Wednesday 30 January 2013

Plastic Fantastic

Before even the first stroke of paint had been applied in the '3rd Annual Painting Challenge' some may recall my initial exploits with a box of 'Perry Miniatures' plastic Mahdists.  My lack of experience led to a mostly humerous episode -  it wasn't that funny at the time! - that saw me scrabbling along on hands and knees trying to find the sword wielding limb that had just 'pinged' across the dining room!  

With a little persevernace I managed to assembly these ferocious warriors to something resembling a human being and decided that they would form a jolly good foundation from which to launch my personal challenge of achieveing my 500 point par score.

So to my latest entry that saw two more stands of five tribesmen.  The first, very much in the vein of what has gone before, but the last are armed with muskets and wearing a distinctive red fez.  I have no doubt that I will be admonished by the Wargames Police for this gross historical inaccuracy, but I just couldn't resist - perhaps they could go on to be Turkish Slavers!  

To finish, I've included a couple of shots with the entire collection to date.  Now I appreciate that this may not look like much to the hardened Wargamers out there, but to me it represents a something of a breakthrough.  I've long suffered with the attention span of a goldfish so to actually complete something that approaches a unit of troops is a bit of an achievement!

Tuesday 29 January 2013

100,000 page views!

At some point in the early hours of this morning '28mm Victorian Warfare' clocked up 100,000 page views!

I have to confess that I'm somewhat flabbergasted at this for not only have I managed to stick at something for any length of time, but also that my humble offerings and inane drivel, which have been displayed since its inaugural post, are of interest to enough people to chalk up the aforementioned milestone!

It goes without saying that I am absolutely thrilled and just want to thank all of those that peruse the pages and leave the occasional comment; it really does help to keep one going.  Now although I've not planned any celebrations for this achievement, I am happy to divulge that we are considering a small giveaway to mark the second anniversary of the blog on March 14th 2013; more details to follow!

Once again a huge Thank You!


Sunday 27 January 2013

Gardner Gun Updates...

...spent cases!

Just the briefest of posts to display the minor upgrade the recently completed 'Perry Miniatures' Naval Brigade Gardner Gun has received.  On its completion I was delighted to read the many kind and supportive comments that were left, but one in particular struck a chord.

David D, of 'One Man and his Brushes' left the following:
"lovely work as ever - , now you missed a little trick - or maybe it jammed early - a pile of spent casings!!!!"
Now this rose the pulse rate, I can tell you, not because it had angered me, but simply because I wish I had thought of it first!  So having polished off the latest entry for the challenge, I decided to have a little fun and implement Dave's suggestion.  Horrendously out of scale, but a nice little finishing touch - thank you Dave for the suggestion.  

Below are a couple of illustrations from the original handbook of the five barrelled Gardner Gun c. 1882 by Dangerfield Lithographers of Covent Garden, London; indispensable when it came to establishing just where the spent cases might be building up - provided that the wretched thing hadn't jammed again!
The illustrations of the Gardner were scanned from my personal copy of Military Modelling Magazine, Autumn 1996, so please be wary of reposting.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Mahdist for it!

The arrival of the much forecasted snow meant a nice quiet Sunday keeping warm by painting furiously!  As a result I managed to finish off a little stand of five Mahdists with an additional 3 individually based.  I was playing with the idea of mixing up the plastics with a couple of additional metal miniatures, for no other reason than to add a little variety into the mix.  

On the whole I was pretty pleased with the overall effect, but felt that there were some of the metal miniatures that were just too relaxed to be included on the stand.   As a result these were based individually and I'm sure could be use as dressing or entry markers at a later date.

There are still a couple more stands to get done as part of the '3rd Annual Painting Challenge' and with a bit of luck these should be finished at the weekend - goodness knows I need the points!

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Naval Brigade Gardner Gun

My most recent entry in the '3rd Annual Painting Challenge' saw more from the wonderful 'Perry Miniatures' Sudan range, this time the Gardner Gun crewed by the Naval Brigade.  Now overshadowed by the Gatling gun the Gardner was adopted by the British forces in a variety of forms including shipboard versions.    

The Gardner was used by the Naval Brigade in the Sudan at various battles including El Teb and Tamai although in both actions the guns jammed.  Crucially this happened again at the battle of Abu Klea, where the gun jammed almost immediately resulting in all its crew, except Captain Beresford being killed.  It is this moment that is referred to in Newbolt's poem 'Vita├» Lampada', only he mistakingly mentions a Gatling!

The sand of the desert is sodden red —
Red with the wreck of a square that broke;
The Gatling's jammed and the Colonel dead,
And the Regiment blind with dust and smoke. 

When looking for reference for the uniforms I stumbled across the above illustration by Melton Prior for the Illustrated London News, this combined with the wonderful example of the same piece by Mark Hargreaves over at his outstanding, 'Over Open Sights' blog really helped to get job done.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Targets acquired!

On reflection the setting of self-imposed targets for the year was all well and good, but they needed to have an achievable goal.   Mine, it would appear, have only served to confirm my love of all things shiny; a thinly veiled excuse that allows me to pick and choose from a wonderfully broad spectrum.  That said from a hobby viewpoint 2012 was an absolute blast!  My general standard of painting has improved and while there will always be room for improvement, I feel that I’ve reached a level of consistency with the brush that gives me a great deal of satisfaction.   Maintaining a credible level of posts throughout the course of the year was also important and this in turn has seen page views and followers increase.  

For myself, and many others, one of the most wonderful byproducts of this most wholesome of hobbies is the camaraderie that is shared amongst fellow hobbyists and bloggers.  This was highlighted when a group of complete strangers agreed to meet up at a wargaming convention; the sort of scenario, many would have instructed their offspring to avoid at all costs, but not us!  The 'event' was coordinated by those titans of the blogosphere, Fran (the Angry Lurker) and Ray (Don't throw a 1) and I'm jolly glad I took them up on their invitation to come and say, "hello!"  It is difficult to explain why this tickled me so much, perhaps it was simply putting faces to names that helped to make the hobby real, but whatever the reason I'm looking forward to repeating the experience and perhaps meeting up with a few more erstwhile gentlemen this year - I must, however avoid been led astray by Dave 'One man and his brushes' Docherty as I graze up and down the many aisles of lovely shiny things!  

August saw the 'Tale of 3 Painters’ lift off.  This was a charity painting event conceived and run by Mike ‘The Dark Templar’ Reynolds.  To have the opportunity to do something like this and work alongside the likes of Mike and the hugely talented Andy Walker from the 'Lair of the Breviks' was such an honour and a wonderful learning experience.  I can't sing Mike's praises enough as not only was this his brainchild, but his boundless enthusiasm for the project saw him pop round to ‘Awdry Towers' for a cup of tea before travelling half way round the country, all in the name of charity - a more charming chap you couldn't wish to meet.

Other highlights included having a piece of work nominated for the 'Santa Cruz Warhammer Honor Roll' (my goodness that got the page views up a bit!) and a name check in 'Wargames Illustrated'. (oh yes I did, check out issue 298, page 66 - blink and you miss it but it was there none the less!)  The Liebster awards were another tremendous opportunity for us all to give a virtual nod to some of our favourite blogs, the difficulty for me been deciding which ones to nominate.  I have to confess that there is little, more cherished than the praise of your peers and I was again truly humbled by the kind words and support shown by so many - thank you all that nominated '28mm Victorian Warfare' for an award.

More recently getting involved in the '3rd Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge' is a wonderful opportunity to be part of something much wider, reaffirming that we are all part of a much greater  community of like minded souls.  The colossal amount of work that Curt is undertaking as part of this is simply breathtaking, as indeed are many of the entries, all have my admiration!

To continue to have fun may have been pretty vague as targets go, but was a resounding success!  On a more practical level keeping all initial projects going but with some form of target setting put in place,  proved a tad ambitious.  Although all these  targets were met – just about –  towards the end, I did find myself painting miniatures just to reach a target and this didn’t seem to embrace the ethos that I had set out to foster.  The only negative this year would be the lack of actual gaming.  Certainly there was a willingness to embrace this and more rule sets were bought, briefly looked at then filed away for future reference as I decided to use the available time for more painting.  This is an area that needs to be nurtured and I have definite plans to meet expectations this year – honest!

So what about targets for 2013?  Initially, I hope to reach my par score (500 points) in the challenge, this will involve me been relatively focussed until March!  After that I have decided to have very few actual prescriptive targets other than the following:

  1. Play some games!
  2. Maintain a credible level of posts throughout the course of the year. 
  3. Attend at least one convention/exhibition/expo this year.
  4. Investigate the possibility of a dedicated hobby space, here at 'Awdry Towers'.
  5. Setting up the 'Command Stand', a bespoke painting service, initially conceived by my good friend the 'Provost Marshal'.  I envisage this been very much for fun than any real financial gain, but more importantly it will give us an excuse to discuss ideas over a jar or two on fine ale.
  6. 'Operation Otter', an off-shoot of the 'secret project' - more details to come!
and most importantly, continue to have fun!

All that remains is an unashamed reposting of some of my personal highlights from 2012, after all every post needs a picture or fifty!

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