Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday, 19 September 2016

The Opposition (more Pirate stuff)

Hip, Hip, a tray (of figures)...
So it wasn't as difficult finding the figures I would be using to oppose my pirate forces.
For some inexplicable reason, I seemed to have organised them into groups of sixteen.
They're all Irregular Miniatures from their 28mm Marlborough range. I like them ( a lot) and not just because they're cheap and I'm a tight-wad!
These figures cost a measly 90p when bought singly, that goes down to 75p when buying 24 or more and a mere 72p when buying 100!  Value for money or what ?
The view from inside the tray
I did buy a dozen or so cavalry from the range too (still unpainted after fifteen years!) - again cheap at £1.80 each or £1.50 when buying eight . 
I'm sure that when I bought these, alongside all my pirates, I was trying to emulate someone else's game with a central island/town etc. in a grand treasure-hunt or similar. There was one thing that I was a bit disappointed with when I re-discovered them - although they looked finished, they weren't!
There's not a lot to do on them, they're fairly usable as they are and at least the bases have been finished (Bases - Bah, the bane of my life)
The Officer core
There's quite a variety of figures in the range though the left-most Officer in the photograph on the right would also make good piratical captains I don't thik he's originally part of the range.
I'm fairly sure that some aficionados among the readership will spot inaccuracies with regard to uniforms etc, but this range is a generic range. Mine are painted up to represent British forces, but could just as easily represent the other major powers in the Caribbean (Spain, France etc.)
Drummers (Who'd have guessed )
The colour choice of coat-lining, turn-ups etc. was based on my local regiment of fusiliers that had 'Gosling green' facings, rather than the all-too familiar blue of 'royal regiments.
Drummers of course wore reverse colours, hence mine all have green coats with red facings.
The units that can be seen in the top photograph all have a drummer present save for the 'Grenadier' unit (I don't know why - I may have been under the impression they didn' have them).

The NCOs and Ensign
A well as the Officers, there are also NCO  figures armed with a Halberd and one suitable as a ensign - though I haven't decided upon which flag I would use.
The stances of he NCOs do show the fairly limited number of poses (something I like) and whilst the standard line infantry have firing poses I've opted to to have any.
Showing the two poses I use for the foot figures

I opted for marching figures and figures with ported weapons as they match nicely with the NCOs
These jolly fine chaps fit in really well with the majority of my pirate figures, they're well proportioned and don't have stubby looking muskets, these look great, even if their bayonets aren't fixed.
The grenadiers I intended to have striped stockings and would be used as marines, - yet another bit of painting yet to be done!

And that's it for another week, one day I may find the cavalry figures I bought way back when and may even get them painted up, but don't hold your breath!

Thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Move Along

Random photo of my gladiator collection to fill space..
The subject of the post should really have said, "Move along please there's nothing to see here" which would say it all really (but was a tad too long). The reality is that I've been unable to do anything hobby-related during the last week due to real life issues.
I've travelled the length of the country to a funeral (and suffered the resulting hangover) and after a quick turn-around arrived home to receive my relatives from Canada whom #2 son was babysitting. Next up was a wedding and meeting two of my cousins whom I hadn't see for about forty years or so.
Assorted beasts for the arena - Lion steaks anyone ?
Next up, with not nearly enough sleep, it was off to meet another relative arriving from Canada (luckily our house is big enough to accommodate all these newly arrived foreigners).
 The latest guest arrived today, so no proper blog this week - as I'm sure you've already guessed.
(I've thrown a couple of pics from my Gladiator project on here to pad this out - just in case you were wondering - everyone likes piccies right?).
Victory! (How I'm feeling getting this post done)
So, apologies whilst I back-track and catch up with all your blogs posts that I've missed commenting upon in the last week or so - I promise I'll try and catch up, as time allows between the compulsory bouts of entertaining I'm compelled to do.

In other news I have found the promised opposition to my pirates and given the opportunity (they're in one of the now occupied guest rooms) to photograph them, they may well feature next week (fingers crossed).

That's it then for this week, thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Border Reiver 2016

Large Celts v Romans affair
A dismal, rainy, Saturday morning saw #1 son and myself set off for 'Border Reiver', the closest show to where I live (though still in the South) at the Gateshead Stadium. Whether it was the weather, timing or general apathy I did think the show was low on numbers than previously.
There was the a good number of traders covering a wide range of wargame goodies and most had  a constant trickle of punters after their wares from what I could make out.
Close up of the above game.
The games were varied from many points of view. there were large and small, historic and fantasy, skirmish and army-sized, on land and sea and in the air! My favourite being a Celts versus Roman battle put on by two very great guys. I just wish my photographs did their game justice!
The lighting in the hall played havoc with my limited(very) photographic skill and many of my pics have a yellow aura about them, despite my best efforts with photoshop. (I'm not the only one to 'suffer' this effect btw).

Large Napoleonic battle.

As one would expect the games varied as much in quality of presentation (read effort) and a few did have some unpainted figures on show.
The viking game looked interesting, despite the right angled river! (Something I don't mind btw)

Large representation of Cannae - in 15mm iirc
Photograph right: Wall to wall figures being moved on turn one (I think they'd finished the move by the time I left, an hour later.
Ancients are not really my cup of tea.

Good looking game set in Vietnam

All homemade vehicles and terrain
 The fantasy element was well represented, my friend Stuart having a huge table showing off his scratchbuilt terrain, vehicles and monster robot type things (Titans I'm reliably informed) for a huge Warhammer-like game.
Another featured a 'football' type game set upon a huge galleon, whilst another featured a 'classic' elf/dragon affair, though don't quote me on it.

Fantasy football on a ship. (And why not)
Great looking French - Indian War game.
Great looking Dead Man's Hand game, using car buildings

Wings of War
Fantasy game
What of the loot you ask? Well truth be told I purchased not a jot.#1 son bought a book of Rapid Death Fire scenarios for use with his Flames of War games and other than beverages that was it!
I did have a good time though, the Traders were great to chat to (as always) and those running the games that I took an interest in were all welcoming and informative too.
Best part of the day though was seeing friends that I hadn't seen for a year or so - worth the entrance fee alone!

Next week, real life threatens to interfere with getting a post out, but I will try and make the effort!

Thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 29 August 2016

The Others (Pirates 7)

So although I've shown most of my pirate collection, here's a few of the figures that have either been missed or didn't easily fall into any of my 'categories', hence the first photograph of an executioner complete with impractical axe. I believe the figure is from the Foundry range but alas  why I cannot say. I suppose there must have been someone that had their head lopped off in the golden age of piracy but most pirates were hanged and gibbeted for their crimes.
"Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to kill we go"
Next up is one of many axe-armed piratical types that I have (Foundry must have been doing a special deal on them).
The figures themselves are highly usable of course, both as pirates and civilians and come in two distinct varieties, those attacking and those looking like they may attack.
I don't believe I have any other pirate figures, other than the foundry ones that are axe-armed.
I singled out the chap on the left for his gnome-like (or dwarfish) qualities as an example of my axe-wielders (I do have another three that appeared in an earlier post)

Two left-handers and a special (I like this pose)
Men wielding their choppers
A rare breed pf pirate, 'The woodsman'
Amongst the other I have a few civilian types of which these three on the left are examples (yes, it's a poor photograph - I know).
The two individual on the left are probably 'named' characters from Foundry whilst the chap on the right is a captive. I've included him once more in the photograph below, for scale purposes.

The photograph on the right (with camera- hogging captive for scale) shows a very small preacher-type and an even smaller firearm (large pistol?) armed cabin boy (Jack Hawkins ?). The two are truly diminutive as can easily be seen, but they'll probably be used as they are. 'Jack' is either carrying a large pistol or a small musket-type carbine. Anyone who has handled a horse-pistol of the era will know how heavy these things can be. Such a small chap using one two-handed is a good representation imo.
Pirate cricketers ?
The four figures on the left are all 'grenadoe' armed, I'm guessing the throwing stance is unavoidable. Grenades must have been quite unusual terror weapons probably for both the recipient and the user.
To complete this post here's yet another figure I came across with the dreaded "chest foot":

"I'd have preferred a parrot"
The overall audit of my pirate collection was quite surprising, I knew I had quite a few (meaning well over 100) but here's the final count in loose categories:
Gunners -26; Muskets etc.-74; Melee armed - 97; "Grenadiers" - 4; Others - 54; Unfinished bases (various) - 35 making for a total of 290! I think have overdone it a bit and next week I'll be posting about their opposition, just the single post though and dependant upon whether or not I find them!

In other news, I discovered that my latest follower. Michal Kucharski has a blog that can be found HERE  - it's an interesting mix of various genres (and his painting is superb). It's well worth a look .

I'll also take this opportunity to apologise to those whose blogs I normally leave comment. Real life has raised its ugly head once more, in various guises, which along with the normal round of new and old health issues, there has also been a family bereavement.

As usual your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Personalities (Pirates 6)

Captains 3.  
It seems that almost every figure manufacturer feels the need to produce 'specials', or 'personality'  figures with probably the most prominent one being that of Blackbeard, or Edward Teach (or Thatch) if you prefer, being of course the epitome of a pirate.
The photograph on the right shows three such personality figures (all Foundry IIRC)  with their version of Blackbeard on the trio's left.
"I'm Blackbeard", "No! I'm Blackbeard", "I'm Spartacus"
Not a bad representation I guess, but he's not the only one I've got!
The photograph on the left shows another two 'Blackbeards' (How I ended up with two identical sculpts, I don't know).
The other Sculpts shown have probably all been given names of the more famous real-life pirates, such as Avery, Morgan etc. something which amuses me, but for all the wrong reasons.
Three more "Historical" characters ?

The variations between all of these is sufficient to give a wide selection of  figures that are emminently suitable as Captains for both pirate, merchant and Naval vessels.
The only thing I dislike about a lot of them (and a lot of other figures too) archetypical pistol raised in the air. Anyone who owns or has used a large pistol will know how heavy these things are and it's not generally done save for a formal duel (maybe).
"We could be proper pirates if we had hats"
Most of these can be used as ships' captains, but there are also those which shout out "Civilian!" (to me at least) , such as these three on the right. It's probably the lack of piratical hats or something!
There is ample scope for figures, such as these three to be used as Governors, important passengers etc.

 The last two I have for this section is the pair on the right; as they're so distinctive I have to assume they were listed as "named" or 'special' or something.
They wouldn't look out of place in a French-Indian war setting, the figure on the right being very 'Indian' looking imo.

Good, bad and ugly?
There are of course some Female Pirates too, amongst the 'personalities ( no doubt all called Ann , Mary or Grace (Bonny, Reid and O'Malley respectively.), but these vary from the historical to the hysterical.
The photograph on the left shows the three most historical looking in this selection.
(Sorry about the blurriness, but I blame the crap photographer )

"Avast behind" (and a bulging front too).
These next three amuse me, probably more than any other figures I have in this collection.
From left to right we have a pantomime lead woman playing the role of a man; the typical heroine from an old black and white film of yesteryear and finally a cross between a fantasy pirate and Rambo.

"We're laydees"
The three women on the left, a maid and two 'ladies', not quite the sum of my civilian female personnel, but a good chunk of it!
These three could easily be used over a span of a hundred years or so., but if I recall correctly they were indeed in some manufacturers Pirate range. I have quite a few similarly looking Redoubt figures from their Musketeers'  range (unpainted)

"We're feckin ladies too"
 Rounding off the female theme  are these two wonderful (imo) characters, suitable both for civilian and pirate use, being basically females in male clothing.
The figure below I discovered also to be a female I (I believe from the Old Glory Range) though I was dubious at first as to her sex.
It was only whilst working my way through the Old Glory pirate listings that I came across the figure and realised it was female.

"I may or may not be, I'm not sure"

That's it then for this week, next week will be the remainder of the odds and sods that haven't had their five minutes of fame, some more civilians and diverse crew that haven't been covered in a previous post.

As always your comments (and patience with this series of posts) are welcomed and appreciated.

Monday, 15 August 2016

The Bucket Brigade and Others (Pirates 4)

Over-manned gun
Continuing with my posts about my pirates this week I've sorted through the not-so-vast number of supernumeraries of my collection, the gun crew and a few others of note.
When I made my ships I did design them to be figure friendly, so that gun-ports were spaced sufficiently apart to allow for a figure  to stand on either side of the  model cannons.
The gunners
I had allowed for three gunners per gun and have various figures that are obviously only intended as gunners, so there are figures carrying cannon balls, with rammers, powder ladles and so on, both in action (ramming) and idle poses. Needless to say I haven't enough gunner figures to man all my guns, but I feel do have enough for my purposes.
"Be a pirate they said. It'll be exciting they said"
Along with the more or less unarmed gunners I also have various chaps that can also serve as gun-crew, such as the two figures on the right pulling on ropes. They can of course just serve as generic crew (also known as cannon fodder), but they're obviously not as 'exiciting' as some of the more dynamic cutlass wielding curmudgeons available.
I place the two figures below in the same category as the two rope-pullers, in that they're 'nice' but hardly anything more than eye candy (maybe not so much with my brushwork)
"We're occasionally excited"
"I wish I'd picked a cutlass now"
I seem to have a lot of these figures that are 'nice' to have but wouldn't be anyone's first choice, the two figures with boat-hooks,  on the left perhaps well illustrating the point. They're nice enough figures and it's obvious as to what their purpose is. They're a bit awkward for a busy deck with their boat-hooks as long as they are, but they could have a bit of  future serving as dockside workers.
"How come we never get shore leave?"
The next pair of figures really do look like a pair of fish out of water until they take up their rightful place behind a ship's wheel, as they're both 'Helmsmen'. It's obvious that every ship with a ship's wheel needs one of these chaps, so although they look awkward when not at the helm they're a bit of a necessity I guess.
At a pinch they could be used as an audience for the two musicians above. I've a similar opinion of the two lookouts below; they're needed but look out of context anywhere other than as lookouts. It's even further strange that they're pointing forward (presumably) whilst shouting rear-ward! 
"I'm pretending I've got a spyglass"... "Me too"
Pirate Line-dancing, hand jive.
It took me quite a while to figure out what the purpose of these five rapscallions  was exactly.
I did work out eventually that they were also gunners, but were intended for the swivel guns that I don't have! (But I did intend to get some - honest injun guv)

"How come I get two?"
Just in case you were wondering why this post was entitled "The Bucket Brigade", well here they are, men carrying buckets, just the four of them (probably three too many).
They look OK and could be used both as crew (and more importantly to me ) and civilians, carrying the many types of stuff carried in buckets.
Along with the bucket brigade comes the barreleers (that's a word - right ?) and all I've said about the bucketeers (that sounds a bit more 'piratey' - right?) can be applied to these . They look OK  gun crew with barrels of gunpowder, but could just as easily double as civilians lugging about barrels of rum in a tavern.

So that's it once more for another week and once more I haven't done anything over the last week, I'll be posting more about my pirates next week (sorry).

It remains for me to welcome a new follower to both my blogs (this one and my Gladiator blog - in case you'd forgotten), so "Welcome", Michal Kucharski, (whom I can't find a blog for), I hope you and the other visitors to my blogs find something of interest.

As always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated