Friday 30 December 2022

Reflections on my hobby year

Well, I hope everyone had a peaceful Christmas and the festivities were festooned with hobby-related gifts and some time to maybe even get a game in or pick up a paintbrush, or even just to read hobby 'stuff' with a glass of something appropriate whilst sitting in your favourite armchair.

It's at this time of year that I reflect on the year gone by and the lessons drawn whilst gazing into the distance and formulating a plan for what's next in hobby terms.

At the start of this year I stated that the 1704 Wars of Vaubarian Succession would be my point of focus for 2022.

I had hoped, perhaps ambitiously (and what's life without ambition?), that I might "finish" the project. Well, I am glad to say that I didn't! Glad, because it has been a labour of love and continues to be. I'm pleased with my progress and output for the year; there are still a couple more cavalry regiments to do, and that I have also expanded the project beyond the initial boundaries by adding more to the Pils Holstein contingent, and creating more vignettes.

The resulting game at Partizan was very pleasing, personally, and that has to be the highlight of the year.

In terms of painting output, as I said I am pleased with the year. In addition to the WVS project, I have allowed myself to go "off piste" and done some other things which may feature in my plans for 2023... we'll see.

Other highlights have been the games I have played, both with the fledgling Old Berks group (thanks John, Andy, and Steve) and the games and meet ups with John Boadle & Garry Broom chez John.

Correspondence with friends old and new has been, and always will be, a major factor in the hobby. It has been particularly important to rekindle some old lapsed friendships this year too. For that, I am eternally grateful.

I notice that this is my 29th post this year, and that coincidentally I posted the same number of times in 2021 aswell. I am in awe of those who post on their blogs more often, some several times per week. Thank you for continuing the entertainment and inspiration in equal measure. I plead forgiveness that I do not post more often.

And so, it just remains for me to thank you, dear reader(s), for your engagement with the blog this past 12 months, and your comments.

Wishing you a happy end to the year and a prosperous 2023.

Monday 19 December 2022

Let the festivities begin...

19th December is always the date that marks the start of the Christmas period for me as it is etched on my mind as the return date from the 6-month tour to The South Atlantic in my RN days aboard HMS Amazon (a Type 21 Frigate).

Our arrival back at Devonport, Plymouth in 1985 was truly memorable - the sense of relief that we could now relax and enjoy the festivities, freed of our duties. Although it was post-conflict, there were still some "interesting" moments during the deployment; a couple of Action Stations, and a challenging time as the Islands' defences and infrastructure were being newly established. It was also a worrying time for families back home as the precarious diplomatic situation meant everyone was in no doubt what might happen.

In those days, crowds still lined the jetties to welcome returning ships back, although it was mainly family and close friends. I'll never forget the proud look on my dad's face as he spotted me on the bridge wing as we came alongside, and along with hundreds of others, raised his hands and applauded the whole ship's company.

Here is a gratuitous pic of San Carlos Water in The Falklands, taken from the foc'sle (the pointy bit at the front of the ship) with a Sea King hovering in the distance. One of my best photos of the tour...

It feels like a lifetime ago. In many ways it was. 

Back in the now, it simply remains for me to wish all readers and visitors to my little corner of the virtual world a very Merry Christmas. I hope there are plenty of hobby-related toys under the tree for you this year.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for the coming year.


Friday 9 December 2022

Something fresh

A few years back, I painted several units from the North Star 1672 range. They subsequently ended up back in Nick of North Star's hands when I abandoned the project. But I've always loved the figures.

So, recently, I fancied doing a few again.

Here is French Regiment Auvergne:

I decided to reduce the 'uniformity' a little by doing some different shades of main coat colour, and also to vary the breeches a little, and some of the hats too.

I'm quite pleased with the result.

Not sure where this is leading, but I have enjoyed painting them.