Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Bah Hum Blog!

Well, here we are, over a week on, after previously saying that I was hoping to post an AAR at "the back end of the week"!
I hereby acknowledge the fact that the Yuletide season IS going to impact on my previously well laid blogging plans -  and alternative arrangements are now the order of the day.

To be honest, putting up the decorations, chauffeuring  SWMBO and my Mum on their shop-pain trips, and doing the "Christmas Party" gigs aren't the only drain on hobby time - oh no! It's "That Time Of Year" again, so of course one of the major household appliances had to break down, and this year it's the washing machine that I've had to read the last rites over. (Much less of a disaster than last year, when it was the combi-boiler's turn!!). Then there's the "Speed Awareness Course" I've got to attend to avoid the 3 points on my license, after getting zapped doing 37 in a 30 zone (speed freak eh?)...... 2:30 in the morning heading home on the Nottingham ring road - dual carriageway all the way, but with 40mph AND 30mph sections to trap the unwary and ensure there's sufficient funds in the Nott's Constabulary Christmas Party Fund. Oh well, it's only a 4 hour course, and I've only got to drive to PETERBOROUGH to attend it - I'll just have to put my foot down to get home at a reasonable time in the evening LOL.

So, "alternative arrangements" for what?  Well I'm glad you asked, because considering the current weather conditions here in the East Midlands, one thought has led to another and there's been an appropriate 'snowball' effect, and I'll itemize them below......
It all started with the WfG game that didn't take place last week, and the report that failed to materialise. Currently I'm just blogging 'on the fly' so I'm constantly setting myself deadlines (and failing to meet them).
1) I'm going to try and change the way I blog and build in a bit of "slack" by getting ahead of the game - I've got enough projects on the go at any one time to be able to do this, so it makes sense.

Speaking of which, the one thing I HAVE managed to keep up with in spite of all the demands on time, has been the painting and basing of some more 17th century mini's.
This has only been possible because I'm lucky enough to have easy access to my painting table, and have just cracked on doing 'little and often' whenever I'd normally just sit down with a brew, check the mail,  check the blogs, print stuff off for work etc, etc.
Considering the fact that I've not had chance for a proper painting session at all this week, I've still managed to bash out a troop of horse,
a regiment of mounted dragoons, (apart from their pennant),
and a couple of witches for WfG (plus their 'interesting' cauldron).

Despite the progress, painting the ECW mini's for the game that was "hopefully going to be over the Christmas period", I've realised that I've bitten off a bit more than I can chew!
Funny how your memory works isn't it ?? I'd quite forgotten just how much more time it takes to assemble and paint up mounted units! Yep, I was WAY OFF with my guesstimation of how long it would take to put two opposing armies together!
2) It's pretty obvious now that an ECW "battle" isn't on the cards before the New Year - so I'm going to lower my sights and aim at playing a skirmish action, and
3) This in turn has got me thinking about going for a smaller scale (yet to be decided - 15mm, 6mm, or even 2mm) for the large "battles".

Finally, going up into the loft for the Christmas decorations gave me the opportunity to bring down the last remnants of my previous "gaming life". Along with the stuff already in (and on top off) my WARdrobe. I was delighted to find some bits and bobs I'd completely forgotten about, that will come in useful, but t here's stuff here that I don't think will ever get used, so
4) I'm going to have a clear out!

I hope the above hasn't bored the pants off you too much, and that everyone is staying warm (and safe if you're venturing out on the roads), and you come back soon to read a 'normal' post.

Monday, 4 December 2017

"Castigate Them!"

Having more-or-less shaken off the flu bug, and managed to get the St Austell gig done on Saturday without feeling too worn out after the 6oo mile round trip, I've managed to put together this pre-amble in advance of my first game of Witchfinder General : Days Of Revelation, using a reworked version of the first scenario in the rule book, "Punish Them!", and included the latest characters off the (currently clear) paint table.
I've decided to set the campaign in a fictional region of the Erewash Valley, and I'm using The Perfect Captain's 'Battle Finder' map system to determine the geography - here's a section of the map showing the areas where the following action occurs, so the narrative should make a bit of sense.

It all started when old Tom had gone over to Crimbledyke to fetch his herd back from grazing the common land on the valley slopes. He'd not long started back towards Bradshaigh when he met up with a group of three gypsy girls chattering away in a foreign tongue, who then started dancing and singing around him!
Tom was transfixed, and didn't have a clue how long he'd been standing there, but the dancing had stopped and he remembered one of the girls had put a finger to her lips and "shushed" him with a wink, before the three of  'em pranced off into the woods giggling and laughing. As he came to his senses, he realised that not only the girls had gone, but his cows too!
Luckily their trail was easy to find, but unluckily the tracks were heading towards Fernbeck - the plague village. Tom quickened his step, hoping to catch them before they wandered too close to the dread place, but just as he was thinking things couldn't get any worse..... they did.
When he caught up with them, he saw that his precious beasts weren't wandering off towards the plague village, but they were being herded towards Fernbeck House by a bunch of "the foreigners" armed lackeys!!
Tom yelled at them, and got a pistol ball sent in his direction in reply - which made the situation clear enough to him and he raced pell mell for home!

Once he'd he'd got back to  Bradshaigh, he told a gathering of folk what had happened - little realising that Violet Rathmore was evesdropping around the corner.......
...... and while an angry mob made their way towards Fernbeck House looking for retribution,
Violet made haste the best way she could, to give advance warning.

Night was falling, and Mikhail and Milyena were out in the grounds at Fernbeck with Jenya Ohlendorf, (another vampyress who had joined the couple as they escaped across europe towards England) when Violet arrived with news of the approaching mob.
After calmly thanking her for her trouble, Mikhail instructed his "captain of the guard", Nicholas Delcroix, to "organise a reception committee for our uninvited guests, oh, and be sure to invite a few of them into the house - for dinner!!"

Nicholas Delcroix is another Black Cat Bases miniature, and was a very quick paint job thanks to his long 'drover's coat' with its upturned collar.
The cattle are from the excellent value Pegasus Hobbies 1/48 scale  'Farm Animals' box set, and after a bit of research on the web for 17th century stock, I chose the 'English White' native breed as a close enough match to the models.......
....... and of course, they were a breeze to paint, with a rattle can white primer, black 'points' and a soft tone wash!
"Jenya Ohlendorf" was a find among my untouched 'Flintloque' miniatures collection, so she's the first (and only one) of them to get painted - all be it not for the purposes she was intended!
I think she's supposed to be an Orc, so the facial features on the mini make for a suitably 'inhuman' looking vampyre
The standing and flying versions of "Violet" are from the Foundry miniatures collection. They're not intended to be the same character, and there are slight differences in the detail, but after I'd trimmed and filed one of the brooms they painted up close enough (and the two mini's will never be seen together anyway!)
As well as the WfG stuff, I also managed to cobble together a base of dismounted dragoon horses from some very old (Hinchliffe if memory serves me correctly) nags and a reworked plastic pikeman from Warlord Games
Not brilliant but it does the job (and at a fraction of the cost of the proper models from Warlord - though I believe Santa just might be bringing me a set of those!!)
Here's how the guys look "in action"

Unfortunately, the next post won't be until the back end of the week due to work commitments, but hopefully we'll see how the "reception" for the villagers of Bradshaigh goes.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Ladies Day

As promised, I've battled on through my bout of man flu (oh, how we suffer for our hobby eh?), and painted up some of the "ladies" from the WfG paint queue.
Here's the Vampire Countess, a Black Cat Bases mini, and the 'Lady Of Fernbeck House' alongside the Count (now known as the "Earl" of course)

This pair of witches (and their cauldron) are from Rapier Miniatures, I won't make any comment about the contents of the cauldron and the colour of the "cold run" from my nose!!!! (Oops, I just did!)

The Romany girls (camp followers who accompanied the count's bodyguard from Transylvania) are the Gypsy Girls from Col. Bill's I've mimicked Roy's colour scheme, but omitted the patterns - purely because plain material is more appropriate for the 17thC (Actually more to do with my lack of talent with the brush!!)

Short and sweet post, and before I go apologies are due to anyone who hasn't had any comments from me on their recent posts - I've tried to keep up-to-date with the goings on, but my nurse can be very strict at times!
Once again, thanks for dropping by and your comments and queries are most welcome.
Yes dear 'sniff',    no dear 'cough',   I've just put the kettle on for another Lemsip.........

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Covered All The Bases

So I've ordered some more!
I was really hoping to crack on with some mounted ECW troops this week, but a couple of snags have cropped up. (sNAGS, CROPped, I think I missed a trick with the post title there!!).
First off, I've been working through my stash of Renedra and Warlord bases, and don't have any left that can be used for cavalry, and secondly, it's been so long since I painted any horses that I'm terribly 'rusty' and need some serious practice - especially if they're going to get painted quickly!
A stock of MDF bases have been ordered, and while I wait for them to arrive I'll be taking 'baby steps' in equine acrylic pigment application by painting up a mounted officer and some dragoon horses.

Of course, 'dragoon horses' need some dismounted dragoons as well, so I got two squadrons of those done first (they're the ones that do the fighting after all!), and here they've joined the ongoing "muster" along with the Colonel inspecting his troops.

Now, Tudor style half timbered houses visually help set the period on the table top, but there's just something about a windmill that shouts "Olde England" and puts me in mind of the famous Battle of Naseby etching.....
I got the Dapol (ex-Airfix) kit at the same time as the "Village Stocks" I showed in an earlier post, and finally got round to building and painting it!

I'm not keen on using Dungeons & Dragons "Hell Hound" mini's as "Barguests" as portrayed in the Witchfinder General rule book. (In Northern English folklore, the Barghest is a mythical monstrous dog with large teeth and claws), and I can't remember where I saw someone using Games Workshop LotR "Wargs" for the purpose, but much preferred them as an option!
Anyhow, that's what I decided to do, so all is not lost on the "four legged front" this week since this pack have been added to the collection!

Oops, I almost forgot - these two fire hydrants came as part of the Black Cat Bases order and were quickly painted up and added to the ATZ 'scatter' terrain.

Suffering with a touch of 'man flu' at the moment, so I'm off for a Lemsip! I'm still plodding on with the "Ladies" as promised for the mid-week post though but Winter Is Coming, so you should get wrapped up if you're going out - if not, stay indoors and get some gaming and/or painting done!!
(Footnote: STILL no sign of the Gringo40 mini's btw)

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Every Little Helps!

After the last couple of eclectic posts, I've gone all single minded this week and focused on the 17thC stuff. This has come about for a couple of reasons - my Black Cat Bases order finally arrived (still no sign of the Gringo40 stuff btw) and I couldn't wait to crack on with a pair characters in it for 'Witchfinder General'.

The Vampire Count who fled to England from Transylvania to avoid the upheaval of the Thirty Years War,

and the vampire hunter who is on his trail!

 Secondly, I've set myself a HUGE task if I'm going to have two playable forces for a few games of "Victory Without Quarter" over the Christmas holidays, so the muster continues........

....... the six guys on the left on round bases will be 'dual purpose' and represent a single stand of Firelock muskets as a Trayne of Artillery Guard (no lighted match near the powder barrels please!) for VWQ, as well as giving me half a dozen musket armed troops for WfG.
The three stands of a second blue Regiment of Foote and two stands of ragtag Commanded Shotte brings the total up to five units, so I can move on to the horse and artillery next!

Short and sweet this post, and I just have to close by singing the praises of Colonel Bill's first rate service.
As soon as I saw the 'gypsy girls' on Roy's blog (Never Mind The Jankers!) I knew they'd be a great addition to the Count's entourage so added them to an order. The order arrived within 48hrs, and when I emailed Stu over a slight mix-up with one of the mini's, a replacement arrived the very next day.
Absolutely First Class and highly recommended if you ask me!!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Stocks and Shares

I mentioned earlier that there were several projects on the go, but flitting between them all was delaying getting anything finished - definitely a lesson learned and in future I'll be more focused!

"Stocks and Shares"?  First off, this set of "Village Stocks" are the old 1/72nd Airfix kit, now sold by Dapol. They're under-scale for 28mm mini's, but I thought they'd make a nice scenic accessory for the ECW project, where I'm using this scale of buildings for the larger battles.

"Shares"?, here's another shout out to Joe (of Zabadak's ZombieWorld) with a "Thank You" for sharing a tip about some cheap and cheerful 'Hummers'. These were cheapo-shop toys way back in the past, but I've kept my eyes peeled for some after reading Joe's post and was delighted to find some in a charity shop!
The toys are unglazed, but Joe very cleverly used thin card cut to fit inside the bodyshells - an idea I've shamelessly stolen.

So, with the punny title out of the way, here's the rest of the stuff that's been cluttering my bench! To accompany the Hummers, I picked up a box of Warlord Games 'Special Operations Team' and painted 'em up to represent National Guard troops since it's still "early days" in my ATZ campaign.

Typical! You wait ages for a bus (shelter), then two come along at once!
These are TTCombat models that come as a pair, and I've hardly laid a brush on 'em - deciding to try white and red oxide primer rattle-cans to spray paint the parts before assembly.

Here's another mini from my last "Reaper" order, a Grave Wraith from their 'Bones' range. 
I previously had five wraiths, so could only field three as a "reduced model unit" (each mini taking two kills before being removed) when I showed the Undead Warband last time. Adding this one brings the unit up to its proper strength and along with the zombie unit painted last month completes the warband.
Oops, the daylight bulb has pointed out that I need to give 'em a waft of "anti-shine matt varnish!
While on the subject of finishing off Dragon Rampant warbands, the Dwarf general still needed mounting on a 'proper' base incorporating his "Hit Dice" (to keep track of how many losses he takes as a single model unit) - and here he is...

The town folk for the 17thC campaign have had a burly blacksmith (Reaper Bones range) and game keeper (from the Warlord Games "Firelock Storming Party") added to their number....
... and the first two regiments of foote have been mustered. Very much a "Levee en Masse" (or 'film extras' painting as I prefer to call it), as I rush to paint enough units to try out the "Victory Without Quarter" rules.

So, fifty mini's, four vehicles and three terrain pieces - and I WON'T be doing so much stuff simultaneously ever again!

Sunday, 12 November 2017


I honestly didn't think there'd be any interest in my 'other' hobby, but by request (and since I've made one "off topic" post already today anyway), I've dug out some photo's of my little garden railway!

Before I continue, it might help to give you an explanation of the scale - the railway represents a Narrow Gauge line and I'm using 45mm gauge track (the rails are 45mm apart) to mimic a 2ft 6ins gauge prototype. This works out at around 1/19th scale, but because everything that lives permanently outside in the garden is built for durability, the scale is a little 'coarse' so I'm happy to work between 1/18th and 1/20th.
Here's a size comparison between a 28mm GW goblin and a 90mm railwayman...
The steam loco's are live steam, fired by either methylated spirit or butane gas while the "diesels" actually have electric motors powered by on-board batteries.
I reckon that's enough waffle (but obviously if anyone would like any more info don't hesitate to ask!), here's some photo's that hopefully give you a taste......

 .... and to finish off, here's a "real one"
with my attempt at a "look-a-like"

Thanks again to those who asked, and I hope those who didn't haven't been too put off by seeing some photo's of my "train set"  - normal service will be resumed in a couple of days ;-)