Thursday 31 March 2016

We have a winner!

As promised I have great pleasure in announcing the winner of 28mm Victorian Warfare's fifth anniversary prize draw, but before I do just a brief word regarding the claiming of your prize, if you are lucky enough to be the winner.  All I require is a postal address (and of course your choice of miniatures) and the easiest way to do that is to email me at:

twenty eight millimetre (the first part written as numerals and abbreviations) little men at g mail dot (just a full stop will suffice) com

My apologies for the unnecessarily cryptic address, (I should also point out that there are no spaces either!) but I am led to believe that this helps to reduced the likelihood of additional unwanted spam, something we are already plagued with.

A huge 'Thank You' to all that entered and helped to celebrate this humble web log's fifth anniversary, your supportive comments are all greatly appreciated; so drum roll please!


My congratulations to Joe and my commiserations to those that missed out this time, I'm sure there will be more opportunities to bag a prize in the future.  

Sunday 27 March 2016

A final reminder.

 Happy Easter to one and all and just a reminder that there is also a giveaway to commemorate '28mm Victorian Warfare's' fifth anniversary.  To enter, and be in with a chance of winning two packs of 'Empress Miniatures', just leave a comment on 'Blogday' post here.  The draw is due to be held on the 31st March 2016.

Thursday 24 March 2016


With Spring now officially sprung, lambs gambolling in the fields and an overabundance of daffodils lining the roads of this fair isle, it seemed a fitting time to stop and reflect on the hobby juggernaut that was 'VI Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge’.  Before I go much further, I must take a moment to wholeheartedly acknowledge the Herculean efforts of one man, the legend that is Curtis Campbell Esq. - editor in chief of  'Analogue Hobbies'.  This year, ably assisted by a crack squad of hand picked Minions, the team managed to process an inordinate amount of entries, many breathtaking in their quality, ingenuity or simply scale - it really has been a feast for the eyes, thank you one and all.
For my own part, I thoroughly enjoyed this year's challenge, determined as I was to make up for last year's difficulties, and managed to improve upon, albeit marginally, my tally from 2015.  Along the way I manage to snaffle a couple of prizes in the bonus themed rounds, which brings me to the rather charming image that opened this post.  I was thrilled to hear that for bagging first spot in the 'Nautical' bonus round, I was to receive a book token to spend in the virtual halls of Edwin King's Diplomatist Book Shop. Well it didn't take long to spy a couple of titles that I fancied and in no time at all they were dispatched to 'Awdry Towers', complete with a hand written note on a postcard.  
The postcard depicted a work by Frederick Sandys simply entitled 'Autumn'*.  Painted in 1860, packed with symbolic details and clearly influenced by the Pre-Raphalite Brotherhood, 'Autumn' has a certain melancholy note that many of us who entered the challenge now feel.  With my own sense of focus and drive now removed or exhausted, the painting table stands bare with denuded paint brushes idly gathering dust. This is, of course, a temporary aberration as like a good many I find solace in a spot of retail therapy and with 'Salute 2016' on the horizon, I'm sure many a new project will surface, but for now it is time to relax.
So a final group shot of my efforts this winter, most of which I have already featured on this humble weblog, but nonetheless I have added a couple of shots of my bonus round entries.  Finally, don't forget that there is also a giveaway to commemorate '28mm Victorian Warfare's' fifth anniversary.  To enter, and be in with a chance of winning two packs of 'Empress Miniatures', just leave a comment on 'Blogday' post here.  The draw is due to be held on the 31st March 2016.

* The following is from the Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
'Autumn' 1860, bequeathed by R.J. Colman, 1946 - Oil on canvas. 79.6 x 108.7cm

This painting is one of Sandys' most ambitious and successful works. Painted soon after his first encounters with the PRB it shows the influence of their ideas on his work, with its rich colours, minute detail and symbolic meaning.

Several studies for this painting exist and in fact the largest of them, included in the exhibition, was shown at the Royal Academy instead of the finished oil. The landscape is highly influenced by the beautiful background of Millais' otherwise disastrous painting 'Sir Isumbras at the Ford'. Although Sandys used that painting as a basis for a savage cartoon, called 'A Nightmare' he also used Millias' work in a more positive way to create the stunning riverscape and sunset sky we see here.

As is typical in Sandys' work, each aspect of 'Autumn' has been painted in incredible detail. It is possible to identify the uniform and medals of the soldier - he was a member of the West Norfolk Militia Battalion of the 9th Infantry Regiment. In fact the family in 'Autumn' were probably a real Norwich family whom Sandys often used a models. The man is seen again in 'The Old Chartist' whilst the girl appears as the heroine of 'The Portent'.

Thursday 17 March 2016

Whoops Apocalypse!

So we have arrived at the final bonus round of the 'VI Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge’ - a Gambler or Risk-Taker. Again, unsure where to begin, I went delving into the lead pile, knowing that I had some splendid Post Apocalyptic miniatures that needed attention in the shape of Westphalia’s ‘Wasteland Survivors'. Another seamlessly run Kickstarter, these miniatures were just too good to be left languishing in the paint queue any longer.
With a clear nod to some of the denizens of the Mad Max film franchise, this is a wonderfully sculpted set of miniatures. As with my previous experience of 'Westfalia Miniatures' the quality of the casting is top notch and they needed very little in the way of preparation. In fact the only slight concern was attaching 'Cruiser' to 'Bruiser' and in retrospect, I have clearly pinned the little chap too far down the big chap's back!
I thoroughly enjoyed working on these, but I have to say that they were the hardest things I have had to paint in ages. Trying to get a feel of dirty or damaged clothing along with a predominance of black saw me use an inordinate amount of different paints and colours, often working on one miniature at a time. All the time I was conscious that time was slipping away from me and I started to rush perhaps a little more than I would have liked. This is in evidence in some of the shading and whilst not the end of the world, the results have troubled me a little.
I had planned a  a wonderfully complicated scenic base to go with these miniatures and the final submission also included a Max and a Furiosa along with four pigs!  Unfortunately time got the better of me and so the original plan scrapped and the miniatures were presented as they were.  I will post the other miniatures at a later date as having just seen the photographs, I just want to go back and add a couple of details to the face of one of them.
So for the last time in this year's challenge, I invite to espy the other splendid entries, perhaps even cast a vote for your favourites, they can all be found here.

Don't forget that there is also a giveaway to commemorate '28mm Victorian Warfare's' fifth anniversary.  To enter, and be in with a chance of winning two packs of 'Empress Miniatures', just leave a comment on this post here.  The draw is due to be held on the 31st March 2016.

Sunday 13 March 2016

Happy Blogday '28mm Victorian Warfare'...

...5 today!
Today marks the fifth anniversary of '28mm Victorian Warfare' and I felt that it was appropriate to just take a moment or two to thank you, dear reader.  I suggested, after this humble weblog’s first anniversary, that there was little in this world that is more self indulgent than having your own 'blog', particularly one devoted to the collecting, painting and gaming of miniature warriors just shy of three centimetres tall, but what an unexpected delight it has been developing and maintaining ‘28mm Victorian Warfare’ over the last five years.
First posted 15th March 2011
Conceived as a way or recording my tentative progress and observations through this most wholesome of hobbies, the 'blog' also became an important distraction from the ever demanding day job; an escape from all those ‘real life’ problems that befall us all from time to time.  Looking back at that first post, there was a clear agenda, a simple plan that over the years has been somewhat strayed from. In fact casual visitors to the blog may be confused by its very title as '28mm Victoria Warfare' seems to encompass everything but colonial wargaming in its present form. Regardless of distractions, and there will undoubtedly be many more,* I have no doubt that I will continue to find myself returning to the period that spawned my hobby interest. Whilst I may still dream of leading massed ranks of toy soldiers across the table top, I have a greater understanding of where my hobby progress lies and look forward to pushing on regardless.
*did someone say Ghostbusters?
First posted 29th March 2011
Finally and perhaps most importantly I just want to thank all that visit, particularly those that take the time to leave a comment - your support, enthusiasm and best wishes are truly inspirational. To demonstrate my gratitude in a more tangible way I have decided to run a modest giveaway.  To celebrate my first foray into the Anglo-Zulu I thought that I would offer the same set that I painted all those years ago - a pack of Empress Miniatures British Infantry in Campaign Marching Poses. In addition, and because I appreciate that not everyone has the same tastes, the winner of the draw may add a second pack of miniatures of their own choice ,with a comparable worth to the first, from the 'Empress Miniatures' website.
Fist posted 17th March 2011
In order to qualify for the draw you must be a public follower of ‘28mm Victorian Warfare’ and enter by leaving a comment below. I hope to make the draw on the 31st March at which point I will ask the winner to make contact via email to discuss distribution.  So once again a huge Thank You, and if I have erroneously overlooked your blog, then do please let me know by leaving a comment below.
Part 1 of the giveaway. 

Monday 7 March 2016

Empress Miniatures Colonel Evelyn Wood

As I frantically scramble around, trying to finish off some Zulu warriors as part of the  'VI Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge’ it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn't posted my Colonel Evelyn Wood, a Natal Native Contingent Scout and a Swazi Warrior all from the wonderful 'Empress Miniatures'.
Wood is one of those peculiarly Victorian heroes, a remarkable man and destined for a career in the armed forces; he initially started out aboard ship as a midshipman on HMS Queen, a 110-gun first rate ship of the line.  Eventually joining the army he served in the 13th Light Dragoons during the Crimean War and the 17th Lancers during the Indian Mutiny, where he was awarded the Victoria Cross.  In 1862, Wood moved to the infantry, first joining the 73rd, then the 17th and finally the 90th Light Infantry.
Undeniably brave, Wood was plagued by illness and accidents. At Inkerman, when he was just sixteen, his arm was shattered by enemy case shot. Refusing to have the arm amputated, he is said to have been removing bone splinters from his arm for weeks afterwards. Perhaps his most bizarre accident saw him trampled by a giraffe, a beast he was previously riding as a bet before he fell off!

Tuesday 1 March 2016

Unleash the Clocktopus!

The penultimate bonus round of the 'VI Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge’, ushers in ‘Nautical’ as its theme and I have to say that I have been really looking forward to this one.  What could be more impressive than a Spanish Man O’ War in full sail, the fearsome iron clad monitors of the American Civil War or perhaps the silent threat of an Akula-class submarine?  All potentially wonderful entries and none of which I possess!  Fear naught, for having checked the definition of nautical in my Oxford English Dictionary*, it would appear that I can unleash the Clocktopus in the certainty that it will, at least, be slightly less tenuous a link than a zombie killing tribute act or a Victorian gypsy

*Definition: of or concerning sailors or navigation; naval; maritime.

But what, I hear you cry, is a Clocktopus?  Simply put, it is the stuff of myth and fantasy dreamt up by the incredibly charming Kawe Weissi-Zadeh of ‘Westfalia Miniatures’ as part of their Steampunk Menagerie Kickstarter.  Comprised of multiple parts, I cannot praise the quality of the casting enough; I have rarely, if at all, seen better.  Given the sheer number of composite parts and possible weapon options I was a little apprehensive about the construction.  Having selected my desired weapons, I pinned each of the tentacles to the body, giving them a little more strength.  How and where you apply the tentacles seems to be left to the individual’s discretion and I was able to give a couple of the pre-formed appendages a gentle bend to allow this waterborne beastie to sit more securely – although I would be careful not to bend them too far and they might snap!
When it came to painting the Clocktopus, and for that matter the Steam Crab another of the menagerie’s bizarre frequenters, both were initially sprayed with Vallejo Glorious Gold followed by numerous washes and the picking out of details using different metallic colours before both pieces were matted down to take away the glare.  
Bizarre Steampunk contraptions aside, I felt I wanted to keep some consistency with my bonus rounds posts and started to consider the possibility of a scenic base, sadly on this occasion my imagination was held in check by the grim realisation that time was already against me, that said I was keen to throw a couple more ingredients into the mix and happened upon a pack of ‘Foundry’ deep sea divers – a tale of derring-do beneath the waves started to unfold!

Not wanting to capitulate completely to the constraints of the clock I decided to re-appropriate another past creation – the gladiatorial arena from my ‘I am Gladiator’ entry in the 'IV Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge’.  This was already sand-like in colour and the ruined column could easily be suggestive of a long forgotten civilisation.  Resolved to breathe new life into an old vignette, I needed some additional paraphernalia and the addition of some urns, an anchor and a ship’s cannon (a crewed weapon perhaps?) started to allude to the depths of some uncharted sea. 
At this point, I imagined that the piece was finished, but a chance reading of Blog post about ‘Warm Acre Games’ led to one more addition – a shark!  I just couldn’t resist and as luck would have it, this formidable fish arrived just in time for me to slap on some colour before it took its place menacingly circling above the action. 
Given that this was a round that I felt that I had nothing to offer, I have to say that I am rather pleased with what I managed to cobble together.  I am thoroughly enjoying this year’s challenge, particularly the dreaming up and execution of bonus round entries - a testament to the mutual appreciation and encouragement of my fellow challengers – thank you all.
Having indulged my whimsical fantasies once gain, it wold be remiss of me not to remind you that there are  host of splendid entries to be seen, perhaps even What could that impressive Spanish Man O’ War in full sail, you need look no further than here.

This final atmospheric photograph was a little bit of fun that was created by shooting through one of the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry's' flower vases.  The bubbles in the glass giving the illusion of expelled air underwater.  A simple filter to change the colour and the effect was complete.

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