It is a sad refelction on the state of the West that most of what we buy these days comes from China. Having seen the amount of industry the Chinese have built (and are building), the environmental pain they are prepared to suffer and finally the extent they are prepared to allow the exploitation of workers in the People's Republic it is no surprise. We cannot compete unless we are prepared to push ourselves back into the Victorian era.
Having a Chinese project on the go I was on the look out for anything suitable that I could bring back to augment the look of it all that the Chinese hadn't got round to exporting to us already. Or at least get things cheaply with the added veneer of authenticity that comes from actually buying things in China. The finding of items was a bit hit and miss and some of the best stuff I got on the very last day we were there. Somethings I saw on the first day so frequently that thought it'd be easy to pick them up at anytime. Once we got away from Shanghai that proved not to be the case.
My real aim was to pick up some suitable buildings, particularly pagodas and aything with a curvy roof as they're a real pig to do. I even took along a couple of figures so I could judge the scale.
Exhibit "A" is therefore my pagodas.
Next up was a mini-Mah Jong set.
Which brings me to the final day's haul at the souvenir shop near the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.
As we walked past it out of the corner of my eye I saw some wooden puzzles from the delightfully named "Human Again" Wooden Toys range. As part of this range they do historical buildings, and in the window they had the Tianamen Gate and a "Beijing Courtyard House". A quick check with the figures I had with me revealed they were pretty much 15mm scale. They're quite large models, and the courtyard building may well cut down into four or five (at least) small buildings.
So far I have only built the Tianamen Gate. This famously has a picture of chairman Mao on the front, but I've built it without:
This is a the entrance to the Forbidden City in Beijing, but it is in practice a pretty good proxy for the standard Ming period city gate. My only conundrum is whether I should repaint it. The two kits together I got for 110 Yuan, - about £12. I may have been able to get them cheaper, but compared with internet prices of equivalent items in the range that's a pretty good deal.
Then as I was walking out my eye caught some items to add to the Shedquarters hat shelf:
All of these items have been used in a game since I got back, so pictures of that to follow in due course.