Sunday, 2 June 2019


I haven't been doing much gaming of any kind recently, bar the odd dabble with Lion Rampant and Warhammer, but I have been out metal detecting rather a lot, and son 2 and  have found loads of goodies, 2 of which are of a bellicose nature, so suit this blog.

 The first is a Civil War musket ball, which are a quite common metal detecting find, but this was our first and found on a new piece of land we have been allowed to detect on at the village of Monkton Farleigh near Bath. On July 3rd, Waller's army laid an ambush at Monkton Farleigh hoping to surprise and beat back Hopton's Royalist force advancing from Bradford-on-Avon. They sprung the ambush but were driven back to the ford in the valley below where a fierce fight ensued. This musket ball was probably fired or dropped on that day, during the initial ambush round what is now called Shooters Lane.

The second find came to light earlier today, and I was desperate to run about telling as many people as I can about it. We braved thick drizzle (which was quite refreshing initially after a muggy day yesterday) to visit another new permission near Frome in Somerset and unearthed a Victorian penny first, followed by this considerably older item from 15" down

which I believe to be the head of a Frankish throwing axe, or francisca . These date from the fifth to the eighth ceturies and were used by Germanic troops either serving Rome or busy invading Britain and fighting the likes of King Arthur.  Needless to say I pinged a picture off to the county Finds Liason Officer and hope to hear back soon.

You can just make out the socket for the shaft in the picture above which we will be leaving untouched until the archaeologist has had a look. So all in all an exciting day. Ifeel a bit guilty neglecting the toy soldier front, but to be honest we are having such a blast detecting, I can't find time to do much else.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019


One of the reasons posts have been rather lacking (apart from my inherent laziness) is that I have started a brand new hobby which my sons are getting involved with too...metal detecting. A couple of months ago I took the plunge and bought a good lower end of the market detector and we are all absolutely hooked, so much so there is another better detector on order, so we are not queuing up to have a go.

It was a strange feeling entering an entirely new community with new jargon to learn, (strict) rules to follow and many people to meet but we are having the whale of a time. I won't post too much on everything we find , but here are a couple of items directly related to wargaming which have come up on one of our permissions (a permission is land where you have been allowed by the owner to detect).

The little chap below was found when son 2 was using the detector, and popped out of the ground yesterday in a field at the end of our road, he was about 6 " down.
A semi flat made of lead, probably about 25mm scale, the horses head was bent right back

A worm bids him farewell.
The upper end of the field we were in seems to have been a popular picnic destination in the 18th and 19th century. It has a splendid view of the valley and is far enough out of town to be a pleasant walk there and back to make a day of it. We have also found in the area coins from the reigns of George II, III , William IV and Victoria, teaspoons, a silver matchbox, and other items that may have been dropped by folk having a day out, and perhaps this soldier was lost by some little lad on such an excursion. He has now entered service guarding other finds on my son's shelf of finds.

Less pastoral, but from the same field was this alarming find

(the orange device is a pinpointer or mini metal detector for locating small finds in holes)

I extricated the casing out first and then was alarmed to see it was still full of  granules of what I now know to be smokeless propellant. The bullet was still lodged in the ground and appears to be coated in red colouring (tracer paint?). I guess this is a round from a Spitfire? I think the groove on the base of the casing indicates it was from a belt fed gun, but any ID'S would be welcome.

So there we are, let me know if you are interested in seeing other historical finds.

Saturday, 23 February 2019


As it was such a lovely day here, we went for a long walk round the Avebury landscape in Wiltshire. Parking at the Sanctuary we walked along the Ridgeway towards Avebury, skirted the village and back up towards Fyfield Down. Mrs. Atticus snapped up taking a break overlooking Windmill Hill on the path up out of the village.
Although I have always lived in Somerset, I always get the feeling I am coming home when we go across the border to Wiltshire. A move might be in order one day.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019


Just posting some pics for a potential buyer of my matchlock musket. I can't imagine I'm going to ever fire it again, and the licences need renewing every few years.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019


I always like pale blue uniforms so painting these was most enjoyable

(above ECW unit now

and also listed some more Normans 
(above Normans now sold)

I took delivery of some Spencer Smith Austrian Succession  figures yesterday, so I am thinking about how to paint them. Anyone recommend flags for them?

Saturday, 2 February 2019


Just listed a few knights here
(above unit of Normans now sold)

and some units of 25mm Garrison infantry I painted a while back for a fantasy game, billmen, bowmen and flailmen.