Tuesday 31 May 2022


 I was round yesterday for a 15th century game of dbm. It is some time since we played there due to a variety of circumstances. He had deployed his army and then covered it with cloth as hidden deployment.My fellow Swiss general and I set up our troops and the cloth was removed from his force revealing their deployment. What a surprise, l could not believe my eyes. I had expected Burgundians but they were not present. Instead ,a glorious panoply of lead and plastic ,was a Lancastrian Army! I was speechless for once. Evidently my opponent had been secretly building up , painting and basing the army over winter. A splendid effort P, well done, tremendous effort.

We started a game which we will finish next week, here are a few photos-

Monday 30 May 2022

We are the hollow men…no longer

 After a very productive gardening session I decided to tackle these fellows-

I took the photos to remind myself of the damage they started off with. Here they are after judicial use of pva and tissue paper. Matchsticks were needed for one cowboy prior to doing the next stage of work. One figure is still untouched as I think of any other techniques to use on him as he is in a particularly bad way.

Sunday 29 May 2022


 Did some gardening, consulted The Hobbit , watched the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final on tv and painted a few figures.

The Annotated Hobbit contains an interesting selection of b&w drawings as well as useful information plus the complete text.
Three Hobbits below including a graphic novel.
An exciting game full of incident and skill. A most enjoyable way to spend part of the afternoon.
I quite like the graphic novel illustrations especially Beorn.
Some inspiration gleaned to take the dbv The Hobbit project forward…

Saturday 28 May 2022

Big figures and a positive result

 Played the skirmish today with my friend’s figures. They are by Athena Miniatures https://www.athenaminiatures.co.uk/Saxons/cat6776949_4617754.aspx

Excellent figures they are but much bigger than 28mm . Look terrific against each other but dwarf those of other manufacturers.

P.s I mentioned the fantasy figures and got a positive response , so that is something to look forward to…

Friday 27 May 2022

City to City

 Had to go to a meeting yesterday in Edinburgh prior to my weekly class. It is always a pleasure to go to that particular office. The combination of the Art Deco building and the view is something I enjoy. Just managed to stop myself taking a close up of the original window fittings- I am getting worse! 

Today sees me hosting another dark age skirmish game. I have left the Middle Earth figures on the painting table hoping my opponents will be intrigued and become a little more open to fantasy gaming as a possibility. I am not holding my breath:)

Wednesday 25 May 2022

The Clouds Burst

 Yesterday was my school volunteering day. It included accompanying a class and teacher down the woods. A most enjoyable and useful day. Evening saw me watching the day’s coverage from the Chelsea Flower Show on tv which proved very relaxing and engaging. After a little work here is where we are-

The elves are moving along very nicely and probably only need one biggish push to complete. The goblins  and their warg allies. The wargs are from Warrior Miniatures and their goblin allies from Vendel Miniatures as was. The idea is make a number of small forces which can squabble with each other or work together. The elves , wargs and goblins will be added to in the form of men from the Lake Town. These traders and warriors will have a Rus/Scandinavian/ Slavic look to them. Trading with the elves they also ally themselves with them in battle mostly.

Tuesday 24 May 2022

Getting to the point and a p.s

 Over the years I have used all sorts of spears. I’ve cut the heads off pins, bought lethal steel spears and used piano wire. The one thing I find very difficult is bendy spears-

I can never get them straight and they bend when you drop or mishandle the figure. I got some lethal steel spears recently. They looked great but my fingers kept getting pricked. It was with great pleasure I recently discovered the hard plastic spears below. Not bendy or sharp they work a treat-

So if you want to avoid sharp nasty pointy wee sticks these are the things for you!

P.s  A comment was left in one of my posts asking about Fantasy Novels with a gunpowder background. Any recommendations?

Sunday 22 May 2022

Gone West again

 My three daughters were in Glasgow on Friday night to see Miles Kane at the O2 Academy. I went through yesterday to meet them for brunch here- https://thesingl-end.co.uk/ near the Art School.

It was my first time there and I was most impressed,excellent food, service and atmosphere. Passed this terrific building nearby-

Finally saw this advert -

It brought back loads of memories. My father got free tickets for the Highland Show and as a small boy I loved to go with him. I enjoyed the animals, clambering over the big machinery and getting free hospitality in the pavilions.  Always something fascinating to see it was a great day out 

Not a lot of hobby time but did mange to get an elf on a base. More anon…

Friday 20 May 2022

Elf on the shelf, sorry painting table!

 Work in progress, a long time coming.

Figures are Vendel Miniatures, now called Bloody Day I believe.

Next job is to add shields and spears then base them.

Thursday 19 May 2022

Beware of

 Greeks bearing gifts but not of daughters home for a holiday bearing thoughtful presents for me-

Wednesday 18 May 2022

DBV for Middle Earth Skirmishes

 Here are the troop definitions according to the rules-

You can see it is relatively simple to define Middle Earth figures according to the rules. For others such as Wargs they would fit in with Light Horseman definitions , trolls blades and so on. 
The advantage is that I know the system already, we have worked on tweaking it and finally it might be a way into fantasy gaming for those less comfortable with it.
Magic l need a think about but for the majority of types be they men, elves or orcs they can be defined easily enough. As for “local colour “ it is achievable by changing factors up or down or with a few, and I mean a few, additional rules.
Let me know what you think.

Tuesday 17 May 2022

Dark Age Skirmish

 Played yesterday using DBV. I am wondering about using them for Middle Earth?

Yesterday was Scots v Irish/ Vikings. Great game .

Monday 16 May 2022

On the painting table- AWI militia and riflemen

 These are the fellows from my joint order with Ronnie to Fife and Drum miniatures ( https://www.fifeanddrum-minis.com/index.html ) which have made it onto the painting desk. They are lovely models beautifully sculpted and destined to fight my Hessians. I am going with drab colours with a more colourful palette for the riflemen. The vibe is sepia drawings. Here they are -

Sunday 15 May 2022

Spring pond cleaning

 My youngest and I repotting and sorting the pond today-

Finally, talk about excellent service, my 54mm scale heads arrived today, twenty four hours after ordering.

Saturday 14 May 2022

The raid upon the war chest for May

 Yesterday saw me go down to the library, find the hidden door, enter the tower room and open the war chest-

Soon the Tradgardland Thalers were removed and the purchase made…

So , dear reader, if you are confused fret not. This is not LARP in the leafy lanes of Scottish suburbia nor a manifestation of senility but rather an attempt to curb my hobby spending. Not to mention endeavours not to add to the Ducal Library, in other words stop buying tons of books I have neither the time or inclination to finish. 

Anyway May’s Thalers ( about twenty pounds) have bought some 54mm heads for repairing broken toy soldiers and some arms for the same purpose. The rationale was that l find this sort of craft activity therapeutic and diverting, good for hands, brain and heart. It is also make good an old project rather than starting a new one. 

My recent trip to London, including Foyles and Heffers , was a splendid trip filled with wonders to see but l managed not to add to the Ducal Library. Many tempting volumes but I resisted and even managed to get some of the book I had with me read.

In other news I have just started series five of “The Last Kingdom “ after a whirlwind like watching of the previous four. I have so enjoyed it, embracing the ahistorical armour etc , relishing the plot twists and turns. Series Five has a darker feel to it so far and l do hope that the central character and my favourite -The Lady of Mercia have a happy ending. I fear I that the fates may decree otherwise…

Friday 13 May 2022

Back home

 Got back last night and went to collect this parcel this morning from the Post Office. I had purchased them at the end of the month and they had been unable to be delivered in my absence. The figures were a good price but some are in need of tlc. Here they are unpacked-

Some useful cowboys and red coated infantry/ highlanders to add to my units.
I particularly bought them for the four Mexicans. I have never owned them before. I will probably give them heads sans sombreros to allow use as Albion armed civilians. A useful German officer for interwar service too.
These were the other great draw for me, three splendid French soldiers and three Greeks. Again  I have never owned these figures before and find them full of old toy soldier charm.
Quite a lot of work to be done on these to get them ready for the tabletop or garden. Need to raid the war chest for some Tradgardland Thalers to buy a few arms and heads…