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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Up and Running.

Well my painting schedule is underway for 2017, actually I think calling it a schedule is pushing it a bit far, as it implies a plan and a target. I have neither. I think I basically will paint up some more ACW units until I feel I can field a decent games worth. However I have just taken receipt of a unit of Steel Fists Gendarmes, so they will be included in the mix, and not forgetting my Saxon's for the AMG weekend later this year. Plus I am still painting 1/32 Airfix medievals.
The commander represents Mckellen,who would never have a rating of 11 as shown on his base. I think a wavering 7 would be more in character.
John and I fought our first battle of the New Year last week, and he kindly set up an ACW scenario which was classed as a very closely fought victory for me. It was a great game to start the year with.

Below is a 'spare' unit of Redoubt rebels donated by Jim Sweeney. Whoever said Yorkshiremen were mean, they were carrying a lot of flash, but have come up okay eventually.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

That Programme.

Just a final observation regarding THAT programme, Time Commanders before I finally shut up about it.
 Last year I watched a BBC television programme called The Great Pottery Throw Down, which was basically a competition regarding members of the public being challenged to create ceramic items, hosted by Sara Cox and  judged by experts, including a very strange chap, who while very knowledgeable tended to break down in tears when he was impressed by some wonderful ceramic creation. So quite often really.He was however a skilled ceramicist.
   I began to watch the programme fully expecting to switch it off almost immediately. I didn't and instead found myself captivated by the skills needed and the wonderful things made. In fact by the end of the series, I wanted to try ceramics?

   Over the New Year I was talking to a lady who actually teaches Ceramics to retired people and she said that due to the programme she had been inundated with people wanting to try the hobby and had to set up new classes.
 My point is, will anyone in the United Kingdom have been motivated enough to dabble in wargames of any genre and type after that shambles that was Time Commanders. No I thought not.
 I am now wondering if its viable to make ceramic toy soldiers?

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Time's winged chariot.

  Having now pulled myself around from a long long night setting the world to rights I thought it would be a good idea to review the intentions I posted at the start of 2016.
 Every New Year millions of people must think about re positioning themselves, whether it is physically, socially or whatever. Needless to say the vast majority fail in whatever they set out to do, and having re read my short list for 2016 I am no different.
   I have increased my blog readership, albeit by one new follower. So no success there.
 My avowed intention to have less armies but several smaller armies linked to my main periods also failed spectacularly, although I have sold my Malburian armies and my World War Two armies. Unfortunately I started two new unrelated periods in the interim, and am committed to both. So another failure.
 I did play a lot of wargames, but I would need the diaries of my mate John to provide exact numbers. I do know I won more than I lost, and some of the battles were very interesting affairs. So that would be viewed as a relative success, except I only used my purpose built wargames room twice in the entire year which is definitely a huge failure. What is the point of having large wargames armies and a large table if they are unused.
 So in brief, my short list of intentions for 2016 was a complete failure.
 I'm very mindful that New Years' seem to arrive far faster as one gets older and the opportunities for fulfilling some of my wargaming ambitions start to look like dreams that will never be achieved.
  So 2017 has to be a year when I tick off a few of my remaining wargaming ambitions with a clear intention as to what I want to achieve.
 I think Andrew Marvell encapsulated exactly what a lot of veteran wargamers must think from time to time;
                            But at my back I always hear
                             Time's winged chariot hurrying near
                               And yonder all before us lie
                                Deserts of vast eternity.

  So I can only apologise for my downbeat review and promise that I will try harder to achieve some of the goals that I have subconsciously set myself for this New Year.

Something to always lift my spirits. An image of a wonderfully constructed wargames table with masses of figures on it. What better incentive is there, to actually want to be a wargamer.
 Happy New Year to one and all.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Now that Christmas is over.

Well Christmas is over and with it the spirit of goodwill towards others, well it is in my little world. I wasnt going to comment or post about the latest edition of Time Commanders but I cant help myself, so sorry to anyone who enjoyed the programme, of which I understand there are a few.
 I know absolutely nothing about television programming, but I would assume the idea is to provide a programme that will potentially entertain,educate, make the viewer think, or other some such reaction.
 But my reaction was to sit open mouthed for about twenty minutes before my wife prised open my fingers and took the television controls off me in order to change channels.I think she feared for my health, or sanity.
 Now when it came to creating Time Commanders what exactly was their hope, because it didn't inform or educate, it wasn't exciting and frankly it was a muddled waste of money.
 [ Some of which was mine courtesy of the licence fund]
 The choice of battles seemed reasonable, although Zama was a tad one sided for anyone leading the Carthaginians. Waterloo was a given I suppose and with the company that brought us Total War it was inevitable that Atilla would be included somewhere in the series.
 I never thought I would say it but Greg Wallace was the best thing on the show simply for his manic enthusiasm in the face of complete and utter confusion. He actually looked professional, which isn't bad for an ex green grocer.
  As for Lynette Nusbacher?, well what can one say without being investigated for saying what the majority of viewers would have been thinking. I bet there was some interesting conversations in some households where the children were actually watching the programme.
 I suppose Ze [ an accepted form of saying he/she, without categorising the gender of the person. I kid you not.] should be applauded for sheer balls.
 Should the programmer seriously consider producing a fourth series, can I suggest they use some competitors with at least a modicum of knowledge about the battle on offer. Frankly letting 'ordinary' people loose on a piece of military history just doesnt work on so many levels. It would have been more entertaining to ply the people with alcohol or some hallucinogenic drugs, prior to letting them  fight the battles, it couldn't have been any worse.
 So with that little rant, can I wish everyone a very very Happy New Year.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Plastic or Metal, discuss.

I think amongst the many game changers that have occurred in the wargaming firmament over the last 30 years was the re introduction of plastic figures. The return of high quality plastic figures in a hard plastic has allowed ALL wargamers to create large armies.
 Really there can be no excuse for any wargamer who wants to recreate and fight large scale historical battles. Plastic Soldier, Flames of War, Zveda, Victrix, Warlord, Agema, and of course the Perry Twins have given wargamers a rich offering.  I must admit being Old School, with a capital O.
  I was a bit dubious of plastic being reintroduced probably because I had spent a small fortune on buying and painting  a lot of metal figures. Frankly I still love? metal toy soldiers which is really strange if one examines why a man 'loves' an inanimate piece of metal. [ But we'll not go there]  
However I must admit that I am won over, simply because the standard of sculpting is of such a high quality, coupled to a decent price for a lot of figures. I usually mix up the plastic figures with my metal figures to 'pad' out my units. But thinking about it logically there is no need as the plastic is excellent in its own right.Hence my latest Union units.
The latest Perry offering for the ACW has convinced me that for large sized battles, 28mm plastic is the way to go. I know from a resale point of view, plastic doesn't command that high a price, even the best painters dont seem to get that much of a return. However for me where I am simply wanting to paint and build up the armies it is great. The only downside I have found is my actual clumsiness. I honestly think I have dispraxia, because I always manage to lose heads and arms with regularity, and I have also found that I have trouble with my left and right arms, ie. I have found I stick them on the wrong side of the bodies,so they look like some demented Kali.
But dont worry all you metal figure producers I haven't given up on the metal just yet and have just bought a couple of units of the TAG Tudor Gendarmes,oh and some Foundry ACW, plus not forgetting the Redoubt figures I finally received. Now there's a tale in its own right.
 I wonder how many wargamers have struggled to get figures directly from the Redoubt producers.Is an order placed on the 5th November and received finally on the 18th December normal? Perhaps I am just unlucky.
I decided to have a review of the ACW units that I have painted this year, I am quite pleased with my progress as this doesnt include my renaissance units that I also painted, and my Blucher 6mm. units that I rebased.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The Georgia Cavalry.

 Well my ACW project moves on a pace, obviously the distraction of the oncoming Christmas has slowed things down a bit, but I have managed to keep pegging away painting up some figures. I enjoyed painting up some Perry metal Rebel cavalry although they do have an annoying amount of small pieces of flash everywhere.The chaps are the Georgia cavalry, obviously not all of them.

 Next are a well dressed, Missouri State Guard, that really should have been a more ragtag unit, but they were easier to paint as they are..

 Finally a few skirmish Union troops. They were going to be a part of a Union regiment, but they look better as simple skirmishers. The other half should be completed very soon. I am also two thirds of the way through a Irish Union regiment, although I have started undercoating a unit of War of Religion Gendarmes, which will be a distraction. Talk about a butterfly mentality.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

My first Union brigade.

 My posts seem to be like the buses, they all come at once. I have been fairly productive lately as regards painting, and I have managed to complete a further three Union regiments. It is an eclectic bunch, Pennsylvanians, Irish and a Zouave unit, the 9th New York. One thing I have noticed is that the Perry twins havent made any lively posed Union troops in metal, so they all are quite sedate, whilst obviously Redoubt Miniatures go for a more energetic pose.
 Each have their individual charms, and I like both ranges. I did include a couple of the new Perry Plastic Union troops which are a tad bigger than their metal chaps but are very nice.
 I am currently doing a few cavalry and a Confederate foot unit. So its onwards and upwards.I never se myself targets or write lists anymore simply because I never have stuck to them. The target is simply to paint up both sides of the ACW and stop when I get sick or my wargames allowance runs out. I think the cash aspect might win the argument in the end.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating