Monday, 23 November 2015

Agincourt and The Tower of London

This weekend I ventured up to town to see the Agincourt exhibition at the Tower of London.

Despite having lived on the edge of London since '87 I've rarely done any of the obvious touristy things apart from some of the main museums.  I have visited the Tower once before but this was on a school trip from Glasgow back some time around 1978!  As I have a bit of a castle-fetish this always been a bit of an anomaly so the prospect is seeing the diorama and visiting the Tower seemed a good chance to tick it off my 'to do' list.

The Tower certainly isn't a cheap day out at £24 per ticket but certainly wasn't having any trouble packing in the tourists.  As I arrived there was a Yeoman guided tour about to start but as there were about 100 tourists surrounding him I decided I could probably manage by myself.  The layout is well signed and the walk around the walls and towers takes you through the history of the castle from it's  founding up to WW1. 

Traitor's Gate

The White Tower

The importance of the Tower means that the records are very detailed on the whole...for example in one tower it informed visitors specifically who was incarcerated in the room and why (John Baliol for example).  There was also a lot of preserved and poignant graffiti on the walls of the rooms/cells.

Medieval Toy Soldiers...probably purchased at Ye Games Wokshoppe

I decided to give the Crown Jewels exhibition a miss (partly because of the crowds but also as it holds little interest for a staunch republican!) and headed off to the White Tower which holds the Armoury collection and, after a lot of climbing, the Agincourt display.  The exhibition contains a number of artefacts from the 15thC and the Agincourt campaign and is interesting in it's own right but as a wargamer I was obviously keen to see the mass display of the Perry brothers work and it certainly doesn't disappoint.  The diorama consists of 4300 figures in a 3 x 4m display case.  Rather neatly they have incorporated some downward looking periscopes which give a figures-eye view of the battlefield.  The whole spectacle is very impressive and I liked some of the little touches around the edge of the field...I tried but failed to spot the wire bristles that had been used to represent arrows stuck in the ground...apparently they had put these in knowing they were unlikely to be visible to the audience but just because they felt they ought to!

There was no photography allowed in the exhibition due to some of the light sensitive items on display (written records etc) so here are some photos I sneakily took on my phone without a flash!!

Luckily I managed to come away without the urge to start a new period, although it's probably just as well the gift shop wasn't stocking any boxes of Perry Miniatures...actually they missed a trick there!  Mind you I do still have my Wars of the Roses figures to paint....

Sunday, 22 November 2015

My Frostgrave Nickstarter...

I'd signed up for the latest Frostgrave Nickstarter from Northstar Miniatures which was due to be shipped out on 17/11.  I'd been out to a meeting on Monday 16/11 and arriving home found the Red Card of Doom which meant the Postie had sneaked up the path and run away again before anyone could answer the door and would mean a trip to the Sorting Office.

I managed this on Thursday and sure enough it was my Frostgrave bundle.  There were a range of deals on offer but I'd gone for a fairly modest collection...the Thaw of the Lichlord supplement, a box of the new Cultists (which look excellent) and a few extra miniatures...some treasure tokens, a Lich Wizard and Apprentice, a Templar (with a big hammer!) and a rather Nazgul-ish looking Frost Wraith. 

All look excellent and the supplement contains quite a lot of new additions to the rules as well as a series of linked scenarios.  This might prompt me to finish the first batch of figures I've started for the game before I get going on the new figures.

I noticed at the end of the supplement it mentions the next release 'Into the Breeding Pits' which is set in the catacombs and sewers under the city and scheduled for release in July 16.... now I need to check if my son ever got rid of his GW Skaven....!!!

Into The Breeding Pit

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Happy Anniversary

Image result for 3rd birthday cartoon

Somehow the 3rd anniversary of this little corner of the Interweb slipped by without me noticing! Back on 6.11.12 I made my first post as a bit of an experiment and somehow it's still going on...even more surprisingly there are people that read it! With hindsight I'd probably have chosen a different name but my son and I were trying to think of something that suggested a real mix of wargamey thoughts and ideas and to be honest I wasn't sure it would last more than 5 minutes!!

I thought I'd have a look at some of the stats on the blog....

As blogs go mine is relatively small...certainly compared with many of the big beasts of the blogosphere but the fact that anyone looks at it at all is a constant source of amazement!  Total views of the blog are 65 032 with 81 followers.

I've made 155 posts (plus one draft which has been sitting in the 'draft' box for months) so an average of about 1 post per week.  This is more than I thought I'd done although there have been lengthy drought periods followed by a flurry of posting at times.

The most popular posts have been (in order)...
  • Salute 2014,
  • a review of Land of the Free (ACW rules)
  • strangely a post about Neil Thomas' 19th century rules
  • Salute 2015 ( I guess reviews of shows are always popular)
  • and a post about Skirmish Sangin.

I occasionally post a link to the blog on other sites... usually TMP but also Lead Adventure Forum and this definitely boosts views...I did this a lot in the beginning but less so these days.  I spend a lot less time on TMP so don't always think to post a link but I really ought to be more active on LAF.

The audience for the blog has the following countries as top 10 viewers...
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Russia
  • France
  • Australia
  • China
  • Ukraine
  • Germany
  • Canada
  • India
I know some of this is generated by sites 'harvesting' web sites but it's still an interesting mix and a few very odd countries have cropped up from time to time.
So, on to year 4. I've enjoyed rambling on here for the last 3 years and hope that whoever's out there viewing it enjoys it.  Cheers!!!





Saturday, 14 November 2015

Saturday painting

I haven't posted in a couple of weeks...mainly due to work/personal stuff cropping up as it does.  I needed to use up a bit of flexitime this week as I'd been working too many evenings so I took advantage of this to catch up on some long-neglected painting.  I've made a bit of progress on my Frostgrave Soldiers which are now looking a bit better after a dip in some Army Painter shade.  I find this can leave the figures a bit shiny but it has brought out the detail well.

I mentioned a couple of posts back that my eyes were struggling when I was painting and using the laptop.  A visit to the optician confirmed that my vision has changed and bizarrely it has improved slightly!  Sadly the reason for this seems to be that my long-sightedness is beginning to affect my short sightedness due to age...bugger!  I've worn glasses/contacts for distance since I was about 10 and don't relish the thought of needing anything for reading and close up work... the optician reckoned I have a couple of years to go before that happens though so I'll hold on as long as I can.

I did pop in to Hobbycraft though and picked up a small LED lamp which is really good.  It cost £14.99 and is rechargeable and has made a real difference to my ability to paint...hasn't necessarily improved it but at least I can see the errors now!