David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occasional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Saturday 29 December 2012

Onward, and upward?

It seems like a good idea, or it least it did at the time you might reflect at a later date, to make some attempt at summarising the year here in GHQ for our group of gamers, and for me in particular as keeper of this Blog. For all of us its been a mixed year in many ways: some have lost folk they love; some have gained new jobs; some have faced up to difficult times with their family; some have been in hospital or had loved ones there. As I said its been a mixed year for the GHQ Irregulars, and no mistake. But we have all been sustained by our friendships and the love of the hobby I feel.

My most significant highlight by far must be becoming a grandfather with the birth of Arthur to Sarah and Matthew. Lets hope we've added another gamer there! I enjoyed some much less important highs, on the gaming front of course: namely having two pieces in Wargames Illustrated's 300th issue and finishing my set of ECW rules, "A Crowning Mercy", which should be available from Caliver Books exclusively in mid January 2013; visits to numerous shows up and down the country, from Vapnartak to Wargamer, via WMMS, Salute, Partizans, and Warfare.
My lows were loosing my father-in-law, Ken, a kind and gentle man to the horror of Alzheimer's and, on a personal level, having my left knee replaced in early September. Sue was also quite poorly in July and August, but is thankfully fully recovered now. In all of these lows I felt sustained by the love and kindness of family and friends, the latter both physical and ethereal. As Churchill said, "War is a game that is played with a smile." Good advice for any wargamer if you ask me!
Turning to the year as it passes then. I see I played 53 games in total, mostly between January and August. Of these I won 17, drew 6 and lost 30. Clearly I am not Premiership material when it comes to my win ratio! "War is mainly a catalogue of blunders..." afterall, to quote Winston Churchill, again! We seem to have played many different rulesets, with perhaps the old favourite Rapid Fire loosing out in 2012 more than any other favoured set here in GHQ. I shall have to rectify that in 2013 I think. The Byklabad Chronicles continued to unfold, as that rascally Raja of Rhanli fought the British of Havelock-Bykleigh in the Great Mutiny, while in Zululand the devious Chief Bykelezi strove in vain to defeat Lord Rawnsley, not to mention that canny Boer, De Whyt. In the Sudan the 'Barmy Bykli' continued to resist the southward march of Lord Walton's Column and Lord Rawsnsley's Relief Force, with little success I have to say. Lord Emsworth and The Empress made a couple of appearances and in the Old West New Paddock City was erected and saw some action as the year drew to a close. In the ACW we continued to play out several scenarios using my own Bull Run to Gettysburg rules, in which genre I probably recorded my best successes over the year. We dabbled in the AWI, the Seven Years War and the French Indian Wars and towards the year's end we sampled Bolt Action in 1940 France and Shropshire. In the English Civil Wars we played numerous games as I developed my new ruleset, probably the highlight of which for me was the battle of Pyddle Down! I played several games at Jon's and Phil's over the year, with usually more success than in GHQ I have to say! Black Powder and Through the Mud and the Blood featured strongly, but my greatest enjoyment was a Setting the East Ablaze game really, following the exploits of Ivan Juztukov, Soviet fighter ace and scourge of the Chinese Warlord Wun Ung Lo!
Painting totals, for figures at least, was a respectable 677 completed, all 28mm, in a bewildering range of periods, manufacturers and genres, from AZW figures in January to Samurai in December, via ECW, ACW, F&IW and WWII figures! Terrain building consisted of some Grand Manner Wickups; a scratch built Indian shrine for the Mutiny, clumps of palm trees and finally New Paddock City itself  ~ a wonderful set of buildings from Battleflag which I furnished with Frontline Games resin items.
Turning now to the year ahead as I 'stand at the gate of the year' I feel constrained to offer some sage advice from the American deaf-blind writer, Helen Keller, who wrote, "Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties." Keeping that advice ever before me I hope to enjoy many more games with my chums here in GHQ and beyond and to dive wholeheartedly into my new projects for the year ~ a Samurai skirmish game using figures from Museum Miniatures and the ubiquitous Perry Brothers; a Bolt Action Burma campaign utilizing Warlord's growing range and the Back of Beyond, more properly Rhawnlistan, with the Rhawnlistan Field Force drawing on Brigade Games, Copplestone, Pulp Figures and Woodbine Designs in the main. But, as we should all bear in mind, we know not what the future holds for us, in our lives or our hobby, as we stand at the gate of a new year.  ~  I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.” Or perhaps more prosaically as Winston might say, "KBO! KBO!" seems to be the best approach.
Whatever you game and paint and in whatever scale I wish you ALL

Friday 21 December 2012

The Great Paddock City Bank Robbery

Phil popped over today for a pre-Christmas game, or two as it turned out. Our planned 'Bull Run to Gettysburg' ACW game ended sooner than we had planned, with a resounding Union victory! So, after a leisurely lunch we cleared that tabletop and laid out New Paddock City for a Western Gunfight game, in which the 'Dusst Brothers' would roar into town and rob the bank! The forces of law and order, supported {or not!} by the honest townsfolk would defend the bank and see off the bad guys! Phil took the Dusst Brothers' gang and I took the Lawmen.

The town looked peaceful enough, until the leading members of the gang rode into town...

They soon dismounted and rushed towards the town's bank past the astonished bystanders going about their lawful business!
Soon honest citizens were fleeing the scene, except for the unlucky bank staff and customers who were caught inside the bank!

The local Sheriff, new to the town after his predecessor's sudden and unexpected lead poisoning, rushes from his office towards the bank. He was lucky to have the support of his loyal deputies in the following turns, especially the dour Stumpy Macfarlane, a dead shot with the shotgun!
The ensuing firefight was vicious and drawn out but left three of the gang members on the ground. The Undertaker will be busy today, not to mention OT the grave digger!
However, despite the best efforts of the lawmen, and of some of the citizens at least, Jedediah Dusst, the patriarch of the infamous Dusst clan, fled the town with the contents of the bank's safe leaving the citizens in uproar...
The town of New Paddock City has been enhanced by the erection of the 'Liberty Bell Hotel', bringing expansion to a halt for this year at least, although their is talk of a Lawyer moving into town. My collection of figures are mostly Dixon Miniatures and the older Foundry range, supplemented by some Pass of the North figures I got when attending my first Historicon. All the buildings, except one by HGWalls, are from the excellent and expanding Battleflag range; a range I highly recommend to fellow gamers. The rules we used were 'Astounding Tales' with house ammendments, which we find give a fast and fluid game with minimal record keeping {In fact only red wound markers by figures!} I'd recommend these rules to anyone who, like us, dabbles from time to time with the Old West in a light hearted way.
Now, it only remains to wish you ALL ~
 A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!


Friday 14 December 2012

The Liberty Bell Hotel

I've been working on another building for my Old West 'town, "New Paddock City". Its the last of the kits I was given by a friend in return for helping out. I left it til last because, to be frank its size was daunting when laid alongside the other Battleflag kits I'd tackled. In fact, although relatively complex and larger than the others I'd attempted, it goes together easliy. Even a limited modeller like me finds the instructions clear, logical and well illustrated, making the assembly straightforward. Its a 'work in progress', but I wanted to get some feed back, so here it is ~
A general view of the assembled building, with a few Dixon figures for scale. I only paint the front of my buildings for New Paddock City ~ well, it is new after all...
A closer view of the hotel's facade. A useful balcony for figures to overlook the growing town.
I've no furniture yet for the ground floor, but I've spray undercoated the resin Frontline Wargames bedroom furniture I had in stock. The hotel will have three bedrooms and two dressing rooms ~ its an upmarket establishment!! I've had a go at creating wallpaper to make the rooms more distinct and I'll be adding some posh curtains in time too.
The rear of the hotel also has an upperfloor entrance door with external staircase. Just right for sneakin' in and out of!


I'll be adding details and working on the finish next week, so hope to post an update before Christmas.

Sunday 9 December 2012

Out of time...

...I've painted a few more Museum Miniature Japanese figures towards 2013's first project, the Samurai Skirmish game, which I've provisionally entitled "The Three Samurai". The figures are the mounted versions of Ono Onomoro and the Other One ~ I'm waiting for inspiration, or James on LAF, to provide my oponents' names. I've also painted five Ninjas from Perry Miniatures.

Ono Onomoro, his personal retainer and banner man

The Other One

The Five Assassins

During this Blog entry Photobucket froze just once, but Blogger crashed or failed to function by freezing five times. I am heartily sick of computer nerds who think they need to mess with software for something so peripheral as blogging all the time! If it ain't boke, why fix it?

Sunday 2 December 2012


...and Wargames Shows in General. Phil collected Jon and I this morning for the short hop from Wolverhampton to Great Barr as we had planned to attend Wargamer, the final show of our wargaming year before going into winter quarters! Wargamer makes an interesting contrast with the much larger two day show, Warfare in Reading, which we'd attended last month, but, in its own way, it was a more satisfying venture this year. The latter is a show I've always enjoyed but which this year was a real disappointment, not to mention a hazzard in the large hall with the 'interestingly laid' carpet!
As a former organiser of the Alumwell club's WMMS show in its early years, I've always felt it important to support smaller local shows whenever I could, although in truth I always thought the £4 entry fee to Wargamer a tad steep, even though now I get in for £1 as an over 60!! This year I would not have carped at the price: there were some interesting games and the traders provided me with the things I had on my List!! Wargamer is clearly at the cusp of growth into a more significant show in the year's roster of events here in the Midlands. Another plus for me with the show is that I get to meet some gamers I've known for a long time, but who don't travel so widely to other shows around the country as we 'GHQ Irregulars' always have. The show does suffer though from one drawback, being held in a school's Sports Hall of a certain vintage ~ "The Curse of the Yellow Lighting!"

There were games I really enjoyed looking at today, and I'd like to share two with you first of all because, for me, they neatly encapsulate the different approaches folk in our hobby take to the look of their game. First up, the Shrewsbury Wargamers' French & Indian Wars game. These chaps can always be relied on to have splendid looking terrain and buildings, together with well painted figures and equipment, always making an effort with their presentation to draw in the passing gamer.

The second game is a different creation altogether, staged by Dave Page from Kinver. Dave is a life-long gamer who attends a number of local shows, always accompanied by Erica his wife, with his wide ranging collection of 20mm games. Dave's games have that decidedly Old School look to me, but they never fail to interest me with the vast selection of items on display to catch the eye. Dave's terrain is always functional as well as clever in its simplicity, very game friendly, but always looks somehow 'right'. His offering today was a SCW game, making the anniversary of the Battle of Jamara. It looks very different from the first game, but is equally effective as a display I feel and has the added advantage to passing gamers in looking immediately more achievable for a solo player or a small group like ours. It has suffered in my photo more than most from the yellow lighting!!


 Now both sorts of games have a place in the hobby: too often the 'Gamers Porn'  offered in the hobby magazines and some Forum Boards must act as a deterrent to some entering our wonderful hobby or from offering their own games for our delectation at some future event. For the really Old School gamers there was even a WRG Ancients game on show, almost a museum piece in a way as a Display Game in a modern show, but perhaps important in that it shows once more that gaming and gamers are a very 'broad church' hobby indeed! 
Now, I have something personal I'd like to say. This short blog entry has taken me over three hours! Neither Blogger nor Photobucket work for me: both softwares will freeze or simply refuse to do what you direct. Until and unless the folk who manage these disasters can sort that out I have better things to do with my time! And anyway, hardly anyone ever bothers to leave any sort of comment, so my posts are clearly not really of interest to many folk.

Friday 30 November 2012

A Year of being Japanese...

...A Preview
As I finished this month's target unit, Robinson's White Coats for my ECW Royalist army, I decided to use the 'spare days' to prepare, spray, base and test paint some figures for next year's first project, a Samurai skirmish game. I bought the figures earlier in the year from Museum Miniatures and later added three packs from the Perry Miniatures range. I am building two Clans of about 30 figures and also will be painting the scenery and buildings I've acquired. Without more ado, let me introduce to you my Samurai Lord, Ono Onomoro, and his banner man ~

The scenic shrine in the picture is an prepainted Aquarium item I got from a local Garden Centre for £2.50. A good buy I'd say when you put it against regular wargames resin buildings! In the second picture you can see some of his retainers ~

I've chosen a muted colour scheme for the Ashigaru utilizing greys and browns in the main. Each figure for my faction has a red headband or sash, reflecting the main colour of my Lord {with blue for the second clan.}

For the second Clan, to be played by Phil and Jon in the main, I kept to the same scheme for the retainers but used blues and green for the Lord ~
I've also trialed some bearers, who will do duty on either or both sides, so they have no colour identification. I'm using Peaty Brown for them exclusively.
The banners for both Lords I made as an experiment using Word and some downloaded fonts. I think that I'll probably stick with these, for now at least, as I have no idea about genuine Mons and can't really be bothered to look for myself for such a small and infrequent game noone else will see.

Friday 23 November 2012

Odds and Ends...

I've been using my post-ECW painting time to work on some odds and ends for other existing projects. First up is a Dixon Miniatures Western vignette of a photographer and his 'subject' ~
The well respected, if somewhat useless, local Sheriff met his end in a shoot out in New Paddock City last week.

Next up for completion was a small set of British Light Infantry {From Foundry's new Peninsular War set ~ not on their site.} I wanted a vignette style scene to show walls of Block Houses or Forts being assaulted in our War of 1812 games.

Now  these are sculpted in a very different style from the 'old firm' but for me they are a welcome addition to my 1812 British-Canadian army. They paint up rather like the Pulp Miniatures of Bob Mursch I found. There were all sorts of interesting packs in the range, but its nowhere to be found on the site before you look. I bought my pack in a 'Half Price Sale' at the last Open Day, just after the Ansell-Coup...
The set consists of two light infantry advancing carrying a ladder, one climbing a second ladder and one firing up into the massed enemy above in support of the attack. They will do very nicely for my needs. Now, I believe that there is room in the hobby for all sorts of differing figure styles and, while most of us do have our favourites, there is a ready market for variety. Perhaps if Foundry had charged less for these new style figures that the 'geriatric' Perry's ranges on offer they might have been better received and sold more strongly. Horses for courses so as to speak. Anyway, they, along with the early Prussians and Russians I think, are supposed to be available but I guess you'd have to call and enquire within.
On a totally unrelated matter, but far more important for me at least, I was discharged from Physiotherapy today, having recorded 115 degrees of bend in my knee and sailing through all the exercises. I have been driving a bit, although changing gear is sore after a while, and walking when I can, often now without needing to use my stick! I've also managed to play two shortish games here in GHQ with Jon ~ a Western Gunfight game last week and a Hail Caesar Late Roman Civil War game. Needless to say I lost them both but could n't have cared less in the circumstances, they were games after all!!!! I hope to try another game of two before the holiday season and then, hopefully, normal service will be restored in 2013!
So, until the next time I feel the urge to waffle on, Toodle Pip!

Tuesday 20 November 2012

A Crowning Mercy

I have recently received a disc of photos taken to support my forthcoming ECW rules, "A Crowning Mercy". As Helen asked after the last post to see both sides from my ECW collection in action, I thought I'd post a selection for people to see.
I think that they really make my quite ordinary stuff look quite good: and then they say that the camera never lies...

A Push of Pike developing

A Swirling Mass of Horse contests the flank

The Foot close for action

A Battlefield view


Sunday 18 November 2012

Marmaduke 'Gaylord' Robinson's Whitecoats

Robinson's Whitecoats drawn up for battle
I have completed the last of my additional ECW Foote regiments, bringing the total for both Parliamentary and Royalist armies to six Foote regiments. The final one is for Phil's 'named character' regiment, Marmaduke Robinson's Whitecoats. Figures are by Perry Miniatures, flags by GMB, bases by Warbases and tufts, etc from Silfor. The unit's bases are 80mm x 50mm, while the command stand's base is 70mm in diametre. {The latter does not fight or fire in my rules, adding to the look of a regiment I feel and signifying by its relative position if the regiment is moving or halted.}
The Regiment's command stand

The Pike prepare to advance
I had been tempted, as I am sure many others had, to perhaps add a unit or two from the new range released by Empress recently. However, having seen them on their stand at Warfare in Reading yesterday I have had to pass on that idea as they are far too large in my opinion to integrate with my predominantly Foundry/Perry armies. They will, I am sure, prove popular with those whose figure tastes tend towards the Renegade/Bicorne end of the size spectrum.
I especially liked the first cavalry releases, although I may be biased as they are mounted on the splendid Ebob horses ~ the hobby's premier equine sculpts in my view. But one thing I have learned over the years is that there will be someone out there whose views of compatibility between ranges differs wildly from mine and who will happily mix the new Empress figures into their forces. Horses for courses as they say...
Next up for painting during my reduced, but expanding, sessions are some British Napoleonic 28mm figures for my War of 1812 - 15 project. They are from the 'newer' Foundry Peninsular War range {which I know a lot of Napoleonic buffs were horrified by}. However, the set I'm using is a siege assault set ~ comprising two infantrymen carrying a ladder, one climbing up a second ladder and another firing up into the enemy above. I plan to use them in two vignette bases to signify assaults on walls and block houses. Really its just a short diversion after the ECW-fest of the last four months.
The last unit I'm hoping to tackle is a Dixon ACW Confederate infantry regiment, the 1st Maryland. I have recently bought a large number of GMB's ACW flags, with a view to upgrading the look of my armies, now that I've finished their MDF rebasing. I'll tackle that a Brigade at a time over the months of 2013 I hope. I expect ACW games may come to the fore here in GHQ in mid year, as another anniversary of Gettysburg rolls around.
I'll return to the subject of Warfare in a day or two, my poor swollen knee and calf are still recovering from the effort of attending the show, thanks to Phil the Chauffeur, so my 'Limp and Look' report will have to wait, its time for the ice again...

Sunday 4 November 2012


The last eight weeks have been really strange for me, and, I suspect for my family and friends ~ both material and cyber varieties included. Only one game has been attempted ~ a First Carlist War game which Phil laid on for me over at Olaf's HQ, even moving the figures for me ~ while I sat in glorious isolation from the table on a sofa with my leg elevated! I even managed to win what proved to be a shorter game than we had envisaged as, for once, the dice gods favoured my cause! No games at all attempted in GHQ of course... Have I missed the games? Well, if I'm truthful not as much as I thought I would. What I have missed is the friendly companionship of my opponents: Phil, Jon, John and Charles, you have been missed more than you might think.

It has given me time to pause and reflect on our wonderful hobby though. Primarily it has lead to me reappraising what I want from this all and where I see it going for me in future. I think I can safely say there will be no more projects weaving their way over a couple of years while I steadily paint up both armies in 28mm. Somehow it seems to have lost its appeal... Instead I have determined on a number of smaller projects, as regards painting and terrain making at least. To that end I've been steadily acquiring figures, buildings and terrain accesories for 2013, which I have designated my 'Year of being Japanese'!

So far I have assembled two Samurai forces of about 50 figures a side, mainly from Museum Miniatures, supplemented by some Perry Miniatures Town and Village People and a pack of Ninjas. For buildings I've used the John Jenkins Designs offerings, which I sourced from Hong Kong and from Norfolk! I have a wall set together with a temple, samurai house and village house. From Grand Manner I obtained a Tori gate and from James at Oshiro a number of small items to bring the scene to life ~ lanterns, casks and the like ~ to which I shall be adding a Zen Garden at some stage. All of these firms and folk provided exemplory service, so I could recommend them with a clear conscience!

To supplement this venture, and remain on the Japanese theme, I've aso been acquiring World War Two items for a Burma setting: Chindits from Warlord will tussle with their Japanese foe from the same company, the latter designed by my son Matthew, supplemented by some fine figures provided by Brigade Games. I've also acquired a Grant tank from Colonel Bill's and plan a Japanese tank from the Warlord range later in the year. I may add figures to this project in 2013, when I see how it plays out with Bolt Action rules which I bought at the Other Partizan. For terrain I already have a heap of jungle bases and so I've merely added the Architects of War 'Pacific Village' to the pile. This set gives you two substantial village house and three scenic items to bring it to life.

I may even branch out beyond this by extending my Sherlock Holmes game collection even further. There a few Foundry Victorian packs I might look for over the year. I may also venture towards Mars in this context.... But, for now, I have to finish my fourth ECW Foote unit, Robinson's White Coats, which I hope to manage in November. That will leave me December for building the 'Trinity Grand Hotel' from Battle Flag and painting up another Dixon ACW Reb unit. So, KBO* is the order of the day!

* KBO ~ Attributed to Winston Churchill, 'Keep Buggering On' ~ keeping at the task in hand despite fequent set backs!

Wednesday 31 October 2012

Western additions

I've managed to finish the final four figures for Lord Walton's Foote ~ see the previous two posts for more on them. I've also completed the 'furnishing' and re-roofing for the Undertaker's building in New Paddock City.
As I'm sure you'll recall, the building is from the wonderful Battle Flag range.

While the 'furnishings are from Frontline's growing resin range. Here we can see into the area I decided would be the workshop, enhanced by some Foundry Old West figures.
While in the main part of the building mourners can pay their respects to their 'dear departed' ~ three Dixon Miniatures' figures in this case, glimpsed through the door.
Or in this alternate bird's eye view.
I've also completed the build of the photographer's, also from Battle Flag, although to date I've only got some bedroom furnishings for the upper floor.


That only leaves the very large hotel to build, which I'll probably attempt in December, as I want to complete a fourth ECW Foote unit first, Robinson's Whitecoats, a Royalist unit for Phil to command I hope in our 2013 games.
It's been a difficult seven weeks since the knee replacement, but at last I can sit for a decent period of time to paint, though not as often as I'd like. Still, KBO, as Winston would say...

Monday 22 October 2012

Nearly there...

I've made some progress with my latest ECW unit of Perry Miniatures, a Parliamentary unit designated as Lord Walton's Foote. I've completed the pike block now and one of the sleeves of shotte { the second sleeve has four figures still to finish off.} A few snaps, taken on my camera phone.

I've also embarked on my latest rebasing madness: this time my two Foundry War of 1812 armies, again using the MDF bases from Foundry and from Warbases. More of that next month. In the meantime, I have those four musketeers to complete first...

Friday 12 October 2012

Lord Walton's Foote

Plodding on with painting in slightly longer short bursts, I've been working on another Parliamentarian unit of Foote using Perrys Miniatures. Same problems as before with some poor castings and endless vent runs to remove - no matter how careful I've been I still seem to miss some, which only show up after I've sprayed the figures white for painting! Perhaps my old eyes are not what they were...
Anyway, this is an 'unknown unit' using some nice GMB flags, and will be Jon's named unit in our ECW games next year. As ever I started with the command stand...

I've also completed the front rank of the pike block, and have almost completed the second rank. Popping back and forth to the hospital takes up quite a chunk of time some days but I'm hopeful they will be finished tomorrow. I've chosen a tawny colour for the coats: Foundry Conker Brown shade; Conker Brown light and Orange shade as the final highlight has given me a nice warm colour for the coats.

The bases are the lovely MDF ones from Warbases, whose service I'd venture to suggest is second to none. The tufts are from Mutineer Miniatures and the static grass from Heki.

Tuesday 2 October 2012

What a 'Carry On...'

Painting in short bursts, I've managed to finish the two Mutton Chop 'Carry On...' characters. I plan to include them in our 1940's Operation Sealion/Blandings Castle games in the coming months. Here they are, Sid and Charles ~

I've also painted the free figure from last month's Other Partizan show, some sort of armed monk I believe. A crude and somewhat overlarge figure, not a patch on the figures from the last several shows in my honest opinion. He'll be deployed in 1940 too, the Hermit of Blandings Forest perhaps.

Saturday 29 September 2012

Obadiah Bykleigh, a stout Parliamentarian...

As I've remarked on previous occasions, progress with painting has been glacial since I came home. However, I have finished a second ECW personality figure, this time for myself. I present to you, Obadiah Bykleigh, a stout Parliamentarian from Rushall, in the county of Staffordshire. The figure is from the set of three mounted commanders by Perry Miniatures. While I enjoy painting the figures, they are seeming to take an increasing time to clean up for undercoating and, I'm sorry to say, the finished quality of the castings is vague too often for my money.

Since the brothers can't fail to be aware of this problem, reported as it is on any number of Forum Boards, one can only assume that they don't think its important enough to address. Perhaps its an object lesson in sculptors with no higher authority to answer to? Perhaps they have their eyes firmly on those plastic monstrosities? Or waggons even? Perhaps I'm just feeling my age even?
I still have two further foot units to round off my project, which I hope to do by the end of November. Though I am tempted to add a few items from the new Empress offerings, perhaps at least a gun and crew as a token presence in my armies?

In the meantime, back to painting as and when I'm able. I have the Partizan free figure and two Mutton Chop 'Carry on...' characters on the go now, knee permitting. In a game-free month, the bits of painting I can do have proven very important for morale here in GHQ. 

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Sir Marmaduke Robinson & Rupert's Blew Coats

I managed to finish up the last three figures to complete Rupert's Blew Coats for my ECW Royalist army today. The first picture shows the pike block, three ranks of five figures, and the two sleeves
of shot, two ranks of four figures.
The second picture shows the whole unit, including the non combatant 'Command' stand and the 'Spent Base' marker.
The third picture shows the character figure for Phil in the Royalist army, Sir Marmaduke Robinson, later 1st Baron Rawnsley.
But, all this is trivia set besides today's wonderful news: Sue and I became Grandparents for the first time when Arthur Benjamin Howard Bickley arrived, Matt and Sarah's first child. To say I'm chuffed would be an understatement!




Sunday 23 September 2012

Its progress,Jim,but not as we know it.

I can finally sit at my desks to paint and work on the computer, though only in two or three 15 minute slots each day, or my knee begins to seize up! I had the staples removed from my wound on Friday, all 35 of them, in what could best be describes as an 'interesting experience'. Thankfully the wound is healing well: the District Nurse pronounced it a good wound! My next milestone is the start of Physiotherapy classes on Thursday. I've already been to the centre once and can safely say that the most apt description of Physio is that its what the Gestapo might have been like if they'd been English: "We are going to hurt you, I'm afraid; sorry!" Of course its all necessary, but still a bit sharp I have to say...
Back to wargaming them. First I'd like to thank all the folk who sent me their best wishes, many of whom I'd never met except on the net. It really does rally the spirits when you're low you know, so 'Thanks!', to all of you! In the meantime, some ECW Foote:' Rupert's Blew Coats', a unit I started before the operation and one I've subsequently been working on in short bursts over the last two weeks. All Perry Miniatures, based on MDF bases from Warbases.

The Command Stand. I finished this before I went into hospital. The flags are from GMB and the flowering tufts from Mutineer.

The Pike block, three ranks deep, to remind me that its a unit with a ratio of pike to shotte of 1:1. The base still needs grassing and tufting before its varnished.

A completed sleeve of shotte, still need the base grassing and tufting before varnishing.
The second sleeve of shotte, still have to paint three more musket armed foote.
If I manage to complete the unit in the next day or two I've got a couple of Mounted Command figures which Jon gave me, so I'll be trying to do them too. Also in the queue are the Partizan free figure from last month and two Mutton Chop characters of 'Carry on...' fame! After that, for October, I've prepared an third ECW Foote Regiment: an unknown one I'll be painting in tawny coats as Lord Walton's Foote.
Well, the knee is well and truely stiff now, so this will have to do. Enjoy your gaming, you'll br managing more than me this month I expect...