Sunday, 13 May 2018

Where have all the bloggers gone?

About a year or so ago I posted that there seemed to be less activity in the world of wargames blogs and after taking some advice I linked my blog to Facebook in an effort to generate more interest Whilst I can understand why Facebook is a handy tool to expand readership and followers it is also a double edged sword. To be honest I really don't like the medium and find it increasingly unnerving as I invariably read the views of some people who frankly may have serious mental issues. Unfortunately I don't help because if I have a view I seem to have to express it. This would be fine if one was dealing with sensible people but nowadays they seem to be in the minority. It is many years since I was called a warmonger for playing with toy soldiers and I honestly found myself glowing with nostalgia when one woman became very irate at my love of all things military and a lover of war to boot.
 Anyway I have noticed that less and less wargamers are continuing with their blogs or are posting very intermittently. Now I appreciate that real life, families, jobs etc interferes with hobbies but I think that somehow blogs are losing their appeal.  
 I can understand to a certain extent why people decide to stop posting to what appears to be a silent audience if there is even an audience at all.But I find it really sad that some of my favourite wargaming blogs have fallen silent because they have always been a source of inspiration for me and in a lot of cases a source of information and military knowledge. This is not an announcement that I am chucking in the blogging towel because I'm not. Its just an observation.
  Mind I may free myself of Facebook simply because some of the ire I have received recently is a tad close to home and I  also seem to have pissed off a wargames magazine editor when they took issue with my alternative political view regarding certain UK policies. I must have pressed his buttons quite a bit because he sent me a few messages off line.
  It used to be never discuss football and politics when in a pub, now it seems never offer a different viewpoint in politics and wargaming when on the internet. So it looks like I'll never get another article printed in one of the wargames magazines. Shame that.
Anyway onto brighter things. I have finally based up my first Parliamentarian foot regiment after it has been sat forlornly for a couple of weeks. I purposefully reverted to gloss varnishing as I sought to replicate the wonderful armies John possessed in the 1980's. Gloss varnish does make certain figures and colours sing and I really like how Hampden's Greencoats have turned out. They'll never win any painting competitions but they do look, well, bright.
I also finished two Royalist cavalry regiments, one is a repaint job from figures I bought on E Bay and the second is the Queens regiment which contained French mercenaries and the like. Again the gloss varnish has made their colours jump out. So to the hysterical lady who screamed warmonger all I would like to say is 'yah sucks and boo!... If this is warmongering then I want more.
Naturally all the figures are Hinchliffe. Yes some of Gilders horses suffer from wonky legs but for me that is part of the charm. I did say that I was building a Hollywood version of the English Civil War so expect more of the same.



 Finally an image of the three Royalist cavalry regiments I now have. A long way to go me thinks.

44 comments:

  1. Nice work. I still run my blog and avoid facebook for war games related stuff.

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    1. Probably the best idea Neil although there are some very active historical/wargames groups on FB. Shame that some of it is a traincrash.

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  2. Lovely troops Robbie, proper job.

    I indeed think FB is killing blogs . I too will keep on with mine, as it was created as a record of what I have done over the years more than anything , which FB is crap at .

    I do us FB for wargaming stuff , but it usually with the close down communities . Otherwise I use it pretty little as I tend to find people reactions are are no where near what you get in real life!

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    1. FB is okay for instant information but is crap for archiving stuff, plus you can get some very strange people appearing out of nowhere with some very odd views. Queer old world we live in.

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  3. I know exactly what you mean about FB and politics. It’s almost compulsory to answer posts and vent your spleen, especially around Brexit. Fed up with that shit. I don’t post my hobby on FB and reserve my blog for that. New posts will appear — work permitting.

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    1. Paul, Im like you I cant help myself sometimes. The latest was to do with that poor bairn at Alder Hey. Some woman claimed that two nurses had given him a fatal injection. Whats that about.

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  4. Not on face book hope to remain that way but have slowed down quite a bit on the blog just because I'm busy with other things.
    I shall hopefully be posting more late summer.

    Willie

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    1. Willie I know you are busy. I was talking to Mr Jarvis the other day. Hopefully I will finally meet you in the flesh next year at Falkirk as I am determined to travel up over the wall. That is if my passport is okay.

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  5. Yes I agree Robbie, the number of active blogs i.e. posting items of interest, does seem to be on the wane, same can be said for the number of comments that typically follow. Still, my blogs exist to record my efforts to complete my collections, any interaction with others is a bonus, helping to boost the resolve to clear that lead pile. Nice work by the way on the classic Hinchcliffe's. I went through a phase of gloss or matt, settled on the latter but I know some castings look best in traditional toy-soldier gloss. Point of interest, a number of my younger friends have also left Facebook, while others only use it for a few private forums now.
    Michael

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    1. I thought it was just me Michael. Shame really because there has been some great blogs which are full of interesting 'things.' To be honest I find them more relevant that most of the stuff in the wargaming press, perhaps if blogging is on the wane there might be more interesting articles in the magazines. I dont hold out much hope to be honest. As for gloss varnish. The Hinchliffe range was made for the stuff, Peter Gilder was excellent at making his casts dramatic. Dont get me wrong I love to see a great figure with matt varnish, but its usually the newer casts that are perfect for that medium.

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  6. I agree with what’s been said before. I do my blog for wargaming and FB for other stuff, usually family oriented. I’ve not stopped blogging and doubt I will while I’m still Warmongering...er wargaming. I’m enjoying a bit of a renaissance down in Smoggyland đŸ˜‰ On a serious note. Those regiments are gorgeous Robbie. And if you’re really into shiny then you absolutely need Bright’s Regiment of ye Foote for your army. See you at Partizan perhaps?

    Colin

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    1. Colin I wont be at Partizan this year as Im visiting familf down 'sarf'. I find writing? a blog therapeutic to be honest, its either that or get a squezzy toy and sit in a darkened room.

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    2. Robbie, I too find blogging quite therapeutic and fulfilling. The dogs have the squeezing toys so I don't get a look in!

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  7. Fine additions to your ECW project, Robbie!

    As for blogs and FB, never been on FB myself and most of the blogs I follow still post regularly. Of course, a number of good ones have either gone silent or slowed publication frequency dramatically. Still often more than I can keep up with on a regular basis. I agree with Michael that blogging allows a way to document my hobby activities.

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    1. I view blogs as a great way to be inspired.

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  8. A productive workbench - nice units.

    Blogs still seem pretty strong to me and my reader feed is picking up about as much as I can cope with to read and comment on.

    I avoid internet arguments like the plague now and being absent for almost 2 years from one particular site has helped with that, so most of my time is spent in bloggers land, which I find quite a pleasant place roam.

    Recent comments from around would suggest that there is a migration towards FB and my own stats on the blog now increasingly show FB as providing an audience to my blog, so I am guessing links are being shared there.

    I do not have an FB account and I prefer blogs simply because I like to write article based stuff rather than snippet type posts, plus my archive is easily accessed.

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    1. Norm I would keep away from FB. Its a very strange world that is inhabited by some very troubled people. And that's just me.

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  9. Still happily blogging. On warmongering, years back we were holding a game as part of an open day at the local community centre, where we played. A woman cam up to my mate Steve and started exactly that rant, to which he replied "just talk to Will he's a member of CND" She fell silent and just walked off!

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    1. I think I must have had contact with her recently. I especially loved the bit where she called me childish. Ah the nostalgia, I felt young again.

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  10. I still keep adding good blogs to my reading list, and usually can't keep up with them. As for FB, I even deleted my account some time ago.

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    1. Wise man Phil. Sadly I have a wish to watch train crashes now and again.

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  11. I have a FB account, but rarely post on it - it's more to keep track of what other people are doing... the blog is still going, though perhaps not strongly... real life I'm afraid, oh, and it's summer, so sailing is taking focus...

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    1. Ah yes, Summer. I have found my gardening chores have taken up a lot of my time recently, plus it gets very hot at my painting desk.

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  12. Lovely figures, Robbie. Our own ACW is not quite as colorful, zouave regiments notwithstanding.

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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    1. You know my views on the ACW Stokes. I am fascinated by the whole tragic affair. Ours, was a tad less traumatic, except for King Charles. After Cromwell died we did a very British thing and just got on with life and trying to enjoy things.

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  13. Used to have an FB page, also on the advice of a Blogger, but I got sidelined into other stuff and eventually it took up too much time so, as they (FB) wouldn´t Close my account, I got myself kicked off and they closed it :-)
    Lovely figs btw.

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    1. I'll try that Paul. I dont think it should be much of a problem given the overly sensitive sensibilities of certain political groups.

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. I freely admit that yes I enjoy getting comments on my blog but I blog more for myself as a measure of what I have or haven't done and as a constant reminder to get myself into gear. It has been brilliant as I have probably accomplished more in the 4 years of blogging than in the rest of my gaming hobby years combined. As to politics they are a serious no no. I live in the area of Spain called Catalonia where a large number of the former regional government are in jail for declaring independence from Spain. Our group rapidly decided that any form of commentary leaves you without friends and opponents. Best to stick to toys and history

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    1. Robert I love your blog. It helped me when I was rebasing some of my Napoleonics to play Blucher. One cant beat a day playing with toys, its better than the realities of life sometimes.

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  16. Love your green regiment,y your doing a great job on these retro Hinchclife civil war types,if it wasn't for you I wouldn't have so many Hinchclife guns and carts, thanks I think! Don't do FB so it's only blogger for me, still seems to be a lot about to me, I'm mainly doing it to A keep a record I can go back and look at of my figures done and B a kind of motivator in the oh dear haven't put anything up on the blog for a while best get some done. As ever an interesting and thought provoking post.
    Best Iain

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    1. Iain,
      Ive realised how useful blogger can be and do use it to check back on various things that flutter through my head. I have just read an interesting piece of FB by one of the original internet entrepreneurs who articulates exactly what is wrong with social media in general. As for Hinchliffe, I have been examining some of the ECW figures and can only wonder at the abilities of Peter Gilder who managed to put so much detail into the sculpts when green stuff wasnt even invented.

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  17. Politics ruined one of my friendships and I vowed that I'd never let that happen again. I'm on FB but use it primarily for family posts and to direct some traffic to my blog. I avoid the public FB wall to avoid all of the politics.

    I enjoy blogging and recording what I'm doing in the hobby. It's mostly done for myself but I enjoy the comments and relationships that I've developed via my blog.

    The Old School imaginations fad seems to have run its course, based on what I can see on the Emperor vs Elector blog. Some of the states haven't posted anything for five to ten years and I doubt that we will ever hear from those bloggers again.

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    1. Jim,I follow [ sounds sinister that] your FB and get very envious about your travels. Blogging I find is a more enjoyable medium. Re imaginations I agree its run its course for many reasons. I can understand why Charles Grant Snr took that path and still enjoy re reading the Wargame but yes imaginations looks a goner.

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  18. As always a good read. The ECW stuff looks superb and I hope one day to lead a unit ir two in action! FB - as with any tool, it needs to be used correctly, and fir ne that is to keep posts to Wargaming 80%, CPFC 15% and odds and sods 5%. I also have kept the Friends to a people who follow the same interests. No family, no work mates. If I want s debate on religion or politics, I head for the pub. If I dont like the conversation I just go to the next pub ��. I recommend to everyone to narrow down FB use into the areas you are happy to share and to those you dont mind knowing you like recreating battles! As for the politics and religion..... anyone for a pint?

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    1. I could do with a pint now to be honest. But pubs, politics and young people is a whole discussion in itself. I will carry on blogging simply because I find it enjoyable.

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  19. You are correct. Blogging is a difficult task and I feel that unless something comes along to remind me I don't even look. There are too many and most are inactive or moribund. Love the ECW stuff.

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    1. Good to hear from you Mike. I have just been re reading some of your views in my nightly return to older wargames magazines. They were very enjoyable.Thanks re your comments.

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  20. I keep meaning to kick the habit that is FB but it is a useful tool if you can ignore its shortcomings (the profusion of far right or far left political rantings, for instance). I mainly use FB to link back to my blog. Indeed I have half a dozen social accounts that are primarily used to provide links back to my blog which remains the main focus of my time and effort.

    My blog is fast approaching its tenth anniversary and I hope it continues for many more years to come. I write and post for my enjoyment mainly (although it is nice to know people are reading and commenting) and that's what keeps me going. I guess every blogger has his/her own motivation but I think it would be a very sad day if wargame blogs ceased to be.

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    1. I follow your posts assiduously Lee, I like to keep abreast of what wargamers are doing. So keep hitting those keys.

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  21. Interesting comments. I only moved to using FB for my blog/wargaming related stuff after Google stopped Wordpress blogs using the Google Connect follower thing. Effectively lost all my followers... Originally I used the FB page to just link to blog updates...but then I ended up doing little updates just on the FB page and using the blog for bigger things. I do suspect that the pictures I post to go with a FB update are all some people look at and don't follow through the link to the blog...The number of comments on posts has dropped...

    I've started using Twitter for little WIP posts as well...

    I still like the blog side of things. It allows more detail and more depth than FB or Twitter. It's just finding the time to post such...

    The ECW stuff looks lovely and gloss is the right move. I am sometimes tempted to do some Hinchliffe Naps for Sharp Practice as they are what I started with and using them with a 'modern' set of rules would be fun...

    Shame you can't make Partizan. Durham maybe?

    A

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    1. Andy I will be at Durham although I think its struggling somewhat.I know you are a whizz with computers and such so understand the whys and whatfors. Me a mere luddite struggle to use the TV controls.

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  22. Like another of earlier replies, I Blog for myself and do not like or link ti FB.

    I find Blogging to be therapeutic as well as informative - FB is just 'boasting'.

    I to have noticed a decline in Blog posting, but the good ones are still out there and worth following.

    Tony

    PS
    the painted figures look great.

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    1. Tony, I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments. Good blogs are still in existence and quality shows.

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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