Wednesday 28 February 2018

Tenth Anniversary of this Blog

It very nearly sneaked by, but today is the tenth anniversary of my very first Blog post. Normally I would have celebrated it a little more, but until sitting down to read my Blog posts earlier this evening the date had slipped by without registering.

Back in 2008 I posted those first few lines - "I've just started a Blog" - who would have believed that ten years on I would still be typing, certainly not my school English teachers!

So happy tenth anniversary and thank you to everyone who has supported this Blog.


Monday 26 February 2018

Cold Weather - again

The recent Siberian linked cold snap has meant that I have not been able to visit the shed-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden. I have tried to keep Blog post numbers up, but with no modelling work being carried out everything has once again come to a complete standstill. I don't know if it is an age thing, but I am finding that this winter has effected my modelling output more than any I can remember.

Hopefully Spring will see some warmer weather and more visits to the shed.

I should point out that apart from updating the Blog, most of my modelling activity takes place in the shed at the bottom of the garden and with the current cold spell this has been most uncomfortable.


Saturday 24 February 2018

Dampfpanzerwagon Guides 1, 2 and 3

Regular readers and followers will of course know of my three self-published books Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 3 - Models For Wargamers, Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 2 - More Wargame Terrain and Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 1 - Building Wargame Terrain, however not everyone will know the stories and inspiration behind these projects.

The original book or as I like to call them guides was produced as a direct result of comments on this Blog asking for more details concerning my scratch-built wargame terrain - examples of which can be found throughout the Blog. In an unashamed vanity project I decided one News Years day that my New Years Resolution was to produce a book detailing new and never before seen models and articles showing how I build my terrain models used in my wargames. Book one or Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 1 - Building Wargame Terrain was the result and all the models and the text was completed in under 12 months. The publishing of the book (using a UK based publisher) was an education one that caused a number of sleepless nights and was not without its problems. But I successfully produced what I thought would be the one and only book.

Sales proved to be a success and a second (and third) run was commissioned and again sold out. At the same time I found that my cottage industry of producing masters for casting in resin and writing magazine articles also flourished. So Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 2 - More Wargame Terrain was planned and produced. The title was a little obvious, but I think it portrays the content well.

Then I was asked, actually commissioned by Pen and Sword to write a series of books on building wargame terrain and structures and this would obviously become my main focus in 2017. However before starting, I set out to complete the trilogy and Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 3 - Models For Wargamers was a spur of the moment decision to both include more tutorials and publish some articles that had been missed when different internet sites had closed down.

I can confirm that the three books have been commercial successes with profits from Guide No. 1 being used to produce Guide No. 2 and the advance from the Pen and Sword book being used to produce Guide No. 3. Yes I have to pay for the complete production runs up-front. (Quite a burden).

The main lessons learnt in planning, writing and producing these books is that there is an awful lot of planning and sitting at the computer writing, re-writing and spell checking and this work would not have been possible without the help and in-put of my daughter Holly who both edited and formatted the electronic layouts for all three books. Similarly my wife, Sue had to put up with me making the models, photographing the steps and then agreeing to allow me to use savings to pay for the production of book one.

As you can see this has been a labour of love and has taken many hours of work.

With the production of Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 3 - Models For Wargamers I feel that I have passed on many of my tips and techniques that I use to model and paint my terrain pieces. I have already stated that the layout of the books owes much to The Airfix Guides that I read as a teenager and still enjoy browsing. Similarly the comments and responses to the books have been well above those that I had expected and as I have written before - thank you to all who have supported these publications and bought copies.

I do not expect a Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 4 but would not be surprised if one was to be squeezed out in the future. For now the Pen and Sword books and regular magazine articles are taking up most of my modelling time, although as regular followers will know the odd - scratch built 'master' does get produced on a regular basis. The first Pen and Sword Book is now available for pre-order on Amazon and should be published in September this year. See the Blog for regular updates.

My future plans have always included digital copies being produced and recent comments have been pushing me in that direction so keep and eye out for news, but not in the short term. Sorry.

I would like to once again thank everyone who has supported these books with comments and most importantly committing to purchasing copies as without this support none of these books would have made it into print. And finally, there are some (limited) copies of More Wargames Terrain and Models For Wargamers still available. For details see the links to the right.

Thank you.


Thursday 22 February 2018

Wargames Terrain and Buildings - The Napoleonic Wars - update

A small update following this earlier post. Amazon have now confirmed a price - £17.77. For details see this link. Be aware that the book is due for release via Pen and Sword in September 2018.

I was pleasantly surprised with the retail price via Amazon as it shows that my self-published books (see links later on) were reasonably priced. As my books were limited edition, short runs and self-published I had always doubted if they were too expensive. Obviously not.

Should you wish to order a pre-release copy, use the link above. I will also point out that I have limited numbers of both Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 3 - Models For Wargamers and Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 2 - More Wargame Terrain still available to buy via this Blog. For full details see this link or this link.

Thank you


Tuesday 20 February 2018

Hereford away-day

Sue and I had our first away-day of 2018 - a visit to Hereford where I was allowed to browse the charity book shops before going for a Thai meal. I was disappointed not to find anything that I wanted to purchase and with my birthday coming up next month Sue was searching for something to buy for me.

On the way back to Droitwich we stopped off in St Johns (a district of Worcester) and I saw a copy of the John Blanche and Ian Miller book Ratspike in the Daisychain charity book store (a book shop that has many second-hand bargain and is well worth a visit if you are in the area). At £30.00 it was a little too expensive (even for a birthday gift) but at least I got to look through the illustrations before making our way home after a great day out.

Hopefully there will be more successful away-days later in the year.


Daisychain Benevolent Fund Bookshop
37 - 39 St. Johns

Friday 16 February 2018

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part twenty-two

I have added some scribbled graffiti and more weathering to the concrete slab wall and here you see it placed on the layout but not yet glued in place.


Tuesday 13 February 2018

Wargames Terrain & Buildings - The Napoleonic Wars

Yesterday evening Sue found this on Amazon while searching for a birthday gift for our Grandson Finley. Wargames Terrain & Buildings - The Napoleonic Wars by Tony Harwood is due for sale/release in September 2018 but is, as you can see now a reality.

The book will be part one of a series of books that I have been commissioned to write for Pen & Sword. The Napoleonic Wars being the first. The cover illustration is of a 28mm scratch-built Peninsular Wars house on a diorama style base.

Further details can be found by following this link.

At this moment I can not find any details on the Pen & Sword Web pages but will update the Blog when I have further details.

In the meantime copies of Models For Wargamers and More Wargame Terrain are available to buy from me. For details of how to order see the links to the right.


Sunday 11 February 2018

WMMS 2018 - just one month to go

Just one month to go until the Alumwell Wargames Show or WMMS.

For full details see this link.

I plan on being there to show some of my latest scratch built models and sell the last copies of the Dampfpanzerwagon Guides. See this link for details of how you can order a copy of this limited edition book.


Friday 9 February 2018

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part twenty-one

The concrete slab fence has been modelled from 1mm thick plastic card (ex-advertising material). I have modelled it with one slab missing - a common sight with older fencing while the uprights have been made from the same 1mm thick plastic card. I scribed the horizontal joins with the tip of a sharpened screwdriver and removed the burr with some fine sandpaper.

Additional surface texture was added with acrylic texturing medium which was applied with a thick stencilling brush. Prior to undercoating and painting, I have chamfered the tops of the posts and added a slight 'crown'.

I have used standard acrylic paint to give that aged concrete look, applying more colour with washes and tints. Final colour detailing was done with artists watercolur pencils which I sharpened to a very fine point before scribbling the colour on.

As you can see I have also added some damp patches to the lower edges of the base slabs.

My plan is to add this small section of concrete fencing to the left of the salt pan.


Saturday 3 February 2018

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part twenty

These first four images show a very well used pre-cast concrete slab fence found in a local park in Droitwich. I took these photos with my trusty Minolta Z1 and then some quick measurements before scaling up a simple sketch.

Below are my site notes - which give some idea of just how quick and simple they were!

Finally, I produced this scale drawing - scaled to 1;27.7 or 11mm = 1 foot.

I had some funny looks and a couple of comments when I was taking pictures of the fence and then measuring up a utilitarian slab fence in a park.....

The things we do for our hobby.


Thursday 1 February 2018

An Industrial Narrow Gauge Adventure - the layout part nineteen

With the salt pan completed, I am moving on to a smaller project - a section of concrete slab walling as seen in this image and marked with an X.

It is only a short section, but I have wanted to try and model this style of fencing for some time and I am sure it will add to the layout.

I will be posting details over the next couple of weeks.