Tuesday, 29 March 2016

International Carrot Day

Did you all know that 4 April was International Carrot Day?

I didn't, until I read in the local paper that a nearby animal sanctuary has set up drop-off points so that well-wishers can donate carrots as special healthy treats for the horses and donkeys (apparently they don't have whippets).

What next, eh?

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Paint Table Saturday

It's a long time since I posted a Paint Table Saturday.

Technically, I've not been doing any painting (though there's still time this evening).  I've had a big varnishing session on stuff I've done during the painting challenge.  I've also been looking through those things I've already primed.

On the table there are some ghouls/zombies and part of the Dalek mountain.

Friday, 25 March 2016

AHPC Group Photo

So, here's what I achieved during the painting challenge (395 points worth)

Frostgrave to the left, Dr Who to the right and back; others in the middle

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Fantasy Thursday #2

Admin first.  I've changed the name of this series of posts from 'Frostgrave Fursday' to 'Fantasy Thursday'  as I think it will cause less confusion.*

* Not that that's a given though - did anyone else see the title of the post on Wargames News and Terrain last week 'X Stocking Fantasy Figures' and momentarily think the figures were 'Stocking Fantasies'?

Earlier in the month I mentioned a couple of figures I'd bought in a sale, thinking that they were from the same manufacturer as the various other wizards I'd painted up for Frostgrave.  I was mistaken - the first figures were from Midlam Miniatures and the new ones from Otherworld Miniatures.   Well I've now painted them up.  In truth, I much prefer them to the Midlams - they have more character and are more dynamic.  Of course you makes your choice and pays your money: Midlam's figures are £2.00 each, whereas Otherworld's are £5.00.  I have to think long and hard before spending a fiver on a figure.


I'm quite taken with the dwarf and how he turned out.  He's made me think that I might dig out the fabulous Oathsworn dwarves and haflings from last year's Kickstarter.  Why shouldn't they get some of the Frostgrave booty?

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Dr Who Wednesday #10

Noted on the 'Net


As evidenced over several Dr Who Wednesdays since November, the main (and unplanned) theme of my entries to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge has been Dr Who - and great fun it's been too!  I'd like to thank those of you who've given me support both here and on the Challenge pages: it's been very gratifying to find others getting pleasure from my efforts.

It therefore seemed fitting that for my final submission to the Challenge I should present the Man Himself.*

*As someone said 'The Proper Doctor!'

Unlike my other recent efforts he's not from Black Tree Design, but from Crooked Dice.  They're pricier, but I think that when it comes to likenesses they are much better.  Indeed, while painting him I found myself wondering whether he looked more like Jon or Sean Pertwee!  They've certainly caught the dandy man-of-action in his dynamic pose.*

* In my APC submission I mentioned Venusian Ju-Jitsu.  I didn't mention my old English teacher who insisted that the proper adjective should be Venereal - he did admit though that writing stories about Cosmonauts coming back to Earth with Venereal disease might cause some confusion.  Our English lessons were fun!  As one of the other teachers said "If you lads could get O-Levels in bullshit and tall stories, you'd be alright." 

I had intended to have him in a black cape (as in the banner above), but The Wife* insisted on something a little more tweedy.  Needless to say, I didn't bother with the check!**

*Who is of the Third Doctor generation.
** It is in fact Khaki Grey with black wash.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016


As I'm sure most readers of this blog will know, the Sixth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge drew to a busy close some 18 hours ago.  Between us 75 contributing participants submitted 75.450 points-worth of figures.*  Apparently, there were some forty-odd submissions in the last 24 hours alone.  Three of them were mine, and this week I'll be posting them here for those of you who lost them in the blizzard!

*395 of those were mine.  I didn't reach my 600 point target, but am pleased with the result and had a lot of fun doing it.

One of the traditions of the challenge is that we pay an entry fee by painting and sending a figure representing the year's theme to Curt, the Challenge organiser.*  This year's theme being Risk takers and Gamblers, I thought the following wise guy was appropriate.

*He in turn, generously donates $5.00 to the SPCA for each figure received.

He's BigT, a 28mm resin figure by Pigeon Guard Games I won last April.  Given that the figure was intended for Curt I really shouldn't have invested him with a back-story, but I couldn't help myself.  

I saw him as a Miami Beach bail bondsman who gambled that those small-time criminals he paid bail for would turn up to court.*  If not, well, he became the risk-taker who had to hunt them down.  That was until Z-Day, of course, when his talents found a new avenue...  Curt seemed to approve!

* 'Jackie Brown' anybody?

Monday, 21 March 2016

This Week's Obits of Interest

Sylvia Anderson (d. 15 Mar 2016)
Co-creator of Thunderbirds

Asa Briggs, Lord Briggs (d. 15 Mar 2016)
Bletchley Park veteran and Historian

Kim Siddorn (d. 25 Dec 2015)
Medieval Re-enactor

The other Obits of Interest can be found here.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The Competition Winners

One of our winners celebrates with a bottle of champagne and the world's
largest pain au chocolat
Yes, congratulations are in order.  I've drawn the winners for my 600th Post Competition.  If your name has been drawn, drop me a note with your address at  diplomatist2<AT>gmail<DOT>com.

Special Prize - Victorian Gothic books to Peter Douglas.

Prize 1 - Armageddon book to Fran

Prize 2 - British Battles to Jonathan Freitag

Prize 3 - Various pamphlets to Chris Stoesen.

Prizes 4, 5 and 6 - no takers!

Prize 7 - Hereward the Wake - as this was a popular one and I got several free at the Heward Wargames Show I drew two names - Joakim Strom and Michael Mills.

Prize 8 - Landrover kit to Conrad Kinch.

Prize 9 - Airplane kits to brownk29

Prize 10 - Spitfire kit to The Comoran

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Terrain Tuesday #14

A couple of useful links to start with.

  • First, Solo Wargaming in the UK had a useful post sharing some pics of some Victorian buildings local to him.  This kind of post is always useful - in this case especially for those of you not in the UK who aren't use to our vernacular architecture.  
  • Secondly, Brian at RayGun Gothic had a post showing WIP on some fields he's making.  Following the links he provides leads to some very useful (but sadly dormant) sites with terrain tutorials.  I'm very tempted to follow this method to create some Lost World swamps - perhaps later in the year when I can use the Shed of Delights for mucky jobs.

In Other News

I bought a rock.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Posts Mean Prizes! The 600th Version

I'm often slightly surprised to see my 200th Post Giveaway from July 2013 feature in my most popular post roll*.  I don't know if the allure is the title or the Star Trek picture - one or the other must be pulling in the punters.

*So far it's have 2371 hits, making it my second most popular post to date.

This is even more surprising as at the moment there is a current giveaway still open.  Yes!  You still have time to sign up for the 600th Post Giveaway!  Go forth and do so!

In related news. Michael Awdry is celebrating the 5th Anniversary of starting his excellent ( but misnamed) 28mm Victorian Warfare blog with a giveaway.  Easy to enter and great prizes.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Frostgrave Fursday #1

It had been my intention to use the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge to concentrate on building up a couple of Frostgrave warbands and a compliment of baddies and beasties for them to tackle.  But we've got within sight of the end and not a Frostgrave figure to be seen from me!

Well, better late than never!

First up are the spell fodder...

Who would hire this rabble?
As some of you will instantly recognise these are from Northstar's sprue of Frostgrave soldiers (though I can't swear there's not some cultist thrown in there).  As many have already said, this is a very nice pack, with some wonderful detail and character.

I've decided that this jovial chap was a mass murderer before
deciding to chance his luck in Felstad

The spellcasters on the other hand are from Midlam Miniatures.  They're sold as suitable for 28mm games, but some might find them a little small.*

*At 25mm they're the weedy academic wizards, compared to the beefy mercenaries.

The rest of the group call the apprentice 'Smiler' when the
spellcasters aren't around.

The bases are my usual 2p pieces with Vallejo Sandy Paste.  With the soldiers I added some sprue off-cuts to represent fallen masonry.  Then various grass and heather tufts (a mix of Tajima and some Gamers' Grass I got with my last order from Bad Squiddo - I think the former are much better value for money and will go with them again).

I haven't attempted to make the wizards school-specific, preferring to have a pool of figures I can choose from when I play.  Equally, I've not been too particular about what arms and equipment the soldiers have - today's Thug might be tomorrow's Thief. 

Sadly, other than Smiler and The Butcher of Harvey's Grove, these haven't inspired me to do any detailed back-story.  Perhaps that'll come when I start creating the stat sheets and playing with them.  And perhaps best not to get too attached to the Dispensables anyway...

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Dr Who Wednesday #9

When I painted the Ice Warriors and submitted them the the Analogue Painting Challenge, I couldn't face doing the Ice Lords (their officer caste)* and left them for another week.  

*How do all you World War types mange with all those shades of greens and grays?

Well here they are.

To be fair to Black Tree Design their monotonous green and lack of features isn't their fault - that's how Martin Baugh designed them for the BBC back in 1967 - fiberglass helmets and green wellies and all.  The towel is down to me - and much comment it has generated on the Challenge website!

I bought these figures second-hand, and it wasn't until I got them unpacked that I realised that the previous owner had done some conversion work to them - the figure above on the right has had new arms and some embellishment to his helmet, whereas the figure on the left has had his belt removed.   Righty has been designated the Grand Marshal.  For such small mercies, I am grateful. 

Warriors Reunited

Friday, 4 March 2016

Frostgrave Adventurers

Annie over at Bad Squiddo Games used her FaceBook group to announce a flash sale on Otherworld Miniatures adventurers the other day (stock she'd not got around to putting on the website, and was getting underfoot).  I've currently got five of their figures on the painting table and found them nicely detailed, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to add to the recruiting pool for warbands.

Accordingly, I present a Dwarven Cleric and a spell-caster  Two very nice figures which came with Annie's customarily speedy service and a complementary teabag.  Some will spot the resemblance between the wizard (who comes complete with a bandoleer of potions) and Nicol Williamson.

Giveaway Reminder

Don't forget to sign up for the 600 Post Giveaway - there will be draws for all of the prizes and some haven't had any takers yet!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

And There Are Prizes!!!

As promised, I'm marking my 600th blog post with prizes (partly because I never got around to running a giveaway for my 500th).

The rules are simple:-

  • Each of the prizes below will be given away by drawing names on 15 March 2016.
  • To enter you have to be a follower of the blog and post a comment on this post saying which prizes you would be interested in.
  • The prizes will be drawn in the order they are listed below.  No one will win more than one prize, so the winner's name will be removed from subsequent draws (but see below).
  • The memorial prize is special.  Therefore the winner can also be considered for other prizes.
  • Merely for my own interest, and to butter me up, I'd like to know what you enjoy most about the blog, or what your favorite post has been.
Special Prize

In my mind I think of this one as the Robert Audin memorial prize.  These four books represent Victorian gothic horror, and I'd like them to go to someone who'd get real inspiration from them - either for their own writing or for gaming.

Other Prizes

Prize 1 - basically a picture book - images evocative of the UK's role in the Cold War.

Prize 2 - An English Heritage book - full of colour pictures of sites and re-enactors of various battles.

Prize 3 - Booklets that might be of interest, inc a Minifigs catalogue from  the 70s or 80s.  The Flags and Standards of the Napoleonic Wars is water damaged, but still useable.

Prize 4 - Booklets on WWII aviation

Prize 5 - Military museum guides.

Prize 6 - Vehicles (28mm for scale only).

Prize 7 - A Gripping Beast Hereward the Wake figure (white metal, 28mm).

Prize 8 - A 1:76 Landrover kit.

Prize 9 - A Hawker P.1127 and a Sea Hawk kit.

Prize 10 - A 1:72 Spitfire kit.

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