Monday 30 November 2020

Setting the scene - in 54mm .

These cows , scarecrow , cornstooks and farmers are from my distant childhood . Already old when they were past down to me by my older cousins they were part of a toy farm I played with as a youngster . I have repainted the farmer as he had no discernable paint left on him but have left the others untouched , the farmer is solid and hefty enough to be a viable missile if thrown , the others hollow - hate to think of the lead content in the cows paint scheme .

The walls I made myself in a homage to my late father who made me some like these as a child . They are simply wood cut to size, the stone work drawn on with a pencil and given a gloss varnish .

I have only one building at the moment , a small MDF one - I can't remember where I got it from  , I have decided that I want my buildings /scenery to have overtones of 'toy town' so it to has been give a coat of varnish and left as it is . The inhabitants of 'Rose Cottage' are a couple of figures again from my youth, from a clockwork train set again donated by an older cousin (I suspect families don't past toys down to the next generation nowadays) I have repainted them - the lady had a brilliant 'dayglow' blue coat that refused to budge when soaked in Dettol and bleach - God knows what sort of paint it was - probably used to painting battleships ! . They are Mr  & Mrs Pendergast a couple that may not be all they seem - That point on Mrs Pendergast's umbrella looks rather sharp ! and what's that ticking coming from her bag !?  - Is that an automatic pistol in Mr Pendergast's pocket ? - or is he  just pleased to see us !? ...........


Saturday 28 November 2020

Ssh ! don't tell my Mrs !

So I had to cast up some more figures and my gas bottle ran out ! 'blast!' and because of  'lock down' I can't get a replacement bottle - evidently Calor gas for casting up toy soldiers is not essential under Government rules (I would beg to differ !) , so I thought I would use this electric hotplate . It proved less than successful - it has a cut off to stop it getting too hot - just as the metal starts melting , it was taking ages to get anything done and it was b****y freezing out in the shed so I hit on another idea ! .

Luckily my wife was out at work so I brought my casting stuff indoors and used the cooker - which worked very well indeed , the old saucepan is half full of sand to catch any spillages and I was MEGA careful ! . I remember seeing a photo of Donald Featherstone casting using a gas stove in his kitchen so if he could do it I had history on my side ! .

The fruits of my labour , I cleaned up very carefully - in fact my wife commented how tidy the kitchen looked , so all I have to do now is glue all these bits together ready for undercoating .

PS being a truthful sort of chap I ended confessing to her what I had been up to ( the dog and the younger cat had been watching me - the dog can be bribed into silence with treats but the cat is a bit of a sneak and trouble maker ! ) she said "so that's why the kitchen was clean !" 


Thursday 26 November 2020

Peter Cushing wargamer - again .

A couple of photos from the Peter Cushing Association  (The Peter Cushing Association | Facebook) Facebook group , the first is Peter dressed as a pirate playing a naval/pirate game using model ships on a hexed board with a deck of cards which must be used in the game somehow or other .

The next one I think I've seen before which shows him in rather a natty jacket , cigarette in hand sorting out a rather fine collection of 54mm figures (click on photos to enlarge ) 


Saturday 21 November 2020

They shoot horses don't they !? *

 ............ well not if I can repair them ! 

I have half a dozen hollow cast Life Guard type figures probably Johillco and they are all a bit worse for wear - a head missing on a couple of them and two horses with missing legs . I decided to try and renovate these so I've stripped the old paint off using 'Dettol' and this is one of the horses being repaired . I drilled up into the leg and them drilled the base and pushed a pin through it and up into the horses leg and applied copious amounts of super glue , I'm going to build up the missing leg using 'green stuff' and then repaint the figure , I'll post more when I get them painted .
* I ended up Googling where this quote comes from and it's from a 1969 film staring Jane Fonda and previously from a novel by Horace McCoy 

Tuesday 17 November 2020

An update on the 54mm battle


I totally forgot to put up any photos of the game I played using AGW rules and my 54mm figures , in fact it was only when I had inadvertently delete several of the photos that I thought I'd better post these before an accident befalls them .Here we see 'S's Uhlans being scattered by fire from the 'Red' army Volunteers when they tried to flank march . 

'A' has sent his Light Infantry into the East Woods and his infantry around Rose Cottage advance to counter 'Blue' armies infantry , his artillery with the cavalry are on the far right flank .

'S' has moved infantry behind The Paddock wall and his gun and infantry are on the road to counter 'A's Highlanders . On his left his infantry push forward up to Rose Cottage . Both sides where losing figures now as the units came into effective rifle range.

The left flank from the 'Blue' army point of view . It was at this point the missing photos should fit in - 'S's left hand infantry (in white trousers) suffered from artillery fire and when weakened were overrun by a cavalry charge , however the cavalry suffered heavy casualties and had to retire . 

However the game swung the other way in the center  as the Highlanders were shot to pieces by the combination of infantry and artillery fire and had to retreat .Another disaster befell 'A's 'Red' army when a chance card was drawn which permitted 'S' to force one of the 'Red' army units to advance - it was played on the Light Infantry which advanced out of the East Wood and across The Paddock and where  massacred by the 'Blue' infantry behind the wall . With this I decided that the day had gone to the 'Blue' army commanded by 'S' - a victory but rather a bloody one  'Blue' army suffering 24 casualties and 'Red' army 32 . A great game which I enjoyed playing , the armies will take the field again with reinforcements which are being painted up as we speak .

Sunday 15 November 2020

To re-paint or not to re-paint ?


I bought this chap off eBay , a nice figure with some paint chipping. I want to keep as much of the original character as possible so I'm planning to only touch up he damaged paint work . Now amongst serious figure collectors this is a controversial subject  but seeing I'm only using him on the tabletop I'm not to fussed ! . I've mounted him on a base so he doesn't keep falling over .

He's a bit of a character , rather a florid face - long service in foreign climes or too much port ? , I'm patching up the hole in his hat but not touching the face and I want to keep that marvelous orangey red tunic colour that contemporary figures have .

The finished model with the paint 'improved , General Pettygrew is ready for service in the 'Red' Army.

Tuesday 10 November 2020

Now what's he up to !!??

Nobody would believe how much effort and bad language went into the making of this so far - I am NOT one of natures woodworkers - more later .


Saturday 7 November 2020

First clash of the 54's


I persuaded my two wargaming colleagues 'A' and 'S' to provide me with dispositions and orders for my 'Red' and 'Blue' 54mm armies . 'S' would be 'Blue' and 'A' 'Red' , here is the 'Country' to use the term H.G.Wells employed . 'Blue' deploys nearest the camera it's limits marked by blue dice , 'Red' opposite side of table .

The table set up , each side has 4 units of Infantry , a Cavalry unit and a Gun and crew. It was to be a simple meeting engagement with the object simply to drive the enemy from the table and the game would last till the 6th Joker was drawn .

'Red' armies deployment , Princes Gertrude's Light Infantry and the Volunteers (Performing Arts Own) nearest the camera , The Lanarkshire Highlanders on the road , the Borsetshire's next with the Gun and crew and the Life Guards behind Rabbit Ridge .

The Commander of 'Red' Army General Crawley (creepy to his men) and his Aide .

The 'Blue' Army , the Westfalische-Rinderwurst Uhlan Regt. nearest the camera , the Leberkase Infantry Regt. in front of the carelessly left rule book , then the Gun and crew with the Nurnberger and Bergen-Wurst infantry furthest away withe the Bavarian Infantry Regt. Bratwurst behind them .

The 'Blue' Army CinC General Mouters and Aide . The coins are used to mark when a unit has moved and each side is dealt a hand of cards to help with motivating the units - let battle commence ......


Thursday 5 November 2020

A bit of progress .

I've got the figures I cast up undercoated and ready for painting .

You can have Regimental mascots with AGW rules and this three legged dog (nicknamed 'Tripod') has been sat on my painting tray for years , it's an old hollow cast model so I added the missing leg with a pin and 'green stuff' and mounted him on a base .

The finished figures nice and shiny with their new gloss coat of varnish . I painted the dog up as 'Lassie' so he/she can take his place as a mascot on the tabletop  (if I remember rightly 'Lassie' was meant to be a girl but was actually played by a male dog in the TV series) . Getting into the swing of things now with my 54mm and have a game playing at the moment which I will be blogging about next .


Tuesday 3 November 2020

A mystery solved .

I was musing the origins of the hollow cast mounted figure I renovated and whilst searching through my shoe box of old figures I found the above figure which is the same as my damaged one . It's a Johillco Scots Grey  - the horse is exactly the same but with the original riders head .. John Hill & Co. was started in 1898 by a former employee of Britains . Unlike Britains the figures were sold individually and aimed at the 'pocket money' market whilst Britains sold their figures in boxed sets . They generally had a simpler paint job and were sold in variety stores like Woolworth . So these two figures are probably over a 100 years old and still fighting tabletop battles .


Monday 2 November 2020

Casting triumphs and failures .

Spent a few hours casting up some extra figures for my 54mm collections - thanks to 'B' my wargaming  colleague for providing the old figures to be melted down - think these are Heroic & Ros FPW (?) .

Some of my 54mm Prince August molds are rather worn and need that bit of extra clamping to stop the metal running .

Here are the fruits of my casting , I've had to use a bit of 'green stuff' to get the arms to fit and repair a miss-cast rifle . These molds are some of Prince August's oldest molds and perhaps  showing their age compared to their newer ones . I've added Irregular Picklehaube heads to turn them into Prussian/German/Black Army .

Flushed with success I thought I would try and cast from this ancient mold I once got years ago from a junk/antique shop - I have NEVER managed to get a casting from this mold - and failed again today ! . Think I need to add some channels to the horses feet and riders head to help the flow of metal , also I think the mold has to be heated up to a high temperature to get the metal to run before it cools . Being solid it will take quite a bit of metal per casting but if I can get figures from it I could do head swaps and it would be very useful - watch this space for further developments .