Friday 31 March 2023

Tray bien or “ of kern and bonnacht is supplied..”

 Here they are, ready, waiting for the postman to deliver their new bases-

They wait patiently on the tray, kern , bonnacht, gallowglass and more. I have to admit to being rather fond of my Old Irish. Perhaps it is the fact they are something different, perhaps the sculpts appeal to me as they are full of character, perhaps it is the combination of some old figures l have had for years with some new recruits. It is probably all this and more. I do like the Chief and his chaplain, in the centre of the photo above. They are on the fringes of renaissance things., in many ways a million miles in tone from urban, forward thinking renaissance Europe. They stand looking back and forward simultaneously.
My eldest picked up a bag of flock for me in a sale somewhere, sometime. She has done the same with random Osprey books . I kept the flock for years knowing it would come in handy one day. It certainly has as l am going for a look similar to the one P’s army was given thirty plus years ago, only deviation is I am going with mdf he still uses beer mats etc. Win or lose l know I will still love these guys. Little lead men who fight better for us if we have invested ourselves in their painting and basing.
In other news l am trying to read round seventh century Saxon history especially the East Anglians. I am a sucker for the Vendel look. I discovered “The Orville “ on Disney + and am working my way through it. Can’t quite work out what it is trying to be but it is terrific fun. 

Thursday 30 March 2023

Wee men

 I was fortunate to be able to buy these painted and based Wiglaf figures ( 18mm ) at a very affordable and generous price from AM recently. They are beautiful sculpts enhanced by excellent painting and basing.

Dan Mersey’s site here is well worth a look-

Wednesday 29 March 2023

Knights in white satin, never reaching the end or Towards a game for Woking/ Northern Event

 I’ve been collecting towards doing a wee game at the next Little Wars Revisited games day. The idea was to create a pursuit, chasing, fleeing and ambush sort of game. I’ve had the image of “Knights in white satin…” in my mind for years ( sorry Moody Blues) where my mind combines the song with random images from the film “ Alexander Nevsky” by Eisenstein. What came recently into my mind was the second part of the song line- never reaching the end. It conjures up for me Knights struggling against , weather terrain and foes, desperately trying to escape, never reaching the end of their journey. So a potential game was born. I’ve been picking up these Del Prado Lithuanian ski troops off eBay for a while-

They are metal, heavy big 54mm figures, full of purpose…

A suitable opposition to be chased and harried presented itself in these 54mm plastic figures-

The horn player and kneeling knight ( shades of Max Von Sydow in the Seventh Seal”) were my particular favourites but the other figures are full of character too.

Currently working on rules ideas ( maybe The Portable skirmish Wargame) or some very simple skirmish rules with added weather, character and pursuit mechanisms. 

Terrain would be very simple with white, felt cloth, trees and terrain markers all that is needed plus the figures. Eminently transportable by train. Now all is left is to finish the figures and try the rules…

Monday 27 March 2023

Flocking all over the world

 As we seem to have decided to use DBR for our renaissance battles l felt l should begin the process of rebasing. Here are my Irish on 60 mm square bases-

They were soaked in hot water to remove them from the old bases ready to rebase…
Light horse have two figures to a base, skirmishers one to a base and warband ( bonnachts) three to a base.
I ran out of bases so could only take it so far. I have gone with flock to fit in with P’s basing and will add the odd tuft or two later. I haven’t flocked in years and found it quite therapeutic and relaxing, much to my surprise.

More bases on order so will carry on with this task later in the week. All figures just need to be glued on the new bases when they arrive…

Sunday 26 March 2023

Aircraft for MLS

 I looked on eBay for some aircraft to use in the Memories of ‘34 game with MLS. Initially l wondered about 1/72 plastic kits . I have some interwar ones already for gaming in that period but wanted a change, probably something smaller. So after a look around l bid successfully for these-

The wing span is around four inches. They are die cast metal.
Manufactured by Corgi as part of a series about the history of flight.
I think they work well with the larger scale figures, look right on the table flying a few inches above the surface. I have gone with a slightly antiquated vibe as counterpoint to the modern efficiency of tankettes and other ground forces. Currently considering painting them in colours to reflect which imagination they will serve. 
In other news I am endeavouring to tidy the garden and part of the lead mountain collapsed over night-

The painted AWI militia survived , as did some large scale railway figures,but a partially built 16mm. Mdf railbus kit took a lot of damage. I will have to see today if I can patch it  up…

Pleased excuse the socks and sandals combo. Only worn to go to the shed and back, honest.

Saturday 25 March 2023

Games Day

 Really enjoyed our ahistorical Poles v New Model Army game today. Essentially it was a chance to re familiarise ourselves with the rules (DBR) as well as get out some armies that haven’t seen the light of day for years. Good game, company and food as ever at P’s with G . A few random photos-

My New Model Army troops advancing just outside the village.
Further shots of the NMA at the start of the game 
Poles V NMA melee, thankfully the Poles came off worst.
The gallant Poles advancing, Pancerni and light cavalry.
P was clearing out his garage and gave me some scenery surplus to his requirements-

It will definitely serve here in the Duchy, thanks P !

Thursday 23 March 2023

New weasels etc

 I have been getting some reading material second hand for the Riverbank project-

I have yet to start reading them but the large volume was really chosen on account of the illustrations.


Some new recruits arrived today in the shape of two packs of three weasels plus two large rats that were thrown in as a freebie. Here they are beside two figures for a size comparison. They certainly will work well with the addition of weapons and perhaps some headgear.

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Back to the future


On Friday l will be playing a renaissance Wargame with my regular opponents , P and G. After much chat we have decided to give DBR a whirl. I looked out my copy from the Ducal Library and noticed it had been bought in April 2004! I also found in the rules movement sticks l made of paper then laminated. I recall nothing of the rules and need to do some homework before Friday. I will tell you how the game goes in another post…

Whilst away the above book from Helion arrived. I have only had time for a quick look so can’t comment yet. This will be added to my Flodden books, book on The Battle of Linlithgow and Osprey tome on Scottish Renaissance Armies. A fascinating period and one rarely seen on the Wargames table.

Tuesday 21 March 2023

Blue Remembered Bay

 I left this comment on Man of Tin’s blog-

“Mother’s Day is a day where l remember my daughters’ mum more than mine and try and support them through the day .
My mother tolerated my toy soldiers as well as playing Subuteo cricket with me. She created the first imagination for me called “Blue Bay” where a blue towel spread on the table was water and rice or fish dressing was something for my diggers and truck to move around. The corgi water skier set sailed on the blue towel sea.”

The Blue Bay imagination was created in the long afternoons in my preschool days when I returned from my kindergarten l went to in the morning. Incidentally have the kindergarten to blame/ thank for my abiding interest in fantasy. We sang lots of songs and did dances about dwarves etc for it was a Steiner influenced place 

The post is to be found at the link below and is well worth a read

This got me remembering that on holidays in later years , when I was around ten or so, we went to Blausee in Switzerland and Blue Pool in Dorset-

I am going to take Mark’s advice and integrate “Blue Bay” into my gaming in some shape or form , watch this space…

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-