Saturday 30 September 2023

A grand day out 3

 In the museum was a diorama made in 1969 featuring Willie figures. It depicts the Black Watch at Ticonderoga. Although small it is a spirted piece of work, containing many figures either made specifically for the diorama or converted for it . Without more ado here are the pictures and a couple of pages from the current Willie catalogue for comparison-

Friday 29 September 2023

A grand day out 2

 I took some photos on a wander about after the excellent guided tour-

1920s model of an independent highland company soldier.
Work of the splendid artist Haswell- Miller who l know best for his paintings of soldiers he saw on his travels prior to the Great War.

This splendid garment was worn on the Waterloo Campaign.
A fascinating photo .
I was most taken by this painting and the explanation below-

The regimental band in 1862. A photo full of light hearted touches .

I was most surprised to find this painting in the museum. I am sure I saw it in the home of the man it was given to , many , many years ago. I can only assume it was given to the museum on his death.

Next post the Willie Diorama…

A grand day out 1

 Yesterday saw me in Perth at the Black Watch Museum for a grand day out courtesy of Ronnie whose cunning plan it was. Splendid coffee and scones were had in the bistro prior to a guided tour. Our excellent guide Rosemary took us through the collection in a tour lasting around seventy minutes. She was welcoming, knowledgeable and most interesting. I would certainly recommend a visit and the tour.

Here is the sight that greets the visitor-

More info about the above sculpture here-

Next time a little on the museum and its contents.

Thursday 28 September 2023

Gone West once again

 Yesterday l was in Glasgow for my weekly class . I took photos from the seventh floor of the tower. 

Does anyone know what the green spire belongs to , I am most intrigued by it…
Secondly l ordered a few old school opponents for my new Afghans. I ordered on Monday and they were waiting for me on my return yesterday. 

Excellent service indeed. One wee disappointment was they came in a padded envelope not a blue box. However credit where credit due, fast service indeed! I am moving towards a portable Wargame soonish.

Tuesday 26 September 2023

Currently on the painting table

Currently working on Vichy French, WW1/ VBCW Germans and the odd fantasy figure…


Monday 25 September 2023


 In spite of torrential rain at times Sunday proved sunny enough for us to have coffee and cinnamon buns in the garden at Abbot House-

There is little hobby news to report here. I did get some figures out from the lead mountain and enjoyed working on them on Saturday afternoon whilst listening to “ In our Time” on Bergman’s “The Seventh Seal” with great interest. In the programme was a reference to how his brother was given a magic lantern as a present . Bergman really wanted it and gave his brother 100 toy soldiers for it. The world of film would be very different if Bergman had preferred toy soldiers…

This week sees me having a couple of games potentially, hopefully the first outing for my late medieval French army . In the meantime enjoy this-

Saturday 23 September 2023


 New arrivals here in the Duchy , unboxed the other day.

* Brian Cameron’s Afghan Delights…
I am indebted once again to Brian for passing on to me these delightful , painted, old school Afghan figures  ( not to mention the horses to go with the cavalry) which l think are Hinchcliffe and some are Minifigs. They are just crying out to be used in a Featherstone Close Wars game with stones from the garden as scenery/ cover and perhaps a few model trees.
For the moment l will field them in games involving battles between different tribes. However l would to get some suitable opponents. Perhaps Hinchcliffe Indian Army figures or similar from Minifigs? Any other suggestions for opponents most welcome…

Friday 22 September 2023


 Wednesday saw me in Glasgow for the first of my Northern Renaissance Art course.

En route I popped into the Hunterian Museum and art gallery. I particularly enjoyed seeing the Roman inscriptions on stones from the Antonine Wall and this splendid poster below.
The lecture took place on the seventh floor in a room with a terrific view over Glasgow.

I returned by bus through torrential rain to a non functioning toilet. This began a series of events involving plumbers, noxious smells of sulphuric acid , sewage flowing round the garden and no solution. I was told to phone Scottish Water and report it. A stressful evening had occurred. Scottish Water were really helpful and promised to come first thing in the morning.

True to their word they came in the morning early, sorted the problem , unblocked things and cleaned up the sewage, disinfecting the garden as part of the process . They then phoned to say they had been and report on what they had done. Kudos to Scottish Water for their helpful and supportive attitude on the phone and efficient sorting out of things.

The episode has left me reflecting how l so often take things for granted like a flushing toilet, always there and functioning. We are so fortunate with simple things like running water here in this country. It has made me reflect on all those news stories I read or heard about, briefly pondering upon and then moving on. It is good to count one’s blessings now and again.

New rolling stock

 Bert and Bob cast their professional eyes over some new wagons donated to the Penedredfel Light Railway-

I am greatly indebted to Brian C for donating these splendid scratch built wagon to me. I look forward to seeing them being pulled along quite soon. Brian are you able to tell us a little more about how these were made and what the different wagons are?

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Generally speaking

 Two mounted generals were in the box of Eric’s Ottomans-

Labelled as ever, now to give them suitable names and perhaps personalities with positive or negative attributes for command.
The brightly painted general is a Minifigs Tartar with his lance cut down , mounted on a lovely half armoured horse. The other general is a drab but business like figure with lots of weapons and a shield plus a severed head hanging from his horse furniture. I don’t know the manufacturer.
So here they are , ready to lead Eric’s men into battle once again…
Next artillery, gunners and transport…

Monday 18 September 2023

Here comes the cavalry or Oliver’s , sorry Eric’s, Army is here to stay

 As promised some goodies from Eric Knowles’s Army . Firstly ,as Bob commented,  Eric uses a fascinating mix of figures in his armies. This is evident in the figures he has used in this Ottoman Army- ancient, Persians, ancient Britains, Huns and so on. I find this approach both charming and refreshing and one I can identify with. Secondly Eric labelled his figures with sticky labels on the underside of the bases in his own hand writing. I am impressed by this and want to preserve the bases and labels. Now for some pictures-

Light cavalry - diverse periods and manufactures as Dellis or Tartars.
Labels on the underside of the bases, neat and concise .
Other light cavalry, not sure of who manufactured them. Lively animation…
Underside of the lively animated figures. I really like the style of them.
Heavy cavalry this time , mainly Minifigs, not sure what they are but they look the part.
Another view of the heavy cavalry showing the bases and labels.
Over the weekend I agonised about how to use these figures and yet retain their charm and labels. I thought of sabot basing, clear Perspex bases and on and on. Then it came to me - l will use them as they are base wise for square based the Portable Wargame . An ideal solution, allows them to remain intact with a variety of basing styles. Ideal l think. One final question l am tempted to varnish the figures to protect Eric’s paint job . What do you think ? Will the integrity of the figures be diminished if I varnish?