid, Big Rich, Panda and all the other Lard Island regulars.
Roll on next year!
Vis Lardica is a website devoted to wargaming and military history, with a special emphasis on the company-sized rulesets produced by the TooFatLardies: I Ain't Been Shot Mum (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (science fiction)
Welcome to Vis Lardica, a website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.