Monday, 24 April 2017

Salute 2017- from the Trader's perspective

Now there is no getting away from it Salute is one of the most important single days in a Trader's year. I'm not saying that a bad 'un can stuff your year  no it is not THAT important but a good 'un can mean you can have some "Jam today" with your  usual bread and water. Mind you last year we had extra Jam so there was no way this year was going to match those dizzy heights.
 I knew this before hand- plenty of chaps had told me they were not going this year - reasons many and varied including "It is mostly fantasy now" and - often this- it's too bloody expensive what with parking and entrance you've dropped £30 plus before you are in -then the prices for cha and wads are ruinous .... so some chaps did not go.- they bought their gear by mail instead.
 Nevertheless we were still knackered by the end of the day and could afford to eat that night and even have a half of shandy to wash it down!
 Overall though I did get the impression that the show was having a slightly "off" year. No big deal, it happens.  No real surprise after the  very high point of last year. I don't think any of this was down to the organiser just chaps taking a breather. There certainly were far fewer European chaps about. I never had to do the "4 customers in 3 different languages at the same time" thing that has been a feature of more than one past Salute. Possibly because of their election, there seemed to be a lack of Frenchmen. I don't recall any Italians though there were several Spanish and some Germans.
 However  the Brexit nonsense makes you wonder if perhaps some chaps just don't feel as welcome here as they used to. It does make you wonder.
 I still didn't get a look round and saw no historical games that took my fancy on my couple of trips to the kharsi.. Indeed only at 1 Participation game did I linger. This being the Tring Club's 40mm Wars of the Roses game. A deliberately simple entry level  game  using my Romanoff Miniatures Warriors for the Working Day range. Now running a PP game is a skill I don't really have but this seemed popular and was well presented. Nice one Boys.
 Don't get me wrong here it is still the best gig in town but not this year quite topping their own hight standards.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Roses with Thorns.

Well that is  the hundred up. One hundred finished 40mm Wars of the Roses figure  finished and based. I've organised these in 6 "retinues" to wit Edward IV Warwick the Kingmaker, The Earl of Suffolk for the Yorkists and The Earl of Northumberland, Lord Clifford and the Earl of Oxford for the Lancastrians. Each retinue has a core of men in livery coats to which armoured men -at -arms and unliveried billmen and archers can be added as the scenario dictates.
 More are of course on the painting table- including conversion for a couple of gun crews.
 I'm enjoying this little aside- which by June and the Durham show will be a good bit larger. I quite like producing unique models- even though I'm no sculptor.

The Earl of Oxford's "Star with Streams"- though the precise appearance is somewhat conjectural.
There are now a fair number of conversions and chop jobs within the collection..

The first few of Suffolk's liveried men. Archer on the painting table.

Being in metal the parts are a good bit less fragile that plastic- larger too being 40mm . Makes life easier- very little hunting about on the floor for bits you have pinged off when cutting them from the sprue.

A small skirmish over a palisade with a mantlet. I built the latter for a still under construction gun. The palisades are by Irregular-supposedly for 40mm but a bit small. I may have to make some taller ones. 
So the project marches on. I've a 40mm waggon to build. That promises to be a challenge.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Catching up on my reading.

Now as a general rules I'm not a massive fan of "amateur" magazines either paper of e-zines. I'm never quite sure what they are about.
 I've read a few and have always ended up just a tab bemused as to why....
 So when I decidec to subscribe to a new e-zine I did wonder why I'd bothered.


Wargamers Notes Quarterly, once I actually got around to reading is does not come across like other publications of its "type". It is far far better than that.
 Now I'm not one of those chaps who expect  a whole magazine to be to their taste every time - and it isn't but that does not make it any worse. Indeed the variety of styles makes it rather the better.
 Point One.
 IT TREATS ME LIKE AN ADULT. Yipee no  childish patronising drivel here. There is an assumption that I can read long words without the use of my fingers and that I won't find any article of more than 1000 wordS too long for my brain.
Point Two
The first two issues (told you I was behind with my reading) are now on my reader and likely to stay there  

 The mix of articles gives you plenty to read  so far shows us that not all wargames are brain  dead one- hour 2 foot  square table skirmishes with 10 men a side. The chaps here have a terrible tendency to use their brains. My personal favourite articles include a re-fight of the Ruso-Japanese Naval battles of 1904-5  . I have small squadrons for this period in 1/600th and this series shows another way to do it. Never a bad idea to see alternatives.
 There is quite a lot of stuff on solo play- never one of my things but again  that does not stop the articles being readable though for myself the idea of taking control of the forces almost entirely out of the players hands is anathema- though in solo play I can see the point- assuming I could see the point of solo play which I never really have but then different strokes etc.
 Anice Sci- Fi "Narrative Campaign  article again gave me the odd idea or two - just get the silly sci-fi stuff out again it is time Denzil Washington Snipes tries to wrest power from Fidel Ernesto Guevara Smith- AGAIN !

Also it has to be said I like the look of this ezine- some care and thought has gone into the presentation.
 Nice one(well two) boys- I await the next issue with interest.
 for info on the mag contact
 wargamernotebook@gmail.com

worth a punt I'd say .

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Shining does not stop.

Although currently most of my figure painting has been 40mm Wars of the Roses - for our demo at the Durham show in June. I find myself unable to completely (albeit temporarily) abandon Shinyloo.
 I recently picked up a bunch of second hand Stadden 30mm models. These had been through the mill  and some were in a pretty shocking condition. "Painted"(or rather not) by a man who had done the deed with a 4 inch brush whilst wearing a bag on  his head.  These poor lads had then been abused and forgotten- possibly for decades before being rescued by yours truly. They all need a good bit of TLC but most of them can go - once restored -into existing units.
 I've already completed some of them adding to the 44th foot which now boast 2 whole "Charge" style companies plus a few over to start the 3rd which I may just have enough figures in hand for, though some need repairing.and a Battalion HQ. The Royal Scots Greys now has 13 completed figures with 7 more  in hand to do, but all of these need repairs. I've about a dozen Minot French Cuirassiers but all of them need carbine belts as Minot never bothered but gave them a carbine attached to a separate valise which means the weapon hangs from nothing at a silly angle- rather like our current Government. These belts will be made of metal foil- usually from bottles of Italian or Spanish red. I do like a decent Pugliese..
In the Stadden pruchase mentioned above was a single Mameluke. He arrived without plume or Sword and rather battered to boot. Now complete he will join the Chasseurs of the Guard.
 A Sergeant of Line Grenadiers. Plume ad bayonet added. The figure is a Stadden 30mm again in a poor condition when acquired.
I needed a Kings Colour for the 44th. Painting a Stadden standard bearer was the best option.  It was truly a bugger to paint but sits well alongside the Regimental colour. 
Colonel and Colours of the Regiment- all Stadden 30mm figures.
The unit as it currently stands. Effectively 2 Charge style companies. 

As for the French  I have a lot of Minot Imperial Guard and a fair bundle of Stadden but of Line Infantry only a few- most of the centre companies will end up being Hincliffe Foremost- still available but falling into my personal parameters for this project as they were first made in the 70s.. Nevertheless I will have to get some Suren Fusiliers but the "army" is going to be very Imperial Guard heavy simply because the secondhand and restored figures are principally Imperial Guard.
So this project moves on - still slowly - but the first game- using "Charge!" will be this yearas there are now well over 200 completed figures.
 But first I have to get the 40mm Wars of the Roses game for the Durham show in June sorted- more of that in my next post.