Friday, 18 November 2016

Then There Was Four: Collecting 1/72

So a package arrived in the post the other day - oh yea!

Two boxes of OOP French Infantry for the American War of Independence, to complete a total of four boxes - more on this later.

I've been after these things for years and years, then earlier this year a mate of mine Tim, offloaded six boxes of 1/72 scale AWI figures. Six! One of which was the long OOP French.

I warned him and did my best to convince him that they were now collectors items and selling for as much as £25; trying to foist fistfuls of money upon him, but as a true gentleman he gave them away. Thanks Tim!

This triggered my OCD (Obsessive Collectors Disorder) and I wondered how I could find the other three boxes I needed.

Why three?

Because in 1/72, especially if you're playing Black Powder, you need to buy multiple boxes to make decent and regular looking regiments - also ironically in some cases, to make decent irregular looking regiments.

This is because there are some very varying pose qualities in a single box and you only get so many figures of one pose per box. So when collecting 1/72 figures and building BP units, you spend a lot of time trying to divide 24, 12, and 6 by the figure numbers listed at Plastic Soldier Review, then subtracting the number of command figures available; and producing the number of boxes you *NEED* to buy.

About half of my AWI 1/72 collection - I still need four more boxes of Americans!

So I went onto my friend - eBay - and started playing with the search functionality (to those familiar with eBay's search functions you can skip this bit).

So first I played with the search string as just typing 'italeri 6043 french infantry' returned hundreds of pages selling Italeri's Napoleonic French infantry sets.

To get rid of these sets from the results, I narrowed the search by removing those listings with the words 'line', 'napoleonic' and their box numbers; by adding a '-' before those terms.

Giving this search string:

italeri 6043 french infantry -6066, -6002, -line, -napoleonic

Accurate but it returned nothing because there were no current listings -  :( - and I cried hot tears of disappointment...

I didn't want to have to keep checking eBay for this listing, I'd been doing that for years and getting nowhere. So I created a regular and automated search using eBay's Follow Searches function, using the search string above.

eBay emails you when a new listing which meets the search criteria is put up.

Within three months of setting up the followed search, I was the proud owner of the three additional boxes of infantry I was after - remember these are rare OOP boxes - like hens teeth.

What joy and excitement prevailed in those early mornings, I can tell you, for me and even my two cats - who were rudely awakened from their respective positions on the bed by my hoots of merriment - to wake up to emails offering me the boxes of these long OOP figures - mostly because I'm a sad old git without a girlfriend :)

Anyhow just thought I'd share a decent, automated way of finding OOP bits and bobs on eBay.

Now alls I need to do is paint up the regiments!!