Another set of customer painted models this week – this time a collection of really nicely rendered Celtos Gael female heroes and warriors from Victor Gondra.
We don’t generally do anything special for Black Friday – usually we already have our sale running, or about to run, so we’re covered. However, this year we thought we’d join in the fun and do a one-day special just on three specific ranges.
So for today, from midnight to midnight UK time we’ll be increasing the discount on our three 28mm ranges, Celtos, Magpie Miniatures and the Great War Belgians, to a stonking 30%. At the end of the day it’ll revert to the normal 15% for the remainder of the sale (which runs, in case you’d forgotten, until December 17th).
A while ago we featured some very nicely painted skeletons by Australian gamer Azazel. He’s very kindly sent us some more photos (in fact he did this a while back, but once again I blame Salute for interfering with everything/frying my few remaining brain cells etc). I’ve featured a few here, but there are more on his blog if you want to investigate further – click on any photo to be taken there.
Although progress is slow, work continues on the new Celtos rules. Another round of playtesting between Sidhe and Fomorian armies took place at the weekend. To replicate a typical home dining-room-table setup, we used six warbands per side on a 4×4 foot board, using Stephen Tucker’s excellent home-made terrain. Rather annoyingly from a personal point of view, and despite a change of dice from d6 to d10, my miserable dice-rolling continued from last weekend, condemning the Fomorians to two heavy defeats.
Those who have been following the development saga will notice that since the last session we’ve ditched the round unit bases. Nice as these were, and they did make it easy to move warbands, they created a whole set of problems of their own, mostly concerning moving units into gaps between other units and the occupation of terrain features. Doing away with them has solved a swathe of rules issues at a stroke, so we’re back to a more fluid feel with individually based figures in free formation (although unit cohesion rules mean that figures must always remain in base-to-base contact with another figure in their own warband).
Less obvious from the photos is a change to the activation sequence, using numbered counters instead of drawing cards (the counters are just visible in some of the pictures). We tweaked a few other bits and pieces, including the allocation of hits between heroes and other warriors but, encouragingly, nothing else major. The two games we played were between Fomorians and Sidhe, because those are the two furthest developed army lists. So the next tasks are to work on the army lists for the Vanir, Gael and Fir Bolg and playtest those armies against each other.
Recently, Australian gamer Azazel send us some photos of some beautifully painted Celtos skeletons which he’d featured on his blog. They’re well worth showing again here, and we’re grateful to him for sharing them with us – visit his page to see more.
The slow but steady progress on the new Celtos rules continues; we held another round of playtesting a couple of weeks ago and, at the end of it, had very few notes or changes to make. Which is very good news, since it means that if we came up with so few changes or queries, the rules must be pretty solid. The actions we did take away were all in terms of fleshing out items like the range of hero abilities, available spells or extra cards for the Fate deck. So from here we need to build the final army lists, and then we’ll be just about ready for external playtesting 🙂
The pile of new Celtos masters keeps growing, the box on the shelf above my desk has around twenty figures in it, with another half-a-dozen or so in the works. When we’re more confident about a release date and we have some prototype castings to paint then we’ll start previewing these.
In the meantime … a few photos of the latest playtesting round. You might spot some proxy figures (ie models from other manufacturers that are standing in for ones that we haven’t had made yet), some unpainted cavalry (unpainted figures … oh the shame of it !) and my painfully unreliable yellow ten-sided dice that were complete rubbish before lunch, but perked up afterwards to be demon critical hit throwers !
This is probably only of interest to anyone in Kent, but feel free to read on, even if you’re in another country !
Just about the only independent wargames shop in the North of Kent, Rochester Games, Models and Railway is situated on the main A2 through the historic town of Rochester (it used to be a City, but someone messed up …). Jim and Victoria, the very friendly owners, carry a large and increasing range of scale models (Tamiya, Airfix, Revell, Italeri), model railway (Hornby, Peco, Bachmann) and wargames (GW, Warlord Games, West Wind, PSC … and now Brigade Models !).
This morning I delivered two large boxes full of a variety of blisters. Initially they will be stocking spaceship squadron packs, Celtos unit packs (and some individual figures), 6mm company packs and Squadron Commander blister packs. However, they will take orders and if you require anything else from our other ranges then ask and they’ll pass your request onto us.
RGMR doesn’t have a website yet, but they do have a Facebook page and host regular gaming nights. The Rochester Sweeps Festival is this weekend, so if you’re going along then why not pop in and pay them a visit ? Alternatively, go and visit the shop and while you’re there enjoy the festivities.
Five days to Salute and counting … and both Phil and I are posting on the same day, so you can tell how busy it’s getting !!
So we spent all our money on some shiny new display cases for Celtos, all that remained was the small matter of moving all the figures from the old case to the new one. Simples. Unfortunately I don’t think I realised quite how long this exercise was going to take. There are 275 figures (give or take) in the Celtos range, many of which are painted to a very high standard, the rest aren’t. We decided that the unpainted ones should at least be displayed with a coat of primer rather than raw metal, so they couldn’t be moved straight from the old cases to the new ones, they have to be removed, taken away and sprayed, then brought back. But of course they’re no longer in the correct order, so each figure has to be identified first before being stuck in the right spot (hence a laptop with photos of all of the figures to ID them, and a spreadsheet for keeping track of where I’ve got to).
Ah yes, removing them from the old case … the old case was make of wood, and I have no idea what I stuck them in with – but I did a good job! The figures have to be levered out with a sharp knife, lots of brute force (and commensurate care with the painted ones) and then the splinters of wood that have come away with the base have to be removed. There have been several repair jobs where separate arms have come loose and have had to be pinned and glued, and some paint chips will have to be touched up.
I took over the dining room table for an evening for this exercise … three days later I’m still there, and the exasperated looks and comments from the ever-patient brigadieress are increasing by the day …
I’m sure it’ll all be worth it …
BTW, the Salute release list has been updated and tweaked again …
Nine days to Salute and counting …
One thing you will notice on our stand this year is that we’ve given it a bit of a facelift – we’re replacing all our old wooden display cases with shiny new clear acrylic ones, which are a massive improvement and make everything much, much easier to see. Although we intend to use them for the whole stand, they’re a bit pricey so we’re doing it in stages – first to be upgraded is the Celtos range, you can see the first of them below (I’d have got even further if I hadn’t brought the wrong set of figures home from the workshop last week …).
Also on their way are a set of clip-on spotlights which we’ll attach to the cases to make viewing even easier.
FINAL REMINDER – we need any Salute pre-orders by the end of the day PLEASE, otherwise we might not have time to do them.