Thursday, January 31, 2008

Blog Hit Parade: January 2008

I have just finished recording my blog hits for the first calendar month so here is the result for January. I'm not comparing the visits to the previous month as my figures were skewed somewhat because of the recording period, so this is the new benchmark. The positions are based on the last recorded figures, however. Total hits in brackets (so I can track the number for next month).

1 (2) Cavegirls in Fur Bikinis 10,497 (14,858)
2 (1) 19th Century Sudan Armies 2,486 (7,293)
3 (3) Legatus' Wargames Armies 1,486 (3,996)
4 (4) Spartan WAB 827 (2,698)
5 (12) Great Northern War 371 (542)
6 (9) Return to Darkest Africa 288 (676)
7 (5) Dark Ages WAB 136 (1,008)
8 (6) Byzantine WAB 219 (1020)
9 (8) Punic War WAB 236 (973)
10 (7) Pulp Warriors 161 (561)
11 (10) 3rd Century Roman WAB 69 (211)
12 (-) Lord of the Rings 59 (60)
13 (11) Swashbucklers 20 (87)

The monthly hits for the Sudan, Legatus', Spartan, GNW, Darkest Africa and Punic War sites are all up. The others have dropped or are the same.

The real change, of course, is that Cavegirls in Fur Bikinis has had over 10,000 hits in the last month. That is ten times the previous total for a month! Yesterday it attracted 650 hits in 24 hours! That's more than an extremely expensive government promotional site, I was peripherally involved, in attracted in a month! Perhaps they need more pictures of Raquel Welch on it. It is not, strictly, a wargames only site (although it does cover wargaming) and maybe I should eliminate it from the rankings but as it seems to be popular worldwide I will leave it on.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Painted figures for January

Although it's not technically the end of the month I only count whole weeks so my month ended on Sunday.

A good start to the year with 33 figures painted compared with last year's 18. It was a four week month so I am 9 figures ahead of schedule.

Sudan British 8
Sudan Beja 6
Lord of the Rings Gondor 6
Byzantine archers 8
GNW Swedes 5

The Byzantines weren't in my 2008 plan but all the others were.

Looking forward I have seven ECW figures to finish this weekend as I am actually playing a game at Guildford. I have five Early Saxons to do which will finish my first unit and I want to finish my first three Gladiators. Then I want to finish some of the half done figures on the workbench. A few Lord of the Rings characters, some Copplestone cavemen and cavegirls, a couple of Foundry swashbucklers and a few Perry Napoleonics. Enough to keep me going through February.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Demoted to Skirmishing

Crusader Irish

There are a couple of ranges of figures which I really like but haven't got time to produce a whole WAB Army of them. However, with a dozen a side and using the Games Workshop Lord of the Rings Battle Companies rules, which work really well for forces of six to 25 figures, then I could produce some worthwhile forces and maybe actually play some games. There are a few ranges that would particularly lend themselves to this.

Bronze Age Northern European

There was a big load of about 50 of these up on eBay recently and although I watched them carefully I didn't bid. This was because the spearmen really only come in a couple of poses whereas I like my Dark Ages (and for gaming purposes I count them more as this than Biblical) figures in varied looking units. The answer is to build up a couple of units of skirmishers from neighbouring villages I think. Using the battle companies rules you could work out a promotions table for warriors to earn horses and even a chariot etc. then I could get rid of the mass of spearmen which I have been picking up on eBay for the last year or so. Also Foundry are not featuring this range on the website any more which makes them tricky to order.

Dark Ages Irish

I like Crusader's Dark Ages Irish range but under WAB you need hundreds of them Whereas you could do some skirmishes between groups of Irish and the odd group of Viking or Saxon raider.

What's got to go next..

Sorry, chaps, not enough hours in the day..

My study is reaching breaking point storage-wise and the lead mountain is certainly increasing faster than I can paint it. I have to decide what goes next and reluctantly it's going to be:

Ancient Egyptians

I got very enthused over these when reading Wilbur Smith's River God which features some tremendous battles abainst the Chariot borne Hyksos. Even as I write this a little part of me is saying "no, they would look great painted up". But I will never have time to paint them or, more importantly, an opponent. If I had really like them I would have painted a few here and then over the years (as I have done with the Trojans) but I haven't so off they will go.


I love the Foundry Copplestone Conquistadores and when The Assault Group came out with their Aztec figures I bought a few packs. However, wargames between Conquistadores and Aztecs are so unbalanced that they need special rule mechanisms and different figure scales for the opponents. All those feathered outfits too. I will continue to paint Conquistadores but will pitch them against my Darkest Africa natives and maybe get some of Copplestone's Amazon warrriors (much quicker to paint).

Late Romans

I have quite a few Black Tree Design Late Romans and they are quite nice figures but there is not really much variety in poses. No-one makes a good, complete range of modern standard 28mm Late Romans: the Perry Foundry ones are a bit small and the Gripping Beast ones have those horrible horses. There are a few A&A Miniatures now which would do better but not really a complete range anywhere. So I think the BTD ones will have to go. After all I am still working on my Republican Romans, Caesarians, EIR and MIR and that is enough I think!

That should clear about five trays and some bookshelf space!

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I haven't had a brilliant week of painting as I haven't been feeling too well.

I am supposed to be painting some ECW for a game at Guildford on 4th February. I have been trying to finish these seven musketmen for about three years but just can't seem to face it. They are very detailed and take ages. I'll try to have a good go this week.

I've also got another five GNW to finish. I have all the base colours down but doing shading in artificial light is very hard. I have undercoated four Sudan Highlanders, so they will take ages. I need a few quick to finish figures but don't seem to have any yet.

I have just started a few gladiators as I found ny old arena baseboard up in the loft from when we played gladiators at school. It must be nearly 35 years since I have played a game but I also found my original rules so may try them out with my little boy. I only need to paint two after all!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Blog Hit Parade Update: Revenge of the Cavegirls

" Alright, you've obviously got much bigger weapons, so I surrender!"

Well, it's happened. My Sudan blog has been overtaken in hits by Cavegirls in Fur Bikinis!

I set up the Sudan blog in August 2006 and put a counter on at the end of August 2007. Since then it has had 5322 visits. The Cavegirls blog went up in October 2006 but I didn't do much on it until recently. Again the counter went on in late August and today it's at 5860 visits.

On 22nd December I put on a daily counter and a map to show where people where looking at it and noticed the Cavegirls site went ballistic. I had over 400 hits in one day. My year end count was 4,796 for the Sudan Blog and 4,361 for the Cavegirls. But when I last counted on December 11th Cavegirls had only had 1527 visits in total so that means that I have had 3268 visits in 16 days. Now I am averaging about 200 hits a day compared with the Sudan blog's 25.

All this proves is that pictures of girls in little or no clothes are more popular than pictures of toy soldiers. I should have got a grant from a University and done it as one of those completely obvious studies academic organisations come out with when they are trying to publicise themselves.

So Long to AWI

I have bitten the bullet and started to put my AWI books on eBay. The few figures I have will follow. I had wanted to do armies for this ever since I bought the nice Revell (I think) plastic figures years ago.

However, I think it's one of those periods where you have to make it your main interest, like Giles Allison does, it's not the sort of thing you can dabble in. I am satisfying my need for Tricornes with the Great Northern War!

It's a shame as the Perries AWI for Foundry and Perry Miniatures are turning into the most complete wargames range for any period (and still people are crying out for more figures!) but something has to give!

Back to Byzantines?

I was looking at the Crusader Publishing website today for the first time.

I hadn't realised that there was a separate site from the North Star run shop for the figures.

On the Crusader Publishing site Mark Sims outlines the direction he wants his ranges to go and he is indicating that he might be looking to do allies of the Byzantines. I haven't painted any Byzantines for ages, largely, I have decided, because I don't like the Gripping Beast figures, even though they have an extensive range. I do enjoy painting Crusader figures, however, so maybe I will just order one of their boxed units and give them another go. I have a few archers and so may finish a unit of those as I find archers quick to do as they have no separate weapons and shields!