Sunday 29 September 2013

Ragnarok 60 on its way.

Steve Blease, the long suffering editor of Ragnarok, the in-house publication of The Society of Fantasy and Science Fiction Wargaming, has posted that Ragnarok 60 is nearing completion. For full details go to this link.

I have been a long-time follower of 'The Rag', but a relative newcomer to the SFSFW - becoming a full member just last year. I rate the content of this magazine as some of the very best fan-led fiction and gaming scenarios available and would recommend that any one who enjoys this Blog will enjoy being a member. For details of how to join, go to this link.


Friday 27 September 2013

John Carter of Mars

Last night I watched the Disney film, John Carter of Mars. After hearing so many poor reviews, both Sue and I were pleasantly surprised and actually though it was quite good.

I think this maybe one of those occasions where the critics were out to close a good film even before it had aired. My only criticism (and it is only a small one) was that I thought the introduction (Earth side) a little slow, once the action started on Barsoom we were caught up in the story.

I particularly liked the typical Disneyfication of the pet...... what-ever-it-is (Woola) and I actually laughed out loud on a couple of occasions. No doubt the poor box office takings will mean that a second John Carter or Barsoom film is very unlikely, but I would say that without being a great film, it was a good evenings entertainment.

Having been a fan of some of the comic book Barsoom tales, I think there was an argument for less clothes and (as famously stated on TMP) more boobies!

More info. can be found here.


Update; Even more info. here. Thank you Wulfgar22.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Siren for Flash Gordon

Yet another update. This time a modified Siren from the Monsters in my Pocket plastic play set (bought in Poundland - for £1.00). The figure has been modified and had a couple of millimetres removed from the base before being mounted on to a 40mm round lipped base. The groundwork was built up in my usual manner, with broken cork and Milliput before being textured with sand

Photo Two - Shows the Siren miniature alongside a 40mm Graven Images/Cliffhanger trooper. The miniature was painted in a mix of Acrylic paints over a basecoat of dilute uPVA glue and varnished with Galleria Matt Varnish.

Photo Three - Is the standard and unmodified figure of the Siren (taken from the web). Monster in my Pocket figures are sculpted to a non-standard or uniform scale, so you have to be selective as to which figures you use, however the wide variety of subject matter and the cheap price means that they are perfect for my 40mm Flash Gordon collection.

I have seen the same miniature used as a Water Elemental and as I have a spare Siren, I might do the same.

There are three more September updates featuring similar 40mm figures, for details go to these links; KaliHooked HulkGorillaman. I am planning a similar group of posts for October 2013.


Monday 23 September 2013

Soapbox. On-Line Magazines - the future?

This is a post I have thinking about for some time. Earlier this year - March in fact, I was given a voucher for WHSmiths (a stationers and book seller in the UK) to spend on model making and wargaming magazines, with the very best of intentions I am yet to spend it. This is not because of the lack of magazines available, there are many available. It is more about the fact that I am still searching for a 'perfect magazine' for me - my individual interest in model making and wargaming. For some background see this post.

This frustration has led me to On-Line or electronic magazines, Think Ancible, Portal and Figure Painter. However once again I'm not sure this is for me. I know I'm a fussy bugger!

Then there are Yahoo Groups. Yeah, with all the changes in the Yahoo Group page layout, even this has been a pain to follow. "What about TMP or The Lead Adventure Forum?" Well these deliver great content, but still not the focused content that I am craving for. "What about Ragnarok?" (The in-house magazine of SFSFW) Once again not what I'm looking for although it is getting closer to my ideal.

"So is there an answer to my search?" I'm not sure there is. Previously I had looked to Barking Irons Online and Orcs in the Webbe for some suitable articles, but both have been quiet recently (although Craig assures me that the OITW 2013 Advent Calendar will be going ahead.)

In searching for a Battleplan I ask myself. "Is the answer On-Line magazines, or have Bloggers and Forums already made these forms of writing obsolete?"

In the words of the song, "I'm holding on for a hero". A hero that I am not sure is coming.

Final question.....

"Do you know of a magazine, on-line or otherwise where my cravings can be satisfied?" "Do you know of a Forum or Blog where this content is being squirrelled away?" If you do, then join in the debate and post a comment.


Sunday 22 September 2013

COLOURS 2013 Newbury - a photo report

One week on, here is the promised report on Colours 2013 (September 14th and 15th). I'd booked a day off work and drove down to Newbury Racecourse with Sue, a 250 mile round trip in what was supposed to be terrible weather - rain and high winds. As it turned out the weather was OK and although we did experience some rain, the bulk of the day was in fact fine.

On entering the show, I made my way up to the Bring & Buy stall which was situated on the upper grandstand floor and booked in the last of the books Building Wargame Terrain. Sue and I then worked our way around the upper floor where the Battle of Leipzig 1813 was one of my favourite display games. A 54mm (1/32nd scale) demonstration game that had some quite fantastic pieces of terrain and beautifully painted plastic figures. Thank you to Skirmish Wargames.

This little hen coup was one of the best pieces of scratch-building I saw at the show. I am a little embarrassed to say that I lost the details of who built it, but assure you that this was a gem. Thank you for letting me take some close-ups.

On the same floor was this huge 28mm Viking Raider game with an impressive Great Hall resin model.

The same resin model was also on display downstairs.

El Alamein in 15mm.

And Pegasus Bridge in 28mm by Warlord Games.

I saw this small diorama in the annex and thought it worth commenting on - the hedgerows are built on flexible bases. I must try to copy this idea.

Roman Legionnaires in 28mm on a huge gaming board.

And finally the display/exhibition area where I took these photos.

We didn't stay long, as we had planned on having an evening meal with my Son and Daughter-in-Law before returning home to Droitwich, but even so I enjoyed the day out and even managed to spend a few pounds.


Friday 20 September 2013

My name is Tony Harwood and I'm a Flintloqueaholic!

OK I admit it, I do go a little overboard when it comes to my favourite miniature game - Flintloque, (from Alternative Armies). Earlier this month I was given a new wallet as an anniversary present - to replace my very old leather wallet that was actually falling apart!

I'm not sure if I am alone in this, but my choice of wallet is a very personal thing and the new black one just didn't work for me. Sorry Sue. However in a moment of complete madness I have superglued Old Oswald Pepperkettle - the metal badge from AA to the front cover and now all this has changed and I can show my allegiance to The Grand Alliance with this very personalized wallet.

The metal badge is available from AA see this link for details. I have been told that a similar badge is available for those 'pointy eared' Ferach and even a Muvver badge for those who want to show their allegiance to a certain mutinous Orc Sergeant, however I find this particularly difficult to accept, after all who could possible love those Ferach enough to want to wear a Ferach badge?


Wednesday 18 September 2013

Gorillaman for Flash Gordon

Another Wednesday, another 40mm figure. This time a Gorillaman for my Flash Gordon collection. The following three images show the miniature from different angles. The figure is a HeroClix DC Comics Gorilla Grood (157). I removed the plastic base from the 'clicky-base' with a large snap-off bladed knife and mounted him onto a 40mm lipped base. The groundwork has been built up with some broken cork and Milliput before being sprinkled with some sieved stones and fine sand.

Painting was simple enough, a Black undercoat and the flesh areas built up over Snakebite Leather. I used a number of washes (including a purple wash) to highlight the fur and skin area. The groundwork was painted with Charred Brown and Snakebite Leather while the stone outcrop was built up over Chaos Black and Skull White.

The miniature and base were varnished with Galleria Matt Varnish before being decorated with static grass and a static grass tuft.

The miniature stands 44mm tall (head to toe) on a 40mm round base. The final image shows the Gorillaman alongside the rest of the 40mm Flash Gordon Simians in my collection.


Friday 13 September 2013

Parley Vous Boche?

Craig Andrews over on Orcs in the Webbe has just uploaded the first of three SPQOrc - Pax Bochemannica scenarios called Parley Vous Boche? Which was written by me. For full details and a direct link to the story/scenario go to this link.

The three stories and gaming scenarios were written some time ago, when the game Pax Bochemannica was first released, some personal issues with Maveryc Games have meant that development on the game (a great skirmish game by the way) was suspended. Miniatures and rules are now available from Miniature Figurines - see this link for details.

This story and gaming scenario was written as an unofficial gaming supplement, and to introduce a couple of Boche characters, who should be instantly recognisable to anyone of a certain age and with memories of a yellow Reliant three wheeler speeding around Peckham!

I'd be interested in comments as to what you think of this scenario, not just because I wrote it, but to see if there is still some interest in this great game. Cushty.....


Thursday 12 September 2013

400th Follower

Welcome to Benno de Groot, my 400th follower.

This little landmark almost slipped by unnoticed as I have been hovering around the 400th follower mark for some time. I will now have to look at something special for the 500th, something like the Flintloque Ogre that I converted for the 250th follower give away. See this post and this post for details.

A very big thank you to all of my followers, keep the comments coming.

Finally for this short post. I will be at Colours, Newbury this Sunday, I'll be wearing my Dampfpanzerwagon Polo Shirt, so if you see a grey haired, bespectacled oaf with a moustache in a grey Polo Shirt, that will be me. I'm planning on bringing the last of the books - Building Wargame Terrain by Tony Harwood with me to place on the Bring-and-Buy stall. There aren't that many left and a second print run is looking unlikely, so if you are interested, search them out on the B&B.


Wednesday 11 September 2013

Hooked Hulk for Flash Gordon

The second of my Wednesday updates is a Hooked Hulk based for my 40mm Flash Gordon collection. Details of the first update - Kali for Typhon, can be found at this link.

The miniature is a metal casting from Reaper Miniatures, Dark Heaven Legends - The Hooked Hulk (03069 - CW08) and bought from Waylands Forge in Birmingham for £4.65. The figure is 50mm tall (head to toe) and 80mm wide (across the claws). It is mounted on to a 40mm round lipped plastic base and painted with various acrylics. The figure comes with two separate heads, I choose the insect one (with the 'beady eyes') over the large beaked option.

The painting was simple enough - some dark blue drybrushing over a black undercoat with Enchanted Blue highlights and Blood Red eyes. I think it works well as a Sci-Fi monster. The final image shows the finished creature alongside a 40mm Graven Images/Cliffhanger trooper from my 40mm Flash Gordon collection.