Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Speed painting workbench

At the moment, I'm focussing on getting the Wars of The Vaubarian Succession (circa 1704) in full flight. This involves some speed-painting of Astrovians. And yes, some dipping was involved, and anti-shine varnish... 

Here is a section of my workbench, full of half-painted lead.

The untidiness, and unfinished-ness is setting off my wargamers' OCD alarm bells. So I'm using this post to ask for forgiveness and understanding and reassurance!
Just a few more sessions to go and these will be finished, I keep telling myself! 

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

What's the Connection?

Thanks to all who commented on the previous post about the maps...
I love doing them. It's a nice interlude when painting hordes of figures!

What's the connection between...
Marcus Hinton (of Hinton Hunt), Ed Suren (Willie figures), Brigadier Peter Young (Charge!) and Lt Col JBR Nicholson (mentioned as one of the players in The Wargame)?

When I joined The Sealed Knot a few years ago, there were howls of derision from some quarters, and many wargamers were very outspoken and negative about the world of re-enacting.
I kept my counsel, smiled, and just got on with it... and have enjoyed it ever since, despite not getting to many musters this year due to a fairly busy schedule.

When the latest copy of my Sealed Knot quarterly magazine, Orders of the Day, came through the post at the weekend, I was immediately drawn to an article previously written by "The Brig" (Peter Young), who founded The Knot back in 1968. The article was reproduced in the current magazine as part of the retrospective in the society's 50th year.

In the article The Brig mentions the involvement right at the outset of Messrs Hinton, Suren, Nicholson, and one Christopher Duffy. 

One can't help but wonder that their expertise at sculpting, writing and understanding the military experience of centuries gone by was surely all the better for walking round a field with a pike or a musket over the shoulder. It's all very well holding such weaponry for a few minutes, but after an hour or two even the hardiest soldiers start to feel the weight.
Of course in the modern era, people like the Perry Twins and Dave Andrews' re-enacting exploits are well known. Perhaps that adds to their ability to make such outstanding contributions to the miniatures hobby too.

Sunday, 15 July 2018


This weekend, the Wars of the Vaubarian Succession (1704) have been at the fore, with two infantry units being worked on at the painting table.
Meanwhile, I've also been working on the campaign background, including the maps.

Here is a map of Vaubaria 

No fancy software or anything of that sort involved. I just sketched this out, then got the coloured crayons out... a bit of tongue out the side of mouth work does wonders!

Coming soon, maps of the whole Vaubaria - Astrovia region), and a map of the key area of operations between these two states.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Building Book

At one of my recent modelling masterclass evenings with John Boadle, he showed me some of the reference books he uses. Many people make miniature buildings which are generic, and look ok. John has taken his research to a different level... he is perhaps a "beam counter" when it comes to half-timbered Germanic buildings. 

Whilst I don't think for one moment that I want to emulate such detailed craftsmanship as John, one of his reference works was just too good not to go and buy straight away.

My copy arrived recently.
It's a weighty tome, packed with information, distinguishing variations in design and construction of buildings in different regions of Germany. Its pages are packed with sketches, plans, and other inspirational imagery, so although I can't read the text, I have plenty to enjoy in this book...

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Terrain bits n bobs

2018 has been a flurry of activity. 
Salute, Partizan, trips abroad (most recently Florence... again - love it!), World Cup mania, chairing the organising of a charity event for a local children's hospice, the normal tapestry of business commitments, and sadly the loss of two of my university flatmates within a couple of months of each other.

But... There's also been some wargaming, painting and terrain work.
With hobby time being precious, however, there hasn't been much room for blogging. so I hope you'll forgive me for the absence. I will do better, I promise.

I've been updating my terrain suite for gaming at home … chiefly adapting items from Last Valley - rivers, rocky outcrops etc. and basing some more coniferous trees... can't have too many of these for the upcoming Wars of the Vaubarian Succession (see previous post).

I love Andy's  Last Valley rivers, and the brown-ish water colour is certainly realistic. But I like my wargaming rivers to be a little more blue-ish, so I redid those, and repainted the stonework on the bridges to match the colours I usually use for stonework. 

Sometimes it's fun just to lay the table … and who can resist a column of infantry crossing a bridge.
Here, Vaubarian infantry and artillery are on the march, circa 1704.

This past few weeks I've also had the privilege of a couple of evenings round at John Boadle's home learning to improve my scratch-building techniques. Many will know of John as he is one of the hobby's real gurus when it comes to model buildings and his vast knowledge, experience and expertise in this regard have been very valuable. Thanks John. See you again soon.

And for all other readers... I promise I will be back later this week with a further update.
In the meantime, I hope your hobby workbenches are groaning under the strain of heavy activity... just as mine is!

Thursday, 3 May 2018

War of the Vaubarian Succession

Over the past year, I have been meeting with a fellow wargamer at our favourite haunt, our HQ, a small pub on the Fosse Way which is midway between our two homes.

Dubbing oursleves "The Fosseway Indie-Fencibles," the discussions have been about all things wargaming, and beyond.

Over the past few months we've decided to collaborate on a small project set around 1704 or thereabouts, using the Front Rank WSS range... just a few units, you understand.

We've called this The War of The Vaubarian Succession (WVS) as it's a fictional affair between the imaginary nations of The Electorate of Vaubaria (me) and Hautmont-Etrurie (Steve).

You can expect something different from the usual imagi-nations affairs, however. First off, we've settled on much smaller units (20 Infantry and 12 Cavalry) and having chosen Front Rank for the lead, it's not "old school" as such. We'll be using a set of rules I began using for the period around 1990, namely those of the late Peter Gilder, the Wargames Holiday Centre set for the period (slightly adapted).

Suffice to say, it's still at the very early stages, but a start has been made on the painting of figures.

Here are a couple of photos of the initial force of my Vaubarians...

Infantry Regt Dremel (excellent at drill), Infantry Regt Breitner, Vogts Cuirassiers, artillery under Master of Gunnery and commander of the Vaubarian arsenal (Graf von Wenger), all commanded by Markgraf Karl von Orff (with his banner, of Fortuna).

Above: Infantry Regt Dremel, supported by Vogts Cuirassiers.
Below: Infantry Regt Breitner.

The sharp-eyed will notice I've done the artillery in both deployed and "limbered, on the march" configurations. I've also done a casualty marker for each unit. It's good to begin as you mean to go on, rather than playing catch-up at a later date.

This is a slow-burn, and I'm just enjoying the leisurely painting time. We've got a couple of games planned in the diary for the near future, so I'll add pictures of those as we go.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Winter is back!

In case you hadn't noticed... It's a bit white out there.
Living out in the countryside has its advantages... But not on days like this.
There's no way I will be at Alumwell today, so won't be trading.
Might see if I can get squeezed into Partizan instead!!
Now for a day at the painting desk instead...