Well, well, well. Interesting times. After all the political excitement I thought I’d get things back to what vaguely passes for normality on Lard Island with a bit of a look at some rather exciting stuff that has, metaphorically or literally, clattered through the letter box over the past week or so. Form some reason it’s all been terrain related this time around, although a recent flurry of ordering for my latest project will mean that more figures will soon be arriving.
Okay, first we have a rather exciting purchase from eBay, that on-line jumble sale which somehow seems to take more of my cash than the weekly grocery bill. Ever since we had our first games day in Evesham, I have been rather taken with the terrain boards used by young Jim Ibbotson, that master of the brush who supplied so many of the superb photos for Sharp Practice and all round good egg. Jim uses the battleboards from Games Workshop which neatly provide a 6′ by 4′ playing area and fit cleverly into a neat carry case. Like most good things produced by Games Workshop they are no longer available, but they do come up now and again on eBay, often selling for lunatic sums. I have been bidding on sets for some time, but trying to get them for a hundred quid or less is almost impossible. Until last week! Here’s what they look like:
Whoever owned them before has done a really nice job of painting them up. I am going to flock them, so at present I am wondering if the need a change of colour scheme, or whether to go with what has already been done.
Now, clearly, being designed for weirdy space-monkey games they have a few…idiosyncrasies. Like these bloody daft skulls.
Let’s be honest, whatever the narrative, what planet has skulls directly under the top-soil? It simply doesn’t make sense. So these have to go. With a simple dab of PVA glue…
…I covered all of the skulls and then covered the areas with a mix of sharp sand and small stones. Like this.
I am letting those areas dry our gradually and will then be applying a top coat of PVA and Water at around 50:50 ratio to hold that in place. Then it can be painted to match the existing colour scheme. I actually added a few more random areas of sand and grit, so overall it looks like this:
More on this as we go forward. I reckon it will make for a very nice board to take around the shows and it has a bit of flexibility in terms of the arrangement. In fact, if I am honest, I am thinking about buying a second set which will be really very flexible.
Now, on to something even more exciting. As reader of Lard Island News will know, I have been collecting buildings for my Imagi-Nations set up for the Seven Years War era. Indeed I am always on the look out for suitable buildings. As while ago, back in February to be precise, I attended Poldercon in Holland. Poldercon is a smashing little wargames event which, after two successful years, looks like establishing itself as a regular event on the calendar. As a show, it has three great advantages. Firstly, it is principally about gaming, so attendees sign up for games and really get to game all day. Secondly, it’s in the Netherlands which is one of my favourite parts of the continent (believe it or not we naughty Brits do actually like you!), and thirdly I get to sit at the feet of the wise and sagacious Jasper Oorthuys and hope that some of his wisdom brushes off on me. Sadly, I don’t appear to be much wiser as a result, but Jasper did introduce me to a company called Total Battle Miniatures and their rather smashing roads (you can read all about them here: https://toofatlardies.co.uk/blog/?p=5552 ).
Having purchased and been blown away by their roads, I decided to have a stroll around their web site to look at their other products, buildings in particular, and was so impressed that I chucked them some of my hard earned cash. Here’s what came in the post:
Two rather funky buildings from their 28mm Black Powder Europe range. On the right you see “Row of Houses with Store”, a nicely half-timbered building and at the left we have “Barn/Stables with lift off roof”. Both are very nicely done and will soon be gracing my table. However, the piece de resistance is from their Skirmish 28mm WWII Range, the Chateau with scenic base.
Wow! This is a really nice piece with incredible detail. Just look at the interior.
Three floors in fantastic detail. This would be a real objective to fight over/into/around. I can see Churchill on the terrace with the Fallschirmjager trying to knock him off from the shrubbery, or the Gestapo attempting to burn their files before the commandos fight their way in. What’s more, the model comes with this:
Yup, wallpaper. Several sheets of it for ever room in the house, even the smallest one. I have to say that all three models are really first class. The Chateau will easily work for periods other than WWII. It does have some damage modelled on and the balcony does have sandbags on it, but these could easily be covered with a bit of green stuff and would be fantastic for a Sharp Practice setting. The building stands on the base, so in a town setting you can jettison that and use the house as a stand alone building. Lovely stuff indeed. Now, I have to say here that I do not think that these buildings are cheap; they are most certainly not, but for what you get I think they represent decent value for money as the service I will get out of them will huge. If you feel like giving yourself a treat, they are very nice models indeed. And let’s face it, we all deserve a treat every now and again. Check them out here: http://www.totalbattleminiatures.com/
The failure of the attacks at Colenso in December, Spion Kop in December and Vaalkrantz in early February 1900 had left the British public and Lord Roberts perplexed as to exactly what General Sir Redvers Buller was doing on the Tugela River, indeed parts of the Army in Natal were losing faith in his ability