Saturday, September 20, 2014

Mithril Miniatures Dwarf Pony

I bought this Mithril Miniatures model back in the 1990s from my local hobby shop, and I painted him a just few years ago. Mithril still produces Tolkien minis, but I think this particular model is out of production. They have had the official license for Lord of the Rings miniatures since about 1987. I read somewhere that Games Workshop is allowed to produce its LOTR minis at the same time as MIthril because they are for use in a game (as opposed to Mithril which are for display).

I mounted the this guy on a Games Workshop cavalry base. Mithril minis have very rounded features as you can see in this super-zoomed in photo. Their dwarves mix pretty well with GW LOTR dwarves even though the average Mithril man is supposed to be 32mm.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Barbarian Lord by Matt Smith review

I love the illustration style and the fantasy-Norse setting of Matt Smith's new comic book Barbarian Lord, and there is some very nice dry humor. The main character, however, is completely two-dimensional. A quest is usually written an opportunity to grow and develop a character, but the man known as Barbarian Lord just kills thugs and monsters. Still, the book was a fun read and a visual treat.

Barbarian Lord is published by Clarion Books.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Roman Britain by Richard Russell Lawrence review

Roman Britain (2010) by Richard Russell Lawrence is the first book in the Shire Living Histories—short introductions to the different time periods in British history. Each well-illustrated book offers a social history addressed in the same chapters: Family Life, Home and Neighborhood, Work, Food and Drink, Shopping and Style, Transport, Leisure, Education and Social Service, and Health. Books in this series are small 5.8 x 8 inch books, and no more than 80 pages long.

Lawrence covers the period 40-400 AD, giving a broad overview supported with a few specifics to illustrate his points. I feel the author was imprecise and may have overstated the influence of Roman agricultural techniques over the native British*, but overall he steers clear of the outmoded historians' concept of "Romanization" (the imposition of Roman culture on subjugated people).

There are numerous history books on Roman Britain, and Lawrence's book is a good one for the general reader to start. Unfortunately, Shire's series lack bibliographies for further reading.

*Archaeologists who specialize in Iron Age agriculture tend to say that the Roman plow did not replace the native ard, pigs were widely eaten in pre-Roman Britain, but sheep were raised mainly for wool (not food).

P.S. Wargames Foundry sells some very nice 28mm Roman civilians models—farmers in tunics, men in togas, townspeople, etc. Paul painted some 1/72 scale Roman citizens made by Linear-b, which produces a lot of unique Romans sets.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Samwell Tarly visits his local library


Spoiler alert: Samwell Tarly does some reading at his local Night’s Watch library in A Feast for Crows.