Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Penkridge Tabletop Sale

Hello again and a very Happy New Year to all.

Last Sunday, 7th January, saw yours truly drive the five miles or so to the village of Penkridge in Staffordshire, England, to visit this inaugural wargaming "show" of the year. It is not really a show, I suppose, but was full of wargaming goodies and people I had not seen for a while.

As well as catching up with a number of notaries of my acquaintance, I no sooner walked through the door into the hall, which was free to enter (!!!), looked in the very first box on the very first table and promptly fished out 62 Mordor Orcs for the "Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game", bagged them up an handed over the princely sum of £20 for the privilege. A good start, at just over 30p per figure!

Moving on past sundry traders with assorted wares, I came to one worthy I know well and whose products I have bought in some number before, namely Walter Anstiss of Commission Figurines. He relieved me of £10 for four of his MDF figure storage trays, which should have cost me £12. Thanks again Walter.

Finally, rummaging through another box of Lord of the Rings "Evil" figures, I came across Gothmog the Mordor Orc, on foot and mounted on a warg, for the sum of £12. A total of £42 down, I left after more rummaging with a sizeable addition to my Mordor forces and something to store my burgeoning 10mm collection in. A quick visit to my local DIY store and I had a 9 litre plastic storage box to hold the four MDF trays once built. Job done.

I had gone to the sale looking for MDF bases and perhaps something to add to my Sci-Fi scenery for forthcoming intended games of "Necromunda", which I did not find, but was well happy with the stuff I did pick up.

A couple of hours well spent!

I believe there is another show at the same venue on the first Sunday in July, so get yourself along for a browse.


The pinkoes and peaceniks in society will no doubt baulk at the thought of a "war" gaming show being held at the "PEACE MEMORIAL HALL", but I just think it is indicative of how sad and deluded such people are to find offence at every turn simply for the sake of having something to shout at the world about. Obviously, and with due grace, the owners/ custodians of this facility are above such puerile and entirely spurious correlations.

The haul.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Crafty Christmas Purchase

Hello again.

"I wandered lonely as a cloud,
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a shop
Called "Titan Games", in Lichfield..."
(Sorry Wordsworth...)

Actually, I was out Christmas shopping, largely to get things for my wife, and happened upon this emporium, the aforementioned Titan Games in Lichfield, Staffordshire, so in I went. What an Aladdin's Cave of riches greeted me in the small antechamber at the front of the shop. Stacked floor to ceiling with various goodies, and with a table festooned with Christmas orders being prepped for despatch, I did not know where to start looking.

Just like in the "Mr Benn" cartoon series I loved as a kid, "as if by magic, a shopkeeper appeared". A very jovial fellow allowed me to breeze around his shop, whilst busily answering my questions around what was stocked, when his games nights were, etc., but mostly around the new version of GW's "Necromunda" game I had heard was coming out.

"I have it in stock," says the jovial shopkeeper.
"Really?!" says excited browser, a little too excitedly perhaps.
"I'll go and fetch a copy," ripostes the now departing proprietor, as he heads into some further chamber, soon to return with a large, colourful box in his hands.

"Excellent!" I cry. "So what do you get in the box?"

The next few minutes are spent discussing the two gangs that come with the game, the fact that the initial game deals with subterranean action in a sewer-type complex (thoughts drift to Stalingrad,, options!) but there is a supplement out to take you up to the multi-level affairs of yesteryear's version of the game (thoughts drift to those wonderful MDF kits I have seen so often at various shows and admired...) And there are specialist dice sets, some card packs to assist in playing and developing your games...

I bought the lot!!!

I also bought some of the paint I needed, so it was not all whimsy.

There are two gangs in the game, as I said above. The "Goliaths" are steroid-sucking meatheads with serious anger-management issues. The Escher are pseudo-punk radfems with a passion for poisons. All I have to do is convince someone else to play as girls! There are also a plethora of stout, card templates to play on, templates for use with the game, dice, instructions...the usual cornucopia of richness that comes with these GW boxed sets.

So, I am now the proud owner of the new "Necromunda" and, with 2018 fast approaching and a desire to get more than a handful of games in for this coming year, and an even bigger desire to get my 11 year old son involved in wargaming in some way that does not involve computing/ X Box/ other consoles are available, I hope to get this going soon.

Finally, I would hereby like to wish one and all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR and hope 2108 brings you health, wealth and happiness.


The big box!

How do they get it all in? Figures to build, bulkheads to seal off passageways, game templates, literature...

And the other bits to enrich the game. The book covers taking your gangs upstage to the levels of yore, the dice are wholly unnecessary but wholly nice (!) and the card packs are there to help.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Big Men With Tall Hats

Hello again.

Another of the purchases I made from Ian at Eagle Figures back at the "Alumwell Show", aka, WMMS, in March, was a pack of his British Grenadiers, destined as with all my Seven Year' War purchases to date to feature in my burgeoning French & Indian Wars project.

Now, with 24 figures to a pack and four figures to a base (the way I am doing it, anyway!), that gives me six bases of Grenadiers to play with and, as an added bonus, I do not need to paint any flags!!! Using 24 figures also ties in neatly with my 24 figure line regiments.

So, with a plan to field six British line regiments for the aforementioned project, that neatly gives me six bases of grenadiers from six different regiments, each base representing a company. Job done!

Except, they all have to look slightly different, which is great to look at but a pain to do en masse...

I don't know if it is just me or something others find, but having to paint slightly different looking figures in a batch just doesn't work for me. I seem to spend ages doing the differences (blue facings instead of red, yellow lace instead of white, etc) and the whole thing becomes a chore.

To combat this, and with the limited time I have for anything at the moment, as well as limited daylight, I have been very slowly painting these up a base of four at a time. Although this is inefficient (I would normally work on 12 to 16 figures at a time), it does allow me to finish small stages at each short sitting so I can see some progress and do not feel like things are bogging down between increasingly rare and time-limited painting sessions.

So, for what I hope is your delight and delectation, I give you the first two bases of my Combined Grenadiers regiment (in fact, the only two bases I have done so far, though another two are underway!)

Both bases forming what would be a small regiment/ battalion in "Black Powder" terms.
The blue mitre caps and facings are the 60th Foot (Royal Americans), the white the 43rd Foot. I sourced details for the 60th from Osprey's campaign volume on Ticonderoga, which has a couple of decent colour plates in it depicting this regiment. I sourced details of the 43rd from Opsrey's "Combat" series volume entitled "British Redcoat versus French Fusilier", which again has colour pictures of both line and grenadiers for this regiment. NOTE: this volume also has some erroneous detail in it, so be wary of sources!

Grenadier Company, 60th Foot.

Grenadier Company, 43rd Foot.

What both source volumes also have is orbats for Ticonderoga in the case of the former and three separate actions in the case of the "Combat" series volume, as well as other colour details for a couple of regiments. As a result, you can expect to see both line infantry and grenadiers in the near (-ish) future for both 46th and 58th regiments of foot.


Monday, 11 December 2017

HM 60th Regt. of Foot (Royal Americans)

Hello again.

This regiment has been months in the making.

I first bought the figures from Eagle Figures at the WMMS Show at Aldersley Leisure Centre back in March, when the "big push" started to get our proposed FIW game up and running for this year's "season". To date, given the length of time this regiment took me, they remain the ONLY British regiment I have completed so far. That project is still looking some way off...

Anyway, why the Royal Americans?

Well, I bought the "Ticonderoga" campaign book published by Osprey from Dave Lanchester at the Barrage Show in Stafford back in July and, within its pages, are numerous colour images of troops from both sides. However, not only was there a depiction of a soldier from this regiment, in colour, but there was also one of a grenadier too, albeit an officer rather than rank and file. I knew what the flags looked like from other research and the lack of lace on the uniforms of the rank and file would make the painting job a little easier, so there you go.

What really took the time, however, was not the figures but the flags. There are some very good looking examples available to buy from different sources, but I like to make my own from brass wire and calico. The experience was an intense one...Suffice to say, it took me ages! The figures emerged faster than the flags!!! Couple that with my general dislike of painting red and that pretty much sums up the mild discomfort that was finishing this unit.

The French represent a lot easier proposition with their pale grey coats over a black undercoat and the flags are simpler designs too but do look effective. Yet, you cannot fight battles in the FIW without Redcoats, so I will crack on with the Dragon Red spray can from Army Painter for undercoating and get on with the British.

Only around half a dozen more units to go and I will have the force I want for the planned show game...

I had better get on with it!


The entire regiment of 24 figures. The grenadiers will feature in a separate unit of Combined Grenadiers.
A closer view of the all-important but massively time-consuming flags.

"Right wheel!"

"Left wheel!" The viewpoint of a Huron scout or Coureur de Bois deployed in a nearby tree.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Wargamer, 2017

Hello again.

B62 8PJ.

I do not usually start with code and, to those who might be a tad confused, I have not done this time either. Well, not quite.

B62 8PJ is the post code for the venue of this weekend's Wargamer Show, to be held at the Leasowes Leisure Centre, Kent Road, Halesowen, Birmingham, UK, B62 8PJ.

The Wyrley Retinue normally debuts it's following year demo game outing at this show, but we cannot appear this year unfortunately. However, there will be a number of traders and gamers at the show, the former category including such luminaries as Warlord Games, Ainsty, Dave Lanchester, Eagle Figures and many others, the latter category including Alumwell, Kinver, Martin Hackett and the Border Warlords (great name for a folk rock band methinks!) and, again, many others.

Drop along if you can. Any purchases you make can always be passed off as Christmas presents to yourself on the grounds that no one knows what you want so you chose for them!!!


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The big bang

Hello again.

As I have complained before, life, work and the changing seasons have all conspired to limit my painting and modelling time to, well, "very limited"...

The FIW project is crawling along at a pace a snail would baulk at, but here are a couple more photos of something I have managed to finish, in the form of a battery of two French 8lbrs.

The figures are, as is now usual with my efforts for this project, Eagle Figures, and this little set up constitutes the whole contents of one of their packs, namely two guns with eight crew figures. I also have a pack of 4lbrs, but I have got nowhere near those as yet.

The crew are painted as French Royal Artillerie as, although few of them made it to North America, I still have visions of using this entire French army in Europe at some stage and the alternative of painting them as Cannoniers-Bombardiers was not viable as a result as far as I am aware. So, the massive distinction of yellow instead of white hat lace was duly made!

I am not entirely happy with the bases, which are 100x80mm Games Workshop movement trays in-filled with two layers of artists' mounting board to avoid warping. Not only do they look a little thick but they have also warped slightly anyway! Oh well...


I had to fabricate the rammers myself as the pack was missing them. I used brass wire with a strip of sticky label wound around the foot end and a piece of sprue, scribed and hacked to represent sheepskin, at the top.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Aeons in the making

Hello again.

When I start a project, and whilst wending my excited way towards its ultimate conclusion, I do a sort of project management thing, one of the aspects of which is timing the duration of various tasks involved. In this way, I can plan in activities and track their actual completion against when I thought they should have been done and amend things accordingly as necessary.

Every so often I get it wrong, but never so wrong as I did with these two worthies.

I painted the rank and file for my 60th Regiment of Foot several weeks ago. In fact, they were the first regiment of troops I painted for the French & Indian Wars that were not part of the original "Muskets & Tomahawks" set up. I set the command figures aside because a) I had to do some work on the ensigns to remove the cast on standard poles and b) I wanted to set the flags aside as a separate project as they needed their own special time window to complete properly without distractions.

That time window opened. That time window stayed open. That time window grew to such an extent that season passed into new season, birthdays were passed and all the while the light started getting shorter and worse as Winter hove into view.

So, after what has felt like aeons, I have finally finished painting the two standards for the 60th Regiment of Foot.

The figures are Eagle Figures and, as I said above, I chopped away the cast on poles and replaced them with brass wire. The flags themselves are calico. Since taking these pictures, I have at least managed to get the whole unit stuck down on the requisite bases but, as yet, none has seen the advent of any texture or terrain work. By the end of November, perhaps.

It is at times like this that I realise exactly why I concentrated my efforts on the French initially...

On another note, given the amount of time this single regiment has taken me to get thus far, it really does call into question my ambition to have the FIW game ready for the WMMS show in March 2018. A postponement of a year is unheard of for me, but it may well have to happen. Fortunately, I have other things I can largely drop into place with which to attend shows next year, so the "Wyrley Retinue" will see you somewhere!


I am not sure about the pose given what must be a truly hefty piece of drapery, but I am happy with the flag.

Possibly my favourite union flag, the 1707 to 1798 version. I just think it looks better without the red diagonals.