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.

Wednesday 6 April 2016

The Eyes have it!

Well, clearly I spoke too soon in my last blog entry. No game at Phil's on Monday, he has the man flu! No game in GHQ either with Jon, real life far too demanding of time and effort. I will keep my mouth shut in public in future, ere the 'curse of GHQ2' strike again!

As my regular reader will recall, I've been chuntering on about the old eyes on and off for several months now. Well, today it was my optician appointment and its official, the old eyes have weakened since my last test and new glasses are called for, not only for painting and for reading, but now for general distance wear too! I will have a trial fitting next Wednesday for varifocals, to cover reading and general distance use, and then hopefully just have new lenses in my painting glasses. A side effect may be not much spare cash to spend on little chaps in the coming months! A good job I have a stash put away for Partizan! As that's in May you'll have quickly gathered that we are not off to Salute. This is the second year we've given it a miss. Let's face it; its overpriced, over-hyped, overcrowded and overwhelmingly it seems Fantasy and Sci-Fi orientated! We are planning instead to make a four day break in Jockshire which will correspond with the Carronade show in Falkirk. For the same sort of outlay as a short stay in the wilds of East London and the exorbitant entry fee to the show we'll get four days in a much prettier place and meet many of our Scotch chums and see some first class games too which hardly ever venture down to us southerners! The Hawes Inn at South Queensferry, one of my all time favourite places to stay will be our base for a three night stay! But, Sue and I may not get to go as the show's date is close to the expected arrival time of our fourth grandchild, and that of course takes precedence over all else. We shall have to wait and see how things go.

I have been putting my enforced non gaming time to profitable use when I've been able, plodding on with my additions to the French and British SYW armies. I've completed two British command stands now: one for the Line Infantry Brigade and one for the Guard Cavalry Brigade ~
Guard Cavalry Command base

Line Infantry Command base

On the painting desk at present I'm working on 16 Grenadiers Royaux for the French, although I shall need a Command pack to finish them off later on. I shan't have to buy a flag though, as I found a free one on the internet to print out. I'm also doing bits to the 6 British Horse Grenadiers to support the Horse Guards on the table. That will just leave 6 extra French Mounted Dragoons to bring them up to full strength. I hope I shall manage those by the end of April. If I manage to achieve that modest target I will be able to start on my town and perhaps even some SYW Prussians too.

To finish on a positive note, 2016 has not been all gloom and doom on the hobby front. My diary shows that I have painted some 202 figures, all 28mm of course. I've also played some 20 games so far, in a variety of genres too. Of these I've won 9 and lost 8, with 2 being drawn and one abandoned with no clear outcome! A decent enough total, so feel free to disregard the opening gloomy entry above! Now, enough of my inane babbling, back to painting I think! Until the next time, Toodle Pip!


  1. You forgot to say underlit, though that may have improved, let's face it 2014 was shocking for what is supposed to be a premier show. Good going on the painting front, I think you have painted more than me.

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    1. I went and now another Salute has been & gone. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Is it worth the £12? Probably... especially if you've planned your pre-orders to more than cover the cost against postage. Lighting wasn't a problem. Atmosphere - none, but I wasn't attending a football match. Long queue to get in... just arrive at 10:30 there isn't one! The floors a bit hard... they all are, just don't fall over!
      Is it over-hyped? Possibly but no more than say Partizan - which by the way was seriously gloomy but will hopefully benefit from it's upcoming new venue.
      Overcrowded - well.. yes it's busy but better than some shows when you keep expecting tumbleweed to blow by.
      Good display games? The really splendid eye- catching ones were in the minority one but those that did were quite superb.
      Will I go next year? Yes if I'm spared.

    2. Interesting response there Jon. As you know I gave up on Salute two years ago; as Phil says its like southern beer - all froth and no substance! Now, if they purged the Sci-Fi and Fantasy rubbish and restricted games and traders to historical contexts only they could move to a more congenial venue and leave the hanger to the perpetual adolescents.