Thursday 27 November 2014

Dinovember round up...

...and another birthday! 

Another Dinovember draws to a close and I have to say that I've enjoyed myself immensely.  Perhaps not as much got done as in previous years, but the distraction was just what was required ahead of the 'Vth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge'.   It is always good to get miniatures completed that have been hanging around for what seemed like an eternity.

Today also happens to be my birthday, (thank you to all those who sent messages through Google+, I didn't know it did that!) and having fully embraced the concept of the wish list, I am somewhat embarrassed by the generosity of family and friends.  A fabulous array of hobby related gifts have landed here at 'Awdry Towers' - I'm very excited about getting to grips with the new airbrush and I now have my very own Wargaming hat!  For those of you with an interest in all things Steampunk the book is superb,  a real treasure trove of ideas and inspiration - I would certainly love to see some of the illustrations transformed into miniatures.  It is  also worth pointing out, if only to myself, that miniatures given as gifts do not count on the yearly tally - phew!

Speaking of gifts, I should just remind people that there is an on going prize draw to commemorate, '28mm Victorian Warfare' reaching the 500,000 page views mark - thank you all for some many kind comments and congratulations! For those that may not have entered yet I am afraid that there is only one prize, but if you are interested then do please click here for full details as to how the draw works.

Remember folks,

"Everything is better with Dinosaurs!"

T-Rex Selfie!

Tuesday 25 November 2014

500,000 Page Views...

… and a give away!

It gives me great pleasure to record that '28mm Victorian Warfare' has just sailed past the 500,000 page view mark!  I have to confess that I am somewhat flabbergasted by this given the narrow field of interest and content.  '28mm Victorian Warfare' was designed, principally, as way of recording my  progress in this most wholesome of hobbies, but in the short time that I have been painting and gaming, I have come to know a great many splendid chaps, not to mention a couple of lovely ladies, as a direct result of this blog - for that alone, I am truly blessed.  I continue to be surprised at just how integral to my hobby enjoyment the blog has become and I thank all of you who stop by and occasionally humour me with a kind or generous comment; without this interaction, I am sure that I would have grown tired of the whole experience very quickly. 

As a way to show my thanks for your continued support, I have decided to hold a small* giveaway to mark the occasion, and after much consideration as to what to offer up as a prize, I struck upon the following concept.  '28mm Victorian Warfare' was always conceived as a place of hospitality, somewhere like minded persons could come and relax without fear of the rudeness or vulgarity that plague our everyday lives.  This passing resemblance to a Gentleman's club at the turn of the twentieth century is deliberate and whilst my subject matter may have strayed a little from that promised in the weblog's title, the ethos has not.  With that in mind, I have collected together a little package of goodies that, I hope, reflects this sentiment.  So without further ado I present the following:

*It really is small!

A limited edition '28mm Victorian Warfare' Mug**
An 'Empress Miniatures' special edition miniature  (painted by yours truly)
An upcycled pair of dice cufflinks

**Limited to a run of two and I have the other one!

I am afraid that this will represent the only prize and if you are interested the following rules, such as they are, apply: 

  • To register your interest in the draw simply leave a comment below, identifying your favourite post from the annuls of '28mm Victorian Warfare'.  This can be done by simply listing the post title or pasting the post's URL into the comments box. 
  • There is no need to be a follower of this blog, nor publicise the event on any of your own splendid blogs, but do feel free to do so if you wish.
  • The draw, to identify the solitary winner, will be held on the 1st December 2014

Once again a huge thank you for your continued support and the very best of luck to those that enter the prize draw. 


Half a million page views and counting!

Saturday 22 November 2014


Just some of the many positive 'by-products' that I have encountered whilst blogging, are the sharing of ideas and the reading of reviews on different products by like minded souls.  I am happy to admit that a good many of my hobby related purchases are as a direct result of what I see and read on the many splendid weblogs that I enjoy following.  This, then, is a direct result of two separate posts and I can't thank enough the individuals concerned for their inspiration. 

It all started when I read a fabulous set of battle reports by Kobayachimaru, of  'Chroniques du fort Bastiani' fame, entitled 'Song of Blades and Heroes: Prehistoric War'.  As the cavemen and women battled across the board for superiority and food, I became transfixed by the quality of the terrain which included, of all things,  a Triceratops corpse!  Kobayachimaru was kind enough to let me know where he had got it from and a little web based research saw me successfully track down a UK supplier.  This 'CollectA' Stegosaurus Corpse is from the same range*and is just perfect as an objective marker or as a bit of additional colour for all those Dinosaur themed games that I've yet to play.
*I have the Triceratops as well!

I wasn't planning on doing much with it until I read another post, this time from Mike C of 'Mike's Random Wargame Meanderings' regarding some 'Little Pests' that he had painted up.  These little pests were in fact Compsognathus from the 'The Honourable Lead Boiler Suit Company' and were just what was needed to add another dimension to my beleaguered Stegosaurus.  On the matter of bases this particularly fine example was again from the ever reliable 'Warbases' and was actually one of their vehicle bases (155 x 75mm), but the irregular pattern was just what was needed for the more organic feel I was after.

The basing is just the usual mix of pumice gel, gravel and larger stones with the addition of some plastic fish tank plants and the mica flakes.  Having painted the Compsognathus, I couldn't decide what to do with the corpse - to paint or not?  The overall pre-painted effect was actually quite good, so in the end I settled for a little dry brushing and some work on the bite marks before lashings of gore was applied.  A wonderful piece of nonsense, great fun to work on and all because of a couple of chance posts by two splendid chaps - you've got to love this hobby!

Thursday 20 November 2014

Coach Awdry!

Forged in the heat of the most fearsome of battles true warriors emerge. Men and creatures that command the respect of those around them, talismans with the ability to lead teams from the brink of destruction to triumph against all the odds, legends bestowed with arcane knowledge and experience – and then there was Coach Awdry! 

Although I’ve only played a couple of games of Blood Bowl, I was keen to find a suitable miniature to represent Coach Awdry, screaming his team plays from the side lines and constantly wondering why he picked the lumbering Kroxigor that was once again heading the wrong way up the pitch – for the love of Lustria!  Fortunately for me the 'Comixininos' site had a couple of suggestions and so it wasn’t long before I was the proud owner of a Saurav Geet from the Hell Dorado universe.

I had toyed with the idea of simply putting him together and slapping a bit of paint on, but it just felt that a little something else was needed to sell this as a Blood Bowl coach. To that end I carefully removed the fearsome looking dagger and in its place a clipboard was added. I imagined him frantically waving and screaming at his players who, once again, had misunderstood the play! I’m afraid these photographs, taken at night under artificial light and have washed the colours out a bit, but you should be able to see the wonderful details on this model – far too good for me. That said I loved the idea that he was wearing the remnants of some rusty old body armour and a tattered cloak giving him that ‘all the gear, but no idea’ look*

Finally with the addition of the ball at his feet** Coach Awdry is ready to lead his team out onto the field of battle, provided of course he can persuade them to follow him!

*This sums up my Blood Bowl experience to date!
**This can be removed for game play.

Tuesday 18 November 2014

A Long Legged Bird!

My apologies for the shamelessly provocative title and teaser picture, it was just too good an opportunity to miss - although I might get some disappointed, casual visitors and as a result.

'Dinovember' continues apace as I try to clear the painting table of prehistoric prowlers ahead of the commencement of the 'Vth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge' - now with its own weblog!  This then a Terrorbird from the mighty 'Wargames Foundry'.  I forget when I picked up this particular long legged bird up* , the memory not being what it was, but just a cursory look on the Foundry site would suggest that they no longer cast them, a pity as this was a splendid chunk of metal and a delight to work on. 
*certainly not a phrase to be uttered in the presence of the Saintly Mrs. Awdry!

Requiring very little in the way of preparation, something I am always grateful for, this apparently flightless creature stands tall and proud, not dissimilar in appearance to an ostrich, but with a frighteningly large beak!  Some web based research saw a working palette discerned and before long the Phorusrhacos, another denizen of the 'Lost World', was complete. 

Just as a brief aside, I had another play with the Vallejo Mica flake gel on the base to create the impression of leaf litter on the jungle floor.  Having based the Terrorbird on a 'Warbases' 40mm disc, the usual rock, pebbles and pumice were applied, but when dry I added the Mica flakes, this time teasing it out a little more so that the shapes of the substance were clearly defined.  Once dry it is simply primed and painted as any other product.  Still some more experimenting to be done before I'm completely satisfied that I know what I'm doing with it, but it is certainly showing promise.

Sunday 16 November 2014

A Brace of Protoceratops.

Just the briefest of posts as proof of life!  As is often the way, even with the best laid plans, real life has a habit of throwing the proverbial spanner in the works.  That said, I did manage to find some time this weekend to finish off these rather charming dinosaurs - a brace of Protoceratops.

This rather diminutive pair are from the splendid 'Honourable Lead Boiler Suit Company' and fortunately didn't require much in the way of preparation.  I couldn't resist giving them a colourful beak and frill bone, but worried I've made them look a little too friendly.  There are still are few prehistoric beasties stalking around the painting table that need to be completed before one's attention turns towards all things 'Challenge' related', but more on that in due course.  

Tuesday 11 November 2014

A Year to Remember.

Today of all days, the act of remembrance seems perhaps more poignant particularly as this year marks the centenary of the commencement of hostilities in the Great War of 1914. Like a good many myself and Mrs. Awdry made a point of travelling to London to experience the phenomena that was the 'Poppies at the Tower'. 

The 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each British fatality in the First World War, form an evolving installation entitled, 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red', marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, they were set by stage designer Tom Piper and progressively filled the Tower’s famous moat.

I thought this to be a uniquely British concept and one that clearly caught the public's imagination with record breaking crowds swarming to see them before the scheduled dismantling of the installation on the 12th November; it is certainly something, I will long remember.

We Will Remember Them.

Saturday 8 November 2014

The Martians have invaded!

…we interrupt proceedings to report that a sleepy village in East Sussex has been overrun by a Martian horde, its sole intent - the destruction of the human race!

Just shy of a year ago to the day, I pledged an exorbitant amount of money* to help fund the 'Mars Attacks' Kickstarter that was launched by 'Mantic Games'.  A bizarre series of circumstances combined to see me totally absorbed by the Kickstarter phenomenon and before I knew it, I was being swept away by the excitement of it all.  Already a fan of the imagery produced by the Topps trading card company, 'Mars Attacks' appealed to my childish sensibilities and the idea of it becoming a board game that I might be able to persuade my non-wargaming friends to get involved with seemed like too good an opportunity to miss out on.  
*certainly more than I'm willing to disclose here!

Very excited!
This was my first experience of Kickstarter and as the campaign progressed my lack of experience started to show.  As stretchgoals were unlocked, I became gripped with desire to become a completist, I couldn't miss out on anything!  This wasn't helped by the fact that everything looked 'so darn cool'!  When the minutes finally ticked down and the time came to pay up, my wallet and I winced at the realisation of what I had done.  Having made brief reference to my indiscretion to the Saintly Mrs. Awdry, the matter was forgotten and I have had a year to recoup my expenditure and expunge the guilt!  

 Whilst the time lapsed between funding and distribution has been good for my soul, it did somewhat dampen my enthusiasm for the project; after all a year here at '28mm Victorian Warfare' can see a myriad of projects come and go!  This feeling of apathy gave way to one of frustration when news that the game was being shipped.  I read, more and more about it on many of the splendid weblogs that I enjoy, but still no sign of my pledge!  

Vehicles and 'Stompy' robots!
That was until earlier this week when I received an email from UPS saying that they were going to deliver my 6.5kg package on Friday.  Euphoria soon turned to dread as I realised that we would be at work and so what was to happen to my invading force of Martians?  

There was no obvious way of contacting UPS to arrange an alternate date or address for delivery and so I was resolved to wait for the inevitable email alerting me to the fact that "your parcel was unable to be delivered", but it never came.  It wasn't until we opened the door on our return from work that I discovered why - yes they had been, but had now taken my goodies away again.  

The good guys.
Fortunately  for me they had not gone too far and I was able to track down the abortive Martian invasion at, of all places, a Brantano Footwear store on the local industrial estate - I know not why!  With the parcel safely ensconced back at 'Awdry Towers' and the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' appeased with a large mug of tea, I quietly got on with preparing a light supper, all the time my thoughts drifting to the large package discretely positioned at my corner of the dining room table - all thoughts of indifference, vanished!  After supper, as the 'Square of Despair' droned on in the background, I surreptitiously opened the box - I was like a child in a sweetshop, a magical moment indeed.  

The Martian horde.
After a cursory look at all the plastic loveliness and brushing off a comment of, 'We're going to need a bigger house" with a suitably contrite reply, I decided it was best to wait for the morning before having a closer look.  So as the Lady of the house is currently charging up and down the hockey pitch, yours truly is now knee deep in plastic Martians.  The enormity of what I have done is starting to dawn to me.  This was supposed to be a small investment in a skirmish level game to encourage a few friends round for a 'beer and pretzel' type evening, but oh no, not anymore!  I seem to have enough gaming mats to cover the entire ground floor of 'Awdry Towers', more buildings** to give 'Barrett Homes' a run for their money and a plastic population explosion to match a small developing country!  
**in various states of repair

The hapless ground forces. 
So where does this leave me, hobby wise, you might ask?  Well apart from being as giddy as a kipper, the painting table has an unholy combination of Martians and Dinosaurs roaming about it, but this will have to be a tempory aberration.  I think what is required is a quick stocktake and a healthy dose of common sense.  After a brief interlude playing with the large 'stompy' robot and flying saucer this morning, I shall have to pack up all but the core game and see if I can't fathom out how to use the 'A.I. solo game cards' to at least justify the purchase, after all everyone knows that to leave a Dinosaur unattented for too long is to court disaster - that and the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' is due home soon!

The rules.

Ack! Ack! Ack!

Thursday 6 November 2014

A Blood Bowl Apothecary

I do love this time of year, simply because I can indulge in so many wonderfully obscure miniatures under the banner of 'Dinovember'!  So with this post, I'm pleased to reveal my latest edition to  the 'South Coast Saurus' bench - the surgeon!    I soon discovered, that Blood Bowl is a bruising game and what better way to give the team the chance to run off those niggling sprains than with their very own Apothecary. 

Once again from 'Comixininos' and again a little assembly was required with the tail and saw arm needing to be attached.  He has this wonderfully maniacal look to him and I couldn't resist giving him heavy duty rubber gloves and a rusty old saw to instil confidence in the rest of the team!  A little smaller in stature than the Bloodweiser Babe, but none the less enjoyable to paint - now to find a miniature to represent Coach Awdry! 
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