Monday, 29 October 2012

Birmingham Toy Soldier Fair 28/10/12

A really super day at Birmingham's Toy Soldier Fair! I scored loads of cheap 54mm figures: Crescent Mexicans, Britain's Saracens and stuff from other makers, all for pennies. The rummage bins are virtual gold mines of figures; my fingers are satisfyingly sore from all the rooting I did! I also got 3 artillery limbers, 3 guns and loads of artillery crew for £10. I also got a bag of ACW artillery crew from Steve Weston. The bands have also gotten new recruits from the piles of Kellog's bandsmen in one rummage bin. Soon the armies of Anahuaco & Tarbooshia will be taking on their new recruits for the coming battles!

A lot of the figures are a bit beat-up but that's ok because most of them will be either converted or galvanised. I had a nice chat with John Curry and bought a copy of Don Featherstone's 'Skirmish Wargaming' from him. I also met Mike Blake of The Skirmish Wargames Group and had a fascinating conversation with trader John Begg. On the way to the event I bought some fresh baklava from the Pars Supermarket on Hagley Road. I had it with coffee and it was double delish!

Part of the haul!


I'll be blogging a bit more regularly from now on too. Real life rather got in the way the last two weeks but I've been painting and making and getting used to my new digi-cam. More later!

Hello to new follower TradGardMastare who runs an awful lot of very interesting blogs. Don't know where he finds the time!

All the best!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Steam Power!

HSH The Grand Tarboosh is a great innovator and moderniser. He believes in Progress and Progress means STEAM! The Tarbooshian Army follows where HSH leads and has recently acquired armoured steam powered landships with which to equip its Glorious Artillery. HSH employed a notable artist to design a protective colour scheme for the landship and its attendant trailer. She came up with a four colour scheme which is guaranteed to fox the Anahuacans' own artillery spotters.

The Tarbooshian News Agency released these photographs of the first landship to much popular acclaim and cries of 'Foul!', 'Underhand!' & 'Barbaric!' from the sleazy rags beloved of Tarbooshia's poltroonish detractors. To them we say simply: 'Surrender. Or else.'

HSHLS Kahraman

Massive Carrying Capacity


The landship started life as a child's wooden toy which I picked up for 50p in a charity shop. I removed one of the two funnels and sanded the deck flat. I added a towing hook/eye from a picture hanging kit. After that I added a number of doors, hatches and viewing ports from plastic card. The stanchions around the deck are cocktail sticks. I split the top of each stick very carefully with a craft knife. The safety rope is linen thread pushed into the splits and then glued.The rope is secured at the front by cut down dress maker pins which when then gently hammered into pre-drilled holes. The colour scheme is based heavily on camouflage schemes of The Great War - Camouflage and Four Colour Theorem. The trailer was once a pink doll's pram; bought with some tittering from the charity shop staff. Little did they know of my plans for the pram neither did I make up some story about buying it for a child. No! It's for Garden Wargames in the 54mm style!

One thing that did leap out was that the four colours on their own looked a bit rubbish until I put the black outlining between them. It was then that the scheme 'came alive' if that makes sense.

Hopefully I'll have more pictures of the other landships in HSH's service but until then......

.....All the best!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Dancing Cake Tin

I've been quite idle the last few days as far as painting toys is concerned. I've not been feeling too good all week but did manage a few bits last night. My friend needed her digi-cam back as well. So I took the plunge and bought one. I'm currently waiting for it to turn up.

In other, brighter news, I'm just off to Aberyswyth for a swing dance tonight! My friends live there and work at the uni which has a Swing-Dance-Soc and they've invited me over. Cool beans!

To keep you all going until the toys return here's a video of A Dancing Cake Tin!

Hello to new follower Remco de Groot. Make sure you check out his blog too!

All the best!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Tonight's Swing Dance...... in Quorn, Leicestershire. The village hall to be exact. I went to the Hawaiian themed dance in July but that was before TDCT and does not concern us here. Unusually the sun is shining on Birmingham for the weekend and the forecast is similar for Quorn. This was also the case in July. Synchronicity? Dunno but I'm looking forward to the dancing tonight. All those ladies in their 1940s frocks! I'm undecided whether to go formal or informal. This basically means tie or no tie......gaaaah, the agony of choice!

I'll try and get some pictures of my dancing chums and chumettes but will probably forget. Apologies in  advance.

Big hellos to new follower Nigel H. His 28mm figures are a joy, go and see. You won't be disappointed!


Last Anahuacans for a while.......

These photos are of the last Anahuacans I've got round to painting. There will be more once I've got through the Tarbooshian backlog.

What we have here is the HQ & artillery 1st Infantry Brigade. Also pictured are two regiments from 1st Cavalry Brigade of Eternal Anahuaco's Army Lime Green of The North. All for FLW in 54mm.

Brigadier & ADC

HQ Bodyguards

1st Artillery Regiment

Las Verdaduras - 1st Cavalry Brigade

Los Novios De La Muerte - 1st Cavalry Brigade

All figures painted by me. 54mm toy soldiers by Airfix, Army Men, Britains, Crescent & Steve Weston. Guns by Crescent. Flags by TVAG.


Friday, 5 October 2012

HotT Army Showcase #3: The Peasants' Revolt 1381

The Peasants' Revolt 1381 was an extremely bloody uprising in England against THE POLL TAX. Richard II needed extra tax revenues to finance operations in France for a war that was going very badly for England.

The peasants, in reality those involved came from all walks of life, had already been taxed until they squeaked. This tax-time they decided that no really did mean no. I decided to concentrate on the Kent & Essex rebels. There were uprisings all over England but because they took London and did all the negotiating with the king they were the logical choice.

Commanded with skill by Wat Tyler & Jack Straw. With a political philosophy provided by John Ball: 'When Adam Delved and Eve Span Who Then Was the gentleman?' . They were clearly not just your run-of-the-mill yokels but men with purpose and organisation.

The rebels referred to themselves as 'The True Commons of England' who wanted to keep the king but slaughter his malignant advisers; have one bishop for the whole country and fairer working conditions and better wages for all. Their greatest mistake was to not seize the king when they had the chance(s).

Taking all that into consideration I decided to create a HotT army based around the revolt and also to include in the army some mythical elements to give it the proper fantasy feel.

As usual the amount of points available exceeds 24 so choices will need to be made for each battle. I also had to relegate Saint Michael to Flyer rather than Aerial Hero so as not to exceed the 3, 4 & 6 point rule.

The Army of The Peasants' Revolt 1381 
for Hordes of the Things

Wat Tyler & Jack Straw: A Hero General

John Ball: A Cleric

Piers Ploughman: A Lurker

Saint George: A Paladin

Saint Michael: A Flyer

The Shooters: Accurate

The Hordes: Ferocious Peasantry

Miserable Cottage: A Stronghold

The Army: With Extra Ghostly Bits

I have yet to put this army to the test but I think it will be a tough one to beat. It has numbers, magical defence and some real heavy hitters. Well, that's what I think!

Figures are a mix of Airfix's 'Robin Hood' , Zvezda's 'Medieval Peasant Army'. There are a number of head, arm & body swaps in the ranks. See if you can spot them! 

The two saints are 28mm metal figures from some range or other. I picked up the stronghold and bullock in a charity shop. 

Saint George's flag came courtesy of Grimsby Wargames Society who provide free flags for personal use. A big thank you to them.

As always comments and feedback are most welcome.

All the best!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

SCW Naval: Franco's Rebel Fleet

I don't intend to spend a lot of time on explaining the ins and outs of General Franco's rebellious, illegal and piratical navy. All the details for the ships in my collection are listed in the links given in earlier posts on SCW Naval. There are a couple of ships missing. Baleares sister of Canarias for example.

Battleship: Espana

Heavy Cruiser: Canarias

Light Cruiser: Almirante Cervera

Light Cruiser: Navarra

Destroyer: Huesca

Destroyer: Teruel

Gunboats: Dato, Canalejas & Castillo

All models from Navwar's 1/3000 range. I used artistic licence for the gunboats. They're some kind of tiny, crap destroyer possibly from the Ironclads range.

Here's some heroic Republican Air Force, or La Gloriosa, planes on their way to show the rebels the error of their ways:

I found this site which details several major and minor naval engagements during SCW. They also provide some simple rules. I'll be doing a play-test or two soon; results and pictures when I have them.

Salud y Républica!