Sunday, June 1, 2014

On Vacation: The Campaign Drives on to Madrid

Bronze of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza at the Plaza de Espana in Madrid.
After our great stay in Holland we travelled to Madrid to meet up with some friends from Canada, take in the sights, imbibe to excess and enjoy the warm, sunny weather.

One afternoon I met up with Alf Comps, owner/designer of Barrage Miniatures who is making waves with his excellent terrain mats and very fine resin scenery (see MiniMike's review of his mat here). 





A mat in process of creation.
28mm Vietnamese raised hut - wonderful...

Alf is a real renaissance man, vastly talented, embarrassingly generous and incredibly enthusiastic about the hobby. We went out for a wonderful lunch and then he took me to his workshop space to let me see what he was working on. It was incredible. I won't go into detail on all the projects he has in development, but all of them are fantastic and real labours of love. Keep an eye out for Barrage miniatures as I think there will be many interesting products emerging from Alf's fevered mind.


A few days later I had a fabulous visit over tapas and beer with Benito, the creator of Gaming with TooFatLardies


Benito gets the Sophia Loren vaseline-on-the-lens treatment. 
Whereas Benito proves to be the far better photographer (I blame it on the beer...).


We had a great time chatting about many aspects of the hobby, our passions and peccadilloes and how blogging has really brought the community together. A wonderful evening - thank you Benito!

Finally, I made the pilgrimage to an excellent hobby shop in central Madrid called 'Atlantica Juegos' (thank you for the tip Mike!). I was pretty gobsmacked when I walked through the doors as the store seemed to have almost everything a historical wargamer could possibly want (Perry, Empress, Artizan, Warlord, Dixon, Minarions, Capitan, 4Ground and the list goes on). It also had an impressive Fantasy and Sci-Fi section, but I didn't examine the stock as closely as the historical offerings. Of course I didn't get away unscathed, picking up a variety of treats that I couldn't easily source back in Canada (more on that later).


Outside of 'Atlantica' with my loot.
Next up: We conclude our European campaign with an assault on Paris.

36 comments:

  1. Good to see you are having fun and supporting the local economy as you go. I look forward to the Paris edition.

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    1. Yes, the credit card has been worn smooth these past few weeks...

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  2. Sounds like an fantastic adventure abroad - I am most envious!

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    1. And Sarah and I were just talking of a little jaunt down to Maryland sometime in the future...

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  3. Excellent bulletin. Many thanks for sharing your holiday fun with us.

    Cheers
    Stefan

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    1. It is a bit vainglorious but we're having too much fun not to share. Glad you're enjoying our updates.

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  4. The magical, mystery tour continues apace; bring on Paris.

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  5. Excellent stuff Curt, onwards..........

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    1. Thanks Fran! Did you get your package from Sidney and myself?

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  6. Fantastic, Curt! Some great photos and memories there! The beers and serano ham look spectacular....almost as nice as Alf's scenery! On to Paris!

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    1. Both the company and the victuals were fabulous. I think I've managed to gain weight even with all the walking we've been doing!

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  7. looks like you are having a fine time!

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    1. You have a scarf on ... Surely you were not cold in Madrid!!!!

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    2. A great time indeed.

      That pic was from early in the day when it was still cool. It was pretty much in the high 20s for our entire stay there.

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  8. Ahhhh Paris.
    I hope you found someone to play with. I know some guys.

    Cheers

    Seb.
    PS: Is this Serrano on your plate? Rhaaaaa

    Seb

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    1. Indeed, it was delicious.

      Oh, I need some Paris contacts to be sure. Next time absolutely.

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    2. Gilles is in Paris (the French jester)

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  9. Looks like the makings of a rather lovely day - the beer and Serrano in particular (I'm sure the company was good too though!)

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    1. It was a great week for making new friends to be sure. (I can't believe how much food and pastry we ate - it was obscene!)

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  10. You are having a fantastic holidays in Old Europe, I think. Beer and Jamón Serrano is a perfect combination, and in a very good company!!!

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    1. The only thing missing was you mon ami! I hope we can link up next time we're in Spain - that would be brilliant.

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  11. Replies
    1. Next trip is a visit to your fair land Nick. Get prepared, we're messy guests!

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  12. I'm thoroughly enjoying your tales of European adventure :-)

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    1. Thanks Scott, I'm delighted that you're enjoying it! We'll be straddled in debt for months but its more than worth it.

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  13. Curt, it was a real pleasure having you here talking, eating and drinking. I hope you had a good time in París too.
    BTW great photos: you kept my true identity hidden on the one hand, and you made a very good polishing work in Alf's bald :-))

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    1. It was a great evening out - thank you! Your superhero identity remains safe while Alf will need a good toupe or full beard to retreat back to anonymity.

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  14. I'd love to say that I'm enjoying living vicariously through your posts, but no, I'm just plain jealous! :-) Great stuff! Looking forward to the next episode, thanks!

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    1. I can can completely sympathize with the jealousy. But, chin up, I will have to pay the piper in blood, sweat and tears when the credit card statements come through...

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  15. Wow - European retail hobby stores...I can only wish...

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    1. Dude, your head would have exploded in seeing this place (right after your credit card melted in anticipation of the impending onslaught). It was incredible. Toys, toys, toys...

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  16. Good to see the fun continues and the shop is still as good as I remember it from a few years back. If Alf is half as nice as he is in email conversations I fullly understand you had a wonderful time. Now what's that with the small bag? Look forward seeing all the loot. Cheers, bring on Paris

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    1. Thanks for the great tip on Atlantica Mike! It was brilliant. A bit more expensive than normal but this was more than made up with having all that stuff right on hand - brilliant.

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