This blog is about the world of gaming miniatures, as seen from my perspective. I've been collecting and painting for over 30 years now, and while my primary focus is miniatures for D&D, I also enjoy many other games that use minis, so we'll be covering those as well. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Armory's Big Old Book of Lead Goodness

I went to the mailbox today to fetch my copy of The Armory's Buyers Guide to Fantasy Miniatures that had finally arrived. There's always that moment of dread right as I was opening the envelope - perhaps you know the feeling I speak of - Will it be trashed? Smell like an ashtray? Not nearly in the condition as described by the seller? Or even worse, just a couple of old Highlights magazines stuffed in there as a cruel eff you...

 Ah, but my unveiling was a happy one! The book is in great shape, there's not a hint of any strange odors, and the interior is more or less pristine, with just a few light pencil marks in the Ral Partha section that I've noticed so far. My $41 purchase was worth it, now that it's here in front of me and the condition actually meets and exceeds my expectations.

Now I know the Buyers Guide is readily available in PDF form from several locations such as and, so some might ask "Why spend money on something that is available for free?" Because I still love printed matter! I might use the PDF version more, because that of course does not wear out. But there is just something cool about holding this lead bible in my hands, gently turning the pages and enjoying all of the illustrations contained within. Mike Monaco has a nice entry about it over on Swords & Dorkery, so check that out too.

I'll have to do a follow-up post to this one, because I'm sure I'll find a few pics and items that catch my eye. I also have a few more posts coming soon, including the long-delayed next installment of the Lead Market Report. But first, back to the real work at hand - I'm almost ready to email in my article for volume II of the OSFMapa Journal! I'm just fiddling with the layout, trying to make it perfect to my eyes and hopefully to my fellow members as well.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dear LEGO Group: I Hate You

That is to say, I still love you  - but now my bank account hates you. Seriously, Lord of The Rings LEGOs? You're KILLING me. Helm's Deep? Moria? Time to get busy purging the excess lead from the lead pile and earn some LEGO money. Reviews will be in order for any and all sets that I decide to buy. That is all. Move along, nothing to see here.

UPDATE: OK, well that didn't take long. My iron will crumbled and I ordered Gandalf Arrives from for $12.99 plus tax and shipping. Not a bad price considering what some of the greedy sellers on eBay are charging, and I get the free promo poster (ooh ahh). Shop smart, shop S-Mart!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Center Stage Miniatures Interactive Giveaway!

The good people over at Center Stage Miniatures are putting on an old-fashioned giveaway! That's right, Matt is going to give one lucky leadhead a big box of CSM minis - one of every mini they have currently produced, to be exact.

There are two steps to enter: You need to Like CSM on Facebook, and then register on the CSM forums and make at least 10 relevant posts there. The details can be found on the CSM forums here.

Don't be shy, go ahead and leave your comments on the CSM forums. You can ask questions about the current release schedule, read about their foray into resin casting, tell Matt what kind of minis you'd like CSM to produce, or just chat about minis. Come on, tell Matt you think there's a need for a Caterwaul mini! Or was it a Carbuncle? Damned Fiend Folio and their crazy-ass critters...

Oh, and if you're in a buying mood, you should take advantage of the current 20% off your order promotion running on Facebook - enter FACEBOOK100 in the coupon code box. Offer valid until May 15, 2012 and it does not apply to Secret Skeleton Miniatures.

See you on the CSM forums!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

LEGO Designers: The Mad Scientists of Plastic Bricks

When I was a kid, my favorite toy was LEGOs. All you need are some bricks and your imagination, and your options are pretty much wide open from there. Now that I'm an adult, my favorite toy is still LEGOs. All three of my kids still play with LEGOs from time to time, but my youngest son is currently the one getting the most mileage out of our bricks. When he's sitting at the table with his Ninjago minions, he reminds me of myself at that age.

The latest addition to our LEGO collective is kit 9443, the Rattlecopter:

It's a very cool kit, and the Rattlecopter even has eyes and fangs! But the part that made me geek out the most was probably one of the most mundane and boring parts on the build. The engine:

Why the engine? Look at the cone of what I assume is the turbofan. Take it off, and you discover that it is actually a...

Knight's helmet! I can only imagine that the LEGO designers try to use as many existing parts as possible, to help keep costs down. Brilliant!

I came across this article on about the newest and youngest Master Model Builder. Make sure you watch his application video. Also, if you've never seen it before, make sure you check out Nathan Sawaya's website. Simply amazing stuff! The Iwo Jima Replica and Starry Night are just two examples to single out, but you really need to see everything to fully appreciate Nathan's ability to use LEGOs instead of more traditional art mediums.