Saturday, 9 August 2014

Historical Wanderings - Stokesay Castle

I don't seem to get round to 'blogging' very often at the moment, I blame early starts at work for bringing early bedtimes and general tiredness throughout the day.  One thing I get to do even less however is visit historic properties nowadays, so today with an unusual occasion.  The bio-titan has a passing interest (only time will tell if its superficial), while SWMBO has none whatsoever, and sadly the titan generally follows her lead.  But he is interested in knights and castles, and so I drove them the not inconsiderable 55 mile distance to Stokesay Castle in Shropshire for an English Heritage 'Fighting Knights' event.

Having overseen such things in the past at Beeston Castle I knew the title could suggest more than it was, and as I expected there were just the two knights and a herald.  However these worthies are connected with the Wars of the Roses Federation; a watchword for quality, and they didn't disappoint.  The bio-titan sat and absorbed it all, even cheering and clapping, although he drew the line at joining in the children's sword fighting until it was too late, which was a pity because it was very well done - the 3 blokes running it really knew their stuff and their audience.

Unfortunately the good grace (he was tired after waking up too early) didn't last to exploring the Castle properly and we only managed to go up and down the stone tower (not the oldest part of the building interestingly).  Perhaps in another 6-7 years (the length of the previous visit gap) I'll get too see more of a site which, despite its small size, is fascinating.

Gatehouse and bio-titan.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Work In Progress.......July 2014

Following Junes painting success (Napoleonic big finish) July has been a quieter month.  Having flocked and improved my old Games Workshop hills to fit in with my battle mat table top I then spent a good two weeks doing absolutely nothing on the hobby front.  One week was taken up by preparation for a job interview – no job offer but I wasn’t too disappointed – while the rest was half tiredness, and half a lack of any enthusiasm towards any specific period/model/size etc.


When I eventually picked up a paint brush it was to mess around with some Wars of the Roses (WOTR) bowmen, and to carry on filling out the unpainted corners of my Flames of War German collection.  The bowmen have been sitting, undercoated and based, for rather a long time following their purchase at Tripples two years ago, suffering from a combination of my fear of painting bright colours, and the “something else is shinier!” effect.  Having had a game of WOTR with Aidan recently using his rather nicely painted and impressive looking Yorkists and Lancastrians, I decided to trial a few ideas.  The platoon for my Germans that I have finally finished this month was the Flak36 88mm guns one, having only owned it for around 5 years.  The 2 guns and command team has been done for most of that, in fact I was rather pleased with the paint job on them, but the two big half tracked transports and the staff car have been 30% done for a while, and needed a finish.  I took the opportunity to spruce up the guns and command while I was at it; redoing the gun shield camouflage and filling in chips.

 I also trialled a new painting technique while painting a panzerschrek team, and an anti-tank rifle team.  The anti-tank rifle team nearly matches the 88’s transport options in the life-unpainted stakes, while the panzerschrek team needed rebasing after I put them on small bases rather than medium.  Juries out on the final result.


For gaming I managed a few battles against Aidan; he defeated my (or rather; his)Yorkists twice, then I lost at Warhammer, then I finished off by making -again mostly his - Napoleonic French look like mugs.  I’m getting my loosing face just right I reckon, a combination of disappointment, outrage, and comic pauses.  Before all that Dennis fell to my wrath at Flames of War, but gained his vengeance in Phil’s FOW Africa campaign, and finally I played a good few, very enjoyable, games of Carcassone against Will McNally.  Oh, and thanks to family commitments I missed Gauntlet.  9 months of thought and planning down the pan for me, luckily everyone else had fun.

Painting Totals:

Painting totals this month; 2 hills, 2 halftracks, 1 staff car and 2 German teams.  Not counting the 88’s touch-up job.  I also won a model of a Dreadball star player; a Judwan, for coming third and winning best painted team at the tournament!  A good result.
Purchased: 24
Painted: 126