Friday 27 December 2019

Seasons Greetings - Those were the years.

Well I hope you have all had an enjoyable festive break, I had hoped to get a couple of posts in before but many things prevented it.

My daughter requested a couple of photos of herself when she was little to show her daughters and whilst sorting I found a pile of photos of all the demo games I have put on over the years with Gordon and Lee - I don't intend to bore you with them all but selected a few pics at random.
All of the games bring back fond memories for one reason or the other and I can honestly say that all the collections featured have gone - some pieces to the far corners of the world!

Regrets ? none - the armies were painted and built for a reason and saw good service and provided much enjoyment but I could see no reason to horde for the sake of it. For example the War of the Roses collection after being used for Stoke |Filed in 1987 sat in their boxes for almost 13 years before I decide to sell.
Any way without further ado.

First up out very first demo game Marston Moor in 15mm using Minifigs and Peter Laing (the minifigs were the originals on strips!) Must have been late 70's - I had to go to work for four hours 6-10 and dad got up when I went to work to finish flocking the figures bases!
All the figures were painted by me and terrain by Gordon
Next up a few pics from our Battler of the Boyne game at the Sheffield Triples can't remember the year.
Then there were a couple of impressive pieces Gordon did one was our take on the Charles Grant Scenario of the Romans crossing the Rhine and the other was a Medieval siege

Possibly one of my favourites an Indian Mutiny game we cobbled together for one of the Warcon weekends - great show and this was the games only outing

Finally a couple of pics of the afore mentioned War of the Roses Battle of Stoke Field at Partizan in 1987. We started with Bosworth in 1985, then Tewkesbury and finished with Stoke.
That's a pretty impressive number of figures painted over the years by Lee and I!!!
But no regrets just good memories.
I have noticed on quite a few blogs some of us oldies talking about focus, getting rid of some of the lead etc. as most of you know I've been doing that for some time and pretty much all the 28's other than my own range have gone..
doesn't stop me dabbling ass I dip my toe into a few periods in 15mm but the key is to focus on a main project to completion something I doubt I will ever learn :)

Can I wish you all the Best wishes for 2020 and may your dice always roll high ( unless you really need a one)

Thursday 5 December 2019

On the table

Whilst I haven't made it to the paint desk I'm seizing the opportunity to catch up on lots of minor tasks.
Today it's basing the dismounted Languedoc Dragoons. I really like these figures 😀 And Steve Allen has done a nice job on the painting.
Tomorrow I'm hoping to start on the horses for the next two squadrons of the Saxon Cuirassiers.

Wednesday 4 December 2019

Small ! Disruption to service.

Apologies for the quiet spell this has been largely due to an unforeseen turn of events - when we lost our last dog in August my wife went to great lengths to explain to me how we should take a time out, maybe a year or two before we considered another dog and if we did it had to be small as she wasn't used to large dogs!
Meet Oscar

A 6-8 month old 
Romanian Mountain shepherd dog. !  He's not a small dog and I don't think a year or so has passed but he's a rescue dog which my wife fell in love with and told me we had to have him.
Considering how badly he's been treat he's settled in really well and is responding to training just he's my shadow and at the moment he has declined to follow me to the loft where the paint table is!

Other than that last weekend was the Battleground show at Stockton - organised by Leon from Pendraken miniatures the show has gone from strength to strength and certainly punches above its weight. I was trading sodidnt really get a good look around but everyone seems to have had a good time. For more informative reports visit the Grimsby Wargaming blog or Colin's   Carryings on up the dale blog.

Having said that a couple of pics I took and it was also nice to see the return of Jaclex miniatures- I'd forgotten how nice they looked in their simpleness of design. '

Finally since I'm unable to get to the paint table then I've been putting transfers on the shields of my 15mm Macedonian pikemen 48 bases down 8 to go! This is a real pain hence the delay in putting off - but I guess it's better than painting them!

Sunday 17 November 2019

A weekends wargaming - Mollwitz

I've just returned from a most excellent weekend at Charles Grants residence. As usual Charles and his wife Liz are most excellent hosts and as well as the game Saturday night was spent putting the wargaming world to right and reviewing where Crann Tara miniatures go next year!

On to the game - on this occasion neither John Dougan or I had any idea what game we were playing, I have to admit I anticipated fighting a couple of small actions, so it was a most pleasant surprise to discover we were to refight Mollwitz. Next to Fontenoy this is a battle I've always wanted to do and as I said to Charles the original game in his fathers book The Wargame provided me with so much inspiration.
In all my previous engagements whenever I have been the Prussians then I think it's fair to say Frederick has been far from Great 😀 Could I redeem myself?
A very hard fought game, on this occasion the Prussian cavalry on the right flank ably supported by two converged Grenadier battalions ( one did break early on) advanced against the superior Austrian horse and managed to prevent them deploying their strength with the result that whilst the Prussian Cuirassiers fell in droves the Dragoons and Hussars managed to hold the enemy and the Grenadiers managed to provide limited fire support causing a steady attrition on the enemy.
The Austrian foot despite being outclassed in their fire drill stood toe to toe against the Prussians for a considerable period of time but it was at a cost Officer casualties were high causing units to break .
An excellent game and one in which I gave Frederick his first victory - and yes he stayed on the battlefield.
Below in no specific order are some pictures of the game.

Tuesday 5 November 2019

Winter Project.

As I have mentioned before I am quite fortunate in having a 4'x4' gaming table in my loft/study which can extend to 5x4 if needed - it's been ideal for my resurrected interest in board games, the occasional 28mm skirmish and 15mm Ancients.
For this winter inbetween painting more 18th century figures I want to try something else.
I've always fancied taking up Napoleonic again but large armies, lots of figures discouraged me except for the much overlooked War of 1812 in Canada.
Small armies, limited cavalry and Indians !
So as a test I bought some Blue Moon 18mm.
The results I'm happy with

Apologies the photos are a little dark - bad light today.
In addition I'm going back to the old WRG 1685-1845 rules as a tester!

My intention initially is to paint the two forces for Chippewa and then add more figures to the battalions to go from 1:40 to 1:20 if the project works I will also paint some individual pieces for the very small actions.

It will also allow me to use the 1:700 ships I've been printing for the actions on the Lakes - I sill think frigate actions give the best games!
Onwards and upwards then.

Monday 4 November 2019

Stuart Asquith

I learnt from Charles Grant this morning the very sad news that Stuart Asquith passed away last night.
A prolific author and gamer one only has to look on the Caliver books website to see how many books he had written and published. He was also the editor of Practical Wargamer a magazine that provided a great source of information and inspiration. Sadly I only met Stuart a couple of times at Partizan and then albeit but briefly. What was clear that his passion for the hobby remained with him throughout and that it was quite infectious - on both occasions after our conversations I felt re- enthused.
Alongside the likes of Don Featherstone and  Charles Grant, Stuart was one of those individuals that has kept me in the hobby for all these years.
A great loss to the hobby.

Tuesday 29 October 2019

HOTT, Fiasco and bits and pieces

Once a year I travel to Brompton for the Good, Bad and Ugly! Hordes of the Things Tournament.!
For me it's a good chilled day with like minded people and allows me to paint something that's a bit daft.
This year I painted up Alternative Armies 'Seasonal Army' so Jack Frost leads his maniacal snowmen, ginger bread men etc. The church was picked up from The Works and painted and suitably ' snowed up ' by me.
This years event took place on the 20th October at the Rugby club - great venue.
So with minimal planning I ended up winning the tournament, best army and best camp 🤣 a clean sweep. Big thanks to all involved and to Bob Carter for organising the North East leg of this worldwide tournament.

The 27th October saw me pay a visit to the Fiasco show at Leeds. I have to admit that within a short time of entering the Stygian gloom of the hall I remembered why I stopped trading there and stopped attending. 
For me the venue isn't conducive to encouraging anyone to stay and when I arrived ( about it appeared to be quite busy.  There wasn't any really outstanding games  ( in my opinion) and after a chat to a few people I left for a coffee and didn't return.

Pete Berry of Baccus miniatures has had a bit of debate on Facebook about this show and in general about the future of shows, bottom line is with the exception of Salute which is acknowledged as a mega trade show then the majority of others need to change in order to accommodate the changing gaming population- Hammerhead and Partizan I feel are two of the best shows by encouraging participation games.
I fear Fiasco may go the way of the Triples if things don't change just doing same old for 20+ years I don't think is good enough any more!

Finally I'm not going to bore you with anymore 3D printing - well not this week. 
I've managed to get finished the first two squadrons of Saxon Cuirassiers, riders painted by Steve Allen the rest by me. I tried 'contrast paints' on the horses - not bad but I still prefer 'oils'

Finally I've started a new 'winter project' more of that next post

Friday 11 October 2019

A little more printing

In between being hit by a chest infection and settling in at the 'pod' for the Crann Tara business I've managed to squeeze in a little more printing. The FDM printer has mainly been used to print dolls house furniture! To occupy the dolls house I'm building for the granddaughters but the resin printer has seen action, first to print off some 28mm Hungarians Dan has made for me.
Second to print the 40mm RHA crew that Dan has designed for Ian Smith.
All come out rather nice

Thursday 26 September 2019

Breaking the silence - Fire as she bears!

Thought it was about time I announced my return to the UK - actually I got back from seeing my son in Chicago on the 16th after a really good 12 day break. This was then followed last Thursday to a visit to the club for a catch up where I caught a chest infection which has laid me low most of this week!

Never mind onwards and upwards - before I was struck low I spent last Wednesday and Thursday moving Crann Tara Miniatures into new premises but more of that will appear on the other blog.

Most of you can't have failed to see Warlord Games announcement of its forthcoming 1/700th scale Napoleonic Naval game, now those that follow my blog know that I have a very nice collection of Langton 1/1200 th scale ships which occasionally take sail for a game but I'm always conscious of my ham  fistedness damaging them so this announcement piqued my interest. Now at the same time Simon Mann on wargaming 3D released a series of 1/700th scale files of various named ships for the period some of these are free and some just a few dollars.

To top all that Suturnalia Studios ran a Kickstarter
For ships, terrain and rules the ships are 1/650 so the small ships are fine the larger ships  need printing at 92% to make them the same size as those from warlord. So it looks like my ability to fight larger actions and not worry about damage will be fulfilled.
To be expected I've printed some bits and pieces off by way of testing the prints are a mix of this from Wargaming 3D and the KS and ive included a Warlord frigate. Last photo is a few of the buildings I've printed off. Printing sails in two parts and gluing together is a bit of a trial but I'm getting there. So about an 90 minutes to,print a couple of frigates or a 74 for pennies . The fleet starts to assemble 🤣

Sunday 1 September 2019

Battle of Maidstone redux!

I have just been finishing my next article for the Wargames Annual and it is the second part of the proposed Invasion of England 1744.
Now I did a brief report of the Battle I fought on here which will form the basis of the article however what I did forget at the time was that iPad photos just don't cut it when it comes to publishing in books or magazines so this week I set it all up again and took a new set of far better photos, couple of teasers below.

   All in all 90+ photos - can't see Charles using them all otherwise it would be a Crann Tara special.
Off to the States shortly to see my son, last time I visit Chicago as he moves to Denver in October so next year will see a visit to a new state.
Unfortunately printing and painting has slowed down these last couple of weeks as I've taken the leap in renting a small office/studio to run the business from it will allow me a little more space and should stop distractions🤣 So lots of preparation in getting ready to move stock etc.
I have been dabbling with GW contrast paints - mixed results as I expected a lot depending on the colours and undercoat but I shall persevere.