Wednesday 31 December 2014


I'm quite glad to see the back of 2014 for one reason or another, but at least the painting front has been active, if not the blogging....

Here is the annual parade of the year's work (less a few 1/72 Marlburians I forgot about) and I rebased my entire Oldhammer collection as I wasn't happy with the drab modern look (reverted to bright green, much better). Many of these figures feature on my other blogs, or have yet to be posted on this one.

Backdrop painted for fantasy games on reverse of existing green countyside backdrop

Leftside back - Hordes of the Things Ice Dwarf army and Christmas figure
Leftside front- 3 Oldhammer figures for my semi-dormant Thistlewood project
Leftside middle- 28mm 18c Imagi-nation figures 
Middle- Old school Conan figures
Rightside back-Old school Conan Stygians
Rightside front- D &D figures

Leftside back- 2 54mm ECW regiments and Witchfinder figures
Leftside front- 54mm Little Wigs characters
Rightside back-54mm Imagi-nation characters and regiment
Rightside Middle and Front-54mm Army Red for  Little Wigs

A total of
120 54mm Figures
191 28mm Figures
12   1/72 Figures

so not bad, but not as good as last year. For 2015 my aims (ha ha) are the following

Complete 54mm ECW armies to re-fight the Lansdown campaign 
Continue 54mm Little Wigs project including making some moulds to cast my own figures
Finally finish my Oldhammer Thistlewood project, including terrain
Continue my Old School Conan armies with some terrain pieces
reduce the amount of figures I buy... I am running out of room.

it remains to be seen if I get any of this done, but fingers crossed I should get at least 2 of the above completed by the end of 2015.

A Very Happy New Year to all reader. Cheers!!.

Tuesday 30 December 2014


Although I have pledged to crack on with 54mm ECW figures, I couldn't help dabbling with my Funny Little Wigs project. I have just blown a good deal of next years budget on an order to Rose Miniatures for some Marlburians (bigod, 54mm metal figures don't come cheap).

I have managed to get some cavalry done and varnished, but I will have to find a new supply of yacht varnish as my current batch is drying very yellow (noticeable on pale colours, I had to repaint the white bits on these figures)

Irregular Miniatures riders on A Call to Arms ECW horses with milliput pistol covers.

I'm think I'm right in saying the 4th Dragoons (also known as Essex's) were Christian Davies regiment, that indomitable female warrior, shown here with blue facings, but I'm sure they had green...oh well who cares (not me for sure).

I'll try and post tomorrow with a summary of the years painting.Toodlepip.

Wednesday 24 December 2014


A tale my father used to tell me was of a mountaineering aquaintance who was hiking in the Alps, presumably in the late 1940's at the same time my Dad was hiking about Europe. This intrepid fellow was making his way along a lonely snow covered track one Christmas eve , when he heard galloping hooves behind him. On turning he could see nothing, so continued on his way, no doubt eager to get to the nearest gasthof for a gl├╝wein and germknodel .Cocking an ear he heard the hoofbeats again getting nearer but still no sign of any animal coming along the track, hurrying on, the traveller was just coming to the village when the hoof beats sounded loud behind him...now severely frightened he took to his heels, and felt a mighty blow on his back as the galloping sound passed over him and continues toward the village, yet no sign of any beast was there. Stumbling to the inn, he managed to find a bed for the night, but in the morning, upon examining the back of his jacket he finds a cloven hoof mark burned into the fabric.......

Perhaps it was this chap Krampus, my Christmas figure for this year. I have just finished painting him, and after a few day of grotty behaviour from the 3 boys, I can sympathise with this tradition which you can read about here . A nice figure from Reaper, complete with birch twigs for swatting naughty children and washtub to carry them off to Hell.

Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday 14 December 2014


A delivery of heads from Ensign Miniatures came this week, ideal for converting A Call to Arms Ironsides to lisping cavaliers.A selection of feathered hats and helmets should make them identifiable as old school Royalists.

Sunday 7 December 2014


A brief interlude from Marlburian, jumping back to the Civil War. I'm hoping to paint up the regiments to refight the Battle of Lansdown next year, and with that in mind here we have Sir John Merricks Foot of Waller's army, one of the few regiments at the battle with a recorded uniform colour (grey).

rank and file are by A Call to Arms

Ensign by Replicants, Fifer by Ensign (!!!!)

Saturday 29 November 2014


Here we have the first part of Army Red for my Funny Little Wigs project, Colonel Horace Bampfield's Regiment AKA 'The Fighting Pelicans'

The regiment in array

Uncle Toby puts the sentinels through their paces

Bayonet practice

The Grenadiers bearing Bampfield's Pelican on their mitre

The colours (pre 1707)

Dr. Hare, the Duke's chaplain blesses the colours whilst the regiment sing a toast to the duke

" Marlborough the great commander
he'll conduct us, into the field
as brave as Alexander, he'll die before he'll yield
Sound the trumpet sound boys
let no man steal your ground boys,
ne'er let us flinch, nor give back an inch
so let his health go round boys.

This is the year of wonders
the gendarmes gor'd with bullet and sword
quake when the General thunders
Almanza was the word
Sound the trumpet sound boys
this to his health be crowned boys
Circle his brows with fresh oaken boughs
and thus let the glass go round boys."

All the line infantry and Dr. Hare are from the Replicants Culloden series, as there are very few early 18c figures available, but I've painted over any non Spanish Succession detail to make them look like Marlborough's troops. The grenadiers are my favourites. Replicants figures are ok, but come with serious flash, and the plastic is very brittle and breaks easily. I had to repair or replace quite a few muskets and bayonets on this lot. Uncle Toby and the ensigns are ebay finds.

I have some cavalry awaiting varnishing and then need to look into getting some artillery (non firing...I have some Playmobil cannons for serious FLW fun). If any readers can suggest sources of suitable figures for this project I would be grateful. I need more line infantry for the Bavarians and French, and suitable artilley crew and pieces.

Off to Reveille in Bristol tomorrow, so I may pick up something useful there. It's a great little show.

Thursday 27 November 2014


Following on with a more cheerful post, here is a 54mm figure I painted a while back as the start of a 54mm Funny Little Wars project, but based in The War of the Spanish Succession (I'm calling it Funny Little Wigs). I plan to paint a small force each for the allies and the Franco-Bavarians and am making good progress with the former.

A rather nice figure from Tradition, but Rose Miniatures do an even better version of the Duke which I hope to get hold of (for Christmas). 


Well I needed a boot up the jacksie to actually post something on this blog....we have been camera less and without a pc for a while,, and although I have been busy painting (and gaming surprisingly) I have had little inclination to post much...apologies to followers one and all.

Anyhow, Steve Weston toy soldiers provided the catalyst to get me to write this post, but unfortunately in a negative way. here follows a copy of the email conversation we have just had

following on from a enquiry about a Replicants set.

Thanks Steve, could you send me an execution set please? I can send you a cheque if you let me know postage costs or pay by paypal if you prefer. I'm also looking for a UK source of Supreme knights and Vikings (primarily for my son)...any ideas?

THE REPLY (my thoughts in bold)
Hi Mike, the minimum P+P is £4.20  for the first kilo ("but I only want a few figures"), total for this order would be £13.20 with P+P but you could add a lot more figures to this which would not change the P+P price.

you want to give your son figures made by Supreme?("yes") do you also feed him MacDonalds? ("No") Shame on you both counts! ("I feel so much better having been falsely labelled as a neglectful parent")

Paypal? Surely you are not still encouraging them and their ridiculous fees? ("I have never paid them a penny and wish to save my own time and money as well as using less paper for ecological reasons")

Payment by cheque , Postal order (remember them ?) ("Yes, I am not suffering from Alzheimer's Disease or Vascular dementia") or card.

Thanks Steve (" you're welcome, any time you want to randomly insult someone, I'm your man.")

perhaps I am being a bit touchy, but working in retail myself, I had always understood it was good policy to make the customer feel valued so they come back again. It's fine to think some of them are complete morons, but ideally you keep those thoughts to yourself so they come back and spend more money. I think Mr Weston believes he has his customers over a barrel being the only stockist of Replicants figures...in a way he is correct, but this doesn't give him licence to insult them with impunity. He infers that because I am enquiring after these (I think rather nice) figures (lifted from the excellent Penny Whistle blogspot)

I feed my kids junk food (ie. don't care for their well being)

I could answer that

1.. I hold the opinion that a lot of the figures he stocks are pretty flaky
2. By using post and cheques I am wasting paper, time and my own money
3. His own postage fees seem pretty ridiculous (they are only a few pieces of plastic for Gawd's sake)
4. Even if we did feast upon big Macs daily it's none of his damn business.
etc etc. (any more comments I might make would be most welcome).

Unless I can get hold of the priest figure from the Replicants execution of Charles 1st set elsewhere  I suspect I will go ahead and place the order with gritted teeth but honestly...some people.

I had a similar experience a while back from Minden Miniatures.... a polite enquiry on postage costs (not specified on the webpage) brought forth a torrent of abuse (containing swear words) along the lines of " how the f.... do I know postage costs unless you place an order  and tell me what you want". Needless to say that time I didn't proceed with the order. (scroll right down to comment if you would like to.... I can't seem to get rid of the gap between the end of this post and the comment box!)

Wednesday 27 August 2014


We piled into the car today and headed up the Wye Valley to Goodrich castle. Last time I was there was in 1997 with the ECWS taking part in a brilliant siege with earthworks , gabions etc , probably one of the best re-enactment events I've taken part in.

English Heritage have tarted up their reception area, and racked up the prices, but there were some interesting exhibits,

Roaring Meg, the only surviving ECW mortar used in the 1646 siege

Two gargoyles I don't remember from my 1997 visit.

The Norman keep

The castle seems to grow out of the rock

Some lovely Herefordshire/Monmouthshire countryside

George tries his hand at the mysterious art of gunnery.

After visiting the castle we went on to Westbury Court Gardens, a rare surviving example of a late 17c Dutch style water garden

A fine canal

Neptune reigns here (I am writing a paper on pagan imagery in 18c gardens, but may have to include this as he is 1690's)

I can just imagine Mr. Neville from the Draughtsman's Contract setting up his easel here.

The pavilion from the end of the long canal.

All in all a jolly day out mixing warfare and gardening.

Sunday 17 August 2014


The usual apologies for not posting for a good while, I've just been bone idle combined with a large black dog hanging about in my head . Every so often (usually in the Autumn) I feel like chucking all my figures out of the window and starting a single project from scratch, one that doesn't need rare and hard to source figures and provides a game with nice neat lines of soldiers in uniforms found in handy reference books and not too much imagination.( I suppose it's a comfort thing, like putting on a favourite jumper or cravat after a long and tediously hot summer).
 This generally means any conflict between 1700 and 1900. Seven Years War and Napoleonic don't really float my boat (although I do like Napoloeonic Bavarians and Brunswickers), but I have always had a real interest in The War of the Spanish Succession. The uniforms are attractive, but not too complicated and of course the wigs are a bonus. There is a good supply of uniform and reference books (including plenty of eyewitness accounts) but not an overwhelming amount. Likewise the figures are readily available, but not too much choice. I find the 28mm figures out there a bit bobbleheaded, so that leaves a choice of 20mm, 40mm or 54mm. The latter ticks the toysoldier box and inspiration can be found at the wonderful (but sadly quiet) blog Vauban and Shandy . 20mm are cheap, the rank and file coming from Zvezda's Infantry of Peter the Great . Zvezda likewise do artillery and some cavalry which could be supplemented with Irregular and Les Higgins figures , they also paint up nicely with a nostalgic "Airfix" feel. I have never painted 40mm figures before but I have a Marlburian officer I picked up on ebay and it's a nice scale. Figures from Irregular , supplemented with Price August semi-rounds, the cavalry would have to have the coat tails converted.

Just to get in the mood, and wielding a paintbrush again, I tried painting a few plastic Zvezda infantry as British foot. I was quite pleased with the result, 10 figures in an evening using white undercoat, and then yacht varnished.

Wednesday 18 June 2014


Hot on the heels of my last post, I got a message today from Mike Hoddinott at Conquest Games telling me the next 4 figures in their Wolfshead range were out today. I have been waiting for this second pack for over a year now so I was very excited.

On viewing the figures I was a little disappointed by the Herne the Hunter figure, but having done my own conversion of this character it doesn't matter too much, The Nasir figure is good  but the beard looks a little full, Mark Ryan the actor sporting more of a chinstrap

The Marion figure looks quite good, or will do when painted as a redhead and Much the Miller's son could do with more curly hair, but nothing that can't be rectified with a bit of milliput or greenstuff. I suspect the figures fit in with the last pack and are thus 25-26mm so quite small compared to most current Norman figures, but this will make the outlaws harder to hit in combat. Order has been placed and hopefully the baddie pack will be out soon.

Sunday 15 June 2014


Things have been happening on and off on my other blogs, but little related to this one which seems to be reserved now for historical gaming stuff and general everyday life . I haven't been doing much hobby related recently other than painting fantasy figures , but as usual there are several projects simmering away in that shrivelled husk of grey matter I call a brain. One of said future ideas got a bit of a rattle today as I received this splendid book from my 3 sons for Father's Day. Hooded Man vol 1 by Andrew Orton, a geeks (er...I mean dedicated fans) guide to the first two series of Robin of Sherwood. Time to don a mullet wig and seize my trusty replica of Albion, Robin Hood's sword. Thanks boys.

Slowly stockpiling the figures for some skirmishes based on the TV series. 


Sunday 13 April 2014


Tarnation, I just missed this gateway on ebay (forgot to adjust my final bid). I had already painted and based this piece as a Hordes of the Things stronghold in my minds eye , so if any noble readers can tell me what make it is and if I can still get one I would be most grateful. I have seen them at shows over the years but not recently.

Monday 17 March 2014


Apologies for not posting for some time, work and general business gets in the way, at least Blogger is letting me post pictures again...hurrah. An enforced day off from work due to galloping gutrot and the arrival of my 50th follower (welcome Baconfat, thanks for following) prompts me to get my behind into gear.

A couple of bloggers have been dabbling with space saving terrain recently, and I really like the effects of 2d scenery, much like stage scenery as Tradgardmastre said. I actually painted these buildings about a year ago during lunch hours sitting in one of the polytunnels at work (my colleagues think I'm cracked, which is fine), but as usual I have only just got round to photygrafting them . 3mm MDF each house made in 2 parts.

They look quite Cotswoldy , and should do for ECW or FLW's. I have a church half completed, so maybe I should creep back into the polytunnel before the weather warms up and makes it too hot.