Monday, 28 October 2013

Just Finished - Please & Ambition the life of Augustus the Strong

I picked this biography up for £5 at Partizan purely as a bit more background reading for the early 18th century.
Augustus was the Elector of Saxony during the War of the Spanish succession and Great Northern War.  As such he was in a position to influence the political maneuverings by both sides in both conflicts.  The French were prepared to pay him handsomely to stay out of the war and the Allies paid him even more to keep him in the war for the Spanish throne.
In turn he looked to enlarge his sphere of influence and seek a legacy for himself.  Ultimately this led him to buy the Polish throne and into conflict with Charles XII of Sweden.
The book is written largely using the diaries and letters of the various diplomats used by England & France, along with the court records of Sweden & Austria.  As such there is a great deal of speculation and theorising over some of the events in his life and what may or may not have been the reality.  The death of his brother and the elevation of Augustus to be Elector being just one example - the gossip of the time being that Augustus had killed his brother and lover to gain power, the conclusion in the book being that he might have been involved but other parties took the initiative.
All in all it is an intriguing read (although slow in places and the prose can be a little bland).  Augustus was a man who comes across as being a player but easily led.  He had ambitions that should have been easy to realise if he hadn't liked wine  women more.
As a background to some of the events of the time it is a book that will sit well on my shelf.  I would have liked more maps since the few that are given are difficult to interpret.  Equally I would have liked some photographs of portraits for the characters portrayed.
Well worth the price paid.   

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Miniature Wargames

A real treat for the weekend when this hit the door mat on Saturday.
As a fan of Battlegames I was worried when the takeover (merger or whatever) of that magazine by Miniature Wargames was announced.  We were assured that with Henry at the helm all would be well and we would like what we saw.

Well, I for one, do like what I'm seeing and I am currently enjoying reading the magazine.  With the first flick through this feels more like Battlegames having the upper hand in terms of style, content and layout.  The articles cover a broad spectrum of interests and are well written and enjoyable in the main.  The usual suspects are there as you may have expected and they've all been given more space.  The other articles are no less interesting and well presented and easy to read.  It was also nice for Henry to acknowledge the magazines roots with the cover photograph giving reference to that very first magazine from Duncan.

So it's thumbs up from me for the first issue with Henry in charge. 

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Dwarven Host complete (almost)

I know it's been a long long time since this blog had any updates but what is a year to a Dwarf?
Anyway, in that year the host has expanded considerably.  Indeed it is now just about complete.
 At the core of the host is a unit of forty warriors with two handed great weapons.

Supporting these doughty men will be sixty (yes sixty!) thunderers.  I've provided enough command figures - hero, standard & musician - to break them down in up to three smaller units if needed.
The thunderers will have guards in the shape of eighty warriors with shield and hand weapons.  Again there are enough command figures to have up to four smaller units if needed.  One of the units carries a drum with an ork hide for a skin as a reminder who the real enemy are. 

The final part of the army are the eighty warriors with hand weapons.  These can be broken down into up to four smaller units if needed, although two units was my original concept.

So let's see if we can't find them someone to fight soon!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

First complete units (almost)

So here then is the first (almst complete) horde of warriors with hand weapons.
The black and white colour scheme with red trim is something I'm quite proud of. Not so sure about the blue shields but they kinda work as well.

I need to do a bit of work on the banner. No prizes if you can guess which album is the inspiration for the design but have fun guessing all the same.

I said almost complete because, despite counting several times, I still find I'm a couple of warriors short of the thirty seven required hence the presence of a couple of stand ins.

The first of the Thunderers, by contrast, is complete with all twenty figures present and correct.

Very pleased overall.

Sunday, 3 April 2011


So here's the recipe for making snow (other than below freezing temperatures and high atmospheric humidity that is). Ingredients: PVA glue (not wood glue) Polyfilla or similar - white (duh!) or spackle as it's known in the States Baking powder Light blue paint - I use GW Ice Blue Sparkle glaze (available from craft shops) How to: 1. Mix equal amounts of PVA and polyfilla to a smooth paste 2. Add an equal amount of bakig powder to the mix (you should now have 25% PVA, 25% polyfilla & 50% baking powder) & mix to a toothpaste like consistency. 3. Add the sarkle glaze to taste - I use an amont about half of the volume of the mix. 4. Add a VERY small amount of blue paint (tip - touch a cocktail stick into the paint and dip into the mix pin prick size). 5. Apply to the figure bases. 6. Sprinkle with sifted baking powder (pile it on) 7. Leave for 3-4 hours to allow the mix to set 8. Brush away excess. Easy. By the way this is not my recipe, credits rightly belong to this guy -

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Doubling up

The miners I pictured in the very first post of this blog have been sold. Weirdly they didn't fetch as much as I'd hoped, nor indeed did they sell for anywhere near as much as some less well presented (and much older) histroical figures I sold. However, I do have a further eight miners to sell from the same boxed set. There are also the slayers from "Battle for Skull Pass" to sell on. I have one of the bound slayer figures to put on Ebay.
And two of these chappies.
Talking of doubling up - I've added a further five thunderers & five warriors to the project.
Currently I'm working on the Kings wall & the miners treasure cart to sell on along with a further ten figures for my project.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

First Arrivals

So here are the first of the figures that I intend to keep - five thunderers & five warriors.
I am aiming for a specific look and feel to this army. Firstly snow. All the bases will have a wintry theme. Not deep uniform snow more drifts and clumps as though the wind keeps moving it around.
Secondly the figures will have a very distinct colour scheme, about which I will divulge in later posts but what you see here is the basis for the army.
I've kept to my usual painting style for these figures although there is a greater than usual reliance on the GW washes.
Also I gloss varnished the figures and then applied a matt coat (Humbrol Mattcoat) over the flesh, beard and clothes.