Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bring-n-buy and Political Demos..

Minifigs French 8pr guns.  Minifigs gunners.  I think the ramrod
man in the distance was adapted from a grenadier figure.

Saturday was an unusual day: a war games club bring-and-buy in the morning (and meeting up with friends and acquaintances I haven't seen for quite a while), and an afternoon march against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (so-called).  A lot of walking!  I don't drive, and as Karen was on the phone to a friend in need, I walked down the the Woolston Club.  Nice day; pleasant walk; 25, maybe 30 minutes.  Fitness level not great, but adequate; ticker still in good nick.  No worries.   Karen was to pick me up at 12:15, then off to the demo 'to get my fair share of abuse.'  Actually, not a lot of abuse to go round, as it turned out.

Bring and Buy at the Club.
Not a bad score at the bring-and-buy: 
1.  A box of 20 (actually 21) assorted Napoleonic Spanish.  It turned out 3 were Minifigs Austrian Grenadiers, but that,s OK: they can beef up one of my under-strength Austrian grenadier units.  I think a couple of French grenadier officers snuck in there as well, but they can be adapted, I think.
Assorted Spanish figures, give or take the officers.  Less the 3 Austrian
grenadiers who will be recruited into my Austrian Army.

2.  A box of 3 Minifigs Napoleonic artillery with 4-man crews.  One Russian (?) howitzer...
Russian gun crew.  Not sure about the piece, though.  

 ... two French (8pr field guns).
These 8pr guns were 'mint in pack' when bought.
 I knocked them together last night whilst watching an old
'Touch of Frost' episode on TV.
3.  A box of 33 Minifigs Napoleonic British Guards infantry (with bearskins - historical licence there)
It turned out that according to the Minifigs Catalogue (I obtained a copy 30-odd years ago, and it's still 'current'), about 2/3 of these were Fusiliers.  But as the figure design differs only in the angle of the musket held (so far as I can tell), Guards they will (probably) be.
Thirty-three Minifigs 'Guards' figures. With one or two spare
figures already in my possession, we might have 2 small
battalions here.
They have all been painted, though left unfinished, I suspect according to some Imagi-Nations scheme.  Actually I quite like them as they are, but... well...

 4.  A pack of ground-cover 'flocking'.

Which is the Guardsman?
I was hoping for some 'Army Men' type vehicles, but nothing doing.  Never mind.

The middle guy is the Guardsman, the other two Fusiliers.
Who knew?  As there is nothing really to distinguish
between them, they will be two Guards battalions, or, maybe
one Guards and one Fusiliers.

"I went down to the demonstration..."
So it was Ho! for the Demo, on the other side of Christchurch.  This was to do with a major plank of the Barack Obama's second term of office - a push for a Pacific-wide trading bloc subject in effect to Corporate hegemony.  Quite why New Zealand's two major political parties (National and Labour) are pushing this I can surmise only in terms of their collective Cargo Cult mentality - some exogenous factor will save us from our Neo-Con economic stupidity of the last 30 years.  But rather than canvass the issue here I'll simply post this LINK to give you some idea - if you choose to look - of what the thing is all about, and why I object to it.  The interesting bit starts about 12 minutes in.

Let me just predict that the reasons why ratifying the TPPA would be simply stupid will be demonstrated soon enough after the Government ratifies the TPPA.  

Having marched in leisurely and moderately noisy fashion from Shand Crescent Reserve, down Riccarton Road and a little past Victoria Lake in Hagley Park - maybe a mile and a half - we then half-listened to the band, chatted to Karen's friend and her dogs and knocked back a hot dog and chips. Even as a half-grown female pup, a pit-bull terrier carries an air of menace about it, but it was a very polite dog, graciously accepting its share - and only its share - of the chips.  The other dog got a fair bite of the spud.

Then we walked back to the car - a mile and a half the other way.  I suggested that another time we park the car half-way between where the demo starts and where it fetches up.  Silly notion, of course: makes no difference. On the way, Karen suggested we might look into Scorpio Books ('Yeah, all right,' says I). And look what I found!  Decorating a bookshelf as they were, I wasn't even sure they were for sale. Two years ago I bought a couple of these things during a visit to the West Coast (Hokitika), and rather regretted not getting the other two.  Now, four of them gives me a medium tank company in the service of the Imperial Raesharn Army.  
Serendipity!  A casual post-demonstration drop into a
bookshop unearthed these beauties. $10.99 apiece.

New additions for my
Army Men project.

It's an ill wind ... but I still reckon the TPPA - like its previous incarnation, the MAI (Multi-lateral Agreement on Investments) is a dumb-arse scheme.  The Neo-Rentier class will love it, of course.

A company of Raesharn medium tanks advancing
across the plains of Kiivar.
Welcome to the 112th follower of this blog: the Plastic Hussar.  Check out his blogspot The Plastic Pelisse.


  1. Some good finds and nice figures. Not to nitpick but I think you'll find the Grenadier of the Guards is in parade dress with breeches and gaitors rather than trousers and has a rounded bearskin vs a pointy one. At the time the battalion companies of the guards wore shakos. But.........

    It does seem at times that what seems to be in the short term interest of the few isnt always the same as whats good for the rest of a country in the long term, which is usually harder work as well.

    1. Yes... Maybe you're right about the difference in the figures, though I didn't notice the bearskin thing. Mind you, with one eye compromised with cataracts, and the other starting to deteriorate as well, it isn't always easy for me to figure out what I'm looking at. Perhaps the gentle application of a file will eliminate the difference. I did notice (but forgot) the breeches and gaiters thing, but regarded that (along with the musket pose) pretty insignificant a difference (which is why I forgot about it). I'm not worried about mixing guys anyway.

      At that, if one unit remains a Fusilier, that need not affect many figures.

    2. Now I have looked more closely into these figures, i see quite marked differences after all. Not sure now what I will do with these guys. I already have a fusilier unit, and no Guards. Ideas?

  2. I stayed away from the Swap meet on purpose as I knew I would spend too much (as in way too much) on things I don't really need but glad to see you picked up some bargains.


    1. What was available was a bit down on previous years, but I certainly could have bought more had I so chosen. There was an assortment of Napoleonic cavalry that I seriously considered... Possibly a bit too assorted, though.

  3. It's always a joy to see old Minifigs Napoleonics figures. They were among the first figures I painted, and that is going back almost four decades. I defer to Ross on the difference between a Grenadier and a Fusilier - they are all chaps in big hats to me. Great find on the tanks. Your grass is greener than mine - looks like snow is here to stay today.
    AS for the TPPA, good on you mate. I don't know who the good guys anymore when what passes for liberal democrats in the US like Obama are pushing for trade. I've come to conclude that there is only one class of society (the moneyed class and the corporate "persons" they inhabit) that matters any more. Interestingly, though, the deal that China was able to strike with the US on reducing CO2 emissions and fossil fuel dependency suggests the advantages of a command and control economy, even a fairly corrupt one. The Chinese seem to have set the pace on that one. The US could never have brought that deal to the table on their own - too many competing interests.

    1. The Minifigs are still my favorites, and form the bulk of my French and British armies, and a bit over half my Austrians as well. But I've tended to go for anything I can get to beef up the forces overall. Those Spanish guys will form a kind of composite unit unless and until some more of them come my way.

      As for the Brit figures, I'll check though my spares and see what's there, and will probably for 2 small units (about 16 or 18 figures each), and one will be Guards. After all, the bearskins were not really issued until after Waterloo, so we are exercising (abusing?) historical licence.

      On the geo-political topic: I take the view that 'a good guy is as a good guy does', and frankly, on that score, Barack Obama is a huge disappointment. I still recall the huge degree of global goodwill that man accrued to himself, to his Presidency and to his country upon his election in 2008. His only dissenters were the Republicans.

      And, with the willing assistance of the GOP, he has squandered all that goodwill and more by not even remotely fulfilling his promise, nor yet pretending to honour the promises he made. Perhaps the first sense of disillusionment kicked in when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. It has been downhill ever since.

    2. Over here in Britain news on the TPPA is almost non-existent so the link you posted was a good summary. What on the face of it sounds like an attempt at a sort of Pacific Common Market, is a vast stitch up. The fact that Congress isn't fully "disclosed" is a tell-tale sign. There's free trade, and there's "free trade" - and this sounds like the type of free trade Britain imposed on China in the 19th century when it wanted a market for all that opium from India.

      Hope your resistance is successful. But with both NZ main parties in favour it's going to be a struggle to stop without the emergence of a third force.

    3. The 'third force' you mention so far seems to have been the US Congress! I agree: all these alleged 'Free Trade' agreements have been pretty much one-way deals in favour of the more powerful members. The powerful farming lobby in the US has guaranteed that country's complete uninterest in 'Free Trade' in primary produce since at least 1945...