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. 

HMS Exeter - progress

My modelling style is 'very slow', hence the relatively poor progress on my little flotilla. However, I have got a few months before they are needed - (thank goodness, son and partner have just requested I make a cot and changing cupboard for a new arrival due in April. Here is the latest photo, showing the Exeter at present. Only masts, boats and secondary armament to go now.

I have managed to get hold of a copy of this book

which is the same age as the plans I'm using, (late 1940s) and it includes a number of ship plans from HMS Hood to destroyers.  The methods used are superior to my 'hack and glue' ways, and include methods of making the turrets rotate and guns elevate. Perhaps next time? Mind you, according to the original instructions on the plan, all you need are a sharp pocket knife, a fine bradawl, a small saw, a light hammer and a small file.

My main preoccupation now is, do I put the ships on flat bases as shown, or leave them off, as was the practice in those days. Decisions! decisions!