Tuesday 27 January 2015

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”

I have to confess that I will not be sorry to see the back of January, difficulty at work and the incessant rain have conspired to produce a gloom that has lingered for far too long over ‘Awdry Towers’ and whilst I have managed to submit miniatures for each of the themed bonus rounds thus far, I am still awaiting to score my first points in the challenge proper.  That said it could be worse, far worse and so without further ado and lashings of self congratulatory nonsense allow me to present the Jabberwocky!

First seen in Lewis Carroll’s, ‘Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There’, published in 1872, the Jabberwocky is, in essence, a nonsense poem, but one with a rhythm and suggestiveness that owes much to ancient Anglo-Saxon poetry.  What starts as a father’s warning to his son of a mythical beast that prowls over the land ultimately becomes a fierce battle before the boy returns, triumphant, to his father and all is returned to normality.

For me the works of the illustrator Sir John Tenniel are synonymous with Lewis Carroll’s writing and it is his depiction of the Jabberwocky, lumbering out of a dark forest to attack its latest victim, that have stayed with me into adult life.  Imagine, then, how thrilled I was then to find this 'Reaper Pathfinder Miniature', sculpted by Jason Weibe; a clear homage to those splendid Victorian Gentlemen.

Now it is worth mentioning at this point that this sculpt was a beast in itself to put together!  By no means a small model there was quite a lot of cleaning up to do; I guess the moulds are not in the first flush of youth?  Once prepared there was substantial pinning and filling required and the decision not to use the metal ‘slotta’ base provided in favour of a ‘Warbases’ 70mm MDF disc, brought with it some concerns regarding structurally integrity and balance.  These were duly overcome with the carefully positioning of small pebbles, a modicum of luck and the occasional harsh word!

Once primed it was time to fire up the shiny new airbrush and set about the base layers, affording me an opportunity to experiment with the blending of colours in a bid to achieve a leathery, almost prehistoric look to the creature’s wings.  The rest of the painting involved steadily building up the layers and picking out the relevant details.  

When it came to the basing, I was planning to have a fairly standard woodland base, but a chance comment from the ‘Provost Marshal’ saw me adding evidence of previous victims in the shape of various skulls and bones – a chilling reminder of the ferociousness of the Jabberwocky!

Finally then, to complete the scene, I put together a suitably na├»ve and youthful looking squire from the ‘Perry Miniatures’ War of the Roses Command Sprue to represent the hero of the piece.  My ‘Challenge’ may have been derailed somewhat by the pressures of ‘real life’, but through the bonus rounds and I am finding plenty of new challenges in both modeling and painting that give me that perfect escape.  That and the continued sense of community, good will and mutual support that pervade in this cosy corner of the blog-o-sphere are truly cherished – I thank you all.

If you can spare a moment or two then do go and look at all the other fabulous entries for this bonus round, perhaps even cast a vote or two for your favourites?  Just click on the link here.


(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
      Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
      And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

Tuesday 13 January 2015


…in the name of the law!

The ‘Victorian’ round of the 'Analogue Hobbies Paining Challenge' has proved the perfect opportunity for me to finally complete my Scotland Yard Company for the ‘In Her Majesty’s Name’ ruleset.  Once again, I felt a pang of guilt at not having painted these miniatures sooner, particularly as they are such joy to work with.

 The sculpts, which have plenty of detail to them, are most forgiving and I am delighted to see them finally done.  Eagled eyed visitors to this most humble of weblogs will have spotted the 'Whitechapel' set from last year's challenge providing a suitable backdrop for this crew. Included in this group of six, 28mm miniatures, is a steampunk Fagin, a bonus figure for pre-ordering the miniatures back in the mists of time.  I've included him here as an informer to the company, somebody whose connections with the crime underworld of the mighty Metropolis proves invaluable to the boys of the Yard.

I couldn't resist collecting the company together for a final group shot and seeing them like this makes me want to dig out the rules and have another read, especially having just enjoyed Season 3 of 'Ripper Street', over on Amazon Prime -  it was certainly worth signing that on-line petition!  Just when I start to think that I'm getting into my stride, painting wise, the standard in the challenge seems to have risen again; if you get a chance do pop over and cast a vote for your favourites, just click the link here. 

Sunday 4 January 2015

2014, a year in review...

… and new targets for 2015.

Yes, I know, another Wargames Blog review, but I promise that this will be just the briefest of posts* to review my goals and set some anew for 2015.  Hobby wise, 2014 was a wonderful year, here at '28mm Victorian Warfare'; 'The Fourth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge' was a great success, due in no small way to the Herculean efforts of its creator, Curtis Campbell Esq.  I was thrilled to have achieved a top twenty spot, and although that is looking highly unlikely this year, the Challenge provides a much needed focus during the winter months. 

*and a flagrant excuse to repost some of last year's completed work 

Throughout the year, I also backed a number of Kickstarters, a new phenomena for me and one that was to prove a tad expensive!  Swept along by the excitement of it all, I ended up pledging ridiculous amounts of the 'hard earned' on the 'Mars Attacks' game.  Although a painful lesson, the excitement of the process stuck with me and I went on to pledge in couple more, the results of which I hope will one day be showcased on this humble weblog.

Other highlights included being placed in a zombie painting contest over at 'RSquared Studios' and the welcome return of a 'Liebster Award', something that I particularly cherish as it is awarded by one's peers.  So on to the review of last year's targets:

1 Play more games! Target Met - Although predominately boardgames, 2014 did see some Blood Bowl action, Zombicide and X-Wing played.

2 Maintain a credible level of posts throughout the course of the year.  I do not want to be prescriptive on this but will certainly look to maintain the interest in '28mm Victorian Warfare' by looking to post between 5 – 10 posts per month (a minimum of 60 posts for the year).  Target Met - 105 posts for the year.  I can't see this happening this year and may have to tweak the numbers a little. 

3 Attend at least one convention/exhibition/expo this year.  Target Met - Salute 2014, Euro Militaire 2014.  I enjoyed both tremendously and will hopefully be attending both again this year, provided that I can persuade the 'Provost Marshal'.

4 I would like to try to curb the additional expenditure on miniatures this year, or at least try to bring it into line with output.  A simple tally score will suffice, hopefully something that will 'shame' me into being a little more restraint when it comes to all things hobby related.  Fail - but an interesting exercise nonetheless.  According to my tally counter the numbers are as follows**:

Painted/constructed:  246
Bought:  257
Balance: -11

Detailed breakdown:
Foot:  141
Mounted:  11
Artillery:  9
Vehicles:  3
Buildings/Terrain pieces: 37
Livestock:  45
**All miniatures are 28mm scale unless otherwise stated
So only eleven minters over the 'hobby neutral' target, not so bad thinks I, particularly when I consider that only those posted on the blog counted towards to the tally.  That said there was some shameful massaging of statistics by not counting gifts of miniatures or miniatures bought with money that was gifted or even miniatures bought by me as gifts for yours truly - but my blog, my rules! 

So what has 2015 in stall for '28mm Victorian Warfare'?  Well simply put, more of the same.  I take a great deal of pleasure and enjoyment from the hobby and yes, one day, it would be lovely to command great armies across the tabletop, but that will come in good time.  For now, I'm happy to indulge my whims and use the hobby, and the rather splendid community that surrounds it, as an escape from the relentless pace and demands of 'real life'.    So, I shall simply reset that 'Tally Counter', head up the virtual step ladder to remove the Christmas banner decorations and chart a course for 2015.  My continued thanks to all of you that jump aboard, it is your continued support that makes this voyage so worthwhile, I salute you all.

Perhaps as a final aside, amidst all this self absorbing and congratulatory back slapping, we should spare a thought for those that 2015 has left behind, in particular I am thinking of Captain Richard of 'Capt. Richard's Miniature Civil War'.  An inspirational modeller and a wonderfully generous member of our community, who will be sorely missed.

… and so, in a roughly chronological order of posting, my efforts from 2014!

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