Wednesday 28 December 2022

Christmas 2022

This year I have been very lucky with various model making treats, such as these magazines, books and DAS modelling clay. In addition I had a pack of drawing pens and a WHS voucher to spend on even more magazines.

I also had this box as a gift from my two grandsons....

A box crammed full of plastic bits for use when scratch building. This is not the first time that I have received such a gift - some years ago Louvaine gave be a similar box and last year Aunty Liz gave me a bag full of bits and pieces for modelling - they know ho to get on my good side!

Thank you.


Saturday 24 December 2022

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Monday 12 December 2022

Cold weather hampers any modelling activity

Trips down the bottom of the garden have become difficult as the flurries of snow and the cold weather have made any attempt at working in the shed impossible - well difficult.....

My usual measure of when to abandon the shed - when the water in the brush cleaning jars has frozen, means that any modelling or painting has been put on hold.

Hopefully I can get some hobby time soon.

For now, stay safe (and warm)


Saturday 10 December 2022

Terrain good enough to eat - Miniature Wargames issue 477

The latest issue of Miniature Wargames (issue 477, January 2023) features what must be one of my quirkiest terrain builds - A Dwarf Gingerbread Cottage built from card and foam with No More Nails piping and painted with acrylics.....

The cottage was built some time ago and has already featured in the on-line magazine Barking Irons, but as this magazine has long gone, I thought it was worth republishing again and particularly to accompany a gaming scenario by Buck Surdo called War To Save Yule which is also published in this magazine.

The model was inspired by a Flintloque gaming scenario called "And he has raisins for eyes" written by Matthew Hartley and one of the Orcs in the Webbe Advent Calendar free gaming articles - the scenario can be found here.

For more information, see this link.

Merry Christmas


Tuesday 6 December 2022

Willow - the new TV series on Disney

Last night Sue and I watched the first episode of the new TV series Willow staring Warwick Davis and airing on Disney+. We both enjoyed the story and I thought the production values were very good, but there was a slight annoyance with the comic elements and dialogue. Overall I would say it was worth persevering with and I'll be watching with my sketch book in hand to see if there are any structures worth modelling.

I look forward to seeing more.


Saturday 3 December 2022

Day Three of the Orcs in the Webbe 2022 Advent - Another Foul Mouth Freddy story

On the third day of the Orcs in the Webbe 2022 Advent we have another short story featuring my creation Foul Mouth Freddy - Arm Wrestling with Foul Mouth Freddy. For those that don't know the character of Freddy is based on a family friend with stories that are either rooted in actual events or like this tale - a well known myth or fairy tale. For more information of this particular yarn - see this link.

Further stories of Freddy (there are quite a few) and his posse can be found here.



Friday 2 December 2022

Day Two of the Orcs in the Webbe 2022 Advent

Day two of this years OITW Advent and a classic revival of an old Flintloque scenario - Sharkes Abbey by James Clay updated with new rules and magic for 3rd edition Flintloque. For more information, see this link.


Thursday 1 December 2022

Day One of the Orcs in the Webbe 2022 Advent

And so it begins (again). Day one of this years Orcs in the Webbe Advent is this innovative two player game using packs of cards to decide the fates of besieger and defender. For full details, see this link.

There will be more daily updates from now until December 24th/25th, so please keep checking back for these free updates.


Wednesday 30 November 2022

Orcs in the Webbe 2022 Advent - just one day to go

Just one day to go before the Orcs in the Webbe Advent. For those that follow Craig's Advent this is something we all look forward to. For more information about previous OITW Advent Calendars, see this link.

Happy Advent.


Tuesday 29 November 2022

Wednesday - the new Netfix series

Sue and I have just finished the Netfix series Wednesday. A new series of eight episodes featuring Wednesday Adams (from the Adam's Family) and her experiences in Nevermore Academy. We enjoyed the background and story - it was very Hogwarts and Harry Potter, but even that didn't spoil it for us.

I'd say it was worth watching and we particularly enjoyed the humour even though there are lots of negative reviews out there.....


Monday 28 November 2022

Toy and Military Fair - Kidderminster

Yesterday Sue and I visited a Toy and Military Fare in Kidderminster. I found the prices a little high, but enjoyed browsing the stalls, For more information go to this link.

I picked up some second hand magazines.


Thursday 24 November 2022

Illustrators Quarterly - a Charity Shop Find

I recently came across this title at a charity shop in Leamington Spa and picked it up for just £1.50. Later I realised that there were quite a few similar titles and specials. Illustrators Quarterly published by The Book Palace.

The book/magazine is packed with full colour images and details relating to the artists. More details can be found here.


Saturday 19 November 2022

FIFA World Cup - Qatar 2022

On the eve of the start of the 2022 World Cup I have decided that I will not be watching the opening ceremony or the first match between Qatar and Ecuador. In the past I have looked forward to all the matches I can get to see and since I was a very young boy have enjoyed all the build up and circus surrounding this great tournament. However this year there are many reasons that I find myself uncomfortable with watching and supporting the spectacle from human rights abuses, corruption and the general bad taste of a football tournament that has so obviously been 'bought'.

As a very proud Welshman, I will find it very difficult to not watch Wales playing in their first World Cup for over 60 years, in fact the first time that they have qualified in my lifetime and will no doubt find time and the inclination to watch my Wales play, but other games will be less of a pull. 

In the past I admit to going a little overboard and watching as much World Cup football as I could (and if not watching - then at least listening on the radio while driving home) but 2022 Qatar just feels different and a little 'dirty', so in addition to making a very direct effort to not buy or support any World Cup sponsors, I will be cutting back on my football 'fix' for this year and who knows, maybe for the future.

FIFA have in 2022 ruined football for me. So thank you for that.


Saturday 12 November 2022

Warship of the Sea People - Miniature Wargames issue 476

My latest tutorial featuring a 1/72nd scale model of a Sea People Warship is included in the latest issue of Miniature Wargames - issue 476 December 2022.

The model is scratch built in card and plastic card with a bamboo mast and a water colour paper sail. The crew come from HaT Sea People - set 8078

For more information, see this link or pick up the magazine.


Friday 11 November 2022

Where do you find inspiration?

When I write magazine articles detailing how I build and paint wargame terrain or structures, I try to include a paragraph or two on the inspiration for the piece or model, for example; an illustrated children's book, a structure from a film or TV series or an illustration I have found in a magazine or on the internet. Hopefully this preamble helps to 'set' the model in context, but I wonder as inspiration can be such a difficult thing to control - Where do you find your inspiration?

I enjoy working on themes - such as the series in Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy where I have produced linear structures or when I am asked to produce something that is outside my comfort zone, as seen in the recent Miniature Wargames model with a Biblical theme.

In 2022, I regularly produce models and articles for all three of the main Wargame themed, magazines but do occasionally find it difficult to find new models to produce and feel that I need to remain relevant and not repeat subject matter. To this end, do you have any suggestions or sources that may help me?

Any suggestions will be much appreciated and who knows, it could inspire me to produce a model or models based on your suggestion.

Thanks you


Thursday 10 November 2022

Bargain Paints from the charity shop

I picked up these paints and brushes from a charity shop in Coventry earlier this week. The volunteer was just putting them out for sale and at £3.00 for the lot - that's paint, tubes and brushes, I thought it too good a bargain to miss. They are a mix of glass paints, enamel paints and relief outline paints, something I have never used before. After checking them out, I am sure that I will find a use for all of them.


Wednesday 9 November 2022

City by David Macaulay

My latest charity shop find is this book by David Macaulay called CITY - the story of Roman planning and construction which I picked up earlier this week for just £1.49.

The beautifully illustrated book has loads of black and white sketches showing everything from simple farm structures and road building techniques to huge temples.

I'm looking forward to choosing a couple to model.


Monday 7 November 2022

SAS Rogue Heroes on the BBC


I've been enjoying the new BBC drama SAS Rogue Heroes which is now playing on Sunday nights in the UK although you can get the whole series on BBC I Player, for more information, see this link.

The whole series is written by Steven Knight, directed by Tom Shankland and filmed in Morocco. The drama is a fantastic representation of both war and the attitudes of soldiers in war time with great actors and acting with a modern sound track. Well worthy checking out.


Wednesday 2 November 2022

Orcs in the Webbe Advent Calendar 2022

Craig Andrews of Orcs in the Webbe has just posted details of the Advent calendar 2022 over on the Orcs in the Webbe Facebook page - for full details see this Facebook link or go direct to OITW at this link.

Craig is looking for content for this years Advent and if you have ever thought of writing for OITW, now is the time to get in touch.

I'll be putting something together in the next couple of days and hopefully there will be more.

Happy pre-Advent.


Sunday 30 October 2022

Brugge and Ghent

Sue and I have just returned from our first foreign holiday in over two years - a short trip to Belgium where we visited Brussels, Brugge and Ghent. As you can image - I took hundreds of photographs, some of which even included Sue!

One of the highlights was visiting and taking photographs of the buildings and in particular the Castle of Gravensteen in Ghent.


Friday 21 October 2022

1400 Days - The Civil War Day by Day

I picked up this hard back book - 1400 Days - The Civil War Day by Day written by Chris Bishop, Ian Drury and Tony Gibbons from a charity shop in Pershore Worcestershire earlier today. The main reason I bought it was that is full of beautiful illustrations and just the thing to get me inspired to model some ACW buildings or maybe even ships.

The book was just £2.00 and in my opinion, well worth the purchase.


Monday 17 October 2022

Fantasy Tree House - Miniature Wargames issue 475

The latest issue of Miniature Wargames (issue 475 November 2022) has another article written by me - a scratch built Fantasy Tree House that uses a plastic Bonsai tree and a plaster cast underground hovel to model a Burrows and Badgers inspired model.

For more information of the magazines contents - see this link.


Sunday 16 October 2022

Warplanes by MacDonald from 1961

I have recently been given this ten book series - Warplanes of the Second World War published by MacDonald. The books were a gift from my uncle John and were sent to my mother's house in Swansea.

Sue and I have just returned from South Wales and I am absolutely chuffed to have these books - books that I used to browse through when I was still a teenager and in school. Thank you uncle John.


Thursday 13 October 2022


Or my case, the lack of blogging.....

The last couple of weeks have been difficult as I have had a very bad case of shingles, which has meant that with the exception of doctors, pharmacy and hospital visit, I have not been over the door. Things are slowly improving, but I'm still not fully recovered and I have still to find my Mojo.

Hopefully, I can get back to regular blogging soon.


Wednesday 28 September 2022

Continental Modeller - a great charity shop find

I picked up six issues of Continental Modeller - the specialist publication featuring railways from around the world for just £1.00 for all six. The magazines were in a charity shop in Pershore and although 20p each the deal was buy 6 for just £1.00.

The reason I pick up these magazines when I see them is because of the fantastic modeller Emmanuel Nouailler who writes for Continental Modeller and has written for Military Modeller (amongst others) showing how he produces super realistic shop fronts and models from scratch. For more information on Emmanuel, see this link.


Tuesday 27 September 2022

Commando Comics - Sharpshooters and Saboteurs

I have written in previous Blog posts, how I enjoy reading Commando Comics and in particular those of with a Napoleonic theme. The latest issue - issue 5579 called Sharpshooters and Saboteurs hit the newsstands earlier this week and I just couldn't help myself. I bought it.

For more details of this issue see this link and for more information about earlier Blog posts featuring Commando Comic Napoleonic War themes see this link.


Sunday 18 September 2022

Redditch Model Railway Exhibition

Earlier today Sue and I took Charlie and Finley to the Redditch Model Railway Exhibition in Redditch. This was the first time both Charlie and Finley had attended a railway exhibition and I can confirm that they loved it, voting Bear Creek Junction as their favourite layout - I have to agree, it was very special.

There wasn't that much for me to buy, just some bits and pieces that I am sure will find their way on to The Yellow Pelican Mining Co. board.

Back home they were more interested in playing soldiers with some 40mm Lord of the Rings miniatures than playing trains.

For more information of the club and the exhibition/exhibitions, see this link.