Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Been a fair old time since the last post so a quick update is called for. Most of my time is being spent on 'This Years Project' which is being chronicled at http://subedaissassysassanids.blogspot.com/ so input for this blog has slowed down for a while. that notwithstanding, I do have some pics to share. These are of the 25mm Numidians for the on-building Carthaginian army. Several conversions in this unit, two casualties and a sword carrying bloke who has lost his horse on one end. The rupert is a Warrior figure from way back although the company is still turning them out...nice figures when painted up; the rest are Mini Figs from back in the day.
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Slowly clearing the decks in readiness for this years big project. Getting the figures on Saturday for two compatable armies from the Ancient period... well, mid to late ancients really... actually 6th century AD.
Monday, 21 September 2009
At the same time as I was clicking away at the Chin I took a few of my ongoing 25mm Carthaginian Army, (remember them, the army using Mini Figs back from when Noah and myself were young). So here they are; the Gallic Warband chaps are from Mini Figs while the hoplites are Lamming. Both units have a number of conversions including head and body swaps - there is even a couple of left-handed warriors in the Warband!
Oh, and by the way, the butterfly mind of yours truly has made another tangential leap of wossname and is now focussed on something completely different. Something that has all the colour and spectacle of 25mm without the mega expense. Yep, 15mm -but not as we know it, captain. More later, when I come back from Derby, which incidentally, is on the weekend after next. If anyone is interested, I will be the madman wandering aimlesly about on the Saturday wearing an Irons shirt. (Much more modern than a folded copy of the Times under one arm and a pink carnation in my lapel.)
Talking of the Irons, they gave the Reds a run for their money so I heard. It was on Silly Telly but I had to work (not impressed). I got home after the match had been shown on MoTD then refused to get up at 0700 on Sunday to watch it repeated. Saw the goals on MoTD2. That blond Spanish bloke is the best striker in the Premiership at the moment, bar none...unfortunately he wears a Liverpool shirt. Still, can't have everything -at least he doesn't play for Arsenal.
Really pushed the boat out the other week and bought myself one of those ten megalo-pixie cameras; so here are some photo's of the Chin militia (Irregular Miniatures), taken this morning outside in the gardens of ma maison. As I said before, I was quite chuffed with the standard, basic in both colours and ornamentation, but nonetheless looking alright. Standards must be on the up, ha, ha.
As you can see, only basic conversion work on these fellows. Wobbly edged hats, plumes removed, replaced the flag pole...that's about it really.
Monday, 31 August 2009
Found another tree makinig idea; this time at http://www.matakishi.com/fiwtable.htm. This site is amazing for its simple but brilliantly effective scenery construction. GO AND LOOK---NOW! Clocked it for future reference.
Now, the Irons. Not too bad a start to the League -one of each- shame about Calum Davenport, bloke who did it should have the same done to him, see what problems it causes him in his career.
What have the 'authorities' been doing, eh? West Ham v Millwall = Powder keg of the first order. Bleating 'Shame', 'Disgraceful', 'Disgusting' is like closing the door after the horse has gone. Sheep disguised as the powers that be again. You cannot tell me that two groups of hooligans (you can't call them supporters) weren't going to cause trouble. So now, because of a few, the name of football is being dragged through the mud again. I even read that it may go against us for our bidding for the World Cup in 2018. What! Wake up and smell the advertising hoardings -IT'S HAPPENING EVERYWHERE! Russia, Germany, Poland are just a few examples. Danny Dyer had a whole Silly Telly series on just such a topic and he travelled all over Europe. In Poland, one team actually burnt all the opposition shirts that they had 'aquired' throughout the year. This was at Half Time. A line of burning shirts along the railings inside the ground. During the last World Cup, two groups decided that there were too many police around so they organised a little soiree in a field outside of town. they still do it, even though in these countries, the Old Bill don't mess about, its a cohort of police legionnaires advancing, shields up, happy-sticks at the ready. Why are we being singled out, eh? We go abroad for Internationals, get goaded, respond and who gets the blame. No prizes. Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. Yes, there is a problem that hasn't really gone away and if anything, the advent of the interweb and mobile phones has made it a lot easier to organise. I lived though the original, wasn't nice then and certainly isn't any better now. Answers? I really don't know but hopping with the wooly herd isn't going to solve anything.
Political/Sport diatribe finished. Back to wargaming for the next one. Promise.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
On another 25mm theme, remember the part army of Carthaginians I have? Well, Warrior Miniatures offer extremely reasonably priced 'army deals' at 100 pieces for £30. 76 infantry and 12 cavalry for the first Carthaginian Army and 56 inf, 12 cav and 2 elephants. With a half decent paint job, these are not bad looking little fellows. Could be doing some more of them.
Mine are straight, how about yours?
Sunday, 9 August 2009
Then I had it. Several years ago I bought a trial unit of Irregular Sung spearmen and I only ever got 10 of the 24 finished. So now, the remainder are on the painting table, undercoated by the famous Blue Peter method (here's one I did earlier) , and ready to go. So I will.
Ta, ta, the brush is calling.
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
Then I had it, Kallistra!
You ever get that? Trying desperately hard to think of something that it's never going to happen as long as you have a hole in your a... Then, suddenly, usually about a week later it will hit you like a brick to the boat race and you then have a Eureka moment...normally when people who haven't got a clue what is going on are like sardines in the room. Same as if you go a over t in the street; there is nearly always a de Mille sized crowd of people who just happened to look your way as you go over! Never, never when no-one is around. (Are we getting into the realms of quantum thingy here?)
So anyway, I dashed up the rickety staircase to the north tower and had a quick Google.
Slobber, salivate. Pictures on the website. I had forgotten how nice their little chaps were. A little larger than Irregular but if I was to get a whole tumen of them...
At this point brain went into hyperdrive and I worked out that I only need -at 16 figs a bag- 2 heavy, 6 light and 2 command bags for the lot. £45. Bargain. Money well spent, thank you very much.
Then partial reality sneaked back in.
If I was to get another tumen, I would need shed loads more Chin. Not so, I argued with myself, some of the Mongols could be used as disaffected steppe nomads who hadn't wanted to join GK's little merry band and had done a runner for safer climes -i.e. China. Or as Tanguts, or Uighurs or anything really, including Kanglis for a Khwarizmian Army! (I'm still trying to work out whether I won that particular argument.)
What a b****y tangled web I weave for myself and no mistake!
So now, after a couple of e-mails to Mr Kay at Irregular about the availability of figures, I may be reneging on my deal. Don't know yet, might even get another tumen and the Arabs.
Keep em straight.
Sunday, 2 August 2009
I have been ruminating incessantly for the past couple of weeks an I have come to a conclusion. The next 10mm army is going to be... either the generic Arabs or Samurai. Now, I know there are two to choose from but I still have until a week before Derby to work out which. (I will phone that nice Mr Kay from Irregular and ask for couple of battlepacks.) Something else that is niggling is that the Irregular Carthaginians look rather tasteful as well -but out of period; so I think that army is going to be one for later.
I keep looking over to my painting table at the last unit of Mongol 10mm cavalry and thinking, I'll get them done soon. But you know how it is, life keeps getting in the way. Still, need to get a wiggle on so I can start afresh after Derby.
Make sure it's wet.
PS It's looking favourite for the Arabs.
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Now this is where it gets a tad confusing. I have what is now called an Estuary Accent (but a bit upmarket; what with me pronouncing 'th' as 'th' instead of 'ff' and missing the 'k' from the end of words such as something (sumfink) or nothing (nuffink). EO (Eldest Offspring) has a reasonable Brum accent but takes after his old man and is a Hammer. MO , like father, has an Estuary Accent but even more upmarket than mine coz he is an actor an all, who has had electrocution lessons, don't you know -he is an ardent Bluenose (Birmingham City Supporter to the non-locals). See what I mean? Confusion abounds. Oh, and by the way, YO and OH have no football interest whatsoever.
Keep it wet,
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
By the bye, found another little bit about making 10mm trees, only this time of a more deciduous nature. Find it at http://www.carpediemww2.co.uk/terrain/10mmterrain/toothpicktrees.php. Pretty good, thinks I. Going to have ago when I can get hold of said green clumpy, flocky stuff. Although saying that, I just might have a bag in my green clumpy, flocky stuff box...I'll have a look tomorrow as I've just looked at my Mickey Mouse chronometer and its at ten minutes shy of midnight and I've got a case of the rumbletums. Have to go and feed my face otherwise the rumbling will wake up the missus and we all know what that means, don't we, all you married men out there.
Psst...the football season starts in three weeks time, The Irons first match is up here in the Wet Midlands (Yep, raining again), against Premiership newcomers Volvo-Hampton Vanderers. We'll see.
Not impressed with Sultanta Sports going wossnames up. The other Silly Telly channel doesn't show that many WHU games so I haven't got it, but Sultanta came free with Mr. Branson's Silly Telly so I used to watch them on that. Tried it on the puter but after watching England against Kazakhstan with Ecuadorian commentary in Tunisia (gets confusing but nearly done), I have decided against it. I will probably end up watching the highlights on MoTD on Regular Telly instead. And of course, next year is World Cup year! Four weeks every four years and the missus still moans about there being too much on and why do the schedules have to change just to acommodate 22 blokes in shorts chasing after an inflated pigs bladder? (As you can see, she moves with the times, does my missus. Bless her cotton socks.)
Keep em straight.
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Looking back over this post I trust the reader will forgive the mental meanderings of a wargamers mind, but will understand my motives for carrying on. It's a labour of love, an addiction, call it what you will. I'm just so glad that I suffer from it.
Keep 'em straight.
P.S. Just as another aside, as proof of my scary fixation with the Mongols, I have four armies of the little blighters -6mm, 10mm, 15mm and 25/28mm. Worrying, isn't it?
Sunday, 19 July 2009
Boy, what a mistake that was! I really, really wish I hadn't bothered.
Now I didn't know any of this and I don't think any of the historians who have meticulously researched the man over the centuries knew the following facts either. According to the film:
1. Jamuka (Stephen Boyd in sneering-face mode) killed Temujin's (Omar Sharif) father Yesugai.
2. Jamuka was considerably older than Temujin and they started out as sworn enemies not friends.
3. Subedai (a very young Kenneth Cope), Jelmei (or Jebei, the names were said far too quickly), and Khasar were all the brothers of Borte (some French sounding blond??? actress I'd never heard of).
4. It was the Chinese Emperor (played admirably by Robert Morley), who named Temujin Genghis Khan, not the Mongols.
5. The Khwarazmian-shah (a suitably attired Eli Wallach) along with Jamuka, attacked GK. In the battle, GK used cannon to great effect causing the Khwarazmian-shah to panic and order a retreat whereupon Jamuka stabs and kills him.
6. Subedai is killed at the battle. At least I'm pretty sure it was Subedai because the fleeting picture looked like Kenneth Cope wearing a helmet and with a daft moustache glued on.
6. Soon afterwards, Jamuka is captured and he and GK have a 'Mongol Duel?' The fight can only end one way and Jamuka is finally killed but mortally wounds GK in the process. The final scene is that of GK saying goodbye to his missus who is holding a babe in her arms -must be Ogadai because I saw another, older rug rat and a child, presumably Jochi and Jagatai- one of whom was being held aloft by a warrior. He decrees with his dying breath that, until his children reach their majority, the land should be ruled by Borte and her two remaining brothers.
And these were just the big ones that I noticed and remembered. Give me a pen, a pad and a pause button and I have no doubt that I could find many, many more.
The burning question is, how is it that so so may illustrious luminaries have got it so utterly and completely wrong? The answer is of course they didn't.
Now the rant.
The cinema and its smaller brother television entertain us in a variety of ways and at a number of different levels. History is fact. It is chronicled, sometimes by people who were there, and sometimes by people who were contemporaries of people who were there and then later by historians. My point is this, how it is so easy for the writers of a piece of cinema, and by association, television, to ride roughshod over history as if it were mere guidelines rather than -literally in some cases- set in stone.
Poetic licence, some cry! Entertainment value, shout others! Utter B*&&*+ks I shout back! Get it as right as you can.
Another and more dangerous adjunct to this random slashing through the pages of history is that some people actually believe and are influenced by what they are seeing. Get it wrong and a whole generation grow up being convinced that it either didn't happen or at the very least, didn't happen in that way.
As an aside to this I have spoken to Polish people who would swear that the Mongols either never invaded their country or, if you can get them to admit the truth, they will say that we beat them and they went away. Huh! I have also spoken to people in the know who have said that there are over 400 historical inaccuracies in the film Cromwell...this is after the publicity said that it had been researched 'for over ten years!'
This is how history gets perverted by the minor deity Entertainment. The Romans had a saying, Bread and Circuses. In other words, if you keep the masses entertained, they will not think or ask questions. That is what Entertainment has become, because the great deity, Hollywood, has decreed 'This is our version of how it is/was. Do not question it.'
Utter Rubbish! Question everything you see that is historical. If you like what you see then go down to your nearest booksellars/library and find out the truth. Then make up your mind. Don't just rely on cinema or television.
In the case of GK, from what I have read -which incidentally is quite a fair amount- the mans life was interesting enough and definitely cinema-worthy on any number of levels without having to embellish it by glaring errors.
God, I'm knackered after all that ranting, takes it out of you, you know.
Keep your paint wet.
Friday, 17 July 2009
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
Above from top to bottom: The Ribat (or religious fort) at Sousse, ruins of Roman Carthage x 2, El Djem x 2. The last two taken in 2008
A new enterprise idea reared its head while I was kicking my heels in Tunisia...a book. Not just any book but an historical one. 'Sit down that heckler at the back shouting, What a novel idea!' Something Mongol, I thought, falling back to my favouritest military period of all time to date. Then I had more thoughts about what's already been done and what was still available. So I made a few notes and came up with -what I think is a workable idea- about one of the most brilliant but as yet largely unwritten about strategic campaigns in history. So there it is. Using my own not too small collection of Mongol material plus the huge resources of Britains Library system I should be able to put something together.
Still painting. So far the unit of Chin heavy cavalry is painted and stuck down awaiting base colours and the last of my Chin infantry -a unit of crossbow men- is alongside the camels mentioned earlier, both awaiting undercoating. After that who knows, maybe some 10mm Ancient Gauls. This is for two reasons, a) While in Tunisia I visited Carthage and was impressed immensely, even though most of the stuff was Roman, so a Carthaginian Army is on the cards; and b) I already have a number of Roman cohorts painted to receive them. (I also have 3 x 500ml plastic water bottles with authentic Arabic writing on them filled with Tunisian sand ready for the bases. Anorak or what! Or could it be the purist in me? You decide.)
Another wargaming project for the future is a Khwarizmian Army in 10mm, (actually a generic Middle Eastern Army that will go from the Saracens to the Mamluks and possibly beyond a bit), again inspired by the visit to Tunisia. Hence the pictures of the Ribat at Sousse.
Who said wargamers have butterfly interests? Whoever it was got it bang on, especially if one is painting for oneself. Anyway, any unfinished projects will always get picked up again further on down the timeline of my wargaming life. I mean I have figures that havent seen the light of day in decades, then all of a sudden I get an urge -if you know what I mean- and off I go again at another tangent. Then again, I also have historical books that I have never read in periods that I don't know much about or I'm not interested in...yet, the day will come I assure you. Out of 900+ military books I've probably read somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of them, the rest gather dust until they become required reading.
On another completely different note I now have three parts of the beginning of a collection. When MO went to Rome he managed to smuggle back a small piece of the Colluseum. When in Tunisia last year I 'borrowed' a small piece of the El Djem Amphitheatre and this year I found a small piece of Carthaginian rubble in my bag when I got home. I would like to stress that as a dedicated afficianado of history, these pieces were not removed from any structure but were found lying on the ground.
Thursday, 2 July 2009
Well, had a good first week in Tunisia then it all went pear shaped. My mother-in-law fell badly and ended up in the local hospital for the second week. My wife and I had to come home on time but my father-in-law stayed out there. Then I got a call from the Foreign Office saying that that sadly, my mother-in-law had passed away on the 23rd.
So, there you are. one day you are as happy as Larry, having a great time and then Life turns it all around as if to say, 'Enough, you're having too much fun. This has to stop.'
Makes you stop and think, doesn't it.
Monday, 1 June 2009
Well, here I am sittijng at the computamabob in a pair of shorts and nought else because in the summer the far north tower is like an incinerator. I have a thermometer going up to 27 and its way beyond that. Still, can't wait for Sunday when the missus and I are jetting off to the sunny climate of North Africa for a well deserved fortnight break. Of course, being of the male persuasion I haven't even thought about packing anything yet...probably do it in ten minutes on Saturday evening.
Painting wise I am currently making a few adjustments to some Magister Militum baggage camels bought at Derby last year. So far added some javelins to one, glued on a tied up blanket onto another and bent a few necks for pose variety. There will be 4 or 5 of them on a base, so should look quite nice.
Latest thoughts are gearing towards a Chin castle. Seen some pics on the web of some place stuck at the end of Great Wall which has possibilities or I may even go for a generic type; undecided as yet. (The Russian castle is on temporary hold coz it's so bl***y labour intensive!) Also I have found a use for all those long wooden stirrers that I helped myself to in various outlets of a certain meat-in-a-bun chain of 'food' stores knowing that they would be useful one day. Well that day has arrived -no fanfare required- they are going to be used in the construction of my siege towers to use against said castle.
See you all in three weeks.
Keep your bristles straight,
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Cast your mind back several months to a rant about camera's and sunny days and how I only managed to get a few piccys. Well, after an intervening period of about an eon, MO has finally sent them to me via electronic means. One is quite good, another is reasonable, the rest are blurred and frankyl c**p. I have posted the two good ones. The top one is of some Lybian Spearmen as per WRG Mack and Pube 1st ed. that Mini Figs based their range on back when both Noah and I were both young. The second has my version of Greek mercs on the left with Carthaginian citizen spears on the right, both Lamming. In front of them are some archers from an unknown manufacturer. (Bear in mind these figs have been in the high tower for millenia so memory is a bit iffy). Head, shield, and boby swaps abound. All terrain pieces made by Yours Truly. Carpet tile courtesy of an old, condemned building.
The title is somewhat misleading...a wargamer never really finishes an army, he just finishes painting what he has at that time. I mean so far I have 12 units of 10mm Sung/Xin/Hsi Hsia Chinese. that may not sound like a lot but remember there are a minimum of 50 figs in an HI unit (3 of); 27 figs in a MI unit (6 of); 12 LC (2 of); 21 HC (1 of) and a rocket unit. That totals over 300 inf and 45 cav...so far. On top of that there are 11 units of Mongol cavalry -1x24 EHC, 2x24 HC and 8x12 LC. Enough for a small game pitting one aganst the other or a large game taking on someone else. So now I may have to move onto the 10mm Celts...until I get some more Asiatics that is.
Anyway, just come back from an unusually hot Bank Holiday weekend in north Wales, between Conway and Rhyl to be a bit more precise. Weather as I said was good as was the company -wife, friends from over the road and their daughter. Caught the sun quite nicely thank you (dig at pundits et al spouting on about ET waves). Now, overcast and windy. As Billy Conolly says, if you don't like the weather, wait around for fifteen minutes, it'll change.
At least the Irons finished a highly creditable 9th considering the almost season long injury problems with First Team players. Nice to see Kieron Dyer back and well done to Scott Parker for being voted Hammer of the Year. To use a much over-rated but somehow pertinent Americanism, Zola Rocks!.
Keep your bristles straight,
Thursday, 7 May 2009
Looking wistfully at the pile of 10mm Celts on my table and hoping every time that they will paint themselves but so far...nothing. Probably as much chance of winnning the lottery, looks like I'll have to do the job myself - when I can work up the enthusiasm.
West Ham are doing okay, currently lying seventh in the table but they've got Liverpool on Saturday then Everton the week after and then finally Middlesborough. What an end to the season. If they can stay seventh it'll be brilliant but I can't see it, not with that opposition.