Wednesday 31 December 2014

2014 - a short review

With this year very nearly over, I thought that a short review was in order.

In general, I am pleased with the gaming successes of 2014, actually that should read modelling and painting success as there has been very little gaming. Maybe this should be my resolution for 2015? To game more.

In 2013, I set myself the goal of publishing a book - a book on Building Wargame Terrain. This was achieved and earlier this year Book Two More Wargame Terrain was also published. Book one has sold very well but book two has been slower - this is a great surprise to me as I think I can say that I enjoyed writing book two much more, and I think the techniques illustrated in book two are more detailed, more in-depth. However both continue to sell and a really big thank you to everyone who ordered a copy.

I'm not sure I will be publishing a book three in 2015, this may have to wait a year. But keep an eye out for magazine article and a very special post planned for the end of February - the anniversary of the this Blog.

One of the highlights of 2014 was attending Blast-tastic and exhibiting my 40mm Flash Gordon collection. This was the first time all the models had ever been shown in one event and the response was fantastic. I'm not sure I will be doing this again, but who knows?

The On-Line Build's continue to be a monthly goal and I know through comment posted on the Blog that these entries are enjoyed and followed with interest. I am already planning my January 2015 On-Line Build with more details to follow very soon. In addition the featuring of new or never-before-seen terrain articles or models on (or around) the first of each month was a great push for me to get some smaller projects finished. Expect this to continue into 2015 - in fact just wait until tomorrow morning.

I am planning on selling some of my (huge) collection of terrain pieces. I will post links on the Blog once I have more details.

In a similar vein, the Orcs in the Webbe Advent calendar featured four articles by me. This is a great Christmas time feature and one that I am very proud to be associated with - well done Craig Andrews - the editor.

Looking forward - I can confirm that there will be new and unique terrain and model making articles featured in modelling and gaming magazines throughout 2015. The ones I have already completed are a real mix of subject matter which I hope readers will enjoy.

If I have a New Years Resolution - I'm not sure I do this year. It will be to get better at painting and modelling.

Happy New Year. I hope it's a great one for you.


Monday 29 December 2014

Christmas 2014 - the games we played

Christmas at the Harwood's is always centred around playing games and 2014 was no exception. We started with a couple of old favourites - 

Scattergories; With newly sharpened pencils we all played a couple of rounds of this family friendly game.

Holly had a couple of Boggle games, the electronic version and Boggle Slam; which is a card game version - a cross between snap and Boggle.

The first of the new or Christmas present games was Telestration; Pictionary and Chinese Whispers combined to make for a great fun game. We have played this one a couple of times. Best with six to eight players.

Linkee; This is the 'thinking game' of the holidays - you have to guess the link between the four questions/answers on each card and then collect L I N K E E cards to win. Once again a game that we have already played four or five times. Possibly my favourite.

Dobble is a game that Gary bought for himself and Sue bought for Holly. It is a game of matching images, but with a twist and five different game options. The families favourite so far. Be aware that the price of this game can vary so shop around and get ready for some very hectic games.

Skull; is the game brought by Gary and a bit like a cross between Perudo and cards. Great fun to play but requires lots of cunning.

Finally for now the huge box of Dixit; We have Dixit Odyssey. A card game with a simple premise but very difficult to play properly, I came last in a group of eight so this maybe my least favourite, but others (the ones who won) think it's great. Dixit has some of the most weird illustrations of any game I have played.

I'm sure there will be more games over the New Years Eve/Day period - and off course the annual jigsaw.


Sunday 28 December 2014

Christmas 2014 - part two

Sue and I were given the gift of one years membership of The National Trust. Thank you Gary and Beckie. I look forward to visiting lots of 'special places' in the New Year.

Then late last night I realised that I had been awarded a years free Supporting Membership for The Miniatures Page. See link. To who ever put my name forward - Thank you.


Saturday 27 December 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014 was a very good year.....

From Sue, I received Ratpack - a comic adventure story book which I am very much looking forward to reading.

Then Barns of Rural Britain from my Mother-in-Law Flo.

These three were from Sue and Holly.

And DC Comics from Dave and Fee.

Thank you.

In addition I've had three Games Workshop paint brushes, a pack of DAS modelling clay, a Black and Decker Mouse (sander) and a new Hot Glue Gun.

As I've said; "A Very Good Year."


Wednesday 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

All the very best for Christmas 2014.


Monday 22 December 2014

A quick Blog post

Downes Plans - Book Two, Railway Buildings. Earlier this month, I picked up this book from a charity store in Droitwich. I already have the sister publication - again from the same charity shop. See this post.

This is an example of the illustrations inside.

Panzers in North-West Europe. I was given this book by my Brother-in-Law. Thank you Bob.

An illustration from the book.

Full details;

Downes Plans - Scale lineside drawings - Book Two, Railway Buildings by Allan Downes
Published by Peco 1978
ISBN 0 900586 49 4

Panzers in North-West Europe by Bruce Quarrie
Published by Patrick Stephens Limited in 1979
ISBN 0 85059 342 5


Saturday 20 December 2014

Day Nineteen of the Orcs in the Webbe Advent Calendar

Margahrah and the Battle of Burnehof by Tony Harwood

Day nineteen of this years advent calendar is another story featuring the Lyonesse Commisariat Marghrah and his loyal troop of retreating Ferach Elves - Margahrah and the Battle of Burnefof. For full details go to this link.

The character of Margahrah has developed quite a bit since that first story back in October 2011, and although I originally intended the Getting Ahead or Headless Zombies adventure as a one-off. I've become quite attached to this Ferach Hero. For details of his earlier adventures go to this link.

If you are new to the Advent Calendar check out this link for details of this years entries or this link for earlier years.

Happy Cryptmass


Monday 15 December 2014

Dracci Breath - Day Fifteen of the 2014 Advent Calendar

Craig Andrews of Orcs in the Webbe has just uploaded the latest free post on the OITW Advent Calendar 2014 - Dracci Breath, written by me. For full details go to this link.

This short story was written in response to a request from Craig, following some images I sent him of this modified resin casting of a Dwarf 'Weapon of mass Destruction'. The casting is from Scotia Grendel and was bought at a local wargame show earlier this year.

The Dwarf operator has been 'Flintloque-ified' and painted to represent a Landwehr trooper.

Part of the model (I have still got the three resin legs in my 'bits box') was based and glued on to a Blue Foam stone dais before being painted, varnished and flocked. The OITW post shows some work-in-progress shots.

I hope you enjoy the backstory and the model. For more Advent 'goodies' go to this link.


Sunday 14 December 2014

Gin and Tonic by Tony Harwood

This coloured pencil sketch was a birthday gift for my Daughter.

Happy Birthday Holly.

It was drawn on artists sketch paper and coloured with watercolour paints. the frame has been matt waxed to take away the gloss white finish.

Holly's favourite drink is a Hendricks Gin and Tonic (with a slice of cucumber).

Tony (Dad)

Friday 12 December 2014

A Carol from Flanders

Sue and I have just returned from our first 2014 Christmas Carol Service and we were entertained with this Carol.

A Carol from Flanders (a poem about the Christmas truce of 1914) by Frederick Niven set to the Christmas Carol music While shepherds watched their flocks by night.....

In Flanders on the Christmas morn
The trenched foemen lay,
the German and the Briton born,
And it was Christmas Day.

The red sun rose on fields accurst,
The gray fog fled away;
But neither cared to fire the first,
For it was Christmas Day!

They called from each to each across
The hideous disarray,
For terrible has been their loss:
"Oh, this is Christmas Day!"

Their rifles all they set aside,
One impulse to obey;
'Twas just the men on either side,
Just men — and Christmas Day.

They dug the graves for all their dead
And over them did pray:
And Englishmen and Germans said:
"How strange a Christmas Day!"

Between the trenches then they met,
Shook hands, and e'en did play
At games on which their hearts were set
On happy Christmas Day.

Not all the emperors and kings,
Financiers and they
Who rule us could prevent these things —
For it was Christmas Day.

Oh ye who read this truthful rime
From Flanders, kneel and say:
God speed the time when every day
Shall be as Christmas Day.

For full details go to this link.

Merry Christmas.


Monday 8 December 2014

More Wargame Terrain by Tony Harwood

My book More Wargame Terrain or Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No.2 has been selling well and there are just 13 signed and numbered copies left. Should you be interested in purchasing one of these limited edition publications, please go to this link.

In addition, the re-print of Building Wargame Terrain or Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No.1 is also running out. Details can be found here.

Thank you to everyone who has helped to support this project.

In November this year I challenged myself to upload a daily Blog link for each of the 30 days of the month, one-a-day. This has had a considerable effect on both the daily page views and number of followers (as well as giving me a great deal of satisfaction). In November the Blog experienced the highest number of monthly views - over 12,300 and 5 new followers bring the current total up to 441. Once again thank you for all the support.

I'm not sure I will be continuing with daily updates, but as an experiment, I feel it has worked. Maybe I'll repeat the challenge sometime in 2015.

Tell me what you though.

Blog posts for December 2014, has so far been concentrating on the Orcs in the Webbe Advent Calendar, an initiative that I am proud to be associated with and so far I have had two daily advent pages - Renovating Walls and the latest Foul Mouth Freddy short story. Keep an eye out for more content before the end of the month.


Friday 5 December 2014

Day Five of the Orcs in the Webbe Advent Calendar 2014 - A very special tribute

Today sees the Orcs in the Webbe Advent pay tribute to two well-loved and sadly missed personalities. The first is Roger Willcox a fervent supporter of the Yahoo Flintloque Group - The Notables who as his alter ego Uncle Rogipoos added so much 'colour' and fun to this already 'mad as a box of frogs' group. While the second pays tribute to one of the funniest British comedians of modern times - Rik Mayall who also passed away earlier this year.

You both shall be greatly missed.

Today's short story and scenario pits these two giants against the evil Sproitoids, a creature so vile and insidious that it only dares to show itself once a year and then only for a short time..... For full details of the scenario - Farewell to Two written by Gavin Syme and Mark Lesney go to this link.


Thursday 4 December 2014

Day Four of the Orcs in the Webbe Advent Calendar 2014

He's back!

Day Four of the Advent Calendar features the latest adventure of our lovable anti-hero Foul-Mouth Freddy - Foul Mouth Freddy Looses the ****ing Chest.

Freddy is somewhat b****ered when a chest containing Cryptmass presents is lost. Read all about it here.

In the past, it has been said, that Christmas doesn't start until Freddy makes an appearance, so grab a glass of Port and settle down with a warm mince pie to enjoy his latest mishap adventure.

"What - you've never heard of Foul-Mouth Freddy? Then where the **ll have you *****y been?" Luckily this link will explain all.

Happy Cryptmass.


Tuesday 2 December 2014

Day Two of the Orcs in the Webbe Advent Calendar 2014

Day Two of the 2014 Advent Calendar - Renovating Walls by someone called Tony Harwood - see this link for full details (and some super big images).

It is quite apt that on day two of the OITW Advent there is a terrain feature written by me as this means I have once again achieved my goal of showing a terrain model as the first or second post of the month (see earlier Terrain Gallery Labels for more examples). Plus, here are a couple more images for you to enjoy.


Monday 1 December 2014

Day One of the Orcs in the Webbe Advent Calendar 2014

And so it begins.....

Day One of the 2014 Advent Calendar - The Beast by Matthew Hartley is now available - for full details go to this link.


Saturday 29 November 2014

The Orcs in the Webbe Advent 2014

The Orcs in the Webbe Advent Calendar 2014

There is just one day to go before the start of the most eagerly anticipated event of Juletide. The Orcs in the Webbe Advent 2014.

Each year Craig Andrews, editor of OITW cajoles, bullies and bribes various unsuspecting marks to write themed articles, scenarios and even tutorials so that on each and every day between December 1st and December 24th we are treated to a free-of-charge piece of original content.

So what can we expect to find behind the first advent door tomorrow morning?

Find out by visiting Orcs in the Webbe at this link.

Happy Cryptmass


Previous Advents Calendars can be found here.

Gnome Cannon for November - finished

At last, the Gnome Cannon and Crew are finished.

As stated in earlier posts, the cannon was a bonus buy, purchased as part of a mixed bag of Games Workshop bits and pieces. While the figures were spare, being stuffed in to my Flintloque 'lead pile' drawer. I think they work well together.

Photo Two - Shows the finished, varnished and flocked cannon on it's custom built base.

Photo Three - The crew - a mix of spare or left-over figures!

I find that the challenge of building these On-Line Builds or Pledges force me to paint something each month - even if it is just a single figure. At this moment I don't have anything planned for December (this may change) but for now I might just take a break.

I hope you enjoy seeing this finished group of Flintloque figures.


Friday 28 November 2014

Painting over a Black Basecoat

Image used with permission of the artist

Regular readers and followers will know that I usually paint my miniature figures over a Black basecoat or undercoat, ala Kevin Dallimore. For details see Kevin's own website. However I sometimes find that the Black has a 'dulling' effect, particularly Yellows, Reds and in some cases Blue. When painting a Napoleonic Rifleman this effect can actually work in your favour, reproducing the Bottle Green or Dark Green tunics to perfection.

In an attempt to counter this dulling, I have many different paints - most Acrylic or water-based, although some are enamels and even the odd oil based artists tube. In addition I have tried basecoating in Grey, Dark Brown and even White!

Last week I was visiting Leamington Spa and on the way back to the car passed one of the many art galleries where I saw some canvases by Wendy Cook, for details of her site go to this link. I was able to study some of the artwork and in particular one work-in-progress, a dancer wearing a red dress painted onto a Black canvas. Wendy has a series of similar paintings on her website (and Facebook site - follow the links).

The outline of the female dancer and her Red dress were built up over a pale White or Ivory base and this got me thinking. "Is this the way to reproduce my Yellow and Reds?"

As you can see from the image at the top of the page, the Reds, Yellows and Whites appear to be glowing, literally leaping from the canvas and these are painted over a Black basecoat!

I have no on-going project that I can experiment on at this moment, but thought that it was worth producing this post showing the fantastic work of this gifted artist and wondering if her techniques might be transferable to my miniatures, particularly in the painting of Yellow - a real problem for me.

If like me you are interested in improving your painting skills or the theory behind colour, you may want to check out a series of tutorials produced by Wargame Soldiers and Strategy and hosted by Christy, for details see this You Tube link.

I would be interested in any comments concerning the techniques used to paint over a Black undercoat.


Thursday 27 November 2014

The Olde Barn from More Wargame Terrain

The Olde Barn is the model I chose to have as the cover illustration on Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No.2 - More Wargame Terrain for two reasons, the first is that it fitted the portrait format better and secondly it showed a number of different modelling techniques, all of which are covered in great detail in the book.

The article/tutorial is 18 pages long with 7 pages covering assembly or construction and the remaining showing how I painted this model. The final page (as with all the articles in book two) gives a list of materials and paints used.

This image shows the construction complete and the model ready for painting. If you 'click' on the image - you should be able to see the image in greater detail.

Should you be interested in purchasing Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No.2 - More Wargame Terrain please go to this link, but be aware the limited edition signed and numbered production run of just 100 books is selling out fast.

Thank you.


Wednesday 26 November 2014

Salamander Space Marine

My latest Games Workshop Space Marine miniature is this Salamander Space Marine Tech.

I have had the miniature both based and primed for some time, but other projects have taken priority. The display figure is mounted onto a block of thick plastic card with the rest of the base built up from Milliput and the texture added by scattering sand and small stones over dilute uPVA glue.

The colour scheme is copied from a miniatures featured in White Dwarf, Woodland Green and Chaos Black over a black basecoat. The back banner (a distinctive feature of these models) was painted onto a sticky-back paper label and trimmed to shape and highlighted after fitting to the banner pole.

I have used GW transfers/decals for the main icons.

Like all of my Space Marine display figures, I have used a wooden base to raise the figure a little higher than a standard gaming piece.


Tuesday 25 November 2014

How to make this model maker very happy?

These five magazines were given to me by my Sister-in-Law's father, who is also a model maker. Thank you Alec.

And how do you make this same model maker very jealous?

By showing his this advert. The Captain Scarlet - Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle is a model that I have always longed after. You see, my father worked for Mettoys, in Fforestfach, Swansea and I was lucky enough to have owned (or my brothers to have owned) most of the diecast models made by Mettoys and Corgi. The Batmobile and Batboat, The James Bond Aston Martin, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and even the Chipperfield Circus set. However that meant that Dinky vehicle were out of bounds, a bit like supporting the rival football team (in my case that would be Cardiff).

When I started a new school at the age of ten, boys were allowed to bring in their pride and joy model cars to play with during break - the Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle was the 'Dogs Bol**cks' and the one that every blue-blooded boy would lust over. Now forty-odd years later the SPV still holds that appeal for me.

This advert is taken from the back page of the March 1969 Meccano Magazine.