Saturday, 13 August 2016
Well it's been a long time! 3 years ago as mentioned in my last post in the summer of 2013 my father was taken ill. Well a lot has happened since, including selling the family home in Surrey, moving mum into a bungalow near me and dad into a nursing home also nearby. The working life of an academy careers tutor has also become a lot busier as well, and modeling and wargaming has taken a back seat although some activity has taken place, usually short 1 hour games and just a few figures painted. Reporting this on a blog has been a call on time too far hence the blogging 'radio silence'.
February this year my father passed away and my partner Hazel's father also passed away 3 months later. We are just about recovering from these expected but still distressing events.
Earlier this year someone used a photo from my blog on Facebook saying it was their collection of Airfix figures! I made a suitable comment but it got me casually reading some of my favoutite blogs again although Matt and 'Waterloo to Mons' seems to have ceased again a great shame. I then decided I would soon revisit Victory V as I enjoyed the discipline of writing the blog and occasionally someone may perhaps have enjoyed reading it!
The regular article in Miniature Wargames on blogs has also brought some new sites to look at , but I must start looking at 'freshening' Victory V up a bit as it had become a little cluttered and dated, tips welcomed as I am not in any way an IT 'techie' this may take some time!
The above photo shows one of my old T34/85's (not Joseph Stalin thanks Simon!) behind an Airfix Strongpoint in a '1 hour wargame' in the 2016 Easter Hols. Oh and while I may not have modelled and wargamed much the loft insulation, stashes and lead mountains have increased vastly out of all proportion to activity.
Thursday, 8 August 2013
Cragside House famous for being the first 'domestic' home with electric light and the country seat of the Victorian Industrialist and arms manufacturer Lord Armstrong. A fantastic 'pile' with an 8 tonne Italian marble fireplace on the third floor supported on the rock face which the house is built into, interestingly for an industrialists house it was furnished in very much a William Morris Arts and Crafts sort of way although it can be said the whole house was definitely the domain of 'chaps' with Billiard rooms and hunting pictures and collections everywhere.
A picture of a Military Chap
A Victorian Painting 'After Chevy Chase' The Battle of Otterburn 1388 usual Victorian sentimentality and wrong period armour by about 150 years!
More BEER before 'doing the gardens' this time 'Nels Best' by the High House Farm Brewery a deep golden 4.2% ale another clean and refreshing modern ale named after the local farms Collie Dog!
The formal gardens were a good walk from the house but what a view!
Returning from Cragside to Kielder we went via the Village of Otterburn famous for its 'Private Battle' in 1388 basically English V Scots but in all reality it could have been billed as Percy V Douglas which Douglas's men won although Douglas himself was killed and Henry Percy 'Hotspur' was captured. Both armies were about 7,000 strong and the conventional English tactics of using longbows failed as it was getting too dark to fire arrows. The Ballad of Chevy Chase described the bloody encounter these three verses seem appropriate;
The battle began in Cheviot
An hour before the noon
And when even-song bell was rung
The battle was not half done
They took 'on' on either hand
By the light of the moon,
Many had no strength for to stand
In Cheviot the hills above
Of fifteen hundred archers of England
Went away but fifty three
Of twenty hundred spear men of Scotland
But even five and fifty
The memorial stone to the battle is in the photo at the top of this piece and is contained within a grove of Larch trees planted by the national Trust in 1977 there is the one interpretation board and a few sorry looking picnic tables. behind the larches the land where the battle took place is shown above. A nice range of wargames figures are produced for this battle by Claymore Castings in 28mm
On Friday evening we heard my father had been rushed into hospital during the day so after a bad nights sleep we decided we would do Alnwick castle and then return south so we made the most of our last day in Northumberland by spending it entirely at the castle which I will follow up on in a future posting especially with regards to the Northumberland Fusiliers Museum.
Its a very impressive edifice and has remained in the Percy Family the Dukes of Northumberland for over 700 years
The state rooms were very ornate (no photos allowed sadly) and some impressive masterpieces were on display including some Canaletto's which I always love seeing, the 'light' he put into his paintings always astounds me.
Never ones to miss an opportunity to look stupid we duly got togged up and got stuck in the stocks!
The castle gardens were equally impressive and the children were enjoying the joke fountains! Sadly the next day we left for Surrey and I have spent the last 10 days helping my parents, dad is now out of Hospital after contracting Pneumonia and blood clots on his lungs and is making slow but steady progress. I did take my 'modelling crate' thinking I would get time to complete some Panzer IV's etc but it was full on being a carer and sorting out medical appointments and support .... I also visited the Local Sainsbury's supermarket more times than I care to remember!
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
'Crush The Kaiser' who write fast play wargames rules for the Western Front. They also have a blog crushthekaiser.blogspot a set of WW1 aerial combat rules will be out by Christmas a sneak preview I have saw last autumn it uses telescopic stands adapted from a product bought from Tesco for 99p to give the 1/72 model planes different height levels. I hope to get a game with them sometime as they are East Kent based.
Monday, 22 July 2013
Fox Armoured Car
Stalwart (a favorite due to the Airfix 1/32nd model!)
One of my Teaching Colleagues Husbands Ferret ! good to meet you David
Scimitar turret on FV432
FV 432 Recovery or Ammo carrier?
A Ferret mk2 with turret
Inside T62 Turret hatch showing the breach
BMP type thing
CVRT family 'Spartan' ?
CVRT with some kind of missile affair? I admitted to being short on knowledge on this subject
Scorpion again (picked up an Airfix model of one at the show)
The Abbot Self Propelled Gun (Another Airfix1/32nd favorite!)
A missile supply vehicle
a Czech BMP type Russian job answers please!
It was dusty!
Centurion at speed
Saracen at speed
The Centurion is for some reason my favorite tank and picked up 2 'cheap as chips' Airfix models at the show
Engineers vehicle on Chieftain chassis
A trio of Scorpions
Interesting armor detail
As a reward for making your way through all those pictures of cold war vehicles the shows 'poster girl' who was posing for pictures like a live piece of B17 'nose art', well it seemed rude not to take a photo! Also I got a very rare Airfix Kit at the show which I don't think the vendor knew was worth more than £10 guess what it was? all will be revealed in tomorrows 100th blog posting!