Buying some paint

I was shading my new Predator (and Rhino). I used some Citadel Reikland Fleshshade Shade, however after shading most of the models I ran out of paint.

I was in town, so went to MT Games and they were charging £5.00 for a pot of Citadel Reikland Fleshshade Shade.

Now in the Games Workshop stores (or is it Warhammer Stores) in Bristol the cost is £4.75.

My usual place to buy paint is The Games Bunker who sell the same paint pots at the discounted price of £4.05.

In the end I did buy the paint from MT Games, if I was buying a few pots then I probably would have made a special trip  to The Games Bunker and saved myself a few pennies.

Rescan please

This site (in various incarnations) is over twenty five years old. I first started posting images to the web in 1997.

Back in the 1990s I took various photographs of my miniatures, using a film 35mm camera, I then developed the film, before scanning the photos in. Later I was able to have the images scanned by the developer onto CD-ROM

Due to bandwidth limits, back in the 1990s most people had dial up modems, so when scanning images and editing them for the web, I kept the size small, both in terms of file size and pixels.

However now, not only do we have faster connections, fibre, 4G and 5G, websites such as this (using WordPress) can dynamically and responsively change the size of the image to meet the needs of the different kinds of browsers people are using.

As a result I have decided to start re-scanning images into the website and blog. I will be posting the new images to the blog, and I will be updating the relevant gallery pages as well.

Desert Storm 1959

Today saw the announcement of the 2023 Airfix range. I generally don’t do model kits, well I haven’t made an Airfix style model kit since the 1980s… though I have built a fair few wargaming kits since then.

I still have a nostalgic fondness for some of the older Airfix kits so was pleased to see that Airfix have announced the re-release of the Fairey Rotodyne.

Airfix Fairey Rotodyne

The Fairey Rotodyne was a 1950s British compound gyroplane designed and built by Fairey Aviation and intended for commercial and military uses. The Rotodyne featured a tip-jet-powered rotor that burned a mixture of fuel and compressed air bled from two wing-mounted turboprops. The rotor was driven for vertical takeoffs, landings and hovering, as well as low-speed translational flight, but autorotated during cruise flight with all engine power applied to two propellers.

Fairey Rotodyne
Johannes Thinesen, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Due to army and Royal Air Force (RAF) interest, development of the Rotodyne had been funded out of the defence budget for a time. The RAF also placed an order for 12 military transport versions. According to rumours, the U.S. Army was also interested in buying around 200 Rotodynes.

One prototype was built. Although the Rotodyne was promising in concept and successful in trials, the programme was eventually cancelled. The termination has been attributed to the type failing to attract any commercial orders; this was in part due to concerns over the high levels of rotor tip jet noise generated in flight. 

The re-release of the Fairey Rotodyne reminded me of an idea I had for an alternative history background for gaming. The basic premise was a Desert Storm background but with 1950s tanks, aircraft, helicopters and VTOL craft like the Fairey Rotodyne.

The British forces alongside Westland Whirlwinds and Westland Wessex helicopters would also have access to the Fairey Rotodyne for transport and troop insertion. I even thought about including the Bristol Belvedere, which though entered service in 1961, had its first flight in 1958.

Airfix have also announced they are re-releasing the Bristol Bloodhound SAM missile.

Bristol Bloodhound

It was developed in the 1950s and was used for air defence until 1991 in the UK.

Alongside the aircraft and missiles I would have also added some Centurion tanks and other armoured vehicles.

I would have painted the models in a desert camouflage similar to the US Desert Battle Dress Uniform (DBDU).

Desert Battle Dress Uniform
The original uploader was Pretzelpaws at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Two shades of brown with those clusters of black and white spots.

As for opponents? Well that would have been Soviet aircraft and vehicles, also in a desert camouflage.

Airfix have said they will release these new models in the Autumn of 2023, so it may be a possibility, just maybe.

Remembering the Scout Titans of times gone past

Back in the 1990s, White Dwarf featured some amazing Scout Titans.

Scout Titan

These were conversions by Forge World’s Tony Cottrell.

Scout Titan

They of course were pre-Forge World. They were conversions made predominantly from two kits, the ZOIDS Scavenger.

And the legs are from a Star Wars AT-ST kit.

I quite like the hard SF look of these compared to the Warhound Scout Titan we ended up with.

3D Talisman Board

I have been playing Talisman ever since it came out in 1983. I own the second edition and this is still played regularly. I also enjoy the digital version on my iPad.

Back in the 1980s I had this idea of building a three dimensional version of the board. In the late 1980s I also managed to purchase all the metal Talisman miniatures in one of Games Workshop’s amazing sales. I had the parts, I had the idea, but like most of my ideas, it stayed an idea. I eventually sold virtually all the miniatures on eBay, keeping a couple I had painted and really liked.

The idea was still there, but I doubted it was ever going to happen…

The other day though I saw this tweet.

Doing some further clicking I discovered that Spare Oom Studio were selling STL files of 3D models for use with Talisman.

Talisman ruins

I really like these, but alas I don’t have a 3D printer. I think if I ever get a 3D printer I might get some, or see if I can get some printed. Need to check how they fit on the second edition board.

Plastic Land Raider Proteus perhaps?

With the announcement of the plastic Spartan Land Raider Assault Tank it got me thinking, will we also a plastic Land Raider Proteus?

Land Raider Proteus
Land Raider Proteus on display at Warhammer World

There is a resin model from Forge World currently available.

It wouldn’t be too much of a step to have a plastic kit of this Land Raider? Essentially the Spartan is a stretched Land Raider.

Spartan Assault Tank

It would mean producing a new hull for the plastic tracks, but that would mean replacing potentially one sprue with another.

Of course this would mean returning full circle to the original plastic Land Raider model which was released in 1988, well nearly.

1919: Britain’s Year of Revolution

A few years ago I wrote a blog post about an alternate history, called The 1919 British Revolution.

As well as looking at the general feeling of discontent across the country I did focus on an incident in Glasgow.

In Great Britain the government feared a bolshevik uprising and was quick to oppress any potential threat to the established order. One of the biggest areas for concern were the labour movements and trade unions. One strike in Glasgow in 1919 eventually resulted in a street battle between strikers and police, which was so bad, the army was called in. The “Battle of George Square”, also known as “Bloody Friday” and “Black Friday”, was one of the most intense riots in the history of Glasgow; it took place on Friday, 31 January 1919. Clashes between the City of Glasgow Police and protesters broke out, prompting the War Cabinet to make soldiers available to the civil power, to prevent the violence from escalating.

I also saw this post the first of a series of blog posts.

In future blog posts I want to have a look at potential battles in the 1919 British Revolution and the forces involved.

I did start thinking about possible scenarios and forces. I have in the cupboard the boxed set of Battlefront’s 15mm The Great War Mitchell’s Marauders.

Mitchell's Marauders (GBRAB1)

The boxed set includes one Company HQ, two Rifle Platoons, one Machine-gun Platoon, one Royal Artillery Gun Detachment. It also has one Medium Tank Platoon comprising a single Mark A Whippet and a Heavy Tank Platoon which is two Mark IV tanks.

I was thinking that this would be a good starting force for the 1919 British Revolution.

In my original blog post I used a couple of contemporary photographs, one was of the tanks, Medium Mark C tanks, and soldiers at the Glasgow Cattle Market in the Gallowgate waiting to be called in for action in Glasgow. The other photograph though was a Mark IV tank on the streets of Dublin.

British army tank in Dublin

I realised that I wanted to do some more research into this era and as you do went to Google. As well as finding more photographs from the era I also discovered that there was a book about a range of incidents across 1919.

1919; Britain’s Year of Revolution tells the story of an almost unknown passage in British history. On the August Bank Holiday that year, the government in London despatched warships to the northern city of Liverpool in an overwhelming show of force. Thousands of troops, backed by tanks, had been trying without success to suppress disorder on the streets. Earlier that year in London, 1000 soldiers had marched on Downing Street, before being disarmed by a battalion of the Grenadier Guards loyal to the government. In Luton that summer, the town hall was burned down by rioters, before the army was brought in to restore order and in Glasgow, artillery and tanks were positioned in the centre of the city to deter what the Secretary of State for Scotland described as a ‘Bolshevik uprising’. Industrial unrest and mutiny in the armed forces combined together to produce the fear that Britain was facing the same kind of situation which had led to the Russian Revolution two years earlier. Drawing chiefly upon contemporary sources, this book describes the sequence of events which looked as though they might be the precursor to a revolution along the lines of those sweeping across Europe at that time. To some observers, it seemed only a matter of time before Britain transformed itself from a constitutional monarchy into a Soviet Republic.

Well time to buy that from Amazon then.

The early days

Back in the day, my first “experience” of wargaming was back in the 1970s with those bendy and flexible Airfix and Matchbox model soldiers and often using Britain’s matchstick firing weapons.

One of my favourite toys and probably the thing that got me into gaming more than anything else was the 1:32nd Matchbox Counter Attack Playset.

Matchbox Counter Attack

In the set you got a set of American infantry with an M8 Greyhound. Their job was to attack the enemy.

On the German side, you got German infantry, a watchtower and they took refuge in a ruined cafe or restaurant. Watching Saving Private Ryan decades later I was reminded of the building as I watched the defence of the ruined village.

In the box you had two air pump weapons, a machine gun and a rocket launcher. The building was designed that you could knock down and put back together. Pieces fell off it as it was hit by the weapons.

It was an incredible toy that I really loved playing with. I think I was always a little disappointed that they never did more sets in this range.

You could certainly add more infantry, even tanks and trucks, but there was no more scenery or buildings to be had.

It was this game that got me into gaming, and where did I got next, well 25mm Napoleonics.

Talisman: Batman

I really like Talisman, I have been playing it since the first edition came out in 1983. The game was very much set in a fantasy world.

One thing I have seen recently are themed versions of Talisman: Harry Potter, Star Wars and Batman.

  • The anti-heroic objective take on the classic Talisman fantasy tabletop game.
  • Take on the role of Gotham City’s notorious evil-doers!
  • Sneak and fight your way through Arkham Asylum’s two floor and central tower.
  • Be the first to subdue Batman and successfully release Arkham’s dangerous inmates!

I do like the Talisman mechanics, so not having to learn new rules upfront, certainly makes this game an attractive proposition. This game is a no-brainer if you like Batman and Talisman.