Wednesday 25 July 2018

An EBay Find Of Old Magazines .

I have recently acquired some old wargaming magazines from 1968-69 off  EBay , which nobody else seemed interested in and I was the only bidder .

The are the journal of the Horse and Musket Society , it was the time I started wargaming but I have never heard of the society nor this publication . A quick Google search doesn't bring anything up about the society so I'm not sure how long it lasted .

The layout and quality is definitely pre-electronic media , they are slim but full of period feel , an era when gamers turned Airfix Guardsmen into any army or uniform using razor blades and Plasticine and nail varnish (I never did track down the 'banana oil' you were advised to use). We are so lucky now when it comes to uniform information with the mass of books and the Internet at our finger tips , in one of them is an article on Austrian Napoleonic Hussar uniforms (very basic) but you can imagine people seizing on this and start converting American Civil War cavalry into Hussars . 

On the back of several of them is a advertisement for Miniature Figures , I remember posting off orders to this address enclosing a Postal Order (no cheques for me, I don't think I even had a bank account then), They had a strange way of working out postage - and if you didn't send enough money the deducted figures from your order (usually the most needed figures !) and it took for ever for the parcels to arrive - you could easily wait a month or more , it's much easier now to spend money ! (luckily ?) 

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Finally Getting There.

Well I got all the required figures cast  and  started cleaning them up , filing the bases flat and getting rid of any flash or mould lines .

The finished figures ready for the necks to be drilled out to fit the heads .

At this point Charlie who had been fast asleep across the room heard me start unwrapping a 'Kit Kat' biscuit !.

Having placated the dog with some of my biscuit I started drilling the necks out . I used my trusty 'Dremel' with a small bit to drill a starter hole then a larger one the same size as the shank on the head. I held the figure steady in an old leather glove held in place with a mould clamp. 

The finished figures glued to their bases ready for spraying black.

Sunday 15 July 2018

The Goddess Of Home-Casting Smiles .

Well I've got a new full gas bottle , I found there was a Calor Gas depot on a local industrial estate so I swapped my empty one for a full one. The Goddess of Home casting smiled on me and I got the remaining figures done , spurred on by this I tried casting from a metal Nurnberger Meisterzinn mould , now in the past I've had trouble getting successful figures from these moulds - but I was on a roll today so I got half a dozen figures cast from this mould* - enough to finish off a sub-unit of twelve figures . So next weeks task is to clean up all these castings, base them and give them a black undercoat .
*I've been told pre-heating the mould over the gas helps and it seemed to work today.

Thursday 12 July 2018

Casting Blues.

Things have come to a temporary halt on the casting front as my gas bottle has run out of gas . So I put it in my backpack (its awkward to carry and heavy-ish) and set off for the garage on the top road to swap it for a full one , I got there and found they had moved the safety cage they keep them in , on enquiring were they kept them now I was told - "we don't do them now - to much hassle with health and safety and we never sold many" ! - BLAST ! . So I'm going to have to find another supplier . 

I have done quite well in getting the next unit cast up seeing it's being very hot and so not pleasant slaving over a hot mould. The venting I did on the moulds seems to be working, but the metal I'm using is a bit rough but we are getting there.

Tuesday 10 July 2018

Painted Ladies .

One of the hardest things to paint when it comes to figures are females , the average male figures has a somewhat craggy face which with a bit of shading and a touch of stubble can look convincing . Females however especially if they are done convincingly I find hard to do justice too (most females in wargaming are predictably portrayed with large out of proportion boobs and so somewhat a caricature) . Warlord have just done a set of female Samurai figures ( Onna- bugeisha ) for the 'Test of Honour' skirmish game and being a total 'fanboy' I had to get them . They are very nice indeed , slender and well proportioned and actually look like Japanese girls . Having got them I had to think of painting them , I must admit I was a little intimidated by the prospect . I looked at various illustrations and Google-pics which showed how hard it was going to be to get it right . Upper class Japanese woman tended to wear heavy makeup which whitened their faces and the eyebrows were drawn on , cheeks heavily rouged and very red lips , hard to get right in 28mm and not make them look like Coco the Clown. Here is my first finished figure and I'm happy with it , I pinched the colour scheme of the clothing straight off the Warlord advert , Well that's one down another six  to do .

Friday 6 July 2018

A New Book .

I don't normally do book reviews but I think I must draw attention to this book , there is not much on the Thirty Years War in English , there are a couple of general histories of the war but not much on the details how the battles were fought or how armies operated . So I was overjoyed with this book , it's a period of the war I based my armies on and packed full of information including an orbat of the battle , details of captured flags and how the terrain affected the battle . 10 out of 10 .