Slow progress

I've been a bit distracted, and if you examine the current contents of my workbench you can see why.
  • front right- Paras - not bad progress, just need to base them up and finish the vehicles
  • front centre - still sorting out all the assorted bits for the camp
  • front left - a collection of purchases under going restoration for my 8th army
  • back left/centre - all the bits of armour taking ages to sort out, I'm now short of German crosses as well
  • back right - another distraction - WW1/RCW artillery


Chepstow castle

The final castle on my South Wales trip and a really impressive castle built on a cliff overlooking the Wye. I last visited Chepstow over 40 years ago and I'd forgotten how massive it was.

The approach is up through the gatehouse.
The plan give an idea of the stages of development

There is deep water right under the castle at this point and supplies could be hauled straight up.
A smaller gateway at the top end added late in the castles development

The mainly Norman keep
The interior of the keep shows a lot of interesting features and give an idea of scale.
Some views around the interior


This year's first batch of desert stuff

Something of a mixture, I bought a bag of Airfix Matador bits at the Recon show, It contained one complete matador plus bits for most of another, a 5.5" gun plus all but one part for another. Luckily I had a spare matador already, it just needed repainted from green and the bits box contained the missing part so I could assemble a second 5.5" gun. So now I have enough for a RF Medium Artillery Battery

The dingo is a repaint job of a vehicle from another club member.

What's needed now is to find some suitable plastic figures to use for gun crew. Ideally I'd rather not use the Airfix 6pdr gunners.

Sharp eyed observers will notice the lack of decals, that's firstly because I'm waiting to see what units I have to build for the big game and secondly I need to find the correct AOS and formation markings for the medium guns - I think they were army level units, but I'm not sure yet.


Befehlspanzer I

Quite a change from the rather strangely coloured version I bought at Stoke last year. I've replaced a missing hatch and MG and squared up the superstructure and found a suitable commander. Now it's ready to lead my early desert war DAK

Also discovered that I've run out of German crosses, no problem I thought Skytrex are having a sale - except the crosses are no longer in their online store. So a slight delay on my German bits until I get some more.


Castell Coch

Well from the broken down ruins to a Victorian folly. In fact quite a bit of research was done and the exterior of the reconstructed castle is quite faithful to the original design. The only debateable point is the roofs.

Castell Coch is only just off the M4 motorway just north of Cardiff, perched on the side of a hill

An impressive entrance. The drawbridge and the portcullis actually work, but no chance of trying them out!


Chapel tower

The interior is a real folly, complete with loads of OTT decoration.

It was nice to pop in again for a visit.


Kidwelly Castle

After Llansteffan we passed Carmarthen and headed for Kidwelly (Carmarthen isn't covered by CADW)and initially the sun stayed with us.

In its final form it's a classic concentric design

But the weather deteriorated, with the wind picking up and hail showers folowed

Still a site worth visiting

The outer wall

An imposing gatehouse

The important part, the tea shop built into the old city gate that served an excellent Cawl, just the job for a cold day.


Feste haus zu Ransbach

Finish my first laser cut building and I was quite impressed at what could be done with the technology. Both the timber and walls were etched to give a wood, stone and tile effects and these painted easily with a simple colour wash. The only downside of the finished model is it's hieght as it's a lot higher than all my other ones.
As quite a few people were interested I have taken some pictures of it during assembly.

The basic frame is foamcore and provides a solid base for the rest of the construction, all of is covered by the end. The disappointment for me was that the half timbering was kept on the same sheet as the walls meaning that painting these was quite time consuming
The half timbered walls attached, roof and stone washed while waiting for the glue to harden off
For me the laser cut windows were just too fiddly, so I fell back to my old standard the sewing loom, luckily the window openings were exactly the right size I glued clear plastic to the back of the windows to keep them in place.
The metalwork for the door was laser cut paper and was a nice idea

Generally alignment was good, the only problem was the small triangles for the roof, where I had to stick fillets behind to ensure they kept in place.


Herbert to Llanstephan

Revolt in Wales - Herbert to Llanstephan, I remember it from Kingmaker, well I managed to get to Llansteffan while on holiday. It's free entry, which is quite a surprise for a sizable castle, but you do have to negotiate the narrow country roads, especially along the route Google maps sent me. The direct route from Carmarthen is OK.

Park at the beach car park and after a ten minute walk uphill you reach the castle, the gatehouse is the largest structure.

The view upriver towards Carmarthen
The gatehouse of the inner bailey
The view south from the top of the great gatehouse

An interpretation of how it might have looked

A glorious morning, next stop Kidwelly


What a weekend!!

An adventurous weekend for gaming and travelling.

On Saturday I travelled over to Manchester for a gathering of the Gentlemen Pensioners and an expedition up the Nile. Unfortunately I was delayed and arrived last and found myself in the position of British C in C. After assimilating te situation reports from my subordinates, I set them a set of easy tasks that should should ensure our capture of the Nile town of Firkat.

Egyptian Scouts and the gunboat approach an outlying Mahdist stronghold. The gunboat was ordered to provide sufficient motivation for the Egyptians, so they kept moving on the town.

In the sector under my direct command, the correspondent from the London Times failed to note the appalling performance of the naval brigade as some native foot broke cover and charged them! The shooting missed and even the artillery only managed one hit on the fleet footed Ansar. In Melee the matelots forgot about using cutlasses and were forced back. However the timely intervention of the well positioned reserve drove off the followers of the Mahdi.

Over on the extreme flank the desert column of the Light and Heavy Camel Rgiments and lancers swept in. Then ended up fighting over some obscure village.

After that we heard very little from that sector and Mahdist Camelry and Horse could be seen heading in our direction
Meanwhile Firkat was firmly in the control of the mahdists, although the Emir departed the minaret once it came under fire from the gunboat
As the heat of the day peaked. My brigade had adopted a strong position to support the Egyptians while they assaulted Firkat. With that I left my subordinates to complete the mopping up while I took a bit of tea and tiffin.
yes the snow was getting heavy and I battled home thougn the freezing rain, only to discover the next day that the gatling had jammed and the battle decided in the Mahhists favour.

Sunday was back to Manchester, along icy local roads and then across the Pennines in the fog and snow to Vapnartak. Arriving an hour late we madly set up and refought Ravenna 1512.

Picked up a few bits and pieces and met up with the Society of Gentlemen Gamers for a pint in the bar.

Finally despite being late Monday I'm still exhausted, but that's probably because I had to go shopping today!!


Charity sale

I've been given these items for the SOGGy charity sale and they'll be available at Vapnartak (York) this weekend for any reasonable offer.

All now sold


Bovingdon 1965?

A quick trip down memory lane with photos from a family holiday in Swanage with an excursion to the Tank Museum

I've always liked Panzer IVs

Great view from the top of a Jagdtiger
Panzer II and Lynx
SU100? and T34/85
Of course there's also the Panther, great children's slide at the front

and a Tiger I
And a couple of postcards