Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Thank you Dr Vesuvius

Hi Chaps,

its not often that I get stopped in my tracks but I have to report that today I had one of those moments and it was a very pleasant one.

Christmas is an awkward time for me-my wife and son died and are not here and as this is family time it grates everytime I go shopping or catch a music vid on TV by mistake. My surviving son Conrad has no concept of christianity as he grew up mostly in Thailand, he absorbed the culture and is even a little disturbed by father christmas but loves the idea of presents! This time of year is alien to us both.

Anyway today I recieved a parcel from Dr Vesuvius...inside it were several British first world war tanks and a letter. I am not sure if Dr Vesuvius can understand the impact that his kindness has had but for me the impact immense. Thankyou Doc.

This has demonstrated to me that there are good people out there...I am moved and cannot thank you enough....

Victorian science that is a niche but I am sure that somewhere in a pile of boxes...

Thanks Doc, you helped much more than you can imagine

Friday, 25 November 2011

Merry Christmas (too early?)

Hi Chaps,
hope you are all well. I will wish you a merry christmas at this early stage-I do hope that you all remember to get yourself something! I have been very busy with lots of things and unfortunatley none of them are related to wargaming or painting. Indeed I have temporarily put aside my painting tray till the new year (though I am going to order some Hat Zulus).

This is one of the reasons I have been so busy...anyway do get drunk and indulge and do keep painting as it is addictive reading.

Thanks all.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

WW1 Russian 20mm

Hi Chaps,

last week I visited my sister in Preston and so I took the opportunity to visit Transport models for a fix of Strelets figures. I know that these awkward looking miniatures are not to everyones tastes but I think that they are full of character. I have no idea why I chose Russian...maybe I can use them in a 1938 campaign?

Has anyone used 20mm with Black Powder? I was looking at the armies of Peter the Great etc (as well as Napoleonic) but I am just not sure how the 20mm figures would look bunched together...for around £30 one could get a flying start!

I ordered some vehicles from Frontline and the chap I spoke to asked if they were for a 1938 army...he went on to say that his company had produced the masters for some of the factions for the "conflict" in 20mm. I find this fascinating and will certainly be purchasing some if and when they become available.

These chaps are now all but finished...the bases have not been even started because the last batch of sand I collected from the beach was too coarse. On my next visit (its only a few miles) I will select the right texture and basing can then commence. Its a pity that the pics dont really do these fellows justice they really are little characters.

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Man Flu and 2012 project

Hi Chaps,

my sight is growing dim and I am fading fast as I write this note...bloody hell I have caught my first cold in years and its horrible! I had totally forgotten how crap it feels to be ill. Oh well its only a cold (men suffer more than women when they get this condition). Anyway being unable to do much I began thinking about how unco ordinated my hobby actually is, so I have formed a plan.

This year I kept a running total on how much I painted each month in a notebook-I also made a note of what colours I had used on which figures. Well next year I am taking this one step further with more detailed notes including the times and duration that I paint for, this should give me an estimate for the time taken on each model.

Pre planning (project management??) is also going to feature heavily and for the first time in 30 years of wargaming/painting I will have a project ready to go at the start of the year. Since I started blogging-and in turn gleaning all I can from every one elses blogs I have decided that 20mm is the only option  in what I can afford and what is available. Even today there was instant inspiration on The Angry Lurkers blog with some ruined buildings!

I hope you can all avoid the plague so that you can keep gaming and posting!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Modern figures 20mm.

Hi Chaps,

painted these and thought I would put up a pic or two. 20mm is fast becoming my favourite scale, its just a pity there are so few character type models but I think that this is changing slowly.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

WW1 a work in progress.

Hi Chaps,

I thought I would place some pics on here of my 20mm painting (my eyes, my eyes etc..). Because of the process I have used it is fairly quick to produce a company of figures in just two painting sessions. No great care has been taken with these fellows as I want (plastic) boots on the gaming table, just three or four base colours followed by a wash_Devlan mud is the new rock and roll!!

The pictures are dark because its even duller than normal here in Cumbria...The next batch is well under way and a game with my son wont be too far off. If the Gods of finance are agreeable I will purchase some modern 20mm from Britannia miniature, I have not ordered from the new owner nor have I been to the website but Britannia used to do some excellent British army kit....

Thanks for looking.

Monday, 31 October 2011

20mm painting quality (my eyes!)

Morning All,

I was looking through my stash of pictures (no not that sort) when I came across some that I had downloaded in the past-and this stuff is just 20mm figure porn....I have not been able to think of anything else! Now this has presented me with a couple of problems. Firstly my stuff is utter pants in comparison and secondly how do I learn to paint like this?

 Apologies to the man who created these works of art-I think the Napoleonic figure was done by an Italian chap? Anyway these are stunning.

Having had an almost religious experience at what can be achieved with 20mm I now may attempt to up my game from base colours and a diluted wash...I suppose its all down to what we are using the figures for? I am certainly going to spend a little more time on my 20mm figures and afford them a little more respect...I'm off to look for the blog that these pics came from for more inspiration. Have a good Monday.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Painting time...barristers and AK47??

Hi Chaps,

its been a busy week or two visiting my barrister and medical experts so my painting time is well down though I have completed a British company (Hat 1/72) and I am pleased enough with them. Next up I have the Hat Jaegers to paint and the artillery...interesting times to say the least!

The link above will explain where my time is going-its pretty boring and depressing so I would'nt bother with it unless you are particularily interested in that sort of thing.

I was chatting to a fellow wargamer in Preston (The Metropolis) and we were discussing which scale and ruleset suits modern warfare best. I went for Chris Peers "At close Quarters" in 20mm my chum opted for 6 or 15mm and was open to try any ruleset. One thing we both agreed on (we have around 40 years military service between us) was that randomness must be a factor in any game...does that mean Peter Pigs AK47 ruleset is the most accurate?

Oh well, I will post some pics next time...I would like to discover what rulesets and scales you chaps use ...links to pics would be great! Thanks

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Hat and Emhar order arrives!

Hi Chaps,

I can't believe its nearly 2pm! I have had a day of silence, glueing and sticking! I must say that the quality of both Hat and Emhar is outstanding! The Hat figures are particularily nice, they seem bulkier than usual 1/72nd scale figures which is great as I feel like I am actually painting something people will be able to see.

There are two companies of infantry (One German and one Brit) in the shed based with a coat of matt black and almost all the artillery is built...though it is a bit fiddly as I am no kit builder. It feels good to have a plastic mountain to paint but I dont think it will take too long as 20mm is pretty speedy.

Up to now no one wants the 28mm stuff that kick started my painting so I may put it on one want to swap any of them for Contemptable little armies?? It would save me a lot of hassle as I find it hard work...

I have'nt applied any PVA glue to these little fellows...instead I will rely on the primer, paint and varnish to keep them strong-I may use PVA in the next batch though! hat industries are for me the best manufacturer in 20mm...Copplestone the best in 28mm...?

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Great war...update

Sorry, I meant to include this heros work in my post today but I got distracted preparing vegetables and school uniforms...please have a look around this blog.

Inspirational stuff indeed! Strelets figures are superb, I think they have the character of metal figures and look suitably chunky. Thanks for looking.

Great War Rulesets and jungle roads

I was just wandering around the net looking for reviews on WW1 era rulesets when I chanced upon this... at £10 for the Warhammer version of miniature mayhem I think I have found a winner.

As for primary source material this site takes some beating I really could spend hours looking at the groovy kit that was available to all sides in the Great War. My grandfather Isaac Hendrickson won the military cross for retrieving wounded during some battle or other-I have never seen the medal but I really should try and get a copy of the write up about this incident.

Oh well hope your all having a great weekend, I have just sat down-I never realised just how many hours of house work are required to keep a house running! My son and I have been alone now for 3 years and I think we are just now establishing a routine and keeping our heads above water so if you chaps have a better half out there go give them a hug because they probably do more work than you realise!! Anyway I was looking at some old photos...
The pic is my son (taken a few years ago), the Thai house can be seen in the background-he is actually on the main road running passed our house though now its all high tech and the road is concrete which makes for interesting driving (and walking) when it rains. Maybe a handy reference for any terrain builders of AK47 games or Vietnam?

Friday, 14 October 2011

Just spent £30...need to rest...

Hi Chaps,

I have just ordered four boxes of figures and spent nearly £30! I have gone dizzy with this reckless spending but at least I dont think I will need any more figures till next year. I used Transport models in Preston and Hannants for the Emhar artillery sets . I expect delivery will be some time next spray is ready and waiting.

An excellent source for wargaming is The Plastic Soldier Review infact its hard not to be impressed by the sheer amount and diversity now available in plastic 20mm...I do hope they dont mind but I borrowed a couple of pictures to show you chaps what I have ordered...I will remove the pics if I've breached any copyright...just dont send the lads round to snap my brushes!

I am looking forward to deciding the colours to use on all of the above but I am no rivet counter so close is near enough...

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

World War One in 20mm...

Hi Chaps,

has anyone gamed the first world war in 20mm? Tomorrow I will be ordering a bucketful (well 4 boxes) of Hat German and British. Contemptable little armies should be simple enough for my son to get a grip of...we have played only a couple of games this year so I want to spend some game time with him...Conrad already likes history so this should all be good.

I have two sprues of Hat 28mm ...Spanish /Norman just please email me your address and I will post them-just not my thing. Also if anyone has any unpainted 20mm first world war figures to swap for around 36 painted Perry medieval plastics (pics on an earlier post) I will swap practically anything. Also the earlier posted Romans are up for the same sort of swap?? Indeed if anyone has the ruleset that would be good as well. My storage space is limited and I cant be bothered with ebay so I hope this way of unloading figures will work.

Sorry no pictures...I will post some over the weekend, a few more Chinese Bandits have been painted and a mummy from an old boardgame...

The advice about painting and scale that I have recieved in comments has been absolutley spot on so thanks chaps-maybe one day I can buy you all a beer...up until then it will have to be an imaginary one over the net!

Have a good weekend.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Copplestone castings rule!

Hi All,

its been a busy weekend but I still got some painting squeezed in..Copplestone figures are an absolute joy to paint! I may consider joining/starting the Copplestone appreciation society, I ordered the Chinese Bandits and each figure has an  excellent quality which makes it a stand alone character. Chinese army next...or some Yaks??

Alongside the figure painting I have been making some oriental type buildings...some of which I will be able to use almost anywhere. I am gradually learning the art of working with foamboard, it is surprisingly versatile and is a quick way to create terrain. The next technique to master will be rubber moulds for doors and windows, I will still cut the foam but slide in a cast door or window, I hope that this will give a uniform appearance to later buildings.

Years ago I read about how prisoners (the article was interviewing Vietnam veterans) would plan out castles or elaborate buildings in their imagination to escape the awful reality they were in...anyway I will leave the pop psychology alone but it just occured to me.

I have more buildings under constructionand will base them all on a standard size piece of mdf. The only thing holding back my enthusiasm for this period is the small matter of funds though I hope to solve this problem by winning the lottery later this week.

Thanks for looking, most of my inspiration (OK I copy) comes from other blogs which are an endless source of amazement for me, please forgive me if I havent left any comments blogger hates me and just sends me into a loop if I leave a comment.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Off to the East!

Hi Chaps,

well the cold sweats and guilt have almost passed...I purchased some of Copplestones Bandits and Bandit command, at a tad over £21.00 inc postage I should'nt be worried. I have a fondness for the east as I lived for a while in Thailand, I cant wait to go back! In the meantime I plan to construct a few real reason as I have no plans for an army or a campaign. I found an old photo of a dapper chap probably from the 1890s, it was taken in Hong Kong and is a good primary source for what the man about town was wearing!
Its not often that I suffer from jealousy but the chap who owns this game room is living my dream! I stumbled across this on another blog and I hope that Ray does'nt mind me posting it definatley is the best gamesroom I have seen on the blogosphere so far-well done that man! It gives us mere mortals something to aspire to!

Monday, 3 October 2011


Hi All,
a second post for today which is unusual but I am having a lazy day. I seem to be fascinated by how other people approach this hobby, I like to look at how others paint, collect and game...indeed seeing pictures of other peoples workstations is becoming ever more interesting to me. My work space is very small-I live in a cottage in the lakes so I was never going to have much space! Anyway I have included a pic of my paint station for those who like that sort of thing and also a pic of an Old Glory adventurer...from one of the Darkest Africa bags, surprisingly this chap turned out OK but I have found Old Glory a bit hit and miss with their quality. I am on the cusp of ordering around £20 worth of figures...aahh lifes good!

One of the mysteries of this hobby is that a workstation will never ever look tidy...its just a law of nature, maybe one day scientists will find the answer.


Hi Chaps,

I painted these Romans because I had them in reserve. There should have been 12 but the command stand would only fit 3, I dont suppose it matters because I have no intention of making an army out of them I just wanted to try a spot of speed painting. The keen eyed will notice that there is a shield on upside down-I can only blame the beer I was drinking, only a couple (OK 4) but I thought it was having no effect. These figures cost £11 for the box which was a bargain but what do I do with the 9 left over?

Thanks for looking...

Monday, 26 September 2011

deer Hide update.

Hi Chaps,

this is the deer hide with a coat of paint...I think I will add some tufts of grass on the roof to age it a little...

whilst not like the hide in the film I think this will be a useful little terrain piece to have kicking around. Now its onto some houses! Oh and maybe order some Blue Moon figures once I have a lottery win.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Gluing and sticking

My son went to his friends after school so I had a couple of hours of extra free time (he does'nt often go anywhere without me-it felt odd). Anyway I had one small piece of balsa left from which I have fashioned a deer hide. Earlier in the week Conrad and I watched "Sleepy Hollow" and a chap climbs into one of these towers to keep watch for the headless horseman.

Mine differs considerably from the hide in the film but in my defence I was working on a tighter budget than Tim Burton. I will begin painting over the weekend, hopefully it will pass muster.

I also began experimenting with the foam board...I am not used to it yet but I would love to create a few Sleepy Hollow type houses. I have no idea why I want to build them...maybe it will provide an excuse to buy some Blue Moon figures, but then I would need a simple ruleset-any suggestions?

Sorry about the picture quality, I am on my old computer and I have no way of cropping or enhancing them...just noticed that my desk is really messy! Thanks for looking, hope you all have a good weekend.

Recent painting

Hi Chaps,

thought I'd share a few models with you. These pieces were bought at a car boot sale...I dont do fantasy but thought they were worth having a go at, I forget the name of the game these were in as I threw away anything not paintable. The wolves are my sons really...just hope he never notices that they are missing

A trip to a local art and craft shop turned up the foam...I have never used it nor am I sure that I have the right stuff even-I think I will try a modest arab type dwelling to see how it works. Lastly I have included a pic of last nights sunset taken just outside my front door, I rushed back inside to drink tea and paint figures...I really do like winter.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Blogger acting up again?

I have been trying to leave the odd comment on some of your work but I was told I did not have access to the sites for some reason....anyway I came across this tutorial which was informative (may buy the weathering kit) but also one of the funniest I've ever read....I know this mans pain. Expect to see this man on the wargame circuit or at the Edinburgh fringe!

There is an awful lot of excellent work being produced in the wargaming community-I will have to work out whats going on withe blogger....."praying for a swift end"...its still killing me! does work!

Just a quick post to thank you all for your support...and sage advice. You were absolutley right a spot of painting was much needed although having not painted for a while I was "ring rusty". Its odd but everything felt a little awkward as if I had lost my routine. Still I have almost finished some Perry Burgundians they do need some detail but they are my first 28mm of this year.

Next up will be some easier figures-I think there is too much detail on the Perry stuff...Copplestone or Renegade are much easier to paint.

I have no plans for a medieval army-these were an impulse buy so they will sit on my shelves for a while. I also bought some Hat 28mm Heavy Spanish Infantry...they are of an entirely different quality but at least will be easier to paint!

Has any one bought the Perry plastic Sudan figures? I would think that these are easier to paint than medievals...I am really keen to try Black Powder in 28mm without selling a kidney so these may be ideal?

Thanks again to all of you, your posts helped me a great deal.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Progress, onset of winter and cyber mates!

Hi All,

thank you for all the support I was very moved and much bolstered by all your kind words. There has been much progress in searching for the truth in what happened to my wife and son and Granada Reports is doing a news item on them on Friday 9th September....

As for wargaming, well I sort of cleared the decks-I am due to give some terrain to a local club...but this means I have some space and I have dug the brushes out again now that a critical time has almost passed.

I have been watching what you chaps have been up to and its very inspiring so I will begin painting in the next few weeks. Maybe this hobby is seasonal for me? I once tried to paint figures whilst in Thailand and the memory of heat and super quick drying paint has put me off summer painting for ever!

Thanks again for all the comments-they did help.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Life is full

Just an update as I feel it is rude not to keep you informed. My wife died in 2008 whilst in labour, my son died a day later. There is now a big police investigation and I am taking legal action. Lately the story has been in the Sunday Express and is on Granada reports tonight at 10.30.

As you can imagine the stress level is pretty high at the moment so no hobby time. Thanks for visitng chaps when all this is sorted I will be back!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Russian Cavalry ready for paint...

Strelets have done it again with this excellent set of cavalry-these figures have loads of character and I cant wait to start painting and gaming with them. Its been a strange week, running my eldest son to lancaster to see him off to Geneva....uni has certainly been good to him! I am hoping to get some normality back by the end of the month and get some serious painting and terrain building in.

My WW2 project has stuttered to a halt so I will either pack it away or ebay it/swap it. Does anyone know who makes resin (or cheap) modern vehicles in 20mm? I was hoping that Hat would be producing the usual two kits in a box by now. Maybe we could talk them into making technicals or Humvees?

here are a few pics of my workbench, the cars are finished so my first scenario of my campaign will be a go soon enough.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Single life !

Hi Chaps,
its been a momentus week-not the loss of another girlfriend but because my blog popped 10 000 hits, thank you all! I have just returned from another weekend in Preston and that means a visit to the model shop this time I purchased Strelets WW1 Cossacks. Currently I have 8 (one company for my games) ready to be sprayed black, they are based and PVA'd and three of the lances have been replaced by brass rod, the only difficulty has been keeping the riders on their horses. Speaking of horses its been a long time since I painted any nags so it should be interesting.

On the painting front I have almost completed two cars and a couple of scratch built houses....some Turkish infantry are based and await paint. I will post some pictures tomorrow. without realising it I have almost two complete forces for a "Back of Beyond" type game! In order to ever start my 1938 campaign I have been on the lookout for some Linka moulds to create some terraced housing, I remember using these moulds as a kid for my train set layout-I should have kept the moulds as they are £10 each.

I have included some pics from Lancaster museum and the model shop at Preston....I dont know why but the chap always gives me 10% off at this shop (it also does mail order) which is pretty cool, my son and daughter are in this pic. The other pictures are taken at Lancaster museum, I know I am getting old as that stair lift looked ever so tempting.

Thanks for visiting, I am sure that one day I will bump into some of you at a game show.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Some painting

I have almost completed three companies of troops, one Indian and two Askari. Although they are for use in my 1938 game I have as far as possible painted them as they would have looked in their own period setting, this way I can use them for their correct period.
These have had a quick paint job then a wash of GW brown wash...the bases need some finishing as does the Askari officer and NCO in one of the companies. I rather like the Indian HMG crew as they blend in so I will begin work tonight on an Indian gun crew!
A few hours spare this afternoon saw the start of two more Indian/desert houses....looking forward to painting the staff car tonight-lifes good with plenty of cheap 20mm figures!

Sorry about the photo quality, I only have my desk lamp-more of an effort will be made when I actually play a game. Thanks for looking.