Thursday 30 January 2020

The Volare Cantare Air Attaché

The Volare Cantare Air Attaché is in Albion today. He has come to see the new aeroplanes and their dashing pilots. Albion Air Force we salute you! The Attaché was painted by Mark Man of Tin and was a kind and unexpected gift . This is the Attachés first time in public in role and his uniform has been greatly admired during his visit.
The planes were bought built from eBay and will serve in my interwar gaming and Vbcw,they are 1/48 scale and will look splendid flying over the tabletop -

Saturday 25 January 2020

Personalisation in Wargames- the Homeguard Platoon

Decided to customise/ personalise my Homeguard Platoon today. Here they are on parade-
Now for a closer look at the characters, from left to right...
Youngest platoon member ( - 1 in shooting, hand to hand and morale) the platoon medic ( +1 to saving throw for any figure if base to base contact with medic) Platoon Officer ( + 1 to morale, 50% chance of indecision when giving orders) Platoon 2ic the sergeant ( +1 to morale and on dice Officer throws to give orders if in base contact with him) and finally the the old soldier ( +1 in hand to hand combat)
I added a paper bayonet to the old soldier’s rifle and a paper scarf to the youngest member of the Platoon. Figures are all 54mm homecasts (bought) apart from the Officer who is a Britains hollowcast with spares rifle arm.

Monday 20 January 2020


These fellows came to me via Tim Gow ages ago. They have lain in a box not forgotten but needing a mission. I liked the way they arrived with bent and twisted fuse wire ( my father always had loads of wee cards with different sizes of fuse wire in his tool bag- rarely used but there if needed ) bowstrings   on bows which I teased back into shape. I liked their simple lines and classic paint job . Ok, I had no suitable army for them ( I think they may be Byzantine but I am unsure) but they could wait..
Here they are removed from  plywood basing in twos and ones and placed on mdf ( basing zeitgeist) in groups-
I will leave the paint job, gloss varnish them and secure bowstrings with super glue. Simple basing ( add rocks / debris , the jury is out) and they will serve as 16th century woodsmen in a forthcoming 16th century battle between Northland and Southland. I hope they are looking forward to battling once again...

Sunday 19 January 2020

Escorting Friar Tuck to gaol- an Irregular Area Close Wars game

Friar Tuck has been captured and the Sheriff’s Men have to escort him to gaol. They do so by exiting the top end of the gaming board. Robin Hood and his merry men win by stopping this happening. Rules are as for Close Wars with addition of movement and firing are two areas each. The difficult terrain areas are much smaller than the open terrain. Here is near the beginning of the game-

The game proceeded well with wee extra rules such as Robin Hood got a plus one when firing and anyone shooting at Will Scarlet need one less to hit due to his scarlet attire showing up too well in the greenwood. The game was won by the Sheriff’s men who escorted the friar off the board. Will and Robin died, bad archery rolls were very evident and armour helped greatly . It was exciting and fun to play. The Irregular areas worked well and I will try the board out again very soon.

Friday 17 January 2020

On the painting table today

Trying to enthuse myself  to do some painting. A combination of things to do in real life and a cold/fluy/annoying thing I can’t shift. Listening to The Cricket Social whilst painting some Airfix chaps working for The Sheriff of Nottingham this morning. The painting table has,apart from the Airfix chaps, Minifigs and Dixon Ottomans, Scout homecasts and finally a Nightfolk goblin archer with spectacles and telescope beside some enigmatic mushroom people.

Saturday 11 January 2020

The game, ecw with Ross’s Pike and Shot rules.

 It was good to have the width provided by the table especially in the light of another four cavalry and three dragoons being added since the last game. A simple scenario was the order of the day - take and hold the village as represented by the cottage and surrounding hedges/ fences. The rules provided an enjoyable game as before. We will work out for next time which units are raw etc and finish out debate about what constitutes Shock cavalry in the ecw. Also the rules re throwing to move out with twelve inches of a general are going to be tweaked too. I was pleased with the look achieved with Aldi fake grass and felt cloth. Combined with The Minifigs it was a nostalgic and enjoyable game.

Friday 10 January 2020

First game of 2020 - ecw

The big table is cleared and the scenery placed. The commanders have their mugs all ready...
 Even the essential Airfix cottage is to hand , play begins in an hour...

Saturday 4 January 2020

Shiny Happy Tartars etc or taking Eric Knowles unpainted Ottomans forward...

Last year I was fortunate to acquire some of the late Eric Knowles Ottomans. I was delighted to get these due to their provenance and also for the chance to bring them to the wargames table. I began them between Christmas and New Year. I am currently working on the figures in the photo below here pictured with the box they came in and with what I assume are Eric’s painting instructions. I will follow these as a tribute to him. Sadly they are the only instructions I have found so far.
 Below are the Tartars I began with. They have telegraph pole lances which I like but are not everyone’s cup of tea. They are nearly completed. They will be varnished with more gloss varnish/p.v.a and based for George Gush’s Renaissance rules. Basing is simple and plain green in old school tradition. The tartars are colourful, shiny and look ready to ride rings around any opponent...

Thursday 2 January 2020

Not Airfix as we know it Jim...

 The above picture shows the hoard sorted out into types and periods. The below photo shows some figures that I was intrigued about. The bottom row are soft plastic with an Airfix fellow of 1960 and 1973 for size comparison. They remind me of Herald 54mms and I think they might be cheap smaller pirate copies.The top row are hard plastic. I wondered if they might be made by Triang ?

Wednesday 1 January 2020


The new year has arrived here in the Duchy. The hours leading up to the new year were filled enjoyably by watching “ Bohemian Rhapsody “ with some of the family. I never stay up to midnight and so awoke to the new year in the early hours. Today l will continue the enjoyable job of sorting out my recent  Airfix acquisitions .
I got some wee screw/ nuts n bolts sorter boxes in Aldi’s yesterday when getting some essentials late afternoon. They will come in handy for storage of the sorted figures and eventually for them when based and painted. The sorting began...
I am fortunate to have the Osprey sized book by a French chap ( ?) on the Airfix 1/72  figures which incidentally is always a fascinating read. This was on hand in case any oddities were found. 
The figures I hailed as old friends were the 1960 designs as opposed to the 1973 ones. For example I had never handled the 1973 French Foreign Legion before and found them long and thin compared to the ones I enjoyed as a boy. Equally I didn’t really take to some Napoleonic chaps in bearskins I had never owned. However it was a joy to be reunited with the Robin Hood and Sheriff of Nottingham sets especially the personality figures like Friar Tuck and Robin himself. The favourites so far were the 1960 ww2 Germans, Afrika Korps and 8th Army. They spoke to me of the 1960s and boyhood games morphing into Wrg’s platoon action rules or Battle , Practical Wargaming  played over Bellona vacuum scenery. More sorting to do and then I will post more on this. Figures will be used in the Portable Wargame battles and some Featherstonian close wars games. Finally what the best way to remove old paint from Airfix chaps?