Saturday, 27 December 2014

And Finally....

Well here we are at my last post for 2014 - where did the time go? Fittingly, this is about the last group of miniatures in my painting pile - more cavalry for my Iron Hooves.

The figures are BUF cavalry from Musketeer Footsore Miniatures, and very nice they are too!

Here they are with my previous bunch, from Crusader Miniatures and I think they mix together reasonably well (if, like me, you're not too fussy about differences in uniform, kit etc.)

Looking back, the most abiding impression is that I haven't played nearly enough games this year - 4 out of a meagre 32 posts being actual AARs.

However two of those were dedicated to a couple of fantastic Big Games, which are rapidly becoming the highlight of my wargaming calendar.

My modelling/painting output has been modest, but considering that this time last year I was predicting that I had virtually completed my VBCW collection, I haven't done too badly!

I've also been pleased to make a token effort with historical research too, scouring the newspaper archives for interesting snippets.

So what next?

Hopefully more gaming! We have another Big Game planned for March - stay tuned n the new year for news about that - but I if the dice gods are smiling I will be able to find more time to put lead to table.

I still have more cavalry to prep and paint, plus some vehicle kits to assemble (and by that I mean 'not glue to my fingers') and some scenery (stuff I have bought that needs painting, and bits to scratchbuild.)

On top of this I have my two other blogs to maintain. The VBCW Miniatures Guide will need to be updated as new ranges come on the market, and my research continues regarding My Family in and Great War.

So to conclude - HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Here's to the next one!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Seasons Greetings From the Lady of the Manor

Lady Deirdre Ffaines-Muir would like to extend to you her most warmest felicitations of the season. Pictured here with her two faithful spaniels, Samson and Delilah, Lady Deirdre is currently residing at her country residence near Wigmore.

As patron of the Herefordshire Townswomen's Guild, Lady Deirdre is well-known for her charitable works, and for her active participation in the local branch of the Landowners' Protection Association.

The villages in her estate have recently become even more festive than is usual for this time of year, for they have been galvanised by the arrival of Lady Deirdre's ward, Miss Nemone Mortimer-Wagstaff.

This 'statuesque' young lady, pictured here under the watchful eye of head gardener Albert, is quickly becoming the most eligible 'bachelor-ette' of the county after coming of age and being presented to The King, for she is the only surviving person in the British Isles able to claim a direct bloodline to the Mortimer family - that once powerful dynasty of Medieval Marcher Lords.

This correspondent predicts that many a potential suitor will soon be sending their visitor cards to Lady Ceirdre's residence, in the hope that Miss Mortimer-Wagstaff and her loyal following in this part of the county will deem him an acceptable love match!

More smashing figures from 'Mason's' Blind Beggar Miniatures range!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Back in the Saddle

After weeks of apathy, I started getting an itchy paintbrush. Luckily I had a small unit of cavalry already undercoated – this is their story…

Trooper Riley’s horse was skittish as he and his fellow Blackshirts waited on parade; it’s hot breath mixing with the early morning fog of a cold London morning. ‘Hercules’ jerked it’s head, picking up no doubt his rider’s own nerves – for today, it was rumoured, they would be addressed by someone important. Fuller perhaps, or Jenks – maybe even Mosley himself!

“Whoever it is, I wish ‘ed get a bleedin’ move on!” Riley muttered.

“They like to keep us hangin’ abaht,” replied his neighbour, ‘Monkey’ Harris, astride his own black steed. “Y’know – get us all in a two-and-eight. Make’s ‘em feel big dunnit?”

Riley huffed in reply, wondering how, years after first stepping out in his uniform as a young tearaway and facing a crowd of baying lefties, he could still feel nervous as a trooper in Mosley’s cavalry. Surely all those nights patrolling the estuary, riding down protestors in Hyde Park and skirmishing along the front line would have hardened his nerve more than this?

“Oi oi, look sharp!” Harris hissed.

Riley watched, butterflies wheeling, as a black Roller had pulled up in front of them, the back door pulled open by some lackey to allow some high-ranking nob – all medals and sash - to climb stiffly out.

He nodded almost casually to the stiff row of mounted troops before him. “Gentlemen,” he said, his voice as hard as his gaze, “I am Baron Foy, and as of this moment you are under my command.”

The line of cavalry rippled a little.

“Tomorrow you will leave the comfort and civilisation of the capital and join the Three Counties Legion on campaign in the provinces. Herefordshire to be precise – a place you will have never heard of, but a place that you will soon learn to hate. Use that hate gentlemen, for you will need it.”

“In honour of the sacrifice you are about to make, I have been authorised by the Prime Minister to bestow upon you an honorary name of my choosing – the Bethnal Green Auxiliary Mounted Rifles being a bit of a mouthful, is it not?”

“Therefore I have devised an honorific that reflects both your magnificent black steeds and your own steely determination. From henceforth you will be known as…”

He paused for effect.

“The Iron Hooves!”

“Iron ‘oofs!?” Harris coughed, “Gaw’ blimey!”

These figures are Crusader Miniatures WW2 German cavalry, and I have some Musketeer BUF cavalry waiting to join them once they’re undercoated.

On a completely different note, I’d like to point out an amazing bit of scratchbuilding, currently in the ‘How To’ section of the Lead-Adventure Forum.

Mark, AKA Tin Shed Gamer, has built a steam traction engine entirely out of cardboard and superglue! His efforts can be followed here.

Mark reckons that it’s something I could easily build, although I respectfully disagree! As a compromise I have agreed to have a crack at a (hopefully) simpler model – an armoured traction engine similar to that employed in the Boer War:-

Watch this space!