Sunday 30 December 2012

Book of the Month

The Vanished Army by Tim Carew, initially published back in 1964. This covers the British Expeditionary Force to France and Belgium in 1914, and is a marvelous portrait of the end of the old regular army told in a very readable fashion from stories of the ordinary privates called back from reserve to those of the people at the top. It covers the period from a pre-war overview of the army, through mobilisation and deployment in France, ending in November 1914. Thoroughly reccommended if you can get hold of a copy.

Plans, Projects and Resolutions

I've been running this blog for just over a year now, and decided that it is time I put some organisation into it, rather than let it run in the desultory way it has been doing. Looking at the posts it has been a bit of a mish-mash, and needs a tidy up, so I'm thinking, over the next few months, of re-organizing the way it works. This will take the form of setting up new pages for the various projects in hand, and possibly bringing the Grand Duchy of Humperstein blog back to the fold, rather than seperate as it is at the moment. This is because the 28mm figures used will be the same figures I shall use in the larger actions of my Heptarchy actions, though I still intend to keep the 54mm units going for that project. Also, I have a half formed idea for an 18th century 'Welsh Wars of Independence' using 30mm figures from people like Minden, Fife and Drum and Tradition. Unfortunately I succumbed to temptation and a battalion of Fife and Drum Americans in hunting shirts are sitting at the back of the Metal Mountain waiting to be transformed into a Welsh 'woodsmans battalion'when I can get round to it.

As far as I can see, apart from the 30mm stuff, I have enough figures to make up two armies, one is based on the Foundry British Crimean army, while the second is a disparate collection of troops varying from Napoleonic Brunswickers through Spanish Carlist wars, American/Mexican wars and Italian Unification forces. These will be allocated to the various countries that need them, and I'm currently working on an Order of Battle for them in order to sort out a painting roster. Perhaps by the middle of the year I can have a battle?

One resolution is to change as much of the unpainted stock into finished units this year, and while most of the smaller figures will go away to be painted I shall try to get more of my own done. The figures won't be as good, but they will be my own work! I shall have to do some reorganisation of the garden shed to allow more room, but the railway will just have to be moved over, and the garage will have to become more of a workshop (machine tools, even small modelwork ones, take up room and create dust).

Another project I hope to accomplish involves our second bedroom. Previously occupied by our daughter, who is now ensconced in her own billet, this room is going to have a sofa-bed in it, as well as our bookcases and my 'study'. If I can, I want to make a small hinged game surface that I can put over the drop-leaf table that is there at present. The table is too small to support a game itself, but will take a larger surface overlaid.I'm hoping to make something about 6foot by 4foot using 2foot by 4foot pieces of ply.

I've been looking at the blog reading list of those I follow, and find it totals 93! These are not all military, as it covers model railways and woodworking as well, but still a lot. A quick check shows that I only follow about a dozen religiously, and some have not posted for months anyway (one has a last post 3 years ago). I usually check the dashboard for updates daily in order to keep up to date, though I don't always have time to drop a comment. Many thanks for those of you who have given me inspiration and encouragement over the last few months, hopefully you'll find my scribblings more interesting in the coming year.

A happy, healthy and prosperous 2013 to you all..

Thursday 20 December 2012

Happy Xmas to me!

A short pre-seasonal showing of a few items I treated myself to over the last few days. First up is a game I picked up for £2.50 at our local Hospice Charity shop while I was doing some relief cover for the sick manager. An old game I vaguely remember, though I never owned one. I really bought it for the board which will probably find some way of being used in my plans for the Heptarchy games.

Second is some poor photos of some figures from the Discworld stories of Terry Pratchett. While the website quoted them as 30mm, when they arrived I found them to be more of a 35mm average, with Death coming out at 45mm. This one will certainly find his way into my painting schedule, as he should be present, on a suitable basing, on every wargame table! I also have Otto Chreik, the Vampire photographer, Mustrum Ridcully, Lord Downey, the three flying Witches, and of course, the Patrician himself, Lord Vetinari. You can find full details of these and the others in the range, at

Well, I'm busy working on my resolutions for next years projects. How about you? Will they all get done, or even started?

Friday 7 December 2012

Christmas Greetings

Tomorrow (Saturday the 8th) is Christmas Day here chez Jopson. It has come early because our daughter and her fiance are off to spend the next two weeks in Thailand, so MrsJ decided that gifts should be dished out early, especially as one or two are special requests for use on the trip! What she neglected to tell me was that she would be working away from home today and staying out overnight, so yours truly has been left with the job of preparing Beef Wellington (we're not traditional 'poultry christmas dinner' people) and the trimmings. I see a busy morning ahead with one of Delia's tomes propped open on the worktop.

So, I take this opportunity to wish you all the compliments of the season, may you all receive the troops and artifacts you desire, and may next year see you going from strength to strength. I look forward to following your exploits and letting you know what is happening in this neck of the woods. One of my resolutions is to become more focussed and organised. MrsJ says she will believe that when she sees it happen!