Sunday 28 January 2018

A Trip to The Model Railway Exhibition.

It was the Lake District Model Railway Clubs show this weekend and as it is a couple of years since I last visited it I thought I would pop in and have a look. I got there promptly to find a queue of elderly men lined up waiting to get in - I joined the queue and blended in well ! . In fact there were so many waiting in the Sports Centre foyer that they opened up early to avoid crowding with all the fit people (or people that wished to be fit) .

One thing I noticed was the abundance of tiny electric lights on the trains and layouts - a development since I last visited .

Sometimes this didn't help with photography - this miniature fire engine had a blue flashing light ! .

I'm always impressed by the level of detail in these layouts , here BT have the road dug up doing repairs . 

I always have a soft spot for the small industrial layouts , here a gravel plant with  narrow gauge track and the working lights everybody seemed to have .

Another part of the layout , I like how the scenery blends into the back board. It was noticeable that most of these train sets were run by grey haired men of a certain age - similar to wargaming shows !.

One of the smallest layouts was only about 3' x 3' and portrayed the Budweiser factory yard with trucks of beer being shunted from one warehouse to the other.

Another view of the factory yard it was only about 18" deep but the warehouse backdrop worked well .

One of my favourites was this set up portraying a logging railway set in 1940s (?)  America , again not very big but done on an L shaped board .

There was again attention paid to small details which helped to tell a story of what was going on .

The great selling point for this layout was running water which flowed over a waterfall and under the railway trestle bridge , much to the entertainment of several small boys (and your author) who wondered were it went ! .

Computerised virtual loco driving - it had to happen ! and the unwitting reflection of me ! 

My modest purchase was from the 'bring and buy' a classic pack of Merit Popular trees for £2 just right for Old School gaming . Overall a grand morning out ! .

Thursday 25 January 2018

Japanese Bandits.

Finished off painting the Warlord Bandits from their 'Test of Honour' range , they are very fine figures - some of the nicest I've seen for quite a while.

I must admit I borrowed heavily from the paint jobs on the Warlord web site , keeping the colours very earthy and muted as befits outlaws and brigands . I'm quite getting into these tube paints , not sure that I would use them for massed battalions but I painted these figures one at a time and enjoyed using them .

Saturday 20 January 2018

An Experiment .

One of my Christmas presents was a set of tube acrylic paints , when I first swapped for enamel paints - which must be thirty odd years ago - I used tube paints as they were the only thing I could get , settling on Liquitex as my brand of choice . I then moved onto Games Workshop and Vallejo as they became more readily available , which are ideal for painting masses of figures and Vallejo do camouflage ranges for modern figures . However I do like mixing pints for highlighting and shading and have had mixed results with Vallejo using a 'wet palette' - some shades go a bit 'funny' , so when I saw this modest set I thought I would give them another go .

I have painted up these three Japanese bandits using my new tube paints and enjoyed the experience , plus they last well on a 'wet palette' . I don't think I would use tube paint for painting massed rank and file when I would do six figures at a time , but for individuals they work well . The figures are by  'Warlord' from their 'Test of Honour' range and are some of the nicest figures I've seen for a while. 

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Charity Shop Find.

On Saturday I was dropping off some unwanted paperback books at a charity shop and on the way out I glanced at their books , now I've never found anything worth reading on their shelves - lots of copies of  'The Da Vinci Code' (so many that they have stopped taking them in , 'Fifty Shades Of Gray' is also popular for dumping, the lady behind the desk told me !) and Mills and Boon romances , but I noticed there were a few Osprey books so I gave them a looking at. Most of them were ones which I already had or was not interested in - but - there was a copy of the above rules , I was vaguely aware of them as my mate 'B' had a copy and had mentioned them - so for £ 3 I thought I would get them and have a look .

I was impressed by their simple mechanisms , very O.S. and simple , as there was a small scenario in the back of the book I thought I would give them a quick try using my 30mm Spencer Smith figures.

My Spencer Smith are individually mounted on pennies , but I found the MDF sabots I originally got for my Napoleonics so used these , three bases per unit , total of eighteen figures per battalion . Honours of War don't use figure removal so it doesn't really matter how many figures you use. Here we see the Austrian forces moving up to attack the bridge.

The Prussians prepare to hold the bridge . Sadly the bases rather jar colour wise ! , may have to do something about this if I go with this rules system.

The Prussian Artillery have a commanding hill top position . I have read that the artillery rules are a bit overpowered so I will have to keep an eye on them whilst playing the game .

The game starts , the Austrians advance and deploy as the Prussian artillery open fire ! . Too be continued ...........

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Distaff Day.*

Well after a longish break from painting over Christmas - a combination of the festivities, family commitments and 'Man Flu' prevented any useful work , I have started again and as an effort to get projects finished off I have painted my Austrian guns and crew for my Italian War of Unification 1860 .

As I have said before (and will say again probably) I hate doing limbers in any shape or form - but do like them on the table as they really look the business, so I did a Austrian one to complete the force . The guns , crew and limber are of course Irregular 28mm and I'm pleased to say this finishes off my Austrian army and I do believe my Italian Wars of Unification ! , Huzza ! . It has taken four years I think and I have armies for Garibaldi , Naples , The Papal State , Piedmont/Sardinia and now Austria , Phew ! - like Toppsie 'it just grew' ! . 
P.S *St. Distaff day is a Christian festival on the 7th of January when women returned to their spinning using a distaff spindle after a break over Christmas .

Thursday 4 January 2018

A Recent Acquisition.

Just arrived in the post is my latest buy for my World War One Pilots collection , I know I've made a big thing recently about not buying new stuff but these figures  rarely come up on EBay especially this one - a 'Manoil' figure made in America  in the 1940's, known as Dime store toys , they can go for about £20 , but nobody seemed interested in this chap so I got him for £4 plus postage - a bargain ! . He is rather crudely painted in only four colours but a cute figure . I'm tempted to repaint him - and so destroying his collectability in many collectors eye's , Hmmm ! will have to think about that . Tea mug and biscuits for scale .

Tuesday 2 January 2018

The First Game Of The Year (Parte Twoe)

I had a go messing about with 'photo-shop' adding smoke to some of these pictures - with varied success . Here we see the Catholic Tercio advancing on the Protestant 'Red' regt. 

The Catholic Tercio's come under fire , they moved forward quickly but became disrupted by the fire from the enemy .

The Catholic pike block charges the right 'sleeve' of shote and routs it , the red markers are to record casualties .

Having driven off the'White' Regt. they turn their attention on the remaining Protestant unit causing heavy losses on the left 'sleeve' of shote and driving it off - things are not looking good for the Protestant army.

The remaining components of the Protestants flee leaving the route to the ford  open to the Catholic forces . On the other flank very little happened, the Catholic Tercio moving up the road did so very slowly and took ages to deploy , the Protestant 'Blue' Regt. showed no enthusiasm in attacking it and just sat there watching .

The victorious Catholic Commander . A rather quirky game with nothing happening on the Protestant right and although the left wing caused heavy losses on the enemy they were routed by a more aggressive foe.. The rules worked well and the game lasted six moves and was an exiting and interesting experience .