Tuesday, 30 April 2013

New Stuff From Zvezda!

At Salute I was given a glossy brochure for Zvezda Art of Tactic products. I didn't read it until I got home and then I whooped for joy! Not only are the German & Soviet ranges expanding so is the British! Not just the run of the mill stuff either. AofT is coming down squarely on the side of the BEF with all manner of goodies either in production or NEW FOR 2013! I think some are more ready than others for the shelves but it's still great news for Lord Gort and MegaBlitzers everywhere.

Here are pics of just some of the upcoming BEF releases:

Improved Recce for BEF! 

Take THAT, Fritz!


The three items above were pant wettingly exciting but what I'm about to show you is best seen sitting down. Ready?


Yes, you've read that correctly.

Updates as they happen!

PS Hello to Lead Legion and thanks for following!

Monday, 29 April 2013

A Most Convivial Meeting

I had a welcome visitor today. Mr Tim Gow called on me and we had the most wonderful chat.It really felt like we had known each for years and we are clearly on the same page as far as warGAMING is concerned. That our hobby should be first, last and always fun is clearly the way ahead.

Sadly the meeting only lasted a couple of hours because I had a prior engagement. To dance with some lovely ladies. Before he left Tim gave me some smashing gifts for which I am most grateful. Thank you for them and the chat, Tim. Here's to more chats and games in the future!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

MB Soviet Artillery Division

My first, and only, Sov Arty Div is nearing completion. I have resorted to modifying a civilian tractor into something resembling a suitable prime mover for the High Power Regiment.

So far the division comprises:
  • 1 x Light Artillery Regiment (76mm gun model)
  • 1 x LOG truck/tractor
  • 1 x Light Artillery Regiment (76mm gun model)
  • 1 x LOG truck/tractor
  • 1 x Howitzer Brigade (122mm gun model)
  • 1 x LOG truck.tractor
  • 1 x AA Regiment (85mm gun model)
  • 1 x LOG truck/tractor
  • 1 x Guards Mortar Brigade
  • 1 x TBC
  • 1 x LOG tractor

Back Row - LOG trucks (the white blob is the cab not the work of the censor)
Front Row RtoL - Guards Mortar, 122mm, 76mm, 76mm, 85mm

Updates as they happen!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Forgotten War Graves Remembered 1

Last year I discovered that my local church, St. Michael's in Boldmere, receives money from The Commonwealth War Graves Commission for the upkeep of the 18 War Graves in its cemetery. The bye-laws of the church yard state that the upkeep of graves is the responsibility of family. Now, given that there are five WW1 graves, and one of them is a Scot, what are the chances of any family knowing about them? So, I suggest, that this bye-law is a cop-out by the church. My guess is that the money they receive from CWGC goes into the general maintenance pot. There weren't even poppies placed on the war graves last Remembrance Sunday. I have e-mailed the church secretary twice asking the question. I have yet to receive a reply. I have also informed CWGC of my concerns.

In May 2012 I spent an afternoon plotting and recording each of the war graves. The idea being that on the given date of death I would place a floral tribute on the particular grave with a card inscribed with NOT FORGOTTEN. There are 18 graves in total. 5 Army lads from WW1; 5 RAF, 2 RN & 6 Army from WW2

Today's forgotten hero was 10984 Corporal FB Ward, King's Royal Rifle Corps, died of wounds 25th April 1915. I have been unable to find out anything about Cpl Ward but I do know that there was a large hospital in Sutton Coldfield Park. The park is approximately 1 mile from the church.

Not Forgotten

MegaBlitz Sitrep

That nice Mr Gow has sent me a copy of the MB rule book. Which I have read several times and am now gagging to take part in an MB battle.

I've decided that the period 1939-1942 is the most fruitful in terms of armies good, bad and indifferent. The chance to field utterly crap tank units in simple block colours was too hard to resist, so I didn't.

The Soviet artillery division is nearing completion. All is in place save a High Power Artillery Regiment and LOG tractor. I think Irregular Minis & FrontLine will be my friends here. I'll post up some pictures of the toys tomorrow. The second Soviet tank corps is also nearly done. Sporting a mix of medium and light tanks I think it looks quite the 1941. 

The 1940ish German infantry division has its three infantry regiments in place plus a horsedrawn LOG column. The 1940ish German panzer division is coming along nicely: pictures below.

Milling about waiting for a start date are my BEF and French toys. Updates as they happen!

Polarina Oil Seconds Before The Hostile Wehrmacht Takeover

1940ish Pz Div (part)

Back Row R-L: POL Column, Pz Abt 1, Pz Abt 2, Motor Inf Bn 1, Motor Inf Bn 2
Front Row R-L: A/T Battalion, A/T Bn LOG, AA Battalion

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Well now.......

 .....look what Postman Pat delivered today! My ticket for my first ever Swing-Dance Weekender!! 2013 is becoming a year of firsts.


Monday, 22 April 2013

Two Go Mad In That London

Dateline: 20/4/13

Place: Birmingham Coach Station

Time: 07:30hrs

Actually the day had started at 05:00 when my alarm went off. Get up! Get Up!! GET UP!!! So I did. Shuffling about like one of the Evil Dead I managed to shower, shave and have breakfast without incurring serious injury. On the train at 06:45 and then the short stroll from New Street to Digbeth and the Coach Station. The coach was already boarding so I zoomed over; showed the nice man my ticket and got on. To find my chumrade and co-explorer, Charles S, already aboard.

Now, the coach takes about an hour longer than the train to get to That London. However at £15 return and the company of my companion in arms what's not to like? We actually arrived at London Victoria twenty minutes early so hurrah for National Express.

Rather handily I had two oyster cards available. One a top-up job the other permanently loaded with credit. Whyzat you cry?! Well, thanks to Boris, I got the permanent one because I'm a damaged, war-pension drawing veteran. Are you listening/reading Birmingham City Council? Anyway enough of that and on with the motley!

District Line to Tower Hill; Tower Hill to Tower Gateway on foot (guessed where we're heading yet?); Tower Gateway to Custom House.....and then on foot to Excel for SALUTE '13! My first ever Salute. Ever.

The SLW are a slick crew and had the plebs queue moving pretty rikkitik. Advance tickets next year though we agreed. And in. It was, according to Chaz, a bit quieter than last year. I thought they had used the space of the hall extremely well. There was plenty of room to move about and even the scrums at the popular stalls were negotiable. I also got to see some chumrades from way back when who I hadn't seen in a while. The reunions were joyous and hilarious. I also managed to sell off a truck from my rucksack. Bloody heavy to carry too.

So what did I see and what did I buy? I tried to get around everything but failed. Its sheer size defeated that attempt. However, I did see 'Return To The Planet of The Apes' with simians aplenty and scantily clad babes around THE spacecraft; the VBCW game with plenty of factions and saucy vehicles on a lovely terrain; A Steampunk game where the Imperialists were getting a good kicking off the Martian freedom-fighters; tank car parks, lots of them; Some kind of Haunted House of Horror game; A Dark Ages bust-up; A dusty Western gunfight; The Warlords' 'Jason & The Argonauts' 1/6 scale game: the climactic encounter between Jase and his two buds versus a load of skellingtons. Overall I was super-impressed with the imagination and skill level shown in most of the games.

Chas has just released a book: 'Uncharitable Mischief' about war-crimes, or not, during the Civil War of the Three Kingdoms. So we spent an enjoyable time chatting to the chaps on the Pike & Shot Society stand. I even got into a brilliant discussion with Stephen Ede-Borrett on the Royalist Foote at Naseby.

And what did you buy? I had a shopping list and, amazingly, I stuck to it, kind of. I bought:

  1. S-Models 1/72 Somua R-35 tank (2 x models)
  2. Resin 1/72 Katyusha launcher
  3. Zvezda 1/72 German m/c combo
  4. Zvezda 1/72 Soviet 85mm AA gun
  5. Resin 1/72 Vickers Mark E Type B tank
  6. WW2 German crosses
  7. WW2 French roundels (Where does one buy the Hearts, Diamonds, Spades & Clubs?)
  8. Pegasus 1/72 US trucks (2 x models)
  9. Revell 1/72 Panzer II
  10. Revell 1/72 Puma
  11. RAF 1/76 Refuelling set
I also got to meet some of Chas's wargaming chumrades from the Kidderminster club. We had an intersting chat about Spanish Civil War. I got rather evangelical about Jarama. Why is Suicide Hill ALWAYS in the wrong place on maps and wargame tables? It's in front of Casa Blanca Hill, not to its right. I know, I've been there: English Voices On The Hills

We left at 16:30 to get back in good time for out coach at 18:00. The homeward journey went without a hitch although the conversation was a little more stilted. Mainly because were both absolutely knackered. I think I was in bed at not much after 21:30. 

A grand day out in fabulous company. We're going to Partizan next!

This was a nice surprise in the goody bag as were the two D6

With Gorilla Masks!

Busty Babes Battle Bad Baboons (I know)

Frothers Unite's Horror House Game

Major Falling-Out: Dark Ages Style

Go Home Imperialists! (Note Slootmugs)

Impressive Airboatage

Brilliant Game; Brilliant Movie!

Boney Leads The Way!

Hello to new blog followers David Crook & Doctor Phalanx. Welcome aboard!

It's good to be back!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

For Sale

Genial Jim's Clearout continues!

I have a number of items for sale which have found themselves redundant after the recent reorganisatons:

Prices do not include P&P. Once sold I'll get them packaged and weighed and give you the total.

All the toys have been in storage for ages and may require a little tlc, hence the low prices.

All toys painted and based by me.

I have PayPal! cotgravej@yahoo.com

28mm Pilot, ideal for VBCW

28mm WW1 German LMG Teams 
painted as Irish Free State Troops for VBCW.
£6 per team of 3 or £15 the lot

28mm Colt HMG with close protection troops. 
Did a headswap here.
Also painted as Free State troops for VBCW
£7 the lot

Peter Pig 15mm Asalto LMGs. Converted
£2 the pair

Peter Pig 15mm Foreign Legionaires
45 figures
Based for Cross Fire
£25 the lot
Peter Pig 15mm T-26 tanks
£10 the lot

Peter Pig 15mm CV33 tankettes
£7 the lot

Peter Pig 15mm Zis Trucks
£5 the pair 

Dinky Stuka: Condor Legion

15mm Peter Pig. 71 figures:mix of militia 
and Asaltos £10

28mm Sloppy Jalopy Model T Ford flat-bed truck

Ideal transport for VBCW!
£2 each or £5 the lot

Epic 40K Tyranids
3 x Exocrines boxed
1 x Exocrine
1 x Hive Tyrant
1 x Dominatrix (body only)
£20 the lot 

I hope you see something you like!

A Gift From America

My friend Virginia has returned recently from a vintage clothing buying visit to USA. I understand her haul was considerable and even includes some menswear. While there she spotted a metal figure which she brought back as a gift for yours truly. It is clearly an old toy soldier that has seen hard service. I'm pretty sure he's a Dime Store figure and probably made during WW2. Following the events of the last few days I have to say it was a delightful surprise and a sign of true friendship. I'm a lucky fellow alright!

I wonder if The Grand Tarboosh is hiring experienced toy soldiers at the moment?...........

Welcome to new blog follower Haarken. He runs three blogs and all of them are a good read and full of ideas including baked goods!

Pip, pip!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

A Funeral 2

Well, it went as well as these things can. The priest's sermon was very good, despite a little pop at Humanists. The readings were excellent: they really captured Tegs and how people saw him. The cjoice of music was first class too: Police & Thieves: Junior Murvin , Amazing Grace; White Winter Hymnal: Fleet Foxes and Janie Jones: The Clash His wife, Mandy, was a tower of strength while all around her people were caving in. She did too eventually but the support for her was immense and I wish her well on her journey. There were close to 250 people there too. A good send off for a dear friend.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

A Funeral 1

My friend's funeral is on Friday 5th April at 10am. I'm travelling up to Birkenhead tomorrow afternoon; staying at my Mother's house. I'm trying to be as positive as possible about his death but the whole thing seems unreal. I expect it will hit me when I see the coffin, his wife & family and the rest of the mourners.Old friends are coming from as far away as Australia, Canada and Holland: popular guy he was.

This seems appropriate given we were/are all Smiths & Morrisey fans:

First Of The Gang To Die

I'll be back on line in a couple of days; until then, all the best.