Wednesday 26 December 2012


Alfront mentioned he was rather partial to the Sherlock Holmes story The Blue Carbuncle


which set me thinking about my favourite Christmas story. I am a devotee of good ghost stories, so I think I would go for (perhaps predictably) The Story of a Disappearance and an Appearance by M R James. The story takes the form of a series of letters describing the search for the clergyman uncle of the writer who has gone missing at Christmas time. In one of the letters he describes a horrifying dream in which a demonic Mr Punch appears

" and to see his horrible face-it was yellowish white I may remark-peering round the wings made me think of the Vampyre in Fuseli's foul sketch"

" after it (the murder of one of the puppet victims) Punch came and sat on the footboard  and fanned himself, and looked at his shoes, which were bloody, and hung his head on one side, and sniggered in so deadly a fashion, that I saw some of those beside me cover their faces..."

Another great ghost story, perhaps less disturbing, is For the Local Rag by A M Burrage, which has at least some Christmas sentiment and good cheer in it!

Sunday 23 December 2012


I'll be signing off for a day or two I expect, so can I take this opportunity to wish my blogging friends old and new a Very Merry Christmas/Good Yule/Bright Solstice blessings (insert appropriate to your beliefs) .

Here is a very old figure I painted up today (it's great having a few days off I can tell you) issued by Citadel as a freebie back in the mid 80's. On the base it says "Merry Xmas from Citadel" but I can't make the date out.


Saturday 22 December 2012


It was tiddling down with rain all day today, so this afternoon I took Robin to see The Hobbit. It was with a heavy heart that I went along, for what little I had seen of the characters in the film I feared the worst, but actually I thought it was excellent, and more importantly Robin loved it too. The Dwarf city under the Lonely Mountain was fantastic and had me itching to get modelling, and I thought the Great Goblin was very well done. I won't rattle on about the things I didn't like (beardless dwarves really rankle) but I could see everything that was changed. added or different to my own personal imaginings of Middle Earth was done for a very good reason.

Afterwards we stuck our head into Games Workshop, just along the road from the cinema. I didn't get a chance to look at a great deal as I was cornered by an aggressive sales person (I hate that in shops), but Robin slipped away to check out the orc boar riders he covets. I did however glimpse this little set

The White Council

hmmm, 4  quite nice figures...what's that? Not cast in metal, but crumbly resin which breaks as soon as you look at it? And the price...... can you believe it? £45.

I am being naive, or is that rather a lot even by todays standards?


Back in August I muttered something about painting some elves, and I have just finished them.....

as with the dwarfs, I have not decided how to paint the bases yet, although Scott has kindly planted an idea in my head. I like these old figures, as they have a quite sneaky and not very Tolkienesque look about them, more like elves in traditional folklore, just as likely to double cross you. I will eventually use these as Loyal Halfelves for my Oldhammer Thistlewood game (due to take place in 2045 when all figures are painted).

Friday 21 December 2012


Young George was out whizzing his cars down the driveway, at the front of our house when who should come bowling along

the look on his face says it all.

Thursday 20 December 2012


Back in the mists of time (1983 or 1984) I went along to Games Day in London, held at the Royal Horticultural Society Hall to spend my pocket money on D and D figures. One of the highlights for me was a talk given by the fantasy artist Iain McCaig, who at the time was forging his career and had recently painted my favourite ever album cover Broadsword and the Beast by Jethro Tull. Mr. McCaig related how he had fallen asleep at the easel, and woken up to find he had painted all the Runes around the edge of the cover, and he didn't know what they said. Great story, but I suspect he knew they were the words of the first verse of the song Broadsword on the album.

Anyhow, this made a profound impression on a callow youth like myself, and I resolved to make a model based on the ship shown on the cover. 30 odd years on, I have finally done so!!

Here is the front and reverse of the sleeve, showing Ian Anderson the lead singer of Jethro Tull (and a superb songwriter and musician) as a strange Beastie. On the reverse he is riding on the figurehead of the ship. I reckon Iain McCaig was only in his early 20's when he painted this, so he must have been delighted to land the commission that produced this iconic piece of rock art.

I think I will crew the ship with some Dwarves from the old Grenadier range. The sails depict The Pewter Moon (badge of the Dwarves of the Pewter Moon, one of the factions in my fantasy world, where I live a good deal of the time), the Sunchild, another reference to a prog rock song( from King Crimson this time)
and the Beastie suppressing The Crimson King, who is the baddie/evil empire etc in my world.

The ship is a viking Drakkar by......can't remember, but Eastern European company I think, with a heavily converted Papo dragon head pinched from Robin and Arthur's soldier box (thanks chaps).

I painted runes on the figurehead..... anyone care to have a crack at translating them?

 purely dedicated to my fantasy figures. I will post the fantasy stuff here as well, but keep the new blog solely for fantasy stuff without my random meanderings.

Saturday 15 December 2012


Well, here we are after 4 months absence, and I can only offer my apologies for my lack of blogging and more importantly commenting on the jolly good blogs I follow. We have had a busy summer (and good holiday back in August), and I have been pressing on with a few projects, including building some terrain boards for Robin who is now well and truly into our wonderful hobby of playing with little toy soldiers. I have taken him to 3 wargames shows over the past few months (Colours, Warfare and Reveille in Bristol) where we picked up loads of cheap secondhand figures for his collection. This has reminded me of how I started off gaming with metal figures, after the Airfix days, mainly playing Dungeons and Dragons and poring over White Dwarf back in the late 70's early 80's. I dug out my old White Dwarfs (happily I kept them all from 1-150) and thought about having a bash at building the forces for the Warhammer scenario Thistlewood in WD 45 , those happy times when Games Workshop let players use their imagination and any figures they could get their hands on. I tried to do this in 1983 but one can't get many figures on the earnings of a paperound which was the only income I had then.

Here are a unit of loyal Dwarfs (Dwarves) which I based about 10 years ago but never painted, figures mainly Dixon with a few Irregular thrown in. I have put them in a sort of uniform as they are meant to be part of a mainly human army, and the standard depicts the Sun in Splendour of Trompenburg, my ever present fantasy state. If I get around to painting the rest of the army they will be wearing the Maroon and Green colours of Tromenburg as well.

I can't quite decide how to finish the bases, so may leave them until I have more figures done.