Monday, 20 March 2023

Yesterday in Burnley

 Went with friends yesterday to Burnley. After Church at St Catherine’s we went to Towneley  Hall for a look around and a picnic.

Fifteenth century vestments .
A moving war memorial.
From the art gallery , which had many splendid paintings.
St Catherine’s church.
Interesting display of toy soldiers and what I presume is them being painted in a factory.
Another splendid painting. The Hall itself which is undergoing repairs. All in all a grand day out.
Home to a famous Jacobite- 

Close up of beautiful embroidery work.

Saturday, 18 March 2023

A wee visit

 En route to seeing friends in Skipton l stopped by the Royal Armouries Leeds. Leeds city centre is full of water and fascinating buildings-

View from inside the Royal Armouries.

A most impressive piece of art on the side of a building.

I didn’t have long so I concentrated mainly on the tournament section and the ECW section-

I do like the way that cavalry armour is displayed on horseback, gives a feeling of what it might be like to face a mounted opponent.
The look of the whole ensemble really caught my eye.
Tournament armour above and helms below.
Yet another fascinating illustration of a tournament joust with another cool ensemble.
Finally the wonderful Perry figures in the Agincourt diorama!

A brief but enjoyable visit, I’ll be back for sure.

Friday, 17 March 2023

A question of scale.

 Been looking at the farm with different sized figures today-

Firstly with 60mm semi flat Scouts.
Next with 28mm eighteenth century bandsmen.

Fifty four mm toy soldiers.
Finally with 40 mm Elastolin figures.

I feel the farm would work really well with all scales of figures shown above. I am delighted with such versatility.

Thursday, 16 March 2023

The parcel has landed

 I took the opportunity in the recent EM4 sale to pick up some pre painted scenery in the shape of a farm. It has lift off roofs and opening doors. I very pleased with the farm and its constituent parts. They are well made and offer much gaming potential. Although bought with 28mm ( l placed some vbcw 28s in the photo for scale) in mind I think it might serve with 40mm too. Here are some pictures of it , just as it came out of the boxes , no construction necessary-

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

In non hobby related land

 Sunday saw me in Edinburgh for Church and Volunteer Guiding . The day began with a splendid lox and cream cheese bagel at Bross Bagels. -

It is on the menu as a “Montreal”

Torrential rain on Monday was followed by freezing then a smattering of snow on Tuesday which quickly went.
This morning sees me waiting in for a parcel re delivery as well as liberating the rhubarb from the choking weeds surrounding it.

Sunday, 12 March 2023

Weasley done, not

 Today I went online to look for some inspiration for the weasels, stoats etc. The Burrows and Badgers figures are quite charming but l am not sure. They are a tad medieval for my taste and I am looking for more of a Victorian vibe.  I did send for some figures of wild weasels which are for d and d , are 40mm long, and should serve with rifles and pillbox hats added. Inspiration was this E H Shephard illustration-

Also found the illustrations below which will give me food for thought-

We shall see what turns up next. I think a mix of styles may be in order. Started work on the Northumbrian Tin Soldier figures. I imagine them to be weasels with a penchant for bohemian dress/ proto New Romantics or more prosaically members of the Wild Wood Amateur Dramatics Society who have raided the dressing up box-
A start has been made. Not to confident with such big detailed sculpts but giving it a go. They will be glossy on plain green bases with a toy soldier vibe. I am not going for shading or landscaped bases.
Message to self need to pick up 54mm rifles, clubs, pistols etc. A mix of Victorian and older one which were lying around Toad Hall or in secret weasel arms caches. Dorset , Replica or where?  Any thoughts?

Saturday, 11 March 2023

Another VBCW game - the first appearance of the Norwegians

 Another game today and the first outing for the Norwegians. Here is what I sent the players-

“It is a clash between the Anglican League Swedes and a Norwegian force which has landed off course whilst trying to “liberate” the Northern isles. Forces as follows- 

Swedes- HQ, three regular sections each with lmg and rifles, one irregular unit of volunteers with no lmg plus a wee mortar.
Norwegians- HQ, two regular sections each with lmg and rifles, one regular section with lmg , rifles and three figures with grenades, a heavy machine gun and a large mortar.
It will be interesting to see how these take on each other.
Scenario- hold the village pub garden to defend the local ale.”

What they were not told was the village pub was defended by some retainers of the Duke of Brunswick who was in Britain to offer aid, troops and support King Edward Edward. They were a third force , albeit small , commanded on the table top by the Duke himself and played by the umpire, me.
Here is a photo of the layout and of the Norwegians-all regular army and part of an expeditionary force.

What happened and who won , coming shortly…

Friday, 10 March 2023

Follow up to the previous post- Wargaming as a total work of art-Gesamtkunstwerk

 This is the science fiction blog I referred to in the previous post-

Wargaming as total work of art- Gesamtkunstwerk

 I was pondering on this in bed the other day - if this can be said of wargaming where various arts come to together to create a totality. The art of design, the art of scenic modelling, the art of painting and the art of rule writing. . What prompted this musing was the total work of art that is Mark’s Little Soldiers where a total aesthetic is seen through from concept to table top. Another example , which I follow but cannot lay my hands on is a chap who has created a science fiction/ rogue trader settlement in painstaking detail such as posters, graffiti and scenery not to mention the figures or buildings themselves.

Comments please, what do you think?

Gesamtkunstwerk- total work of art

Thursday, 9 March 2023

After Woking 3 or inspiration gained…

 Monday morning l went to the shed and easily found what I was looking for-

I picked up this ages ago , not knowing what to do with it at the time. It contains a wee pouch of dice and figures- goodies and baddies.Nicely wrapped in a box with tissue paper and postcard of the painted figures. Northumbria Tin Soldier produce really charming, quirky figures especially the night folk-

I’ve been listening to Sir Michael Hordern reading “ Wind in the Willows” a great deal recently and thoroughly enjoying it. That combined with the Nutwood figures at Woking and my great affection for the book has led me to see if there is a potential game to be created…
Firstly matters of scale-
The baddies (?) compared in scale with some Britain’s guardsmen. Looks fine to me.
The goodies (?) compared with another Britain’s figure for scale , positively l feel. Our hero/ anti hero Mr Toad looks fine size wise with a final 54mm figure.
I had feared the Riverbankers would be too small to use with 54mm vehicles, figures and scenery but I am pleasantly surprised. I don’t know where this is going but we shall see . Finally an inspiring Embleton illustration-

P.S been looking at plastic stoats, weasels and foxes, too big so far. Some wild weasels in metal ( 40mm) size might work, three for twelve pounds, any ideas welcome…

Wednesday, 8 March 2023


 As ever the Little Wars Revisited forum games day was splendid. Good company, food and games. The games were in 54mm of course-

  1. A snowball fight game by Mark with a few role playing ideas contributed by me. Fast, furious fun involving, amongst others, a Nutwood team and a penguin team. 
  2. Age of Penda game in 40mm by Anthony with great looking terrain and figures. It was enjoyed greatly by players.
  3. NWF armoured train game by Mike with a splendid armoured train as a centre piece. Great scenery and figures using Man who would be king rules.
  4. Dark Ages by Patrick using Lion Rampant and his collection of lovely Irregular Miniatures Normans alongside Patrick’s trademark stylish scenery.
  5. Smugglers, a game by Brian with very nicely painted figures and a most enjoyable role play element in a four sided skirmish game.
Here are photos in no particular order , including some of the beautiful church the event was held in-

As ever the evening ended with a lovely meal in a Turkish restaurant locally. It was great to catch up with friends old and new and meet folk for the first time whose blogs I read regularly.