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One surprise when we reached Chip's home, was that every square inch was covered with some kind of miniatures army! The Chipco partners wanted to show me that they were gamers, as well as designers.
They were also proud...of their scavenging skills! Many of the armies had been built on a budget - some bought second-hand at convention flea markets (and repainted), or scrounged from toy shops or bits of inexpensive jewelry, or even bought sight-unseen over the internet. The $2.99 per box, on sale, plastic miniatures formed another army. One "bargain bag" of half-painted Undead figures was bought for $100, then finished to make an award-winning army!
Perhaps the cleverest army was a marine army for Fantasy Rules! It included the usual commercial miniatures - some figures from Ral Partha, Rafm's Call of Cthulhu line, a Grenadier dragon turned into a Hydromancer...