Saturday, 12 August 2017

Over to Britcon today and I spoke to my trusted and regular supplier about some 28mm Cape Wars figures which I hope to collect next Sunday at Partizan. 

It’s an interesting setting. The armies are not large, with 3000 men being a top end for the Xhosa and 1500 or so for the British, with the added fun of Boers, who were starting to get a bit uppity at the time. 

It means you can play some rather pretty games with around 300 models as well as smaller scale raids and the like. The lack of later weaponry such as the Gardner means that it can be rather bloody at close quarters.

I have had to go with 28mm against my better judgement as it’s not produced in any other scales, so don't judge me eh?

The two volumes sold by Perry Miniatures are an excellent read, even if you are just interested in learning more. As always they are superbly produced.

My mate and I picked up 8 Irregular Miniatures army packs, ready painted to an OK standard for 50% of bare metal cost, and between us bought 4 sets of the Perry Miniatures ‘Travel Wargame’ at £40 each from Dave Thomas, who was somewhat hoarse after a night on the town in Manchester last night.

I also purchased 3 paper army sets for 28mm figures from Helion and Company which will end up as large 28mm armies with which I will I think upset friends with traditional armies, when I turn up for games (maybe even a competition for the hell of it) with paper models.

I had a little bad news this week. A friend of mine - a painter whose work I respect - has irreversible lung cancer. The 2017 Reaper appears to be picking up steam again… It really should look elsewhere for 'trade' as I am getting a little fed up with hearing of friends being taken down in their prime. 

Anyway, to end on a more positive note, here are some pics of today's loot haul:

Friday, 11 August 2017

Normal Service Is Resumed - Now For A Rest!

Hi ho, my dear followers...

Well, after 8 weeks, the Dark Tower is now fully renovated albeit at a price tag £18,000.00 higher than planned.

It's really been hell and has affected my wife's health quite severely (possibly unrecoverable in fact)  so whilst the transformation is magnificent, the cost is, on reflection, not one I would knowingly pay again.

Anyway, As of 6PM today I have closed my studio for 17 days to take my first holiday since December. I did however finish on a busy note by completing a large number of 15mm Cossack and Italian Wars models for two of my regular account clients in Canada:

In the morning the Sheffield mob will be heading over the Pennines to Britcon in Manchester, to spend a day in good (albeit Lancastrian ) company, do a little shopping and partake in a rather fine lunch in Chinatown.

We all really love the show as it is relaxed, airy and has a rather decent little bring and buy. It's also free to get in. We seem to go over in greater numbers every year and never come home disappointed.

I'm looking to buy more 6mm stuff, but I am also looking at 28mm Cape Wars stuff as I finally got around to reading the two volumes by Col. Mike Snook which my wife gave me for my birthday last year (18th August) and it's a really fascinating period which does not require a large number of models. 300 figures will take care of any of the battles if you work in the standard 1:20 figure ratio. Whilst I had hoped to use a smaller scale of models, nobody makes suitable models in 6 or even 15mm.

The holiday is to be spent visiting galleries such as the Hepworth and Hockney as well as hunting down fine foods and wines asSummer passes into Autumn over the next few weeks.

On the 20th, we'll be heading down to Partizan, and then I am calling time on the year as far as conventions are concerned for 2017.

I'm also starting to sketch out some more ideas for my next book, and checking out the legal aspects of a few things I intend to bring to light in the narrative timeline. This break should give me the time I need to get my due diligence sorted out. It's gaming related again, but will also tackle a few things that may cause discomfort.

Well, I have to go and knock up a seafood pasta dish and drink some red wine, so I will thank you all for your patience whilst I have been living in the domestic equivalent of Beirut, and I look forward to getting back on track with my posts, from here onwards...


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Mayday, Mayday... This Is Free Trader Beowulf...

One of my personal projects is to put together a large 1/300 sci fi game. The original plan had been ground combat, but I found a range of 'garage' kits in 1/350 depicting the assorted and ubiquitous starships from the Traveller game. Anyway I ordered over a dozen as a 'test' and they arrived yesterday. A couple need cleaning up, but being resin that's straight forwards enough.

Now the plan is to also depict the low orbital conflict which on the day will dictate the provision of reinforcements for the attackers.

The pics show the various designs at the side of a strip of Brigade Models 'Pac Fed' troops in 1/300th scale.


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Captain's Log...

I thought I'd let you read what was/is the epilogue of my first book, whilst I recover from all the building work of the last 6 weeks and re-discover my muse and the time to indulge it:

I hope you enjoy...

2011 had been a turbulent year. The manuscript for this book was initially completed back in March and I had edited and added elements here and there, sending copies and excerpts to friend and foe alike. To my surprise (and I confess, delight) my efforts were applauded. It seemed that I’d hit the vein from which the lifeblood of memories flows, reminding people of their own past escapades in the microcosm which is gaming in all its forms. 

   I was on the crest of an emotional tsunami. I had done it – I had created something that was of value to someone, somewhere. Even if my manuscript languished in my safe I had made a record of my life and of those of others. It was a time capsule of lost youth that had given me much cause to smile and indeed mourn during its creation. 

   I learned of the passing of parents of friends along the way, driving home the fact that a quarter of a century had passed by, although, it remained fresh in my memory as if it had been only last week that everything happened.

In the summer, Anne Bishop, who was only in her own summer years passed away after long and debilitating period of illness.

   Anne, who I referred to in the book as Anna, long suffering partner of Lloyd was a petite, glamorous, no-bullshit lady of genuine warmth and wicked wit. As I have already related, Anne often curbed Lloyd’s big brother-like teasing and natural propensity for profiteering from any transaction to the extent he may have liked. Anne was in her own small way like a big sister, Lloyd a big brother. She was that rare thing in this hobby – a normal person. Everyone who knew Anne will miss her sorely. I said earlier I wanted her to see this book – She never did.

   Anne’s passing focussed a lot of the ‘old guard’ of my youth. I think a number of us realised just how tenuous is our grip on this planet and how temporary is our teNancy agreement with the universal landlord. Old hatchets were buried and acquaintances renewed, and for that I shall always be grateful, but what a price to pay…

   A matter of weeks later, after a debilitating round of hospital stays, my father in law also passed away. Nes, known to Kayte, as ‘Daddy Bear’ was a straight talking man who had little time for the arty types such as your humble narrator and perhaps you may recall that my first meetings with him were in my eyes at least somewhat abrupt. He responded to my statement that I was an artist by commenting ‘Aye, a piss artist!’

   Over the years – but not soon enough – I got to know Nes better and learned that comments such as that which had wounded me so many years ago, delivered with a poker face, were fundamentally who he was. Nes, I realised was a far more complex man than I had suspected, who loved his family even more than his beer and his garden. He had a puckish way which could make a statue smile. It goes without saying that his family will miss him, including a certain ‘piss artist’.

   And so we reach another year and my attempts to contact friends from those halcyon days of which you have read have paid dividends. I managed to touch base with Lisa and P.A, the two Pauls and many others. In fact, Paul ‘B’ has created an online community solely for those of us from those hedonistic days of yore and it’s becoming a great place to recount those long-lost days of our youth with the people who were there and who mattered more than we realised at the time.

   It was the conversation with Lisa which really made me add this particular chapter after information imparted during that conversation literally floored me and left me with a sense of anger, the likes of which I have seldom experienced in my forty-odd years.
   You will of course recall that way back in chapter 30, I recounted how I was banned from my beloved local gaming emporium and threatened with having my spine split in twain should I ever darken the doorstep by Clive.

   Well, as I conversed with Lisa, I broached the subject of her being ‘fired’ which you will also recall was recounted all those pages back. Her response laid me low, like an unseen blow.

   ‘I didn’t get the 'boot' from Games Workshop.’ This stated with a laugh.

   ‘You didn’t?’ I was reeling here. Those eight words literally hit me like a sledgehammer to the cranium. And here, I recounted the reasons that I had been given all those years before, the effects of which had warped my view of the world and hung upon my psyche, like saddlebags from the rump of malnourished mule.

   'You used to get stuff for me at discount you will recall? I was told that you had pocketed my cash and then I was in receipt of the proverbial stolen goods. That's why they banned me - apparently.’ The memories of Clive’s threats to my spine came rushing back.

   ‘Is that what they told you?’ Lisa laughed and continued. 

‘Frank and Chris had left. They were going to put me back on part time hours, so, I got job at ‘Tie Rack’ and left. I'd just met my future husband as I recall. I’d worked at Games Workshop from the age of 16 until I was nearly 20.’ 

   I was well and truly running on adrenalin by this point and reaching for my mobile phone to get hold of Lloyd and try to make some sense of what I’d just been told. His phone was engaged and so I returned to the conversation with Lisa, expressing may feelings of mixed anger, amazement and euphoria at what she had just imparted.

‘Peter left before me. I loved him - he was the best boss I ever had. It was, Joe in charge, Clive hated me (and here I omit the reason she gave as it’s frankly not relevant and I cannot substantiate it). 

   ‘Christ on a bike, I spent nearly a quarter of a century carrying that chip on my shoulder Lisa.’ My head really was swimming. It was as if I had managed to break the surface, having had my head held under water for longer than is advisable.

   ‘Oh my god… What a set of hypocrites.’ Lisa it seemed had got a handle on just what an issue this had been for me. ‘They were all doing it.’ The latter referring to her colleagues purchasing games etc for friends, on their generous staff discounts.

   By now I was incandescent with rage. Seldom have I been so.

   ‘Lisa, to say that I am fuming is somewhat of an understatement. Those bastards ruined my life!’

   ‘Sorry love, but I swear its not true. If so, how come I used to still go into Games Workshop? I told you that I didn’t get on with Joe and Clive. Joe once said I’d stolen some 50p earrings - remember them, on the front counter?  I started laughing at him and it went downhill from there. But I left with a good reference from Peter. They had no grounds at all to do that to you! If mobile phones been about back then, we could have sorted it all out in half hour.’    

   It all made sense. Kids were an annoyance and I was the best known of those annoyances by my passion for the hobby. Indeed, I reminded Lisa of the time that I had visited Games Workshop twice a day for almost the entire summer holidays, to see whether the game ‘Golden Heroes’ – which in all events was dire and soon discontinued – had been delivered with the weekly new releases. 

   ‘I'm sorry if I seem bitter Lisa. I walked around thinking I'd helped to get you fired. I stopped going to the Runelords and lost a lot of my mates because of that.’ The adrenalin was hitting my stomach and I felt sick.

   ‘Don’t be sorry at all... I honestly am gob-smacked. You speak to someone who you’ve not seen for nearly 30 years, and with nothing but good memories, and then, you find out something like this.’ Lisa it seemed almost as ‘rattled’ as I was and, I decided, discretion was the better part of valour - I wouldn’t impart to her the rumours that I had heard about her over the years by certain parties.

   So there you have it. Straight from the proverbial equine’s facial orifice, I had what appeared to be the ‘real story’. Twenty-five years of stress dropped off me in the space of an hour. Once again I had been shown that real life is indeed, a bugger.

   I think it shows just how adults and children differ. We often assume – erroneously – that teenagers are just young adults. Maybe in terms of stature and intelligence they are. But in terms of psychology and emotional maturity they are not. What seems to be a ‘wicked wheeze’ in the eyes of an adult and their peers can so damage the young target of their so-called wit, that the teenager in question carries psychological scars into their own adulthood.

   The realization of this by your guide during the preceding seventy thousand words, or thereabouts - let’s not be picky, now that we’ve become such good friends – has as I have said already, been quite cathartic. 

   I suppose that the teenage me, that boy who is familiar yet so distant from who I am now, would have plotted some kind of petty revenge on the antagonists. But no, I think, that to coin a phrase, I shall endeavour to wipe it from my memory, like a greasepaint mask as a certain progressive rock ensemble put it. Life is short and the majority of my own is behind me, whereas for that boy it was ahead of him, red in tooth and claw.

   I can’t change the past, and to try to correct the history books so to speak would be a mammoth undertaking. Therefore, I’ll continue to be who I am to everyone, loved by some and loathed by others. After all, it’s both love and loathing that have allowed me to write this book and prove beyond a doubt that real life truly is, a bugger! 

   Hark! I think I hear a fat lady singing in the distance…


Paul 'B' was Paul Stephens who passed away just before Christmas of 2016. We had 'history' over a woman nearly 30 years ago. I think we had eventually got past it and both grown a little as a result.

P.A was Pete Armstrong. He also passed away early in 2017. He was a mentor and a tormentor, but I owed him so much.

Both, died  tragically young, and are missed more than I can truly convey. 

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Green Is The Colour

As I have time on my hands today after yesterday's marathon working day, I decided to finish the first dozen of my 1/300 sci-fi models.

I used a white base coat, then sprayed them with Halfords fluorescent green, glazed over with Army Painter 'Military Green' ink wash to add definition whilst keeping the 'glow'. The models themselves are produced by Brigade Models.

Now these are not the same standard as I paint to for clients because my stuff is just for me and I want neat models that I can game with before I retire.

I am really pleased with the retro look.


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

The best laid plans of mice and men, and all that jazz...

Today should have seen the end of the building work. I had planned to work until I had completed all my work for the remainder of this week, in one sitting, clocking up in the end a massive 15 hours at my desk, having risen at a little after 4AM and 5 hours sleep. The plan was to start the sealing of the plasterwork on Thursday.

Alas, yesterday, I presented my builders with some very good bottles of vodka - and last night they both drank them!

So, when I heard the van pull up a full hour an a half late, with only one of them in it, you may imagine my mood and indeed the colour of my internal dialogue.

Now I am crossing my fingers that they complete it all on Thursday so that I can begin to get my home back again.

I've been hard at work on lots of 6mm stuff for clients in the last couple of weeks as well as 1/600 coastal warfare models for Heroics & Ros and more 15mm stuff for two other clients. But, I also managed to make a start on my own 6mm sci-fi with a test model and the beginnings of my first two platoons, all finished in a subtle colour scheme and embellished with the excellent decals from Fighting Pirannah (yes that's how they spell it) Graphics:

Fluorescent green is just so 80s!

I also ordered a drop ship, to deliver my power armoured infantry units to the battlefield. I confess that when it arrived from Daemonscape, I got a hard-on:

This morning a box arrived from Brigade Models with another 240 infantry and another 8 power armoured troops along with some more AFVs, so I think that I am almost finished buying stuff for my sci-fi project.

There's not much more to report other than to reiterate that 6mm is definitely the way I am going now. I think it has so many positive aspects that it'd be stupid not to. That realistic look when you have a proper army deployed, takes some beating and the the the more realistic appearance of terrain also enhances the gaming experience.

I'm currently ploughing through the Lord & Lands rules as well as Future War Commander and my appetite is showing no signs of be satisfied yet :)

Well, if you will excuse me, I have been awake 17 hours now and I am back at my desk again in just under 9 hours, so I will bid you a fond farewell for the time being.


Sunday, 16 July 2017

Despite Living In Beirut, An Excellent Day Was Had

 After 4 weeks (with several more ahead) of living in what is a building site with windows, redolent of those 80s news segments from downtown Beirut, today, I made my second visit to the Joy Of Six, 6mm themed convention here in Sheffield, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable day - and an expensive one!

Let me say from the outset, that if you think that 6mm is a waste of time or simply doesn't have anything for you, you really should make the effort to attend, because you are missing a genuine treat.

We arrived at about 10AM and I delivered a few thousand 6mm models to assorted clients, including some new releases for Heroics & Ros, including Danish Centurions, T55s, and WW2 Italian infantry, all of which were. joy to paint.

The venue is the atrium of the main Sheffield Hallam University campus and is bright, airy and a very relaxing venue for a show. The atmosphere of the show is probably the best of any I have attended in the last 25 years with only Britcon coming close. I genuinely believe that the days of the big show are numbered, and if it results in more shows like J.O.6 then I'll shed few if any tears.

The staff and organisers are friendly, the attendees are friendly and the traders are equally friendly, sharing a passion for tiny yet perfectly formed things. Nobody smelled bad, smiles and good manners were abundant. What more could you want?

The bring and buy seemed a bit of a waste of time and this would be my only (and a minor) criticism.

The food was very well priced and the quality outstanding. Two bacon sandwiches and two large hot drinks cost £6.85, and the catering staff were kept very busy, serving all with smiles and banter which simply poured more goodness into the cereal bowl of life. My wife has to have her bread buttered, and the gentleman serving me did not make the fuss and grumbling noises of the catering staff at the Partizan show, a few months back. In fact I would like to thank those staff for being professional and friendly. After all we gamers can be a fickle bunch can't we?

When another of our party arrived, he grabbed two excellent slices of fresh, home made pizza and a large coffee for a fiver...

We set up camp in the seating area as my wife is not in the rudest of health recently and we chatted amiably with friends, clients and traders who dropped by. It was most agreeable.

The display and participation games were of the usual high standard and it was noted that there was a distinct lack of the miserable buggers, you seem to find at many shows these days.

30 minutes into the show, and I'd spent £180. By 4PM when we left, that total had reached £310.

My wife, a sceptic of the scale spent £99 with Baccus on a shedload of Napoleonic models for the Peninsular - for her personal use, you understand.

The traders were very busy indeed, and never seemed to be idle for more than a few moments, because of course, potentially every attendee was a customer, with the focus being on one scale.

When you see a table with a few thousand figures and 500+ trees, it really makes you want to go and spend some of your hard earned lolly. And I did...

I spent around £100 on sci-fi models from Brigade Models, then another £50 on scenery from the same company - And I got a LOT for that money too.

Then it was over to Leven Miniatures and a few fantasy buildings and a stunning rendition of Rourke's Drift which will fit into about the same area as a sheet of A4 paper. An exquisite little model!

Next, we visited Rapier Miniatures, who were telling me about their Glorantha range of 6mm models, and their plan for a massive Runequest / Glorantha game next year at the show - Stirring stuff if like me, you are a fan of the Glorantha mythos. Anyway, I walked away from there with a massive Trojan army, whilst Kayte and Dave ended up with Egyptian and Assyrian armies.

We then repaired to the nearby Red Lion pub where they serve a rather stunning Sunday roast which is tasty and almost too large to manage, washed down with a few alcohol free beers before returning to the show and spending another £50 on a few bits from Brigade and a Prussian army of the FPW from Baccus.

Dave had purchased a couple of raffle tickets and at 15:45 when it was drawn, he won a set of the Command Horizon sci-fi rules - Jammy git!

And so ended a most enjoyable and relaxing day.

I would like to thank Pete Berry of Baccus and Jon Skotulanski of Wargames Emporium along with all of the staff who made the day possible and without whom it would not have been the well oiled machine of an event that it was. And of course thanks to, to those people who presented the games which showcased what this most underrated of all the wargaming scales, can really be!

I am already looking forward to J.O.S 2018!


Thursday, 6 July 2017

The Joy Of Six

Let me begin with an apology.

I apologise for the lack of posts of late, but as you may recall, we'd  undertaken to have the DarkTower re-worked. Alas, what was to be a straightforward renovation of bathroom and kitchen has now become all of that plus the knock through of the dining room, plastering of three locations, replacement of a floor and three ceilings.

Three weeks in, and we are living in only two of the 8 rooms here at the Tower. I am working in some of the most cramped conditions I have had to endure in twenty years.

But, it's given me a lot of time to think of things game related. I've come to one big decision and that is to move over to 6mm for all but my 40K, Cape Wars and Warhammer Fantasy projects.

It all began when, lost in reveries of my misspent (or is that well spent?) youth, I was wont to remember the Triples that irregular Miniatures released it's 6mm range. We were al pretty hooked in our group of Young Olympians, with the exception of your correspondent who, at the eleventh hour when the rest of the gang had cleared out pretty much the entire show stock, decided he would be less of a martinet and join the club. Alas, Irregular had sold out on the Sunday afternoon but one of my mates took pity and sold me a Frankish army pack, which was frankly uninspiring when compared to the other armies Roger, Simon and the rest of the crew were jealously guarding.

But, the scale snob in me, never really went away, and despite the fact that I arguably paint some of the nicest commercially available 6mm you will ever see, I have stubbornly hung on to the notion of larger scales.

Well, that is right out of the window. I have painted so much 6mm that I have begun to once again see the sheer beauty in this scale. Last weekend, I was taking lunch with my gaming buddy, and he was berating me with a series of 'What did I tell you all those years ago?' comments. But, he was correct.

And so with the Joy Of Six show here in my home city on the 16th of July, I have set u a fighting fund to cover the cost of around 5000 (probably more) models.

As the blurb states (and it's all 100% true!):

'The venue for the show is the Heartspace at Sheffield Hallam University. This is a large stylish atrium which will give a light and airy atmosphere to the event.
The venue also has brilliant easily accessible on-site catering, and the menu will be tailored to wargamers at reasonable prices.
The opening times are 10am-4pm and the entrance fee is £3

I'm certainly starting with 6mm sci-fi, fantasy, 18th century and renaissance. Beyond that I have some other ideas, but the world as they say, is my mussel.

I've been reading Craig Armstrong's superb little rule set 'Lord & Lands' which are streamlined yet have a lot of tactical opportunities and multi-genre flexibility.  Indeed I am looking at the possibility of modifying them for 20th century urban unrest.

If you can get to Sheffield on the 16th, I'd really, really suggest you visit the show. You will be blown away by the quality and scope of the games on display, and what;'s more there are great bacon and sausage sandwiches, decent coffee, and if you want a bloody good lunch, the Red Lion on Matilda Street, a couple of minutes easy walk from the venue, offers a truly outstanding Sunday lunch.

Even if the idea of 6mm does not appeal, give the show a visit, because I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what the scale has to offer the gamer.


Monday, 26 June 2017

The Day My Scrotum Failed It's Save Vs Poison

I appear to have angered the gods.

Gentlemen... Check your boxer shorts when they have been out on the line.

I have just pulled on mine and been stung, squarely in the balls by a bee which must have got in there whilst they were on the line.

It is NOT pleasant.

Funny, yes... I admit I can see the funny side now that the tears have cleared.

Pleasant, NO!

The bee alas will not see the sun set upon this day, like me it failed it's saving throw

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Real Life Is Indeed, A Bugger!

I've never really been that materialistic beyond my lust for books and all things a bit nerdy and figure related.

But, of late that does seem to have changed. You remember I laid out my 'everything stops at 50' plan a few weeks ago? Well...

The bathroom at the Dark Tower needed overhauling and so we put plans into place last year to get it done. Alas, the kitchen also needed some work, despite being 11 years old and bloody expensive. The kitchen staff and even an insolent scullery maid had been somewhat rowdy and outspoken to both myself and the lady of the house, despite being flogged with a handy shoehorn and the dogs set upon them (the scullery maid will be out of hospital next week).

And so, we called in our faithful and favoured builders and in the end, it was decided that the Dark Tower would be brought into the Century Of The Fruitbat with the following work:

Replacement of bathroom suite
Full tiling of walls and floor of same
New fittings and fixtures
New ceiling and spotlights
Removal of wall between the kitchen and great hall (all the better to ensure that the staff refrain from spitting in the sauce Bernaise)
Bricking up of the kitchen door and addition of a window in it's place. (that should fox those damned tinkers  who are always bothering Cook and our footman with their wares)
New main kitchen window
Removal of no less than 3 previous layers of ceiling over the kitchen (what did the last incumbent Dark Lord think he was doing?)
Replacement of the entire kitchen with a 50% extension of space utilising the darker corners of the great hall.
Tiling of the floor s of the great hall and kitchen
Replacing the great hall ceiling
Replacing the kitchen ceiling
Re-plastering of the grand staircase, study and great hall
Re-carpeting of the grand staircase and study
New cabinetry in the great hall to display the fine glassware collected by the lady of the house, in our 3 decades together.

All in all, we were looking at around £20,000.00 of work and although we were able to enlist the assistance of Robin Shylock the local approved money lender at the temple of Humdingah, at rather favourable rates, we still had to raise some more funds when we extended the scope of the restoration work.

The lady of the house used some of the funds earmarked for her passion of collecting fine silverware and undead wargames figures, and I had to forego 3 rather wonderful 15mm armies which I had planned to purchase from the Duke Of Scarborough (late of this parish, but defending the coast against the barbarian hordes for several years now) as well as somewhat reluctantly also sell one of my recent acquisitions of WH40K Space Marines which was admittedly an impulse buy based on volume and value over a need or aesthetic consideration.

The hardest thing to come to terms with is that I am now actually getting excited at the prospect of the Dark Tower being brought up to standard, despite the loss of 4 armies, and I think it is a clear indication that I am becoming rather mundane in my middle years.

The Dark Tower is a mass of rubble, plaster dust and ancient spider webs, we have had no sink in the bathroom since Monday, the bath was installed in a somewhat rudimentary manner last night...

...and the toilet is temporarily plumbed in, with the disconcerting addition of being sat on floorboards, under which no ceiling exists, meaning that every set of 'maneuvers' can be clearly heard by the kitchen staff (mind you, if they look upwards in mirth, you can be pretty certain that you can piss in their eye through the cracks in the floorboards, so it does have some entertainment value).

I have a pile of game related reading material to get stuck into, but there's nowhere really suitable to indulge in that little peccadillo quite yet.

I have however also decided that I will be doing a lot of 6mm gaming, as i am arguably a fine painter in that scale (in every scale, come to mention it) thus it would seem to make sense that 6mm is a way forward. I love that feeling of being god of all you survey with the hundreds of, tiny troops able to roam over a far greater area than their larger counterparts.

It's my hope that I will have some eye candy of this sort to show to you in the coming months, but right now, I am very hard at work, creating things of beauty for my clients every day (even today as it happens).

That's about it for now, and if I am remiss in my reportage, please forgive me, but quiet moments in which I can sit and indulge myself at the keyboard are few and far between.


Thursday, 15 June 2017

For The Emperor!

Today's bargain...

The seller was asking £1200 (not unreasonable really, given the quality), but I was being firm on my long term budget. Then yesterday, the deal on a rather nice Imperial Fists army fell through due to the seller dawdling, and, as I scanned the Imperial Psy-Net I saw this army had been slashed to £600...

And you know how it goes from here...


Saturday, 10 June 2017

This will be brief as I got to bed at 2:30 after finishing a monumental painting stint just before midnight, grabbed a glass of wine, hummus, pittas and olives along with some cheery charcuterie, and took in a couple of 1984 episodes of Top Of The Pops. I was up again at 6AM, to sort out some steel pins, destined to become pikes, and so I am actually a tad fatigued as type this blog update.. 

My 20mm Vietnam stuff arrived on Wednesday, and was sent back on Thursday as the seller had just dropped them in a box with a few bits of newspaper. You may imagine - or prefer not to - how they arrived. I was not happy at all.

I am currently waiting for a 20mm Arab/Israeli collection to arrive from the Netherlands. It was quite a large collection and worked out at about 75p per model or vehicle. The seller I understand has taken great pains in the packing and so I am hoping that they will arrive in pretty good condition, some time next week.

My lightsaber also arrived this week and Parcel Force gave my wallet a real good going over   with their fees, charges and taxes racket - That's what it is - a racket!

Hopefully tonight we'll be gaming and drinking a few alcohol free beers. I'm not sure what we are playing, but it'll probably something fairly straight forward as we are all seemingly, pretty whacked out this week.

I buy copious numbers of audio books from Audible, which I listen to as I workI am currently listening to the travelogues of Neil Peart of veteran Canadian rock band, Rush. He's a really perceptive observer and writes well, painting pictures of Canada and the U.S which bring those places to life in the mind's eye. 

He describes his terrible shyness and how that shapes the way that fans perceive him as being somewhat misanthropic. 

I am also absorbing 'Down & Out In Paris And London' by George Orwell and it's OK in small doses - like arsenic. After that, I have Somerset Maugham's 'The Gentleman In The Parlour' lined up leaving about another half dozen of varying genres including the 60 hour long marathon which is Alan Moore's 'Jerusalem'.

I am now very certain that I will finish my 'last hurrah' of gaming spending a year earlier than planned. It all turns on the availability of Perry Miniatures 'Cape Wars' models at Britcon in August.

I've been so busy that my studio had got into a right old state. I am not the kind of artist who can wallow in squalor, so a 3 hour heavy duty clean has been in order and, I can now see all the work surfaces, but cleaning the dust from the lids of 200 pots of paint with a lump of Blu-Tak was something of an experience. Still, it's done and now I can feel a little more at ease up here.

I ordered all my 8th edition WH40K stuff last weekend and I cannot wait to get my hands on it all in 7 days time. It really does look to be a great leap forward and the figures I have recently purchased are all dying to get stuck in a.s.a.p. 

Well, that's all for now,


Saturday, 3 June 2017

14 Months And 15 Days To Go, And All Is Looking Good...

Friends, both old and new were somewhat sceptical when I announced a couple of months ago, that after my 50th birthday, I would be making no further large purchases of wargaming stuff and that I had a pretty finite list of wants - considered the least plausible of my proclamations.

But with 14 months and 15 days until that historic day, I can say that at this time I am well ahead of schedule.

As I type, I am only short of:

6mm sci-fi
28mm Cape Wars
6mm or 15mm Dark Ages

I aim to have them all purchased by that date and indeed all painted and playable with the exception of the Cape Wars which, is to be my last grand gesture of artistic prowess and one which I hope will proved a suitably elegant swan song.

Fingers crossed, I'll probably have all but the Cape Wars completed by the end of 2017.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go and dress myself as a Death Eater and get myself frisked by security, under the watchful (and very welcome eyes) of police firearms officers at South Yorkshire Cosplay Con.


Friday, 2 June 2017

All Spent Up... At Last!

Today finally broke the camel's back. I have managed to hit my spending limit.

As I had worked a double shift in the studio yesterday, my brother and I zipped down to Nottingham to Warhammer World for a spot of lunch and to grab some Adeptus Mechanicus decals. And a nice time was had, as always.

Thence I returned with a bee in my bonnet about some 20mm Arab-Israeli War models I had seen a while back. It's a period I have wanted to have a crack at for years and so mustering the last of my depleted resources (until Joy Of Six, anyway) I purchased the collection.

The following pics give you a taste but don't fully do them justice. They are very nice indeed...

Of course, now I just need to find some reasonably brisk rules. Any suggestions?