Sunday, 24 June 2012

Blimey, that was a gap.

Hi everyone. I thought I'd better do an update before Blogspot deletes this thing through inactivity. September to June is quite a gap and, although I've not been posting on here, I've been busy, particularly in the last month. A few weeks ago I decided it'd be a good idea to put on a small Very British Civil War display game on one of the Manchester Area Wargames Society tables at Phalanx 2012 but, needing to wait until payday for most of the materials, it ended up just being a mad week-and-a-half rush with no sleep the night before.

I'd decided I wanted to do a locally themed layout and went for the typical terraced houses of a Lancastrian town and a colliery with headgear (of which all but one have disappeared from our fair county). It soon became clear that I'd seriously underestimated the amount of time it would take to build terrain and it wasn't until the last day that I'd finished building the terrain, and painting was only started in the afternoon. There was a little disaster that means bits will need redoing. Not having enough time to cut out strips of roof slates, I decided to cut a corner by scoring a pattern into pieces of textured thin card for both the roofs and the pavement flagstones. The pavement stuck down fine but didn't pick up the drybrush so I will have to paint the flagstones individually (eek). The roofs were much worse. Being the first time I'd made terrain I had no idea the degree to which the card could warp due to the glue. I'd added superglue dots of superglue to the card as well as the watered down white glue, and whilst the superglued bits stayed in place, the bits with just the white glue started to come away from the foamboard and actually bend it outwards as well. The roofs will have to be redone but at least I'll have time to do a proper job this time. I'll also be adding windows, doors, civilian vehicles and some street furniture. One of our club members (SuicideBadger) took a few photos at Phalanx and has done a write up of the event on the MAWS 40k blog. I've nabbed a couple to post here, mainly to show that I'm not a complete slacker.

The starting position for both small forces. I'd only managed to get twenty or so Wiganers and Liverpudlians (and only started painting Artizan's miniature of George Orwell at 5.30 on the morning of the show).

Wigan Rugby players and Liverpool Revolutionary Sailors in their starting positions.

A WIP photo of the Rugby players under natural lighting rather than that in the Sports Hall, that I originally took for a project log on the new VBCW forum.

And a WIP photo of the Sailors

I really enjoyed the show and it was great getting to meet loads of new gamers and have a good chat. I think there will definitely be another game done for next year, but it won't be a complete rush job again. I'm not sure whether it'll be VBCW or something else.

I've also actually started to reach the point where I'm beginning to enjoy the painting part of this hobby (or at least not finding it as much of a chore) and over the next couple of days I'm going to be painting some archers from GW's Bretonnian range of about 1990. These figures in particular and nice to paint and are essentially just early 14th century English Archers with no fantasy elements modelled on them at all - but loads of nice detail like gloves stuffed into belts etc. Then over the next couple of weeks I'll be painting up some French Infantry for a Muskets and Tomahawks game which means (drumroll) that after 2 years this '18th Century Painting blog' will soon have some painted and based 18th Century miniatures on it.

I also recently bought some 18th Century miniatures last month for a new project but more on that when I get round to it.

Anyhow, back to the painting.


  1. Haha, nobody thought you were a slacker. Anyway I have not posted for a while either. Without having a show deadline to push me, I have ideas and materials for terrain construction piling up. I am actively trying to pick a scale first, so there is planning before cutting. It may turn out that I will have the same sorts of warping issues when I do get moving on it, so it is helpful to hear what happened to you. Good post, and keep them coming. It's good to hear from you whenever you're ready to say something. I have noticed that my traffic is higher when I don't say anything, just less comments. I am going to build something with air-dry clay, and see if either some sort of card or wood or what have you will work with this clay.

  2. Hey Mekelnborg, long time no see.

    I'm the same with deadlines usually, the only thing that can make me pull my finger out. These Bretonnians I'm painting now are one of the few things I've enjoyed - a mix of the fact they're uncluttered with detail, have simple but colourful livery and, most importantly, they're figures I've wanted since I was ten. They are the figures that were in the rulebook for Warhammer Fantasy 4th Ed (my second wargame after Man'O'War). Couldn't afford them and they'd stopped selling them in the shops. Some were in their back catalogues (bsck when you could order single metal parts from a kit from the 80s). Now thanks to ebay I can live the childhood dream of an old school Bretonnian army with crossbowmen and cannons.

    What sort of terrain are you thinking about and, more importantly, how are you doing?

  3. It might be a quarter of wargame sales are from reasons like that, my whole six foot high 1/72 stack for instance.

    The terrain was a model of the fort at Minden, I forgot how small a scale but such that the whole thing is maybe an inch or not even two around, and then the rest of the field accordingly.

    There are current photos and city maps of the remains of the walls because it is a walking trail and sort of preserved as parkland around the old town, so something of the outline can still be made out.

    I was working from those modern maps and pics, and also from the period ones in the Hessian archives, Minden museums, etc whatever I could find, then trying to sculpt that to the clay, getting all proportions and angles right as I could. There are churches around town today as they were then, and can be placed in the right blocks of the town...this was very tiny, like toothpick size parts.

    Then when finished it was pretty nice, but I immediately started wondering about making it a size bigger, then forgot all about it as I started reading a different book! Haha, I'll get back at it though some time.