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Saturday 31 December 2011

Another Year Over................

Well here we are a year to the day since I started this blog, where did all those months go I wonder? and what  have I done? Outside gaming I have attended four weddings and a funeral, no pun intended just a matter of fact, two were my good friend and wargames opponent Dave Bickley's son and daughter, Matthew and Ruth, the other two were my son and daughters friends weddings, my son was best man and my daughter head bridesmaid and wedding planner. The funeral was my brother-in law "Ted" mentioned in an earlier post. I was lucky enough to be able to go on holiday twice, to Tuscany in June and Cyprus in October and also had several weekends away, some wargames related with my wife, Dianne, Dave and  his good wife Sue and  two "working" ones as well.


 Tewkesbury Medieval Festival

Kyrennia, Northern Cyprus 

Dunster Castle

Wargaming wise I am informed that I have not lost as many games than I believe, although I am not convinced of the statement. On the painting front I have no idea what I have painted for myself, probably more than I think, perhaps I will keep a check next year. Commission wise I still have plenty in pipeline which is a good thing has my wife takes her redundancy in January, so things will be a little tight in the coming weeks. At least this will hopefully curtail any mad plans to start a new project, don't need one really has I have in the "lead mountain" First Carlist War, Spanish Civil War, Late Medieval, 3rd cent Imperial Roman, Early and Late Great War figures together with various bits and pieces left for Back of Beyond and Darkest Africa. I also have more Ironclad trenches to complete and air support for the SCW and Great War to build and paint. Thinking about it that's the next three years sorted!

I hope people find my blog interesting, I have got up to 46 followers now so I must be doing something right. I will endeavour to post on a more regular basis in 2012.


Friday 23 December 2011


A Merry Christmas to all and may God bless us every one!!!

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Another Diversion

I have recently been re-basing and sprucing up my Back of Beyond, Red force and as a antidote to painting Crimean Russians, Marlburians, Napoleonics I thought that I would paint up some more that I had never got round to doing, BIG mistake I have now got the Russian Civil War bug, dug out and started more, so quick and easy to paint, no lace, no facings and minimal equipment, also got some Musketeer Russians at Warfare to start a White force, as I already have some Copplestone ones. Shouldn't be really starting with this considering all the other periods I still have on the go, but at least I only have to paint the one side. I have also painted the freebies from this years Partizan shows.

 White Partizan Leader, actually Nestor Makhno, Anarchist Leader from Brigade Games

1938, the Royal Couple strike a martial pose for the Royal photographer.

Visited Warfare on Sunday, this is the quietest it as ever been I thought, I understand that it was busier on the Saturday until after lunch when the Marie Celeste effect I mentioned in a previous blog entry took place. Great for punters to be able to get around but must make the traders consider whether they can afford the costs of two days, difficult times. I did my best has I mentioned above I got some Musketeer Russians from Gripping Beast, some more trench sections from Ironclad, John mentioned that he is on with the bunker again I look forward to seeing that in due course, I also got the Osprey on Red Armour in the Civil War from Caliver, all courtesy of EBay sales, always put my money from these back into the hobby, thanks folks.

Some bad news and good news I have got some Christmas work, this will make up for the close season at the Oval Racing circuit, good times. But it means working nights so gaming may be a little sparse in December has I also need to keep my commission work going at the same time, bad times. But at least I will be able to afford Christmas dinner : -)

Take care, till next time

Friday 4 November 2011

Lifes Ups And Downs

Wow another month gone. At the beginning of October I made the annual visit to the Derby Worlds, on my own this time as Dave was flying out to Oz the same day. Quite a good one I thought, it did appear a little quiet but then it did not appear to have the same afternoon desertion rate that I have noticed in shows of late. Picked up more figures to paint and two more potential customers, didn't get much for myself just two packs of Perry Wars of the Roses figures off Dave Thomas and some bases from Warbases, I also intended to get a couple more trench pieces for my Great War project from Ironclad but forgot my list.
 A week later and it was off to Cyprus for a week, didn't venture out much mainly a chill out visit, this was our fifth visit so we have pretty much seen most of the sites, it was my birthday on the Friday so we booked an excursion to the occupied north, visiting
Bella Pais Abbey

On our return we learned of the sudden death of my brother in law the previous day, made all the more sadder as it was my sisters birthday too.

Edward Ernest Blower "Ted" 1943-2011, a good man to have at your side, RIP.

Games wise have managed to fit in two games with Jon, an ACW game at Jon's with his superb figures and terrain, using Black Powder rules, and believe it or not I won! a rare occurrence for me and Black Powder. Here at OHQ we played a World War II Eastern Front game using Rapid Fire, another win for yours truly, Jon just didn't get the rub of the dice all game really. I have not managed to paint any figures for myself this month so here are some in game shots of the Eastern Front game.

 The Germans view of the approaching Red horde from the ruined farm
 Soviet armour crosses the train track
 Soviet armour fans out to attack the German positions
 Little Kate prepares to give supporting fire
 The Red's receive their first loss
 The Germans lose their Stug III, whilst the Reds lose another T34 to the German Tigers
 Overview towards the end of the game, at this point it was looking obvious that Jon's Soviet forces would not get the required Tank and Infantry company to the road by turn ten and fulfill their objective.
 The Soviet attack on the right flank is bought to an halt also.

Till next time after my visit to Warfare, another game with Jon and who knows I may even have painted something of my own to show.

Friday 16 September 2011

David Bailey, I think not.

Well I was going to accompany this entry with pics of our Great War set to using "Through the Mud and Blood" featuring my Great War terrain boards, alas the colour balance was that far adrift even Photoshop couldn't get them looking half decent, oh well better luck next time. As much as I would like to make boards in the style of ( if you haven't visit Sid's blog, do so, its excellent), I do not have the storage space, so I have put towelling on the B side of three of my boards and sprayed them with brown shades as well as green, the effect is quite acceptable, on top I will put my Ironclad Miniatures trenches, shell holes, barbed wire etc. Pics when I get a better camera. How did the game go, well despite a great deal of hesitation from Dave the British player, my German defenders were eventually overrun, sorry again for lack of photo's. This week we played a game of Hail Caesar over at Dave's, again another loss for yours truly. My two divisions in the centre steadfastly refused to advance, meanwhile my troops on the flank were destroyed one by one, allowing Dave's cavalry to envelope the rear of my tardy forces.
Again commission work is impacting on my own painting, I have however completed another base of Wars of the Roses billmen, a base of early Great War German uhlans and two late Great War British bombers so that I can now field the representative number in the bombing section, a total of 6 figures for myself this month :-(. I cannot post without putting up anything, so here are some shots, using my wifes new Nikon S3100,  from an ongoing War of the Spanish Succession commission.
Dismounted British Dragoons, more pics on my website in the photo's section

 All figures are Front Rank, based for "Beneath the Lily Banners" the client will add a guidon.

Till next time.

Monday 22 August 2011

Cry Me A River

Here are some water shots as promised, my end stops worked a treat, so no crying involved really.

Call me Slarti

The last few weeks on top of my painting schedule I have also been building some terrain for Matt, Matt wanted some aesthetic but multi-purpose terrain that could be stored in a relatively small space, we therefore went for flat boards so that Matt could place his own roads, woods etc on top, I would make three larger hills, also to be placed on top. We went for poly boards mounted on MDF for ridgidity, this would be covered with green towelling suitably sprayed with car paint, Rover Brooklands Green, Applejack and Ford Daytona Yellow respectively. Some of boards would also have patches of grass matting to represent more broken terrain, marsh etc. The only sculptured pieces would be the stream, this again would be made to be configured two different ways for variety, I glued the poly boards to the MDF as per the others and carved the shape of the stream that Matt desired, this was then coated with Polytex, painted a suitable colour to match as far possible the bases of Matt's figures, I added a few stones, driftwood etc. I then used Woodland Scenics Realistic water to fill the stream, I stopped off the ends by staple gunning a piece of card wrapped in cling film and then sealed the edge with clear silicon filler to stop the Realistic water running out the ends. One bottle has been enough to put on four layers. To give the illusion of more depth the bottom of the stream was painted a darker colour in the middle and on the outside bends where the water tends to be deeper, I also painted it a lighter colour at the two fords to give a shallower effect, I am just waiting for the final layer of water to dry before taking of the stoppers, keeping my fingers crossed they will come off OK.

Here are some WIP shots

The stream marked out.
 One of the plain boards, unfortuneatley the camera has washed out the subtle shading given by the spray.
 One of the hills, with twin peaks
 The towelling is wrapped underneath and staplegunned to give a flusher fit with the boards
 Hill in place on the board
 The stream polyfillered and painted
 The stream boards
 The end stopped off for filling with the water
 Broken terrain piece
I will add more pics of the finished stream and an overall shot later.

There you go, not on a par with the fijords but I hope this will be of interest and show that you can have handsome looking and at the same time versatile terrain.


Thursday 14 July 2011

Bits and Bobs

Its been a quiet month on the gaming and painting front on account of my good wife dragging me off to Tuscany for a week and then down to Devon the week after. Prior to going off I managed to win three Wings of War dogfights against Dave, since I have been back I lost a rather close Late Roman Civil War encounter at GHQ using Hail Caesar and last night lost again here at OHQ playing a Spanish Civil War game using Brigadier 38. I also paid a visit to GHQ to help Dave take the last few photo's for his latest rule set for the Indian Mutiny "The Devils Wind", these are now at the printers and will hopefully be with the main sellers in time for Claymore.
Again my own painting as taken a back seat due to, thankfully, being very busy with commission work. I have however now completed my 4th Carlist battalion and just need to finish off the light company for a 4th Isabelino battalion and I just need to paint 2 figures for each side to complete a cavalry unit. I have also completed a PzI for my Spanish Civil War Nationalist forces and inspired by Saxon Dog started on my 3rd Cent. Romans which was to be a  mid 2012 project, not just Dave really as I also read "Lion of the Sun" the third book in Harry Sidebottom's "Warrior of Rome" series whilst I was away.

Here are a few shots of some of the things I have been painting

 Front Rank British Marlburian Foot, a commission. The customer is adding the flags
 A Spanish Civil War Nationalist PzI. Empress Miniatures
 Third Century Romans, these were block painted with strong tone dip brushed on and then highlighted back up. Figures from A&A, shield transfers LBM (a God send for painters of Ancients) the arrow is from the Perry WotR plastics box.


Friday 10 June 2011

Time Flies

Phew a month gone already, a very busy one I'm happy to say, getting figures completed to deliver to customers at Partizan. Speaking of which, a very quiet show, is this a sign of the times or just due to Triples moving to the week before? None the less I still enjoyed the show, particulary pleased to view some of the games that were at Salute in a venue with a bit of a soul, OK the catering could be better, can't fault the bacon butty though, and it can get a tad dismal in some of the darker recesses, but it is still my favourite show(s).
 Painting in June has continued a pace (yes Dave your 3rd Nellie is underway), lucky enough to be blessed with a good amount of commission work so will not be out on the street just yet. The downside does mean that my own projects are suffering, although I have completed another two Wars of the Roses bases and I am on the last bases for a 4th Carlist and Isabelino battallion. If you have visited my EBay page you will see that I have abandoned my Post Apoc and Pulp World War II projects to concentrate on my historical and semi-historical projects, I will have more of these up after my holiday.
 Still getting the weekly games in too, have mostly been playtesting Dave Bickley's
latest colonial set,  for the Indian Mutiny. We have had some cracking games with these, and yes the natives can win, even with me commanding them, the rules use the same basic mechanisms  from Dave's previous set and yet are completely different in many respects, if that makes sense. These should be available in the near future. Also had a game using Hail Caesar which I enjoyed a great deal, much better than WAB imho, yesterday we played a Back of Beyond game using "Brigadier 38"  although designed for the Very British Civil War "period" they seem highly suitable for our 1940 Britain Invaded and Spanish Civil War games also.  Speaking of a VBCW here is a BUF staff car I made using a Models of Yesteryear 1912 Rolls Royce, the driver is a Foundry Darkest Africa explorer with a Empress SCW head and a hand with cigar grafted on from a spare figure in the bits box, the commander is a Musketeer Miniatures figure.

 Sorry for the picture being out of focus my camera seems to have given up being able to do close ups, but it could just be me of course. TTFN

Thursday 21 April 2011

Encounter at Casa Rawnsla

Last night at OHQ we had another Spanish Civil War set to using Triumph and Tragedy rules, both sides entered the table from turn one based on the unit order system used in the rules. The Nationalist forces were stronger in figures but lacked any automatic weapons, which with my usual dice throwing was probably no real disadvantage. The Carlist units using the fast move order, quickly seized Casa Rawnsla but did not have time to fully take advantage of the cover provided due to the timely arrival of two Republican International Brigade units, a prolonged firefight ensued but with the arrival of an Anarchist unit and poor marksmanship from the Carlist Militia units the tide turned against the Nationalists. Meanwhile on the right flank the poor quality local Falangist militia sat safely behind a wall taking shots at the advancing Anarchist militia, giving covering fire to the Legion unit attempting to turn the flank. Legion v Militia you would think a one sided contest and yes it was, but this is me of course. With the Carlists all but decimated on the left and the loss of the Legion on the right a win for Dave and the the Republican force was recorded. I am not sure if we were playing the rules correctly but it did seem that rather than retreat units would if they passed the required  morale test would stand and continue to take the punishment, or perhaps it was just how the dice fell. Here is a little photo montage from the game, sorry if they are a little fuzzy but they are in action shots after all :~)

Carlist militia take up position in Casa Rawnsla 
But not before the International Brigade arrive to spoil the party

Anarchist Militia advance on the left flank
Falangist Militia deploy to counter
La Legion attempt to outflank the Republican forces

Republican forces surround Casa Rawnsla

I think all is lost Coronel

Thursday 10 March 2011

Deportes de Invierno

Last night at OHQ, I ran a game using "Winter Sports" an excellent article in the Lardies 2010 Christmas Special by Richard Clarke(some great reports here from Sid Roundwood for trench raids in the Great War using Through the Mud and the Blood rules.

However I set the game twenty some odd years later and transferred it to the Iberian peninsular, hence the title of this post, I apologise to any Spanish readers if the translation is out.
The raid chosen was the recce, the Republican force had to identify five of the Nationalist positions and withdraw. The Nationalist position was a trench line and a burnt out hacienda more or less as per the terrain in the article except that I added a olive grove to cover the Republican advance a little, it later transpired that they really did not require any other cover but the darkness of night as the Nationalist sentries were less than observant (IE. asleep I think).

The Republican player (Dave Bickley) concentrated his attack on the one flank with the olive grove, (note to self never give Dave something to hide in or behind) although this slowed his advance it helped, together with the myopic/sleeping Nationalist sentries, conceal his approach. The Republicans reached the trenches without the alarm being raised and overpowered the first sentry they met.

Sorry the pic is blurred, I think however it reflects the sentries spotting abilities admirably. The Republicans then advanced along the trench with the first unit whilst the following unit made its way to the burnt out hacienda, where they located and routed the Nationalist troops holed up there, despite the resulting mayhem the Nationalist whistle blowing points did reach the required number to initiate much reaction from the rest of the trenches occupants.

Whilst this was happening the other unit advanced along the trench, where it encountered and overpowered yet another sentry (by this time I reasoned that they must have been Republican sympathisers)
after this they located the Nationalist command bunker, although the officers put up a good fight they were no match for the superior numbers. At last the whistle blowing points reached the point where a Nationalist NCO could be added to the deck, immediately his card was drawn he led his men from the dugout, yes you guessed, straight in the path of the third Republican unit, who in the meantime had overrun the sleeping troops at the MG position.

This unit also included the bulk of the Republican assault specialists who gave the Nationalist unit short shrift, the Republicans had now located their five objectives so could now begin to withdraw, with the Nationalists short of one whistle blowing point to bring on reinforcements the game was declared a win for the Republic.