Saturday 30 October 2021

A grand day out

 I enjoy gaming of all sorts, well most actually tbh. My regular opponent of well over thirty years has a suitable spare room and lots of modular terrain augmented by scenic items from The Last Valley. It is fun to go and play a grand game there, it can be left set up between visits if necessary. There is nothing more iconic than Romans v Ancient Britains! We had a splendid game . G and I took command of the Brits and P commanded his recently finished Romans, of the Early Imperial persuasion. To cut a long story short the  Romans triumphed after an exciting game . There was some spectacular Manouvers by the Numidian light  horse followed by a dogged resistance from them, definitely the stars of the day! My impetuous warband did their impetuous thing and my chariots died magnificently. Great fun facilitated by DBM, not everyone’s favourite l know but they have served us so well over the years. Thanks to P& W for their hospitality too. A bonus on the way home was a wee ride on an older intercity train with one door at each end of the carriage and this lovely map with literary and poetry quotes on it. I couldn’t resist the photo.

Friday 29 October 2021

Wet, wet, wet

 A torrential spell of rain  continued yesterday and meant we were very busy indeed for my guiding stint. Half term in parts of England added to numbers too. It was particularly nice to see families visiting together and enjoying trying on the reproduction hats etc.

No progress on the hobby front except for reading, hope to remedy that in the coming week as energy allows. Off to play an ancients game at a friend’s today, Romans v Ancient Britains that classic combo so redolent of my Airfix Youth. We will be playing with metal and in 28mm but you know what I mean.

Finally a photo from yesterday- what manner of beast is trapped in the mirror, ha, ha ha!

Tuesday 26 October 2021

Intriguing sign.

 In Prestonpans , on Saturday,I came upon this evidence of the Oldhammer community alive and kicking in Scotland. Perhaps it is an outpost of the GW empire?

Monday 25 October 2021

Charming packaging

 Those of us who recall the wee Minifigs boxes, hinchcliffe blue boxes/tissue paper or Hilton Hunt in sawdust will be pleased to see that charming packaging is alive and kicking in the world of Wargame Figures. These arrived a few days ago and I finally got round to opening the packaging. They are 28mm via Old Glory UK to be used in a fantasy project. It was a joy to open these lovely boxes-

Looking forward to doing these justice when my pesky fluy/ coldy thing subsides and leaves me with some energy…

Saturday 23 October 2021

A wee outing

 Off to this with R today. Looking forward to hearing what the speakers have to say . Who knows, perhaps readers of this blog might be going too…

Friday 22 October 2021

More questions asked than answered

 Yesterday saw my usual guiding slot in Edinburgh. Again l was in rooms  around the first third of the seventeenth century . When there are no visitors the NT has kindly left a file of information and academic papers to read and enhance knowledge of the time. So yesterday l read part of a will of trader who imported high end goods from around the world. What however caught my eye was the gunpowder left as part of his estate. It led me to wonder what he used it for- hunting for the pot, personal protection, for him on board his trading ship going around England and North Europe?As he was a Burgess would he be involved in Trained Bands? Lots of questions about gunpowder owning at this period not to mention firearms in society. Any thoughts, do share.

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Pulp, uncommon people on the painting table

 Been painting these over the last few days, they are Pulp Figures obtained via North Star. They are lovely sculpts and a pleasure to paint. I hope to run a weekly tale about their adventures in the coming months …

Monday 18 October 2021


 As the nights draw in so the board games come out. Really enjoyed this one , we hadn’t played it for ages. A cooperative game of escape from the desert. Great fun but we didn’t make it. I am looking for suggestions for new games that might have gone unnoticed by me, recommendations welcome.

Sunday 17 October 2021

An amazing museum in Valencia

 Saturday night brought another meeting of the Virtual Wargames Club and what a meeting it was! As well as the usual catch up and sharing of projects last night we were shown photos from a trip to a Toy Soldier Museum in Valencia, Spain. The amount, range and quality of the figures was almost unbelievable. Tens of thousands of figures on display, most in 54mm as well as vast dioramas in smaller scales. Here is a link to the museum and to a fascinating article about it-


The museum has unusual opening hours so well worth checking prior to planning a trip. I enjoyed the reference to outdoor gaming in the article. What a place , what a collection!

Wofun recruits

 Got some 28mm wofun figures from DC this week l had bought from him. They are enough for a aTable Top Battles imagination game set in the 18th Century. A heady mix of irregular Indian cavalry, hussars, dragoons ( mounted and on foot ) and other cavalry. I do think the figures are splendid and really well animated. Here is the game  I set up just after unpacking them.

Saturday 16 October 2021

Bear necessities

 Yesterday when shopping I went into B&M and found these. A pound per pack , excellent value. I often look in charity shops and pound shops for potential gaming items. The bear will serve in a variety of ways - in 12th century Norway, Middle earth or other games as scenery. Might try them with the Paelo Diet rules too. The water buffaloes are slightly more challenging… 

Hard plastic, pre painted, what’s not to like…

Friday 15 October 2021

Guiding again

 Today I was back guiding at the same place but in the 17th Century this time.

Tuesday 12 October 2021

For Mark etc


I notice that your Infantry musicians are missing one important instrument, often thought to have been invented in the 19th century by Adolph Sax - it was in fact first invented by the Hessians in the 18th Century and known as the Hessian Sax. 

I'm sure there's a Wikipedia entry to back me up on this 

  1. Most interesting Mark! I will post pics of my 18th century military band soon…

    Here they are , a kind gift from Tidders some time back and painted by him-

Monday 11 October 2021

I can see clearly now…

 I bought the Daylight lamp as recommended by Jim D. I am delighted with it and it helps a lot as the dreich days increase . Thanks to Jim for this and others for their suggestions too.

Sunday 10 October 2021

Revisiting the KFC

 Some links to earlier Karl Frederick County-

The name Hornig was chosen as they were pork butchers in this area. I still see their vans around Edinburgh, often with a haggis on the van as decoration.My forebears came over from Germany around 1900, both sides of the family that is. They had pork butchers well known in Edinburgh and connections to others in the trade in the North of England. 

Having got my Hessians painted ( by Northumbrian Painting Services) l have sent off for American Militia from Fife & Drum miniatures to have a go at painting myself. Incidentally does anyone know of other manufacturers compatible in size to them? 


 Got round today to painting the bases and basing onto felt topped Mdf  my Hessians I had professionally painted for me. Three units of thirty figures, six dismounted Hessian Hussars and six mainly dismounted British dragoons. They will serve in 1745 Jacobite Rebellion against some forthcoming highlanders.

They will also take a boat across the sea to fight in the American War of Independence against the inhabitants of Karl Frederick County ( or KFC for short) who have joined in the Rebellion. The KFC is populated by immigrants from the Duchy of Tradgardland who settled in the Colonies.

Saturday 9 October 2021

Towards a game using Alexander’s Toy Soldiers set in circa 1689 using Table Top Battles on a grid..

 At the recent Woking 54mm wargames day ( see l really enjoyed playing in Anthony Morton’s ECW game. The figures and terrain looked great and the Table Top Battles Rules served us well. On my return home I began to plan using the rules for later 17th Century Battles. I began to plan what size of bases and movement trays might work-

I tried various dimensions,  options and shape of bases but in the end was not satisfied with the look of the game. I did wonder if I even needed any bases/trays so set up a trial skirmish just to see the look achieved. Alexander’s Toy Soldiers are bigger than 54mm so I decided on three infantry/ dismounted dragoons to a square and two cavalry to a square. I took some photos and was pleased with the results. Let me know what you think. I will have a play of 5he game next week...

Friday 8 October 2021


 I am really enjoying do a weekly guiding slot in Edinburgh. Yesterday l was in a mid Eighteen Century Daraper’s shop. I like the interaction with the public, helping enhance their  visit and understanding of time and place. The visitors are encouraged to touch things and explore for themselves also.

Thursday 7 October 2021

Getting ready for winter

 It was a lovely warm day filled with sun yesterday. It was a chance to get lots of clothes and bedding washed and dried. It was also a chance to tidy my room from months of hobby related detritus like lead and paper. The ideal day presented itself to get things in the shed sorted out for winter. Not just my stuff but that of my family too. That also meant l needed to make decisions on what hobby projects to work on over the next five months, making sure that the items I need were easily accessed. It was an opportunity to have a plan and think as I worked...

Wednesday 6 October 2021

New recruits

 These Marx recasts we’re waiting for me from Russia, cheapish purchase. They are for the Largs project. I thought some might like to see the packaging. Here also are the recruits in 15mm from MofT’s matchbox. Help identifying the pictures would be most appreciated.

Tuesday 5 October 2021

A cunning plan and gripping viewing

 In the National Maritime Museum I was fascinated by this-

I thought it such a cunning plan , as Baldrick might say, and was fascinated to see it had actually been used . I think it also struck a cord with me because of my recent tv viewing. I have been caught up in two dramas on the bbc- The Terror and The North Water.These dramas are so atmospheric, cold , bleak and yet powerfully addictive viewing. I would recommend them wholeheartedly. I wonder what you made of them?

Monday 4 October 2021

There and back again

 Yesterday, Sunday, saw me flying back to Scotland from Newquay airport. It is small in size as you can imagine. Anyway , Mark MofT had kindly given me a matchbox full of figures he didn’t need and was passing them on to me. More on the contents later. They caused great excitement at Security where they showed up as a significant black lump on the screen. All was well after a wee chat a peek inside. The security folk had a wry smile on their faces but seemed pleased at what it turned out to be. 

A good flight and bus brought me home having had a great trip. Now once the shed is sorted out for the coming winter can l get back to some hobby projects...