Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Grand Designs

To all intents and purposes that's the need to keep going with the Patricians over, I can now field a very decent 2500 point force with choices to push it towards 3,000. I have however got some more on the go, Legio Quinta Macedonica which I may use as Limitani if I need some cheap troops, but in all fairness many of the Limitani units were up to scratch and at times conscripted into the field armies as Psuedocomitatensis on a par with what we think of as regulars. I also have a mounted Equites unit in the drawer, I probably will not have to bring these guys to the field very often but they are cheaper, if not as fearsome, as the Huns and besides, I wanted the shield patterns. One more unit is on the wish list but it can wait.

I started on my Warbases villa not so long ago as you know, well I have gotten a bit further, I have now based the buildings on an MDF sheet, suitably painted with wallpaper paste so that it does not warp, will it work, who knows. I thought adding a spare tree would be a nice touch, I have some civilians I painted up for a previous game so I might pop a couple of them on as well in due course along with a Roman plough. At the moment I want to concentrate on the base.

Romans go home.

The lads at the club have pulled off a bit of a coup, there are several Sharp Practice 2 players with lovely armies and they had planned to go to a tournament organised by Wargames Illustrated, but said magazine has cancelled at the last moment. Unfazed the lads decided to hold their own in Grange-over-Sands and invited author Richard Clarke to come along, and fair play to the man he is venturing to the wilds of Cumbria at the weekend. I was asked to go along but it is not my cup of java however I am at a loose end so we will see.

A lot of small map projects completed this week and off to authors for their comments, on the horizon is a Napoleonic project and at some point back to the New World with something naval, until then I will be getting on with maps for a biography of Hugh Gough, 1st Viscount Gough.

Another beautiful day which will be topped off by a Roman vs Seleucid game at the club tonight, great stuff.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

View From The Window

Beautiful sunny day although it is still sharply cold at this time, Mothers Day of course and I have already given my mother a thought or two and shortly will be preparing breakfast in bed for the mother of my warriors just to keep in the good books. Both cars are getting a wash and brush up today seeing as the weather is nice so I will have to venture outside and the missus wants to 'get in the garden' which means I shall find something to do elsewhere which will involve sitting down. I am going to be home alone for three weeks from next week so by the end of it the words bear and sorehead will likely be appropriate. A suicide in the village last week, a local man threw himself off the Crag which dominates the village, a sad thing indeed.

A desperate week with another 'not in the name of Islam' Islamic attack on innocents in London and the usual hand wringing and hindsight comments from every man and his dog. What we must not do is turn our land into a hideous fortress in an attempt to stop every nut from harming anyone, sadly our security forces cannot possibly stop the odd nutter with a car or knife hurting someone so the only thing we can do is not give in and begin to treat them like the enemy they are. Did you notice the self seeking lawyer who came up with the idea of suing ISIS, good luck with that one mate, but you got some free publicity.

Did you notice the fine upstanding words from the House that we were never going to give in to terrorism, did you like me then think it strange that those same people were eulogising a murdering terrorist as a man of peace a few days before? I keep reading that McGuinness only turned to peace when he saw that we were winning, well we have yet to see one IRA bullet, all their murdering zealots were given a get out of jail free card, while our troops can be legally hunted until they die of old age. Large numbers of men known to have a hand in some of the worst atrocities are walking free, I could go on and on, suffice to say I knew this outpouring of disgusting praise was coming but, like the great majority of Britons outside the Establishment, I am standing squarely with Norman Tebbitt.

McGuinness' real legacy.

While the murderer was getting all the praise poor Chuck Berry got a few footnotes as he passed away, a man in my mind who was a musical genius rather than a pop sensation like George Michael or a weirdo like David Bowie. Rock 'n Roll Chuck and thanks for the music.

I see that belatedly the media are now turning their sights on the bombings in Mosul, and shock, horror our bombs have been killing civilians as well, now how can we get out of this one, Russians bomb, war criminals, we bomb err................

What about something up beat I hear you say, well Oxford University now has a full time Diversity Officer, just in case someone wants to say something someone else will or might take offence at and to destroy the perpetrators future life.

I got a visit from a Tobacco Rep the other day, she just wanted to make sure that if I was selling cigs I knew all about the new unbranded packs being foisted on the cig companies. However the law does not carry over to tins or containers, so the cig people are now busily beavering away making tins which will carry a packet of fags with, yes, their brand on it. There has also been a big boom in the sale of the old fashioned cigarette holder since the governments 'war on tobacco'.

Now you know I am not a lover of having my meal presented to me on a slate, slab of wood or in a little wire prison, well this takes the entree, a restaurant in Plymouth has gone one better, you eat your food off the back of your hand in there. Now they don't even have to look around for cheap eastern European dish washers, the fools eat off their hands!

I have seen and heard quite a bit from Gina Miller recently, why? Quickly overtaking her in the must have a quote stakes or here's what I think sound bites is the husband of poor Jo Cox, Brendan, why would I want to listen to this touchy feely, love everyone, let them all in, hate Brexit, we're all doomed, nobody?

There is nothing so rewarding as seeing one of the 'up their own backsides' falling on it, Phillip Schofield, a revered TV presenter tweeted, big mistake Phil, that he was crossing Westminster Bridge in defiance of ISIS and in solidarity with the injured and dead. Yes his colleagues duly praised him while the rest of us ridiculed him mercilessly at every turn.

 That other national treasure Eamon Holmes and his wife did the same, it's a pity the sincerity went out the window as they took along a camera crew and photographer, just in case they were not recognised.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

You wait ages for a Roman building then ......

A whole town comes along. I started on my Warbases Roman Villa the other day trying to be patient and not rush things, I have managed so far as this is now day three. I am also still waiting for the base material I ordered so I think it will be next week before it is complete, I want to add some little bits and pieces but hey can be ordered and scattered whenever, they are not essential. I decided as my villa would be around at the end of the period I like wargaming that it would not have the slabbed courtyard or pool, it would more likely be a working villa rather than something for a local absentee landlord. I also had to make my mind up whether to sand it up for the East or leave it with greenery for Europe, I decided it would get more use being European, so Europe is good for something, it's a joke.

I did fail to notice that there is a build your villa .pdf on the Warbases site, it should have been mentioned on the one piece of paper in the pack, but I managed to make only two mistakes with the build and one with the lovely mosaics supplied by David Bickley. Although you won't see the inside of the villa much in the large games I play it really is a treat to know the inside looks so good and of course I shall point this out when using it. I went overboard and ordered up Pantiles from a railway modelling shop, I needed three packs and they came to just short of £12, but they are a huge improvement over the flat mdf.

The next stage will be to paint the walls, I might get around to that on Sunday, I do not use thick plaster for my walls as most of it would probably end up over me rather than on the building, so I use a thickish paint and dip the brush into some sand, I like the finish, just enough stubble to hint at a coat of plaster.

I am hoping for some goodies from Royal Mail today, those extra figures I 'needed' and the bases for my buildings as I am also tarting up my WWII stuff, I know the troops are on the way but I am not so  sure about the bases.

Now, the town. I was directed to Warbases last night by a Facebook post, and lo and behold you can now build up a complete garrison town for your Roman army, there are barracks, shops, mansions and a gorgeous late Roman church, the only thing missing is the fortifications, a wall and towers. I of course wanted to buy several of the buildings, but uncharacteristicly I did wonder where I would put them, the villa is bigger than I thought and if you do garrison your cohorts you will need a big table. The mansion does however remain a possibility.

Oh, and I sat down to the Last Kingdom the other night while building the villa, and even though I am prepared to watch all sorts while painting or building I switched it off after about twenty minutes, the breaking point for me was the soppy, pathetic, "hope of the north" character. And another thing, there is a nunnery on the edge of the village and none of them look like Uhtred's religious lady.

I am really impressed with the camera on this iPad Mini, it manages to eliminate my need to take several pictures until I get one which is not blurred.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The end of the tunnel gets further away

I have managed to finish my nomad Nobles a few days early and I am very pleased with the way they have turned out, when they were 90% complete I revisited them and started to stick on some of those extra bits that seemed a pain at the beginning but which now enhance the models.

Hun Nobles.

As the basing was sitting drying I dug out the warbands I wanted to re-arrrange and to my delight found that I did not need to buy any new figures as I had spares already painted and based on a nearby shelf, I have no idea why. I also had the bases for them, so within an hour I had the four warbands enlarged, based and ready to go. I am hoping the the re-basing might give the Franks a new lease of life.

Back, Franks and Welsh, front, Picts and Saxons.
This of course means I now have a lot of spare hobby time, so I went online today to order up some MDF bases for my terrain, six quid for half a dozen sheets but fifty-four pounds for postage! The next outfit took £5.45 for postage, I wonder if that was a mistake, however I did not want to take the chance. I then jumped in and ordered up another two Roman units, one infantry and one cavalry along with their shield transfers, I already have the infantry movement tray and can make one up for the cavalry. These units are extra in order to field 3,000+ points if needed and also to give me a bit more of a choice when constructing a force depending on the enemy, I hesitate to say that is it as I would also like to add a unit of Roman mounted bowmen, they are not required but I do like the look of them.

It looks like I might get around to building that Roman Villa in the next week or so. I have been inspired by some of the terrain pieces I saw at Snaith, instead of just plonking down a bit of carpet or whatever there were nice areas with small huts and pieces of fencing for broken or uneven terrain, they had enough room to move troops but visually the were very appealing. This will all happen soon if I can keep my hands off these new figures.