Monday, 31 March 2014

Last Week's Interesting Obits

A bit late this time (Yes, Amos - they are very late), for which I apologise.

Peter Oakley (d. 23 Mar 2014)
OAP vlogger
Daily Telegraph obit 25 Mar 2014

Capt Jerry Roberts (d. 25 Mar 2014)
Bletchley Park code-breaker 
Daily Telegraph obit 27 Mar 2014
Independent obit 27 Mar 2014
Guardian obit 31 Mar 2014

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Paint Table Saturday (Sort Of)

Not really a Paint Table Saturday today.  Partly this is because I haven't done any painting since last week, but mainly because the Paint Table has been relocated from its winter quarters and is in need of re-organisation.

Monday, 24 March 2014


A couple of things have coincided to bring this post.  First is an article I read in the local paper about 'shelfies', the second is a post by Joppy over on Steam, Steel and Torpedoes where he does just that.

Ever one to spot the latest trend, I present you these, my bookshelves...

I wish...

No, here we are...

Fiction A-L (somehow I've lost the other photos from this room...)
Misc stuff
Mainly The Wife's

And now My Shame...

Naval and Maritime
Mainly Exploration
Ref and Military

 And for bedtime...

The to-read pile (1)
The to-read pile (2)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

This Week's Obits of Interest

This week we have some wonderful eccentricity and a tale full of interest to those wargamers out there who like to run Alternate WWII or VBCW...

Clarissa Dickson Wright (d. 15 Mar 2014)
Cook and eccentric

Bob Millard (d. 15 Mar 2014)
Wartime 'auxilier'

Mike Parker (d. 23 Feb 2014)
Font designer

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Analogue Painting Challenge Overview

First, I need to add my voice to the praises for Curt.  Despite the fact that there were 60 challengers (more than twice last year's figure) he managed to run a tight ship with prompt updates and scores, even for the bonus rounds.  In addition, he managed to do some pretty cool painting!

Secondly, the rest of the gang need to be mentioned.  The quality of the submissions was outstanding and inspiring; often amusing and wonderfully varied in subject matter.  But more importantly, the spirit in which the Challenge was conducted was unfailingly good-natured (even during the blip that was 'Spidergate').  No submission was made without being welcomed by a host of compliments.  Even that supposed home of banter and 'badger'-baiting, the Facebook Group, didn't have any unpleasantness:  I'm glad to see that the group will continue.

My reflections...

Despite the Challenge being based on quantity rather than quality, I was a little apprehensive in deciding to join it.  For the reasons indicated above, I need not have worried.  It was a blast, and I enjoyed every minute!

I'm not sure if my painting has improved any, but the experience and support from my fellow challengers (and you, dear readers!) has certainly boosted my confidence in my abilities.  I will never match some of the high-fliers, but I'm perfectly happy with where I am and where I'm going.

I certainly hope to be able to take part again.  Perhaps I'll go for 1K!

The numbers thing...

My target was 500 points (which was a stab in the dark).  In the end I reached 829 and was placed 27th on the table.  I didn't go in it for the points, but it's pleasing to reach such respectable figures - of course I got a great fillip (350 points) from meeting a personal goal of entering all the bonus rounds.

So What Did I Paint?

No grand plans or spreadsheets for me!  I had a vague idea of what I wanted to paint, and I'd thought about the different bonus rounds, but mainly it was just what I fancied.  Things were mainly painted in the order they were submitted, if you want to imagine a progression.

Click on the links for my description and more pics...

Paint Table Saturday

I must find a new way of introducing Paint Table Saturdays, but it's that time of the week again.  As ever, there's a list of participants on Sofie's blog.

On my table today are a few of the things I didn't get in to the Painting Challenge before it closed - notably some 54mm Zulus and some Old West figures.  There's also a flier I'm putting together out of oddments: we'll see if it turns out or not.

I would have got five of the Zulus in for the Challenge if it wasn't for a last minute disagreement with The Wife over the colour scheme (and I didn't want to be rushing things in to chase points).  I'll do a review of my Challenge tomorrow.

Perhaps next week I will have opened the primary painting station (in the Shed of Delights).  We'll see..

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Analogue Painting Challenge: Last Stand Round

Well, this year's Analogue Painting Challenge is over...  Whoof!  I'll post my reflections on it later in the week, but it's been a blast.

When I read that the final bonus round was going to be 'Last Stand', I knew that I was going to have a go at the Perrys' Death of Gordon Vignette.  I added it to my Christmas list, and was fortunate enough to have it bought for me by My Lovely Wife.  

The exact circumstances of Gordon's death aren't clear (except that his severed head was put on display), but a version has been fixed in the general imagination by the George William Joy 1893 painting, a scene copied in the 1966 film 'Khartoum' in which Gordon was famously, and implausibly, played by Charlton Heston.  

It's this image that the Perrys have used for their set-piece, albeit with only four figures.  From the beginning I know I wanted to catch the sense of Gordon standing alone in the face of an overwhelming tide of humanity.  To that end, I chose to mount the staircase right at the back of the base (a drinks coaster from an old training course) in order to give a fair amount of foreground.

My idea was to fill this space with Mahdists, and I accordingly bought a bought of Perrys' plastic Ansars (a good buy - 40 figures for £20.00).

But first I worked on the man himself...

And the sun came out!

Adding the mob worked rather well, I thought, and I was pleased with my first attempt at a vignette (although The Wife pointed out that the mob looks as if it came in a 'crocodile', two-by-two).

A Gordon's eye view

On the other hand...

Knowing that Michael Awdry was also going to submit Gordon's Last Stand, and knowing I was going to be outclassed, I gently teased him about how he was going to make his different (dinosaurs and zombies were mentioned).  This is the result...

The product of a wonderfully twisted mind.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Wednesday Welcome

A warm welcome to new follower Peter Douglas.

I can't see a blog for you Peter, but if you have one, let me know and I'll link to it.


Well, as you will see in the comments below, Peter is behind the Single Handed Admiral, which enables me to include a picture

The most famous single handed admiral is Lord Nelson, but this is John Pascoe Grenfell, who took the track favoured by several RN officers in the disappointingly peaceful 1820s and sold his services to South Americans.

Now the painting challenge is over, I must do some more biogs of admirals...

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Are You a Proper Wargamer?

Can't be bothered with all the questions (good God though, even Gary's had a go!).  The answer is

Apparently not.
You got a problem with how I'm doing things pal?

Meanwhile, the table layout is out for Diceni.  The organisers are very apologetic, but the free table they've given to Bloggers for Charity isn't in the main area, but 'the Cosplay Zone'

Not a problem for us...

...we'll be stuck in a side-room with these weirdos.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Paint Table Saturday

It's Paint Table Saturday again - as usual, you'll find who's contributing by going over to Sofie's blog.

On the table this week is my entry for the Last Stand round in the Analogue Painting Challenge.  I'm going to have to put some work in this afternoon if it's going to be finished in time.  Also started are some 54mm Zulus to complement the British troops I did a little while ago.

After that?  I've got some Old West figures I want to get done before the end of the Challenge.  I've still got the entry fee figure to do as well...

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The Perils of Running With Scissors...


Don't Keep the Flesh-Eating Virus in the Fridge Next to the Milk...


Did You Remember the Lead Shielding, Igor?

My latest submission to the Analogue Painting Challenge was billed as Prof Morrison before and after The Incident.

I'm pleased to say that it's done it's job and tickled a few funny-bones.  Do go across to the Challenge page and read the comments.  When I submitted it, Curt suggested that a rear-view mirror would be an good addition to the 'bot!  There was some question as to what the red globe is:  The Wife suggests that he's supporting Red Nose Day.

The Before figure is 'Dr Curfew' from Artizan's Thrilling Tales range. The idea of having him as a villain rather than as kindly old scientist appeals to me, but of course he could be either.

I do like the Thrilling Tales range more and more with each figure I paint, and I'm regretting not getting their New Year offer of a goody-bag of random figures for £20.00 - but I just didn't have the spare cash after Christmas :-(

The brain-'bot is the 'Brain in jar on tracks' from Black Cat Bases and was a I've-got-to-have-one-of those! purchase along with a few of their other little 'bots.  It's a shame that Black Cat are no longer honouring their orders as they've got some nice weird stuff I'd like to get in.

After taking the photos I dropped the 'bot and had to get the superglue out yet again!!!
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