OR A TRUE RELATION OF STRANGE PROCEEDINGS IN A SOMERSETSHIRE LOFT

Friday, 30 December 2011

MORE WITCHERY

Here is another witch figure I finished just before Christmas complete with attendant familiars. This time the devil's agent is a bit younger and comes complete with broom (figure by Sanderson). The familiars are from Reaper. Ral Partha and Rapier, the latter doing a great range of 28mm witches too.


I was lucky enough to get 2 boxes of HAT 1/32 SYW Prussians for Christmas so they are being desprued when I get the chance to make a start on my Imagi-nation army.

Have a Very Happy New Year. I certainly hope that I will be able to be less of the Wargames Butterfly in 2012 but I have a feeling that the temptation will be too great to resist dabbling in more different projects.

Friday, 23 December 2011

PAGAN OFFERING

At last our offering to the Germanic tree spirits is in place, although George (Thing 3) was scared as I brought it in through the door tonight. However, he cheered up as he and his brothers gathered round to decorate the Christmas tree. I only put on one decoration, which was my grandmothers and then retreat growling behind the newspaper



In time honoured tradition the bulbs have blown twice and the tree is plunged into darkness, so next year we are going get some German candlesticks to hang on the tree from our Tuetonic chum Simone, who runs a Christmas stall at the Bath market.

I also got this through the post from Steve Weston Soldiers. Steve has been looking out for it for a while so I was pleased when he let me know it was in stock

Although really Burnside Bridge from the Battle of Antietam, it will make a good terrain piece for my ECW project.

A Merry Christmas to you all.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

THE BOX OF DELIGHTS

An institution that has been in our family long before we had children (in those peaceful days of just Mrs. Atticus and me) was to listen to the BBC radio adaptation of The Box of Delights by John Masefield each year in the run up to Christmas.

This year we decided to buy the BBC television series first screened in 1984, for Thing 1 (9) to watch as we have been reading the book to him recently (for our own benefit rather than his, it has to be said, but he is enjoying it immensely, and there is great scope for putting on outrageous accents). As we don't have a gogglebox, it was quite treat for him to stay up and watch the first 2 episodes on the laptop.

Despite being 27 years , it really is superb and quite faithful to the book, evoking Christmassy nostalgia not only from our own youths but from that mythically wholesome era of the 1930s (it was published in 1935).  I'm not sure why the 30's always seems such a safe place to be, perhaps final days of innocence before the bloodiest war in history, perhaps because my own parents childhoods were during the 20's and 30's? Certainly people dressed more snappily...

Sunday, 11 December 2011

COUNT MAGNUS

A bit of a flight of fancy from my ECW project, but here is a depiction of Count Magnus de la Gardie and his unholy companion with a victim, based on the events told in Count Magnus by M R James. The Count is a Sanderson figure, painted to look Scandinavian and villainous, the 'companion' is a Cthulhu figure from Frothers Unite and the unfortunate faceless Roundhead a converted Replicants casualty figure, with a skull taken from a skeleton figure in my oldest son's soldier box (I knew they would come in useful when I bought them for him).

SOLOMON KANE

To get some ideas for witchy types and witch hunters, I watched the film version of Robert Howard's Solomon Kane last night. I have always liked the Solomon Kane stories and was keen to see them translated to the silver screen.....

Although the stories are clear pulp with only the vaguest nod to historical accuracy (despite Howard being a knowledgeable historian) I was at least expecting some attempt at realism, which perhaps was asking too much. Within the first 2 seconds of the film (set in 1600-1601) a ship sails past flying the Union Jack and things went downhill from then on. The puritan Kane haunted by the knowledge that his soul is damned , then proceeds to stay in a monastery (in post reformation England mark you), and then travels westwards to his ancestral homelands, through wasteland peopled by muddy serfs (shades of Monty Python's Autonomous Collective) and scabby headed post apocalyptic thugs. At one point he lodges in an Italianate church on the borders of Somerset and Devon (presumably Exmoor).

Despite the film being an excuse to show off  special effects in abundance and with a rather strained storyline, there was some great imagery and the odd scene which certainly provided some ideas. The  shot with the 2 bird masked doctors was particularly effective, and I hope to do a conversion to make one of these sinister apothecaries.

So all in all, not a complete waste of time but not the Kane I knew from my teenage years.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

WITCHFINDER GENERAL

Here is a figure I got from Green Man and Gatekeeper, a New Age/Wicca shop in the Forest of Dean. Despite being more of an ornament with less defined detail, it painted up pretty well

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

KEZIAH MASON AND BROWN JENKIN

I thought I would have a bash at some 54mm figures for a change from the 20mm I have been doing recently, and prompted by my idea of a witch hunting scenario I had a go at these 2 villains from H P Lovecraft's The Dreams in the Witch House, one of his more disturbing stories (and that's saying something)


Keziah is a Sanderson figure, and the repulsive Brown Jenkin is from the old 15mm Asgard range (a wererat if I remember correctly).

I hope to paint up a couple of witches from M R James stories to give Matthew Hopkins a run for his money, so soon to follow are Count Magnus and his attendant and Mistress Mothersole.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

ATLANTEAN UNDEAD

I finished these bony fellow this morning as more adversaries for Conan

I thought these skeletons from the Caesar box looked suitably Conanesque with their horned helmets.

This Undead lord is based on the scene in the film Conan the Barbarian when Arnie finds the Atlantean sword in an underground burial chamber. I built the throne from foamboard and card. The sword is from an ancient Asgard figure I have had  since 1979.

A PLEASING TERROR

I had a pleasant evening last night in that I went to see Nunkie theatre company http://www.nunkie.co.uk/theatre.html at a little theatre in Bath. This chap, Robert Lloyd Parry takes the role of my favourite author M. R. James and gives a performance of 2 of James' ghost stories which he has memorised. Although seated in a chair throughout the performace his acting is quite superb and the audience were quite enthralled with that 'pleasing terror' James was so good at conveying.

Last night we had Lost Hearts and A Warning to the Curious, and if you haven't read the ghost stories of M R James I urge you to rush out and grab a copy now, as they are some of the best stories written.

Friday, 25 November 2011

PICTISH BEASTS

Where did that week go?There is no doubt about it, being (so called) middle aged and having kids, the time just goes ten times as fast.

I have been painting some skeletons for Conan to battle and they are almost finished, but now I am getting callings back to the ECW stuff, and wicthfinders in particular, so hopefully these will be ready to show soon.

Here are the latest additions to the Pictish warband from Hyborea, some jungle beasts for Zogar Sag to command

The tiger is Ral Partha and the snake from Magister Militum.

I have been very excited to see this game from Goblinoid Games

which in effect is Basic Dungeons and Dragons as it was in the late 70's when I started playing, complete with basic artwork for that old school feel. Available from Lulu it came very quickly and I have now ordered the advanced set of rules and the 2 modules available.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

WARFARE AT READING

I will be off to Warfare on Saturday at the Rivermead Leisure Centre, Reading, for my annual topup of goodies. Hope to see you there!!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

FROM BEYOND THE BLACK RIVER

Here are the first of my adversaries for Conan in the form of Hyborian Picts. I spent a while lip chewing about how they should look, many of the comic illustrations and also the late great Frank Frazetta depict them as almost bestial half humans


but Howard's descriptions make it clear that they are bronze/copper age men with unusual religious practices. I always imagine them more like Native American woodland types than actual Dark Age Picts .
Casting about it was a toss up between using Woodland Indians (many of the figures available have firearms) or ancient Libyans and I went for the latter from Caesar miniatures. I trimmed down the huge feathers in their hair and converted a lot of the swords into copper tomahawks, although the leader still has a steel sword looted from an Aquilonian patrol.


Here is my attempt at Zogar Sag, the maniacal shaman/witch doctor who has linked his soul to a forest devil.
How he is depicted in the comics



and in my attic


the figure is from the Hat Sea People box (hopeless for historical use, but a great source of orcs and other bent and twisted types) converted heavily with milliput. The wand is an old Atlantic piece from the Sioux camp set. The Meeting Stones are Grendel, conveniently carved with real Pictish designs.

 I am now painting some of Zogar Sag's bestial allies, but am searching for a Forest Devil figure. Any ideas?
It needs to be humanoid but with long birds legs

Friday, 11 November 2011

REMEMBRANCE DAY

Just thought I would put this post up today. My grandfather served in the Machine Gun Corps in the Great War and was badly gassed, although he still managed to live with one lung and smoking heavily into his early 70's. He won the MSM in 1917 although we can't find out what deed he performed. To all these brave men and women we give our thanks

Thursday, 10 November 2011

CROM!

After a lot of faffing about I finally managed to photograph my first figure from my new 1/72 Conan the Barbarian project. The plan (haha) being that I paint a small force from most of the major nations in Hyboria. I might even get some 28mm figures as there are some great figures out there.

Here is the man himself, ready to crush the jewelled thrones of his enemies beneath his sandalled feet. I have followed the Frank Frazetta approach and clad him in naught but a fur loincloth.



He is made from the old Airfix Tarzan figure (now in the HAT Jungle Adventure set) with a head from an Esci barbarian, and a sword and hand from an adventurer in the Caesar Fantasy adventurers box.

I have almost finished some Hyborian Picts for him to battle against and hopefully will get them posted in the next few days.

Friday, 4 November 2011

BIRTHDAY SWAG

Reached the ripe old age of 43 today, and managed to glean some good gaming related stuff (ok 2 of these presents I bought myself but the book was from Mrs. Atticus)


The ship will be stowed away with other kits for a rainy day (in 2033), and the Games Workshop Arcane Ruins will fit in nicely with my Conan figures that are snailing off the workbench.

The handsome leather bound volume is an absolute gem of a collection of all Howard's Conan stories together. I have been spending too much time Internet browsing and I can see a new collection of the Savage Sword of Conan comic books starting. I've never really been a comic reader but there is some inspirational artwork in a lot of them as well as reading matter that is not terribly taxing.


Friday, 28 October 2011

ANOTHER DOBUNNIC WARBAND

I managed to get this lot finished recently. They have been undercoated for over a year sitting patiently on the table whilst other figures jumped the queue. They are the warband of Condidan , King of Glevum (Gloucester) around 577AD for my battle of Dyrham project. Figures are Hat, Miniart and Newline.

                               
                                         






Condidan

I have been enjoying reading the Conan stories recently and spent an evening sorting through some 1/72 figures to find suitable Hyborian types, with some success, although I have been tempted to by some 32mm figures as well from Bronze Age Miniatures or Reaper. It is a long time since I purchased fantasy figures and I was surprised by the cost, but for roleplaying or skirmishing I should only need a few, and I can see Conan appearing in 2 different scales.

Half term has been quite busy, and I have taken a couple of days off work to do family stuff, not least Mrs. Atticus and myself actually got round to getting married yesterday, after 13 years and 3 sproglings!!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Victor of Badon

No prizes for guessing who this chap might be. The horses and warlord are Italeri and the Standard bearer Hat.




sorry the pictures seem a bit grainy, I took them using the desk light rather than daylight. One of the great things about 1/72 plastics is that they are so cheap! In 28mm these guys would be £3 each at least but these fellow work out at about 55p a figure.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

ROMANO-BRITISH WARBAND

Here is the latest instalment of a project I have had ongoing for about 4 years now. Painting the armies to refight the Battle of Dyrham which might (or might not) have been fought in 577AD not far from here. Current thinking seems to indicate that the account in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles is so much hogwash and is later West Saxon propaganda, but whatever the case it is an interesting subject.

I have finished most of the Saxons which I have based on large bases (8 figures on each) but have since realised that I would prefer to have them as individuals so will need to redo them all (300!)

Here is the first batch of British warriors completed, the warband of Gereint map Farinmail, Farinmail being the name given of the 'king' of the city of Bath (then called Aquae Mann by the Christianised population, rather than the more well known Aquae Sulis, which presumably might have been too pagan)



Farinmail


I think real warriors from this time might have looked a bit less Roman, and the warbands of the other 2 kings will be a bit less uniform, but as Farinmail is my favourite character and from my home city, I have given his warriors the best kit. The standard is based on the Gorgon carving found at the Roman baths here, and seems quite Celtic in appearance, so I chose to use it as a depiction of God to spur the soldiers on against the heathen Saxon (much good it did them).

Figures mainly HAT with the odd Italeri. Farinmail and his standard bearer are Newline.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

MODERNE WARRES

I have been looking for this book for a while and was very pleased to see it come up on Amazon marketplace from a seller in the States. The original sells for thousands but this is a very nice reprint done in 1969
.
The Theorike and Practike of Moderne Warres by Robert Barret was the manual of the day and illustrates how to run your army and fight successful battles in 1598. I have a box of 28mm Elizabethans mouldering in the attic, so this could provide inspiration for yet another project

Sunday, 9 October 2011

REGIMENT MAESTRO

I have been distracted recently from painting and blogging by Gillian Anderson. Sadly in DVD format as I got hold of the first 2 series of The X-Files which I used to enjoy in those heady days of bachelorhood, weaving back from the pub in time to see them on BBC2.

However I have completed more Imperial Cavalry, this time Maestro regiment which were heavily engaged at Wimpfen

Riders are Tumbling Dice and horses Revell.

I have also been looking at buying some Romano-British re-enactment kit to kick off a new period after a couple of years off dressing up and playing at soldiers.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

STAND AND DELIVER

I picked this book up a few weeks ago when driving the Oxfordshire village of Charlbury. I called in at the tiny but excellent Evenlode Bookshop, which had an eclectic mix of fascinating literature  http://www.evenlodebooks.co.uk/

This is about the life and times of a renegade Royalist James Hind, who was quite the popular hero in his day, running rings round the officers of Parliament and robbing them with impunity. A fascinating read with plenty of potential for ECW scenarios.



 also Welcome aboard Ray. Thanks for following.












Wednesday, 28 September 2011

ALT-HERBERSDORF CAVALRY

Here is the latest unit to crawl off the workbench. Regiment Alt-Hebersdorf. I have used Pappenheim's cornet on this regiment as I think I read somewhere he was Herbersdorf's son-in-law and may have commanded them at Wimpfen.




The riders are Tumbling Dice and the horses Revell. Bases to be finished later. Right back to the painting table.....

COMMENTING PROBLEMS

Firstly welcome to 3 new followers, Der Feldmarshall, Don M, and Paul of Pauls Bods.

I am having problems commenting on a couple of sites and maybe someone can help me. On Paul's blog

http://paulsbods.blogspot.com/ Blogger is refusing to let me comment and also on others with a similar commenting format.

I am not to au fait with these computer engines, so can someone tell me if I am doing something wrong please?

Friday, 23 September 2011

CORDOBA'S CUIRASSIERS

To give myself a change from painting 1/32 figures, I decided to return to my 1/72 Thirty Years War project, building the armies listed in Guthrie, to refight The Batttle of Wimpfen. I have been wondering how to base the figures, and in the end plumped for Gush's WRG Renaissance, which always provide a really fun game.

Here are the most recently finished figures, Imperial Spanish Cuirassiers

I usually finish the bases en masse at the end of painting, and am still wondering how to do it (a dark brown flock with dead winter static grass would be suitably gloomy for this terrible conflict)

The horses are Tumbling Dice, and the riders Revell with the odd Mars officer.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

ARTILLERY

I have been looking at other blogs, and it seems to be impossible to double click pictures to magnify them now. Is this just my problem or are other people experiencing this? Highly frustrating when you want to peer at painted figures.

Here is the artillery I have finished recently
Gunners are A Call to Arms, and the piece is Ensign Miniatures

JUST POPPING OUT FOR A PINT OF MILK DEAR....

On Thursday, I nipped out to one of my favourite places, about 45minutes drive from Atticus Towers. I have been reading quite a bit of Late Roman and Arthurian matter recently so I had a hankering to gaze into Dumnonia and see Ynys Witrin (or Glastonbury Tor if you prefer) .

I have been going to Ebbor Gorge since I was a child, and it never seems to lose it's beauty, although it is getting more and more popular, and like most designated nature reserves you do get people going there to empty their dog and chuck litter about. Happily Ebbor seems to still be relatively untouched and as I arrived at 7.45am I was delighted to see I would enjoy the walk on my own.

The woods on the approach to the Gorge


Looking back down the Gorge path



Possibly my favourite view. I can sit here for hours. Glastonbury Tor is visible in the left distance.


From the same place but looking down into the Gorge


I always bring breakfast (the film canister contains coffee)


Poignantly, someone had left these lilies right at the edge of the cliff.


Anyhow, after spending a good hour gazing at the view, I had to return to reality and get back to do the weekly shop, but I felt better for my time out.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

A GRAND DAY OUT

My oldest son, Robin (Thing 3) was 9 today and specifically requested we went to Raglan Castle, so Mrs. Atticus bundled the cake and other sundry provisions into the car and off we headed across the old Severn bridge.  We got to the castle in just over an hour and had a jolly time (or at least the children did, we spent most of it with our hearts in our mouths trying to stop Things 2 and 3 plummetting out of an arrowslit or similar). We repaired to the outer bailey for sustenance, where there were less steep drops.
Thing 3 (Young George) heading towards the moat

The Raspberry and Chocolate cake has attracted a pair of dragons from the castle well


As we were on the other side of the Severn , we decided to head down to Caerleon and take a look at the Roman remains there as Robin is starting the Romans as a project at school (having done the Anglo-Saxons and the Egyptians, who needs chronology?).

The amphitheatre is very impressive, but for me not the highlight of the trip. I don't profess to detect psychic auras or similar, but very few places give me the abdabs like this one (it was the same when I visited about 12 years ago). I really find the idea of gladiatoral combat and the Roman games completely sickening.

Anyhow the lads had no such qualms and charged in with a will. I took a few shots for the school work


Next we had a look at the barracks, where Robin gleefully demostrated the site of the latrines


Then on to the museum, which was really good, and free to get in on a Sunday!
As usual the dummies on display were in classic 1st century Roman kit (provided by the omnipotent Ermine Street Guard)

It would be nice to see some second or third century reproductions for a change (or even better 4th or 5th!)

Anyhow time for a quick look in the bohemian Arthurian yard at the South Gate of Caerleon
Merlin and Arthur (Thing 2)

 and back in time to assemble the Harry Potter lego that Robin got for his birthday. What fun.