Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

It has been another disappointing year with my hobby as for two years now I have failed to paint any completed units or figures.
I am still without a job and the job hunt is not going well at all. Still I can relax for a while until the New Year when my job hunting will restart. 
So with this festive period I hope to pick up the brush and finish off the figures that are almost done.

Hopefully I will complete the task in hand and put some photos up to show you how I am getting on.

I would like to thank my eight followers and for all of you around the world who takes a look now and then. I know that I have not posted much over the year but hope that next year to correct this.

So until then may I wish you all and your families a very
Happy Christmas

Monday, 17 November 2014

Napoleons Hat

Picture from the BBC website

At the weekend, just gone, over 1,000 of the Emperor Napoleons personal items were sold in an auction in Paris. I found this out in one of today’s newspapers.
The items where from a collection belonging to the royal family of Monaco and were sold to raise funds for restoration work for their palace.
One of the items was Napoleons hat, given to his veterinarian by Napoleon after the battle of Marengo in Italy 1800. The hat has not been worn since it was given to him as a gift. It is said that he had worn 120 similar hats during his career but only 19 of the two-pointed hats have survived. He wore his hats sideways to stand out from the other officers in his army.
Wellington said at Waterloo that “Napoleons hat is worth 40, 000 men” but it was actually worth 1.5 million and brought by a South Korean.
It was the first Napoleon hat to be auctioned since 1968.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Birthday and over 11000 hits!

It was my Birthday last weekend and next year will be a big one. So although I have not done much over the last two years in the way for wargaming, I did manage to go to SELWG this year as you can see from my last post.
Luckily I took my partner as she likes to buy my Birthday and sometimes Christmas presents as well, so as there was not much in the way of buying things at SELWG,  I knew what my partner had brought me as these were the only items I liked.

They both came from S&A Scenics trade stand and they were the Town Templates (TT1000) and Wide Road (RD3000).
The town templates are 2” wide cobble roads really on MDF 2mm bases. There are nine pieces in a pack and they do look really good.
The wide road of which you get 60 inches of road, I was a bit of a disappointed when I opened the packet up and it reviled that the roads were made out of felt backing with flexible brown paint and grit paint on top. (A picture from their website)

I can see myself changing these as they look too plain. It needs some weeds down the outside edges and middle of the road, with a few wheel racks thrown in. I did take a look at their website but they do not make much at the moment. Still in a way I am happy with my presents but they need a bit of work doing to them. 

I see today that I have had over 11000 hits on this blog that has been as slow as a snail over the last couple of years in producing new postings. So I would like to thank you all for looking now and then and to my eight followers that I have. I do have quite a bit to add to this blog so do keep looking. I shall now go a celebrate with a nice cup of tea.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

SELWG 14 Report

Well the day had started very dull with a little chill in the air as I slowly walked down to the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre to the SELWG Wargaming Show. It was that time of year again for my only wargaming show that I go too.
Arriving at the doors at about 11 am the price of entry fee remained at £6 but I also had with me my partner and one of my granddaughters. So I purchased a family ticket for £10 which saved me a bit of cash. Once getting my ticket and the bag with the show guide in side, which did not have many pages in just the floor plan in now, I moved on.

Being that I did not have much money on me due to my situation and that I had a very sort shopping list, I was really looking forward to this as it gave me a break from job hunting.
The top hall seemed a little empty which started alarm bells ring and when we got round to the Bring & Buy stand it was rammed packed. So I came back to this later.

First on my visit around the trade stands I went to Harfields as they do a lot of second hand plastic figures, it’s were I brought a bag of Airfix British Infantry last year. To my surprise there was a lot of Napoleonic Airfix figures not only in bags but in unopened boxes and not at a bad price either. But I have all that I want at the moment until I start painting at least.
So after a quick look around the top hall, it was down the stairs to the main hall. This was well empty and in the middle of the hall was a big empty space for either wargaming clubs or traders that had not turned up.

So going around the trade stands I noticed that some of the big companies were not present. 4 Ground laser buildings did not attend which was a great shame but there were plenty of traders selling their kits. The Waterloo farm of La Haye Sainte in 28mm looked fantastic but at £275 it was out of my reach. I hope that this will be done in 20mm. Warbase again did not attend so as I wanted some more bases I went to Colonel Bills and found some of theirs.

With the clubs, it seems that there was not much to look at although a few caught my eye. Newbury & Reading Wargaming Society called “The Defence of France” was just one of two Napoleonic games to see.

The best wargame this year for me was from the Deal Wargames Society with their 15mm “Vietnam” game. Not much was moving but the display was great. 

The one participation game that caught my eye was from the Crawley Wargames Club with their “Chariot Race” which those who took part in had great fun.
In all the show was a great disappointment to me with empty spaces and with the attendance down, plenty of room to move around in. I left the show at 1 pm. With the anniversary of Waterloo next year, will people’s interest come back? I hope so.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Waterloo's Bicentenary has already started

While I was away last weekend I found a Waterstone Book shop and decided to venture in just to take a look to see if any new Napoleonic books had been printed. To my surprise there were two books on offer.
First there was a book from the bestselling historical novelist Bernard Cornwell  titled Waterloo, Four Days, Three armies. This is the first non-fiction work that I know of, that Bernard has written as he is well know for his Sharpe novels. The book takes us through the leading days up to 18th June where we then have a hour by hour account of that fateful day.
The second book was called 24 Hours at Waterloo by Robert Kershaw. This book just deals with one 24 hour period of the 18th June.
Both books are full of pictures and maps with letters from both soldiers and officers at Waterloo.
Go and check these out, they could be a great addition to your book case.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Not Required?

I am sorry for the lack of posts on my blog this year as there has been a big change once again in my life. One of the words that I hate in the English dictionary is “REDUNDANT” 

Last Christmas there was a lot of redundancies happening in my work place and by the start of April this year it hit my department very hard as all six of us was made redundant. So by the end of April I was out of work and now I have now been made redundant three times in my life time.
Now with a very good redundancy pay with after 14 years loyal service, I thought that I would have a couple of months off work and try to enjoy life. Although I have not many years left to early retirement, I had not had any inkling to do so at this stage of my life.

I hoped to do the garden as it was coming up to summer, which I did and it has never looked so good. I went on Holiday for three weeks but not all at once. A bit of decorating to cheer the house up and to start up my painting of my little army men as it has been over a year since I have completed any regiments.
It looked like that I was going to have a lot of time on my hands, but in fact it has been the opposite. It’s not as if I am getting up out of bed late or staying up late at night, but you do intend to slow down in what you do. Although we have had a very good summer here in the UK, when you are out of work, you don’t enjoy it so much because at the back of your mind, you wonder if there is going to be another job for you out there and if not could you survive on your savings. 

It was not until late August that I started to looking for work and I found that my profession, which is publishing, it’s a dying career. So most of my time is now spent on the computer looking for jobs. Bang goes the theory that I could get on with my hobby and paint from sun up to sun down. I have applied for a few jobs, but am too old or too experienced in my field. 
So now we are coming to autumn and there is less work in the garden to do. So I have come to the decision to save a couple of days each week to paint up my armies.
Also to start looking after this blog from which I had really switched myself off from doing any work on it. I even missed the 10,000 mark which happened this year and I would like to thank all of you who have been looking regularly here waiting for something to happen. I have under a year now to get ready for the 200th anniversary of Waterloo. Although money is getting a bit tight, I am hoping to go to the SELWG show again this year. So I will be reporting on that as I always do. So wish me luck.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Better than EBay?

It has been very quiet on the wargaming front, so like many of us I like to look at all the other wargaming blogs that are around out there and see what they are up too.
I was lucky to stumble on a blog that was giving away FREE Napoleonic Airfix and Esci figures. There were boxes of British Infantry, which I have been collecting to add more British regiments to my Waterloo project, Scottish Infantry, British Hussars with French Infantry, Foot artillery and even French lancers. Could this be true? So a quick email to James Womack from USA, to put my name down on the list and YES it was true but I was next on the list.  

After a day or two, James emailed me back as the other person had dropped out as they did not want to pay for the p&p. Well that was good news to me.
The parcel arrived on Saturday when I was away and so I picked up the parcel yesterday. When I opened up the well packed box, the years rolled back as there were all in the old Airfix boxes filled with all these lovely figures. Remember when they had the little window at the back so you could see inside the box? 

So what did I have, well it was a very mixed box of figures. The first pile was the British Infantry which as I said, I was collecting last year. Found a good bag full at SELWG last year for a couple of quid. The first box I opened contained a total of 108 figures which works out to be over two box loads. The second box had 89 figures in them, so in all I have another three regiments to paint here. The Airfix Highlanders was next, but when the box was opened, only 22 figures in the box. Still I could make the 24th Blackwatch and the 92nd Gordon’s regiments even bigger? Next a very light weight box of French Old Guard. Only six figures in here including the Officer, Drummer and the two NCO’s.  Then I looked at the four Esci boxes of the French Lancers, only one of these had been opened but all the bits were there. Four boxes of Airfix Hussars came next and all full of figures. I counted a total of 84 troopers and all their horses with stands. French Foot Artillery came in two boxes, one full of horses and limbers with a few crew members while the next had all the guns and painted crew. In the very packed French Infantry box there were three box loads in here. Always very use full with other nations. The Prussian Landwehr box was again very light in weight and 29 figures including the Officer. The last box to open which had nothing to do with Napoleonic War, was bits and bobs of the old Airfix American Civil War Artillery crew and a couple of riders.
But in all this was a great find, a lot better than EBay. Thanks again James.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Happy New Year

May I first wish you all a very Happy New Year and all the very best for 2014.

I have added another two books to my collection and I would like to thank my family for the great presents this year.
First was the Charles Stewart Grant’s book, “Programmed Wargames Scenarios”. It’s the second book to Scenarios for Wargames which I received last year as a present but this one has more punch to the battles/scenario’s i.e. campaigns for Solo and mulitiplayer wargamers.
The book covers two parts, the first part has 10 attack and defence scenario’s and in part two we have 8 confrontations and all for different periods.

The second book which I had was the “Uniforms of Waterloo” by Philip Haythornwaite. This starts with a quick summery of the famous battle and then goes into the three armies at Waterloo with lovely colour plates of the uniforms. I know that a lot of Napoleonic wargamers like this book but after a quick flick through, Phil does say that this is what he thinks that the Regiments were wearing on that day and I see that he has the French cavalry Carabiniers down with white coats? But again he said that the French uniforms are more difficult to say what they were wearing as Napoleon had little time to change all of the units uniforms in time for the campaign.

So we start a New Year and I hope that I will get my Painting hat on and paint more than I ever have over the last five years. So keep an eye out as 2015 is now not that far away.