Wednesday, 2 May 2018

About time for another post.

I suppose it's about time for another post.
The French-Italian wars project has not leaped forward at the speed I had hoped but I still have 5x48 figure pike blocks, 2x15 gendarmes, 1x15 generic Italian knights, 1x30 foot arquebusiers and the same of sword & buckler chaps and 1x9 stradiots. Nearly finished are 2x9 mounted crossbows and 4 artillery pieces. So that is ongoing...still and the holiday deadline is very rapidly approaching.

Now if you recall I said that I would not paint any of my Early WWII stuff until the above project is as complete as I have figures for and that is still the case...almost. It's true I haven't painted anything but sittinig in the garden during the gorgeous sunshine of our April summer I managed to clean up, sand and base everything and black spray undercoat the Germans. Took about a minute to do all 60 odd vehicles and 17 artillery and infantry bases. Then I used a grey primer spray on all the vehicles as a base coat. I know it's a bit light so I'm going to give them a couple of black washes to darken the grey, then do the dark brown element of the camo before another black wash to soften and do a bit of merging of the colours.

Reading a blog the other day, this one in fact:

I recognised a number of places pictured from our holiday, so they will be revisited that's for sure. Also, we have since found out that May 8th is a national victroy celebration day with parades and stuff all over the place. I hope there's one in our area.

So, still all fired up for Early War while painting the F-I Wars chaps. There's dedication and discipline for you.

A bientot.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

My Narnia

Someone on one of the blogs I frequent shared some pictures of his study and asked others to do the same. Now my 'study' is also my library, wargames room, storage room; painting, building and writing room. So I thought I'd share some pictures of my multi-functional set-up. Unfortuantely the pics are a bit dark even when enhanced and the place could do with a bit of a tidy.

 Looking into the room from the bottom of the stairs. Computer desk is on the right, on the screen can be seen a background of the Chinggis Qan metal statue in Mongolia. painting desk is on the left. Top of pic are some of my dvd's.
 My 10, 15 and 25mm figures and some terrain in this storage unit. Just out of shot at the bottom are all my 6mm armies stored in A4 rigid plastic boxes.
To the right of my computer desk is the major part of my library with the filing cabinets underneath. the stairs up are just to the right.
 Moving on to the right there are the stairs up, more books and the top of my drop-leaf table. The big picture on the left is of Prince Rupert and his brother Maurice that I found in an antique store in Leek, Staffordshire. At the bottom of the stairs is a framed picture of Bobby Moore (from West Ham United FC) along with his signature next to it. (Christmas prezzie from a friend).
On the right of the last picture is a small cubby-hole that goes around behind the chimney breast and under the stairs. In there is a small cupboard and my four tier plastic drawer set for my unpainted chaps.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

The older you get, the quicker time passes!

Well, flippin' heck, don't time fly when you realise you haven't posted anything for a while...a long while; very remiss of me. Life is moving on and the French-Italian Wars project is coming on slowly, so far I have:

2 units of 15 gendarmes
2 units of 48 Landsknecte pike
1 unit of 44 Swiss pike
1 unit of 40 Italian pike
1 unit of 15 Italian mtd knights
1 unit of 30 Italian dis-mtd arquebusiers
1 unit of 30 Spanish Sword and Buckler types
1 unit of 9 Stradiots

Each of the units is made up of 3 40x20mm bases and all are from H&R.

I've also now got about 95% of my WWII Early War British, German and French armies at 1:5 divisional strength but I am holding back on painting them until the French-Italian chaps are finished. This should take me up to the end of the year if everything pans out.
   About a year ago I was contacted by Stephan at Rapier Miniatures (known as Fredbloggs on the LOA forum) and asked if I had any research on the Mongols for an upcoming range. (Silly man, asking if I had any research on the Mongols.) Anyway, long story much shortened, the other day a package arrived from Rapier and inside were two of their Small Armies of Mongols. They were almost begging me to paint them and seeing how lovely they looked I offered to paint some for his trade stand so here are some taster pics. All are cklickable for a warts-and-all image.

 Army command

 L/MC firing bow
 L/M Cav with lance
 Unit command
 LC/MC loading bow
 Armoured chaps on armoured horses
 As above pianted as keshig

Now of course, I have a slight dilemma, do I carry on painting the Renaissance chaps, change to WW II or think blow it, I'll go with the Mongols. Seeing as I already have a Mongol 6mm army in Irregular I reckon they can wait and I will carry on with my plan for the year. But, if Rapier bring out Russians, Khwarizmians, Polish, Hungarians, Cumani, or Song Chines I might have to re-evaluate my position. 
   One thing that should ber mentioned is that we are going back to Wormhouldt in a couple of months for another break and, knowing me, I will be all fired up (pun unintended) for my Early War project. Enough of this idle chatter, I'd better get a wiggle on with the Rennaisance to get as many done as I can before the hol.

Monday, 23 October 2017

SELWG show

Finally managed to get to a show this year, in this case it was SELWG at Crystal Palace. Had a good time, didn't but too much, only 10 bags of precut bases of all different sizes -because you never know when you need an odd size, two pots of paint and the Osprey book on Pavia 1525. That was it, quite pitiful really but when you consider the only 6mm traders there were Baccus -I prefer H&R and Irregular- Brigade Models and GZG and at the moment I have no interest in doing SciFi.

Took quite a few pictures though, some of which are further down the post.

Met up with a few people and had several good old chinwags. Mick Allen, Iain Burt, Postie, Lee Hadley, Ray Rousell by name and Mr. Levied Troop and Brendan from the Loose Association of Wargamers forum. Also spent an interesting 20 minutes talking to John Treadaway about Salute and associated subjects.

So, the stone that is new period has started to roll. I found a bag of H&R 100YW pike on Fleabay the other day so the figure tally for the Condottieri has started rising.

Now the SELWG pics. I took loads more but these are the only ones 'doctored' as yet.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

What I have got up to the launch of my little venture.

Yes, I know it’s been a long time between posts but sometimes you think, shall I, is it worth it or whatever, I’ll write one tomorrow. And so it goes on and on, procrastination reigns supreme therefore bu**er all gets done.

So, catch up time. I’ve been keeping reasonably up to date with all the wargaming worldly affairs by the various internet sites, including reading other people’s blogs and thinking my focus is cr*p and Bookface with all its wargaming pages. But outside of that most of my spare time has been focussed on two things, football and trying to write a book.

 Being the Secretary of the Youth Programme at Sittingbourne FC is a complete eye-opener. Not only have the responsibility of making sure that all the relevant league paperwork –I have to with four different leagues- is in the right hands by the right time, I also am on the committee for the First team and am one of the three official club photographers! So, nearly every Saturday afternoon and sometimes on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening I am out ‘with the football’ as Ma Subs eloquently and succinctly describes my wanderings across the south east of England. Luckily, as I cannot drive, my mate is the designated driver as well as being the Youth Chairman and on the main committee. But talk about unlucky. Most of our youth teams play their matches at the ground in Sittingbourne about nine miles away. This Sunday our U15 team are away to…yes, you guessed it, Maidstone… and the ground is a 10 minute walk away from the house! Of course, after a swift mental argument, common sense won the day and I will be at the SELWG show at Crystal Palace instead.

On the other topic, I spent a while getting my book in a position where I can hawk it out to publishers. It’s with one at the moment and I am expecting a rejection at any time. But perseverance is the order of the day and I will carry on. Not saying too much about it at the moment but if someone takes it I will shout it across the rooftops. Well, you have to your own trumpet occasionally, don’t you?

In other, breaking news. (More shameless plugging.)

I have just started a new venture –ready made and painted 6mm buildings. 

The current ranges are:
Dark Ages -can be used across Europe.
Northern Europe - both rural and town and most are suitable from the Medieval to Modern periods. 
Central European and Russian rural. Medieval to Modern.
Desert -Adobe/Middle eastern style.
Ruins -late Nineteenth Century to Modern. 
Jacobean and Stuart -half timbered style. Can be mixed with 
European half timbered -different construction style and colours. Both are suitable from the specified period forwards in time. 
Mediterranean -Spanish types with terracotta roofing tiles.

I have also just started a range specifically for the modern period with a mix of commercial, town and rural building types. 

Please have a look at and leave a comment on my page at:

It is with the Northern Europe Range that I am using for a small FPW solo game that I am running at the moment.

Just a few pictures to show the basic terrain layout. 

Friday, 21 April 2017

Yet another new period idea.

Now I am a great admirer of World2Dave and his blog especially his 6mm setup.
 Every so often I will have a look at some of his pictures especially the ongoing Imaginations games between his two pseudo-Renaissance countries of Fleurie and Medetia. I have often thought of doing something like this but without being accused of copying so the Renaissance per se was out. Ancients was too much and far too varied because I really fancied something where both sides were not necessarily evenly matched but their equipment and weapons were on a par. Lace Wars, naaawww -too involved; 19th Century, nope -I already had ACW and am working through the FPW. I wanted something that was not too involved or extensive where I could pick it up every now and again and add bits and pieces when I wanted.
    Long story short, I happened across a programme on BBC4 a couple of weeks ago all about the Condottiere of Late Medieval/Early Renaissance in Italy. It wasn't until afterwards I realised I didn't need to invent nations or armies because this period had it all. I could make up factions of my own size and composition -up to a point- who could face off against or fight with each other whenever I wished and they would be as historically accurate as I could make them but with a definite Imaginations style background. Perfick! So now, not only am I researching early WWII but also checking out the Condittiere. As usual I am only looking to do this as a sideshow rather than a major enterprise but in 6mm who knows where it will end.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Nothing to do with wargames at all, just about other interests namely local football and photography.

You may notice dear reader, that I have amended the profile spiel to reflect the fact that I now have an interest in Sittingbourne FC, the local non-league football side. Through various contacts that we have my friend and I are now on the committee to help raise the profile of the club through social fact my friend is more knowledgeable about that than I am so I just throw in ideas and take some pictures of the games.  Here are a few of the lads in action against Carshalton FC last weekend. For the benefit of those who don't follow non-league football, Sittingbourne are in red and black.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Sorry about the wait.

For starters, I just want to say that I have been extremely lapse in my postings of late and that is due to a number of factors, not least of which was being diagnosed with the dreaded ‘D’ –Depression. Not only did this take a long before it was recognised for what it was by myself but also time for the prescribed medication to take hold. So it was late December before I more or less had the damn thing under control but it wasn’t until I had to change my medication –with a two week lay off period to shift the old lot out of my system- that I concluded that some of it may have been psychosomatic in as far as I was on medication for Depression therefore I must be Depressed. As soon as I came off the first lot I started feeling better so the new lot are still in the bag, unopened, unused and happily to say unloved.
Because of all of that I have painted next to nothing in the last 6 months or so but I have been doing other stuff, albeit extremely slowly. The writing has been coming along in fits and starts, I am now on my third draft/re-write/proof read of the manuscript and am on the last couple of chapters now.
Also in the intervening period I made a couple of visits to mainland Europe, both in the guise of a holiday. My friend found a little place in Flanders which is absolutely perfect for chilling and forgetting the world in general. It’s near Wormhoult in Flanders and the first time the four of us went (my friend and his missus, Ma Subs and myself) we travelled to Ypres and we had a look around the WWI museum there (photos duly taken) before finding our place.
Now call me daft or militarily ignorant if you will but I didn’t realise that Wormhoult and the nearby town of Bergues (a Vauban fortress by the way) were on the retreat route of the BEF on its way to Dunkirk and the only reason I found out was because there is a local church in the village where not only are locals buried but there is also an area which is protected by the War Graves Commission and there are the graves of 61 British servicemen. The regiments are known as is shown by the carving on the headstones with the Welsh Guards being predominant but the individuals are not. Very sad place so I thought I would take a picture of the sun going down behind the gravestones as my mark of respect.

The small but very poignant graveyard in the village of West Capell, nr. Wormhoult in Flanders

On our second visit we had more time so we went to Bergues, which is a lovely place. As I said, it is a Vauban fortress with all the wall trimmings but what interested me the most was the Abbey in the centre. Now consisting of only two impressive towers and a marble gate, the place was destroyed during the French Revolution, damaged by fire in 1940, destroyed by dynamite in 1944 and rebuilt again in 1961 and is now a World Heritage Site as of 2005!

The Abbey Tower in the front, a dovecote in the centre and the belfry in the middle of town at the back.

I decided not long into our five day break that I would quite like to do the Early War period, specifically, the war in the Flanders region so I took photos of nearly everything that looked old enough to have been there in 1940 for future reference. Mind you, apart from farms, hedges and trees, other terrain will be a doddle –the place is as flat as a pancake, so the hills can stay in the draw! The only tricky bit could well be the drainage ditches that are along most of the rural roads but I might just wing it with them. Dunkirk and Bray Dunes were also given a visit and more pictures of the local architecture were duly taken. We arrived back in the UK yesterday evening after a great rest with very warm weather and after a lengthy wine-necking period. After all, at €1.59 a bottle (about £1.25 at the time of going to press) it would have been churlish not to, now wouldn’t it?
   So now to the wargaming side of things. Early last week I had an FPW itch that I felt needed scratching and before the holiday I had painted and based 8 blocks of Confederation troops with another 24 half way through. Then it’s the remainder of the commanders, artillery and cavalry and I reckon I won’t be far off done with them…for the time being anyway. And now I’m to do a little research on the BEF and Wehrmacht in 1940.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

A soup├žon of picture editing.

I'm going for a big 'reveal' here...well, maybe not so big. The pictures I have taken of the Polish were mostly taken in natural light -the garden- with my Olympus e-400 digital SLR camera on MACRO setting. Once taken and downloaded I then edit them with the picture program that comes with Microsoft Office 10 to auto edit the colour and brightness.

So, before edit:

After edit:

Keeping this in mind one of the Pendraken forum members mentioned about the brightness of my figures compared to his so I ran the same experiment on a couple of pics he had posted and here are the results:

Before edit:

After edit:

And again, before:

And after:

Saturday, 4 June 2016

More Renaissance Polish (II)

Next unit to be completed for my polish Renaissance army is one of Cossack axe armed infantry in Polish service. Due to the paucity of information on flags for units such as these, this standard is completely fictitious but I have tried to combine the Polish colours of red and white with a Russian religious symbol. I think it looks alright. The basing of the figures is a little higgledy-piggledy to represent the fact that it is more of an irregular unit. 
   Now all I have left is a command base -all of mounted troops- comprising of Lithuanian Grand Hetman Jan Karol Chodkiewicz (pronounced Hod-ki-a-vitz), two musicians and two husaria comrades as standard bearers. One of the standards will be the hetman's grand standard but still not completely sure about the other. Plus 15 infantry archers. reading about some of the earlier battles -Lubieszow, Kokenhauzen and Kircholm- I think I have enough infantry but will definitely need more husaria and pancerni before I make a start on the Swedes. These Swedes will actually start life as part of a projected ECW/30YW army but I have some plastic pipe that I am going to glue differnt standards to so as to portray the different units. 

Monday, 23 May 2016

More Renaissance Polish

Here are the latest results of this months painting output. they took a time to do not because of the complexity of the painting but because I had an operation earlier in the month and was recovering from that. Nothing too serious, just had my gall bladder out due to the somewhat painful development of gall stones.
   I'm going to have to order some more soon as I only have a unit of Cossack axemen, some archers and the general's stand left to do, hopefully they won't take as long to do as the cavalry.