Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Nice in NICE

I don't normally do non-wargaming posts on the blog, but on this occasion I thought I would make an exception, not least because there are some images I wanted to share that I found useful from a wargaming perspective.

Last post I mentioned "Life's Rich Tapestry", and it certainly has been (and thank you to all who commented).
But don't get the wrong impression...
The tapestry has been all positive, including a few days' break in Nice recently.

As a bit of a treat, Dianne and I stayed at Nice's finest hotel, Le Negresco... world-famous and beautiful and barmy.

And it sports a fascinating décor, collection of artworks, and a few items to interest the travelling wargamer.
Here are just a few images.

Above: Surely, inspiration for a palace interior. The chimney breast is in fact 17th century and was transported to the hotel from a castle in The Dordogne.

Below: Items on the landing area on the fourth floor, just outside our suite.

And in the bar...
a statue of Joan d'Arc, along with several uniforms from the 1860s period.

Plus, shown below, a picture of The Great Conde - although Monsieur Mark Allen disputes this, suggesting the picture is in fact of Louis XIV... any thoughts?

These are just a few of the immense collection of artworks, and other ornamentation that adorns this magnificent hotel.

Last, but not least. If you ever find yourself in Nice, take a trip up to the war memorial - a huge edifice, sculpted into the rock face. A very impressive monument to the fallen.

Right, back to wargaming stuff next time, I promise!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Back in your box, Wargaming!

It's been a while since I last posted, and I know, I really must do better!

In reality, life's rich tapestry has meant I have been uninclined to blog, and even I had started to get tired of simply putting up posts of the newest unit off the production line.

There has, however, been lots going on, and within that rich tapestry, even some wargaming!

I recently had a visit from Jim Purky, all the way from the good ol' US of A, and hosted him as part of the AMG forum Partizan weekend.
As well as making sure Jim got to see our local castle (Kenilworth), and had a pint of real ale in a local pub, visited the ruins of Coventry cathedral, and enjoyed an evening in one of our favourite local restaurants, we visited Griffin Moulds, which is not far from where I live. It was great to see Jim's delight at meeting the people who bring his Minden range of figures to life.
The passing of Stewart Griffin (who I met personally only a couple of times, but with whom I got on really well) has, of course, hit the Griffin team very hard. But there's a steely resolve to take the business forward, and things seem to be in very good hands.
I myself will be back there towards the end of the summer to run another mould. More of which anon.

I mentioned life's rich tapestry above, and it's been in my mind lately that I have found a perfect box for my wargaming hobby to co-exist with all my other interests... And that is helped considerably by me focusing on one main project. It means I'm not obsessed just with wargaming - an obsession which I've always felt somewhat unhealthy (to some that would seem like heresy, but each to their own...). I can safely say I haven't been as content in my hobby for a long while.

Too many people in our hobby, in my opinion, have far too much time on their hands, and seem to spend too many hours on forums obsessing in endless mastication, very often generating angst, jealousy, and argument. Keyboard warriors abound, and horrendous vitriol and childish threats ensue. I only visit a couple of places online regularly, preferring to have a weekend time slot to catch up on the wider online hobby, passing only a cursory glance over the online bickering, and seeking out the more positive and informative postings. However, of late, I have myself been subjected to such spite on a particular forum; seemingly arbitrary sniping, almost invisible to other participants, but very real nonetheless. Turning the other cheek to such pettiness is the best approach, and just walking away to get on with more important things is best policy. Life's rich tapestry - having plenty of other things to get on with - has allowed me to do just that.

So, back to this small corner of the online world.
Here's a little reward for reading this far... A new command vignette, painted by Mark Allen, based by me.



This is Phillipe Dejean, Duc d'Orly, one of the key French commanders in the forthcoming Pils-Holstein campaign.

Below, the reverse of the flag includes an interpretation of the d'Orly family crest (d'Orly is apparently root of my own surname) as it was described to me around 1990 by one of those "trace your family history" people who have stands in shopping arcades in towns around the country. Its accuracy is, of course, questionable, but when it comes to commanders' flags and insignia, I'm always open to a little creativity and imagination.

That's all for now...
But, yes, it is my intention to post more often... Thank you for your patience.