Wednesday 30 June 2021

Battle! Practical Wargaming: a commission to Warbases

 I commissioned Warbases to make some Perspex templates for me recently. They arrived today and I am delighted with them. Warbases are an excellent company to deal with as many of you know be it in person at Shows or online mail order. Here are some pictures- 

Tuesday 29 June 2021

Frederick Remington in Mexico etc

 Read a little about the famous artist Frederick Remington in Mexico and painting the Mexican Army. His paintings are full of inspiration for my potential Mexican project. Also saw a few photos of the period.

A lot of potential in Acw figures with new heads as conversions with some rural sombrero figures too. 

Monday 28 June 2021

California dreaming on what passes for a summer day...

 One of the hobby highlights of the lockdowns was my research into the National Guard of the 1880s which led to some enjoyable modelling and converting 54mm toy soldiers. It led to many fascinating hours on California Military Museum online collections, interactions with fellow bloggers, reading the social history of the period not to mention the amazing array of uniforms. The collection grew and needs completing, it fought well against Canadians with British help. All most engaging. 

I have been wondering if my National Guard and accompanying regulars need a new battlefield challenge and I came up with Mexico! I know little about Mexican history or uniforms post conquistadors. It just seemed an excuse for some border clashes for my Californian National Guardsmen in some different terrain and climate. A wee hobby excursion to a warm place...

I had a small search for uniforms and found these which l thought had potential...
Any thoughts on this idea, figure suggestions, uniform information welcome as ever. I am interested in what you think of this idea.

Sunday 27 June 2021

On the workbench- 20mm Minoans

 Been working on metal and plastic Minoans the last couple of days. The metal Newline Design are compatible with the plastic Linear A and mix well on the same bases, in this case 40mm Square from Warbase. I intend to use Fantastic Battles by Nic Wright as the rules. They are for both historical and fantasty armies and have interesting mechanisms plus ways of defining units. They are from the same stable as Irregular Wars which I used successfully with my 28mm Renaissance Irish.

Saturday 26 June 2021

Knights in coloured satin...

 Been working on a wee medieval combat game using a grid and the figures worked on recently. It involves using different dice ( d 6, 8 & 10) to represent the knight’s fighting prowess as well as  to differentiate between heavier and lighter armour when it comes to saving throws. Early doors yet but has potential. Will add archers in where different dice will represent their skill at archery for example.

Friday 25 June 2021

Further Flat Friday: a question of scale.

 Took these photos of the figures from the previous post along with a Dinky tank and a Skybirds one. I think they work together well for use in the Portable Wargame on a grid  even though they are different scale. Any thoughts? 

Further Flat Fridays

 I have quite a lot of these delicate semi flats. I am wondering what to use them for. Ideas include 1918 against German semi flats, interwar manoeuvres or even a flat vbcw. They are smaller in feel to many of the Schneider homecasts I have and I need to see them together before I can make any decisions. 

Thursday 24 June 2021

Glossy Restoration

 A while back I was given these splendid knights by R and a model elephant too. Here is a photo of them as they arrived in the box and photos after I have worked on them. Weapons were replaced and two handed swords given to the foot knights with plumes by means of plastic sheet. After painting they were all given a good gloss varnish and are now ready to fight once more. P.S the wee elephant is fine and will appear later in another project.


Wednesday 23 June 2021

Zoom game today

 Played another game over Zoom this afternoon. It was Very British Civil War in 28mm , my Swedes ( fighting for and with the Anglican League) against the Liverpool Free State. A close and exciting game ensued in which we battled for control of the village. I won after an enjoyable few hours gaming. Here are some pictures of the game and the rules used-

Three Lions on a shield...

 I thought in the light of Danmark’s Splendid football efforts against Russia I ought to show these toy soldiers I had been working on-

These are old plastic toy soldiers given a paint and gloss varnish. Here is King Christian of Danmark and his banner bearer. Ready for the coming fray...

Tuesday 22 June 2021

The scale of the thing or gaming possibilities

 Took the opportunity today after the rain to set up these figures on the rockery. They are 40mm Semi Flats. I took the photos to show the size of the new rockery, to see what the gaming potentially of it was and just for fun. I do like the look and feel that it might provide a place to try some outdoor gaming. Anyway here are the photos-

Monday 21 June 2021

Work in progress

 Sunday saw me beginning to repair these Merrie Men and Robin Hood himself. I used masking tape and cocktail sticks held fast with super glue. Tomorrow I hope to get some painting of them started.

Sunday 20 June 2021

Father’s Day

 I am very fortunate to have been feted by my three daughters today. Lovely food and gifts. The card , featuring Lupins was painted for me. The book was from the handy gift cupboard and features art work by a soldier artist of the Great War. The Wisden magazine subscription was a lovely surprise and will provide excellent monthly reading over the coming year. I am fortunate indeed with three splendid girls. Here is a photo of the gifts and one of my father , mother and me as a wee fellow. Have a good day one and all.


 Friday saw me removing the Lady’s Mantle and Geraniums which had taken over the borders engulfing the bushes. Lupins were then planted with Verbena B to follow.

The rockery was planted up with Alpines and a layer of grit put down. As I worked I was reminded that I really need to get some figures outside for a game, hopefully in the coming week.

Saturday 19 June 2021

An underrated series

 Been rummaging in the Ducal library and found these excellent Osprey sized history books . Excellent concise information and really evocative illustrations. I think they are out of print but well worth seeking out. 

The individual book I just finished reading is an excellent account of the Penicuik drawings which were made of the figures from the ‘45. The drawings are a fascinating mix of both Jacobites and their opponents. Really well worth a read if you are interested in the eighteenth Century.


Friday 18 June 2021

One Film challenge

 Which film has had the most influence on your wargaming?

Thursday 17 June 2021

One book challenge

 If you were to be transported to a desert island and allowed to take only one hobby related book what would it be and why? No kindles etc allowed, no where to recharge them btw.

Wednesday 16 June 2021


 These arrived yesterday. I have prepped some and begun painting a few. They are well moulded and mainly flash free. They will compliment the Newline Design range with some figures ( archers and light javelinmen etc ) which they don’t produce. The box also has some excellent civilians too which will add period flavour.


Monday 14 June 2021

An old friend still valued.

  In this month’s 009 Society journal there is an article about the Airfix thatched cottage, an old friend of many of us. I enjoy the journal as it is full of interesting articles and fascinating projects. I really appreciated the article about building the Airfix cottage and upgrading it. 

Recently I bought off eBay this conversion of two cottages made into a row. I bought it mainly because it reminded me of the cottage we stayed in at Farringdon on the first family holiday we had with the girls many moons ago. Here it is with some infantry combat group on patrol.  

Sunday 13 June 2021

Bridges this morning real and otherwise

 View of the footbridge over dual carriageway with completed Celtic design painted on. View from on the footbridge across the Forth to Edinburgh. Made me think that now is a bridge from the old dark days to better days beyond.

Saturday 12 June 2021

I’m reading around ...

 Been raiding the shelves of the Ducal Library today , going down to virtual stacks and up virtual ladders in my quest for reading material.  I have decided to take a period holiday and am gently reacquainting  myself with what is long ago and far away. Here is what I came up with...

Friday 11 June 2021

Fahrenheit 451 or a cautionary tale

 Yesterday I took a partial delivery from a company named after a large South American River. The chap said there had been a change of plan and this was all I was getting today. I took the large plastic storage box from out of the packaging and set it aside. I then proceeded to burn the cardboard box as I had no room to store it. That proceeded well until I noticed a dense lump burning in the ashes- a book I had ordered. Nothing could be done , it was beyond saving. It was entirely my fault, my negligence and my foolhardiness rushing to dispose of the box. The company were not to blame, I was. I post this to remind myself and others to check beneath the swathes of brown paper really carefully before disposing of packaging. I have never done it before and will not do it again. Watching thirty pounds go up in flame concentrates the mind somewhat!

Thursday 10 June 2021

Mind mapping

 I have been involved recently in the clearing out of my late in laws house. The house evokes memories of visiting throughout the girls childhood. Jan never lived there so it does not have that emotional archaeological layer to it . Anyway I took the book we bought my father in law prior to his first visit to Rochester and also the Adirondacks. He took the book with him used it and came back with these assorted maps which I have kept in memory of him. My in laws loved their trip especially the cabin by the lake in the Adirondacks. It was a holiday of a lifetime for them. 

Looking at these apps and guide book reminds me how travel has totally changed, that which we took for granted has gone, probably for ever. When sixty came I was ready to travel more locally and further afield.  That has not happened. Horizons have shrunk. I now doubt if I will ever go across the pond, seeing those things I have long since seen in books or on film. The Wilderness and the history too. I feel I need to begin to accept this parochial future but find it hard so to do.