Thursday, 25 September 2014


I have started on my SYW 10mm figures that have been hanging around in my lead cabinet for a while. I have a chance to 'crack on' with some base coat coverage whilst Mrs J is at work but that will be it for this weekend as we have to move 'Eldest Child' to University digs. A 500 mile round trip coupled with the inevitable supermarket shop courtesy of Dad.

 These are my first 10mm guys so I am not sure how to paint them. I have read that you should exaggerate colours or they won't stand out at a distance but although 10mm is too small for some of the more delicate brush work I want them to look 'half decent'.

I am painting my figures 'By Regiment'. My first batch of line infantry consists of 36 musketeers, 12Grenadiers  and a Battalion gun all in regimental colours. I am going to paint 'Line' troops first as I think it would be pointless to paint Guards when I am still unsure how they will turn out. After all, who has seen a shabby Guards unit lined up alongside a pristine Grenzer or Freikorps Regiment.

Close order infantry will be based in two ranks of three on a 30 x15mm base with the Battalion gun on the same sized base but with the 15mm edge as the front. I will then combine Grenadier units into composite Battalions as happened in real life. This gives an infantry unit of 6 bases plus Battalion gun. My first units are 'Austrian' in style and base colours. I now have to name and number the regiments and allocate stats for their colonels.

Here is a quick photo taken from my phone of the current state of play.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Poppies at the Tower of London

I was at work today and spent part of the time in and around the Tower of London. An inspirational concept from artist Paul Cummins, set by stage designer Tom Piper has led to the 'planting' of 888,000 ceramic poppies, one representing each British Serviceman that was killed in the Great War. Clearly this does not include those injured or who died from their wounds later. The scale and number of poppies is truly humbling, more than a few tourists were close to tears when I explained what they represented. You can buy a Poppy for £25 with the money going officers Charities such as Help For Heroes and Combat Stress. If you go to the Tower website you can also ask for names of relatives who fell in that conflict to be read out when the poppies,are planted. I took this photo and more by luck than anything else caught the poppies by the wall in the shade of the Tower. From a distance it looks like the wall is bleeding. The intention is to plant all the poppies by Armistice Day in November. If you are in London take a detour and have a look, it is a really brilliant idea to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of that awful conflict.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Absent Without Leave

I have been remiss in not blogging for the past few months, mainly due to the following 1)Work - we moved office last week. Less space and fewer Windows. I am also too close to the Management and I am now 'in constant demand'. This coincides with loads of meeting invites, to the point where I am double booked. 2)Exercise - I needed to lose weight and have been going to the gym after work. As I won't compromise on my time with my girls I find myself ironing rather than painting in the evenings! On the positive side I have lost weight and feel a lot better for it. I breezed (slight exaggeration here) my annual fitness test and joined the ranks of the others bemoaning how easy it was. 3)Girls - one off to Uni, one to college and the other starts senior school. That coupled with the hassle of SATS Tests, GCSE and A level results plus Proms (thank you so very much America !)This blew away the summer term. 4)Holiday - We needed it after all of that ! 4) Writers block/Blog fatigue. Only the best seem to be able to ride out the waves and carry on regardless, lesser mortals such as myself need a little kick now and then. What is finished and what is not My Crimean Russian Infantry Batallion is in its last stages of painting. Just have to base it and add the flag. I realise I need a little variety so I will alternate projects giving me some variety and a reason for finishing. I will return to my Russians. Maggie and Arfa are complete. Pleased with them as trying to get the likeness of a 'real' person is difficult especially as Arthur Scargill had a 'rainbow' hair colour of many hues.
Having read Henry Hyde's Compendium I saw a use for his Shot, Steel and Stone rules using 10mm Pendraken SYW figures. I wanted simple rules so I could Solo play and improvise. The possibility of collecting 2 or more armies in this scale at an 'old skool' size is viable at just over £5 per Batallion. I intend to have them as an Imagi nation but paint them to conform to genuine SYW colours. My first batch are UHU'd to painting sticks as I write. This is my first venture into 10mm and I have no idea how they will turn out but I am going for effect at a distance or the size of each figure will surely drive me mad were I to try to paint buttons! We celebrated D Day with a game using Bolt Action rules (which I really like) and my backside was handed to me on a plate. I have photos on my phone of my German Unit with God knows how many pinned markers. I will upload the photos and brief synopsis of events later this week. I am still scarred ! Oh yes, I even caught a glimpse of Le Tour as it headed through London