Sunday, 17 January 2016

Odds & Sods

Magnets strong enough to hold even the heaviest figure.

I've been painting, but I don't have a lot to show, as in progress is being made that probably can't be seen from one photograph.  In short, more colours on the models but I still have a way to go to finish them.

However, I did some necessary upgrading on the magnets that I use on my corks to hold said models.  I know it isn't much, but it was still work to get them done, driven by the fact that one of the heavier models fell off and got damaged.  That sucked.

I've also run up a chassis for my future M2184 HUHMMT truck, but stopped working on it for the time being, because I want to finish painting some mecha.  See, a circular process of not getting much done by not completing any one project in a timely manner.  Ha!

Saturday, 9 January 2016


I'm shooting 16lbs, which is way low, but I'm a beginner, hence the angle to reach the butt that was set at 40 yards.  I had to contend with resetting the sight twice, which changes the angle of the bow, and having to contend with four arrows with bad fletchings (including two where the fletches fell off as I fired), but my new GapFit wicking top kept me warm on the field (11 degrees C).  My hand needs to be under my chin, which is why I was having difficulty making the range.

No this is not me doing a new period as such, though I suppose at a stretch it could be considered 1:1 scale live action, but me noodling on about my archery lessons.

I've just completed week four, though I've been five times one of the classes was cancelled due to high winds, and I have another two training sessions to finish before I can become a member of the Greenwood Osterley Archers Club.  I still have a long way to go before I'm anything like competent, but hopefully, I will be classified as safe to practice when I finish my course, which will happen as long as I don't do anything egregious.

So, my observations on shooting arrows.

Wind is a thing.  Movement of the target would be even more of a thing, and if I ever do a wargame with archers I shall be taking a long, hard look at the assumptions of the rules, because while historical records are a great resources there's a practical difference between maximum range and maximum effective range.  In short archery is either mass fire for area effect or close in (under a hundred yards) direct fire shooting, and the two are not the same.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year & All That Jazz

The Star Wars: X-Wing Empire models I acquired over the course of the year (click to enlarge).

This now marks the beginning of the seventh year of blogging and it has been a difficult one for me; a year where I haven't been able to post as much as I would like because I've not been doing much painting for the last six months.  I have a lot of things I intend to post but it means I must finish painting models and taking pictures, which I've singularly failed to do.

This has been down to two real life concerns.

The first a lingering injury in my right wrist that flared up after bad sprain and I was diagnosed with tenosynovitis.  Currently, I'm wearing a wrist brace.  It may also signify a flare up of rheumatoid arthritis or repetitive strain injury from typing. Whatever the cause it's a bad thing, but mustn't grumble, life could be worse.  The second concern is my work.  I'm writing and after three years I need to complete at least one of the novels and try to sell it.  This has caused me to fret a lot about work and not take time off to do hobbies.  On my other blog I've totaled up this years word count and surprised myself by how much I've done.

Still, all play and no fun makes for a dull life.

So, the plan is to do more hobby stuff.  This will include wargaming but also archery, which will get me out of the flat and talking to people who are not inside my head.  It will be good for me.  Looking at what I've blogged, I see a number of posts about BattleTech, Ogre/GEV, and Heavy Gear, which is not that surprising given my predilections.  Mustn't forget to mention Star Wars: X-Wing either, my recent passion.  The only games show I went to this year was Salute and afterwards I reported on my visit to see HMS Defender that was a lot of fun.

So, having seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens (review to come at the end of January to give everyone a chance to watch and not reveal spoilers), and after listening to the wonderful soundtrack from the movie, I've relaxed a bit and sat down at my workbench.  First thing I did was dust everything.  Then I started painting, and while I've nothing finished to show, I can report that paint has been applied and progress is being made.

At the end of the day it's all about doing stuff you enjoy.

That just leaves me to say thank you all for coming and reading my blog and leaving comments.  It's what makes blogging worthwhile.  Finally, I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Post Xmas Stuffing


Ah, Xmas day chillaxing while listening to Top of the Pops followed by The Queens speech, which officially means something as I would have chewed my leg off if I could've when young to avoid listening to her, and afterwards we saw the Dr Who Xmas Special that was wonderful.

This Xmas I received a bunch of stuff.

This years theme was accessories for archery: shooting glasses to replace the Oakley's I managed to lose during my first weeks training course, a stringer so I can put the string on my bow, a stand for said aforementioned bow, and a GapFit top that's all technical, as in wicks sweat.

Being a fan of John Williams music I also got the Star Wars: The Force Awakens OST which will provide me with hours of listening entertainment.  All rounded off with a copy of the new Mad Max film and both seasons of Dark Angel.  To say the least, I've been spoiled by my partner once more, and wonder what I've done to deserve her? 

Not much wargaming stuff in my Xmas haul but there's the Heavy Gear KickStarter due next year to look forward too, and if I can sell my novel I may feel able to justify spending time painting some miniatures.

So, that just leaves me to hope you all got things you wanted, and had a good time over the holiday period.  See you in the New Year.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Xmas for 2015


Running late, having been preparing Brussels Sprouts and having a bath amongst other things like last minute shopping for Port, a nice bottle of red wine for tonight, and ingredients for stuffing the goose tomorrow.  Alas, alack still no progress on the painting things front but my excuse is I've been busy, and not just with Xmas stuff, but with work that must come first.

Still, next year there's hope for new start, and awakening of painting if you like, and yes I've seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  No spoilers from me.  My review: unless you're a miserable old grognard I imagine you'll enjoy it.

So have a good one and as always thank you for reading the blog.

Saturday, 28 November 2015


The Oshkosh HEMTT-LHS prototype.
In an effort to get my wargaming mojo back, which seems to have gone walkabout of late, I decided that I need to work on something.  Me being me, rather than restart one of my current projects, I chose instead to work on something different.

As those who come and read here regularly know I'm currently obsessed with writing several novels set in  the near future.  In the second and third novels my hero leads a mission off-world an I took my inspiration from the current US military HEMMTs.  And there are lots of variants.

In my novel the team uses an Oshkosh M2184, a Heavy Utility High-Mobility Tactical Truck (HUHMTT) which carries palletized loads in standard ISO shipping containers with a palletized loading system.

Now I want a model.

The metal M977 actually looks OK next to my models but the castings are rough.  The resin version is nice but a bit too dainty.
So I bought a QRF M977 which is a 15mm model.  My Heavy Gear combat armour suit conversions are nominally 12mm but because it's SF, where scale is relative to time and space (BTW that's a joke) I thought being a bit larger wouldn't matter.  However, I was less than impressed with the quality of the casting and put it to one side to consider my options.  Then I went bought a resin Kami de Korokoro M997 from Hobby Japan which is nicely cast but true 1/144th scale and just looks a bit too small next to my combat armour suits.

The M977 metal and resin chassis next to some Takara VOTOMS vehicles.

However, I have a bunch of Takara vehicles that came with the VOTOMS I bought a long time ago and I'm looking at making something up using parts from them.  So my plan is to play around with bits of plastic that I have to hand and see what I can come up with.  As the advertising people say, Watch This Space!

Finally, I hope that all my American readers had a good Thanksgiving day, got some bargains in the black Friday sales and generally had a good time.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Airfix Wargame for 2016


For those of us of a certain age Airfix was a thing.  They made kits of what seemed like everything and anything, ranging from tractors and sailing ships through to aircraft and tanks.  And of course plastic toy soldiers in many sizes.

I just found out they are now entering the wargame market with their own set of rules.  How cool is that?  Ice cool!  Link for more details.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Saturday's News

Saturday is the day I back up my work for the week.  Depending on how much work I've done this can range from ten minutes to about half an hour of fiddling around copying files before starting the Time Machine app on my Mac.  Then I look at my email  and the news.

Today I was interrupted by my partner telling me about what happened in France.

I'm reminded of a quote by Clausewitz, "War is not merely a political act but a real political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse, a carrying out of the same by other means."

However, wars that can't be won or make things worse are pointless.  All this does is tend to radicalize people into committing more acts of violence.  At the end of the day it will stop when people decide to sit down and talk.  Until then all we can do is be patient with something that is outside of our control.  The writer's Peter Harness and Steven Moffat of Dr Who Zygon Inversion episode said it better last week better than I can.
"So, let me ask you a question about this brave new world of yours.  When you’ve killed all the bad guys, and it’s all perfect and just and fair, when you have finally got it exactly the way you want it, what are you going to do with the people like you?  The troublemakers.  How are you going to protect your glorious revolution from the next one?"
Britain has a special relationship with France and we often make jokes about Agincourt, Waterloo etc but what has happened there is something we share and today we stand together with the people of France.

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