Thursday 27 September 2018

Henry's Cafe and Bookstore Upton-upon-Severn

Earlier this month, Sue and I visited Upton-upon-Severn, a quaint river-side town in South Worcester. The town has always had a thriving second-hand book culture, but now we have Henry's.

Henry's is one of the new style Cafe bars with a thriving antiques and second-hand book store integrated into the cafe. The military book section, situated on the first floor is very well stocked and (when I visited) had many modern information booklets for under £6.00 in addition to a well stocked second-hand military and history section.

I know that the store is closed on a Monday. For more details check out their own web page here and in particular the short sections about and photos which offer some interesting background and a couple of images of the stocked book shelves.

Henry's Cafe and Bookstore
22 High Street

I would recommend Upton and Henry's as a great day out, there is lots to see in Upton and the many second-hand and antique shops make it a great hunting ground. 4 bookworms out of 5.


Tuesday 25 September 2018

Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy issue 98

Issue 98 of Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy includes an article written by me showing how I turned a simple toy train into a 1/56th scale, American Civil War steam engine inspired by the Andreas Miniatures 1/32nd scale locomotive (SG-S10 54mm).

The tutorial in the October/November issue shows over two pages how I modified the plastic train then painted and weathered it. As can be seen in the image below.

While here you can see the boxed train set before I started work on it.

For full details of this latest issue please see this link or visit WH Smiths.


Sunday 23 September 2018

The Merry Wives of Windsor - RST, Stratford-upon-Avon

Last night Holly and I saw the latest Royal Shakespeare Theatre production - The Merry Wives of Windsor. A truly laugh-out-loud romp that combined Elizabethan England with classic TV references from The Only Way Is Essex, Eastenders, Only Fools and Horses and Allo Allo.

This was the first time I had ever seen this play and although the synopsis was a little complicated, the superb performance made it an easy story to follow with fun and humour from the very start. In fact within minutes of the lights going down, I turned to Holly and said "I'm going to enjoy this." And I did. Possibly one of the best nights out for a very long time with more laughs and humour than a Live at the Apollo set. Very well worth seeing and the good news is that although the Stratford performances are finished, the cast is moving on to the Barbican in London  from December - I think we may have to have a visit to the Capitol to enjoy this play again.

For more details see this link.

Tony (and Holly)

Friday 21 September 2018

Charlie Grey - RIP

Earlier this week I was told of the passing of a long-term family friend. Charles or as I have always known him Charlie. Some time ago I wrote a Flintloque inspired short-story called 'The Legend of Charlie Grey'. I think it is fitting to include the link here to honour a real character.

Lots of love to all the family, particularly Tony, John and Michelle.


The story can be found here.

Monday 17 September 2018

Painting Rust Tutorial

As promised, today I will show how I paint rust effects on plastic. 

Step One
I chose a couple of plain plastic pieces. The white plastic bracket is from a small paint pot tester rack that I picked up from a scrap resources centre in Worceter for free. While the yellow/grey roller is a spare part from a label printer that had just been replaced and was going to be thrown away.

Step Two
Both pieces have been cleaned up and in the case of the white moulding, I have added a couple of plastic tube brackets or hole extensions which were glued in place with superglue.

I have roughed up the plastic with some sanding sticks prior to applying paint.

Step Three
I produced this colour chart to show the main colours used. They are;
1 - Charred Brown 72.045 Vallejo Game Color
2 - 50/50 mix Charred Brown/ Orange Fire
3 - Orange Fire 72.008 (Note - I usually use Hot Orange 72.009 but on this occasion I had run out)
4 - Rusty Patina a textured craft paint that I have been experimenting with. I find that the texturing is a little to much for smaller models, but can be used on my 1:27.7 scale structures.
5 - Rusty Patina mixed with Charred Brown
6 - Rusty Patina mixed with Orange Fire

Rusty Patina bought from a craft store in Evesham for £7.00

Step Four
I have basecoated the pieces with a Charred Brown to which I have added a tiny drop of black. The black was used around the banding and to add some shadows.

The paint was applied in two thin coats to which I have added some very fine powder which will act as texturing for the rust surface.

Step Five
The first highlight. I have mixed some Orange Fire to the Charred Brown and started to stipple on the rust colour. I use a really old and very damaged brush for this, think dead spider and you are getting close to what the bristles look like!

Step Six
A second highlight using more Orange Fire and the same damaged brush to add more rust effect.

Step Seven
The test pieces have been varnished with Galleria water based, Matt Varnish to which I have added some black (Nuhl) wash, notice how the pieces are now looking matt, but also how the rust texturing has been highlighted with the wash.

Step Eight
I then used an oil based Light Rust Wash, a rust wash from Soilworks to further highlight the shadows around the banding and accentuate surface detail and texturing.

Step Nine
Finally, I have used a rust coloured weathering powder from Humbrol which was dusted on to the pieces with a fan shaped brush, a brush I keep just for adding weathering powders,

And there you have it - How I Paint Rust Effects on Plastic. I hope it is of use to others who paint models and terrain.


Friday 14 September 2018

A Simple Wicker Fence

Simple Terrain
Wicker Fencing by Tony Harwood
First published back in 2012

This short Modelling Interlude was originally included on Barking Irons Online to show how easy it is to build simple and unique wargaming terrain. These articles were lost when Barking Irons closed down, so I have included the whole tutorial here on my Blog.

The impetus came when I was pushing a shopping trolley around Asda’s. As Sue filled the trolley with our usual staple of bread, milk, butter and chocolate biscuits; my eyes began to wander and I spied this pack of Plant Twist Ties. I immediately thought of using the coated wire for wattle fencing and at just 99p I thought that it was definitely worth a gamble.

Back home I trimmed a piece of 3mm thick plastic card as a base and attached a strip of spare 3mm plastic card as the foundation for the wooden uprights.

The wooden posts were cut from a piece of scrap wood which was picked up free from a vegetable market and which once held oranges. I first cut a 4mm strip then trimmed the edges with a large 18mm ‘snap-off’ bladed knife. The strip was further textured by sanding with coarse sandpaper before cutting into 20mm lengths.

The wooden posts are superglued into small holes which are cut with a scalpel. I was looking at producing a small test piece to see if the Plant Ties weave would work and was not too worried about the total bulk or size of the model.

I built up the groundwork with same DAS modelling clay laid over PVA glue.  To speed up modelling time I ‘cooked’ the model in the oven at very low heat for 10 minutes.

To add texture, I added some sieved stones and fine sand over another layer of PVA glue, this time dried with a hair dryer!

The next part was the fun part – back to my childhood threading wool or string through pegs. I knew that the Plant Ties would look better than plain wire as they have a ‘flattened profile’ more like split twigs rather than having a completely round profile.

The lesson I learnt was not to wind the wire too tight and not to press it down too much – there has to be some looseness and gaps.  Hopefully the image explains it better than words.

I wanted to seal the twisted wire so added some superglue to the upright posts and the wire ends. I also added a crow - which was taken from a DreamBlades Miniature – Ravencloak Visionary which was picked up at Salute 2012 for just £1.00.

The crow has first been removed from the miniature, then drilled and finally pinned to the upright post with a section of paperclip and superglue.  I think it adds to the simple wicker fence and turns a simple terrain piece into a special one.

The model is 150mm long x 50mm wide and 40mm high (to the top of the crows head).

Total modelling time – about two hours.

The whole model was spray painted with some cheap black spray paint and then painted with some dilute black Acrylic paint – I tend to use large craft paint bottles for undercoating terrain. Keeping my better quality paints for figure painting.

Painting was very quick – hence so few images! The fence was first drybrushed Charred Brown from Vallejo and then highlighted with Charred Brown/Snakebite Leather and even some Skull White from GW.

The groundwork was painted in my usual colour scheme with a base of Snakebite and various layers of drybrushing. The stones were painted with a mix of Skull White and Chaos Black. Finally a quick wash around the base of the fence and to highlight some of the stones.

The Raven was painted Chaos Black and highlighted with black and a tiny touch of White.

Total painting time, including a layer of Galleria Matt Varnish was another two hours. In fact I think the photographing and writing took longer than the building and painting.

As with all my terrain pieces the edges were flocked with simple railway scatter or dyed sawdust over PVA glue – not the most technically advanced basing material – but it is the same scatter that I have on my gaming board, so it suits me.

If these one-off modelling interludes prove popular, I will search out more 'lost' articles and post them here on the Blog.


Wednesday 12 September 2018

Noman Auxiliary Ogre for Pax Bochemannica

This resin miniature is available from Hysterical Games as part of the Pax Bochemannica game. I'm not sure if he is a Limited Edition or a Special Edition figure as I picked him up direct from Rob Alderman of Hysterical Games at one of the shows. I can confirm that he is a brute, easily towering above the 40mm Noman Legionaries.

The model was mounted onto an old fashioned pre-decimalisation 1d coin with the base built up from Milliput two part epoxy. (He as too big for a 2p coin).

Then brush painted black/dark brown as an undercoat or basecoat.

The metallic areas were painted first. Mainly drybrushing with some old Citadel or Games Workshop paints. I was trying for an old and weathered look.

The flesh areas were painted in my usual colour mix - Snakebite Leather with lighter highlights, but this time I added a little yellow to the mix before washing the area with blue-topped Citadel Flesh wash.

Detailed painting followed a couple of images found on the Web - I searched out historical Roman Auxiliaries for inspiration then followed the colour scheme.

Once varnished - Matt and some gloss, I added static grass and static grass tufts to the base. Below you can see the detail on the reverse of the figure.

The figure was great fun (and quick) to paint and I'm sure I can find a use for him in my Pax Boche skirmish games.


Monday 10 September 2018

War Hedgehog for Pax Bochemannica

The War Hedgehog miniature was picked up some time ago and has patiently sat on the ever expanding 'to-do' shelf waiting for me to get around to painting him. I believe that the miniature was originally sold as part of the Standard Games Dragonroar skirmish game. I have painted my example to accompany my Pax Bochemannica Boche Halflings and have used the same slightly darker palette that I used to paint them.

He is mounted onto a 2p coin with the groundwork modelled from Milliput Green-Grey epoxy. I used a mixture of acrylic paints over a black/dark brown basecoat to paint the miniature, then washed the figure with a dark wash before varnishing with Galleria Matt Varnish. I then added a couple of static grass grass tufts to the base as decoration.

The metal War Hedgehog stands 35mm tall (from head to foot) and is quite a weighty miniature.

The final image shows the War Hedgehog alongside a pair of Pax Bochemannica Boche which were mounted onto 1p coin and painted some time ago. Details of my Pax Boche collection of figures and terrain can be found by following the Pax Bochemannica link to the right.

The miniature is available from Magister Militum.


Saturday 8 September 2018

Shakespeare's Rose Theatre, York

Last month, Sue and I had a couple of days visiting York. The reason for the visit was to experience the 'pop-up' Shakespeare theatre - The Rose Theatre, York. I had first become aware of this novel theatre back in May of this year, when I was reading a magazine article about the ambitious plans to build a temporary structure - a replica of Shakespeare's Rose Theatre from scaffolding, corrugated iron and wood. The originally structure stood in London, near to The Globe. For more details of this project see this link.

Having read about the plans, I researched the building which was originally used as a film set in the film Shakespeare in Love, but then put into storage. This is the first time that it has been re-built and used as a pop-up theatre. Hopefully not the last.

We  had planned our away-day as a two day visit with one night away and day one was travelling up. Once booked in to our hotel, it was off to walk the streets of York and visit the Rose. We had booked to see A Midsummer Night's Dream. The busy street scene around the Rose included authentic food stands selling mussels, drinks and huge locally sourced meat products plus an Elizabethan garden as well as street entertainment.

After the initial disappointment that a lot of what you experience while walking up the scaffolding steps and sitting in your seat is scaffolding and modern materials, the play started and you just got engrossed in the whole experience of an open-to-the-elements Elizabethan theatre.

We both enjoyed the play and performances with some quite spectacular aerial acrobatics. The actors interacted with the audience who were obviously enjoying it just as much as one another. There were many instances when the acting stopped as the laughter took over. I had not seen A Midsummer Night's Dream since I was in school/university and have to say that the performance was superb. On our way out we were able to chat to some of the cast who made it obvious that they had just as much fun as the audience.

The pop-up theatre was more expensive that a trip to the cinema - then a night away and travelling expenses pushed up the cost but we felt it was well worth it as a very special treat. Later a trip to an Italian restaurant and some red wine before walking back to the hotel rounded off a great day out.

Day two and we started early with a huge cooked breakfast in York. We then spent the whole day enjoying the unique experience of the streets and gifts of York, somewhere we had not visited for over twenty years.

The Rose Theatre was available between 25th June and the 2nd September and was a great idea and treat for Sue and I. As I write this Sue has just returned from a modern adaptation of Romeo and Juliet at the RSC, Stratford. Sue says that the Rose theatre experience was much more entertaining.


Thursday 6 September 2018

Industrie Fiorentine published by Alinari

This charity book shop find has been a great source of inspiration, with its many black and white images of the industries of 1900's Italy. I'm sure that some of the images will make it in to model form at some time.

125 pages, crammed full of beautiful B&W images for just £1.49. Bargain.....

Industrie Fiorentine Tra '800 E '900
An Italian language book
Published by Alinari in 1982
No ISBN number
Available via Internet Booksellers

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Adding Clutter - what did you think?

I have been wondering how the 28 Narrow Gauge Clutter posts from August had been received?

What did you think of this clutter themed month?


Monday 3 September 2018

Warhammer Conquest - the Hachette Partworks

I would imagine that it would be very difficult for anyone in the UK to ignore the TV advertising for Games Workshops new partwork - Conquest as it has been a little over-the-top. I decided as soon as I saw the first advert that I would pick up issue 01.

At just £1.99 it is a 'no-brainer' as the brush alone would cost more than that if bought from a GW store. In fact I picked up three! The card backed magazine published in partnership with Hachette is available from WH Smiths.

Warhammer Conquest issue 01 contains; three of the new and much larger than I remember Intercessers, three pots of paint and a starter paintbrush, plus loads, and in this case I do mean loads of leaflets and brochures inciting you to subscribe and buy all 80 issues at £7.99 (that's over £620.00) For full details of the contents, I would suggest you visit this you tube review.

Issue 02 is available soon and for £4.99 you get three Plague Marines, one pot of paint and a set of 6 dice. I might pick up one.

At just £1.99 I would suggest that you get to WH Smiths as soon as possible as I don't think issue 01 will be around for long. I will leave you to decide if it is worth subscribing, although all of the extras might make you change our mind.