Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Buildings from Gripping Beast

To go with my Vikings I bought a couple of resin Gripping Beast buildings from War and Peace Games - their timbered barn and Saxon church. I love these - dead easy to paint and look pretty cool. I'll probably buy some more. They also make a longship that looks pretty tempting...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Yep, I'm stylish as well

Monsieur le Rosbif very kindly nominated my humble blog as stylish. I like seeing the Stylish blogger thing go around - it sort of celebrates the community of hobby blogs and is a good opportunity to highlight the work of others. I am constantly in awe of the amazing work I see on your blogs, and also at the amount of work some of you churn out. (Don't you have jobs??!!) I'm going to pass on Rosbif's beneficia by nominating just one blog - Nick Grant's 20mm Gamer Nick's blog, and particularly his website before it helped get me back into gaming, and inspired me to explore the Golden Age of 1/72 plastic figures. But to all the rest of you - thanks for all the inspiration.

I think I'm also meant to share 10 facts about myself, so here goes:

1. About the happiest I've ever been was wandering around the ruins of Ostia with the Duchess.
2. I teach history at a school,
3. which is ironic, since I hated school,
4. where I largely coped by developing insular hobbies like this one.
5. I wrote a book once, but it isn't very good.
6. After my hobbies music is probably the main thing that keeps me sane(ish). The last album I bought that sent shivers up my spine was 'Let England Shake' - PJ Harvey.
7. The best meal I ever ate was in a Ristorante in Ravenna. I was visiting by myself in 2004 to photograph mosaics and just wandered into some place and asked to give me whatever they thought I should eat. Bresaola, then the local pasta and ragu, then caramelised figs with mascarpone and flatbread, washed down with a bottle of Lacrima Christi del Vesuvio. Life is good.
8. I miss living in the UK.
9. My favourite historical novels are the Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian.
10. I am graded as scholar in Single sword and English Longsword.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vikings for Basic Impetus - Finished!

It has been a big couple of weeks, with the latest outbreak of plague to rip through the family and a week of exam marking, so apologies for the silence. I return to Blogland to see that many of you cleaver chaps have been very busy, and also that Monsieur le Rosbif has honoured me with a Stylish Blogger Award. I'll reply properly to that shortly, but I just wanted to get these images up before the end of the weekend.

Yep, I've finished my first 28mm army, Danish Vikings for Basic Impetus. All figures are from Wargames Factory. Click to enlarge.

Here are the skirmishers, converted from Wargames Factory Vikings and Ancient Germans

The Berserkers are also a mix of parts from Viking and Early German figures.

The shields are for keeping track of a unit's VBU (strength) in Impetus. Rather than the usual expedient of putting dice next to the unit showing the right number of pips, the number of segments the shield is divided into tells you the VBU (so 1-4, left to right).

Some simple conversions into casualties to use as Disorder Markers.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Vale Professor Richard Holmes

I was very saddened to hear of the death of Professor Richard Holmes on 30 April at the far too young age of 65. In my view Professor Holmes was an exemplary military historian, able to give a good view of strategy and tactics without ever losing sight of the human experience of war. I had the great privilege of sharing a pint with him back in Oxford after a lecture in 2004, and I have met few men able to share their expertise with such humility and generosity. I remember him telling us about a trip he had just been on to Cassino, and he painted a vivid picture of clambering about the hills finding the tail fins of mortar bombs from 1944. I fear that my mate Giles and I were like 14 year old girls meeting Justin Bieber when we met him. Professor Holmes leaves an impressive body of work, and if you haven't read his 'Redcoat' on the British Army in the age of horse and musket, I can't recommend it enough.

This really is terribly sad news.