Friday, 30 April 2010

English Civil War Troopers Armour in Maidstone Museum, Kent

Troopers armour of the English Civil War, on display in Maidstone Museum in Kent. The armour bears the commonwealth mark of the Tower of London. This armour would of course been worn over a tough buff coat that would have also provided some protection against sword blows.

The English Civil War section in the museum, sadly is limited to one cabinet and a brief description of the battle of Maidstone which I will relate soon accompanied with photo's of the town. The painting in the background is of Lady Ann Brockman 1600-1660 wife of Sir William Brockman staunch royalist and Sherriff of Kent in 1643. The painting dates from around 1642. The displays in this section of the room are dated & contained in cabinets which annoyingly effect the quality of the photographs with 'reflection issues'

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Nimrod into Bruntingthorpe 27.04.10

Matt Varnish

One of the useful reasons to belong to the Britmodeller forum, logo link at top of this page or go to this page in the tips & tools section although you might have to join (a painless & free exercise), is too pick up handy modelling/painting etc etc ideas plus you can ask for help if you need an answer to a 'neerdy' question which you may have on what colour is the underwing surfaces of a 1940 Avro Widget III. This forum seems particularly helpful & if you are not a modelller but mostly class yourdelf as a wargamer...who paints figures & creates armies to fight table top games with.... well the skills are the same when it comes to painting & constructing wargaming models or scenary. I'm both although I am having a bit of a 'model building moment' thanks to the forums starter kit group build which finishes on May 2nd...I've built 2 models in 3 weeks & thats doubled last years output already!! some Warlord ECW beckon!!!

The picture of Galeria Matt varnish is in response to Grimsby Wargamings plea for recommendations for a Matt varnish...actually Humbrol is one of the better varnishes but for consistency of quality go with a specialist arts product  it can be sprayed on or brushed on with equaly good effect.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Brigade Models Belgian WW1 Dog carts released at Salute

wow look at these lovely's been waiting for ages for these to materialise from the Kentish firm of Brigade models.....and as usual they are going to be released at salute.....yes that massive model show which always takes place at that time of the year when MOT, car tax & summer holiday costs all conspire to impose immediate poverty on my bank balance!!! I just know that attending Salute would be 'fatal' !! Anyway aiming to visit wargame shows in the Autumn this year

Airfix Starter set challenge 'take 2' Iranian F5-A !!!!!!

Sorry chaps no wargames figures although some Warlord ECW Firelock storming party are ready for undercoating...but another plane as I had promised the Britmodeller Group build I would construct 2 models here we go the Freedom Fighter F-5A in all its glory....nose cone about 4mm too big for fusalage....lots of emery boarding to reduce it flush with rest of fusalage....otherwise OK filler allowed so the display stand slot & wing fit gap filled with paired down 'sprue' . This will be finished in Iranian Air Force markings from 1965!!! now I know B****er all about the F5 & the Iranian Air Force  but it's fun modelling!! Given up on orange squash & wagon wheels....Jennings Cumberland Ale & home made 'sloe Vodka' instead....painting with Humbrol acrylic 11 could be interesting!!!!!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

A W Seahawk 'Starter Set' Group Build Challenge Completed

Well chuffed to have finished this challenge on Britmodeller Forum. Just as a reminder this was the one that you went back to your childhood and built the kit from the box using just the glue, brush & AWFUL acrylic paints supplied! A few other bits like masking tape 1 file & a craft knife were allowed, but no Airbrushes, spray cans or filler could be used.

The worse bit was painting the beast, the paints supplied in little plastic pots were dreadful & could only be applied in several thin coats. Surprisingly the underside white went OK, the topside grey was very streaky & then did the classic...... although being well stirred initially half way through the paint job it turned a slightly different hue of grey & less satin finish....I then stopped probably 1 coat short of finishing the fusalage.

The grey was hard work!!

Ready for decals & adding the dangly bits under the wings

Finished complete with a little display placque I made from spare sprue, box art & masking tape!!

Heath Robinson or what!!

Nose showing the super card markings

Inverted looks ok from a distance

passes muster closer up

Anyway thats it .....I did say on the forum I would build another if I have time before the month is out. I will then slap together the Northrop F -5A Freedom Fighter..... a plane I know little about and this is in Iranian Markings!!

Anyway if you want to look at the real thing have a look at the Royal Navy Historic Flight based at Yeovilton.

2 posts down Robert commented on his father being on Ark Royal as a marine..and he took photo's of the aircraft ..excellent if possible please post them somewhere or e mail some shots to me that would be great especially the Seahawks,Vixens and Gannets

Monday, 19 April 2010

English Civil War inspiration from a Bottle of Ale!! - Batemans 'Dark Lord'

Inspiration for wargaming & painting little soldiers comes from many quarters, Airfix & nostalgia is a common theme on this blog then there are all the lovely books us modellers & wargamers 'need' , wargames magazines, wargames & model shows, likeminded bloggers, figure manufacturers websites etc etc. 

However todays inspiration has come from BEER....yes good old English Ale spotted in Morrisons this evening (they have carried on Safeways buying policy of stocking an excellent range of real ales) was a bottle of Batemans Dark Lord commemorating 'Black Tom' who as the label on the back of the bottle says fought at the Battle of Winceby. 

Hmmm intriguing now I know the main battles of the ECW and reasonably well up on the western campaign, but Winceby (in Lincolnshire) had passed me by. On googling  'Battle of Winceby'  I found it was a small engagement in 1643 involving 6,000 men with about 200 casualties on the royalist side & 20 lost in the parliamentary cause. The Dark Lord 'Black Tom' they refer too must of course be non other than Sir Thomas Fairfax who lead the second charge at the battle after Cromwell's horse had been shot from beneath him. Anyway no point in me copying and pasting loads of gumph on this as either you know all this and more already or just follow the links......and after consuming the contents of this rich malty dark ale I can't be bothered to type more!!


Anyway perhaps the inspiration is to paint a figure of Fairfax himself and Bicorne miniatures do one see below.....any others?? perhaps Warlord Games will do eventually, or convert a figure using the bottle label for inspiration...complete with red eyes!!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Airfix Kit, Kiplings House, De La Warr Pavilion & Hastings ...phew busy Easter!!

Okay weekend started with a bit of concerted 'Airfix Starter Kit Challenge' work, great fun just using whats supplied 1 paintbrush, cement,4 awful acrylic colours + you can only use masking tape, rubber bands, a file,modelling knife & a bit of nose weight if recommended in the instructions. By Sunday after various interuptions like easter egg consumption & family stuff the airframe is complete!

Sub assemblys  built Hurrah...the only awful bit was attaching the tail as the moulds & therefore the locating pegs are slightly 'out' so repositioned tail unit. Painting is the next bit & with no Halfords primer allowed I'm ever so slightly worried!!

Of course to make all this authentic I have only drunk orange squash, consumed wagon wheels (yes they are smaller!!) & listened to period rock music like ACDC 'Dirty Deeds Done Cheap'

Anyway Easter monday is family time so we decided to 'crack' the first 'stately pile' of the new decade with a visit to Kiplings modest house Batemans in East Sussex.

Yes shot of the garden with house in distance....due to electrical fault the house was closed!!! BUM!!! the mill wheel wasn't working due to technical fault & grass paths by river closed due to mud!!!!

So folks this is what we saw plus RK's Rolls Royce in it's garage but as that was behind some plexi glass arrangement couldn't get a decent shot!

So joint decision 'lets head for the coast' which meant by going due South we ended up in Bexhill on Sea famous for an iconic bit of Art I am fond of Art Deco so here's some pics of the De La Warr Pavillion

View of pavillion facing the Sea

View from cafe (very nice Latte, Capawotsit & hot Choccy!)

Rear Stair well

Lovely art deco light fitting....joined in with 'arty photo types' snapping this feature. All in all an inspiring bit of AD but the 2 gallery's inside contained what could be basically (ok I'm an art philistine) termed as crap. Sorry but a piece of paper with a hole torn in it and then framed isn't art!! lots of other squiggles & conceptional rubbish which held my attention span for 30 seconds!!

So not satisfied with a closed batemans & superb Art Deco seaside architecture...on to Hastings!!

Didn't bother taking many photo's but liked this stained glass door in the old town

Loved this antidote to historical blue plaques!!

Enjoyed seeing again the home of the mother of Admiral Sir Cloudesly Shovell

Close up of Historic Plaque!!

Also next to the above house was this sign must look him up ....all I know was he was governor of Gib & orgnaised the defence of the fortress while under siege by the Spanish 1779-1783

Anyway thats it for a busy Easter Monday time to sit down with some Orange Squash & read my copy of Victor Comic from 27th march 1976 (I have quite a few copies from 1976, a few Victor & Warlord Summer Specials plus a few annuals....aah nostalgia!! ) Thought Steve the Wargamer would enjoy seeing a front cover again after his comment below

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Airfix Nostalgia OO/HO Figures

Matt's post at Waterloo to Mons one of my favourite blogs for inspiration on the world wide web has hit the nostalgia subject right on the mark! What were our inspirations to enter the hobby? He lists films & books which encouraged us and provided the 'food' for our active young imaginations and of course Airfix HO/OO figures!!!

Films provided much of the inspiration and brought the history books we avidly read (if there were battles involved! domestic life in medieval England was not so interesting!!) alive. The films which inspired me included Waterloo ( I can quote lots of phrases from this film very geeky!), Zulu Dawn, this came out at the same time as reading MM articles on Zulu wars with some fantastic Islandwhana dioramas, Battle of the Bulge, Bridge at Remagen, Battle of Britain (even worse can quote the whole script!) The Alamo, & Cross of Iron.

Books inspired me immensly especially the Funcken Uniform Series, Blandfords & of course the 'Warfare in' series especially Waterloo to Mons & Age of Bonaparte. Also a paperback book on Waterloo which my dad had, it was full of wonderful colour plates (I have these still they fell out of the binding) I think the book came out at the same time as the film. This book inspired the painting of my Airfix Waterloo Fingures.

But it was these glorious Airfix boxes of little plastic soldiers that my world revolved around before the late teens when girls/music/sport also featured

We were 'captured' as kids in the toy shops, 'Hankards' in Walton on Thames for example where fantastic revolving diplay stands with the round Airfix logo on top displayed colour paintings of the possibilities within. Birthdays, Christmas, Summer holiday pressies if done well at school, bribes to go to the dentist (well you had to play every card possible to get your hands on these treasures!) and pocket money (which seemed to take ages to save for the Airfix goodies we wanted) Also the Airfix catalogue provided hours and hours of enjoyment flicking through the pages, putting crosses next to our desires, dreaming of the next battles to take place against our friends or solo on the carpet at home.

I loved the catalogues which showed the contents of the boxes as well as the box art. the box art of course was fantastic and lead me to collect the boxes of HO/OO figures from my childhood in later years, although I have not gone as mad as some who must have all the 'blue ended' boxes etc. All boxes here come from my treasured collection housed in a large blanket chest at home where occasionally I lift the lid to reminisce.


The Russians with that great box art showing the maxim firing

Waterloo french cavalry ....surely the horses were far to big for those riders!

Always liked the rushing marines landing on a Japanese held island in this superb artwork

But this was always my favourite box art and set the WW1 Britsh Artillery, once rare now re released by hat & in the current Airfix range. The original boxed sets were hard to come by even at toy 'swap meets' in the 1980's

Now I'm taking part in the Britmodeller Airfix Starter set challenge as mentioned on an earlier post ( I am very pleased that LH is also taking part building a Westland Whirlwind) & I can report the AW Seahawk is nearly built! The painting to start soon. BUT what about everyone who reads this post digging out or acquiring some orginal or re released Airfix originals and painting and basing a unit again just like the good old days!

I am now off to read my sunday copy of 'Victor Comic' with a glass of orange squash and munching on a wagon wheel!!!!