Thursday, 5 January 2017

League of Orcsburg

Every second Christmas, I re-read The Hobbit.
Have done so for years.
It gives me a warm, comforting feeling, a sense that all's well with the world.

Add to that, the arrival of Dragon Rampant, and a holiday "clear out" of some of the deepest recesses of the unpainted figures cupboard, and the inevitable happened.

I played roleplaying (AD&D) way back in the 70s, had some figures that haven't seen the light of day since then and also had a few bits n bobs I'd picked up in the 80s.

Amongst the boxes were old Minifigs, Valley of the Four Winds, Ral Partha, Chronicle, Citadel (including the Fantasy Tribes range) and a whole host of other stuff.

Above: a gaggle of goblinoids.

I've always wanted to do something Tolkeinesque, with minimal magic, and a very dark age style to it.

Now, whether I'll pursue this any further, who knows (those Vendel figures are rather tempting though), but over the past couple of days I thought I would just see what I could muster for a 24-point Dwarf force and a 24-point Orcish/ Gobliny force.

Above: Durin's folk... various manufacturers, plus a "Wise Old Man Of The Woods" from Minifigs "Valley of The Four Winds" range.

Decided that the Dwarves are ok (I'll reorganise them into 12-man units as per the rules). Some of the bad guys, on the other hand, needed a little repaint. I decided to go with the green Orcs look, although I think if I were to rehash this totally, I would do differently.

Anyway, at least the brushes have been active, between the odd dram, and the leftover turkey.

Back to normal next week, and normal service will be resumed, I'm sure.

Monday, 2 January 2017

HNY - and credit where credit's due...

Happy New Year!
Don't worry, I'm not going to do an over-blown review of 2016/ looking forward to 2017 style post.
Just a quick couple of points.

But first...
Credit where credit's due!

I was wandering around WHSmith, Leamington, in the twilight, numberless days between Christmas and New Year, and stumbled upon the latest magazine offerings (or at least, WSS and MinWarg).

And, what ho!
Lo and behold! There's my figures on front page of WSS, and inside too on p.27 (my buildings), and on p.30 my French infantry ...
But wait.
What's that?!
It's in an article about a Marlburian game... Grimsby Club... Ramilles...?
Surely not! My figures are mid-18th century, not early.
Could I be mistaken?
I recognised the photos immediately, for it was the game Graham Cummings organised for AMG forum members to put on at Partizan a couple of years ago. A refight(mid-18th Century style) of Ligny.
And, yes, those were definitely my French figures, my buildings, and Graham's teddy bear fur terrain. But not a mention... of either of us.

The article credits The Grimsby Club, and these are part of the Ramilles article. I know for a fact that Paul Robinson of said club has some great stuff for the period which would have made perfect photos for the article. In fact, one such photo is there.

Oh well, I suppose to the editor they're all just figures in tricornes after all... albeit they're 50 years apart.
... oh how I laughed... in Richard Clarke's discussion column in the magazine the final two sentences read:
"Just so some corporation can boost their profit margin. Isn't it about time historical wargaming got real again?"


Annoyed about this?
You bet I was.
But not for the lack of a name check. No, I've had plenty of those in my hobby lifetime.
No... annoyed that seeing pictures of my figures made me buy the magazine, for posterity.
I wasted several quid on that pile of ....

But, the universe has a way of balancing things up, doesn't it...
In my inbox pops an email from Greg and Stokes, with the first of their new Wargamer's Notes Quarterly PDFs.
And in the editorial, doffing their caps to my old Classic Wargamer's Journal, I'm described, along with Don Featherstone, as a "hobby giant!"
I think that's being rather generous.
But thanks guys. I'm very flattered.

Anyway, onto 2016/ 2017.

In 2016 I painted over 300+ figures. Whilst this is not back to the halcyon days of regularly knocking out 700 plus, it is a surprising total as I thought it was nowhere near that amount, until I counted up the other day.
On the gaming front, 2016 was still light, but I'm not too worried about that.

In 2017, I've got a few things to work on...

More Pils Holstein 18th century stuff... I'm doing a display game at a show later in the year, so I've got lots to produce.

Macedonians... need to finish this army for War & Conquest.

Colonials... will potter along with this, maybe have a couple more solo games and see where it goes.

And, finally, a fresh new project.
Again just a potter along/ tinker - not going too Rampant on it. But yes, it is Rampant. I like the rules (Lion, and yes, Dragon), so may see some activity here!

Here's to a prosperous 2017, and may you all enjoy your hobby in the year to come...

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Upbeat festivities

Thanks to all who commented on my previous sad post, and to those who took the trouble to write, and email, and send condolences in so many ways. Myself and my family are very grateful.

On to happier themes...
Ring out Solstice Bells!
As the year draws to a close, and the festivities begin in earnest, I'm embroiled in finishing up some wargaming bits n bobs before the clan arrives for Christmas.
So, my workbench is covered in units at various stages of finishing and basing.

Royal Ecossais, Prussian Grenadiers 5/20 (Jung Billerbeck), and Austrian Grenadiers are in view, as well as a French brigade commander.

Like many, I'm also eagerly awaiting some parcels - it's that time of year, isn't it?!
I decided to treat myself to something new for the season - just reading matter, but it will be easy to retreat behind the bastions of a hobby-related book while others are engaged in the offerings on the box.

This year, I can look back with some satisfaction at painting output, with a mix of 18th Century, Colonial, and Ancients all receiving attention.

Next year, more of the same - I'll finish the Macedonian army; add to the Colonial madness; and the 18C stuff may even get to the stage where it is ready to see the light of day at a show.
I'm also toying with the idea of a little adventure into something new, and very different. I'm at the exciting stage of sourcing figures, rules and other project paraphernalia (sniffing out lists, assessing ranges, and ogling stuff on the web and facebook groups for inspiration and ideas).

And finally, to all who have visited the blog this year, let me take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Sad news

On Thursday 1 December 2016, after a ten year battle with cancer, Elizabeth passed away.
Many who visited to wargame at our home met her, which is why I decided to post about her passing here. And, of course she was chief assistant in putting together The Classic Wargamer's Journal back in 2010-11.
We separated and subsequently divorced in 2012, but remained great friends: after all we parented two wonderful children, both of whom are coping ok in the circumstances.
I'm in shock, as the extent of the latest batch of cancer treatment had been kept from me (at her request, lest I be upset). The children, Christopher and Victoria, had been with her constantly over the past few weeks, at her bedside, and in the end her passing was peaceful.
She was a remarkable, lady (after all, she put up with me for 25 years, supporting my hobby, encouraging me, and never once rolling her eyes at yet another hour spent at the paint desk).
She is irreplaceable, and I will miss her terribly.
Goodbye Elizabeth. My best friend. The world seems empty now.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

18th Century activity

With my recent posts being about the development of my Macedonian Successor army, you might be forgiven for thinking there's been nothing happening in the main project: namely, the 18th century Pils-Holstein collection.
Just to allay those fears... here's a couple of shots of Prussian and Pils-Holstein forces ...

There are more Prussians receiving attention from David Jarvis' paint brush in time for Christmas, plus I've got some French arriving from Mark Allen at any moment. Meanwhile, I'm working on more French ancillary stuff  (wagons and general "back-of-table" paraphenalia), and some cavalry conversions too, for both sides.

Photos of some of that soon...

Sunday, 6 November 2016

New Pages added

A reorganisation of pages has taken place this past couple of days (see list of pages on the right hand side).
  • re-jigged the archives pages into one gallery,
  • added pages for the Colonial project (The Ghabazaar Imperative),
  • revamped The Pils Holstein page,
  • and added a new page for the Macedonian Successors army which is coming on apace...
There are lots of new images, including Philipolytas "The Great" (as he likes to think of himself although others have, unkindly perhaps, described him as "distinctly average"!)

I've had a bit of a photo session with other collections too, and even a game. More images will be added as I get round to it in the days to come.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Making a Contribution

Like many, I was so sorry to hear of the recent passing of "Bluebear" Jeff Hudelson.

I had never met Jeff in person, but we had exchanged emails, and he had written a contribution for my little magazine "The Classic Wargamers' Journal" (more of which in a moment).

More importantly, Jeff had contributed (there's that word again) hugely to the hobby, and particularly the Imagi-Nations and 18th century arena of the hobby, by setting up the Emperor vs Elector blog. There can't be many readers here who haven't also visited E v E, even if only for the comprehensive listing of other blogs, compiled in order of latest post... so handy for a quick check of who's doing what.

So, thank you Jeff for your contribution.
No doubt, you also contributed when at the tabletop amongst your wargaming buddies too. And my thoughts go out to them, for they will have lost a good friend and valued "opponent."

Jeff's games had a certain "look" to them. Not to everyone's taste, I'm sure, but Jeff had settled on what he wanted and it had a homogenous, cosy, comfortable appeal. His ECW collection was also one of my favourites.

So, here's to you Jeff... a true contributor to the hobby. Well done. And thank you.

Talking of contribution...

It's good to see Stokes and Greg getting their new venture going
- see
for details.

And thank you, Stokes and Greg, for the kind words about The Classic Wargamers' Journal in the introduction to the new venture.
I do hope it's a great success. And I hope I'll be able to contribute in some way.

So, over to those readers and surfers who sit on the sidelines ... go on, why not contribute.

I see so many people online, in forums, and so on, bemoaning the aging of the hobby, the diminishing hobby numbers, and wondering about the future of the hobby.

You know, regardless of numbers, as long as those who are in our little hobby make a contribution, then it will flourish. It will.
Just as the small band of Grants, Youngs, Featherstones, et al contributed in the past.
They were "net givers."
And regardless of numbers, it's "net givers" that we need.
Just like the Grants, Young, and Featherstone...  and yes, the Jeff Hudelsons of the world.
And you...