Thursday, 23 January 2020

The Witcher - the Netflix series

Sue and I have just finished watching the first series of The Witcher on Netflix. We had seen some reviews prior to starting the series, but recommendations from my son and daughter prompted us to start watching it - and I have to say that we have enjoyed all of the first 8 episodes and are looking forward to series 2.

I did not have any preconceived ideas about the character of the series as I had not read any of the books or played the game. I do think I had heard of it, maybe on gaming or entertainment sites.

The story does play around with the timeline quite a bit but in the end, I think we followed it close enough. I would say that there are some fantastic characters in series 1, but if Henry Cavill was paid by the word, I don't think he would be earning that much (grunts are a totally different matter.....) Even so I would say that he does pull it off and makes a convincing anti-hero.

I would say that it is a good series (if a little short) and well worth searching out.

For more information see this official Netflix site.


Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Lead Soldiers Haul

I am well aware that Blog posts this month have been slow.....

I have been working on a couple of commissions and finishing off a number of magazine articles for publication later this year. But this week we have had visitors. My Brother and Sister-in-Law were up from South Wales visiting Sue and her mother. As well as bringing fresh Welsh cakes and faggots from Swansea market, I received this margarine box of toy soldiers or 40mm lead soldiers. I would suggest that they are new models from traditional moulds cast in lead. Possibly Prince August.

It's quite a haul.....

They are definitely lead. Bob found them while attending an auction.

A dozen mounted Hussars.

50 advancing infantry.

50 kneeling riflemen.

5 Flag wielders or banner carriers.

18 marching drummers.

12 Trumpet or buglers.

And 6 cannon.

I'm not sure what I'll be doing with this load of old lead - over 150 models but will keep you informed should there be any developments.

Thank you Bob and Anna.


Friday, 17 January 2020

Miniature Wargames Magazine - issue 442

Issue 442 of Miniature Wargames contains the first of a series of articles/tutorials written by me showing how I built a range of simple, practical and affordable pieces of wargame terrain from easily obtainable materials.

For details see this link.

The models were all built with the following rules;
1 - constructed from everyday and easily obtainable materials
2 - be generic and able to be used in a number of different scenarios
3 - the models must be robust
4 - and finished to a good standard
5 - sized to fit inside a 6 inch x 6 inch x 6 inch box

The first model a European Storehouse is featured on a three page spread in the latest issue of MW. Hopefully there will be more articles to follow.


Monday, 13 January 2020

Dracula - the BBC drama

Sue and I have just finished watching all three episodes of the new BBC drama Dracula. We watched it on catch-up and have to say that given some of the scathing reviews I have seen, I was not sure how or if I would enjoy it.

After watching the three episodes, I have to say that I enjoyed it. It was more fun than I had expected with many one-liners and nowhere near as gory as I had expected. The performances by Claes Bang (as Dracula) and Dolly Wells (as Sister Agatha) were fantastic - I really liked the interplay between these characters and would welcome more, either as another Dracula series or as a Sister Agatha spin-off. I think she would make a great series hero.

For more details see this BBC link.

Given the themes and writing of Dracula I was even more disappointed with the new Dr Who episodes - who used similar gender changes/swaps but completely failed to engage with me or Sue. In the past I have to admit to looking forward to new episodes of Dr Who and would never have thought of missing a Christmas special, but this year I can honestly say I have no wish to watch any more of this 13th Doctor (is it possible that the 13th doctor is cursed?)

I also know that there have been many who have criticised the BBC on the implementation of a female doctor and these criticisms have been shouted down as sexist. However In Dracula we have a new drama based on a very old character with gender rolls reversed (sorry spoiler alert) similar to the new Jody Whittaker doctor and where as one fails to engage and is loosing viewers in droves, the second (Dracula) has a strong female role model and a fantastic story thread. Surely there has to be a lesson learnt! I cannot help but compare and contrast these two BBC dramas and where Dracula succeeds on so many levels, Dr Who just falls flat.


Thursday, 9 January 2020

Mortal Realms - the new part-work from GW

I picked up Issue 1 of the new Warhammer/Hachette part-work from W H Smiths yesterday called MORTAL REALMS the large card backed presentation pack contains 13 GW miniatures - 3 gold plastic Sequitors and 10 Chainrasp Horde all for just £2.99.

You also get the usual leaflets and information that is always present in these part-works giving details of what is to come and how you can save money by subscribing. There is also 12 page booklets showing how to put the miniatures together and play a simple first scenario.

I'm tempted to get issue 2 as well - but we will have to see. The first pack offers great value for money.....

For more information - see this link.


Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Wargames Soldiers & Strategy issue 106

Another month with two wargame magazines which include articles written by me. This is not a unique experience but one that is rare enough to be commented upon. The image was taken in the local W H Smiths store in Bromsgrove.

Miniature Wargames issue 441 has already been mentioned in an earlier post. The article shows how I modelled the gaming board for the Flash Gordon crashed rocketship that was featured in issue 440.

Wargames Soldiers & Strategy issue 106 includes a two page tutorial on building and painting a Zulu hut. The tutorial/article was originally intended for the Pen & Sword book Wargames Terrain & Buildings - North Africa and the Middle East but like a number of others was never used. It is good to see it featured in a modelling/wargaming magazine instead.

For more information, please see this link.


Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Wargames Terrain & Buildings North Africa and the Middle East - update

Earlier this week I saw that the publication dates for Wargames Terrain & Buildings North Africa and the Middle East written by me had been brought forward to March 2020. there are also two special offer deals from Pen & Sword working at this moment;

The first offers the book at a the introductory price of just £11.99 and the second suggests a link-up with book one Wargames Terrain & Buildings The Napoleonic Wars.

For full details see this link or use the Blog link found to the upper right of this page.