Saturday 19 January 2019

A Wind in the Willows.

Regular readers to '28mm Victorian Warfare' might remember the last time that I was seduced by the look of the rather splendid trees from '4 Ground', the mighty 'Oak Tree' being a case in point.  You might also remember that I had decided that, whilst very lovely, they were a tad pricey and one was better off building from scratch.  Well it will come as no surprise to many to hear that I have succumbed again! 
Now in my defence, I was at 'Salute', I had counted up my pocket money and knowing that I was looking to create a river system what would be a better accompaniment that a weeping willow?  Let me tell you, a weeping willow and three smaller willows, that's what!  Before you could say, Toad, Badger, Mole and Ratty, they were paid for and in the swag bag.  
As this summer's 'Witchfinder' game grew closer, I finally got around to basing them up and I just couldn't pass up an opportunity to incorporate some of the characters from Kenneth Grahame's much loved classic.  Badger and Ratty are from 'Warbases', whilst Toad was a lucky find on the 'Master Crafted Miniatures' stand.*  Sadly Mole is not represented, I did toy with the idea of creating a couple of molehills on the final base, but time was against me and so he remains conspicuous by his absence.
*Not sure what I am going to do with the tortoises that I picked up at the same time, but I am sure they will come in handy!
So has all this changed my opinion on the pricing of the trees?  Well not really, they are very expensive for what you get, not even a pre-painted base this time!  That said, they are very nicely crafted and their distinctive shape and particularly the size of the larger models really does add something to the table.  So whilst I shall continue to whinge about the hefty price tag, I am thrilled to have them in my collection.

“It's my world, and I don't want any other. What it hasn't got is not worth having, and what it doesn't know is not worth knowing.”
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Saturday 12 January 2019

A Swarm of Bats

Since the refurbishment here at ‘Awdry Towers’ there has been a certain amount of relocation, by this I mean that my little cosy corner of the dining room table has been banished!  With this banishment the lead pile was spilt over a couple of locations with the more esoteric elements of the collection finding further isolation in the loft.  
This was carefully considered at the time, with a degree of sorting out and labelling, but alas as with all good intentions the system has fallen by the wayside!  What this now means is that when I go in search of something it is now over several floors of the house and takes an inordinate amount of time!  All griping aside, this arrangement does have an unexpected upside, namely that when rooting around for one miniature you come across a number of others that might inspire a complete change of direction. 
So it was that I came to find a Vampire Knight, a Man-Bat and a swarm of bats in my hand at the same time!   Although not completely sold on the idea that the three pieces could show the transformation from human form to flying mammal, I started the process of preparing the miniatures.   The Swarm is from ‘Reaper Miniatures’, whilst the Vampire Knight was an impulse buy in one of ‘North Star Miniatures’ clearance sales and has more than a passing resemblance to Gary Oldman’s portrayal of the immortal Count, in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Finally, the Man Bat was from ‘Heresy Miniatures’ and was the most involved to prepare and took some pinning and filling to secure the wings to the body.  As with all Paul Muller’s work, it is a finely sculpted and balanced miniature and so worth spending some time to get the construction right. 
When it came to painting, and having spent so long building the thing, I panicked and just used the website’s images as a guide.  There was an idea that I could use some of the colours in the Man-Bat to tie the three elements together.  On reflection, I am not convinced that it has worked, but I certainly matched their bases to further reinforce the idea.
I am happy to report  that both the Man Bat and the Vampire Knight have both been blooded in action, taking on the roles of Alain de la Slaughter and Gareth of Oldham respectively in last summer's Witchfinding fun, 'The Scouring of Muchwhinging'.  I wonder what will crop up next?

Sunday 6 January 2019

"Eyes down for a Full House!"

This year, I am going to be playing...
Mike 'the Dark Templar' Reynolds, alerted me to this 'Wargame Hobby 'Bingo' card created by the incredibly talented, and jolly nice chap, Rob Hawkins Esq.  It is generic enough to be used for any historical period or hobby style. Each row contains a square for painting, conversion work and scenery building, so you need to do a little bit of everything to fill it in.  The card is reproduced with kind permission from Rob, but if you haven't already done so, I would urge you to take some time to visit his truly inspirational site: The Rob Hawkins Hobby Blog

I have created a separate page, here, to chart my progress...

"Eyes down for a Full House!"

Thursday 3 January 2019

2018 a year in review...

... and targets for 2019.
Now I have, in recent years, enjoyed this post, after all what is better than a spot of self indulgent retrospection? However this year it is tinged with sadness for no other reason than the self imposed exile, and subsequent mothballing of '28mm Victorian Warfare', due to the ever present demands of the Day Job. I shall not go into a lengthy discourse here, but simply acknowledge that it was a difficult end to 2018 with no real sign of any let up as we head into 2019. I should stress that we are all well and whilst tiresome the ever present difficulties are, hopefully, surmountable; I am certainly determined to try my level best to be more productive this year.

What I did notice, whilst I was away, was that I didn't spend as much of my pocket money on hobby related goodies as I would have normally done.  My withdrawal from all Blogs and news feeds meant that temptation was vanquished, well for the most part anyway; I didn't account for the enthusiastic machinations of Mike 'The Dark Templar' Reynolds with regards to Star Wars: Legion, but more of that another day.

So, gentle folk this will be a much shorter review than those of previous years, but I am hopeful that in creating it, I will feel inspired to return to our cosy corner of the Blogosphere.  So on to the review of last year's targets:

1 Play more games! Target Met! X-Wing Miniatures Game and Zombicide: Green Horde continued to be popular, but I was thrilled to finally host a Witchfinder game using the Donnybrook ruleset.  More recently we have enjoyed a couple of games of Star Wars: Legion, which is proving to be a very welcomed tonic to all the silliness that is going on in the Real World. 

2 Maintain a credible level of posts throughout the course of the year.  Target Missed!  2018 saw the fewest number of posts made in a year since the establishment of '28mm Victorian Warfare' back in 2011.  The thought that I 'had to post' hasn't helped of late and subsequently this target has been reset to 50 posts in the year.

3 Attend at least one convention/exhibition/expo this year.  Target Met!  The annual pilgrimage to Salute 2018 was as inspiring as ever and this year was supplemented by a visit to Tabletop Gaming Live at the Alexandra Palace.  This was a smaller, but hugely enjoyable event and perhaps something that can be revised in the New Year.

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.  Target Met! Painted 155 - 49 Bought = +106 in credit!  Well I didn't see that coming.  Having removed the constant temptation of new shiny things, the tally looks more than respectable.  

According to my tally counter the numbers are as follows*:
Painted/constructed: 155
Bought: 49
Balance: +106
Detailed breakdown:
Foot: 51
Artillery: 2
Vehicles: 2
Buildings/Terrain pieces: 55
Livestock: 45
*All miniatures are 28mm scale unless otherwise stated

So what of 2019?  Well I had hoped to host another summer extravaganza, but I am woefully behind schedule on the preparation front.  Rather than put myself under any undue pressure, I am going to put that plan on hold for the time being.  Expect, however, a series of posts detailing the miniatures for last summer's Witchfinder clash and with Resident Evil, now in residence, some horror survival is on the cards.  What I can guarantee is more shenanigans from a galaxy far, far away!  Star Wars: Legion looks set to be around for a while and I have my eye on some Wookie shaped expansions to put pay to the evil Galactic Empire.  I am conscious that I missed out on 'Zomtober' and 'Dinovember', not to mention 'Forgotten Heroes' earlier in the summer.  These themed months are always great fun, but again I shall not make any promises, but wait to see what the future holds.

I do need to thank those that kept in touch during my absence, your continued support was so important and allowed me a tentative hold on the community that has come to play an important role in addressing the work/life balance.  On that note if you feel that I can be of any help then do not hesitate to get in touch and I hope to be removing the dust sheets sometime in the middle of March in time for 28mm Victorian Warfare's ninth Bloody!  So time to reset the 'Tally Counter' and present, in a roughly chronological order of creation, my efforts from 2018!

Tuesday 1 January 2019

Happy New Year 2019!

A very Happy New Year to all that pass by the pages of '28mm Victorian Warfare', here's to a fabulous 2019 and whatever it may bring you.  For yours truly, the immediate focus will continue to be the 'IX Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge' and the pursuit of some much needed points to reach my self imposed, albeit modest, tally.

Christmas has come and gone and once again, I was spoilt rotten by the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry', although not too much hobby related presents this year.  It will also have not escaped some that my presence, in the form of comments left on posts, has once again diminished of late.  I hope to right this wrong as I try to get back on track with my own hobby progress.   

Expect the obligatory review and target setting for the year ahead in due course, but for now let me, once again, wish you all a happy and prosperous start to the year.
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