On the morning of our great adventure we rose early and met at my place for coffee and more coffee. Then we had a filthy row about who was driving - a marauder moment! Rich was gracious enough to drive so we set off. It soon dawned on us that we didn't actually have to visit Maelstrom Games as we didn't have "Steve the baggage" with us - so we were free spirits!!!
Now, the Marauders are a Wiltshire folk, specifically a north west Wiltshire folk so the trip to the Nottingham area would be quite long, 2-3 hours depending on traffic. Plenty of time to do what wargamers do best - talk about wargaming! We covered everything; basing, glue, varnishes, pinning cavalry, rules, magazines, websites & blogs, who's who, who was who, who will be who and lots more.
Why Nottingham? Well, however you cut it Nottingham is wargames central on a macro global scale. We discussed who we should visit and where we could go; should we call in on Warlord games or Wargames Foundry? Should we burgle the Perry twins house? Maybe we could wake up Rick Priestley for a lecture on Black Powder and a cup of tea? There are so many manufacturers and traders up there that we actually got confused and ended up here...
|Bloody hell it's Games Workshop head office!|
I know, how did that happen? Confession time. The truth is we used to play Fantasy and 40k to a lesser extent, we dabbled in warhamster and epic (tiddly 40k), we even played some boaty game, an orcy car game, some gang based skirmish game and still pull out Space Hulk occasionally. So we are not without influence from the Dark Side of the hobby. This is a good thing in many respects as it has informed much of what we want from the hobby and how we want to play games. GW sometimes brings out the worst in us and often the best, but we do have a history here so we popped in. Maybe it's like shagging an ex-girlfriend years later! I wouldn't know though - honest!
|The indoor castle that is Warhammer World. It's OK to be quietly impressed, really it is, no harm will come to you.|
By an incredible coincidence we then met Paul from The Bell pub in Seend where we held the annual Marauders Christmas Banquet, luckily he was still talking to us. I say "luckily" because I don't remember leaving the pub after imbibing much claret and more brandy - Napoleonic brandy of course. It got a bit messy I think but he didn't shout at us so it can't have been that bad!!! He plays that LOTR game I think.
|The gaming tables are really good.|
|Check out the cracked riverbed, not sure how they did that but I like it.|
|This one was ace. Naturally we nearly had an argument about movement in the watery bits.|
|Got me thinking about Tau for some reason.|
|I thought our snow tables we pretty good but this one was actually cold! Better wear a bobble hat and mittens.|
|Remember these are gaming tables - you can use them - it's not a diorama.|
|A Necropololis in Khemri. See, I did play this.|
All that's missing are some Napoleonic artists nicking everything & some howling Mamluks.
|The painted models are jaw dropping in both their excellence and quantity. Not sure who or what the lectern is for...|
|I cannot over emphasis just how superb the toys are. There's another lectern, WTF is going on?|
|This is Bugmans Bar. Spent a few bad days & nights here in my youth!|
|Just as Rich tries to pinch the Space Marine's bolter his cloaking device fails! |
Aaaaaaarrrgh! Run man.
It was now about midday and we headed off to Derby for our appointment with wargamings own mad professor, Ian Hinds. This was the real purpose of out trip and we were well excited. We chatted for nano seconds about playing 40k, agreed that we would return to Fantasy one day and then got lost! Marauder Moment number 2!
We tore up and down roads and dual carriage ways named after football people whilst running out of petrol! Now that would have been a disaster, very much the most Marauder Moment of all time.
Then we ended up in Spondon.
|Spondon sounds very rude. "Stiffer than a monkeys spondon." See what I mean?|
Ian Hinds owns Hinds Figures Ltd which he runs from his home in Derby and we had an appointment with him to buy some toys. Ian sells painted soldiers and also Hinchcliffe Models. We had a shopping list
which was basically to buy as many of his best painted 28mm Napoleonic Russians as we could find - we also had a four figure budget to take care of it. It's not fair to say how much we spent as it's Ian's business which is also why there's no piccies of his home! Just seems wrong.
Basically Ian has a website with tens of thousands of painted figures for sale, see here for full details http://www.hindsfiguresltd.com/home.htm He has even more at his house. One can visit, strictly by appointment only. In our case we had to see and touch before buying so the visit was essential. As well as Russians we would obviously be keen to buy anything else we fancied too. Rolls of twenties and credit cards were about to be deployed...
We were ushered into a viewing room - essentially a sitting room with a big empty table and A4 box files from floor to ceiling on three walls. There were 75 boxes alone of 28mm Nappies and a lot of those were Russian - kids in candy store - oh yes. There are other rooms and two garages for other scales, 15mm, 6mm etc. etc.
Ian is very helpful and very patient, good humoured and quite witty too. By the time we had been through every single one of 75 boxes twice and some thrice he needed to be. Eventually we narrowed down a good selection of well painted or very well painted new toys, we didn't want any crap. Here's what we got;-
13 x 32 Russian infantry, mostly Front Rank but some Foundry too
32 x Russian Uhlans by Elite Miniatures
32 x Russian Cuirassiers also by Elite
4 x French canon and 16 crew by Front Rank
20 x British skirmishers by Foundry; these were exceptionally well painted.
11 x Russian mounted generals by Foundry and Front Rank.
That's just over 600 pieces counting cavalry as two.
These will all be rebased, tarted up & tidied up where needed, new flags added and sent straight into action. When they're ready you 'll get some photos. Next year is the bicentenary of Borodino, (as surely everyone knows) and we mean to be ready for it! Tony's collection of Russians is very large and growing but the poor man can't paint fast enough to meet the demands of some really big games next year. In addition to the stuff from Ian we are getting together 6 x 32 Russian Guard, 32 x Russian Guard Hussars and 32 x Russian Guard Cuirassiers and 2 x 6 gun Russian Guard batteries. We'll be pushing 50 Russian battalions by next year, I should do a parade style post.
To contact Ian to buy some kit just visit;-
Thanks to Ian for putting up with us - I thoroughly recommend him to you.
So that was that! I was due at a solicitors Christmas drinkies in Bath so we headed back to our beloved Wiltshire, home of heroes and Marauders. Derby is about a 2-3 hour drive depending on traffic. Plenty of time to do what wargamers do best - talk about wargaming! We covered everything; basing, glue, varnishes, pinning cavalry, rules, magazines, websites & blogs, who's who, who was who, who will be who and lots more. Happily we arrived half an hour early so went to the pub and did the thing wargamers do best while talking about wargames - drink beer!
|The Crown at Bathford where our Road trip ended. We had a few quid left for a few pints of Doombar, a good ale.|
Cheers for now.