Thursday 26 July 2018

Astrovian Infantry

This is the view on the workbench this morning, just before I headed out to my office. I couldn't resist pointing my phone at these guys and clicking. 

These were speed-painted... basically blocked in, dipped, highlighted.

Astrovian IR1 - Regiment Frankl

I'm also working on IR2 and should have them done very soon - although their completion is now interrupted by a week away.

I've spent some time working out all the Astrovian uniforms and flags, and naming all the units has been fun.
More to come...

Monday 23 July 2018

New books

At the moment, I'm enjoying this...

… and flicking through the two volumes of this...

Just saying...

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!