Thursday, 28 December 2017

OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW

So as 2017 draws to an end and Xmas is now just another memory of another year passed, I found myself thinking before rushing in as I normally would, "what do I mean by this I hear you say ?" Well at Xmas I would normally open new toys and rush straight in to build and paint them neglecting projects I already had on the go. So this year I thought I would follow the example of Luke and Simon and clear some of my existing projects before starting anything new !
With this in mind I set myself a target of finishing 4 models a day and as a reward I could have an hour at the end of the day on one of my new models.
" THE FORCE IS STRONG IN THIS ONE"
The first three models I choose to finish were Darth Vader, Ahsoka Tano and Luke Skywalker

Then I finished off one of the Imperial Officers and also my test Stormtrooper


Achieving my goal of minimum of 4 models I had an hour on a 1:48 scale X-Wing
"THEY'RE ANIMALS"
Day two I completed the Tusken raider on Bantha, Stormtrooper on  Dewback, two Scout Troopers with heavy weapon and my second attempt at Sy Snootles

Another goal achieved, so rewarded myself with a second hour on my X-Wing
"AN ARMY OF WHITE"
Day 3 and I continued on making progress by painting 4 jump pack Stormtroopers, you may notice I've done a dark and dirty colour scheme as all the Stormtroopers I've seen on Tatooine are very dusty and dirty.

I also managed to finish Han Solo

So tonight I will reward myself with another hour on my X-Wing, progress will probably slow up a lot now as I need to get back on with actual work so until next time HAVE FUN ! and hope you all have a great NEW YEAR however you celebrate.
Cheers Dave

Saturday, 23 December 2017

SHIMER & SHINE

Hope your all ready for the festivities and not too much running around at the last minute, leaving yourself time to sit back and enjoy yourself. Thought I would post up my latest post before the big day as who has time to look once the celebration begins ! LOL


Today's article I want to cover painting iridescent armour, the example shown above was painted by my friend Tim Marsh who is a competition painter, Tim sent me an explanation on how he painted this, but I've been looking for a quicker method, so this is what I've come up with :
Step 1  undercoat the model in silver

Step 2  cover all the armour plates in black wash

Step 3  Now add a deep shadow colour, as I'm doing a green armour I've used purple wash


Step 4 Mid tone colour is now added above the shadow and I've used blue wash
No photo sorry the gremlins ate it !

Step 5  Then for the high's I've used yellow wash ( Think where the light would hit the model)


Step 6 Cover all the armour plates in iridescent paint, I've used Citadel Waystone Green, if your happy at this point with the result your finished on the armour, if you want to add more detail follow the following steps.


Step 7 Apply some neat silver on the high colours but don't go completely to the edge of your original highs
Gremlins were hungry again !
Step 8 Apply yellow wash over the silver paint


Step 9 Repeat step 6


The armour plates are now done, but you can go in and tweak areas as much as you want to get your desired effect.
Below are some examples of different colour schemes you can try depending on your preference





As you can see I've painted the sinew between the armour plates in different colours this was experimentation to see which I prefer, another tip if painting Exuvium paint the four arms separate as it can be quite difficult to get to certain areas if you stick them together first.
You can also use this method to paint armour as well just use silver as the highlight colour instead, as shown in the example below
Hope everyone has a very merry Xmas
Until next time HAVE FUN !
Cheers Dave   

Thursday, 21 December 2017

TAROT`S CHRISTMAS MUSINGS


Christmas! The most wonderful time of the year they say and I think I might agree. My indigenous world does not celebrate this amazing event in the same way, and it is a pity. Not even because of the religious aspect of the thing, but the sense of belonging; and that feeling of unity and community spirit: most of all I think it is the milk of human kindness which is so prevalent around this time of the year, and which (even if it is only truly manifest in films, and carols and elusive `spirit`) comes alive with delicious conviction and cheer, and warms the cockles of the heart like a hot, spicy mulled wine.

 

Work has meant I have not been round much this year, and in fact I have literally only had three days of this Christmas/Yule Tide celebration, in which to savour the festivities and call `my own time` to enjoy. I was tired and spent a delicious time snuggled in bed, reading cheap novels and sipping endless mugs of hot chocolate (with tasty mallows of course). In the evenings, there have been Christmas movies like the "Scrooge Christmas Carol" one of the all time best musicals ever **sings** "Thank you very much, thank you very much, that`s the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for me"  **la la laaa*  and "White Christmas" and "Sound of Music" all things I associate with this time of the year and which I would feel hard done by to do without entirely hehe. And yet I have played some games: Dungeons and Dragons of course, an absolute must. so a few good 12 hour sessions running through the evenings and half the nights too until the dawn sun starts to peek over the frosty mist strewn mountain tops. And I played a few table top board and miniatures games too: like a very close and tense game of  `Arkham Horror` and another equally intense and exciting game of  `Touch of Evil` and `Invasion From Outer Space` was such fun I don`t think I have ever squealed and laughed and cried so much in a single game hehe. There was also a cool game of `Zombicide Black Plague` and I played Nelson`s flag ship The Victory  in `Sails of Glory` (and managed to run it aground on the sand banks of the wash, while two French frigates pounded her with grape shot, while my crew scrambled to dislodge the hulk from the muddy obstruction). I only just escaped that one, flying with the wind in my sails as I ignobly routed from the board to escape the `gnat like` shelling of the two small Froggy vessels.

 

Oh I had such fun.

 

Only a couple of days, and so no chance to do the rounds and visit all my friends. Just a nice quiet few days before preparing to move on once again and get back to a new year of work and more work. Actually I love my work so that`s no hardship and I think it would be pretty fair to say I am married to my job, so there hehe.

 


I did manage to paint all Stevie`s new bases: a small job I promised I`d do for him and was delightful fun, as I lost myself for a few hours doing a line of 80 of the lovely detailed WTW resin circular bases; cobbles and pavements, which I think when combined on their round three a time stands look incredibly attractive. I got to play some of the new skirmish game being written as well and all I can say to that really is absolutely...... WOW! When these are finished in January, I think Dave and Sarah will be very happy with them, and the rules really do play a treat.



Stevie is up to his eyes at the moment and I feel for him. I`ve never seen him so tired and worn out. Finishing Mr. Dave`s WTW rules for the skirmish game (as I mentioned). Finishing his commission commitment with Fantasy Flight, and another with Impact I believe; while meeting the final deadline with Warlord for what will be his last work load of this year (not that he ever talks about his own work within the industry). I know he wanted to write a lot more material for TGC this December but found it an impossibility to complete his paid commission work.. promised work , and do pleasure (free) writing as well. In the end work had to come first, and pleasure a firm second. But the good news (for him) is that this concludes all his current workload and now finally perhaps the poor man can retire and call it a day hehehe. As for Hil (Hilary) his lovely wife and my best friend, my sister, and my second mummy all rolled into one: well, she`s been told to relax and rest her knee as much as possible, and so she`s been doing a lot of her personal hobbies and crafts this last while: pottery, candle making, embroidery, basket weaving, and her rather amazingly cool watercolour and acrylic paintings (landscapes and portraits mostly, and a bit of a penchant for painting farm animals). Of course, she`s also been on bee keeping courses as she plans to keep bees next year as well. Maybe she`s had the best of it, as she`s finally found time to pursue all the things she has missed for so long in her life, and it is high time she was able to find the hours to be able to enjoy her crafts properly.

 

Soon they will begin a new chapter in their lives, as they are preparing to make a big move, onto a wild rugged island a long way off the mainland. Cut off from the world, except from a  infrequent ferry, very few cars on the place and only a few shops. I don`t think the island`s small community even has internet access except from single general purpose communal wi-fi building and central hub. What a cool adventure and one I could see myself relishing, except for the wind the rain and the freezing temperature. I`m a creature of the extreme warm, and that adventure feels altogether far too c-c-c-cold for my warm lizard lazy bones **brrrrrrrr**



I know Stevie (in especial) is finding it hard to make everyone understand that this is a massive trip. It`s not just a case of "see you all in a few months" even rigging up a phone may be years down the way for them both.. way off in the future for anyone out there on this island in fact. It`s a different way of living and one they both are prepared to embrace with all their hearts. An adventure of a lifetime and one I know I for one wish them all the very best luck in the world in pursuing. May they find their dreams and make them come true.

 

hehehe, I can see it now: Mr Stevie and his new train set, custom built on shelves all round the walls of his workshop hobby outhouse. Cabinets and rows and rows of painted wargame figures (there is even one other serious wargamer out there it appears, so I wonder how long until they meet and become firm friends). Meanwhile I can see Hil running a knitting and weaving workshop and selling her scarves and jumpers to the summer tourists who visit the island like daddy-longlegs in a summer meadow. Oh it all sounds so idyllic. Isolated, but full of wild adventure. But most people (except family) just don`t realise how big a move this is, and assume its just like moving from a rented house into a new rented house or something. No, this is altogether far bigger and more serious. Once their current house is sold (and you have a month to vacate for the new owners to move in) you have a month to be packed, removal vans hired, drivers and carriers and ferry tickets booked: all legal documentation signed, witnessed and sealed, and only then when the keys are handed over.. only then does the ownership of their new home finally belong to them. If they forget even one thing.. a bag of nails, a roll of Sellotape, or a pair of gloves, and they will be stuck on an island with the mainland and access to proper shops, literally hours and miles and miles over the sea, way away and a good day`s journey to reach. So yeah, trying explain all this to their friends, is (as Stevie puts it) a little like trying to explain what a colour TV is like to someone who's only ever seen a black and white one). It IS happening, and soon. 


So where does this put me. It puts me giving my dearest friends in the world the biggest hug and kisses ever and wishing them all the happiness in the world, and knowing I will not be seeing them again for a very, very, very long time. It actually frees me up as well you see. They have been like family to me for so long now, and yet my own work offers me deep immersion abroad, and it has been getting harder and harder recently, for me to visit them both (and my other friends). With this move I too will accept a few career offers which will take me away from the familiar and see me become the career woman I suppose my many years of University study have all pretty much focused me to become all along. Now is the perfect time for me to embrace my own future and hold on for dear life; proving beyond all doubt, that it is indeed exciting times we live in.

 

So no more posts from me (except the very rarest off chances, if at all possible). It feels a bit like Mr Toad`s Last Speech or something hehe.

 

As for gaming. Well I have already said that Hil and Stevie are well sorted out and I`m sure they will travel across with all the things they need to be fulfilled and content (probably a big ship metal container just for their game and craft stuff alone hehehe). And me, gaming wise.. well I have gone another direction entirely. I hinted that I might a while ago, but this Christmas has seen me take the big plunge and make a few firm decisions. I have chosen to follow my love of Victorian skirmish gaming and rpg. Hil and Stevie have three of the old black plastic hard-case Games Workshop miniatures cases (originally used to carry Warhammer 40k armies) and they kindly gave them to me: easy to carry and will keep my own miniatures nice and perfectly safe in any of my own personal travels. They are so tough and sturdy I think the cases (and any miniatures snuggled safe within them) would withstand anything but a nuclear blast lol, and the soft protecting interior {individually sectioned} dividers would keep even the most delicate of models safe and sound.. I would warrant even from the case being thrown with force. So my special Victorian range, and my entire Victorian converted Horror Clix scenic models will be able to travel with me from now on, where ever I go. The cases combined will carry 300 miniatures and all my paints and brushes; so easily enough to hold my entire collection. So how fortuitous when I opened Jez`s Christmas present early and found the most suitable gift imaginable.. to put into one of the cases and carry away with me. Jez told Stevie who told me that I may open my presents early, and this is what I did, squealing with delight at each wonderful new surprise which availed me as I unwrapped the most glorious gifts imaginable. I owe a private letter for you Jez, which you will no doubt see later tonight.

 



 

Merry Christmas to everyone, and have a very Happy New Year.

 

Keep enjoying your hobby, play lots, play hard, but most of all.. PLAY.

 

This is me.. signing off from the `Nostramo` and wishing you all the very best.


 

Tarot.

 

Monday, 18 December 2017

SEASONS GREETINGS

Now back from the frozen wastes, not too worse for ware and no surprise Wampa attacks while there !
First I would like to wish all the visitors to the cupboard a very merry Xmas and happy new year, and as it is the season of giving, any visitor to the cupboard can email me for a copy of the Death Match rules if their interested. Simply email wargamesterrainworkshop@yahoo.co.uk with Rules Please in the title and will email you a set straight away.
" FROM THE GROUND UP "
In Steve's last post you will have seen one of our gaming boards in use, the cobblestone board, while Steve was visiting he picked that one up and got a close look at many others, and remarked at how much detail we managed to get being in fibreglass compared to the plastic ones that are available from other companies. We have spent a lot of time developing this process so we can offer a great base for gaming needs.
So what do we cover, we have basic flat boards that have texture to make it easy for painting, and ones with small and large rock formations on (the large one will shortly be removed while we improve the rock texture)
Flat Board

We also cover a multitude of river sections including, straight, bend, fork, ford and estuary
River Bend with Oriental Scenery

We have two other water feature sections a beach head a small lake section
Beach Head
Now all the features are designed so you can place them in multiple set up's, for instance the lake could be fitted with three other lake sections to make a larger lake in the centre of the board, or alternatively it could be used next to the beach head to change the shape of the shoreline.
Our most recent boards are post apocalyptic road sections, these are my personal favourites
Straight Road

Cross Roads
Would like to make more sections for these at some point including a bend and T junction.
All the boards mentioned so far are 2' x 2' square, but we do a 3' x 3' square flat board as well.
Last up we also make a fantasy football pitch that features actual dugouts and raised numbered squares to make it harder to cheat with your counters !

All of our boards come in black, so no undercoat required you can paint straight directly onto the fibreglass, hope you found this informative, until next time HAVE FUN !
Cheers Dave

Friday, 15 December 2017

Sir Oswald and Lady Diana Mosley {VBCW}

In 1938, Thomas Egerton Shelswell-Whiteobsessive huntsman since the age of eight, obsessive polo player and, in his mid sixties, boasted a memory of having ridden home the winner of the Grand National at Fairyhouse.. at a time when English officers could still relax in the grandstand – sold Bantry Castle in County Cork to an English family not long arrived in Ireland. The castle house had belonged to the Shelswell-Whites for generations and had once been the residence of Church of Ireland bishops. It stood overlooking the centre of Bantry market square, a short walk from the harbour, hidden away amongst the town`s famous avenue of quaint, gaily painted town houses: an inconspicuous island of simple civility, on the frontier of the vast estuary bog. Unlike many other ancient mansions, its comforts and refinements had not survived the privations of the nineteenth century, and it was badly in need of restoration.

Every day for months the new lady of the house would drive across the bogland roads from her temporary rented accommodation to supervise the installation of bathrooms, electricity and central heating, and an Aga in the kitchen. Word spread that Bantry Castle was being returned to its former glory and that there was work to be had from the new owners. They turned the ballroom into a drawing room and brought a carpenter from Kenmare to build bookshelves that covered an entire wall. They filled the once-dilapidated rooms with fine furniture, replaced the broken sash cords on the windows, draped curtains made to measure in Dublin and hung paintings of their ancestors on the wall. They recruited a butler, a housekeeper and a cook. Occasionally the lady’s husband would arrive in a large, exotic Delaware driven by a German chauffeur.

Soon, it became known that the family bringing Bantry Castle back to life was Sir Oswald, Lady Diana Mosley - plus their two sons and two daughters. On the first of April 1938, the WestCorkman Independent carried a short item entitled ‘Distinguished Residents’, disclosing that the previous Friday the Mosley family had ‘moved into occupation’ of The Castle. ‘Sir Oswald and Lady Mosley, who have a large staff, are charmed with Ireland, its people, the tempo of its life and its scenery,’ the paper related dutifully, informing readers in a final sentence that ‘Sir Oswald was the former leader of a political movement in England.’ But it said no more.

In actual fact, a few years before he had become the nearest thing to a British Mussolini, following Hitler`s rise in 1933 with increased vigour. Oswald Mosley achieved political prominence as a parliamentary critic of Lloyd George’s campaign to use the Black and Tans to crush the IRA. And late in 1920, as a twenty-four-year-old Conservative MP, he was a believer in the League of Nations and condemned the Amritsar massacre in India as ‘Prussian frightfulness inspired by racism’. In his memoir, My Life, Mosley recalled that the war in Ireland had ‘evoked intense moral feeling’. With each atrocity committed by the Black and Tans he felt ‘that the name of Britain was being disgraced, every rule of good soldierly conduct disregarded, and every decent instinct of humanity outraged’. Mosley was one of a small handful of MPs who doggedly pursued Lloyd George and his blustering secretary for Ireland, Sir Hamar Greenwood, over `the unacknowledged policy of reprisals`.

An accomplished speaker and orator, Mosley’s speeches and questions were fluent, precise and lucid: "reading them evokes the pleasure of observing a clever barrister at work in a trial." Were the words used to describe him in the Corkman rag. At the time he betrayed no sympathy for the IRA. In one of his early contributions he accepted that ‘in the present state of Ireland one certainly cannot deny the right to shoot a man who, when challenged, refuses to hold up his hands. Anything of that sort is perfectly legitimate.’ And after the Bloody Sunday massacres Mosley told the Commons that law-abiding people in Ireland were being intimidated by ‘a small gang of desperate men’, or, as he put it shortly afterwards, ‘the murder gang of Sinn Féin’. The root of Mosley’s case against the Black and Tans was that their behaviour undermined the superiority of British imperial rule. ‘No Empire, no Government, has been long sustained except by the power of moral force,’ he told the House of Commons after Bloody Sunday. ‘Our Empire stands alone, from the Imperial ruins of history, in its recognition of and obedience to this fundamental law. It is because I am a passionate believer in the destiny and in the yet unfulfilled mission of British Empire, that I am unwilling to sacrifice the inviolate tradition of the ages even to satisfy the transient purpose of this gambler’s expedient …’

Mosley’s own solution to the Irish question was a version of the agreement by which the United States granted Cuba independence after the Spanish– American war, but reserved the right to invade if any disturbance threatened American interests. Under such an arrangement between Britain and an independent Ireland, Mosley wrote, any infringement could legitimately provoke ‘a bombardment of Dublin and all the principal cities of Ireland from sea and air’. Mosley was certain it would never come to that because a government supported by the Irish people would guarantee British interests, especially since (as he presciently noted) all the signs were that the first Irish government would be `conservative` and stable.

To read Mosley’s words is to come away with the impression that he single-handedly dragged the damning evidence of the atrocities (committed by the Black and Tans) into the spotlight and created an unprecedented scandal in parliament.

And yet in 1938 something changed; something fundamental and important. On March 11th Oswald Mosley (and his political `henchmen` supporters) secretly visited Adolf Hitler in Berlin. The meeting must have had a profound effect on him, because when he returned to England, he was a changed man. He immediately retired from British politics,  became a virtual  recluse within his vast estate on Dartmoor: and set about with his wife purchasing a new house in Ireland. The Mosleys were about to become ex-patriots of their beloved native home, and embrace all things Irish.

Soon his silk tongued oratory voice would be heard across the length and breadth of Munster, as he fervently beat the anti Protestant war drum into a frenzy of hate induced bitterness: and lifted the new MUF banner in defiance against the deprivation of British rule in the North.
Thus.. the Munster Union of Fascists was conceived and born.


***      ***      ***

June 2nd - 1938
{The Battle of Cobble Bay Square}

The driver pulled the jeep up smartly in the centre of the market square, the vehicles brakes squealing high pitched in distress. Captain Mortimer jumped out of the passenger seat with his walking stick firmly striking the ground in front of his feet. Behind him other jeeps pulled up behind the green army snake of transports. The Royal Fusiliers B Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Regiment of Foot (Queens Own Division) began to disembark speedily "Out... out... out! Let`s be having yer.. form up by the right ,on the double." A noisy cockney accented sergeant was shouting orders to the men, which echoed and bounced off the walls of houses all around. The sound of heavy booted feet soon joined the cacophony of sound and melded into a frightful din of military efficiency.


.... absent from the scene were the indigenous residents of Bantry town itself.  The market square was empty of all except khaki and tan. It was as though the entire of Bantry`s civilian population had walled itself up indoors, and was staying well clear of the sudden intrusion of the British army.

Captain Mortimer turned to face Bantry Castle the tall and imposing structure which dominated the central square of the small market town. The gates were firmly closed and the wide arched entrance looked like a closed mouth, stubbornly fixed in rude denial of even a weak defensive whimper.

But suddenly, silently, from around the side of the Police Garda building came a militant  looking throng of people. In their midst they carried a large banner, held aloft with pride and determination. 


Captain Mortimer saw the British emblem displayed with enthusiastic vigour and immediately discerned the Loyalist intent of this crowd. As they came on, some of the lead most civilians began pointing militantly at the castle, stabbing fingers towards it with disdainful lack of respect. "He`s in der` Sir... dat trouble maker Mosley an` his painted harlot of a wife, dat they are, sir.` This from a well heeled and dressed Irishman at the lead... the local bank manager (Denis Healey), if Mortimer correctly recalled.


"Aye.. we don`t want der` sort here" and various cries of agreement rose and fell with new found courage and conviction... the army was here, and those trouble makers would soon be dealt with. This was the crowd`s assertion anyway.


Captain Mortimer tweaked his moustache and sighed: never an easy thing to stand in the middle of a belligerent civil divide: and in this matter the division was deep and impassioned. Protestant Irish, loyal to the Crown on one side.. and Catholic Patriots who only wanted the British out of their country and the North returned to its rightful home rule on the other; what was the Captain to do? He had come here with orders to arrest Lord Mosley and any of their supporters his men could lay their hands on. Oswald Mosley had been stirring up quite a hornets' nest of dissension and unrest, which smacked of treason, and fascism..... and a new word `Nazism` was being bandied about and the Captain didn`t like it one tiny bit.  Mortimer rolled that word round his tongue like he had a bad taste in his mouth - Nazis. The growing crisis fit to overtake the world, all stemming from Hitler`s German extremists, and a promise of cleansing the bad apples to create a new pure future for all. Balderdash, Mortimer concluded.

... a new pure future, or at least, for all who would bow to the shiny black jack boot: and to the growing voice of power within Aryan agenda.

Mosley was a supporter of this voice, and his influence was mesmerizingly dangerous. So much so that the Captain had been ordered here to put an immediate stop to it. Seeing the crowd of Loyalists gathering at the gates of Bantry Castle - Lord Moseley`s home.. Mortimer was happy to see not everyone was seduced by the black shirt`s seditious words. The banner waving mob was out for blood!
The first pane of glass was heard smashing in one of the lower level windows of the Castle home. Soon afterwards a single shot rang out from the building.. sounding ominously loud in the confined density of the market square.

A pool of blood ran from the pavement into the gutter, and a young boy lay still on the sidewalk.

Silence  ensued for a few seconds. Then.. as one, the crowd reacted. With an incensed howl of rage they advanced en masse on the Castle gates.

Mortimer was quickly losing control of this situation and that`s precisely the moment a group of red clad huntsmen entered the square from Main Street. Sized up the situation in moments, and charged right into the back of the mob attacking the Castle.



Meanwhile (militant `united Ireland` extremist IRA, sympathetic with Mosley`s cause) sniper shots began to ring down on the exposed platoons.  The shots came from above, from carefully chosen buildings within the square itself, a couple of Mortimer`s men fell painfully to the ground.

Tricky little buggers to paint - these wee 20mm guys are.
Dave Stone`s individual 20mm cobble stone WTW resin bases really help make them come alive. I keep my models on their intrinsic bases though (as opposed to cutting them away), just in case I wish to remount them anytime.

The cockney sergeant bellowed: "Get under cover, and drag those wounded men to safety. Move it!" Suddenly the market was a hive of movement. Civilians hammered at the Castle Gates, at first unaware their number were being butchered from the rear by the red jacketed huntsmen (led by Moseley`s Son - Albert). And all the time, Moseley`s snipers were picking off Mortimer`s men with unchecked impunity.


The ambush had been set, and Moseley had played his hand. Round one had most assuredly fallen to his treacherous schemes.  Mortimer gave the order for is men to retreat, and in a somewhat disorderly array, the khaki army melted out of the square (leaving a few of their jeeps behind in their hurry to find safety and drag their wounded to cover).

The Loyalist mob was routed, and those who could not flee were butchered in the blood red cobble stoned street.

The war in Munster had begun.


Loyalist ( anti MUF & BUF British supporting) crowd, led by the Bantry bank manager.
As mentioned... the bases are all made by Wargames Terrain Workshop (except some of the Huntsmen bases which I needed in a hurry, so some of these are home made out of polymer clay). Will maybe re-base these when the rest of my WTW order arrives in the post.

The cool 2`` by 2`` battle board I picked up from Dave`s workshop, when I was last over there... here it is in all its cobble-stone glory.

***      ***      ***

20 days ago I decided to start a new project: a made the decision to try out A Very British Civil War and early (Operation Sealion) gaming and I wanted to do it on the cheap as much as I possibly could, by cobbling together bits and pieces of my existing hobby miniatures and terrain from my old collection (rather than go out and just buy everything new). 20 days ago I started with barely a single miniature ready to use, so to make this project work, I had to think fast. I figured I could do my Very British Civil War with a starting collection of about 100 figures: and effectively I cobbled together everything suitable could find in 20mm. A wanted to go the 20mm route primarily because of three reasons: A) if I needed to buy anything fresh, the scale was innexpensive: B)  I knew I wanted to add a model train set into my games (having watched Colditz, Secret Army, and Dads Army to death recently, I was filled with a deep desire to incorporate this element into my hobby as much as possible - and train sets tend popularly to be about H0/00 or 20mm): and C)  20mm needs a much smaller playing area than 28mm or larger scales do. So I set to work scouring my collection to see what I could come up with. From Richard Borg`s Memoir 44 soldiers, also micro plastic Army Men (a good source for jeeps armoured cars and tanks, and work out at about 10p per vehicle), to WWI Great War and  Rebel and Irregular Miniatures. In the end I had found a couple of hundred minis I could use, 1 truck, 9 jeeps, and 6 tanks. Terrain was not a problem as I asked Hils to make me a papercraft town (Hils is a bit of a whiz at making card stock terrain - from scratch, using photoshop and a bit of graphic design jiggery-pokery), and trees and hedges and so forth I could always make for myself.. or use existing bits and bobs from my collection. 
A plastic Army Men Jeep, commandeered out of a 5 euro bag of micro toys (containing 3 tanks 3 jeeps, 3 planes, some terrain pieces and 200 plastic soldiers in green and tan colours). Plus a plastic tree from an old children's farm set, and a few toy soldiers.

So yeah, 20 days later and I had enough painted to play my first game, and was able to start my new VBCW campaign with a bang.... and a very enjoyable first game it was too. I wrote my own set of rules for the game: a simple 7 page affair which does the job beautifully and serves my needs perfectly. If anyone would like a PDF copy of the rules I use for playing my VBCW table top battles (simple and uncluttered), just let me know and I will be happy to email you a copy.

Micro Army Men Jeep and Tank... value a few pennies each.

I am very much looking forward to adding all the cool whimsical, farcical, and exciting factions to my games.. as time allows over the following weeks. Already on my painting table waiting to be finished are: "The Loyal Goodwives Women`s Institute of Jam Makers" and "The Upper Sheringham Cricket Club" and their deadly rivals "The Cromer Giants Footballers Association" and then there`s "The Walmington-on Sea Home Guard" and "The Metropolitan Police Brigade" and their mounted wing "The Flying Squadron" (affectionately known as `The Norfolk Bumblebee Blues`). I think my current favourite has to be "The Felixstowe Retired Partners {Grass}Bowls Club" Ooh the list is endless, and I am proud to say progress is coming on apace.

As a final thought on this week`s post I`d like to share my discovery of a (new to me) company making a whole host of interesting ancillary models, just ideal for wargaming. I recently grew curious about this company after Jez put me onto them. They make a rather impressive range of interesting H0/00 scale miniatures: so I approached Ian over at Langley Models and I ordered a few sample packs to see A) how their H0/00 scale compares to my existing range, and B) I`m always interested to see how friendly and helpful (and quickly) a company deals with new customers.

First up, I have to be bluntly honest and say, I was not impressed at being charged for postage twice. First order I sent failed due to my card being maxed out. I received a message immediately informing me, and I wrote back at once and said money would be on the card by next morning. Next morning I made sure the card was topped up and placed an additional order along with the first (i.e. two more packets of miniatures). I didnt hear another word from Ian but the parcel turned up yesterday (seven days later), BOTH orders were in the same envelope but I had been charged TWICE = £6 each time, which I think was a bit naughty and certainly didn't impress me; especially as I had made it clear this was a sample order with many many more probably to follow over the months and years ahead.

However, onto the miniatures themselves. They are pure and simply delightful models, all metal (I was expecting plastic for some reason, thinking they would be more like standard train set accessorily pieces) and I could not be any happier with the packets themselves. No flash and nicely detailed, and each packet contains a nice selection of finely detailed perfectly in scale H0/00 figures.


I ordered a pack of British Army Personnel standing to attention (perfect to represent my Dad`s Army guys), a pack of Victorian/Edwardian Domestic Staff.. actually ideal for WWII servants of any large stately house: and finally I ordered a set of Cubs/Scouts, leaders and a camp (including tents) ideal for turning into Nazi Hitler Youth/Black Shirts for my new Very British Civil War campaign.

All in all, they are utterly delightful little models, and I will definitely be buying a few more packets over 2018. I just wish the guy running the place knew a little more about customer relations and the importance of good customer communication. I most certainly would have been inclined to buy a LOT more, if I felt happier about that all important customer one on one contact. Ah well.

Again I reiterate that I can`t fault the product in any way, and I am extremely happy with the purchase itself.



Article by Steve.