Thursday 31 December 2015

Source of Illustrations

A very Happy New Year to one and all, I trust you are all recovered from the last week? Did you get what you wanted from the man in the red suit? Most of my family gave me cash donations towards a new table saw, as the old one had blown up (burnt out the motor) a couple of months ago, and I was on the lookout for an expensive replacement.

Resolution for 2016 - not to make resolutions, just a project list over my various spheres of interest. That way I won't be disappointed come December! As a start, I'm halfway through the draft for the second Hobbies wargame article, which I will put up as soon as it's finished.

I was researching pre-dreadnought warships over the holiday period, and came across a site that could be of interest to you all. This is The Old Print Newsletter - A site that list over 250,00 items. Old illustrations from such publications as Illustrated London News, The Graphic, etc., and cover many social, military, naval and historic items of interest and inspiration.  I mention it as you may not have found it yet.

Speak to you again soon.

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Compliments of the Season

I expect most of us will be rather busy for the next few days, so I thought I'd wish you all the compliments of the season today, and wish you all the best for the new year.

The Doctor knew that Christmas was the time of goodwill to ALL, and thought the best place for his party was Narnia.

Monday 21 December 2015

Cuneo's Mice

Many people have heard of Terence Cuneo, the artist who was famous for his railway paintings, many of which adorned railway stations around the UK. What fewer people know is that, in every one of his paintings was a little mouse, his trademark, if you will, and many hours have been spent trying to find these creatures in the paintings. About 20 years ago I bought a large illustrated book of his pictures called 'The Mouse and His Master', and discovered that Cuneo didn't just paint trains! He did portraits, landscapes, ceremonial occasions, wildlife and military subjects as well. At the back of this wonderful book is a short segment of whimsical paintings of anthropomorphic mice in assorted situations, and, as it is the season for daftness (among other things) I give you these two examples relevant to our interests. The book is worth searching out from inter-library loan, for the pure browsing pleasure.

Colonel Sir Thomas Cerise-Blue Vinney O.G.M
at the charge of Catnip Valley, 1854

Brigadier Sir Terence Vole-Souris
Hero of 'The Traps' and Commander-in-Chief, 43rd Rodent Light Stoat

Wednesday 16 December 2015

A vintage game for Christmas?

Recently I managed to obtain most of the old Hobbies Weekly magazine, volume 1 (1890s) through to volume 16 (1903) as part of my collection. This magazine, as specified in the title, covered many different hobbies, including stamp and coin collecting, metalwork, photography, taxidermy, gardening, etc., though very little was found on model soldiers. As I was working my way through the various volumes cataloguing the fretwork designs I found two issues that mentioned wargames. As the articles were fairly short I wrote to the current owners of Hobbies Ltd and asked if I could reproduce them. The answer was a yes, "as long as I showed their logo and acknowledged origin"; so here goes.

I think that will cover the obligation, and here's the first article.

From issue number 231, dated March 17th, 1900


Next to bravery, the two most important aids to success in war are good marksmanship on the part of the soldiers and skill on the part of the officers in placing the men.
The game of "attacking the fort", though intended especially for our young readers, will also afford amusement to their elders. With the exception of the toy cannon, everything can be of home manufacture.
The toy cannon can be bought for fourpence or sixpence. It has a string spring which, when released by a little lever, will throw the missile - a dried pea or a small cylinder of wood - clear across the room with considerable force. 
The object of the game is to knock down an advancing column of soldiers according to given rules. These soldiers are either of flat wood or paste-board and mounted on small woden pedestals to keep them upright. Fifteen soldiers are required, and these may be bought or else made in the following way:-

Take fifteen tracings of the soldier here pictured, which serves as a model. Paste the tracings on cardboard and colour them brightly with water colour; after which cut out each figure with strong shears and mount on wooden bases. These bases should be one-quarter inch thick by one inch depth and one and a-half inches in width. Saw with the longest dimension and half way through. Into this crevice put some glue, and then slide in the bottom of the soldier figure. 
The battle ground is a sort of chequer-board, twenty-six inches square. It is to be laid out in a strip of cardboard and divided up into two-inch squares, as per illustration.The alyernate squares are to be in black, and on these, and these only, the soldiers are moved about like chessmen. There should be seven black squares each way - that is, a black square starting at each corner (as A, A-B, B in illustration). The fort wherein the cannon is placed should be marked off as described in the illustration. The mouth of the cannon may be made to describe a circle, but it cannot be moved either forward or backward of its given place. Its exact location is to be determined in the following way: The distance from the mouth of the cannon to the rear rank of the fifteen soldiers must be precisely four feet.

At the outset of the game the soldiers should occupy the fifteen black squares which are shown with white centres and which form a pyramid. Two persons are supposed to play the game - though it can be turned into a game of solitaire if neccessary - one to shoot the cannon and one to move the soldiers.
one shot from the cannon starts the game, and as many soldiers as lose their balance are removed and counted among the lost. Next the soldiers are allowed to move five moves - that is, to traverse five squares. One soldier may be advanced five squares, or five soldiers one square each. It does not matter how the moves are made so long as it all amounts to no more than five squares advance. To capture the fort three soldiers must succeed in passing the line BB. If a soldier is on the last row of squares, of course one move will carry him over the line, and then he is placed in the space marked "surviving soldiers". When three are thus landed on the safe side the fort is taken, and the person who handled the soldiers wins the game.
The great point to bear in mind is to spread out your men as they advance, so that the least possible damage may be done by the gun; for if two men are close together, one behind the other, it means that they both fall if a shot hits the first one. Work your men one by one up to within four squares of the last row, so that your turn for five moves will carry them over the dead line. If you leave a man within a couple of squares of the end, of course your opponent will do his best to pick him off with the cannon.
You keep on alternating a shot from the cannon and five moves with the soldiers till the fort is captured or held.
It will be found advisable to raise the cannon up by means of a book or small box, so that its shot will hit the soldiers well above the waist; otherwise it is hard to upset the men, even when hit.
The best place to play the game is on the cleared dining-room table, and to prevent the shot from being lost or doing damage a back-stop of some sort should be placed behind the soldiers.
The foregoing rules may be somewhat modified, according as the marksman happens to be skilful or the reverse.
The game is highly entertaining, and particularly because a good deal depends on the scientific manipulation of the men

That was the article. I can see it in use with the wooden soldiers provided by the blog known as 'Skull and Crown' and using one of those guns sold with toy pirates, that fires ping-pong balls. It could even be adapted for outside use. Following are a couple of illustrations taked from a 1940s Hobbies Annual, showing some alternate soldier styles.

I hope you enjoyed that little foray into the past, and I'll post the second game, which was later in date and more complicated, ready for the new year.

Friday 27 November 2015

Of Dinosaurs, Islands, and Inflation

One of the blogs I follow is '28mm Victorian Warfare' and this gentleman has just written about his latest project to produce a model of the steam truck, complete with dinosaur skeleton, from the Disney film 'One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing', starring Helen Hayes, Derek Nimmo and Peter Ustinov. This was one of my, and my children's, favourite movies; more especially as I had read the original book by David Forrest. Called 'The Great Dinosaur Robbery' it was published in 1970, and apart from the basic premise the film was completely different.
First of all,, the poor British spy only lasts up to page 13 because of a drastic accident with his cyanide pill outside the American Museum of Natural History, there is a most individual team of detectives from the American counter espionage service investigating the robbery, the nannies 'get naked' during the robbery (for the best of reasons) leaving some very unusual clues, while the actual plot McGuffin has to do with Chairman Mao's plan for 'The Great Leap Downward' to destroy Western civilisation.

This was the author's second book. His first, ' And To My Nephew Albert I Leave The Island What I Won Of Fatty Hagan In A Poker Game, and is a Cold War farce involving a little island only 75 yards wide and 150 long off the coast of England. Unfortunately a Russian fishing trawler/spy ship runs aground. The American Marines arrive, the island is divided, then the fun starts. Fraternisation begins, the various groups mix (there's a piece where one of the Russians is bartering in the American zone  when a General arrives for a snap inspection.
A good basis for a small game? The whole island would fit on a small table, and it wouldn't need many figures. Have to find some rules for barter, etc. But it would be different.
The book originally came with two dustcovers, the outer one was a standard cover with the title (taking up most of the room), while the inner one was slightly risque, having at the bottom, a photo of a young ladies 'upper body parts' acting as the island with the stars and stripes and hammer and sickle painted on. Needless to say, I have both the original jackets, and know which I prefer!

Finally, I've been having a clearout of a number of old kits recently, putting them on a well-know site with mixed success. While checking prices I came across someone selling a number of figure sets that I used to do some 20 years ago under the 'Old Hall Miniatures' banner at about £25 per set. Being offered now by this chap (who looks as though he's a trader) at £119. Such a pity the original moulds no longer exist, I could have produced a few more for my own benefit.

Apologies for the lack of pictures. I have none prepared for this entry.

Wednesday 28 October 2015


I thought that, with the wedding over, I could get down to some action in Humperstein, but things conspire against me.

A year or so ago my son began the 'restoration' of a 60 year old pond yacht built by my father and languishing for years in my nephew's loft until he decided to dispose of it. Unfortunately, once his nibs had reduced the boat to its constituent parts (photo) he lost interest. I promised to complete the job, and rashly mentioned Xmas!! Hopefully he won't remember that I didn't specify which one.

I'm also in the process of building a model railway (7mm=1ft, 16.5mm gauge) in half of the shed and want to take as much advantage of the reasonable weather we are having to get some track laid

And in the evenings I have continued the rebasing of my Humperstein infantry, I've nearly completed all the current units, with only a couple to go. I had intended to use a couple of days next week, when MrsJ goes away overnight for a works meeting, to use the dining room table for a first battle in the new (old) style, but am now informed that my sister in law who was been given a BEM in the honours list, gets her gong on Sunday the 8th and we are invited to watch, so that is half the week away from home. 

The good news is that, when I bought my paper from WHSmiths a couple of days ago I was given a discount voucher, which I immediately spent to get a couple of books cheaper that priced.

These are both quite hefty volumes, with 'The War in the West' being volume one of a new history. These will be my main bedtime reading for a few months.

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Life Resumes its Normal Pace

After a whole year in the planning, assorted panics, and MrsJ's search for the ideal 'Mother-of-the-bride' outfit, the wedding of the year finally took place on Saturday last. Service in Sudbury registry office and reception at the East Anglian Railway Museum (they use the Goods Shed) as our daughter Mary married her partner of ten years James on one of the hottest days of the year so far. I'm biased, but must say the bride looked stunning, and the 'father-of-the-bride' speech was unusually different as I'd written it in verse, and it's not as easy as it sounds!

So, the shed beckons, those little blokes who have been stood about in undercoats for months are calling out for gaudy uniforms, and I  have a long list of things to do. So must get on.

Tuesday 9 June 2015

Who's on holiday (9) and back home

We've finally made it home, about middday, after a gruelling slog to Dunkirk yesterday afternoon and spending the night in the ferry port car park (a regular thing, and good place to vehicle watch, not as noisy overnight as you'd think) catching an early 6.00 ferry, then once in the UK up the M2, round the M25, along the A12 to home. MrsJ has a weeks worth of washing to do and I have to arrange a caravan repair after damaging the electrical connection wire. Somehow it had dragged on the road and worn through the insulation, so I had to do a quick splicing job to get us home.

We had a great time with friends, plenty of sights to see, beautiful scenery, I tried out my schoolboy french, and that's it till next year.

There were some complaints about the travel arrangements!

Tom Who - I've heard of travelling steerage, but going by carrier bag is ridiculous.
Pat Who - At least Bill got the occassional trip in a pocket or camera bag               
               Bill Who - True, it is uncomfortable, but I heard the Biguns talking about us having our own
                                 caravan next time, so we may get lucky.
                Brigadier - I don't see what your all complaining about, as a soldier I've had some pretty                                         dicey accomodation in sticky situations, this is luxury.

And there we leave them. I do hope the Dr (all of him) enjoyed his trip away, and that you have enjoyed this slightly different view of our trip.
Back to normal from now on. .   

Monday 8 June 2015

Who's on holiday (8)

Our last day before the long drag home. A morning of rest before getting on our way. While the others are off to sample the delights of the little town, and find a post office, MrsJ and I take a car journey about 10 kilometres up the road to Meung-sur-Loire.This is another of the regions historic towns, this time from the 13th century, and, like the rest has a Chateau. This one is a little more extensive than the last one, and what restoration has been done is of a more recent (18th century) ethos.

Coming into the grounds the house has a typical style of the area, though once you get round to the entrance it appears more grand, even if you can see that there is of work on the roof (there is some evidence of this in the interior, with mould, crumbling plaster, etc) and a large garden.

In the garden was a small exhibition of art, where an artist had taken a famous painting and put at its side another, making a little story. For example, there was Van Gogh's bedroom,preceded by a picture of the same vane but this time the room was untidy. In between was a caption I could only translate as "I've tidied my room at last, mum". The one that may be of interest to military bloggers is this one, showing why Napoleon looked so miserable in the famous picture.

The Chateau was well laid out, with rooms followed in numerical order, and informative placards everywhere. It is the only house I've been in that had a room solely for storing bath tubs!, and a room (more an alcove) specially for powdering wigs. In one wing, for a limited time only, was a special exhibition by the artist Claude Brabant on the history of French (with offshoots) fashion, starting with Adam and Eve up to Victorian times. The gimick being that the models, all 200 of them, were all Barbie or Ken based. 

This case shows Albert and Victoria, With Napoleon the third below, and, just out of shot, Franz Joseph.

Bill Who was there, and here he is in front of the case containing Napoleon and his assorted ladies. Note that he has a cabinet all to himself on this subject!

Sunday 7 June 2015

Who's on holiday (7)

We're getting towards the end of the trip now. Another change of venue,travelling for the morning  to Beaugency, and another site on the edge of the river, with a view of the 11th century town bridge, 23 arches long it was an important crossing during the hundred years war. At the end of the bridge is the 11th century watchtower, now ruined and part of the Chateau, once home of Jean de Dunois a comrade of Joan of Arc.

The afternoon was spent in a walk across the bridge and exploring the town, finishing with a visit to the Chateau.

The Chateau is recently re-opened after a long restoration, and has a number of rooms decorated in the medieval style. The town also has a medieval clock tower and many old houses. I believe it was here that Eleanor of Aquitaine had her marriage to the French King, Louis the umpteenth, leaving her free to marry Henry the second. I never cease to be astonished that so much of the history in this area should be tied to that of my own country, even though I know we owned much of it in early days.

Of course, his nibs came along, and spent some time looking round the bedroom of Charles, Duc d'Orleans.

Tomorrow we start on our way back home, but not until the afternoon. So in the morning MrsJ and I will go a little further, to the next town (Meung-sur-Loire), where, because we visited the Chateau here we will get into that one at reduced price. 

Saturday 6 June 2015

Who's on holiday (6)

After a short stop,we're off to our next site at Beaugency, still on the Loire, but before we do the others in the party want to do their own things for the morning. Our Ausie couple want to go try some canoeing on the river (they run a similar business down under) while the other two couples want to do some more wine buying. MrsJ and I decide to stay around and walk along the river bank for a view of the Chateau of Chenonceau. One of the outstanding examples of its like, you'll find its picture used to illustrate many of the guides to the area. It's the one that has a large wing built on a bridge over the river. Naturally, Bill Who wanted to come with us.

The part over the river is one long corridor and was used as an indoor walk area. Here's a photo of the inside from a few years ago.

An interesting aspect of this building is that it is obviously unfinished, and was intended to reach the other bank. This can be seen by looking at the ends of the walls, where the mouldings break of half finished.

On our walk back Bill complained that his legs were tired and we stopped for a short rest.

Once everyone was back at camp we had a quick lunch then off again.Until tomorrow

Friday 5 June 2015

Who's on holiday (5)

This is a day for moving on to our next site. Rules mean we have to leave before lunch, but can't arrive at the next site until after lunch. French lunch hours are fairly long so we tend to visit somewhere in the morning them travel midday. This mornings trip was a chance discovery while reading the guidebook (Dorling-Kindersley Guide to Loire Valley) and let to a visit that interested all the party, something difficult to do when there are eight of you.

In this particular region there are a number of Troglodyte sites. Areas where people lived and worked in caves hollowed out from the soft stone. In some cases the houses are still occupied.

In this instance we went to a small village called Rochemenier, which looked nothing special from the roadside, but after dismounting and walking a short distance we came to the entrance to an amazing world.

The village consists of some 250 rooms excavated from the rock and making up around 40 farms. The families excavated a large hole to act as a courtyard from the sandstone and then dug rooms from the sides. As the family expanded more rooms were added. In the village we explored the oldest habitation was from the 13th century and it was still in use until the early 20th century. Everything was done in this 'quarry' apart from cultivation, which occurred on the roof. Livestock was brought down into the caves at night because of wolves, thieves, etc.

Later we travelled to our next destination, Le Moulin Fort, for a one night stop. Ostensibly this was to visit the fabulous Chateau of Cenonceau (of which, more tomorrow), but I'm told there are three good wine co-operatives in the area. Just after we'd arrived and set up, this vehicle arrived.

Carrying a German touring group of about 25 people, the bus is about 30 years old and comes from America. The travellers sit in the front half while the back half is sleeping cubicles across the width of the bus (each window visible is one cubicle), while the trailer at the back carries all the gear, including tables and chairs plus a load of bicycles. The chap in the red shirt is actually getting dinner ready and will be cooking it on the 'kitchen' where the flap is open.  

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Who's on holiday (4)

After a leisurely breakfast and stroll round the campsite (MrsJ and I like to look at the other vans around, and see how the owners set things up) the group took a couple of cars and went off on a wine tasting tour of 3 'caves'

First up, Veuve Amiot, a large winery with a big selection. The rest of the group spent some time here checking out the various wines, eventually leaving with quite a lot of boxes.

Pat Who - So, bill,  how does this 'degustation' buisiness work then?
Bill Who - People come into this wine makers with the intention of
buying wine, the staff let them taste a small amount of anything they
like the look of, and eventually they choose to buy the one they like.
Or not, if they prefer.  

After a lunchtime siesta some of us decided to walk up the river (alongside it, not in it, we hadn't drunk that much) to visit the chateau, which we heard had marvellous views from the roof.

Bill Who - It may be a short stroll for the big-uns, but it looks a long way for little legs.

This is a small chateau by local standards, but once in it has an interesting display on the history of the Loire being used as a transporter of goods by barge, (the chateau was, evidently, a toll collection centre), and, as promised, the view from the roof terraces (they were hardly ramparts) was spectacular, with Saumur Chateau visible on the skyline to the west.

A stroll round the old town and a little drink at a small bar in square, and it was back to the site for the evening.

Tuesday 2 June 2015

Who's on holiday (3)

Half way down a 5 to 6 hour slog, penultimate tail-end charlie of a convoy consisting of three caravans and a car, we stopped at an 'aire' (french version of a motorway services, though they don't all have fuel stations. These areas are easy to access and very clean and tidy) A little light lunch, then off again.

Pat Who - Is this what we're supposed to eat for lunch?                            
Bill Who - It looks quite tasty to me                                                          
Brigadier - It's certainly enough to keep us going for the rest of the trip   

Our stop for the next three nights is at Montsoreau, on the banks of the Loire just east of Saumur, which we visited in 2012. Our pitch is right on the river side, and it is only some 500 yards from the town centre. There's a small chateau there (as there is in every little town in this part of the world) and a few 'caves' for the wine lovers amongst us. Here I have to admit that I'm not one of them, as it ll seems to taste the same to me (a bit vinegary) I'd rather have a drop of stout.

This is the view from our front door for the next couple of days, and tomorrow we get down to the proper holiday..

Monday 1 June 2015

Who's on holiday (2)

Up early at the crack of dawn. Breakfast and pack away, then down to Dover for the 10.15 ferry to Calais. Goodbye to the White Cliffs, which are really a bit grey nowadays.

In the holding lines at Dover. The lady in shot is not MrsJ, just a rather bewildered sister-in-law.
Remembering to alter our watches to Continental time as we cross, it's a three hour haul dawn to our overnight stop at Lyons la Foret, 

Our site here is but a spit and a stride from the old town.Dating from the 11th century and an important centre at the time, Henry the 1st of England died here in 1135. Most of the houses were built in the 17th and 18th centuries, and the composer Ravel lived here for a while. We found a small bar and had a glass before going back to the site.
(Ravel lived in the large house down the street, on the right)

So it's dinner, share a bottle (or two) then a long 6 hour slog down French motorways tomorrow. I must admit they do them a lot better than we do, hardly any traffic and low toll costs. The fact that lorries are not allowed on the roads Sundays is a big bonus, though we do meet the odd one - usually a foreigner not aware.

Sunday 31 May 2015

Who's On Holiday (1)

We are off to France for 10 days. A family group of myself and MrsJ, her twin sister and partner, her elder sister and husband over from Australia, and a family friend and wife, are all heading down to the Loire valley in a trio of caravans and one tent, for chateaus and wine. I am trying to lighten the load a bit by taking a Dr.Who action figure along and the idea is to get at least one photo a day with him in it, doing something related to the day. The results will be posted, providing I can get the internet access.

To start the ball rolling, here we have the interloper, Bill Who, with his brothers Pat and Tom, and his friend the Brigadier, all planning the journey.

We've travelled down to a small site in a pub garden, not far from the M20, and are spending the night here ready for an early morning trip to Dover and a ferry across to Calais. We'll see what he gets up to over the next few days.

Monday 11 May 2015

Another Item Ticked off the List

I'm catching up on half-started projects quite quickly now, though I don't have long. MrsJ has requested (told me) that I make a another small cupboard/dresser for use as a changing table for the new granddaughter. That's me in the garage for a few weeks again once we return from France at the end of May. The infantry rebasing goes on apace, a second unit is done and a third 25% done, but here is the subject of todays post.

HMS Exeter patrols the South Atlantic, waiting for the rest of the squadron to join her.

The model is as finished as she's going to be, and is quite adequate for battles out on the lawn. A bit rough when seen close up, so please don't enlarge the picture too far. The above is in modern colour, while below is the WW2 black and white version.Unfortunately, in neither version does the deck to hull colour difference stand out.

The other two ships are under construction now, while the Graf Spee is roughed out.I may be taking them in the caravan with me, though probably won't get any work done on them. (We'll be part of a family group of eight, so I've got to 'socialise'!)

Friday 1 May 2015

Book of the Month

It's about time I had another of these, and here's something I picked up at the local Co-Op store earlier in the week. They had one of those spinner things just inside the door, full of cheap local titles, you know the thing, 'Around here in old photographs', 'Ghost stories of this area', 'Orrible Crimes of the past', etc., and this one shone out at me.

Published back in 1988 by Terence Dalton of Lavenham, and written by a member of the Fortress Study Group, it covers the era from the first earthen 'bulwarks' thrown up to defend against the Armada in 1588 through to the pillboxes and machine-gun posts constructed to counter the threat of German invasion in the 1940s. Geographically it moves from the Wash down to the Thames and is extremely well illustrated with photographs, period art, and line drawings, while an appendix gives details of artillery sizes and ranges. Some of the smaller instalations would be ideal for our purposes.

I can see that I'll be studying this book avidly, and getting about the vicinity visiting some of the sites, "yes dear, we did come out for the sea air, but I just want to look at this old piece of concrete".  

Thursday 23 April 2015

Announcing the long awaited (nearly two weeks late) arrival of a granddaughter, and first grandchild, Laila, on April 21st. Mother and baby both well, father a bit bemused. I don't remember our two being this small, but it was a long time ago.

Friday 20 March 2015

Celebrations Begin

Today is the 60th birthday of MrsJ and her twin sister, as well as our 39th wedding anniversary. Plans are made for extensive celebrations and the whole family, including her older sister and husband over from Australia for a 5 month tour  of Europe, are having a long weekend break at Center Parcs doing all kinds of activities, swimming, archery, long walks, seguay riding etc.
I had intended a different post here, but the pictures are still in the camera, so that will have to wait.

I am being told to "put that thing away and come pack the car", so until next week....

Thursday 26 February 2015

Back to Purpose - with changes

I'm fed up of spending hours feeding thin pieces of wood over the planer and through the thicknesser to make thinner pieces. Who knew a childs cot would use up so much timber? So I'm having the day off from that and re-visiting my assorted army projects (can't carry on with the ships, they're somewhere deep in the shed covered in assorted detritus) for a little R&R.

First up, a brief note of explanation. The 28mm figures forming my OOB cover both the 19th century Duchy of Humperstein and units that can be used as the various member states of the Heptarchy (q.v.), and I've used the British armies OOB for the Crimean War as a basis for this, giving me divisions and brigades. I've nowhere near enough figures to complete the army as yet, but enough to give a decent small game. One area I am nearly full is the staff, where I only need two more brigadiers and a suitable mounted chap to act as the C-IN-C the Earl of Garrick * I have a Great War model of Lord Raglan and may use this, as it would be theoretically correct.

Here is some of the mounted staff at the moment, a mixture of manufacturers, including Foundry, Perry, Mirliton, and Great War. All have names and designated posts and you'll meet most of them later. A few of them are here.

First up in the gallery are the Commander of the Reserve, HRH The Duke of Cambridge** and the officer in charge of the Engineers, Sir Francis Pashley-Drake

and here we have the four infantry division commanders, from left to right -
1st division - Lt.General the Earl of Ackleton
2nd division - Lt.General the Earl of Yaxley
3rd division - Lt.General the Earl of Havershot
4th division - Lt.General the Earl of Brangbolton
as well as the cavalry commanders, where we have, on the grey, the overall commander of cavalry, Lt.General the Earl of Emsworth, alongside the commander of the heavy brigade Brigadier  General Sir Harry Andrews and the light brigade commander Brigadier General Sir Trevor Howard.***

Finally, a couple of headquarters staff groups, without whom no army could function properly.

Well, I've waffled on long enough now, coffee time calls. Next time I'll explain the naming methods I used, and possible thoughts on re-basing all my current infantry units.

* Like the titles used by the Adjutant General and Quartermaster General, this is one of the titles used by HRH Prince Charles (and was. I believe, once one of Robert the Bruce's titles).
** Historically accurate, but really taken from HRH Prince William, who, as heir to the throne is actually 'in reserve'.
*** Unfortunately this photo shows the size difference between the old Hinchcliffe figures (Emsworth) and the more modern Great War ones.

Monday 23 February 2015

Germans and Scrabble - A diversion

While in the middle of building a full size child's cot for number one son and expectant partner (putting all other constructional activities on hold to meet the deadline) I still keep up with various forums (fora?) and blogs in the morning after breakfast, until it's warm enough to get out in the garage. I came across this on the Model Boat Mayhem Forum's 'Humour' page and thought it might brighten someone's day if I shared. Normal service will be resumed eventually.

Sunday 8 February 2015

Yet Another Waterloo Book

MrsJ and I spent the weekend at sister-in-laws near Peterborough to allow the ladies to have a theatre trip to London. I took the opportunity to visit the workshop cum retail outlet of Deans Marine model boat kit makers, and spent some enjoyable time drooling over the models in the workshop (some beautiful warships, from pre-dreadnoughts to modern frigates) all in large scales, and a little glimpse of a couple of forthcoming models (a German 'flat-iron' style gunboat and a British monitor) both probably wargame size, as I think they were 1/96 scale - but likely to be too expensive for that use. Having seduced myself into buying a kit, I went back via Oundle and browsed the bookshop. There I found about two shelves of books on Waterloo, and spotted this one

At first glance, another book on the battle, but a quick look inside shows it is a different take on the day. As well as covering the well known details of the fight it has alternate chapters which give an overview on what was happening in England at the time, from a society scandal through mentions of Lady Caroline Lamb, Byron, and William Wilberforce down to the lower rungs of society, where a thief tries to fence some stolen silver and is 'done over' by the chap he takes it too. Only dipped at the moment, but I will enjoy the full read.