Thursday 31 December 2015


Quite a productive year really, I surprised myself when I laid all the figures out I had painted this year

Grand review

25mm figures. Mainly for the Thistlewood project over on my Fantasy Blog, but there are some figures for the Conan project, plus generic terrain and a group of 16 random Vikings in the middle.

Here we have the 54 ECW stuff I finished in the first part of the year, plus a single Napoleonic bod.

I have managed to complete one of my goals, getting the ECW figures done, and have almost finished the Thistlewood Oldhammer project, only 20 more villagers to do.

A total of 
306 54mm Figures (I cheated by including the horses...well they are very big)
159 25/28mm Figures

465 in all, so a good improvement on last year.

In 2016 I hope to
1. HAVE A GAME!!! I have a small one hour wargame booked with a friend in January.
2.Complete Thistlewood in the first week or so of the year.
3. Paint up a few Frostgrave figures to play with my oldest son.
4. Paint up a couple of Lion Rampant, Robin of Sherwood forces (Wolfshead Rampant)
5. Complete a few regiments of Prehammer figures to play Reaper or Chainmail 
6. Do some more 54mm Funny Little Wigs/ Marlburian chaps.


Tuesday 22 December 2015


I didn't have time to paint a Christmas figure this year, so had to plunder one from the collection. This great old Ral Partha figure is a giant in my Warmaster Chaos Marauder army where he towers pleasingly over the 10mm warriors.  I've got a few more of this chap waiting to be painted for my Pre-Hammer armies.

Wishing you a Splendid Winter Solstice
and a Merry Christmas

Sunday 20 December 2015


I was delighted to get my copy of Dragon Rampant on getting home from t'mill today, pictures here .

Last night, having completed the evenings decorating duties (we are giving the oldest lad his own room, and I'm mournfully re-painting it) I cracked open my new tin of yacht varnish and glossed up these fellows for the Funny Little Wigs project...possibly Lumley's horse

Very nice Del Prado figures, picked up here and there. The most expensive was £3.80. Some of the paintwork was badly chipped, but this didn't matter as I was re-painting.

If I was playing real Little Wars, and firing missiles at them (which I might do with Playmobil cannons) these chaps would be invincible. They are really heavy and must contain a fair amount of lead.

I need to get on with some Bavarians and/or French soon.

Sunday 6 December 2015


Rather a hero of mine, I painted this figure of Eugene ages ago, but have just got around to posting him.  An all round splendid soldier, incredibly brave, and an implacable foe of Lewis the Grand who refused him military service insisting he join the church. Eugene left the French court (after his mother was implicated in a murder and witchcraft scandal ) and went to serve the Habsburg's becoming their finest general. A testament to what a good egg he was, he willingly served under the untried Marlborough, despite already being a general of renown. I could burble on about him some more, but it's worth reading Derek Mckay's biography of the Prince if you want to find out more about this extraordinary chap.

A Peipp 45mm figure, mounted on a Del Prado ACW horse, with Del Prado pistol holsters from their Turenne figure. I tried to give the Prince the sallow skin he was recorded as having, but he came out looking a bit ill!

Friday 20 November 2015


In the interests of better Russo/British relationships, I ordered a pile of these rather nice figures from Tehnolog via ebay and they came recently in record time and ridiculously low postage. Tehnolog are a Russian toy company making a range of soldiers in different scales and model kits etc. and some of them are very nice.

The chaps I was interested in were billed as Soldiers of Peter the Great and will be perfect for my Funny Little Wigs project in which I will use them as Bavarians. The figures have a slightly cartoonish look with jutting jaws, stocky bodies and big feet, but there re so few early 18c figures available in 54mm all are welcome. Tehnolog have started casting their soldiers in softer plastic and supplying them in bags which makes them a bit cheaper than the old method of hard plastic and boxes.

Let's have a look at the 5 poses ( you get one of each in the set).
The pile of jumbled bodies after unpacking (9 bags worth here)

The 2 most useful poses for the firing line

A sergeant and officer, also suitable for conversion to ensign

The obligatory odd pose in all plastic sets. I'll probably convert this fellow into a grenadier.

The bag header, for those of you that understand Cyrillic script (I certainly don't)

Tehnolog make a number of useful sets....Vikings, Gladiators and some very nice fantasy figures. I've purchased a multi Fantasy set for the youngest laddie which contains Barbarians , Elves and some Orcish types wearing WW2 German Stahlhelms.

Tuesday 13 October 2015


I've  been looking covetously at Dwarven Forge cavern systems recently, and come to the conclusion there is no way I can afford them, so will probably have to make my own (although I might treat myself to a stalagmite set). Back when I used to play D + D on a regular basis, I always used to enjoy mapping out cavern systems for players to explore, with fiendish monsters lurking in pools or behind rock formations, but it wasn't until I actually started caving for real that I realised just  how unrealistic role-playing caves are.

About 20 years ago I used to go caving once a week in the Mendip Hills, not far from where I live and poked about in a number of different caves, all of which would present some challenges to an armoured adventuring party

Birthday Squeeze in Swildon's Hole . Note the caver has had to remove the one piece of equipment he is carrying (his lamp battery) so he can get through to the next part of the cave.
(Image from Dudley Caving Club's blog)

The traverse at Eastwater Cavern, a smooth surface, but at a 40' angle ready to slide you down into a crevice
(Image from WAYA blog)

The Drainpipe in Goatchurch Cavern (wiggly)
(image from Pinterest)

Swildon's Hole sump 1. A short underwater passage, adventurers would need to hold their breath for 30 seconds
(pic from Carbis Bay Crew blog)

These are some of the more extreme passages (not the most extreme, it has to be said), and there are areas where one can walk upright, and indeed large and wonderful caverns
The Throne Room in Stoke Lane Slocker (I never did this challenging cave!)
(Image from Dudley Caving Club's blog again)

 but they are all connected by tortuous narrow passageways involving crawling or wriggling, with no level floors and plenty of piles of boulders to clamber over.... which would make for an exciting (and literal) Dungeon/Cavern crawl.

The point of this rambling is that I am getting a real itch to get back underground. I chucked my kneepads and helmet away when we moved house  6 years ago, but I am getting a whispering in my head to lure me back down below...............

Entrance to Swildon's Hole 

one of the fascinating things for me is that an innocuous little hole like this can lead to over 9000 metres of cave passageway, 167 metres deep.... but could you get down with plate armour and a 10' pole?

Thursday 1 October 2015


Not much going on here at present, but I have posted a bit on my Fantasy blog. My 18c cage bars were rattled today when I decided to dap into a Bath museum to see the exhibition on Canaletto which has been there a while and finishes this week. There was some lovely detail in the paintings which gave food for thought for Imagi-nation scenarios, and some lovely little vignettes, such as servants beating carpets outside their masters house, and drunken rakes peeing up against the walls of Horse Guards. Well worth a look if you are in Bath over the next few days.

Sunday 16 August 2015


I was asked by my oldest lad to help out this weekend. He is building a small force of  Lord of the Rings orcs based on a force from Minas Morgul and fancied getting one of these for his army

A beast of Gorgoroth from Games Workshop.

Sadly they retail at £44, not a demented price (some 1/72 kits are a similar price) until you realise the model is cast in crappy brittle resin and is likely to fall apart at the merest touch. 

A trip to that highly useful budget shop The Works produced a £1.50  plastic Rhinoceros and after an hour with the milliput and balsa wood we had this

I believe it's being painted as I type. Not an exact copy but good enough. Now we need to source some crew at the next wargames show.

Tuesday 4 August 2015

AT LAST.....FINISHED (well almost).

I've been painting these for well over a year and have now finished all the essentials to re-enact the Battle of Lansdown in 54mm, toy soldier old school style (I just need a 12' x 8' table).  Just finished the movement trays at work today (during lunch break I hasten to add), so this is the second complete project I've  finished in my wargaming career, about 400 54mm figures in all. It's easy to carry on ad infinitum, and I have a few more command figures to do, some casualties, and the famous exploding powder wagon which wounded Hopton the day after the battle, but I'm going to give 54mm a break for a while. When oldest boy starts his Lansdown project at school in the new year he should be able to use these chaps to good effect.

Royalists on the right, Parliamentarians on the left, and the wall will be behind the Roundheads for them to withdraw behind as the Cavaliers storm the hill.

Thanks for your encouraging comments chaps, over the last few months...much appreciated.

Sunday 2 August 2015


Here are the Roundhead cavalry in all their glory. Haselrigg's in the foreground, Waller's in the centre and the Bristol and Devon horse in the distance. 

Sir Arthur Hazelrig's regiment of horse. The famous 'lobsters' so called because "they are couvered in bright iron shell." 17c cuirassiers are my favourite troop type in history.

Sir Arthur himself, sporting a rather nice savoyard helm held in his hand. Figure by Langley models, he is considerably larger than his 54mm troopers, but I'm not too fussy about scale.

Hazelrigg's cornet

The Bristol horse, Major Hercules Langrish's regiment. I painted these chaps up to look like the roundheads in Witchfinder general.

Langrish's cornet 

Sir William Waller's own regiment

Waller's cornet (Fructus virtutis- The fruits of virtue )

Captain William Carr's troop (Carr served with Colonel Robert Burghill and led the second wave of cavalry down the slopes of Lansdown at the Royalist army, putting the cavalry to flight. Richard Atkyns a Royalist cavalryman who recorded the battle in his memoirs said
"...this was the boldest thing I ever saw,for a party of less than 1000 to charge an army of 6000 horse, foot and cannon in their own ground at least a mile and a half from their body."

Carrs'cornet (Pour la verite- For truth)

Captain George Thompson's troop of the Devon horse

Thompson's cornet (Veritas erit victrix- Truth will be the victor)

There seem to be a lot of Parliamentarian cornets recorded for Waller's army and I had a surfeit to choose from, whereas the Royalist list was a bit thin. Hopefully next posts will be showing the completed armies en masse.

Friday 31 July 2015


To a lot of bloggers I follow who happen to be teachers, the summer holidays mean oodles of free time and jollification, but to lesser mortals like me they mean even less time to do toy related stuff. Although I finished the Royalist cavalry a few weeks ago I haven't been able to get them photographed and to be honest this was a bit of a rushed job this morning, so apologies for any fuzzy photos.
The entire Royalist horse, including 2 units I painted a while back. Below are the ones that haven't appeared on the blog yet).

Colonel Thomas Morgan's Regiment

Morgan's cornet showing Saint Michael slaying a dragon.

Sir George Vaughan's regiment (Sir George was wounded at Lansdown)

Vaughan's cornet (Experto crede-Trust the Experienced )

Lord Digby's Regiment of horse

Digby's cornet (Illuc omnes-Thither everyone the centre of the circle representing the king)

Lord Crawford's regiment (I could only find information on cornets for 3 Royalist horse regiments, so had to invent the others). 
Crawford is using Horatio Carey's cornet. Carey's regiment was at Lansdown but fighting for Parliament. Carey himself had changed sides and adopted this flag.....the motto is mocking the Earl of Essex, a fine commander but whose wife was notoriously promiscuous).

Most of the Royalist cavalry took to their heels halfway through the battle of Lansdown, and they were outnumbered in the first place.

I have finished all the rank and file for both sides now. I just need to get the Parliamentarian cavalry photographed and then both armies together....almost there!!