Friday, 28 June 2013

La Columna

Republican Infantry

La Columna is a Spanish Civil War group I was active in for many years.

Here's a video from the event at Cliveden House in 2006 (With thanks to Sean Palfrey & La Columna)

El Frente del Ebro

Nosotros mucho más!

PS Hello to new follower Col Blaxter. Welcome aboard!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Pack Of Camels Please

The expeditionary forces of Tarbooshia spread the doctrine of HSH The Grand Tarboosh in a friendly and non-colonial way. Vital to this delivery of The Good News is an efficient and capable supply train. Anahuacan saboteurs, being fools, often derail their own trains; the far-sighted and clear-thinking HSH has seen fit to provide His Army with a fool-proof method of supply delivery: the noble camel.

Seen here are three stalwarts of The Tarbooshian Food, Water & Bullets Delivery Camel Corps. Catchy, no? HSH came up with the title himself at a Grand Council of Tarbooshia meeting: corps name passed by unanimous vote.

As you can see the troops sport the very finest uniforms that Tarbooshia's military tailors can provide. So much smarter than those appalling Anahuacan vagrants.The camels can carry a variety of loads with ease over ground that would defeat all ordinary vehicles; apart from Tarbooshian vehicles of course! They are seen here with sundry packs containing the finest preserved produce the glorious farmers of Tarbooshia can provide. An army marches on its feet and Our Superlative Squadrons are no exception. Nothing but the best for the boys in the fez!

Early morning parade in Anahuaco

Saddled and packed the Corps' camels are ready to move

Forming line of march with Tarbooshian precision.

To The Front!

The toys are ex-ACW artillery men. Two are from an unknown maker; the huge guy is a toy from Steve Weston. The camels are from Britains zoo animals range. The packs are from a cheap bag of bits I picked up. I think they were originally meant for an 8th Army tank but have been re-imagined into Tarbooshian supplies. The camel blankets and harness straps are made from brown paper liberally plastered with paint-dyed white glue. I've painted them all up in a toy soldier style but I did do some highlighting on the camels' fur. Several coats of gloss varnish has made them disaster proof. I know that because I dropped them onto stone flags en-route to the photo-shoot. They survived with not a mark on them. Proving, once again, that Tarbooshian toys are NAILS.


Monday, 17 June 2013

Father's Day Newsflash.

Yesterday was Fathers' Day in UK. As an institution I think it is all lot of cynical nonsense and more about marketing than Fathers per se. But then I am a grumpy old sod at times ;-) Despite that I enjoyed yesterday very much; I got to see my two beautiful daughters who are both hilariously funny, extremely intelligent and great conversationalists. They brought me cakes and a bamboo plant. This made me very happy, The dinner I'd made, which they weren't expecting, made us all very happy. I'd call that a Big Win!

Checked for Jap snipers. 
Also Issi Noho is delighted!

Bum shaped Orange cake & white choc/raspberry muffins
On a vintage WI plate?
Don't mind if I do.


Saturday, 15 June 2013

In Maginot We Trust Part 4

Today's offering is a couple of cars I picked up last weekend plus a reminder of how le DLM is looking. I got the cars at a flea market which is held in Birmingham's Custard Factory every three months. It was nice day out and also the last sunny day until today.

The first car was a black and silver Rolls Royce. It's nice and big as befits the commander of a French armoured division. Rubbed down, washed and painted. Weathered and based as per normal.

The second car started as a strangely coloured Model T. Same production process as the RR. This time I added a couple of figures because this car belongs to the CO of a French infantry division. He is accompanied by that cutting edge of communications technology: a bugler.

Château Generalship goes mobile

A vos ordres, mon General!

La Division jusqu'à  présent.


Friday, 14 June 2013

Making Matilda Mobile

Following her stunning victory in the recent election Infantry Tank MkII Matilda has gone into production at the ToyTown Motors Factory. The box contains a straight-forward booklet. A nice touch is the full colour schemes for either The Western Desert or Australian versions. The tank bits come in a sealed plastic bag. It contains four sprues of tank parts with only minimal flash. The instruction sheet is well detailed with no surprises. Flash was minimal. This toy is destined to be an armoured battalion (infantry support) for the BEF rather than the desert, New Guinea or Soviet Russia.

Box Art & Kit Bits

Turret and LH running gear being assembled

Running gear, side-walls and upper hull

Tracks being glued and clamped into place

Assembled and ready for paint

Raw paint job

Paint job tidied up

Based and weathered


Saturday, 8 June 2013

In Maginot We Trust Part 3

I've been very slow lately on the painting & modelling front. This is due to doing a lot of vegetable growing, preparing beds & planting out. I've also constructed a flower garden in tubs and pots for my flat roof: most pleasant to sit out there with a G&T now that The Sun has got his hat on. Even the cat has started speaking to me again.

I've also been doing a lot of swing-dancing. Last weekend has left a very healthy impression upon me in that I worked a lot, learnt a lot & improved a lot. So much so my Wednesday night teachers, who were unable to attend JATW, commented on how much my dancing had changed since they last saw me: i.e. in just seven days! Swing-dancing remains the best fun ever.

Today I have finished the two R-35 (S-Models) tank battalions of le DLM. They'll form the 'Heavies' of the DLM whilst the FT-17s will be the 'Lights'. Next will be the HQ, staff, divisional artillery, A/T & AA. All of which will still be happening in slow time. TBH I can feel the pull of FLW again; I'm  not at all surprised; I did say my wargaming interests go in cycles. So, the Matilda II will be built and painted at the same time as my Big Bag of 54mm Bits gets taken out and rooted through.

Here's some pictures of the R-35 toys in their uncaptured livery:

On A Road....


.......In France.


Thursday, 6 June 2013

Forgotten War Graves Remembered 2

June 2013 is dry, warm and sunny which is about time; certainly better than the deluge we suffered at this time last year. Not that that matters too much to these four chaps. All four of them wiped out in their early twenties in wars that were not of their making. As before I feel strongly that their deaths should never be forgotten.

First Name: RUSSELL
Surname: CLARK
Rank: Flight Sergeant (Air Bomber)
Service Number: 1163470
Corps: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 21
Date of Death: 01/06/1944
Campaign Medals: 1939-45 War Medal, 1939-45 Star

First Name ERNEST
Surname: PARROTT
Rank: Sapper
Service Number:1877877
Regiment: Royal Engineers
Date of Death: 03/06/1940
Campaign Medals: 1939-45 War Medal, 1939-45 Star

First Name RPW
Surname: BINIT
Rank: Private
Service Number: 511?
Regiment: Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Date of Death: 04/06/1940
Campaign Medals: 1939-45 War Medal, 1939-45 Star

First Name: HARRY
Rank: Lance Corporal
Service Number 14/723
Regiment: Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Additional Regiment Info: 14th Battalion
Age: 23
Date of Death: 06/06/1917
Campaign Medals: Victory Medal, British War Medal

Battalion Information:
14th (Service) Battalion (1st Birmingham) (New Army)
September 1914: Battalion formed at Birmingham by the Lord Mayor and a local committee.
26 June 1915: they became attached to 95th Brigade, 32nd Division.
21 November 1915: landed at Boulogne.
28 December 1915: Battalion were transferred to 13th Brigade, 5th Division.
November 1917: moved onto Italy with the Division.
April 1918: they returned to France.
5 October 1918: then became Pioneer Battalion to same Division.

All the best.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Jumpin' At The Woodside

Wow! Just WOW! What a fab dance weekender JATW was. I've been back over 24 hours and am still buzzing. We left Birmingham on Friday afternoon and had a very quick, pleasant journey to the venue at The Dowty Sports & Social Club just outside Cheltenham Spa. After checking in to our hotel we were ready for Friday's social dance! There was a really friendly, relaxed and welcoming atmosphere all weekend. The classes I did were excellent: really well presented by teachers who took a real interest in their students. With around 25 classes on offer each day it would be impossible to do them all. I concentrated on Charleston and Lindy-Hop and learnt some useful tips and some new moves. I did learn to Shag on Sunday morning as well............The social dances were great fun even though I forgot to take my camera on Saturday. There was a copious supply of delicious home-made cakes and endless cups of tea all weekend; my favourite was the almond, cherry and syrup cake although the marmalade cake ran it a close second.

Here are some shots from the weekend:

Electric Swing Circus

The HepChaps

Lola Lamour & Her Blue Light Boys

Honor & Jerry

Anne & Stu

Stan, Mo & Karl

Addam, Sue, Rob & Sarah