Stepping out of my front door on saturday morning to nip down to the shops, I stepped over the dead postman on my doorstep I hadn't left there. Expired through the compacted spine he'd obtained from hauling a parcel up the stairs, I prised the object from his dead fingers and realised that Essex Miniatures had clearly given up using lead to cast their models in favour of super-density antimatter.
Well, not quite. The post arrived on saturday bearing with it my longed-for miniatures to complete my armies, contained in a deceptively small box of around a kilogram of weight - lots of metal for the lead mountain!
Most of the miniatures are already familiar to you dear readers, through photos of them painted - however, some packs have answered a few questions. For example, one figure bought back in the mists of time has ended up painted as an Austrian artilleryman, holding a lit fuse out before him. He's never turned up in any other pack of gun crews, so I've always wondered where he came from. Wonder no more, with a look at the Grenadier Command Pack:
Oh, the ignominious demotion! A tricorned officer in the Grenadier Guards, mistaken for a common 'trade' officer like a soot-grimed artillerist! I can feel the contempt radiating off them already. The mysterious figure turned out to be as you see above: an officer in a heavily-frogged coat, gesturing languidly ahead with a topped cane, not a lit taper at all! The other mitre-wearing figures are pretty good too. The drummer probably can't bend his arms from the amount of ornamental braid sewn onto his sleeves, and I especially like the chin-up colourbearer, jauntily holding the colours one-handed.
Here, then, is a full base prior to setting onto a set of sticks for painting. The figures above are an Aschenbach Infantry HQ Stand. The mounted officers are pretty much the same as for Luftberg, except the figure is looking over his shoulder (doubtless checking the line of his companies for some minor error in drill.) Foot officers carry a spontoon. If I have one complaint about the Essex range, it's the stingy base sizes on the colourbearers. Look at the size of the flag! Balancing them to stand upright long enough for glue to settle is a nightmare.
Oh, and one last pic 'in colour' to show you my efforts to finish up my existing troops. Here are some Croats, now painted in my fancy new red uniform. The figures had been based before, but attempts to prise them off the base soon established that buckled legs were the more likely consequence! As a result, I was compelled to repaint them still mounted on the base - thank god they were open-order!