Tuesday 31 May 2011

Hay-on-Wye Festival

I was working over the bank Holiday weekend, but am making the most of my day off today and will be visiting the Hay-on-Wye Book Festival. My Wife and I will be meeting up with my Brother-in-Law and taking our daughter, so it's a full day out and the benefit is that I'll have a legitimate reason to browse bookshops.

Sue has already packed a picnic lunch and we will be off soon. I will report back later as to any finds.


Sunday 29 May 2011

Prussian Church from Grand Manner - painted

Dave Bodley at Grand Manner has just uploaded some new photos of the painted Prussian Church onto his Facebook site. Here are a couple of images that were sent to me a couple of weeks ago. The Church was modelled by me some time ago and the graveyard and roof were added to by Dave.

I am biased but I think Dave has done a fantastic job on this particular model - a centre piece for any European based wargame campaign. The model comes with a lift-off roof, fully detailed interior, a separate graveyard and two steeples. For more information please go to this link

I know Dave is going to run this model as a Limited Edition, due to the size of the main mould, so anyone thinking about purchasing this model should do so soon, very soon.

After Dave had painted this model, I received the very satisfying comment; "This is one of the most detailed models you have ever made." I think I agree.


Saturday 28 May 2011

Wargames Illustrated 284

Something of a landmark for me - I have been mentioned (twice) in the latest issue of Wargames Illustrated. Hopefully there will be more but please allow me a little moment of glory!

See 'Touring the Lone Pine Board' pages 78 t0 85.

Congratulations on a well put together magazine. Also as a bonus, my Wife and Daughter were shopping in Worcester earlier today and picked up two copies of The Rackhams in-house magazine Cry Havoc, for 40p each in a local charity shop. A real bargain.


Friday 27 May 2011

Games Expo - Birmingham, 3rd - 5th June

I intend visiting UK Games Expo on Sunday 5th June. For full details of the event please see this link

This will be the third, maybe fourth time in a row that I have attended this event and would recommend it to all gamers. The show tends to concentrate on Games rather than Wargames or Miniature Manufacturers, however there is usually loads to see and definitely loads to do as there are dozens of participation games for you to try out.

The event opens at 10.00am on Sunday and I would expect to be there early and 'make a day of it.' It would be great to meet up with any followers or like minded gamers and have a cup of coffee.


I am not planning on bringing any of my models or figures, however if any one would like to see a specific piece, I will load it into the car.

Thursday 26 May 2011

Timber Framed Building - Warwick

These photos show a couple of timber framed buildings that I spotted in Warwick last week, both are in the same street and are situated between the main town and Warwick Castle. Of particular interest are the decorative wooden frames, although once again, I find the stark Brilliant White of the in-fill panels a little too much.

It looks as if the in-fill panels have been insulated - having a modern foam or heat barrier materials below the plastering, you can see this as the in-fill panels stand to regular and proud of the frame. Given that these are both lived-in, it makes sense to make them as heat efficient as possible.

Regular readers will know that if I have my camera with me I usually find some architectural item of interest - it drives my Wife crazy!


Wednesday 25 May 2011

Timber Framed Building - St. Johns, Worcs.

This is another Timber Framed Building in St. Johns, Worcester. It is situated on the main road into St. Johns and is next to the large CO-OP store. Although my heart wants it to be original, there is no doubt that there has been extensive renovation, maybe even a completely new-build. Never-the-less it is a beautiful representation of a traditional timber framed house.

I particularly like the false mullioned windows and the stone work/brickwork on the ground floor and entrance. there is little to be seen of the rear and I would hazard a guess that it was a condition of building the new superstore (to the left) that a reproduction house was either renovated, moved or built.

It has a frontage of 3mtrs. (aprox.) For better photos, please 'click' on the images.

For modellers, it gives an insight into the building techniques used and the colour of the beams is very inspiring, less so the brilliant white infill panels, which would have been coloured lime wash.

The series of photos is taken from the South side of the road and in a pattern from West to East or towards Worcester town centre.


Tuesday 24 May 2011

Stone Barn an on-line build part two

Not much to see in the first image but the whole building has been given a very heavy Raw Umber (dark brown) drybrush, the paint I used is cheap craft paint and it was applied with a coarse hogshair brush.

These three photos show how I have picked out a random selection of individual stones with either Snakebite Leather from Games Workshop or Stonewall Grey from Vallejo.

I intend to drybrush over all of the stonework later today.


Monday 23 May 2011

Stone Barn an on-line build, actually an on-line paint!

This particular model barn is well over 15 years old, maybe even twenty years or older! It was built when I was still experimenting with DAS modelling clay and has served me well over the years. Some time ago I re-mounted it onto thick plastic card and built up the groundwork with the intention of re-painting it (hence the black/dark brown basecoat). Since being undercoated it has been stored in the attic, unloved and gathering dust. I think it is time I painted it!

The construction follows what was usual for me back then; a card base and internal strengtheners with sculpted DAS stonework and roof tiles. There is some foam foliage up the walls and over the roof, but in summary the building is 90% DAS.

It is quite a large structure, 400mm long, 100mm wide and 130mm tall. It was initially built to accompany my Orcs Drift gaming miniatures, which shows how long ago it was built.

For now, here is the undercoated barn. More to follow.


Friday 20 May 2011

Modelling Mushrooms

My recent article - Return to the Cabbage Patch, which was featured on Barking Irons Online has led to a number of comments about 'How I made the mushrooms', see photo below.

The starting point was a couple of lentils, some split peas and a selection of cocktail sticks. I cut the top of the cocktail sticks flush and then with a thick superglue, glued them onto the lentils or split peas. A am sure that you could also use larger pulses and even sculpt your own, but this is how I modelled mine.

The whole mushroom was painted brown and then highlighted a pale cream before the red tops were added. I have highlighted the red, but only slightly. The white spots were first painted light grey and then highlighted with pure white.

Once the paint was dry, I cut of the base of the cocktail stick and superglued them in place in clumps of three. I would add that in the construction of these six wild mushrooms, I actually made nine, two were lost in construction and painting and the head fell of the ninth when I was trying to cut the cocktail stick to size - the moral is 'always make more than you think you are going to need'.


Thursday 19 May 2011

Painting the Cabbage Patch - now on Barking Irons Online

The second part of my Modelling Masterclass article Cabbage Patch and how I painted it is now up on Barking Irons Online, see this link Part one - the construction is available here

These three images show the finished terrain piece - a walled cabbage patch that measures 11 inches x 8 inches and was completed for less that £4.00 over a couple of days. I hope that you enjoy reading about how I first constructed it and then painted it.

It is my intention to produce at least one modelling article a month for BIO and to that end I have been busy over the last few weeks trying to build up a stockpile of finished pieces.

Although the bulk will be Flintloque or Slaughterloo based, I am hopeful that there will be something for everyone and the odd Typhon or Fantasy piece.


Sunday 15 May 2011

The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers - A film?

I have written about this book in earlier posts and will just add that this is, in my opinion one of the best Fantasy novels ever written. I recently read over on The Miniatures Page (TMP) that it may be made into a film, see this link

On the one hand I should be excited and pleased. In truth I am filled with trepidation and dread, as 'Hollywood' has a knack for making complete hashes of these great novels. I am tempted to not see the film and recall the images the book has given to me - my own mental images. Which are always so much better than other peoples!

There is a very good review of the book over on Wikipedia however I would recommend not reading it and instead - searching out the book and having a great read.

Full details are;

The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers
Published by Del Ray Books, but easily available via Amazon or e-bay
ISBN 0-345-430816


Friday 13 May 2011

Dwarven Spirits - a short story

Following a comment by me over on The Notables, Craig Andrews has uploaded a short story of mine at Barking Irons Online. The 'themed' or 'Framed' story uses the tried and tested mechanic of the same opening paragraph, in this case set in a small Tavern called the White Liar and then allows the authors to develop a simple plot or story line. For more details go to this link I hope that this story frame inspires others to try their hand at writing.

This Photo shows six of the seven Dwarves that are featured in the story.

The story follows a Dwarven survivor of an Ogre attack in the woods of Diberia. The original story was intended to be a 'filler' in the background and regimental history of The Princess Juliana Chasseur Elite Regiment (see earlier posts) but was 'pulled' as that story was already too long. I am pleased that I was able to include it as a separate short story here.

I have written two further short stories, the first will be published on BIO later in the year, but it is interesting that the third has developed into a 'full-blown' story and scenario or gaming seed. More information will be published here once I have further details.

I hope that you like it. I really enjoyed writing it.

Further details can be found here


Wednesday 11 May 2011

Scale Rulers

While searching The Miniatures Page, I saw a link to Rulers-of-the-World, an American company that supplies scale rulers for modellers etc. I treated myself to three;
O Gauge or 1:43. Model train scale in the UK.
40mm or 1:45. 40mm model soldier scale.
28mm or 1:56. Wargaming scale.

At just $4 each plus $1 mail/postage I think they are a great bargain. I will give a full report once I have used them. For full information go to;
www.rulers-of-the-world.com or search GOOGLE.


Tuesday 10 May 2011

Timber Framed building, Bewdley, Worcs.

I was particularly struck by the framing of this beautiful building when visiting Bewdley earlier this week. The first photo shows the building from the main road, while the second and third are taken from the rear. This building is situated near to the bridge on the East side of the river.

There are many timber framed buildings in this area of Worcester, all have some feature or other worth checking out.

If you intend visiting Bewdley at any time in the future, I can recommend calling into Bewdley Museum and browsing the working exhibits and craft areas. In addition just up from the museum is a very unassuming shop cammed Totally Patched - a patchwork shop and craft centre. The first floor workroom has some of the very best exposed beams I have ever come across. Well worth a visit.


Monday 9 May 2011

Alfred Taylor House, Worcester - part two

Back in January of this year I uploaded details of the beautifully restored old building in the St. John's area of Worcester. At the time I used a 'stock' photo culled from the internet, but here are some that I took earlier today.

Photos One, Two and Three - Show the building from the main street.

Photo Four - is the rear of the building.

Photo Five - Shows some of the exposed beam work, be aware that a lot of the re-build roof uses new timbers.

Photo Six - Is of the stone fireplace with decorative paintwork.

Photo Seven - A real treat, this image is of the wall painting in one of the upstairs rooms. I was very privileged and lucky to be allowed to photograph this particular image. As you can see the painted plaster image is protected by a glass frame.

As stated earlier this is a return visit to this building, - actually set of three adjoining buildings and this time with my camera. I hope that you like the photos.


Wednesday 4 May 2011

Happy Star Wars Day

"May the Fourth (be with you)".



Tuesday 3 May 2011

Foul Mouth Freddy - a gaming scenario for Flintloque part two

Barking Irons Online are featuring part two of my Foul Mouth Freddy linked scenario thread Foul Mouth Freddy speeds through the ****ing Forest in which Freddy has to outrun a group of dark Elf bandits and outwit the Provost Ogres after a night on the tiles.

As stated in the first part Foul Mouth Freddy scours the ****ing Town Craig Andrews (editor of BIO and Orcs in the Webbe) has had a lot to do with adding 'flesh' to my initial scenario. Thank you Craig, I think you have done a great job and I hope that you enjoy reading about Freddy's adventures. Part Three still to come.

For more information about Flintloque, check out Alternative Armies here


Monday 2 May 2011

Space 1889 - a very personal view

Regular readers must be aware of my on-going relationship with the great game system Space 1889/Sky Galleons of Mars, a gaming system that until quite recently had been waning - if not near dead. Recent development and in particular a new Blog by Frank Chadwick (the game designer) had led me to be much more optimistic. However new posts have left me a little numb!

Frank Chadwick's Space 1889 Blog is reporting that the new Space 1889 miniatures will be 15mm scale for the adventurers and 1:1200 scale for the Aerial vessels. A decision that in my opinion is very wrong.

Let me explain; Firstly, I believe that the character led system of Space 1889 deserves 28/30mm figures and secondly it has long been my belief that 1:1200 scale ships are just too small and that a 1:300th scale choice would have allowed for much more detailed and easily recognisable ship miniatures.

To illustrate this I have included with this post four examples of my scratch-built Space 1889 fleet. They are;

HMS Wasp

A Martian Hullcutter

HMS Dauntless

The Martian Glory Shed

My own collection of aerial craft is now quite large and using modified Aeronef rules I have fought many ship-to-ship battles and very much enjoyed the background fluff. I will have to wait to see how Highlander Studios transfer these iconic craft into metal (maybe even plastic or resin).

I think I will stick with my own preferred scale of 1/300th (1mm = 1foot).


Sunday 1 May 2011

Prussian Church now available from Grand Manner

The latest 28mm resin model from Grand Manner is this Prussian Church (NAP 14) which was a true joint venture between Dave and myself. The model will be available to pre-order on Friday 6th May. For full details go to this post The set includes the 28mm scale church with removable roof, two steeples, a beautifully detailed graveyard and full interior detail which includes an altar a storeroom and an upper level. See images for further information.

The master was based on a re-constructed half-timbered church at Hessen Park open air museum, Germany. The following three images show the original, including the rather unusual 'fish-scale' roof tiles.

The original church is believed to have been built in 1626 (according to a bell inscription) and was enlarged in 1774-1775.

A full description of the building reads;
Two storey half-timbered building. Rectangular one room ground plan, corner pillars resting on stone foundations. 'Hessen Man figures' on the show side. Connecting pillars of the extension are crossed on both storeys, with plates and sills of the original building strongly profiled. The beam ends of the inside gallery in the extensions are visible. Filling timbers on sills. Irregular window arrangement, extension with two arched windows. Octagonal turret, church spire, cross and weather vane. Slate roofing.
Framework; Red-brown
Plastering; White
Roof; Greenish Slate

Dismantled in 1973 and rebuilt in 1974.

Notes taken from museum guide - Half-Timbered Church from Niederhorlen.

This really was a great (master) model to work on and I am very proud of the finished resin casting. I for one cannot wait to see a painted example. Get your orders in quickly - this is a very limited edition and given the history of previous church models from Dave (Grand Manner) I do not expect this one to be available for long! You have been warned.